By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Seeing Europe with Famous Authors, Volume 7 - Italy, Sicily, and Greece (Part One)
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
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.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Seeing Europe with Famous Authors, Volume 7 - Italy, Sicily, and Greece (Part One)" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

[Illustration: Courtesy International Mercantile Marine Co.










  _Editor of "Great Epochs in American History"
  Associate Editor of "The Worlds Famous Orations"
  and of "The Best of the World's Classics," etc._




Vol. VII


Part One

[_Printed in the United States of America_]


Italy, Sicily and Greece

Tourists in great numbers now go to Italy by steamers that have Naples
and Genoa for ports. By the fast Channel steamers, however, touching at
Cherbourg and Havre, one may make the trip in less time (rail journey
included). In going to Rome, four days could thus be saved; but the
expense will be greater--perhaps forty per cent.

               ... "and now, fair Italy!
  Thou art the garden of the world, the home
  Of all Art yields, and Nature can decree;
  Even in thy desert, what is like to thee?
  Thy very weeds are beautiful, thy waste
  More rich than other climes' fertility;
  Thy wreck a glory, and thy ruin graced
  With an immaculate charm which can not be defaced."

At least four civilizations, and probably five, have dominated Italy;
together they cover a period of more than 3,000 years--Pelasgian,
Etruscan, Greek, Roman, Italian. Of these the Pelasgian is, in the main,
legendary. Next came the Etruscan. How old that civilization is no man
knows, but its beginnings date from at least 1000 B.C.--that is, earlier
than Homer's writings, and earlier by nearly three centuries than the
wall built by Romulus around Rome. The Etruscan state was a federation
of twelve cities, embracing a large part of central and northern
Italy--from near Naples as far north perhaps as Milan and the great
Lombard plain. Etruscans thus dominated the largest, and certainly the
fairest, parts of Italy. Before Rome was founded, the Etruscan cities
were populous and opulent commonwealths. Together they formed one of the
great naval powers of the Mediterranean. Of their civilization, we have
abundant knowledge from architectural remains, and, from thousands of
inscriptions still extant. Cortona was one of their oldest towns. "Ere
Troy itself arose, Cortona was."

After the Etruscans, came Greeks, who made flourishing settlements in
southern Italy, the chief of which was Paestum, founded not later than
600 B.C. Stupendous ruins survive at Paestum; few more interesting ones
have come down to us from the world of ancient Hellas. The oldest dates
from about 570 B.C. Here was once the most fertile and beautiful part
of Italy, celebrated for its flowers so that Virgil praised them. It is
now a lonely and forsaken land, forbidding and malarious. Once thickly
populated, it has become scarcely more than a haunt of buffalos and
peasants, who wander indifferent among these colossal remains of a
vanished race. These, however, are not the civilizations that do most
attract tourists to Italy, but the remains found there of ancient Rome.
Of that empire all modern men are heirs--heirs of her marvelous
political structure, of her social and industrial laws.

Last of these five civilizations is the Italian, the beginnings of which
date from Theodoric the Goth, who in the fifth century set up a kingdom
independent of Rome; but Gothic rule was of short life, and then came
the Lombards, who for two hundred years were dominant in northern and
central parts, or until Charlemagne grasped their tottering kingdom and
put on their famous Iron Crown. In the south Charlemagne's empire never
flourished. That part of Italy was for centuries the prey of Saracens,
Magyars and Scandinavians. From these events emerged modern Italy--the
rise of her vigorous republics, Pisa, Genoa, Florence, Venice; the
dawn, meridian splendor and decline of her great schools of sculpture,
painting and architecture, the power and beauty of which have held the
world in subjection; her literature, to which also the world has become
a willing captive; her splendid municipal spirit; a Church, whose
influence has circled the globe, and in which historians, in a spiritual
sense, have seen a survival of Imperial Rome. But here are tales that
every schoolboy hears.

Sicily is reached in a night by steamer from Naples to Palermo, or the
tourist may go by train from Naples to Reggio, and thence by ferry
across the strait to Messina. Its earliest people were contemporaries of
the Etruscans. Phoenicians also made settlements there, as they did in
many parts of the Mediterranean, but these were purely commercial
enterprises. Real civilization in Sicily dates from neither of those
races, but from Dorian and Ionic Greeks, who came perhaps as early as
the founding of Rome--that is, in the seventh or eighth century B.C. The
great cities of the Sicilian Greeks were Syracuse, Segesta and Girgenti,
where still survive colossal remains of their genius. In military and
political senses, the island for 3,000 years has been overrun,
plundered and torn asunder by every race known to Mediterranean waters.
Beside those already named, are Carthaginians under Hannibal, Vandals
under Genseric, Goths under Theodoric, Byzantines under Belisarius,
Saracens from Asia Minor, Normans under Robert Guiscard, German emperors
of the thirteenth century, French Angevine princes (in whose time came
the Sicilian Vespers), Spaniards of the house of Aragon, French under
Napoleon, Austrians of the nineteenth century, and then--that glorious
day when Garibaldi transferred it to the victorious Sardinian king.

The tourist who seeks Greece from northern Europe may go from Trieste by
steamer along the Dalmatian coast (in itself a trip of fine surprizes),
to Cattaro and Corfu, transferring to another steamer for the Piræus,
the port of Athens; or from Italy by steamer direct from Brindisi, the
ancient Brundusium, whence sailed all Roman expeditions to the East, and
where in retirement once dwelt Cicero. No writer has known where to date
the beginnings of civilization in Greece, but with Mycenæ, Tiryns, and
the Minoan palace of Crete laid bare, antiquarians have pointed the way
to dates far older than anything before recorded. The palace of Minos
is ancient enough to make the Homeric age seem modern. With the Dorian
invasion of Greece about 1000 B.C., begins that Greek civilization of
which we have so much authentic knowledge. Dorian influence was confined
largely to Sparta, but it spread to many Greek colonies in the central
Mediterranean and in the Levant. It became a powerful influence, alike
in art, in domestic life, and in political supremacy. One of its noblest
achievements was its help in keeping out the Persian, and another in
supplanting in the Mediterranean the commercial rule of Phoenicians.
Attica and Sparta became world-famous cities, with stupendous
achievements in every domain of human art and human efficiency. The
colossal debt all Europe and all America owe them, is known to everyone
who has ever been to school.

                                                              F. W. H.


  Italy, Sicily, and Greece--Part One


  Wolfgang von Goethe                                                  1

  THE ANTIQUITIES--By Joseph Addison                                  10

  Lanciani                                                            17

  THE COLISEUM--By George S. Hillard                                  24

  THE PANTHEON--By George S. Hillard                                  29

  HADRIAN'S TOMB--By Rodolfo Lanciani                                 32

  TRAJAN'S FORUM--By Francis Wey                                      35

  Adolphe Taine                                                       37

  THE AQUEDUCT BUILDERS--By Rodolfo Lanciani                          41

  CITY--By Rodolfo Lanciani                                           45

  Greenwood (Mrs. Lippincott)                                         53

  THE ELECTION OF A POPE--By Cardinal Wiseman                         55

  Hazeltine                                                           59

  George S. Hillard                                                   64

  Adolphe Taine                                                       67

  CATACOMBS AND CRYPTS--By Charles Dickens 69

  Hawthorne                                                           73

  Nathaniel Parker Willis                                             75

  EXCURSIONS NEAR ROME--By Charles Dickens                            78


  Hawthorne                                                           83

  Gautier                                                             86

  THE ORIGINS OF THE CITY--By Grant Allen 92

  THE CATHEDRAL--By Hippolyte Adolphe
  Taine                                                               96

  Mr. and Mrs. Edwin H. Blashfield                                   102

  Mrs. Oliphant                                                      106

  GHIBERTI'S GATES--By Charles Yriarte                               116

  THE PONTE VECCHIO--By Charles Yriarte                              119

  SANTA CROCE--By Charles Yriarte                                    121

  THE UFFIZI GALLERY--By Hippolyte Adolphe
  Taine                                                              125

  Cullen Bryant                                                      131


  Yriarte                                                            138

  THE APPROACH BY TRAIN--By the Editor                               140

  Gautier                                                            143

  ST. MARK'S CHURCH--By John Ruskin                                  148

  Horatio F. Brown                                                   155

  Brown                                                              161

  THE PALACE OF THE DOGES--By John Ruskin                            163

  THE LAGOONS--By Horatio F. Brown                                   174

  Adolphe Taine                                                      177

  THE DOVES OF ST. MARK'S--By Horatio F.
  Brown                                                              183

  TORCELLO, THE MOTHER CITY--By John Ruskin                          186

  Edwards                                                            189









Courtesy John C. Winston Co.]



Courtesy John C. Winston Co.]



[Illustration: THE COLISEUM]

Courtesy John C. Winston Co.]








At last I am arrived in this great capital of the world. If fifteen
years ago I could have seen it in good company, with a well-informed
guide, I should have thought myself very fortunate. But as it was to be
that I should thus see it alone, and with my own eyes, it is well that
this joy has fallen to my lot so late in life.

Over the mountains of the Tyrol I have as good as flown. Verona,
Vicenza, Padua, and Venice I have carefully looked at; hastily glanced
at Ferrara, Cento, Bologna, and scarcely seen Florence at all. My
anxiety to reach Rome was so great, and it so grew with me every moment,
that to think of stopping anywhere was quite out of the question; even
in Florence, I only stayed three hours. Now I am here at my ease, and as
it would seem, shall be tranquilized for my whole life; for we may
almost say that a new life begins when a man once sees with his own eyes
all that before he has but partially heard or read of.

All the dreams of my youth I now behold realized before me; the subjects
of the first engravings I ever remembered seeing (several views of Rome
were hung up in an anteroom of my father's house) stand bodily before my
sight, and all that I had long been acquainted with, through paintings
or drawings, engravings, or wood-cuts, plaster-casts, and cork models
are here collectively presented to my eye. Wherever I go I find some old
acquaintance in this new world; it is all just as I had thought it, and
yet all is new; and just the same might I remark of my own observations
and my own ideas. I have not gained any new thoughts, but the older ones
have become so defined, so vivid, and so coherent, that they may almost
pass for new ones....

I have now been here seven days, and by degrees have formed in my mind a
general idea of the city. We go diligently backward and forward. While I
am thus making myself acquainted with the plan of old and new Rome,
viewing the ruins and the buildings, visiting this and that villa, the
grandest and most remarkable objects are slowly and leisurely
contemplated. I do but keep my eyes open and see, and then go and come
again, for it is only in Rome one can duly prepare oneself for Rome. It
must, in truth, be confessed, that it is a sad and melancholy business
to prick and track out ancient Rome in new Rome; however, it must be
done, and we may hope at least for an incalculable gratification. We
meet with traces both of majesty and of ruin, which alike surpass all
conception; what the barbarians spared, the builders of new Rome made
havoc of....

When one thus beholds an object two thousand years old and more, but so
manifoldly and thoroughly altered by the changes of time, but, sees
nevertheless, the same soil, the same mountains, and often indeed the
same walls and columns, one becomes, as it were, a contemporary of the
great counsels of Fortune, and thus it becomes difficult for the
observer to trace from the beginning Rome following Rome, and not only
new Rome succeeding to the old, but also the several epochs of both old
and new in succession. I endeavor, first of all, to grope my way alone
through the obscurer parts, for this is the only plan by which one can
hope fully and completely to perfect by the excellent introductory works
which have been written from the fifteenth century to the present day.
The first artists and scholars have occupied their whole lives with
these objects.

And this vastness has a strangely tranquilizing effect upon you in Rome,
while you pass from place to place, in order to visit the most
remarkable objects. In other places one has to search for what is
important; here one is opprest, and borne down with numberless
phenomena. Wherever one goes and casts a look around, the eye is at once
struck with some landscape--forms of every kind and style; palaces and
ruins, gardens and statuary, distant views of villas, cottages and
stables, triumphal arches and columns, often crowding so close together,
that they might all be sketched on a single sheet of paper. He ought to
have a hundred hands to write, for what can a single pen do here; and,
besides, by the evening one is quite weary and exhausted with the day's
seeing and admiring.

My strange, and perhaps whimsical, incognito proves useful to me in many
ways that I never should have thought of. As every one thinks himself in
duty bound to ignore who I am, and consequently never ventures to speak
to me of myself and my works,[2] they have no alternative left them but
to speak of themselves, or of the matters in which they are most
interested, and in this way I become circumstantially informed of the
occupations of each, and of everything remarkable that is either taken
in hand or produced. Hofrath Reiffenstein good-naturedly humors this
whim of mine; as, however, for special reasons, he could not bear the
name which I had assumed, he immediately made a Baron of me, and I am
now called the "Baron gegen Rondanini über" (the Baron who lives
opposite to the Palace Rondanini). This designation is sufficiently
precise, especially as the Italians are accustomed to speak of people
either by their Christian names, or else by some nickname. Enough; I
have gained my object; and I escape the dreadful annoyance of having to
give to everybody an account of myself and my works....

In Rome, the Rotunda,[3] both by its exterior and interior, has moved me
to offer a willing homage to its magnificence. In St. Peter's I learned
to understand how art, no less than nature, annihilates the artificial
measures and dimensions of man. And in the same way the Apollo Belvidere
also has again drawn me out of reality. For as even the most correct
engravings furnish no adequate idea of these buildings, so the case is
the same with respect to the marble original of this statue, as compared
with the plaster models of it, which, however, I formerly used to look
upon as beautiful.

Here I am now living with a calmness and tranquility to which I have for
a long while been a stranger. My practise to see and take all things as
they are, my fidelity in letting the eye be my light, my perfect
renunciation of all pretension, have again come to my aid, and make me
calmly, but most intensely, happy. Every day has its fresh remarkable
object--every day its new grand unequaled paintings, and a whole which a
man may long think of, and dream of, but which with all his power of
imagination he can never reach.

Yesterday I was at the Pyramid of Cestius, and in the evening on the
Palatine, on the top of which are the ruins of the palace of the Cæsars,
which stand there like walls of rock. Of all this, however, no idea can
be conveyed! In truth, there is nothing little here; altho, indeed,
occasionally something to find fault with--something more or less absurd
in taste, and yet even this partakes of the universal grandeur of all

Yesterday I visited the nymph Egeria, and then the Hippodrome of
Caracalla, the ruined tombs along the Via Appia, and the tomb of
Metella, which is the first to give one a true idea of what solid
masonry really is. These men worked for eternity--all causes of decay
were calculated, except the rage of the spoiler, which nothing can
resist. The remains of the principal aqueduct are highly venerable. How
beautiful and grand a design, to supply a whole people with water by so
vast a structure! In the evening we came upon the Coliseum, when it was
already twilight. When one looks at it, all else seems little; the
edifice is so vast, that one can not hold the image of it in one's
soul--in memory we think it smaller, and then return to it again to find
it every time greater than before.

We entered the Sistine Chapel, which we found bright and cheerful, and
with a good light for the pictures. "The Last Judgment" divided our
admiration with the paintings on the roof by Michael Angelo. I could
only see and wonder. The mental confidence and boldness of the master,
and his grandeur of conception, are beyond all expression. After we had
looked at all of them over and over again, we left this sacred building,
and went to St. Peter's, which received from the bright heavens the
loveliest light possible, and every part of it was clearly lit up. As
men willing to be pleased, we were delighted with its vastness and
splendor, and did not allow an over-nice or hypercritical taste to mar
our pleasure. We supprest every harsher judgment; we enjoyed the

Lastly we ascended the roof of the church, where one finds in little the
plan, of a well-built city. Houses and magazines, springs (in appearance
at least), churches, and a great temple all in the air, and beautiful
walks between. We mounted the dome, and saw glistening before us the
regions of the Apennines, Soracte, and toward Tivoli the volcanic hills.
Frascati, Castelgandolfo, and the plains, and beyond all the sea. Close
at our feet lay the whole city of Rome in its length and breadth, with
its mountain palaces, domes, etc. Not a breath of air was moving, and in
the upper dome it was (as they say) like being in a hot-house. When we
had looked enough at these things, we went down, and they opened for us
the doors in the cornices of the dome, the tympanum, and the nave. There
is a passage all round, and from above you can take a view of the whole
church, and of its several parts. As we stood on the cornices of the
tympanum, we saw beneath us the pope passing to his mid-day devotions.
Nothing, therefore, was wanting to make our view of St. Peter's perfect.
We at last descended to the piazza, and took in a neighboring hotel a
cheerful but frugal meal, and then set off for St. Cecilia's.

It would take many words to describe the decorations of this church,
which was crammed full of people; not a stone of the edifice was to be
seen. The pillars were covered with red velvet wound round with gold
lace; the capitals were overlaid with embroidered velvet, so as to
retain somewhat of the appearance of capitals, and all the cornices and
pillars were in like manner covered with hangings. All the entablatures
of the walls were also covered with life-like paintings, so that the
whole church seemed to be laid out in mosaic. Around the church, and on
the high altar more than two hundred wax tapers were burning. It looked
like a wall of lights, and the whole nave was perfectly lit up. The
aisles and side altars were equally adorned and illuminated. Right
opposite the high altar, and under the organ, two scaffolds were
erected, which also were covered with velvet, on one of which were
placed the singers, and on the other the instruments, which kept up one
unbroken strain of music....

And yet these glorious objects are even still like new acquaintances to
me. One has not yet lived with them, nor got familiar with their
peculiarities. Some of them attract us with irresistible power, so that
for a time one feels indifferent, if not unjust, toward all others.
Thus, for instance, the Pantheon, the Apollo Belvedere, some colossal
heads, and very recently the Sistine Chapel, have by turns so won my
whole heart, that I scarcely saw any thing besides them. But, in truth,
can man, little as man always is, and accustomed to littleness, ever
make himself equal to all that here surrounds him of the noble, the
vast, and the refined? Even tho he should in any degree adapt himself to
it, then how vast is the multitude of objects that immediately press
upon him from all sides, and meet him at every turn, of which each
demands for itself the tribute of his whole attention. How is one to get
out of the difficulty? No other way assuredly than by patiently allowing
it to work, becoming industrious, and attending the while to all that
others have accomplished for our benefit.

Of the beauty of a walk through Rome by moonlight it is impossible to
form a conception, without having witnessed it. All single objects are
swallowed up by the great masses of light and shade, and nothing but
grand and general outlines present themselves to the eye. For three
several days we have enjoyed to the full the brightest and most glorious
of nights. Peculiarly beautiful at such a time is the Coliseum. At night
it is always closed; a hermit dwells in a little shrine within its
range, and beggars of all kinds nestle beneath its crumbling arches; the
latter had lit a fire on the arena, and a gentle wind bore down the
smoke to the ground, so that the lower portion of the ruins was quite
hid by it, while above the vast walls stood out in deeper darkness
before the eye. As we stopt at the gate to contemplate the scene through
the iron gratings, the moon shone brightly in the heavens above.
Presently the smoke found its way up the sides, and through every chink
and opening, while the moon lit it up like a cloud. The sight was
exceedingly glorious. In such a light one ought also to see the
Pantheon, the Capitol, the Portico of St. Peter's, and the other grand
streets and squares--and thus sun and moon, like the human mind, have
quite a different work to do here from elsewhere, where the vastest and
yet the most elegant of masses present themselves to their rays.



There are in Rome two sets of antiquities, the Christian, and the
heathen. The former, tho of a fresher date, are so embroiled with fable
and legend, that one receives but little satisfaction from searching
into them. The other give a great deal of pleasure to such as have met
with them before in ancient authors; for a man who is in Rome can scarce
see an object that does not call to mind a piece of a Latin poet or
historian. Among the remains of old Rome, the grandeur of the
commonwealth shows itself chiefly in works that were either necessary or
convenient, such as temples, highways, aqueducts, walls, and bridges of
the city. On the contrary, the magnificence of Rome under the emperors
is seen principally in such works as were rather for ostentation or
luxury, than any real usefulness or necessity, as in baths,
amphitheaters, circuses, obelisks, triumphal pillars, arches, and
mausoleums; for what they added to the aqueducts was rather to supply
their baths and naumachias, and to embellish the city with fountains,
than out of any real necessity there was for them....

No part of the antiquities of Rome pleased me so much as the ancient
statues, of which there is still an incredible variety. The workmanship
is often the most exquisite of anything in its kind. A man would wonder
how it were possible for so much life to enter into marble, as may be
discovered in some of the best of them; and even in the meanest, one has
the satisfaction of seeing the faces, postures, airs, and dress of those
that have lived so many ages before us. There is a strange resemblance
between the figures of the several heathen deities, and the descriptions
that the Latin poets have given us of them; but as the first may be
looked upon as the ancienter of the two, I question not but the Roman
poets were the copiers of the Greek statuaries. Tho on other occasions
we often find the statuaries took their subjects from the poets. The
Laocöon is too known an instance among many others that are to be met
with at Rome.

I could not forbear taking particular notice of the several musical
instruments that are to be seen in the hands of the Apollos, muses,
fauns, satyrs, bacchanals, and shepherds, which might certainly give a
great light to the dispute for preference between the ancient and modern
music. It would, perhaps, be no impertinent design to take off all their
models in wood, which might not only give us some notion of the ancient
music, but help us to pleasanter instruments than are now in use. By the
appearance they make in marble, there is not one string-instrument that
seems comparable to our violins, for they are all played on either by
the bare fingers, or the plectrum, so that they were incapable of adding
any length to their notes, or of varying them by those insensible
swellings, and wearings away of sound upon the same string, which give
so wonderful a sweetness to our modern music. Besides that, the
string-instruments must have had very low and feeble voices, as may be
guessed from the small proportion of wood about them, which could not
contain air enough to render the strokes, in any considerable measure,
full and sonorous. There is a great deal of difference in the make, not
only of the several kinds of instruments, but even among those of the
same name. The syringa, for example, has sometimes four, and sometimes
more pipes, as high as the twelve. The same variety of strings may be
observed on their harps, and of stops on their tibiæ, which shows the
little foundation that such writers have gone upon, who, from a verse
perhaps in Virgil's Eclogues, or a short passage in a classic author,
have been so very nice in determining the precise shape of the ancient
musical instruments, with the exact number of their pipes, strings, and

Tho the statues that have been found among the ruins of old Rome are
already very numerous, there is no question but posterity will have the
pleasure of seeing many noble pieces of sculpture which are still
undiscovered; for, doubtless, there are greater treasures of this nature
under ground, than what are yet brought to light.[5] They have often dug
into lands that are described in old authors, as the places where such
particular statues or obelisks stood, and have seldom failed of success
in their pursuits. There are still many such promising spots of ground
that have never been searched into. A great part of the Palatine
mountain, for example, lies untouched, which was formerly the seat of
the imperial palace, and may be presumed to abound with more treasures
of this nature than any other part of Rome.

But whether it be that the richest of these discoveries fall into the
Pope's hands, or for some other reason, it is said that the Prince
Farnese, who is the present owner of this seat, will keep his own family
in the chair. There are undertakers in Rome who often purchase the
digging of fields, gardens, or vineyards, where they find any likelihood
of succeeding, and some have been known to arrive at great estates by
it. They pay according to the dimensions of the surface they are to
break up; and after having made essays into it, as they do for coal in
England, they rake into the most promising parts of it, tho they often
find, to their disappointment, that others have been beforehand with
them. However, they generally gain enough by the rubbish and bricks,
which the present architects value much beyond those of a modern make,
to defray the charges of their search.

I was shown two spaces of ground, where part of Nero's golden house
stood, for which the owner has been offered an extraordinary sum of
money. What encouraged the undertakers, are several very ancient trees,
which grow upon the spot, from whence they conclude that these
particular tracts of ground must have lain untouched for some ages. It
is pity there is not something like a public register, to preserve the
memory of such statues as have been found from time to time, and to mark
the particular places where they have been taken up, which would not
only prevent many fruitless searches for the future, but might often
give a considerable light into the quality of the place, or the design
of the statue.

But the great magazine for all kinds of treasure, is supposed to be the
bed of the Tiber. We may be sure, when the Romans lay under the
apprehensions of seeing their city sacked by a barbarous enemy, as they
have done more than once, that they would take care to bestow such of
their riches this way as could best bear the water, besides what the
insolence of a brutish conqueror may be supposed to have contributed,
who had an ambition to waste and destroy all the beauties of so
celebrated a city. I need not mention the old common-shore of Rome,
which ran from all parts of the town with the current and violence of an
ordinary river, nor the frequent inundations of the Tiber, which may
have swept away many of the ornaments of its banks, nor the several
statues that the Romans themselves flung into it, when they would
revenge themselves on the memory of an ill citizen, a dead tyrant, or a
discarded favorite.

At Rome they have so general an opinion of the riches of this river,
that the Jews have formerly proffered the Pope to cleanse it, so they
might have for their pains what they found in the bosom of it. I have
seen the valley near Ponte Molle, which they proposed to fashion into a
new channel for it, until they had cleared the old for its reception.
The Pope, however, would not comply with the proposal, as fearing the
heats might advance too far before they had finished their work, and
produce a pestilence among his people; tho I do not see why such a
design might not be executed now with as little danger as in Augustus's
time, were there as many hands employed upon it. The city of Rome would
receive a great advantage from the undertaking, as it would raise the
banks and deepen the bed of the Tiber, and by consequence free them from
those frequent inundations to which they are so subject at present; for
the channel of the river is observed to be narrower within the walls
than either below or above them.

Next to the statues, there is nothing in Rome more surprizing than that
amazing variety of ancient pillars of so many kinds of marble. As most
of the old statues may be well supposed to have been cheaper to their
first owners than they are to a modern purchaser, several of the pillars
are certainly rated at a much lower price at present than they were of
old. For not to mention what a huge column of granite, serpentine, or
porphyry must have cost in the quarry, or in its carriage from Egypt to
Rome, we may only consider the great difficulty of hewing it into any
form, and of giving it the due turn, proportion, and polish. The most
valuable pillars about Rome, for the marble of which they are made, are
the four columns of oriental jasper in St. Paulina's chapel at St.
Maria Maggiore; two of oriental granite in St. Pudenziana; one of
transparent oriental jasper in the Vatican library; four of Nero-Bianco,
in St. Cecilia Transtevere; two of Brocatello, and two of oriental agate
in Don Livio's palace; two of Giallo Antico in St. John Lateran, and two
of Verdi Antique in the Villa Pamphilia. These are all entire and solid
pillars, and made of such kinds of marble as are nowhere to be found but
among antiquities, whether it be that the veins of it are undiscovered,
or that they were quite exhausted upon the ancient buildings. Among
these old pillars, I can not forbear reckoning a great part of an
alabaster column, which was found in the ruins of Livia's portico. It is
of the color of fire, and may be seen over the high altar of St. Maria
in Campitello; for they have cut it into two pieces, and fixt it in the
shape of a cross in a hole of the wall that was made on purpose to
receive it; so that the light passing through it from without, makes it
look, to those who are in the church, like a huge transparent cross of



The Palatine hill became the residence of the Roman emperors, and the
center of the Roman Empire, not on account of its historical and
traditional associations with the foundation and first growth of the
city, nor because of its central and commanding position, but by a mere
accident. At daybreak on September 21st, of the year 63 B.C., Augustus
was born in this region, in a modest house, opening on the lane called
"ad capita bubula," which led from the valley, where now the Coliseum
stands, up the slopes of the hill toward the modern church and convent
of St. Bonaventura.

This man, sent by God to change the condition of mankind and the state
of the world, this founder of an empire which is still practically in
existence,[7] never deserted the Palatine hill all through his eventful
career. From the lane "ad capita bubula" he moved to the house of
Calvus, the orator, at the northeast corner of the hill overlooking the
forum; and in process of time, having become absolute master of the
Roman Commonwealth, he settled finally on the top of the hill, having
purchased for his residence the house of Hortensius, a simple and
modest house, indeed, with columns of the commonest kind of stone,
pavements of rubble-work, and simple whitewashed walls.

Whether this selection of a site was made because the Palatine had long
before been the Faubourg St. Honoré, the Belgravia of ancient Rome, is
difficult to determine. We know that the house of Hortensius, chosen by
Augustus, was surrounded by those of Clodius, Scaurus, Crassus, Caecina,
Sisenna, Flaccus, Catiline, and other members of the aristocracy. I am
persuaded, however, that the secret of the selection is to be found in
the simplicity, I will even say in the poverty, of the dwelling; in
fact, such extreme modesty is worthy of the good sense and the spirit of
moderation shown by Augustus throughout his career. He could very well
sacrifice appearances to the reality of an unbounded power. It is just,
at any rate, to recognize that even in his remotest resorts for
temporary rest and retirement from the cares of government, he led the
same kind of plain, modest life, spending all his leisure hours in
arranging his collections of natural history, more especially the
palaeo-ethnological or prehistoric, for which the ossiferous caverns of
the Island of Capri supplied him with abundant materials.

It was only after the victory of Actium that, finding himself master of
the world, he thought it expedient to give up, in a certain measure, his
former habits, and live in better style. Having bought through his
agents some of the aristocratic palaces adjoining the old house of
Hortensius, among them the historical palace of Catiline, he built a
new and very handsome residence, but declared at the same time that he
considered it as public property, not as his own. The solemn dedication
of the palace took place on January 14th, of the year 26 before Christ.
Here he lived, sleeping always in the same small cubiculum, for
twenty-eight years; that is to say, until the third year after Christ,
when the palace was almost destroyed by fire.

As soon as the news of the disaster spread throughout the empire, an
almost incredible amount of money was subscribed at once, by all orders
of citizens, to provide him with a new residence; and altho, with his
usual moderation, he would consent to accept only one denarius from each
individual subscribed, it is easy to imagine how many millions he must
have realized in spite of his modesty. A new, magnificent palace rose
from the ruins of the old one, but it does not appear that the plan and
arrangement were changed; otherwise Augustus could not have continued to
sleep in the same room during the last ten years of his life, as we are
told positively that he did.

The work of Augustus was continued by his successor and kinsman,
Tiberius, who built a new wing near the northwest corner of the hill,
overlooking the Velabrum. Caligula filled with new structures the whole
space between the "domus Tiberiana" and the Roman forum. Nero, likewise,
occupied with a new palace the south-east corner of the hill,
overlooking the valley, where the Coliseum was afterward built. Domitian
rebuilt the "domus Augustana," injured by fire, adding to its
accommodations a stadium for gymnastic sports. The same emperor raised
an altogether new palace, in the space between the house of Augustus, on
one side, and those of Caligula and Tiberius on the other. Septimius
Severus and his son restored the whole group of imperial buildings,
adding a new wing at the southwest corner, known under the name of
Septizonium. The latest additions, of no special importance, took place
under Julia Mamaea and Heliogabalus.

Every emperor, to a certain extent, enlarged, altered, destroyed, and
reconstructed the work of his predecessors; cutting new openings,
walling up old ones, subdividing large rooms into smaller apartments,
and changing their destination. One section alone of the imperial
Palatine buildings remained unaltered, and kept the former simplicity of
its plans down to the fall of the Empire--the section built by Augustus
across the center of the hill, which comprised the main entrance, the
portico surrounding the temple of Apollo, the temple itself, the Greek
and Latin libraries, the shrine of Vesta, and the imperial residence.

