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Title: The Mediterranean - Its Storied Cities and Venerable Ruins
Author: Ball, E. A. R., Bonney, T. G. (Thomas Gray), Traill, H. D. (Henry Duff), 1842-1900, Allen, Grant, 1848-1899, Griffiths, Arthur, 1838-1908
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Its Storied Cities and Venerable Ruins



Illustrated with Photogravures

New York
James Pott & Company



  I. THE PILLARS OF HERCULES,                                            1

    Portals of the ancient world--Bay of Tangier at sunrise--
    Tarifa--The Rock of Gibraltar--Wonders of its
    fortifications--Afternoon promenade in the Alameda Gardens--
    Ascending the Rock--View from the highest point--The Great
    Siege--Ceuta, the principal Spanish stronghold on the
    Moorish coast--The rock of many names.

  II. ALGIERS,                                                          28

    "A Pearl set in Emeralds"--Two distinct towns; one ancient,
    one modern--The Great Mosque--A Mohammedan religious
    festival--Oriental life in perfection--The road to Mustapha
    Supérieur--A true Moorish villa described--Women praying to
    a sacred tree--Excessive rainfall.

  III. MALAGA,                                                          42

    A nearly perfect climate--Continuous existence of thirty
    centuries--Granada and the world-renowned Alhambra--Systems
    of irrigation--Vineyards the chief source of wealth--Esparto
    grass--The famous Cape de Gatt--The highest peak of the
    Sierra Nevada--Last view of Granada.

  IV. BARCELONA,                                                        61

    The flower market of the Rambla--Streets of the old town--
    The Cathedral of Barcelona--Description of the Columbus
    monument--All Saints' Day in Spain--Mont Tibidaho--Diverse
    centers of intellectual activity--Ancient history--
    Philanthropic and charitable institutions.

  V. MARSEILLES,                                                        94

    Its Greek founders and early history--Superb view from the
    sea--The Cannebière--The Prado and Chemin de la Corniche--
    Château d'If and Monte-Cristo--Influence of the Greeks in
    Marseilles--Ravages by plague and pestilence--Treasures of
    the Palais des Arts--The Chapel of Nôtre Dame de la Garde--
    The new Marseilles and its future.

  VI. NICE,                                                            124

    The Queen of the Riviera--The Port of Limpia--Castle Hill--
    Promenade des Anglais--The Carnival and Battle of Flowers--
    Place Masséna, the center of business--Beauty of the
    suburbs--The road to Monte Carlo--The quaintly picturesque
    town of Villefranche--Aspects of Nice and its environs.

  VII. THE RIVIERA,                                                    145

    In the days of the Doges--Origin of the name--The blue bay
    of Cannes--Ste. Marguerite and St. Honorat--Historical
    associations--The Rue L'Antibes--The rock of Monaco--"Nôtre
    Dame de la Roulette"--From Monte Carlo to Mentone--San
    Remo--A romantic railway.

  VIII. GENOA,                                                         160

    Early history--Old fortifications--The rival of Venice--
    Changes of twenty-five years--From the parapet of the
    Corso--The lower town--The Genoese palazzi--Monument to
    Christopher Columbus--The old Dogana--Memorials in the
    Campo Santo--The Bay of Spezzia--The Isola Palmeria--Harbor

  IX. THE TUSCAN COAST,                                                192

    Shelley's last months at Lerici--Story of his death--Carrara
    and its marble quarries--Pisa--Its grand group of
    ecclesiastical buildings--The cloisters of the Campo Santo--
    Napoleon's life on Elba--Origin of the Etruscans--The ruins
    of Tarquinii--Civita Vecchia, the old port of Rome--Ostia.

  X. VENICE,                                                           220

    Its early days--The Grand Canal and its palaces--Piazza of
    St. Mark--A Venetian funeral--The long line of islands--
    Venetian glass--Torcello, the ancient Altinum--Its two
    unique churches.

  XI. ALEXANDRIA,                                                      234

    The bleak and barren shores of the Nile Delta--Peculiar
    shape of the city--Strange and varied picture of Alexandrian
    street life--The Place Mehemet Ali--Glorious panorama from
    the Cairo citadel--Pompey's Pillar--The Battle of the Nile--
    Discovery of the famous inscribed stone at Rosetta--Port
    Said and the Suez Canal.

  XII. MALTA,                                                          267

    "England's Eye in the Mediterranean"--Vast systems of
    fortifications--Sentinels and martial music--The Strada
    Reale of Valletta--Church of St. John--St. Elmo--The
    Military Hospital, the "very glory of Malta"--Citta
    Vecchia--Saint Paul and his voyages.

  XIII. SICILY,                                                        295

    Scylla and Charybdis--Messina, the chief commercial center
    of Sicily--The magnificent ruins of the Greek Theater at
    Taormina--Omnipresence of Mt. Etna--Approach to Syracuse--
    The famous Latomia del Paradiso--Girgenti, the City of
    Temples--Railway route to Palermo--Mosaics--Cathedral and
    Abbey of Monreale--Monte Pellegrino at the hour of sunset.

  XIV. NAPLES,                                                         325

    The Bay of Naples--Vesuvius--Characteristic scenes of street
    life--The _al fresco_ restaurants--Chapel of St. Januarius--
    Virgil's Tomb--Capri, the Mecca of artists and lovers of the
    picturesque--The Emperor Tiberius--Description of the Blue
    Grotto--The coast-road from Castellamare to Sorrento--
    Amalfi--Sorrento, "the village of flowers and the flower of
    villages"--The Temples of Pæstum.


  CAPRI.--The Marina Grande                                 _Frontispiece_


  GIBRALTAR.--View from the Old Mole                                    14

  ALGIERS.--Government Square and the Street, La Marine                 28

  ALGIERS.--Interior of the Governor's Palace                           36

  MALAGA.--General View from Castle                                     52

  BARCELONA.--View of Harbor                                            70

  MARSEILLES.--Panorama of the Old Port                                 98

  NICE.--Promenade des Anglais                                         132

  THE RIVIERA.--San Remo                                               158

  GENOA.--The Doria Palace--Garden and Doorway                         172

  THE TUSCAN COAST.--Pisa--Cathedral Square and Monuments              198

  VENICE.--The Piazza of St. Mark                                      226

  ALEXANDRIA.--General View of the City                                240

  ALEXANDRIA.--Scene on Canal                                          260

  MALTA.--General View                                                 274

  SICILY.--View of Taormina and Mt. Etna                               298

  NAPLES.--Panorama from Virgil's Tomb                                 334

The Mediterranean



    Portals of the ancient world--Bay of Tangier at sunrise--Tarifa--The
    Rock of Gibraltar--Wonders of its fortifications--Afternoon promenade
    in the Alameda Gardens--Ascending the Rock--View from the highest
    point--The Great Siege--Ceuta, the principal Spanish stronghold on the
    Moorish coast--The rock of many names.

The "Pillars of Hercules!" The portals of the Ancient World! To how many a
traveller just beginning to tire of his week on the Atlantic, or but
slowly recovering, it may be, in his tranquil voyage along the coasts of
Portugal and Southern Spain, from the effects of thirty unquiet hours in
the Bay of Biscay, has the nearing view of this mighty landmark of history
brought a message of new life! That distant point ahead, at which the
narrowing waters of the Strait that bears him disappear entirely within
the clasp of the embracing shores, is for many such a traveller the
beginning of romance. He gazes upon it from the westward with some dim
reflection of that mysterious awe with which antiquity looked upon it from
the East. The progress of the ages has, in fact, transposed the center of
human interest and the human point of view. Now, as in the Homeric era,
the Pillars of Hercules form the gateway of a world of wonder; but for us
of to-day it is within and not without those portals that that world of
wonder lies. To the eye of modern poetry the Atlantic and Mediterranean
have changed places. In the waste of waters stretching westward from the
rock of Calpe and its sister headland, the Greek of the age of Homer found
his region of immemorial poetic legend and venerable religious myth, and
peopled it with the gods and heroes of his traditional creed. Here, on the
bosom of the wide-winding river Oceanus, lay the Islands of the
Blest--that abode of eternal beauty and calm, where "the life of mortals
is most easy," where "there is neither snow nor winter nor much rain, but
ocean is ever sending up the shrilly breezes of Zephyrus to refresh man."
But for us moderns who have explored this mighty "river Oceanus," this
unknown and mysterious Atlantic to its farthest recesses, the glamor of
its mystery has passed away for ever; and it is eastward and not westward,
through the "Pillars of Hercules," that we now set our sails in search of
the region of romance. It is to the basin of the Mediterranean--fringed
with storied cities and venerable ruins, with the crumbling sanctuaries of
a creed which has passed away, and the monuments of an art which is
imperishable--that man turns to-day. The genius of civilization has
journeyed far to the westward, and has passed through strange experiences;
it returns with new reverence and a deeper awe to that _enclave_ of
mid-Europe which contains its birthplace, and which is hallowed with the
memories of its glorious youth. The grand cliff-portal which we are
approaching is the entrance, the thoughtful traveller will always feel, to
a region eternally sacred in the history of man; to lands which gave birth
to immortal models of literature and unerring canons of philosophic truth;
to shrines and temples which guard the ashes of those "dead but sceptered
sovereigns" who "rule our spirits from their urns."

As our vessel steams onward through the rapidly narrowing Straits, the eye
falls upon a picturesque irregular cluster of buildings on the Spanish
shore, wherefrom juts forth a rocky tongue of land surmounted by a tower.
It is the Pharos of Tarifa, and in another half hour we are close enough
to distinguish the exact outlines of the ancient and famous city named of
Tarif Ibn Malek, the first Berber sheikh who landed in Spain, and itself,
it is said--though some etymologists look askance at the derivation--the
name-mother of a word which is little less terrible to the modern trader
than was this pirate's nest itself to his predecessor of old times. The
arms of Tarifa are a castle on waves, with a key at the window, and the
device is not unaptly symbolical of her mediæval history, when her
possessors played janitors of the Strait, and merrily levied
blackmail--the irregular _tariff_ of those days--upon any vessel which
desired to pass. The little town itself is picturesquely situated in the
deepest embrace of the curving Strait, and the view looking westward--with
the lighthouse rising sharp and sheer against the sky, from the jutting
cluster of rock and building about its base, while dimly to the left in
the farther distance lie the mountains of the African coast, descending
there so cunningly behind the curve that the two continents seem to touch
and connect the channel into a lake--is well worth attentive study. An
interesting spot, too, is Tarifa, as well as a picturesque--interesting at
least to all who are interested either in the earlier or the later
fortunes of post-Roman Europe. It played its part, as did most other
places, on this common battle-ground of Aryan and Semite, in the secular
struggle between European Christendom and the Mohammedan East. And again,
centuries later, it was heard of in the briefer but more catastrophic
struggle of the Napoleonic wars. From the day when Alonzo Perez de Guzman
threw his dagger down from its battlements in disdainful defiance of the
threat to murder his son, dragged bound before him beneath its walls by
traitors, it is a "far cry" to the day when Colonel Gough of the 87th (the
"Eagle-Catchers") beat off Marshal Victor's besieging army of 1,800
strong, and relieved General Campbell and his gallant little garrison; but
Tarifa has seen them both, and it is worth a visit not only for the sake
of the ride from it over the mountains to Algeciras and Gibraltar, but for
its historical associations also, and for its old-world charm.

We have taken it, as we propose also to take Tangier, a little out of its
turn; for the voyaging visitor to Gibraltar is not very likely to take
either of these two places on his way. It is more probable that he will
visit them, the one by land and the other by sea, from the Rock itself.
But Tangier in particular it is impossible to pass without a strong desire
to make its acquaintance straightway; so many are the attractions which
draw the traveller to this some-time appanage of the British Crown, this
African _pied à terre_, which but for the insensate feuds and factions of
the Restoration period might be England's to-day. There are few more
enchanting sights than that of the Bay of Tangier as it appears at
sunrise to the traveller whose steamer has dropped down the Straits in
the afternoon and evening hours of the previous day and cast anchor after
nightfall at the nearest point off shore to which a vessel of any draught
can approach. Nowhere in the world does a nook of such sweet tranquillity
receive, and for a season, quiet, the hurrying waters of so restless a
sea. Half a mile or so out towards the center of the Strait, a steamer
from Gibraltar has to plough its way through the surface currents which
speed continually from the Atlantic towards the Pillars of Hercules and
the Mediterranean beyond. Here, under the reddening daybreak, all is calm.
The blue waters of the bay, now softly flushing at the approach of
sunrise, break lazily in mimic waves and "tender curving lines of creamy
spray" upon the shining beach. To the right lies the city, spectral in the
dawn, save where the delicate pale ivory of some of its higher houses is
warming into faintest rose; while over all, over sea and shore and city,
is the immersing crystal atmosphere of Africa, in which every rock, every
ripple, every housetop, stands out as sharp and clear as the filigree work
of winter on a frosted pane.

Nothing in Tangier, it must be honestly admitted, will compare with the
approach to it by its incomparable bay. In another sense, too, there is
nothing here or elsewhere which exactly resembles this "approach," since
its last stage of all has to be performed alike for man and woman--unless
man is prepared to wade knee-deep in the clear blue water--on the back of
a sturdy Moor. Once landed, he will find that the picturesqueness of
Tangier, like that of most Eastern cities, diminishes rather than
increases on a nearer view. A walk through its main street yields nothing
particularly worthy of note, unless it be the minaret of the
Djama-el-Kebir, the principal mosque of the city. The point to which every
visitor to Tangier directs his steps, or has them directed for him, is the
Bab-el-Sok, the gate of the market place, where the scene to be witnessed
at early morning presents an unequaled picture of Oriental life. Crouching
camels with their loads of dates, chaffering traders, chattering women,
sly and servile looking Jews from the city, fierce-eyed, heavily armed
children of the desert, rough-coated horses, and the lank-sided mules,
withered crones squatting in groups by the wayside, tripping damsels
ogling over the _yashmak_ as they pass, and the whole enveloped in a
blinding, bewildering, choking cloud of such dust as only Africa, "_arida
nutrix_," can produce--such dust as would make the pulverulent particles
of the dryest of turnpikes in the hottest of summers, and under the most
parching of east winds, appear by comparison moist and cool, and no more
than pleasingly titillatory of the mouth and nostrils--let the reader
picture to himself such a scene with such accessories, and he will know
what spectacle awaits him at early morning at the Bab-el-Sok of Tangier.

