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Title: Fair Italy, the Riviera and Monte Carlo - Comprising a Tour Through North and South Italy and Sicily - with a Short Account of Malta
Author: Devereux, W. Cope
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                        FAIR ITALY. THE RIVIERA
                            AND MONTE CARLO



                        FAIR ITALY. THE RIVIERA
                            AND MONTE CARLO


                      _COMPRISING A TOUR THROUGH
                   NORTH AND SOUTH ITALY AND SICILY
                    WITH A SHORT ACCOUNT OF MALTA_

                                  BY

                   W. COPE DEVEREUX, R.N., F.R.G.S.

                               AUTHOR OF

   "A CRUISE IN THE 'GORGON' IN THE SUPPRESSION OF THE SLAVE TRADE"



                                LONDON

           KEGAN PAUL, TRENCH & CO., 1, PATERNOSTER SQUARE

                                 1884



    (_The rights of translation and of reproduction are reserved._)



                                  TO

                             MY DEAR WIFE

               THIS VOLUME IS AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATED,

                   IN REMEMBRANCE OF OUR HAPPY TOUR

                                  IN

                              FAIR ITALY.



                                PREFACE.


Fair Italy, the land of song and cradle of the Arts, has been so often
written about, and so well described both in prose and in verse, that I
feel there is a presumption in my attempting to say anything fresh of
that classic land, its art treasures, and its glorious past. But within
the last few years a new Italy has sprung into existence--the dream of
Cavour has been realized; and, contrary to all predictions, she has
evinced a union and cohesiveness so complete as to surprise all, and
possibly disappoint some who were jealous of her.

What was once a conglomeration of petty rival states is now one
constitutionally governed kingdom. Italy has ceased to be only a
geographical name; she is now a nation whose voice is listened to at the
council tables of the Great Powers.

The old terms of Piedmontese, Tuscan, Lombard, and Neapolitan, have no
longer aught but a local significance; from the Alps to Tarentum every
one glories in the name of free united Italy, and feels proud of being
an Italian.

Young Italy is so rapidly developing the resources of her gifted people
and of her fruitful lands, that she daily becomes more interesting to
all who sympathize with a free and vigorous country; more especially to
the English, who have many interests in common with her, and few, if
any, reasons to fear either antagonism or competition.

And the beautiful Riviera--

    Where God's pure air, sweet flowers, blue sea and skies,
    Combine to make an earthly Paradise.

Yes! the Riviera is certainly one of the loveliest spots on this fair
earth, and is visited by streams of human beings, lovers of nature and
students of art; but is more especially dear to the thousands of sickly
invalids, who--

    Journeying there from lands of wintry clime,
    Find life and health 'midst scenery sublime.

But, to be truly candid, I must confess that, while humbly trusting I
have succeeded in making this little book both interesting and
instructive, one of the chief reasons for my putting pen to paper has
been to make an effort, however feeble, to expose the deadly evils of
the plague-spot of this paradise, Monte Carlo.

From this centre there circulates a gambling fever not only throughout
the Riviera--from Cannes to Genoa--but everywhere its victims may carry
it. After being stamped out from all the German watering-places, the
demon "Play" has fixed his abode in this fair spot, in the very pathway
of invalids and others, and, under the ægis of a corrupt prince and his
subjects who share the proceeds of the gaming-tables, this valued health
resort, which was surely designed by a beneficent Creator for the
happiness of His creatures, is turned into a pandemonium.

    "Base men to use it to so base effect."

Few can be wholly unaware of the sad effects resulting from this
gambling mania, whereby the happiness of many homes is wrecked, and
thousands of our fellow-creatures are brought to ruin and a shameful
end.

During the past season the public papers have teemed with instances of
Monte Carlo suicides,[A] the lifeless bodies of its victims frequently
being found at early dawn in the charming gardens surrounding the
Casino. The gen d'arme patrol is so accustomed to the occurrence, it is
said, as to view the object with perfect _sang froid_, but, let us
rather hope, with pitying eye.

It may possibly be said, Why all this virtuous indignation about Monte
Carlo, when gambling, to a frightful extent, is carried on at our clubs
and stock exchanges in England? I can only answer, two wrongs can never
make one right; besides, Monte Carlo cannot be allowed to exist as an
independent principality when conducted so dishonestly and detrimentally
to the highest interests of humanity.

I am thankful to feel that the matter has now been brought before the
Parliaments of England and Italy, and even France, and has been the
subject of diplomatic remonstrance. This is hopeful, but I have the
greater hope in the power of public opinion and sympathy against this
monstrous evil; and also in the belief that one of the highest
developments of this nineteenth century is the recognition of the truth
that "I am my brother's keeper."

     LONDON,
          _March, 1884._

[A] See Appendix.



                             CONTENTS.


                              CHAPTER I.
                                                                     PAGE
Introduction--Charing Cross--Dover--Submarine Channel Tunnel
--Calais--Advantages of travelling second class--Superfluous
examination of luggage--Paris--Dining _à la carte_ versus
_table d'hôte_--Noël--An Officer's Funeral--Lyons--Scenery of
the Rhone--Constant changes in the landscape--Want of proper
accommodation at the railway stations--Defective lighting of
railway carriages                                                       1


                              CHAPTER II.

Arrival at Marseilles--Change in climate--The mistral--Some
account of Marseilles in the past--Marseillaise hymn--Docks
and harbour--Hill-side scenery--Chateau d'If--La Dame de la
Garde--Military practice--St. Nazaire--An ancient church--The
Exchange--Courtiers of merchandise--Sunday at home and abroad          13


                             CHAPTER III.

Leaving Marseilles--Toulon--Hyères--Fréjus--Coast scenery--The
Hotel Windsor--An unexpected meeting, and a pleasant walk--Isles
de Lerins--The Mediterranean--Defective drainage--Mosquitos and
Nocturnal Pianos--Christmas Day--Cannes--The Pepper tree--The
English Cemetery--Antibes--Miscalled Health Resorts--Grasse--
Orange blossoms--Leaving Cannes                                        23


                              CHAPTER IV.

Nice--Its persistently Italian character--Its gaming propensities
--Hints about luggage--Old and New Towns--Flower-shops--A river
laundry--The harbours of Nice and Villafranca--Scenery and
climate of Nice--A cowardly outrage--In the Cathedral--Hotel
charges--Leaving Nice                                                  37


                              CHAPTER V.

The beauty-spot and plague-spot of the Riviera--Arrival at
Mentone--Hotel des Isles Britanniques--English church--Her
Majesty's Villa--Gardens of Dr. Bennett--Custom-house--Remarks
on Mentone--A charming walk--A word about Brigands--An adventure
--In the cemetery--A labour of love--A frog concert--Excursion
to Monte Carlo--Sublime coast scenery--Castle of Monaco--The
sombre Olive--The exodus of the Caterpillars                           49


                              CHAPTER VI.

Monte Carlo--In the Concert-room--The Gambling saloons--The
Tables--The moth and the candle--The true story of Monte
Carlo--An International grievance and disgrace                         62


                             CHAPTER VII.

Scenery _en route_--Bordighera--Pegli--Genoa--Its magnificent
situation--The grandeur of its past--The Harbour--Streets--Palaces
--Cathedral of San Lorenzo--Sacred Catina--Chapel of St. John the
Baptist--Italian Beggars--Sudden change in the atmosphere--The
Campo Santo--Shops of Genoa--Marble promenade--City of precipices
--Climate of Genoa                                                     72


                             CHAPTER VIII.

Pisa--Hotel Victoria--Pisan weather--The poet Shelley--Historic
Pisa--Lung 'Arno--San Stefano di Canalia--Cathedral--Baptistery
--Leaning Tower--Campo Santo--The divine angels--The great chain
of Pisa--Leghorn--Smollett's grave--Poste-restante--A sweet thing
in Beggars--Ugolino's Tower--Departure for Rome                        83


                              CHAPTER IX.

Arrival in Rome--Hotel de la Ville--The Corso--The Strangers'
Quarter--Roman Guides--View from the Capitol--"How are the mighty
fallen!"--The sculpture-gallery of the Capitol--The Dying Gladiator
--The Venus--Hawthorne's Marble Faun--Bambino Santissimo--The
Mamertine Prison--The Forum--Palaces--The Coliseum--Longfellow's
"Michael Angelo"                                                       92


                              CHAPTER X.

Trajan's Gate--The Appian Way--The English Cemetery--Catacombs
of St. Calixtus--Reflections on the Italian seat of government
--Churches--S. Paolo Fuori le Mura--Santa Maria Maggiore--S.
Pietro in Vincoli--"Was St. Peter ever in Rome?"--Fountains of
Rome--Dell' Aqua Felice--Paulina--Trevi--Rome's famous Aqueducts
--Beggars--Priests                                                    106


                              CHAPTER XI.

Papal Rome--Narrow streets--St. Angelo--Benvenuto Cellini--St.
Peter's--Pietà Chapel--The Dead Christ--Tomb of the Stuarts--
Anniversary of St. Peter's--Grand ceremonial--Cardinal Howard
--The Vatican--Pictures--Pauline and Sistine Chapels--"The Last
Judgment"--Pinacoteca--Raphael's "Transfiguration"--"The
Madonna"--Christian Martyrs--Sculptures--Tapestries--Leo
XIII.--Italian Priesthood--St. John Lateran--Marvellous legends
and relics--Native irreverence to sacred edifices                     119


                             CHAPTER XII.

Excursion to Tivoli--Sulphur baths--Memories--Temple of the Sybil
--River Anio--Lovely scenery--Back to Rome--Post-office--Careless
officials--The everlasting "Weed"--Climate of Rome--Discomforts and
disappointments--Young Italy--Leo XIII.--Italian Politics--Cessation
of Brigandage--The new City--American church--_Italian Times_--
Departure for Naples--Regrets--The Three Taverns--A picturesque
route--Naples by night                                                137


                             CHAPTER XIII.

Naples--Bristol Hotel--Via Roma--King Bomba's time--Deterioration
of the Neapolitans--Museum--Churches--The Opera-house--English
and Italian beauty--Aquarium--Vesuvius--Excursion to Pompeii--
Portici--A novel mode of grooming--The entombed city--Its
disinterment--Museum, streets, and buildings--Remarks--A cold
drive                                                                 151


                             CHAPTER XIV.

Unprecedented cold of 1883--Departure from Naples--Virgil's
tomb--Journey to Messina--Italy's future--Scylla and Charybdis
--Beautiful Messina--The "_Electrico_"--Malta--Knight Crusaders
--Maltese Society--An uncommon fish--An earthquake at sea--Journey
to Palermo--Picturesque scenery--Etna--Among the mountains--The
lights of Palermo                                                     168


                              CHAPTER XV.

Palermo--Oriental aspects--Historical facts--Royal Palace--Count
Roger--The Piazzi Planet--The Palatine Chapel--Walk to Monreale
--Beauty of the Peasantry--Prickly pears--"The Golden Shell"--
Monreale Cathedral--Abbey and Cloisters--English church--Palermo
Cathedral--Churches--Catacombs of the Capuchins--Gardens--Palermo
aristocracy--The Bersaglieri--Sicilian life and characteristics
--Climate and general features                                        191


                             CHAPTER XVI.

Annexation of Nice and Savoy--Garibaldi's protest--A desperate
venture--Calatafimi--Catania--Melazzo--Entry into Naples--Gaeta
--The British Contingent--Departure from England--Desertion--
Arrival in Naples--_Colonel_ "Long Shot"--Major H----'s imaginary
regiment--Dispersion of the British Contingent                        204


                             CHAPTER XVII.

Floods in France--London--Back to the South--Marseilles--Italian
Emigrant passengers--A death on board--French _impolitesse_
--Italian coast scenery at dawn--Unlimited palaver--Arrival in
Leghorn--The "_Lepanto_"--Departure--"Fair Florence"--The Arno
--Streets--Palaces--San Miniato--The grand Duomo--The Baptistery
--Ghiberti's Bronze Gates                                             217


                            CHAPTER XVIII.

Santa Croce--San Lorenzo--Day and Night--Picture-galleries--The
Tribune--Venus di Medicis--Excursion to Fiesole--Ancient
Amphitheatre--Aurora _Café_--Climate of Florence--Heavy hotel
charges--Departure--Bologna sausages--Venice                          228


                             CHAPTER XIX.

Arrival in Venice--The Water City--Gondola traffic--Past glories
--Danieli's Royal Hotel--St. Mark's Piazza--The Sacred Pigeons
--St. Mark's--Mosaics--The Holy Columns--Treasures--The Chian
Steeds--The modern Goth                                               241


                              CHAPTER XX.

A water-excursion--The Bridge of Sighs--Doge's Palace--Archæological
Museum--The Rialto--The streets of Venice--Aids to disease--Venetian
Immorality--The Arsenal--Nautical Museum--Trip to Lido--Glass works
--Venetian evenings--The great Piazza--Scene on the Piazzetta--
Farewell to Venice                                                    253


                             CHAPTER XXI.

Leaving Venice--Hervey's Lament--Scenery _en route_--Padua--
Associations of the past--A brief history of Padua, and the House
of Carrara--General appearance of the town--Giotto's Chapel--His
beautiful frescoes--Character of Giotto's work--The Cathedral--
Palazzo della Ragione--The Wooden Horse--St. Antonio--The
Hermitage--The Fallen Angels--The University and its students
--Ladies of Padua--Situation of the city--An old bridge--Climate      264


                             CHAPTER XXII.

Journey from Padua--The great Quadrilateral--Historic Verona--Hotel
due Torri--Recent inundations--Poetic Verona--House of the Capulets
--Juliet's tomb--Streets and monuments--Cathedral--Roman Amphitheatre
--Shops--Veronese ladies--Departure--Romantic journey--Lake Garda
--Desenzano--Brescia                                                  274


                            CHAPTER XXIII.

Arrival in Milan--Railway station--Tram carriages--History and
present condition--The Cathedral--Irreverence of Italian Priests
--The Ambrosian Liturgy--Sunday school--S. Carlo Borromeo--Relics
--A frozen flower-garden--View from the tower                         287


                             CHAPTER XXIV.

Milan--Social and charitable--How to relieve our Poor--Leonardo's
"Last Supper"--Condition of churches in Italy--Santa Maria delle
Grazie--La Scala--Picture-galleries--St. Ambrogio--Ambrosian
library--Public gardens--Excursion to the Lakes--Monza--Como
--Lake scenery--Bellagio--American rowdyism                           300


                             CHAPTER XXV.

Climate of Milan--Magenta--Arrival in Turin--Palazzo Madama--
Chapel of the Holy Napkin--The lottery fever--View from the
Alpine Club--Superga--_Academia della Science_--Departure--Mont
Cenis railway--The great Tunnel--Modane--Farewell to Italy            315


                             CHAPTER XXVI.

From Modane to Paris--Lovely scenery--St. Michel--St. Jean de
Maurienne--Epierre--Paris--Notre Dame--French immorality--La
Manche--"Dear old foggy London"--Reflections and conclusion           330



                        FAIR ITALY. THE RIVIERA

                           AND MONTE CARLO.



                              CHAPTER I.

Introduction--Charing Cross--Dover--Submarine Channel Tunnel--Calais
--Advantages of travelling second class--Superfluous examination of
luggage--Paris--Dining _à la carte_ versus _table d'hôte_--Noël--An
Officer's Funeral--Lyons--Scenery of the Rhone--Constant changes in
the landscape--Want of proper accommodation at the railway stations--
Defective lighting of railway carriages


If any person is desirous of putting forward a good excuse for spending
a few weeks on the continent, the climate of the British Isles at any
time of the year, but more particularly between November and May, will
always justify his so doing. To exchange the damp and fog that too
frequently form the staple of the weather about the festive time of
Christmas and the opening of the new year, for the bright clear skies
and sunny days of the south of France and Italy, is so pleasant, and
travelling is now so easy and so cheap, the only wonder is that more
people do not take advantage of it to leave "the winter of their
discontent" for a short time at this season.

In our case--that is, of myself and my wife--having not only this
disposition for a trip of a month or so, but also the leisure time at
our disposal, the only question was, in what particular direction was
our Hegira to be?

Our object being purely that of pleasantly spending our time and seeing
as many interesting places and objects as we possibly could, it really
mattered little whither we steered our course, provided it was to climes
where fogs are known to the natives only by hearsay, where Nature
assumes a brighter aspect, and Art collects her treasures to reward the
traveller for his pains.

We took down that most instructive though mysterious of all books,
"Bradshaw," and spreading out the map showing various continental lines
of railway, proceeded to study the network puzzle with a view of
determining which should be the land of our pilgrimage.

Should we cross the Pyrenees and traverse Spain, visiting Madrid and the
Escurial _en route_ to Seville, and thence through Andalusia and
Granada, and home by Valencia, Malaga, and Barcelona? Visions of Don
Quixote, Gil Blas, the Great Cid, and the Holy (?) Inquisition passed
before our mental eye in wondrous confusion.

"No, I don't think Spain will do," remarked my wife, slowly. "I fear
Spanish hotels--_posadas_, don't they call them?--are not very
comfortable."

"You are right," was my reply. "I have never heard Spain praised for
her hotel accommodation; and as we are going for pleasure, and wish to
be as comfortable as possible, we will leave Spain till _posadas_ are
things of the past. But what do you say to Italy? Beautiful climate,
charming scenery, the choicest Art treasures in the world, every mile
teeming with historic and poetic interest, good hotels, and generally
comfortable travelling!"

"Yes, Italy will do," decided my wife; and we folded up the map and
proceeded at once to examine the time-tables, lists of fares, calculate
the costs of first and second class, and plan our route. The book of
mystification was then almost ungratefully closed, and the serious
business of packing commenced.

On the 20th of December, 1882, my wife and I,

    "Fired with ideas of fair Italy,"

started on our travels in good spirits. Having secured our tickets, we
put up at the Charing Cross Hotel for the night, so as to be ready to
start the first thing in the morning.

Whatever vague feelings of regret we might secretly have nourished in
leaving dear old England and our time-honoured, old-fashioned Christmas,
were quickly dispelled the next morning, for as we sped away by the 7.40
train for Dover the weather assumed its most dismal aspect--cold, raw,
damp, and foggy. So we started with easy consciences, resolved to obtain
all possible benefit and enjoyment from the change.

Before reaching Dover, a little sunshine struggled forth to gladden us;
but it was blowing rather hard when we arrived at our destination, and
there was something of a sea to frighten the timorous. Being pretty fair
sailors, however, and by the exercise of a little thoughtful physical
preparation, we did not suffer from the voyage, and were able to render
some assistance to others less fortunate.

After being at sea even for a few hours, there is much in the sound of
"land ahead" to raise one's spirits, perhaps more especially when
crossing the Channel. There is no one who does not hail with delight the
first sight of the shore. It gladdens the hearts of the sickly ones, and
soon their childlike helplessness disappears; hope and life return,
sending the warm blood once more to the pallid cheek, and lighting the
languid eye with fresh joy and anticipation. It is pleasant to see how
quickly the sufferers shake off the evil spirit of the sea--the terrible
_mal de mer_, pull themselves together, and step on shore, beaming with
heroic smiles.

It is just at this time that the submarine Channel Tunnel scheme
possesses peculiar interest for the thoughtful. All lovers of Old
England feel proudly and justly that this little "silver streak," with
its stormy waves and rock-bound shores, is, under the blessing of
Providence, her natural and national strength and glory. It has made her
sons daring and hardy, industrious, prosperous, and happy. It has
enabled her to people more than half the world with the Anglo-Saxon
race, and has extended her empire and influence beyond the setting sun.
It has made her the arbiter of the world, her sword--nay, her very word,
turning the scale against any power of wrong and might. It has protected
the world against the lust and avarice of Spain, and the conquering
tyranny of a Napoleon. It has made her the Bank and commercial depôt of
the whole globe, and the first of civilized and civilizing powers.

It is true that the more closely nations are connected by mutual
interests, the more prosperous they become and the more friendly they
are. And doubtless such a means of communication between Great Britain
and the continent would materially increase that mutual interest--might
even make sulky France more friendly towards us, and probably prove of
benefit both commercially and socially; but only so long as the insular
power of England is maintained. Although our army and navy are hardly as
strong as they should be, we want no conscription here. What we do want
is to preserve the peace and honour of our homes, our children in the
colonies, and to increase rather than decrease the power of England for
the good of the whole world.

Therefore, if a tunnel or tunnels be made, we must be sure beforehand
that they can be perfectly protected against the means of surprise and
invasion, that in no manner of way can they be made a weak point in our
harness. As for destroying the tunnel, there would in all probability be
a train or two in it when a surprise was intended, and what commander
would blow up or destroy it under such circumstances? I fear the tunnel
would prove a grand place for ruffians; and what hideous depredations
and murderous attacks might not be committed in transit! Five minutes is
in all conscience long enough to be under the depressing influence of a
Hadean tunnel, but it would be an evil spirit who could tolerate it for
the best part of an hour.

Arrived at Calais, the train was already waiting to carry us onward, but
there was ample time for breakfast.

Calais station always seems to be undergoing a certain kind of
metamorphosis; and with its sand-hills and generally unfinished
condition, reminds the traveller of some remote part of the world, such
as Panama, for instance. Some day it may possibly be able to digest the
passenger traffic from England to the continent, but at present much
time is lost there from its being so gorged. It is absolutely refreshing
to catch a glimpse of the Calais fish women, with their gay costume,
wonderfully frilled, spotless white caps, and healthy faces.

Soon we are spinning along towards Paris, the weather pretty fine so
far, but the country sadly flooded; and, the lowlands being under water,
the gaunt and leafless poplar trees are the most conspicuous objects of
the landscape. Then for miles we travel along through a gloomy drizzling
rain, the land looking most forlornly desolate. The arrival at Amiens,
however, cheers us a little, and here we get a stretch and some
refreshment. After leaving this place, always interesting for its
beautiful Cathedral, the weather brightens up, and we reach Paris in
good time for dinner.

Thus far we have found travelling second class very agreeable, for when
the trains are fast there are advantages in so doing--more room and less
expense than by first class.

At Paris the examination of luggage is a perfect nuisance. An
Englishman, and still more an English _woman_, very reluctantly hands
over her keys to a French gen d'arme, who, be your presence never so
imposing, ruthlessly capsizes your careful and thoughtful stowage,
whilst you angrily or impatiently watch your travelling sanctum pried
into by dirty-handed, over-zealous officials. The one examination at
Calais, when there was plenty of time, should surely have sufficed; but
at the end of a journey, when one is tired and anxious to get to one's
hotel and dinner, it is aggravating beyond measure.

On this occasion the ladies' baggage was particularly selected for
inspection, much to the annoyance of my wife, who most unwillingly gave
up her keys, and declared her opinion that "it was because gentlemen put
their cigars into the ladies' trunks." Of course this fully explained
it!

There is some difficulty in claiming one's possessions after their
examination, as there are legions of voracious hotel touters ready to
pounce upon not only "somebody's," but everybody's luggage, and the
owners too, if possible, and carry all off to the omnibuses attached to
their several hotels.

However, we at last arrive at the St. James Hotel, in the Rue St.
Honorè, where, as usual, there is quite an army of waiters to welcome
the "coming guest." To an inexperienced traveller, and indeed to my
pleased wife, this is gratefully accepted as a _warm welcome_, but those
who have had some little experience know better, or rather worse.
Fortunately, we secure a room on the third floor, and therefore so far
carry out our resolutions of economy! and now, in preference to the
sumptuous _table d'hôte_, we decide to dine _à la carte_, which means a
little table to yourself, where you may select what you wish to eat,
have it at any hour you please, and pay for just what you order. This is
not only less expensive, but far more quiet and comfortable after the
fatigue of a journey, than the crowded and imposing _table d'hôte_, with
its never-ceasing clatter and chatter, where you will be lucky if you
find a dish that will prove agreeable to your palate. Sometimes,
however, the change is enjoyable, as you cannot fail to be amused at the
eccentricities of your neighbours; perhaps finding your own weaknesses
reflected in them. Often you will find a dozen nationalities
represented, and a perfect Babel-like talk, each little exclusive party,
like crows, intent only upon covering its own nest.

Paris is beautifully brilliant at the festive seasons, the shops filled
with lovely and costly presents, arranged with that exquisite taste so
natural to the French artiste. I think they have some very pretty
sentiments about their "Noël." For instance, at early morn on Christmas
Day, whilst still in the land of dreams, a light tap comes at your
chamber door, and on rising you find it is a messenger bearing a bouquet
of choice and lovely flowers, with some dear friend's greeting.

Unfortunately the weather continued wet and cold; still, under cover of
the colonnades and on the fine boulevards there is always so
light-hearted and gay a throng, and so much to interest one, that it is
impossible to feel dull. Things here, however, quickly change from gay
to grave. A general officer's funeral passed through the boulevards
where we were standing, followed by a procession in which nearly every
branch of the army was represented. The open hearse, with coffin, was
covered with beautiful wreaths of flowers, among which lay the deceased
officer's sword, honours, etc. The touching expression of regret in the
faces of his comrades, and the respectful reverence evinced by the
people, making it altogether a very impressive sight.

The weather being still so wet, we decided not to remain after the
second day, and on the following morning left Paris by the 9.40 train
for Marseilles. The long journey, occupying some fourteen or fifteen
hours, is exceedingly tedious, and should be broken at Lyons, especially
in the summer-time.

Lyons is one of the largest and most important cities in France, very
interesting in its manufactures, and well worth a day or two's visit.
Unfortunately, like its sister Marseilles, with its huge working
population, it is extremely democratic, and only quite lately has been
the scene of a kind of communistic outbreak. The neighbouring scenery is
very striking and beautiful, in some places grand. We were reminded
somewhat of the Thames at Charing Cross when passing over the noble
bridge, with the great city stretching far and wide, and the numerous
bridges spanning the river. At night the illumination is a pretty and
brilliant sight.

In the summer the journey from Lyons to Marseilles in one of the many
flat-bottomed steamers would be very enjoyable, and a pleasant break to
the pent-up, wearisome railroad.

The scenery much resembles the Rhine, with its high cliffs, richly
wooded promontories, historic and baronial castles, and picturesque
chateaux. The turbulent river in some places dashing wildly by, and
separating two beautiful shores.

    "Now, where the swift Rhone cleaves his way between
     Heights which appear, as lovers who have parted
     In hate, whose mining depths so intervene,
     That they can meet no more, though broken-hearted.
     Love was the very root of the fond rage
     Itself expired, but leaving them an age
     Of years all winters,--war within themselves to wage."

How grand and sublime that part of the Rhone must appear, with its great
forest-clad cliffs, and the rushing foaming waters during a
thunderstorm!

The land is full of ancient interests, especially near Marseilles, at
Avignon and Arles. Here we meet with many old Roman settlements and
ruins.

Passing thus swiftly through France, we obtain a wonderfully
comprehensive idea of the country, and note the different products of
the soil springing into view in ever-varying profusion, making a
continuous change in the appearance of the landscape--a change which
would perhaps be less noticeable were the journey performed in a more
leisurely manner. Thus we pass from the wheat-growing country to the
land of the vine, and thence to that of the olive. And one cannot help
being struck by the wonderful industry of the people, women taking
almost more than their fair share of out-door work, in the fields, etc.
Up to the very summit of the hills and rocky knolls, terrace upon
terrace, every inch of ground, seems to be well cultivated.

I could not but think that in some places women are employed out of
their proper sphere, more particularly at the railway stations, where
one is shocked to find a woman where none but a man should be. And while
on this subject, it may be well to remark how exceedingly disgusting
some of the retiring places are at these stations--at all events, to
English men and women, who do not like being treated as cattle. At some
places it is really shocking, and the Lyons and Mediterranean railway
officials should certainly rectify this evil without loss of time; for
if the unpleasantness is so great in winter, what must it be during the
hot months?

The officials are most exemplary in providing fresh foot-warmers, but
not so particular in a more important matter--that of lighting the
carriages, even the first-class compartments being dull and gloomy in
the extreme. The kind of oil burnt has probably something to do with
it.



                              CHAPTER II.

Arrival at Marseilles--Change in climate--The mistral--Some account of
Marseilles in the past--Marseillaise hymn--Docks and harbour--Hill-side
scenery--Chateau d'If--La Dame de la Garde--Military practice--St.
Nazaire--An ancient church--The Exchange--Courtiers of merchandize
--Sunday at home and abroad.


Having left Paris at 9.40 a.m., we reached Marseilles at nearly
midnight, feeling very tired, and were glad to get to the Terminus
Hotel, which is comfortably close to the station. What a charming
station it is, with its courtyard and garden, orange trees and flowering
myrtles!

Here is indeed a change of climate; one begins to realize at last the
fact of being in the "sunny south." Although it is mid-winter, and but a
few hours before we were shivering in Paris, here the heat of the sun is
as great as an English June. Overhead a sky of such a blue as we seldom
see in our island home, and which is only matched by the azure waters of
the glorious Mediterranean. The vegetation is almost semi-tropical; palm
trees waving their graceful feathery heads; cacti, aloes, and other
strange-looking plants meeting the eye at every turn. Orange and olive
trees abundant everywhere, the former loading the air with the luscious
fragrance of its blossoms.

But unfortunately, on the Sunday morning following our arrival, there
was a disagreeable dry parching wind blowing from the north-west called
_mistral_; the Italians call it _maestro_, meaning "the masterful." It
is very prevalent along the south coast of Europe at certain times of
the year, drying up the soil, and doing much damage to the fruit trees.
The dust, like sand in the desert, is almost blinding; on one side you
have a cold cutting wind, on the other perhaps scorching
heat--altogether very far from pleasant. This wind sometimes raises a
tumult in the Mediterranean Sea, which is much dreaded by the French and
Italian sailors.

Marseilles, the third city of _la belle France_, enclosed by a
succession of rocky hills, and magnificently situated on the sea, is
almost the greatest port of the Mediterranean. It is a very ancient
town, having been founded in 600 B.C. by the Phoceans, under
the name of Massilia. When ultimately conquered by the Romans, it was
for its refinement and culture treated with considerable respect, and
allowed to retain its original aristocratic constitution. After the fall
of Rome, it fell into the hands of the Franks and other wild northern
tribes; and was subsequently destroyed by the Saracens, but was restored
in the tenth century. In 1481 it was united to France, to which it has
ever since been subject. In 1720 it was ravaged by the plague, which
was memorable not only on account of its wide-wasting devastation, but
also for the heroism of Xavier de Belzunce, Bishop of Marseilles, whose
zeal and charity for the poor sufferers commands our respect and
admiration. Pope, in his "Essay on Man," says--

    "Why drew Marseilles' good bishop purer breath,
     When Nature sicken'd, and each gale was death?"

In 1792, hordes of galley-slaves were sent hence to Paris. It was about
this time that the celebrated revolutionary song, "_Allons enfans de la
Patrie_," with its thrilling and fiery chorus, "_Aux armes! Aux armes!_"
was introduced, and it has ever since been known as the Marseillaise
Hymn; but it was in reality written by an officer of engineers, Rouget
de Lisle, to celebrate the departure of a band of volunteers from
Strasburg. Both verse and music were composed in one night.

Marseilles is often called the Liverpool of France, but its importance
has been somewhat lessened since the opening of the Mont Cenis tunnel.
The great docks, wonderfully constructed and sheltered, were much
improved and enlarged by Napoleon III.: some of the finest basins are
cut out of the solid rock. The harbour is very extensive, and capable of
containing over 1700 vessels; but the entrance is very narrow.

Here we stand and view the crowds of shipping, from the magnificent
Orient liner, to the saucy, piratical-looking, Sicilian fruit felucca;
the latter closely packed, with their sterns to the wharves, their
enormous sails and masts telling of many a speedy voyage made, and their
swarthy red-capped crews having much the appearance of what we suppose
pirates might be, if piracy were now a paying instead of a dangerous
game. As it is, their mission is to carry cargoes of oranges and other
fruit to the Marseilles market.

We next ascend the Cordière Gardens, commanding beautiful views of the
city as we wind round and upwards. The sea, running eastward into the
heart of the town, forms the harbour; the older part of the town, with
somewhat narrow streets and massive but irregular houses, occupies a
triangular point to the north; while the new town--much the largest,
consists of wide, handsome streets and many fine public buildings and
institutions. It is, I think, an excellent plan, when visiting a place,
to ascend some commanding height as soon as possible. You will
comprehend much at a glance, and, with the typographical knowledge thus
attained can afterwards find your way about much more easily and
quickly. The fine harbour and docks, with the shimmering blue sea below,
and the grand amphitheatre of sun-bleached hills rearing their rocky
summits to the skies as a noble background, form a truly magnificent and
impressive bird's-eye view.

On gaining the summit of these windy heights, we stand charmed with the
pure beauty of the blue sky and sea. Away some few miles to the
southeast are several small islands of a deeper blue than the waters
that surround them. On one of these islands is the celebrated Chateau
d'If, immortalized by Alexandre Dumas the elder, in his extraordinary
romance of "Monte Christo."

After gazing for some time at the lovely view, we turn our attention to
the very interesting church of Notre Dame de la Garde. On the highest
pinnacle is a colossal gilt figure of the Virgin Mary, looking over the
seas, and, as it were, guarding her poor sailor devotees engaged
thereon.

This ancient beacon-like church has, I believe, been a votive shrine for
sailors for some centuries; and was rebuilt from designs by Espèrandieu.
It is prettily decorated inside by delicately stained windows, and has a
small but fine organ. It is full of pathetic relics of poor lost
mariners, and when the wind is howling on stormy nights, one can realize
and understand the sentiments which prompted the building of this votive
temple, and the numerous mementoes, literally covering its walls, placed
there by loving hands in remembrance of dear ones lost--wrecked
perchance in sight of home. Yes, the walls are covered with these
tablets and touching mementoes, and with pictures illustrating the many
terrible shipwrecks which have occurred.

Below is a crypt where the last offerings and prayers are made by
sailors departing on a voyage; and, alas! it is filled with the saddest
relics of those who have never returned. Those, however, who reach
their homes in safety, make it a religious duty to offer up their
grateful thanks.

The purposes of this sea-rock church struck me as a fine and beautiful
expression of affection. I fear we lack much of this kind of sentiment
in England--daily blessings are taken too much as a matter of course,
while reverses are loudly mourned over as afflictions.

Whilst lingering in sympathetic thought, I saw an aged, white-haired
woman, who, poor soul! having toiled all the way up these great heights,
was now on her knees in sorrowful prayer. I saw also several younger
women and maidens in deep mourning, some of them sobbing bitterly over
their prayers. Alas! who could rightly enter into the depths of their
individual sorrow?--perchance a tender husband, a loving son, or devoted
sweetheart, lost in the angry waves below!

On descending, my attention was attracted by a sham military attack made
by a regiment or two of French soldiers. It was interesting to see how
they attempted to carry these well-defended, Gibraltar-like heights.

After passing through the public gardens, and crossing the dock basin in
a small ferry-boat, we walked to the church of St. Nazaire, which stands
on high ground almost immediately opposite to Notre Dame de la Garde.

It is a finely restored Byzantine church, a copy on a large scale of
the little mosque-like temple at its side, which latter was once the
Cathedral church of the town. It is built of alternate blocks of black
and white marble, and the interior is something after the style of Notre
Dame at Paris. Fortunately, we caught the workmen just leaving the
building, and so obtained permission to view it.

But the little Moorish temple under its lee, as a sailor would say,
interested me far more than its imposing and grand-looking child
alongside. It has a low dome, square façade with small cupolas, and
circular chancel. We ascended some steps to its low doorway, almost
stooping as we entered. It was dimly lit by a few oil-lamps; its quaint
arched dome, little galleries, altar, crypts, and organ all within the
compact compass of a circle, or rather, as it seemed to me, of a Maltese
cross--tiny aisles forming the sides of the cross, where there were
shrines and tombs, though scarcely distinguishable in the gloom. The
dome and aisles are supported by wonderfully strong Byzantine arches and
arcades. It struck me that the Maltese cross may have been the shape of
the most ancient Christian temples, the more orthodox Latin cross shape
being afterwards developed by the lengthening of the nave. The date of
this unique little church is said to be very ancient, and probably
stands on the site of the temples of Diana.

Perhaps the place was made even more interesting to me, by the fact of
my thoughts being brought back from the dark ages by observing a
christening going on in one of the dimly lighted aisles; after which a
number of little Sunday school children went through an examination of
the catechism.

       *       *       *       *       *

In the early part of the evening we sallied forth to visit the Exchange
and Bourse at the end of the principal street near the harbour,
receiving yet another impression as to the commercial greatness of
Marseilles by a careful survey of this building, which is well worthy of
a great city. I can now better understand why these large towns are so
republican, and show so strong a dislike to imperialism. They complain
that while they _make_ the money, the imperialists _squander_ it.

We were much amused to see nearly all the merchants on 'Change, wearing
white neckties and generally black coats--a very respectable and ancient
custom, which has come down from the time when Marseilles was in the
zenith of her prosperity. I believe even now these merchants are called
"courtiers of merchandize."

The main streets and boulevards are very handsome, with elegant
fountains which relieve the somewhat monotonous regularity. Some of the
squares are of immense size. There is a very large lazaretto, which is
said to be one of the best managed in the world. The _cafés_ are like
small palaces, and the shops rival the finest in Paris.

Here, as in most French cities, no expense is spared in making the
streets gay and brilliant at night. In some of them the electric light
is used.

The French people dearly love their _cafés_, spending many of their
evening hours there instead of _chez eux_. I am not quite sure whether
the Frenchman may honestly be termed a domestic animal; I should rather
say he was intensely gregarious. At all events, I do not think he
understands the full value of _home_ as we do.

It was Sunday when we were there, and the town teemed with holiday life.
Up to noon it was comparatively quiet, with some appearance of sabbath
rest, but after that what a change! The whole place was like a great
fair, every one bent on fun and pleasure: hucksters' stalls,
marionettes, bazaars, rifle-galleries, concerts, theatres, and crowded
_cafés_, the latter resounding with the click of dominoes and billiard
balls; the more quiet folk reading their beloved _Figaro_.

We felt this was indeed very different to our English way of enjoying
Sunday. Even our museums, picture galleries, and such-like comparatively
quiet and innocent places of recreative amusement are not yet declared
open. And thankful we should be that on at least one day in the week
there is peace and rest for both man and beast; and that simply in
obedience to a natural and Divine law, made by the great Creator who so
well knew our human wants and requirements. The more one sees of this
sabbath _unrest_ abroad, the more content one feels for the sweet and
peaceful Sunday rest at home. I do not really believe in the happiness,
health, and prosperity of any people who disregard the sabbath as a holy
day, dedicated to God for bodily rest and spiritual refreshment.

    "Then I turned away in sadness, from these gay and thoughtless lays,
    Longing for my own dear country, and the voice of prayer and praise."



                             CHAPTER III.

Leaving Marseilles--Toulon--Hyères--Fréjus--Coast scenery--The Hotel
Windsor--An unexpected meeting, and a pleasant walk--Isles de Lerins
--The Mediterranean--Defective drainage--Mosquitos and Nocturnal Pianos
--Christmas Day--Cannes--The Pepper tree--The English cemetery--Antibes
--Miscalled Health Resorts--Grasse--Orange blossoms--Leaving Cannes.


The _mistral_ blew us away from Marseilles, which we left on the
afternoon of the 25th by the two o'clock train for Cannes. The route lay
through rocky defiles, with numerous tunnels, for we were cutting
through the promontories on the sea coast, of which we occasionally
caught magnificent glimpses.

Of Toulon, the great naval arsenal of France, we saw but little as we
passed quickly through its suburbs. Here it was that Napoleon, then a
young lieutenant-colonel of artillery, first made his mark in the
capture of the place by storm from the English in 1793. Englishmen,
however, do not forget that it was accomplished only after a long and
stubborn defence of its garrison, consisting of only a tenth of the
storming party.

The little islands off Hyères look like gems in the clear dark sea. They
were known in ancient times as the Stoechades, signifying "the
arranged" islands, a name indicative of their position in a line from
east to west. The town of Hyères seems tempting enough as a place of
quiet residence, but the air is very unhealthy from the marshes in the
vicinity.

So far our journey has been pretty close to the sea, but now we quitted
the coast for a time, winding through the Montagnes des Maures, with an
endless succession of tunnels, yet still obtaining frequent peeps at the
coast scenery.

At Fréjus we were greatly pleased at the beautiful ruins of the ancient
Roman amphitheatre, quite close to the station: the railway being on a
viaduct here enabled us to get a good view, looking downwards. This
amphitheatre, though not nearly so large as the coliseum at Rome, is far
more perfect. This was the port where, in 1799, Napoleon landed on his
return from Egypt; and from whence, fifteen years later, he embarked
when banished to Elba. Fréjus was the ancient _Forum Julii_ established
by Augustus Cæsar as a naval station.

At Les Arcs we again approached the coast. The country as we drew nearer
Cannes is very interesting and romantic--great rocky glens and chasms,
with here and there glimpses of the beautiful Mediterranean. It was
about here that we first caught sight of the snow-crested Alps, forming
a grand and sublime background to the lovely scenery.

Many of the little towns _en route_ are finely and picturesquely
situated on the hill-side, overlooking great ravines. Their churches
perched on the highest pinnacle, the wonder being how their
congregations get to them! But probably many of them are only convents.

What very different lives people lead on this fair earth! What a
contrast between the inhabitants of a great city, with its wearing cares
and its exciting pleasures, and the dweller in these isolated, peaceful,
silent mountain homes! To some the latter life would be intolerable
while strength and human passion last; but these poor yet happy people,
being nearer to Nature, are often nearer also to Nature's God.

We now pass through groves of olive trees, whose sombre and silver
tinted foliage, and wonderfully gnarled and twisted trunks, give quite a
foreign tone to the landscape. Also the orange trees, with their green
and golden fruit and enchantingly fragrant white blossoms; and the
lordly palm, with its graceful outline clearly defined against the blue
sky.

It has frequently been a question with me which tree is the most useful
to man, especially in the east--the olive, bamboo, palm, or cocoa-nut.
The first carries my mind back to pleasant memories of the Holy Land and
Mount Olivet, where a single tree is said to bear fruit for more than a
thousand years. We know the fine and wholesome oil it yields. Its fruit
is used as food, and its beautifully grained wood is highly valued for
cabinet purposes. Then the bamboo, which, growing by the water-side, is
so refreshing to hear whispering in the breeze, is used for very many
purposes, being at once so light and strong; for carrying great burdens,
for aqueducts, house-building, musical instruments, and for numerous
other purposes and articles useful and ornamental; while the graceful
palm, or cocoa-nut, provides food, drink, clothing, and building
material. Each doubtless in its region and sphere is equally prized. But
the more we examine and understand the bountiful gifts of God for our
use and happiness, harmonizing so well with our needs, the greater
wonder we feel that there is such an ungrateful animal as an _Atheist_.

At some of the little railway stations we passed, the Gloire de Dijon
and other lovely roses were clustering the walls, and growing almost
wild in the hedges, loading the air with their sweet perfume. The days
were gradually lengthening, and we felt as if fast approaching a warmer
latitude, where--

                            "The green hills
      Are clothed with early blossoms, through the grass
      The quick-eyed lizard rustles, and the bills
      Of summer birds sing welcome as ye pass;
      Flowers, fresh in hue, and many in their class,
      Implore the pausing step, and with their dyes
      Dance in the soft breeze in a fairy mass;
      The sweetness of the violet's deep blue eyes,
    Kiss'd by the breath of heaven, seems colour'd by its skies."

We reached Cannes in the last glow of the setting sun, the crimson,
purple, green and orange contrasting, harmonizing, blending, and slowly
settling into the neutral tints of evening. By six o'clock we were at
the Hotel Windsor, and fortunately secured a bedroom on the fourth
floor, from the windows of which we had a splendid view of the sea.

The "Windsor" is beautifully situated on the hillside, some ten minutes'
walk from the shore. It is surrounded by very pretty and tasteful
gardens, well stocked with flowers of all kinds, roses being most
conspicuous, while the perfume of the orange trees ascends from the
valley below. I should think this hotel was much more healthy than those
situate lower down and close to the sea, catching the upper drainage.

The interior is well appointed in every way, with a comfortable, homely
air about it. The landlord, a man of some refinement, is not above
personally looking after the welfare of his visitors. But he is
evidently a little too indulgent, for he allows pianofortes in the
bedrooms, and the young ladies in the room next to ours strummed away
till a very late hour at night, when we wished to sleep, tired with the
day's travel, and anxious to rise early the next morning. We thought two
good pianos in the drawing-room below quite sufficient for the musical
exercise of young ladies, and for the comfort of all at an hotel. We
supposed, however, that its being Christmas-time was probably the cause
of the nocturnal music, of which we were the somewhat reluctant and
suffering listeners.

After engaging our room, we sauntered out on a voyage of discovery and
as an appetizer for dinner, and were so fortunate as to meet an old
friend, who was staying at the same hotel. Under his kind pilotage we
had a very pleasant walk on the sea-shore, listening to the waves
dashing and tumbling against the sea-wall.

At Cannes there is neither harbour nor roadstead, but only a small bay
or cove, appropriately called Gulfe de la Napoul; and it is indeed
worthy of its name, being a miniature Bay of Naples,--but without its
Vesuvius. It is, however, so shallow that the coasting vessels that use
it are obliged to anchor at some distance from the shore, exposed to the
full action of the swell. Yet in spite of this disadvantage, Cannes is
for its size a busy and populous little town.

Immediately opposite are the Isles de Lerins, St. Honorat and St.
Marguerite. On the latter is Fort Montuy, where the "man with the iron
mask" was confined from 1686 to 1698, and which has more recently been
the prison of Marshal Bazaine. St. Honorat has its name from a monastery
founded in the fifth century by St. Honoratius, Bishop of Arles. These
islands abound in rabbits and partridges.

Until modern scientists discovered it to be otherwise, the Mediterranean
was supposed to have no tide, and was called by poets "the tideless
sea." It has but a very slight ebb and flow, and this in most places is
scarcely perceptible. The greatest rise and fall of tide in any part of
this great inland sea does not exceed about six feet. Here it appears
always high water; the long stretches of sand, shingle, and rock that
provide such delightful strolls to those visiting the shores of our own
dear island home at low tide, are nowhere to be found in this part of
the world, and thus on coming to the Mediterranean we lose one of the
usual charms of a visit to the sea coast.

We found it necessary to walk briskly, as the fall in temperature is
very great in one short hour after sunset. Indeed, those who come here
essentially for health generally contrive to get housed about four p.m.

Our olfactory nerves had already told us that in this lovely little
seaside paradise there are such prosaic things as defective drains. This
is more detectable in the evening on the beach, than elsewhere, in the
daytime; but is being rectified as the town grows.

It was Christmas Day, and on returning to the Hotel Windsor we found the
large dining-room tastefully decorated with evergreens and flowers, and,
by the kind and thoughtful attention of the landlord, we felt the
absence from dear home at this joyous time less than we might otherwise
have done. We had our _tête-à-tête_ dinner, and toasted our friends in
Old England, who probably included us in their "absent friends and dear
ones abroad."

My wife admired the handsome net mosquito curtains around our bed, but I
rather shuddered at the memories they awakened, having had some
experience of tropical climates--the river Zambezi, for instance, where
a single tiny insect of the Zebra species nearly drove me out of my
senses when suffering from fever. Probably, however, the mosquito only
visits Cannes in the summer, though my wife declared she heard a buzz,
and experienced a bite. It was certainly consolatory to think that I was
no longer considered tempting enough, by these insatiable torments.

The next morning we realized something of the beauty of Cannes. It was
so pleasant to dress by the open French windows, and enjoy the freshness
of the morning air, the warmth of the sun, and the delicious perfume of
the roses and orange blossoms rising from the gardens beneath. The birds
flitting about, with joyous song; the lovely blue sea in the distance;
and above, the cloudless sky. We felt in no hurry for breakfast, and in
imagination pictured to ourselves dear foggy London, cold and wet as we
had left it. This was indeed a grateful contrast!

When we did descend, however, our tea and toast were thoroughly enjoyed,
thanks to the appetizing air; and it was a pleasure to see our
fellow-guests sunning themselves in the gardens, and making plans for
the day's excursion and pleasure.

Cannes is essentially the beautiful and peaceful abode of the invalid,
whose desire is health. A few years since, it was a very small place
indeed, but can now boast of its sixty large hotels; and new roads and
boulevards are being opened in all directions. The Count de Chambord,[B]
and other lucky owners of property here, must feel highly gratified at
the rise in the value of land.

Cannes stretches along the sea-shore from north to south, and is
protected from the _mistral_ and other cold winds by the fine Esterel
mountain range. There is one long main street running parallel to the
beach, which contains many good shops and _cafés_. Some of the houses
are built in a line facing the sea, and divided from it by gardens and
promenades; others are clustered on the slope of the hill, which is
surmounted by a picturesque old castle. At the north end, high up at the
back of Cannes, is the charming little village of Le Cainet: a new
boulevard is now opened connecting the two. This is the warmest part,
and the most suitable for patients. There are many exceedingly pretty
and luxuriously appointed villas nestled amidst the trees and gardens,
looking refreshingly cool with their green jalousie verandahs. Handsome
carriages roll along, and one is reminded of some of the most
fashionable of our own watering-places. The stabling for the horses is
beautifully clean and neat; roses, jessamine, and flowers of every kind
climbing over and around the walls and trellis-work, affording a
pleasant shade from the scorching heat of the _December_ sun.

Among other fine trees, such as the blue gum and eucalyptus, the pepper
tree, with its graceful acacia-like leaf and pendant clusters of red
berries, is to be seen overhanging the roads. After sunset its pepper
may distinctly be smelt, almost sufficiently so to make one sneeze.
This prolific and beautiful tree seems to be indigenous to Cannes, Nice,
and Mentone.

We determined, first of all, to visit the English cemetery. Our kind
friend whom we had met the evening before accompanied us as cicerone. We
set off in a northerly direction. It was a warm walk up the hill, but we
were soon at the gates of the cemetery, and, passing through, were both
astonished and gratified at the natural beauty of the position, and the
cultivated loveliness, of this truly peaceful resting-place of those of
our dear country who had come to this little paradise on earth, alas! to
die. But, then, what a beautiful spot to die in! and how very much
loving hearts have done to render their last resting-place even more
lovely than Nature has made it! The very flowers, roses, honeysuckle,
and jessamine, planted by loving hands, seemed to cling fondly and
sympathetically to the spotless marble monuments.

Then we crossed over rivulet and ravine, up to the forest-clad hill
overlooking the cemetery, and who can describe the truly magnificent and
extensive views before us? There lay the lovely valley beneath, the
grand semicircle of Esterel hills and the snow-capped Alps outlining the
azure sky; and behind us the broad, blue sea, rippling its white-crested
wavelets upon the warm, sandy shores, while further away to the left,
the little town of Cannes lay peacefully reposing on the mountain slopes
towards the sea.

This delightful excursion occupied us until nearly one o'clock, and we
had only just time to catch the train leaving for Antibes. Not,
however, without first making a successful forage at the station, to
provide luncheon, our tall friend cramming _half a yard of bread_ into
each of his tunic pockets, which caused him to cut rather a comical
figure, especially as he wore knickerbockers; and he was consequently a
source of great amusement to people we met, who laughed good naturedly
enough, setting us down in their own minds, I doubt not, as mad English
people, in whom any amount of eccentricity was allowable.

The journey to Antibes, accomplished in a short half-hour, was very
interesting, different views and aspects of the snow-clad Maritime Alps
giving us from time to time ever-varying features of sublime beauty, and
moving our heartfelt admiration.

Antibes, the ancient Antipolis, a colony of the Massilians, was once a
Roman arsenal; there still remain two towers to mark this period. The
present fortifications were erected about the time of the first Francis,
and of Henry of Navarre, and afterwards greatly improved by Vauban under
Louis le Grand. Their erection had the salutary effect of draining the
marshy ground, and rendering the air healthy; but the sanitary
arrangements both here and elsewhere are still very defective. Before
Nice was annexed by France, this was her frontier line, which accounts
for its being still so strongly fortified. The remains of a theatre and
other ancient buildings attest to its former importance.

On reaching our destination, we strolled along the road leading to the
ramparts, and from these heights enjoyed a most glorious sea view. The
snowy Alps rising majestically on the opposite shore, and a fine old
Genoese fort, with wedge-shaped bastions, boldly standing at the end of
a peninsula, stretching out into the sea and agreeably breaking the
distance.

Antibes is almost surrounded by the sea, and, from the beauty of its
position and the natural purity of its air, is fast becoming a favoured
health resort, in spite of the dirtiness of the town and the inadequacy
of hotel accommodation. Nowadays doctors call all kinds of places
"health resorts," but they should first of all make sure that the
sanitary condition of the place justifies their recommendation. The
sublime and lovely views in this neighbourhood cannot fail to make a
lasting impression on any lover of fine scenery.

Catching our train back, we arrived at our hotel in time to make up for
our meagre lunch and rectify the danger of neglecting the _inner man_,
as travellers are sometimes prone to do when so deeply interested in the
objects around them. Later, in the cool of the evening, we had a
deliciously pleasant walk through the town towards the beautiful gardens
of Hesperides, and along the beach.

On the road from Cannes towards Fréjus is the villa of the late Lord
Brougham, whose eccentricities were as remarkable as his almost universal
talents. At the time of the formation of the second French Republic in
1848, when the cry of "Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity!" was in every
one's mouth, Lord Brougham somewhat astonished the world by enrolling
himself as a citizen of the Republic, resting his qualification upon the
fact of his being a land-owner--_propriétaire_--at Cannes.

Our excursion on the morrow was to have been to Grasse, but
unfortunately we had to go on to Nice early in the day. At Grasse
flowers are largely cultivated, especially roses, jessamine, heliotrope,
and orange and lemon blossoms, from which are manufactured most of our
delicious scents and essences--this being one of the principal places
where the culture of the lemon is most successful. Eugene Rimmel, and
also Dr. Piesse, of Piesse and Lubin, have large flower farms near
Cannes and Nice, from which their perfumes are produced. This to some
extent accounts for the neglect of the fruit itself, which frequently
lies scattered unheeded on the ground. Whilst returning from the
expedition to the cemetery, we had passed whole terraces of orange and
lemon trees covered with white blossom, their exquisite fragrance
filling the evening air. It was a pure pleasure to me to stretch out my
hand and pluck a beautiful spray from an orange tree, and, placing it on
my wife's shoulder, remind her of the "day of days"--especially as she
had scarcely seen the blossoms _au naturel_, but only their skilful
imitation daintily modelled in wax for the adornment of some fair bride.

That day's excursion will ever be remembered, both for our visit to the
charming little English cemetery and the trip to Antibes. We were
indeed sorry to leave beautiful Cannes, containing so much of the
loveliness and grandeur of Nature.

We found the Hotel Windsor very quiet, comfortable, and moderate in
charge, and hope some day to renew our agreeable impressions of it.

I think, to comprehend in full the beauty of Cannes and other parts of
the coast, they should be seen from the sea from the deck of a yacht or
packet some three or four miles off.

On the 27th we left by train for Nice, arriving there towards evening.

[B] Since writing the above, one more hope of unfortunate France, the
head of the Legitimist party, faithful to the last of his "divine
right," has passed away.



                              CHAPTER IV.

Nice--Its persistently Italian character--Its gaming propensities--Hints
about luggage--Old and New Towns--Flower-shops--A river laundry--The
harbours of Nice and Villafranca--Scenery and climate of Nice--A cowardly
outrage--In the Cathedral--Hotel charges--Leaving Nice.


From Cannes to Nice, or Nizza, is but a short run by rail, but on
reaching the latter we see at once that we have entered another
country--as one of the natives epigrammatically remarked, "The Emperor
Napoleon made Nice France, but God made it Italy." In spite of the
French flags, French soldiers, and French gens d'armes, it is soon
perceptible that we have entered Italy, more especially on going into
the old part of the town, out of the way of the large hotels built for
the English, who flock here in such numbers.