The architectural group raised by Augustus on the Palatine, formed, as
it were, the vestibule to his own imperial residence. We know with
absolute certainty that it contained at least one hundred and twenty
columns of the rarest kinds of marbles and breccias, fifty-two of which
were of Numidian marble, with capitals of gilt bronze; a group of
Lysias, comprising one chariot, four horses and two drivers, all cut in
a single block of marble; the Hercules of Lysippus; the Apollo of
Scopas; the Latona of Cephisodotos, the Diana of Timotheos; the
bas-reliefs of the pediment by Bupalos and Anthermos; the quadriga of
the sun in gilt bronze; exquisite ivory carvings; a bronze colossus
fifty feet high; hundreds of medallions in gold, silver, and bronze;
gold and silver plate; a collection of gems and cameos; and, lastly,
candelabras which had been the property of Alexander the Great, and the
admiration of the East.

Has the world ever seen a collection of greater artistic and material
value exhibited in a single building? And we must recollect that the
group built by Augustus comprises only a very modest section of the
Palatine; that to his palace we must join the palaces of Tiberius,
Caligula, Nero, Vespasian, Domitian, Septimius Serverus, Julia Mamaea,
and Heliogabalus; that each one of these imperial residences equalled
the residence of Augustus, if not in pure taste, certainly in wealth, in
luxury, in magnificence, in the number and value of works of art
collected and stolen from Greece and the East, from Egypt and Persia. By
multiplying eight or ten times the list I have given above, the reader
will get an approximate idea of the "home" of the Roman emperors in its
full pride and glory. I have deliberately excluded from my description
the residence or private house of Augustus, because he himself had
deliberately excluded from it any trace of that grandeur he had so
lavishly bestowed on the buildings which constituted the approach to

During the rule of Claudius, the successor of Caligula, little or
nothing was done toward the enlargement or the embellishment of the
palace of the Cæsars. Nero, however, the successor of Claudius,
conceived the gigantic plan of renewing and of rebuilding from the very
foundations, not only the imperial residence, but the whole metropolis.
In the rebuilding of the city the emperor secured for himself the lion's
share; and his Golden House, of which we possess such beautiful remains,
occupied the whole extent from the Palatine to the Quirinal, where now
the central railway station has been erected. Its area amounted to
nearly a square mile, and this enormous district was appropriated, or
rather usurped, by the emperor, right in the center of a city numbering
about two million inhabitants.

Of the wonders of the Golden House it is enough to say that there were
comprised within the precincts of the enchanting residence waterfalls
supplied by an aqueduct fifty miles long, lakes and rivers shaded by
dense masses of foliage, with harbors and docks for the imperial
galleys; a vestibule containing a bronze colossus one hundred and twenty
feet high; porticos three thousand feet long; farms and vineyards,
pasture grounds and woods teeming with the rarest and costliest kind of
game, zoological and botanical gardens; sulfur baths supplied from
springs twelve miles distant; sea baths supplied from the waters of the
Mediterranean, sixteen miles distant at the nearest point; thousands of
columns crowned with capitals of Corinthian gilt metal; thousands of
statues stolen from Greece and Asia Minor; walls encrusted with gems and
mother-of-pearl; banqueting-halls with ivory ceilings, from which rare
flowers and precious perfumes could fall gently on the recumbent

More marvelous still was the ceiling of the state dining-room. It was
spherical in shape, and cut in ivory, to represent the constellated
skies, and kept in constant motion by machinery in imitation of the
movements of the stars and planets. All these details sound like
fairy-tales, like the dream of a fertile imagination; still they are
described minutely by contemporary and serious writers, by Suetonius, by
Martial and by Tacitus. Suetonius adds that the day Nero took possession
of his Golden House, he was heard to exclaim, "At last I am lodged like
a man."

The wonders created by him, however, did not last very long. Otho, his
successor, on the very day of his election to the throne, signed an
order of fifty millions of sesterces (two million dollars) to bring the
Golden House to perfection; but after his murder Vespasian and Titus
gave back to the people the greater portion of the ground usurped by
Nero. They built the Coliseum on the very site of Nero's artificial
lake, and the thermæ of Titus on the foundation of his private palace;
they respected only that portion of Nero's insane construction which was
comprised within the boundaries of the Palatine hill.



The Venerable Bede, who lived in the eighth century, is the first person
who is known to have given to the Flavian amphitheater its comparatively
modern and now universal designation of the Coliseum; tho the name,
derived from a colossal statue of the emperor Nero which stood near it,
was probably then familiar to men's ears, as we may infer from his so
calling it without explanation or remark.

When in its perfect state, the exterior, with its costly ornaments in
marble, and its forest of columns, lost the merit of simplicity without
gaining that of grandeur. The eye was teased with a multitude of
details, not in themselves good; the same defects were repeated in each
story, and the real height was diminished by the projecting and
ungraceful cornices. The interior arrangements were admirable; and
modern architects can not sufficiently commend the skill with which
eighty thousand spectators were accommodated with seats; or the
ingenious contrivances, by which, through the help of spacious
corridors, multiplied passages, and staircases, every person went
directly to his place, and immense audiences were dispersed in less time
than is required for a thousand persons to squeeze through the entries
of a modern concert-room. We know that this interior of the Coliseum was
decorated with great splendor. The principal seats were of marble, and
covered with cushions. Gilded gratings, ornaments of gold, ivory, and
amber, and mosaics of precious stones, displayed the generosity of the
emperors, and gratified the taste of the people.

How, or at what period, the work of ruin first began does not distinctly
appear. An earthquake may have first shattered its ponderous arches, and
thus made an opening for the destroying hand of time. There can be no
doubt that it suffered violence from the hands of civil and foreign war.
But more destructive agencies than those of earthquake, conflagration or
war, were let loose upon it. Its massive stones, fitted to each other
with such nice adaptation, presented a strong temptation to the cupidity
of wealthy nobles and cardinals, with whom building was a ruling
passion; and for many ages the Coliseum became a quarry. The Palazzo
della Cancelleria, the Palazzo Barberini, the Palazzo Farnese, and the
Palazzo Veneziano were all built mainly from the plunder of the
Coliseum; and meaner robbers emulated the rapacity of their betters, by
burning into lime the fragments not available for architectural

The material of which the Coliseum was built is exactly fitted to the
purposes of a great ruin. It is travertine, of a rich, dark, warm color,
deepened and mellowed by time. There is nothing glaring, harsh, or
abrupt in the harmony of tints. The blue sky above, and the green earth
beneath, are in unison with a tone of coloring not unlike the brown of
one of our own early winter landscapes. The travertine is also of a
coarse grain and porous texture, not splintering into points and edges,
but gradually corroding by natural decay. Stone of such a texture
everywhere opens laps and nooks for the reception and formation of soil.
Every grain of dust that is borne through the air by the lazy breeze of
summer, instead of sliding from a glassy surface, is held where it
falls. The rocks themselves crumble and decompose, and turn into a
fertile mold. Thus, the Coliseum is throughout crowned and draped with a
covering of earth, in many places of considerable depth. Trailing plants
clasp the stones with arms of verdure; wild flowers bloom in their
seasons; and long grass nods and waves on the airy battlements. Life has
everywhere sprouted from the trunk of death. Insects hum and sport in
the sunshine; the burnished lizard darts like a tongue of green flame
along the walls; and birds make the hollow quarry overflow with their
songs. There is something beautiful and impressive in the contrast
between luxuriant life and the rigid skeleton upon which it rests.

As a matter of course, everybody goes to see the Coliseum by moonlight.
The great charm of the ruin under this condition is, that the
imagination is substituted for sight; and the mind for the eye. The
essential character of moonlight is hard rather than soft. The line
between light and shadow is sharply defined, and there is no gradation
of color. Blocks and walls of silver are bordered by, and spring out of,
chasms of blackness. But moonlight shrouds the Coliseum in mystery. It
opens deep vaults of gloom where the eye meets only an ebon wall, upon
which the fancy paints innumerable pictures in solemn, splendid, and
tragic colors. Shadowy forms of emperor and lictor and vestal virgin and
gladiator and martyr come out of the darkness, and pass before us in
long and silent procession. The breezes which blow through the broken
arches are changed into voices, and recall the shouts and cries of a
vast audience. By day, the Coliseum is an impressive fact; by night, it
is a stately vision. By day, it is a lifeless form; by night, a vital

The Coliseum should by all means be seen by a bright starlight, or under
the growing sickle of a young moon. The fainter ray and deeper gloom
bring out more strongly its visionary and ideal character. When the full
moon has blotted out the stars, it fills the vast gulf of the building
with a flood of spectral light, which falls with a chilling touch upon
the spirit; for then the ruin is like a "corpse in its shroud of snow,"
and the moon is a pale watcher by its side. But when the walls, veiled
in deep shadow, seem a part of the darkness in which they are lost--when
the stars are seen through their chasms and breaks, and sparkle along
the broken line of the battlements--the scene becomes another, tho the
same; more indistinct, yet not so mournful; contracting the sphere of
sight, but enlarging that of thought; less burdening, but more

But under all aspects, in the blaze of noon, at sunset, by the light of
the moon or stars--the Coliseum stands alone and unapproached. It is the
monarch of ruins. It is a great tragedy in stone, and it softens and
subdues the mind like a drama of Aeschylus or Shakespeare. It is a
colossal type of those struggles of humanity against an irresistible
destiny, in which the tragic poet finds the elements of his art. The
calamities which crusht the house of Atreus are symbolized in its broken
arches and shattered walls. Built of the most durable materials, and
seemingly for eternity--of a size, material, and form to defy the
"strong hours" which conquer all, it has bowed its head to their touch,
and passed into the inevitable cycle of decay. "And this too shall pass
away"--which the Eastern monarch engraved upon his signet ring--is
carved upon these Cyclopean blocks. The stones of the Coliseum were once
water; and they are now turning into dust. Such is ever the circle of
nature. The solid is changing into the fluid, and the fluid into the
solid; and that which is unseen is alone indestructible. He does not see
the Coliseum aright who carries away from it no other impressions than
those of form, size, and hue. It speaks an intelligible language to the
wiser mind. It rebukes the peevish and consoles the patient. It teaches
us that there are misfortunes which are clothed with dignity, and
sorrows that are crowned with grandeur. As the same blue sky smiles upon
the ruin which smiled upon the perfect structure, so the same beneficent
Providence bends over our shattered hopes and our answered prayers.



The best preserved monument of ancient Rome, and one of the most
beautiful buildings of the modern city, is unhappily placed. The
Pantheon stands in a narrow and dirty piazza, and is shouldered and
elbowed by a mob of vulgar houses. There is no breathing-space around,
which it might penetrate with the light of its own serene beauty. Its
harmonious proportions can be seen only in front; and it has there the
disadvantage of being approached from a point higher than that on which
it stands. On one side is a market; and the space before the matchless
portico is strewn with fish-bones, decayed vegetables, and offal.[10]

Forsyth, the sternest and most fastidious of architectural critics, has
only "large draughts of unqualified praise" for the Pantheon; and, where
he finds nothing to censure, who will venture to do any thing but
commend? The character of the architecture, and the sense of
satisfaction which it leaves upon the mind, are proofs of the enduring
charm of simplicity. The portico is perfectly beautiful. It is one
hundred and ten feet long and forty-four deep, and rests upon sixteen
columns of the Corinthian order, the shafts being of granite and the
capitals of marble. Eight of these are in front, and of these eight,
there are four (including the two on the extreme right and left) which
have two others behind them; the portico being thus divided into three
portions, like the nave and side aisles of a cathedral; the middle
space, leading to the door, being wider than the others. The granite of
the shafts is partly gray and partly rose-colored, but, in the shadow in
which they stand, the difference of hue is hardly perceptible. The
proportions of these columns are faultless; and their massive shafts and
richly-carved capitals produce the effect, at once, of beauty and
sublimity. The pediment above is now a bald front of ragged stone, but
it was once adorned with bas-reliefs in bronze; and the holes, made by
the rivets with which they were fastened, are still to be seen.

The aisles of the portico were once vaulted with bronze, and massive
beams or slabs of the same metal stretched across the whole structure;
but this was removed by Urban VIII., and melted into a baldachino to
deface St. Peter's, and cannon to defend the castle of St. Angelo; and,
not content with this, he has added insult to injury, and commemorated
his robbery in a Latin inscription, in which he claims to be commended
as for a praiseworthy act. But even this is not the heaviest weight
resting on the memory of that vandal pope. He shares with Bernini the
reproach of having added those hideous belfries which now rise above
each end of the vestibule--as wanton and unprovoked an offense against
good taste as ever was committed. A cocked hat upon the statue of
Demosthenes in the Vatican would not be a more discordant addition. The
artist should have gone to the stake, before giving his hand to such a
piece of disfigurement.

The cell, or main portion of the building to which the portico is
attached, is a simple structure, circular in form, and built of brick.
It was formerly encrusted with marble. The cell and the portico stand to
each other in the most harmonious relation, altho it seems to be
admitted that the latter was an addition, not contemplated when the cell
was built. But in the combination there is nothing forced or unnatural,
and they seem as necessary and as preordained complements, one to the
other, as a fine face and a fine head. The cell is a type of masculine
dignity, and the portico, of feminine grace; and the result is a perfect
architectural union.

The interior--a rotunda, surmounted by a dome--is converted into a
Christian church, a purpose to which its form and structure are not well
adapted; and the altars and their accessories are not improvements in an
architectural point of view. But in spite of this--in spite of all that
it has suffered at the hands of rapacity and bad taste--tho the panels
of the majestic dome have been stript of their bronze, and the whole has
been daubed over with a glaring coat of whitewash--the interior still
remains, with all its rare beauty essentially unimpaired. And the reason
of this is that this charm is the result of form and proportion, and can
not be lost except by entire destruction. The only light which the
temple receives is from a circular opening of twenty-eight feet in
diameter at the top; and falling, as it does, directly from the sky, it
fills the whole space with the purity of the heavens themselves. The
magical effect of this kind of illumination it is impossible to

The pavement of the Pantheon, composed of porphyry, pavonazzetto, and
giallo antico, tho constantly overflowed by the Tiber, and drenched by
the rains which fall upon it from the roof, is the finest in Rome. There
is an opening in the center, through which the water entering by the
dome is carried off into a reservoir.

The Pantheon has a peculiar interest in the history of art, as the
burial place of Raphael. His grave was opened in 1833, and the remains
found to be lying in the spot which Vasari had pointed out.



Nerva was the last Emperor buried in the mausoleum of Augustus.[12]
Trajan's ashes were laid to rest in an urn of gold under his monumental
column. Hadrian determined to raise a new tomb for himself and his
successors, and, like Augustus, selected a site on the green and shady
banks of the Tiber, not on the city side, however, but in the gardens of
Domitia, which, with those of Agrippina, formed a crown property called
by Tacitus "Nero's Gardens." The mausoleum and the bridge which
gave access to it were substantially finished in A.D. 136.
Antoninus Pius, after completing the ornamental part in 139, transferred
to it Hadrian's ashes from their temporary burial-place in the former
villa of Cicero at Puteoli, and was himself afterward interred there....

Beside the passages of the "Hadrian's Life," and of Dion Cassius, two
descriptions of the monument have come down to us, one by Procopius, the
other by Leo I. From these we learn that it was composed of a square
basement of moderate height, each side of which measured 247 feet. It
was faced with blocks of Parian marble, with pilasters at the corners,
crowned by a capital. Above the pilasters were groups of men and horses
in bronze, of admirable workmanship. The basement was protected around
by a sidewalk and a railing of gilt bronze, supported by marble pillars
crowned with gilded peacocks, two of which are in the Giardino della
Pigna, in the Vatican. A grand circular mole, nearly a thousand feet in
circumference, and also faced with blocks of Parian marble, stood on the
square basement and supported in its turn a cone of earth covered with
evergreens, like the mausoleum of Augustus.

Of this magnificent decoration nothing now remains except a few blocks
of the coating of marble, on the east side of the quadrangle, near the
Bastione di S. Giovanni. All that is visible of the ancient work from
the outside are the blocks of peperino of the mole which once supported
the outer casing. The rest, both above and below, is covered by the
works of fortification constructed at various periods, from the time of
Honorius (393-403) to our own days. In no other monument of ancient and
medieval Rome is our history written, molded, as it were, so vividly, as
upon the battered remains of this castle-tomb. Within and around it took
place all the fights for dominion with which popes, emperors, barons,
barbarians, Romans, have distracted the city for fifteen hundred years.

Of the internal arrangement of the monument nothing was known until
1825, when the principal door was discovered in the middle of the square
basement facing the bridge. It opens upon a corridor leading to a large
niche, which, it is conjectured, contained a statue of Hadrian. The
walls of this vestibule, by which modern visitors generally begin their
inspection, are built of travertine, and bear evidence of having been
paneled with Numidian marble. The pavement is of white mosaic. On the
right side of this vestibule, near the niche, begins an inclined spiral
way, 30 feet high and 11 feet wide, leading up to the central chamber,
which is in the form of a Greek cross.

There is no doubt that the tomb was adorned with statues. Procopius
distinctly says that, during the siege laid by the Goths to the castle
in 537, many of them were hurled down from the battlements upon the
assailants. On the strength of this passage topographers have been in
the habit of attributing to the mausoleum all the works of statuary
discovered in the neighborhood; like the Barberini Faun now in Munich,
the exquisite statue of a River God described by Cassiano dal Pozzo,
etc., as if such subjects were becoming a house of death. The mausoleum
of Hadrian formed part of one of the largest and noblest cemeteries of
ancient Rome, crossed by the Via Triumphalis. The tomb next in
importance to it was the so-called "Meta," or "sepulcrum Romuli," or
"sepulcrum Neronis," a pyramid of great size, which stood on the site of
the church of St. Maria Transpontina, and was destroyed by Alexander VI.
in 1499.



In the midst of the busy quarters lying at the base of the Quirinal, you
come out upon a great piazza which you name at once without ever having
seen it before; Trajan's Column serves as ensign for a forum, of which
Apollodorus of Damascus erected the porticoes. The lines described by
the bases of a plantation of pillars will help you to identify the
pesimeter of the temple which Hadrian consecrated, and the site of the
Ulpian Library which was divided into two chambers--one for Greek books,
and the other for Latin; and finally the situation of the basilica,
opening on to the forum and with its apse in the north-northwest

It was in the Ulpian Basilica that, in 312, Constantine, having
assembled the notables of the empire seated himself in the presbyterium,
to proclaim his abjuration of polytheism in favor of the religion of
Christ; on that day and spot the prince closed the cycle of antiquity,
opened the catacombs, and inaugurated the modern world. The Acts of St.
Sylvester describe many passages of the discourse in which, "invoking
truth against mischievous divisions," and declaring that he "put away
superstitions born of ignorance and reared on unreason," the emperor
ordains that "churches be opened to Christians, and that the priests of
the temples and those of Christ enjoy the same privileges." He himself
undertakes to build a church in his Lateran palace.

I do not think there exists any monument in the world more precious or
more exquisite in its proportions than Trajan's Column, nor one that has
rendered more capital service. This has been set forth with more
authority than I can pretend to, by Viollet-le-Duc, the architect who
has written best on his own art; his description sums up the subject and
makes everything clear. A set of pictures of the campaigns of Trajan
against the Decians--the bas-reliefs--reproduces the arms, the
accouterments, the engines of war, the dwellings of the barbarians; we
discern the breed of the warriors and their horses; we look upon the
ships of the time, canoes and quinqueremes; women of all ranks, priests
of all theogonies, sieges, and assaults. Such are the merits of this
sculptured host, that Polidoro da Caravaggio, Giulio Romano, Michael
Angelo, and all the artists of the Renaissance have drawn thence models
of style and picturesque grouping.

Trajan's Column is of pure Carrara marble. The shaft measures about
ninety-four English feet, by twelve in diameter at the base, and ten
below the capital, which is Doric and carved out of a single block; the
column is composed of thirty-four blocks, hollowed out internally and
cut into a winding stair. A series of bas-reliefs, divided from one
another by a narrow band, run spirally around the shaft parallel to the
inner staircase of a hundred and eighty-two steps, and describes
twenty-three circuits to reach the platform on which the statue is
placed. The foot and the pedestal are seventeen feet high; the torus, of
enormous diameter, is a monolith; the whole construction rises a hundred
and thirty-five feet from the ground. These thirty-four blocks,
measuring eleven meters in circumference by one in height, had--a task
of considerable precision--to have holes drilled in them for the screws
of the staircase, it being necessary to determine from the inside
precisely where these borings must be made in order not to break the
continuity of the bas-reliefs, executed by several different hands, and
which are more deeply worked in proportion as they gain in height, so as
to appear of an equal projection.



You reach the Baths of Caracalla, the most imposing object after the
Coliseum that one sees in Rome. These colossal structures are so many
signs of their times. Imperial Rome plundered the entire Mediterranean
basin, Spain, Gaul, and two-thirds of England, for the benefit of a
hundred thousand idlers. She amused them in the Coliseum with massacres
of beasts and of men; in the Circus Maximus with combats of athletes and
with chariot races; in the theater of Marcellus with pantomimes, plays,
and the pageantry of arms and costume; she provided them with baths, to
which they resorted to gossip, to contemplate statues, to listen to
declaimers, to keep themselves cool in the heats of summer. All that had
been invented of the convenient, agreeable, and beautiful, all that
could be collected in the world that was curious and magnificent, was
for them; the Cæsars fed them and diverted them, seeking only to afford
them gratification, and to obtain their acclamations.

A Roman of the middle classes might well regard his emperors as so many
public purveyors, administering his property, relieving him from
troublesome cares, furnishing him at fair rates, or for nothing, with
corn, wine, and oil, giving him sumptuous meals and well-got-up fêtes,
providing him with pictures, statues, pantomimists, gladiators, and
lions, resuscitating his "blasé" taste every morning with some
surprising novelty, and even occasionally converting themselves into
actors, charioteers, singers, and gladiators for his especial delight.
In order to lodge this group of amateurs in a very suitable to its regal
pretensions, architecture invented original and grand forms. Vast
structures always indicate some corresponding excess, some immoderate
concentration and accumulation of the labor of humanity. Look at the
Gothic cathedrals, the pyramids of Egypt, Paris of the present day, and
the docks of London!

On reaching the end of a long line of narrow streets, white walls, and
deserted gardens, the great ruin appears. There is nothing with which to
compare its form, while the line it describes on the sky is unique. No
mountains, no hills, no edifices, give any idea of it. It resembles all
these; it is a human structure, which time and events have so deformed
and transformed, as to render a natural production. Rising upward in the
air, its moss-stained embossed summit and indented crest with its wide
crevices, a red, mournful, decayed mass, silently reposes in a shroud of

You enter, and it seems as if you had never seen anything in the world
so grand. The Coliseum itself is no approach to it, so much do a
multiplicity and irregularity of ruins add to the vastness of the vast
enclosure. Before these heaps of red corroded masonry, these round
vaults spanning the air like the arches of a mighty bridge before these
crumbling walls, you wonder whether an entire city did not once exist
there. Frequently an arch has fallen, and the monstrous mass that
sustained it still stands erect, exposing remnants of staircases and
fragments of arcades, like so many shapeless, deformed houses.

Sometimes it is cleft in the center, and a portion appears about to fall
and roll away, like a huge rock. Sections of wall and pieces of
tottering arches cling to it and dart their projections threateningly
upward in the air. The courts are strewed with various fragments, and
blocks of brick welded together by the action of time, like stones
incrusted with the deposits of the sea. Elsewhere are arcades quite
intact, piled up story upon story, the bright sky appearing behind them,
and above, along the dull red brickwork is a verdant head-dress of
plants, waving and rustling in the midst of the ethereal blue.

Here are mystic depths, wherein the bedewed shade prolongs itself among
mysterious shadows. Into these the ivy descends, and anemones, fennel,
and mallows fringe their brinks. Shafts of columns lie half-buried under
climbing vines and heaps of rubbish, while luxuriant clover carpets the
surrounding slopes. Small green oaks, with round tops, innumerable green
shrubs, and myriads of gillyflowers cling to the various projections,
nestle in the hollows, and deck its crest with their yellow clusters.
All these murmur in the breeze, and the birds are singing in the midst
of the imposing silence....

You ascend, I know not how many stories, and, on the summit, find the
pavement of the upper chambers to consist of checkered squares of
marble; owing to the shrubs and plants that have taken root among them,
these are disjoined in places, a fresh bit of mosaic sometimes appearing
intact on removing a layer of earth. Here were sixteen hundred seats of
polished marble. In the Baths of Diocletian there were places for three
thousand two hundred bathers. From this elevation, on casting your eyes
around, you see, on the plain, lines of ancient aqueducts radiating in
all directions and losing themselves in the distance, and, on the side
of Albano, three other vast ruins, masses of red and black arcades,
shattered and disintegrated brick by brick, and corroded by time.

You descend and take another glance. The hall of the "piscine" is a
hundred and twenty paces long; that in which the bathers disrobed is
eighty feet in height; the whole is covered with marble, and with such
beautiful marble that mantel ornaments are now made of its fragments. In
the sixteenth century the Farnese Hercules was discovered here, and the
Torso and Venus Callipygis, and I know not how many other masterpieces;
and in the seventeenth century hundreds of statues. No people, probably,
will ever again display the same luxurious conveniences, the same
diversions, and especially the same order of beauty, as that which the
Romans displayed in Rome.

Here only can you comprehend this assertion--a civilization other than
our own, other and different, but in its kind as complete and as
elegant. It is another animal, but equally perfect, like the mastodon,
previous to the modern elephant.



One of the praises bestowed by Cicero on the founder of the city is that
"he selected a district very rich in springs." A glance at the plan will
at once prove the accuracy of the statement. Twenty-three springs have
been described within the walls, several of which are still in
existence; others have disappeared owing to the increase of modern soil.
"For four hundred and forty-one years," says Frontinus, "the Romans
contented themselves with such water as they could get from the Tiber,
from wells, and from springs. Some of these springs are still held in
great veneration on account of their health-restoring qualities, like
the spring of the Camoenae, that of Apollo, and that of Juturna."

The first aqueduct, that of the "Aqua Appia," is the joint work of
Appius Claudius Cæcus and C. Plautius Venox, censors in 312
B.C. The first built the channel, the second discovered the
springs 1,153 meters northeast of the sixth and seventh milestones of
the Via Collatina. They are still to be seen, much reduced in volume, at
the bottom of some stone quarries near the farmhouse of La Rustica.

The second aqueduct was begun in 272 B.C. by Manius Curius
Dentatus, censor, and finished three years later by Fulvius Flaccus. The
water was taken from the river Anio 850 meters above St. Cosimato, on
the road from Tivoli to Arsoli (Valeria). The course of the channel can
be traced as far as Gallicano; from Gallicano to Rome it is

In 144 B.C. the Senate, considering that the increase of the
population had diminished the rate of distribution of water (from 530 to
430 liters per head), determined that the old aqueducts of the Appia and
the Anio should be repaired, and a new one built, the appropriation for
both works being 8,000,000 sesterces, or 1,760,000 lire.

The execution of the scheme was entrusted to Q. Marcius Rex. He selected
a group of springs at the foot of the Monte della Prugna, in the
territory of Arsoli, 4,437 meters to the right of the thirty-sixth
milestone of the Via Valeria; and after many years of untiring efforts
he succeeded in making a display of the water on the highest platform of
the Capitol. Agrippa restored the aqueduct in 33 B.C.; Augustus
doubled the volume of the water in 5 B.C. by the addition of
the Aqua Augusta. In 196 Septimius Severus brought in a new supply for
the use of his Thermae Severianae; in 212-213 Caracalla built a branch
aqueduct, four miles long, for the use of his baths; in 305-306
Diocletian did the same thing for his great thermæ; and, finally,
Arcadius and Honorius devoted to the restoration of the aqueduct the
money seized from Count Gildo, the African rebel.

None of the Roman aqueducts are eulogized by Frontinus like the
Claudian. He calls it "a work most magnificently done," and after
demonstrating in more than one way that the volume of the springs
collected by Claudius amounted to 4,607 quinariae, he says that there
was a reserve of 1,600 always ready.

The works, began by Caligula in A.D. 38, lasted fourteen years,
the water having reached Rome only on August 1, 52 (the birthday of
Claudius). The course of the aqueduct was first around the slopes of the
Monte Ripoli, like that of the Marcia and of the Anio Vetus. Domitian
shortened it by several miles by boring a tunnel 4,950 meters long
through the Monte Affiano. Length of channel, 68,750 meters, of which
15,000 was on arches; volume per day, 209,252 cubic meters. The Claudia
was used for the Imperial table; a branch aqueduct, 2,000 meters long,
left the main channel at Spem Veterem (Porta Maggiore), and following
the line of the Via Caelimontana (Villa Wolkonsky), of the Campus
Caelimontan (Lateran), and of the street now called di S. Stefano
Rotondo, reached the temple of Claudius by the church of SS. Giovanni e
Paolo, and the Imperial palace by the church of St. Bonaventura.

The Anio Novus, like the Vetus, was at first derived from the river of
the same name at the forty-second milestone of the road to Subiaco,
great precautions being taken for purifying the water. The works were
begun by Caligula in A.D. 38, and completed by Claudius on
August 1, 52, on a most magnificent scale, some of the arches reaching
the height of thirty-two meters above ground; and there were eight miles
of them. Yet, in spite of the purifying reservoir, and of the clear
springs of the Rivus Herculaneus (Fosso di Fioggio), which had been
mixed with the water from the river, the Anio Novus was hardly ever
drinkable. Whenever a shower fell on the Simbruine mountains, the water
would get troubled and saturated with mud and carbonate of lime. Trajan
improved its condition by carrying the head of the aqueduct higher up
the valley, where Nero had created three artificial lakes for the
adornment of his Villa Sublacensis. These lakes served more efficiently
as "purgatories," than the artificial basin of Caligula, nine miles
below. The Anio Novus reached Rome in its own channel after a course of
86,964 meters, but for the last seven miles it ran on the same arches
with the Aqua Claudia. The Anio Novus was the largest of all Roman
aqueducts, discharging nearly three hundred thousand cubic meters per

There are two places in the suburbs of Rome where these marvelous arches
of the Claudia and Anio Novus can be seen to advantage; one is the
Torre Fiscale, three miles outside the Porta S. Giovanni on the Albano
road (to be reached also from the Tavolato station, on the upper Albano
railway); the other is the Vicolo del Mandrione, which leaves the
Labicana one mile outside the Porta Maggiore and falls into the
Tusculana at the place called Porta Furba.



The materials used in Roman constructions are the "lapis ruber" (tufa);
the "lapis Albanus" (peperino); the "lapis Gabinus" (sperone); the
"lapis Tiburtinus" (travertino); the silex ("selce"); and bricks and
tiles of various kinds. The cement was composed of pozzolana and lime.
Imported marbles came into fashion toward the end of the republic, and
became soon after the pride and glory of Rome....