But we must resume our journey eastward towards the famous "Rock." There
at last it is! There "dawns Gibraltar grand and gray," though Mr. Browning
strains poetic license very hard in making it visible even "in the dimmest
north-east distance," to a poet who was at that moment observing how
"sunset ran one glorious blood-red recking into Cadiz Bay." We, at any
rate, are far enough away from Cadiz before it dawns upon us in all its
Titanic majesty of outline; grand, of course, with the grandeur of Nature,
and yet with a certain strange air of human menace as of some piece of
Atlantean ordnance planted and pointed by the hand of man. This
"armamental" appearance of the Rock--a look visible, or at any rate
imaginable in it, long before we have approached it closely enough to
discern its actual fortifications, still less its artillery--is much
enhanced by the dead flatness of the land from which its western wall
arises sheer, and with which by consequence it seems to have no closer
physical connection than has a gun-carriage with the parade ground on
which it stands. As we draw nearer this effect increases in intensity. The
surrounding country seems to sink and recede around it, and the Rock
appears to tower ever higher and higher, and to survey the Strait and the
two continents, divided by it with a more and more formidable frown. As we
approach the port, however, this impression gives place to another, and
the Rock, losing somewhat of its "natural-fortress" air, begins to assume
that resemblance to a couchant lion which has been so often noticed in it.
Yet alas! for the so-called famous "leonine aspect" of the famous height,
or alas! at least for the capricious workings of the human imagination!
For while to the compiler of one well-reputed guidebook, the outlines of
Gibraltar seem "like those of a lion asleep, and whose head, somewhat
truncated, is turned towards Africa as if with a dreamy and steadfast deep
attention;" to another and later observer the lion appears to have "his
kingly head turned towards Spain, as if in defiance of his former master,
every feature having the character of leonine majesty and power!" The
truth is, of course, that the Rock assumes entirely different aspects,
according as it is looked at from different points of view. There is
certainly a point from which Gibraltar may be made, by the exercise of a
little of Polonius's imagination, to resemble some couchant animal with
its head turned towards Africa--though "a head somewhat truncated," is as
odd a phrase as a "body somewhat decapitated"--and contemplating that
continent with what we may fancy, if we choose, to be "dreamy and
steadfast attention." But the resemblance is, at best, but a slender one,
and a far-fetched. The really and strikingly leonine aspect of Gibraltar
is undoubtedly that which it presents to the observer as he is steaming
towards the Rock from the west, but has not yet come into full view of the
slope on which the town is situated. No one can possibly mistake the lion
then. His head is distinctly turned towards Spain, and what is more, he
has a foot stretched out towards the mainland, as though in token of his
mighty grasp upon the soil. Viewed, however, from the neutral ground, this
Protean cliff takes on a new shape altogether, and no one would suppose
that the lines of that sheer precipice, towering up into a jagged
pinnacle, could appear from any quarter to melt into the blunt and massive
curves which mark the head and shoulders of the King of Beasts.

At last, however, we are in the harbor, and are about to land. To land!
How little does that phrase convey to the inexperienced in sea travel, or
to those whose voyages have begun and ended in stepping from a
landing-stage on to a gangway, and from a gangway on to a deck, and
_vice-versâ_! And how much does it mean for him to whom it comes fraught
with recollections of steep descents, of heaving seas, of tossing
cock-boats, perhaps of dripping garments, certainly of swindling boatmen!
There are disembarkations in which you come in for them all; but not at
Gibraltar, at least under normal circumstances. The waters of the port are
placid, and from most of the many fine vessels that touch there you
descend by a ladder, of as agreeable an inclination as an ordinary flight
of stairs. All you have to fear is the insidious bilingual boatman, who,
unless you strictly covenant with him before entering his boat, will have
you at his mercy. It is true that he has a tariff, and that you might
imagine that the offense of exceeding it would be punished in a place like
Gibraltar by immediate court-martial and execution; but the traveller
should not rely upon this. There is a deplorable relaxation of the bonds
of discipline all over the world. Moreover, it is wise to agree with the
boatmen for a certain fixed sum, as a salutary check upon undue
liberality. Most steamers anchor at a considerable distance from the
shore, and on a hot day one might be tempted by false sentiment to give
the boatman an excessive fee.

Your hosts at Gibraltar--"spoiling" as they always are for the sight of
new civilian faces--show themselves determined from the first to make you
at home. Private Thomas Atkins on sentry duty grins broad welcome to you
from the Mole. The official to whom you have to give account of yourself
and your belongings greets you with a pleasant smile, and, while your
French or Spanish fellow-traveller is strictly interrogated as to his
identity, profession, purpose of visit, &c., your English party is passed
easily and promptly in, as men "at home" upon the soil which they are
treading. Fortunate is it, if a little bewildering, for the visitor to
arrive at midday, for before he has made his way from the landing-place to
his hotel he will have seen a sight which has few if any parallels in the
world. Gibraltar has its narrow, quiet, sleepy alleys as have all Southern
towns; and any one who confined himself to strolling through and along
these, and avoiding the main thoroughfare, might never discover the
strangely cosmopolitan character of the place. He must walk up Waterport
Street at midday in order to see what Gibraltar really is--a conflux of
nations, a mart of races, an Exchange for all the multitudinous varieties
of the human product. Europe, Asia, and Africa meet and jostle in this
singular highway. Tall, stately, slow-pacing Moors from the north-west
coast; white-turbaned Turks from the eastern gate of the Mediterranean;
thick-lipped, and woolly-headed negroids from the African interior;
quick-eyed, gesticulating Levantine Greeks; gabardined Jews, and
black-wimpled Jewesses; Spanish smugglers, and Spanish sailors;
"rock-scorpions," and red-coated English soldiers--all these compose,
without completing, the motley moving crowd that throngs the main street
of Gibraltar in the forenoon, and gathers densest of all in the market
near Commercial Square.

It is hardly then as a fortress, but rather as a great entrepôt of
traffic, that Gibraltar first presents itself to the newly-landed visitor.
He is now too close beneath its frowning batteries and dominating walls of
rock to feel their strength and menace so impressive as at a distance; and
the flowing tide of many-colored life around him overpowers the senses and
the imagination alike. He has to seek the outskirts of the town on either
side in order to get the great Rock again, either physically or morally,
into proper focus. And even before he sets out to try its height and
steepness by the ancient, if unscientific, process of climbing it--nay,
before he even proceeds to explore under proper guidance its mighty
elements of military strength--he will discover perhaps that sternness is
not its only feature. Let him stroll round in the direction of the
race-course to the north of the Rock, and across the parade-ground, which
lies between the town and the larger area on which the reviews and
field-day evolutions take place, and he will not complain of Gibraltar as
wanting in the picturesque. The bold cliff, beneath which stands a Spanish
café, descends in broken and irregular, but striking, lines to the plain,
and it is fringed luxuriantly from stair to stair with the vegetation of
the South. Marching and counter-marching under the shadow of this lofty
wall, the soldiers show from a little distance like the tin toys of the
nursery, and one knows not whether to think most of the physical
insignificance of man beside the brute bulk of Nature, or of the moral--or
immoral--power which has enabled him to press into his service even the
vast Rock which stands there beetling and lowering over him, and to turn
the blind giant into a sort of Titanic man-at-arms.

Such reflections as these, however, would probably whet a visitor's desire
to explore the fortifications without delay; and the time for that is not
yet. The town and its buildings have first to be inspected; the life of
the place, both in its military and--such as there is of it--its civil
aspect, must be studied; though this, truth to tell, will not engage even
the minutest observer very long. Gibraltar is not famous for its shops, or
remarkable, indeed, as a place to buy anything, except tobacco, which, as
the Spanish Exchequer knows to its cost (and the Spanish Customs'
officials on the frontier too, it is to be feared, their advantage), is
both cheap and good. Business, however, of all descriptions is fairly
active, as might be expected, when we recollect that the town is pretty
populous for its size, and numbers some 20,000 inhabitants, in addition to
its garrison of from 5,000 to 6,000 men. With all its civil activity,
however, the visitor is scarcely likely to forget--for any length of
time--that he is in a "place of arms." Not to speak of the shocks
communicated to his unaccustomed nerves by morning and evening gun-fire;
not to speak of the thrilling fanfare of the bugles, executed as only the
bugler of a crack English regiment can execute it, and echoed and
re-echoed to and fro, from face to face of the Rock, there is an
indefinable air of stern order, of rigid discipline, of authority whose
word is law, pervading everything. As the day wears on toward the evening
this aspect of things becomes more and more unmistakable; and in the
neighborhood of the gates, towards the hour of gun-fire, you may see
residents hastening in, and non-residents quickening the steps of their
departure, lest the boom of the fatal cannon-clock should confine or
exclude them for the night. After the closing of the gates it is still
permitted for a few hours to perambulate the streets; but at midnight this
privilege also ceases, and no one is allowed out of doors without a
night-pass. On the 31st of December a little extra indulgence is allowed.
One of the military bands will perhaps parade the main thoroughfare
discoursing the sweet strains of "Auld Lang Syne," and the civil
population are allowed to "see the old year out and the new year in." But
a timid and respectful cheer is their sole contribution to the ceremony,
and at about 12.15 they are marched off again to bed: such and so vigilant
are the precautions against treachery within the walls, or surprise from
without. In Gibraltar, undoubtedly, you experience something of the
sensations of men who are living in a state of siege, or of those Knights
of Branksome who ate and drank in armor, and lay down to rest with
corslet laced, and with the buckler for a pillow.

The lions of the town itself, as distinguished from the wonders of its
fortifications, are few in number. The Cathedral, the Garrison Library,
Government House, the Alameda Gardens, the drive to Europa Point exhaust
the list; and there is but one of these which is likely to invite--unless
for some special purpose or other--a repetition of the visit. In the
Alameda, however, a visitor may spend many a pleasant hour, and--if the
peace and beauty of a hillside garden, with the charms of subtropical
vegetation in abundance near at hand, and noble views of coast and sea in
the distance allure him--he assuredly will. Gibraltar is immensely proud
of its promenade, and it has good reason to be so. From the point of view
of Nature and of Art the Alameda is an equal success. General Don, who
planned and laid it out some three-quarters of a century ago,
unquestionably earned a title to the same sort of tribute as was bestowed
upon a famous military predecessor, Marshal Wade. Anyone who had "seen"
the Alameda "before it was made," might well have "lifted up his hands and
blessed" the gallant officer who had converted "the Red Sands," as the
arid desert once occupying this spot was called, into the paradise of
geranium-trees which has taken its place. Its monuments to Elliot and
Wellington are not ideal: the mysterious curse pronounced upon English
statuary appears to follow it even beyond seas; but the execution of the
effigies of these national heroes may, perhaps, be forgotten in the
interest attaching to their subjects. The residents at any rate, whether
civil or military, are inured to these efforts of the sculptor's art, and
have long since ceased to repine. And the afternoon promenade in these
gardens--with the English officers and their wives and daughters, English
nursemaids and their charges, tourists of both sexes and all ages, and the
whole surrounded by a polyglot and polychromatic crowd of Oriental
listeners to the military band--is a sight well worth seeing and not
readily to be forgotten.

But we must pursue our tour round the peninsula of the Rock; and leaving
the new Mole on our right, and farther on the little land-locked basin of
Rosia Bay, we pass the height of Buena Vista, crowned with its barracks,
and so on to the apex of the promontory, Europa Point. Here are more
barracks and, here on Europa Flats, another open and level space for
recreation and military exercises beneath the cliff wall. Doubling the
point, and returning for a short distance along the eastern side of the
promontory, we come to the Governor's Cottage, a cool summer retreat
nestling close to the Rock, and virtually marking the limits of our
exploration. For a little way beyond this the cliff rises inaccessible,
the road ends, and we must retrace our steps. So far as walking or driving
along the flat is concerned, the visitor who has reached the point may
allege, with a certain kind of superficial accuracy, that he has "done
Gibraltar." No wonder that the seasoned globe-trotter from across the
Atlantic thinks nothing of taking Calpe in his stride.

To those, however, who visit Gibraltar in a historic spirit, it is not to
be "done" by any means so speedily as this. Indeed, it would be more
correct to say that the work of a visitor of this order is hardly yet
begun. For he will have come to Gibraltar not mainly to stroll on a sunny
promenade, or to enjoy a shady drive round the seaward slopes of a Spanish
headland, or even to feast his eyes on the glow of Southern color and
the picturesque varieties of Southern life; but to inspect a great
world-fortress, reared almost impregnable by the hand of Nature, and
raised into absolute impregnability by the art of man; a spot made
memorable from the very dawn of the modern period by the rivalries of
nations, and famous for all time by one of the most heroic exploits
recorded in the annals of the human race. To such an one, we say, the name
of Gibraltar stands before and beyond everything for the Rock of the Great
Siege; and he can no more think of it in the light of a Mediterranean
watering-place, with, a romantic, if somewhat limited, sea-front, than he
can think of the farmhouse of La Haye as an "interesting Flemish
homestead," or the Chateau of Hougoumont as a Belgian gentleman's
"eligible country house."


For him the tour of the renowned fortifications will be the great event of
his visit. Having furnished himself with the necessary authorization from
the proper military authorities (for he will be reminded at every turn of
the strict martial discipline under which he lives), he will proceed to
ascend the Rock, making his first halt at a building which in all
probability he will often before this have gazed upon and wondered at from
below. This is the Moorish Castle, the first object to catch the eye of
the newcomer as he steps ashore at the Mole, and looks up at the houses
that clamber up the western slope of the Rock. Their ascending tiers are
dominated by this battlemented pile, and it is from the level on which it
stands that one enters the famous galleries of Gibraltar. The castle is
one of the oldest Moorish buildings in Spain, the Arabic legend over the
south gate recording it to have been built in 725 by Abu-Abul-Hajez. Its
principal tower, the Torre del Homenaje, is riddled with shot marks, the
scars left behind it by the ever-memorable siege. The galleries, which are
tunneled in tiers along the north front of the Rock, are from two to three
miles in extent. At one extremity they widen out into the spacious crypt
known as the Hall of St. George, in which Nelson was feasted. No arches
support these galleries; they are simply hewn from the solid rock, and
pierced every dozen yards or so by port-holes, through each of which the
black muzzle of a gun looks forth upon the Spanish mainland. They front
the north, these grim watchdogs, and seeing that the plain lies hundreds
of feet beneath them, and with that altitude of sheer rock face between
them and it, they may perhaps be admitted to represent what a witty
Frenchman has called _le luxe et la coquetterie d' imprenable_, or as we
might put it, a "refinement on the impregnable." Artillery in position
implies the possibility of regular siege operations, followed perhaps by
an assault from the quarter which the guns command; but though the Spanish
threw up elaborate works on the neutral ground in the second year of the
great siege, neither then nor at any other time has an assault on the Rock
from its northern side been contemplated. Yet it has once been "surprised"
from its eastern side, which looks almost equally inaccessible; and
farther on in his tour of exploration, the visitor will come upon traces
of that unprecedented and unimitated exploit. After having duly inspected
the galleries, he will ascend to the Signal Tower, known in Spanish days
as El Hacho, or the Torch, the spot at which beacon fires were wont on
occasion to be kindled. It is not quite the highest point of the Rock, but
the view from it is one of the most imposing in the world. To the north
lie the mountains of Ronda, and to the far east the Sierra of the Snows
that looks down on Granada, gleams pale and spectral on the horizon. Far
beneath you lie town and bay, the batteries with their tiny ordnance, and
the harbor with its plaything ships; while farther onward, in the same
line of vision, the African "Pillar of Hercules," Ceuta, looks down upon
the sunlit waters of the Strait.