Nice, the birthplace of Garibaldi, the great liberator of Italy, will
some day be Italian again. In 1870-71, the debt of gratitude to France
for her assistance in wresting Lombardy and Venice from the Austrians,
was of too recent a date to admit of the Italians taking advantage of
her weakness to resume possession of the provinces of Nice and Savoy,
and they were, besides, intent at the time on seizing upon the city of
Rome; but there is no doubt that, sooner or later--in fact, on the very
first opportunity that offers, the old boundary between the two
countries will be resumed, and both Savoy and Nice will be re-occupied
by their natural owners, the Italians. There was a bitter and fateful
irony in the fact that no place could be found to barter to a foreign
power but the very birthplace of the champion of Italy's liberty; and
the best friend of this fair country cannot but acknowledge this act on
the part of Victor Emmanuel to have been unjust to her devoted people,
and a blot on her ancient honour and glory; but at the same time, France
will share in the condemnation of the world, for exacting so great and
unnatural a sacrifice. It is equally iniquitous for a sovereign to
barter away the birthright of his subjects as for any foreign power to
require it, but how much more so when that power is an ally!

If France continues on the same course she has pursued for the last year
or two, the opportunity Italy waits for will not be far distant, as
evidently her present rulers are bent on estranging her from the rest of
Europe, and are doing all they can to provoke another war. If that day
should unhappily come, Italy will naturally look for the sympathy of
England, which, with her own magnificent seaboard and England's maritime
and naval power in the Mediterranean, would prove the most powerful
alliance. But meanwhile Italy has only to be patient, develop her
industries, mature her strength, and pursue the upright tenor of her
way.

Immediately on arriving at the station, you see what a gay and busy
place this is. The society is far more _doubtful_ and mixed than at
Cannes, where you feel pretty sure of every one. But Nice being so close
to Monaco and Monte Carlo, there is a constant stream of--well, I might
almost say adventurers, passing through the town, hoping to return with
their expenses liberally recouped from the "tables"--of course, in most
cases a delusion and a snare. It is said that Nice itself is a little
Monte Carlo, and unquestionably there is a great deal of card-playing
going on openly in the _cafés_, while the stationers' shop-windows
literally teem with books professing to teach the secrets of roulette,
how to win at Monte Carlo, and all the other gambling paraphernalia.
This being the case, it is small wonder that private gambling is also
carried on to a great extent, besides the races, etc., which are
fostered and supported by the owners of the gambling saloons at Monte
Carlo, and the crowd one meets at the Nice station much resembles such
as we unfortunately meet at a London suburban station during a race
week. These are the _lovers of sport_, who demoralize and spoil the
peace and beauty of a place both at home and abroad.

We put up at the St. Jullien, a quiet, pleasant hotel; but our comfort
was somewhat disturbed by the fact of our luggage having most
vexatiously miscarried, and not making its appearance for forty-eight
hours after our arrival. In France, after having seen your luggage
registered and labelled, you are generally content to trouble no more
about it till it reaches its destination; but it is really very
necessary to _see it put into the train_, for, despite the otherwise
good system, the porters are carelessly content to get their fee without
properly completing the service for which they are paid. And I may here
remark that there is far too much "black mail" levied altogether, one
man simply transferring his duty to another, who expects similar fee. To
avoid loss of time and other unpleasantness, travellers will always find
it best to make the first man fully understand that he alone is
responsible for the luggage placed in his care, and that he is expected
to see to its safety, no payment being forthcoming till this is done.

In the present case, our luggage had been sent on to Mentone by mistake,
although properly labelled for Nice, and when we regained possession,
one of the trunks was so knocked about that it cost fifteen francs to
have it repaired, and in reply to my application to the railway
authorities to recoup me, I was simply told, with the usual French shrug
of the shoulders as if to get rid of a disagreeable burthen, that it
could not be entertained.

One of the great secrets of comfortable travel consists in carrying as
little luggage with you as possible, and as there is no difficulty in
procuring the services of a laundress at a few hours' notice, this rule
may be readily complied with. It is always well, however, to be
provided with a good-sized hand-bag, containing all the necessaries you
require for one or two days, _and this you should never lose sight of_.

Nice is a charming town, with its beautiful promenades facing the sea,
its palatial hotels, fine streets, and gardens. The Promenade des
Anglais, and the graceful, waving palm trees planted along the streets,
give it quite a different character to the French towns we had visited.
We were much struck, and again reminded of the Italian nature of the
place, by the elaborate way in which the houses and villas are decorated
on the outside with paintings, giving the flat surface all the effect of
being embellished with beautiful frescoes and works of statuary. Some of
the villas, which are on the hill overlooking the town and sea, and
surrounded by their gardens full of orange and lemon trees, are most
delightful residences. Among other places of interest, we were pointed
out the villa where the young Czarowitch, the elder brother of the
present Emperor of Russia, died, attended in his last moments by his
mother, and his betrothed wife Princess Dagmar, who afterwards married
the brother of her first _fiancé_. The house is in no wise remarkable,
save for the lovely views it commands, and the large and beautiful
gardens which surround it, where almost every variety of orange and
lemon trees grow to perfection. Before the Czarowitch's death visitors
were allowed the privilege of viewing the grounds, but this is now
refused.

Nice is divided into two distinct parts, known as the Old and New Town.
The latter is well laid out--there are two very fine squares, one being
surrounded by very handsome porticoes; while the other is supplemented
by a raised terrace, which serves both as a sea-wall and public
promenade. Part of this promenade is on the flat roofs of a row of low
houses, which at harvest-time are utilized as drying-floors for wheat
and other grain, which are spread in the hot sun. This is, of course,
before the season for visitors sets in, and while there are but few
strangers in the town.

The shops are remarkably good, the confectioners' windows being very
tempting with their array of airy-looking pastry, which is as nice as it
is novel to us, accustomed to the more substantial and perhaps slightly
heavy preparations of the kind in our own country. Especially to be
noticed, too, are the displays of corals in all its most exquisite
varieties, which may be purchased at a very reasonable rate, as also
various kinds of lace. Indeed, this modern part of Nice is quite a
little seaside Paris: the tramcars pass smoothly up and down, and the
fashionable equipages, sometimes with bells attached to the horses'
heads, dash gaily along.

The Old Town consists of narrow, dirty-smelling labyrinths, unworthy the
name of streets, with blocks of shops of every kind. It is, however,
interesting, as one here sees the working population "at home." In a
large market-square we saw one of the lumbering old-fashioned
diligences arrive, which recalled all that we had read of the days of
continental travel before railways. There can be no doubt that the smart
stage-coaches of England were very superior conveyances to the
cumbersome, cobwebby diligence, which seems better adapted for night
than for day travelling.

The flower-shops are one of the most interesting features of Nice,
especially to ladies. Bouquets composed of the most exquisite flowers,
of every size and description, from tiny button-hole sprays to masses of
blossoms two feet in diameter, surround you on every side. Yet, after
all, I believe no people arrange flowers so tastefully as the English.
Our bouquets are not so large or so closely packed, and the flowers may
be less rare, though scarcely less beautiful, yet they are grouped with
more discernment and harmonious taste than elsewhere. The great business
in these little "floral arsenals" is to pack the fragrant blossoms
carefully in cotton-wool, for transmission to all parts of the world,
especially to Covent Garden. Some are stowed in large round boxes like
cheese-tubs, with a hole for the stalks to come through. I could have
bought a bouquet here for seven francs which in London would have cost
almost as many guineas. There are also small boxes, which you can get
addressed and sent, post-free, for three or four francs inclusive. In
fact, almost the first thing visitors do on their arrival here, is to
send off one or more of these tiny boxes of dainty flowers to dear
friends in England. You simply pay for them and give the address, and
they are at once despatched. So large a trade is done that there is a
special Flower Post, and at the station a warehouse is set apart which
is generally filled with these flower-boxes, ready to send off by the
night train.

The culture of flowers in this part of the world is a very profitable
and important industry, and, remembering all the distilleries--such as
at Grasse--for making perfume, we can well understand the numerous
beautiful flower-gardens in Italy, particularly along the shores of the
Mediterranean. Italy may truly be called the "Garden of Europe," but it
is rather difficult to imagine that she sends her vegetables away as far
as St. Petersburg!

The river Var passes though the town, and falls into the Mediterranean.
Its valley, or bed, being spanned by a number of bridges, adds not a
little to its picturesqueness. At this season the river is almost dry; a
few slender streams wind in and out of the rough stones which form the
river-bed, and at these streams are to be seen hosts of women and
children, most busily engaged in washing, and the whole valley by the
river is white with the clothes of the numerous visitors, hanging out to
bleach and dry in the hot sun. At times, when the snow on the Maritime
Alps melts, this dry bed suddenly becomes a foaming, roaring torrent,
and signals are given from the upper stream to warn people of the
approaching rush of water. Instances of women engaged at their washing
being carried away by the torrent have frequently occurred.

The harbour of Nice is but a small affair, and only capable of
accommodating fishing-craft and small vessels; but at little
Villafranca, a mile or so away to the eastward, is an excellent port,
affording shelter to large ships; occasionally men-of-war are to be seen
there. The harbour of Villafranca is very prettily situated, surrounded,
as it is on the land side, by high hills rising from the water's edge,
and beautifully timbered. The walk from Nice to Villafranca, either by
way of the sea, along the face of the rocks, where the road is lined
with aloes and cacti (which impart quite a semi-tropical aspect to the
country); or by the higher road, over a steep hill and deeply shaded
roads,--is very beautiful, and well rewards the wayfarer for his
fatigue; for fatiguing it is in the broiling sun, along a dusty road. On
approaching the port from the upper road, the first view obtained from
the high ground, looking down into the land-locked basin of the harbour,
is very charming.

Nice is so surrounded by beautiful walks and drives, that one fails in
the attempt to describe the half of them. View after view breaks on the
admiring gaze, till you cease to exclaim at the varying loveliness, and
content yourself by drinking in the grandeur and beauty of nature in
silent admiration.

It is colder and more bracing here than at Cannes, but on the whole the
climate is more equable, there being no such sudden fall in the
temperature after sunset; it is, however, I fear, less suited for
invalids of a consumptive nature than other parts of the Riviera. It is
dangerous to be out late, almost less on account of the heavy dews and
chill atmosphere than for the very questionable people one meets, in
every grade, from princes to pick-pockets. Nice is literally infested
with doubtful characters, for, being so near the frontier, numbers of
Italian vagabonds, who have been in prison and find it best to leave
their country, assemble here, and tragedies are constantly occurring.
There are also many wretched desperadoes from the gaming-tables.

On one occasion, two men attacked an old lady who was reading a placard
on a wall. They were fortunately observed by a woman from a small shop
near, who called her husband, and also summoned two gens d'armes. The
men drew their knives, but the gens d'armes threatened to use their
revolvers if the weapons were not instantly given up, and, being
probably as deficient in pluck as most bullies, they finally succumbed,
and were taken in charge--but, I have no doubt, got off with a day or
two's imprisonment; while the poor old lady was confined to her bed for
some time, and did not easily recover the shock she had received. The
only uncommon feature in this occurrence was the fact of _two_ gens
d'armes being found within call at the same time.

With the exception of the splendid hotels, Nice can boast of few
buildings of any importance, save the Cathedral of Notre Dame, which is
a fine-looking edifice, and has several objects of interest in the
interior. A ludicrous and amusing incident was witnessed here one day by
a friend.

Several country people had entered, and were engaged in offering up
their orisons at the various altars. One woman, who had been in the
market, making her purchases, entered the Cathedral, basket in hand,
and, kneeling down on the steps in front of the high altar with her
basket beside her, proceeded to tell her beads, and was soon deeply
immersed in her prayers. A homeless cat was quietly prowling about, and,
approaching the woman, began to smell at the contents of her basket.
Evidently church mice are much the same all the world over and do not
afford too bountiful provender for the hungry cats, for puss had all the
appearance of being desirous of dining, and, after poking her nose into
the basket several times, seized upon a sausage, and proceeded to pull
it out. The poor woman cast a discomfited glance at the robber, but
before the devout Catholic could finish her beads, sacrilegious pussy
had carried off and finished her sausage.

The hotel charges here are much the same as at Cannes, and not
unreasonable. Five francs for bedroom, three for luncheon, and five for
_table d'hôte_.

Most visitors fall into foreign habits, and have their coffee and rolls
in their bedrooms, _dejeuner_ or heavy luncheon at noon, and _table
d'hôte_ at six; but we came down to our breakfast between eight and nine
o'clock, _à l'Anglais_, and dined _à la carte_ at any hour that suited
our convenience. The day's expenses were generally from ten to twelve
francs for each person. Carriage hire is also very reasonable, for you
can go from one end of the town to the other for less than a franc.



                               CHAPTER V.

The beauty-spot and plague-spot of the Riviera--Arrival at Mentone--Hotel
des Isles Britanniques--English church--Her Majesty's Villa--Gardens of
Dr. Bennett--Custom-house--Remarks on Mentone--A charming walk--A word
about Brigands--An adventure--In the cemetery--A labour of love--A frog
concert--Excursion to Monte Carlo--Lovely coast scenery--Castle of Monaco
--The sombre Olive--The exodus of the Caterpillars.


In travelling from Nice to Mentone you have to pass through some of the
most lovely and enchanting scenery in the world.

The tiny principality of Monaco is indeed a little Paradise; but, alas!
Paradise _after the fall_, for does it not include that awful gaming
pandemonium, Monte Carlo? It is sad to think that the choicest spot on
this fair earth should be selected by sinful men for their evil
purposes. Here, amid all that is beautiful and captivating in nature, is
a pit dug for the unwary, the innocent, and the weak; and, alas! too
many succumb to the fatal allurements prepared for their ruin and
destruction.

As we passed Monte Carlo, we saw some of the _shady fraternity_ I
mentioned as having observed at the Nice station, on one of the heights
above the town, overlooking a grassy enclosure. They were
characteristically engaged in slaughtering tame pigeons, by way of a
manly recreation and noble sport!

We arrived at Mentone in the evening, about seven o'clock. It is a
quiet, pretty little town something like Cannes. As usual, there were a
legion of hotel omnibuses, with their liveried porters, the name of the
hotel they belonged to on their cap, and each accurately measuring the
length of your purse. Fortunate the traveller who has already determined
on the hotel he intends to patronize! We had selected the Hotel des
Isles Britanniques. Here we had a small but handsomely furnished
apartment on the third floor, commanding a charming view of the sea from
its French windows, and we were soon sitting down to our quiet little
dinner.

Everything at this hotel was comfortable and satisfactory. Cleanliness
and courtesy were predominant, and I should think altogether it was one
of the best conducted hotels on the Riviera. Only one little drawback
lay in the fact that the reading-room opened into the ladies'
drawing-room, and the almost incessant pianoforte-playing made it
impossible to read with any real enjoyment. Indeed, who _could_ sit down
selfishly to reading, even one's favourite newspaper, with the momentary
expectation of a loving wife or daughter strolling in from her music,
for a little chat?

A more serious defect, however, in these Riviera hotels, perfect as
they are otherwise in all their appointments, lies in the fact that
there is very inadequate provision for extinguishing fire--a terrible
consideration at all times, but disarmed of much of its terror when
properly provided against. One evening, when descending the main
staircase of our hotel, there was an evident smell of fire, and soon a
painful sensation in my eyes told me of smoke also. On reaching the
hall, I found the smoke issuing from the warming shaft in the floor. I
returned, quietly warned my wife and others of the danger, and soon the
master of the hotel and all the servants were on the spot. In their
excitement to subdue it, before the numerous visitors should be alarmed,
they opened the aperture still more, so as to give free vent to the
smoke. I at once told them their mistake, and, seizing the nearest
door-mat, put it over the aperture; my example was followed, and other
exits closed, the servants meanwhile carrying buckets of water below,
where the fire had originated. Fortunately, the fire was soon
extinguished, little harm being done; but the event showed me that there
was no systematic preparation or appliances in case of fire, which I
thought a very serious omission in the comfort and safety of the
visitors.[C]

The day after our arrival was Sunday, and we attended the English
church, and were greatly pleased with the reverent, home-reminding way
in which the service was conducted. We then took a pleasant walk by the
sea, listening to a good band of music in the gardens; then into the one
long main street of the town, calling at the post-office for letters,
and leaving our address, that all others might be sent on to our hotel.
We had a peep, too, into the numerous little shops, especially those for
the sale of flowers, as at Cannes, and the cheerful little market-place.
Finally, turning the promontory at the end of the street, and emerging
on the road by the sea, we found a delightful promenade; and further on,
in the eastern portion of Mentone, another English church, "Christ
Church," and several finely situated hotels and pretty villas standing
in groves of orange trees, facing the sea, and under the shelter of the
almost precipitous mountain ranges in the background.

The natives here are evidently of very dirty habits, and the residents
must be sadly wanting in nasal sensibility, for, on attempting to
advance through one of the narrow side streets dividing the pretty
villas, we were obliged to beat a hasty retreat; and this was not the
only pretty lane so vilely misused, much to the reproach of the
municipal authorities.

On the hill-side, almost buried amid the trees, is the little villa
where her Majesty the Queen so quietly resided last autumn; while at the
large hotel just below, Mr. Spurgeon rested from his Tabernacle labours,
and, it is to be hoped, got rid of his painful rheumatism.

Straight up this road, on the slope of the hill, is an ancient aqueduct,
and a milestone denoting where the French and Italian territories meet.
My wife was much interested in this precise point of division, and I
laughingly assisted her to place a foot on each territory, thereby
establishing her as the queenly Colossus of two great countries; but she
was greatly relieved by a very short reign. A little higher up on the
left are the beautiful mountain gardens of Dr. Bennett. By his kind
courtesy, all visitors are welcome to roam about therein, though, of
course, within certain hours. It is indeed a wonderful example of
botanical skill combined with excellent taste. Every inch of ground,
right up to the rocky mountain-side, is turned to advantage, for the
production both of the most lovely flowers and ferns and also for
miniature aqueducts and water-courses to refresh them. I have never
before seen a collection of flowers, ferns, and trees brought to so
great a perfection under such difficulties. All are most systematically
named and classified.

A little further on is the Italian custom-house, picturesquely situated
on a promontory, and commanding a very fine view of the sea and
surrounding country. Every person and vehicle has here to undergo the
usual delightful examination by the custom-house officials. This is the
high-road to Ventimiglia and Genoa, and a _high_ road indeed it is,
running right along the edge of the cliff, forming a most magnificent
drive, and commanding grand views.

Not far from here is the residence, with its superb gardens, of Mr.
Hanbury. Some friends who have visited these gardens assure me they even
surpass those of Dr. Bennett. It is said that next time the Queen visits
Mentone, she will take up her abode at this house. Mr. Hanbury is
equally courteous in welcoming visitors to his beautifully cultivated
grounds and gardens.

Mentone is more sheltered than either Cannes or Nice, the mountains
encircling the town more closely; there is consequently more
hill-climbing, and fewer extended walks and excursions for invalids. It
was occasionally bleak and cold after sunset during this early part of
the year, and invalids were all obliged to gain the shelter of their
dwellings by about four p.m. These cold, biting winds generally blew
from north or east, the main streets being like drafty narrow gorges.

We had one exceedingly pretty walk up the valley to the right of our
hotel. The river, now almost dry, flowing silently along on one side; on
the other, hills and orange groves, and a little church or monastery
perched among the trees in the far distance--it resembled a Swiss
mountain valley. It was a very romantic road, and I incidentally
remarked to my wife that it was just the kind of place where, a few
years ago, we might have heard a shrill whistle from the hills, then an
answering echo, and by-and-by a band of brigands suddenly swooping down
upon us to carry us off to their lair upon the mountains. This was quite
enough to make her nervous, and, despite my pacifying assurances that
in these days of enlightened progress no such thrilling adventure would
be likely to befall us, she begged that we might return at once; and, as
our walk had already been a somewhat extended one into the still
recesses of the mountain valley, I thought it just as well to follow her
prudent advice and retrace our steps. For although I laughed at my
wife's fears, they were really not so utterly without foundation as
might at first appear, for we had recently heard of a most daring case
of brigandage in the neighbourhood. As I have before remarked, there are
a great many very questionable characters loitering between Nice and
Genoa.

Two ladies at an hotel here met with a small adventure that might have
ended in something more serious but for one fortunate circumstance. They
were a mother and daughter, staying at Nice about the same time as
ourselves, and related that having started one fine afternoon to walk to
Villafranca, on getting out of sight of all signs of habitation, they
were much alarmed to find they were being followed by two ill-looking
Italians. The men passed them, and disappeared round the promontory
which shuts Nice out of sight, and forms one side of the natural harbour
of Villafranca. The ladies, wishing to give them a wide berth, walked
very slowly, hoping to be left far in their wake; but soon after, on
reaching a particularly dull part of the road, they came on the men
again, who were evidently waiting for them. Still hoping they might be
mistaken, the two ladies stopped likewise, as if to admire the scenery
and consult their guide-books, but the men held their ground, and
presently walked towards them. Just as they were approaching, a carriage
containing a gentleman came in sight, and they thereupon walked on for a
short distance, as if they were only returning the way they had come;
but as soon as the carriage had fairly passed, they once more turned.
The ladies were now thoroughly alarmed, and the younger one flew down
the dusty road after the carriage, in hopes of overtaking it and
soliciting protection. She was fortunately observed by the occupant, who
at once stopped the horses, and very kindly invited them to continue
their journey in his carriage, remarking that many of the roads along
the Riviera were decidedly unsafe for foot-passengers, and that he had
been surprised at two ladies undertaking such a risk alone. They
gratefully accepted his offer, and proceeded to the Villafranca station
without meeting a single human being--a fact which they noted with a
shudder and a deep sense of thankfulness at their narrow escape.

We made a second trip up the hill-side to the Roman Catholic cemetery,
which gave us a charming view of the town, environed by gardens. The
place itself was peacefully beautiful and full of mournful interest. We
noticed at one of the tombs a young lady, evidently a German, who,
assisted by her maid, was diligently employed in cleaning a marble
statue placed over the grave. It was difficult to refrain from offering
to help her in this labour of love, which appealed so pathetically to
the heart. I do not think we care to display so much outward proofs of
loving reverence for our dead as we often see abroad, in the shape of
flowers and _immortelles_ placed upon the graves by affectionate
relatives and friends. Still, I believe it is only an external
indifference. We have as much true and deep love in our hearts for our
dear ones as those who are more demonstrative, though perhaps it _is_ a
pity that we do not allow ourselves to indulge in the pretty reverential
sentiments of our French and Italian neighbours.

We were much amused during our stay here at the constant chorus the
frogs kept up. They croak almost unceasingly, especially in the evening.
It would seem that they wish to take the place of the song-birds, which
we seldom hear in this part, as they are all shot to supply the table,
nearly every kind being eaten--a needless cruelty, one would think, not
only to the poor little birds, but also to those who miss their grateful
song of joy and praise.

We had a pleasant carriage excursion to Monte Carlo, by the Corniche
road, starting one brilliant morning soon after breakfast. Leaving
Mentone behind us, we commenced the circuit of the cliff road, which
gradually got higher and higher, occasionally passing through olive
plantations, and then suddenly emerging from their sombre shade to the
dazzling bright sea once more; then we doubled a finely wooded
promontory, almost a sheer precipice, catching a glimpse of the
beautiful little circling bays sparkling in the abyss below; sometimes
passing sharp curves in the road, which required very skilful driving,
there being but a low wall--and that partly broken in many places--to
divide us from a fall of about sixty feet! Still ascending, we gained
the summit of the first fine headland (I believe, the highest point),
and from thence had a most entrancing outlook. On the extreme left, a
lovely retrospective and bird's-eye view of charming Mentone; the towns
and little villages on the distant shore as far as Bordighera; dimpling
in the glowing sunshine, and before us, the long stretch of inimitable
blue sea, with just a feathery ripple on the golden sandy shores below,
winding in and out in a series of tiny bays and creeks; while beyond us,
like a realized dream of Paradise, lay the beautiful plague-spot of the
Riviera--the town of Monte Carlo, nested amid luxuriant gardens of
semi-tropical foliage, the mosque-like minarets and cupolas of the
casino standing boldly out on the heights and glittering in the sun.
Beyond this, another fine bay and promontory, on the summit of which
stands the Castle of Monaco; and below, surrounded by groves and
gardens, the town and principality of Monaco, with roads stretching out,
leading towards Villafranca and Nice.

I had seen Constantinople, Madeira, and many other parts of this fair
earth of ours, but I do not remember anything that compares with this
bit of Italian coast scenery, which I think is surely the loveliest in
the world.

Dismissing our carriage, we walked through Monte Carlo to Monaco, and
ascended to the palace of the prince. It stands on the summit of a bold
headland, surrounded by fortifications, from which we had another
splendid view. One can readily see how fair and beautiful a place, full
of the sweetest harmonies of nature, and filling the human heart with a
grateful sense of God's love, has, by the sordid wickedness of man, been
perverted into a paradise of the Prince of Darkness, who, knowing too
well the weakness and folly of poor erring humanity, lures by every
artificial attraction and fascination even the poor pilgrim invalid, who
hopefully journeys here to breathe the pure fresh air and to recover
health; and also does his best to complete the moral degradation of the
less innocent but infatuated gambler, who stakes his life upon the cast
of a die and rushes madly and miserably to unutterable ruin.

I have already mentioned the plantations of olive trees we passed in our
drive on the cliffs. Nothing strikes one more singularly, in coming to
this part of the world, than the contrast in appearance between the
olive tree and the rich, luxuriant foliage of the orange, lemon, myrtle,
and other beautiful vegetation so prolific here. Toward evening
especially, the gnarled and twisted olive has a strangely sad and sombre
effect, with its long, pointed leaves of dull green lined with a chilly
pale tint--as it were, a thing of a past period in the earth's
existence, ancient and venerable, almost sacred, and little in harmony
with the gay, luxuriant vegetable life around. I think nothing
describes better its cold sombre aspect than the remark Marianne Hunt
made to her husband during their first unfortunate visit to Italy. "They
look," she said, "as if they were always standing in the moonlight."
And, indeed, this is just the effect they have, as though having been
once lighted on by Cynthia's cold, chaste glance, they had ever remained
petrified and blanched. Still, there is much grace and beauty in the
outlines of olive trees against a sunlit, blue-grey sky, the silver
tints of their leaves quivering in the light.

It was interesting to watch a procession of caterpillars on the road to
Monte Carlo, a distance of about a mile. They were moving from one part
to another, probably because there was disease amongst them, or else in
the trees in that neighbourhood, for there were many dead ones lying
about. They advanced in one long line, following their leader, the head
of the second joining the tail of the first, and so on. There were more
than a hundred in a chain, a company of ten coming to join them, and
large masses waiting in different parts of the road, and taking their
places one by one as the procession approached. They looked like a long,
thin snake. The marvellous instinct of these small insects,
notwithstanding Mark Twain's ingenious stricture on the proverbial
"ant," will ever remain a source of the deepest interest and wonder to
thinking, reasoning, intellectual man.

This wonderful army of caterpillars suggested, as things in nature will
often do if one takes heed of them, that it might be possible to
introduce the culture of the silkworm here, and so substitute a
profitable and honest industry for the present curse of this beautiful
and otherwise highly favoured place. Silk is almost a staple of Italian
industry, and doubtless the mulberry tree would flourish here as in
other parts, and with as much success as at Beyrout, on the coast of
Syria, a place not at all unlike Monte Carlo in its climate, the beauty
of coast scenery, and luxuriance of vegetation.

[C] The recent destruction of the Grand Hotel at Giessbach is a
convincing proof of the truth of these remarks. Had it occurred but a
month earlier, there would inevitably have been a terrible loss of
life.



                              CHAPTER VI.

Monte Carlo--In the Concert-room--The Gambling-saloons--The Tables--The
moth and the candle--The true story of Monte Carlo--An International
grievance and disgrace.


We reached Monte Carlo in time for the grand concert at two o'clock.
Passing through the delightful gardens surrounded by _cafés_, we entered
the dazzling and gorgeous concert-room. There was nothing to pay.
Plush-liveried servants handed us to our seats, and we enjoyed their
soft luxuriance, admired the handsome and profuse decorations, and
scanned the mixed society around us, listening meanwhile to some of the
finest classical music.

After spending a pleasant hour, we retired to make room for others.
There was a silent expression on the countenances of the attendant
croupiers, and also on many of the faces of the habitués of the place,
which showed that, although this refined and intellectual enjoyment was
the ostensible reason of their presence, the real and more appreciated
object was the gaming-table.

Impelled by earnest desire to judge for ourselves as to the evils of
Monte Carlo, we followed the stream of people through the gilded and
handsome suite of ante-rooms, to the gambling-saloons. The obsequious
lacqueys opened the doors to all who wished to pass, and no questions
were asked, though I believe you are supposed to have your private
visiting card in readiness.

    "'Will you walk into my parlour?' said the spider to the fly."

There was no doubt on that day, at least, of the flies swarming in.
Frith's celebrated picture occurred instantly to my mind, and I saw at a
glance how faithful it was to the sad reality.

You cannot fail to be struck by the extreme quiet amongst so many
people. Every one speaks in whispers. There is a certain solemnity about
it, the same as that felt in a church; and truly this might be termed
the house of the devil. The large and spacious rooms, with beautifully
painted walls, Moorish ceilings, and polished floors, are without
furniture save the long tables and chairs for those intending to play
steadily. Here sit the yellow-faced, sleepless, hard-eyed croupiers,
spinning the fatal ball, and mechanically sweeping in with their rakes
the piles of money staked and lost by the infatuated players. These are
not limited to those seated at the table and who form but the front row.
What a mixture they are! Cadaverous, selfish old women; others,
handsome, gay, and reckless, evidently in the interest of the table, and
hired to act as decoys; others, again, young and inexperienced; and even
_ladies_, pale, unhappy-looking,--were all represented. The men for the
most part hardened and merciless, and many careless young gentlemen,
some of them innocent-looking lads enough, but others, alas! showing
painfully their habits of dissipation, in spite of their youth,--all
waiting eagerly to clutch their winnings or silently lose their money.

Further up the room are other tables, at which higher stakes are played.
_Trente et quarante_ is perhaps a little more favourable to players than
roulette, though it depends very much on the shuffling of the cards.
Piles of gold and notes were laid upon the table, either for or against
the numbers backed turning up. But here was the same sickening
sight--mad, selfish infatuation; and we turned away, having had quite
enough of the "shady side" of the lovely but too fascinating Monte
Carlo, being glad to get out into the bright sunshine once more. In the
rooms we had left, the blinds and curtains were closely drawn, excluding
the pure light of heaven, as if those so earnestly engaged within
preferred darkness to light because their deeds were evil.

A great number of people from the "tables" followed to catch the train,
and we had the sad reflection that a fresh batch would soon arrive in
time for the _evening_ concert. _Residents_ of Monaco and Monte Carlo
are not supposed to be admitted, as it is not desirable that the
half-frenzied losers should remain in these peaceful elysiums; a fresh
and continuous stream of victims is much preferred.

But these Shylock millionaires, the owners of the tables--these Princes
of Hades who alone profit by the wreck of their fellow-creatures, are
perfectly content to fatten, like over-gorged leeches, on the weaknesses
and follies of their prey. What matters it to them, the misery and
unhappiness of others, so long as they thrive? What matter the means, so
long as their end is obtained?

I am sorry to say that ladies are the greatest victims. They are more
easily tempted by their love of excitement and adventure, and once they
touch the fatal dice it is almost impossible to hold them in. Many
ladies who come to Nice and Mentone as invalids, go to Monte Carlo, not
only for the enchanting scenery, but for the fine concerts, which are
free to all comers. Indeed, most invalids long for such a means of
recreation, and it is a great pity they cannot obtain it elsewhere when
visiting the Riviera. Then their curiosity is aroused about the
gaming-tables, purposely encouraged by lying reports of people having
made their fortunes by a single throw of the dice. After the concert,
how natural to stroll into the gay saloons, the liveried servants so
politely opening the doors to them! And all this is the most cruel part
of the gambling fraternity--Messieurs Blanc and Co., who so heartlessly
lay out these alluring baits. Perchance these ladies are accompanied by
pure-minded daughters, all unthinking of the frightful contamination of
the numbers of so-called "ladies of fashion"--habitués and hirelings,
decoys simply in the pay of the gambling propriétaire. It is impossible
to know the moral injury it will do these innocent young girls. Then,
there is the husband who takes his wife, and permits her or himself to
chance a napoleon. It is impossible to touch pitch without defilement,
or to know where that one thoughtless yielding to temptation may lead.
Yes! it is too often just one napoleon and no more. Unfortunately they
win, and then of course they come again and again, with the sad result
of eventually losing all that is worth living for.

Some of these invalid ladies actually starve themselves, when they ought
to be nourishing and strengthening their poor bodies; acting meanly at
their hotels in order to save sufficient money to go to Monte Carlo, and
in the end it is all lost! Then they return to their homes with mind,
health, and nerves completely shattered, to the grief and astonishment
of kind friends and family doctors. There is no doubt that when people
are once tempted, it creates in them quite a disease; this is called
"play-fever."

An English gentleman staying at the same hotel with us told me that he
came to the Riviera almost every year, and that he limited himself to
£100 for the gaming pleasures at Monte Carlo, which he could not resist,
and this sum he invariably lost at the end of the season.

But, of course, all those who frequent this place are not "innocents
abroad." That is another evil resulting from this pandemonium. Blacklegs
and adventurers of both sexes swarm here from all parts of Europe,
demoralizing and degrading the lovely shores of the Mediterranean, by
their vulgar and hateful presence. Thousands of invalids and others of
all nations yearly visit the beautiful little towns along the Riviera,
and this fatal trap at Monte Carlo, whereby so many are helplessly
ruined, and so many suicides result, should at least have the moral
voice of the world against it--in fact, an international protest, for it
is a gross scandal and disgrace to the whole of Europe. All who know
anything of this gambling Hades--what is done to keep it alive, its
irresistible fascination over even strong minds, and the number of its
victims, will, I think, acknowledge that it is even worse than slavery.
For the poor negro has to bear physical degradation only, whilst here it
is both moral and physical; body and soul-suffering to the victim and
his friends. Why, then, should this place have been allowed to exist so
long?

First of all, France secretly encourages and indirectly profits by it.
Were she earnest in her endeavours to suppress this infernal machinery
at Monte Carlo, it would soon be stopped, and she would have the thanks
of the civilized world for her good efforts. Italy is not entirely
without blame: the late Pope Pius IX. more than winked at it. Russia is
also accessory to it; the propensity to gamble seems natural to her
people; and the corrupt journalists on the continent gloss over and help
to support it.

The story of Monte Carlo is perhaps not sufficiently well known. In
consequence of his subjects revolting from his tyrannical rule, the
Prince of Monaco lost part of his territory. France having annexed Nice
and Savoy after the Italian campaign of 1859, the prince's fortunes were
at a very low ebb indeed. But under the protection of Napoleon III., who
put him up to a good thing in ground speculation at Paris, when Baron
Hausmann was going ahead with his great building furore, the prince's
coffers were not long empty. Then, the gambling-houses in Germany having
been suppressed, the notorious Blanc--whose family, I believe, are still
the proprietors of the tables at Monte Carlo--appeared upon the scene,
doubtless accompanied by a few choice friends. The importance of Monaco,
from a gambler's point of view, and the natural beauty of the place,
were not lost sight of by him. The constant stream of visitors to
Cannes, Nice, Mentone, and San Remo, must pass through Monte Carlo and
pay there a terrible toll. An immense sum was lavished in making the
place the delightful paradise it has become, less, of course, its
Satanic evils. Beautiful gardens, _cafés_, concert and gaming-saloons,
constructed with all the fascinating skill and taste that money and art
could accomplish, were added to its natural attractions. The best of
music and artistes procured, journalists bribed to advertize its
advantages as a "health resort," men and women of fashion drawn hither,
and then all was ready for the dupes.

Nice became an adjunct. The proprietors of the Monte Carlo Tables
support the gaieties there, giving prizes at the races, and other
inducements, to render it more attractive to visitors, the majority of
whom would invariably find their way to Monte Carlo. Besides, it were
better that their unfortunate and maddened victims should blow out their
brains at Nice and other places, rather than give Monte Carlo a _bad
name_! Though, frequently, they evade the gens d'armes, and at dawn of
day are found in the beautiful gardens lifeless. The glorious sun rises
over the dreadful scene, lighting up the lovely coast, and makes it a
paradise, in spite of man's wickedness and merciless cruelty. At Monaco
itself, there are thousands of pounds given away annually as the
_casino_ prizes, for the _tame_ pigeon-slaughtering matches, which
generally bring a great gathering. But the wonder is, that gentlemen
will soil their hands with the stakes, tempting, as undoubtedly they
are; and the marvel is that some of our leading newspapers, who
righteously declaim against the iniquities of Monte Carlo, still
condescend to advertize these _decoy_ matches.

And thus the "owner of the tables" became exceedingly wealthy, and
married his daughters to foreign princes--one to Prince Roland
Bonaparte, and the other to Prince Radziwill. The Prince of Monaco
shares the profits, amounting in the gross to some fourteen millions of
francs annually. The people of his wretched principality are relieved of
all taxes, even for gas and water--which secures their gratitude and
silence: the profits from the gaming-tables pay for all. I believe it
pays the entire expenses of the municipality, so that the prince has
simply to draw the remainder of his share in this inhuman plunder.

Religion has been drawn in as a veil, as is so often the case with
unscrupulous persons. Churches have been built to quiet and satisfy the
Roman Catholic conscience,[D] after so many shocking deaths had
occurred, or rather to "whitewash" the scandal. The Pope was satisfied
with the liberality of the great gambling Croesus, and gave his
blessing. Indeed, so religious has the place become that on Good Friday
the Passion play is acted in the Cathedral, and without the least sense
of incongruity.

The powerful alliances made with unscrupulous and needy princes of
France and Russia by the family of the Croesus Croupier and Co., have
enormously increased their power. Hence the difficulty in dislodging
them.

But it is an international matter. Monte Carlo is a curse to the people
of every nation who pass through it, and the voice of the civilized
world should be raised to insist on its absolute suppression. The Prince
of Monaco should be given to understand that he must do this, or cease
to exist as a petty independent power. _We_ English, who are so earnest
to prevent even small nuisances in our own land, where it is an
indictable offence for a poor itinerant Italian organ-grinder to refuse
to "move on" when ordered; where the owner of an overloaded dust-bin,
vitiating the atmosphere, is called to account;--_we_, proudly the
foremost in suppressing wrong and upholding the right, should surely not
be backward in striving to uproot this hell upon earth--existing solely
for the inhuman greed of a few selfish individuals; this plague-spot
threatening deadly contagion to soul and body, and causing misery,
madness, and suicide of thousands of our fellow-creatures.[E]

While these pages are passing through the press, the author is greatly
gratified to see the noble exertions Italy is making, both in her
Parliament and through the press, for the suppression of this gambling
principality--recounting the many terrible suicides so frequently
occurring there. But, a still more hopeful sign is the action recently
taken in our own House of Commons as evidenced by the following extract
from the _Morning Post_ of Feb. 12th, 1884:--

"A question is to be put to Lord E. Fitzmaurice to-morrow by Mr.
Anderson (Glasgow) on the subject of the recent tragedies reported from
Monte Carlo. The hon. member will ask whether her Majesty's Government
will make friendly representations to the Governments of France and
Italy, with the view of inducing them to unite for the suppression of
the public gambling tables in that principality; and whether her
Majesty's Government will also make friendly representations to the
Government of France regarding the continuance of public gaming tables
at Aix les Bains?"

Italy, however, would do well to set the example by the abolition of her
State "Lotto Banks;" and we in England would do well to suppress the
little "Monte Carlos" at our West End, and so called Proprietary Clubs
and Stock Exchanges.

[D] The grand Cathedral is still in progress, under the auspices of the
gambling fraternity.

[E] In my former work, "The Cruise of the _Gorgon_," my object was to
expose the iniquity of the East African slave-trade, and our mode of
suppressing it; and it is now my object to draw attention to the
immorality of the Monte Carlo gambling principality, with a view to the
exposure and suppression of its evils, for the benefit of those who, for
health and pleasure, resort to these lovely shores of the Mediterranean.



                             CHAPTER VII.

Scenery _en route_--Bordighera--Pegli--Genoa--Its magnificent situation
--The grandeur of its past--The harbour--Streets--Palaces--Churches--
Cathedral of San Lorenzo--Sacred Catina--Chapel of St. John the Baptist
--Italian Beggars--Sudden change in the atmosphere--The Campo Santo--
Shops of Genoa--Marble promenade--City of precipices--Climate of Genoa.


After our visit to Monte Carlo, we returned to our hotel at Mentone,
which we left early on the following day for Genoa, our next
halting-place.

The country around Ventimiglia, Bordighera, and San Remo, is in many
parts grand and beautiful, affording varied and interesting excursions.
These three places are filled with visitors. The climate is somewhat
more relaxing than at Nice or even Mentone. The date-palm seems to
flourish at Bordighera, which is said to have the monopoly of supplying
these graceful branches to Rome, for the Church ceremonies at
Easter-time.

Savona was the largest town passed on our route. It has a very fine
Cathedral, and was at one time a considerable port. A little further
eastward on the coast is Pegli, a pretty little seaside place, fast
growing into favour. The Imperial Princess of Germany stayed here with
her children some time since.

       *       *       *       *       *

After a very pleasant journey by rail we reached Genoa at 10 p.m.

Genoa, Gênes, Genova, as it is called in English, French, and Italian,
derives its name from the Latin word _genu_, the knee, supposed to be
the shape of the large inlet of the sea around which the land lies in a
vast semicircle. It is also called "La Superba," from its magnificent
situation; indeed, few cities equal its imposing grandeur as seen from
the sea. Handsome buildings line the shore for about the length of two
miles; splendid palaces, churches, and convents rise tier upon tier on
the steep sides of the hills, whose barren summits are crowned by
formidable-looking forts and ramparts. Immediately behind are the
Apennines, and upon these mountain heights are again several strong
forts commanding the town, which is also enclosed by a double line of
fortifications on the land side. The stern aspect of these works is
relieved by gardens, whose foliage gives the one touch needed to soften
the beauty of the whole. The harbour has a pier at each end, and upon
one of these is a very fine lighthouse.

From time immemorial Genoa has been famous as a seaport, and as the
contemporary and rival of fair Venice, and, like her, has had a proud
and eventful history. How sadly are these splendid cities of the past,
these great and wealthy republics of ancient times, sunk at the present
day to a shadow of their former magnificence and grandeur! Their ruined
splendour alone remains to show us what they were. But it is like gazing
on the beauty of death; the soul, the spirit, is wanting, and we are
continually haunted by the hollow mockery of the empty house which was
once its dwelling. Doubtless the Genoese are proud of their city, yet it
reminds one of the last descendant of a long and ancient pedigree, whose
ancestors were once lords of many a fair manor, but who now has nothing
but his name left, to recall the recollections of bygone days, and
points on this side and on that, with the words "These lands once
belonged to my illustrious family, of which I am the sole
representative."

Baedeker says, "The beauty of its situation, and the interesting
reminiscence of its ancient magnificence, render a visit to Genoa very
attractive, especially to the traveller who is visiting Italy for the
first time.... The Renaissance palaces are objects of extreme interest,
surpassing in number and magnificence those of any other city in Italy.
Many of the smaller churches are of very ancient origin, though usually
altered in the Gothic period."

The many splendid palaces of the old nobility, with all their art
treasures and galleries of fine paintings by the great masters, have
been left to the city as a free gift, with the stipulation of their
being open to visitors. Rubens and Vandyke both resided here, and there
are a number of their greatest works to be seen. As an example of the
wealth of the nobles even at the present day, and their patriotic pride
in their city, the Duke of Galliera, who died in 1876, presented twenty
million francs for the improvement of the harbour, on condition that the
Government would advance the remainder of the sum required, and the work
is now in progress.

This semicircular harbour is crowded with shipping, while all around are
large warehouses, and stretching along the edge is a superb promenade of
white marble on raised arches. The Gulf of Genoa is very stormy, and
there are but few fish to be found in it.

The streets are paved with stone which tires one to walk on. Many of
them are dark and crooked, particularly in the interior of the town and
near the sea, and so steep and narrow that in some of them a carriage
cannot pass through. Most people will remember Dickens' amusing remarks
on this subject in his "Pictures of Italy."

Some of the streets, however, are very fine. The Via Roma stretches up
the hill, and descends in an almost unbroken line to the valleys beneath
the mountains, and is remarkably clean and pleasant. On either side are
houses of stone, with overhanging roofs. In the Via Carlo Felice is the
Via Carlo Felice Theatre, the third largest in Italy. The Via Garibaldi
has no less than eighteen splendid marble palaces in succession, while
the fine streets, Nuovissima, Balbi, and Carlo Alberto, are also lined
with these grand old palaces of the Genoese nobility. Many of them
contain rare and magnificent works of art, and their furniture and
decorations are rich and beautiful in the extreme. They are usually on
view from ten till three, on payment of a small fee to the keeper. In
each saloon you find catalogues of the pictures, amongst which the works
of Rubens, Titian, Correggio, and Vandyke are conspicuous.

Palace after palace, gallery after gallery; it is really _embarras de
richesse_, and one gets quite bewildered with the wealth of artistic
genius.

The churches are also very fine, but many of them are left in a very
unfinished condition. The Capuchin church of St. Annunziata, in the
Piazza del Annunziata, erected in 1587, has a portal upborne by marble
columns, while the brick façade is left quite unfinished, with great
holes between the brick and mortar, where seemingly the scaffold-poles
had been inserted, and in which the birds have built their nests. The
interior presents a striking contrast in its splendid and almost
over-gorgeous decorations. It is in the form of a cross, with a dome,
the vaulting supported by twelve fluted and inlaid columns, richly
gilded and painted. But a far more interesting church is the old
Cathedral of San Lorenzo, in the Piazza of the same name, and close to
the Via Carlo Felice. It is in the Gothic style, or rather represents
three different periods, the Romanique, the French Gothic, and the
Renaissance. It was mostly built about the year 1100, and restored in
1300. It has a triple portal, with deep-recessed, pointed arches. Above
these are several rows of arcades, a small rose window, and a tower
with a little dome at the top, two hundred feet high. At the south
corner above the central door is a bas-relief of the martyrdom of St.
Lawrence, its patron saint, and many quaint carvings of monsters. The
beautiful and curiously twisted columns, triple portals, arches, and
arcades, as well as the whole façade and front exterior, are of black
and white marbles; and there is some very fine bronze-work, painting,
and statuary. In the sacristy they show the Sacred _Catina_ (basin), a
six-sided piece of glass brought from Cæsarea in 1101, and reported to
be that which held the Paschal lamb at the Last Supper of our Lord. It
was given out to be a pure emerald, till the mistake was detected by a
scientific judge. It may be seen for five francs--a large fee, evidently
charged in the hope of some day making up for its deceptive intrinsic
worth. Like Westminster Abbey, the interior of this church has the
impress of antiquity, especially in its worn columns. I was invited by
the old verger to view the Sacred Chapel of St. John the Baptist, but my
wife was mysteriously prohibited, as women had been concerned in the
saint's martyrdom. I believe this stern order is waived once a year,
probably by payment of a pretty large fee for conciliation. There are
other chapels, paintings, and relics that are well worthy the trouble
and time of study, making this ancient cathedral the most interesting
duomo in Genoa.

St. Ambrogio, in the Via del Sellag, is rich in pictures: Ruben's
"Circumcision," and his "St. Ignatius," healing a man possessed of an
evil spirit, and also Guido's "Assumption." It is splendid in colouring
and wonderful in the elaboration of detail. These to some may appear too
extravagant. The Santa Maria di Carignano, or Church of the Assumption,
in the same street, is one of the finest in Genoa. The walk from here,
along the walls and ramparts of St. Chiara, gives a splendid view.

Many other churches, some sixty in number, are well worth a visit; but,
like the palaces, they require considerable time to properly appreciate
them.

One scarcely likes to see all these gorgeous buildings, with so lavish a
display of the money laid out on their profuse decoration, when the
mendicant poor, the halt, maimed, and blind are crowding the porches,
piteously begging alms; it spoils your pleasure and study of these
beautiful edifices. We ought, however, to recollect that at home we have
our crossing-sweepers, match and flower sellers, and many wretched
objects of suffering and poverty, who perhaps make a similar impression
on foreigners visiting our great and prosperous London, but who will
perhaps marvel also at our lukewarmness and niggardliness in beautifying
our St Paul's and other churches.

At the commencement of our stay here the weather was warm and bright,
but on the day following our arrival a most sudden change occurred, and
it was very wet, and on Sunday bitterly cold. We went to the English
church, and afterwards walked to the top of the fine street leading from
the Carlo Felice, right up the valley at the foot of the mountains, and
there we had a most glorious view. The Campo Santo in the distance; the
harbour on the right; and the great hills, with their strong forts
perched on every projecting point and pinnacle, all covered with snow;
quite a white world since the day before. We saw ice in the streets, and
were glad to return to the Hotel Isotta. The poor fasting Priests seemed
quite nipped up; and the Genoese ladies, who under more favourable
circumstances would have been graceful and good-looking, appeared
unaccustomed to this severity of weather, and hurried along with red
noses and pinched faces.

Of all our visits to interesting places in this ancient city our
excursion to the Campo Santo gave us the most pleasure. It is some three
or four miles from the city: the weather continuing cold, we preferred
walking. We went up the main street, through the valley at the foot of
the snow-clad hills we had seen before, and in little more than an hour
we arrived at the gates of the Cemetery. This Campo Santo is indeed most
eloquently illustrative of loving reverence and remembrance of the dead,
and is quite a museum of beautiful monumental statuary.

This burial-ground is a system of sheltered colonnades, where the dead
are deposited in sarcophagi, resting on shelves on the inner walls, tier
upon tier. Only the very poor people seem to be buried in the _common
earth_, in the open spaces which lie before the colonnades, and these
are crowded. It rather shocked us to see the gravedigger remove some
bones from the ground and throw them into a kind of bin, which was there
for the purpose, in order to make room for a new corpse. I thought, with
Hamlet--

    "Did these bones cost no more the breeding, but to play at loggats
    with them? Mine ache to think on't."

The colonnades are paved with marble, and are scrupulously clean. Some
have exquisite monuments and statuary, the figures most eloquently
expressive of tender feelings of both joy and sorrow. The draperies and
lacework are wonderfully real. One we thought especially beautiful. The
bereaved mourners are reluctant to part with their beloved relative and
endeavour to detain him, but an angel gently leads him away; and he,
though expressing love and sympathy for his friends, gladly follows his
winged guide to a happier world above. Another portrays a little girl,
tripping joyfully out from the tomb, over roses and other blossoming
flowers. There are hundreds of others, full of deep pathos, works of
Italy's greatest sculptors.

One tomb is said to have cost some £5000. The patriot Mazzini is buried
here. At the highest point of the cemetery is a rotunda chapel, with
very fine statuary of Moses and the prophets, Adam and Eve, and many
other subjects.

There is an echo in this chapel that is wonderfully and unusually clear
and distinct.

The shops at Genoa are small but handsomely furnished. The Genoese
jewellery is very beautiful, particularly the gold and silver filagree
work. We were surprised to learn that the gold so-called is only silver
twice gilt.

The postal arrangements here are very convenient. By leaving your
address at the poste restante, you have all your letters sent to you at
the hotel without delay. There is a nice sheltered colonnade, a kind of
Burlington Arcade, running half-way up at the back of the Via Roma,
where the Hotel Isotta is situated, and close to the post-office; but on
a rainy day, the noise made by those talking and promenading there is
somewhat of a nuisance to visitors in the hotel. A very favourite
promenade--indeed, the best in Genoa--is that before mentioned, in front
of the harbour, but only when shaded from the heat of the sun, as the
glare of its rays on the white marble is scarcely to be borne. Here in
the evenings, when fine, the ladies of Genoa are seen to advantage, with
their charming dress at once so elegant, modest, and becoming. English
women might well take a few hints from its simplicity. These ladies are
mostly handsome, and their movements are exceedingly graceful.

Here and there among the houses you sometimes see between two windows a
painting simulating a third window half open, with perhaps a lady
looking out into the street below, and this is so natural, that for the
moment you fancy it is real. The houses are mostly six stories high, and
the shops and lower apartments are consequently extremely gloomy. The
upper rooms are the most suitable to dwell in, but visitors frequently
find it exceedingly fatiguing to toil up and down the stairs; and some
of the stone-paved passages, miscalled streets, are almost
perpendicular. Altogether, one needs extraordinary strength in this city
of precipices. It is thus very unsuitable to invalids, apart from its
variable climate. It is subject to very rapid changes of temperature,
warm winds from the south alternating constantly with dry cold winds
from the north, which render it very trying to delicate people.

The weather was so very cold during our visit, that, despite the great
interest with which Genoa inspired us, we were glad to leave it for
Pisa, which we understood would be milder. We had intended going hence
to Milan, Florence, and Venice, but the cold warned us not to go further
north; and we therefore altered our plans, and left Genoa on the 9th of
January for Pisa, _en route_ for Rome.



                             CHAPTER VIII.

Pisa--Hotel Victoria--Pisan weather--The poet Shelley--Historic Pisa
--Lung 'Arno--San Stefano di Canalia--Cathedral--Baptistery--Leaning
Tower--Campo Santo--The divine angels--The great chain of Pisa--Leghorn
--Smollett's grave--Poste-restante--A sweet thing in Beggars--Ugolino's
Tower--Departure for Rome.


We arrived at Pisa towards evening, and got into comfortable quarters at
the Hotel Victoria, a quiet house, reminding us of the Swiss hotels in
its style of entertainment. We soon had a nice little dinner set before
us, and were hungry enough to do justice to it.

The next morning we found to our great disgust that it rained heavily.
Our hotel was close to the river Arno, the river of Dante and Petrarch.
It looked sandy and muddy as it flowed rapidly by. There were several
gondola-like barges being towed by ropes on the other side, and
Shelley's lines occurred to my memory, more in association of the poet
with the place, than from the poetical look of the river itself--

    "Within the surface of the fleeting river
      The wrinkled image of the city lay
    Immovably unquiet, and for ever
      It trembles, but never fades away."

It is impossible to visit Pisa without recalling touching memories of
the unfortunate and gifted poet who passed the last few years of his
stormy life here, and only left it in the summer of 1823 for the Casa
Magni, on the wild sea coast between Lerici and San Terenzio. It was
from here that the _Don Juan_ set out on its fatal trip to Leghorn one
July morning--never to return.

Pisa is another very ancient city. It was founded about six centuries
B.C., and was one of the twelve Etruscan cities. Like Genoa, it
underwent many changes and vicissitudes, one of the greatest of which
was the unexpected receding of the sea for some three or four miles,
changing it from a busy, prosperous port to a comparatively unimportant
inland town. It is still, however, much respected on account of its
ancient greatness and learning, and is generally looked upon as the
cradle of Italian art. In these latter days it is again becoming wealthy
and enterprising. It is considered a remarkably good place for
consumptive invalids. A fellow-traveller informed me that a friend of
his had lived here for many years with _both lungs gone_! The climate is
exceedingly mild, almost humid from the quantity of rain that falls:
there is said to be, on an average, seventy-three days of rain, and one
of snow, between October and April. We remained there only two days, and
it rained almost incessantly during the whole time; the place looking
very miserable under the circumstances. However, the inhabitants
appeared quite used to it, and walked about unconcernedly enough, with
their _green_ umbrellas, evidencing at least some sunny days in the
past.

The busiest part of the town is the Lung 'Arno (Street along the Arno),
a broad, handsome quay extending down both banks of the river. The
houses here are very imposing; one, in particular, is fronted with
marble so exquisitely smooth and pure it might serve as a looking-glass.

Fortunately for visitors, most of the objects of interest are
concentrated in one spot--a large square some ten minutes' walk from our
hotel. The streets we passed through on our way thither were very
quaint, the overhanging shops and cloistered pavements reminding us much
of Chester. On the way we visited San Stefano di Cavalier, the church of
the Knights of the Order of St. Stephen, and were much interested in the
number of flags--Turkish trophies captured from the Moslem by the
valiant Knights Crusaders. There were also some beautiful ceiling
paintings of the battle of Lepanto, and other subjects.