The only material which the first builders of Rome found at hand was the
volcanic conglomerate called tufa. The quality of the stone used in
those early days was far from perfect. The walls of the Palatine hill
and of the Capitoline citadel were built of material quarried on the
spot--a mixture of charred pumice-stones and reddish volcanic sand. The
quarries used for the fortification of the Capitol were located at the
foot of the hill toward the Argiletum, and were so important as to give
their name, Lautumiae, to the neighboring district. It is probable that
the prison called Tullianum, from a jet of water, "tullus," which sprang
from the rock, was originally a portion of this quarry. The tufa blocks
employed by Servius Tullius for the building of the city walls, and of
the agger, appear to be of three qualities--yellowish, reddish, and
gray; the first, soft and easily broken up, seems to have been quarried
from the Little Aventine, near the church of St. Saba. The galleries of
this quarry, much disfigured by medieval and modern use, can be followed
to a considerable distance, altho the collapsing of the vaults makes it
dangerous to visit them....

The quarries of the third quality were, or rather one of them was,
discovered on February 7, 1872, in the Vigna Querini, outside the Porta
St. Lorenzo, near the first milestone of the Vicolo di Valle Cupa. It
was a surface quarry, comprising five trenches 16 feet wide, 9 feet
deep. Some of the blocks, already squared, were lying on the floor of
the trenches, others were detached on two or three sides only, the size
of others was simply traced on the rock by vertical or horizontal lines.
This tufa, better known by the name of cappellaccio, is very bad. The
only buildings in which it was used, besides the inner wall of the
Servian agger, are the platform of the temple of Jupiter Capitolinus, in
the gardens of the German Embassy, and the "puticuli" in the
burial-grounds of the Esquiline. Its use must have been given up before
the end of the period of the Kings, in consequence of the discovery of
better quarries on the right bank of the Tiber, at the foot of the
hills now called Monte Verde....

They cover a space one mile in length and a quarter of a mile wide on
each side of the valley of Pozzo Pantaléo. In fact, this valley, which
runs from the Via Portuensis toward the lake of the Villa Pamphili,
seems to be artificial; I mean, produced by the extraction of the rock
of millions of cubic meters in the course of twenty-four centuries. If
the work of the ancient quarrymen could be freed from the loose material
which conceals it from view, we should possess within a few minutes'
drive from the Porta Portese a reproduction of the famous mines of El
Masarah, with beds of rock cut into steps and terraces, with roads and
lanes, shafts, inclines, underground passages, and outlets for the
discharge of rain-water. When a quarry had given out, its galleries were
filled up with the refuse of the neighboring ones--chips left over after
the squaring of the blocks; so that, in many cases, the color and
texture of the chips do not correspond with those of the quarry in which
they are found. This layer of refuse, transformed by time into humus,
and worked upon by human and atmospheric forces, has given the valley a
different aspect, so that it looks as if it were the work not of
quarrymen, but of nature.

Tufa may be found used in many existing monuments of ancient Rome, such
as the drains of the middle and southern basin of the left bank, the
channels and arches of the Marcia and Anio Vetus, the Servian walls, the
temples of Fortuna Virilis, of Hercules Magnus Custos, the Rostra, the
embankment of the Tiber, etc. The largest and most magnificent quarries
in the suburban district are the so-called Grotte della Cervara. No
words can convey an idea of their size and of the regularity of their
plan. They seem to be the work of a fanciful architect who has hewn out
of the rock halls and galleries, courts and vestibules, and imitated the
forms of an Assyrian palace.

For the study of the peperino mines, which contain a stone special to
the Alban district, formed by the action of hot water on gray volcanic
cinders, the reader should follow on foot the line of the new Albano
railway, from the place called Il Sassone to the town of Marino. Many of
the valleys in this district, now made beautiful by vineyards and
oliveyards, owe their existence to the pickax of the Roman stonecutter,
like the valley of Pozzo Pantaléo. The most curious sight is a dolmen or
isolated rock 10 meters high, left in the center of one of the quarries
to certify the thickness of the bed of rock excavated. In fact, the
whole district is very interesting both to the archeologist and to the
paysagiste. The mines of Marino, still worked in the neighborhood of the
railway station, would count, like the Grotte della Cervara, among the
wonders of the Campagna, were they known to the student as they deserve
to be.

The principal Roman buildings in which the lapis Albanus has been used
are: the Claudian aqueduct, the Cloaca Maxima, the temples of Antonius
and Faustina, of Cybele, of the Eventus Bonus, of Neptune, the inclosure
wall of the Forum Augustum, Forum Transitorium, and Forum Pacis, the
Porticus Argonautarum, Porticus Pompeii, the Ustrinum of the Appian Way,
etc. The sarcophagus of Cornelius Scipio Barbatus in the Vatican
museum, and the tomb of the Tibicines in the Museo Municipale al Celio
are also of this stone.

Travertine stone was quarried in the plains of Tivoli at places now
called Le Caprine, Casal Bernini, and Il Barco. This last was reopened
after an interval of many centuries by Count G. Brazza, brother of the
African explorer. Lost in the wilderness and overgrown with shrubs, it
had not been examined, I believe, since the visit of Brocchi. It can be
reached by stopping at the station of the Aquae Albulae, on the Tivoli
line, and following the ancient road which led to the works. This road,
twice as wide as the Appian Way, is flanked by substructures, and is not
paved, but macadamized. Parallel with it runs an aqueduct which supplied
the works with motive power, derived probably from the sulfur springs.
There are also remains of tombs, one of which, octagonal in shape,
serves as a foundation to the farmhouse del Barco.

The most remarkable monument of the whole group is the Roman quarry from
which five and a half million cubic meters of travertine have been
extracted, as proved by the measurement of the hollow space between the
two opposite vertical sides. That this is the most important ancient
quarry of travertine, and the largest one used by the Romans, is proved,
in the first place, by its immense size. The sides show a frontage of
more than two and a half kilometers; the surface amounts to 500,000
square meters. The sides are quite perpendicular, and have the
peculiarity of projecting buttresses, at an angle of 90 degrees. Some of
these buttresses are isolated on three sides, and still preserve the
grooves, by means of which they could be separated from the solid

In order to keep the bottom of the works clean and free from the
movement of the carts, for the action of the cranes, and for the
maneuvres of the workmen, the chips, or useless product of the squaring
of the blocks, were transported to a great distance, as far as the banks
of the Anio, and there piled up to a great height. This is the origin of
that chain of hills which runs parallel to the river, and of whose
artificial formation no one, as far as I know, had the least suspicion.
One of these hills, visible from every point of the neighboring
district, from Hadrian's villa as well as from the Sulfur Baths, is
elliptical in shape, 22 meters high, 90 meters long, and 65 meters wide.
It can with reason be compared with our Testaccio. It is easy to imagine
how immense must have been the number of blocks cut from the Cava del
Barco during the period of the formation of this hill alone. Another
proof of the antiquity of the quarry, and of its abandonment from
imperial times down to our own day, is given by this fact....

There are three collections of brick-stamps in Rome; one, of little
value, in the Kircherian museum; the second in the last room of the
Vatican library, past the "Nozze aldobrandine;" the third and best in
the Museo Municipale al Celio. This last contains over a thousand
specimens, and a unique set of the products of Roman kilns. In fact, the
first hall of the Museo is set apart exclusively for the study of
ancient building and decorative materials.

Roman bricks were square, oblong, triangular, or round, the latter being
used only to build columns in the Pompeiian style. The largest bricks
that have been discovered in my time measure 1.05 meters in length.
They were set into an arch of one of the great stairs leading to the
avenue or boulevard established in Imperial times on the top of the
agger of Servius. Roman bricks are very often stamped with a seal, the
legend of which contains the names of the owner and the manager of the
kilns, of the maker of the tile, of the merchant entrusted with the sale
of the products, and of the consuls under whose term of office the
bricks were made. These indications are not necessarily found all in one

The most important of them is the consular date, because it helps the
student to determine, within certain limits, the date of the building
itself. The rule, however, is far from being absolute, and before fixing
the date of a Roman structure from that of its brick stamps one must
take into consideration many other points of circumstantial evidence.
When we examine, for instance, the grain warehouses at Ostia, or
Hadrian's villa at Tivoli, and find that their walls have never
undergone repairs, that their masonry is characteristic of the first
quarter of the second century, that their bricks bear the dates of
Hadrian's age and no others, we may rest assured that the stamps speak
the truth. Their evidence is, in such a case, conclusive. But if the
bricks are variously dated, or bear the names of various kilns, and not
of one or two only, then their value as an evidence of the date of a
building is diminished, if not lost altogether....

The bricks, again, occasionally bear curious signs, such as footmarks of
chickens, dogs, or pigs, which stept over them while still fresh,
impressions of coins and medals, words or sentences scratched with a
nail, etc. A bricklayer, who had perhaps seen better times in his youth,
wrote on a tile the first verse of the Aeneid.

The great manufacturing center of Roman bricks was the district between
the viae Triumphalis, Cornelia, and the two Aureliae, now called the
Monti della Creta, which includes the southern slopes of the Vatican
ridge and the northern of the Janiculum. Here also, as at Pozzo
Pantaléo, the traces of the work of man are simply gigantic. The valleys
del Gelsomino, delle Fornaci, del Vicolo delle Cave, della Balduina, and
a section of the Val d'Inferno, are not the work of nature, but the
result of excavations for "creta figulina," which began 2,300 years ago,
and have never been interrupted since. A walk through the Monti della
Creta will teach the student many interesting things. The best point of
observation is a bluff between the Vicolo della Cave and the Vicolo del
Gelsomino, marked with the word "Ruderi" and with the altitude of 75
meters, in the military map of the suburbs. The bluff rises 37 meters
above the floor of the brick-kilns of the Gelsomino....

Roman bricks were exported to all the shores of the Mediterranean; they
have been found in the Riviera, on the coasts of Benetia, of
Narbonensis, of Spain and Africa, and in the island of Sardinia. The
brick-making business must have been very remunerative, if we judge from
the rank and wealth of many personages who had an interest in it. Many
names of emperors appear in brick-stamps, and even more of empresses and
princesses of the imperial family.


BY GRACE GREENWOOD (Mrs. Lippincott)

Yesterday began Holy Week with the imposing but tedious ceremonies of
Palm Sunday at St. Peter's. At nine o'clock in the morning we were in
our places--seats erected for the occasion near the high altar, drest in
the costume prescribed by church etiquette--black throughout, with black
veils on our heads. At about ten the Pope entered, and the rites,
ordinary and extraordinary, the masses and processions, continued until

The entrance of the Pope into this his grandest basilica was, as usual,
a beautiful and brilliant sight. He came splendidly vested, wearing his
miter, and borne in his chair of state under a gorgeous canopy, between
the flabelli--two enormous fans of white peacock feathers. He was
preceded and followed by cardinals, bishops, arch-bishops, monsignori,
abbots, the apostolic prothonotaries, generals of the religious orders,
officers of the state, of the army, of his household, and the Guardia

He took his seat on the throne, and received the homage of the
cardinals, who, kneeling, kissed his right hand. This is a ceremony
which is always gone through with in the most formal, mechanical,
business-like manner possible. Some palms, not in natural branches, but
cut and wreathed in various strange, fantastic forms, lay on the altar.
The Pope's chief sacristan took one of these, a deacon another, a
sub-deacon a third, and knelt at the foot of the throne. His Holiness
read prayers over them, sprinkled them with holy water, and incensed
them three times. One of these is held beside the throne by the prince
assistant during the service; another is borne by the Pope when in

After this, multitudes of palms were brought up for the Papal
benediction. First came the cardinals, each, as he received his palm
from the Pope, kissing it, the right hand and knee of His Holiness; then
the bishops, who only kissed the palm and his right knee; then the
abbots, who were only entitled to kiss the palm and his foot; then the
governor of Rome, the prince assistant, the auditor, the treasurer, the
maggiordomo, the secretaries, the chamberlains, the mace bearers, the
deacons and sub-deacons, generals of the religious orders and priests in
general, masters of the ceremonies, singers, clerks of the Papal chapel,
students of Roman colleges, foreign ministers and their attachés,
Italian, French, Spanish, Austrian, Russian, Prussian officers, noblemen
and gentlemen, all came up in turn, knelt, received blest palms, and
kissed the foot of the Sovereign Pontiff.

During the distribution of the palms, anthems were sung by the choir,
who were caged up in a sort of trellice workbox at the right of the
altar. This long but brilliantly picturesque ceremony through, the Pope,
after washing his hands, again mounted into his "sedia gestatoria," and
bearing his palm, preceded and followed by all those to whom he had
given palms, passed slowly down the nave of the church, blessing the
kneeling and bending multitude right and left. This procession of palms
was very striking and gorgeous from the beauty and variety of military
arms and uniforms, and more than royal richness of the priestly
vestments, the gleam of miters and maces, and of innumerable sacred
symbols and insignia.



The interval between the close of one pontificate and the commencement
of another is a period of some excitement, and necessarily of much
anxiety. Time is required for the electors to assemble, from distant
provinces, or even foreign countries; and this is occupied in paying the
last tribute of respect and affection to the departed Pontiff. His body
is embalmed, clothed in the robes of his office, of the penitential
color, and laid on a couch of state within one of the chapels in St.
Peter's, so that the faithful may not only see it, but kiss its feet.
This last act of reverence to the mortal remains of the immortal Pius
VIII., the writer well recollects performing.

These preliminaries occupy three days; during which rises, as if by
magic, or from the crypts below, an immense catafalque, a colossal
architectural structure, which fills the nave of that basilica
illustrated by inscriptions, and adorned by statuary. Before this huge
monument, for nine days funeral rites are performed, closed by a funeral
oration. For the body of the last Pope there is a uniform resting-place
in St. Peter's--a plain sarcophagus, of marbled stucco, hardly noticed
by the traveler, over a door beside the choir, on which is simply
painted the title of the latest Pontiff. On the death of his successor
it is broken down at the top, the coffin is removed to the under-church,
and that of the new claimant for repose is substituted. This change
takes place late in the evening, and is considered private. I can not
recollect whether it was on this or on a subsequent occasion that I
witnessed it with my college companions....

In the afternoon of the last day of the novendiali, as they are called,
the cardinals assemble in a church near the Quirinal palace, and walk
thence in procession, accompanied by their conclavisiti, a secretary, a
chaplain, and a servant or two, to the great gate of the royal
residence, in which one will remain as master and supreme lord. Of
course the hill is crowded by persons lining the avenue kept open for
the procession. Cardinals never before seen by them, or not for many
years, pass before them; eager eyes scan and measure them, and try to
conjecture, from fancied omens in eye, or figure, or expression, who
will shortly be the sovereign of their fair city, and, what is more, the
Head of the Catholic Church from the rising to the setting sun.

Equal they pass the threshold of that gate; they share together the
supreme rule, temporal and spiritual; there is still embosomed in them
all the voice yet silent, that soon will sound, from one tongue, over
all the world, and the dormant germ of that authority which will soon
again be concentrated in one man alone. To-day they are all equal;
perhaps to-morrow one will sit enthroned, and all the rest will kiss his
feet; one will be sovereign, the others his subjects; one the shepherd,
and the others his flock....

While we have been thus sketching, hastily and imperfectly, one of many
who passed almost unnoticed in the solemn procession to conclave, on the
2d of September, 1823, we may suppose the doors to have been inexorably
closed on those who composed it. The conclave, which formerly used to
take place in the Vatican, was on this occasion, and has been
subsequently, held in the Quirinal palace. This noble building, known
equally by the name of Monte Cavallo, consists of a large quadrangle,
round which run the papal apartments. From this stretches out, along a
whole street, an immense wing, its two upper floors divided into a great
number of small but complete suites of apartments, occupied permanently,
or occasionally, by persons attached to the Court.

During conclave these are allotted, literally so, to the cardinals, each
of whom lives apart, with his attendants. His food is brought daily from
his own house, and is examined, and delivered to him in the shape of
"broken victuals," by the watchful guardians of the turns and lattices,
through which alone anything, even conversation, can penetrate into the
seclusion of that sacred retreat. For a few hours, the first evening,
the doors are left open, and the nobility, the diplomatic body, and in
fact all presentable persons, may roam from cell to cell, paying a brief
compliment to their occupants, perhaps speaking the same good wishes to
fifty, which they know can be accomplished in only one.

After that all is closed; a wicket is left accessible for the entrance
of any cardinal who is not yet arrived; but every aperture is jealously
guarded by faithful janitors, judges and prelates of various tribunals,
who relieve one another. Every letter even is opened and read, that no
communications may be held with the outer world. The very street on
which the wing of the conclave looks is barricaded and guarded by a
picket at each end; and as, fortunately, there are no private residences
opposite, and all the buildings have access from the back, no
inconvenience is thereby created.

While conclave lasts, the administrative power rests in the hands of the
Cardinal Chamberlain, who strikes his own coins during its continuance;
and he is assisted by three cardinals, called the "Heads of Orders,"
because they represent the three orders in the sacred college, of
bishops, priests and deacons. The ambassadors of the great powers
receive fresh credentials to the conclave, and proceed in state, to
present them to this delegation, at the grille. An address, carefully
prepared, is delivered by the envoy, and receives a well-pondered reply
from the presiding cardinal.

Twice a day the cardinals meet in the chapel contained within the
palace, and there, on tickets so arranged that the voter's name can not
be seen, write the name of him for whom they give their suffrage. These
papers are examined in their presence, and if the number of votes given
to any one do not constitute the majority, they are burned, in such a
manner that the smoke, issuing through a flue, is visible to the crowd
usually assembled in the square outside.

Some day, instead of this usual signal to disperse, the sound of pick
and hammer is heard, and a small opening is seen in the wall which had
temporarily blocked up the great window over the palace gateway. At last
the masons of the conclave have opened a rude door, through which steps
out on the balcony the first Cardinal Deacon, and proclaims to the many,
or to the few, who may happen to be waiting, that they again possess a
sovereign and a Pontiff.



We arrived in Rome at three in the afternoon, with letters which ensured
us an audience with the Pope. A friend, long resident in Rome, who
advised us to present them at once, accompanied us to the Vatican.
Passing through an interesting part of the city, including the St.
Angelo Bridge across the Tiber, we soon found ourselves in the
world-famous Colonnade of St. Peter's. Ascending the steps leading to
the Vatican, we passed the Swiss Guard in their famous uniforms designed
by Michelangelo, and climbed what seemed like endless stairs, passing
guards at almost every turn, who pointed out the way indicated by the
address on our credentials.

Arriving at an anteroom, a priestly secretary, speaking excellent
English, read our letter with what seemed to us, from the expression of
his face, great interest and evident approval. Why should this not have
been? Our letter was from the Apostolic Delegate then in Washington--the
Pope's own representative in America. It was in Italian, in the highest
official form, and conveyed the intelligence that we were traveling in
Italy for a brief vacation, mentioned all four of us by name, and said
that, while we were not Catholics, we respected the faith and would
carefully observe all the forms prescribed for an audience. The
monseigneur whom we were to see was at that time engaged with several
bishops. Because of this, we were asked to present ourselves at the same
hour on Saturday, meanwhile leaving our letter.

Promptly at the hour I was again at the door of the major domo,
Monseigneur Bisleti, to be received again by the priestly secretary, by
whom I was taken into the palatial rooms of the monseigneur. A moment
here was sufficient to explain my errand and receive from the
monseigneur the long-coveted permission, which I found had already been
made out in due form for four persons. Our cards entitled us to
admission on the following day, which made necessary unexpected haste in
arranging for the official costume of black. Fortunately we had all
brought black veils and some of us either gowns or skirts. With help
from others, we secured one or two necessary waists, and from our
hostess obtained the rosaries I wished to have blest by the Pope. Our
hostess then gave us a dress rehearsal, in order that we might fully
understand what to us would be an imposing ceremony. An audience is a
great function and the procedure accordingly is rigid.

On reaching the Vatican next day, we were directed by the Swiss Guard,
not to the major domo's apartments as before, but through a court and
thence up the grandest of staircases in three long flights, the walls
lined with beautiful marbles more wonderful than many pictures, the
light coming through magnificent stained-glass windows. In every sense
here was a palatial, an imperial, entrance. At the head of the stairway
we were met by gorgeous chamberlains, the body servants of the Pope,
clad in superb magenta brocaded velvet, with knee breeches, magenta silk
stockings, and great silver buckles on their shoes. Streamers hanging
from their arms at the back, added to the official appearance of these
men in their gorgeous uniforms.

We were shown through a magnificent antechamber, and then into a series
of reception rooms, through which we were motioned on, until we came to
the fourth, where were just four chairs which seemed to be waiting for
us four. Swiss guards patrolled the rooms, and others--chamberlains, I
suppose. We had a full half hour in which to wait here, but we could use
it to advantage, in watching the gathering company, and viewing the
magnificent room, hung as it was with rich red moire silk, as were all
others of the suite. The ladies in black garb became very effective
figures in this brilliant setting. There were many beautiful tapestries
in the rooms, one room having a tapestried frieze. The furniture was
massive, either of inlaid wood or heavy gilt, and the floors of
beautiful inlaid marble. It is not possible to give any adequate idea of
these stately rooms, nor of their exquisite appointments; nor yet of the
gathering company, for many high officials of the church passed before
us and through to rooms beyond, which added to the interest of the
occasion and the splendor of the scene.

We learned soon that this was to be no ordinary audience, but a special
one granted to alumni of the American College in Rome. A few days before
we left New York, a large company of American priests, graduates of the
American College, had sailed on a chartered steamer to celebrate the
fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the college, from which they had
received holy orders. This audience had been specially arranged for
them. We were therefore more than favored in having an audience at the
same time, a fact due probably to the credentials with which we had come
provided. We now understood that the officials of the church who had
entered this room were our own American bishops. With them had however
come others of high rank. Over their priestly robes of black they wore
rich purple silk capes, falling to the floor, and purple sashes. (There
are, of course, technical terms for these garments, but I do not know
them.) The special body guard of the Pope, three men chosen from the
Palatine guard, and in soldier's uniform, now passed through the room
with a noble guard of the Knights of Malta and Count Moroni, also in
uniform, with chapeau, feathered with plumes of black and white.

At exactly half after eleven, Monseigneur Bisleti, watch in hand,
bustled through, followed by bishops and priests. We were at once on our
knees, for His Holiness was seen to be approaching from rooms beyond. As
he advanced we could see his small figure, clad in white, surrounded by
court attendants, American bishops, an archbishop, the Palatine guard,
Monseigneur Bisleti, and the Knight of Malta. Between us and the doorway
through which he approached, stood a girl of twelve, in white garments
and veil. She had come from her first communion. Near her was a
Franciscan monk, who evidently had just returned from some mission
field, for he was bronzed, and haggard, and worn as to his garments. As
the Pope passed he gave a special word of blessing to the monk, and a
smile to the child.

The ceremony of the audience itself was simple. The Pope walked past the
kneeling people, giving to each his hand. This each one took, kissing
his ring. Filling the center of the room, as we were kneeling around the
sides, were the priestly courtiers, the Papal delegate, in gray robes, a
prominent figure among them. The Pope passed on through several rooms
filled with waiting priests. We were then all bidden to follow to the
throne room, for a special ceremony. An audience generally ends when the
Pope leaves the room in which he receives you, giving his blessing to
all as he leaves.

In the throne room now the American alumni were to present their
addresses to the Pope. As we entered, undergraduates of the college were
discovered already there singing. Until the addresses were read, the
singing was continued. It was all a magnificent sight, the little white
father on his splendid throne, his court about him, his special body
servant holding his red cape (to be used in case of drafts), and, as a
background for all the colors of the court scene, several hundred
black-robed priests.

Monseigneur Kennedy, rector of the college, read an address, as did Rev.
Father Wall of Baltimore, president of the association. To these the
Pope replied, reading from a manuscript. After this, he rose, mingled
with his entourage, and chatted pleasantly with bishops and others. A
picture was then taken of the court, the priests and students. These
American priests and undergraduates were a fine company of men. The Pope
finally gave his blessing to all who were assembled in the room, and the
great function was over.



The visitor to St. Peter's should not fail to ascend to the dome; a long
journey, but involving no danger and not a great amount of fatigue. From
the church to the roof the passage is by an inclined plane of pavement,
with so gradual an ascent that loaded mules pass up without difficulty.
In stepping out upon the roof, it is difficult to believe that we are
more than one hundred and fifty feet from the ground, or that so
extensive an architectural surface could have been reared in air by the
patient labor of men's hands. It rather seems as if a little village had
been lifted up by some geological convulsion. Here are wide spaces to
walk about in, houses for human habitation, a fountain playing, and all
the signs of life. The views are everywhere fine, and one can fancy that
the air is purer and the sky more blue than to those left below. The
dome soars high above the eye, and a new sense of its magnitude seizes
upon the mind. The two cupolas which flank the façade are upward of one
hundred feet high, and the five smaller ones which crown the chapels are
of great size; but here they seem like dwarfs clinging about a giant's

The dome of St. Peter's, as is well known, is double; and between the
outer and inner wall is a series of winding passages and staircases, by
which the ascent is made to the top. The length of these passages and
staircases, their number, and the time it takes to traverse them, are a
new revelation of the size of this stupendous structure. We begin to
comprehend the genius and courage which planned and executed a work so
novel and so bold. From the galleries inside, the view of the interior
below is most striking. It looks as the earth may look from a balloon.
The men moving upon the pavement appear like that "small infantry warred
on by cranes"; and even the baldacchino hardly swells beyond the
dimensions of a candelabrum.

At the base of the ball, a railing, unseen from below, enables the
visitor whose nerves are tolerably good to enjoy an extensive and
beautiful prospect, embracing a region interesting not merely to the eye
but to the mind: the cradle of that mighty Roman race which here began
its ever-widening circle of conquest and annexation. It comprises the
Campagna, the Tiber, the distant Mediterranean, the Apennines, the Alban
and Sabine hills, and the isolated bulk of Soracte. From no point on
earth can the eye rest upon so many spots on which the undying light of
human interest lingers.

From this place the ascent is made to the interior of the ball itself,
into which most travelers climb, probably more for the sake of saying
that they have been there than anything else. Tho the ball looks like a
mere point from below, it is nearly eight feet in diameter; and the
interior will hold a dozen persons without inconvenience. Altho I
visited it on a winter's day, the atmosphere was extremely hot and
uncomfortable, from the effect of the sun's rays upon the gilded bronze.
By means of an exterior ladder, it is possible to climb to the foot of
the cross; a feat which few landsmen would have the nerve to undertake.



We followed the street which ascends and descends, bordered with palaces
and old hedges of thorn, as far as Santa Maria Maggiore. This basilica,
standing upon a large eminence, surmounted with its domes, rises nobly
upward, at once simple and complete, and when you enter it, it affords
still greater pleasure. It belongs to the fifth century; on being
rebuilt at a later period, the general plan, its antique idea, was
preserved. An ample nave, with a horizontal roof, is sustained by two
rows of white Ionic columns. You are rejoiced to see so fine an effect
obtained by such simple means; you might almost imagine yourself in a
Greek temple.

It is said that a temple of Juno was robbed of these columns. Each of
them bare and polished, with no other ornament than the delicate curves
of its small capital, is of healthful and charming beauty. You
appreciate here the good sense, and all that is agreeable in genuine
natural construction, the file of trunks of trees which bear the beams,
resting flat and providing a long walk. All that has since been added is
barbarous, and first, the two chapels of Sixtus V. and Paul V., with
their paintings by Guido, Josepin, and Cigoli, and the sculptures of
Bernini, and the architecture of Fontana and Flaminio. These are
celebrated names, and money has been prodigally spent, but instead of
the slight means with which the ancients produced a great effect, the
moderns produce a petty effect with great means.

When the bewildered eye is satiated with the elaborate sweep of these
arches and domes, with the splendors of polychromatic marbles, with
friezes and pedestals of agate, with columns of oriental jasper, with
angels hanging by their feet, and with all these bas-reliefs of bronze
and gold, the visitor hastens to get away from it as he would to escape
from a confectioner's shop. It seems as if this grand, glittering box,
gilded and labored from pavement to lantern, caught up and tore at every
point of its finery the delicate web of poetic reverie; the slender
profile of the least of the columns impresses one far more than any of
this display of the art of upholsterers and parvenus. Similarly to this
the façade, loaded with balustrades, and round and angular pediments,
and statues roosting on its stones, is a "hôtel-de-ville" frontage.

The campanile, belonging to the fourteenth century, alone presents an
agreeable object; at that time it was one of the towers of the city, a
distinctive sign which marked it on the old plans so black and sharp,
and stamped it forever on the still corporeal imaginations of monks and
wayfarers. There are traces of every age in these old basilicas; you see
the diverse states of Christianity, at first enshrined in pagan forms,
and then traversing the Middle Ages and the Renaissance to muffle itself
up finally, and bedeck itself with modern finery. The Byzantine epoch
has left its imprint in the mosaics of the great nave and the apsis,
and in its bloodless and lifeless Christs and Virgins, so many staring
specters motionless on their gold backgrounds and red panels, the
fantoms of an extinct art and a vanished society.



There is an upper chamber in the Mamertine prison, over what is said to
have been--and very possibly may have been--the dungeon of St. Peter.
This chamber is now fitted up as an oratory, dedicated to that saint;
and it lives, as a distinct and separate place, in my recollection, too.
It is very small and low-roofed; and the dread and gloom of the
ponderous, obdurate old prison are on it, as if they had come up in a
dark mist through the floor. Hanging on the walls, among the clustered
votive offerings, are objects, at once strangely in keeping, and
strangely at variance, with the place--rusty daggers, knives, pistols,
clubs, divers instruments of violence and murder, brought here, fresh
from use, and hung up to propitiate offended Heaven; as if the blood
upon them would drain off in consecrated air, and have no voice to cry
with. It is all so silent and so close, and tomb-like; and the dungeons
below are so black and stealthy, and stagnant, and naked; that this
little dark spot becomes a dream within a dream; and in the vision of
great churches which come rolling past me like a sea, it is a small
wave by itself, that melts into no other wave, and does not flow on with
the rest.

It is an awful thing to think of the enormous caverns that are entered
from some Roman churches, and undermine the city. Many churches have
crypts and subterranean chapels of great size, which, in the ancient
time, were baths, and secret chambers of temples, and what not; but I do
not speak of them. Beneath the church of St. Giovanni and St. Paolo,
there are the jaws of a terrific range of caverns, hewn out of the rock,
and said to have another outlet underneath the Coliseum--tremendous
darknesses of vast extent, half-buried in the earth and unexplorable,
where the dull torches, flashed by the attendants, glimmer down long
ranges of distant vaults branching to the right and left, like streets
in a city of the dead; and show the cold damp stealing down the walls,
drip-drop, drip-drop, to join the pools of water that lie here and
there, and never saw, and never will see, one ray of sun. Some accounts
make these the prisons of the wild beasts destined for the amphitheater;
some, the prisons of the condemned gladiators; some, both. But the
legend most appalling to the fancy is, that in the upper range (for
there are two stories of these caves) the early Christians destined to
be eaten at the Coliseum shows, heard the wild beasts, hungry for them,
roaring down below; until, upon the night and solitude of their
captivity, there burst the sudden noon and life of the vast theater
crowded to the parapet, and of these, their dreaded neighbors, bounding

Below the church of San Sebastiano, two miles beyond the gate of San
Sebastiano, on the Appian Way, is the entrance to the catacombs of
Rome--quarries in the old time, but afterward the hiding-places of the
Christians. These ghastly passages have been explored for twenty miles;
and form a chain of labyrinths, sixty miles in circumference.