A little farther on is the true highest point of the Rock, 1,430 feet; and
yet a little farther, after a descent of a few feet, we come upon the
tower known as O'Hara's Folly, from which also the view is magnificent,
and which marks the southernmost point of the ridge. It was built by an
officer of that name as a watch tower, from which to observe the movements
of the Spanish fleet at Cadiz, which, even across the cape as the crow
flies, is distant some fifty or sixty miles. The extent, however, of the
outlook which it actually commanded has probably never been tested,
certainly not with modern optical appliances, as it was struck by
lightning soon after its completion. Retracing his steps to the northern
end of the height, the visitor historically interested in Gibraltar will
do well to survey the scene from here once more before descending to
inspect the fortifications of the coast line. Far beneath him, looking
landward, lies the flat sandy part of the isthmus, cut just where its neck
begins to widen by the British lines. Beyond these, again, extends the
zone some half mile in breadth of the neutral ground; while yet farther
inland, the eye lights upon a broken and irregular line of earthworks,
marking the limit, politically speaking, of Spanish soil. These are the
most notable, perhaps the only surviving, relic of the great siege. In the
third year of that desperate leaguer--it was in 1781--the Spaniards
having tried in vain, since June, 1779, to starve out the garrison,
resorted to the idea of bombarding the town into surrender, and threw up
across the neutral ground the great earthworks, of which only these ruins
remain. They had reason, indeed, to resort to extraordinary efforts. Twice
within these twenty-four months had they reduced the town to the most
dreadful straits of hunger, and twice had it been relieved by English
fleets. In January, 1780, when Rodney appeared in the Straits with his
priceless freight of food, the inhabitants were feeding on thistles and
wild onions; the hind quarter of an Algerian sheep was selling for seven
pounds ten, and an English milch cow for fifty guineas. In the spring of
1781, when Admiral Darby relieved them for the second time, the price of
"bad ship's biscuits full of vermin"--says Captain John Drinkwater of the
72nd, an actor in the scenes which he has recorded--was a shilling a
pound; "old dried peas, a shilling and fourpence; salt, half dirt, the
sweepings of ships' bottoms, and storehouses, eightpence; and English
farthing candles, sixpence apiece." These terrible privations having
failed to break the indomitable spirit of the besieged, bombardment had,
before the construction of these lines, been resorted to. Enormous
batteries, mounting 170 guns and 80 mortars, had been planted along the
shore, and had played upon the town, without interruption, for six weeks.
Houses were shattered and set on fire, homeless and half-starved families
were driven for shelter to the southern end of the promontory, where again
they were harried by Spanish ships sailing round Europa Point and firing
indiscriminately on shore. The troops, shelled out of their quarters, were
living in tents on the hillside, save when these also were swept away by
the furious rainstorms of that region. And it was to put, as was hoped,
the finishing stroke to this process of torture, that the great
fortifications which have been spoken of were in course of construction
all through the spring and summer of 1781 on the neutral ground. General
Elliot--that tough old Spartan warrior, whose food was vegetables and
water, and four hours his maximum of continuous sleep, and the contagion
of whose noble example could alone perhaps have given heart enough even to
this sturdy garrison--watched the progress of the works with anxiety, and
had made up his mind before the winter came that they must be assaulted.
Accordingly, at three A. M. on the morning of November 27, 1781, he
sallied forth with a picked band of two thousand men--a pair of regiments
who had fought by his side at Minden two-and-twenty years before--and
having traversed the three-quarters of a mile of intervening country in
swift silence, fell upon the Spanish works. The alarm had been given, but
only just before the assailants reached the object of their attack; and
the affair was practically a surprise. The gunners, demoralized and
panic-stricken, were bayoneted at their posts, the guns were spiked, and
the batteries themselves set on fire with blazing faggots prepared for the
purpose. In an hour the flames had gained such strength as to be
inextinguishable, and General Elliot drew off his forces and retreated to
the town, the last sound to greet their ears as they re-entered the gates
being the roar of the explosion of the enemy's magazines. For four days
the camp continued to burn, and when the fire had exhausted itself for
want of materials, the work of laborious months lay in ruins, and the
results of a vast military outlay were scattered to the winds. It was the
last serious attempt made against the garrison by the Spaniards from the
landward side. The fiercest and most furious struggle of the long siege
was to take place on the shore and waters to the west.

And so after all it is to the "line-wall"--to that formidable bulwark of
masonry and gun-metal which fringes the town of Gibraltar from the Old
Mole to Rosia Bay--that one returns as to the chief attraction from the
historical point of view, of the mighty fortress. For two full miles it
runs, zigzagging along the indented coast, and broken here and there by
water-gate or bastion, famous in military story. Here, as we move
southward from the Old Mole, is the King's Bastion, the most renowned of
all. Next comes Ragged Staff Stairs, so named from the heraldic insignia
of Charles V.; and farther on is Jumper's Battery, situated at what is
held to be the weakest part of the Rock, and which has certainly proved
itself to be so on one ever memorable occasion. For it was at the point
where Jumper's Battery now stands that the first English landing-party set
foot on shore; it was at this point, it may be said, that Gibraltar was
carried. The fortunes of nomenclature are very capricious, and the
name of Jumper--unless, indeed, it were specially selected for its
appropriateness--has hardly a better right to perpetuation in this fashion
than the name of Hicks. For these were the names of the two gallant
officers who were foremost in their pinnaces in the race for the South
Mole, which at that time occupied the spot where the landing was effected;
and we are not aware that history records which was the actual winner. It
was on the 23rd of July, 1704, as all the world knows, that these two
gallant seamen and their boats' crews made their historic leap on shore;
and after all, the accident which had preserved the name of one of them is
not more of what is familiarly called a "fluke" than the project of the
capture itself, and the retention of the great fortress when captured. It
is almost comic to think that when Sir George Rooke sailed from England,
on the voyage from which he returned, figuratively speaking, with the key
of the Mediterranean in his pocket, he had no more notion of attacking
Gibraltar than of discovering the North-West Passage. He simply went to
land England's candidate for the Spanish throne, "King Charles III.," at
Lisbon; which service performed, he received orders from the English
Government to sail to the relief of Nice and Villa Franca, which were
supposed to be in danger from the French, while at the same time he was
pressed by Charles to "look round" at Barcelona, where the people, their
aspirant-sovereign thought, were ready to rise in his favor. Rooke
executed both commissions. That is to say, he ascertained that there was
nothing for him to do in either place--that Barcelona would not rise, and
that Nice was in no danger of falling; and the admiral accordingly dropped
down the Mediterranean towards the Straits--where he was joined by Sir
Cloudesley Shovel with another squadron--with the view of intercepting the
Brest Fleet of France, which he had heard was about to attempt a junction
with that of Toulon. The Brest Fleet, however, he found had already given
him the slip, and thus it came about that on the 17th of July these two
energetic naval officers found themselves about seven leagues to the east
of Tetuan with nothing to do. It is hardly an exaggeration to say that the
attack on Gibraltar was decreed as the distraction of an intolerable
ennui. The stronghold was known to be weakly garrisoned, though, for that
time, strongly armed; it turned out afterwards that it had only a hundred
and fifty gunners to a hundred guns, and it was thought possible to carry
the place by a _coup-de-main_. On the 21st the whole fleet came to anchor
in Gibraltar Bay. Two thousand men under the Prince of Hesse were landed
on what is now the neutral ground, and cut off all communication with the
mainland of Spain. On the 23rd Rear-Admirals Vanderdussen and Byng (the
father of a less fortunate seaman) opened fire upon the batteries, and
after five or six hours' bombardment silenced them, and Captain Whittaker
was thereupon ordered to take all the boats, filled with seamen and
marines, and possess himself of the South Mole Head. Captains Jumper and
Hicks were, as has been said, in the foremost pinnaces, and were the first
to land. A mine exploded under their feet, killing two officers and a
hundred men, but Jumper and Hicks pressed on with their stout followers,
and assaulted and carried a redoubt which lay between the Mole and the
town. Whereupon the Spanish Governor capitulated, the gates on the side of
the isthmus were thrown open to the Prince of Hesse and his troops, and
Gibraltar was theirs. Or rather it was not theirs, except by the title of
the "man in possession." It was the property of his Highness the Archduke
Charles, styled his Majesty King Charles III. of Spain, and had he
succeeded in making good that title in arms, England should, of course,
have had to hand over to him the strongest place in his dominions, at the
end of the war. But she profited by the failure of her protégé. The war of
the Spanish Succession ended in the recognition of Philip V.; and almost
against the will of the nation--for George I. was ready enough to give it
up, and the popular English view of the matter was that it was "a barren
rock, an insignificant fort, and a useless charge"--Gibraltar remained on
her hands.

Undoubtedly, the King's Bastion is the center of historic military
interest in Gibraltar, but the line-wall should be followed along its
impregnable front to complete one's conception of the sea defenses of the
great fortress. A little farther on is Government House, the quondam
convent, which now forms the official residence of the Governor; and
farther still the landing-place, known as Ragged Staff Stairs. Then
Jumper's Bastion, already mentioned; and then the line of fortification,
running outwards with the coast line towards the New Mole and
landing-place, returns upon itself, and rounding Rosia Bay trends again
southward towards Buena Vista Point. A ring of steel indeed--a coat of
mail on the giant's frame, impenetrable to the projectiles of the most
terrible of the modern Titans of the seas. The casemates for the artillery
are absolutely bomb-proof, the walls of such thickness as to resist the
impact of shots weighing hundreds of pounds, while the mighty arches
overhead are constructed to defy the explosion of the heaviest shells. As
to its offensive armament, the line-wall bristles with guns of the largest
caliber, some mounted on the parapet above, others on the casemates nearer
the sea-level, whence their shot could be discharged with the deadliest
effect at an attacking ship.

He who visits Gibraltar is pretty sure, at least if time permits, to visit
Algeciras and San Roque, while from farther afield still he will be
tempted by Estepona. The first of these places he will be in a hurry,
indeed, if he misses; not that the place itself is very remarkable, as
that it stands so prominently in evidence on the other side of the bay as
almost to challenge a visit. Add to this the natural curiosity of a
visitor to pass over into Spanish territory and to survey Gibraltar from
the landward side, and it will not be surprising that the four-mile trip
across the bay is pretty generally made. On the whole it repays; for
though Algeciras is modern and uninteresting enough, its environs are
picturesque, and the artist will be able to sketch the great rock-fortress
from an entirely new point, and in not the least striking of its aspects.

And now, before passing once for all through the storied portal of the
Mediterranean, it remains to bestow at least a passing glance upon the
other column which guards the entrance. Over against us, as we stand on
Europa Point and look seaward, looms, some ten or a dozen miles away, the
Punta de Africa, the African Pillar of Hercules, the headland behind which
lies Ceuta, the principal Spanish stronghold on the Moorish coast. Of a
truth, one's first thought is that the great doorway of the inland sea has
monstrously unequal jambs. Except that the Punta de Africa is exactly
opposite the Rock of Gibraltar, and that it is the last eminence on the
southern side of the Straits--the point at which the African coast turns
suddenly due southward, and all is open sea--it would have been little
likely to have caught the eye of an explorer, or to have forced itself
upon the notice of the geographer. Such as it is, however, it must stand
for the African Pillar of Hercules, unless that demi-god is to content
himself with only one. It is not imposing to approach as we make our way
directly across the Straits from Gibraltar, or down and along them from
Algeciras towards it: a smooth, rounded hill, surmounted by a fort with
the Spanish flag floating above it, and walled on the sea side, so little
can its defenders trust to the very slight natural difficulties offered
even by its most difficult approach. Such is Ceuta in the distance, and it
is little, if at all, more impressive on a closer inspection. Its name is
said to come from Sebta, a corruption of Septem, and to have been given it
because of the seven hills on which it is built. Probably the seven hills
would be difficult to find and count, or with a more liberal
interpretation of the word, it might very likely be as easy to find

Ceuta, like almost every other town or citadel on this battle-ground of
Europe and Africa, has played its part in the secular struggle between
Christendom and Islam. It is more than four centuries and a half since it
was first wrested from the Moors by King John of Portugal, and in the
hands of that State it remained for another two hundred years, when in
1640, it was annexed to the Crown of Castille. King John's acquisition of
the place, however, was unfortunate for his family. He returned home,
leaving the princes of Portugal in command of his new possession; which,
after the repulse of an attempt on the part of the Moors to recapture it,
he proceeded to strengthen with new fortifications and an increased
garrison. Dying in 1428, he was succeeded by his eldest son, Edward, who
undertook an expedition against Tangier, which turned out so unluckily
that the Portuguese had to buy their retreat from Africa by a promise to
restore Ceuta, the king's son, Don Ferdinand, being left in the hands of
the Moors as a hostage for its delivery. In spite of this, however, the
King and Council refused on their return home to carry out their
undertaking; and though preparations were made for recovering the
unfortunate hostage, the death of Edward prevented the project from being
carried out, and Prince Ferdinand remained a prisoner for several years.
Ceuta was never surrendered, and passing, as has been said, in the
seventeenth century from the possession of Portugal into that of Spain, it
now forms one of the four or five vantage-points held by Spain on the
coast of Africa and in its vicinity. Surveyed from the neighboring
heights, the citadel, with the town stretching away along the neck of land
at its foot, looks like anything but a powerful stronghold, and against
any less effete and decaying race than the Moors who surround it, it might
not possibly prove very easy to defend. Its garrison, however, is strong,
whatever its forts may be, and as a basis of military operations, it
proved to be of some value to Spain in her expedition against Morocco
thirty years ago. In times of peace it is used by the Spaniards as a
convict station.

The internal attractions of Ceuta to a visitor are not considerable. There
are Roman remains in the neighborhood of the citadel, and the walls of the
town, with the massive archways of its gates, are well worthy of remark.
Its main feature of interest, however, is, and always will be, that rock
of many names which it thrusts forth into the Straits, to form, with its
brother column across the water, the gateway between the Eastern and the
Western World. We have already looked upon it in the distance from El
Hacho, the signal tower on the summit of the Rock of Gibraltar. Abyla,
"the mountain of God," it was styled by the Phoenicians; Gibel Mo-osa, the
hill of Musa, was its name among the Moors; it is the Cabo de Bullones of
the Spaniard, and the Apes' Hill of the Englishman. It may be well seen,
though dwarfed a little by proximity, from its neighboring waters; a
curious sight, if only for its strange contrast with the European Pillar
that we have left behind. It is shaped like a miniature Peak of Teneriffe,
with a pointed apex sloping away on either side down high-shouldered
ridges towards its companion hills, and presenting a lined and furrowed
face to the sea. It is its situation, as has been noted already, and not
its conformation, which procured it its ancient name. But however earned,
its mythical title, with all the halo of poetry and romance that the
immortal myths of Hellas have shed around every spot which they have
reached, remains to it for ever. And here we take our farewell look of the
Pillars of Hercules to right and left, and borne onwards amidstream by the
rushing current of the Straits, we pass from the modern into the ancient



    "A Pearl set in Emeralds"--Two distinct towns, one ancient, one
    modern--The Great Mosque--A Mohammedan religious festival--Oriental
    life in perfection--The road to Mustapha Supérieur--A true Moorish
    villa described--Women praying to a sacred tree--Excessive rainfall.