On reaching the Piazza del Duomo, we found the four chief objects of
interest we had come to seek. Forsyth pithily observes, "Pisa, while the
capital of a republic, was celebrated for its profusion of marble, its
patrician tower, and its grave magnificence. It can still boast some
marble churches, a marble palace, and a marble bridge. Its towers,
though no longer a mark of nobility, may be traced in the walls of
modernized houses. Its gravity pervades every street, but its
magnificence is now confined to one sacred corner. There stands the
Cathedral, the Baptistery, the Leaning Tower, and the Campo Santo, all
built of the same white marble, all varieties of the same architecture,
all venerable with years, and fortunate both in their society and their
solitude."

The Cathedral is indeed very fine; the columns, arches, and carvings are
curiously beautiful. It was built by the Pisans after their great naval
victory in 1063, and is, I think, the finest specimen now existing of
the style called by the Italians the Gotico-Moresco. Baedeker says,
"This remarkably perfect edifice is constructed entirely of white
marble, with black and coloured ornamentation. The most magnificent part
is the façade, which in the lower storey is adorned with columns and
arches attached to the wall; in the upper parts with four open
galleries, gradually diminishing in length: the choir is also imposing.
The ancient bronze gates were replaced in 1602 by the present doors,
with representations of scriptural subjects, executed by Mocchi, Tacca,
Mora, and others from designs by Giovanni da Bologna." The interior is
upborne by sixty-eight ancient Greek and Roman columns, captured by the
Pisans in war. The nave, transept, and dome are most beautifully
decorated with paintings, frescoes, and sculpture by Italy's greatest
master, of whom Ariosto truly says--

    "_Michael, piu che mortal, angel divino._"
    (Michael, less man than angel, and divine.)

Altogether it is one of the most beautiful Cathedrals I have ever seen,
more particularly in its external architecture.

Opposite, and but a few yards distant, is the Baptistery, but,
unfortunately, we were too late to obtain admittance. It is a beautiful,
circular structure some 160 feet in diameter, surrounded by columns
below, and a gallery of smaller detached columns above, covered with a
conical dome 190 feet high. The building was commenced in 1153, but was
not finally completed until 1278. It is famous for its wonderful echo.

The Campanile, or, as it is usually styled, the "Leaning Tower," is on
the other side of the Cathedral. It is 188 feet high, 53 feet round the
base, and about 14 feet out of the perpendicular. It is now, I believe,
generally understood that this obliquity was occasioned by the imperfect
state of the foundations and the sinking of the soil, which is light and
sandy, and which caused it to settle down on one side while the building
was still uncompleted; and this defect was afterwards provided for by
its architect. This is evident from the staircase, of some 294 steps,
being also at an angle. There are some very heavy bells on the topmost
towers, to counterbalance the deviation. It is supposed to have been
constructed about 1174, by William of Innsprück, and afterwards finished
by Italians, but it was not finally completed until 1350. It rises in
storeys, which, like the Baptistery, are surrounded by half columns and
six colonnades.

It is said that Galileo, who was born at Pisa, took advantage of the
peculiarity of the leaning tower to make his experiments regarding the
laws of gravitation; and there is in the Cathedral a great silver
chandelier suspended after his design--by a simple rod--from the great
height of the roof. This was so mathematically correct that the
celebrated astronomer took his idea of the pendulum from it. There is a
very fine view from the top of the tower, well repaying the trouble of
ascending. We were very pleased with the old "leaning tower of Pisa," so
familiar in our childhood as "one of the eight wonders of the world,"
and were not in the least degree disappointed, but rather wondered at
its height and circumference. It seems perilous to have erected other
buildings in its proximity, yet there are several handsome houses in its
immediate vicinity, affording, perhaps, additional grounds for the
theory of its accidental settlement.

The Campo Santo, or burial-ground, was the next place we visited,
accompanied by the custodian. It is not so beautiful in statuary as that
of Genoa, but from its great antiquity is even more interesting. It is a
long parallelogram 430 feet in length, with a covered cloister running
all round; the central part supported by beautiful pilasters adorned
with painting and frescoes, chiefly by Giotto, Orgagna, and Memmi, some
of them almost obliterated. There is a very ancient and interesting
collection of Roman, Etruscan, and Mediæval sculpture and sarcophagi,
important links in the history of early Italian sculpture. The pavement
is formed by the tombstones of those who have been interred here.
Through the round and beautifully traced arched windows you look out on
the original burial-ground in the centre, which is open to the sky, and,
tradition says, is filled in with some fifty-three ship-loads of earth
brought from Mount Calvary in the twelfth century (after the loss of the
Holy Land), by the Archbishop of that time, so that the dead might
repose in holy ground. I have heard that this Campo Santo is very
impressive when viewed by moonlight, which can be done by arranging with
the custodian at suitable times.

One other memento of past naval glory that we saw, was the great chain
across the more ancient part of Pisa. This was carried away by the
Genoese as a trophy, after their conquest of the city, but was
afterwards generously returned.

One of the pleasures of travelling not to be overlooked is that of
retrospection: picture after picture and memory after memory rises to
the mind, and one could go on for ever rebuilding in fancy all that has
pleased and interested. With all my heart I can echo Dickens' words--"I
find it difficult to separate my own delight in recalling, from your
weariness in having them recalled."

       *       *       *       *       *

We took train to Leghorn, to procure our letters from the post-restante
there. The weather was so unpleasantly wet that, under the
circumstances, we did not find the place very interesting. Leigh Hunt
sums up _his_ impressions in a few exceedingly apt, albeit somewhat
unkind, words: "Leghorn is a polite Wapping, with a square and a
theatre." The grave of Smollett, who lived here for some time, is one of
the objects of interest to visitors from the British Isles. There is
always a degree of melancholy pleasure in coming across the last
resting-place of a distinguished countryman in a foreign land.

While at the post-restante, we experienced a singular example of the
persistency and malevolence of the typical Italian beggar. This time it
was a woman and her child, both extremely dirty, the latter evidently
alive with vermin. The woman, on my wife's refusing to give her
anything, deliberately told her poor neglected child to rub up against
her--in order, no doubt, to communicate some of her infirmity. To
relieve only a portion of the beggars of all kinds who pursue you
wherever you go in Italy, although this pest has been greatly reduced of
late years, would leave you with very little time or money.

On returning, we had a fine view of Pisa. In the distance it appears
like a city of white marble, with its tower leaning at one end, and the
blue mountains far away in the background, looking, however, much nearer
than is actually the case. Distance is almost annihilated in this clear,
dry, Italian atmosphere, which also to a great extent prevents decay,
the most ancient buildings looking often singularly fresh. "Antiquity
refuses to look ancient in Italy; it insists on retaining its youthful
aspect."

The _Torre del Fame_, or "Tower of Famine," where Ugolino and his sons
were starved to death, stood "a littel out" of Pisa, as old Chaucer has
it, but the very site of this monument of cruel tyranny and vengeance is
now lost, or at any rate apocryphal.

We were really glad to reach the Hotel Victoria once more, our journey
having been performed in the presently falling rain. There is much of
interest in this old city, but our time was limited, and we were
compelled to press on towards the south, and therefore left on the
evening of the second day for Rome, the weather clearing up just about
the time of our departure.

The Pisans have a significant motto:

    "Pisa pensa a chi posa."
    (Pisa sits ill
    On those who sit still.)

We did not, however, stay long enough in the town to experience the
truth of the aphorism.



                             CHAPTER IX.

Arrival in Rome--Hotel de la Ville--The Corso--The Strangers' Quarter--
Roman Guides--View from the Capitol--"How are the Mighty fallen!"--The
sculpture-gallery of the Capitol--The Dying Gladiator--The Venus--
Hawthorne's Marble Faun--Bambino Santissimo--The Mamertine Prison--The
Forum--Palaces--The Coliseum--Longfellow's "Michael Angelo."


Travelling by the slow second-class train, we did not arrive at Rome
until nearly 11 p.m.; yet the journey proved interesting, especially as
we approached our destination. The stillness of night increased the
impressive awe that inspired us as we neared the "Eternal City." It was
not only cold and dark, but foggy; and we could see very little;
conjecture, however, was busy as we caught, through an occasional gleam
of light, the shadows of outlying monuments and ruins. As we crossed the
silent-rolling Tiber, and the reverberations of the railway bridge smote
on our ears with a hollow, sepulchral sound, we felt, almost with a
shiver, that we were entering a city of the dead.

The fog was extremely cold and penetrating, striking one almost like the
malaria, and we were glad to get to the well-lighted station, and mingle
with the cheerful animated crowd on the platform, and did not even feel
the intrusive hotel omnibus-conductors a nuisance, but gladly consigned
ourselves to the guidance of one, and drove away. However, we soon found
that Rome was _Imperial_ in her charges. The first hotel wanted from ten
to twelve francs for a bedroom per night, the second likewise.
Ultimately we were safely housed about midnight in the Hotel de la
Ville, in the Piazza del Popolo, at the head of the Corso. Though
perhaps a little out of the way, and less conveniently situated than the
more central hotels in the Piazza di Spagna, it has many advantages in
comfort, is quiet and moderate in charge, and close to the English
church.

This Hotel de la Ville was once the palace and museum of the Marquis
Campana. It is surrounded by so-called "English gardens," beautifully
decorated with columns, statues, fountains, and orange trees full of
golden fruit.

The next morning, on rising, we felt the dream of many years was at last
realized!

"Thou art truly a world, O Rome!" says Goethe; and we indeed felt it so,
as, having breakfasted, we sallied forth, eager to begin our
explorations. Our first visit was naturally to the English bookseller's,
where we purchased a guide-book. A plan of Rome may always be obtained
at one's hotel, and it is well to study the streets, etc., and arrange
one's campaign of sight-seeing. A good way is to begin by visiting the
nearest objects of interest, which can be accomplished on foot; then to
make use of the omnibus; and finally, of the carriages, for more distant
places outside the walls. These latter are cheap enough, as you may
drive from one end of Rome to the other for a franc.

The Corso, the main street in the city, is very narrow, and about a mile
in length. Starting from the Piazza del Popolo, it extends to the foot
of the Capitol. Most of the shops are situated here, and when lined with
fashionable carriages, it is very crowded, particularly just outside the
_cafés_. The other principal thoroughfares are the Strada del Babbuina,
ending in the Piazza di Spagna; and the Strada di Ripetta, leading to
the Tiber. Most of the streets converge into the Piazza di Venezia,
where is situated the tramway station, from which omnibuses run to all
parts of the town. This corner of the city is usually known as the
"Stranger's Quarter." Groups of military men were lounging about, and
blocking the pavements, characteristically indulging in _dolce far
niente_ aided by the eternal cigarette; indeed, the whole population
appear to smoke all day long; both wine and tobacco being too cheap and
plentiful for the good of the people.

I believe there are very few _good_ guides in Rome--few at least who do
their duty conscientiously, and with interest, but all asking some
twelve francs a day, just to ride about with you and smoke innumerable
cigarettes. A really good guide is worth securing, and saves much time,
trouble, and expense, besides giving most valuable information
sometimes. On the first day, we were lucky enough to pick up one of the
right sort, with a toga, cloak, and Roman profile; but unfortunately his
pronunciation of English was such a jargon we were quite unable to make
head or tail of it, especially when most eager to obtain some
information of interest, which he was willing and even anxious to
convey.

He took us to the top of the Capitol--at least, I accompanied him to the
very flagstaff; but it was blowing so tempestuously that my wife was
obliged to be content to remain a flight of steps below, and, being the
hour of noon, the great bell (which Garibaldi struck when he called the
Romans "to arms") boomed out twelve mighty strokes with its immense
clapper, and nearly deafened her. The wind was so strong that I had to
take off my hat and cling to the parapet. But how interesting was the
panorama that met my gaze! Right over the Eternal City beneath me, and
far away beyond the plains around it, lay that great range of bare
mountains over which, in the day of her distress, poured Rome's Gothic
enemies, in wild and overwhelming hordes. Wasted and enfeebled by the
constant drain made on her resources to supply the many provinces of her
fair empire, her very vitals insidiously sapped and impoverished by the
selfish luxury and vice to which her pagan civilization had brought her,
what wonder that she fell an easy prey. Yet the heart still yearns over
her in her mighty fall, and as I looked, and caught the enthusiasm of my
Roman guide, the lament of Byron rose to my lips:

      "O Rome! my country! city of the soul!
      The orphans of the heart must turn to thee,
      Lone mother of dead empires! and control
      In their shut breasts their petty misery.
      What are our woes and sufferance? Come and see
      The cypress, hear the owl, and plod your way
      O'er steps of broken thrones and temples, ye
      Whose agonies are evils of a day!--
    A world is at our feet as fragile as our clay.

      "The Niobe of nations! there she stands,
      Childless, and crownless, in her voiceless woe;
      An empty urn within her wither'd hands,
      Whose holy dust was scatter'd long ago:
      The Scipios' tomb contains no ashes now;
      The very sepulchres lie tenantless
      Of their heroic dwellers; dost thou flow,
      Old Tiber! through a marble wilderness?
    Rise, with thy yellow waves, and mantle her distress.

      "The Goth, the Christian, time, war, flood, and fire
      Have dealt upon the seven-hill'd city's pride;
      She saw her glories star by star expire,
      And up the steep barbarian monarchs ride,
      Where the car climb'd the capitol; far and wide
      Temple and tower went down, nor left a site:--
      Chaos of ruins! who shall trace the void,
      O'er her dim fragments cast a lunar light,
    And say, 'Here was, or is,' where all is doubly night?

      "Alas! the lofty city! and alas!
      The trebly hundred triumphs! and the day
      When Brutus made the dagger's edge surpass
      The conqueror's sword in bearing fame away!
      Alas, for Tully's voice, and Virgil's lay,
      And Livy's pictured page! but these shall be
      Her resurrection; all beside--decay.
      Alas, for earth, for never shall we see
    That brightness in her eye she bore when Rome was free!"

Around lay the seven hills on which Rome was originally built. The
Capitoline, on which I was standing, the Palatine, Quirinal, Coelius,
Aventine, Esquiline, Viminal. Some of them appeared merely green mounds,
the remains of the wonderfully strong and ancient walls, and here and
there the broken outline of some palace of the great Cæsars. Immediately
beneath us lay the mighty Coliseum, the Forum, and other monuments of
Rome's ancient grandeur and departed glory. Away to the north-west,
across the muddy, silent Tiber, lay decaying papal Rome, crested by the
dome of St. Peter's and the Vatican. Again, to the north-east, right
over ancient Rome, and towards the Quirinal and Esquiline hills, young
Italy, emancipated and free, her national flag floating in the breeze
from the palace of the king. It was a grand and impressive sight, and
one never to be forgotten.

On descending from the tower, we passed through storehouses filled with
broken remains of figures, capitals, plinths, and other fragments
disentombed from the Forum, etc. The three palaces which comprise the
principal buildings of the modern Capitol were designed by Michael
Angelo, and form three sides of a square. In the centre stands the noble
equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius. The open side faces the modern
part of Rome. The palace on the left side, or Capitoline Museum, as it
is called, contains one of the finest collections of sculpture in Italy.
It is quite a day's work to see it properly, but we had to be content
with an hour or two.

Here we saw that most noble and pathetic presentment of Death, grappled
with, and almost conquered, in the statue of the Dying Gladiator. The
right arm was restored by Michael Angelo, and the guide informed me that
by general agreement it should have been brought a little more forward,
and that the great sculptor, although aware of it, was unable for some
reason to restore it in this way. I think, however, that his conception
as resting, must be the right and natural posture, as the wounded man
seems to depend on the support of that arm entirely, while struggling in
the agonies of death. You may almost see the moisture on his manly brow,
while in the intensely expressive face you catch glimpses of that
lifetime which is passing across his memory in the space of a
moment--thoughts of the wife and little ones in that far-away home to
which he will never return. It is a fine subject, exquisitely conceived
and executed, and worthily described in Byron's two immortal stanzas.
Upstairs, in a small rotunda-shaped temple, enshrined in a niche in the
wall, we saw that most beautiful conception of womanhood, known as the
Venus of the Capitol. She appears as though suddenly disturbed while
taking her bath, and the expression of frightened innocence and maiden
shame upon the face, and the graceful shrinking attitude of the limbs,
form a picture of perfect purity and loveliness. The guide turned the
figure upon its pedestal so that we might catch the beauty of its curves
and soft outline, and though the action seemed half profane, rudely
disturbing one's semi-entranced admiration, I did not until then catch
the full beauty of "the statue that enchants the world." An almost
living memorial of the "Age of Beauty," there seems in this one radiant
figure to be enfolded the whole wealth of love and loveliness that
distinguished so richly those times when--

    "Human hands first moulded, and then mocked
     With moulded limbs, more lovely than its own,
     The human form, till marble grew divine."

Yet one other masterpiece of ancient art we eagerly looked for was the
marble Faun of Praxiteles, around which the graceful genius of Nathaniel
Hawthorne has woven such a delicate web of romance, the figure itself
being inimitably described in the opening chapter. But this and other
immortal works are made familiar to us by so many gifted writers, that I
need but to mention their names to conjure them in all their beauty to
the eye of the intelligent reader, who instantly recalls to mind some
beautiful passage in poetry or prose, to which any words I could pen
would be superfluous. "All men are poets by nature," but "adequate
expression is rare;" and though a vivid sense of beauty and a passionate
appreciation of the grand and sublime is open to all, yet to genius
alone it is given to clothe the fleeting thought with words of haunting
music, which shall live as long as the idea that gave them birth.

Close by the museum is the Church of Santa Maria di Ara Coeli,
ascended by some 124 steps. Here we were reverently ushered by a monk
into a little chapel, to see the Santissimo Bambino. After opening the
shutter, he approached the altar, and from an iron door in the top drew
out a drawer, inside which was a box; from this he carefully lifted out,
reverently crossing himself as he touched it, a doll of wax or painted
wood, supposed to be an image of the Infant Jesus. The legend runs, that
an angel appeared in the porch of the church at midnight, and, ringing
the bell, flew back to heaven, leaving the image of the Sacred Babe to
the care of the church, just as a poor child is dropped at the door of a
foundling hospital. The doll is literally covered with jewellery, and
diamond-rings, and other gems and trinkets, sewn into its dress, the
offerings of its misguided devotees. It is said that the priests at the
church "farm" this Bambino, and make a good income by exhibiting it,
letting it out on special occasions for large profits. Leave the priests
alone for their ability to work on the ignorance and credulity of the
people! It is sometimes carried to the houses of the sick, being
supposed to possess miraculous healing properties. After duly displaying
this treasure, the monk carefully replaced it, locking it up with a
profound sigh.

This is only one of the many wonderful relics that are shown, and absurd
legends that are told, and one hardly knows whether to treat with pity
or contempt the ignorant credulity shown by the lower orders of Roman
Catholics and their priesthood.

Between the Capitol and the Forum is the Mamertine prison, where among
other illustrious captives were confined Jugurtha, Sejanus, and the
Catiline conspirators; St. Paul, too, noblest of men, was here held in
durance vile, and Popish tradition says St. Peter also. Passing through
a little church, we were lighted down into a dark dungeon, and below
this found another, communicating by narrow stone steps; but it is said
the poor prisoners were _dropped_ from the one to the other through a
hole or trap-door. They were confined below until sentenced to death,
when they were brought up the steps to the dungeon above, where they
were executed, and their bodies thrown out for the satisfaction of the
people thronging the Forum. There is a dint in the stone wall where it
is said St. Paul's head was battered by his inhuman gaoler; this, though
it sounds improbable enough, is gravely related as a fact. A
subterranean passage extends to a considerable distance, which I
penetrated as far as I was able, till a cold blast of air, evidently
from the river Tiber, almost extinguished my candle, and the guide
shouted to me to return.

It is remarkable how much lower that part of ancient Rome surrounding
the Forum lies compared to the rest of the city--certainly from ten to
fifteen feet. Modern or mediæval Rome seems in some instances to be
partially built over the older portion. Why this should have been, it is
difficult to say. New and interesting excavations are made continuously,
and I could have remained here the live-long day, watching the gradual
disentombment of the beautiful columns, statuary, and other long-buried
mementoes of Rome's past greatness--and, as her foundations were laid
bare, rebuilding and repeopling, according to my own ideal fancies, this
great temple of eloquence. "What men have crossed the shadows of these
very columns! What thoughts that have moved the world were born beneath
them!" Scene after scene rose to my mind which had been enacted in this
very spot, one fair vision standing out like a star from the
rest--Virginia, "the sweetest maid in Rome," in her white garments, as
though prepared for the sacrifice, satchel in hand, tripping with "her
small glancing feet along the Forum," and up the sacred street from the
schools, the remains of which may still be seen cavernlike.

After all, what is left of Rome's greatness? A few broken columns only?
Surely not. We are still as deeply moved as ever by the history of her
mighty rise and fall; the world still acknowledges the governing wisdom
of her imperishable laws, and is still benefited by the inspiring
example of her noble men and virtuous women. But the true "Eternal City"
must be looked for elsewhere than in the most powerful of pagan nations.
This indeed must have solaced the little fraternity of Christians at
ancient Rome, when so cruelly persecuted: and what a glorious triumph is
theirs now!

We did not omit to pay a visit to the palaces of the Cæsars, which lie
clustered above and about the Forum. It is rather difficult to
understand how the Romans obtained sufficient light for their dwellings,
the rooms being generally small, and without external windows. What
there was, however, usually came from above, as the courts were open;
and also by radiation, the large marble tanks in these courts being
filled with water, on which the descending light smote, and was
dispersed around. There is a subterranean passage leading from the
palaces to the Coliseum, which was made use of by the emperor and his
suite for their transit thither; and a terribly anxious little journey
that must often have been to the great Cæsars.

The grand old Coliseum still rears its crumpling walls proudly towards
the skies, though almost two-thirds lie in ruins. The centre has been
filled in with earth, so that we scarcely see the original bottom, but
there is sufficient left to show clearly to what use this great
amphitheatre was put. One intelligent guide points out the evidences of
formerly existing hydrants, which had led to the Tiber, and thus flooded
the lower part with water for the exhibition of mock naval engagements.
Then, when the water was let out again, great scaffolding poles were
inserted into stone sockets, and a platform suspended on a level with
the dens, from which the wild beasts were let into the arena. And here
the gladiators fought, and the Christians and criminals were torn to
pieces, to make sport for the countless multitude sitting, crowded tier
upon tier around, while the blue heavens looked down on the inhuman and
bloody sight, and the poor martyr Christians, fearlessly awaiting their
doom, sighed upwards, "How long? how long?" We could also see the
trap-doors from whence buffoons were hoisted on to the stage. To trace
all this was interesting, though it saddened one to reflect on all the
horrors that had been enacted here. Much of the brickwork had evidently
been veneered with slabs of marble, most of which has now disappeared;
but it rather puzzled me to see so many great chips made in certain
parts of the marble columns. Our guide, however, informed me that they
had bars of iron in the centre, and it was to obtain this iron for
making into spear-heads for the defence of Rome that the marble was so
broken and chipped at the joints--an inglorious ending truly for these
witnesses of past splendour!

It has been said that Byron's celebrated description of the Coliseum is
better than the reality; that "he beheld the scene in his mind's eye,
through the witchery of many intervening years, and faintly illumined it
with starlight instead of the broad glow of moonshine." Be this as it
may, the noble stanzas are all too well known to bear further quotation.
The reader may possibly be less acquainted with the fine lines on the
subject, which Longfellow has put in the mouth of Michael Angelo, in the
fragmentary tragedy of that name lately published in America:

    "Tradition says that fifteen thousand men
     Were toiling for ten years incessantly
     Upon this amphitheatre.
                            Behold,

     How wonderful it is! The queen of flowers,
     The marble rose of Rome! Its petals torn
     By wind and rain of twice five hundred years;
     Its mossy sheath half rent away, and sold
     To ornament our palaces and churches,
     Or to be trodden under feet of man
     Upon the Tiber's bank; yet what remains
     Still opening its fair bosom to the sun,
     And to the constellations that at night
     Hang poised above it like a swarm of bees.

    "The rose of Rome, but not of Paradise;
     Not the white rose our Tuscan poet saw,
     With saints for petals. When this rose was perfect
     Its hundred thousand petals were not saints,
     But senators in their Thessalian caps,
     And all the roaring populace of Rome;
     And even an Empress and the Vestal Virgins,
     Who came to see the gladiators die,
     Could not give sweetness to a rose like this.
     The sand beneath our feet is saturate
     With blood of martyrs; and these rifted stones
     Are awful witnesses against a people
     Whose pleasure was the pain of dying men.

    "Look at these walls about us and above us!
     They have been shaken by earthquakes, have been made
     A fortress, and been battered by long sieges;
     The iron clamps, that held the stones together,
     Have been wrenched from them; but they stand erect
     And firm, as if they had been hewn and hollowed
     Out of the solid rock, and were a part
     Of the foundations of the world itself.
     ... A thousand wild flowers bloom
     From every chink, and the birds build their nests
     Among the rained arches, and suggest
     New thoughts of beauty to the architect."



                              CHAPTER X.

Trajan's Gate--The Appian Way--The English Cemetery--Catacombs of St.
Calixtus--Reflections on the Italian seat of government--Churches--S.
Paolo Fuori le Mura--Santa Maria Maggiore--S. Pietro in Vincoli--"Was
St. Peter ever in Rome?"--Fountains of Rome--Dell' Aqua Felice--Paulina
--Trevi--Rome's famous Aqueducts--Beggars--Priests.


Trajan's Gate, near the Coliseum, is a beautiful piece of architecture.
No Jew can ever be prevailed upon to pass beneath it--at which we can
hardly wonder, for it is like forcing them again to walk under the
"Caudine forks," reminding them all too forcibly of their conquerors,
the destruction of their beloved city, and the bitter humiliation they
have ever since suffered.

After passing the Arch of Trajan, we soon reach the great high-road,
paved with diamond-shaped blocks of lava stone, extending a vast
distance, even beyond Naples. This is the celebrated Via Appia. It takes
its name from Appius Claudius the Censor. How the mind travels back into
centuries long past! How the imagination recalls the glory of ancient
times! Like Milton, we seem to see--

    "The conflux issuing forth, or entering in:
     Proctors, proconsuls, to their provinces

    Hasting, or on return, in robes of state;
    Lictors and rods, the ensigns of their power;
    Legions and cohorts, turms of horse and wings;
    Or embassies from regions far remote,
    In various habits, on the Appian road."

The road, apart from itself, has many interests from the numerous relics
and monuments of distant ages all along its way. First, we pass the tomb
of the Scipios, just inside the Gate of St. Sebastian, and the Arch of
Drusus; then the tombs of Augustus and Livia, and many others, mentioned
by St. Paul as belonging to Cæsar's household; then, crossing the
Aqua-taccio, is the old church Domine quo Vadis, or "Whither goest
thou?" where, according to tradition, St. Peter, flying from
persecution, met the Saviour, who caused him to return by asking this
question. Then we come to the tomb of Cæcilia Metella:

    "Standing with half its battlements alone,
     And with two thousand years of ivy grown,
     The garland of eternity."

The "stern round tower" looks little like a woman's grave. Many other
tombs, all possessing more or less interest, we passed, and I must not
forget the English cemetery, where--

    "Like an infant's smile, over the dead
     A light of laughing flowers along the grass is spread."

Here lie the remains of our two young poets, taken from us in the flower
of their manhood, ere genius had fairly ripened, and ere, alas! we had
learned to appreciate them at their true value.

At length we arrived at the Catacombs of St. Calixtus, the most
extensive in Rome. We first passed through the church of St. Sebastian,
and then, following a monk with lighted tapers, were soon underground
among dismal tunnels, with here and there an open tomb, or rather great
shelves cut in the soft brownish rocks (_tufa_). In many places the
sides of these tunnel passages were almost honeycombed with open graves.
There were still in some of these little heaps of decaying bones:
occasionally a name was roughly cut below, executed probably by one of
the little flock of the faithful, and an inscription in Greek, for the
early church was more Greek than Latin. These long corridors extend in
every direction, and, in fact, surround the city on this side. It was a
frequent custom amongst the Christians in Rome to pay visits on Sunday
to the sepulchres of the martyrs, and especially to the Catacombs. When
the sacred roll of martyrs had scarcely been closed, Jerome went the
round with his schoolfellows, and speaks awesomely of the darkness and
dread gloom of these crypts, deep in the earth, dimly lighted by broken
gleams through shafts and holes. They were reached by a narrow entrance,
down a long flight of steps, and through innumerable winding passages,
all carefully concealed from the persecutors. How great a contrast to
the glowing sunshine, and the light breezes, which whispered through the
vine leaves on the hills outside! God's love and man's hatred! Our
thoughts wandered away irresistibly to those times when the Christians
lived here like moles underground, until they died, and were laid by the
loving and devoted hands of their comrades in these dark shelves of the
rock. It is said that there are some seven million bodies buried in
these Catacombs. True enough that all around the Eternal City is one
vast tomb, especially in the direction of the Via Appia, recalling the
prophecy, "He shall fill the places with dead bodies."

I have sometimes thought it a pity that Rome rather than Milan was
selected as the seat of the Italian Government. I say Milan, because I
think neither Florence nor Turin are suitable from a military point of
view, as, if once the heights around were seized by a hostile army, the
city would be lost. Now, Milan, as far as the eye can reach, stands in
the midst of fine open plains, and an enemy could find but little
shelter or commanding position. Rome seems almost polluted by these vast
tombs surrounding her, and will require an immense amount of labour to
render it healthy as a continual residence. Yet no doubt Nature, the
never-resting, ever-working, irresistible evolutionary power, will
assist in the coming changes. For "Nature," says Emerson, "is nascent,
infant. When we are dizzied with the arithmetic of the savant toiling to
compute the length of her line, the return of her curve, we are steadied
by the perception that a great deal is doing; that all seems just begun:
remote aims are in active accomplishment. We can point nowhere to
anything final; but tendency appears on all hands: planet, system,
constellation, total Nature, is growing like a field of maize in July;
is becoming somewhat else; is in rapid metamorphosis.... Says Nature 'I
have not arrived at any end; I grow, I grow.'"

       *       *       *       *       *

It was a great relief to gain the open air after the long and saddening
exploration of the Catacombs. Some three or four miles on the road
towards Ostia we passed some very old monuments and tombs, and also the
ruins of ancient residences. All around is an uncultivated wilderness, a
few fine but rusty iron gates alone remaining to show their past pomp
and grandeur as suburban residences.

After passing these, we came suddenly on a splendid, newly built
Cathedral. It was indeed surprising to find so large and handsome a
structure far away from any town or village--completely isolated among
the dead! It was the Basilica S. Paolo Fuori le Mura, which was built in
1847 in this uninhabited spot, on the site of a venerable and
interesting church burnt in 1823, which had been founded by Constantine
to mark the grave of St. Paul. The present edifice was rebuilt under the
eye of Pius IX., who was to have been buried here. It is some four
hundred feet long, and is divided into fine aisles and noble pillars of
Baveno marble and granite in single blocks, two of which support an arch
over the altar, dedicated to the sister of Honorius, who completed the
former church, and whose design has been copied in the present one,
which also contains copies of the old mosaics by Giotto's pupils. The
front is likewise a copy, and when completed is to be adorned by a great
mosaic costing 30,000 scudi. The timber roof is richly carved and gilt;
and the frescoes in the nave are ornamented with mosaic heads of all the
popes, chiefly modern, from the government studios, but there are a few
ancient ones among them. It seems as though the whole civilized world
had united to do honour to this noble edifice and the great Apostle in
memory of whom it was erected. The alabaster pillars of the high altar
were presented by the infidel Pacha of Egypt; a detached altar in the
transept was a gift from the heretic Emperor of Russia; the granite
pillars in the nave came from the Emperor of Austria. Among them is the
one celebrated by Wordsworth when it stood on the Simplon, and which
Napoleon intended for the triumphal arch of Milan. Some noble-minded and
generous Jew has bequeathed a large sum for the support of the church;
and the King of Holland gave 50,000 francs for the same purpose--truly a
world's acknowledgment of St. Paul's large-hearted, self-sacrificing,
and noble life. Among other treasures it possesses a painting of the
Conversion of St. Paul by Camuccini, the choir by Carlo Maderno, and a
fine St. Benedict by Ramaldi.

An adjoining cloister, belonging to the Benedictine Convent, dates from
the thirteenth century. It rests on fluted and twisted columns, and
contains in its library a small collection of Christian gravestones
from A.D. 355. One bears the figure of an organ, with the
words, "_Rustreus te vit, and Feci_." The atrium of the old church,
which is the distinguishing mark of a Basilica, existed down to the
seventeenth century, and is now replaced by a modern court. The plan of
the former church was a duplicate of that of old St. Peter's. About
twenty-four of its columns were taken from the tomb of Hadrian; and yet
one other remarkable feature consists in its having been under the
patronage of the English kings till the time of Henry VIII., when that
fickle monarch broke allegiance with Rome altogether, for reasons of his
own. Though this church always seems to have struck travellers with
admiration, as combining in itself the last reminiscence of pagan Rome,
and the earliest mementoes of the Christian world, it had nevertheless
been so far altered by the processes of decay and whitewash, that many
of its most striking peculiarities and beauties had been effaced, even
before its total destruction by fire.

I admired the now existing church extremely, both for its noble
proportions and the beautiful simplicity of its design and
ornamentation. The stained glass windows are one of its distinguishing
marks of beauty. "It is a woful thing, a sad necessity, that any
Christian soul should pass from earth without once seeing an antique
painted window, with the bright Italian sunshine glowing through it.
There is no other such true symbol of the glories of the better world,
where a celestial radiance will be inherent in all things and persons,
and render each continually transparent to the sight of all." The
atrium, with its marble floor of almost spotless beauty, its lofty
columns and noble simplicity of architecture, represented my beau-ideal
of a Christian temple. There was not a single seat or chair--which I
believe is the case with all Basilicas, the congregation standing and
kneeling only--and this fact greatly adds to the apparent vastness of
this noble structure, which forms a beautiful and suitable monument to
the great and good St. Paul.

While on the subject of churches, I may mention two other fine edifices
we visited, both full of interest, though of a diverse nature.

The Church of Santa Maria Maggiore, on the Esquiline Hill, near the
railway station, is one of the four chief Basilicas of Rome, and well
repays a visit. It gives one more the idea of what a Basilica was really
meant to be than any similar edifice in Rome. The richly painted panels,
the interior colonnade with its long harmonious rows of pillars, the
clerestory decorated _en suite_ with small pilasters and panels, and the
beautiful panelled roof, all combine to give the building an air of
lofty and noble magnificence. The high altar is very beautiful, with its
decorations of marble, gilding, and precious stones: it is also
interesting as possessing the crypt in which Pius IX. was interred. The
tombs of Sixtus V. and Pius V. are also here; and in contrast to the S.
Paolo Basilica, which has no side chapels at all, this church possesses
two very fine ones, the Borghese, and the Presigio, which are as rich in
ornamental work as the rest of the building. The latter contains the
supposititious cradle of our Lord; and the former has _in veritas_ the
beautiful tomb of a Borghese princess and high-born Englishwoman (Lady
Geraldine Talbot). The altar of the Virgin is supported by four pillars
of oriental jaspar, agate, and gilded bronze; the image, which is said
to have been the work of St. Luke(!), is richly adorned with precious
stones. The church itself abounds in beautiful pictures, statuary, and
tombs. The chapel of Santa Lucia is also very interesting, possessing
many beautiful tombs, bas-reliefs, etc.

The other church we visited, S. Pietro in Vincoli (St. Peter in Chains),
is considered the most ancient in Rome. It is a noble hall, supported by
twenty columns of Parian marble, and has many fine and interesting
monuments. It is always a debatable point this--St. Peter's presence in
Rome. We have no actual proof that he was ever there, and yet the great
number of places associated with his name and made sacred to his memory
seem to point strongly to such a supposition. Yet it may be only the
religious deceit of the priesthood, who thus couple persons and things
with places, and insert monstrous legends and traditions for their own
mercenary ends, and, considering the immense number of extraordinary
relics, it is very evident that Mr. Shapira has had many predecessors
in the art of manufacturing antiquities.

One of the most pleasing features of Rome is its numerous beautiful
fountains, generally to be found in the piazzas, sometimes surrounded by
fine architectural and sculptural groupings. It seems as if the great
men of every age in this city "have found no better way of immortalizing
their memories than by the shifting, indestructible, ever-new,
ever-changing upgush and downfall of water. They have written their
names in that unstable element, and proved it a more durable record than
brass or marble."

The Fontana dell' Aqua Felice, near the baths of Diocletian, has a fine
statue of Moses striking the rock, by Prospero da Brescia, who is said
to have died of mortification at the ridicule excited by the figure of
the great lawgiver, in which a slight uncouthness is certainly
perceptible. The figures of Aaron and Gideon have been added to the
group by other artists. This fountain was celebrated by Tasso under the
name of the Fontana di Termini. The Fontana Paulina on the summit of the
Janiculum, near Porto S. Pancrazio, is like a triple triumphal arch. The
Fontana di Trevi, situated near the Palazzo Poli, is the most famous in
Rome. Its clear, sparkling water comes through the subterranean
aqueducts from far beyond the city walls. The design of the fountain is
by some sculptor of the Bernini school, and represents Neptune with his
attendant tritons, Health and Abundance. "It is as magnificent a piece
of work as ever human skill contrived. At the foot of the palatial
façade is strewn, with careful art and ordered irregularity, a broad and
broken heap of massive rock, looking as if it might have lain there
since the deluge. Over a central precipice falls the water in a
semicircular cascade, and from a hundred crevices on all sides silvery
jets gush up, and streams spout out of the mouths and nostrils of stone
monsters, and fall in glistening drops; while other rivulets, that have
run wild, come leaping from one rude step to another, over stones that
are mossy, slimy, and green with sedge, because in a century of their
wild play, Nature has adopted the Fountain of Trevi, with all its
elaborate devices, for her own. Finally the water, tumbling, sparkling,
and dashing, with joyous haste and never-ceasing murmur, pours itself
into a great marble-brimmed reservoir, and fills it with a quivering
tide, on which is seen continually a snowy semicircle of momentary foam
from the principal cascade, as well as a multitude of snow points from
smaller jets. The basin occupies the whole breadth of the piazza, whence
flights of steps ascend to its border. A boat might float and make
voyages from one shore to another, in this mimic lake."

The great aqueducts, by which these fountains are supplied, are marvels
of ingenuity and engineering skill, sometimes bringing the pure crystal
stream from lakes and hills thirty and forty miles away. Dyer, the old
eighteenth-century poet, has a graceful mention of them in his "Ruins of
Rome":

                         "From yon blue hills
    Dim in the clouds, the radiant aqueducts
    Turn their innumerable arches o'er
    The spacious desert, brightening in the sun,
    Proud and more proud in their august approach;
    High o'er irriguous vales and woods and towns,
    Glide the soft whispering waters in the wind,
    And more united pour their silver streams
    Among the figur'd rocks in murmuring falls,
    Musical ever."

These noble aqueducts were the chief source of Rome's health and luxury,
and were in charge of Curators or Prefects, who formed a kind of "water
board." It is a system which might with great advantage be adopted by
our own large cities, which are lamentably wanting in a good and liberal
supply of fresh water--greedy monopolists charging what they choose, and
giving us the precious fluid clean or unclean, when or how they like.
The Government might do much to improve this state of things by
constructing aqueducts after the ancient Roman style.

Another marked feature in Roman life we are _not_ so anxious to see
imitated in our own country, is the abnormal quantity of beggars one
meets everywhere. They are of every sort and description, and swarm
round you wherever you go. Some of them a most pitiful and distressing
sight, only half clothed and seemingly starving. Their number is only
equalled by the legion of priests, who come upon you at every turn, in
all grades, from cardinals to novices. Of course, this is by no means to
be wondered at, Rome being the one great focus and clerical seminary of
the Roman Catholic world. But the contrast between the starving squalid
poor and the legions of well-fed priests is very painful.



                              CHAPTER XI.

Papal Rome--Narrow streets--St. Angelo--Benvenuto Cellini--St. Peter's
--Pietà Chapel--The Dead Christ--Tomb of the Stuarts--Anniversary of St.
Peter's--Grand ceremonial--Cardinal Howard--The Vatican--Pictures--
Pauline and Sistine Chapels--"The Last Judgment"--Pinacoteca--Raphael's
"Transfiguration"--The Madonna--Christian Martyrs--Sculptures--Tapestries
--Leo XIII.--Italian Priesthood--St. John Lateran--Marvellous legends and
relics--Native irreverence to sacred edifices.


"The Papal City," says Howels, "contrives at the beginning to hide the
Imperial City from your thoughts, as it hides it in such a great degree
from your eye." I had often asked our guide what had become of this or
that column or statue of ancient Rome, and he replied that the popes,
jealous of the greatness of _Pagan_ Rome, and the interest excited in
the minds of the present generations, Catholic and Protestant, removed
them as quietly as possible after their disinterment, lest the world
should say that the glory and grandeur of the Pagans of old exceeded
that of the Papacy.

We drove through a labyrinth of narrow, dirty, crowded streets, crossing
the Tiber by the fine bridge of St. Angelo. The picturesque castle of
this name was a very important fortress in the Middle Ages. It was
commenced by Hadrian, and afterwards finished as a family mausoleum by
Antoninus Pius, and must always possess a romantic interest from the
part it played in the life of that most whimsical and audacious of
autobiographers, Benvenuto Cellini. The account he gives of his escape
from its dungeons is quite Dumasesque in its thrilling details; and this
is not the only famous escape in the records of the fortress, Pope Paul
III., who was confined there in his youth, having succeeded in making a
secret exit.

Turning to the left through one of the narrow streets, we find ourselves
suddenly in a very fine piazza, before the largest Christian temple in
the world--colossal St Peter's. It stands proudly and grandly on the
Vatican Hill, on the site of the earliest Christian church, built by
Constantine the Great in the fourth century.

In the centre of the great piazza, which slopes upwards, is an ancient
Egyptian obelisk brought from the circus of Nero, and surrounded by
points of the compass let into the pavement. This is flanked by two
immense fountains, from which the water rises in a sparkling column to
the height of seventy feet. They are supplied by an aqueduct from Lake
Bramano, some seventeen miles distant.

St. Peter's is approached from the piazza, by a long-graduated series of
great steps. It is from the top of these that the Pope gives his
blessing at Easter to the multitude in the immense court below. The
piazza is environed by more than a thousand shops, which impede the
view, considerably foreshorten and hide the great dome of St. Peter's,
and detract from its imposing grandeur; causing the façade to appear of
an immense and disproportionate height. The whole stupendous
structure--the cross of which, lifting itself literally to the blue
skies, can be seen over the hills from the sea--occupied 116 years in
building, and was continued during the reigns of eighteen popes. Leo X.
was one of these, and his scheme of raising money for the work by the
sale of indulgences, went far to produce the Reformation. Truly God's
ways are wonderful, the almost trifling acts of a single person often
bringing about the most mighty results and changes in the world!

"St. Peter's is less like a church than a collection of large churches
enclosed under one gigantic roof.... One is lost in it. It is a city of
columns, sculptures, and mosaics." So says the clever, versatile Willis,
in his "Pencillings by the Way," and it would certainly take months to
examine minutely all that is worthy of attention in this vast pile. Our
time, unfortunately, was limited, and we were only able to notice some
of the more celebrated and striking features. Of the plan of the
building, and its architecture, external and internal, I will say
nothing, for what can now be said that has not been said before, and far
better than I could say it? Almost every one nowadays has formed his own
idea of what this great church is like--of its exceeding vastness and
extent, the immensity of its over-arching dome, and its gorgeous and
profuse decorations. Yet when they at length come to visit this
preconceived and idealized vision, perhaps their feeling is almost one
of vague disappointment. Like Hilda in the "Marble Faun," we at first
prefer our own dream-edifice to the solid reality. It is, in fact, so
immense that you utterly fail to take it in all at once; your gaze is
arrested by ponderous columns and you must be content to see it in
fragments. You yourself seem so lost in its immensity, that you find it
impossible to take in its immeasurable vastness from any single
standpoint, the mind utterly refusing to grasp it; but on a second and
third visit, you gradually obtain a more comprehensive idea of its
proportions.

                            "Thy mind,
     Expanded by the genius of the spot,
     Has grown colossal....

    "Thou movest, but increasing with the advance,
     Like climbing some great Alp, which still doth rise,
     Deceived by its gigantic elegance;
     Vastness which grows, but grows to harmonize,
     All musical in its immensities:
     Rich marbles, richer painting, shrines where flame
     The lamps of gold, and haughty dome which vies
     In air with earth's chief structures, though the frame
     Sits on the firm-set ground--and this the clouds must claim.

    "Thou seest not all; but piecemeal thou must break,
     To separate contemplation, the great whole:
     And as the ocean many bays will make,
     That ask the eye--so here condense the soul
     To more immediate objects, and control

     Thy thoughts until thy mind hath got by heart
     Its eloquent proportions, and unroll
     In mighty graduations, part by part,
     The glory, which at once upon thee did not dart.

    "Not by its fault, but thine: our outward sense
     Is but of gradual grasp--and as it is
     That what we have of feeling most intense
     Outstrips our faint expression; even so this
     Outshining and o'erwhelming edifice
     Fools our fond gaze, and, greatest of the great,
     Defies at first our nature's littleness,
     Till, growing with its growth, we thus dilate
     Our spirits to the size of that they contemplate."

Mendelssohn says, "You strive to distinguish the ceiling as little as
the canopy of heaven: you lose your way in St. Peter's; you take a walk
in it, and ramble till you are quite tired. When Divine Service is
performed and chanted there, you are not aware of it till you are quite
close.... When the music commences, the sounds do not reach you for a
long time, but echo and float in the vast space so that the most
singular and vague harmonies are borne toward you."

The interior space is the more increased by the fact of there being no
seats of any kind, and seems so immense that things of colossal size
appear of only ordinary proportions. Thus, two apparently small cherubs,
holding a vessel of holy water, are in reality six feet high; and other
figures, almost insignificant in the distance, are really wonderfully
large. The pen in the hand of St. Mark on the dome is five feet long.

There are about 134 popes buried here, and when looking at their grand
and beautiful monuments, extending up the left aisle, one cannot but
remember that these were the men whose power was at times almost
unlimited, who controlled the destinies of the world, and made emperors
tremble; and the mind travels back into the dark ages of the past. But
in these enlightened times, when the souls of men have shaken off the
fetters of mediæval bondage, it is difficult to understand how our
ancestors could have been so enslaved--worshipping the reigning pope,
though even a Borgia, as a very God upon earth. Near the last column of
the aisle is a colossal bronze statue of St. Peter, seated on a huge
chair or throne. We noticed that every one (Roman Catholic) bowed before
the image, and afterwards advanced and kissed one of the feet, the big
toe of which is quite worn away with the friction of countless myriads
of devout lips, and the general wiping of the sacred digit by each
individual before venturing to kiss it. It would seem, alas! that the
present generation is not so very far removed from the superstitions and
absurdities of the past, after all!

In the Pietà Chapel is one of the most beautiful pieces of sculpture I
have ever seen; it is Michael Angelo's _Dead Christ_. The Saviour's head
rests on the knee of the Virgin Mother, whose face is full of the
deepest pathos of holy love and intense sorrow. Truly a God-inspired
work.

    "Art is the gift of God, and must be used
     Unto His glory. That in art is highest
     Which aims at this."

How appropriate these words are, placed in the mouth of the great
Buonaroti, we could hardly imagine till we had seen this sublime work
of art.

We felt greatly interested, in common with all our countrymen, in the
tomb which contains the ashes of the last of the Stuarts. Canova's
winged genii stand with reversed torches on either side of the door,
which is now closed for ever.

I must confess that I was neither pleased nor edified by the services
conducted in the gorgeous side chapels; they certainly seemed but a
mechanical form of prayer, little less than sacrilegious; the bishops,
priests, and choir hastening to get through the formula--those who were
not yawning taking snuff. Indeed, there was a dreadful absence of real
Christian humility and reverence. One day we arrived in time to witness
a High Church ceremonial--it was the anniversary of St. Peter. Cardinal
Howard officiated instead of the Pope, who had one of his frequent fits
of the sulks towards Italy. He was supported by all the great
dignitaries and potentates of the Romish Church, "a grotesque company of
old womanish old men in gaudy gowns." The cardinal is a robust
Englishman of the Friar Tuck style--the very antithesis to the
spiritual, thoughtful, Newman type. He is, however, zealous in his
duties, and much liked by the people. The principal part of the ceremony
seemed to consist in the constant changing of the cardinal's gorgeous
robes, accompanied by procession and prayer; and finally, when he left,
the people, more especially the women, rushed to kiss his hand. In spite
of its incongruity in our eyes, it was rather a touching sight, and the
cardinal seemed to realize almost painfully, as we did, the adoration of
the poorer of his flock.

The music was instrumental and vocal, the former composed entirely of
stringed instruments, and we were not at all inspired by it. It was not
to be compared to the fine choirs of St Paul's, the Temple, or,
Westminster Abbey; and for sacred music I think there is nothing like
the grand, melodious swell of the organ. We found none of the grand
Masses or other ceremonies of the Roman Church at St. Peter's, which
could compare for a moment in reverential feeling with the solemn
impressiveness of our own large churches during our beautiful and
eloquent service, which is so full of deep and earnest feeling, and yet
withal so simple that all can understand; and what more sublime than to
hear a vast congregation singing, as with a single voice, one of our
fine old hymns, such as the imperishable and soul-inspiring "Rock of
Ages"? Yet even here I think there is sometimes too much of a secular
character now introduced into church music.

The more one sees of St. Peter's the less easy it is to realize that so
magnificent and wonderful an edifice has been constructed by man.
Compare the stupendous structure with the puny attempts of the present
day. Architecture seems almost a lost art. I think this is owing to
want of patience; the lack of doing all things thoroughly and well; the
preference for mere show rather than durability and beauty; and the
selfish gratification of our own generation rather than a patriotic
pride and thought for future ages. If the nineteenth century has made
great advances in the industries, science, and thought, it has also
introduced a taste for meretricious imitation in every department of
manufacture and art. This is essentially the century for contracts.
Everything is done by contract, and not only is the matter of cost, but
also that of time, made a strong point in the bargain. When St. Peter's
was built, estimates of cost were not thought of, and no one ever
dreamed of fixing a date for completion of so vast a work.

To gain admission to the galleries of paintings and sculpture in the
Vatican, it is necessary to procure tickets. These may always be
obtained of your hotel proprietor, while a pass to the Pantheon and to
all exceptional ceremonies can generally be got by an early application
to your Banker.

Next to the Vatican, the Villa Borghese, near the Piazza del Popolo, and
the gardens of the Pincian Hill, has the most important
picture-galleries in Rome. The Palazzo Doria, in the Corso, is also one
of the finest in the city. There are three large fronts enclosing a
spacious court, and this is surrounded by a piazza. There is a very
handsome staircase, leading to the splendid series of galleries full of
priceless works by the great masters--Correggio, Raphael, Titian, and
others. Unfortunately, we were obliged to hurry through, without seeing
half of them properly.

It is necessary to provide yourself with a quantity of small copper
coins, for every Usher who shows you anything, expects some payment in
return, and they are quite satisfied with a few centissima.

The Vatican contains the richest, rarest, and most varied collection of
art treasures in the world. This is not to be wondered at when we
remember that it has been the work of more than a hundred popes, many of
them princely patrons of art and genius, some very unscrupulous, and
each in his day exercising almost uncontrolled power over nations,
emperors, and kings, and commanding the moral, physical, and material
resources of the civilized world. Here there is gathered, as in an
immense casket, the chiefest of the art treasures of all ages, the works
of antiquity, and the principal productions of the greatest men who have
lived. The dimensions of the Vatican exceed those of Tuileries and
Louvre put together. The very list of museums, galleries, and cabinets
is bewildering, and I should think a thorough study of the whole would
well-nigh occupy a lifetime; it is really daring presumption to rush
through in a day or two, and then be content to say you have "done"
these things, as so many tourists do.

Through these interesting rooms we wandered and wondered, longing for a
fuller comprehension of their contents, yet unable to linger, and almost
sated with the numerous beautiful objects demanding our attention on
every side. Sight-seeing of this kind is the most fatiguing pastime both
to body and brain that any one can indulge in; it is only possible to
note the more important objects. We were much struck by the Scala Regia,
a fine staircase by Bernini, in the centre of which is a gigantic
equestrian statue of Constantine, so placed that a fine ray of light
falls on it from above. This probably is typical of his conversion to
Christianity.

We visited the Pauline and Sistine Chapels, the latter of which contains
Michael Angelo's awful and in some sense revolting picture of the _Last
Judgment_; and many marvellous frescoes from scripture history by the
same great master. Wonderful and magnificent as these pictures are in an
artistic sense, I never see depicted these imaginary "heavens and hells"
without thinking--

    "What is the heaven our God bestows?
     No prophet yet, nor angel knows;
     Was never yet created eye
     Could see across eternity."

While doing this great work, Michael Angelo was only too evidently under
the bondage of the Papacy; for in this picture the Virgin Saint usurps
the place of our all-sufficing, merciful, and loving Saviour. All must
be saved (or lost?) only through Popes and Saints; no peace, even for
the dead, without money payment! It is in the Sistine Chapel that the
cardinals meet in conclave on the decease of a pope, to elect his
successor.

Still we wandered on through miles of pictures and sculpture, wondering
in amazement how these great men could have performed so much in a
single lifetime, remembering how little--how very little, we ourselves
accomplish, one day like another repeating, alas! the same sad story of
"Nothing done."

Perhaps the culminating centre of these galleries is the Pinacoteca,
which contains the choicest works of all. Chiefest among them is
Raphael's sublime and wonderful painting of _The Transfiguration_. "A
calm, benignant beauty shines over all this picture, and goes directly
to the heart. It seems almost to call you by name. The sweet and sublime
face of Jesus is beyond praise, yet how it disappoints all florid
expectations! This familiar, simple, home-speaking countenance is as if
one should meet a friend. The knowledge of picture-dealers has its
value, but listen not to their criticisms when your heart is touched by
genius. It was not painted for them; it was painted for you--for such as
had eyes capable of being touched by simplicity and lofty emotions."
Transcendentalists do not often indulge in remarks on material objects,
but when Emerson speaks about a picture it is worth quoting.

Only second to the _Transfiguration_ is Raphael's lovely _Madonna_, so
full of true womanly loveliness and purity of soul--a beauty that
expands the heart, and makes one feel purer and happier for having gazed
thereon. The inspired aim of these great painters seems to have been to
show us the marvellous love of God, and the exceeding beauty of his
creation. Many of the pictures represent painful scenes of the
sufferings of the early Christian martyrs. While looking at these
dreadful conceptions, so truthfully portrayed, and also when visiting
the Mamertine Prison, the Tarpeian Rock, and the Catacombs, I could not
but feel ashamed at the miserable little sacrifices we present-day
Christians are content to make for our religion. We can never be
sufficiently thankful that we are no longer required to prove our faith
in such a terrible and utterly self-denying way.

The sculpture-gallery came next. "Painting," says Hawthorne, "is
sunlight; sculpture is moonlight." Here group after group of beautifully
chiselled marble claimed our attention. The _Minerva Medica_, _Niobe_,
_Apollo_, the _Faun_, the _Torso Belvedere_, the _Apollo Belvedere_, and
a thousand others; above all, that miracle of ancient art--_the
Laocoon_:

    "A father's love and mortal's agony,
     With an immortal's patience blending:--vain
     The struggle; vain, against the coiling strain
     And gripe, and deepening of the dragon's grasp,
     The old man's clench; the long envenom'd chain
     Rivets the living links,--the enormous asp
     Enforces pang on pang, and stifles gasp on gasp."