A gaunt Franciscan friar, with a wild, bright eye, was our only guide,
down into this profound and dreadful place. The narrow ways and openings
hither and thither, coupled with the dead and heavy air, soon blotted
out, in all of us, any recollection of the track by which we had come;
and I could not help thinking: "Good Heaven, if, in a sudden fit of
madness he should dash the torches out, or if he should be seized with a
fit, what would become of us!" On we wandered, among martyrs' graves;
passing great subterranean vaulted roads, diverging in all directions,
and choked up with heaps of stones, that thieves and murderers may not
take refuge there, and form a population under Rome even worse than that
which lives between it and the sun. Graves, graves, graves; graves of
men, of women, of their little children, who ran crying to the
persecutors, "We are Christians! We are Christians!" that they might be
murdered with their parents; graves with the palm of martyrdom roughly
cut into their stone boundaries, and little niches, made to hold a
vessel of the martyrs' blood; graves of some who lived down here, for
years together, ministering to the rest, and preaching truth, and hope,
and comfort, from the rude altars, that bear witness to their fortitude
at this hour; more roomy graves, but far more terrible, where hundreds,
being surprized, were hemmed in and walled up; buried before death, and
killed by slow starvation.

Such are the spots and patches in my dream of churches, that remain
apart and keep their separate identity. I have a fainter recollection,
sometimes, of the relics; of the fragment of the pillar of the Temple
that was rent in twain; of the portion of the table that was spread for
the Last Supper; of the well at which the woman of Samaria gave water to
our Savior; of two columns from the house of Pontius Pilate; of the
stone to which the sacred hands were bound, when the scourging was
performed; of the grid-iron of Saint Lawrence, and the stone below it,
marked with the frying of his fat and blood; these set a shadowy mark on
some cathedrals, as an old story, or a fable might, and stop them for an
instant, as they flit before me. The rest is a vast wilderness of
consecrated buildings of all shapes and fancies, blending one with
another; of battered pillars of old Pagan temples, dug up from the
ground, and forced, like giant captives, to support the roofs of
Christian churches; of pictures, bad, and wonderful, and impious, and
ridiculous; of kneeling people, curling incense, tinkling bells, and
sometimes (but not often) of a swelling organ; of Madonne, with their
breasts stuck full of swords, arranged in a half-circle like a modern
fan; of actual skeletons of dead saints, hideously attired in gaudy
satins, silks, and velvets trimmed with gold; their withered crust of
skull adorned with precious jewels, or with chaplets of crusht flowers;
sometimes, of people gathered round the pulpit, and a monk within it
stretching out the crucifix, and preaching fiercely; the sun just
streaming down through some high window on the sail-cloth stretched
above him and across the church, to keep his high-pitched voice from
being lost among the echoes of the roof. Then my tired memory comes out
upon a flight of steps, where knots of people are asleep, or basking in
the light; and strolls away, among the rags and smells, and palaces, and
hovels, of an old Italian street.



The cemetery is beneath the church, but entirely above ground, and
lighted by a row of iron-grated windows without glass. A corridor runs
along besides these windows, and gives access to three or four vaulted
recesses, or chapels, of considerable breadth and height, the floor of
which consists of the consecrated earth of Jerusalem. It is smoothed
decorously over the deceased brethren of the convent, and is kept quite
free from grass or weeds, such as would grow even in these gloomy
recesses, if pains were not bestowed to root them up. But, as the
cemetery is small, and it is a precious privilege to sleep in holy
ground, the brotherhood are immemorially accustomed, when one of their
number dies, to take the longest-buried skeleton out of the oldest
grave, and lay the new slumberer there instead. Thus, each of the good
friars, in his turn, enjoys the luxury of a consecrated bed, attended
with the slight drawback of being forced to get up long before daybreak,
as it were, and make room for another lodger.

The arrangement of the unearthed skeletons is what makes the special
interest of the cemetery. The arched and vaulted walls of the burial
recesses are supported by massive pillars and pilasters made of
thigh-bones and skulls; the whole material of the structure appears to
be of a similar kind; and the knobs and embossed ornaments of this
strange architecture are represented by the joints of the spine, and the
more delicate tracery by the smaller bones of the human frame. The
summits of the arches are adorned with entire skeletons, looking as if
they were wrought most skilfully in bas-relief. There is no possibility
of describing how ugly and grotesque is the effect, combined with a
certain artistic merit, nor how much perverted ingenuity has been shown
in this queer way, nor what a multitude of dead monks, through how many
hundred years, must have contributed their bony framework to build up
these great arches of mortality. On some of the skulls there are
inscriptions, purporting that such a monk, who formerly made use of that
particular head-piece, died on such a day and year; but vastly the
greater number are piled up indistinguishably into the architectural
design like the many deaths that make up the one glory of a victory.

In the side walls of the vaults are niches where skeleton monks sit or
stand, clad in the brown habits that they wore in life, and labeled
with their names and the dates of their decease. Their skulls (some
quite bare, and others still covered with yellow skin, and hair that has
known the earth-damps) look out from beneath their hoods, grinning,
hideously repulsive. One reverend father has his mouth wide open, as if
he had died in the midst of a howl of terror and remorse, which perhaps
is even now screeching through eternity. As a general thing, however,
these frocked and hooded skeletons seem to take a more cheerful view of
their position, and try with ghastly smiles to turn it into a jest. But
the cemetery of the Capuchins is no place to nourish celestial hopes;
the soul sinks forlorn and wretched under all this burden of dusty
death; the holy earth from Jerusalem, so imbued is it with mortality,
has grown as barren of the flowers of Paradise as it is of earthly weeds
and grass. Thank Heaven for its blue sky; it needs a long, upward gaze
to give us back our faith. Not here can we feel ourselves immortal,
where the very altars in these chapels of horrible consecration are
heaps of human bones.



A beautiful pyramid, a hundred and thirteen feet high, built into the
ancient wall of Rome, is the proud "Sepulcher of Caius Cestius." It is
the most imperishable of the antiquities, standing as perfect after
eighteen hundred years as if it were built but yesterday. Just beyond
it, on the declivity of a hill, over the ridge of which the wall passes,
crowning it with two moldering towers, lies the Protestant

It looks toward Rome, which appears in the distance, between Mount
Aventine and a small hill called Mont Testaccio, and leaning to the
south-east, the sun lies warm and soft upon its banks, and the grass and
wild flowers are there the earliest and tallest of the Campagna. I have
been here to-day, to see the graves of Keats and Shelley. With a
cloudless sky and the most delicious air ever breathed, we sat down upon
the marble slab laid over the ashes of poor Shelley, and read his own
lament over Keats, who sleeps just below, at the foot of the hill.

The cemetery is rudely formed into three terraces, with walks between,
and Shelley's grave and one other, without a name, occupy a small nook
above, made by the projections of a moldering wall-tower, and crowded
with ivy and shrubs, and a peculiarly fragrant yellow flower, which
perfumes the air around for several feet. The avenue by which you ascend
from the gate is lined with high bushes of the marsh-rose in the most
luxuriant bloom, and all over the cemetery the grass is thickly mingled
with flowers of every dye. In his preface to his lament over Keats,
Shelley says:

"He was buried in the romantic and lonely cemetery of the Protestants,
under the pyramid which is the tomb of Cestius, and the massy walls and
towers, now moldering and desolate, which formed the circuit of ancient
Rome. It is an open space among the ruins, covered in winter with
violets and daisies. It might make one in love with death, to think that
one should be buried in so sweet a place."

If Shelley had chosen his own grave at the time, he would have selected
the very spot where he has since been laid--the most sequestered and
flowery nook of the place he describes so feelingly.

On the second terrace of the declivity are ten or twelve graves, two of
which bear the names of Americans who have died in Rome. A portrait
carved in bas-relief, upon one of the slabs, told me, without the
inscription, that one whom I had known was buried beneath. The slightly
rising mound was covered with small violets, half hidden by the grass.
It takes away from the pain with which one stands over the grave of an
acquaintance or a friend, to see the sun lying so warm upon it, and the
flowers springing so profusely and cheerfully. Nature seems to have
cared for those who have died so far from home, binding the earth gently
over them with grass, and decking it with the most delicate flowers. We
descended to the lower enclosure at the foot of the slight declivity.
The first grave here is that of Keats. The inscription runs thus:

"This grave contains all that was mortal of a young English poet, who,
on his death-bed in the bitterness of his heart at the malicious power
of his enemies, desired these words to be engraved on his tomb: 'Here
lies one whose name was written in water.'"

He died at Rome in 1821. Every reader knows his history and the cause of
his death. Shelley says, in the preface to his elegy:

"The savage criticism on his poems, which appeared in the "Quarterly
Review," produced the most violent effect on his susceptible mind; the
agitation thus originated ended in a rupture of a blood-vessel in the
lungs; a rapid consumption ensued, and the succeeding acknowledgments,
from more candid critics, of the true greatness of his powers, were
ineffectual to heal the wound thus wantonly inflicted."

Keats was, no doubt, a poet of very uncommon promise. He had all the
wealth of genius within him, but he had not learned, before he was
killed by criticism, the received, and, therefore, the best manner of
producing it for the eye of the world. Had he lived longer, the strength
and richness which break continually through the affected style of
"Endymion" and "Lamia" and his other poems, must have formed themselves
into some noble monuments of his powers. As it is, there is not a poet
living who could surpass the material of his "Endymion"--a poem, with
all its faults, far more full of beauties. But this is not the place for
criticism. He is buried fitly for a poet, and sleeps beyond criticism
now. Peace to his ashes!



The excursions in the neighborhood of Rome are charming, and would be
full of interest were it only for the changing views they afford of the
wild Campagna. But every inch of ground in every direction is rich in
associations, and in natural beauties. There is Albano, with its lovely
lake and wooded shore, and with its wine, that certainly has not
improved since the days of Horace, and in these times hardly justifies
his panegyric. There is squalid Tivoli, with the river Anio, diverted
from its course, and plunging down, headlong, some eighty feet in search
of it, with its picturesque Temple of the Sibyl, perched high on a crag;
its minor waterfalls glancing and sparkling in the sun; and one good
cavern yawning darkly, where the river takes a fearful plunge and shoots
on, low down under beetling rocks.

There, too, is the Villa d'Este, deserted and decaying among groves of
melancholy pine and cypress-trees, where it seems to lie in state. Then,
there is Frascati, and, on the steep above it, the ruins of Tusculum,
where Cicero lived, and wrote, and adorned his favorite house (some
fragments of it may yet be seen there), and where Cato was born. We saw
its ruined amphitheater on a gray, dull day, when a shrill March wind
was blowing, and when the scattered stones of the old city lay strewn
about the lonely eminence, as desolate and dead as the ashes of a
long-extinguished fire.

One day we walked out, a little party of three, to Albano, fourteen
miles distant; possest by a great desire to go there by the ancient
Appian Way, long since ruined and overgrown. We started at half-past
seven in the morning, and within an hour or so were out upon the open
Campagna. For twelve miles we went climbing on, over an unbroken
succession of mounds, and heaps, and hills of ruin. Tombs and temples,
overthrown and prostrate; small fragments of columns, friezes,
pediments; great blocks of granite and marble; moldering arches
grass-grown and decayed; ruin enough to build a spacious city from; lay
strewn about us. Sometimes loose walls, built up from these fragments by
the shepherds, came across our path; sometimes a ditch, between two
mounds of broken stones, obstructed our progress; sometimes, the
fragments themselves, rolling from beneath our feet, made it a toilsome
matter to advance; but it was always ruin. Now, we tracked a piece of
the old road above the ground; now traced it underneath a grassy
covering, as if that were its grave; but all the way was ruin.

In the distance, ruined aqueducts went stalking on their giant course
along the plain; and every breath of wind that swept toward us, stirred
early flowers and grasses, springing up, spontaneously, on miles of
ruin. The unseen larks above us, who alone disturbed the awful silence,
had their nests in ruin; and the fierce herdsmen, clad in sheepskins,
who now and then scowled out upon us from their sleeping nooks, were
housed in ruin. The aspect of the desolate Campagna in one direction,
where it was most level, reminded me of an American prairie; but what is
the solitude of a region where men have never dwelt, to that of a
desert, where a mighty race have left their footprints in the earth from
which they have vanished; where the resting-places of their dead have
fallen like their dead; and the broken hour-glass of Time is but a heap
of idle dust! Returning by the road at sunset, and looking, from the
distance, on the course we had taken in the morning, I almost felt (as I
had felt when I first saw it, at that hour) as if the sun would never
rise again, but looked its last, that night, upon a ruined world.

To come again to Rome, by moonlight, after such an expedition, is a
fitting close to such a day. The narrow streets, devoid of footways, and
choked, in every obscure corner, by heaps of dung-hill-rubbish, contrast
so strongly, in their cramped dimensions, and their filth and darkness,
with the broad square before some haughty church; in the center of
which, a hieroglyphic-covered obelisk, brought from Egypt in the days of
the Emperors, looks strangely on the foreign scene about it; or perhaps
an ancient pillar, with its honored statue overthrown, supports a
Christian saint; Marcus Aurelius giving place to Paul, and Trajan to St.
Peter. Then, there are the ponderous buildings reared from the
spoliation of the Coliseum, shutting out the moon, like mountains; while
here and there are broken arches and rent walls, through which it gushes
freely, as the life comes pouring from a wound. The little town of
miserable houses, walled, and shut in by barred gates, is the quarter
where the Jews are locked up nightly, when the clock strikes eight--a
miserable place, densely populated, and reeking with bad odors, but
where the people are industrious and money-getting. In the daytime, as
you make your way along the narrow streets, you see them all at
work--upon the pavement, oftener than in their dark and frowsy shops;
furbishing old clothes, and driving bargains.

Crossing from these patches of thick darkness out into the moon once
more, the fountain of Trevi, welling from a hundred jets, and rolling
over mimic rocks, is silvery to the eye and ear. In the narrow little
throat of street beyond, a booth drest out with flaring lamps, and
boughs of trees, attracts a group of sulky Romans around its smoky
coppers of hot broth, and cauliflower stew; its trays of fried fish, and
its flasks of wine. As you rattle around the sharply twisting corner, a
lumbering sound is heard. The coachman stops abruptly, and uncovers, as
a van comes slowly by, preceded by a man who bears a large cross; by a
torch-bearer, and a priest; the latter chanting as he goes. It is the
dead-cart, with the bodies of the poor, on their way to burial in the
Sacred Field outside the walls, where they will be thrown into the pit
that will be covered with a stone to-night, and sealed up for a year.

But whether, in this ride, you pass by obelisks, or columns, ancient
temples, theaters, houses, porticoes or forums, it is strange to see how
every fragment, whenever it is possible, has been blended into some
modern structure, and made to serve some modern purpose--a wall, a
dwelling-place, a granary, a stable--some use for which it never was
designed, and associated with which it can not otherwise than lamely





Immediately after leaving Incisa, we saw the Arno, already a
considerable river, rushing between deep banks, with the greenish hue of
a duck-pond diffused through its water. Nevertheless, tho the first
impression was not altogether agreeable, we soon became reconciled to
this hue, and ceased to think it an indication of impurity; for, in
spite of it, the river is still, to a certain degree, transparent, and
is, at any rate, a mountain stream, and comes uncontaminated from its
source. The pure, transparent brown of the New England rivers is the
most beautiful color; but I am content that it should be peculiar to

Our afternoon's drive was through scenery less striking than some which
we had traversed, but still picturesque and beautiful. We saw deep
valleys and ravines, with streams at the bottom; long, wooded hillsides,
rising far and high, and dotted with white dwellings, well toward the
summits. By and by, we had a distant glimpse of Florence, showing its
great dome and some of its towers out of a sidelong valley, as if we
were between two great waves of the tumultuous sea of hills; while, far
beyond, rose in the distance the blue peaks of three or four of the
Apennines, just on the remote horizon. There being a haziness in the
atmosphere, however, Florence was little more distinct to us than the
Celestial City was to Christian and Hopeful, when they spied at it from
the Delectable Mountains.

Keeping steadfastly onward, we ascended a winding road, and passed a
grand villa, standing very high, and surrounded with extensive grounds.
It must be the residence of some great noble; and it has an avenue of
poplars or aspens, very light and gay, and fit for the passage of the
bridal procession, when the proprietor or his heir brings home his
bride; while in another direction from the same front of the palace
stretches an avenue or grove of cypresses, very long and exceedingly
black and dismal, like a train of gigantic mourners. I have seen few
things more striking, in the way of trees, than this grove of cypresses.

From this point we descended, and drove along an ugly, dusty avenue,
with a high brick wall on one side or both, till we reached the gate of
Florence, into which we were admitted with as little trouble as
custom-house officers, soldiers, and policemen can possibly give. They
did not examine our luggage, and even declined a fee, as we had already
paid one at the frontier custom-house. Thank heaven, and the Grand

As we hoped that the Casa del Bello had been taken for us, we drove
thither in the first place, but found that the bargain had not been
concluded. As the house and studio of Mr. Powers[27] were just on the
opposite side of the street, I went to it, but found him too much
engrossed to see me at the moment; so I returned to the "vettura," and
we told Gaetano to carry us to a hotel. He established us at the Albergo
della Fontana, a good and comfortable house. Mr. Powers called in the
evening--a plain personage, characterized by strong simplicity and warm
kindliness, with an impending brow, and large eyes, which kindle as he
speaks. He is gray, and slightly bald, but does not seem elderly, nor
past his prime. I accept him at once as an honest and trustworthy man,
and shall not vary from this judgment. Through his good offices, the
next day we engaged the Casa del Bello. This journey from Rome has been
one of the brightest and most uncareful interludes of my life; we have
all enjoyed it exceedingly, and I am happy that our children have it to
look back upon.



Every great capital has its eye; at Rome it is the Campo Vaccino; at
Paris, the Boulevard des Italiens; at Venice, the Place St. Mark; at
Madrid, the Prado; at London, the Strand; at Naples, the Via di Toledo.
Rome is more Roman, Paris more Parisian, Venice more Venetian, Madrid
more Spanish, London more English, Naples more Neapolitan, in that
privileged locality than anywhere else. The eye of Florence is the Place
of the Grand Duke--a beautiful eye. In fact, suppress that Place and
Florence has no more meaning--it might be another city. It is at that
Place, therefore, that every traveler ought to begin, and, moreover, had
he not that intention, the tide of pedestrians would carry him and the
streets themselves would conduct him thither.

The first aspect of the Place of the Grand Duke has an effect so
charming, so picturesque, so complete, that you comprehend all at once
into what an error the modern capitals like London, Paris, St.
Petersburg, fall in forming, under the pretext of squares, in their
compact masses, immense empty spaces upon which they run aground all
possible and impossible modes of decoration. One can touch with his
finger the reason which makes of the Carrousel and Place de la Concorde,
great empty fields which absorb fountains, statues, arches of triumph,
obelisks, candelabra, and little gardens. All these embellishments, very
pretty on paper, very agreeable also, without doubt, viewed from a
balloon, are almost lost for the spectator who can not grasp the whole,
his height only rising five feet above the ground.

A square, in order to produce a beautiful effect, ought not to be too
big; it is also necessary that it should be bordered by varied monuments
of diverse elevations. The Place of the Grand Duke at Florence unites
all these conditions; bordered by monuments regular in themselves, but
different from one another, it is pleasing to the eye without wearying
by a cold symmetry.

The Palace of the Seigneurie, or Old Palace, which by its imposing mass
and severe elegance at first attracts the attention, occupies a corner
of the Place, instead of the middle. This idea, a happy one, in our
opinion, regrettable for those who only see architectural beauty in
geometrical regularity, is not fortuitous; it has a reason wholly
Florentine. In order to obtain perfect symmetry, it would have been
necessary to build upon the detested soil of the Ghibelline house,
rebellious and proscribed by the Uberti; something that the Guelph
faction, then all-powerful, were not willing to allow the architect,
Arnolfo di Lapo, to do. Learned men contest the truth of this tradition;
we will not discuss here the value of their objections. It is certain,
however, that the Old Palace gains greatly by the singularity of this
location and also leaves space for the great Fountain of Neptune and
the equestrian statue of Cosmo the First.

The name of fortress would be more appropriate than any other, for the
Old Palace; it is a great mass of stone, without columns, without
frontal, without order of architecture. Time has gilded the walls with
beautiful vermilion tints which the pure blue of the sky sets off
marvelously, and the whole structure has that haughty and romantic
aspect which accords well with the idea that one forms for oneself of
that old Palace of the Seigneurie, the witness, since the date of its
erection in the thirteenth century, of so many intrigues, tumults,
violent acts, and crimes. The battlements of the palace, cut square,
show that it was built to that height by the Guelph faction; the
trifurcated battlements of the belfry indicate a sudden change on the
accession to power of the Ghibelline faction.

Guelphs and Ghibellines detested each other so violently that they
exprest their opinions in their garments, in the cut of their hair, in
their arms, in their manner of fortifying themselves. They feared
nothing so much as to be captured by one another, and differed as much
as they possibly could. They had a special salutation after the manner
of the Freemasons and the Companions of Duty. The opinions of the
ancient owners of the Old Palace at Florence can be recognized by this
characteristic; the walls of the city are crenelated squarely in the
Guelph fashion, and the tower on the ramparts has the Ghibelline
battlements of swallow-tail shape.

The Vecchio Palace has for its basement several steps which were used in
former times as a species of tribune, from the top of which the
magistrates and demagogs harangued the people. Two colossal statues of
marble--Hercules slaying Cacus, by Bandinelli, and David the Conqueror
of Goliath, by Michael Angelo--mount near the door their age-long watch,
like two gigantic sentinels whom someone has forgotten to relieve. The
statue of David by Michael Angelo besides the inconvenience there is in
representing under a gigantic form a Biblical hero of notoriously small
size, seemed to us a trifle common and heavy, a rare defect with this
master; his David is a great big boy, fleshy, broad-backed, with
monstrous biceps, a market porter waiting to put a sack upon his back.
The working of the marble is remarkable and, after all, is a fine piece
of study which would do honor to any other sculptor except Michael
Angelo; but there is lacking that Olympian mastership which
characterizes the works of that superhuman sculptor.

One of the most curious features of the Old Palace is the grand salon, a
hall of enormous dimensions, which has its legend. When the Medici were
driven from Florence, in 1494, Fra Girolamo Savonarola, who directed the
popular movement, proposed the idea of constructing an immense hall
where a council of a thousand citizens would elect the magistrates and
regulate the affairs of the republic. The architect Cronaca had charge
of this task and acquitted himself of it with a celerity so marvelous
that Brother Savonarola caused the rumor to spread that angels
descended from heaven to help the masons and continued at night the
interrupted work. The invention of these angels tempering the mortar and
carrying the hod is all done in the legendary style of the Middle Ages
and would furnish a charming subject for a picture to some ingenuous
painter of the school of Overbeck or of Hauser. In this rapid
construction Cronaca displayed, if not all his genius, at least all his
agility. The work has been justly admired and often consulted by

When the Medici returned to power and transferred their residence from
the Palace of the Via Larga, which they had occupied, to the Palace of
the Seigneurie, Cosmo wished to change the Council Hall into an audience
chamber, and charged the presumptuous Bacchio Bandinelli, whose designs
had attracted him, with various alterations of an important character;
but the sculptor had undoubtedly presumed too much on his talent as an
architect, and in spite of the assistance of Giuliano Baccio d'Agnolo,
whom he called to his aid, he worked for ten years without being able to
conquer the difficulties which he had created for himself.

It was Vasari who raised the ceiling several feet, finished the work and
decorated the walls with a succession of frescoes which may still be
seen, and which represent different episodes in the history of
Florence--combats, and captures of cities, the whole being a travesty of
antiquity, an intermingling of allegories. These frescos, painted with
an intrepid and learned mediocrity, display the commonplace tones,
swelling muscles and anatomical tricks in use at that epoch among

We have already called attention to the fact that colossal dimensions
are not at all necessary to produce effect in architecture. The Loggia
de Lanzi, that gem of the Place of the Grand Duke, consists of a portico
composed of four arcades, three on the façade, one in return on the
gallery of the offices. It is a miniature of a monument; but the harmony
of its proportions is so perfect that the eye in contemplating it
experiences a sense of satisfaction. The nearness of the Palace of the
Seigneurie, with its compact mass, admirably sets off the elegant
slenderness of its arches and columns. The Loggia is a species of Museum
in the open air. The "Perseus" of Benvenuto Cellini, the "Judith" of
Donatello, the "Rape of the Sabines" of John of Bologna, are framed in
the arcades. Six antique statues--the cardinal and monastic virtues--by
Jacques, called Pietro, a Madonna by Orgagna adorn the interior wall.
Two lions, one antique, the other modern, by Vacca, almost as good as
the Greek lions of the arsenal at Venice, complete the decoration.

The Perseus may be regarded as the masterpiece of Benvenuto Cellini, an
artist so highly spoken of in France, without scarcely anything being
known about him. This statue, a little affected in its pose, like all
the works of the Florentine school, has a juvenile grace which is very



Only two considerable rivers flow from the Apennines westward into the
Mediterranean. The Tiber makes Rome; the Arno makes Florence. In
prehistoric and early historic times, the mountainous region which forms
the basin of these two rivers was occupied by a gifted military race,
the Etruscans, who possest a singular assimilative power for Oriental
and Hellenic culture. Intellectually and artistically, they were the
pick of Italy. Their blood still runs in the veins of the people of
Tuscany. Almost every great thing done in the Peninsula, in ancient or
modern times, has been done by Etruscan hands or brains. The poets and
painters, in particular, with few exceptions, have been, in the wide
ethnical sense, Tuscans.

The towns of ancient Etruria were hill-top strongholds. Florence was not
one of these; even its neighbor, Fiesole (Faesulue), did not rank among
the twelve great cities of the Etruscan league. But with the Roman
conquest and the Roman peace, the towns began to descend from their
mountain peaks into the river valleys; roads grew important, through
internal trade; and bridges over rivers assumed a fresh commercial
value. Florence (Florentia), probably founded under Sulla as a Roman
municipium, upon a Roman road, guarded the bridge across the Arno, and
gradually absorbed the population of Fiesole. Under the later empire,
it was the official residence of the "Corrector" of Tuscany and Umbria.
During the Middle Ages, it became, for all practical purposes, the
intellectual and artistic capital of Tuscany, inheriting in full the
remarkable mental and esthetic excellences of the Etruscan race.

The valley of the Arno is rich and fertile, bordered by cultivable
hills, which produce the famous Chianti wine. It was thus predestined by
nature as the seat of the second city on the west slope of Italy.
Florence, however, was not always that city. The seaport of Pisa (now
silted up and superseded by Leghorn) first rose into importance; possest
a powerful fleet; made foreign conquests; and erected the magnificent
group of buildings just outside the town which still form its chief
claim upon the attention of tourists. But Florence with its bridge
commanded the inland trade, and the road to Rome from Germany. After the
destruction of Fiesole in 1125, it grew rapidly in importance; and, Pisa
having sustained severe defeats from Genoa, the inland town soon rose to
supremacy in the Arno basin. Nominally subject to the Emperor, it became
practically an independent republic, much agitated by internal quarrels,
but capable of holding its own against neighboring cities. Its chief
buildings are thus an age or two later than those of Pisa; it did not
begin to produce splendid churches and palaces, in emulation of those of
Pisa and Siena, till about the close of the 13th century. To the same
period belongs the rise of its literature under Dante, and its painting
under Giotto. This epoch of rapid commercial, military, and artistic
development forms the main glory of early Florence.

The 14th century is chiefly interesting at Florence as the period of
Giottesque art, finding its final crown in Fra Angelico. With the
beginning of the 15th, we get the dawn of the Renaissance--the age when
art set out once more to recover the lost perfection of antique
workmanship. In literature, this movement took the form of humanism; in
architecture and sculpture, it exhibited itself in the persons of
Alberti, Ghiberti, Della Robbia, and Donatello; in painting, it showed
itself in Lippi, Botticelli, Ghirlandajo, and Verrocchio....

We start, then, with the fact that up to nearly the close of the 13th
century (1278), Florence was a comparatively small and uninteresting
town, without any buildings of importance, save the relatively
insignificant Baptistery; without any great cathedral, like Pisa and
Siena; without any splendid artistic achievement of any kind. It
consisted at that period of a labyrinth of narrow streets, enclosing
huddled houses and tall towers of the nobles, like the two to be seen to
this day at Bologna. In general aspect, it could not greatly have
differed from Albenga or San Gimignano in our own time. But commerce was
active; wealth was increasing; and the population was seething with the
intellectual and artistic spirit of its Etruscan ancestry. During the
lifetime of Dante, the town began to transform itself and to prepare for
becoming the glorious Florence of the Renaissance artists. It then set
about building two immense and beautiful churches--Santa Croce and
Santa Maria Novella--while, shortly after, it grew to be ashamed of its
tiny San Giovanni (the existing Baptistery), and girded itself up to
raise a superb cathedral, which should cast into the shade both the one
long since finished at maritime Pisa and the one then still rising to
completion on the height of Siena.

Florence at that time extended no further than the area known as Old
Florence, which means from the Ponte Vecchio to the Cathedral in one
direction, and from the Ponte alla Carraja to the Grazie in the other.
Outside the wall lay a belt of fields and gardens, in which one or two
monasteries had already sprung up. But Italy at that moment was filled
with religious enthusiasm by the advent of the Friars both great orders
of whom, the Franciscans and the Dominicans, had already established
themselves in the rising commercial city of Florence. Both orders had
acquired sites for monastic buildings in the space outside the walls and
soon began to erect enormous churches. The Dominicans came first, with
Santa Maria Novella, the commencement of which dates from 1278; the
Franciscans were a little later in the field, with Santa Croce, the
first stone not being placed till 1294.



Desirous of seeing the beginnings of this Renaissance we go from the
Palazzo-Vecchio to the Duomo. Both form the double heart of Florence,
such as it beat in the Middle Ages, the former for politics, and the
latter for religion, and the two so well united that they formed but
one. Nothing can be nobler than the public edict passed in 1294 for the
construction of the national cathedral.

"Whereas, it being of sovereign prudence on the part of a people of high
origin to proceed in its affairs in such a manner that the wisdom no
less than the magnanimity of its proceedings can be recognized in its
outward works, it is ordered that Arnolfo, master architect of our
commune, prepare models or designs for the restoration of Santa Maria
Reparata, with the most exalted and most prodigal magnificence, in order
that the industry and power of men may never create or undertake
anything whatsoever more vast and more beautiful; in accordance with
that which our wisest citizens have declared and counselled in public
session and in secret conclave, to wit, that no hand be laid upon the
works of the commune without the intent of making them to correspond to
the noble soul which is composed of the souls of all its citizens united
in one will."

Illustration: Courtesy John C. Winston Co.]

Illustration: Courtesy John C. Winston Co.]

Illustration: Courtesy John C. Winston Co.]