"Algiers," says the Arab poet, with genuine Oriental love of precious
stones in literature, "is a pearl set in emeralds." And even in these
degenerate days of Frank supremacy in Islam, the old Moorish town still
gleams white in the sun against a deep background of green hillside, a
true pearl among emeralds. For it is a great mistake to imagine North
Africa, as untravelled folk suppose, a dry and desert country of arid
rocky mountains. The whole strip of laughing coast which has the Atlas for
its backbone may rank, on the contrary, as about the dampest, greenest,
and most luxuriant region of the Mediterranean system. The home of the
Barbary corsairs is a land of high mountains, deep glens, great gorges; a
land of vast pine forests and thick, verdant undergrowth. A thousand rills
tumble headlong down its rich ravines; a thousand rivers flow fast through
its fertile valleys. For wild flowers Algeria is probably unequaled in the
whole world; its general aspect in many ways recalls on a smaller scale
the less snow-clad parts of eastern Switzerland.


When you approach the old pirate-nest from the sea, the first glimpse of
the African coast that greets your expectant eye is a long, serrated chain
of great sun-smitten mountains away inland and southward. As the steamer
nears the land, you begin, after a while, to distinguish the snowy ridge
of the glorious Djurjura, which is the Bernese Oberland of Algeria, a huge
block of rearing peaks, their summits thick-covered by the virgin snow
that feeds in spring a score of leaping torrents. By-and-by, with still
nearer approach, a wide bay discloses itself, and a little range of green
hills in the foreground detaches itself by degrees from the darker mass of
the Atlas looming large in the distance behind. This little range is the
Sahel, an outlier just separated from the main chain in the rear by the
once marshy plain of the Metidja, now converted by drainage and scientific
agriculture into the most fertile lowland region of all North Africa.

Presently, on the seaward slopes of the Sahel, a white town bursts upon
the eye, a white town so very white, so close, so thick-set, that at first
sight you would think it carved entire, in tier after tier, from a solid
block of marble. No street or lane or house or public building of any sort
stands visible from the rest at a little distance; just a group of white
steps, you would say, cut out by giant hands from the solid hillside. The
city of the Deys looks almost like a chalk-pit on the slope of an English
down; only a chalk-pit in relief, built out, not hewn inwards.

As you enter the harbor the strange picture resolves itself bit by bit
with charming effect into its component elements. White houses rise up
steep, one above the other, in endless tiers and rows, upon a very abrupt
acclivity. Most of them are Moorish in style, square, flat-roofed boxes;
all are whitewashed without, and smiling like pretty girls that show their
pearly teeth in the full southern sunshine. From without they have the
aspect of a single solid block of stone; you would fancy it was impossible
to insert a pin's head between them. From within, to him that enters,
sundry narrow and tortuous alleys discover themselves here and there on
close inspection; but they are too involved to produce much effect as of
streets or rows on the general _coup d'oeil_ from the water.

Land at the quay, and you find at once Algiers consists of two distinct
towns: one ancient, one modern; one Oriental, one Western. Now and again
these intersect, but for the most part they keep themselves severely

The lower town has been completely transformed within half a century by
its French masters. What it has gained in civilization it has lost in
picturesqueness. A spacious port has been constructed, with massive mole
and huge arcaded breakwater. Inside, vast archways support a magnificent
line of very modern quays, bordered by warehouses on a scale that would do
honor to Marseilles or to Liverpool. Broad streets run through the length
and breadth of this transformed Algiers, streets of stately shops where
ladies can buy all the fripperies and fineries of Parisian dressmakers.
Yet even here the traveller finds himself already in many ways _en plein
Orient_. The general look of the new town itself is far more Eastern than
that of modernized Alexandria since the days of the bombardment. Arabs,
Moors and Kabyles crowd the streets and market-places; muffled women in
loose white robes, covered up to the eyes, flit noiselessly with slippered
feet over the new-flagged pavement; turbaned Jews, who might have stepped
straight out of the "Arabian Nights," chaffer for centimes at the
shop-doors with hooded mountain Berbers. All is strange and incongruous;
all is Paris and Bagdad shaking hands as if on the Devonshire hillsides.

Nor are even Oriental buildings of great architectural pretensions wanting
to this newer French city. The conquerors, in reconstructing Algiers on
the Parisian model, have at least forborne to Haussmannise in every
instance the old mosques and palaces. The principal square, a broad place
lined with palm-trees, is enlivened and made picturesque by the white
round dome and striking minarets of the Mosquée de la Pêcherie. Hard by
stands the Cathedral, a religious building of Mussulman origin, half
Christianized externally by a tower at each end, but enclosing within
doors its old Mohammedan _mimbar_ and many curious remains of quaint
Moorish decoration. The Archbishopric at its side is a Moorish palace of
severe beauty and grandeur; the museum of Græco-Roman antiques is oddly
installed in the exquisite home raised for himself by Mustapha Pasha. The
Great Mosque, in the Rue Bab-el-Oued, remains to us unspoiled as the
finest architectural monument of the early Mohammedan world. That glorious
pile was built by the very first Arab conquerors of North Africa, the
companions of the Prophet, and its exquisite horse-shoe arches of pure
white marble are unsurpassed in the Moslem world for their quaintness,
their oddity, and their originality.

The interior of this mosque is, to my mind, far more impressive than
anything to be seen even in Cairo itself, so vast it is, so imposing, so
grand, so gloomy. The entire body of the building is occupied throughout
by successive arcades, supported in long rows by plain, square pillars.
Decoration there is none; the mosque depends for effect entirely on its
architectural features and its noble proportions. But the long perspective
of these endless aisles, opening out to right and left perpetually as you
proceed, strikes the imagination of the beholder with a solemn sense of
vastness and mystery. As you pick your way, shoeless, among the loose mats
on the floor, through those empty long corridors, between those
buttress-like pillars, the soul shrinks within you, awe-struck. The very
absence of images or shrines, the simplicity and severity, gives one the
true Semitic religious thrill. No gauds or gewgaws here. You feel at once
you are in the unseen presence of the Infinite and the Incomprehensible.

The very first time I went into the Great Mosque happened, by good luck,
to be the day of a Mohammedan religious festival. Rows and rows of Arabs
in white robes filled up the interspaces of the columns, and rose and fell
with one accord at certain points of the service. From the dim depths by
the niche that looks towards Mecca a voice of some unseen ministrant
droned slowly forth loud Arabic prayers or long verses from the Koran. At
some invisible signal, now and again, the vast throng of worshippers, all
ranged in straight lines at even distances between the endless pillars,
prostrated themselves automatically on their faces before Allah, and
wailed aloud as if in conscious confession of their own utter
unworthiness. The effect was extraordinary, electrical, contagious. No
religious service I have ever seen elsewhere seemed to me to possess such
a profundity of earnest humiliation, as of man before the actual presence
of his Maker. It appeared to one like a chapter of Nehemiah come true
again in our epoch. We few intrusive Westerns, standing awe-struck by the
door, slunk away, all abashed, from this scene of deep abasement. We had
no right to thrust ourselves upon the devotions of these intense
Orientals. We felt ourselves out of place. We had put off our shoes, for
the place we stood upon was holy ground. But we slunk back to the porch,
and put them on again in silence. Outside, we emerged upon the nineteenth
century and the world. Yet even so, we had walked some way down the Place
de la Régence, among the chattering negro pedlers, before one of us dared
to exchange a single word with the other.

If the new town of Algiers is interesting, however, the old town is
unique, indescribable, incomprehensible. No map could reproduce it; no
clue could unravel it. It climbs and clambers by tortuous lanes and steep
staircases up the sheer side of a high hill to the old fortress of the
Deys that crowns the summit. Not one gleam of sunshine ever penetrates
down those narrow slits between the houses, where two people can just pass
abreast, brushing their elbows against the walls, and treading with their
feet in the poached filth of the gutter. The dirt that chokes the sides is
to the dirt of Italy as the dirt of Italy is to the dirt of Whitechapel.
And yet so quaint, so picturesque, so interesting is it all, that even
delicate ladies, with the fear of typhoid fever for ever before their
eyes, cannot refuse themselves the tremulous joy of visiting it and
exploring it over and over again; nay, more, of standing to bargain for
old brass-work or Algerian embroidery with keen Arab shopkeepers in its
sunless labyrinths. Except the Mooskee at Cairo, indeed, I know no place
yet left where you can see Oriental life in perfection as well as the old
town of Algiers. For are there not tramways nowadays even in the streets
of Damascus? Has not a railway station penetrated the charmed heart of
Stamboul? The Frank has done his worst for the lower town of his own
building, but the upper town still remains as picturesque, as mysterious,
and as insanitary as ever. No Pasteur could clean out those Augean

In those malodorous little alleys, where every prospect pleases and every
scent is vile, nobody really walks; veiled figures glide softly as if to
inaudible music; ladies, muffled up to their eyes, use those solitary
features with great effect upon the casual passer-by; old Moors, in
stately robes, emerge with stealthy tread from half-unseen doorways; boys
clad in a single shirt sit and play pitch-and-toss for pence on dark
steps. Everything reeks impartially of dirt and of mystery. All is gloom
and shade. You could believe anything on earth of that darkling old town.
There all Oriental fancies might easily come true, all fables might
revive, all dead history might repeat itself.

These two incongruous worlds, the ancient and the modern town, form the
two great divisions of Algiers as the latter-day tourist from our cold
North knows it. The one is antique, lazy, sleepy, unprogressive; the other
is bustling, new-world, busy, noisy, commercial. But there is yet a third
Algiers that lies well without the wall, the Algiers of the stranger and
of the winter resident. Hither Mr. Cook conducts his eager neophytes;
hither the Swiss innkeeper summons his cosmopolitan guests. It reaches its
culminating point about three miles from the town, on the heights of
Mustapha Supérieur, where charming villas spread thick over the sunlit
hills, and where the Western visitor can enjoy the North African air
without any unpleasant addition of fine old crusted Moorish perfumes.

The road to Mustapha Supérieur lies through the Bab-Azzoun gate, and
passes first along a wide street thronged with Arabs and Kabyles from the
country and the mountains. This is the great market road of Algiers, the
main artery of supplies, a broad thoroughfare lined with _fondouks_ or
caravanserais, where the weary camel from the desert deposits his bales of
dates, and where black faces of Saharan negroes smile out upon the curious
stranger from dense draping folds of some dirty burnouse. The cafés are
filled with every variety of Moslem, Jew, Turk, and infidel. Nowhere else
will you see to better advantage the wonderful variety of races and
costumes that distinguishes Algiers above most other cosmopolitan
Mediterranean cities. The dark M'zabite from the oases, arrayed like
Joseph in a coat of many colors, stands chatting at his own door with the
pale-faced melancholy Berber of the Aurès mountains. The fat and dusky
Moor, over-fed on kous-kous, jostles cheek by jowl with the fair Jewess in
her Paisley shawl and quaint native head-gear. Mahonnais Spaniards from
the Balearic Isles, girt round their waists with red scarves, talk gaily
to French missionary priests in violet bands and black cassocks. Old Arabs
on white donkeys amble with grave dignity down the center of the broad
street, where chasseurs in uniform and spahis in crimson cloaks keep them
company on fiery steeds from the Government stud at Blidah. All is noise
and bustle, hurry, scurry, and worry, the ant-hill life of an English
bazaar grotesquely superimposed on the movement and stir of a great
European city.

You pass through the gates of the old Moorish town and find yourself at
once in a modern but still busy suburb. Then on a sudden the road begins
to mount the steep Mustapha slope by sharp zigzags and bold gradients. In
native Algerian days, before Allah in his wisdom mysteriously permitted
the abhorred infidel to bear sway in the Emerald City over the Faithful of
Islam, a single narrow mule-path ascended from the town wall to the breezy
heights of Mustapha. It still exists, though deserted, that old breakneck
Mussulman road a deep cutting through soft stone, not unlike a Devonshire
lane, all moss-grown and leafy, a favorite haunt of the naturalist and the
trap-door spider. But the French engineers, most famous of road-makers,
knew a more excellent way. Shortly after the conquest they carved a zigzag
carriage-drive of splendid dimensions up that steep hill-front, and paved
it well with macadam of most orthodox solidity. At the top, in proof of
their triumph over nature and the Moslem, they raised a tiny commemorative
monument, the Colonne Voirol, after their commander's name, now the
Clapham Junction of all short excursions among the green dells of the

The Mustapha road, on its journey uphill, passes many exquisite villas of
the old Moorish corsairs. The most conspicuous is that which now forms the
Governor-General's Summer Palace, a gleaming white marble pile of rather
meretricious and over-ornate exterior, but all glorious within, to those
who know the secret of decorative art, with its magnificent heirloom of
antique tiled dados. Many of the other ancient villas, however, and
notably the one occupied by Lady Mary Smith-Barry, are much more really
beautiful, even if less externally pretentious, than the Summer Palace.
One in particular, near the last great bend of the road, draped from the
ground to the flat roof with a perfect cataract of bloom by a crimson
bougainvillea, may rank among the most picturesque and charming homes in
the French dominions.


It is at Mustapha, or along the El Biar road, that the English colony of
residents or winter visitors almost entirely congregates. Nothing can be
more charming than this delicious quarter, a wilderness of villas, with
its gleaming white Moorish houses half lost in rich gardens of orange,
palm, and cypress trees. How infinitely lovelier these Eastern homes than
the fantastic extravagances of the Californie at Cannes, or the sham
antiques on the Mont Boron! The native North African style of architecture
answers exactly to the country in whose midst it was developed. In our
cold northern climes those open airy arcades would look chilly and out of
place, just as our castles and cottages would look dingy and incongruous
among the sunny nooks of the Atlas. But here, on the basking red African
soil, the milk-white Moorish palace with its sweeping Saracenic arches,
its tiny round domes, its flat, terraced roofs, and its deep perspective
of shady windows, seems to fit in with land and climate as if each were
made for the other. Life becomes absolutely fairy-like in these charming
old homes. Each seems for the moment while you are in it just a dream in
pure marble.