By the way, both here and at St. Peter's much of the natural beauty of
the nude figures is artificially covered, which certainly greatly
detracts from the effect. This was done by the command of some prudish
Pope, who was as surely wanting in right and pure feeling as in a proper
comprehension and appreciation of art.

                          "The heathen
     Veiled their Diana with some drapery;
     And when they represented Venus naked
     They made her, by her modest attitude,
     Appear half clothed."

The silk tapestries in the Vatican excited our wonder and admiration.
They are most beautifully worked pictures, and cover the walls over an
immense area. Unfortunately, we had a nonchalant guide on this day, who
was only enthusiastic over his cigarettes, and whose purely mechanical
utterances exasperated one in the same degree as do the solemn old
Beefeaters in our own Tower, or the garrulous, conceited guide at Notre
Dame, Paris. A good cicerone can invest the most trifling objects with
interest, while a bad one simply irritates one's temper and wastes
precious time.

The Vatican palace is a large, ugly, barrack-like building, painted
yellow, and surrounded by high walls. Here "His Holiness" lives, a
self-immured prisoner, on unlimited patrol. It is an immense place.
There are two courts, eight grand, and a hundred smaller staircases, and
upward of a thousand rooms. Indeed, the Vatican taken as a whole, with
its extensive stables, etc., resembles a small town rather than the
palace of a sovereign. So that, though a "prisoner," Leo XIII. is by no
means shut up in a cloister. He is, I believe, a man of the highest
culture, and leads a most unselfish and simple life: frugal in his own
personal expenses--the cost of his table not exceeding that of an
ordinary labouring man--he is filled with an earnest desire to exercise
the responsibilities of his position. One can well imagine, therefore,
that the almost total deprivation from temporal power, and the
neutralized allegiance of so many of his Italian subjects, must be most
galling and heart-breaking to him. The Pope, indeed, is almost a
nonentity at home; yet we cannot but feel that this alienation between
Italy and her spiritual father is for the real good of the State. It has
ever been the policy of the Papacy to keep the people in poverty and
superstitious ignorance. The priesthood has shamefully failed to
identify themselves with the aspirations and wants of the people, and
consequently have lost all hold on their hearts. Other nations have
freed themselves gradually from the yoke of Rome, so baleful in its
influences to all vigorous strength and constitutional greatness. And
now Italy has certainly a future before her, downtrodden in the dust as
she has been for many years. Garibaldi's was the arm to raise her; his
the voice to hail Victor Emmanuel with the proud title of "_Re
d'Italia_." It is, therefore, significant of the times and of the
future, that a people so susceptible of adoration and superstition as
the Italians, should have lost faith in the efficacy of their
priesthood, and have fairly had their eyes opened to the fact that the
dignitaries of the Church have been well fed and prosperous, dwelling in
gorgeous palaces, and wearing fine apparel, at the expense of the
starving population, who have paid them for their prayers for the repose
of their dead, for their confessions of sin, and maybe for fresh
indulgence in the same. Happily, their minds are now awakening from long
darkness and ignorance, to view in its true light the degrading bondage
in which they have so long been content to remain passive.

Yet this supremacy of the Roman Church, before it was so grossly abused,
like all other remnants of the system of the dark ages, has been of use
in its day. The priesthood combined with their religious duties those
faculties now known as Law, Physic, and Literature, and also supplied
the place of all charitable and scholastic institutions. The Church was
the nursery of Christendom, and it is only since the world has
progressed in education, and arrived at manhood, that it has renounced
the leading-strings of its infancy. England, Germany, and all the other
Teutonic races of the north, the elder children of Europe, did this long
ago; they dated their coming of age at the Reformation, and united in
revolt against the grossly abused power of their nurse and
foster-mother, who still sought to control their actions and destinies.
They laughed at the rod of excommunication, threateningly upheld; and
this once defied, the Pope and his Cardinals were fain to turn their
attention exclusively to those who were still content to be under their
protecting wing. But now the time has arrived once more when these also
desire to emancipate themselves from thraldom. Let us hope, then, that
the manhood of Italy will be a noble one, and full of earnest faith and
high endeavour.

The Church of St. John Lateran, in the Piazza di St. Giovanni (on the
site of the house of Plautius Lateranus, one of the conspirators against
Nero), is one of the chief Basilicas. (This title of "Basilica" is only
given to those churches whose foundation dates from the time of
Constantine.) The five general councils known as the "Lateran Councils"
were held here. It is called "The Mother and Head of all the Churches of
the City and the World," and takes precedence even of St. Peter's in
point of sanctity. The portico and doors are very fine, and the interior
possesses much of interest; it is divided into five aisles, resting on
lateral arches and pilasters. Here, in 1300, Pope Boniface VIII.
proclaimed the Jubilee from the balcony, Dante being present on the
occasion. The Corsini Chapel is said to be the richest in Rome, some
half a million sterling having been squandered on it. There are some
very fine mosaics and paintings by Guido, Sacchi, and others. Like most
of the churches, it has a great many legends attaching to it to enhance
its interest. Among other pretended relics shown here are two pillars
from the temple of Jerusalem, the well of Samaria, and the table used at
the Last Supper. The Scala Santa, or holy stairs, on the palace side of
the church, and detached from it, are composed of twenty-eight black
marble steps, said to have belonged to the palace of Pontius Pilate at
Jerusalem. Penitents ascend these steps on their knees (no foot being
allowed to touch them), praying as they go, in order to visit a
sanctorum at the top, which contains a portrait of the Saviour, painted,
so the priests tell us, _by St. Luke at twelve years of age_. They
descend by other steps, and thus they acquire so many days' or years'
indulgence. An Englishman, a fellow-traveller, told me that he had
ascended the steps as described, not being allowed to do otherwise, and
he found it very sore work for his poor knees--and "Serve him right,"
thought I. In one of the adjoining chapels of this church an attendant
sells pictures and relics. There is no real reverence here for sanctity
of the House of God, as is shown by thus turning it into a house of
merchandize, and also by the vile and unpleasant habit indulged in of
spitting all over the beautiful mosaic and marble floors.

The Borgo Novice is the finest street in this part of the city.



                             CHAPTER XII.

Excursion to Tivoli--Sulphur baths--Memories--Temple of the Sybil--River
Anio--Lovely scenery--Back to Rome--Post-office--Careless officials--The
everlasting "Weed"--Climate of Rome--Discomforts and disappointments--
Young Italy--Leo XIII.--Italian Politics--Cessation of Brigandage--The
new city--American church--_Italian Times_--Departure for Naples--Regrets
--The Three Taverns--A picturesque route--Naples by night.


    "'Midst Tivoli's luxuriant glades,
     Bright foaming falls, and olive shades,
     Where dwelt in days departed long
     The sons of battle and of song,
     No tree, no shrub, its foliage rears
     But o'er the wrecks of other years,
     Temples and domes, which long have been
     The soil of that enchanted scene.
     There the wild fig tree and the vine
     O'er Hadrian's mouldering Villa twine;
     The cypress in funeral grace
     Usurps the vanished column's place;
     O'er fallen shrine and ruined frieze
     The wall-flower rustles in the breeze;
     Acanthus leaves the marble hide
     They once adorned in sculptured pride;
     And Nature hath resumed her throne
     O'er the vast works of ages flown."

One morning we took the steam tramcar to Tivoli. I think there was one
first and one second-class carriage attached to the locomotive. We
travelled at the rate of about nine miles an hour, Tivoli, some twenty
miles off, situated right up among the beautiful distant hills, being
reached in about an hour and a half. Here the wealthy Romans used to go
to enjoy the beauty of Nature, and to rest after the cares of State.

We first came to the great sulphur baths about half-way. The white
sulphurous stream was employed to turn a wheel for cutting slate or
marble, and thence flowed into large and handsome buildings to supply
the baths. A few ladies got out here to enjoy the luxury, and await the
return of the train to Rome. Then away we went again till we reached the
next station, Villa Adriana, once a splendid palace of the Emperor
Hadrian's, now an extensive circle of overgrown ruins. It embraced
everything beautiful in art and nature which its founder had seen and
collected in the course of his expeditions, and was altogether three
miles long and one wide: it comprised a great Lyceum, an Academy, an
Egyptian Serapeon, a Vale of Tempe, several theatres, baths, barracks,
hippodrome, etc., the sites of which can be pretty easily traced. The
statuary and marbles found here are now dispersed among different
museums. Two English ladies got out to sketch, sending their servants on
to Tivoli to prepare their lodgings. We proceeded upwards, winding
through groves of beautiful sombre olives, the light shining on their
silvery-tinted leaves; and as we wound round the sharp curves we caught
the full beauty of the great plains below, discovering every moment some
new and lovely prospect over the Campagna; Rome lying far away in the
distance, and the mountains towering above our heads. The Romans were
right in seeking this beautiful retreat as their summer abode. Yes, this
is Tivoli--the ancient Tibur, the favourite resort of Scipio, Æmilianus,
Marius, Mæcenas, and other great and eminent men. Augustus and Horace
came here to visit Mæcenas; and here, too, Queen Zenobia spent a
pleasant banishment.

At length we came to the end of our journey, and entered the Tivoli
station, where there were plenty of carriages and guides awaiting us. We
lingered at one gap in the mountains, through which there was a most
magnificent view of the country around. Just below we saw some old ruins
which had evidently been turned into a factory of some kind--the
property, I believe, of the Napoleon family. Then we went to an hotel,
high up on the brow of the cliff, on the ruined site of the ancient
Sibyl's Temple. There are still some fine columns standing, under which
we sat for a time to admire the lovely and romantic scenery, the
beautiful grottoes in the abysses and glens below, in the valley of the
Anio. Only ten of the eighteen Corinthian pillars of this temple now
remain. Soane has imitated this architectural relic at the Moorgate
Street corner of the Bank of England. Lord Bristol would have brought
the original to London had he been allowed to remove it.

Around on the heights, one is told, "There was Mæcenas' villa, there
Sallust's, and there Horace's," but I believe the truth is doubtful,
though the positions are such as might have been chosen for their
commanding beauty.

Nearly opposite the Temple of the Sibyl, and across this romantic chasm,
the river Anio tumbles over the cliffs in a magnificent volume of water,
throwing out beautiful rainbows across the glen by its radiated vapour:

    "The green steep whence Anio leaps
     In floods of snow-white foam."

Lower down there is another smaller stream, and the two form tumultuous
rapids among the rocks below, ultimately finding their way through a
vast cavern-like opening to the plains of the Campagna, and probably at
last find the Tiber. There is a zigzag pathway leading down to the deep
valley, and we stood so close to the basin into which the water fell
that we were covered with the spray and almost deafened by the roar. All
around the sides of this glen, inside the numerous caves, and among the
jutting rocks were most beautiful maidenhair ferns; and on the mossy
terraces and banks, violets and lilies grew in luxuriant profusion. The
violets were exceedingly large and full of perfume, and we found, on
pulling some of them up, that they had immense bulbs; we took some of
the delicate little ferns and violet bulbs away as mementoes of this
lovely spot--[F]

               "Where little caves were wreathed
     So thick with leaves and mosses, that they seem'd
     Large honeycombs of green, and freshly teemed
     With airs delicious."

We thought perhaps these violets and lilies were planted originally by
the hands of some fair Roman maiden or matron centuries ago.

The Anio has most extraordinary petrifying properties. We saw whole
trunks of trees petrified like rocks, and our guide gave me a mass of
stones and leaves perfectly solid, but with every vein and stem
beautifully defined and marked. This enchanting series of glens and
grottoes was most probably the work of the distinguished Romans who
resided here, and employed their leisure in improving the natural
beauties of the place.

We had not time to visit the Cathedral and other buildings of interest.
The former was built on the ruins of the Temple of Hercules, which once
stood there. The Church of the Madonna di Quintiliolo is near the
remains of the villa of Quintilius Varus, on a hill facing that of
Mæcenas. Near the Roman gate are remains of an octagon temple or tomb,
known as Tosse; there is a Roman bridge near Ponte Celio, also a fine
old castle built by Pius II. Massive remains of the Claudian aqueduct
are to be seen here and there. The tramcar train was ready to start on
the return journey at about 3.30, so we were obliged to leave this
beautiful and interesting place. We got back to Rome at about 5.30. This
was a most enjoyable excursion, and we should have been glad to remain
longer, but it was our last day in the Eternal City, which we were now
leaving with regret.

The Post and Telegraph Offices at Rome are beautifully situated; the
walls are frescoed with Italian art, and overlook a square of tropical
gardens. Altogether it seemed more like an Arcadian Temple than a
post-office. I found by experience that this was so, for, although I had
given the name of our hotel for all letters to be forwarded to me, I was
greatly annoyed to find a large budget had been awaiting me for some
days, especially as it included a telegram from London. I fancy that the
everlasting "weed" has much to do with this dreamy forgetfulness of
important duty. Even in the Government department the cigarette seems as
necessary as the pen; from morning till night it is rarely laid aside.

Some of the hotels in Rome we thought very expensive; but the Hotel de
Ville is moderate, comfortable, and altogether satisfactory.

We found the weather too chilly to be pleasant at that time of the year,
and there was a fair quantity of rain, usually lasting about two days;
but the atmosphere was generally fresh and healthy, and some days were
warm, bright, and sunny. I should think February, March, and early April
the most agreeable months to spend there. The mornings are the best part
of the day: excursions to various places of interest should be
accomplished by 4 p.m.

I fancy many travellers expose themselves to fever, and other ills, by
neglecting to take proper nourishment at regular hours--in their
forgetfulness of health--when occupied in "sight-seeing." They should
make it a rule to commence the day by a good substantial breakfast,
instead of the French coffee and rolls in their bedroom, as is mostly
the custom; at midday, always taking care to have luncheon at their
hotel or the nearest _café_. Again, they cannot be too particular about
overcoats and other warm garments; for the marble-paved, unwarmed
churches are extremely chilling, and so are even the streets on the
shady side, at this time of the year (January). There is little doubt
that Papal and Old Rome, where most of the visitors reside, is
over-crowded and badly drained, and hence subject to typhoid and other
fevers. It is therefore to be hoped that they will prefer the more
healthful and modern quarter of the city, New Italy, near the railway
station. Under any circumstances, they cannot be too careful as to the
water they drink being properly filtered.

The bulk of the inhabitants live closely packed between the Corso and
the Tiber, some in fine palaces, splendid indeed, yet with little
comfort, the rest in small and miserable dwellings. These latter, at
least, will doubtless disappear in time as the population gradually
become aware of the expediency of rebuilding this quarter of the city,
some parts of which offer striking contrasts of gorgeous splendour and
squalid misery. Whiteside, speaking of a traveller's impression on
arriving at Rome, says, "Whithersoever he turns his eager steps he is
alternately delighted and disgusted: the majestic remains of a great
antiquity he wishes to examine with accuracy, but he stands in the midst
of inconceivable filth. He turns to the churches, sacred in the eyes of
Christians, but not safe from defilement in the City of Churches. He
notes on the map numerous piazze, which he imagines to be fine squares,
clean, if not splendid; and he observes, with few exceptions, that they
resemble waste ground reserved for the rubbish of a great city."

It is pleasant to turn to the long-deserted Eastern quarter of Rome,
where an entirely new city is being erected since the Italian
occupation. We may yet hope to see Rome worthy of her past greatness.

"His Holiness" Pope Leo XIII. has lately issued, from his small isolated
world within the walls of the Vatican, a most extraordinary letter,
addressed to Cardinal Antonius di Luca, John Baptiste Petra, and Joseph
Herzenroether, in which he shows the world at large that he has no eye
for anything but the claims of the Church, and would fain have mankind
believe that the temporal government of the Popes has been an
unappreciated blessing, and far superior to that of any other, and to
the present government of United Free Italy under the constitutional
sway of King Humbert, in particular. Since 1859 the Italians of what was
once known as the States of the Church, have been deprived of this great
blessing of the Pontifical rule, and with what dire results let us
examine.

During the period between the expulsion of King Bombina from the throne
of the two Sicilies by the Garibaldians, and the evacuation of the
Eternal City by the French in 1870, a brigand warfare was carried on, if
not under the immediate auspices of the Pope and his Cardinals, at least
with their secret support and connivance. Now, after little more than a
decade of constitutional rule, brigandage has almost disappeared from
the face of the land, and travellers are comparatively safe.

When Victor Emmanuel and the Italian troops entered Rome and took
possession of it as the Capital of Italy, free from the Alps to Taranto,
they found it a city of ruins, squalor, and hardly habitable in a
sanitary point of view. Interesting, of course, to the traveller from
its wealth of splendid relics of the past and vast treasures of art, but
as undesirable for residence as the Upas Valley. Now what does the
traveller see? A prosperous and happy population; a new city rapidly
rising on the site of the ancient "Queen of the world," with all the
conveniences, appliances, and luxuries of a modern European city.
Magnificent new streets and boulevards, lined with buildings equal to
any in Paris or London--streets traversed by tramways, and brilliantly
lighted by gas; with shops and magazines, as in other great continental
capitals. An energetic Government and municipality have planned and are
carrying out vast improvements, that bid fair in a few years to render
modern Rome not only equal to the Rome of the Cæsars in beauty and
magnificence, but as desirable a residence from a sanitary point of view
as any other city of its size.

It is proposed to embank the famous old Tiber; and already the squalid
quarter of the Ghetto has been invaded by the workmen, who are levelling
the wretched dwellings that have for so many ages rendered its name a
byword throughout the world, preparatory to the erection of new
buildings. So greatly has Rome already improved, that instead of
travellers paying it a hurried visit merely for the sake of its art
treasures, and hastening away as from a plague-stricken city, great
numbers of English and Americans make it their head-quarters for many
months. Both countries have now their own churches, a fact above all
others proving the vast change that has taken place since Italy has been
free from foreign and papal yokes. King Humbert observed, that no
greater proof of the faith England and America had in the stability of
Italian constitution could be given, than the building of these
churches. Not only have the Anglo-Saxons their churches in Rome, but
their newspaper also; and the _Italian Times_, a weekly paper printed in
English and published in Rome, is another evidence of what Italian
freedom now is. This paper, which is a staunch advocate of all
improvements, especially to those relating to sanitation, boldly takes
for its motto--"Independent in all things, neutral in none."

When all the contemplated improvements are carried out, there will be
no more delightful or healthy residence for six or eight months in the
year than this poor unfortunate city of Rome, that has been for the last
dozen years deprived of the blessings(?) of Pontifical and Cardinalite
government.

Happy indeed would be the condition of our own poor unhappy Ireland
could she also cast off the bondage and evil influences of the Papacy;
for then her gifted people would become industrious, intelligent and
loyal subjects, as the Protestant communities of Ireland are.

We found our nine days' visit all too short; it was but a race and
scamper at best, and we regretted our inability to visit all the objects
of interest in this city of museums and art galleries. The days at Rome
are very short, as most places where there is an entrance-fee (and there
are few without), are only open between the hours of ten and three. This
may be a profitable arrangement for the doorkeepers, but it is difficult
to see much in five hours.

The morning of our departure from Rome arrived at last, and we sighed at
the thoughts of having missed so much, and seen so little.

                           "The grandeur of Rome
    Could I leave it unseen, and nor yield to regret?
    With a hope (and no more) for a season to come
    Which ne'er may discharge the magnificent debt?
    Thou fortunate region! whose greatness inurned,
    Awoke to new life from its ashes and dust;
    Twice-glorified fields! if in sadness I turned
    From your infinite marvels, the sadness was just."

Ancient Roma and the remains of her past greatness will ever be
impressed upon our memories. An empire once so mighty, the Mistress of
the World; then for so long desolate and entombed, a city of ruins; and
now, phoenix-like, rising rapidly from her ashes, and preparing as
"Young Italy" to take her place as a power among the other nations of
Europe, many of whom have already welcomed her as a sister.

       *       *       *       *       *

On the morning of the 26th of January we left Rome for Naples, some 163
miles by railway.

For many miles we travelled almost in a direct line, and on a level
plain through the Campagna, close to one of the great aqueducts, and
with the Via Appia always following in the distance, until we passed the
first station, Gaimpino, when we crossed this fine old Roman road, and
wound round the base of the hills. We saw an almost endless succession
of ruins--the tombs of Pompey, Dominician, and many others of the
conquerors and arbiters of the world in bygone times. Then through
Albano and Curioli, from which Coriolanus obtained his famous surname.
Among the hills we caught glimpses every now and then of the Campagna,
bright with heather; and sometimes, also, of the blue sea beyond.

We next passed through Civita Lavinia, near the site of Lanuvium, the
birthplace of Antoninus Pius. The Via Appia here strikes across the
Pontine marshes. Velletri, the site of an old city of the Volscians, and
the birthplace of Augustus, is picturesquely situated half-way up Monte
Arriano in the Alban Hills. Its raised walls were built by Coriolanus.
Here the railway, leaving the old route towards the Naples frontier and
along the Appian Way, strikes inland among the hills. Not far from this
spot, on the old Appian coach road, is "Tres Tabernæ," or "Three
Taverns," where St Paul met the brethren after his landing at Puteoli.
This old road is so full of interest, that we hope to be able to travel
by it more leisurely on a future occasion--especially as brigandage,
once a common occurrence, is now a thing of the past, since Italy is
under a strong and honest government.

The whole route is grandly picturesque, circling round mountains and
hills, and through romantic passes; churches and towers finely pinnacled
on the summits and situated here and there on the slopes. The ancient
Romans made these places their summer residences, enclosing the wild and
wooded parts as hunting-grounds, and the more beautiful spots near the
shore as luxurious health resorts.

Travelling as usual second-class, and therefore by a slow train, the
journey was rather long. _En route_ we were allowed ample time for
luncheon at one of the stations. In a former chapter, I mentioned how
greatly wanting in necessary comfort the French railway stations were,
especially for ladies. Here in Italy I think it is, if possible, worse
still. It is really a scandal and disgrace that, while reaping so much
benefit from the stream of visitors from every part of the world,
proper accommodation is not provided for them. This is really a great
evil, and should certainly be attended to by the proper authorities
without delay.

After eight hours' journey we came through a bold pass suddenly in full
view of the sea coast, then wound round towards Naples from the south.
In the dusk of the evening, we looked forth to see--

    "How night hath hushed the clamour and the stir
     Of the tumultuous streets. The cloudless moon
     Roofs the whole city as with tiles of silver;
     The dim mysterious sea in silence sleeps;
     And straight into the air Vesuvius lifts
     His plume of smoke."

[F] Many of these are now flourishing with friends in North Wales.



                             CHAPTER XIII.

Naples--Bristol Hotel--Via Roma--King Bomba's time--Deterioration of the
Neapolitans--Museum--Churches--The Opera-house--English and Italian
beauty--Aquarium--Vesuvius--Excursion to Pompeii--Portici--A novel mode
of grooming--The entombed city--Its disinterment--Museum, streets, and
buildings--Remarks--A cold drive.


The first thing we experienced on reaching Naples was the inveterate
habit of begging and cheating among the lower classes. Our
carriage-driver began by asking three times the amount of the usual fare
for driving us to our hotel, and the whole of the way along never once
desisted from trying to persuade us that we must pay what he had asked,
and perhaps a little more. There was another fellow seated by him on the
box, evidently a "hanger-on" and friend of his, who had come with the
hopes that we should believe he had carried our luggage to the carriage,
and was therefore entitled to something. These Neapolitan beggars are as
importunate and persistent as a swarm of gnats, and it is almost
impossible to get rid of them; however, on reaching the hotel, I
requested our landlord to pay the driver the right fare, and so got quit
of the nuisance for that time at least. It is a good plan, as a rule,
for travellers to let the landlord of the hotel arrange for their
carriage hire.

We found "the Bristol" a very comfortable hotel, and happily secured a
room on the third floor, with a verandah. The situation being on high
ground above the town, on the Corso Vittorio Emmanuele, we had a fine
view of the whole of the city and harbour below, the glorious bay
beyond, and the great smoking Vesuvius on our left. There were several
other hotels on the same heights, and also a comfortable pension
establishment kept by a Scotch lady. I believe this is considered the
healthiest part of Naples.

The weather opened finely the next morning; the sky a pretty pale blue,
and the sea calm and beautiful. The bay stretching boldly round on
either side; the city clustering on the shores and up the slopes of the
hills, the busy harbour lying in the foreground, terraced gardens all
around;--

    "And yonder, see! as if in throes of death,--
     Vesuvius wreaths her foul Plutonic breath."

Yet I must confess that on the whole I was disappointed. I thought of
the lovely coast scenery around Monaco and Monte Carlo, and felt that
they exceeded in beauty the famous bay before me. The fact is, some
people rave about certain places without exactly knowing the reason why,
simply because it happens to be the correct thing to do so. "See Naples
and then die," is a common saying: we felt quite contented to "see
Naples" and go on living. I cannot but think the place has been
overrated, though I will admit that we did not see it at its best, and
that perhaps in the full glow of a summer sun it may equal the rapturous
descriptions that have been given of it. Certainly the beauties of
Nature are not appreciated by all alike, mind and sentiment influencing
us differently.

The English church was a few hundred feet below us, across the road,
through the hotel gardens. This road is a new one, and extends some
miles along the slope of the hills overlooking the town, and leads from
the extreme end of the city right round to the other side of the coast
promenade. The principal street is the Via Roma, where there are some
fairly good shops. I should say that lambskin gloves, which seem a
speciality, cameos, and corals are the only things worth buying here.
Some of the cameos cut on the natural shell are very beautiful and
unique.

Naples was an exceedingly gay city in the time of King Bomba, and as
long as it was the seat of government. It is still said to be the gayest
city in Italy, and there certainly seems to be a great pursuit after
pleasure. Excepting with those who have business to look after, life
scarcely begins till about three o'clock in the afternoon, when the
carriages roll about, up the Via Roma, and along the Riviera di Chiaja,
by the sea, which is the Rotten Row of Naples. In the time of Bomba's
despotism the people really had little else to do than to amuse
themselves, for they had then practically no voice or interest in the
government of the two Sicilies, and so became careless, luxurious, and
indolent--content to live idly on their hereditary means, smoke, gossip,
sip their chocolate, eat their macaroni, roll about in their carriages,
and wind up their monotonous and useless day at their earthly paradise,
the opera, where they gossiped and flirted to their hearts' content. In
consequence of this manner of life, the men have become effeminate, and
the women have little left of that characteristic grace and beauty that
once so distinguished the Neapolitans.

So far as I have seen, in France, Italy, and elsewhere, I am proud of my
own countrywomen. In grace, dignity, purity, and beauty, they are
pre-eminent, morally, mentally, and physically: an Englishwoman only
fulfils my idea of--

    "A perfect woman, nobly planned,
     To warm, to comfort, and command;
     And yet a spirit still, and bright
     With something of an angel light."

It was, therefore, with surprise that I gazed upon the canvases and
statues of the old masters, and wondered where they obtained their
exquisitely lovely models. From history we know that the women of Greece
and Rome were noble specimens of their sex, and worthy of imitation; but
if in later times, Correggio, Titian, and Fra Angelico, took their
models from among their own countrywomen, how lamentably the present
race must have deteriorated since their time!

The Museum of Naples is a very interesting one, and well repays a
careful examination of its contents. Unfortunately it closes at four,
but whenever we had an hour to spare during the day, we felt there could
be no mistake in repairing thither. I believe it has not its equal in
the world. Perhaps in statuary and painting the Vatican carries off the
palm, but scarcely, I think, in other treasures. "Here are united the
older and more recent collections belonging to the Crown; the Farnese
collection from Rome and Parma; those of Portici and Capodimonte; and
the excavated treasures of Herculaneum, Pompeii, Stabiæ, and Cumæ. These
united collections now form one of the finest in the world: the
Pompeiian antiquities and objects of art in particular, as well as the
bronzes from Herculaneum, are unrivalled."

Here we saw the _Farnese Bull_ group, the largest ancient piece of
sculpture in Italy. We saw also the _Farnese Hercules_, a magnificent
figure, and the _Gladiatorial Prize-fighters_; both groups are wonderful
portrayals of animal strength and manly courage. The mosaics and
frescoes are very beautiful; and there are some wonderfully preserved
Egyptian mummies, which, in their double casings or coffins, after two
thousand years, still defy the ravages of time, the teeth and nails in
many cases being quite perfect. The Pompeiian collection was especially
interesting to us, perhaps because, although so ancient, their discovery
has been of such comparatively recent date. Many of the bodies of those
who perished have been wonderfully recovered and preserved in the very
posture in which death so suddenly overtook and entombed them some
eighteen centuries ago. Every little detail of dress and drapery has
been preserved in a really wonderful manner by Florelli's process of
pouring liquid plaster into the mould formed by the lava in which the
body was encased, and which had retained every line and fold of face and
drapery; as soon as the plaster hardened, the mould was lifted off with
the greatest precaution, and on the lava and ashes being removed, a
perfect cast of the living figure it had once contained appeared.

We regarded these painful figures with deep and mournful interest. There
was one of a woman, apparently of the poorer classes, who had been
overtaken by the deadly shower while endeavouring to save a young girl,
probably her daughter; the coarse texture of their raiment is distinctly
visible, and the smooth, rounded arms of the little maid may be
discerned through the rent sleeves. Another stately figure, evidently a
Roman matron, has gathered together her little treasures, with which she
hopes to escape; her draperies, disordered and caught up at one side,
display limbs of sculptured beauty. An aged man--apparently an invalid
from the thin and shrunken extremities--rests with his head leaning on
his hand exactly as he was overtaken by the fearful storm of pumice and
lava. These and many others were buried while yet alive, their features
plainly telling of the agonizing thoughts that flashed across their
minds at the moment of death, and every detail about them telling of
the hurriedness of their attempted flight.

The collection of old coins in this Museum, is, I believe, the finest in
the world, and the cabinets of ancient gems and crystals are exceedingly
beautiful. Then there is the library of papyri--rolls found at
Herculaneum, and a perfect model of the city of Pompeii. There are also
many other rooms full of interesting relics of the two unfortunate
cities--wonderful works of art in crystal, stone, and bronze, much of
which cannot even be imitated in the present day. Altogether this Museum
is a very temple of ancient treasure, and should make us humble in the
knowledge that we now possess.

We visited the Aquarium, which is quite unique in its way, and one of
the finest in the world. Here, in a series of great glass tanks, we saw
collected all the marvellous wonder and beauty of the great deep, every
branch and species of sea creature from the coral and the sponge to the
highest form of marine life. The most wonderful thing of all, we
thought, and certainly the most novel to us, was a kind of animated
purple thread, which spun itself out to such an extent that there was
only a long cobweb left perceptible; this, floating about, after a time
showed extraordinary muscular strength and energy, gathering itself
together into a compact purple tassell or worm. The jelly-fish were also
remarkably beautiful, with their graceful movements and purple glancing
hues. This Aquarium certainly gave us a little comprehension of the
marvellous beauty of oceanic life.

Of the 250 churches at Naples, few possess a great amount of interest,
though some of them are well worth visiting. The Duomo San Gennaro, in
the Strada del Duomo, is a large and handsome Cathedral. It is built on
the sites of the temples of Neptune and Apollo, and contains several
tombs of great men. It is here that the supposed miracle of the
liquefaction of the blood of St. Januarius is "performed" twice or
thrice a year.

One evening we went to the grand Teatro Reale di San Carlo, paying
sixteen shillings for a couple of _Pit_ tickets. It is an immense house,
supposed to be the largest in the world, gorgeously decorated, with six
tiers of boxes, and capable of holding several thousand people. There
was not a large audience, however, and as I looked round, eager to
discover some of the living ideals of Italian loveliness, I was
disappointed to find that but few of the Neapolitan ladies possessed any
commanding grace or beauty, neither did their dress betoken much
refinement of taste. As the theatre is the time and place for the fair
sex to shine its brightest, I took this as a convincing proof that my
previous strictures on Italian beauty were not unjust or uncharitable.
The opera, which chanced to be "Lucia di Lammermoor," was very good,
both vocally and instrumentally, and the dancing was clever and
graceful, but to our English eye bordering on the immodest; the
spectators, however, greatly applauded it, and probably they were the
best judges.

Vesuvius smoked continually during the day, and occasionally shot forth
lurid flames into the darkness of the night. We had a capital view of
his volcanic performances from our hotel windows, and found it
interesting to watch his eccentric ebullitions. Most of our
fellow-travellers made the ascent, but as we did not intend to make any
stay in Naples--my wife being anxious to pay a long-promised visit to
her sister in Malta--we decided to defer the expedition to some future
occasion, particularly as we wished to make an excursion to Pompeii, the
collection at the museum having greatly interested us and aroused our
curiosity. Nowadays the ascent of Vesuvius is no great climb; its four
thousand feet are quickly traversed by the funicular railway, which
takes visitors nearly the entire distance.

Up to this time the weather had been just comfortably warm, but suddenly
the wind shifted to the north-east, and blew bitterly cold.
Unfortunately, it was the very day of our proposed visit to Pompeii, and
as it was our last day in Naples, we were unable to defer it for more
favourable weather.

The drive is some eighteen miles, and no amount of rugs and wraps seemed
to protect us from the piercing wintry wind, and keep us warm.

Circling round the southern part of the bay, which is very crowded and
somewhat dirty, the sloping shores being lined with macaroni
manufactories, we soon passed through the ancient town of Portici,
which was once a place of considerable importance, and possesses a royal
palace built by Charles III., and adorned with pictures and frescoes
from Pompeii, and a museum of statues, arms, bronzes, and furniture
taken from the buried city. We next passed Herculaneum, and the town of
Resina, which is built over it; Vesuvius and the hilly country on our
left, and handsome suburban villas built on lava beds sloping down to
the sea on our right. The road, being cut through the original stream of
lava, was covered by the traffic with a thick white dust, which did not
by any means conduce to our comfort, for the nipping wind blew it up
into our faces in clouds, and the glare, caused by the occasional bursts
of sunshine, was exceedingly trying to the eyes. We were not sorry to
come to the end of our cold, two hours' journey, and find a cheerful
wood fire blazing in the little Pompeiian restaurant by which to warm
our half-frozen feet, and also something welcome in the way of
refreshment. Our little wiry horse had certainly done his duty, and
deserved our gratitude. We found the town pretty full of visitors who
had driven up, and there were continual fresh arrivals. Therefore, we
soon moved away to secure a guide to the erst entombed city. We had been
much amused, watching the novel mode of refreshment indulged in by the
active little animal that had so speedily brought us on our journey. He
had been unharnessed and taken to a bare spot thickly covered with dark
lava sand. This he seemed greatly to appreciate, for, after pawing the
ground gratefully for a few moments, down he went, and commenced rolling
himself over and over with great energy; by-and-by he rose like a giant
refreshed, and fell to on his provender most voraciously. This scene
reminded me of one I had often witnessed at the Cape of Good Hope, where
sand is often similarly used as an excellent and economical substitute
for grooming--the sand absorbs the perspiration, and is most refreshing
to the poor beasts.

Passing up the hillside through a little plantation at the back of the
restaurant, we soon came to the military station of specially selected
soldiers, who have the care of the ruins and at the same time act as
guides to the visitors. Fortunately, we chanced upon a very intelligent
and obliging fellow, who spoke English fluently--a sergeant, who,
without being loquacious, was sufficiently communicative to make an
agreeable companion and cicerone.

Paying an entrance-fee of two lire each, we passed through the
turnstile, and were soon quite absorbed in the ruins around us. The
Italian Government, bearing all the expense of disentombing Pompeii,
probably look to recoup themselves by the entrance-fees of the numerous
visitors who flock to see the long-buried city.

We saw gangs of men and boys clearing away great mounds of pumice and
dark lava mould from the ancient streets, which had not seen the light
for eighteen centuries, and over which the vine had been planted, and
the corn had waved through many generations. It has been demonstrated by
an examination of the older crater, that in the great eruption of
A.D. 79 Vesuvius first threw up its superficial contents--and,
in fact, the very crust of the mountain itself, which, being of a light
friable nature, blew over to the more distant city of Pompeii,
accompanied by showers of hot water--and it was after this first
outbreak that a flood of molten lava poured in a torrent over the nearer
city, and enfolded Herculaneum in a bed of rock. There is evidence that
Pompeii had been warned of the impending disaster by an earthquake; we
have no means yet of knowing whether Herculaneum received a similar
warning, but the probability is that it was overwhelmed with awful
suddenness.

Pompeii now reposes on an elevated grassy plain, partly encircled by
fine ranges of hills, which on the eastern side stretch out towards
Castellamare, and at the present time have one or two of their loftiest
summits topped with snow. It is now some two or three miles from the
sea, which is supposed to have receded at the time of the eruption, for
Pompeii, when entombed, was a fashionable watering-place. It was here
that Senator Livinius Regulus fixed his residence when banished from
Rome in 59; and we learn from Suetonius, that the emperor Claudius had a
villa here. He mentions it incidentally as the place where the Emperor's
little son died in a singular manner: the child threw a pear up in the
air, and caught it in his mouth, and, before any one could come to his
assistance, died from choking.

Pompeii was rediscovered in 1748, by Don Rocca Alcubura, Spanish Colonel
of Engineers. "Nearly seventeen centuries had rolled away when it was
disinterred from its silent tomb, all vivid with undimmed hues--its
walls fresh as if painted yesterday; scarcely a hue faded on the rich
mosaic of its floors. In its forum the half-finished columns as left by
the workman's hands, in its gardens the sacrificial tripod, in its halls
the chest of treasure, in its baths the strigil, in its theatres the
counter of admission, in its saloons the furniture and the lamp, in its
triclinia the fragments of the last feast, in its cubicula the perfumes
and the rouge of faded beauty--and everywhere the bones and skeletons of
those who once moved the springs of that minute yet gorgeous machine of
luxury and of life." The process of disentombment was not proceeded with
very rapidly at first; it lingered on, in not too skilful hands, till
Garibaldi appointed Alexandre Dumas as superintendent of the work in
1860. This, however, did not improve matters; the great novelist lived
at Naples in first-rate style on the liberal income allowed him, and
after one visit to the scene of operation, left the work to take care of
itself. All was changed, however, under the _régime_ of Signor Florelli,
who united the most enthusiastic interest in the work to eminent skill
and unwearied patience. Since he undertook the management, the
excavations have been made on a scale, and with a care, that will soon
exhaust whatever objects still remain buried under the ashes.

Our guide first took us into the Museum, where we saw under glass cases
some of the Pompeiian corpses, so wonderfully preserved by the plaster
of Paris process, described in our visit to the Museum at Naples; also
many other most interesting mementoes of the buried city, too numerous
to mention. From thence we roamed out into the deserted streets:

    "I stood within the city disinterred;
       And heard the autumnal leaves like light footfalls
     Of spirits passing through the streets; and heard
       The Mountain's slumberous voice at intervals
       Thrill through those roofless walls."

The roofless state of the houses seems to have been caused, partly by
the weight of matter which collected on them, and also from the fact of
their being principally composed of wood, which was burnt by the red-hot
stones that fell in showers from the burning mountain. There was,
however, always sufficient of the building remaining to tell whether it
had been a shop or a private residence, and, if the former, to
distinguish what particular business had been carried on there: for
instance, we found the bakers' ovens nearly perfect; while the
wine-shops had great stone pitchers of the "Ali Baba" kind sunk into the
counter, for cooling purposes, with the necks just showing above. The
money-changers' shops were all marked by some such inscription as "Money
is the thing worshipped here" (nothing new under the sun, thought I).
Then there were the baths, arranged on the Roman principle (that which
is erroneously known in the present day as the Turkish system), with
rooms for graduated temperature, and all the conveniences for
heating-places and niches for ointments and unguents, etc., to be used
after the luxury of the bath. The private dwellings were most
attractive, with their frescoed chambers, fountains, and open courts.
Few of the houses had any windows; the light probably being admitted
from the roof above, and reflected from the marble tanks of water in the
centre of the court. But even under this hypothesis, I cannot help
thinking the ancients had some other means of catching the light and
diffusing it in their apartments, in some such manner as the Chappuis'
reflectors we now use, though no certain evidence is yet forthcoming
that they did so. There were places of amusement, and even places of
vice, all distinctly noted: the Chalcidicum or Hall of Justice, the
Street of the Tombs, Senate-houses, schools, Forums, and Temples,
amphitheatres and coliseums--principally, of course, mere ruins, but
still showing great beauty of design and finish. Most of the walls had
evidently been veneered with marble about an inch or two thick; and
there was, in some of the rooms, space left between the walls for
heating purposes. It is said that at the time of the eruption Pompeii
was still unfinished, indeed, that the preceding earthquake had
interrupted the Romans in beautifying the city: there were pointed out
to us several columns and buildings that had evidently been prepared for
the veneering process, and never been completed. Many of the mosaic
floors are in fine preservation, as are also the paintings and frescoes
on the walls. One beautiful little shrine or grotto made of mosaics and
shells is singularly interesting and unique.

The streets, which were all made on the slant for draining purposes, are
very narrow, just wide enough for one carriage or chariot to pass up at
a time. They are paved with lava stone, which is bleached white with the
rain, and has been preserved so by its long entombment; here and there
in the centre are raised oval stones, not interfering with the traffic,
and affording convenient stepping-stones to foot-passengers during wet
weather. When a chariot entered one of these streets, the word was
quickly passed, to prevent another entering at the other end until it
had gone through, and this was supposed to be the duty of the owners of
the little shops on each side of the way.

On such a nipping day, it was impossible to help thinking how cold the
place must have been with so much marble and cold water about; but the
theory is, that the climate has very much changed since the days of
Glaucus and Ione. When at Rome, our guide told us that even within his
recollection the temperature there had altered considerably, and had
become much colder.

It seemed a great pity to spend only a few hours among these most
interesting ruins; but as we were obliged to get back to Naples by
evening, to be ready for our departure for Sicily on the morrow, we did
not stop at Herculaneum on our return, as had been our intention; it
was really so cold during the return drive that we were quite thankful
when we sighted our hotel once more. We made a mental resolve, however,
to pay a longer visit to Naples some day, and take our time over
visiting the two buried cities and other places of interest that we were
obliged to miss on the present occasion.



                             CHAPTER XIV.

Unprecedented cold of 1883--Departure from Naples--Virgil's Tomb--Journey
to Messina--Italy's future--Scylla and Charybdis--Beautiful Messina--The
_Electrico_--Malta--Knight Crusaders--Maltese society--An uncommon fish--
An earthquake at sea--Journey to Palermo--Picturesque scenery--Etna--Among
the mountains--The lights of Palermo.


There seems to have been quite an unprecedented winter in the
Mediterranean this year (1883). Marseilles, Cannes, Nice, Mentone,
Genoa, and other places, were all affected by the extreme and unusual
cold--Stromboli, and even Etna, were quite capped with snow, while in
the north of Europe the weather was comparatively mild. It was rather
unfortunate for us that it should have been so; having travelled to
escape the cold in our own island home, we had certainly not bargained
for it pursuing us wherever we went. The residents, more particularly
the poor of these semi-tropical places, were much to be pitied for the
uncommon severity with which these bleak and cutting winds visited them.
As a rule, Naples is considered tonic and bracing, not unlike Brighton,
and is exceedingly pleasant in late summer and autumn, but in the early
part of the year is trying to delicate persons. I do not think it is a
healthy place for continual residence, for the sewerage and water supply
are both very defective, and the place is over-crowded by a population
anything but clean in its habits. This, and the begging, cheating
propensities of the lower classes, go very far to counterbalance its
natural beauty of situation, and I was obliged to confess myself
decidedly disappointed in the Naples of which I had heard and expected
so much.

The hotel expenses are much the same as at Rome, and no matter how you
try to economize and cut down expenditure, you will find, when you
arrive home and tot up the figures, that the average amount per day,
travelling included, is no less than £1 for each person. You may of
course forego wines, etc., but in so doing you take your chance of being
poisoned with the water, which is very bad here, and which no one seems
to think of filtering or improving in any way. This is a great pity, and
it is to be hoped that the matter will soon receive a due amount of
attention, and that means will be taken to secure an adequate supply of
pure water, without which no place can really be considered healthy.

We remained at Naples in all five days, and on January 25th left for
Messina, from whence my wife was to make her journey to Malta, and
remain with her sister, awaiting my return to the south, for I found my
presence was required in London for a short time.

We felt genuine regret and compunction at being obliged to leave the
"Queen of the summer sea" without paying our devoirs at the tomb of
Virgil, father of Latin poets. The last resting-place of the "dead king
of melody"--he who, in his own words, "sung of shepherds, fields, and
heroes' deeds" (cecini pascua, rura, duces)--lies "shadowed by the wild
ivy," in the road leading from Naples to Puteoli:

    "Ivy and flowers have half o'ergrown
     And veiled his low sepulchral stone:
     Yet still the spot is holy still,
     Celestial footsteps mount the hill."

We had unfortunately been unable to make any excursions in this
direction, owing to our limited time.

The railway journey to Messina is both tedious and expensive, we
therefore secured berths in one of the Florio line of steamers. The day
of our departure was enjoyably warm and sunny--though perhaps a little
too warm to be pleasant in the dirty and crowded harbour of Naples,
which is the chief lounging-place of all the idlers and beggars of the
city; yet under this burst of summer sunshine Naples was in smiles
again, and we saw something of her natural beauty.

By the time the crowds of boatmen had done quarrelling with one another
to secure our fare, we were glad to get away from their Babel, and get
on board the vessel--the boatman, of course, doing all in his power to
charge us treble fare! There were some half-dozen passengers in the
saloon, travellers like ourselves. Our departure was somewhat delayed
by the steamer having to carry a regiment of soldiers to Sicily, and we
got off at six o'clock in the evening--only about an hour after the time
of starting, which was very punctual for Italians.

Naples, illuminated, and gradually enfolded in the gathering shadows of
night, is in truth a beautiful sight, and the occasional bursts of
bright flame from Vesuvius added a touch of imposing grandeur to the
scene we viewed from the deck, as we steamed away for the Straits of
Messina.

Dinner passed pleasantly; we had a very agreeable captain, and the
smoothness of the water enabled the ladies to enjoy it in comfort, and
also to spend an hour or two on deck afterwards, in the full beauty of
the clear moon and cloudless star-lit skies--

           "Then gentle winds arose
            With many a mingled close
    Of wild Æolian sound and mountain odours keen:
            And where the Baian ocean
            Welters with air-like motion,
    Within, above, around its bowers of starry green."

Who could be surrounded by such influences without thinking kindly and
tender thoughts of the glorious land that owns such a sea and sky? I
mused over Italy--her past, her present, and the bright future which I
hope awaits her. The Papal star is growing dim; the pageantry of the
Dark Ages is fading out, and the minds of men awakening. Slowly, but I
trust surely, a more enlightened era is approaching; and perhaps the
nineteenth century will see the last of superstition, which has held
the minds and hearts of men in such an iron grasp.

God has His own wondrous and omnipotent way of working, and man can but
guess at the manner and means by which the problems that perplex him
will be solved in the end.

           "Great Spirit, deepest Love!
            Which rulest and dost move
    All things which live and are, within the Italian shore;
            Who spreadest heaven around it,
            Whose woods, rocks, waves surround it;
    Who sittest in thy star, o'er Ocean's western floor!

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Oh, with thy harmonizing ardours fill
      And raise thy sons, as o'er the prone horizon
      Thy lamp feeds every twilight wave with fire--
      Be man's high hope and unextinct desire,
      The instrument to work Thy Will divine!"

The next morning we found ourselves close to the Stromboli group of
islands. Nearly all were capped with snow, and, with the sea around and
the blue sky above, formed a charming picture.

Soon after breakfast we were steaming through the beautiful straits, and
passing the famous Scylla and Charybdis, the former a low dark cliff
topped by an old castle, and with a little town nestling below. The sea
varied its colour constantly--blue, green, brown, and even red, mingling
and changing in the bright sunshine. As we neared Messina, we were
struck with admiration at its exceeding beauty.

"Messina sits like a queen, her white robes sweeping the sea. Never was
city so exquisitely poised between earth and sky! Very beautiful, with
fair white face, the poetic lines of your mountain drapery about you;
the azure straits gliding past you in homage, and bringing the world's
treasures to your feet! Very beautiful, but false and fickle and
cowardly in every phase of your history, a ready victim for every
invader, a facile prey, ever siding with the strongest!"

Thus a late writer, whose pen has charmingly described her life in this
lovely island.

At noon we anchored in the finely sheltered harbour, the finest, indeed,
in the Mediterranean. The commerce and shipping of Messina are most
extensive, and make her quite cosmopolitan. The city undulates with a
gentle rise, so as to present to the highest advantage every fine
building, the exceeding purity and whiteness of which is thrown up by
the dark green forest behind. In speaking of Genoa, I remarked that its
situation was unequalled in its imposing grandeur; and here in Messina
we have a beauty equally unsurpassed, though of a different kind;
perhaps as a bit of our English landscape would compare with the grander
Scotch loch scenery--a soft, bewitching, and enticing loveliness. The
style of architecture resembles that of Pisa.

We had only a few hours here, as the steamer for Malta was to leave the
same evening. There was sufficient time, however, to take a walk through
the town, which has fine and well-paved streets. There is but little of
antiquity left in Messina, except the old Cathedral, which contains
some good mosaics and bas-reliefs; and perhaps a few mementoes of the
gallant Knight Crusaders, who sorrowfully made this their temporary home
about the year 1523, after surrendering Rhodes to the hated Moslem. The
constant earthquakes, as well as the many vicissitudes of war it has
passed through, has destroyed all other relics of the past.

The hotel charges and living generally were exceedingly moderate, more
so than we had experienced since leaving England. I believe this is the
case with all the hotels in Sicily, the soil being so prolific and
productive. At 5 p.m. I saw my wife on board the Florio steamer
_Electrico_, which carried the mails, and was due at Malta the next
morning about six. It was a nice little paddle vessel, and her captain a
very gentlemanly officer; the stewardess, though a Maltese, spoke
English, and so I felt my wife would be comfortable and well cared for
during the voyage. Unfortunately, however, the wind increased, and by
morning there was quite a gale blowing, which made me a little anxious
about her safe arrival.

I was pleased that my wife should visit this small but most memorable
island, though I was unable to accompany her, as there are so many
historic associations attaching to it. During my Naval career from the
Crimean War days, I had myself often been to Malta, but to her it would
indeed be a new world.

Malta, or Melita, is probably chiefly interesting to English people as
their great Mediterranean stronghold and Naval Arsenal; to Christendom,
for the glorious deeds of the brave and self-sacrificing Knights of St.
John, and as the place where the great apostle to the Gentiles was cast
ashore and bitten by the viper, and where he preached so fervently and
effectually. These are probably the best-remembered events touching the
history of Malta. That it was originally colonized by the Phoenicians,
and taken from them by the Greeks some eight hundred years
B.C.; then captured by the Carthaginians, and afterwards by the
Romans, Vandals and Goths, Saracens and Normans successively; and,
finally, was attached to the Government of Sicily--few would care
perhaps to go far enough back to remember, content simply to commence
with its glorious and imperishable history in connection with the
chivalrous Knight Crusaders.

Owing chiefly to the labours of the brave Knights, under their grand old
masters, L'Isle Adam and La Valette, and their skill and heroism in
defending it from the repeated assaults of the Moslem,--of the Crescent
against the Cross, the fortifications are a marvel of almost impregnable
strength and engineering ability, and, owing to its wonderful provision
of underground granaries, etc., could stand a siege for years. These
great mathematical, dazzling granite walls, bristling with big guns, and
rising defiantly and almost abruptly out of the blue sea, form a proud
sight to Englishmen when approached from seaward. And, then, glancing at
its geographical position, almost in the centre of the Mediterranean, in
proximity to three Continents, and taking into consideration that other
great stronghold (the door to the Mediterranean, of which Englishmen are
even more proud), Gibraltar--and our interest in the East, one gets some
idea of its great maritime importance to England. The harbours, the
great docks (capable of holding the largest ironclads) and stores for
the equipment of our fleets, the frowning ramparts rising tier upon tier
above and around, amply confirm this impression.

But how different the Malta of to-day, with its marvellously cultivated
soil; its teeming, peaceful, and prosperous population, great docks,
fine city, and developed industries,--to the days when the valiant
Knights of St. John, under their brave old Grand-Master, L'Isle Adam,
almost sorrowfully took possession of it, as the permanent home of the
Order, when, alas! all seemed nearly lost to them! Yes, it was then
indeed but a barren, arid rock. Though wondrously fertile, considering
the small quantity of soil, Malta is still little else than a huge
fortress and series of sun-smitten rocks; and therefore, beyond the
great docks and fortifications, not very interesting except for its
history and mementoes of past glory--for there is little or no beautiful
country to see, no undulating plains, hills, lakes, or forests, but
endless rocks, stone walls, old palaces, guns, soldiers, churches, and
priests.

On arriving, however, from the sea, it is a lively scene inside the
harbour; the moles and creeks crowded with shipping, all trimly stowed
in serried rows. Hundreds of gaily painted Venetian-like boats dart off
from the shore, with their picturesquely dressed boatmen curiously
facing one another while pulling and pushing the boat along--for, says
the legend, one day the man pulling stroke suddenly missed the bowman,
and as he was never found, it was gravely supposed the devil had walked
off with him (a little before his time, for the Maltese are great
rascals, and are exceedingly superstitious), and ever since they have
faced each other, for self-protection against another Diabolical
surprise! Shoals of these boats dart off from the shore immediately on
the arrival of a ship. The "bumboat," laden with delicious fruits and
every kind of fresh provender to tempt the Blue jacket and hungry
midshipman--in my own days, utterly sick of the "salt-horse" (salt meat)
and weevilly biscuit; but now, alas! the sailor is a spoilt child and
quite daintily fed, hence the bumboat is not so great a treat to him
when coming from "blue water." Then there are legions of washwomen (much
to the relief of the officers' marine servants, who in "olden times" had
to do all their masters' washing when at sea), declaring, of course,
that they have done your washing "ages ago." Hungry tailors and other
tradesmen also besiege the ship, swarming on board to make the most out
of the new arrivals. And oh, what a Babel-like jargon of tongues
alongside--with a hundred church bells ringing and clanging around--and
the fierce though harmless quarrelling of the Maltese boatmen! Then, on
landing at one of the quays, after having, of course, been cheated in
the fare (for the Maltese will never lose an opportunity of robbing you,
though, to give the creature his due, he will not let any one else do so
if he can prevent it--you are his own sweet pastures, and his solely),
we pass through the motley, swarthy crowd of boatmen and fishermen, and,
holding our nose to exclude the rancid smell of fish, boiling oil, and
powerful odours of garlic, commence the ascent of the dreaded endless
series of stone stairs up to the city of Valetta. And, when under a
powerful sun such as one can experience at Malta in, say, July, and
before we reach the top, how often do Byron's truthful words occur to
us:

    "Adieu, ye joys of La Valette!
     Adieu, scirocco, sun, and sweat!
     Adieu, ye cursed streets of stairs!
     How surely he who mounts you swears!"

A friend who had long resided at Malta, suggested a slight alteration in
the above to--

    "Adieu, ye streets of stinks and stairs!"

The reason for these wearisome steps was, I believe, owing to the
following facts:--After the brave old knight, La Valette, had repulsed
the Turks with great slaughter, and had consequently obtained a little
breathing time, he set about re-fortifying the island and rebuilding the
city, with the intention of levelling the rocky parapet for its
foundation; but, owing to reports of another expedition of the Moslem
being fitted out at Constantinople, for a still more powerful and
revengeful attack on their fortress, the city had to be finished
quickly, and so was built on the rocky slope in all haste--and hence the
steep flight of steps leading up to the highest part of the city from
the harbour.