Illustration: Courtesy John C. Winston Co.]

Illustration: Courtesy John C. Winston Co.]

Illustration: Courtesy John C. Winston Co.]

Illustration: Courtesy John C. Winston Co.]

Illustration: Courtesy John C. Winston Co.]

Illustration: Courtesy John C. Winston Co.]

Illustration: Courtesy John C. Winston Co.]

Illustration: Courtesy John C. Winston Co.]

Illustration: Courtesy John C. Winston Co.]

In this ample period breathes the grandiose pride and intense patriotism
of the ancient republics. Athens under Pericles, and Rome under the
first Scipio cherished no prouder sentiments. At each step, here as
elsewhere, in texts and in monuments, is found, in Italy, the traces,
the renewal and the spirit of classic antiquity.

Let us, accordingly, look at the celebrated Duomo--but, the difficulty
is to see it. It stands upon flat ground, and, in order that the eye
might embrace its mass it would be necessary to level three hundred
buildings. Herein appears the defect of the great medieval structure;
even to-day, after so many openings, effected by modern demolishers,
most of the cathedrals are visible only on paper. The spectator catches
sight of a fragment, some section of a wall, or the façade; but the
whole escapes him; man's work is no longer proportioned to his organs.
It was not thus in antiquity; temples were small or of mediocre
dimensions, and were almost always erected on an eminence; their general
form and complete profile could be enjoyed from twenty different points
of view.

After the advent of Christianity, men's conceptions transcended their
forces, and the ambition of the spirit no longer took into account the
limitations of the body. The human machine lost its equilibrium. With
forgetfulness of the moderate there was established a love of the odd.
Without either reason or symmetry campaniles or bell-towers were
planted, like isolated posts, in front or alongside of cathedrals; there
is one of these alongside of the Duomo, and this change of human
equipoise must have been potent, since even here, among so many Latin
traditions and classic aptitudes, it declares itself.

In other respects, save the ogive arcades, the monument is not Gothic,
but Byzantine, or, rather, original; it is a creature of a new and mixed
form like the new and mixed civilization of which it is the offspring.
You feel power and invention in it with a touch of quaintness and fancy.
Walls of enormous grandeur are developed or expanded without the few
windows in them happening to impair their massiveness or diminish their
strength. There are no flying buttresses; they are self-sustaining.
Marble panels, alternately yellow and black, cover them with a
glittering marquetry, and curves of arches let into their masses seem to
be the bones of a robust skeleton beneath the skin.

The Latin cross, which the edifice figures, contracts at the top, and
the chancel and transepts bubble out into rotundities and projections,
in petty domes behind the church in order to accompany the grand dome
which ascends above the choir, and which, the work of Brunnelleschi,
newer and yet more antique than that of St. Peter, lifts in the air to
an astonishing height its elongated form, its octagonal sides and its
pointed lantern. But how can the physiognomy of a church be conveyed by
words? It has one nevertheless; all its portions appearing together are
combined in one chord and in one effect. If you examine the plans and
old engravings you will appreciate the bizarre and captivating harmony
of these grand Roman walls overlaid with Oriental fancies; of these
Gothic ogives arranged in Byzantine cupolas; of these light Italian
columns forming a circle above a bordering of Grecian caissons; of this
assemblage of all forms, pointed, swelling, angular, oblong, circular
and octagonal. Greek and Latin antiquity, the Byzantine and Saracenic
Orient, the Germanic and Italian middle-age, the entire past, shattered,
amalgamated and transformed, seems to have been melted over anew in the
human furnace in order to flow out in fresh forms in the hands of the
new genius of Giotto, Arnolfo, Brunnelleschi and Dante.

Here the work is unfinished, and the success is not complete. The façade
has not been constructed; all that we see of it is a great naked,
scarified wall similar to a leper's plaster.[31] There is no light
within. A line of small round bays and a few windows fill the immensity
of the edifice with a gray illumination; it is bare, and the
argillaceous tone in which it is painted depresses the eye with its wan
monotony. A "Pieta" by Michael Angelo and a few statues seem like
spectres; the bas-reliefs are only vague confusion. The architect,
hesitating between medieval and antique taste, fell only upon a lifeless
light, that between a pure light and a colored light.

The more we contemplate architectural works the more do we find them
adapted to express the prevailing spirit of an epoch. Here, on the flank
of the Duomo, stands the Campanile by Giotto, erect, isolated, like St.
Michael's tower at Bordeaux, or the tower of St. Jacques at Paris; the
medieval man, in fact, loves to build high; he aspires to heaven, his
elevations all tapering off into pointed pinnacles; if this one had been
finished a spire of thirty feet would have surmounted the tower, itself
two hundred and fifty feet high. Hitherto the northern architect and the
Italian architect are governed by the same instinct, and gratify the
same penchant; but while the northern artist, frankly Gothic, embroiders
his tower with delicate moldings, and complex flower-work, and a stone
lacework infinitely multiplied and intersected, the southern artist,
half-Latin through his tendencies and his reminiscences, erects a
square, strong and full pile, in which a skilful ornamentation does not
efface the general structure, which is not frail sculptured bijou, but a
solid durable monument, its coating of red, black and white marble
covering it with royal luxuriance, and which, through its healthy and
animated statues, its bas-reliefs framed in medallions, recalls the
friezes and pediments of an antique temple.

In these medallions Giotto has symbolized the principal epochs of human
civilization; the traditions of Greece near those of Judea; Adam,
Tubal-Cain, and Noah, Daedalus, Hercules, and Antaeus, the invention of
plowing, the mastery of the horse, and the discovery of the arts and the
sciences; laic and philosophic sentiment live freely in him side by side
with a theological and religious sentiment. Do we not already see in
this renaissance of the fourteenth century that of the sixteenth? In
order to pass from one to another, it will suffice for the spirit of the
first to become ascendant over the spirit of the second; at the end of a
century we are to see in the adornment of the edifice, in these statues
of Donatello, in their baldness so expressive, in the sentiment of the
real and natural life displayed among the goldsmiths and sculptors,
evidence of the transformation begun under Giotto having been already

Every step we take we encounter some sign of this persistency or
precocity of a Latin and classic spirit. Facing the Duomo is the
baptistery, which at first served as a church, a sort of octagonal
temple surmounted by a cupola, built, doubtless, after the model of the
Pantheon of Rome, and which, according to the testimony of a
contemporary bishop, already in the eighth century projected upward the
pompous rotundities of its imperial forms. Here, then, in the most
barbarous epoch of the Middle Ages, is a prolongation, a renewal, or, at
least, an imitation of Roman architecture. You enter, and find that the
decoration is not all Gothic; a circle of Corinthian columns of precious
marbles with, above these, a circle of smaller columns surmounted by
loftier arcades, and, on the vault, a legion of saints, and angels
peopling the entire space, gathering in four rows around a grand, dull,
meager, melancholy Byzantine Christ. On these three superposed stories
the three gradual distortions of antique art appear; but, distorted or
intact, it is always antique art. A significant feature, this,
throughout the history of Italy; she did not become Germanic. In the
tenth century the degraded Roman still subsisted distinct and intact
side by side with the proud barbarian....

Sculpture, which, once before under Nicholas of Pisa, had anticipated
painting, again anticipated it in the fifteenth century; these very
doors of the baptistery enable one to see with what sudden perfection
and brilliancy. Three men then appeared, Brunelleschi, the architect of
the Duomo, Donatello, who decorated the Campanile with statues, and
Ghiberti, who cast the two gates of the baptistery, all three friends
and rivals, all three having commenced with the goldsmith's art and a
study of the living model, and all three passionately devoted to the
antique; Brunelleschi drawing and measuring Roman monuments, Donatello
at Rome copying statues and bas-reliefs and Ghiberti importing from
Greece torsos, vases and heads which he restored, imitated and



The traveler who, turning his back to the gates of Ghiberti, passes, for
the first time, under the glittering new mosaics and through the main
doors of Santa Maria Del Fiore experiences a sensation. He leaves behind
him the façade, dazzling in its patterns of black and white marble, all
laced with sculpture, he enters to dim, bare vastness--surely, never was
bleaker lining to a splendid exterior. Across a floor that seems
unending, he makes long journeys, from monument to monument; to gigantic
condottieri, riding ghost-like in the semi-darkness against the upper
walls; to Luca's saints and angels in the sacristies; to Donatellos's
Saint John, grand and tranquil in his niche, and to Michelangelo's
group, grand and troubled in its rough-hewn marble.

At length, in the north transept, he comes to a small door, and entering
there, he may, if legs and wind hold out, climb five hundred and fifteen
steps to the top of the mightiest dome in the world, the widest in span,
and the highest from spring to summit. For the first one hundred and
fifty steps or so, there are square turnings, and the stone looks sharp,
and new, and solid; a space vaulted by a domical roof follows, and is
apparently above one of the apsidal domes to the church; then a narrow
spiral staircase leads to where a second door opens upon a very narrow,
balustraded walk that runs around the inner side of the dome.

He is at an altitude of sixty-seven meters, exactly at the spring of the
cupola and the beginning of the Vasari frescoes; the feet are at an
elevation of one meter less than is that of the lower tops of Notre Dame
de Paris, and yet the dome follows away overhead, huge enough, high
enough to contain a second church piled, Pelion-like upon the first.
Before, in the dimness, is the vastest roof-covered void in the world;
it is terrific, and if the visitor is susceptible, his knees shake, and
his diaphragm seems to sink to meet them.

The impression is tremendous; no wonder that the Tuscans felt
Brunelleschi to be the central figure of the Renaissance. Again and
again, whether in the gallery or between the walls of the dome, the
thought comes; men built this, and one man dared it and planned it. Not
even the Pyramids impress more strongly; for if Brunelleschi built a
lesser pyramid, he hollowed his and hung it in the air.

On the other side of the space, a small black spot becomes a door when
the traveler has giddily circled half the dome; it opens upon another
staircase, up which he climbs between the two skins of the cupola, or
rather between two of the three, like a parasite upon a monster.
Sometimes the place suggests a ship, with the oculi as gunports,
piercing to the outer day, or else, his mind fresh from that red inferno
of Vasari's frescoes, the traveler is tunneling up through a volcanic
crater with a whole Typhonic Enceladus buried below.

To right and left, the smooth, cemented surface curves away and upward,
brick buttresses appear constantly, but always with the courses of brick
laid slanting to the earth's level, and perpendicular to the thrust of
the dome. Every possible effect of light and obscurity makes the strange
vistas yet more weird, and, now and then, there is a feeling of standing
upon the vast, rounding slope of some planet that shines at one's feet,
then gradually falls away into the surrounding blackness.

The famous "oaken chain" of Vasari's life of Brunelleschi is there,
bolted together in successive beams. Last of all, a long, straight
staircase, straight because without turn to right or left, curves upward
like an unradiant, bowed Valhalla-bridge to a great burst of daylight,
and the climber is upon the top of the dome.

He is as completely cut off from the immediately surrounding earth as
upon a cloud girdled mountain, for the dome swells so vastly below that
the piazza can not be seen about transept or choir, and not one of the
apsidal domes shows a tile of its covering, while the nave, that huge
and tremendous nave of Santa Maria, looks but a narrow, and a distant
roof. At one's back, the marble of the lantern is handsome and creamy in
color, but battered and broken; its interior is curious--a narrow funnel
of marble, little wider than a man's body, set with irons on either
side, is the only ladder, so that the climb up is a close squeeze. There
is a familiar something gone from the surroundings, and that something
is soon remembered to be Dante's baptistery, which does not exist from
Brunelleschi's dome, being blotted out by the façade of Santa Maria. One
hundred feet below, showing its upper and richer portion gloriously from
this novel point of view, is what from the piazza is the soaring bell
tower, the Campanile of Giotto.



Arnolfo, sometimes called di Cambio and sometimes di Lapi, was the first
of the group of Cathedral builders in Florence. Who Arnolfo was seems to
be scarcely known, tho few architects after him have left greater works
or more evidence of power. His first authentic appearance in history is
among the band of workmen engaged upon the pulpit in the Duomo at Siena,
as pupil or journeyman of Niccolo Pisano, the great reviver of the art
of sculpture--when he becomes visible in company with a certain Lapo,
who is sometimes called his father (as by Vasari) and sometimes his
instructor, but who appears actually to have been nothing more than his
fellow-workman and associate....

The Cathedral, the Palazzo Pubblico, the two great churches of Santa
Croce and Santa Maria Novella, all leaped into being within a few years,
almost simultaneously. The Duomo was founded, as some say, in 1294, the
same year in which Santa Croce was begun, or, according to others, in
1298; and between these two dates, in 1296, the Palace of the Signoria,
the seat of the Commonwealth, the center of all public life, had its
commencement. All these great buildings, Arnolfo designed and began, and
his genius requires no other evidence. The stern strength of the
Palazzo, upright and strong like a knight in mail, and the large and
noble lines of the Cathedral, ample and liberal and majestic in ornate
robes and wealthy ornaments, show how well he knew to vary and adapt his
art to the different requirements of municipal and religious life and to
the necessities of the age.

We are not informed who they were who carried out the design of the
Duomo. Arnolfo only lived to see a portion of this, his greatest work,
completed--"the three principal tribunes which were under the cupola,"
and which Vasari tells us were so solid and strongly built as to be able
to bear the full weight of Brunelleschi's dome, which was much larger
and heavier than the one the original architect had himself designed.
Arnolfo died when he had built his Palazzo in rugged strength, as it
still stands, with walls like living rock and heavy Tuscan cornices--tho
it was reserved to the other masters to put upon it the wonderful crown
of its appropriate tower--and just as the round apse of the cathedral
approached completion; a hard fate for a great builder to leave such
noble work behind him half done, yet the most common of all fates. He
died, so far as there is any certainty in dates, in 1300, during the
brief period of Dante's power in Florence, when the poet was one of the
priors and much engaged in public business; and the same eventful year
concluded the existence of Cimabue, the first of the great school of
Florentine painters--he whose picture was carried home to the church in
which it was to dwell for all the intervening centuries with such pride
and acclamation that the Borgo Allegri is said to have taken its name
from this wonderful rejoicing....

No more notable or distinct figure than Giotto is in all the history of
Florence. He was born a peasant, in the village of Vespignano in the
Mugello, the same district which afterward gave birth to Fra Angelico.
Giotto had at least part of his professional training in the great
cathedral at Assisi built over the bones of St. Francis, was one of
those homely, vigorous souls, "a natural person," like his father, whom
neither the lapse of centuries nor the neighborhood of much greater and
more striking persons about them, can deprive of their naive and genuine
individuality. Burly, homely, characteristic, he carries our attentions
always with him, alike on the silent road, or in the king's palace, or
his own simple shop. Wherever he is, he is always the same, shrewd,
humorous, plain-spoken, seeing through all pretenses, yet never
ill-natured in doing so--a character not very lofty or elevated, and to
which the racy ugliness of a strong, uncultivated race seems
natural--but who under that homely nature carried appreciations and
conceptions of beauty such as few fine minds possess.

Of all the beautiful things with which Giotto adorned his city, not one
speaks so powerfully to the foreign visitor--the forestiere whom he and
his fellows never took into account, tho who occupy so large a space
among the admirers of his genius nowadays--as the lovely Campanile which
stands by the great cathedral like the white royal lily beside the Mary
of the Annunciation, slender and strong and everlasting in its delicate
grace. It is not often that a man takes up a new trade when he is
approaching sixty, or even goes into a new path out of his familiar
routine. But Giotto seems to have turned without a moment's hesitation
from his paints and panels to the less easily-wrought materials of the
builder and sculptor, without either faltering from the great enterprise
or doubting his own power to do it. His frescoes and altarpieces and
crucifixes, the work he had been so long accustomed to, and which he
could execute pleasantly in his own workshop or on the cool new walls of
church or convent, with his trained school of younger artists round to
aid him, were as different as possible from the elaborate calculations
and measurements by which alone the lofty tower, straight, and lightsome
as a lily, could have sprung so high and stood so lightly against that
Italian sky.

Like the poet or the romancist when he turns from the flowery ways of
fiction and invention, where he is unencumbered by any restrictions save
those of artistic keeping and personal will, to the grave and beaten
path of history--the painter must have felt when he too turned from the
freedom and poetry of art to this first scientific undertaking. The
Cathedral was so far finished by this time, its front not scarred and
bare as afterward, but adorned with statues according to old Arnolfo's
plan, who was dead more than thirty years before; but there was no
belfry, no companion peal of peace and sweetness to balance the hoarse
old vacca with its voice of iron.

Giotto seems to have thrown himself into work not only without
reluctance but with enthusiasm. The foundation-stone of the building was
laid in July of that year, with all the greatness of Florence looking
on; and the painter entered upon his work at once, working out the most
poetic effort of his life in marble and stone, among the masons'
chippings and the dust and blaze of the public street. At the same time
he designed, tho it does not seem sure whether he lived long enough to
execute, a new façade for the Cathedral, replacing Arnolfo's old statues
by something better.

Of the Campanile itself it is difficult to speak in ordinary words. The
enrichments of the surface, which is covered by beautiful groups set in
a graceful framework of marble, with scarcely a flat or unadorned spot
from top to bottom, have been ever since the admiration of artists and
of the world. But we confess, for our own part, that it is the structure
itself that affords us that soft ecstasy of contemplation, sense of a
perfection before which the mind stops short, silenced and filled with
the completeness of beauty unbroken, which Art so seldom gives, tho
Nature often attains it by the simplest means, through the exquisite
perfection of a flower or a stretch of summer sky.

Just as we have looked at a sunset we look at Giotto's tower, poised far
above in the blue air, in all the wonderful dawns and moonlights of
Italy, swift darkness shadowing its white glory at the tinkle of the Ave
Maria, and a golden glow of sunbeams accompanying the mid-day angelus.
Between the solemn antiquity of the old baptistery and the historical
gloom of the great cathedral, it stands like the lily--if not, rather,
like the great angel himself hailing her who was blest among women, and
keeping up that lovely salutation, musical and sweet as its own beauty,
for century after century, day after day. Giotto made not only the
design, but even, Vasari assures us, worked at the groups and
"bassi-relievi" of these "stories in marble, in which are depicted the
beginning of all the arts." ...

Filippo of Ser Brunellescho of the Lapi, which is, according to
Florentine use, his somewhat cumbrous name, or Brunelleschi for short,
as custom permitted him to be called, was the son of a notary, who as
notaries do, hoped and expected his boy to follow in his steps and
succeed to his practise. But, like other sons doomed their fathers' soul
to cross, Filippo took to those "figuretti" in bronze which were so
captivating to the taste of the time, and preferred rather to be a
goldsmith, to hang upon the skirts of art, than to work in the paternal
office. He was, as Vasari insinuates, small, puny, and ugly, but full of
dauntless and daring energy as well as genius. From his gold and silver
work, the "carvings" which old Bartoluccio had been so glad to escape,
and from his "figuretti," the ambitious lad took to architectural
drawing, of which, according to Vasari, he was one of the first
amateurs, making "portraits" of the Cathedral and baptistery, of the
Palazzo Pubblico, and the other chief buildings of the city. He was so
eloquent a talker that a worthy citizen declared of him that he seemed
"a new St. Paul;" and in his thoughts he was continually busy planning
or imagining something skilful and difficult.

The idea of completing the Cathedral by adding to it a cupola worthy of
its magnificent size and proportions seems to have been in the young
man's head before the Signoria or the city took any action in the
matter. Arnolfo's designs are said to have been lost, and all the young
Filippo could do was to study the picture in the Spanish chapel of Santa
Maria Novella, where the cathedral was depicted according to Arnolfo's
intention; and this proof to the usefulness of architectural
backgrounds, no doubt, moved him to those pictures of building which he
was fond of making.

After his failure in the competition with Ghiberti for the baptistery
gates, Filippo went to Rome, accompanied by Donato. Here the two friends
lived and studied together for some time, one giving himself to
sculpture, the other to architecture. Brunelleschi, according to Vasari,
made this a period of very severe study. He examined all the remains of
ancient buildings with the keenest care; studying the foundations and
the strength of the walls, and the way in which such a prodigious load
as the great dome, which already he saw in his mind's eye, could best be

So profound were his researches that he was called the treasure-hunter
by those who saw him coming and going through the streets of Rome, a
title so far justified that he is said in one instance to have actually
found an ancient earthenware jar full of old coins. While engaged in
these studies, his money failing him, he worked for a jeweller according
to the robust practise of the time, and after making ornaments and
setting gems all day, set to work on his buildings, round and square,
octagons, basilicas, arches, colosseums, and amphitheaters, perfecting
himself in the principles of his art.

In 1407 he returned to Florence, and then there began a series of
negotiations between the artist and the city, to which there seemed at
first as if no end could come. They met, and met again, assemblies of
architects, of city authorities, of competitors less hopeful and less
eager than himself. His whole heart, it is evident, was set upon the
business. Hearing Donatello at one of these assemblies mention the
cathedral at Orvieto, which he had visited on his way from Rome,
Filippo, having his mantle and his hood on, without saying a word to
anyone, set straight off from the Piazza on foot, and got as far as
Cortona, from whence he returned with various pen-and-ink drawings
before Donato or any one else had found out that he was away.

Thus the small, keen, determined, ugly artist, swift and sudden as
lightning, struck through all the hesitations, the consultations, the
maunderings, the doubts, and the delays of the two authorities who had
the matter in hand, the Signoria and the Operai, as who should say the
working committee, and who made a hundred difficulties and shook their
wise heads, and considered one foolish and futile plan after another
with true burgher hesitation and wariness.

At last, in 1420, an assembly of competitors was held in Florence, and a
great many plans put forth, one of which was to support the proposed
vault by a great central pillar, while another advised that the space to
be covered should be filled with soil mixed with money, upon which the
dome might be built, and which the people would gladly remove without
expense afterward for the sake of the farthings! An expedient most droll
in its simplicity. Brunelleschi, impatient of so much folly, went off to
Rome, it is said, in the middle of these discussions, disgusted by the
absurd ignorance which was thus put in competition with his careful
study and long labor. Finally the appointment was conceded to him.

The greatest difficulty with which he had to contend was a strike of his
workmen, of whom, however, there being no trades' unions in those days,
the imperious master made short work. And thus, day by day, the great
dome swelled out over the shining marble walls and rose against the
beautiful Italian sky. Nothing like it had been seen before by living
eyes. The solemn grandeur of the Pantheon at Rome was indeed known to
many, and San Giovanni[34] was in some sort an imitation of that; but
the immense structure of the cupola, so justly poised, springing with
such majestic grace from the familiar walls to which it gave new
dignity, flattered the pride of the Florentines as something unique,
besides delighting the eyes and imagination of so beauty-loving a race.

With that veiled and subtle pride which takes the shape of pious fear,
some even pretended to tremble, lest it should be supposed to be too
near an emulation of the blue vault above, and that Florence was
competing with heaven; others, with the delightful magniloquence of the
time, declared that the hills around the city were scarcely higher than
the beautiful Duomo; and Vasari himself has a doubt that the heavens
were envious, so persistent were the storms amid which the cupola arose.

Yet there it stands to this day, firm and splendid, uninjured by
celestial envy, more harmonious than St. Peter's, the crown of the
beautiful city. Its measurements and size and the secrets of its
formation we do not pretend to set forth; the reader will find them in
every guide-book. But the keen, impetuous, rapid figure of the
architect, impatient, and justly impatient, of all rivalry, the murmurs
and comments of the workmen; the troubled minds of the city authorities,
not knowing how to hold their ground between that gnome of majestic
genius who had fathomed all the secrets of construction and built a
hundred Duomos in his mind, while they were pottering over the
preliminaries of one; have all the interest of life for us.

Through the calm fields of art he goes like a whirlwind, keen, certain,
unfailing in his aim, unsparing in means, carried forward by such an
impulse of will and self-confidence that nothing can withstand him. Sure
of his own powers, as he was when he carved in secret the crucifix which
was to cover poor Donatello with confusion, he saw before him, over his
carvings, as he worked for the Roman goldsmith, the floating vision of
the great dome he was to build--and so built it, all opposition
notwithstanding, clearing out of his way with the almost contemptuous
impatience of that knowledge which has no doubt of itself, the competing



The Baptistery is the most ancient building in Florence. If not of pagan
origin it dates from the earliest ages of Christianity. It was coated
with marble of different colors by Arnolfo di Cambio in 1293, while in
the sixteenth century Agnolo Gaddi designed the lantern; but long before
Arnolfo's time it had been employed as a Christian place of worship,
being used as a cathedral up to 1128, when it was converted into a

This building contains three gates, which have no parallel in the world.
The oldest is that on the southern side, upon which Pisano spent
twenty-two years of his life, a most beautiful work representing, in
twenty compartments, the life of St. John the Baptist. The frieze which
runs round it was commenced nearly a century afterward by Ghiberti, and
Pollaiuolo had much to do with its completion.

The northern gates are by Ghiberti, and, like those of Pisano, are
divided into twenty compartments, the subject being the life of Christ.
The bronze door-posts are delicately carved with flowers, fruit, and
animals. These gates were first placed on the eastern side, but in 1452
were removed to make room for Ghiberti's still finer work.

On the third façade, that which faces the Duomo, is the Porta del
Paradiso, so named by Michael Angelo, who declared that this gate was
worthy to be the entrance into Paradise. Ghiberti divided each panel
into five parts, taking the following as his subjects, after suggestions
made by Leonardo Bruni Aretino: (1) Creation of Adam and Eve; (2) Cain
and Abel; (3) Noah; (4) Abraham and Isaac; (5) Jacob and Esau; (6)
Joseph in Egypt; (7) Moses on Mount Sinai; (8) The Capture of Jericho;
(9) David Slaying Goliath; (10) The Queen of Sheba and Soloman.

The frieze contains statuettes of the prophets and prophetesses and
portrait-busts of men and women still alive, including Ghiberti himself,
and his father; while the frame-posts, with their masses of vegetation
and flora wrought in bronze, are admirable for their truth to nature.
Bronze groups representing the "Decapitation of St. John the Baptist,"
by Danti, and the "Baptism of our Lord," by Andrea Sansovino, surmount
two of the gates, which were at one time heavily gilded, tho few traces
of this are now visible.

The Baptistery, empty as it appears to the eye upon first entering it,
is replete with beautiful monuments, a description of which would fill a
good-sized volume. It is built, as I have already said, upon an
octagonal plan. The altar, which formerly stood beneath the cupola, has
been removed. On the 24th of June every year the magnificent retablo in
massive silver, which is preserved among the treasures in the Opera del
Duomo, is displayed in the Baptistery. The silver alone weighs 325
pounds, including two center-pieces, two side-pieces, and a silver
crucifix with two statuettes seven feet high, and weighing 141 pounds,
the group being completed by two statues of Peace in engine-turned
silver. Many artists were employed upon the making of it. Finiguerra,
Pollaiuolo, Cione, Michelozzi, Verrocchio, and Cennini made the lower
parts and the bas-reliefs of the front, while the cross, executed in
1456, is by Betto di Francesco, and the base of it by Milano di Domenico
dei and Antonio Pollaiuolo.

The interior of the cupola of San Giovanni is ornamented with some of
the oldest specimens of mosaic decoration in Florence, these Byzantine
artists being the first, after Murano and Altino, to exercise their
craft in Italy, and being succeeded by Jacopo da Turita, Andrea Tafi,
and Gaddo Gaddi.

The handsome tomb of Baldassare Cossa (Pope John XXIII., deposed at the
time of the Council of Constance), was reared in the Baptistery by
Donatello. The Holy of Holies is relatively modern, having been erected
at the expense of the Guild of the "Calimala," as the men who gave the
finishing touch to the woolen stuffs manufactured abroad were called.
The baptismal font, in a building specially used for christening, would,
as a matter of course, be intrusted to artists of great repute, and that
at San Giovanni is attributed to Andrea Pisano. Upon each face is
represented one of the baptisms most famous in the history of the
Catholic religion, an inscription beneath explaining each episode; but
this font is, unfortunately, so much in the background that it escapes
the notice of many visitors.

Donatello carved the wooden statue of the Magdalen which occupies one of
the niches, the thin emaciated face being typical of the artist's
partiality for reproducing in their smallest details the physical
defects of his subject. The exterior aspect of the Baptistery does not
give one the idea of a building restored in the thirteenth, but rather
in the fifteenth century.



Until the close of 1080 the Ponte Vecchio was built of wood, the heavy
masses of timber, tho offering no steady resistance to the stream,
dividing the muddy course of the waters into a thousand small currents,
and breaking its force. But in 1177 occurred one of those inundations
which were so frequent that traces of them may still be seen on the
walls of the quays. These inundations were one of the curses of
Florence, and tho the evil has been, to a certain extent, cured by the
construction of massive quays, they still occur in the direction of the
Cascine. An attempt was accordingly made in the twelfth century to
obviate this inconvenience by the construction of a stone bridge. This,
in turn, was carried away in 1333, and Taddeo Gaddi, who had already
made a name for himself by his architectural skill, was employed to
build a bridge capable of resisting the highest floods. The present
bridge was therefore erected in 1345, being 330 feet long by 44 wide.

With the double object of obtaining an income for the city and of
introducing a novel feature, shops were built on the two pathways, which
were 16 feet wide, and these were let to the butchers of Florence, thus
realizing the Eastern plan of concentrating the meat trade of a town in
one place. This arrangement lasted from 1422 until 1593, but in the
latter year, under Cosimo I., the "Capitani di Parte," who had the
supervision of the streets and highways, ordered that all the goldsmiths
and jewelers should take the place of the butchers, and in a few months,
the Ponte Vecchio became the wealthiest and most crowded thoroughfare of
Florence. In order to avoid shutting out a view of the stream and
interfering with the perspective, an open space had been reserved in the
center, and when the Palazzo Vecchio and the Uffizi were connected with
the Pitti Palace by means of the large covered way carried over the
bridge, this space was left intact so as to afford a view of the
eminence of San Miniato upon one side, of the windings of the stream on
the other, and of the Cascine shrubberies and the mountains upon the



Built by Arnolfo, then fifty-four years of age, by order of the Friars
of St. Francis, this venerable temple was raised upon the piazza called
Santa Croce, where formerly stood a small church belonging to the order
of the Franciscan monks. They had resolved to embellish and enlarge
their church, and Cardinal Matteo D'Acquasparta, general of the
Franciscan Order, proclaimed an indulgence to all contributors toward
the undertaking. The church was far enough advanced in 1320 for services
to be held in it, tho the façade was then, as until a very recent period
it remained, a plain brick wall, without facing or any other ornament.
Santa Croce was not singular in this respect, for San Lorenzo and many
other Florentine churches have never been decorated externally.

In 1442 Cardinal Bessarion, the founder of St. Mark's Library at Venice,
was delegated to perform the ceremony of consecration. Donatello and
Ghiberti, incomplete as was the façade, executed some statues and a
stained-glass window for it, but it is only within the last few years
that the city of Florence completed the work, leaving untouched the
grand piazza which had been the scene of so many fêtes and intestine
quarrels, and upon which is now erected a statue to Dante. The façade of
Santa Croce was completed in 1863. The expense was principally borne by
Mr. Francis Sloane, an Englishman.