I am aware that to describe a true Moorish villa is like describing the
flavor of a strawberry; the one must be tasted, the other seen. But still,
as the difficulty of a task gives zest to the attempt at surmounting it,
I will try my hand at a dangerous word-picture. Most of the Mustapha
houses have an outer entrance-court, to which you obtain admission from
the road by a plain, and often rather heavy, archway. But, once you have
reached the first atrium, or uncovered central court, you have no reason
to complain of heaviness or want of decoration. The court-yard is
generally paved with parti-colored marble, and contains in its center a
Pompeian-looking fountain, whose cool water bubbles over into a shallow
tank beneath it. Here reeds and tall arums lift their stately green
foliage, and bright pond-blossoms rear on high their crimson heads of
bloom. Round the quadrangle runs a covered arcade (one might almost say a
cloister) of horse-shoe arches, supported by marble columns, sometimes
Græco-Roman antiques, sometimes a little later in date, but admirably
imitated from the originals. This outer court is often the most charming
feature of the whole house. Here, on sultry days, the ladies of the family
sit with their books or their fancy-work; here the lord of the estate
smokes his afternoon cigar; here the children play in the shade during the
hottest African noon-day. It is the place for the siesta, for the
afternoon tea, for the lounge in the cool of the evening, for the joyous
sense of the delight of mere living.

From the court-yard a second corridor leads into the house itself, whose
center is always occupied by a large square court, like the first in
ground-plan, but two-storied and glass-covered. This is the hall, or first
reception room, often the principal apartment of the whole house, from
which the other rooms open out in every direction. Usually the
ground-floor of the hall has an open arcade, supporting a sort of balcony
or gallery above, which runs right round the first floor on top of it.
This balcony is itself arcaded; but instead of the arches being left open
the whole way up, they are filled in for the first few feet from the floor
with a charming balustrade of carved Cairene woodwork. Imagine such a
court, ringed round with string-courses of old Oriental tiles, and
decorated with a profusion of fine pottery and native brasswork, and you
may form to yourself some faint mental picture of the common remodeled
Algerian villa. It makes one envious again to remember how many happy days
one has spent in some such charming retreats, homes where all the culture
and artistic taste of the West have been added to all the exquisite
decorative instinct and insight of the Oriental architect.

Nor are fair outlooks wanting. From many points of view on the Mustapha
Hill the prospect is among the most charming in the western Mediterranean.
Sir Lambert Playfair, indeed, the learned and genial British
Consul-General whose admirable works on Algeria have been the delight of
every tourist who visits that beautiful country, is fond of saying that
the two finest views on the Inland Sea are, first, that from the Greek
Theater at Taormina, and, second, that from his own dining-room windows on
the hill-top at El Biar. This is very strong praise, and it comes from the
author of a handbook to the Mediterranean who has seen that sea in all
aspects, from Gibralta to Syria; yet I fancy it is too high, especially
when one considers that among the excluded scenes must be put Naples,
Sorrento, Amalfi, Palermo, and the long stretch of Venice as seen from the
Lido. I would myself even rank the outlook on Monaco from the slopes of
Cap Martin, and the glorious panorama of Nice and the Maritime Alps from
the Lighthouse Hill at Antibes, above any picture to be seen from the
northern spurs of the Sahel. Let us be just to Piræus before we are
generous to El Biar. But all this is, after all, a mere matter of taste,
and no lover of the picturesque would at any rate deny that the Bay of
Algiers, as viewed from the Mustapha Hill, ranks deservedly high among the
most beautiful sights of the Mediterranean. And when the sunset lights up
in rosy tints the white mole and the marble town, the resulting scene is
sometimes one of almost fairy-like splendor.

Indeed, the country round Mustapha is a district of singular charm and
manifold beauty. The walks and drives are delicious. Great masses of pale
white clematis hang in sheets from the trees, cactus and aloe run riot
among the glens, sweet scents of oleander float around the deep ravines,
delicious perfumes of violets are wafted on every breeze from unseen and
unsuspected gardens. Nowhere do I know a landscape so dotted with houses,
and nowhere are the houses themselves so individually interesting. The
outlook over the bay, the green dells of the foreground, the town on its
steep acclivity, the points and headlands, and away above all, in the
opposite direction, the snow-clad peaks of the Djurjura, make up a picture
that, after all, has few equals or superiors on our latter-day planet.

One of the sights of Mustapha is the Arab cemetery, where once a week the
women go to pray and wail, with true Eastern hyperbole, over the graves of
their dead relations. By the custom of Islam they are excluded from the
mosques and from all overt participation in the public exercises of
religion; but these open-air temples not made with hands, even the Prophet
himself has never dared to close to them. Ancestor-worship and the
veneration of the kindred dead have always borne a large part in the
domestic creed of the less civilized Semites, and, like many other traces
of heathenism, this antique cult still peeps sturdily through the thin
veil of Mohammedan monotheism. Every hillock in the Atlas outliers is
crowned by the tiny domed tomb, or _koubba_, of some local saint; every
sacred grove overshadows the relics of some reverend Marabout. Nay, the
very oldest forms of Semitic idolatry, the cult of standing stones, of
holy trees, and of special high places on the mountain-tops, survive to
this day even in the midst of Islam. It is the women in particular who
keep alive these last relics of pre-Moslem faith; it is the women that one
may see weeping over the narrow graves of their loved ones, praying for
the great desire of the Semitic heart, a man-child from Allah, before the
sacred tree of their pagan ancestors, or hanging rags and dolls as
offerings about the holy grove which encloses the divine spring of pure
and hallowed water.

Algiers is thus in many ways a most picturesque winter resort. But it has
one great drawback: the climate is moist and the rainfall excessive. Those
who go there must not expect the dry desert breeze that renders Luxor and
Assiout so wholesome and so unpleasant. Beautiful vegetation means rain
and heat. You will get both in Algiers, and a fine Mediterranean tossing
on your journey to impress it on your memory.



    A nearly perfect climate--Continuous existence of thirty
    centuries--Granada and the world-renowned Alhambra--Systems of
    irrigation--Vineyards the chief source of wealth--Esparto grass--The
    famous Cape de Gatt--The highest peak of the Sierra Nevada--Last view
    of Granada.

Malaga has been very differently described and appreciated. The Arab
chroniclers who knew it in the palmy days of the Moorish domination
considered it "a most beautiful city, densely peopled, large and most
excellent." Some rose to poetical rhapsody in describing it; they praised
it as "the central jewel of a necklace, a land of paradise, the pole star,
the diadem of the moon, the forehead of a bewitching beauty unveiled." A
Spanish poet was not less eloquent, and sang of Malaga as "the
enchantress, the home of eternal spring, bathed by the soft sea, nestling
amidst flowers." Ford, on the other hand, that prince of guide-book
makers, who knew the Spain of his day intimately from end to end, rather
despised Malaga. He thought it a fine but purely commercial city, having
"few attractions beyond climate, almonds and raisins, and sweet wine."
Malaga has made great strides nevertheless in the fifty-odd years since
Ford so wrote of it. While preserving many of the charming characteristics
which evoked such high-flown encomiums in the past, it has developed
considerably in trade, population, and importance. It grows daily;
building is constantly in progress, new streets are added year after year
to the town. Its commerce flourishes; its port is filled with shipping
which carry off its many manufactures: chocolate, liquorice, porous jars,
and clay figures, the iron ores that are smelted on the spot; the
multifarious products of its fertile soil, which grows in rich profusion
the choicest fruits of the earth: grapes, melons, plantains, guava,
quince, Japanese medlars, oranges, lemons, and prickly pears. All the
appliances and luxurious aids to comfort known to our latter-day
civilization are to be found in Malaga: several theaters, one of them an
opera house, clubs, grand hotels, bankers, English doctors, cabs. It
rejoices too in an indefeasible and priceless gift, a nearly perfect
climate, the driest and balmiest in Southern Europe. Rain falls in Malaga
but half a dozen days in the year, and its winter sun would shame that of
an English summer. It has a southern aspect, and is sheltered from the
north by an imposing range of mountains; its only trouble is the _terral_
or north-west wind, the same disagreeable visitor as that known on the
Italian Riviera as the Tramontana, and in the south of France as the
Mistral. These climatic advantages have long recommended Malaga as a
winter health resort for delicate and consumptive invalids, and an
increasingly successful rival to Madeira, Malta, and Algiers. The general
view of this city of sunshine, looking westward, to which point it lies
open, is pleasing and varied; luxuriant southern vegetation, aloes,
palmetto, and palms, fill up the foreground; in the middle distance are
the dazzling white façades and towers of the town, the great amphitheater
of the bull ring, the tall spire of the Cathedral a very conspicuous
object, the whole set off by the dark blue Mediterranean, and the
reddish-purple background of the Sierra Bermeja or Vermilion Hills.

There is active enjoyment to be got in and near Malaga as well as the mere
negative pleasure of a calm, lazy life amid beautiful scenes. It is an
excellent point of departure for interesting excursions. Malaga lies on
the fringe of a country full of great memories, and preserving many
curious antiquarian remains. It is within easy reach by rail of Granada
and the world-renowned Alhambra, whence the ascent of the great southern
snowy range, the Sierra Nevada, may be made with pleasurable excitement
and a minimum of discomfort. Other towns closely associated with great
events may also be visited: Alhama, the mountain key of Granada, whose
capture preluded that of the Moorish capital and is enshrined in Byron's
beautiful verse; Ronda, the wildly picturesque town lying in the heart of
its own savage hills; Almeria, Antequera, Archidona, all old Moorish
towns. By the coast road westward, a two days' ride, through Estepona and
Marbella, little seaside towns bathed by the tideless Mediterranean,
Gibraltar may be reached. Inland, a day's journey, are the baths of
Caratraca, delightfully situated in a narrow mountain valley, a cleft of
the rugged hill, and famous throughout Spain. The waters are akin to those
of Harrogate, and are largely patronized by crowds of the bluest-blooded
hidalgos, the most fashionable people, Spaniards from La Corte (Madrid),
and all parts of the Peninsula. Yet another series of riding excursions
may be made into the wild Alpujarras, a desolate and uncultivated district
gemmed with bright oases of verdure, which are best reached by the coast
road leading from Malaga through Velez Malaga, Motril to Adra, and which
is perhaps the pleasantest route to Granada itself. On one side is the
dark-blue sea; on the other, vine-clad hills: this is a land, to use
Ford's words, "overflowing with oil and wine; here is the palm without the
desert, the sugar-cane without the slave;" old Moorish castles perched
like eagles' eyries crown the hills; below cluster the spires and towers
of churches and convents, hemmed in by the richest vegetation. The whole
of this long strip of coast is rich with the alluvial deposits brought
down by the mountain torrents from the snowy Sierras above; in spring
time, before the summer heats have parched the land, everything flourishes
here, the sweet potato, indigo, sugar-cane and vine; masses of wild
flowers in innumerable gay colors, the blue iris, the crimson oleander,
geraniums, and luxuriant festoons of maidenhair ferns bedeck the landscape
around. It is impossible to exaggerate the delights of these riding trips;
the traveller relying upon his horse, which carries a modest kit, enjoys a
strange sense of independence: he can go on or stop, as he chooses,
lengthen or shorten his day's journey, which takes him perpetually and at
the leisurely pace which permits ample observation of the varied views.
The scene changes constantly: now he threads a half-dried watercourse,
thick with palmetto and gum cistus; now he makes the slow circuit of a
series of little rocky bays washed by the tideless calm of the blue sea;
now he breasts the steep slope, the seemingly perilous ascent of bold
cliffs, along which winds the track made centuries since when the most
direct was deemed the shortest way to anywhere in spite of the
difficulties that intervened.

Malaga as a seaport and place of settlement can claim almost fabulous
antiquity. It was first founded by the Phoenicians three thousand years
ago, and a continuous existence of thirty centuries fully proves the
wisdom of their choice. Its name is said to be Phoenician, and is
differently derived from a word meaning salt, and another which would
distinguish it as "the king's town." From the earliest ages Malaga did a
thriving business in salt fish; its chief product and export were the same
anchovies and the small _boquerones_, not unlike an English whitebait,
which are still the most highly prized delicacies of the Malaga fish
market. Southern Spain was among the richest and most valued of Phoenician
possessions. It was a mine of wealth to them, the Tarshish of Biblical
history from which they drew such vast supplies of the precious metals
that their ships carried silver anchors. Hiram, King of Tyre, was a sort
of goldsmith to Solomon, furnishing the wise man's house with such stores
of gold and silver utensils that silver was "accounted nothing therein,"
as we read in the First Book of Kings. When the star of Tyre and Sidon
waned, and Carthage became the great commercial center of the
Mediterranean, it controlled the mineral wealth of Spain and traded
largely with Malaga. Later, when Spain passed entirely into Roman hands,
this southern province of Boetica grew more and more valuable, and the
wealth of the country passed through its ports eastward to the great marts
of the world. Malaga however, was never the equal either in wealth or
commercial importance of its more eastern and more happily placed neighbor
Almeria. The latter was the once famous "Portus Magnus," or Great Port,
which monopolized most of the maritime traffic with Italy and the more
distant East. But Malaga rose in prosperity as Roman settlers crowded
into Boetica, and Roman remains excavated in and around the town attest
the size and importance of the place under the Romans. It was a
municipium, had a fine ampitheater, the foundations of which were laid
bare long afterwards in building a convent, while many bronzes, fragments
of statuary, and Roman coins found from time to time prove the intimate
relations between Malaga and the then Mistress of the World. The Goths,
who came next, overran Boetica, and although their stay was short, they
rechristened the province, which is still known by their name, the modern
Andal-, or Vandalucia. Malaga was a place of no importance in the time of
the Visigoths, and it declined, only to rise with revived splendor under
the Moors, when it reached the zenith of its greatness, and stood high in
rank among the Hispano-Mauresque cities.

It was the same one-eyed Berber General, Tarik, who took Gibraltar who was
the first Moorish master of Malaga. Legendary story still associates a
gate in the old Moorish castle, the Gibralfaro, with the Moorish invasion.
This Puerta de la Cava was called, it has been said, after the ill-used
daughter of Count Julyan whose wrongs led to the appeal to Moorish
intervention. But it is not known historically that Count Julyan had a
daughter named La Cava, or any daughter at all; nor is it likely that the
Moors would remember the Christian maiden's name as sponsor for the gate.
After the Moorish conquest Malaga fell to the tribes that came from the
river Jordan, a pastoral race who extended their rule to the open lands as
far as Archidona. The richness of their new possession attracted great
hordes of Arabs from their distant homes; there was a general exodus, and
each as it came to the land of promise settled where they found anything
that recalled their distant homes. Thus the tribes from the deserts of
Palmyra found a congenial resting-place on the arid coast near Almeria and
the more rugged kingdom of Murcia; the Syrian mountaineers established
themselves amidst the rocky fastness of the Ronda Serranía; while those
from Damascus and Bagdad reveled in the luxuriant beauty of the fertile
plains watered by the Xenil and Darro, the great Vega, with its
orange-groves and jeweled gardens that still make Granada a smiling

These Moslem conquerors were admirable in their administration and
development of the land they seized, quick to perceive its latent
resources and make the most of them. Malaga itself became the court and
seat of government of a powerful dynasty whose realms extended inland as
far as Cordova, and the region around grew under their energetic and
enlightened management into one great garden teeming with the most varied
vegetation. What chiefly commended Malaga to the Moors was the beauty of
its climate and the amazing fertility of the soil. The first was a
God-sent gift, the latter made unstinting return for the labor freely but
intelligently applied. Water was and still is the great need of those
thirsty and nearly rainless southern lands, and the Moorish methods of
irrigation, ample specimens of which still survive, were most elaborate
and effective contrivances for distributing the fertilizing fluid. Many of
these ancient systems of irrigation are still at work at Murcia, Valencia,
Granada, and elsewhere. The Moors were masters of hydraulic science, which
was never more widely or intelligently practiced than in the East. So the
methods adopted and still seen in Spain have their Oriental prototypes and
counterparts. They varied, of course, with the character of the district
to be irrigated and the sources of supply. Where rivers and running water
gave the material, it was conveyed in canals; one main trunk-line or
artery supplied the fluid to innumerable smaller watercourses or veins,
the _acequias_, which formed a reticulated network of minute
ramifications. The great difficulty in the plains, and this was especially
the case about Malaga, was to provide a proper fall, which was effected
either by carrying the water to a higher level by an aqueduct, or sinking
it below the surface in subterranean channels. Where the water had to be
raised from underground, the simple pole, on which worked an arm or lever
with a bucket, was used, the identical "shadoof" of the Nile; or the more
elaborate water-wheel, the Arab _Anaoura_, a name still preserved in the
Spanish _Noria_, one of which is figured in the Almeria washing-place,
where it serves the gossiping _lavanderas_ at their work. In these norias
the motive power is usually that of a patient ox, which works a revolving
wheel, and so turns a second at right angles armed with jars or buckets.
These descend in turn, coming up charged with water, which falls over into
a reservoir or pipe, whence it flows to do its business below.