Having taken breath, we move on and find ourselves in the stony narrow
streets of the city, almost every other person met with being a priest
or a nun, the church bells still clanging with utmost discord around.
The houses, with their green painted jalousies, are all built of a kind
of white limestone, and so reflect the dazzling heat and glare of the
sun as to prove exceedingly painful and injurious to the eyes; hence,
ophthalmia is rather prevalent at Malta. Never was there a place so
priest-ridden and superstitious; everywhere in the streets, under the
lamps at the corners, within niches cut in the walls, you see some
painted image of a saint, bedizened with jewels, silver and gold and
tinsel, grandly painted and decorated--the objects of abject adoration
to the benighted poor people and other passers-by. Indeed, of late years
some very serious disturbances have occurred at Malta, because our
soldiers and sailors would not bow down before some superstitious
priestly procession through the streets; and one feels ashamed to
confess (no longer for an Englishman _civis Romanus_) that some of these
men were punished for not doing so. Surely it should be enough that the
Maltese are allowed full freedom to enjoy their own religious, or rather
grossly superstitious, ceremonies!

In many of the palaces and churches in the city, there are very
interesting mementoes of the gallant Knight Crusaders; and the pictures
and tapestries are also very fine. Few edifices are more full of
mediæval interest than the Church of St. John, with all its treasured
relics of the brave, self-denying Knights of Malta. I scarcely think
that we in this nineteenth century quite realize the service rendered to
Christendom in their deeds of heroism and noble self-sacrifice. It was
their indomitable power and courage alone, at one time and another, that
prevented the Moslem from overrunning and devastating Europe and the
Christian world, and the fair Mediterranean shores from becoming a prey
to the hordes of merciless and cruel pirates which would have followed
in their wake. One cannot look at the great forts of Malta without a
glow of the deepest admiration for, and gratitude to, those valiant
Knights of St. John, who held the place for so many months, all alone,
against the whole power of the Moslem under the great Solyman. There at
St. Elmo, a handful of brave Knights kept the army and fleets of the
powerful Mustapha at bay, and hurled them back in assault after assault,
the walls gaping with breaches; and then, when all had been done that
brave men could do, and further resistance was hopeless, in simple
obedience to the stern commands of their loved Grand-Master, La Valette,
and to save the city and the other forts, these brave Knights preferred
death at their posts, and that a cruel death, rather than dishonour.
Wounded knights were actually wheeled on chairs to the breaches, and
there died like heroes. And the Christian world, meanwhile, stood by
with bated breath at such heroism, and awaiting the dreadful issue.

Then, when the victorious Moslem, mad with the blood of the St. Elmo
garrison, threw their united forces against the other great forts,
especially St. Angelo, where the brave Valette was in command, the
gallant besieged, inspired by the undaunted courage of their chief, long
resisted their impetuous assaults; and on the glorious 8th of September,
1565, compelled the shattered armies of the Turks to raise the siege
(leaving twenty thousand of their dead behind), and leave them alone for
ever. The Christian world once more breathed freely and was grateful.
Ever afterwards--and I believe to this day--the 8th of September has
been held in reverence by the Maltese, and kept almost as a sacred
festival, in remembrance of their great deliverance, and of the brave
Knights who fought and died so heroically.

The capital of Valetta, or rather Valette, founded in 1566, and named
after the chivalrous Grand-Master, John de Valette, was subjected to
such extensive and judicious improvements under the late governorship of
Sir Gaspard le Marchant, as to compare with many a fine colonial city.
An infinite amount of interest centres round the old Phoenician Città
Vecchia, with its numerous catacombs, and the ancient palace of St.
Antonio, where, within the last decade a little English princess,
Victoria Melita, first saw the light. A very peculiar stone quarry-like
appearance is given to Malta from the fact of its being much divided off
into small gardens, surrounded by extraordinarily high and thick walls,
in order to protect the valuable orange, lemon, and other numerous and
varied fruit-bearing trees, from the tempestuous and destructive winds
which frequently visit the island--by the name of scirocco, etc.--and
from this cause little verdure can be seen until you are on a level with
the plantations.

Though tradition says that most of the soil was originally brought to
Malta in ship-loads, etc., from Sicily and other places, I am not very
much inclined to believe it; still, there is comparatively little soil
in the island, and it is therefore astonishing to see how the place
abounds in vegetables and fruits, and almost every kind of flower, among
which are some very rare and high order of orchids. It is said that even
potatoes are exported from Malta to Greece, Turkey, and also to England,
though the root was introduced into the island only forty years ago.
What little land there is, is certainly marvellously cultivated, and
speaks volumes for the thrifty industry of the Maltese; indeed, I have
often heard that a Maltese could live luxuriously where even a canny
Scotchman would starve. It is said that a greater number of people live
in Malta than in the same number of square miles anywhere else in the
world.

There is a fishing industry at Malta, some of the more extensive bays
being completely interlaced with huge nets sunken perpendicularly. This
kind of preserve extends some miles, and is, I think, used chiefly for
catching the great tunny-fish. I shall not easily forget some little
experience of these nets during my Naval career. Being caught in a
fierce gale of wind outside Malta, we ran for a bay called Marsa
Scirocco, lying on the lee side of the island, and to our great
astonishment found ourselves firmly enmeshed in a gigantic net, parts of
it entangling our screw propeller. Indeed, the ship could not be
released until we had almost cut the net to pieces; for which our
Government had to pay some hundreds of pounds sterling to the
proprietors of the fish-preserve.

Vast quantities of mackerel and other fish are also caught, dried, and
exported to the various adjacent Roman Catholic countries; but, I
believe, excepting perhaps shellfish--prawns, lobsters, crabs,
etc.--there is little or no fresh fish worth eating.

Maltese society is very proud and exclusive, and dreadfully reserved and
jealous of the English community; indeed, little or no sympathy exists
between them, which is much to be regretted. The nobility, so-called,
are seemingly content to live almost to themselves, as it were in the
past, amongst their ancient ancestry (putting one in mind of Mr. and
Mrs. German Reed's entertainment of "Ages Ago") rather than in the
present and with the people surrounding them. They are reputed to be
excessively mean and close, but perhaps they have but a scanty allowance
to support their nobility, and therefore, by necessity, it is half
starved. A friend who has resided at Malta many years, related to me a
little incident of his own experience. For once breaking through their
usual reserve, an Englishman was invited to the funeral of one of the
Maltese nobility; when, in accordance with the usual rites, a candle or
taper is provided by the mourners, which is generally carried home by
each as a memento, and perhaps as possessing some virtue from the
priestly blessing. But the day after the funeral, much to his surprise
and disgust, having simply taken it as a mark of respect to the family,
he was requested to return the said candle, "_which had only been lent
to him_."

There is, however, apart from the Maltese element, plenty of society at
Malta, amongst the English community, governor, and Naval and Military
officers. Indeed, in the season it is rather a gay place. There is, or
used to be, a very good little opera-house, where some of the most
eminent _prima donnas_ (Spamezi and Pareppa, etc.) made their _debût_;
for the society at Malta is supposed to constitute rather a critical
audience; and if an _artiste_ once succeeds in winning its approval, she
may go to England without fear and trembling.

Malta is, I believe, considered one of the most favoured of health
resorts (especially since our good Queen Adelaide resided there), and
particularly for chest complaints. But, from my own experience and that
of many others (Europeans) who have resided there a long time, I can
scarcely reconcile this to fact. It is exceedingly hot and oppressive in
summer, the glare from the rocks and stone buildings being very
injurious to the eyes, and the heat retained by the limestone during the
day making the houses very close and sultry in the night. Towards autumn
and winter there are violent atmospheric changes, and it would appear
that the spring-time of the year and early autumn are really the only
seasons in which the weather is agreeable.

I remember about December, in the year 1855, after returning from the
Crimean War, being a whole fortnight in a dreadful gale and hurricane
outside Malta. There was a tremendous sea, sometimes vivid forked
lightning, thunder, and heavy rains, the skies as black as ink. Indeed,
it was a grand and extraordinary scene, the sea in a wild and curious
commotion, rearing up around us as it were in little mountains, and
breaking in upon us in all directions,--washing away some of our boats,
and tumbling the vessel about in a most eccentric and exceedingly
uncomfortable manner, almost as if the bottom of the sea were sinking
beneath us. One night was particularly dreadful and awfully grand; the
forked lightning cutting the black clouds asunder, the winds howling
terribly, and occasionally an outburst of flame,--or rather the
reflection of it, from the far-distant Mount Etna splendidly lighting up
for a moment the black sky. It was a strange and wonderful sight,
bringing home to me the truth of the Psalmist's words, "They that go
down to the sea in ships, and occupy their business in great waters;
these men see the works of the Lord and His wonders in the deep," etc.

Having at last put safely into Malta, we were not much surprised to hear
that while we were at sea there had been violent earthquakes felt at
Malta, and nearly all round the Mediterranean. At Malta there was great
consternation; the houses were almost rocking, the church bells clanging
to drive away the supposed evil spirit, and the people sitting up with
lighted tapers.

As regards the reputed healthfulness of Malta, I think it is a mistake,
for I believe the sanitary arrangement and sewerage system are extremely
faulty, especially in the old part of the city, where the wells are
absolutely contaminated and unsafe to use without boiling and filtering
the water. There is also a kind of bad and dangerous intermittent fever
at Malta, like that at Gibraltar--endemic, I should think. My wife has
recently lost a very dear sister (who resided in this island), chiefly,
I believe, from these last two causes, and hence I speak rather
earnestly on the subject.

Altogether, what with fever, ophthalmia, etc., one can scarcely call
Malta a healthy place. The fact is, in that latitude, with so
over-crowded a population, the natives most unclean in their habits, and
with faulty and inadequate sewerage system, one could not expect
otherwise.

In February, March, and a part of April, when my wife was there, the
weather was unsettled, stormy, and cold nearly all the time.

Strada Reale, where the great public square and governor's palace are, I
believe, is (or used to be) the principal street, and the shops there
are very attractive, especially the jewellers', with their exquisite
silver and gold filagree work; and also the places where the beautiful
Maltese lace is sold. Strada Zecca, a peaceful, shady, and silent
retreat, used to be the street of the Government offices; and we see
here many of the old palaces and houses of the Knight Crusaders, some of
which are rather peculiarly constructed inside. There are the
overhanging shading roofs, as at Genoa and other places; but the
Knights, not being permitted to marry, had no families, and so did not
require many sleeping-rooms: therefore, in most of the houses of Valetta
the reception-rooms and courts are spacious, lofty, and handsomely
decorated, and occupy by far the larger portion of the building, while
the sleeping-rooms are narrow, confined, and limited in extent.

Sliema and St. Julian's Bays, three or four miles off, are the little
Brightons of Malta, whence the residents change the sultry heats of the
city for the cool and refreshing sea breezes, healthful sea-bathing, and
_something_ in the shape of verdure and green fields. These places, St.
Paul's Bay, and the adjacent Island of Gozo, are the chief resorts for
excursions, picnics, etc. At Valetta nearly the only country walk used
to be to the (so-called) Gardens of St. Antonio; and it was rather
melancholy to see the stream of poor human beings almost confined to
this one walk, like invalids at some water-drinking health resort, or a
moving mass of regimental ants.

The industries of Malta consist chiefly of its exquisitely made silver
and gold filagree work, and its rich and Spanish-like lace, which find
ready sale on the continent; its further exports being principally dried
fish, luscious oranges and fruits, and vegetables.

Labour is remarkably cheap, the Maltese living on a mere nothing. A
little rancid oil, shark, or any other half-putrid fish, a few olives,
sour wine, and bread, and they are well feasted. Hotel expenses are not
higher than on the Riviera; but amongst the best resident classes living
is rather expensive, especially in the matter of clothing, nearly every
article of which is imported from England. In my days, _gloves_ used to
be remarkably cheap, so much so that we could indulge in a fresh pair
every evening for the Opera, and the gloves, with admittance, did not
exceed the cost of an ordinary pair of gloves alone in England. The
opera was our chief delight, and we could sympathize with the Italians
in this pleasure.

One great drawback to visiting Malta is the fear of quarantine. Very
recently a young friend of mine, an Oxford man, experienced the bitter
disappointment of going all the way there, only to be "imprisoned" in
the lazaretto, and was only able to talk to his friend from a distance
of four yards, with a gen d'arme between them. Unfortunately, his time
was too short to allow of his seeing Malta after his release from
durance vile.

       *       *       *       *       *

Having seen my wife off from Messina, I had arranged to go by steamer on
the following day to Palermo, but the stormy weather had delayed the
arrival of the vessel from Reggio, so I decided to go by rail instead,
and hurried to the station in a violent storm of rain and hail.

The route was so full of interest, and the views so enchanting, that I
did not regret the change in my plans. The coast scenery was grand and
beautiful. For miles, while circling round great Etna, we were passing
over vast fields of lava--the land tumbled about like the waves of a
tempestuous sea, as if recently thrown up by some mighty earthquake, and
all sombre-coloured and sulphurous, as though we were traversing some
part of the nether world. It was a most striking contrast to the lovely
scenery we had already passed, and also to that we were approaching--Aci
Reale and Catania, in particular, comparing even with Monte Carlo and
Monaco; groves of orange and olive trees and picturesque vineyards
adorning the fine coast heights, and the blue sea beyond. The fine
expansive plains around Etna brought to mind England's great naval hero,
Nelson, for here was situated the territory of his Dukedom of Brontë,
which in those days yielded good crops of Marsala wine. I was really
sorry not to be able to spend a few days at Catania, and view more
closely the lovely region around Aci Reale; but it was just here that
we suddenly branched off to the west, and plunged into the heart of the
island. Away we went up the mountain heights, the night closing in, and
a glorious moon uprising. Sometimes we were on the mountain-tops, then
again descending into the valleys beneath, only to rise like eagles, and
mount to the summits once more; the moon circling round the peaks,
occasionally hidden, and then appearing as if again rising in silent
majesty over the beautiful landscape. About midnight we approached the
coast and proceeded along by the shore once more, the great waves
dashing almost up to the train as we rushed swiftly by. Soon I saw the
semicircular lights of the harbour of Palermo, and in a short time the
train steamed into the station.

I think this was the grandest and most interesting railway journey I
ever made, and I shall not soon forget the impression I received.



                              CHAPTER XV.

Palermo--Oriental aspects--Historical facts--Royal Palace--Count Roger
--The Piazzi Planet--The Palatine Chapel--Walk to Monreale--Beauty of the
Peasantry--Prickly pears--The "Golden Shell"--Monreale Cathedral--Abbey
and Cloisters--English church--Palermo Cathedral--Churches--Catacombs of
the Capuchins--Gardens--Palermo aristocracy--The Bersaglieri--Sicilian
life and characteristics--Climate and general features.


Palermo, formerly Panomus or All Port, and originally a Greek
settlement, is situated in a beautiful fertile valley, and presents much
the appearance of a magnificent garden. The approach from the sea is
splendid, as a full view is then had of its beautiful bay, spacious
harbour, bold headlands, high cliffs, and the great mountain ranges in
the distance, which form so grand a background.

There is a very fine sea-wall, with a drive extending some two or three
miles along the coast, and from this the Corso Vittorio Emmanuele
extends right through the city, crossed about the centre by another fine
road, the Via Macqueda, and these, the two principal streets, divide the
city into four equal parts. The most frequented promenade is the Marina,
opposite the sea, where the Hotel de France is situated. Here I found
very comfortable quarters overlooking the semi-tropical public gardens.
The houses and buildings generally resemble those at Naples, and the
churches are second only to those of Rome in their magnificence. One
might almost fancy one's self in the far East, there are so many
surroundings of a Moorish and Saracenic character, and many of the names
are quite oriental. The cactus, palm, and citron trees, tropical flowers
and sunny skies, carry out the impression. There is no matter for wonder
in this, however, as the Saracens made Palermo the capital of their
Sicilian territories for more than two centuries, when the Normans in
their turn took possession. From 1806 to 1815, it was the residence of
the court of Naples; and in 1860, was captured by the troops of the
brave liberator of Italy, Garibaldi. In the same year, the university,
founded in 1806, was freed from the direction of the Jesuits. Altogether
Palermo has seen a variety of governments, and many changes and scenes
of historic interest. It has always been a rich commercial port, and
well advanced in the refinements of civilization. I think the
inhabitants are far more agreeable than at Naples; more hospitable to
strangers, and less inclined to "spoil" them as Egyptians. They are
especially courteous to the English, probably in recognition of the
substantial sympathy England so freely showed them in the time of their
struggle for freedom.

The Royal Palace is situated on the site of the Saracen Al Kasr, and
within a short tramway drive of the Hotel de France. It is an
unpretentious, castellated building, well worth a visit, not so much for
the beauty of its interior decoration, its paintings and frescoes, in
which it only resembles other palaces in Italy, but for its interesting
history; for it was here the good Count Roger Guiscard (Roger II.), the
first Norman King of Sicily, resided, and did so much to encourage art,
science and the industry and prosperity generally of the island. Our own
lion-hearted Richard landed here on his way to Palestine in 1170; and it
was here, in the observatory of the palace, that Joseph Piazzi
discovered, in 1801, the planet to which he gave the name of Sicily's
mystic goddess--Ceres, and subsequently many other minor planets some
230 in number. Attached to this palace, and under it, is a small but
unique Palatine Chapel in the Gothic style, built by King Roger in 1129.
It is a perfect gem in its way, the walls and ceiling covered with
beautiful mosaics, fine porphyry, and marbles, but it is too dark to be
seen to advantage. The only way to obtain any idea of the real beauty of
the mosaics is to go into the darkest corner, and so accustom your eyes
to the deep gloom, when it becomes radiant with its beautiful scriptural
mosaic pictures.

After viewing the Palace and Chapel, I had a most delightful and
invigorating walk up the road which led directly to the beautiful
country and suburbs beyond the city. The tramway ran up to the base of
the hills in the distance, but I preferred to walk, for it was a lovely
summer's day, though very early in February. The road led up to the
ancient town of Monreale, about four miles distant to the south-west
from Palermo, standing upon a fine commanding height overlooking a most
lovely and fruitful valley, between the two mountain ranges that rise
behind the city. It was through this valley that Garibaldi marched with
his troops, thus avoiding the fire from the forts on the heights around.
As I ascended the hill, I passed the remains of many ancient mementoes
of the past. I was struck by the grace and beauty of the peasantry--the
men, active, swarthy, and handsome, with finely cut features; the women
tall, beautifully shaped, and with long dark hair and magnificent eyes.
Their picturesque dress and the character of their occupations added to
the effect of their appearance.

By-and-by I reached the large Benedictine Convent of St. Martino, where
I stopped to take breath and look round. It was a very hot day, and,
feeling thirsty, I was glad to see a Sicilian peasant selling prickly
pears, a most delicious tropical fruit. The man soon cut a few open for
me, and I found them truly refreshing. To any one who has not yet tasted
a prickly pear, there is yet an epicurean luxury in store. The fruit
grows plentifully in the East, where you will frequently see an uncouth,
impenetrable, cactus-like plant growing by the wayside hedge in a dry,
rocky soil, its great succulent leaves bristling with long, formidably
sharp thorns, and around the edges and upon these thick leaves are
attached most delicately an oval reddish-yellow fruit, which is also
covered with myriads of minute prickles. The camel munches the immense
thorn-clad leaves with impunity, deriving a great deal of nourishment
from them. It is necessary to handle the prickly pear with extreme care,
lest the infinitesimal prickles should get into the hand, the saliva of
the camel being almost the only thing that will effectually remove them
from the flesh. The fruit is dislodged from the plant by means of a
knife or cloven stick; then, when a deep gash is made from top to
bottom, and another across, the luscious, ice-cold, crimson fruit is
ready to be extracted. The taste is a pleasant sweet acid.

Having thus refreshed myself with a few deliciously cool mouthfuls, I
proceeded on my way. Right ahead of me, perched upon the rocky heights
and facing a fine range of mountains, was the ancient Cathedral of
Monreale. It overlooked a broad and fruitful valley literally covered
with orange, lemon, and olive plantations, their tints contrasting
bright and sombre, and their wealth of fragrant blossoms filling the air
with perfume; far away to the left, and parallel to the road by which I
had come, stretched the rich, verdant vegetation, through the bluff
headlands to the blue sea beyond, where Palermo glittered in the sun,
like a queen in her splendour. No wonder she was named of poets, "Concho
d'Oro," the Golden Shell! I lingered for some time, perfectly fascinated
by the beauty of the scene.

Passing through the crowded little town of Monreale--probably a city in
the times of the Greeks and Romans--I gained the piazza where the
beautiful Cathedral, with Benedictine Abbey attached, was situated. I
had expected a Cathedral here as a matter of course, for no Italian
town, however small, is without one, but I was scarcely prepared to find
it so large and so beautiful. It was founded in 1174, by William II.,
surnamed the Good; the front is enriched by two bronze doors by Bounanno
of Pisa, and is further ornamented with mosaics and arabesques.

On entering, I was filled with admiration. The magnificent edifice,
which is some 315 feet in length, is divided into three aisles by
pillars of granite and different-coloured marbles; the pavement of
tessellated marble; and the whole of the ceilings and walls, down to the
very capitals of the Corinthian columns, a grand series of beautiful
mosaics representing Scriptural subjects, separated by, and intermixed
with gold and parti-coloured arabesques. Over the altar, a colossal
figure of Christ in blue and gold mosaic. When the sunlight streamed
through the windows, these beautiful arabesques looked like the finest
silk tapestries, and presented a form of decoration only equalled by
that of St. Mark at Venice; there are also some very fine and
interesting monuments.

I next visited the Abbey, and some of the most beautiful cloisters I
think I ever beheld. Hundreds of delicate columns of white marble,
filagreed and inlaid with gold and mosaics, and with exquisite
capitals, rose before me on all sides, which, with the fine tracery of
the Gothic windows, formed a vista of perfect classic loveliness.

Afterwards, by the kind invitation of one of the monks, I visited the
Convent refectory above. There were some good oil-paintings here; and I
was pleased to see, by the number of schools within the building, that
good work was being done by this wealthy Convent--now probably under the
supervision of the Italian Government.

On returning, I had magnificent panoramic views of the valley and
Palermo constantly before me. I was much amused, on my way back, to see
the peasant women plaiting their daughters' hair outside their houses,
on the high-road, and doing their best to beautify it by unblushingly
introducing long artificial tresses! This was rather disappointing to my
day-dreams, as I had so much admired Nature's rich dark clustering
head-dress on the heads of the handsome Italian peasant women.

There is a nice little English church at Palermo, near the Street of
Palms, and I quite enjoyed the service, everything was so bright and
peaceful. There was a goodly gathering of English folk assembled within
its walls.

Near the Royal Palace, in the Via Toledo, is the Cathedral, a fine
Gothic pile of very striking appearance, standing well back in the
piazza, its rather quaint Campanile separated from it by a narrow
street arched over. The principal porch is in the form of a very
beautiful arch; the interior in the Corinthian style, and chiefly
interesting for the beauty and richness of the high altar. In one of the
chapels are the tombs of Roger II. and the Emperor Frederic, and those
of their respective families.

There are several other churches in Palermo well worth a visit. St
Domenico, which is built in the Doric style, is one of these; but
perhaps the most interesting of all is the ruined church of St.
Giovanni, erected by King Roger in 1132, and which was evidently in the
style of a Byzantine Mosque, with its numerous arches, low roof, and
domes. On leaving this building, and thanking the keeper for explaining
its antiquities to me, I found he belonged to one of the most ancient
Eastern orders of the Masonic craft--a gratifying proof to me of the
wonderful ramifications of this powerful charitable fraternity. The
Church of Martorana is in a semi-Gothic and Saracenic style of
architecture, and was built by one of King Roger's admirals in
1113-1139; it has some very beautiful mosaics. Some of the palaces of
the nobility are open to visitors, and contain much of an interesting
description.

Within an easy walk, towards the Monreale road, are the catacombs of the
Capuchin monastery, which is situated a little off from the high-road,
and looks an unpretentious kind of building. A monk guided me through
the clean, well-lighted subterranean passages, and it was not without
some feeling of dread that I saw on each side of me tiers of the
decaying skeletons of monks, suspended against the walls, and looking
down upon me with their poor hideous mouldering visages. I almost feared
the ropes round these skeleton bodies would give way, and that the bones
would come tumbling down upon me. The Capuchin, with a somewhat humorous
smile on his worn, kindly face, reassured me, and said that when at last
they fell to pieces, the remains were carefully collected and
religiously locked away within an iron door in one of the walls. There
were several lively cats jumping about from coffin to coffin, and these
were looked upon with a most compassionate and friendly air by my good
monk, as assisting him to preserve the bones of his comrades from moth
and mouse--whether the old Sicilian superstition with regard to the
sacredness of the feline species had also anything to do with it, I
cannot say. There is a saddening sort of feeling in entering these homes
of the dead--

    "To see skull, coffin'd bones, and funeral state;
     Pitying each form that hungry Death had marr'd,
     And filling it once more with human soul."

After going through some hundred yards of this vast tomb, I felt glad to
return to the sunlight and pure air of the living world.

On the road to Monreale there is an interesting botanical garden, where
I saw some very fine specimens of plants entirely new to me--camphor,
coffee, castor oil, and others. There are many beautiful gardens in
Palermo, besides the delightful public one known as the "Flora," which
afforded such a charming and refreshing outlook from the Hotel de
France, where I was staying.

The great cross-roads afford one of the principal drives of the _élite_
of the town, and at about three o'clock in the afternoon these
thoroughfares are crowded with the carriages of the Palermian
aristocracy. The circus, where the two roads meet and intersect each
other, forms a large open space called the "Ottangolo," from its
octagonal shape; each of the eight sides is formed by a beautiful
building or fountain. This place is a favourite lounge for soldiers and
idlers generally, who come here simply to enjoy their cigarettes in the
open, sunlit air, and in the hope, like the ancient Athenians, of
hearing "some new thing."

The Bersaglieri regiment, in their shining black hats, with flowing
cocks' plumes, cut a great dash. I often wondered where all these
feathers came from, as the cock seemed quite a _rara avis_ at Palermo.
Perhaps, after all, one fact explained the other, and I had been mixing
up cause and effect. The military were evidently proud of themselves and
their past exploits with Garibaldi; they had certainly proved that there
was plenty of sturdy pluck about them. They are in general a small,
swarthy, handsome set of men, but with rather too much of a swagger for
soldiers who had seen service. The ladies are graceful and dignified; a
trifle too pale, I thought, but I have since learnt that this pallor is
studiously acquired--I suppose, to give more sentiment to the
expression: in other countries, ladies seem inclined to go in for a
_little more_ colour. The nocturnal-like existence of the Sicilian
ladies, however, should be quite sufficient to produce the desired
pallor, without any artificial aid. Their evening commences at 10.30,
when tea is served, and you are lucky if you can contrive to get away by
2 a.m. As a matter of course, they are invisible during the morning, and
are seldom seen before three o'clock in the afternoon, when they drive
out to gain fresh vigour for their nocturnal existence.

From January to May, I believe Palermo is considered a very healthy
place for invalids. It is not subject to changes of climate, and being
on an island is perhaps the cause of its advantage over other places on
the Italian coast, and especially those situated more inland, and on a
river, such as Rome, Pisa, and Florence; for these rivers are generally
the receptacles of the city sewage--dirty, muddy, and polluted streams,
and most unhealthy during the warm season. Yet, strange to say, these
river-sides are frequently selected as chosen places of residence, as
witness the Lung Arno of Pisa and Florence.

One of the features of Palermo is the number of reservoirs, which are
generally situated at the corners of streets, and every house in the
city accordingly has an abundant supply of water. This must also be a
great source of cleanliness and healthfulness.

For a tour of a few weeks, I can fancy no place more interesting than
this fair island. The enchanting Straits of Messina, Catania, Mount
Etna, and lovely Aci Reale; the ancient Girgenti and Syracuse with their
Greek and Roman ruins; Marsala and Palermo. It is also close to the
interesting island of Malta, and is the highway for steamers to all
parts. The place is healthy, and, finally, the living is good and
moderate in price. Travelling, too, is convenient and cheap: the
tramways run quite round Palermo, and the carriages are better and
cheaper than in any other city in Europe.

Although travelling in Italy has its drawbacks, I have found more
pleasure in moving amongst the Italians than the French. There is an
evident respect and grateful sympathy felt by the former towards
England, while the French take no pains to disguise their antipathy. Yet
we were blindly intent on making the Channel Tunnel, foolishly supposing
it would convert our sullen neighbour into a sincere friend and
commercial ally.

I could not but notice in Palermo, the vigorous efforts of the Italian
Government to suppress brigandage. I constantly saw some of the plumed
Bersaglieri posted in the most out-of-the-way places, commanding the
various passes, in order to surprise any attempt that might be made.

Before leaving Sicily, I cannot refrain from recalling that perfect
avalanche of stirring incidents that took place in 1860--incidents that
far eclipse all other events recorded in the momentous history of this
lovely island; and, as the death of the patriotic Garibaldi is still of
somewhat recent date, and the subject is one of universal interest, I
shall, in the following chapter, briefly sketch these thrilling events,
with certain particulars of the part taken therein by the English which
have not been publicly known before.



                             CHAPTER XVI.

Annexation of Nice and Savoy--Garibaldi's protest--A desperate venture--
Calatafimi--Catania--Melazzo--Entry into Naples--Gaeta--The British
Contingent--Departure from England--Desertion--Arrival in Naples--_Colonel_
"Long Shot"--Major H----'s imaginary regiment--Dispersion of the British
Contingent.


On April 1st, 1860, of all days in the year, was consummated the
annexation of Nice and Savoy to France. Napoleon III. had liberated
Lombardy from the Austrian yoke, and handed it over to Victor Emmanuel.
As the "honest broker," he required his fee, and, much against the will
of the majority of the inhabitants, Nice and Savoy became French
territory. Certainly a _plébiscite_ was taken on the question, but the
whole affair was "managed," and the birthplace of one of modern Italy's
greatest men was handed over to France.

Giuseppe Garibaldi loudly protested against the annexation, and never
forgave it.

For some time during the early spring of 1860, the Sicilians had been in
a state of intermittent rebellion against Ferdinand King of
Naples--Bombina. At the end of April, Garibaldi determined to make a
strenuous effort to aid the patriot insurgents, and collected around
him several of his old companions in arms, among whom were Nino Brixio,
Colonel Turr, the Hungarian, Count Teletri, and Sistari. With these were
a number of brave men who had survived the siege of Rome, and the
slaughter by General Oudinot's troops. In three days after determining
on action, everything was prepared for one of the most daring and
hairbreadth expeditions of modern times. Supplies of arms and stores
were procured and held ready at different points of the coast near
Genoa; several steamers were "arranged for" (it was stated, at the time
they were seized); and on the night of Saturday, May 5th, some two
thousand stern and resolute volunteers of all classes of society, and
all ages from sixteen to sixty, including about two hundred of the best
marksmen of the Società del Tiro Nazionale of Genoa, were on board the
steamers, _Piedmonti_ and _Lombardo_, belonging to the Genoese Rubatino
Navigation Company, and _La Sardigna_. The embarkation, which took place
at Foco and other places on the coast, was witnessed by five thousand
spectators, who wished the brave fellows God-speed. The Sardinian
Government, _sub rosâ_, was fully cognizant of the whole affair, but
dared not give it either countenance or recognition of any sort.
Shortness of time alone prevented Garibaldi going to the king who was at
Bologna, and telling him of his plans.

The _Piedmonti_ was under the command of Garibaldi himself, and Nino
Brixio took charge of the _Lombardo_. Both were experienced sailors. It
was generally rumoured that they intended landing on the coast of the
Roman States, and the _Piedmonti_ did call at Telemone for water, as the
vessel that carried her store had been seized. From Telemone Garibaldi
addressed a letter to Signor Barline, which served as the
_pronunciamento_ of his expedition and intentions, _i.e._ to free Italy
from the Bourbons. On May 7th the vessels and their gallant crews,
recovered from the effects of the very stormy passage from Genoa, set
forth again; and on the 11th the whole party disembarked at Marsala, in
the teeth of two Neapolitan frigates, who opened fire on them just as
the last boat was leaving the _Piedmonti_, which vessel they afterwards
_gallantly_ captured, there being no one on board! The _Lombardo_ was
sunk by the Neapolitan guns, and the other vessels made off as best they
could, after landing their men. The whole took place in full view of
Admiral Mundy and the officers and men of the British fleet.

No sooner were the Garibaldians landed than they marched on to
Calatafimi, quite unfettered in their movements by any superabundance of
baggage. Here they at once attacked and defeated the royal troops, four
times their number, and, raising the whole country on their route,
pushed on towards Palermo. At the battle of Calatafimi, Menotti
Garibaldi, the son of the general, received his first wound.

With all Europe looking on, amazed at the sheer audacity of the deed,
Garibaldi showed himself as prudent and as skilful as he was bold. His
red-shirted army, daily increasing in numbers, made one of the most
wonderful forced flank marches on record, pushing the way along mere
goat-tracks over the mountains, and with such rapidity that General
Lanzi, the commandant of the royal army in Palermo, was awakened in the
middle of the night to hear that the dreaded Garibaldians, whom he
supposed to be at least twenty miles away, were actually forcing their
way into the city, and driving the soldiers of Bombina before them.
Being driven out of Palermo, Lanzi shelled the city from the forts, in
spite of the remonstrances of Admiral Mundy, who had moved the British
fleet round the coast to watch proceedings. Outside Palermo, at a place
called Catania, Garibaldi engaged and defeated the royal army so badly
that General Lanzi was fain to ask the aid of the British admiral, to
negociate terms between himself and the filibuster Garibaldi, for his
withdrawal from, and surrender of, Palermo to the national army. Had it
not been for the generosity of an American captain, who supplied the
red-shirts with ammunition, they would have exhausted their last
cartridge before the battle of Catania was half over.

Garibaldi was not the man to remain idle one moment, and after
establishing a provisional government at Palermo, and recruiting his
small forces, he set out towards Messina, and again attacked the Royal
army at Melazzo, on July 24. Here was one of the severest struggles of
the war. Melazzo was a hard-fought battle, but victory remained with
the patriots, and the result placed Messina in the hands of Garibaldi,
and with it the whole of the fair island of Sicily. It was at the battle
of Melazzo that, watching some English sailors, who had obtained leave
from their ships and volunteered their services in the cause of freedom,
and were very skilfully managing some pieces of artillery, the idea
occurred to Garibaldi and some of his staff, to invite the services of
England by the formation of a volunteer legion.

Shortly after the news reached London of the battle of Melazzo, agents
were at work enrolling volunteers to join the standard of Garibaldi--no
longer the revolutionary fillibuster, but the victorious general.

When at Messina, Garibaldi received a letter from Victor Emmanuel,
forbidding him to make any attempt to cross the Straits of Messina, and
carry the war on to the mainland; but he heeded it not, or, what is
perhaps most probable, he read between the lines, that having succeeded
so far, greatly to the surprise of all the wiseacres among European
diplomatists, he was to follow up his good fortune, and "go ahead." He
did so, and, in spite of the Neapolitan fleet being in the Straits to
prevent his passage, he crossed in the night and landed at Melita August
20th, and at once commenced the task of driving out the detested Bombina
from his kingdom.

In informing his Government of the fact, Admiral Mundy, who had brought
the British fleet to Messina, said, "If the royal troops are staunch, he
must be annihilated in a week." But he knew neither the rottenness of
the Neapolitan government nor the terror with which the red-shirted
Garibaldians were regarded by the royal troops; for with scarcely any
fighting the victorious Garibaldi advanced, driving the king's army
before him like sheep, and entered Naples, on the 7th of September.

His progress from Messina to Naples was unlike any military advance
recorded in history. The Bombini government was paralyzed. The king sent
to him, and offered fifty millions of francs and the surrender of the
whole Neapolitan navy, if he would halt his men and stop the invasion.
He knew little of the man who had sworn never to sheath his sword till
Victor Emmanuel was King of Italy!

Ferdinand remained in Naples while Garibaldi and General Coyenzi entered
it in an open carriage, followed by the chief officers of his staff. The
air was rent with the shouts of the people, who thronged in thousands to
hail their deliverer. The Neapolitan police--the hated Sbirri--looked on
in sullen silence. The guns of the fortress of St. Elmo commanded the
road by which the cavalcade advanced, and were all loaded, the gunners
standing ready with lighted fuses waiting for the word to fire. The
order was given to clear the streets with grape shot, but the
artillerymen stood amazed at the sight of the approaching carriage, in
which Garibaldi stood erect, with his hand on his breast, giving orders
to the coachmen to drive slower and slower, in a voice that was heard
above all the din of the "vivas" of the populace. Three times the
officers gave the word to fire; but the gunners were now under the
actual majestic influence of Garibaldi's noble patriotism and
unflinching courage, and, throwing down their matches, they flung their
caps into the air, and joined the people in their cries of "Viva
Garibaldi! Viva Italia!"

The king left the city and fled to Gaeta, and, having collected what
troops he could, returned to Volturino, the whole of his army amounting
to thirty thousand men. He had not long to wait before Garibaldi, who
had been proclaimed Dictator in Naples, attacked him with about five
thousand really fighting men, and a herd of Neapolitans who were of no
earthly use. The king made most desperate efforts to crush the
red-shirts, who fought as only men can fight who do so for country and
liberty. After seeing many of his best men fall, and among them some of
his dearest friends, and passing through many personal dangers--for he
was ever in the hottest part of the battle--Garibaldi drove the royal
troops back, and they never stopped or showed face again till they were
safe within the lines of Gaeta, where, after making a decent show of
resistance, and standing a siege by the troops of Victor Emmanuel, they
surrendered, and the Bourbon dynasty disappeared from Italian soil for
ever.

The whole campaign, from the landing at Marsala to the last defeat of
the Neapolitan army at Volturino, occupied but 122 days, in which time a
mere handful of determined patriots, who were regarded as banditti at
the outset of the undertaking, and who were at no time decently supplied
with what are deemed by military men the ordinary and necessary
equipments for warfare, beat a well-organized army in four regular
engagements, besides innumerable skirmishes, and conquered a kingdom.

History records how nobly Garibaldi acted, and how scurvily he was
treated. On October 24th, having handed over to Victor Emmanuel the
kingdom of the two Sicilies, and made him King of Italy, he retired from
Naples, to his island home at Caprera, and, after having at his command
the treasury of Naples, was compelled to borrow £20 from a friend to
defray his private expenses, and embarked with less than twenty francs
in his pocket.

No wonder every Italian glories in the name of Garibaldi! Such men are
few and far between.

I have mentioned the formation of a British volunteer legion. Probably
there have been few more mismanaged affairs than this British
contingent, from the first conception of it on the field of Melazzo to
the disbandment of the remnants of it after the surrender of Gaeta.

In the summer of 1860, a gentleman, calling himself Major S----,
appeared in London, as the accredited agent for the formation of the
British Garibaldian Legion. An office was opened in Salisbury Street,
Strand, for the enrolment of volunteers, and a committee having been
formed, met daily in a room over the shop where a gentleman, better
known among Free-thinkers as Iconoclast, sold his own and other
unorthodox books of a similar character in Fleet Street. Here a Captain
de R---- became the practical man, while a Major H---- assumed the
character of the dashing dragoon officer. A legal opinion was obtained
as to the best way of evading the several Acts of Parliament bearing on
the points of foreign enlistment and equipment of armed forces in time
of peace.[G]

The great volunteer movement having sprung into existence during the
previous year, there was a vast amount of military ardour floating about
among young men of all classes, and recruits offered themselves faster
than funds were subscribed for their equipment.

About ten or twelve hundred young men of all classes enrolled themselves
in the legion, and officers of more or less experience were not wanting
to command them. An offer was made to take the whole force out to Naples
in a large screw steamer, the _Circassian_, which had formerly been
employed in the Transatlantic service, and belonged to an eminent Greek
firm. The offer was, to take the regiment out to Naples, and to feed and
provide the men with all necessaries, on exactly the same scale and
manner as English troops had been accommodated on board vessels that had
taken out the army to suppress the Indian Mutiny. Captain de R----, the
practical man on the committee, advocated the acceptance of this offered
contract, but there were other influences at work. Commissions were
offered, and "_pickings_" were to be obtained if the men were sent out
at a cheaper rate in another way, and the consequence was that, instead
of the whole force going together in one large vessel, with ample and
comfortable accommodation, they were sent out in two parties, in two
miserable little vessels totally unfitted for such work, and quite
incapable of berthing more than half the number packed on board. The
first ship to start was a small screw boat, re-christened for the
occasion the _Melazzo_, after the late Garibaldian victory. The men were
huddled on board anyhow at Thames Haven, in the night. No sooner had she
got to sea than discomfort begat discontent. There were only
sleeping-berths for half the number on board, and consequently the poor
volunteers had to take it in turns to sleep; it was turn out one lot,
and turn in the other. The vessel called at Plymouth, and a large number
of passengers left her, some to find their way out on their "own hook,"
and join the force in Italy; and others, having had enough of such
discomfort, deserted altogether. The remainder sailed on board the
paddle-steamer _London_, a vessel quite as unsuited for the purpose as
the _Melazzo_. The men assembled at midnight at Fenchurch Street
station, making the surrounding neighbourhood echo again with their
patriotic songs, and a special train took them down to Southend, where
the _London_ was lying. Arrived on board, a very unseemly dispute arose
between some of the officers, resulting in Captain de R---- turning
Major H---- out of the ship. The _London_ did not call anywhere going
down Channel, strict orders having been given to her captain not to do
so, in consequence of the number of desertions from the _Melazzo_.
However, on touching at Gibraltar, several of the men had experienced
discomfort enough, and some of those who had the means of reaching home
left the ship there.

Arrived at Naples, a greater mistake than any that had yet occurred took
place. The regiment, when assembled together, mustered about eight
hundred very presentable young soldiers, well fitted in every way to
give a good account of themselves, and such as any English officer would
have been proud to lead into action. The question was, who would be the
lucky English officer to whom the command would be given?

During the campaign of 1859, when the united French and Italian armies
wrested Lombardy from the Austrians, Garibaldi had commanded a body of
men who did excellent service, and obtained great renown as the
Chasseurs des Alps--men who were now fighting with him in Sicily.
Wherever Garibaldi went he was accompanied by an eccentric Englishman
who was an excellent long shot with the rifle, and whose delight it was
to "_pot_" off Austrians at incredible distances. He became famous for
his skill in picking off Austrian officers, and was known as
"Garibaldi's Englishman." When success attended Garibaldi's expedition
to Sicily, his long-shooting Englishman joined him, and when the English
volunteers were ready to leave Naples and take the field at the siege of
Gaeta, _Colonel_ "Long Shot" was placed in command--a man of execrable
temper, and totally unfitted in every way to command anything, let alone
a body of half-drilled, high-spirited young Englishmen. About the same
time Major S---- was placed under arrest, and accused of having kept
irregular accounts of the regimental monies that had passed through his
hands.

Arrived at the front, the British legion were neglected in every way by
the Italian troops. The Garibaldians were treated badly enough, but the
Englishmen fared worse, and, being dependent upon the Italian
commissariat, they came badly off. They were pushed well to the front to
do the fighting, and did what little there was to do with credit to
themselves and their country, but when supplies were wanted they were
almost ignored.

Major H----, who had been turned ashore from the _London_, found his way
to Naples, where, in the most resplendent of uniforms, he figured at the
_cafés_ and _casinos_ as colonel and commander-in-chief of an imaginary
regiment of cavalry, which never reached more than himself and his
orderly. After rendering himself the laughing-stock of all Naples, and
giving rise to much unfavourable comment upon Englishmen in general,
and himself in particular, he disappeared from Naples, and went no one
knows where, leaving behind as mementoes of the celebrated cavalry
regiment various unpaid accounts.

After the fall of Gaeta, and the end of the war, the remains of this
unfortunate British legion melted away, leaving many of their comrades
behind, either having died in hospital or fallen beneath the enemy's
fire.

Among the ranks of the British Legion was a young artist, who has since
done good service for some of our illustrated papers in depicting battle
scenes all over Europe. Mr. Vizitelli was that artist who received a
wound in front of Gaeta, and who is one of the unfortunate band that
accompanied Hicks Pascha to the Soudan, and about whose fate much
anxiety now exists.

[G] See Appendix.



                             CHAPTER XVII.

Floods in France--London--Back to the South--Marseilles--Italian Emigrant
passengers--A death on board--French _impolitesse_--Italian coast scenery
at dawn--Unlimited palaver--Arrival in Leghorn--The _Lepanto_--Departure
--"Fair Florence"--The Arno--Streets--Palaces--San Miniato--The grand
Duomo--The Baptistery--Ghiberti's Bronze Gates.


We had a very rough passage to Marseilles, and arrived five hours after
time. I only stopped here one night, and hurried on through Paris to
London. The lowlands of France were still under water, and the weather
in England much the same as when I left it six weeks ago. After a
sojourn of some weeks--

    "In London, that great sea, whose ebb and flow
     At once is deaf and loud,"

during which time the weather continued anything but agreeable, with
bitterly cold winds and frequent rain, I started for the south once
more, having arranged to meet my wife at Leghorn. I had hoped that Malta
would have been mild and pleasant at this time of the year, but, as in
most other places, the disastrous floods and phenomenal weather
generally of 1882 had extended to March, 1883, even here, and she was
not particularly sorry to leave the island, hoping to find an
improvement in the climate on a second trip into Italy.

Crossing the Channel in fairly smooth water and with a clean sky, I
began to hope a favourable change had really set in at last. Paris was
very bright and pleasant. A political demonstration was expected here on
the Sunday following the day of my arrival; but this was the greater
reason for my hurrying away on the morning of that day, March 18th. It
opened bright and frosty. The usual tedious journey of fifteen hours to
Marseilles was quite pleasant, and without event. I was glad to hear
that the day had passed over peaceably at Paris.

At Marseilles it was warm and sunny; and on Monday I embarked on board
the Transatlantic steamer for Genoa. Knowing the little sympathy and
friendly feeling there is on board French vessels for the English, I was
glad to find two or three of my countrymen among the saloon passengers.
The time of sailing arrived, but there was no sign of our leaving, and
at last I found we were waiting for some three or four hundred Italian
returning emigrants, whose vessel had come from the Brazils, and which
was not yet released from quarantine. This prospect of waiting for some
three or four hundred poor, dirty, sickly emigrants was not very lively,
and this was rather disappointing, as it would probably interfere with
my arrival at Leghorn at the time arranged. However, some four or five
hours later their vessel came into the harbour, and they were brought
alongside in several large barges--men, women, and children, with all
their worldly goods, most of them returning poorer than when they had
left their native land. They had a medley of souvenirs with them,
parrots and other birds, and all kinds of gay garments--those
land-sharks the Jews not even sparing these poor, pitiful emigrants, but
doing their best to make them part with their little store of
hard-earned savings, by offering them these gaudy articles of apparel,
to cover or replace their own poor warm clothing. The long sea-voyage
from the Brazils must have been very trying to these forlorn creatures,
whose hopeless condition it was impossible to avoid sympathizing with
and pitying. They appeared most eager to reach the shores of their own
dear Italy once more--a fond hope and dream in foreign lands, now almost
realized.

There was one poor old man, upwards of seventy years of age, who sat
very still during all the exciting confusion of getting on board the
steamer. He looked very ill, and I felt quite grateful to the fine,
robust young man (whom I afterwards discovered was a perfect stranger to
him) who most kindly took charge of him, and assisted him to climb the
ship's ladder, which seemed to give him intense pain--indeed, he
appeared scarcely able to move for agony. That night, while we were
steaming away over the moonlit sea towards his native land, the poor old
man entered on his long rest in a happier home above.

The rest of the emigrants seemed happy enough, though herding together
like sheep--men, women, and children lying about the deck asleep. I
thought it would have been as well to have separated them, and made the
men strip, and given them the hose of cold water in the early morning,
for they had evidently not removed their soiled and tattered garments
for weeks; but probably the water would have proved too cold. I was the
more fully convinced of the necessity of this cleansing process when,
tired of the crowded confinement of the deck-space allotted to them,
these poor emigrants gradually encroached on the precincts of the
saloon, and a certain painful irritation of the skin unpleasantly
reminded me of the fact. It was a pleasant sight, however, to see them
enjoying their hot coffee and biscuits after their night's rest, and a
more substantial breakfast later on in the forenoon. They were certainly
well fed while on board.

We had a tolerably fair passage, which was fortunate, as I believe it
would have been next door to impossible to have had proper control over
our motley crew of passengers if any danger had arisen; moreover, the
boats would have been utterly insufficient. Yet, although so fine, most
of the passengers were obliged to leave the dinner-table, and return to
their cabins. I was then a witness to the ill feeling of the French
towards us, as adduced by their selfish neglect of my two English
fellow-travellers; the doctor paid not the slightest attention to them,
though it was clearly his duty to do so. I was glad, therefore, to be
able to do what I could for them, and ordered one or two tempting things
from the dinner-table to be set aside for them, which I afterwards took
to them myself, incurring thereby the decided disfavour of the French
officers, who churlishly resented what they considered my interference.
Possibly it might have been against the rules of the vessel; still, I
felt it to be only a simple and natural act of humanity towards my sick
countrymen, since no one else appeared willing to trouble themselves in
their behalf.

It was a lovely moonlight night as we coasted along the shore, and I
walked the deck till long past midnight.

The next morning I was up at six, and awoke my companions, that they
might share with me the beauty of the coast scenery, which we were
passing in the early daylight:

    "'Tis morn, and Nature's richest dyes
     Are floating o'er Italian skies;
     Tints of transparent lustre shine
     Along the snow-clad Apennine."

It was all we could desire--a glorious sun, clear atmosphere, and
genial, bracing air. How fair is Nature at this hour! "One drinks in the
air by long draughts; the eyes seem to be intoxicated with the sun, the
very soul to bathe in the glory of colour!"

Meanwhile, we have passed Fréjus, Nice, Villafranca, Antibes,--the old
castle at Mentone projecting out into the sea; and now lovely Monte
Carlo and Monaco are in view, nestling amidst terraces of orange and
olive trees,--graceful palms lifting their heads here and there to the
blue sky. Then a sterner and more imposing series of views, the
coast-line more rugged and broken, as we gradually near the mountain
ranges of the Alps and the Apennines, and approach the harbour of that
magnificent city unrivalled indeed in the commanding grandeur of its
situation--"Genova la Superba." I now quite realized that this glorious
coast scenery must be seen from the sea, to understand and appreciate
its special beauties.

As I had anticipated, the fussy and over-punctilious Italian sanitary
officers demurred at admitting us to Pratique, and were about to put us
in quarantine on account of the death of the poor emigrant, though it
was clearly evidenced that he died from some organic disease. The poor
emigrants were longing to get on shore and seek their homes once more,
and I was most anxious to catch the train to Leghorn, to receive my wife
on her arrival from Malta. Still, officer after officer came on board,
and it was useless to chafe with impatience; they persisted in going
through the whole of their tiresome, circumlocutory inquiries, and
having their talk out: this aggravating palaver evidently being extended
to magnify their office.

At last they came to the conclusion that we were entitled to a clean
bill of health, and released us. I hurried on shore, and arrived at the
station just ten minutes after my train had started. This was most
provoking, but fortunately I found a little steamer of the Rubatino
line, going to Leghorn that night, and at once engaged a passage in her.
I found another Englishman on board, and as the little vessel rolled
about in the trough of the sea, and there was therefore evidently little
sleep to be got in our small cabins, we did our best to walk the deck
till midnight; and then, with a "_Good night_," crawled into the
confined cabins allotted to us, exercising, of course, the full
privileges of Englishmen in a growl at the scanty accommodation.

Arriving at Leghorn the next morning at six, I found myself in rather an
anxious predicament, for, having _planned_ to arrive at Leghorn before
my wife, I had not named any special hotel for our meeting; but owing to
my having missed the train at Genoa, she had arrived before me, and
where she had gone I knew not. However, trusting to her good sense and
courage, I began my search with a light heart; and, after two
unsuccessful attempts, was rejoiced to find her all safe. Like myself,
she had experienced rather rough weather on her passage from Malta; but
had appreciated the little breaks in the voyage afforded by the vessel
stopping at Catania, Messina, and Naples.

On exploring the town a little after breakfast, we caught a glimpse of
the great ironclad _Lepanto_, which the Italians had just launched, and
a great unwieldy monster she looked.

Leghorn is a dead and alive sort of place, and we had no inclination to
remain there; so took the 10.45 train to Florence, at which city we
arrived safely in the evening, and proceeded at once to the Hotel de
Russie.

I had always had a great longing to see Florence, the home of Italian
genius:

    "Florence! beneath the sun,
     Of cities fairest one."

Rain had fallen pretty freely here as elsewhere, and for the first few
days we had to take advantage of every gleam of sunshine to obtain an
outing.

Florence is divided into two parts by the Arno; the northern side is the
oldest part, and contains the best hotels and restaurants. From one
window we saw the yellow river rushing tumultuously over the artificial
weirs that are built to prevent its unhealthy stagnation. Across this
_unpoetical_ river are several stone bridges; the central one, which is
something like old London Bridge, is almost covered with houses, chiefly
small jewellers'. Artists consider that this adds to the picturesqueness
of the river, but I would have preferred a clear view up to the
mountains at its head. It is a very interesting city, with its narrow
streets, quaint buildings, piazzas, and monuments of ancient glory.
There are two or three rather fine streets leading from the railway
station, and culminating in the Cathedral Piazza. These contain several
noble palatial residences of the ancient nobility, massively built of
great rough-hewn stones, attached to which are large iron rings with
holders for torches, and at the corners antique iron frames to hold
lanterns, showing how the city was lighted in the sixteenth and
seventeenth centuries. It was curious to notice the great overhanging
roofs, probably intended to give shade to the passers-by. As at Genoa,
these buildings usually have the coronet and arms of their noble owners
over the porch. The principal streets are sufficiently wide to allow of
two carriages passing, and yet leave room for pedestrians; but, properly
speaking, there are few regular foot-pavements. The shops are all one
can wish, the _cafés_ and restaurants being particularly conspicuous.

Crossing the river to the south side by one of the suspension bridges,
we had some very pretty peeps at the valley; then, mounting up to the
well-planned and finely terraced Boboli Gardens, and up to the
interesting church and cemetery of San Miniato, we obtained magnificent
views of the whole city, and the beautiful valley and plains in which it
reposes. The interior of San Miniato is now used as a kind of Campo
Santo, and has frescoed walls and an exquisitely wrought screen and
pulpit; there are also several paintings attributed to Spinello Aretino.

The Cathedral is of course the centre of life, as in all Italian cities,
and this reminds me of a beautiful thought in reference to this grand
and splendid duomo of Florence: "It was designed by the Republic to be
the largest and most sumptuous building that could be invented, in order
that it might correspond with a very great heart--because originated in
the mind of most of the citizens united together in one will." This was
indeed a noble and Christian sentiment!

It is in the Italian-Gothic style--a great casket of black and white
marble, beautified by many exquisite traceries and statues. The noble
dome is finely proportioned, but looks almost small amidst the great
pile of buildings around it, and by the graceful square Campanile rising
proudly beside it. The porches have arches most curiously but daintily
traced and twisted, the outline of the building putting one in mind of
some exquisite Indian work of ivory, inlaid with silver. Altogether it
is a strikingly handsome Duomo, and when the façade is completed, I
doubt if there is another in Italy of the kind to compare with it,
always excepting the beautiful and unique St. Mark's at Venice. It is,
however, somewhat too closely surrounded by shops and other buildings.
The interior is vast, grand, and impressive, but very cold and gloomy.
The choir is octagonal, enclosed by an Ionic colonnade, and corresponds
in shape with the dome above, which is double, one dome within another;
the inner one is painted with frescoes by Vasari and Zacchero. From the
pavement to the top of the cross it is 380 feet. The beautiful Campanile
tower is encased with strips of differently coloured marbles, adorned
with bas-reliefs and statues. It is 269 feet in height, being ascended
by some 415 steps. The view from the top is very extensive. The adjacent
Baptistery is on the site of the Temple of Mars. It is an octagonal
building of the thirteenth century, and is chiefly remarkable for the
beauty of Ghiberti's great bronze gates, representing scripture scenes.

    "Ghiberti left behind him wealth and children;
     But who would know to-day that he had lived
     If he had never made those gates of bronze
     In the old Baptistery--those gates of bronze
     Worthy to be the gates of Paradise?
     His wealth is scattered to the winds, his children
     Are long since dead; but those celestial gates
     Survive, and keep his name and memory green."