The interior is striking from its vast size, the church being built in
the shape of a Latin cross with nave, aisles, and transepts, each of the
seven pointed arches being supported on the octagonal column. Opposite
the front entrance is the high altar, while all around the walls and
between the side altars--erected in 1557 by Vasari by order of Cosimo
I.--are the monuments of the illustrious dead. First of all on the left
there is Domenico Sestini, a celebrated numismatist, whose bust was
carved by Pozzetti. While in the first chapel on the right is the tomb
of Michael Angelo, who died at Rome on the 17th of February, 1564; the
monument was designed by Vasari, the bust was executed by Battista
Lorenzo. Two contemporary sculptors, Valerio Cioli and Giovanni
Dell'Opera, did the allegories of Sculpture and Architecture, the
frescoes around the monument being by Battista Naldini. A nobler tomb
might well have been raised to the memory of Michael Angelo. The body
was deposited in the church on the 12th of March, 1564, and lay in
state, for the people of Florence to come and pay him the last tribute
of respect.

The next tomb is only commemorative, for it does not contain the ashes
of Dante, in whose honor it was erected in 1829 by Ricci, as a tardy
homage on the part of Florence to one who suffered so much for her sake
in life.[38]

After Dante comes Victor Alfieri, whose name has been borne with
distinction by his descendants. This monument was erected by Canova in
1807. Compared with the monuments of the fifteenth century and of the
Renaissance, which are to be seen in such splendid profusion in
Florence, these tombs seem so inferior that it is impossible not to
wonder how the decadence was brought about. It is not at Florence alone
that this feeling manifests itself; for at Venice, in the splendid
temple of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, beside the tombs of doges and
condottieri of the fifteenth century there stands that wretched monument
upon which the great name of Titian has been traced. This is evidently
the result of an inevitable law to which humanity is subject. Genius
comes into the world, grows, spreads, and covers the earth with its
shadow; then slowly the sap runs back from the verdant trunk, the tree
yields less luscious fruit and flowers not so fair, until at last the
branches wither and the tree dies.

Close beside Alfieri is buried Machiavelli, his tomb, like so many of
the others, being of modern erection, and consequently less beautiful
than if it had been the work of a sculptor who had studied in the school
of Ghiberti or Donatello. By the side of Machiavelli rests Luigi Lanzi,
a name less generally known, tho celebrated in his time as an
historiographer of painting, or an art critic as we should now call him.
His friend, Chevalier Ornofrio Boni, prepared the design for his tomb,
which was executed at public cost. The pulpit--a fine specimen of
fifteenth-century sculpture, carved by Benedetto da Maiano at the cost
of Pietro Mellini, who presented it to the church--is well worth close
inspection; and close by, between the tombs of Lanzi and Leonardo
Bruni, is a group in freestone, representing the Annunciation. This was
one of the first of Donatello's works, and gave an earnest of his future

The tomb of Leonardo Bruni Aretino is one of the five or six greatest
works of this nature which ever left the sculptor's hands; it has been
used as a model by the sculptors of all the tombs in Santa Maria del
Popolo at Rome. The monument to Leonardo Bruni is the highest expression
of sculptural art, combining all the taste of ancient Greece with the
grace, the power, the calm, the supreme harmony, and the perfection
which genius alone confers, its tranquil and subdued beauty comparing
favorably with the theatrical effect and garish splendor of the
monuments in St. John Lateran and St. Peter's at Rome. The superb
mausoleums of Leopardi and of the Lombardi at Venice are, perhaps,
equally beautiful; but I am inclined to give the preference to the work
of Bernardo Rossellini. He became acquainted with Leonardo Bruni at the
Papal Court, where he, as well as Leo Battista Alberti, was a director
of the pontifical works. The Madonna let into the upper part of the
monument is by Andrea Verocchio....

In visiting Santa Croce it is impossible not to feel how erroneous are
the views often held as to the exact place which will be allotted in the
roll of history to the men of the day. Many of the names in this
Pantheon are almost unknown, the tomb next to that of Galileo containing
the dust of Mulazzi-Signorini, who has never been heard of out of Italy.
Another unavoidable reflection is that the talent of the sculptor is
rarely in proportion to that of the man whose memory he is about to
perpetuate. Machiavelli was commemorated by two obscure sculptors like
Foggini and Ticcati, and Michael Angelo by Battista Lorenzi. What has
the world not lost by the refusal of Michael Angelo's offer to erect a
tomb to Dante when the city of Florence was about to ask Ravenna to
restore his remains to her!

The convent annexed to Santa Croce was also built by Arnolfo. It was
originally occupied by the Franciscan monks, and it was here that, from
1284 to 1782, the Inquisition held its sittings. The notorious
Frenchman, Gaulthier de Brienne, Duke of Athens, who for a brief period
ruled Florence as Captain of the People, selected this monastery as his
residence in June, 1342, but having in September of the same year
succeeded in getting himself elected ruler of Florence for life, he
removed to the Palazzo Vecchio. His reign, however, was of only brief
duration, for the year following he was expelled by the people.



What can be said of a gallery containing thirteen hundred pictures? For
my own part I abstain. Examine catalogs and collections of engravings,
or rather come here yourself. The impressions borne away from these
grand store-houses are too diverse and too numerous to be transmitted
by the pen. Observe this, that the Uffizi is a universal depot, a sort
of Louvre containing paintings of all times and schools, bronzes,
statues, sculptures, antique and modern terracottas, cabinets of gems,
an Etruscan museum, artists' portraits painted by themselves,
twenty-eight thousand original drawings, four thousand cameos and
ivories and eighty thousand medals. One resorts to it as to a library;
it is an abridgment and a specimen of everything....

We ascend the great marble staircase, pass the famous antique boar and
enter the long horseshoe corridor filled with busts and tapestried with
paintings. Visitors, about ten o'clock in the morning, are few; the mute
custodians remain in their corners; you seem to be really at home. It
all belongs to you, and what convenient possessions! Keepers and
majordomos are here to keep things in order, well dusted and intact; it
is not even necessary to give orders; matters go on of themselves
without jar or confusion, nobody giving himself the slightest concern;
it is an ideal world such as it ought to be. The light is excellent;
bright gleams from the windows fall on some distant white statues on the
rosy torso of a woman which comes out living from the shadowy obscurity.
Beyond, as far as the eye can see, marble gods and emperors extend away
in files up to the windows through which flickers the light ripple of
the Arno with the silvery swell on its crests and eddies.

You enter into the freedom and sweet repose of abstract life; the will
relaxes, the inner tumult subsides; one feels himself becoming a monk,
a modern monk. Here, as formerly in the cloisters, the tender inward
spirit, chafed by the necessities of action, insensibly revives in order
to commune with beings emancipated from life's obligations. It is so
sweet no longer to be! Not to be is so natural! And how peaceful the
realm of human forms withdrawn from human conflict! The pure thought
which follows them is so conscious that its illusion is transient; it
participates in their incorporeal serenity, and reverie, lingering in
turn over their voluptuousness and violence, brings back to it plenitude
without satiety.

On the left of the corridors open the cabinets of precious things--the
Niobe hall, that of portraits, that of modern bronzes, each with its
special group of treasures. You feel that you have a right to enter,
that great men are awaiting you. A selection is made among them; you
reenter the Tribune; five antique statues form a circle here--a slave
sharpening his knife; two interlocked wrestlers whose muscles are
strained and expanded; a charming Apollo of sixteen years whose compact
form has all the suppleness of the freshest adolescence; an admirable
Faun instinct with the animality of his species, unconsciously joyous
and dancing with all his might; and finally, the "Venus de Medici," a
slender young girl with a small delicate head, not a goddess like her
sister of Milo, but a perfect mortal and the work of some Praxiteles
fond of "hetairae," at ease in a nude state and free from that somewhat
mawkish delicacy and bashful coquetry which its copies, and the restored
arms with their thin fingers by Bernini, seem to impose on her.

She is, perhaps, a copy of that Venus of Cnidus of which Lucian relates
an interesting story; you imagine while looking at her, the youths'
kisses prest on the marble lips, and the exclamations of Charicles who,
on seeing it, declared Mars to be the most fortunate of gods. Around the
statues, on the eight sides of the wall, hang the masterpieces of the
leading painters. There is the "Madonna of the Goldfinch" by Raphael,
pure and candid, like an angel whose soul is a bud not yet in bloom; his
"St. John," nude, a fine youthful form of fourteen, healthy and
vigorous, in which the purest paganism lives over again; and especially
a superb head of a crowned female, radiant as a summer noonday, with
fixt and earnest gaze, her complexion of that powerful southern
carnation which the emotions do not change, where the blood does not
pulsate convulsively and to which passion only adds a warmer glow, a
sort of Roman muse in whom will still prevails over intellect, and whose
vivacious energy reveals itself in repose as well as in action.

In one corner a tall cavalier by Van Dyck, in black and with a broad
frill, seems as grandly and gloriously proud in character as in
proportions, primarily through a well-fed body and next through the
undisputed possession of authority and command. Three steps more and we
come to the "Flight into Egypt," by Correggio, the Virgin with a
charming spirited face wholly suffused with inward light in which the
purity, archness, gentleness and wildness of a young girl combine to
shed the tenderest grace and impart the most fascinating allurements.
Alongside of this a "Sibyl" by Guercino, with her carefully adjusted
coiffure and drapery, is the most spiritual and refined of sentimental

I pass twenty others in order to reserve the last look for Titian's two
Venuses. One, facing the door, reclines on a red velvet mantle, an ample
vigorous torso as powerful as one of Rubens' Bacchantes, but firmer--an
energetic and vulgar figure, a simple, strong unintellectual courtezan.
She lies extended on her back, caressing a little cupid naked like
herself, with the vacant seriousness and passivity of soul of an animal
in repose and expectant. The other, called "Venus with the Dog," is a
patrician's mistress, couched, adorned and ready. We recognize a palace
of the day, the alcove fitted up and colors tastefully and magnificently
contrasted for the pleasure of the eye; in the background are servants
arranging clothes; through a window a section of blue landscape is
visible; the master is about to arrive.

Nowadays we devour pleasure secretly like stolen fruit; then it was
served up on golden salvers and people sat down to it at a table. It is
because pleasure was not vile or bestial. This woman holding a bouquet
in her hand in this grand columnar saloon has not the vapid smile or the
wanton and malicious air of an adventuress about to commit a bad action.
The calm of evening enters the palace through noble architectural
openings. Under the pale green of the curtains lies the figure on a
white sheet, slightly flushed with the regular pulsation of life, and
developing the harmony of her undulating forms. The head is small and
placid; the soul does not rise above the corporal instincts; hence she
can resign herself to them without shame, while the poesy of art,
luxury and security on all sides comes to decorate and embellish them.
She is a courtezan but also a lady; in those days the former did not
efface the latter; one was as much a title as the other and, probably,
in demeanor, affection and intellect one was as good as the other. The
celebrated Imperia had her tomb in the church of San Gregorio, at Rome,
with this inscription: "Imperia, a Roman courtezan worthy of so great a
name, furnished an example to men of perfect beauty, lived twenty-six
years and twelve days, and died in 1511, August 25." ...

On passing from the Italian into the Flemish galleries one is completely
turned around; here are paintings executed for merchants content to
remain quietly at home eating good dinners and speculating over the
profits of their business; moreover in rainy and muddy countries dress
has to be cared for, and by the women more than the men. The mind feels
itself contracted on entering the circle of this well-to-do domestic
life; such is the impression of Corinne when from liberal Italy she
passes to rigid and dreary Scotland. And yet there is a certain picture,
a large landscape by Rembrandt, which equals and surpasses all; a dark
sky bursting with showers among flocks of screaming crows; beneath, is
an infinite stretch of country as desolate as a cemetery; on the right a
mass of barren rocks of so mournful and lugubrious a tint as to attain
to the sublime in effect. So is it with an andante of Beethoven after an
Italian Opera.



There is a great deal of prattle about Italian skies; the skies and
clouds of Italy, so far as I have had an opportunity of judging, do not
present so great a variety of beautiful appearances as our own; but the
Italian atmosphere is far more uniformly fine than ours. Not to speak of
its astonishing clearness, it is pervaded by a certain warmth of color
which enriches every object. This is more remarkable about the time of
sunset, when the mountains put on an aerial aspect, as if they belonged
to another and fairer world; and a little after the sun has gone down,
the air is flushed with a glory which seems to transfigure all that it

Many of the fine old palaces of Florence, you know, are built in a
gloomy tho grand style of architecture, of a dark-colored stone, massive
and lofty, and overlooking narrow streets that lie in almost perpetual
shade. But at the hour of which I am speaking, the bright warm radiance
reflected from the sky to the earth, fills the darkest lanes, streams
into the most shadowy nooks, and makes the prison-like structures
glitter as with a brightness of their own.

It is now nearly the middle of October, and we have had no frost. The
strong summer heats which prevailed when I came hither, have by the
slowest gradations subsided into an agreeable autumnal temperature. The
trees keep their verdure, but I perceive their foliage growing thinner,
and when I walk in the Cascine on the other side of the Arno, the
rustling of the lizards, as they run among the heaps of crisp leaves,
reminds me that autumn is wearing away, tho the ivy which clothes the
old elms has put forth a profuse array of blossoms, and the walks murmur
with bees like our orchards in spring. As I look along the declivities
of the Appenines, I see the raw earth every day more visible between the
ranks of olive-trees and the well-pruned maples which support the vines.

If I have found my expectations of Italian scenery, in some respects,
below the reality; in other respects, they have been disappointed. The
forms of the mountains are wonderfully picturesque, and their effect is
heightened by the rich atmosphere through which they are seen, and by
the buildings, imposing from their architecture or venerable from time,
which crown the eminences. But if the hand of man has done something to
embellish this region, it has done more to deform it. Not a tree is
suffered to retain its natural shape, not a brook to flow in its natural
channel. An exterminating war is carried on against the natural herbage
of the soil. The country is without woods and green fields; and to him
who views the vale of the Arno "from the top of Fiesole," or any of the
neighboring heights, grand as he will allow the circle of the mountains
to be, and magnificent the edifices with which the region is adorned, it
appears, at any time after mid-summer, a huge valley of dust, planted
with low rows of the pallid and thin-leaved olive, or the more dwarfish
maple on which vines are trained.

The simplicity of nature, so far as can be done, is destroyed; there is
no fine sweep of forest, no broad expanse of meadow or pasture ground,
no ancient and towering trees clustered about the villas, no rows of
natural shrubbery following the course of the brooks and rivers. The
streams, which are often but the beds of torrents dry during the summer,
are confined in straight channels by stone walls and embankments; the
slopes are broken up and disfigured by terraces; and the trees are kept
down by constant pruning and lopping, until half way up the sides of the
Appenines, where the limit of cultivation is reached, and thence to the
summit is a barren steep of rock, without herbage or soil. The grander
features of the landscape, however, are fortunately beyond the power of
man to injure; the lofty mountain-summits, bare precipices cleft with
chasms, and pinnacles of rock piercing the sky, betokening, far more
than any thing I have seen elsewhere, a breaking up of the crust of the
globe in some early period of its existence. I am told that in May and
June the country is much more beautiful than at present, and that owing
to a drought it now appears under disadvantage....

Florence, from being the residence of the Court,[41] and from the vast
number of foreigners who throng to it, presents during several months of
the year an appearance of great bustle and animation. Four thousand
English, an American friend tells me, visit Florence every winter, to
say nothing of the occasional residents from France, Germany, and
Russia. The number of visitors from the latter country is every year
increasing, and the echoes of the Florence gallery have been taught to
repeat the strange accents of the Slavonic. Let me give you the history
of a fine day in October, passed at the window of my lodgings on the
Lung Arno, close to the bridge.

Waked by the jangling of all the bells in Florence and by the noise of
carriages departing loaded with travelers, for Rome and other places in
the south of Italy, I rise, dress myself, and take my place at the
window. I see crowds of men and women from the country, the former in
brown velvet jackets, and the latter in broad-brimmed straw hats,
driving donkeys loaded with panniers or trundling hand-carts before
them, heaped with grapes, figs, and all the fruits of the orchard, the
garden, and the field. They have hardly passed, when large flocks of
sheep and goats make their appearance, attended by shepherds and their
families, driven by the approach of winter from the Appenines, and
seeking the pastures of the Maremma, a rich, but, in the summer, an
unhealthy tract on the coast.

The men and the boys are drest in knee-breeches, the women in bodices,
and both sexes wear capotes with pointed hoods, and felt hats with
conical crowns; they carry long staves in their hands, and their arms
are loaded with kids and lambs too young to keep pace with their
mothers. After the long procession of sheep and goats and dogs and men
and women and children, come horses loaded with cloths and poles for
tents, kitchen utensils, and the rest of the younglings of the flock.

A little after sunrise I see well-fed donkeys, in coverings of red
cloth, driven over the bridge to be milked for invalids. Maid-servants,
bare-headed, with huge high carved combs in their hair, waiters of
coffee-houses carrying the morning cup of coffee or chocolate to their
customers, baker's boys with a dozen loaves on a board balanced on their
heads, milkmen with rush baskets filled with flasks of milk, are
crossing the streets in all directions. A little later the bell of the
small chapel opposite to my window rings furiously for a quarter of an
hour, and then I hear mass chanted in a deep strong nasal tone.

As the day advances, the English, in white hats and white pantaloons,
come out of their lodgings, accompanied sometimes by their hale and
square-built spouses, and saunter stiffly along the Arno, or take their
way to the public galleries and museums. Their massive, clean, and
brightly-polished carriages also begin to rattle through the streets,
setting out on excursions to some part of the environs of Florence--to
Fiesole, to the Pratolino, to the Bello Sguardo, to the Poggio
Imperiale. Sights of a different kind now present themselves. Sometimes
it is a troop of stout Franciscan friars, in sandals and brown robes,
each carrying his staff and wearing a brown broad-brimmed hat with a
hemispherical crown. Sometimes it is a band of young theological
students, in purple cassocks with red collars and cuffs, let out on a
holiday, attended by their clerical instructors, to ramble in the
Cascine. There is a priest coming over the bridge, a man of venerable
age and great reputation for sanctity--the common people crowd around
him to kiss his hand, and obtain a kind word from him as he passes.

But what is that procession of men in black gowns, black gaiters, and
black masks, moving swiftly along, and bearing on their shoulders a
litter covered with black cloth? These are the Brethren of Mercy, who
have assembled at the sound of the cathedral bell, and are conveying
some sick or wounded person to the hospital. As the day begins to
decline, the numbers of carriages in the streets, filled with
gaily-drest people attended by servants in livery, increases. The Grand
Duke's equipage, an elegant carriage drawn by six horses, with coachmen,
footmen, and out-riders in drab-colored livery, comes from the Pitti
Palace, and crosses the Arno, either by the bridge close to my lodgings,
or by that called Alla Santa Trinità, which is in full sight from the
windows. The Florentine nobility, with their families, and the English
residents, now throng to the Cascine, to drive at a slow pace through
its thickly-planted walks of elms, oaks, and ilexes.

As the sun is sinking I perceive the Quay, on the other side of the
Arno, filled with a moving crowd of well-drest people, walking to and
fro, and enjoying the beauty of the evening. Travelers now arrive from
all quarters, in cabriolets, in calashers, in the shabby "vettura," and
in the elegant private carriage drawn by post-horses, and driven by
postillions in the tightest possible deer-skin breeches, the smallest
red coats, and the hugest jack-boots. The streets about the doors of the
hotels resound with the cracking of whips and the stamping of horses,
and are encumbered with carriages, heaps of baggage, porters,
postillions, couriers, and travelers. Night at length arrives--the time
of spectacles and funerals.

The carriages rattle toward the opera-houses. Trains of people,
sometimes in white robes and sometimes in black, carrying blazing
torches and a cross elevated on a high pole before a coffin, pass
through the streets chanting the service for the dead. The Brethren of
Mercy may also be seen engaged in their office. The rapidity of their
pace, the flare of their torches, the gleam of their eyes through their
masks, and their sable garb, give them a kind of supernatural
appearance. I return to bed, and fall asleep amid the shouts of people
returning from the opera, singing as they go snatches of the music with
which they had been entertained during the evening.





To taste in all their fulness his first impressions of Venice, the
traveler should arrive there by sea, at mid-day, when the sun is high.
By degrees, as the ship which carries him enters the channels, he will
see the unparalleled city emerging from the lap of the lagoon, with its
proud campaniles, its golden spires, its gray or silvery domes and
cupolas. Advancing along the narrow channels of navigation, posts and
piles dot here and there with black that sheet of steel, and give
substance to the dream, making solid and tangible the foreground of the
illusive distance.

Just now, all that enchanted world and fairy architecture floated in the
air; little by little all has become distinct; those points of dark
green turn into gardens; that mass of deep red is the line of the
ship-building yards, with their leprous-looking houses and with the
dark-colored stocks on which are erected the skeletons of polaccas and
feluccas in course of construction; the white line showing so bright in
the sun is the Riva dei Schiavoni, all alive with its world of
gondoliers, fruit-sellers, Greek sailors, and Chioggiotes in their
many-colored costumes. The rose-colored palace with the stunted
colonnade is the Ducal Palace. The vessel, on its way to cast anchor off
the Piazzetta, coasts round the white and rose-colored island which
carries Palladio's church of Santa Maria Maggiore, whose firm campanile
stands out against the sky with Grecian clearness and grace. Looking
over the bow, the traveler has facing him the Grand Canal, with the
Custom House where the figure of Fortune veers with the wind above her
golden ball; beyond rise the double domes of the Salute with their great
reversed consoles, forming the most majestic entrance to this watery
avenue bordered by palaces.

He who comes for the first time to Venice by this route realizes a
dream--his only dream perhaps ever destined to be surpassed by the
reality; and if he knows how to enjoy the beauty of nature, if he can
take delight in silver-gray and rose-colored reflections in water, if he
loves light and color, the picturesque life of Italian squares and
streets, the good humor of the people and their gentle speech which
seems like the twittering of birds, let him only allow himself to live
for a little time under the sky of Venice, and he has before him a
season of happiness without alloy.



After leaving Padua the land for several miles is flat sand. No grass or
tree grows here. Lagoons and canals intersect the land. At the right are
marshes bordering the Adriatic. Along the horizon, light smoky clouds
blend imperceptibly with the water. Other clouds, floating overhead, are
reflected in the brown and waveless water. Far across this expanse
glides here and there a small boat, propelled by a man standing erect.
Through dim mists, settled over the bay, we sight flying birds that call
loudly as they increase their flight. Absolutely without motion is this
water. The sole objects that move are boats and birds. The water
shimmers and sparkles wherever the sun, passing in and out of clouds,
lights it up. The shallow bay broadens until our view includes no land.
Everywhere extends a realm of waveless waters, in which fishing stakes
stand erect, and tall plants grow.

How strangely all this differs from the blue Mediterranean we saw a
fortnight ago when riding from Genoa to Leghorn, under that cloudless
sky of blue; in that stirring breeze, and an almost tropical
temperature, tho it was late in December; along that rocky,
tunnel-pierced coast, with deep olive groves bordering the way; the sea
a boundless vision of water moving and resounding against the shore;
whitecaps everywhere visible on its broad expanse. Here on this road to
Venice is complete repose, lifeless, sleepy repose--as of the dead--not
without poetry, but of the Orient and of mystics, rather than of
Provence, or the Ligurian shore and active, stalwart men.

We sight in the distance over the lagoon, the white walls and roof line
of Venice. The railway starts on its long course over one of the noblest
bridges in the world. It is more than two miles long. Some 80,000 piles
were used in its foundations, the superstructure entirely of stone, with
arches of 33 feet span each, and 222 in number. Along the roadway, on
either side is a stone balustrade. At each pier a balcony curves
outward. For four years a thousand men were engaged in building this
viaduct, and the total cost was $10,000,000. Having crossed, we reach an
island; then cross another, but shorter, bridge and pass to another
island. Our train thereafter comes to a stop for we have reached Venice
and enter a magnificent station, built of stone, with high semi-circular
roof, lofty waiting rooms, mosaic floors. We pass out through a spacious
doorway, and directly below, and in front, see the Grand Canal, bordered
on its farther shore by palaces and other noble structures of white
marble. A wide and broad plaza here fronts the water, and a stairway at
its edge leads downward to where are waiting a score of gondolas.

We step into one of these boats, and begin our first gondola ride in
Adriatic waters. It is late afternoon. The western sun lies dying in a
mass of yellow and soft brown clouds. On the high walls of the great
white station its rays fall with startling brightness and cast long
shadows of waiting gondoliers upon the plaza floor. The white palaces
opposite are shrouded in somber hues. A warm mist seems to rise from the
water. All is still as in the mid-Atlantic. When a sound is made, echoes
sharp and clear come from shore to shore.

Our boat glides away from this scene. Adjusting ourselves to its motion,
we roll from side to side in our little house of glass on a downy seat
and could pass the whole night here contentedly. Such rest, such
appalling silence, we never knew before. Those gondoliers do their work
with consummate skill. They have all the ease that comes of practise in
any calling however difficult. The sharp cut of an oar as it enters the
water is for a moment heard, but never a splash. The boat rolls
constantly, but we feel no strain. It moves as if it were a toy swan
drawn by a magnet in a child's hand.

From the Grand Canal we enter a narrow street. Sharp corners are turned
quickly, swift-moving boats are passed, narrow passages entered, and we
glide into deep shadows under bridges, but never a collision, or danger
of one, occurs. The gondolier at crossings cries out his warning. We
hear, but do not see, another who calls aloud in similar tones. The two
voices are heard again, each in an echo. Far away in this watery but
populous solitude, a church bell tolls.

We have had a quarter-hour's ride when the gondola comes to rest before
broad stone steps leading upward to a wide doorway. Here is our hotel,
an ancient palace, rich in marble and granite, with broad corridor, a
noble stairway, and mosaic floors. It is Sunday on St. Mark's Place--a
bright, warm Sunday it has been, such as winter can not give in our own
country. Here, indeed, is a foreign land, its life and spirit more
foreign than Rome. No scene in the wide world can rival this St. Mark's
scene, with the islands across the way in the broad lagoon--a
magnificent piazza, bordered by the façades of splendid palaces, by
statues, columns, and ornate capitals, another piazza near it surrounded
on three sides by noble arcaded structures and on the fourth by the half
Gothic, half Byzantine Church of St. Mark's, the most resplendent
Christian edifice in Europe. In one corner rises the stupendous
Campanile, high above palace roofs, arcades and church domes, its bells
sounding their notes upon an otherwise silent world.



The Grand Canal of Venice is the most wonderful thing in the world. No
other city affords a spectacle so fine, so bizarre, so fairy-like. As
remarkable bits of architecture, perhaps, can be found elsewhere, but
nowhere located under such picturesque conditions.

There each palace has a mirror in which to gaze at its beauty, like a
coquettish woman. The superb reality is doubled by a charming
reflection. The water lovingly caresses the feet of these beautiful
façades, which a white light kisses on the forehead, and cradles them
in a double sky. The small boats and big ships which are able to ascend
it seem to be made fast for the express purpose of serving as set-offs
or ground-plans for the convenience of the decorators....

Each bit of wall narrates a story; every house is a palace; at each
stroke of the oars the gondolier mentions a name which was as well known
in the times of the Crusades as it is to-day; and this continues both to
left and right for a distance of more than half a league. We have made a
list of these palaces, not of all, but the most remarkable, and we do
not dare to transcribe it here on account of its length. It covers five
or six pages: Pierre Lombard, Scamozzi, Sansovino, Sebastiano Mazzoni,
Sammichelli, the great architect of Verona; Selva, Domenico Rossi,
Visentini, have drawn the plans and directed the construction of these
princely dwellings, without reckoning the unknown artists of the Middle
Ages who built the most picturesque and most romantic of them--those
which give Venice its stamp and its originality.

On both banks, façades altogether charming and beautifully diversified
succeed one another without interruption. After an architecture of the
Renaissance with its columns comes a palace of the Middle Ages in Gothic
Arab style, of which the Ducal Palace is the prototype, with its
balconies, lancet windows, trefoils, and acroteria. Further along is a
façade adorned with marble placques of various colors, garnished with
medallions and consoles; then a great rose-colored wall in which is cut
a large window with columnets; all styles are found there--the
Byzantine, the Saracen, the Lombard, the Gothic, the Roman, the Greek,
and even the Rococo; the column and the columnet; the lancet and the
semicircle; the fanciful capital, full of birds and of flowers, brought
from Acre or from Jaffa; the Greek capital found in Athenian ruins; the
mosaic and the bas-relief; the classic severity and elegant fantasy of
the Renaissance. It is an immense gallery open to the sky, where one can
study from the bottom of his gondola the art of seven or eight
centuries. What treasures of genius, talent, and money have been
expended on this space which may be traversed in less than a quarter of
an hour! What tremendous artists, but also what intelligent and
munificent patrons! What a pity that the patricians who knew how to
achieve such beautiful things no longer exist save on the canvases of
Titian, of Tintoretto, and du Moro!

Even before reaching the Rialto, you have, on the left, in ascending the
Canal, the Palace Dario, in Gothic style; the Palace Venier, which
presents itself by an angle, with its ornamentation, its precious
marbles and medallions, in the Lombard style; the Fine Arts, a classic
façade joined to the old Ecole de la Charité and surmounted by a figure
riding upon a lion; the Contarini Palace, in architectural style of
Scamozzi; the Rezzonico Palace with three superimposed orders; the
triple Giustiniani Palace, in the style of the Middle Ages, in which
resides M. Natale Schiavoni, a descendant of the celebrated painter
Schiavoni, who possesses a gallery of pictures and a beautiful daughter,
the living reproduction of a canvas painted by her ancestor; The Foscari
Palace, recognizable by its low door, by its two stories of columnets
supporting lancets and trefoils, where in other days were lodged the
sovereigns who visited Venice, but now abandoned; the Balbi Palace, from
the balcony of which the princes leaned to watch the regattas which took
place upon the Grand Canal with so much pomp and splendor, in the palmy
days of the Republic; the Pisani Palace, in the German style of the
beginning of the fifteenth century; and the Tiepolo Palace, very smart
and relatively modern. On the right, there nestles between two big
buildings, a delicious little palace which is composed of a window and a
balcony; but such a window and balcony! A guipure of stone, of scrolls,
of guillochages, and of open-work, which would seem possible of
execution only with a punching machine upon one of those sheets of paper
which cover baptismal sugar-plums, or are placed upon globes of lamps.
We greatly regretted not having twenty-five thousand francs about us to
buy it, since that was all that was demanded for it....

The Rialto, which is the most beautiful bridge in Venice, with a very
grandiose and monumental air, bestrides the canal by a single span with
a powerful and graceful curve. It was built in 1691, under the Dogeship
of Pasquale Cigogna, by Antonio da Ponte, and replaced the ancient
wooden drawbridge. Two rows of shops, separated in the middle by a
portico in the form of an arcade and permitting a glimpse of the sky,
burden the sides of the bridge, which can be crossed by three paths;
that in the center and the exterior passageways furnished with
balustrades of marble.