Under this admirable system the land gives forth perpetual increases. It
knows no repose. Nothing lies fallow. "Man is never weary of sowing, nor
the sun of calling into life." Crop succeeds crop with astonishing
rapidity; three or four harvests of corn are reaped in the year, twelve or
fifteen of clover and lucerne. All kinds of fruit abound; the margins of
the watercourses blossom with flowers that would be prized in a hothouse,
and the most marvelous fecundity prevails. By these means the Moors of
Malaga, the most scientific and successful of gardeners, developed to the
utmost the marvelously prolific soil. Moorish writers described the
pomegranates of Malaga as red as rubies, and unequaled in the whole world.
The _brevas_, or small green figs, were of exquisitely delicious flavor,
and still merit that encomium. Grapes were a drug in the markets, cheap as
dirt; while the raisins into which they were converted, by a process that
dates back to the Phoenicians, found their way into the far East and were
famous in Palestine, Arabia, and beyond. The vineyards of the Malaga
district, a wide tract embracing all the southern slopes towards the
Mediterranean, were, and still are, the chief source of its wealth. The
wine of Malaga could tempt even Mohammedan Moors to forget their prophet's
prohibition; it was so delicious that a dying Moor when commending his
soul to God asked for only two blessings in Paradise, enough to drink of
the wines of Malaga and Seville. As the "Mountains," this same wine was
much drunk and appreciated by our forefathers. To this day "Malaga" is
largely consumed, both dry and sweet, especially that known as the
Lagrimas, or Tears, a cognate term to the famous Lachrymæ Christi of
Naples, and which are the very essence of the rich ripe grapes, which are
hung up in the sun till the juice flows from them in luscious drops.
Orange groves and lemon groves abound in the Vega, and the fruit is
largely exported. The collection and packing are done at points along the
line of railway to which Malaga is the maritime terminus, as at La
Pizarra, a small but important station which is the starting point for the
Baths of Caratraca, and the mountain ride to Ronda through the
magnificent pass of El Burgo. Of late years Malaga has become a species
of market garden, in which large quantities of early vegetables are
raised, the _primeurs_ of French gourmets, the young peas, potatoes,
asparagus, and lettuce, which are sent north to Paris during the winter
months by express trains. This is probably a more profitable business than
the raising of the sugar-cane, an industry introduced (or more exactly,
revived, for it was known to and cultivated by the Moors) in and around
Malaga by the well-known General Concha, Marques del Duero. He spent the
bulk of a large fortune in developing the cane cultivation, and almost
ruined himself in this patriotic endeavor. Others benefited largely by his
well-meant enterprise, and the sugar fields of southern Spain prospered
until the German beet sugar drove the homegrown hard. The climate of
Malaga, with its great dryness and absolute immunity from frost, is
exceedingly favorable to the growth of the sugar-cane, and the sugar
fields at the time of the cutting are picturesque centers of activity. The
best idea, however, of the amazing fertility of this gifted country will
be obtained from a visit to one of the private residential estates, or
_fincas_, such as that of La Concepcion, where palms, bamboos, arums,
cicads and other tropical plants thrive bravely in the open air. It is
only a short drive, and is well worth a visit. The small Grecian temple is
full of Roman remains, chiefly from Cartama, the site of a great Roman
city which Livy has described. Some of these remains are of beautiful
marble figures, which were found, like ordinary stones, built into a
prison wall and rescued with some difficulty. The Malaga authorities
annexed them, thinking they contained gold, then threw them away as old
rubbish. Other remains at La Concepcion are fragments of the Roman
municipal law, on bronze tablets, found at Osuna, between Antequera and

Malaga possesses many mementoes of the Moors besides their methods of
irrigation. The great citadel which this truly militant race erected upon
the chief point of vantage and key to the possession of Malaga still
remains. This, the Castle of Gibralfaro, the rock of the lighthouse, was
built by a prince of Granada, Mohammed, upon the site of a Phoenician
fortress, and it was so strongly fortified and held that it long resisted
the strenuous efforts of Ferdinand and Isabella in the memorable siege
which prefaced the fall of Granada. How disgracefully the Catholic kings
ill-treated the conquered Moors of Malaga, condemning them to slavery or
the _auto da fé_, may be read in the pages of Prescott. The towers of the
Gibralfaro still standing have each a story of its own: one was the
atalaya, or watch-tower; on another, that of La Vela, a great silver cross
was erected when the city surrendered. Below the Gibralfaro, but connected
with it and forming part of the four deep city walls, is the Alcazaba,
another fortification utilized by the Moors, but the fortress they raised
stands upon Phoenician foundations. The quarter that lies below these
Moorish strongholds is the most ancient part of Malaga, a wilderness of
dark, winding alleys of Oriental aspect, and no doubt of Moorish origin.
This is the home of the lower classes, of the turbulent masses who have in
all ages been a trial and trouble to the authorities of the time. The
Malagueños, the inhabitants of Malaga, whether Moors or Spaniards, have
ever been rebellious subjects of their liege lords, and uncomfortable
neighbors to one another. In all their commotions they have generally
espoused the cause which has ultimately failed.


Thus, in 1831, Riego and Torrijos having been in open revolt against the
Government, were lured into embarking for Malaga from Gibraltar, where
they had assembled, by its military commandant Moreno, and shot down to a
man on the beach below the Carmen Convent. Among the victims was an
Englishman, Mr. Boyd, whose unhappy fate led to sharp protests from
England. Since this massacre a tardy tribute has been raised to the memory
of the slain; it stands in the shape of a monument in the Plaza de Riego,
the Alameda. Again, Malaga sided with Espartero in 1843, when he
"pronounced" but had to fly into exile. Once more, in 1868, the Malagueños
took up arms upon the losing side, fighting for the dethroned Isabella
Segunda against the successful soldiers who had driven her from Madrid.
Malaga was long and obstinately defended, but eventually succumbed after a
sanguinary struggle. Last of all, after the abdication of Amadeus in 1873,
the Republicans of Malaga rose, and carried their excesses so far as to
establish a Communistic régime, which terrorized the town. The troops
disbanded themselves, their weapons were seized by the worst elements of
the population, who held the reins of power, the local authorities having
taken to flight. The mob laid hands on the customhouse and all public
moneys, levied contributions upon the more peaceable citizens, then
quarreled among themselves and fought out their battles in the streets,
sweeping them with artillery fire, and threatening a general bombardment.
Order was not easily restored or without the display of armed force, but
the condign punishment of the more blameworthy has kept Malaga quiet ever

While the male sex among the masses of Malaga enjoy an indifferent
reputation, her daughters of all classes are famed for their
attractiveness, even in Spain, the home, _par excellence_, of a
well-favored race. "Muchachas Malagueñas, muy halagueñas" (the girls of
Malaga are most bewitching) is a proverbial expression, the truth of which
has been attested by many appreciative observers. Théophile Gautier's
description of them is perhaps the most complimentary. The Malagueña, he
tells us, is remarkable for the even tone of her complexion (the cheek
having no more color than the forehead), the rich crimson of her lips, the
delicacy of her nostril, and above all the brilliancy of her Arab eyes,
which might be tinged with henna, they are so languorous and so
almond-shaped. "I cannot tell whether or not it was the red draperies of
their headgear, but their faces exhibited gravity combined with passion
that was quite Oriental in character." Gautier drew this picture of the
Malagueñas as he saw them at a bull-fight, and he expresses a not
unnatural surprise that sweet, Madonna-like faces, which might well
inspire the painter of sacred subjects, should look on unmoved at the
ghastly episodes of the blood-stained ring. It shocked him to see the deep
interest with which these pale beauties followed the fight, to hear the
feats of the arena discussed by sweet lips that might speak more suitably
of softer things. Yet he found them simple, tender-hearted, good, and
concluded that it was not cruelty of disposition but the custom of the
country that drew them to this savage show. Since then the bull-fight,
shorn, however, of its worst horrors, has become acclimatized and most
popular amidst M. Gautier's own country-women in Paris. That the beauty of
the higher ranks rivals that of the lowest may be inferred from the fact
that a lady whose charms were once celebrated throughout Europe is of
Malagueñan descent. The mother of the Empress Eugénie, who shared with
Napoleon III. the highest honors in France, was a Malaga girl, a Miss
Fitzpatrick, the daughter of the British consul, but she had also Spanish
blood in her veins.

A near neighbor and old rival, as richly endowed, may again pass Malaga in
the great race for commercial expansion. This is Almeria, which lies
farther eastward and which owns many natural advantages; its exposed port
has been improved by the construction of piers and breakwaters, and it now
offers a secure haven to the shipping that should ere long be attracted in
increasing tonnage to carry away the rich products of the neighboring
districts. Almeria is the capital of a province teeming with mineral
wealth, and whose climate and soil favor the growth of the most varied and
valuable crops. The silver mines of the mountains of Murcia and the
fertile valleys of the Alpujarras would find their best outlet at Almeria,
while Granada would once more serve as its farm. So ran the old proverb,
"When Almería was really Almería, Granada was only its alquería," or
source of supply. What this time-honored but almost forgotten city most
needs is to be brought into touch with the railway systems of Spain.
Meanwhile, Almeria, awaiting better fortune, thrives on the exports of its
own products, chief among which are grapes and esparto. The first has a
familiar sound to British ears, from the green grapes known as "Almerias,"
which are largely consumed in British households. These are not equal to
the delicately flavored Muscatels, but they are stronger and will bear the
packing and rough usages of exportation under which the others perish.
Esparto is a natural product of these favored lands, which, after long
supplying local wants, has now become an esteemed item in their list of
exports. It is known to botanists as the Spanish rush, or bass feather
grass, the Genet d'Espagne, and is compared by Ford to the "spear grass
which grows on the sandy sea-shores of Lancashire." It is still
manufactured, as in the days of Pliny, into matting, baskets, ropes, and
the soles for the celebrated Alpargatas, or rope sandal shoes, worn
universally by Spanish peasants in the south and Spanish soldiers on the
line of march. The ease and speed with which the Spanish infantry cover
long distances are greatly attributed to their comfortable chaussures.
Nowadays a much wider outlet has been found for esparto grass, and it is
grown artificially. When rags became more and more scarce and unequal to
the demands of the paper-makers, experiments were made with various
substitutes, and none answered the purpose better than the wild
spear-grass of southern Spain.

Almeria, while awaiting the return of maritime prosperity, can look with
some complacency upon a memorable if not altogether glorious past. Its
very names, Portus Magnus under the Romans, and Al Meriah, the
"Conspicuous," under the Moors, attest its importance. All the
agricultural produce of the prolific Vega, the silks that were woven on
Moorish looms and highly prized through the East, were brought to Almeria
for transmission abroad. The security and convenience of this famous port
gave it an evil reputation in after years, when it became an independent
kingdom under Ibn Maymum. Almeria was the terror of the Mediterranean; its
pirate galleys roved to and fro, making descents upon the French and
Italian coasts, and carrying back their booty, slaves, and prizes to their
impregnable home. Spaniards and Genoese presently combined against the
common enemy, and Almeria was one of the earliest Christian conquests
regained from the Moors. Later still the Algerian Moors took fresh
revenge, and their corsairs so constantly threatened Almeria that Charles
V. repaired its ancient fortifications, the old Moorish castle now called
the Alcazaba, the center or keep, and hung a great tocsin bell upon its
cathedral tower to give notice of the pirates' approach. This cathedral is
the most imposing object in the decayed and impoverished town. Pigs and
poultry roam at large in the streets, amidst dirt and refuse; but in the
strong sunlight, white and blinding as in Africa, the mean houses glisten
brightly, and the abundant color seen on awnings and lattice, upon the
women's skirts and kerchiefs, in the ultramarine sea, is brought out in
the most vivid and beautiful relief.

The scenery on the coast from Malaga eastward is fine, in some parts and
under certain aspects magnificent. Beyond Almeria is the famous Cape de
Gatt, as it is known to our mariners, the Cabo de Gata of local parlance,
the Agate Cape, to give it its precise meaning. This remarkable
promontory, composed of rocks encrusted with gems, is worthy a place in
the "Arabian Nights." There are miles and miles of agates and crystal
spar, and in one particular spot amethysts are found. Wild winds gather
and constantly bluster about this richly constituted but often
storm-tossed landmark. Old sailor saws have perpetuated its character in
the form of a proverb, "At the Cape de Gatt take care of your hat." Other
portions of the coast nearer Malaga are still more forbidding and
dangerous: under the Sierra Tejada, for example, where the rocky barriers
which guard the land rise tier above tier as straight as a wall, in which
there are no openings, no havens of safety for passing craft in an inshore
gale. Behind all, a dim outline joining hands as it were with the clouds,
towers the great snowy range of southern Spain, the Sierra Nevada,
rejoicing in an elevation as high as the Swiss Alps, and in some respects
far more beautiful.