There are also some very fine mosaics in the interior, but unfortunately
the darkness prevents their being properly seen. The only way to see
anything of them is to go into the darkest corner, shutting your eyes,
and then, opening them, look up at the dome suddenly. All the children
in the city are baptized here, the water being blessed by the bishop
twice a year. There is much of ancient interest around this old
Baptistery; indeed, in all places where the Romans have been, one cannot
but feel the presence of a mighty nation. So also with the Greeks; they
leave traces of a refined intellect behind them which centuries cannot
entirely efface.



                            CHAPTER XVIII.

Santa Croce--San Lorenzo--_Day_ and _Night_--Picture-galleries--The
Tribune--_Venus de' Medici_--Excursion to Fiesole--Ancient Amphitheatre
--Aurora _Café_--Climate of Florence--Heavy hotel charges--Departure--
Bologna sausages--Venice.


The church of Santa Croce--the Westminster Abbey of Italy--possesses
great interest to every classical student and lover of art and genius.
It is situated within a few minutes' walk of the Cathedral in its own
piazza, in the centre of which stands the striking monument and statue
of the intensely thoughtful Dante, by Canova:

    "In Santa Croce's holy precincts lie
     Ashes which make it holier, dust which is
     Even in itself an immortality.
     Though there were something save the past, and this
     The particles of those sublimities
     Which have relapsed to chaos:--here repose
     Angelo's, Alfieri's bones, and his
     The starry Galileo, with his woes;
     Here Machiavelli's earth returned to whence it rose.

     These are four minds, which, like the elements,
     Might furnish forth creation:--Italy!
     Time, which hath wronged thee with ten thousand rent
     Of thine imperial garment, shall deny,
     And hath denied, to every other sky
     Spirits which soar from ruin:--thy decay
     Is still impregnant with divinity,
     Which gilds it with revivifying ray;
     Such as the great of yore, Canova is to-day."

The façade of Santa Croce, like that of the Cathedral, is finely encased
with marble; but it is the interior that excites such deep interest in
the mind; the many fine monuments, and the beautiful sculptures on the
tombs of the great and illustrious men whom Italy has had the honour to
call her children. In this she is indeed rich among nations. The church
contains a great number of chapels, some large, some small, but all
possessing paintings, sculptures, mosaics, and monuments of interest.

In the Church of San Lorenzo are the stately mausoleums of the Medici.
The Capella dei Deposite, or Chapel of the Buried, was designed by
Michael Angelo, on purpose to contain his two celebrated statues of
Giuliano and Lorenzo di Medici. At the feet of Giuliano rest the
recumbent figures, Day and Night; of the latter, the great Angelo
wrote--

    "Grateful to me is sleep; to be of stone
     More grateful, while the wrong and shame endure
     To see not, feel not, is a benediction;
     Therefore, awake me not; oh, speak in whispers!"

The other and more imposing statue of Lorenzo, grandson of Lorenzo the
Magnificent, is a truly wonderful study. The figure is seated in a
perfectly natural attitude, one hand supporting the head, which is
covered by a kind of helmet; the shadowed face is full of intense
thought, and the stone almost seems to breathe beneath your gaze. The
statue is worthy of the master mind which designed it. Allegorical
figures, representing Morning and Evening, are recumbent on either
side.

There are many other churches to visit in Florence, but although they
may well repay the trouble, I think, as a rule, that visitors waste much
time and money in making a point of seeing every individual church and
chapel in each place they stop at. The hotel-keepers, who make the
objects of interest as numerous as possible, derive by far the greatest
benefit from it.

Florence is truly wonderful in picture-galleries, and nearly every
antique shop is worth stopping at, to look at the copies of great works,
though there is too frequently a doubt as to their genuineness; for
there is great difficulty in obtaining permission to copy some of the
most celebrated of the old masters, therefore the demand for these
copies far exceeds the supply, and the shopkeepers resort to
unscrupulous means to satisfy their customers and fill their own
pockets. Many a British householder has pictures hanging upon his walls
with which he is so well pleased, that it would be a pity to question
their genuineness and undeceive him.

The chief and most important of the Art Museums are, the Uffizi or
National Gallery of Florence, and the royal Pitti Palace. These two
buildings, although on opposite sides of the river, are connected by a
picture-gallery some seven hundred yards long, which extends across one
of the bridges of the Arno. It is impossible to view separately, or form
a very connected after-idea of, all the various treasures gathered
here--a collection which equals any other in the world. The chief and
most universally admired paintings by the old masters are contained in
one room called the Tribune--here are also five of the most beautiful of
antique statues--the Wrestlers, the Dancing Faun, the Apollino, the
Slave, and lastly, the famous Venus de' Medici. Of this last I may truly
say, with Hawthorne, "It is of no use to throw heaps of words upon her,
for they all fall away, and leave her standing in chaste and naked
grace, as untouched as when I began." It is very, very beautiful, but
not to be compared with that perfect _chef d'oeuvre_ of sculpture, the
Venus of the Capitol, of which it is supposed to have been a copy.

The statues are hardly seen to the best advantage, as the paintings
behind them, and the many beautiful art treasures in the room, distract
the attention and weary the eye. In fact, in visiting all these
celebrated galleries in Italy, one is really unable to devote to each
the attention and admiration it deserves, and which we should naturally
accord were we not simply overwhelmed and dazzled with such profusion of
treasure; the mind refuses to store away all the beautiful and tender
thoughts that crowd into it in wild confusion--they pass away almost as
swiftly as they come, leaving our after recollections in a sadly
fragmentary state, with a feast of undigested mental food.

It is said that both painting and sculpture are almost lost arts at the
present time in fair Italy; and that the former has emigrated to
England, and the latter to Germany.

Besides paintings, there are some very beautiful mosaics, representing
scenes from Roman life. One room also contains a very rich collection of
gems, priceless relics of the Medici family set in jewels.

    "Precious stones, never grow old."

There are some cabinets wonderfully inlaid and adorned with the smallest
possible miniature paintings, representing Scripture scenes in
infinitely minute compass; they are exceedingly curious and beautiful,
and must have occupied years of patient toil and persevering talent.
There was noble and appreciative patronage in those days! Some of the
tables in the different rooms are marvellously inlaid and studded with
precious stones, the subjects being very beautiful in harmony of colour.
One great table, said to be worth £30,000, was sent, I believe, to the
exhibition of 1851.

The Pitti Palace was originally built by a rich merchant of that name,
and afterwards sold to the Medici; it now belongs to the King of Italy.
The gardens at the back of the palace are well worth walking through,
chiefly on account of the fine views of Florence obtainable from the
upper terraces.

       *       *       *       *       *

One of the most enjoyable trips outside Florence is to Fiesole (the
mother of Florence), the ancient Fiesula, an Etruscan town, older even
than Rome. It is situated in the mountains some thousand feet above the
valleys. We took a carriage thither, winding our way up the hillsides,
and passing many a picturesque-looking villa. One of them, Villa Mozzi,
is the property of an English artist, Mr. William Spence; another, the
Villa dei Tre Visi--celebrated in one of Boccaccio's tales--belongs to
the Earl of Balcarres. This site is much esteemed for the views it
commands of the beautiful plains and valleys by which fair Florence is
environed. Many of Italy's men of genius have retired to these peaceful
abodes, to recruit their health and meditate on those imperishable works
of art and literature which are now the admiration of the whole world,
adding greatly both to its pleasure and instruction.

In about half an hour we reached the quaint little village at the top,
having enjoyed our drive exceedingly, and having bought some pretty,
quaintly shaped straw baskets from the peasant women _en route_. After
passing into the Cathedral--there is no town or village in Italy too
small to boast of its Duomo, or Cathedral--we mounted still higher to
the little chapel on the site of an old monastery, and here we had a
magnificent view of the valley of the Arno, for nearly half its extent.
Florence, with her great Duomo reposing in the centre of a beautiful
plain, and numerous convents, villas, and villages lying here and there
around, some in the glens and valleys, others on the hillsides, the
whole encircled by the fine chain of mountains which formed a circular
boundary-line to the landscape. We found, a few minutes' walk from this
spot, the remains of a half-circular Etruscan amphitheatre, in fairly
good preservation. Wherever I have seen these coliseums and open-air
theatres, I have always found them most admirably situated for grand and
extensive views of the country beyond, and this, I think, must have
greatly added to the impressiveness of the performance, and perhaps
dignified the cruel and barbarous exhibitions that took place there, as
the silent and solemn forest scenery raised the superstitious sacrifices
of the ancient Druids to acts of veneration and worship.

We found here a very pleasant restaurant called the _Aurora Café_. It is
owned by the artist I before mentioned as the proprietor of one of the
charming villas. We partook of some refreshment, and I was offered
sundry coins and antiques, supposed to have been dug up from the
amphitheatre, or the still more ancient Etruscan village. I selected an
iron coin, with a fine superscription.

On descending the hillside, we met an English coach and four, and our
Italian driver fully shared in our enthusiastic admiration of the fine
"Hyde Park" turn out, and the skilful manner in which the horses were
handled on these mountain heights. Late in the evening we met the same
team, admirably coached through the narrow and crowded streets and lanes
of Florence.

       *       *       *       *       *

We found the climate of Florence bright and pleasant, bracing and
healthful, but it was rather too dear a place for those with a limited
income. We had heard that it was an expensive city, and so indeed we
found it, for with all our efforts to be economical our bill at the
Hotel de Russie was astonishingly high; nor were we alone in this
experience, our fellow-travellers averring that it was quite necessary
"to cut down your hotel bill, and not to pay quite all that was
demanded, as you were always overcharged," and we all remembered what
the "Innocents Abroad" had to say on the subject. As far as I have seen
of Italian travel, it is a system of "spoiling the Englishman," whenever
there is a chance, and the traveller might save himself the trouble of
ever taking his hand out of his pocket. As a specimen, we were actually
charged a franc each for four small mutton cutlets, and three francs
(_2s. 6d._) for a cauliflower! Of course I complained, and got one or
two francs knocked off. I believe most of the landlords are fully
prepared to reduce their bills, but Englishmen as a rule pay the
exorbitant prices charged, contenting themselves with a hearty growl at
the same on departure. I told the landlord plainly myself, that the
English seldom objected to pay liberally, but hated extortion. The
charge of two francs a day for attendance is a snare and a delusion, for
it is well known that this does not in the least exonerate one from
feeing the waiter, chambermaid, porter, boots, and even the omnibus
tout. It is a system of blackmail throughout, and I think something
should be done to abolish it, for it is undoubtedly one of the greatest
drawbacks to foreign travel. At present there seems a private
understanding among the servants, that one and all are to establish
some sort of claim on you, thus:--you ring--the chambermaid appears; you
ask for candles--she withdraws and sends the sommelier with them; and
every trifling duty is performed by a different personage, instead of
one servant taking the entire attendance, to whom you might feel some
satisfaction in giving a remuneration. I think that, under the present
_régime_ there is little doubt that the visitors pay the servants wages
rather than the landlord, and therefore the item of "attendance" charged
in the hotel bill is simply a fraud.

Then, at the railway stations you have a regular chain of porters for
your luggage, as formidable as the array of officials who receive and
show you into your hotel, one and all expecting a fee for the service of
_welcome_ (?) they have rendered. Hence, it is far cheaper to travel by
Cook's Tickets; and if you decide to remain a week or longer at a place,
it is a good plan to select a _pension_, where you will be charged so
much a week _inclusive_.

Such is the system of extortion in Italy, that if you purchase anything
at a shop--mosaics, jewellery, or what not--you are held in contempt if
you at once pay the price that is demanded, the shopkeepers naming a sum
perhaps three times as much as what they finally take and consider as a
good bargain.

       *       *       *       *       *

The 29th of March, the morning of our departure from Florence, was as
bright and bracing as a real old-fashioned English May morn, and we felt
it to be truly enjoyable as we sped over the well-cultivated and sunny
plains of the Florentine Basin, the outlines of the distant scenery
charmingly developing in the clear Italian atmosphere. Indeed, it is
this atmosphere which renders Italy so beautiful, every feature
displayed to the best advantage, and the eye allowed to roam from one
object to another; whilst in our London, for instance, during one half
the year, the view too frequently presents a blurred mass, little really
to be seen with distinctness, the buildings and great edifices looming
darkly through a half fog--no dimpling lights and shadows, giving life,
warmth, and animation, quickening one with admiration and rapture. It is
like an otherwise beautiful woman spoiled by a bad complexion.

We passed through fine open plains, then a series of tunnels, rocky
defiles, over mountain streams and fertile valleys, until we reached
Pracchia. We had been steadily ascending to higher ground, and were now
nearly at the top of a mountain range, a wild defile and stream on the
one side, a mountain road on the other. Then craggy cliffs, waterfalls,
and snow-capped mountains follow in grand succession; sometimes a deep
valley, with a mountain torrent plunging far, far into the depths below,
the water hanging from the rocks in long petrified icicles. Men and
women, like specks in the distance, toiling up the steep hills and
winding paths, laden with faggots. We seemed to have been circling round
two great mountains whilst having these enchanting glimpses of
ever-varying scenery, with no end of intervening tunnels. At last we
appear to have passed through a final one, and, emerging quite into
daylight, find we have attained the topmost part of the mountains at a
station called Pittachia, where we found a good buffet. We here
encountered a great many little country maidens, offering bunches of
beautiful primroses and violets--veritably a sweet refreshment!

Now we swiftly descend, a mountain stream chasing us on the right,
gradually swelling into a river, the Reno. In one part was the wreck of
a stone bridge which had evidently been carried away during the
inundations of December and January. Many parts of the river-bed were
silted up by the action of wind and water on to the great overhanging
sandstone mountain, enormous landslips in some places blocking up the
river and changing its course. We thus saw how the sand is carried down
to the mouths of the rivers into the sea, and how the great sand-banks
are formed, such as those on which Venice is built. Everything in Nature
is done progressively, never hasting, never resting.

At Bologna we had an opportunity of tasting the famous sausage-meat, and
found it exceedingly good, the flavour being somewhat like spiced beef.
The dogs of Bologna were, I believe, once a celebrated breed, which is
now almost extinct. I do not mean by this remark to induce any
uncomfortable reflections with regard to the sausages, but I really was
surprised that nothing in the shape of a dog made itself visible in
this town.

Journeying round from here, I could not help thinking what a total
contrast the scenery now presented to our view. It was one monotonous
level, a lagoon-like plain, partly swamped with water, the only features
in the landscape being the stunted trees, to which, at regular
intervals, the vines were symmetrically trailed and spread. Yet in the
far distance we caught the outline of the Apennine range, their snowy
summits almost disappearing in the warm blue-grey sky. Slightly in the
foreground the darker outline of the nearer hills bounded the basin of
the level plains.

At Monselise the scenery improves, and we saw some very picturesque
castle ruins, conical-shaped hills lying round; and on approaching Padua
we again obtained a fine view of the snow-clad Alps, with the huge mound
of hills at their base. We did not stop at Padua, having decided to do
so on our return. It is only an hour's journey from Venice, which we
were now rapidly nearing, and we eagerly scanned the horizon ever and
anon to catch the first glimpse of the wonderful city--the "eldest child
of liberty." We had the sea on our right, from whence blew a most
refreshing breeze; but soon it spread ahead and to the left, and then we
caught sight of little glittering minarets in the midst of the waters,
and then Venice, fairy-like disclosed herself to our admiring eyes,
rising slowly from the sea, and strangely bringing to mind Tennyson's
description of the magic city of Camelot:

    "Fairy Queens have built the city,
     They came from out a sacred mountain-cleft
     Toward the sunrise, each with harp in hand;
     And built it to the music of their harps."

Gradually the marble city took form, the slim towers and great domes
forming a lovely outline against the clear and cloudless beauty of the
evening sky.



                             CHAPTER XIX.

Arrival in Venice--The Water City--Gondola traffic--Past glories--Danieli's
Royal Hotel--St. Mark's Piazza--The Sacred Pigeons--St. Mark's--Mosaics--
The Holy Columns--Treasures--The Chian Steeds--The modern Goth.


Arriving at the station, our luggage was quickly carried to the
canal-side, where there were numbers of gondoliers awaiting us with
their hearse-like gondolas, which, as Byron describes in one of his
letters, "glide along the water, looking blackly just like a coffin
clapt in a canoe, where none can make out what you say or do." (There is
no name in either past or present times more sadly and inextricably
associated with Venice than that of George Gordon, Lord Byron.) It was
indeed a change from the usual noise and confusion at the end of a
railway journey, and it seemed strange not to see the usual array of
omnibuses. "The means of arrival in Venice, indeed, are commonplace
enough, but, lo! in a moment you step out of the commonplace railway
station into the lucid stillness of the water city--into poetry and
wonderland." The gondoliers are quite as clamorous as the liveried
omnibus legion. However, we soon found a representative of the Hotel
Danieli with a handsome gondola waiting to receive us. We stepped in
quickly, though most carefully--nay, even solemnly, and were soon
gliding over the silent water. There was a momentary tremor and
hesitation at first entering the long, slender, black craft with its
funeral-like hood or canopy; but the inside was luxuriously easy, and
the black cushions and drapery so comfortable that we speedily dismissed
our gloomy ideas, and began to enter into the busy moving scene around
us with the greatest delight and interest.

The gondolas were originally put into black by the order of the State,
as a rebuke to the lavish magnificence of the Venetians: they look now
as though they were in mourning for the past glories of the city. The
dress of the gondoliers was fortunately not included in the statute; and
the fine, stalwart fellow, who was quite winning our admiration by his
graceful movements in propelling our gondola, was attired like a
Venetian sailor, with a blue scarf round his waist, trimmed with silver
lace. These gondoliers, for the most part, are a light-hearted and
obliging race. They certainly hand you to your seat with a very solemn
politeness, giving you somewhat the impression of being handed into your
grave; but such thoughts are but for a moment, and soon disappear as a
smile flits over the bronzed, sailor-like countenance, and as the boat
glides rapidly between rows of great houses and marble palaces, which
rise out of the water on your right and left, "Giacomo" obligingly
pointing out the objects of interest as you pass along.

The aqueous road to our hotel lay for some distance down the Grand
Canal, and then turned aside into some of the numerous narrow lanes of
water which branch off in every direction; and it seemed truly
marvellous to us how skilfully the rectangular corners were turned, the
gondolier uttering a brief guttural shout of warning as we shot round,
in case of another gondola approaching from an opposite direction. As it
was, we had several very narrow shaves, and more than once stood in
danger of colliding. We were amused at seeing some of the hotel gondolas
that had preceded us from the station, stopping at the water-side
post-office for letters--woman, the true letter-lover, generally being
the most conspicuous applicant. And now we reach the steps of our hotel,
and are soon comfortably housed.

I feel we are at last really in Venice, and the memory of all her former
glory and greatness flits through my mind as we come under the
fascination of her magical influence. First comes a faint echo from
distant ages, of those ancient Veneti, who were powerful almost a
thousand years before the present Venice came into existence; then a
vision of the old Paduans, fleeing from their once wealthy city before
the devastating conqueror Attila. Driven from the land, they seek the
sea, and take refuge on the long spits of sand lying in a vast lagoon
beyond the mouths of several rivers. Settling down on the Rivo Alto
(Rialto), they commence to build a city, henceforth to be the wonder and
admiration of the world. Then a thousand years of glorious and active
life. There is a thrill almost of amazement at the magnificent courage
and audacity of this wondrous city, risen like Aphrodite from the sea,
and a shudder at the crimes that stain her annals--crimes as unique in
their matchless horror as any other part of her singular history.
Lastly, the gradual decay of her power, and the final catastrophe of her
fall.

Since leaving the train, we had almost been in dreamland, wandering in
the dark ages; but we were very suddenly brought back to bustling
nineteenth-century life, when the dazzling lights of the hotel broke
upon our visions, and we caught a glimpse of the numerous visitors
thronging the staircase--old men and matrons, young men and maidens, all
ascending to _table d'hôte_ in the great dining-room with an air of
pleasing interest and excitement.

Danieli's Royal Hotel, which, I believe, was originally one of the
Doge's palaces, is situated on the quay opposite the harbour, its side
entrance being in one of the narrow canals. In the evening, after
dinner, a band of musicians came into the inner court below, and
serenaded the visitors with Venetian love-songs.

We enjoyed a peaceful night's rest after the fatigues of travel, fully
anticipating a delightful awakening in this wonderful city.

The morrow came, with a lovely blue sky and bracing atmosphere, and
after breakfast we took our first walk in Venice. Crossing the quay and
certain of the little marble bridges that span the canals, and turning
to the right, round the Doge's Palace, we found ourselves in _St. Mark's
Piazza_--a great square, with colonnades of shops and _cafés_ running
round three sides of it; the apartments of the royal palace rising some
three stories on one side, and at the other end the beautiful Byzantine
Temple of _St. Mark's_, with its antique mosaic arches, surmounted by
the famous bronze horses and quaintly hooded domes, rising in exquisite
outline against the clear blue sky. Around and above us flitted
soft-hued pigeons in narrowing circles, alighting on the pavement in
flocks to be fed by the visitors and children, not unfrequently perching
on the hands of those who scattered food among them; and then flying off
once more to "nestle among the marble foliage of St Mark's, mingling the
soft iridescence of their living plumes with the tints, hardly less
lovely, that have stood unchanged for seven hundred years." These little
feathered beings are supposed to have some mystic influence over the
welfare of Venice, and are believed by the legend-loving people to fly
three times round the city every day.

At the entrance of the piazza towards the sea are two solitary columns,
supporting the mighty emblems of St. Mark.

    "The spouseless Adriatic mourns her love;
     St. Mark yet sees his lion where he stood,
     Spared but in mockery of his withered power."

The first step taken towards seeing Venice was to ascend the great
tower. Though its size is imposing, being some 320 feet high, it is an
ugly structure, but commands most splendid views. The ascent is most
easy--no tiresome steps, but simply inclined planes with brick-work
flooring. On arriving at the top and looking down, I saw Venice flooded
with the noonday light--"a golden city paved with emerald," stretching
before me like a realized dream; the innumerable canals running up from
the sea at right angles, while around and beyond lay the Adrian Gulf and
the great sea, dotted with tiny islands covered with buildings;--the
whole one vast lagoon or delta formed by the alluvial soil washed down
from the mountains and deposited by the rivers. The city is built upon
thousands and thousands of piles, the hard and costly wood for which was
brought with vast expense from the East, and driven down into the earth
and sand below. It was at such cost that the Venetians obtained so
admirable a position, and were enabled to command the commerce of the
world. The harbours were full of well-protected shipping, the narrow
passages of deep water by which alone large vessels could pass, being
marked by piles. It was strange to see the city, with its large and
solid buildings and churches, floating as it were on the water:

    "Underneath Day's azure eyes,
     Ocean's nursling, Venice lies--
     A peopled labyrinth of walls,
     Amphitrite's destined halls,
     Which her hoary sire now paves
     With his blue and beaming waves."



When I descended the tower, I felt, as when on the Capitol of Rome, that
I now understood more of the position of the city than many books could
have told me.

Of course, it was not long ere we passed under the portal of St. Mark's,
though we lingered long outside, admiring its beautiful proportions,
described by Ruskin in a burst of pure poetry as "a multitude of pillars
and grey-hooded domes clustered into a long, low pyramid of coloured
light: a treasure-heap, it seems, partly of gold and partly of opal and
mother-of-pearl, hollowed beneath into five great vaulted porches,
ceiled with fair mosaics and beset with sculpture of alabaster, clear as
amber and delicate as ivory--sculpture, fantastic and involved, of palm
leaves and lilies, and grapes and pomegranates, and birds clinging and
fluttering among the branches, all twined together in an endless network
of buds and plumes; and in the midst of it the solemn forms of angels,
sceptred and robed to the feet, and leaning to each other across the
gates, their figures indistinct among the gleaming of the golden ground
through the leaves beside them, interrupted and dim, like the morning
light as it faded back among the branches of Eden, when first its gates
were angel-guarded long ago."

This description of the great art-master, I of course accepted as from a
highly cultured æsthetic source; but fear that, from want of true poetic
light and art culture, I did not quite appreciate or realize it in the
interior, though to me the exterior outline and architecture were always
soft and beautiful. Unfortunately, one is greatly pestered outside by a
voracious band of touts, miscalled guides, some of them mere
uneducated-looking, parrot-like roughs, and whom it is laughable to
suppose could have any pretensions to refined knowledge and art
history--irreverent monsters who have no sympathy with, or appreciation
of, anything, except what you may have in your pockets.

The interior of St Mark's reminded me more of an Eastern mosque than a
Christian temple, with its heavy arches, arcades, galleries, colonnades,
and Protean gloom. "A grave and dreamy structure," says Dickens, "of
immense proportions; golden with old mosaics; redolent of perfumes; dim
with the smoke of incense; costly in treasures of precious stones and
metals, glittering through iron bars; holy with the bodies of deceased
saints; rainbow-hued with windows of stained glass; dark with carved
woods and coloured marbles; obscure in its vast heights and lengthened
distances; shining with silver lamps and winking lights; unreal,
fantastic, solemn, inconceivable throughout."

When the eyes have grown accustomed to the darkness, the soft rainbow
colours of the mosaics come stealing out to view one by one. Nearly the
whole of the interior, more especially the vaulting, is beautified by
these millions upon millions of tiny cubes of coloured and gilded glass,
arranged with infinite labour and skill, and wonderfully illustrating
the most beautiful and impressive parts of Holy Writ, with reference to
the history of mankind, from the creation. To blend these soft,
harmonious colours must have been the work of ages, especially those
portions which necessitated the patient artist working on his back,
while fixing each tiny cube into its proper place in the ceiling. The
antique pavement, undulating from sheer age and tread of multitudes of
worshippers in the past, and also probably from a sinking of the
foundation, is likewise tessellated with all the colours of the prism,
arranged in mystic symbols and intricate figuring. But it appeared to
me, at least, that this wonderful, Mosque-like building only wanted
great groups of monster idols, to complete a perfect resemblance to some
vast Hindoo temple of a dark bygone age, when the people's conception of
the Deity was of a being rather to be feared than loved, rather to be
dreaded than trusted.

Various services were going on in the numerous little chapels; and when
the principal morning service at the chancel was over, we ascended the
steps of the high altar in order to examine and admire the ancient
twisted red alabaster pillars, said to have been originally a part of
Solomon's Temple at Jerusalem; for nearly every stone in St. Mark's has
its history. The bronze folding doors came from the Mosque of St. Sophia
at Stamboul; the pillars at the entrance of the baptistery were part of
the booty of Arre; while there are three red flagstones on which
Barbarossa knelt to do reverence to St. Peter, in the person of the
Pope. The guide held a lighted taper on one side of the column, that we
might observe its glowing transparency. I could well enter into the
feeling of noble triumph which must have animated those great and
powerful Doges of past times, in thus being able to beautify their own
Christian temple in Venice at the expense of the unbelieving, barbarous
Turk, whose usurpation of these sacred relics and of the Holy Land was
righteously considered a scandal and a shame to the Christian world.

We visited the Treasure Chapel, and saw the precious things of the
temple--offerings of princes, potentates, and devotees, collected from
all ends of the world. Each apartment was secured by no end of bolts,
bars, and locks. Among other curiosities we were shown a cover of the
books of the Gospels, embellished with gold and jewels, from the Church
of St. Sophia, Constantinople; a crystal vase containing the blood of
the Saviour (!); a silver column supporting a fragment of the pillar at
which Christ was scourged; a cup of agate containing a portion of the
skull of St. John; the sword of the Doge Morocini; cuneiform writings
from Persepolis; an episcopal throne of the seventh century, said to
have been St. Mark's; and many other things, the genuineness of which to
try and believe was of course next to impossible; and one could only
marvel at the credulity of many good men and women, who must have dearly
liked to be deceived, and who almost worshipped these lying relics, and
would only look at them devoutly on their knees. One heartily wishes
that a valiant Luther had arisen amongst them in those days, to set them
free from this miserable bondage, and teach them that Christ's atonement
was surely enough for them.

On leaving the chapel, we were allowed as an exceptional privilege to
ascend the galleries round the interior, and look closely into the
beautiful mosaic-work, most of which is in a wonderful state of
preservation, though some of it is much defaced and decayed by damp. The
mosaics now being used in the restoration are made on a new principle,
being glazed over to preserve the surface and colour from the effect of
the air. We next went out into the open façade gallery, overlooking the
great Piazza, and stood between the famous bronze horses, whose
Arab-like symmetry we greatly admired.

    "Before St. Mark's still glow the steeds of brass,
     Their gilded collars glittering in the sun."

I hardly recognized the justice of Goethe's observation, of their
appearing to be somewhat heavily and clumsily modelled on a close
survey, considering their slender elegance when seen from below.

We found a great many masons and workmen employed, both inside and
outside St. Mark's, on the restoration and repairs. Fragments of the
beautiful mosaic were scattered about in heaps, which it seemed almost
desecration to tread upon. I swept them carefully together, and called
the attention of the workmen to the neglect of such precious bits of
antique workmanship. I believe these restorations are greatly exciting
the anger of lovers of art in England, by the imputed Vandalism of the
committee who are employed in directing the work. As this outcry is
principally raised by many eminent artists, who look on St. Mark's as a
perfect gem of antiquity, there must be some good reason for this
righteous anger, which, however, I much fear will be ineffectual to stay
the hand of the Goth.

I must confess, though with secret misgiving as to how such heresy will
be received, that as a whole, and apart from its antiquity and
interesting historical associations, and the exquisite mosaics, so rich
in colouring and design, I was rather disappointed in St. Mark's.
Certainly the exterior is beyond praise in its beautiful curving
outlines; but the interior is so exceedingly dark and heavy, that the
radiant beauty of the mosaics can only succeed in very partially
relieving the deep gloom. As a perfect specimen of the dark ages,
commend me rather to that little ancient Mosque beside the new Cathedral
modelled from it at Marseilles, with its low-arched domes and roofs, and
"dim, religious light."



                              CHAPTER XX.

A water-excursion--The Bridge of Sighs--Doge's Palace--Archæological
Museum--The Rialto--The streets of Venice--Aids to disease--Venetian
Immorality--The Arsenal--Nautical Museum--Trip to Lido--Glass works--
Venetian evenings--The great Piazza--Scene on the Piazzetta--Farewell
to Venice.


Stepping into a gondola one sunny day, we glided past the marble
palaces, at the landing-stages of which Venetian "water-carriages" were
moored. We sped down the Grand Canal, passing under the great Rialto
with a thought of the early Venetians who had settled there nearly two
thousand years ago; then round by the narrower and more shaded canals of
the silent city, and presently in one of the narrowest parts we passed
beneath a covered marble arch--the fateful Bridge of Sighs, with a
sympathetic shudder of pitying remembrance. We breathed more freely as
we emerged from these shadowed water lanes, and caught a glimpse of the
bright blue sea fronting us.

On another day we visited the Bridge of Sighs in more orthodox fashion,
so that we might quote with due veracity Byron's ever recurring lines--

    "I _stood_ in Venice, _on_ the Bridge of Sighs,
     A palace and a prison on each hand;"

and treading in the footsteps of generations of friendless and
oftentimes guiltless criminals, we passed over from the Hall of Justice
in the Doge's Palace, through secret passages, to the Piombi, or state
prison, and thence to the Pozzi, a series of gloomy rock-hewn dungeons,
where the air felt heavy with the breath of _murder_ dignified by the
name of judicial punishment, and where many a hopeless wretch had sighed
out his love, his hopes, and finally his cruelly persecuted life.

Our visit to the Doge's Palace was full of the deepest interest.
Mounting the beautiful fretwork marble staircase, just at the rear of
St. Mark's, we entered the great colonnade, and ascended to the rooms
above, which are all heavily decorated and adorned on wall and ceiling
with paintings by the great masters. The Hall of the Great Council is
esteemed one of the finest rooms in Europe. It is indeed a magnificent
apartment: but perhaps a more particular interest centres in the Sala
del Consiglio dei Dieci, or Hall of the Inquisition, as it was sometimes
appropriately called. Here the chairs of the terrible Ten still remain,
as though for some impending solemn conclave. Awful pictures of
bloodshed and death frown down from some of the walls in this Palace of
council chambers, and in one hall may still be seen two slits in the
wall, once lions' mouths, where secret information was lodged against
conspirators, or those suspected of being so, and by which the lives of
innocent people were sworn away. But there was a painful contrast
between the gorgeous chambers above and those noisome dungeons below.

We were greatly interested in the Archæological Museum, especially in
the library, which contains 120,000 volumes, and some 10,000 valuable
manuscripts, among which are many rare and beautifully illuminated
literary treasures: Cicero's "Epist. ad Familiaries," the first book
printed in Venice, 1465; a Florence "Homer," on vellum, 1483; Marco
Polo's Will, 1323; a Herbary, painted by A. Amadi, 1415; Cardinal
Guinani's Breviary, with Hemling's beautiful miniatures; and the
manuscript of the "Divina Commedia,"--are only a sample of the treasures
here contained, over which we could have lingered with great enjoyment
for a far longer time than we could well spare. Many of these books were
the loving work of devoted monks, who lived before the age of printing,
and wished to hand down to posterity the books they themselves had
loved. Such was their idea of the value of these religious books, and
more especially of the New Testament, that they were bound in costly
covers, adorned with precious stones--the labour of transcribing and
illuminating them being almost incalculable. The invention of machinery,
alas! in these latter days has banished for ever such conscientious
labours of love, and neither books nor anything else are impressed with
men's minds, hearts, and handiwork as they used to be. It is an age of
mechanism, sensational, æsthetical, and artificial devotion, and very
little is sacred but Self. Though it is good, in one sense, that sacred
books have been thrown broadcast on the world; it has, to a certain
extent, divested them of much of their peculiar value in the minds of
the multitude. This was strangely exemplified to me some few years ago,
when engaged in the suppression of the slave trade, on the east coast of
Africa. There was a sale of European effects at Zanzibar, and amongst
other articles was an Arab Bible--_i.e._ the Koran, translated into
English. British residents bid high for this prize; but the Arabs,
determined that their sacred book should not fall into the hands of
those whom they deemed as infidels, bid still higher, and eventually
carried it off. By-and-by there was an English Bible put up, and, in a
spirit of tit-for-tat, the Arabs bid high for this, supposing the
religious zeal of the British would have compelled them to bid still
higher. They, however, did nothing of the kind, and it was knocked down
to the disgusted Arabs, who now considered us a nation of infidels
indeed. It may be, that even in this way it was a good thing that a copy
of our Bible should fall into the hands of the zealous Mohammedans.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Rialto is a graceful double bridge of white marble, which by a
single span bridges the Grand Canal, leading from the bustling
market-place to the opposite side, which is almost as busy. Like old
London Bridge, it is crowded with little hucksters' shops; and I fancy
there is little real change in the scene it presents from the time when
the immortal Shakespeare drew his Shylock and Antonio from life. The
Hebrew is still a prominent figure in the thronged thoroughfare; but his
victim, let us hope, is conspicuous by his absence. Humanity is somewhat
softened since those days of yore.

Although there are no wheel-vehicles in Venice, and horses are still as
scarce as in Byron's time (when there were said to be only eight horses
in the city--four on the top of St. Mark's, and four in his lordship's
stables), it is easy to walk from one end of Venice to the other when
you once know your bearings, which are rather difficult to obtain,
unless you carry a pocket-compass, as all the places are so much alike,
and it is as easy to lose your way as in a forest. The streets are
narrow and crowded with shops, being connected by small bridges spanning
the canals at all points. Some of these smaller canals are in anything
but a wholesome or odorous condition, receiving, as they do, foulness of
all kinds from the houses. They must certainly render the city far from
healthy during the summer, when canal malaria and fever are prevalent.
Indeed, being almost tideless, they have to be occasionally dammed up
and cleaned out. Many of the narrow streets are also singularly
unsavoury; and though a foreigner should always be slow to judge of the
moral condition of a city by mere casual observation, the presence of a
very decided immorality is forced on one's notice in many ways in
Venice; it is impossible to doubt that not a few of these streets
contain perfect dens of filth and iniquity, judging by the
brazen-faced, abandoned-looking females who peer down at one from the
windows. It is hardly to be wondered at if this is so, pent up as the
population is between labyrinths of stone and water, streets and houses.
We know its condition in Byron's sad and reckless days, and it does not
seem to have improved much since.

I believe it is possible to walk nearly two-thirds round Venice by the
quays. It was in this way, only crossing the necessary bridges, that we
one day walked to the Arsenal, and visited the ancient Venetian
ship-building yard. We were particularly interested in the Nautical
Museum of the Italian Admiralty, just within the dockyard gates. Here
there is a very fine collection of models, from the historic gondola
"Bucentoro," on board which the Doges performed the singular ceremony of
"wedding the Adriatic," and the ancient war-ships which had met and
defeated the Turks, Greeks, and Genoese in many a tough encounter,--down
to the great ironclads of the Italy of to-day. We also saw a variety of
armour such as was worn in the ancient days of Venice, and a very quaint
old gun or mortar used in the days of her glory: it was entirely of
leather, and fired a large stone shot. On the poops and forecastles of
the ancient galleys were several guns on the modern mitrailleuse system,
to sweep down the slaves and criminals--who sat manacled by the feet,
while pulling the oars--in case of rebellion or disobedience. There are
many such sad mementoes at Venice, of an age of cruelty and tyranny,
when men were condemned unheard, to death or a life of slavery. But in
spite of these blemishes on a great name, Christendom is eternally
indebted to Venice, and her terrible but valiant Doges, for was she
not--

    "Europe's bulwarks against the Ottomite"?

Among our pleasantest days in Venice must rank that on which we took
steamer to Lido, one of the narrow islands lying between the Adriatic
Sea and the lagoon of Venice, which acts as a kind of natural breakwater
to Venice. It was quite a treat to set foot on _terra firma_ once more,
for here we did find real land, and at least a horse and carriage to
convey us if needed.

The public gardens on the Lido were a gift to the Venetians from
Bonaparte, who pulled down a great many buildings, not even sparing
those which were consecrated, in order to give them a public promenade.
It was laid out in 1810 by Giannantino Selna, and though nothing very
grand, affords real delight and refreshment to the people, who enjoy
many a frolicsome dance here on summer nights. We had our luncheon
outside the _Café_, where we enjoyed the sight of the bright waves which
tumbled in so briskly at our feet, and the breath of the fresh breeze
which blew off the Adriatic Sea facing us. After our brief rest, we had
a glorious walk on the sandy shore, where "little trembling grasses"
grew on the edges of the sea, and shells lay scattered about in
infinite profusion and variety. Our spirits rose with the invigorating
freshness of the scene, and we returned to Venice by the evening steamer
as delighted as children, with handkerchiefs full of sea-shore
treasures.

We also made an interesting expedition one morning to the Venetian Glass
and Mosaic Works on the Grand Canal. We here saw how the beautiful
mosaics are designed and adjusted, and how the delicate, rainbow-tinted
glass is blown and spun into any imaginable design one might desire. I
brought away a fanciful little souvenir in the shape of a large head or
top of a pin, on which my initials appeared in divers colours,
interwoven with flowers by the intelligent workman.

We visited several palaces and churches, but found nothing of particular
interest save some very beautiful silk tapestry, studded with precious
stones, which covered the altar in the church of the Jesuits.

I do not think I should care to spend a very long period in the moated
imprisonment of the Sun-girt City, especially during the summer, when
canal malaria and fever is rife; and should certainly never think, like
Shelley, of forming any plans "never to leave sweet Venice." I must,
however, confess that for a certain time there is an irresistible
attraction and fascination in the unique kind of life one is forced to
lead here. The evenings are peculiarly enjoyable. The light blue sky of
day deepens gradually through twilight into night; the stars shine out
of its soft depths with a brilliant though cold effulgence, reflected
glimmeringly in the surrounding waters, which flow in quiet stillness on
every side. There is nothing around to disturb the silent eloquence of
night, and the flow of thought and meditation.

After a long and tiring day of sight-seeing, and a re-invigorating
dinner at the hotel, it is deliciously Venetian to rest in the evening,
with windows open to the star-lit skies, and listen to the sweet
serenading of a boatful of singers, who float on the waters near the
hotel till a late hour at night, their gondola prettily illuminated with
coloured lamps, and the soft liquid sound of their voices filling the
air with melody.

The great place of resort is the _Piazza of St. Mark's_. Here, sipping
our coffee and ices at Florian's, and listening to a good band of music,
we saw a little of Venetian society, and had an opportunity of admiring
some of the beautiful and dignified patrician dames of the city, who
otherwise were scarcely ever visible. It was decidedly disappointing to
find they had almost invariably discarded the graceful and becoming lace
head-dress and mantilla, and adopted the French costume. We were much
pleased and amused at the gaily dressed nurses, who, with their quaint
silver head-dresses, and broad streaming ribbons, looked so good
tempered, and showed such pride and pleasure in the lovely dark-eyed
babes they carried; and we always looked out for the beautiful and
picturesquely attired flower-seller, who presented her tiny bouquet
with so charming a grace, and further bestowed a sweet smile on us in
return for our franc. Flocks of the soft-plumed and ever-hungry St.
Mark's pigeons would greet us, espying us from afar, circling round and
almost burying us in their midst, delighted to perch on our hands and
peck the grain we brought to throw them.

There was always a busy and moving scene in the adjoining piazzetta;
swarms of gondolas awaiting your pleasure, under the gay sunlit skies,
the gondoliers shouting, "_Gon_-dola! _gon_-dola!" in almost ceaseless
strain. It is a good plan, when going on an excursion, to carefully
select your gondola the night before. After breakfast, you will find it
awaiting you handsomely decorated, its owner smartly dressed, Venetian
sailor fashion, with blue and silver scarf; and, taking with you a
basket of good things in the way of refreshments, away you glide for a
day's genuine pleasure.

I am afraid the romance of the gondola days will be sadly invaded by the
number of little "Citizen" steamers, which ply from pier to pier; but,
as they will necessarily be confined to the traffic of the Grand Canal,
the smaller canals will still be sacred to the sombre, silent gondola.

The day of our departure at last drew near, and we felt we must bid a
reluctant farewell to--

    "The marble city by the silent sea."

On the whole we had not found it a very dear place. The charges at
Danieli's were moderate, and the hire of gondolas far cheaper than
carriages elsewhere. There is also far less inducement to spend money
than at Florence, Rome, and other places, for the shops are in a decided
minority, and sight-seeing the order of the day. We spent our last
evening in storing up in our minds all the pleasant memories of the past
week, and--

    "The following morning, urged by our affairs,
     We left bright Venice."



                             CHAPTER XXI.

Leaving Venice--Hervey's Lament--Scenery _en route_--Padua--Associations
of the past--A brief history of Padua, and the House of Carrara--General
appearance of the town--Giotto's Chapel--His beautiful frescoes--Character
of Giotto's work--The Cathedral--Palazzo della Ragione--The Wooden Horse
--St. Antonio--The Hermitage--The Fallen Angels--The University and its
students--Ladies of Padua--Situation of the city--An old bridge--Climate.


The silvery-voiced bells of Venice chimed sweetly over the waters as we
left her, bidding us a tender farewell, almost reproachful that we could
leave her so soon. Siren-like, she would fain entice us to remain with
her, but the old charm-power has departed with her past glory; and we
echoed Hervey's beautiful lament as we watched her domes and minarets
disappear slowly one by one in the distance.

    "And where art thou, with all thy songs and smiles,
     Thou dream-like city of the hundred isles--
     Thy marble columns, and thy princely halls,
     Thy merry masques and moonlight carnivals,
     Thy weeping myrtles and thy orange bowers,
     Thy lulling fountains 'mid ambrosial flowers,
     The cloudless beauty of thy deep blue skies,
     Thy starlight serenades to ladies' eyes,
     Thy lion, looking o'er the Adrian sea,
     Defiance to the world and power to thee?
     That pageant of the sunny waves is gone,
     Her glory lives on memory's page alone;
     It flashes still in Shakespeare's living lay,
     And Otway's song has snatched it from decay.
     But ah! her Chian steeds of brass no more
     Shall lord it proudly over sea and shore;
     Nor ducal sovereigns launch upon the tide,
     To win the Adriatic for their bride!
     Hushed is the music of her gondoliers,
     And fled the glory of a thousand years;
     And Tasso's spirit round her seems to sigh
     In every Adrian gale that wanders by!"

The journey to Padua is over a level, well-cultivated, and fertile
plain, intersected by many small canals. To the north, and on the left,
the snow-capped Tyrolese Alps form a grand relief to the monotony of the
surrounding country.

Padua is now a very quiet unimportant little city, with only about
forty-five thousand inhabitants; and very greatly changed from the time
when it was so justly famed for its University.

    "In thine halls, the lamp of learning
     Padua, now no more is burning;

           *       *       *       *       *

     Once remotest nations came
     To adore that sacred flame."

When Galileo, Fallopius, Fabricius, and other celebrated men were
professors at this university, it could boast of numerous students from
all parts of the world: Tasso and Columbus were educated here.
Shakespeare bears witness to the respect in which its learned doctors
were held, in his immortal "Merchant of Venice."

Livy was born here 50 B.C., dying in his seventy-sixth year.
He is supposed to be buried here, and his tomb is shown; but that his
bones lie beneath the stones is certainly like too many things in
Italy--a fable. Here, by-the-by, also dwelt the shrewish Katharina--

    "Renown'd in Padua, for her scolding tongue."

Padua, once Patavium, is of very ancient date, and is said to owe its
origin to Antenor, the brother of Priam, King of Troy. Dryden, in his
translation of Virgil, says--

    "Antenor founded Padua's happy seat,
     And gave his Trojans a secure retreat;
     There fixed his arms, and there renewed their name,
     And there in quiet rules; and crown'd with fame."

"In 452 Padua suffered severely from the invasion of Attila; and in 601
was burnt by Agilulf, King of the Longobards. In the Middle Ages it was
one of the towns which struggled most successfully against the Imperial
rule. In 1164 it joined the Lombardy league, and instituted its free
government. The town was then extended, and the Palazzo della Ragione
built. In 1222 the University of Padua was founded, in consequence of
the dissolution of that at Bologna. As a Guelphic city, Padua fought
against the detested tyrant Eccelino; and upon his fall, in 1259, the
town rose to great power. This time was marked by the building of the
grand Church of St. Antonio.... In 1337 Marsiglio da Carrara became an
independent prince. The Palazzo dei Princepili was built, and the town
greatly adorned under his government. His successor, Marsiglietti
Papafava, was murdered by Jacopo da Carrara (the friend of Petrarch),
who was in his turn murdered in 1350, after which his brother Jacopino
ruled five years. He was succeeded by his nephew, Francesco da Carrara,
who was celebrated for his wars against the Venetians, and afterwards
against the Milanese under the Visconti. An alliance between Venice and
Milan ended in the total defeat of the Paduans in 1388, and the
temporary fall of the House of Carrara. The story of the imprisonment
and after adventures of the Carraras is one of the most romantic of the
Middle Ages. Francesco Novello da Carrara and his devoted wife, Taddea
d'Este, escaped from the castle where they were immured by the Visconti,
and after a series of almost incredible adventures they reached
Florence. With assistance obtained from Bologna and Fruili, Francesco
once more presented himself before his native town, with a banner
bearing the arms of the House of Carrara. He called upon the Milanese
governor to surrender, and was received with derision; but he swam the
Brenta by night, crept into the town, and was welcomed with joy by the
citizens, who rose suddenly and successfully against the Milanese, and
proclaimed Francesco Novello sovereign lord of Padua on Sept. 8th, 1390.
He ruled till 1405, when a succession of wars with the Visconti and
Venice ended in the treacherous capture of the town by the Venetians.
Then brave Francesco Novello da Carrara and his sons were strangled,
after having endured imprisonment in a cage eight feet long by twelve
feet broad. Henceforth Padua shared the fortunes of Venice."

For this brief historical account I am indebted to Mr. Augustus Hare,
who has written so ably on the Northern and Central cities of Italy.

       *       *       *       *       *

As we intended to resume our journey and reach Verona the same evening,
we only remained in Padua a few hours. We put up at the Croce d'Oro,
where we found such comfortable quarters, that we almost regretted our
visit was to be so short. However, there was a decided air of melancholy
about the old city; the narrow streets with their arcaded walks were
unnaturally silent. These arcades afford shelter from both the sun and
rain, and one finds but little use for the English umbrella. The walks
are sometimes bordered by chestnut trees, and there are pleasant gardens
surrounding the quaint and noble old palaces. In Italy every residence
with an entrance for carriages is entitled a palace palazzo.

Not far from our hotel is the Church of S. Maria dell' Arnea, so called
from its standing near the ruins of an old Roman amphitheatre. It is a
plain Gothic building, designed by Giotto when quite young, and contains
his wonderful frescoes. Dante was living with him at this time.

The interior of the church--often called Giotto's Chapel--is somewhat
cold and bare at first sight; but the beauty of the paintings, which are
in a very fair state of preservation, considering their age, speedily
dispels this idea. The frescoes represent the history of the Virgin from
the rejection of Joachim's sacrifice to Mary's bridal procession. Ruskin
says, "It can hardly be doubted that Giotto had a peculiar pleasure in
dwelling on the circumstances of the shepherd life of the father of the
Virgin, owing to its resemblance to that of his own early years."

The Annunciation, the birth, and youth of the Saviour, and the events of
His ministry up to His driving the money-changers from the Temple, form
a second series; and afterwards the story of His passion and
crucifixion. They are most tenderly and beautifully dealt with,
conveying deep impressions of this painter's wonderful power, and the
concentrated thought and labour he must have bestowed upon his work.
There are also allegorical frescoes, representing very appropriately the
virtues and vices. The female figures of this artist are singularly
graceful.

"The works of Giotto," says a modern writer (Lindesay), "speak most
feelingly to the heart in his own peculiar language of dramatic
composition; he glances over creation with the eye of love, all the
charities of life follow in his steps, and his thoughts are as the
breath of the morning. A man of the world, living in it, and loving it,
yet with a heart that it could not spoil nor wean from its allegiance to
God--'non meno buon Christiano che excellenti pittore,' as Vasari
emphatically describes him. His religion breathes of the free air of
heaven rather than of the cloister; neither enthusiastic nor
superstitious, but practical, manly, and healthy."

One needs go again and again to do full justice to this interesting
church, but being exceedingly cold, it is difficult to avoid taking a
chill. It is a great pity that all the churches throughout Italy are
allowed to be so cold and damp, to the injury of the valuable works of
art they contain.

We paid a hasty visit to the Cathedral, which claims Michael Angelo as
its architect. Here we admired a beautiful missal in vellum, printed at
Venice in 1498; it is full of miniatures. We also saw Rinaldo's bust of
Petrarch, who was a Canon of this church.

The Piazza delle Erbe and the Piazza dei Frutti, the quaint-looking
vegetable and fruit markets, are situate on either side of the Palazzo
della Ragione, celebrated for its vast Hall, with great vaulted ceiling,
said to be the largest in the world unsupported by pillars. It measures
ninety-one yards in length and thirty in breadth, and is seventy-eight
feet high. The inner walls are adorned with frescoes. At the end of the
hall is a gigantic wooden horse, built in sections, supposed to have
been the model of Donatello for his bronze statue of Gattamelata, or one
of the horses of St Mark's at Venice. At one time it was covered with
skin to resemble life.

We scarcely did more than catch a glimpse of that ugly pile St Antonio,
where the bones of Padua's patron saint repose--the good St. Anthony.

In the Hermitage Church are the tombs of the Carrara family; and in the
old Sacristry there is a very beautiful picture of St. John the Baptist,
by Guido; also some frescoes and other paintings, but very much spoiled
by the damp.

At the Palazzo Trente Papafava, through the kindness of its noble owner,
we saw Fasolata's most beautiful piece of sculpture, the Fallen Angels.
It is a solid block of white Carrara marble about five feet high, and
represents the angels cast out from heaven, a group of sixty-five to
seventy figures. "They are in all attitudes that the human form could
take in such a headlong descent, and are so animated in appearance that
they are almost flying. Each angel is separate from the rest, but the
whole are twisted and twined together in a complicated manner, and are
most exquisitely chiselled, even in the minutest part. The wonder is how
the sculptor reached the inner portion of the group. The archangel
Michael forms the top of the pyramid."

This wonderful and unique piece of statuary took Fasolata twelve years
to accomplish; it was the first work he had ever done. He was afterwards
induced to visit England in order to execute a similar piece, but he
died, it is said, of home-sickness, poor fellow! I was greatly pleased
to have seen this great work, which, I think, is one of the most
beautiful and wonderful I have ever beheld. It is of priceless value.

In this palace are also Damini's frescoes.

We regretted we had not time to visit the university, which as late as
1864 had over a thousand students. Howells, writing some years ago,
says, "They were to be met everywhere; one could not be mistaken with
the blended air of pirate and dandy these studious young men assumed.
They were to be seen a good deal on the promenade outside the walls,
where the Paduan ladies are driven in their carriages in the afternoon,
and where one sees the blood horses and fine equipages for which Padua
is famous."

Talking of ladies, I noticed with pleasure that all the women in this
town wore the graceful and picturesque lace head-dress of the country,
which I thought significant of their conservative good sense.

Padua is situated near the junction of the rivers Brenta and
Bacchiglione, amidst gardens and vineyards; behind rise the Euganean
Hills, among which Shelley wrote his beautiful "Lines":

    "Beneath is spread like a green sea
     The waveless plain of Lombardy,
     Bounded by the vaporous air,
     Islanded by cities fair;

           *       *       *       *       *

     Many-domed Padua proud
     Stands, a peopled solitude,
     'Mid the harvest shining plain,
     Where the peasant heaps his grain
     In the garner of his foe,
     And the milk-white oxen slow
     With the purple vintage strain
     Heap'd upon the creaking wain."

We crossed an old bridge, on which was the following inscription:--

    "Here Novello da Carrara with forty-two hero friends went down the
    stream, attacked the bridge, routed the Visconti; and in glad
    triumph was received again by the people as their lord. June 19,
    1390."

Padua is considered a healthy place for invalids, and many, are ordered
thither from other Italian towns. The cost of living is, I believe, more
moderate than in any other city of Northern Italy.

The people complained bitterly of the cold and unseasonable weather they
had experienced; and more especially of the incessant rains and
destructive inundation of the winter of 1882.



                             CHAPTER XXII.

Journey from Padua--The great Quadrilateral--Historic Verona--Hotel due
Torri--Recent inundations--Poetic Verona--House of the Capulets--Juliet's
tomb--Streets and monuments--Cathedral--Roman amphitheatre--Shops--Veronese
ladies--Departure--Romantic journey--Lake Garda--Disenzano--Brescia.


The route between Padua and Verona was not particularly interesting,
until nearing the latter, when we were able to form some idea of the
vastness of its military works. This city, combined with Peschiera,
Mantua, and Legnano, formed the great Quadrilateral, which was
considered impregnable, and from which it was supposed no army once shut
in could ever escape without total defeat. During the last war of
Italian Independence, when France was allied with Italy against Austria,
the army of the latter country was here enclosed within its own strong
fortress, and ultimately had to succumb, after which Verona in 1866 was
restored to Italy.

The city of Verona is of very ancient date, having been founded by the
Rhoetians and Euganeans. It was made a Roman colony about the year B.C.
89. It has been the birthplace of many of Italy's brightest
geniuses--Catullus, the special poet of Verona, as Virgil was of
Mantua, Cornelius Nepos, Æmilius Maca, Vitruvius, Pliny the younger,
Scaliger, Sanmicheli, Paul Veronese; and it also possesses great
historical interest, and many antiquities and remains of ancient
buildings. It is still a considerable town, with some 60,000
inhabitants.