Around the Bridge of the Rialto, one of the most picturesque spots of
the Grand Canal, are gathered the oldest houses in Venice, with
platformed roofs, on which poles are planted to hang banners; their long
chimneys, their bulging balconies, their stairways with disjointed
steps, and their plaques of red coating, the fallen flakes of which lay
bare the brick walls and the foundations made green by contact with the
water. There is always near the Rialto a tumult of boats and gondolas
and of stagnant islets of tied-up craft drying their tawny sails, which
are sometimes traversed by a large cross....

Below and beyond the Rialto are grouped on both banks the ancient
Fondaco dei Tedeschi, upon the colored walls of which, in uncertain
tints, may be devined some frescoes of Titian and Tintoretto, like
dreams which come only to vanish; the fish-market, the vegetable market,
and the old and new buildings of Scarpagnino and of Sansovino, almost
fallen in ruins, in which are installed various courts....

On the right rises the Palace della Cà d'Oro, one of the most charming
on the Grand Canal. It belongs to Mademoiselle Taglioni,[45] who has
restored it with most intelligent care. It is all embroidered, fringed,
carved in a Greek, Gothic, barbaric style, so fantastic, so light, so
aerial, that it might be fancied to have been built expressly for the
nest of a sylph. Mlle. Taglioni has pity for these poor, abandoned
palaces. She has several of them en pension, which she maintains out of
pure commiseration for their beauty; we were told of three or four upon
which she has bestowed this charity of repair....

In going to a distance from the heart of the city, life is extinct. Many
windows are closed or barred with boards; but this sadness has its
beauty; it is more perceptible to the soul than to the eyes, regaled
without cessation by the most unforeseen accidents of light and shade,
by buildings so varied that even their dilapidation only renders them
more picturesque, by the perpetual movement of the waters, and that blue
and rose tint which composes the atmosphere of Venice.



Beyond those troops of ordered arches there rises a vision out of the
earth, and all the great square seems to have opened from it in a kind
of awe, that we may see it far away--a multitude of pillars and white
domes, clustered into a long low pyramid of colored 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 mosaic, 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 into an endless
network of buds and plumes; and, in the midst of it, the solemn forms of
angels, sceptered 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.

And round the walls of the porches there are set pillars of variegated
stones, jasper and porphyry, and deep-green serpentine spotted with
flakes of snow, and marbles, that half refuse and half yield to the
sunshine, Cleopatra-like, "their bluest veins to kiss"--the shadow, as
it steals back from them, revealing line after line of azure undulation,
as a receding tide leaves the waved sand; their capitals rich with
interwoven tracery, rooted knots of herbage, and drifting leaves of
acanthus and vine, and mystical signs, all beginning and ending in the
Cross; and above them, in the broad archivolts, a continuous chain of
language and of life--angels, and the signs of heaven, and the labors of
men, each in its appointed season upon the earth; and above these,
another range of glittering pinnacles, mixed with white arches edged
with scarlet flowers--a confusion of delight, amid which the breasts of
the Greek horses are seen blazing in their breadth of golden strength,
and the St. Mark's Lion, lifted on a blue field covered with stars,
until at last, as if in ecstasy, the crests of the arches break into a
marble foam, and toss themselves far into the blue sky in flashes and
wreaths of sculptured spray, as if the breakers on the Lido shore had
been frost-bound before they fell, and the sea-nymphs had inlaid them
with coral and amethyst.

Between that grim cathedral of England and this, what an interval! There
is a type of it in the very birds that haunt them; for, instead of the
restless crowd, hoarse-voiced and sable-winged, drifting on the bleak
upper air, the St. Mark's porches are full of doves, that nestle among
the marble foliage, and mingle the soft iridescence of their living
plumes, changing at every motion, with the tints, hardly less lovely,
that have stood unchanged for seven hundred years.

And what effect has this splendor on those who pass beneath it? You may
walk from sunrise to sunset, to and fro, before the gateway of St.
Mark's, and you will not see an eye lifted to it, nor a countenance
brightened by it. Priest and layman, soldier and civilian, rich and
poor, pass by it alike regardlessly. Up to the very recesses of the
porches, the meanest tradesmen of the city push their counters; nay, the
foundations of its pillars are themselves the seats--not "of them that
sell doves" for sacrifice, but of the venders of toys and caricatures.
Round the whole square in front of the church there is almost a
continuous line of cafés, where the idle Venetians of the middle classes
lounge, and read empty journals; in its center the Austrian bands[47]
play during the time of vespers, their martial music jarring with the
organ notes--the march drowning the miserere, and the sullen crowd
thickening round them--a crowd, which, if it had its will, would
stiletto every soldier that pipes to it. And in the recesses of the
porches, all day long, knots of men of the lowest classes, unemployed
and listless, lie basking in the sun like lizards; and unregarded
children--every heavy glance of their young eyes full of desperation and
stony depravity, and their throats hoarse with cursing--gamble, and
fight, and snarl, and sleep, hour after hour, clashing their bruised
centesimi upon the marble ledges of the church porch. And the images of
Christ and His angels look down upon it continually....

Let us enter the church itself. It is lost in still deeper twilight, to
which the eye must be accustomed for some moments before the form of the
building can be traced; and then there opens before us a vast cave, hewn
out into the form of a cross, and divided into shadowy aisles by many
pillars. Round the domes of its roof the light enters only through
narrow apertures like large stars; and here and there a ray or two from
some far away casement wanders into the darkness, and casts a narrow
phosphoric stream upon the waves of marble that heave and fall in a
thousand colors along the floor. What else there is of light is from
torches, or silver lamps burning ceaselessly in the recesses of the
chapels; the roof sheeted with gold, and the polished walls covered with
alabaster, give back at every curve and angle some feeble gleaming to
the flames; and the glories round the heads of the sculptured saints
flash out upon us as we pass them, and sink again into the gloom.

Under foot and over head, a continual succession of crowded imagery, one
picture passing into another, as in a dream; forms beautiful and
terrible mixed together; dragons and serpents, and ravening beasts of
prey, and graceful birds that in the midst of them drink from running
fountains and feed from vases of crystal; the passions and the pleasures
of human life symbolized together, and the mystery of its redemption;
for the mazes of interwoven lines and changeful pictures lead always at
last to the cross, lifted and carved in every place and upon every
stone; sometimes with the serpent of eternity wrapt round it, sometimes
with doves beneath its arms, and sweet herbage growing forth from its
feet; but conspicuous most of all on the great rood that crosses the
church before the altar, raised in bright blazonry against the shadow of
the apse. And altho in the recesses of the aisles and chapels, when the
mist of the incense hangs heavily, we may see continually a figure
traced in faint lines upon their marble, a woman standing with her eyes
raised to heaven, and the inscription above her, "Mother of God," she
is not here the presiding deity. It is the cross that is first seen, and
always, burning in the center of the temple; and every dome and hollow
of its roof has the figure of Christ in the utmost height of it, raised
in power, or returning in judgment.

Nor is this interior without effect on the minds of the people. At every
hour of the day there are groups collected before the various shrines,
and solitary worshipers scattered through the darker places of the
church, evidently in prayer both deep and reverent, and, for the most
part, profoundly sorrowful. The devotees at the greater number of the
renowned shrines of Romanism may be seen murmuring their appointed
prayers with wandering eyes and unengaged gestures; but the step of the
stranger does not disturb those who kneel on the pavement of St. Mark's;
and hardly a moment passes from early morning to sunset in which we may
not see some half-veiled figure enter beneath the Arabian porch, cast
itself into long abasement on the floor of the temple, and then rising
slowly with more confirmed step, and with a passionate kiss and clasp of
the arms given to the feet of the crucifix, by which the lamps burn
always in the northern aisle, leave the church, as if comforted....

It must therefore be altogether without reference to its present
usefulness, that we pursue our inquiry into the merits and meaning of
the architecture of this marvelous building; and it can only be after we
have terminated that inquiry, conducting it carefully on abstract
grounds, that we can pronounce with any certainty how far the present
neglect of St. Mark's is significative of the decline of the Venetian
character, or how far this church is to be considered as the relic of a
barbarous age, incapable of attracting the admiration, or influencing
the feelings of a civilized community. Now the first broad
characteristic of the building, and the root nearly of every other
important peculiarity in it, is its confessed incrustation. It is the
purest example in Italy of the great school of architecture in which the
ruling principle is the incrustation of brick with more precious
materials. Consider the natural circumstances which give rise to such a
style. Suppose a nation of builders, placed far from any quarries of
available stone, and having precarious access to the mainland where they
exist; compelled therefore either to build entirely with brick, or to
import whatever stone they use from great distances, in ships of small
tonnage, and for the most part dependent for speed on the oar rather
than the sail. The labor and cost of carriage are just as great, whether
they import common or precious stone, and therefore the natural tendency
would always be to make each shipload as valuable as possible. But in
proportion to the preciousness of the stone, is the limitation of its
possible supply; limitation not determined merely by cost, but by the
physical conditions of the material, for of many marbles pieces above a
certain size are not to be had for money. There would also be a tendency
in such circumstances to import as much stone as possible ready
sculptured, in order to save weight; and therefore, if the traffic of
their merchants led them to places where there were ruins of ancient
edifices, to ship the available fragments of them home. Out of this
supply of marble, partly composed of pieces of so precious a quality
that only a few tons of them could be on any terms obtained, and partly
of shafts, capitals, and other portions of foreign buildings, the island
architect has to fashion, as best he may, the anatomy of his edifice.



The wide discrepancy of the dates, 888 to 1148, may perhaps be accounted
for by the conjecture that the work of the building [the Campanile]
proceeded slowly, either with a view to allowing the foundations to
consolidate, or owing to lack of funds, and that the chroniclers
recorded each resumption of work as the beginning of the work. One point
may, perhaps, be fixt. The Campanile must have been some way above
ground by the year 997, for the hospital founded by the sainted Doge,
Pietro Orseolo, which is said to have been attached to the base of the
tower, was consecrated in that year. The Campanile was finished, as far
as the bell-chamber at least, in 1148, under the Doge Domenico Moresini,
whose sarcophagus and bust surmount the portal of the San Nicoll del

The chroniclers are at variance among themselves as to the date of the
foundation, nor has an examination of the foundations themselves led to
any discovery which enables us to determine that date; but one or two
considerations would induce us to discard the earlier epochs. The
foundations must have been designed to carry a tower of the same
breadth, tho possibly not of the same height, as that which has recently
fallen. But in the year of 888 had the Venetians such a conception of
their greatness as to project a tower far more massive than any which
had been hitherto constructed in Italy? Did they possess the wealth to
justify them in such an enterprise? Would they have designed such a
tower to match St. Mark's, which was at that time a small church with
walls of wood? It is more probable that the construction of the
Campanile belongs to the period of the second church of St. Mark, which
was begun after the fire of 976 and consecrated in 1094.

The height of the Campanile at the time of its fall was 98.60 meters
(322 ft.), from the base to the head of the angel, tho a considerable
portion of this height was not added till 1510; its width at the base of
the shaft 12.80 meters (35 ft. 2 in.), and one meter (3 ft. 3 in.) less
at the top of the shaft. The weight has been calculated at about 18,000

Thanks to excavations at the base of the tower made by Com. Giacomo
Boni, at the request of Mr. C. H. Blackall, of Boston, U. S. A., in the
year 1885, a report of which was printed in the Archivio Veneto, we
possess some accurate knowledge about a portion of the foundation upon
which this enormous mass rested.

The subsoil of Venice is composed of layers of clay, sometimes
traversed by layers of peat, overlying profound strata of watery sand.
This clay is, in places, of a remarkably firm consistency; for example,
in the quarter of the town known as Dorsoduro or "hard-back," and at the
spot where the Campanile stood. A bore made at that point brought up a
greenish, compact clay mixed with fine shells. This clay, when dried,
offered the resisting power of half-baked brick. It is the remarkable
firmness of this clay which enabled the Venetians to raise so ponderous
a structure upon so narrow a foundation.

The builders of the Campanile proceeded as follows: Into this bed of
compact clay they first drove piles of about 9 1/2 in. in diameter with a
view to consolidate still further, by pressure, the area selected. That
area only extends 1.25 meter, or about 4 ft. beyond the spring of the
brickwork shaft of the tower. How deep these piles reach Boni's report
does not state. The piles, at the point where he laid the foundation
bare, were found to be of white poplar, in remarkably sound condition,
retaining their color, and presenting closely twisted fiber. The clay in
which they were embedded has preserved them almost intact. The piles
extended for one row only beyond the superimposed structure. On the top
of these piles the builders laid a platform consisting of two layers of
oak beams, crosswise. The lower layer runs in the line of the Piazza,
east to west, the upper in the line of the Piazzetta, north to south.
Each beam is square and a little over 4 in. thick. This oak platform
appears to be in bad condition; the timbers are blackened and friable.
While the excavation was in progress sea-water burst through the
interstices, which had to be plugged.

Upon this platform was laid the foundation proper. This consisted of
seven courses of stone of various sizes and of various kinds--sandstone
of two qualities, limestone from Istria and Verona, probably taken from
older buildings on the mainland, certainly not fresh-hewn from the
quarry. The seventh or lowest course was the deepest, and was the only
one which escaped, and that but slightly; the remaining six courses were
intended to be perpendicular. These courses varied widely from each
other in thickness--from 0.31 to 0.90 meters. They were composed of
different and ill-assorted stone, and were held together in places by
shallow-biting clamps of iron, and by a mortar of white Istrian lime,
which, not being hydraulic, and having little affinity for sand, had
become disintegrated. Boni calls attention to the careless structure of
this foundation proper, and maintains that it was designed to carry a
tower of about two-thirds of the actual height imposed upon it, but not

Above the foundation proper came the base. This consisted of five
courses of stone set in stepwise. These courses of the base were all the
same kind of stone, in fairly regular blocks, and of fairly uniform
thickness. They were all intended to be seen, and originally rose from
the old brick pavement of the Piazza; but the gradual subsidence of the
soil--which is calculated as proceeding at the rate of nearly a meter
per 1,000 years--caused two and a half of these stepped courses to
disappear, and only two and a half emerged from the present pavement.

Thus the structure upon which the brick shaft of the Campanile rested
was composed of (1) the base of five stepped courses, (2) the
foundations of seven courses almost perpendicular, (3) the platform of
oak beams, and (4) the piles. The height of the foundation, including
the base, was 5.02 meters, about 16 ft., or one-twentieth of the height
they carried. Not only is this a very small proportion, but it will be
further observed that the tradition of star-shaped supports to the
foundations is destroyed, and that they covered a very restricted area.
In fact, the foundations of the Campanile belonged to the primitive or
narrow kind. The foundations of the Ducal Palace, on the other hand,
belonged to the more recent or extended kind. Those foundations do not
rest on piles, but on a very broad platform of larch beams--much thicker
than the oak beams of the Campanile platform--reposing directly on the
clay. Upon this platform, foundations with a distended escarpment were
built to carry the walls, the weight of which was thus distributed
equally over a wide area.

Little of the old foundations of the Campanile will remain when the work
on the new foundations is completed. The primitive piles and platform
are to stand; but new piles have been driven in all round the original
nucleus, and on them are being laid large blocks of Istrian stone, which
will be so deeply bonded into the old foundations that hardly more than
a central core of the early work will be left ...

In a peculiar fashion the Campanile of San Marco summed up the whole
life of the city--civil, religious, commercial, and military--and
became the central point of Venetian sentiment. For the tower served the
double needs of the ecclesiastic and the civic sides of the Republic.
Its bells marked the canonical hours; rang the workman to his work, the
merchant to his desk, the statesman to the Senate; they pealed for
victory or tolled for the demise of a Doge. The tower, moreover, during
the long course of its construction, roughly speaking, from the middle
of the tenth to the opening of the sixteenth centuries, was contemporary
with all that was greatest in Venetian history; for the close of the
tenth century saw the conquest of Dalmatia, and the foundations of
Venetian supremacy in the Adriatic--that water-avenue to the Levant and
the Orient--while by the opening of the sixteenth the Cape route had
been discovered, the League of Cambray was in sight, and the end at

The tower, too, was a landmark to those at sea, and when the mariner had
the Campanile of San Nicolo on the Lido covering the Campanile of St.
Marks, he knew he had the route home and could make the Lido port. The
tower was the center of popular festivals, such as that of the Svolo on
Giovedi grasso, when an acrobat descended by a rope from the summit of
the Campanile to the feet of the Doge, who was a spectator from the
loggia of the Ducal Palace.



We come now to the dolorous moment of the fall in July, 1902.
Infiltration of water had been observed in the roof of Sansovino's
Loggetta where that roof joined the shaft of the Campanile. At this
point a thin ledge of stone, let into the wall of the Campanile,
projected over the junction between the leaden roof of the Loggetta and
the shaft of the tower. In order to remedy the mischief of infiltration
it was resolved to remove and replace this projecting ledge. To do this
a chase was made in the wall of the Campanile, which, at this point,
consisted of a comparatively modern surface of masonry, placed there to
repair the damage caused by lightning strokes.

This chase was cut, not piecemeal, but continuously. The work was
carried out on Monday, July 7th. During the process the architect in
charge became alarmed at the condition of the inner part of the wall
laid bare by the cut. He exprest his fears to his superiors, but
apparently no examination of the tower was made till the Thursday
following. Even then the imminence of the danger does not seem to have
been grasped. On Saturday, the 12th, a crack was observed spreading
upward in a sloping direction from the cut above the roof of the
Loggetta toward the northeast angle of the shaft, then crossing the
angle and running up almost perpendicularly in the line of the little
windows that gave light to the internal passage from the base to the

This crack assumed such a threatening aspect, and was making such
visible progress, that the authorities in charge of the tower felt bound
to inform the Prefect, tho the danger was represented as not immediate,
and the worst they expected was the fall of the angle where the crack
had appeared. A complete collapse of the whole tower was absolutely
excluded. As a precautionary measure the music in the Piazza was
suspended on Saturday evening. On Sunday orders were issued to endeavor
to bind the threatened angle.

But by Monday morning early (July 14th) it was evident that the
catastrophe could not be averted. Dust began to pour out of the widening
crack, and bricks to fall. A block of Istrian stone crashed down from
the bell-chamber, then a column from the same site. At 9.47 the ominous
fissure opened, the face of the Campanile toward the church and the
Ducal Palace bulged out, the angle on the top and the pyramid below it
swayed once or twice, and threatened to crush either the Sansovino's
Library or the Basilica of San Marco in their fall, then the whole
colossus subsided gently, almost noiselessly, upon itself, as it were in
a curtsey, the ruined brick and mortar spread out in a pyramidal heap, a
dense column of white powder rose from the Piazza, and the Campanile was
no more.

It is certainly remarkable, and by the people of Venice it is reckoned
as a miracle, that the tower in its fall did so little harm. Not a
single life was lost, tho the crowd in the Piazza was unaware of its
danger till about ten minutes before the catastrophe.



The Ducal Palace, which was the great work of Venice, was built
successively in the three styles. There was a Byzantine Ducal Palace, a
Gothic Ducal Palace, and a Renaissance Ducal Palace. The second
superseded the first totally; a few stones of it (if indeed so much) are
all that is left. But the third superseded the second in part only, and
the existing building is formed by the union of the two. We shall review
the history of each in succession.

1st. The Byzantine Palace. In the year of the death of Charlemagne, 813,
the Venetians determined to make the island of Rialto the seat of the
government and capital of their state. Their Doge, Angelo or Agnello
Participazio, instantly took vigorous means for the enlargement of the
small group of buildings which were to be the nucleus of the future
Venice. He appointed persons to superintend the raising of the banks of
sand, so as to form more secure foundations, and to build wooden bridges
over the canals. For the offices of religion, he built the Church of
St. Mark; and on, or near, the spot where the Ducal Palace now stands,
he built a palace for the administration of the government. The history
of the Ducal Palace therefore begins with the birth of Venice, and to
what remains of it, at this day, is entrusted the last representation of
her power....

In the year 1106, it was for the second time injured by fire, but
repaired before 1116, when it received another emperor, Henry V. (of
Germany), and was again honored by imperial praise. Between 1173 and the
close of the century, it seems to have been again repaired and much
enlarged by the Doge Sebastian Ziani. Sansovino says that this Doge not
only repaired it, but "enlarged it in every direction;" and, after this
enlargement, the palace seems to have remained untouched for a hundred
years, until, in the commencement of the fourteenth century, the works
of the Gothic Palace were begun.

Venice was in the zenith of her strength, and the heroism of her
citizens was displaying itself in every quarter of the world. The
acquiescence in the secure establishment of the aristocratic power was
an expression, by the people, of respect for the families which had been
chiefly instrumental in raising the commonwealth to such a height of

In the first year of the fourteenth century, the Gothic Ducal Palace of
Venice was begun; and as the Byzantine Palace was, in its foundation,
coeval with that of the state, so the Gothic Palace was, in its
foundation, coeval with that of the aristocratic power. Considered as
the principal representation of the Venetian school of architecture, the
Ducal Palace is the Parthenon of Venice, and Gradenigo its Pericles.

Before it was finished, occasion had been discovered for farther
improvements. The Senate found their new Council Chamber inconveniently
small, and, about thirty years after its completion, began to consider
where a larger and more magnificent one might be built. The government
was now thoroughly established, and it was probably felt that there was
some meanness in the retired position, as well as insufficiency in the
size, of the Council Chamber on the Rio.

It appears from the entry still preserved in the Archivio, and quoted by
Cadorin, that it was on the 28th of December, 1340, that the
commissioners appointed to decide on this important matter gave in their
report to the Grand Council, and that the decree passed thereupon for
the commencement of a new Council Chamber on the Grand Canal.

The room then begun is the one now in existence, and its building
involved the building of all that is best and most beautiful in the
present Ducal Palace, the rich arcades of the lower stories being all
prepared for sustaining this Sala del Gran Consiglio. In saying that it
is the same now in existence, I do not mean that it has undergone no
alterations; it has been refitted again and again, and some portions of
its walls rebuilt; but in the place and form in which it first stood, it
still stands; and by a glance at the position which its windows occupy,
the spectator will see at once that whatever can be known respecting the
design of the Sea Façade, must be gleaned out of the entries which
refer to the building of this Great Council Chamber.

Cadorin quotes two of great importance, made during the progress of the
work in 1342 and 1344; then one of 1349, resolving that the works at the
Ducal Palace, which had been discontinued during the plague, should be
resumed; and finally one in 1362, which speaks of the Great Council
Chamber as having been neglected and suffered to fall into "great
desolation," and resolves that it shall be forthwith completed.

The interruption had not been caused by the plague only, but by the
conspiracy of Faliero, and the violent death of the master builder. The
work was resumed in 1362, and completed within the next three years, at
least so far as that Guariento was enabled to paint his Paradise on the
walls, so that the building must, at any rate, have been roofed by this
time. Its decorations and fittings, however, were long in completion;
the paintings on the roof being only executed in 1400....

The works of addition or renovation had now been proceeding, at
intervals, during a space of a hundred and twenty-three years. Three
generations at least had been accustomed to witness the gradual
advancement of the form of the Ducal Palace into more stately symmetry,
and to contrast the works of sculpture and painting with which it was
decorated--full of the life, knowledge, and hope of the fourteenth
century--with the rude Byzantine chiselling of the palace of the Doge
Ziani. The magnificent fabric just completed, of which the new Council
Chamber was the nucleus, was now habitually known in Venice as the
"Palazzo Nuovo;" and the old Byzantine edifice, now ruinous, and more
manifest in its decay by its contrast with the goodly stones of the
building which had been raised at its side, was of course known as the
"Palazzo Vecchio." That fabric, however, still occupied the principal
position in Venice. The new Council Chamber had been erected by the side
of it toward the Sea; but there was not then the wide quay in front, the
Riva dei Schiavoni, which now renders the Sea Façade as important as
that to the Piazzetta. There was only a narrow walk between the pillars
and the water; and the old palace of Ziani still faced the Piazzetta,
and interrupted, by its decrepitude, the magnificence of the square
where the nobles daily met.

Every increase of the beauty of the new palace rendered the discrepancy
between it and the companion building more painful; and then began to
arise in the minds of all men a vague idea of the necessity of
destroying the old palace, and completing the front of the Piazzetta
with the same splendor as the Sea Façade. But no such sweeping measure
of renovation had been contemplated by the Senate when they first formed
the plan of their new Council Chamber. First a single additional room,
then a gateway, then a larger room; but all considered merely as
necessary additions to the palace, not as involving the entire
reconstruction of the ancient edifice. The exhaustion of the treasury,
and the shadows upon the political horizon, rendered it more imprudent
to incur the vast additional expense which such a project involved; and
the Senate, fearful of itself, and desirous to guard against the
weakness of its own enthusiasm, passed a decree, like the effort of a
man fearful of some strong temptation to keep his thoughts averted from
the point of danger. It was a decree, not merely that the old palace
should not be rebuilt, but that no one should propose rebuilding it. The
feeling of the desirableness of doing so was too strong to permit fair
discussion, and the Senate knew that to bring forward such a motion was
to carry it.

The decree, thus passed in order to guard against their own weakness,
forbade any one to speak of rebuilding the old palace, under the penalty
of a thousand ducats. But they had rated their own enthusiasm too low;
there was a man among them whom the loss of a thousand ducats could not
deter from proposing what he believed to be for the good of the state.
Some excuse was given him for bringing forward the motion, by a fire
which occurred in 1419, and which injured both the Church of St. Mark's,
and part of the old palace fronting the Piazzetta. What followed, I
shall relate in the words of Sanuto.

"Therefore they set themselves with all diligence and care to repair and
adorn sumptuously, first God's house; but in the Prince's house things
went on more slowly, for it did not please the Doge to restore it in the
form in which it was before; and they could not rebuild it altogether in
a better manner, so great was the parsimony of these old fathers;
because it was forbidden by laws, which condemned in a penalty of a
thousand ducats any one who should propose to throw down the old palace,
and to rebuild it more richly and with greater expense.

"But the Doge, who was magnanimous, and who desired above all things
what was honorable to the city, had the thousand ducats carried into the
Senate Chamber, and then proposed that the palace should be rebuilt;
saying: that, since the late fire had ruined in great part the Ducal
habitation (not only his own private palace, but all the places used for
public business), this occasion was to be taken for an admonishment sent
from God, that they ought to rebuild the palace more nobly, and in a way
more befitting the greatness to which, by God's grace, their dominions
had reached; and that his motive in proposing this was neither ambition,
nor selfish interest; that, as for ambition, they might have seen in the
whole course of his life, through so many years, that he had never done
anything for ambition, either in the city, or in foreign business; but
in all his actions had kept justice first in his thoughts, and then the
advantage of the state, and the honor of the Venetian name; and that, as
far as regarded his private interest, if it had not been for this
accident of the fire, he would never have thought of changing anything
in the palace into either a more sumptuous or a more honorable form; and
that during the many years in which he had lived in it, he had never
endeavored to make any change, but had always been content with it as
his predecessors had left it; and that he knew well that, if they took
in hand to build it as he exhorted and besought them, being now very
old, and broken down with many toils, God would call him to another life
before the walls were raised a pace from the ground. And that therefore
they might perceive that he did not advise them to raise this building
for his own convenience, but only for the honor of the city and its
Dukedom; and that the good of it would never be felt by him, but by his
successors." ...

Then he said, that 'in order, as he had always done, to observe the
laws, he had brought with him the thousand ducats which had been
appointed as the penalty for proposing such a measure, so that he might
prove openly to all men that it was not his own advantage that he
sought, but the dignity of the state.' There was no one (Sanuto goes on
to tell us) who ventured, or desired to oppose the wishes of the Doge;
and the thousand ducats were unanimously devoted to the expenses of the
work. "And they set themselves with much diligence to the work; and the
palace was begun in the form and manner in which it is at present seen;
but, as Mocenigo[51] had prophesied, not long after, he ended his life,
and not only did not see the work brought to a close, but hardly even

There are one or two expressions in the above extracts which, if they
stood alone, might lead the reader to suppose that the whole palace had
been thrown down and rebuilt. We must however remember, that, at this
time, the new Council Chamber, which had been one hundred years in
building, was actually unfinished, the council had not yet sat in it;
and it was just as likely that the Doge should then propose to destroy
and rebuild it, as in this year, 1853, it is that any one should propose
in our House of Commons to throw down the new Houses of Parliament,
under the title of the "old palace," and rebuild them....

It was in the year 1422 that the decree passed to rebuild the palace;
Mocenigo died in the following year, and Francesco Foscari was elected
in his room. The great Council Chamber was used for the first time on
the day when Foscari entered the Senate as Doge--the 3rd of April, 1423,
according to the "Caroldo Chronicle;" the 23d, which is probably
correct, by an anonymous MS., No. 60, in the Correr Museum; and the
following year, on the 27th of March, the first hammer was lifted up
against the old palace of Ziani. That hammer stroke was the first act of
the period properly called the "Renaissance." It was the knell of the
architecture of Venice--and of Venice herself.

The central epoch of her life was past; the decay had already begun; I
date its commencement from the death of Mocenigo. A year had not yet
elapsed since that great Doge had been called to his account; his
patriotism, always sincere, had been in this instance mistaken; in his
zeal for the honor of future Venice, he had forgotten what was due to
the Venice of long ago. A thousand palaces might be built upon her
burdened islands, but none of them could taken the place, or recall the
memory, of that which was first built upon her unfrequented shore. It
fell; and, as if it had been the talisman of fortune, the city never
flourished again.

I have no intention of following out, in their intricate details, the
operations which were begun under Foscari and continued under succeeding
Doges till the palace assumed its present form, for I am not in this
work concerned, except by occasional reference, with the architecture of
the fifteenth century; but the main facts are the following. The palace
of Ziani was destroyed; the existing façade to the Piazzetta built, so
as both to continue and to resemble, in most particulars, the work of
the Great Council Chamber. It was carried back from the Sea as far as
the Judgment angle; beyond which is the Porta della Carta, begun in
1439, and finished in two years, under the Doge Foscari; the interior
buildings connected with it were added by the Doge Christopher Moro (the
Othello of Shakespeare) in 1462.

Some remnants of the Ziani Palace were perhaps still left between the
two extremities of the Gothic Palace; or, as is more probable, the last
stones of it may have been swept away after the fire of 1419, and
replaced by new apartments for the Doge. But whatever buildings, old or
new, stood on this spot at the time of the completion of the Porta della
Carta were destroyed by another great fire in 1479, together with so
much of the palace on the Rio that, tho the saloon of Gradenigo, then
known as the Sala de Pregadi, was not destroyed, it became necessary to
reconstruct the entire façades of the portion of the palace behind the
Bridge of Sighs, both toward the court and canal.

The palace was not long permitted to remain in finished form. Another
terrific fire, commonly called the great fire, burst out in 1574, and
destroyed the inner fittings and all the precious pictures of the Great
Council Chamber, and of all the upper rooms on the Sea Façade, and most
of those on the Rio Façade, leaving the building a mere shell, shaken
and blasted by the flames. It was debated in the Great Council whether
the ruin should not be thrown down, and an entirely new palace built in
its stead. The opinions of all the leading architects of Venice were
taken, respecting the safety of the walls, or the possibility of
repairing them as they stood. These opinions, given in writing, have
been preserved, and published by the Abbé Cadorin, and they form one of
the most important series of documents connected with the Ducal Palace.