There are, however, no such grim glaciers, no such vast snow-fields as in
Switzerland, for here in the south the sun has more power, and even at
these heights only the peaks and pinnacles wear white crests during the
summer heats. This more genial temperature encourages a richer vegetation,
and makes the ascents less perilous and toilsome. A member of the Alpine
Club would laugh to scorn the conquest of Muley Hacen, or of the Picacho
de la Veleta, the two crowning peaks of the range. The enterprise is
within the compass of the most moderate effort. The ascent of the
last-named and lowest, although the most picturesque, is the easiest made,
because the road from Granada is most direct. In both cases the greatest
part of the climbing is performed on horseback; but this must be done a
day in advance, and thus a night has to be passed near the summit under
the stars. The temperature is low, and the travellers can only defend
themselves against the cold by the wraps they have brought and the fuel
they can find (mere knotted roots) around their windy shelter. The ascent
to where the snow still lingers, in very dirty and disreputable patches,
is usually commenced about two in the morning, so that the top may be
reached before dawn. If the sky is clear, sunrise from the Picacho is a
scene that can never be forgotten, fairly competing with, if not
outrivaling, the most famous views of the kind. The Mediterranean lies
below like a lake, bounded to the north and west by the Spanish coast, to
the south by the African, the faintest outlines of which may often be seen
in the far, dim distance. Eastward the horizon is made glorious by the
bright pageants of the rising sun, whose majestic approach is heralded by
rainbow-hued clouds. All around are the strangely jagged and contorted
peaks, rolling down in diminishing grandeur to the lower peaks that seem
to rise from the sea.

The highest peak of the Sierra Nevada is Muley Hacen, although it has only
the advantage over the Picacho de la Veleta by about a couple of hundred
feet. It is a longer and more difficult ascent, but in some ways the most
interesting, as it can best be reached through the Alpujarras, those
romantic and secluded valleys which are full of picturesque scenery and of
historical associations. The starting point, as a general rule, is
Trevelez, although the ascent may be equally made from Portugos, somewhat
nearer Granada. Trevelez is the other side and the most convenient coming
from Malaga by way of Motril. But no one would take the latter route who
could travel by the former, which leads through Alhendin, that well-known
village which is said to have seen the last of the departing Moors. This
is the point at which Granada is finally lost to view, and it was here
that Boabdil, the last king of Granada, took his last farewell of the city
whose loss he wept over, under the scathing sarcasm of his more heroic
mother, who told him he might well "weep like a woman for what he could
not defend as a man." Near this village is the little hill still known as
the site of "El Ultimo Suspiro del Moro, the last sigh of the Moor." This
same road leads through Lanjaron, an enchanting spot, posted high upon a
spur of the hills, and famous as a bathing place with health-giving
mineral springs. From Portugos or Trevelez the climb is easy enough: to be
accomplished a great part of the way on horseback, and in its earlier
levels ascending amid forests of evergreen oak; after that, long wastes of
barren rock are passed, till at length the summit is reached, on a narrow
strip of table-land, the highest in Southern Europe, and with an unrivaled
view. The charm of the Muley Hacen peak is its isolation, while the
Picacho looks better from it than Muley Hacen does from the Picacho, and
there is a longer vista across the Mediterranean Sea.



    The flower market of the Rambla--Streets of the old town--The
    Cathedral of Barcelona--Description of the Columbus monument--All
    Saints' Day in Spain--Mont Tibidaho--Diverse centers of intellectual
    activity--Ancient history--Philanthropic and charitable institutions.

"Barcelona, shrine of courtesy, harbor of the wayfarer, shelter of the
poor, cradle of the brave, champion of the outraged, nurse of friendship,
unique in position, unique in beauty!"

Such was the eulogium bestowed upon Barcelona by the great Cervantes
several hundred years ago, an eulogium warranted by a stranger's
experience in our own day. The matchless site of the second city of Spain,
its luxuriant surroundings, awaken enthusiasm as of old, whilst even the
briefest possible sojourn suffices to make us feel at home. A winning
urbanity, a cosmopolitan amiableness, characterize the townsfolk, Spanish
hauteur is here replaced by French cordiality. Softness of manner and
graces of speech lend additional charm to a race conspicuous for personal
beauty. The Barcelonese are described by a contemporary as laborious and
energetic, ambitious of social advance, tenacious of personal dignity,
highly imaginative, at the same time eminently practical, steadfast in
friendship, vehement in hate. The stir and magnificence of the city
attest the progressive character of the inhabitants.

Few European capitals can boast of finer public monuments, few indeed
possess such a promenade as its famous Rambla. The Rambla may be regarded
as an epitome, not only of the entire city, but of all Spain, and here the
curious traveller should take up his quarters. A dozen brilliant or moving
spectacles meet the eye in a day, whilst the normal aspect is one of
unimaginable picturesqueness and variety. The dark-eyed flower-girls with
their rich floral displays; the country folks still adhering to the
costume of Catalonia--the men sandaled and white-hosed, for headgear,
slouch caps of crimson, scarlet, or peach-colored felt, the women with
gorgeous silk kerchiefs pinned under the chin--the Asturian nursemaids in
poppy-red skirts barred with black, and dainty gold and lace caps; the
ladies fanning themselves as they go in November, with black lace
mantillas over their pretty heads; the Guardia Civile in big,
awe-inspiring cocked hats and long black cloaks reaching to the ankle; the
trim soldiery in black and red tunics, knickerbockers and buskins, their
officers ablaze with gold braid and lace; the spick-and-span city police,
each neat as a dandy in a melodrama, not a hair out of place, collars and
cuffs of spotless white, ironed to perfection, well-fitting costumes,
swords at their sides; the priests and nuns; the seafaring folk of many
nationalities; the shepherds of uncouth appearance from the neighboring
mountains--all these at first make us feel as if we were taking part in a

Now way is made for the funeral train of some rich citizen, the lofty car
of sumptuous display of black and gold drapery, wreaths of fresh roses,
violet, and heliotrope, large as carriage-wheels, fastened to the sides,
the coffin, encased in black and violet velvet, studded with gold nails;
following slowly, a long procession of carriages bearing priests,
choristers, and mourners. And now the sounds of martial music summon the
newcomer a second time to his window. It is a soldier who is borne to his
rest. Six comrades accompany the bier, carrying long inverted tapers;
behind march commanding officers and men, the band playing strains all too
spirited it seems for such an occasion. There is always something going on
in this splendid avenue animated from early morning till past midnight,
market-place, parade ground, promenade in one.

The daily flower-market of itself would almost repay the journey from
London. When northern skies are gloomiest, and fogs are daily fare, the
Rambla is at its best. The yellowing leaves of the plane-trees look golden
under the dazzling blue sky, and brilliant as in a picture are the
flower-sellers and their wares. These distractingly pretty girls, with
their dark locks pulled over the brow, their lovely eyes, rich olive
complexions, and gleaming white teeth, have nothing of the mendicant about
them. As they offer their flowers--perhaps fastening roses to a
half-finished garland with one hand, whilst with the other a pot of
heliotrope is reached down--the passer-by is engagingly invited to
purchase. The Spanish language, even the dialect of Catalonia, is music to
begin with, and the flower-maidens make it more musical still by their
gentle, caressing ways. Some wear little mantillas of black, blonde, or
cashmere; others, silk kerchiefs of brightest hue--orange, crimson, deep
purple, or fanciful patterns of many colors. Barcelona is a flower-garden
all the year round, and in mid-winter we stroll between piled-up masses
of rose, carnation, and violet, to say nothing of dahlias and

It is especially on All Saints' and All Souls' Days that the flower-market
of the Rambla is seen to advantage; enormous sums are spent upon wreaths
and garlands for the cemetery, the poorest then contriving to pay his
floral tribute to departed kith and kin.

In striking contrast with the wide, airy, ever brilliantly illuminated
Rambla, electric light doing duty for sunshine at night, are the streets
of the old town. The stranger may take any turning--either to right or
left--he is sure to find himself in one of these dusky narrow
thoroughfares, so small ofttimes the space between window and opposite
window that neighbors might almost shake hands. With their open shops of
gay woolen stuffs, they vividly recall Cairene bazaars. Narrow as is the
accommodation without, it must be narrower still within, since when folks
move from one house to another their goods and chattels are hoisted up and
passed through the front windows. The sight of a chest of drawers or a
sofa in cloudland is comical enough, although the system certainly has its
advantages. Much manual labor is thereby spared, and the furniture
doubtless escapes injury from knocking about.

The wise traveller will elect to live on the Rambla, but to spend his time
in the old town. Wherever he goes he is sure to come upon some piece of
antiquity, whilst here, in a great measure, he loses sight of the
cosmopolitan element characterizing the new quarters. Novel and striking
as is its aspect to the stranger, Barcelona must nevertheless be described
as the least Spanish of Spanish towns. The second seaport of Spain is
still--as it was in the Middle Ages--one of the most important seats of
international commerce on the Mediterranean. As we elbow our way along
the crowded Rambla we encounter a diversity of types and hear a perplexing
jargon of many tongues. A few minutes suffice to transport us into the
old-world city familiar to Ford--not, however, to be described by the
twentieth century tourist in Ford's own words. "A difficult language," he
wrote just upon half a century ago, "rude manners, and a distrust of
strangers, render Barcelona a disagreeable city." Nowhere nowadays is more
courtesy shown to the inquiring stranger. He is not even obliged to ask
his way in these narrow tortuous streets. The city police, to be found at
every turn, uninvited come to his aid, and, bringing out a pocket-map,
with an infinity of pains make clear to him the route he has to take. The
handsome Calle San Fernando leads to the somber but grandiose old
Cathedral with its lovely cloisters, magnificent towers and bells,
deep-voiced as that of Big Ben itself. All churches in Spain, by the way,
must be visited in the forenoon; even then the light is so dim that little
can be seen of their treasures--pictures, reliquaries, marble tombs. The
Cathedral of Barcelona forms no exception to the rule. Only lighted by
windows of richly stained old glass, we are literally compelled to grope
our way along the crowded aisles. Mass is going on from early morning till
noon, and in the glimmering jeweled light we can just discern the moving
figures of priests and acolytes before the high altar, and the scattered
worshippers kneeling on the floor. Equally vague are the glimpses we
obtain of the chapels, veritable little museums of rare and beautiful
things unfortunately consigned to perpetual obscurity, veiled in
never-fading twilight. What a change we find outside! The elegant Gothic
cloisters, rather to be described as a series of chapels, each differing
from the other, each sumptuously adorned, enclose a sunny open space or
patio, planted with palms, orange and lemon trees, the dazzlingly bright
foliage and warm blue sky in striking contrast to the somber gray of the
building-stone. A little farther off, on the other side, we may see the
figures of the bell-ringers high up in the open belfry tower, swinging the
huge bells backwards and forwards with tremendous effort, a sight never to
be missed on Sundays and fête days.

This stately old Cathedral, like so many others, was never finished and
works of reparation and restoration are perpetually going on. Close by
stands the Palais de Justice, with its beautiful Gothic court and carved
stone staircase, the balustrade supported by lovely little statuettes or
gargoyles, each an artistic study in itself. Abutting this is the Palais
de Diputacion, Provincial or local Parliament House, a building of truly
Spanish grandeur. Its wide marble staircases, its elaborate ceilings of
carved wood, its majestic proportions, will, perhaps, have less interest
for some travellers than its art-treasures, two _chefs d'oeuvre_ of the
gifted Fortuny. Barcelona was the patron of this true genius--Catalan by
birth--so unhappily cut off in his early prime. With no little pride the
stately officials show these canvases--the famous "Odalisque" and the
"Battle of Tetuan"--the latter, alas! left unfinished. It is a superb
piece of life and color, but must be seen on a brilliant day as the hall
is somber. Nothing can exceed the courtesy of the Barcelonese to
strangers, and these pictures are shown out of the regular hours. But let
no one incautiously offer a fee. The proffered coin will be politely, even
smilingly, rejected, without humiliating reproof, much less a look of
affront. Ford's remark that "a silver key at all times secures admission"
does not hold good in these days.

Near the Cathedral, law courts, and Provincial Parliament House stands
another picturesque old palace of comparatively modern date, yet Saracenic
aspect, and containing one of the most curious historic treasures in
Europe. This is the palace of the kings of Aragon, or Archivo General de
la Corona de Aragon. The exterior, as is usual with Spanish buildings, is
massive and gloomy. Inside is a look of Oriental lightness and gaiety.
Slender columns, painted red, enclose an open court, and support a little
terrace planted with shrubs and flowers. Here in perfect order and
preservation, without a break, are stored the records of upwards of a
thousand years, the earlier consisting of vellum scrolls and black letter,
the latter showing the progress of printing from its beginning down to our
own day. The first parchment bears date A. D. 875. Among the curiosities
of the collection are no less than eight hundred and two Papal Bulls from
the year 1017 to 1796. Besides the archives of Barcelona itself, and of
the kingdom of Aragon, to which it was annexed in the twelfth century, the
palace contains many deeply interesting manuscripts found in the
suppressed monasteries.

The archives have been ingeniously arranged by the learned keeper of
records. The bookcases, which are not more than six feet high, stand on
either side of the vast library, at some distance from the wall, made
staircase-wise; one set of volumes just above the other, with the result
that no accumulation of dust is possible, and that each set is equally
accessible. The effect on the eye of these symmetrically-placed volumes in
white vellum is very novel and pleasing. We seem to be in a hall, the
walls of which are of fluted cream-colored marble.

The little museum of local antiquities in the ruined Church of Santa
Agneda, the somber old churches of San Pablo del Campo, Santa Maria del
Mar and Belen, the fragments of mediæval domestic architecture remaining
here and there--all these will detain the archæologist. Of more general
interest are the modern monuments of Barcelona. In no city have civic
lavishness and public spirit shone forth more conspicuously.

A penny tramway--you may go anywhere here for a penny--takes you to the
beautiful Park and Fountain of Neptune. The word "fountain" gives an
inadequate notion of the splendid pile, with its vast triple-storied
marble galleries, its sculptured Naiads and dolphins, and on the summit,
towering above park and lake and cascades, its three gigantic sea-horses
and charioteers richly gilt, gleaming as if indeed of massive gold. Is
there any more sumptuous fountain in the world? I doubt it. In spite of
the gilded sea-horses and chariot, there is no tawdriness here; all is
bold, splendid, and imposing. Below the vast terraced galleries and wide
staircases, all of pure marble, flows in a broad sheet the crystal-clear
water, home of myriads of gold fish. The _entourage_ is worthy of so
superb a construction. The fountain stands in the midst of a
scrupulously-kept, tastefully laid-out, ever-verdant park or public
pleasure-ground. In November all is fresh and blooming as in an English
June. Palms, magnolias, bananas, oleanders, camellias, the pepper-tree,
make up a rich, many-tinted foliage. Flowers in winter-time are supplanted
by beds of brilliant leaved plants that do duty for blossoms. The purple,
crimson, and sea-green leaves are arranged with great effect, and have a
brilliant appearance. Here surrounded by gold green turf, are little lakes
which may be sailed across in tiny pleasure skiffs. At the chief entrance,
conspicuously placed, stands the fine equestrian monument to Prim,
inaugurated with much civil and military pomp some years ago. It is a bold
statue in red bronze. The general sits his horse, hat in hand, his fine,
soldier-like face turned towards the city. On the sides of the pedestal
are bas-reliefs recording episodes of his career, and on the front these
words only, "Barcelona à Prim." The work is that of a Spanish artist, and
the monument as a whole reflects great credit alike to local art and
public spirit.