       *       *       *       *       *

We arrived late in the evening, and drove at once to the Hotel Royal
Barbesi (Due Torri), which I should fancy, in the palmy days of the
city, was the grand hotel. At the present time it has a desolate,
old-fashioned look about it, as though it had not kept pace with the
times. It has a great courtyard open to the sky, round which the rooms
range in storeys, very cold and dimly lighted. However, when the
somewhat elderly chambermaid brought candles and hot water, and the
waiter lit up the dining-room, things began to have a more cheery
appearance, and we sat down to our very late dinner, feeling more
comfortable. The head waiter became quite animated, and, after a little
difficulty, induced the Dutch stove to give out some warmth. I ceased to
wonder at the desolate appearance of the place, when I heard that it had
scarcely recovered from the disastrous effects of the floods during the
preceding December. One night it had rained heavily, and the next
morning, to the landlord's consternation, the courtyard was found to be
some six or seven feet deep in water; the cellars and lower rooms and
offices were completely swamped, and the horses had to be brought up to
the first floor. The visitors, some forty or fifty in number, were quite
unable to leave the hotel; and, owing to the incessant rain, this
pleasant state of affairs continued for a week. Many of the churches,
houses, and shops were eight feet under water, and ruin and destruction
seemed inevitable. Meanwhile gondolas and other boats were employed as
much as possible for the conveyance of food, etc., but the rush of the
water from the higher to the lower parts of the town was so great, it
was difficult to use them. It was not surprising, therefore, that the
town made a chill and dismal impression on us. We felt quite aggrieved
at thus being defrauded of Dickens' "Pleasant Verona." "Pleasant
Verona," says our delighted humorist, "with its beautiful old palaces,
and charming country in the distance, seen from terrace walks; and
stately balustraded galleries. With its Roman gates still spanning the
fair street, and casting on the sunlight of to-day the shade of fifteen
hundred years ago. With its marble-fitted churches, lofty towers, rich
architecture, and quaint old quiet thoroughfares, where shouts of
Montagues and Capulets once resounded:

    "And made Verona's ancient citizens
     Cast by their grave beseeming ornaments
     To wield old partisans.

With its fast rushing river, picturesque old bridge, great castle,
waving cypresses, and prospect so delightful and so cheerful! Pleasant
Verona!"

Verona is situated on the sides and at the base of a circle of hills,
in a bend of the river Adige, by which it is divided, so that when the
river is flooded by heavy rains, the low-lying parts of the town are
soon under water.

The name Verona brings a delicious flavour of romance and poetry with
it. If Shakespeare had only made it the birthplace of his "Two
Gentlemen," and the scene of Julia's sweet constancy, it would have been
enough to cast a halo over it; but all other associations pale before
the memory of the "star-crossed lovers," whose names rise to the mind at
the mention of Verona as readily as those of Portia and Shylock are
recalled at Venice. Doubtless, there are being enacted around us events
fully as interesting, as amusing, as sad, and as tragic as those
depicted by our great dramatist, for the world is ever the same--human
nature varies little, be time and fashion what they may; lovers love as
truly and passionately as ever did Romeo and Juliet; and selfish ignoble
feelings mar the beauty of mankind as of old. Yet, surely the world is
improving--the sun of Christianity has long been struggling behind the
dark clouds of the past, and we now surely begin to see its glorious
silver lining, and find the world bursting into nobler, higher, and
better life.

Our first impulse, on the morrow of our arrival, was to go in search of
Juliet's home, and see the balcony where she confessed her love in the
moonlight, all unconscious that he of whom she spoke was an eager
listener to the outpourings of her fervent soul:

    "O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?
     Deny thy father, and refuse thy name;
     Or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
     And I'll no longer be a Capulet."

The house was easily found. In the Via San Sebastiano (formerly the Via
Capello) are many high, dull-looking houses with overhanging roofs, once
the residence of the Veronese nobility. They are built, for the most
part, of dirty brick, and are not very picturesque save for now and
again a Gothic window, or a fragment of iron lattice grating, rusty and
broken, which lends a certain dignity, as though they were yet pervaded
with the spirit of the past. One of these houses, somewhat larger than
the others, was once the house of Shakespeare's youngest heroine. Over
its archway is still the hat, or "capello," which represents the arms of
the family of the Capulets. We were greatly disappointed at the gloomy
appearance and inappropriate surroundings of the scene of one of the
tenderest and saddest love-tales that have come down to us from ages
past. There is a balcony certainly, but too high, I think, for even the
ardent Romeo to have climbed; there were, however, evident signs of
another balcony lower down, which had been removed, possibly to prevent
its incontinently falling on the head of some unfortunate pedestrian.
The house, which is known by the name of the Osteria del Capello, has
long been used as an Inn. It may perchance have been a flourishing
hostelry--say a century ago, but at the present time its fortunes have
reached a very low ebb, and only the lower portion of the building is
used for that purpose. The remaining storeys within the spacious
courtyard are let to artisans and others of the lower classes. They all
have balustraded balconies, on some of which we saw clothes hanging out
to dry. Within the courtyard is a well, from which the women draw water
for household purposes, and the Vetturini clean their carriages. The
place was swarming with children, not over clean; and, in fact, the
whole locality was so dirty we were glad to get away--it was impossible
to indulge in poetic memories in view of such desecration.

We now made our way almost to the other end of the town, in search of
Juliet's tomb. After passing the workmen's quarter, we presently came to
a large wooden door, and on knocking were admitted to the garden of an
old suppressed convent. Crossing the grounds, we reached the building
itself, where, next to the outer wall, we were shown a large open
sarcophagus of reddish stone, the sides about four or five inches thick,
and partly broken. The inside was strewn with visiting-cards--travellers
from all parts of the world paying this tribute of respect to the memory
of the unfortunate girl-bride. There were even some photographs, one of
which I especially noticed of a young lady, who had written on the card
a few lines of sympathy for poor Juliet's faithful and devoted love.
Although there was something touching in this veneration of a past
romance, I think it was carrying sentiment a little too far to leave
visiting-cards and photographs in a desolate and deserted tomb, which we
have no positive proof ever contained the remains of La Giulietta, as
the Veronese call her. For my part, I think it far from probable that it
was ever the scene of the tragic end of these unhappy lovers.

    "But wherefore all this wormy circumstance?
      Why linger at the yawning tomb so long?
    Oh for the gentleness of old Romance,
      The simple plaining of a minstrel's song!
    Fair reader, at the old tale take a glance,
      For here in truth it doth not well belong
    To speak:--O, turn thee to the very tale,
      And taste the music of that vision pale."

The streets of Verona are, in general, narrow and paved with rough
stones very fatiguing to walk on: the Corso Cavour is the finest
thoroughfare. Our hotel was situated in a quiet side street, from
whence, turning to the left, is the Piazza dei Signori which has in its
centre a statue of Dante, who, after his banishment from Florence, lived
longer at Verona than at any other place, but died and was buried at
Ravenna.

    "Happier Ravenna! on thy hoary shore,
     Fortress of falling empire! honour'd sleeps
     The immortal exile."

There is also a beautifully built town hall in the Byzantine style, with
statues of some of the most eminent Veronese--Maffei, Catullus, etc.
Then there are the law courts, the old castle of the Scaliger family,
and the vast brick Campanile, some three hundred feet high. Close to
this piazza is a little church, also in the Byzantine style, where,
enclosed by a wonderful network railing of very curious design and
beautiful workmanship, are the finely sculptured sarcophagi of the
Scaligers, the founders of the city.

Emerging from the piazza, we found ourselves in the quaint and busy
market-place, the Piazza delle Erbe, reminding me of a huge open Covent
Garden, only that here the healthy, robust market-women sit under
immense umbrellas, whilst vending their fruits and vegetables. All
around are houses of different size and form, painted in various
colours, the whole making a bright and picturesque scene. In the centre
there is a very ancient fountain; at the top are stone columns, which
once supported the winged lions--the token of Venetian rule--thrown down
on her emancipation. This market-place was the Forum in ancient times.

The Cathedral contains little worth seeing save the fine painting of the
_Assumption_, by Titian. In the foreground the Apostles are standing
beside the empty grave, looking upward at the figure of the Virgin, who
is borne aloft upon the clouds by the usual attendant angels. The effect
of this is very beautiful. The façade and porch outside are very fine.
There are two figures in red marble, of Roland and Oliver, on either
side, which are considered proof of a rather doubtful tradition that
this church was built by Charlemagne.

At the Capuchin Church we saw a _Dead Christ_, by Paul Veronese, one of
his best works. Santa Maria della Vittoria contains a _Descent from the
Cross_, by the same illustrious artist, many of whose finest pictures
are in the Pinacoteca, in the Palazzo Pompei, of this his native city.

We visited the churches of San Stefano and San Zeno. The former was once
the Cathedral of Verona, and contains the tombs of most of the bishops
who were buried there. The latter is very fine from an architectural
point of view.

One of our most enjoyable expeditions was that to the ruins of the great
amphitheatre. It is constructed of red marble from the Veronese
quarries, upon basements of Roman brickwork. No other amphitheatre can
be compared with this for costliness of material; nor I believe, for
size, it having contained some fifty to sixty thousand spectators at a
time. It is somewhat oval in form, being 546 feet by 436 feet across;
the circumference is 1476 feet. The outer circuit once consisted of
seventy-two arches, but only four now remain. The height from the
pavement is 106 feet. Inside, the great flight of marble steps or seats
rise tier above tier, and when at length we gained the top, we had a
magnificent view of the whole city, and of its strong fortifications.
The outer wall of the amphitheatre, all rugged and overgrown with weeds,
seemed like the side of some huge cliff. There, far below in the piazza,
people were passing backwards and forwards, outside the _cafés_ loungers
sipped their chocolate and smoked their cigarettes. The city lay before
us, with all its palaces, churches, vineyards, picturesque towers, and
forked battlements, divided by the swiftly flowing river, which curved
round like a flash of light; and beyond lay the circling landscape,
crowned with convents and villas; and in the far distance the Euganean
Hills, with their blue and purple tints, and the snowy peaks of the
Tyrolese Alps. It was indeed a lovely and an interesting scene.

The amphitheatre, as it now stands, is in excellent preservation; I
believe a large sum is annually devoted to the purpose of keeping it so.
It is a noble specimen of the gigantic works of the indefatigable
Romans. These great Coliseums give one some idea of the immense
populations of the cities in those times. We were very pleased with the
fine echo in this Veronese amphitheatre.

The fortifications of the city are remarkably fine. Sanmicheli, the
Italian engineer who planned them, was certainly a great architect; the
Doric gate, Porta Strippa, Porta Nuova, and many of the buildings and
palaces in Verona, were designed and built by him, and are good examples
of his remarkable powers.

The shops here are fairly good, the town, as usual, abounding with
_cafés_ and confectioners. Oil and wine appear to be the principal
products now, but at one time there were some ten thousand hands
employed in the silk trade. There were evidently some very enjoyable
excursions to be made in the country surrounding the city, but our short
sojourn did not allow of our undertaking any pleasure trips.

The people looked healthy, but I did not find much to praise in the
beauty of the Veronese ladies, who, less wise than those of Padua,
discarded the graceful and becoming head-attire of black lace, and
adopted excruciating and deforming Parisian fashions.

It was a beautiful, bright, clear day when we left Verona in the
forenoon of April 5th, for Milan. Passing through the suburbs of the
town, we realized to the full the beauty of its situation, nestling in
the valley of the Adige, with undulating plains, well cultivated and
dotted with villages, and the splendid amphitheatre of hills in the
background harmoniously blending with grey blue sky, altogether making
one of the finest bits of river and hillside scenery I have ever seen.
Every commanding point bristled with fortifications. This part of the
famous quadrilateral is evidently exceedingly strong, but it would
require an immense force to garrison the forts alone. These recent
acquisitions of Italy, and her ambition to be a first-class naval power,
must very greatly increase her national debt, and probably another large
loan will soon be wanted. However, the Italians appear quite alive to
the dignity and responsibility of the position they have been suddenly
brought into since the Crimean War, and they seem determined to be equal
to it.

It was interesting to witness, close to the train, on a very fine
camping ground, the exercises of the cavalry and artillery as we passed.

At Peschiera, distant about a quarter of an hour's railway journey from
Verona, we came in sight of the beautiful Lake Garda, the snow-clad
mountains rising almost precipitously from its blue waters. A tiny
vessel, with green and red sails like wings, floated peacefully along;
the verdant fields and never-ending fortifications in the foreground.
Then, as we changed our course, the lake slowly expanded, disclosing the
soft, harmoniously tinted hills sloping upwards from its shores, a warm
mist blending their outline with the sky above. Every moment opened new
scenes of loveliness to us--little nestling villages of dazzling
whiteness; a narrow strip of plain, with clumps of cypress trees; and
presently a small island in the bosom of the lake, seemingly a tiny city
with castellated tower resting on the blue waters; great mountain peaks
rising grandly in the background. This island of Sirmione which is
connected with the mainland by a stretch of sand, contains some old
ruins said to have been the villa of Catullus.

At 11.25 we arrived at Desenzano, the station of which overlooks the
lake, but the town itself is at some little distance. It seemed so
lovely here, I quite regretted we were to continue our journey to Milan.
After Desenzano, which possesses a picturesque little castle with
turreted walls, the railway passes on to higher ground, affording more
commanding views of the lake scenery. Then the land intervened, and we
quite lost the lake. The weather was delightfully warm, the air bracing,
and the sky cloudless. The sunny hills, flooded with soft purple light,
reflected from the red soil in the foreground, added greatly to the
beauty of the scene. The olive and the vine seem to love this richly
coloured earth, and always flourish splendidly on it. Pizzato is finely
situated at the foot of the great Carrara marble quarries. Thousands of
hands are employed here. There were consignments of marble columns and
blocks for building purposes at the station, ready to be despatched,
probably to all parts of the world; for the hard and beautiful white
marble dug out of these stupendous Alpine quarries is greatly in request
for monuments, tombs, etc. After this we lost sight of the snow-clad
hills for a time, but at Brescia they reappeared.

The castle and fortifications of Brescia are boldly placed, overlooking
the city. The Cathedral Dome, and red serrated hills, add a picturesque
grace, with the purple mountains in the background. Up to this point our
journey had charmed us with its beautiful and varied landscapes, but the
remainder of the route appeared tame and uninteresting. It was our first
taste of the beautiful Italian lake scenery, and we were spoiled for
anything less lovely. Much of the ground we passed over in this journey
from Verona to Milan was full of historic interest, having been, from
its important central and strategic position, one of the great
battle-fields of Europe both in ancient and modern times.



                            CHAPTER XXIII.

Arrival in Milan--Railway station--Tram carriages--History and present
condition--The Cathedral--Irreverence of Italian Priests--The Ambrosian
Liturgy--Sunday school--S. Carlo Borromeo--Relics--A frozen flower-garden
--View from the tower.


Arriving at Milan shortly before dusk, we drove at once to the Hotel de
France, where we had been assured we should find cleanliness and
moderate charges. It is very conveniently situated at the head of the
Corso Vittorio Emmanuele, near the Cathedral, and it was certainly
cleanly; but if I ever go to Milan again, I should give the Hotel de la
Ville the preference.

Catching a glimpse of the public gardens on our way, and passing up some
of the principal streets, we saw something of the greatness and
attractiveness of the city. The station is quite a busy terminus, like
Euston, or the Midland--a fine building, and brilliantly lighted up at
night by electricity, two lamps outside illuminating the park-like
piazza. The tramway omnibuses (which are not propelled by steam, as at
Florence), move about as briskly as in London; they are, however, more
neatly and comfortably appointed than ours.

Milan, anciently called "La Grande," still looks like the capital of a
great kingdom, although, like Turin, it has been deserted in favour of
Rome. It has fine buildings, well-lighted streets, beautiful public
gardens, and brilliant shops. It is, moreover, very clean for an Italian
city, and gives the idea generally of wealth and progress, for it is
full of gay and busy life; yet it is a small city in comparison with our
own great capital, being only about seven miles in circumference, and
with a population of 320,000. Owing to its central position in Lombardy,
Milan has always been prosperous, and is one of the richest
manufacturing towns in Italy, silk and woollen goods being the chief
commodities. Since 1859, when it was incorporated into Italy, it has
also risen to the first rank in the fine arts, and, I believe, has
wonderfully progressed as an educational centre generally.

It must have been a proud and glorious day when, after the peace of
Villafranca, Victor Emmanuel and the French Emperor, with the leaders of
the allied armies, marched in triumph through Milan. Bouquets and
garlands of flowers were strewed in their way; the wounded of both sides
were brought in, and tenderly nursed by the Milanese ladies. It was
Italy's first day of real free national life; she had at last cast off
the oppressive yoke of Austria for ever! But she had still one other
adversary to conquer--the enslaving Papal power; and this she also nobly
accomplished a few years later, as all the world knows. The Italians
have a grateful remembrance of the sympathy shown and influence exerted
by England at the time of their emancipation.

       *       *       *       *       *

Our hotel being so close to the Cathedral, we saw just enough of its
external beauty and grandeur on the evening of our arrival, to
anticipate with the greatest eagerness our visit on the morrow to this
magnificent structure of white marble, which stood so majestically
outlined under the blue, star-lit sky, its graceful spires and peaks
seeming interminable:

    "And high on every peak a statue seem'd
     To hang on tiptoe."

It is regarded by the inhabitants as one of the wonders of the world,
and is certainly unique in its style, which belongs to no school. "From
the beginning," says a modern writer on architecture, "it has been an
exotic, and to the end of time will probably remain so, without a
follower or imitator of the singular development of which it is the only
example.... It has all the appearance of having been the work of a
stranger, who was but imperfectly acquainted with the wants or customs
of Italian architecture, working to some extent with the traditions of
his own native school before him, but at the same time impressed with a
strong sense of the necessity under which he lay, of doing something
quite unlike what he had been taught to consider necessary for building
in his native land.... There is a constant endeavour to break up plain
surfaces of wall, unlike the predilection for smooth surfaces of
walling so usual in thoroughly Italian work."

Early the following morning, immediately after breakfast, we proceeded
to the great open Piazza in which the Cathedral stands. It is of almost
dazzling whiteness in the bright sunshine, and I could not but think
what a contrast it offered to our great St. Paul's, so buried in the
heart of the city, amid the roar and din of commerce. And how different
the smoky atmosphere in which the great Dome is enshrouded, to the
clear, bright air of Milan, where every delicate spire, every graceful
projection with its play of light and shadow, is seen to perfection, and
the pure whiteness of the marble is unsullied by the soot and dirt which
form, alas! a complete veil to our own Cathedral! What aspect, I
thought, would the fairy-like Dome of Milan present after a winter in
our city of fogs? The lights and shades of Wren's great work appear to
be made up of smoke, which has been partially washed off by driving
winds and rains.

The roof is adorned with a hundred turrets, and more than a thousand
statues of angels, saints, and men of genius. On the topmost spire
towers a gilt figure of the Virgin Mary, to whom the church is
dedicated.

                  "An aërial host
     Of figures human and divine,
     White as the snows of Apennine
     Indurated by frost.

    "Awe-struck we beheld the array
     That guards the temple night and day,

     Angels that might from heaven have flown
     And virgin saints--who not in vain
     Have striven by purity to gain
     The beatific crown;

    "Long-drawn files, concentric rings,
     Each narrowing above each;--the wings--
     The uplifted palms, the silent marble lips,
     The starry zone of sovereign height,
     All steeped in this portentous light!
     All suffering dim eclipse!"

With the exception of the façade, it is in a pseudo-Gothic style. It was
founded about the year 1386, by Gian Galeazzo, Visconti Duke of
Milan--probably somewhat after the model of the Cologne Cathedral; and
in 1805 Napoleon added the tower over the Dome. A very large sum of
money was left for keeping the church in repair--a deed stipulating that
a certain amount must be expended annually on this object, I believe,
something at the rate of £2000 a month! The marble used is of an
unusually soft nature, hence its decay and cost of repair. But these
constant patchings certainly disfigure and spoil the beauty of the
surface architecture, especially at the Eastern end, and afford a
convincing instance of how a man may mar his own object by want of
judgment.

The first view of the interior is very striking, the vaulting being
supported by fifty-two exceedingly lofty clustered columns, dividing the
church into a nave and two aisles each side. These columns have most
beautifully sculptured capitals, formed of figures within niches. They
greatly impede the light, however, and the view within the church
generally, and from the pavement the canopies of the capitals have
somewhat the appearance of outspread parasols, which lends a slightly
grotesque air. The vaulting itself also being panelled, to resemble
elaborate stone fretwork, rather detracts from the general beauty of the
building, being but a meretricious kind of ornamentation, and quite
unworthy the building. There are three stained glass windows above the
choir--

    "Through which the lights, rose, amber, emerald, blue,"

stream upon the pure marble and golden pulpits.

    "Likewise the deep-set windows, stain'd and traced,
      Would seem slow flaming crimson fires
     From shadow'd grots of arches interlaced,
        And tipt with frost-like spires."

Thus Tennyson in his "Palace of Art," with which this beautiful edifice
at Milan may fully compare. Some of the windows illustrate the life of
the Saviour, and the Revelations of St. John at Patmos. The whole
Cathedral impresses the mind greatly with its beauty and solemnity, so
essentially different to the too frequently tawdry decorations of most
of the Roman Catholic churches.

"It seems as if the ancient spirit of religion, such as dwelt in Milan
in the days of St. Ambrose, loved to linger here. The inscription, which
is conspicuous on the rood aloft, 'Attendite ad Petram unde excise
estes' (Look unto the Rock whence ye were hewn), pointing to Christ, not
St. Peter, as the true Rock of the Church, is very significant." The
great charm of this church is the impressive feeling that steals over
one on entering, that it is indeed the House of God. There is a certain
simplicity in its grandeur that is infinitely refreshing, after seeing
so many temples desecrated as mere places of theatrical display.

In Italy one soon tires and becomes disgusted with the glitter of
tinsel. I have visited some of the churches when in a state of
preparation, when the priests, with their assistants, have fussed about
as it were behind the scenes, and got the pageantry and scenic displays
ready. Gilded wooden candlesticks are brought out from behind some altar
or secret cupboard; a shabby, painted image of the Virgin or some other
saint is produced from the sacristy, which is hastily draped in gorgeous
finery, a necklace of beads adjusted round its neck; artificial flowers
dusted and arranged in gay-looking vases; the candles are then lighted,
and--up goes the curtain!

The utter irreverence of these proceedings has often made me shudder,
and from the bottom of my heart I have pitied the poor abject creatures
who swarm in to worship they know not what. The confessionals are open,
and some forlorn woman enters therein, and, having unburdened her
conscience, perhaps with bitter tears, she goes her way, still in the
dreadful dark, still the same miserable, sin-laden creature--no word of
real comfort has been whispered to her sorrowful heart, no fresh hope
lovingly instilled into her darkened soul. But the priest has pocketed
his fee, and that, alas! is all that concerns him. He has no pity for
the ignorance and misery of the men and women around him; the tale of
sorrow poured into his ear touched not his heart--he is too accustomed
to the outpourings of these sinful souls. Human nature is human nature,
he would tell you; it will go on sinning. Is it not enough that the sin
has been confessed (_paid for_, rather)? The sinner has gone away,
rejoicing at having cleansed his conscience so easily; and he, the
priest, has pronounced absolution, has received his fee for so doing,
therefore his duty is over, and he comes forth from the confessional
box, grossly expectorating on the Cathedral floor--even this action
showing how little he respects his calling, and the place which he above
all others should honour. This to me has been utter desecration of soul
and temple, and I have gone away sick at heart. Alas! how sad to think
of a man presuming to forgive sin--perhaps a far greater sinner himself
than the unhappy penitent who seeks spiritual consolation! Italians,
after centuries of deception and soul-bondage, have at last discovered
their blindness; they now see that _money_ is the aim of their Church
and her priests. Money is paid for forgiveness of sins, for fresh
indulgence in the same, for their souls to be delivered from purgatory
when they die, for everything which God gives His children freely and
lovingly, and this for the sole and especial benefit of the priesthood.

I believe, however, that the Milanese are the least priest-ridden
people even in young Italy, and they keep Sunday with far more reverence
and quietude than elsewhere, and in France. The Ambrosian Liturgy, which
the Pope has never been able to suppress, is a standing proof of the
independence of the Milanese Church. Priests who use the Roman ritual
are not allowed to officiate, except on very urgent occasions.

I noticed that after morning service in the Cathedral, screens were
erected in one of the aisles, and on returning in the early part of the
afternoon, I saw this part full of children, who were being taught their
catechism, and other religious knowledge. I thought this was rather a
happy use of churches between the services, and wished I could see it
more often practised at home.

The credit of this Sunday school is due to the Archbishop St. Carlo
Borromeo, who was a very excellent man, and, as far as wide views of
charity and advanced thought are concerned, might have fitly adorned the
present generation; for in his own day he was certainly "centuries
before his time." He gained the hearts of his people by mingling among
them, working for them, and ministering to their many necessities,
during the infliction of the terrible plague. I think there is no
objection to the custom of canonizing such men,--that is, in reverencing
them (but not worshipping them as saints) as noble examples of
self-sacrificing holy life, and so preserving the memory of their good
deeds to posterity. The resplendent gold and silver shrine of this holy
man is one of the most interesting objects in the Cathedral. His body is
preserved below the altar, dressed in his pontifical robes, sparkling
with diamonds--the head reposing on a richly gilded cushion; the face,
dead and shrivelled, which is the only part exposed, presents a sad
contrast to all this splendour. He was the nephew of Pius IV., and was
canonized by his successor; but (shame to such an age!) it cost his
family so large a sum that they declined a similar honour for his
cousin, Cardinal Federigo Borromeo, celebrated by Manzoni in the
Promessi Sposi.

With all its religious freedom, this Cathedral draws on the credulity of
the people by its supposititious relics--such as a nail of the true
cross, which is carried in procession every third of May; the cradle and
swaddling clothes of the infant Christ; part of the towel with which He
wiped His disciples' feet; four thorns from His crown; parts of the
reed, the sponge, the spear, and the cross; a piece of Moses' rod; two
of Elisha's teeth; and many other such profane make-believes. The tombs
and bronzes, especially the bronze tabernacle by Brambilla, and the
choir by Pellegrini, which has seventeen beautiful bas-reliefs, are all
worth study. On the right-hand side of the choir is a wonderfully
executed statue of the devoted martyr, St. Bartholomew, carrying his
skin on his arm--anatomically, a perfect masterpiece.

I heard one or two services here, and thought both organ and acoustics
very fine, the noble vaulting carrying back each note, grandly
swelling, to the entrance porch. Such is the magnitude of the interior,
that on week-days, when gangs of workmen are chipping away at the
columns while service is being performed, there is no unusual noise to
be heard. But the frequent interruptions by people moving about during
the service is very irritating to a people who are accustomed to quiet
devotion such as we invariably find in the mighty congregations at St.
Paul's and Westminster Abbey.

Paying my twenty-five centimes (about 2½_d._), I ascended from the
right-hand transept, and, mounting numerous steps, at length reached the
roof. Here a wonderful and magnificent sight met my admiring gaze. All
around me nothing was to be seen but the most exquisitely chiselled
figures in white marble. It was like a snow scene in a forest, for there
were thousands of beautiful little sculptured columns, representing
every known flower; in fact, it is called the "Flower-Garden," and the
more I gazed the more I realized the truth of Goethe's beautiful
simile--"Architecture is frozen music." Crossing the roof, I ascended by
a spiral staircase to the central tower, getting occasional glimpses of
spires and statues, alternating with peeps of the blue sky. At last I
reached the topmost pinnacle of the temple, and a truly glorious scene
it was that lay on every side. A sea of dazzling white marble beneath,
and the fair city stretching far and wide beyond; this, again,
surrounded by silvery rivers, green fields, cultivated plains, and
distant towns and villages. On one side, breaking the horizon, the view
is bounded by a great towering mountain barrier--the majestic snow-clad
Alps, some of the peaks lost in the misty clouds above. First, on the
extreme south-west, Monte Viso, then Mont Cenis, between them the less
lofty Superja; near Turin, Mont Blanc, the great St. Bernard, Monte Rosa
most conspicuous of all; to the left of these last, the Matterhorn, then
the Cima de Jazi, Streckhorn near the Mischabel, Monte Leone near the
Simplon; away to the north the summits of the St. Gothard and Splügen,
and in the distant east the peak of the Ortler. In the south the Certosa
of Pavia is visible, and sometimes the towers and domes of the city
itself, with the Apennines in the background. This, perhaps the grandest
view in Europe, can only be seen to perfection on favourable days. I
myself only saw a part of the great Alpine range, the rest was
enshrouded in mist. On the day I made this ascent, the wind was very
strong, as it was on my visit to the Capitol in Rome. On descending, I
took one more view of this mighty Cathedral, of which an American
writer, Nathaniel Willis, gives the following true and beautiful
description:--

"It is a sort of Aladdin creation, quite too delicate and beautiful for
the open air. The filmy traceries of Gothic fretwork; the needle-like
minarets; the hundreds of beautiful statues with which it is studded;
the intricate and graceful architecture of every window and turret; and
the frost-like frailness and delicacy of the whole mass, make an effect
altogether upon the eye that must stand high on the list of new
sensations. It is a vast structure withal, but a middling easterly
breeze, one would think on looking at it, would lift it from its base,
and bear it over the Atlantic like the meshes of a cobweb. Neither
interior nor exterior inspire you with the feelings of awe common to
other large churches. The sun struggles through the immense windows of
painted glass, staining every pillar and carved cornice with the richest
hues, and wherever the eye wanders it grows giddy with the wilderness of
architecture. The people on their knees are like paintings in the
strong, artificial light; the chequered pavement seems trembling with a
quivering radiance; the altar is far and indistinct; and the lamps
burning over the tomb of St. Carlo shine out from the centre like gems
glistening in the midst of some enchanted hall."



                             CHAPTER XXIV.

Milan social and charitable--How to relieve our Poor--Leonardo's "Last
Supper"--Condition of churches in Italy--Santa Maria delle Grazie--La
Scala Picture-galleries--St. Ambrogio--Ambrosian Library--Public gardens
--Excursion to the Lakes--Monza--Como--Lake scenery--Bellagio--American
rowdyism.


One soon becomes attached to Milan, it is so bright and clean, and the
air so pure and bracing; the country around abounds in beautiful lake
scenery, most enjoyable for trips and excursions. The means of moving
from place to place are convenient and moderate in charges, and the
living good and inexpensive. There is an air of welcome and hospitality
to visitors and strangers among the people not so readily shown in other
cities of Italy,--the highest families opening their doors to all with
very slight introduction. There are, I believe, a great number of
wealthy people here; and, judging from the scarcity of beggars--that
importunate plague, so universal in Italy--I should think the poor are
not neglected by them. This may also be proved by a visit to some of the
many charitable institutions. The Spedale Grande, for instance, is one
of the largest hospitals in Europe: its façade measures nine hundred
feet, and it accommodates upwards of two thousand patients. Like most
of the Italian hospitals, there are separate apartments for those who
can contribute towards their maintenance. The asylums for the insane are
also admirably managed. I have heard that the plan for relieving the
poor is much better systematized here than in England. Well! I fear, and
I say it with shame, that it could not be much worse or more bungling
anywhere. Our wretched system of miscalled _Work_houses or Unions is
utterly unworthy of us; some of these places, in fact, are abominably
demoralizing and degrading. We clothe the poor in a dress of shame, and
then wonder at their want of self-respect! Many of our unions are
utterly unfit for the respectable poor and (we seem to forget that there
is such a class)--I was nearly saying, are places of seething vice; no
wonder, then, even starving people, who have a spark of true pride left
in them, prefer to die rather than go there. Poverty and distress are
inevitable in every great city, and one can no more help being poor than
being born, and there is no shame in this lack of riches; yet it is sad
to see, in these philanthropic days of clerical energy and individual
benevolence and charity, the number of dreadful courts and alleys almost
leading out of the finest squares, a frightful contrast between abject
poverty and superfluous wealth.[H] The only effectual way to relieve
and diminish this misery is by assisting the poor to help themselves;
then indeed this would produce gratitude instead of sullen discontent,
which, I fear, is the general feeling in our workhouses. A well-managed
system of out-door relief, aided by providing employment and
well-organized emigration to our own colonies (the natural destiny of
our surplus population), is the only efficient method; but this must be
done in a thorough, liberal, and judicious spirit, not in the grudging
manner in which some charities are doled out. It is much to England's
credit that energetic efforts are being made to educate the poor; but I
think some help in that direction should also be extended to the middle
classes, and those between the two, to _prevent_ their becoming
indigent. The advantages of education cannot be too highly esteemed, but
each class should be fitted to the sphere it is likely to occupy in
life; the same training does not suit all alike. I fear at the present
time we are inclined to run to the other extreme, and over-educate those
who would be far happier and altogether more useful members of society,
were we content with teaching the three great rudiments--reading,
writing, and arithmetic. These, with good _religious_ instruction and a
trade, would enable them to support themselves in a decent and
comfortable manner, and to become respected and respectable citizens;
nor would it in any way prevent their improving and raising themselves
to a higher condition, should they be the fortunate possessors of genius
or talent of any kind, for these more energetic intellects usually show
such indications at a very early age, and proper provision should be
made, enabling them to pursue those studies which might perhaps be the
means of making them men whom England would be proud to acknowledge. But
these highly endowed minds are few and far between, compared with the
medium, fairly intelligent thousands of men and women who run great
risks of starvation by being lifted out of their proper sphere; the
market for the employment of such is already over-crowded, while good
artisans, workmen, and servants are in great demand. Yet at present we
afford no training to supply this want, and by over-educating the masses
and spoiling them for their proper vocation, we unconsciously increase
the difficulties which go far to fill our cities with those unfortunate
beings, to whom life is one long struggle to keep body and soul
together. The evils of this system having now become apparent, it is to
be hoped a change will soon be made. There is no doubt that both our
Poor Law and Board Schools stand in urgent need of reform. But the
greatest and most necessary reform of all should be in making a
religious education the foundation of all true and useful knowledge;
mere secular education will but probably tend to make a poor lad more
cunning and maybe a more clever rogue; but not necessarily a good,
industrious, and loyal citizen, as religion must do; then poverty even
might be borne with contentment and some sense of happiness. A single
reflection on the present condition of irreligious France should be
warning enough.

In the Refectory of the old Dominican Friary attached to the church of
Santa Maria delle Grazie, we saw Leonardo da Vinci's famous fresco of
the _Last Supper_. It is on the wall of a large, bare, whitewashed room,
this celebrated work being almost the only furniture and decoration.
Although in a very bad state of decay and dilapidation, it is yet
sufficient to draw hither artists from all quarters of the world, who
are always busily copying the great work, aspiring to fill up the flaws
of decay and age in the best way they can imagine the master's hand had
originally painted it. But, in truth, there are few parts that have not
been retouched at different times, and sometimes by far from skilful
brushes; yet the painting bears, and will bear to the end, the divine
and ineffable touch of genius given by the inspired mind which so
carefully, lovingly, and thoughtfully designed it. It is very probable
that the fame of this unique work will ultimately have to depend upon
the fine copy in mosaics at Vienna, executed at Napoleon's command, and
supposed to be the largest and finest mosaic in the world. The
expression in the faces of the apostles is said to be most admirably
preserved.

The painting itself, which took the great Leonardo twelve years to
execute, was unfortunately painted in oils, and the plaster of the wall
not being properly prepared, the paint flakes off from exposure to the
damp. It retains just enough to show the emotions the artist wished to
express, and which the best copies fail to produce. The _motif_ of the
work is most beautifully and pathetically represented. Amidst the loving
peace of that last evening meal, Jesus sorrowfully bows His head,
saying, "One of you shall betray Me." Then all are filled with the
deepest agitation and dismay. Two of the disciples, Peter and James, I
think, reaching behind the dark form of Judas, who clutches the bag,
make signs to John to ask the Master who it is. But the silent, downcast
attitude of the Saviour, the expression of heavenly resignation, seems
but too truly to confirm the mournful words--"One of you shall betray
Me."

I must here repeat my lamentation at the unfinished condition of the
exterior of many of the cathedrals and churches of Italy, which I
consider disgraceful, containing as they do so much that is beautiful in
sculpture, painting, and art-treasures beyond value, which can never be
replaced, and yet are allowed to gradually sink into oblivion and ruin.
Little care is taken to preserve them, or prevent decay: often have I
seen the damp saturating the walls on which were the most admired
frescoes of the greatest masters, slowly but surely becoming spoiled and
effaced. It must be more than the want of funds which prevents the
people from properly finishing the buildings they took so much time to
construct and decorate--some senseless superstition must attach to it in
some way, I should think.

Santa Maria delle Grazie, adjoining the Friary, is an Abbey Church of
the fourteenth century, and, with Gothic nave and picturesque cupola
added by Bramante, is considered one of the best architectural specimens
of its class to be found anywhere.

Passing through the glass-domed arcade by the Cathedral, we find
ourselves in the _Piazza della Scala_, where there is a fine statue of
Leonardo da Vinci by Naqui, in Carrara marble. The figure of the great
painter, which is larger than life, stands alone on a lofty pedestal,
his fine features full of concentrated thought, while below stand four
of his pupils, as though in the act of catching a glow of inspiration
from their master: the expression on all their faces is excellent, and
wonderfully executed. The base of the pedestal is adorned with copies of
the great painter's principal works in _relief_.

Here, too, is the famous Teatro la Scala, next to San Carlo at Naples,
the largest in Italy, and capable of holding 3000 spectators. The
highest ambition of an Italian _artiste_ is attained when he or she has
sung at this theatre, for it is a guarantee of success, and, having
gained the suffrages of an audience on the boards of La Scala, they are
certain of laurels on any other stage in Europe. This is the principal
evening _rendezvous_ of the Milanese, both high and low classes
assembling for several hours, paying, however, less attention to the
opera than to conversation, flirtation, gambling, and eating ices. The
theatre has quite recently been lighted by electricity.

The Arnea, in the _Piazza di Arni_, built by the French, is dedicated to
the populace for their open-air amusements, such as balloon ascents,
rope-dancing, fire-works, races, shows, etc.: it contains seats for some
30,000 spectators. The _Arc de Triomphe_ is considered the best of the
kind in Europe.

The great picture-gallery at Milan, the Pinacoteca, in the _Via di
Brene_, at the _Palazzo delle Scienze e delle Arte_, contains some six
hundred paintings by celebrated artists, among them Raphael's
_Sposalizio_, said to be the gem of the collection; Guercino's _Abraham
and Hagar_; and a copy of Leonardo da Vinci's _Last Supper_, which,
however, is in a very bad condition. The Archilogio and other museums
also contain paintings and other objects of interest; but having already
traversed so many galleries in Rome, Florence, Naples, etc., we were
disinclined to visit many of those at Milan. The Palazzo Reale is
principally worth seeing for its fine ball-room, decorated with silk
tapestries of the sixteenth century.

We visited the church of St. Ambrogio, in the Piazza of the same name.
It was founded by St. Ambrose in the year 387. It was here that he
baptized St. Augustine, and burst out with the grand _Te Deum Laudamus_,
ascribed to him. In one of the naves is a gigantic pillar, with a bronze
serpent. It is said to be the one put up by Moses in the wilderness,
despite the evidence in Scripture of its complete destruction! Among
other remarkable things there is an ancient pulpit; a splendid shrine of
silver adorned with inscriptions and reliefs in honour of St
Augustine's life; the Ambrosian Liturgy in vellum; a curious chapel
behind the choir; and many interesting tombs, paintings, and frescoes.

The Ambrosian Library is in the Contrada della Bibliotheca, near the
church of St. Sepolcro. It was founded by Cardinal Borromeo, and
contains some 60,000 volumes and 15,000 manuscripts. Among the latter
are many treasures: a Latin translation of Josephus, by Rufinius, on
papyrus, supposed to be eleven centuries old; a copy of the Gospels in
Irish, some seven centuries old; Petrarch's copy of Virgil; and
autographic letters of Ariosto, Tasso, Galileo, Cavour, Garibaldi, and
many others. The place is rich in objects of antiquity and paintings. It
contains many of Raphael's cartoons, portraits by Leonardo da Vinci,
Correggio's _Christ_, and the _Mater Dolorosa_, Raphael's _Christ
washing the disciples' feet_, and others.

The Public Gardens afford a refreshing change from the city. They are
not very extensive, and seem mostly monopolized by gaily attired
nursemaids, with great spreading silver head-dresses, which give them
somewhat of a conceited air. They strut about as if they were nursing
the little kings and queens of the future. Around these Gardens is the
fashionable drive, which is thronged on Sundays, when the people
assemble to criticise the _élite_ in their carriages.

The ladies of Milan are handsome, carry themselves gracefully, and dress
remarkably well--no small praise in these days of pinching, deforming,
and demoralizing French fashions; but it is strange how many men--young
men especially--one sees at Milan, bent, stunted, and weak-kneed.

Milan is surrounded by a delightful country, and is most conveniently
situated for excursions to the beautiful Italian lakes.

One morning we took train for Como. It was a most interesting journey,
through fertile plains, luxuriantly clad with mulberry plantations for
the propagation of silkworms; for silk is one of the principal
commodities of Milan, and the plain silks of Lombardy are still
considered the best in Europe. Nature is very kind to these rich and
beautiful plains; it is still--

                 "Fruitful Lombardy,
     The pleasant garden of great Italy."

I should think there are few places where vineyards exist so abundantly,
yet wine-making seems an industry little understood in modern Italy; or
has the flavour of her grapes undergone a change? Who can forget the
famous Falernian, quaffed by the emperors of Rome? At the present day,
Italian wines, cheap and abundant as they may be, are certainly poor in
quality. One would think wine-making was a lost art--at least, as
understood by the ancients.

But to return to the landscape scenery through which we were passing.
The plains and valleys are cooled and invigorated by numerous streams
and canals. Monza is the first station stopped at, a small town with
some 15,000 inhabitants. Its Cathedral is built on the site of a church
founded by the Lombard Queen Theodolinda, dedicated to St John the
Baptist. Monza has a Town-hall, and a royal summer Palace, both
possessing ancient interest. From here there is a line going to Lecco, a
point somewhat higher than Como, almost at the extremity of the eastern
fork of the lake Como, being situated at the extremity of the larger
western fork. The wedge-like point which separates these two branches,
called Bellagio, is charmingly situated, commanding the most lovely and
extensive scenery; it is, therefore, one of the most frequented spots in
the lake district.

After Monza, we pass through more than one tunnel, and several villages
and small towns of Roman foundation. Not one of these places seems to
have been overlooked by the ancients. They worked hard for the glory of
their great empire, and sought these quiet and beautiful spots so
favoured by Nature to recruit their strength and energy. But, as at
Tivoli near Rome, we see all along the shores, and on the way to these
Italian lakes, the proofs of their persevering activity and genius,
employed in the adornment of their summer retreats, leaving, after
centuries of time, sufficient to excite our wonder and admiration; and
to satisfy us that these great men of old knew both how to work and how
to enjoy themselves.

Como is quite an ideal little town, rich in reminiscences, and full of
life and beauty. The Cathedral is, next to that at Milan, the finest in
Northern Italy. It is severely Gothic; indeed, there is a certain
severity in most of the architecture of the town. There are some fine
paintings, chiefly by Guido and B. Quini. On either side of the porch
are the figures of the two Plinys, who used often to make the Villa
Pliniana their residence, writing many of their celebrated works there.
In the gardens of the villa is a fountain of which Pliny the younger
made frequent mention in his letters.

The Villa d'Este, some three miles from the town--built by Cardinal
Pompeo Galleo, who was born near Como and which afterwards became the
retreat of poor Queen Caroline of Georgian memory--is now annexed to the
well-known inn, the Regina d'Inghilterra. There are numerous other
beautiful villas, interesting both on account of their own merit and the
famous names associated with them.

The steamer leaves Como three times daily for excursions to various
parts of the lake. Carriages are also available to all points of
interest, and the rail goes straight to Bellagio. We preferred going by
water, and were soon steaming up the lake, crossing occasionally from
shore to shore to take in passengers. At first the morning was a little
dull and cold, giving a somewhat sombre tone to the scenery; but after a
time the sun shone out brightly, chasing away the shadows and lighting
up the wondrous beauties of the Alpine landscape, bringing forth glints
of coloured light from the dazzling waters, which reflected the blue sky
overhead--a charming and fairy-like change, as if the wand of some good
genius had been waved around, effecting a complete transformation.

The lake is some thirty miles in length, and its greatest width is about
two and a half miles. The depth in some parts is profound--some 1900
feet, and all around are the great lofty mountains. The fact of the two
shores being seen so distinctly add, I think, not a little to the
impressive grandeur of the scene. The mountain slopes are beautifully
wooded. Sometimes a great chasm intervenes; and, nestling picturesquely
here and there in bowers of green, or poised gracefully, commanding the
finest points and curves of the lake, or again scattered around the
shores, are the summer residences of the Milanese aristocracy. Winding
in and out, crossing from shore to shore, there is an ever-varying
panorama, delightful and unexpected surprises continually opening out to
the enraptured gaze. At each little station we come to a boat puts off
from the shore, bringing a few fresh passengers, and the mails and
parcel traffic of the lake; returning with the same, and such passengers
who desire to land.

At last we reach Bellagio, where the lake divides. Here one would fain
linger, it is so grand, so beautiful, so still,--the snow-capped
mountains rising in sublime majesty from the deep blue lake to the paler
blue of the sky, their sternness broken by the forests on their slopes,
and the brilliant colouring of the trees,--the tender green of the fresh
spring foliage contrasting finely with the grey tints of the sombre
olive--the whole, with its moving lights and shadows, mirrored
faithfully in the bosom of the lake below.

    "Sublime, but neither bleak nor bare,
      Nor misty are the mountains there--
        Softly sublime, profusely fair,
      Up to their summits clothed in green,--
      And fruitful as the vales between,
            They lightly rise,
            And scale the skies,
      And groves and gardens still abound;
            For where no shoot
            Could else take root
      The peaks are shelved and terraced round."

The only thing that disturbed the dream-like enjoyment of the moment was
the presence on board the steamer of three rowdy Americans, who
preferred to be "funny," and caricature the sublime splendour around
them, rather than enjoy it with grateful admiration. Their foolish
conceit prevented them keeping this so-called fun to themselves.
Happily, it is not often one travels in such disagreeable company,
though one too frequently meets with those whose sole object in coming
to these beautiful spots is the _ambitious_ one of being able to say on
their return home that they have "done" Italy. I am obliged to admit,
however, that these are mostly my own countrymen.

After luncheon at the Grand Hotel at Bellagio, which we enjoyed in the
verandah, with a magnificent view of the lake spread before us, we took
a stroll on the shore, and looked at the little shops, where we saw in
process of manipulation the Italian pillow-lace, of which, as a matter
of course, my wife longed to make purchases.

The hotels are charmingly situated about the shores of the lake,
commanding the most beautiful views of the grand scenery around; they
seem to be comfortable, and are reasonable in their charges. Certainly a
more pleasant place for a short stay could not be found; the
hill-climbing excursions would be delightful. Towards evening we
returned on board the little vessel, and steamed quietly down the lake,
calling at the different stations on our way, and thoroughly enjoying
the beauty of the evening shadows, the sombre mountains sinking into
peaceful repose, and the water no longer mirror-like, but calm and dark.

    "All heaven and earth are still--though not in sleep,
     But breathless, as we grow when feeling most,
     And silent, as we stand in thoughts too deep;--
     All heaven and earth are still. From the high host
     Of stars, to the lull'd lake and mountain coast,
     All is concentr'd in a life intense,
     Where not a beam, nor air, nor leaf is lost,
     But hath a part of being, and a sense
     Of that which is of all Creator and defence."

The train from Switzerland was awaiting us on our arrival at Como, and
we were soon speeding away to Milan, having greatly enjoyed our trip to
this lovely Italian lake.

[H] Thanks to the author of "The Bitter Cry from Outcast London," there
is now a noble stream of generous sympathy flowing from West to
East--from those in affluence to their fellow-creatures in distress; and
the words of the Psalmist are at last being realized, "The poor shall
not alway be forgotten."



                             CHAPTER XXV.

Climate of Milan--Magenta--Arrival in Turin--Palazzo Madama--Chapel of
the Holy Napkin--The lottery fever--View from the Alpine Club--Superga
--Academia delle Scienze--Departure--Mont Cenis railway--The great
tunnel--Modane--Farewell to Italy.


Before leaving Milan, I should like to say a word on its healthfulness.
An eminent medical man, recently writing on the subject, says, "On
account of the neighbourhood of Milan to the Alps, its climate in winter
is cold and damp, and occasionally foggy. The irrigation of the
rice-fields, with which Milan abounds, is a fertile source of fevers of
all types, which, together with thoracic inflammation, phthisis,
rheumatism, and affections of the digestive organs, are the most
prevalent diseases." The same authority gives Como a scarcely less
baneful character. For my own part, I can only say that, whatever may be
the condition of Milan in the winter time, in the month of March, when
we were there, the climate was most enjoyable, the air pure and bracing.
All the hotels, however, are not equally healthful in their sanitary
arrangements, one of my friends having been subjected to a serious
illness from this very cause; and the Italian doctor (a Milanese) who
attended him did not hesitate to condemn the sanitary condition of the
hotel where he was staying at the time of his illness. The hotels in the
Corso Vittorio Emmanuele are, I believe, without reproach in this
respect.

After leaving Milan, we passed through Magenta, situated amid fertile
corn-fields and plantations of mulberry trees. This was the scene of one
of the greatest battles in the war which gained Italy her freedom from
the hated rule of Austria. Close to the railway station is a huge
pyramidal monument, indicating the spot where the brunt of the battle
was borne, and erected to the memory of the brave French who fell in the
contest. All along the route are mementoes of the late war. Casting our
eyes over the level plains, occasionally broken by the river Ticino, and
undulating towards the hills, it was interesting, though sad, to imagine
the desperate conflicts of which it had so recently been the
scene--these now peaceful plains and valleys saturated with the blood of
valiant men, whose bones lie beneath the green sod and waving corn! The
result, however, was glorious--a People's Freedom! Very different to the
selfish ends and aims of the insatiable Napoleon!

Reaching Turin, we found the station, like that at Milan, an imposing
structure, standing in a fine open space planted with trees, the Piazza
Carlo Felice. This is surrounded by a colonnaded square--from which runs
the Via Roma, one of the principal streets--and extends as far as the
Piazza Castello. The streets, which are long and straight, like those
of an American city, in some cases seem to run right up to the circling
foot of the snowy Alps; and, looking up these streets towards the north,
one gets most lovely vistas of the grand Alpine range, and feels their
majestic presence by the dazzling light reflected from their snowy
slopes, and the cold air from their icy peaks, to which the fair blue of
the sky above forms a beautiful canopy.

Turin seems to have been badly treated; the removal of the seat of
government from her to Milan, Florence, and ultimately to Rome, caused
the value in land, etc., to fall considerably. The city was extended,
great piazzas and streets lined with handsome shops, tramways laid down
in all directions, theatres built on a large scale, and all preparations
for making it the capital of Italy; and this expenditure proved, after
all, a needless outlay, for soon the city was comparatively deserted, so
far as fashion and gaiety are concerned, and these go far to make the
vigour and wealth of a rising town. It is, however, busy and industrious
in its trade and commerce, and alive with factories; yet recent events
have left very distinct traces in Turin, almost more so than in any
other Italian city.

Turin, or _Torino_, was founded by the Taurini, a Ligurian tribe, and
was destroyed by Annibal about the year 218 B.C. It was ruled
during the Middle Ages by its own dukes. The House of Savoy continued to
hold it from the middle of the eleventh century until the late
disturbances in Italy. Most of the streets of Turin converge into the
Piazza di Castello, in the centre of which stands the Palazzo Madama, a
weird-looking, half-ruined building overgrown with ivy, with a gloomy
look about its desolate towers. It is a fine and picturesque old place,
especially on a moonlight night--a unique relic of the Middle Ages. Near
it are the Royal Palace and the Duomo. The former is not unlike a
barrack externally; but it contains a noble staircase and fine
banqueting and reception rooms, the ceiling and floors being especially
worthy of admiration. From the palace chapel, which is entered from the
great hall, you can look right down to the Cathedral adjoining. This
chapel of the Santo Sadano (or Holy Napkin) was built in 1648, to
receive one of the folds of the shroud in which the Saviour was supposed
to have been wrapped by Joseph of Arimathæa. This relic is contained in
an altar under the cupola. One cannot help feeling anger and amazement
at these miserable impostures on the ignorance of credulous devotees. We
were actually shown by one of the priests an oblong frame, about thirty
inches by twelve, containing a tracing, probably photographed, of this
holy napkin, which, having been pressed against the Saviour's face,
retained the imprint of His features; and so this piece of old linen was
duly worshipped, and has probably brought a comfortable income to the
priests from the pockets of the superstitious and easily beguiled
multitude. There is no end to the so-called marvels in these Romish
churches.

The Cathedral is built on the site of a Lombard church of the seventh
century, but does not contain anything of much interest. Indeed, among
the hundred churches at Turin, there are really few worth a visit;
perhaps the Consolata Church, including a chapel of the tenth century,
is the best of these. Canon Wordsworth quotes an incident relative to
this church. "A poor man prayed to the Madonna to reveal to him some
lucky numbers for the lottery. He had a dream, in which, as he imagined,
she suggested a trio of numbers. He made his purchases accordingly, but
they turned out blanks. In revenge for this delusion, he attacked the
image of the Madonna della Consolazione, when borne in procession
through the city to the Superga, and mutilated it with a hatchet. The
mob was enraged, and would have torn him in pieces had he not been
rescued by the soldiers, and he was conveyed as a madman to a lunatic
asylum." These lotteries are a means of ruin and demoralization in every
Italian town, the lottery offices, where the winning numbers are
displayed, being only less plentiful than the _cafés_. I believe many of
the poorer people invest their savings in these "official"
gambling-places, and the majority are much the worse for so doing. But
the State evidently profits by this infatuation for gaming, just as the
pope and the priests enrich themselves by the blind superstition of the
ignorant and foolish. The suppression of these Lotto banks should be
among the first reforming acts of Italy: far wiser to substitute a
State savings-bank, on the lines of our Post-office system. Bearing to
the eastward of the Castello, up the Via di Po, we came to the Ponte di
Po, a fine bridge across the river, which greatly resembles the Arno,
but is rather cleaner in colour. Crossing the bridge, we mounted the
rather steep hill to the Capuchin Church of Del Monti at the top. This
hill has been of great military importance in a strategetic point of
view, commanding, as it does, the town, river, and valley. A little
higher up is a kind of observatory; and on ascending the stairs, we
found ourselves in the Alpine Club of North Italy. Here is an
interesting little Museum, with a very good and instructive collection
of Alpine plants, minerals, maps, etc. From the balcony outside we had a
most glorious and impressive view. Immediately below, the river Po,
pursuing its rapid course towards the sea, watering the valleys on its
way,--rich plains stretching far and wide, and the city of Turin lying
in a grand mountain hollow, spread like a map before us; beyond, like an
impenetrable barrier, and arranged in a mighty semicircle, towered the
great Alpine range. On the left, the Maritime Alps; then the Cottians,
with Monte Viso, Mont Cenis, and the Grand Paradis, the Pennines to
Monte Rosa, and the Lombard Alps. I looked up at this mighty barrier,
its summits deep in misty clouds and vapour, the bright sun glittering
on the thick snow, and the blue sky reflecting all manner of lovely hues
on the white slopes and beautiful plains beneath:

                   "Above me are the Alps,
    The palaces of Nature, whose vast walls
    Have pinnacled in clouds their snowy scalps,
    And throned Eternity in icy halls
    Of cold sublimity, where forms and falls
    The Avalanche--the thunderbolt of snow!
    All that expands the spirit yet appals,
    Gather around these summits, as to show
    How Earth may pierce to Heaven, yet leave vain man below."