I can not help feeling some childish pleasure in the accidental
resemblance to my own name in that of the architect whose opinion was
first given in favor of the ancient fabric, Giovanni Rusconi. Others,
especially Palladio, wanted to pull down the old palace, and execute
designs of their own; but the best architects in Venice, and, to his
immortal honor, chiefly Francesco Sansovino, energetically pleaded for
the Gothic pile, and prevailed. It was successfully repaired, and
Tintoret painted his noblest picture on the wall from which the Paradise
of Guariento had withered before the flames.

The repairs necessarily undertaken at this time were however extensive,
and interfere in many directions with the earlier work of the palace;
still the only serious alteration in its form was the transposition of
the prisons, formerly at the top of the palace, to the other side of the
Rio del Palazzo; and the building of the Bridge of Sighs, to connect
them with the palace, by Antonio da Ponte. The completion of this work
brought the whole edifice into its present form; with the exception of
alterations in doors, partitions, and staircases among the inner
apartments, not worth noticing, and such barbarisms and defacements as
have been suffered within the last fifty years, by, I suppose, nearly
every building of importance in Italy.



The colonization of the Venetian estuary is usually dated from the year
452, the period of the Hunnish invasion under Attila, when the Scourge
of God, as he was named by his terror-stricken opponents, sacked the
rich Roman cities of Aquileia, Concordia, Opitergium, and Padua. In one
sense the date is correct. The Hunnish invasion certainly gave an
enormous increase to the lagoon population, and called the attention of
the mainlanders, to the admirable asylum which the estuary offered in
times of danger.

When Alcuin, the great scholar from Yorkshire, was teaching
Charlemagne's son and heir, Pepin, he drew up for his pupil's use a
curious catechism of questions and answers. Among others this occurs:
"What is the sea." "A refuge in time of danger." Surely a strange
answer, and one which can hardly be reckoned as true except in the
particular case of the Venetian lagoons. For the mainlanders were caught
between the devil of Attila and the deep sea of the Adriatic, and had
they not found the lagoons ready at hand to offer them an asylum and to
prove a refuge in time of danger, it must have fared hard with them.

But this date of 452 is not to be taken as the date of the very earliest
occupation of the lagoon. Long before Attila and his Huns swept down
upon Italy, we know that there was a sparse population occupying the
estuary, engaged in fishing and in the salt trade. Cassiodorus, the
secretary of the Gothic King Theodoric the Great, has left us a picture
of this people, hardy, independent, toughened by their life on the salt
water; their means of living; the fish of the lagoons; their source of
wealth; the salt which they extracted from its waters; their houses,
wattled cabins built upon piles driven into the mud; their means of
locomotion light boats which were tied to the door posts like horses on

"Thus you live in your sea-birds' home," he exclaims, "rich and poor
under equal laws; a common food supports you; house is like unto house;
and envy, that curse of all the world, hath no place there." No doubt
this early population of the lagoons, already intimately associated
with its dwelling-place, modified by it and adapted to it, helped to
form the basis upon which the latter strata of population, the result of
the Hunnish invasion, could rest; and in all probability some of the
characteristics of this early population, its independence and its
hardihood, passed into the composition of the full-grown Venetian race.
But beyond the brief words of Cassiodorus we know little about these
early lagoon-dwellers. It is really with the Hunnish invasion that the
history of Venice begins its first period of growth.

The population which flocked from the mainland to seek refuge in the
estuary of Venice came from many different cities--from Aquileia, from
Concordia, from Padua; and tho the inhabitants of all these, no doubt,
bore the external stamp which Rome never failed to impose, yet, equally
doubtless, they brought with them their own particular customs, their
mutual hates and rivalries.

While living on the mainland these animosities had wider space in which
to play, and were therefore less dangerous, less explosive. But in the
lagoons, under stress of suffering, and owing to confinement and
juxtaposition, they became intensified, exaggerated, and perilous. There
was a double problem before the growing Venetian population which
required to be solved before Venice and the Venetians could, with any
justice, be considered a place and a people. First, the various and
largely hostile populations who had taken refuge in the lagoon had to be
reconciled to each other; and secondly, they had to be reconciled to
their new home, to be identified with it and made one with it.

The lagoon achieved both reconciliations; the isolation of its waters,
their strangeness, gradually created the feeling of unity, of family
connection, among the diverse and hostile components of the population,
till a fusion took place between the original and the immigrant
inhabitants, and between the people and their home, and Venice and the
Venetians emerge upon the history of the world as an individual and
full-grown race. But this reconciliation and identification were not
accomplished at once. They cost many years of struggle and of danger.
The unification of Venice is the history of a series of compromises, an
historical example of the great law of selection and survival.



Venice the beautiful city ended, pagan-like, as did its sisters the
Greek republics, through nonchalance and voluptuousness. We find,
indeed, from time to time, a Francis Morosini, who like Aratus and
Philopoemen, renews the heroism and victories of ancient days; but,
after the seventeenth century, its bright career is over. The city,
municipal and circumscribed, is found to be weak, like Athens and
Corinth, against powerful military neighbors who either neglect or
tolerate it; the French and the Germans violate its neutrality with
impunity; it subsists and that is all, and it pretends to do no more.
Its nobles care only to amuse themselves; war and politics with them
recede in the background; she becomes gallant and worldly....

But the evening of this fallen city is as mellow and as brilliant as a
Venetian sunset. With the absence of care gaiety prevails. One
encounters nothing but public and private fêtes in the memoirs of their
writers and in the pictures of their painters. At one time it is a
pompous banquet in a superb saloon festooned with gold, with tall
lustrous windows and pale crimson curtains, the doge in his simarre
dining with the magistrates in purple robes, and masked guests gliding
over the floor; nothing is more elegant than the exquisite aristocracy
of their small feet, their slender necks and their jaunty little
three-cornered hats among skirts flounced with yellow or pearly gray

At another it is a regatta of gondolas and we see on the sea between
San-Marco and San-Giorgio, around the huge Bucentaur[54] like a
leviathan cuirassed with scales of gold, flotillas of boats parting the
water with their steel becks. A crowd of pretty dominos, male and
female, flutter over the pavements; the sea seems to be of polished
slate under a tender azure sky spotted with cloud-flocks while all
around, as in a precious frame, like a fantastic border carved and
embroidered, the Procuraties, the domes, the palaces and the quays
thronged with a joyous multitude, encircle the great maritime Venetian

In truth they never concern themselves with religion except to repress
the Pope; in theory and in practise, in ideas and in instincts, they
inherit the manners, customs and spirit of antiquity, and their
Christianity is only a name. Like the ancients, they were at first
heroes and artists, and then voluptuaries and dilettanti; in one as in
the other case they, like the ancients, confined life to the present. In
the eighteenth century they might be compared to the Thebans of the
decadence who, leagued together to consume their property in common,
bequeathed what remained of their fortunes on dying to the survivors at
their banquets. The carnival lasts six months; everybody, even the
priests, the guardian of the capucins, the nuncio, little children, all
who frequent the markets, wear masks. People pass by in processions
disguised in the costumes of Frenchmen, lawyers, gondoliers, Calabrians
and Spanish soldiery, dancing and with musical instruments; the crowd
follows jeering or applauding them. There is entire liberty; prince or
artizan, all are equal; each may apostrophize a mask. Pyramids of men
form "pictures of strength" on the public squares; harlequins in the
open air perform parades. Seven theaters are open. Improvizators declaim
and comedians improvize amusing scenes. "There is no city where license
has such sovereign rule." ...

The Chiogga campaign is the last act of the old heroic drama; there, as
in the best days of the ancient republics, a besieged people is seen to
save itself against all hope, artizans equipping vessels, a Pisani
conqueror undergoing imprisonment and only released to renew the
victory, a Carlo Zeno, surviving forty wounds, and a doge of seventy
years of age; a Contarini, who makes a vow not to leave his vessel so
long as the enemy's fleet is uncaptured, thirty families, apothecaries,
grocers, vintners, tanners admitted among the nobles, a bravery, a
public spirit like that of Athens under Themistocles and of Rome under
Fabius Cunctator. If, from this time forth, the inward fire abates we
still feel its warmth for many long years, longer kept up than in the
rest of Italy, and sometimes demonstrating its power by sudden

The nobles, on their side, are always ready to fight. During the whole
of the sixteenth century, even up to the seventeenth and beyond, we see
them in Dalmatia, in the Morea, over the entire Mediterranean, defending
the soil inch by inch against the infidels. The garrison of Famagouste
yields only to famine, and its governor, Bragadino, burned alive, is a
hero of ancient days. At the battle of Lepanto the Venetians alone
furnish one half of the Christian fleet. Thus on all sides, and
notwithstanding their gradual decline, peril, energy, love of country,
all, in brief, which constitutes or sustains the grand life of the soul
here subsists, while throughout the peninsula foreign dominion, clerical
oppression and voluptuous or academical inertia reduces man to the
system of the antechamber, the subtleties of dilettantism and the babble
of sonnets.

But if the human spring is not broken at Venice, it is seen insensibly
losing its elasticity. The government, changed into a suspicious
despotism, elects a Mocenigo doge, a shameless speculator profiting on
the public distress, instead of that Charles Zeno who had saved the
country; it holds Zeno prisoner two years and entrusts the armies on the
mainland to condottieri; it is tied up in the hands of three
inquisitors, provokes accusations, practises secret executions and
commands the people to confine themselves to indulgences of pleasure. On
the other hand luxury arises. About the year 1400 the houses "were quite
small;" but a thousand nobles were enumerated in Venice possessing from
four to seventy thousand ducats rental, while three thousand ducats were
sufficient to purchase a palace.

Henceforth this great wealth is no longer to be employed in enterprises
and in self-devotion, but in pomp and magnificence. In 1495, Commine
admires "the grand canal, the most beautiful street, I think, in the
world, and with the best houses; the houses are very grand, high and of
excellent stone--and these have been built within a century. All have
fronts of white marble, which comes from Istria, a hundred miles away,
and yet many more great pieces of porphyry and of serpentine on them;
inside they have, most of them, at least two chambers with gilded
ceilings, rich screens of chimneys with carved marble, the bedsteads
gilded and the 'ostevents' painted and gilded and well furnished
within." On his arrival twenty-five gentlemen attired in silk and
scarlet come to meet him; they conduct him to a boat decked with crimson
silk; "it is this most triumphant city I ever saw."

Finally, while the necessity of pleasure grows the spirit of enterprise
diminishes; the passage of the Cape in the beginning of the sixteenth
century places the commerce of Asia in the hands of the Portuguese; on
the Mediterranean and the Atlantic the financial measures of Charles V.,
joined to bad usage by the Turks, render abortive the great maritime
caravans which the state dispatches yearly between Alexandria and
Bruges. In respect to industrial matters, the hampered artizans, watched
and cloistered in their country, cease to perfect their arts and allow
foreign competitors to surpass them in processes and in furnishing
supplies to the world.

Thus, on all sides, the capacity for activity becomes lessened and the
desire for enjoyment greater without one entirely effacing the other,
but in a way that, both commingling, they produce that ambiguous state
of mind similar to a mixed temperature which is never too severe and in
which the arts are generated. Indeed, it is from 1454 to 1572, between
the institution of state inquisitors and the battle of Lepanto, between
the accomplishment of internal despotism and the last of the great
outward victories, that the brilliant productions of Venetian art
appear. John Bellini was born in 1426, Giorgone died in 1511, Titian in
1578, Veronese in 1572 and Tintoretto in 1594. In this interval of one
hundred and fifty years this warrior city, this mistress of the
Mediterranean, this queen of commerce and of industry became a casino
for masqueraders and a den of courtezans.



In Venice the pigeons do not allow you to forget them, even if one
desired to forget a bird that is so intimately connected with the city
and with a great ceremony of that ancient republic which has passed
away. They belong so entirely to the place, and especially to the great
square; they have made their homes for so many generations among the
carvings of the Basilica, at the feet of the bronze horses, and under
the massive cornices of the New Procuratie, that the great Campanile
itself is hardly more essential to the character of the piazza than are
these delicate denizens of Saint Mark's.

In the structure of the ducal palace, the wants of the pigeons have been
taken into account, and near the two great wells which stand in the
inner courtyard little cups of Istrian stone have been let into the
pavement for the pigeons to drink from. On cold, frosty mornings you may
see them tapping disconsolately at the ice which covers their drinking
troughs, and may win their thanks by breaking it for them. Or if the
wind blows hard from the east, the pigeons sit in long rows under the
eaves of the Procuratie; their necks drawn into their shoulders, and the
neck feathers ruffled round their heads, till they have lost all shape,
and look like a row of slate-colored cannon-balls.

From Saint Mark's the pigeons have sent out colonies to the other
churches and campi of Venice. They have crossed the Grand Canal, and
roost and croon among the volutes of the Salute, or, in wild weather,
wheel high and airly above its domes. They have even found their way to
Malamocco and Mazzorbo; so that all Venice in the sea owns and protects
its sacred bird. But it is in Saint Mark's that the pigeons "most do
congregate;" and one can not enter the piazza, and stand for a moment at
the corner, without hearing the sudden rush of wings upon the air, and
seeing the white under-feathers of their pinions, as the doves strike
backward to check their flight, and flutter down at one's feet in
expectation of peas or grain. They are boundlessly greedy, and will
stuff themselves till they can hardly walk, and the little red feet
stagger under the loaded crop. They are not virtuous, but they are very

There is a certain fitness in the fact that the dove should be the
sacred bird of the sea city. Both English "dove" and Latin "columba"
mean the diver; and the dove uses the air much as the fish uses the sea,
it glides, it dives, it shoots through its airy ocean; it hovers against
the breeze, or presses its breast against the sirocco storm, as you may
see fish poised in their course against the stream; then with a sudden
turn it relaxes the strain and sweeps away down the wind. The dove is an
airy emblem of the sea upon which Venice and the Venetians live, but
more than that--the most permanent quality in the color of the lagoons,
where the lights are always shifting, is the dove-tone of sea and sky;
a tone which holds all colors in solution, and out of which they emerge
as the water-ripples or the cloud-flakes pass--just as the colors are
shot and varied on a young dove's neck.

There is some doubts as to the origin of these flocks of pigeons which
shelter in Saint Mark's. According to one story, Henry Dandolo, the
Crusader, was besieging Candia; he received valuable information from
the interior of the island by means of carrier-pigeons, and, later on,
sent news of his successes home to Venice by the same messengers. In
recognition of these services the government resolved to maintain the
carriers at the public cost; and the flocks of to-day are the
descendants of the fourteenth-century pigeons. The more probable
tradition, however, is that which connects these pigeons with the
antique ceremonies of Palm Sunday.

On that festival the Doge made the tour of the piazza, accompanied by
all the officers of State, the Patriarch, the foreign ambassadors, the
silver trumpets, all the pomp of the ducal dignity. Among other largess
of that day, a number of pigeons, weighted by pieces of paper tied to
their legs, used to be let loose from the gallery where the bronze
horses stand, above the western door of the church. Most of the birds
were easily caught by the crowd, and kept for their Easter dinner; but
some escaped, and took refuge in the upper parts of the palace and among
the domes of Saint Mark's. The superstition of the people was easily
touched, and the birds that had sought the protection of the saint were
thenceforth dedicated to the patron of Venice. The charge of supporting
them was committed to the superintendents of the corn stores, and the
usual hour for feeding the pigeons was nine o'clock in the morning.
During the revolution of 1797, the birds fared as badly as the
aristocracy, and were left to take care of themselves; but when matters
settled down again the feeding of the pigeons was resumed by the
municipality, and takes place at two in the afternoon, tho the incessant
largess of strangers can leave the birds but little appetite for their
regular meal.

In spite of the multitudes of pigeons that haunt the squares of the
city, a dead pigeon is as rare to see as a dead donkey on the mainland.
It is a pious opinion that no Venetian ever kills a pigeon, and
apparently they never die; but the fact that they do not increase so
rapidly as to become a nuisance instead of a pleasure, lends some color
to the suspicion that pigeon pies are not unknown at certain tables
during the proper season.



Seven miles to the north of Venice, the banks of sand, which near the
city rise little above low-water mark, attain by degrees a higher level,
and hoist themselves at last into fields of salt morass, raised here and
there into shapeless mounds, and interrupted by narrow creeks of sea.
One of the feeblest of these inlets, after winding for some time among
buried fragments of masonry, and knots of sunburned weeds whitened with
webs of fucas, stays itself in an utterly stagnant pool beside a plot of
greener grass covered with ground-ivy and violets. On this mound is
built a rude brick campanile, of the commonest Lombardic type, which if
we ascend toward evening (and there are none to hinder us, the door of
its ruinous staircase swinging idly on its hinges), we may command from
it one of the most notable scenes in this wide world of ours.

Far as the eye can reach, a waste of wild sea moor, of a lurid
ashen-gray; not like our northern moors with their jet-black pools and
purple heath, but lifeless, the color of sackcloth, with the corrupted
sea-water soaking through the roots of its acrid weeds, and gleaming
hither and thither through its snaky channels. No gathering of fantastic
mists, nor coursing of clouds across it; but melancholy clearness of
space in the warm sunset, oppressive, reaching to the horizon of its
level gloom. To the very horizon, on the northeast; but to the north and
west, there is a blue line of higher land along the border of it, and
above this, but farther back, a misty band of mountains, touched with

To the east, the paleness and roar of the Adriatic, louder at momentary
intervals as the surf breaks on the bar of sand; to the south, the
widening branches of the calm lagoon, alternately purple and pale green,
as they reflect the evening clouds or twilight sky; and almost beneath
our feet, on the same field which sustains the tower we gaze from, a
group of four buildings, two of them little larger than cottages (tho
built of stone, and one adorned by a quaint belfry), the third an
octagonal chapel, of which we can see but little more than the flat red
roof with its rayed tiling, the fourth, a considerable church with nave
and aisles, but of which, in like manner, we can see little but the long
central ridge and lateral slopes of roof, which the sunlight separates
in one glowing mass from the green field beneath and gray moor beyond.
There are no living creatures near the buildings, nor any vestige of
village or city round about them. They lie like a little company of
ships becalmed on a faraway sea.

Then look farther to the south. Beyond the widening branches of the
lagoon, and rising out of the bright lake into which they gather, there
are a multitude of towers, dark, and scattered among square-set shapes
of clustered palaces, a long irregular line fretting the southern sky.
Mother and daughter, you behold them both in their widowhood--Torcello
and Venice. Thirteen hundred years ago, the gray moorland looked as it
does this day, and the purple mountains stood as radiantly in the deep
distances of evening; but on the line of the horizon, there were strange
fires mixed with the light of sunset, and the lament of many human
voices mixed with the fretting of the waves on their ridges of sand. The
flames rose from the ruins of Altinum; the lament from the multitude of
its people, seeking, like Israel of old, a refuge from the sword in the
paths of the sea.

The cattle are feeding and resting upon the site of the city that they
left; the mower's scythe swept this day at dawn over the chief street of
the city that they built, and the swathes of soft grass are now sending
up their scent into the night air, the only incense that fills the
temple of their ancient worship.



We reached Pieve di Cadore about half-past eleven A.M., delays
included. The quaint old piazza with its gloomy arcades, its antique
houses with Venetian windows, its cafés, its fountain, and its loungers,
is just like the piazzas of Serravalle, Longarone, and other provincial
towns of the same epoch. With its picturesque Prefettura and
belfry-tower one is already familiar in the pages of Gilbert's "Cadore."
There, too, is the fine old double flight of steps leading up to the
principal entrance on the first floor, as in the town-hall at
Heilbronn--a feature by no means Italian; and there, about midway up the
shaft of the campanile, is the great, gaudy, well-remembered fresco,
better meant than painted, wherein Titian, some twelve feet in height,
robed and bearded, stands out against an ultramarine background, looking
very like the portrait of a caravan giant at a fair....

Turning aside from the glowing piazza and following the downward slope
of a hill to the left of the Prefettura, we come, at the distance of
only a few yards, upon another open space, grassy and solitary,
surrounded on three sides by rambling, dilapidated-looking houses, and
opening on the fourth to a vista of woods and mountains. In this little
piazza stands a massive stone fountain, time-worn and water-worn,
surmounted by a statue of Saint Tiziano in the robes and square cap of
an ecclesiastic. The water trickling through two metal pipes in the
pedestal beneath Saint Tiziano's feet, makes a pleasant murmuring in the
old stone basin; while, half hidden behind this fountain, and leaning up
as if for shelter against a larger house adjoining, stands-a small
whitewashed cottage upon the side-wall of which an incised tablet bears
the following record:

    "Nel MCCCCLXXVII Fra Queste Vmili Mura Tiziano Vecellio Vene a
    celebre Vita Donde vsciva gia presso a cento Anni In Venezia Addi
    XXVII Agosto MDLXXVI."

A poor, mean-looking, low-roofed dwelling, disfigured by external
chimney-shafts and a built-out oven; lit with tiny, blinking, medieval
windows; altogether unlovely; altogether unnoticeable; but--the
birthplace of Titian!

It looked different, no doubt, when he was a boy and played outside here
on the grass. It had probably a high, steep roof, like the homesteads in
his own landscape drawings; but the present old brown tiles have been
over it long enough to get mottled with yellow lichens. One would like
to know if the fountain and the statue were there in his time; and if
the water trickled ever to the same low tune; and if the women came
there to wash their linen and fill their brazen water jars, as they do
now. This lovely green hill, at all events, sheltered the home from the
east winds; and Monte Duranno lifted his strange crest yonder against
the southern horizon; and the woods dipt down to the valley, then as
now, where the bridle-path slopes away to join the road to Venice.

We went up to the house, and knocked. The door was opened by a sickly,
hunchbacked lad who begged us to walk in, and who seemed to be quite
alone there. The house was very dark, and looked much older inside than
from without. A long, low, gloomy upstairs chamber with a huge penthouse
fire-place jutting into the room, was evidently as old as the days of
Titian's grandfather, to whom the house originally belonged; while a
very small and very dark adjoining closet, with a porthole of window
sunk in a slope of massive wall, was pointed out as the room in which
the great painter was born.

"But how do you know that he was born here?" I asked. The hunchback
lifted his wasted hand with a deprecating gesture. "They have always
said so, Signora," he replied. "They have said so for more than four
hundred years."

"They?" I repeated, doubtfully. "The Vecelli, Signora." "I had
understood that the Vecellio family was extinct." "Scusate, Signora,"
said the hunchback. "The last direct descendant of 'Il Tiziano' died not
long ago--a few years before I was born; and the collateral Vecelli are
citizens of Cadore to this day. If the Signora will be pleased to look
for it, she will see the name of Vecellio over a shop on the right-hand
side, as she returns to the Piazza."

I did look for it; and there, sure enough, over a small shop-window I
found it. It gave one an odd sort of shock, as if time were for the
moment annihilated; and I remember how, with something of the same
feeling, I once saw the name of Rubens over a shop-front in the
market-place at Cologne.

I left the house less incredulous than I entered it. Of the identity of
the building there has never been any kind of doubt; and I am inclined
to accept with the house the identity of the room. Titian, it should be
remembered, lived long enough to become, long before he died, the glory
of his family. He became rich; he became noble; his fame filled Italy.
Hence the room in which he was born may well have acquired, half a
century before his death--perhaps even during the lifetime of his
mother--that sort of sacredness which is generally of post-mortem
growth. The legend, handed down from Vecellio to Vecellio in
uninterrupted succession, lays claim, therefore, to a more reliable
pedigree than most traditions of a similar character.


[1] From "Travels in Italy." Translated by A. J. W. Morrison and Charles
Nisbet. Goethe's visit to Italy was made in 1786. He was then only
thirty-seven years of age. The visit had important influence on his
subsequent career. The greatest of his works were still to be written.
It was not until after 1794 that Goethe devoted himself entirely to

[2] Goethe at this time had published several short plays besides "The
Sorrows of Werthé," "Wilhelm Meister," and a few other works less

[3] By that name Italians know the Pantheon.

[4] From "Remarks on Several Parts of Italy in the years 1701, 1702,
1703." At the time of his departure for Italy, Addison was twenty-nine
years old. None of his important works had then been written.

[5] Addison's belief has been amply justified by the extensive
excavations made since his time.

[6] From "Ancient Rome, In the Light of Recent Discoveries." By special
arrangement with, and by permission of, the publishers, Houghton,
Mifflin Co. Copyright, 1888.

[7] Lanciani here has referred to the Catholic Church, in which
historians have seen, in the spiritual sense, a survival of imperial

[8] From "Six Months in Italy." Published by Houghton, Mifflin CO.

[9] From "Six Months in Italy." Published by Houghton, Mifflin Co.

[10] Mr. Hillard was writing in 1853.

[11] From "The Ruins and Excavations of Ancient Rome." By special
arrangement with, and by permission of, the publishers, Houghton,
Mifflin Co. Copyright, 1897.

[12] This mausoleum, built by Augustus on the bank of the Tiber for
himself and his family, had long been used as the imperial sepulcher.

[13] From "Rome." By arrangement with, and by permission of, the
publishers, John C. Winston Co. Copyright, 1897.

[14] From "Italy: Rome and Naples." By special arrangement with, and by
permission of, the publishers, Henry Holt & Co. Copyright, 1868.
Translated by John Durand.

[15] From "The Ruins and Excavations of Ancient Rome." By special
arrangement with, and by permission of, the publishers, Houghton,
Mifflin Co. Copyright, 1897.

[16] From "The Ruins and Excavations of Ancient Rome." By special
arrangement with, and by permission of, the publishers, Houghton,
Mifflin Co. Copyright, 1897.

[17] From "Haps and Mishaps of a Tour in Europe." Mrs. Lippincott's
visit was made in 1852.

[18] From "Recollections of the Last Four Popes, and of Rome in their
Times." Nicholas Patrick Stephen Wiseman (1802-1865), an English
cardinal, was famous during his lifetime for intellectual vigor and
scholarly attainments. In presenting an intimate view of a papal
election it was his unusual privilege to describe not only "the things
he saw," but also, as his later destiny revealed, to tell of the things
of which he formed a part. The election pictured is that of Leo XII.

[19] From "Six Novices on the Grand Tour, by One of Them." Privately
printed. (1911.) By permission of the author.

[20] From "Six Months in Italy." Published by Houghton, Mifflin Co.

[21] From "Italy: Rome and Naples." By special arrangement with, and by
permission of, the publishers, Henry Holt & Co. Copyright, 1868.
Translated by John Durand.

[22] From "Pictures from Italy."

[23] From "The Marble Faun." Published by Houghton, Mifflin Co.

[24] From "Pencillings by the Way."

[25] From "Pictures from Italy."

[26] From "French and Italian Note-Books." By special arrangement with,
and by permission of, the publishers of Hawthorne's works, Houghton,
Mifflin Co. Copyright, 1871, 1883, 1899.

[27] Hiram Powers, the American sculptor, who lived long in Florence,
and is best known for his "Greek Slave."

[28] From "Journeys in Italy." By special arrangement with, and by
permission of, the publishers, Brentano's. Copyright, 1902.

[29] From "Florence."

[30] From Taine's "Italy: Florence and Venice." By special arrangement
with, and by permission of, the publishers. Henry Holt & Co. Translated
by John Durand. Copyright, 1869.

[31] Since Taine wrote, the façade has been added.

[32] From "Italian Cities." By special arrangement with, and by
permission of, the publishers, Charles Scribner's Sons. Copyright, 1900.

[33] From "The Makers of Florence." Published by the Macmillan Co.

[34] That is, the Baptistery at Florence.

[35] From "Florence." By permission of the publishers, John C. Winston
Co. Copyright, 1837.

[36] From "Florence." By permission of the publishers, John C. Winston
Co. Copyright, 1897.

[37] From "Florence." By permission of the publishers, John C. Winston
Co. Copyright, 1897.

[38] Dante was buried at Ravenna. The reader will recall Byron's lines:

"Ungrateful Florence! Dante sleeps afar,
Like Scipio, buried by the upbraiding shore."

[39] From "Italy: Florence and Venice." By special arrangement with, and
by permission of, the publishers, Henry Holt & Co. Copyright, 1869.
Translated by John Durand.

[40] From "Letters of a Traveller." Bryant's letter is dated in May,

[41] The court of the Austrian Grand Duke Leopold III. In 1859 Leopold
was expelled, and Florence, with Tuscany, was annexed to the Sardinian

[42] From "Venice: Its History, Art, Industries and Modern Life."
Published by John C. Winston Co.

[43] From "Two Months Abroad." Privately printed. (1878.)

[44] From "Journeys In Italy." By arrangement with, and by permission
of, the publishers, Brentano's. Copyright, 1902.

[45] Marie Taglioni, the ballet dancer, who was born in Stockholm of
Italian parents in 1804 and married to Count Gilbert de Voisons in
1847, when she retired from the stage. She died in 1884.

[46] From "The Stones of Venice." St. Mark's is merely a church. It is
not a cathedral; that is, it is not the "cathedra" of a bishop.
Originally it was the private chapel of the Doge. Likewise, St. Peter's
at Rome is a church only--the church of the Pope. The cathedral of the
Pope (who is the Bishop of Rome), is St. John Lateran.

[47] Venice and territory adjacent to it were long in subjection to
Austria. Having put an end to the republic in 1797 (the republic had
then had an unbroken existence for about thirteen hundred years),
Napoleon, by the treaty of Campo Formio, ceded this territory to
Austria. In 1805, however, Venetia was added by Napoleon to his Kingdom
of Italy. In 1814, after the first fall of Napoleon, it was ceded back
to Austria and in 1815 became part of the Lombardo-Venetian Kingdom.
Under the leadership of Manin, in 1848, a republic was proclaimed in
Venice, but Austria laid siege to the city and captured it. It was not
until 1866, at the conclusion of the war against Austria, that Venice
was annexed to the new Italian kingdom of Victor Emmanuel.

[48] From "In and Around Venice." Published by Charles Scribner's Sons.

[49] From "In and Around Venice." Published by Charles Scribner's Sons.
After its fall, the Venetians set about raising funds for rebuilding
the Campanile. In the course of several years, the new structure was
finished and the event duly commemorated.

[50] From "The Stones of Venice."

[51] Several men of this name are famous in Venetian annals, as
soldiers, statesmen and doges. The one here referred to is Tommaso, who
defeated the Turks, added Dalmatia to the Venetian domain, greatly
encouraged commerce and founded the Venetian library.

[52] From "Life on the Lagoons." Published by the Macmillan Co.

[53] From "Italy: Florence and Venice." By special arrangement with, and
by permission of, the publishers. Henry Holt & Co. Copyright, 1869.

[54] The state ship of Venice.

[55] From "Life on the Lagoons." Published by the Macmillan Co.

[56] From "The Stones of Venice."

[57] From "Untrodden Peaks and Unfrequented Valleys: A Midsummer Ramble
in the Dolomites." Published by E. P. Dutton & Co.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Seeing Europe with Famous Authors, Volume 7 - Italy, Sicily, and Greece (Part One)" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.