It was indeed a sublime and impressive sight--one of the grandest views
of the Alps to be obtained in Italy. The early forenoon is the time to
see it to the best possible advantage, which we were not fortunate
enough to do, the heights being frequently enveloped in mist. Away to
the south is the great hill called Superga, some 2000 feet above the
sea. From thence there is probably a much more extended view from west
to east, but the Alps would be seen from above--to my mind a far less
majestic and imposing sight; moreover, it occupies some three or four
hours to climb the Superga, whilst the observatory of the Capuchins is
but half an hour's walk. Yet this hill is decidedly worth a visit if
time be no object, not only for the noble extent of landscape surveyed
from its heights, its convent, and church, but as the mausoleum of many
of the royal family of Italy. The best views are, I believe, to be
obtained from the gallery of the college.

The _Academia delle Scienze_, in the Piazza Carignano, should not be
missed, as it contains a very interesting Museum of natural history;
Egyptian, Grecian, Etruscan, and Roman antiquities; and a fine gallery
of paintings, including some of the best works of Vandyke, Raphael,
Paul Veronese, Guido, Titian, Rembrandt, Guercino, Carlo Dolci, and
other of the great masters.

Turin appeared to me to be a particularly quiet city, especially after
business hours. The evening delights and amusements would seem to
consist of the underground concert-rooms, where the long and silent
drama is enjoyed over wine and tobacco. A peep into one of these places
showed the evident disfavour in which the priesthood is held, a nun and
a priest being introduced on the stage for the exposure of the laughter
and hisses of the audience.

Although leaving much unseen in Turin, we did not regret our departure,
as we were anticipating our journey on the morrow, by the Mont Cenis
railway, through the magnificent and sublime scenery of which we had
heard so much. It is said--and I can well imagine the truth of it--that,
owing to the circle of mountains around it, Turin is exceedingly cold in
winter, and very hot in summer, and therefore to be avoided during these
seasons. The autumn is considered the pleasantest time for a visit.
However, we fortunately found it bright and bracing during our brief
stay.

       *       *       *       *       *

We left Turin on April 12, by the 8.50 a.m. train.

It was a fine, bright morning, and we had a capital and comprehensive
view of the whole of the glorious Alpine range; the peak of Monte Viso
towering majestically to the clouds, and in the foreground the deep
purple tints of the nearer hills contrasting finely against the white
slopes in the distance, the green fields relieving the eye from the
dazzling loveliness of the snow. Passing Alpigano, and entering a gap in
the line of hills, the train left the plains, and commenced the ascent.
San Ambroglio is soon passed, with its octagonal church; in the
distance, on the top of Mount Piecheriano, is the old monastery _Sagra
di Michele_. It is said that in the tombs of this Abbey, owing to the
peculiar nature of the soil and atmosphere, the dead bodies are
preserved perfectly mummified. Crossing the river Dora, and passing
Borgone and Bassolemo, we now really commence the Mont Cenis railway. On
the left is the old castellated fortress Bruzolo, picturesquely perched
on the hilltop, a little village with a large church at its base.
Recrossing the Dora, we pass some beautiful chestnut woods, through
several tunnels, and thence on to Susa, the valley expanding, cultivated
with terraced vineyards and gardens. We now obtain grand retrospective
views of the beautiful valley below, with glimpses of ancient Roman
ruins and aqueducts; the arch of Augustus peeping out of the magnificent
scenery, and reminding one of the great spirits of the Latin race, with
their eye ever open to the beautiful and the grand. The old Mont Cenis
road winds prettily up the hill; the snow-clad Alps on the right and
left, the great Roche Melon and Roche Michel soaring to the clouds. The
valley then contracts and winds round a great rocky chasm (the Wild
Gorge), where the hills are veritably rent asunder, passing through
which one involuntarily shudders, and dreams of being in the land of
some Titanic race, whose rocky thunder-bolts are ready to fall upon and
crush the small, fragile creatures who have ventured to their mountain
fastnesses.

After passing through several tunnels, with occasional glimpses of the
scenery between, we at last emerge into the more peaceful plains near
Chiomonti, the white-tipped mountains still soaring high above us. Now
we once more plunge into the bowels of the earth, fitfully emerging into
the bright sunshine, and skimming by splashing mountain streamlets and
picturesque waterfalls, now and again gliding between banks of primroses
and bluebells. At Saibertrand our two small engines are replaced by one
of equal power. Here we have the snow lying in patches on the ground
around us, and a fine rushing mountain stream fed by the many springs
and rivulets from the mountain slopes, the Alpine range on our left
beautifully timbered with fir forests. Now come another series of
sparkling streams, flowing through the alluvial deposits carried down
from the mountains, and so on to Casa No. 69. Passing a rushing mountain
stream, spanned by an iron bridge, we leave the snowy Alps behind us,
only one bold peak appearing at the end of the valley--where a little
town is nested--almost filling up the gap with its wintry summit, and
making a beautiful outline against the blue sky. And now we stop at
Onyx, a station of some importance. Here we find the Hotel Gozie, a
nice-looking building, close to the great Mont Cenis tunnel, and
evidently intended for the convenience of Alpine climbers. Here we are
apparently locked in by a little circle of hills, grand Alpine peaks
forming a crescent on our left. The atmosphere is now much colder, for
we are nearing the snowy hills. Another engine is attached to the train,
and we are soon winding round and between the mountain barrier, then
through a short tunnel, the fir-clad, rocky hills towering up on our
left, great snow-drifts and icicles hanging down the gorges and slopes.
One more short tunnel, and we wind round past Stazione 89 and stop at
Bardonnecha, the line abruptly ascending. Now a little town appears, and
conspicuous in its square is the statue of some eminent citizen,
surmounted by an outspread eagle; and then we penetrate the snowy
mountains; and at last, when expectation is almost spent, we enter the
great Mont Cenis tunnel, at first getting little intermittent flashes of
light, and then indeed entombed within the great mountains, like frogs
in granite.

Here indeed--minus the dreaded sea above us--was an experience of the
horrid discomfort of the insanely wished-for Channel Tunnel, and I
heartily prayed the scheme might never be accomplished. We entered the
tunnel at about 12.7 p.m., and emerged at about 12.35, having been about
half an hour in going through. Yes! we have really pierced the great
Groge range of the snowy Alps at a height of some 8000 or 9000 feet, and
can form some faint idea of the God-given power of Man over Nature.
Hovering on the outskirts of this thought, there comes a far-off glimpse
of the infinite greatness and goodness of God; and where indeed could
such a reflection more fitly come than here, amid the grandeur and
beauty of these mighty, snow-clad hills, rearing their icy summits to
the skies; the wild passes, with their solemn rocky chasms and narrow
defiles; the rushing torrents and sparkling cascades; the cloudless blue
sky; and the innocent bluebells and primroses lying so trustfully at the
feet of the great frowning rocks above--all working together like the
moving light and shadow in such perfect majestic harmony?

One feels--

    In beauteous vale, on Alpine snow-clad heights,
    In splendours of the days or glories of the nights,
    In frowning rocks o'erhanging depths below,
    On mossy banks where sweet flowerets grow,
    We see God's power and love infinitely wide--
    "Thy Truth, most mighty Lord, on every side."

As a tunnel, Mont Cenis is of no very extraordinary length; but, being
composed of almost solid rock, the boring operation for so great a
distance must have proved exceedingly difficult, the width being
twenty-six feet, and the height nineteen feet. Some 2000 men were
constantly employed at each end for nearly nine years. The steep ascent,
of some 8000 feet, is another marvellous feature. The total cost was, I
believe, about three millions of pounds sterling. The boring machines
were worked by compressed air. The men who accomplished this great work
should not be forgotten--their names were Sommellier, Grandis, and
Grattoni.

Before leaving the tunnel there was an evident feeling that we were
already descending, and when at length we emerged a grand and wonderful
panorama burst upon our view, all the more beautiful and refreshing
after our late dark imprisonment, which made us dread the very thought
of a Channel Tunnel. The great snow-capped mountains were still on our
left and behind us; while beneath, almost buried in the valley, lay a
little town, Stazione 86. Yet once more we are engulfed in a long
tunnel, almost seeming to fly down the rapid descent. We now leave the
great Alpine range circling in our rear; and now precipitous mountains
tower on our right hand, the fir-tree forests with which they are
clothed evidently a source of great profit to the good people here, who
are felling, cutting, sawing, and evidently preparing to send the timber
away. And now, at 12.45 p.m., we reach Modane, are past the Italian
boundary, and once more in _la belle France_.

Here there is a good buffet, and a French breakfast ready for those who
wish it.

       *       *       *       *       *

And now farewell to fair Italia! Her loveliness of Nature and beautiful
works of art; her magnificent Cathedrals and splendid Palaces; her
treasure-filled galleries and wonderful museums; her noble monuments
and queenly ruins--fit emblems of her glorious past; and to her generous
and patriotic men and women a reluctant adieu and tender farewell.

Alas, that there should be any reverse to such a picture! that there
should still linger in her churches and religious life the fluttering
rays of a blighting superstition! that there should be a want of true
modesty and cleanliness in the habits of her people! that an ignoble
love of ease should still characterize her upper classes, while the
lowest orders generally are steeped in ignorance and importunate
mendicancy! and that enervating and dirty habits should be engendered in
her people by their inveterate indulgence in the cheap wine and tobacco
of the country!--though, in common fairness, I should add that it is as
rare to see drunkenness in Italy as, unfortunately, it is common in our
own country.

There are things in fair Italy, as doubtless there are in fair England,
to which there is no reluctance on our part to bid adieu, and among
them, to descend to smaller grievances, are the exorbitant hotel
charges; disgusting railway station accommodation; and dirty railway
carriages, owing chiefly to the national habit of persistent smoking,
and the difficulty of keeping the smokers to their own compartments.

Yet with all these drawbacks, one cannot but feel that Italy is
springing into a noble national life. I believe she has a great heart
and a great future before her, which will prove worthy of her past
nobility and glory, and of the generous sympathy felt for her--perhaps
most unselfishly so by England. I think we are justified in feeling a
greater sympathy for Italy than for France, for I believe she truly
reciprocates it; while the French show towards us a dislike almost
verging on jealous antipathy, while in themselves they are entirely
given to frivolity and caprice--a hopeless scepticism and impudent
immorality: their naturally great powers seem exclusively devoted to
selfish objects, and the worship of Fashion and Pleasure!



                             CHAPTER XXVI.

From Modane to Paris--Lovely scenery--St. Michel--St. Jean de Maurienne
--Epierre--Paris--Notre Dame--French immorality--La Manche--"Dear old
foggy London"--Reflections and conclusion.


After a thorough examination of our luggage by the French authorities,
we leave Modane for Paris, a very powerful engine taking us in tow. At
Modane the scenery is very grand: fine waterfalls, rocky mountains with
great pine forests, and their slopes sometimes enlivened by the pink
blossom of the almond tree--a capital place for Alpine climbers.

In consequence of the immense masses of loose overhanging rock, we had
to advance slowly and cautiously, and we frequently looked up with some
dread lest they should fall upon and utterly crush us. It was
interesting to see the congealed waterfalls among the fir-crowned
heights above, and some of the great romantic ravines filled with masses
of frost-bound snow; while here and there we came upon small wooden
crosses, marking the grave of some too adventurous climber or poor
peasant guide. By-and-by we pass through a series of short tunnels,
great care being necessary, as works are constantly going on to support
the weight of the great mountain boulders and to prevent the tunnels
falling in; for the water drainage saturates and loosens the masonry.
One now obtains some idea of the enormous expenses of the line, and the
difficulties contended with it. Descending, we lose for a time the
snow-clad hills, which have been our companions for so long; the
rivulets join and increase to a rushing, tumbling stream, following
madly after us, until we stop at St. Michel, the first station after
leaving Modane. Here a great mountain close to us completely covered
with snow rendered the air around intensely cold. Continuing our route
down into the valley, still accompanied by the lively, chattering
stream, now widening into a roaring river, we have a great mountain
range on either side, and pass through a lofty narrow gorge. Looking
back, I could scarcely discern the cleft in the rocky barrier through
which we had come.

And now we see a pretty homely scene among these snow-clad hills. At St.
Jean de Maurienne, close to the railway, was a road leading to the
valley down which troops of school-children tripped merrily along, led
by Sisters of Mercy in their quaint, white winged caps, the healthy,
joyous faces of the little ones evidencing to the kindness and care of
these good women. What indeed would the inhabitants of these wintry
mountain regions, so far from the civilization of great cities, do
without their clergy, and the noble sisterhood who devote themselves to
a life of usefulness and charity?

Later on we passed through another rocky defile, where we saw a little
octagonal chapel perched upon a hilly promontory, overlooking a bridge
across the river. Here the great mountain peaks were quite lost in the
clouds, and the ruggedness of the scenery was grand in the extreme. Some
of the immense pinnacles and jutting rocks were most fantastically
shaped, like the residence of some fabled giant, in contrast to the
little ruined castles we frequently saw, adding a touch of old-world
romance to the landscape:

    "The wild rocks shaped as they had turrets been
     In mockery of man's art."

The valley between the mountains now widens, showing in the distance
fertile plains, and now and then a picturesque little village, and other
signs of human life and energy. Then again the scenery varies,
magnificent snow-clad mountain peaks rising some 7000 or 8000 feet above
us. Mont Blanc lies behind this range to the right, but is lost in the
clouds--we making our way down to the valley of the Rhone, alone with
the rushing stream, nothing else disturbing the silence of the sublime
grandeur around.

Almost suddenly we descend to Epierre, where there is a pretty little
iron bridge spanning the foaming river. Here the hillsides slope down
gradually more and more, and every inch of ground is thriftily
cultivated, the industry of the French far exceeding that of the
Italians, who are for the most part a careless, easy-going race of
beings. At Acquebelle we stopped. The marshes in the neighbourhood
render it very unhealthy. At Mont Melian the route lies through fertile
plains, the snowy Alps being now almost left behind. The landscape
towards Chambery and Viviers is something like the Italian lake
district. Passing Aix-les-Bains, we run along the borders of the long
narrow lake Bourget, a fine coach road lying between us, affording a
very beautiful drive. Aix, the popular watering-place, is celebrated for
its sulphurous springs and vestiges of ancient Roman baths there. This
was a refreshing change of scenery, but the lake seemed somewhat
monotonous after the beauties of Como. At the end of the lake is a small
promontory with a castellated building, commanding a fine view of the
distant Alps.

The route after Culoz is considerably elevated. We pass several
beautiful waterfalls, and at length cross the Rhone, through whose
lovely valley we wind with just sufficient daylight to see its beauties.

                           "All the hues,
    From the rich sunset to the rising star,
    Their magical variety diffuse:
    And now they change: a paler shadow strews
    Its mantle o'er the mountains; parting day
    Dies like the Dolphin, whom each pang imbues
    With a new colour as it gasps away,
    The last still loveliest, till--'tis gone, and all is grey."

Travelling through the night, we reach Paris at early morn (April 13th),
and are sharply reminded, by the severe cold, of the difference in
temperature we have lately been accustomed to in sunny Italy; the
vegetation and all else is covered with silver frost.

Paris--the gay, beautiful, busy Paris--is as brilliant as ever; every
one seemingly bent on pleasure, light and volatile as the air they
breathe. In this city life hovers April-like between a tear and a smile!
Visiting the great Cathedral of Notre Dame, we witnessed an impressive
funeral service. The coffin in the centre of the nave, near the
transept, was covered with flowers, and lighted candles were placed
around it. The friends and relations having assembled, several priests,
deacons, and acolytes appeared, and the service commenced. So far as the
priests were concerned it was very mechanical, even to the elevation of
the Host, and the sprinkling of the coffin and friends of the deceased
with holy water; but the dirge-like chanting in and between the service
was very beautiful and solemn. Many coffins were brought in and conveyed
to the different chapels within the Cathedral during this service. It
would appear that the length of the ceremonies depend upon the amount of
money paid for them: but, as in the confessional, the priests profit
more, I fear, than either the dead or the living.

On another occasion, we were present at a preparation for the Holy
Communion in one of the chapels. Some twenty or thirty young girls,
robed in white, with long veils, were sitting together, their friends
and relatives seated at some little distance on the other side. The
priest having read and lectured, some fine chants were sung by the young
maidens, and they were dismissed with a blessing.

While in Paris this time, I was struck with the number of indecent
photographs by no means to be confounded with works of art, in the
windows of shops in the Rue de Rivoli, and indeed almost everywhere;
such photographs, as we should never allow to be exhibited in London,
yet here nothing was thought of it. Even ladies stopped to examine them
without a blush. Indeed, it appeared to me that such is the impudent
immorality and impurity now in Paris, that such an expression as an
innocent blush would be difficult to detect, more especially as the
conscience--that delicate sympathy of the mind which would cause it to
shrink from all that was not perfectly pure and beautiful--is made to
retire and give place to reason and materialism. The pleasure and
satisfaction of the senses seems to be all that they consider worth
living for. Pleasure is God, and both the soul and body bow before it.
Poor France, after so much suffering and national disgrace, still fondly
hugs the filthy rags of Irreligious Reason, which she sadly calls
_liberté_, _equalité_, and _fraternité_.

Next morning (April 14th), we crossed the Channel in delightfully smooth
water, and arrived in London safely once more. Dear old London, with all
thy fogs I love thee still! Every true Englishman, even after travelling
in climates more genial than his own, ever feels a tenderness in
returning to his own island home once more. Taken as a whole, there is
no city like London; no country or even climate like that of England.
Although we have no majestic snow-capped Alps around us, nor the
eternal blue skies and sunny climate of Italy, nor the classical and
ancient mementoes of Rome and Greece,--yet we have wild mountain
scenery, beautiful lakes, lovely undulating and richly timbered
landscapes, dimpled by happy homesteads where the silver stream flows
sweetly by; and there are our magnificent coast headlands and beautiful
seaside resorts, great populous cities, with their splendid public
buildings and fine parks. And as a rule, I believe, there is no country
so healthy, no life so pure as ours, whatever may be said to the
contrary.

In the travels of the last few months, we have seen much of the sublime
majesty and loveliness of Nature; the wealth of art treasures in
painting, sculpture, and architecture that adorns fair Italy; the
inspired works of the gifted men of past ages, so eloquently telling
their noble thoughts, expressive of reverence and love for the
beautiful--proofs indeed of their great and magnificent genius, and that
fair things cannot die. We have also seen something of the wondrous yet
sad mementoes of the mighty Pagan nations entombed in their once great
cities--vast sepulchres of a splendid past; those Titanic minds which
governed in their time the whole of the known world; a few beautiful but
crumbling columns, all that is now visible of their glory and conquering
power. On such ground we tread lightly, reverencing the great and mighty
dead. From these we turn to the young and vigorous Christian nations
planted in their stead, and in thus contemplating the past and the
present, and the wondrous power and goodness of God, one cannot but be
struck with the truth and beauty of the ninetieth psalm, and also
exclaim, as did the psalmist, "Lord, what is man, that Thou art mindful
of him?"



                               APPENDIX.


                                NOTE A.

             THE LONDON GARIBALDIAN EXCURSION VOLUNTEERS.


The following, printed on Red Cards, was issued throughout London and
many of the larger towns:--

                         "_Card of Membership._

                        "EXCURSION TO SOUTH ITALY.

"A select party of English Excursionists intend to visit South Italy.
The Excursionists will be furnished with means of self-defence, and,
with a view of recognizing each other, will be attired in a picturesque
and uniform costume.

"General Garibaldi has liberally granted the excursionists a free
passage to Sicily and Italy, and they will be supplied with rations and
clothing suitable for the climate. Information to be obtained at Captain
Edward S----'s offices, 8, Salisbury Street, Strand, London, W.C.

"All persons desirous of joining the excursion, or willing to aid the
same with their subscriptions, are requested to communicate immediately
with the Committee of the Garibaldi Fund, at 8, Salisbury Street,
Strand, London."

               "_Circular issued in reply to Applicants._

                                            "_August ----, 1860._

"SIR,

"In reply to your letter of the--inst., I beg to forward you the
following particulars:--

"1. You will be provided with a free passage, uniform, accoutrements,
and rations, and your pay to commence from the day you land.

"2. You can leave the English Excursionists at any moment; but should
you do so before their return to England, you will forfeit all claim to
pensions, medals, etc., which you may obtain.

"3. A personal interview is imperative, when you can learn all further
particulars.

"The Excursionists expect to leave within a fortnight from this date.
Three days' notice will be given to those going.

                              "Yours faithfully,
                                   "EDWARD S----,
                                        "Captain Garibaldi's Staff."


                       NOTE B (p. ix., Preface).

The following is from a Leading Article of the _Daily Telegraph_, March
10th, 1884:--

"Another suicide, occasioned by losses at the gaming-table, is reported
from Monte Carlo, and, commenting upon the sad occurrence, a local
newspaper makes the alarming statement that since the 1st of January
nineteen similar cases of self-destruction have taken place upon the
same spot, the victims having, without exception, been ruined by play.
It will be remembered that on the 15th of last month Lord Edmund
Fitzmaurice was asked, in the House of Commons, whether the attention of
her Majesty's Government had been drawn to the frequent suicides of
which the Principality of Monaco had recently been the scene, and
whether any remonstrances had been addressed by the Foreign Office to
France and Italy, urging those Powers to suppress the last public
gaming-tables existing in Europe. The Under-Secretary for Foreign
Affairs gave the stereotyped answer that no representations had been
made by Lord Granville to foreign Powers upon this subject, and there
the matter ended. Since the middle of last month the catalogue of
suicides at Monaco has been swollen by the addition of five or six
further victims to the Moloch of play; nor can it be wondered at if
under these circumstances a loud demand that the Casino at Monte Carlo
should be forcibly closed has been made, not only by many public writers
in France and Italy, but still more by permanent residents upon the
Mediterranean Riviera. Thus we read in a powerful article contributed
by M. Edmond Planchut to the _Revue des Deux Mondes_--an abridged
translation of which has just appeared in one of our monthly
magazines--that the inhabitants of Nice, Mentone, Cannes, Marseilles,
and Genoa, and the more respectable members of the foreign colonies
scattered along that beautiful coast, are entirely agreed upon two
points: First, as to the necessity of protesting without intermission
against the immunity conceded to the ever-open gaming-tables at Monte
Carlo; and, secondly, as to the expediency of petitioning France and
Italy to put a stop to this flagrant scandal. 'It would, indeed, be
monstrous,' adds M. Edmond Planchut, 'if it were found impossible to
suppress in one of the smallest States of Europe a blighting evil which
has been extinguished by the Governments of more important Powers.'

"In April, 1882, many petitions, urging the suppression of the Monte
Carlo tables, were presented to the French Chamber, which, in M.
Planchut's words, 'passed to the order of the day, after hearing M. de
Freycinet's remarks in opposition to the prayer of the memorialists.' A
month later the French Senate sent these petitions back to the Minister
of Foreign Affairs, with a more or less outspoken endorsement of their
prayer. If, indeed, the Governments installed at Paris and at Rome were
of one mind upon this subject, there can be little doubt that the fatal
Casino at Monte Carlo would not long be permitted to exist. 'And why,'
asks M. Planchut, 'should there not be perfect accord between Italy and
France on this topic? It is not a question whether France exercises a
kind of protectorate over the Principality of Monaco, or whether the
House of Savoy still regards the Prince of Monaco as its vassal,
despite the circumstance that in 1860 Italy abandoned her rights over
his little domain. France and Italy should be animated by one paramount
desire--the extinction of these infamous gaming-tables; and, if France
believes herself to possess the right of speaking with more respectful
firmness than her neighbour to Prince Charles III., it is simply because
Monaco is surrounded on all sides by French territory.' The bitter
experiences of the season which is now in full swing at Monte Carlo
render the present moment peculiarly propitious for demanding the
abolition of an establishment which is the head-centre of vice, infamy,
and ruin in one of the most exquisitely lovely spots upon the face of
the earth. Who that has ever read Lord Brougham's description of what he
called 'his discovery of Cannes' can have forgotten his enthusiasm when
recounting the myriad charms and attractions of that delicious coast?
They had already been recited by Dr. Arnold in a well-known passage from
one of his 'Lectures upon Modern History,' which expatiates upon the
horrors of the siege of Genoa, and contrasts grim-visaged war with the
divine natural beauty of the scene in the midst of which it was carried
on by Masséna, who was himself a native of Nice. 'Winter,' observes Dr.
Arnold, 'had passed away, and spring returned, so early and so
beautiful, upon that garden-like coast, sheltered, as it is, from the
north winds by its belt of mountains, and open to the full rays of the
bountiful southern sun. Spring returned, and clothed the hill-sides
within the lines with its fresh verdure. But that verdure was no longer
the mere delight of the careless eye of luxury, refreshing the citizens
with its liveliness and softness when they repaired thither from the
city to enjoy the surpassing beauty of the prospect. The green slopes
were now visited for a very different object. Ladies of the highest rank
might be seen cutting up every plant which it was possible to turn to
food, and bearing home the commonest weeds of the roadside as a precious
treasure.' During that memorable blockade, maintained by the Austrians
on land and by the British fleet under Lord Keith at sea, Masséna and
the French troops held on grimly to the besieged city of Genoa, until
twenty thousand of its innocent inhabitants had perished by that most
awful and lingering of deaths, famine. It would be no extravagant
estimate to believe that during the fourscore years and more which have
since elapsed, the demon of play, enthroned along the whole of the
Riviera, has caused as much misery to its hapless victims as the fatal
siege of Genoa, which Dr. Arnold selected as exemplifying the direful
horrors of which war was the author in 1800.

"M. Planchut has little difficulty in showing to what an extent the
cities and resorts in the neighbourhood of Monte Carlo are suffering
from their proximity to that pernicious spot. Of its seductive
attractions there is no need to speak in detail. The visitors find at
its Casino all the best newspapers and magazines of civilization laid
out for their amusement, to which are added an excellent theatre, an
unsurpassed orchestra, and--'pour comble de malheur'--open tables at
which any stranger can play at roulette, or at trente-et-quarante, upon
presentation of a card of address. Mentone, says M. Planchut, which is
the nearest resort to Monte Carlo, is neither rich, populous, nor
luxurious. 'While there has been a surprising increase in the population
of Ems, Wiesbaden, and Hombourg since the abolition of their tables,
the population of Mentone has scarcely increased by two thousand souls
since its annexation by France. Mentone will not be possible as a winter
residence for invalids until the tables have disappeared from the
littoral.' Nice also suffers, says this caustic French censor, from its
proximity to Monte Carlo. 'Unfortunately, people play at the Masséna and
Mediterranean clubs in Nice as much as at Monaco. The passion for
gambling has permeated all ranks of society at Nice, until it has
infected the very tradespeople--has even descended to the humblest poor
of its port. Walk round the town on a fête day, and you will see in the
old quarters, upon the quays, and in the open air, roulette tables in
full swing.' The Masséna Club, anxious to detain wealthy strangers at
Nice, and to keep them away from Monaco, finds its gambling-rooms too
small, and is extending its accommodation. The result is that the owners
of the lovely villas, the luxurious hotels, and the abounding apartments
at Nice, Cannes, and many other similar resorts are bitterly complaining
of a want of tenants and guests. Prudent fathers of families are
naturally slow to take young sons to a city where play rules supreme,
and from which Monte Carlo is accessible by trains which never cease
running. Still less do they care to expose their daughters to mingling
with that crowd of questionable females, coming from all parts of the
world, and constituting what M. Planchut calls the 'monde interlope,'
which assembles every winter at Monte Carlo and Nice. The inevitable
consequence is that 'the value of land increases in proportion to its
distance from the Principality of Monaco.' M. Planchut does well to base
his demand for the suppression of Monte Carlo upon arguments pointing
rather to political economy than the public morality. In England,
however, we are bound to remember that within fifty hours of our shores
an open gambling-house exists, to the destruction of the peace and
happiness of many English families. 'Never,' says the writer of an
excellent article based upon M. Planchut's contribution to the _Revue
des Deux Mondes_, 'has the French Government more freely sanctioned
lotteries, tombolas, and the opening of tripots disguised as artistic
and literary clubs than at present; never has it so completely resigned
its control over betting, whether in gambling-houses or the racecourse.'
To such a Government it is obvious that arguments founded upon the
pecuniary advantages rather than the morals of its sons and daughters
should be addressed. How many more suicides will have to take place at
Monte Carlo before France and Italy will make up their minds to improve
its gambling-tables off the face of the earth?"



                               A LIST OF

                      _KEGAN PAUL, TRENCH & CO.'S

                            PUBLICATIONS._


                                            _1, Paternoster Square,
                                                             London._


                              A LIST OF

                     KEGAN PAUL, TRENCH & CO.'S

                            PUBLICATIONS.


                              CONTENTS.

                             PAGE                                PAGE
GENERAL LITERATURE              2 | POETRY                         30
INTERNATIONAL SCIENTIFIC          | WORKS OF FICTION               37
  SERIES                       26 | BOOKS FOR THE YOUNG            38
MILITARY WORKS                 29 |


                         GENERAL LITERATURE.

_ADAMSON, H. T., B.D._--=The Truth as It Is In Jesus.= Crown 8vo,
        _8s. 6d._
    =The Three Sevens.= Crown 8vo, _5s. 6d._
    =The Millennium=; or, the Mystery of God Finished. Crown 8vo, _6s._

_A. K. H. B._--=From a Quiet Place.= A New Volume of Sermons. Crown
    8vo, _5s._

_ALLEN, Rev. R., M.A._--=Abraham: his Life, Times, and Travels,= 3800
        years ago. With Map. Second Edition. Post 8vo, _6s._

_ALLIES, T. W., M.A._--=Per Crucem ad Lucem=. The Result of a Life. 2
        vols. Demy 8vo, _25s._
    =A Life's Decision.= Crown 8vo, _7s. 6d._

_AMOS, Professor Sheldon._--=The History and Principles of the Civil
        Law of Rome.= An aid to the Study of Scientific and Comparative
        Jurisprudence. Demy 8vo, _16s._

_ANDERDON, Rev. W. H._--=Fasti Apostolici=; a Chronology of the
        Years between the Ascension of our Lord and the Martyrdom of
        SS. Peter and Paul. Second Edition. Crown 8vo, _2s. 6d._
    =Evenings with the Saints.= Crown 8vo, _5s._

_ARMSTRONG, Richard A., B.A._--=Latter-Day Teachers.= Six Lectures.
        Small crown 8vo, _2s. 6d._

_AUBERTIN, J. J._--=A Flight to Mexico.= With Seven full-page
        Illustrations and a Railway Map of Mexico. Crown 8vo,
        _7s. 6d._

_BADGER, George Percy, D.C.L._--=An English-Arabic Lexicon.= In which
        the equivalent for English Words and Idiomatic Sentences are
        rendered into literary and colloquial Arabic. Royal 4to,
        _£9 9s._

_BAGEHOT, Walter._--=The English Constitution.= Third Edition. Crown
        8vo, _7s. 6d._
    =Lombard Street.= A Description of the Money Market. Eighth Edition.
        Crown 8vo, _7s. 6d._
    =Some Articles on the Depreciation of Silver, and Topics
        connected with it.= Demy 8vo, _5s._

_BAGENAL, Philip H._--=The American-Irish and their Influence on Irish
        Politics.= Crown 8vo, _5s._

_BAGOT, Alan, C.E._--=Accidents In Mines=: their Causes and
        Prevention. Crown 8vo, _6s._
    =The Principles of Colliery Ventilation.= Second Edition, greatly
        enlarged. Crown 8vo, _5s._

_BAKER, Sir Sherston, Bart._--=The Laws relating to Quarantine.=
        Crown 8vo, _12s. 6d._

_BALDWIN, Capt. J. H._--=The Large and Small Game of Bengal and the
        North-Western Provinces of India.= With 18 Illustrations. New
        and Cheaper Edition. Small 4to, _10s. 6d._

_BALLIN, Ada S. and F. L._--=A Hebrew Grammar.= With Exercises
        selected from the Bible. Crown 8vo, _7s. 6d._

_BARCLAY, Edgar._--=Mountain Life in Algeria.= With numerous
        Illustrations by Photogravure. Crown 4to, _16s._

_BARLOW, James H._--=The Ultimatum of Pessimism.= An Ethical Study
        Demy 8vo, _6s._

_BARNES, William._--=Outlines of Redecraft (Logic).= With English
        Wording. Crown 8vo, _3s._

_BAUR, Ferdinand, Dr. Ph._--=A Philological Introduction to Greek and
        Latin for Students.= Translated and adapted from the German, by
        C. KEGAN PAUL, M.A., and E. D. STONE, M.A. Third Edition.
        Crown 8vo, _6s._

_BELLARS, Rev. W._--=The Testimony of Conscience to the Truth and
        Divine Origin of the Christian Revelation.= Burney Prize Essay.
        Small crown 8vo, _3s. 6d._

_BELLINGHAM, Henry, M.P._--=Social Aspects of Catholicism and
        Protestantism in their Civil Bearing upon Nations.= Translated and
        adapted from the French of M. le BARON DE HAULLEVILLE. With a
        preface by His Eminence CARDINAL MANNING. Second and Cheaper
        Edition. Crown 8vo, _3s. 6d._

_BELLINGHAM H. Belsches Graham._--=Ups and Downs of Spanish Travel.= Second
        Edition. Crown 8vo, _5s._

_BENN, Alfred W._--=The Greek Philosophers.= 2 vols. Demy 8vo, _28s._

_BENT, J. Theodore._--=Genoa: How the Republic Rose and Fell.= With 18
        Illustrations. Demy 8vo, _18s._

_BLOOMFIELD, The Lady._--=Reminiscences of Court and Diplomatic Life.=
        New and Cheaper Edition. With Frontispiece. Crown 8vo, _6s._

_BLUNT, The Ven. Archdeacon._--=The Divine Patriot=, and other Sermons.
        Preached in Scarborough and in Cannes. New and Cheaper Edition.
        Crown 8vo, _4s. 6d._

_BLUNT, Wilfred S._--=The Future of Islam.= Crown 8vo, _6s._

_BONWICK, J., F.R.G.S._--=Pyramid Facts and Fancies.= Crown 8vo, _5s._

_BOUVERIE-PUSEY, S. E. B._--=Permanence and Evolution.= An Inquiry into
        the Supposed Mutability of Animal Types. Crown 8vo, _5s._

_BOWEN, H. C., M.A._--=Studies In English.= For the use of Modern Schools.
        Third Edition. Small crown 8vo, _1s. 6d._
    =English Grammar for Beginners.= Fcap. 8vo, _1s._

_BRADLEY, F. H._--=The Principles of Logic.= Demy 8vo, _16s._

_BRIDGETT, Rev. T. E._--=History of the Holy Eucharist in Great Britain.=
        2 vols. Demy 8vo, _18s._

_BRODRICK, the Hon. G. C._--=Political Studies.= Demy 8vo, _14s._

_BROOKE, Rev. S. A._--=Life and Letters of the Late Rev. F. W.
        Robertson, M.A.= Edited by.
      I. Uniform with Robertson's Sermons. 2 vols. With Steel
        Portrait. _7s. 6d._
     II. Library Edition. With Portrait. 8vo, _12s._
    III. A Popular Edition. In 1 vol., 8vo, _6s._
    =The Fight of Faith.= Sermons preached on various occasions. Fifth
        Edition. Crown 8vo, _7s. 6d._
    =The Spirit of the Christian Life.= New and Cheaper Edition. Crown 8vo,
        _5s._
    =Theology In the English Poets.=--Cowper, Coleridge, Wordsworth,
        and Burns. Fifth and Cheaper Edition. Post 8vo, _5s._
    =Christ In Modern Life.= Sixteenth and Cheaper Edition. Crown 8vo,
        _5s._
    =Sermons.= First Series. Thirteenth and Cheaper Edition. Crown 8vo,
        _5s._
    =Sermons.= Second Series. Sixth and Cheaper Edition. Crown 8vo,
        _5s._

_BROWN, Rev. J. Baldwin, B.A._--=The Higher Life.= Its Reality,
        Experience, and Destiny. Fifth Edition. Crown 8vo, _5s_.
    =Doctrine of Annihilation in the Light of the Gospel of Love.=
        Five Discourses. Fourth Edition. Crown 8vo, _2s. 6d._
    =The Christian Policy of Life.= A Book for Young Men of Business.
        Third Edition. Crown 8vo, _3s. 6d._

_BROWN, S. Borton, B.A._--=The Fire Baptism of all Flesh=; or, the
        Coming Spiritual Crisis of the Dispensation. Crown 8vo, _6s._

_BROWNBILL, John._--=Principles of English Canon Law.= Part I.
        General Introduction. Crown 8vo, _6s._

_BROWNE, W. R._--=The Inspiration of the New Testament.= With a
        Preface by the Rev. J. P. NORRIS, D.D. Fcap. 8vo, _2s. 6d._

_BURTON, Mrs. Richard._--=The Inner Life of Syria, Palestine, and the
        Holy Land.= Cheaper Edition in one volume. Large post 8vo.
        _7s. 6d._

_BUSBECQ, Ogier Ghiselin de._--=His Life and Letters.= By CHARLES
        THORNTON FORSTER, M.A., and F. H. BLACKBURNE DANIELL, M.A.
        2vols. With Frontispieces. Demy 8vo, _24s._

_CARPENTER, W. B., LL.D., M.D., F.R.S., etc._--=The Principles of
        Mental Physiology.= With their Applications to the Training and
        Discipline of the Mind, and the Study of its Morbid Conditions.
        Illustrated. Sixth Edition. 8vo, _12s._

_CERVANTES._--=The Ingenious Knight Don Quixote de la Mancha.= A New
        Translation from the Originals of 1605 and 1608. By A. J.
        DUFFIELD. With Notes. 3 vols. Demy 8vo, _42s._
    =Journey to Parnassus.= Spanish Text, with Translation into English
        Tercets, Preface, and Illustrative Notes, by JAMES Y. GIBSON.
        Crown 8vo, _12s._

_CHEYNE, Rev. T. K._--=The Prophecies of Isaiah.= Translated with
        Critical Notes and Dissertations. 2 vols. Second Edition. Demy
        8vo, _25s._

_CLAIRAUT._--=Elements of Geometry.= Translated by Dr. KAINES. With
        145 Figures. Crown 8vo, _4s. 6d._

_CLAYDEN, P. W._--=England under Lord Beaconsfield.= The Political
        History of the Last Six Years, from the end of 1873 to the
        beginning of 1880. Second Edition, with Index and continuation
        to March, 1880. Demy 8vo, _16s._
    =Samuel Sharpe.= Egyptologist and Translator of the Bible. Crown
        8vo, _6s._

_CLIFFORD, Samuel._--=What Think Ye of Christ?= Crown 8vo. _6s._

_CLODD, Edward, F.R.A.S._--=The Childhood of the World=: a Simple
        Account of Man in Early Times. Seventh Edition. Crown 8vo, _3s._
    A Special Edition for Schools, _1s._

    =The Childhood of Religions.= Including a Simple Account of the
        Birth and Growth of Myths and Legends. Eighth Thousand. Crown
        8vo, _5s._
    A Special Edition for Schools. _1s. 6d._
    =Jesus of Nazareth.= With a brief sketch of Jewish History to the
        Time of His Birth. Small crown 8vo, _6s._

_COGHLAN, J. Cole, D.D._--=The Modern Pharisee and other Sermons.=
        Edited by the Very Rev. H. H. DICKINSON, D.D., Dean of Chapel
        Royal, Dublin. New and Cheaper Edition. Crown 8vo, _7s. 6d._

_COLERIDGE, Sara._--=Memoir and Letters of Sara Coleridge.= Edited by
        her Daughter. With Index. Cheap Edition. With Portrait.
        _7s. 6d._

=Collects Exemplified.= Being Illustrations from the Old and New
        Testaments of the Collects for the Sundays after Trinity. By
        the Author of "A Commentary on the Epistles and Gospels."
        Edited by the Rev. JOSEPH JACKSON. Crown 8vo, _5s._

_CONNELL, A. K._--=Discontent and Danger in India.= Small crown 8vo,
        _3s. 6d._
    =The Economic Revolution of India.= Crown 8vo, _5s._

_CORY, William._--=A Guide to Modern English History.=Part I.--
        MDCCCXV.-MDCCCXXX. Demy 8vo, _9s._ Part II.--
        MDCCCXXX.-MDCCCXXXV., _15s._

_COTTERILL, H. B._--=An Introduction to the Study of Poetry.= Crown
        8vo, _7s. 6d._

_COX, Rev. Sir George W., M.A., Bart._--=A History of Greece from the
        Earliest Period to the end of the Persian War.= New Edition.
        2 vols. Demy 8vo, _36s._
    =The Mythology of the Aryan Nations.= New Edition. Demy 8vo, _16s._
    =Tales of Ancient Greece.= New Edition. Small crown 8vo, _6s._
    =A Manual of Mythology in the form of Question and Answer.= New
        Edition. Fcap. 8vo, _3s._
    =An Introduction to the Science of Comparative Mythology and
        Folk-Lore.= Second Edition. Crown 8vo. _7s. 6d._

_COX, Rev. Sir G. W., M.A., Bart., and JONES, Eustace Hinton._--Popular
        Romances of the Middle Ages. Second Edition, in 1 vol. Crown
        8vo, _6s._

_COX, Rev. Samuel, D.D._--=Salvator Mundi=; or, Is Christ the Saviour
        of all Men? Eighth Edition. Crown 8vo, _5s._
    =The Genesis of Evil=, and other Sermons, mainly expository. Third
        Edition. Crown 8vo, _6s._

    =A Commentary on the Book of Job.= With a Translation. Demy 8vo,
        _15s._
    =The Larger Hope.= A Sequel to "Salvator Mundi." 16mo, _1s._

_CRAVEN, Mrs._--=A Year's Meditations.= Crown 8vo, _6s._

_CRAWFURD, Oswald._--=Portugal, Old and New.= With Illustrations and
        Maps. New and Cheaper Edition. Crown 8vo, _6s._

_CROZIER, John Beattie, M.B._--=The Religion of the Future.= Crown 8vo,
        _6s._

=Cyclopædia of Common Things.= Edited by the Rev. Sir GEORGE W. COX,
        Bart., M.A. With 500 Illustrations. Third Edition. Large post 8vo,
        _7s. 6d._

_DAVIDSON, Rev. Samuel, D.D., LL.D._--=Canon of the Bible=; Its
        Formation, History, and Fluctuations. Third and Revised Edition.
        Small crown 8vo, _5s._
    =The Doctrine of Last Things= contained in the New Testament
        compared with the Notions of the Jews and the Statements of
        Church Creeds. Small crown 8vo, _3s. 6d._

_DAVIDSON, Thomas._--=The Parthenon Frieze=, and other Essays. Crown
        8vo, _6s._

_DAWSON, Geo., M.A._--=Prayers=, with a Discourse on Prayer. Edited
        by his Wife. Eighth Edition. Crown 8vo, _6s._
    =Sermons on Disputed Points and Special Occasions.= Edited by his
        Wife. Fourth Edition. Crown 8vo, _6s._
    =Sermons on Daily Life and Duty.= Edited by his Wife. Fourth
        Edition. Crown 8vo, _6s._
    =The Authentic Gospel.= A New Volume of Sermons. Edited by GEORGE
        ST. CLAIR. Third Edition. Crown 8vo, _6s._
    =Three Books of God: Nature, History, and Scripture.= Sermons
        edited by GEORGE ST. CLAIR. Crown 8vo, _6s._

_DE JONCOURT, Madame Marie._--=Wholesome Cookery.= Crown 8vo, _3s. 6d._

_DE LONG, Lieut. Com. G. W._--=The Voyage of the Jeannette.= The Ship
        and Ice Journals of. Edited by his Wife, EMMA DE LONG. With
        Portraits, Maps, and many Illustrations on wood and stone. 2
        vols. Demy 8vo. _36s._

_DESPREZ, Phillip S., B.D._--=Daniel and John=; or, the Apocalypse of
        the Old and that of the New Testament. Demy 8vo, _12s._

_DOWDEN, Edward, LL.D._--=Shakspere=: a Critical Study of his Mind and
        Art. Sixth Edition. Post 8vo, _12s._
    =Studies in Literature, 1789-1877.= Second and Cheaper Edition.
        Large post 8vo, _6s._

_DUFFIELD, A. J._--=Don Quixote: his Critics and Commentators.= With
        a brief account of the minor works of MIGUEL DE CERVANTES
        SAAVEDRA, and a statement of the aim and end of the greatest
        of them all. A handy book for general readers. Crown 8vo,
        _3s. 6d._

_DU MONCEL, Count._--=The Telephone, the Microphone, and the Phonograph.=
        With 74 Illustrations. Second Edition. Small crown 8vo, _5s._

_EDGEWORTH, F. Y._--=Mathematical Psychics.= An Essay on the
        Application of Mathematics to Social Science. Demy 8vo,
        _7s. 6d._

=Educational Code of the Prussian Nation, in its Present Form.= In
        accordance with the Decisions of the Common Provincial Law, and
        with those of Recent Legislation. Crown 8vo, _2s. 6d._

=Education Library.= Edited by PHILIP MAGNUS:--
    =An Introduction to the History of Educational Theories.= By OSCAR
        BROWNING, M.A. Second Edition. _3s. 6d._
    =Old Greek Education.= By the Rev. Prof. MAHAFFY, M.A. _3s. 6d._
    =School Management.= Including a general view of the work of
        Education, Organization and Discipline. By JOSEPH LANDON.
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=Eighteenth Century Essays.= Selected and Edited by AUSTIN DOBSON. With
        a Miniature Frontispiece by R. Caldecott. Parchment Library
        Edition, _6s._; vellum, _7s. 6d._

_ELSDALE, Henry._--=Studies in Tennyson's Idylls.= Crown 8vo, _5s._

_ELYOT, Sir Thomas._--=The Boke named the Gouernour.= Edited from the
        First Edition of 1531 by HENRY HERBERT STEPHEN CROFT, M.A.,
        Barrister-at-Law. With Portraits of Sir Thomas and Lady Elyot,
        copied by permission of her Majesty from Holbein's Original
        Drawings at Windsor Castle. 2 vols. Fcap. 4to, _50s._

=Enoch the Prophet.= The Book of. Archbishop LAURENCE'S Translation,
        with an Introduction by the Author of "The Evolution of
        Christianity." Crown 8vo, _5s._

=Eranus.= A Collection of Exercises in the Alcaic and Sapphic Metres.
        Edited by F. W. CORNISH, Assistant Master at Eton. Crown 8vo,
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_EVANS, Mark._--=The Story of Our Father's Love=, told to Children.
        Sixth and Cheaper Edition. With Four Illustrations. Fcap. 8vo,
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    =A Book of Common Prayer and Worship for Household Use,= compiled
        exclusively from the Holy Scriptures. Second Edition. Fcap.
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    =The Gospel of Home Life.= Crown 8vo, _4s. 6d._
    =The King's Story-Book.= In Three Parts. Fcap. 8vo, _1s. 6d._ each.

        ***Parts I. and II. with Eight Illustrations and Two Picture Maps,
           now ready.

"=Fan Kwae=" at Canton before Treaty Days 1825-1844. By an old Resident.
        With Frontispiece. Crown 8vo, _5s._

_FLECKER, Rev. Eliezer._--=Scripture Onomatology.= Being Critical Notes
        on the Septuagint and other versions. Crown 8vo, _3s. 6d._

_FLOREDICE, W. H._--=A Month among the Mere Irish.= Small crown 8vo,
        _5s._

_GARDINER, Samuel R., and J. BASS MULLINGER, M.A._--=Introduction to
        the Study of English History.= Large Crown 8vo, _9s._

_GARDNER, Dorsey._--=Quatre Bras, Ligny, and Waterloo.= A Narrative
        of the Campaign in Belgium, 1815. With Maps and Plans. Demy 8vo,
        _16s._

=Genesis in Advance of Present Science.= A Critical Investigation of
        Chapters I.-IX. By a Septuagenarian Beneficed Presbyter. Demy
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_GENNA, E._--=Irresponsible Philanthropists.= Being some Chapters on
        the Employment of Gentlewomen. Small crown 8vo, _2s. 6d._

_GEORGE, Henry._--=Progress and Poverty=: An Inquiry into the Cause of
        Industrial Depressions, and of Increase of Want with Increase
        of Wealth. The Remedy. Second Edition. Post 8vo, _7s. 6d._ Also
        a Cheap Edition. Limp cloth, _1s. 6d._ Paper covers, _1s._

_GIBSON, James Y._--=Journey to Parnassus.= Composed by MIGUEL DE
        CERVANTES SAAVEDRA. Spanish Text, with Translation into English
        Tercets, Preface, and Illustrative Notes, by. Crown 8vo, _12s._

=Glossary of Terms and Phrases.= Edited by the Rev. H. PERCY SMITH and
        others. Medium 8vo, _12s._

_GLOVER, F., M.A._--=Exempla Latina.= A First Construing Book, with
        Short Notes, Lexicon, and an Introduction to the Analysis of
        Sentences. Fcap. 8vo, _2s._

_GOLDSMID, Sir Francis Henry, Bart., Q.C., M.P._--=Memoir of.= With
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_GOODENOUGH, Commodore J. G._--=Memoir of=, with Extracts from his
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        ***Also a Library Edition with Maps, Woodcuts, and Steel Engraved
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_GOSSE, Edmund W._--=Studies in the Literature of Northern Europe.=
        With a Frontispiece designed and etched by Alma Tadema. New
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    =Seventeenth Century Studies.= A Contribution to the History of
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_GOULD, Rev. S. Baring, M.A._--=Germany, Present and Past.= New and
        Cheaper Edition. Large crown 8vo, _7s. 6d._

_GOWAN, Major Walter E._--=A. Ivanoff's Russian Grammar.= (16th
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        of the Russian Language. Demy 8vo, _6s._

_GOWER, Lord Ronald._--=My Reminiscences.= Second Edition. 2 vols.
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_GRAHAM, William, M.A._--=The Creed of Science=, Religious, Moral, and
        Social. Demy 8vo, _6s._

_GRIFFITH, Thomas, A.M._--=The Gospel of the Divine Life=: a Study of
        the Fourth Evangelist. Demy 8vo, _14s._

_GRIMLEY, Rev. H. N., M.A._--=Tremadoc Sermons=, chiefly on the
        Spiritual Body, the Unseen World, and the Divine Humanity. Third
        Edition. Crown 8vo, _6s._

_HAECKEL, Prof. Ernst._--=The History of Creation.= Translation revised
        by Professor E. RAY LANKESTER, M.A., F.R.S. With Coloured
        Plates and Genealogical Trees of the various groups of both
        Plants and Animals. 2 vols. Third Edition. Post 8vo, _32s._
    =The History of the Evolution of Man.= With numerous Illustrations. 2
        vols. Post 8vo, _32s._
    =A Visit to Ceylon.= Post 8vo, _7s. 6d._
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        T. H. HUXLEY, F.R.S. Crown 8vo, _5s._

HALF-CROWN SERIES:--
    =A Lost Love.= By ANNA C. OGLE [Ashford Owen].
    =Sister Dora=: a Biography. By MARGARET LONSDALE.
    =True Words for Brave Men=: a Book for Soldiers and Sailors. By
        the late CHARLES KINGSLEY.
    =An Inland Voyage.= By R. L. STEVENSON.
    =Travels with a Donkey.= By R. L. STEVENSON.

    =Notes of Travel=: being Extracts from the Journals of Count VON
        MOLTKE.
    =English Sonnets.= Collected and Arranged by J. DENNIS.
    =London Lyrics.= By F. LOCKER.
    =Home Songs for Quiet Hours.= By the Rev. Canon R. H. BAYNES

_HAWEIS, Rev. H. R., M.A._--=Current Coin.= Materialism--The
        Devil--Crime--Drunkenness--Pauperism--Emotion--Recreation--The
        Sabbath. Fifth and Cheaper Edition. Crown 8vo, _5s._
    =Arrows in the Air.= Fifth and Cheaper Edition. Crown 8vo, _5s._
    =Speech In Season.= Fifth and Cheaper Edition. Crown 8vo, _5s._
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    +-----------------------------------------------------------------+
    | Transcriber's Note:                                             |
    |                                                                 |
    | Typographical errors changed:                                   |
    |                                                                 |
    | Page   xi changed Musquitos to Mosquitos                        |
    | Page  xii changed Smollet's to Smollett's                       |
    | Page  xii changed Stephano to Stefano                           |
    | Page  xii Canalia probably should be Canali                     |
    | Page xiii changed pieta to pietà                                |
    | Page xiii changed Pinacotheca to Pinacoteca                     |
    | Page  xvi changed Guarda to Garda                               |
    | Page  xvi changed Caro to Carlo                                 |
    | Page  xvi changed Ambrogia to Ambrogio                          |
    | Page   66 changed proprietaire to propriétaire                  |
    | Page   76 changed facade to façade                              |
    | Page   76 changed Corregio to Correggio                         |
    | Page   83 changed Stephano to Stefano                           |
    | Page   83 Canalia probably should be Canali                     |
    | Page   86 changed Bapistery to Baptistery                       |
    | Page   86 piu possibly should be più                            |
    | Page   87 changed Bapistry to Baptistery (twice)                |
    | Page   94 changed Venizia to Venezia                            |
    | Page  100 changed Santissime to Santissimo                      |
    | Page  110 changed Furoi to Fuori                                |
    | Page  111 changed Giotti's to Giotto's                          |
    | Page  111 changed Cammaceini to Camuccini                       |
    | Page  111 changed Moderno to Maderno                            |
    | Page  114 changed jaspar to jasper                              |
    | Page  115 changed Briscia to Brescia                            |
    | Page  115 changed Pancrozio to Pancrazio                        |
    | Page  119 changed Pieta to Pietà                                |
    | Page  119 changed Pinacotheca to Pinacoteca                     |
    | Page  124 changed Pieta to Pietà                                |
    | Page  125 changed Buonarotti to Buonaroti                       |
    | Page  130 changed Pinacotheca to Pinacoteca                     |
    | Page  131 changed Belvidere to Belvedere (twice)                |
    | Page  142 changed agreeeable to agreeable                       |
    | Page  144 changed piazzi to piazze                              |
    | Page  148 Gaimpino might possibly be Giampino or Ciampino       |
    | Page  179 changed opthalmia to ophthalmia                       |
    | Page  183 changed emeshed to enmeshed                           |
    | Page  191 changed Vittoria to Vittorio                          |
    | Page  196 changed tesselated to tessellated                     |
    | Page  198 changed Dominico to Domenico                          |
    | Page  198 changed Marborara to Martorana                        |
    | Page  202 changed Palmero to Palermo                            |
    | Page  204 changed Guiseppe to Giuseppe                          |
    | Page  205 changed Societa to Società                            |
    | Page  206 changed Mennotti to Menotti                           |
    | Page  221 changed Frejus to Fréjus                              |
    | Page  227 changed Baptistry to Baptistery                       |
    | Page  229 changed Guliano to Giuliano (twice)                   |
    | Page  231 changed d'oevre to d'oeuvre                           |
    | Page  232 changed Medicii to Medici                             |
    | Page  241 changed inextricately to inextricably                 |
    | Page  249 changed tesselated to tessellated                     |
    | Page  253 changed Piazetta to Piazzetta                         |
    | Page  254 changed Deci to Dieci                                 |
    | Page  256 changed Mahommedan to Mohammedan                      |
    | Page  262 changed piazetta to piazzetta                         |
    | Page  265 changed plesant to pleasant                           |
    | Page  267 Princepili probably should be Principi                |
    | Page  270 changed della to delle                                |
    | Page  270 changed della to dei                                  |
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    | Page  280 changed Signoni to Signori                            |
    | Page  282 changed Pinacoleca to Pinocateca                      |
    | Page  285 changed Guarda to Garda                               |
    | Page  285 changed Sermoine to Sirmione                          |
    | Page  289 changed begining to beginning                         |
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    | Page  296 changed Pelegrini to Pellegrini                       |
    | Page  300 changed Ambrogia to Ambrogio                          |
    | Page  307 changed Pinacothua to Pinacoteca                      |
    | Page  307 changed Scienzi to Scienze                            |
    | Page  315 changed della to delle                                |
    | Page  316 changed Emmanele to Emmanuele                         |
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    | Ad Page 34 changed Allighieri to Alighieri                      |
    |                                                                 |
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