But a few minutes' drive brings us within sight of a monument to one of
the world's heroes. I allude to the memorial column recently raised to
Columbus by this same public-spirited and munificent city of Barcelona.
Columbus, be it remembered, was received here by Ferdinand and Isabella
after his discovery of America in 1493. Far and wide over hills and city,
palm-girt harbor, and sea, as a lighthouse towers the tremendous obelisk,
the figure of the great Genoese surmounting it, his feet placed on a
golden sphere, his outstretched arm pointing triumphantly in the direction
of his newly-discovered continent as much as to say, "It is there!"

Never did undertaking reflect more credit upon a city than this stupendous
work. The entire height of the monument is about two-thirds of the height
of the Monument of London. The execution was entrusted to Barcelonese
craftsmen and artists; the materials--bronze, stone, and marble--all being
supplied in the neighborhood.

On the upper tier of the pedestal are statues of the four noble Catalans
who materially aided Columbus in his expedition--by name Fray Boyl, monk
of Montserrat, Pedro Margarit, Jaime Ferrer, and Luis Sentangel. Below are
allegorical figures representing, in the form of stately matrons, the four
kingdoms of Catalonia, Castille, Aragon, and Leon. Bas-reliefs,
illustrating scenes in the career of the discoverer, adorn the hexagonal
sides, six magnificent winged lions of greystone keep jealous watch over
the whole, and below these, softening the aspect of severity, is a belt of
turf, the following inscription being perpetually written in flowers:
"Barcelona à Colon." The column is surmounted by a globe burnished with
gold, and above rises the colossal figure of Columbus.

No happier site could have been selected. The monument faces the sea, and
is approached from the town by a palm-bordered walk and public garden. The
first object to greet the mariner's eye as he sights land is the figure of
Columbus poised on his glittering ball; the last to fade from view is that
beacon-like column towering so proudly above city and shore. A little
excursion must be made by boat or steamer, in order to realize the
striking effect of this monument from the sea.

To obtain a bird's-eye view of Barcelona itself, the stranger should go
some distance inland. The Fort of Montjuich, commanding the town from the
south, or Mont Tibidaho to the north, will equally answer his purpose. A
pretty winding path leads from the shore to a pleasure-garden just below
the fort, and here we see the entire city spread as in a map at our feet.
The panorama is somewhat monotonous, the vast congeries of white walls and
grey roofs only broken by gloomy old church towers and tall factory
chimneys, but thus is realized for the first time the enormous extent of
the Spanish Liverpool and Manchester in one. Thus, indeed, may
Barcelona be styled. Looking seaward, the picture is animated and
engaging--the wide harbor bristling with shipping, lateen-sailed fishing
boats skimming the deep-blue sunny waves, noble vessels just discernible
on the dim horizon.


The once celebrated promenade of the Murallo del Mar, eulogized by Ford
and other writers, no longer exists, but the stranger will keep the
sea-line in search of the new cemetery. A very bad road leads thither, on
All Saints' and All Souls' days followed by an unbroken string of
vehicles, omnibuses, covered carts, hackney carriages, and private
broughams; their occupants, for the most part, dressed in black. The
women, wearing black Cashmere mantillas, are hardly visible, being hidden
by enormous wreaths, crosses, and bouquets of natural and also of
artificial flowers. The new cemetery is well placed, being several miles
from the city, on high ground between the open country and the sea. It is
tastefully laid out in terraces--the trees and shrubs testifying to the
care bestowed on them. Here are many costly monuments--mausoleums, we
should rather say--of opulent Barcelonese, each family possessing its tiny
chapel and burial-place.

It is to be hoped that so progressive a city as Barcelona will ere long
adopt the system of cremation. Nothing can be less hygienic, one would
think, than the present mode of burial in Spain. To die there is
literally--not figuratively--to be laid on the shelf. The terrace-like
sides of the cemetery ground have been hollowed out into pigeon-holes, and
into these are thrust the coffins, the marble slab closing the aperture
bearing a memorial inscription. Ivy and other creepers are trained around
the various divisions, and wreaths of fresh flowers and immortelles adorn
them; the whole presenting the appearance of a huge chest of drawers
divided into mathematically exact segments. To us there is something
uncanny--nay, revolting--in such a form of burial; which, to say the least
of it, cannot be warranted on æsthetic, much less scientific, principles.
It is satisfactory to find that at last Protestants and Jews have their
own burial-place here, shut off from the rest, it is true by a wall at
least twenty feet high, but a resting-place for all that. It was not so
very long ago that Malaga was the only Spanish town according Protestants
this privilege, the concession being wrung from the authorities by the
late much-esteemed British consul, Mr. Mark.

For some days preceding the festival of All Saints the cemetery presents a
busy scene. Charwomen, gardeners, masons, and painters then take
possession of the place. Marble is scoured, lettering is repainted, shrubs
clipped, turf cut--all is made spick and span, in time for the great
festival of the dead. It must be borne in mind that All Saints' Day in
Spain has no analogy with the same date in our own calendar. Brilliant
sunshine, air soft and balmy as of July, characterize the month of
November here. These visits to the cemetery are, therefore, less
depressing than they would be performed amid English fog and drizzle. We
Northerners, moreover, cannot cast off gloomy thoughts and sad
retrospection as easily as the more elastic, more joyous Southern
temperament. Mass over, the pilgrimage to the cemetery paid, all is
relaxation and gaiety. All Saints' and All Souls' days are indeed periods
of unmitigated enjoyment and relaxation. Public offices, museums, schools,
shops, are closed. Holiday folk pour in from the country. The city is as
animated as Paris on the 14th of July.

In the forenoon it is difficult to elbow one's way through the crowded
thoroughfares. Every street is thronged, men flocking to mass as zealously
as devotees of the other sex. In these early hours most of the ladies wear
black; their mourning garb later in the day to be exchanged for
fashionable toilettes of all colors. The children are decked out gaily, as
for a fancy fair. Service is being held in every church, and from all
parts may be heard the sonorous Cathedral bells. Its vast, somber
interior, now blazing with wax-lights, is a sight to remember. Crowds in
rapt devotion are kneeling on the bare stones, the ladies heedless of
their silks; here and there the men kneeling on a glove or
pocket-handkerchief, in order to protect their Sunday pantaloons. Rows of
poor men--beggars, it would seem, tidied up for the occasion--sit in rows
along the aisle, holding lighted tapers. The choir is filled with
choristers, men and boys intoning the service so skilfully that they
almost seem to sing. Soon the crowds fall back, and a procession passes
from choir to high altar--priests and dignitaries in their gorgeous robes,
some of black, embroidered with crosses in gold, others of white and
purple or yellow, the bishop coming last, his long violet train borne by a
priest; all the time the well-trained voices of the choristers--sweet
treble of the boys, tenor, and base--making up for lack of music. At last
the long ceremony comes to an end, and the vast congregation pours out to
enjoy the balmy air, the warm sunshine, visits, confectionery, and other

Such religious holidays should not be missed by the traveller, since they
still stamp Spain as the most Catholic country in the world. Even in
bustling, cosmopolitan, progressive Barcelona people seem to spend half
their time in church.

In the capital of Catalonia, twentieth-century civilization and the
mediæval spirit may still be called next-door neighbors. The airy
boulevards and handsome villas of suburban Algiers are not more strikingly
contrasted with the ancient Moorish streets than the new quarters of
Barcelona with the old. The Rambla, its electric lights, its glittering
shops, cafés, clubs, and theaters, recalls a Parisian boulevard. In many
of the tortuous, malodorous streets of the old town there is hardly room
for a wheelbarrow to be drawn along; no sunbeam has ever penetrated the

Let us take a penny tramway from the Rambla to the gloomy, grandiose old
church of Santa Maria del Mar. Between the city and the sea rises the
majestic monument to Columbus, conspicuous as a lighthouse alike from land
and sea. We follow a broad palm-bordered alley and pleasure garden beyond
which are seen the noble harbor bristling with masts and the soft blue
Mediterranean. Under the palms lounge idle crowds listening to a band,
shading themselves as best they can from the burning sun of November! What
a change when we leave the tramway and the airy, handsome precincts of the
park, and plunge into the dark, narrow street behind the Lonja Palace. The
somber picture is not without relief. Round about the ancient façade of
the church are cloth-shops, the gay wares hanging from each story, as if
the shopmen made a display of all their wares. Here were reds, yellows,
greens of brightest hue, some of these woolen blankets, shawls, and
garments of every description being gay to crudeness; grass green,
scarlet, orange, sky-blue, dazzled the eye, but the general effect was
picturesque and cheerful. The dingy little square looked ready for a
festival. In reality, a funeral service was taking place in the church. If
Spanish interiors are always dark and depressing, what must they be when
draped with black? No sooner does the door swing behind us here than
daylight is shut out completely as on entering a mine; we are obliged to
grope our way by the feeble rays of light penetrating the old stained
glass of the clerestory. The lovely lancets of the aisles are hidden by
huge black banners, the vast building being only lighted by a blaze of wax
tapers here and there. Sweet soft chanting of boys' voices, with a
delicious organ accompaniment, was going on when I entered, soon to be
exchanged for the unutterably monotonous and lugubrious intoning of
black-robed choristers. They formed a procession and, chanting as they
went, marched to a side altar before which a priest was performing mass.
The Host elevated, all marched back again, the dreary intoning now
beginning afresh. It is impossible to convey any adequate notion of the
dreariness of the service. If the Spaniards understand how to enjoy to the
uttermost what Browning calls "the wild joy of living," they also know how
to clothe death with all the terrors of mediæval superstition. It takes
one's breath away, too, to calculate the cost of a funeral here, what with
the priests accomplished in the mystic dance--so does a Spanish writer
designate the performance--the no less elaborate services of the
choristers, the lighting up of the church, the display of funeral drapery.
The expense, fortunately, can only be incurred once. These ancient
churches--all somberness and gloom, yet on fête days ablaze with light
and colors--symbolize the leading characteristics of Spanish character. No
sooner does the devotee rise from his knees than the Southern passion for
joy and animation asserts itself. Religious exercise and revel, penitence
and enjoyment, alternate one with the other; the more devout the first,
all the more eagerly indulged in the last.

On the Sunday morning following the Festival of All Saints--the 4th of
November--the splendid old cathedral was the scene of a veritable pageant.
Wax lights illuminated the vast interior from end to end, the brocades and
satins of priestly robes blazed with gold embroidery, the rich adornments
and treasure of altar and chapels could be seen in full splendor. Before
the grand music of the organ and the elevation, a long, very long, sermon
had to be listened to, the enormous congregation for the most part
standing; scattered groups here and there squatted on the stone piers, not
a chair to be had anywhere, no one seeming to find the discourse too long.
When at last the preacher did conclude, the white-robed choristers, men
and boys, passed out of the choir, and formed a double line. Then the
bishop in solemn state descended from the high altar. He wore a crimson
gown with long train borne by a priest, and on his head a violet cap, with
pea-green tuft. The dresses of the attendant clergy were no less gorgeous
and rich in texture, some of crimson with heavy gold trimmings, others of
mauve, guinea-gold, peach color, or creamy white, several wearing fur
caps. The procession made the round of the choir, then returned to the
starting-point. As I sat behind the high altar on one of the high-backed
wooden benches destined for the aged poor, two tiny chorister boys came
up, both in white surplices, one with a pink, the other with sky-blue
collar. Here they chatted and laughed with their hands on the bell-rope,
ready to signal the elevation. On a sudden the tittering ceased, the
childish hands tugged at the rope, the tinkling of the bell was heard, and
the multitude, as one man, fell on its knees, the organ meantime being
played divinely. Service over, the crowds emerged into the dazzling
sunshine: pleasure parties, steamboat trips, visits, theaters, bull-fights
occupied the rest of the day, the Rambla presenting the appearance of a

An excursion northwards of the city is necessary, in order to see its
charming, fast-increasing suburbs. Many, as is the case with those of
Paris, Passy, Auteuil, Belleville, and others, were formerly little towns,
but are fast becoming part of Barcelona itself.

Most musically named is Gracia, approached by rail or tramway, where rich
citizens have their orange and lemon gardens, their chateaux and villas,
and where religious houses abound. In this delightful suburban retreat
alone no less than six nunneries may be counted; somber prison-like
buildings, with tiny barred windows, indicating the abode of cloistered
nuns of ascetic orders. That of the Order of St. Domingo has been recently
founded. The house looks precisely like a prison. Here also are several
congregations of the other sex--the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, the
Fathers of San Filipe, and others.

Gracia may be called the Hampstead of Barcelona. Hardly a house but
possesses its garden. Above the high walls trail gorgeous creepers and
datura, whilst through the iron gates we obtain glimpses of dahlias in
full splendor, roses red and white, and above these the glossy-leaved
orange and lemon trees with their ripening fruit. The pleasantest suburb
of Barcelona is well worthy of its name. As Sarria is approached, the
scenery becomes more rural, and under the brilliant November sunshine
reminds the traveller of the East, the square, white, low-roofed houses
rising amid olive and palm trees. The aloes and prickly pears on the waste
ground again and again recall Algeria. Here are vast stretches of
vegetable gardens and vineyards supplying the city markets, and standing
in their own grounds on sunny hill-sides, the quintas or country houses of
rich citizens and grandees.

From the little town of Sarria--hardly as yet to be called suburban--a
glorious view is obtained of city, port, and sea. The narrow dusty
streets, with their close-shuttered houses, have a sleepy look; yet Sarria
possesses one of the largest cotton-mills in Spain, several thousand hands
being employed by one firm. The branch railway ends at Sarria. Here
tourists and holiday-makers alight; the hardy pedestrian to reach the
summit of Mont Tibidaho on foot--a matter of two hours or so--the less
enterprising, to accept one of the covered cars awaiting excursionists
outside the station. Mont Tibidaho is the favorite holiday ground of the
citizens. Even in November numerous pleasure parties are sure to be found
here, and the large restaurants indicate the extent of summer patronage.
On the breezy heights round about are the sumptuous mansions of nobles and
merchant princes; whilst down below are numerous picturesque valleys,
notably that of San Cugat. The stranger fortunate enough to obtain
admission will find himself in the kind of fairyland described by Tennyson
in his "Haroun-al-Raschid," Owen Meredith in "The Siege of
Constantinople," or Gayangos in his delightful translation of the
"Chronicles of Al-Makkari." Marble courts, crystal fountains, magnificent
baths, mosaic pavements, statuary, tapestries, aviaries, rare exotics,
gold and silver plate, are now combined with all modern appliances of
comfort. A sojourn in one of the well-appointed hotels will suffice to
give some notion of Spanish society. During the holidays many families
from the city take up their quarters here. Social gatherings, picnics,
excursions, concerts, are the order of the day, and good military bands
enliven the gardens on Sundays.

To the south-east of Barcelona lies the suburb of Barceloneta, frequented
by the seafaring population. Penny boats ply between city and suburb, on
Sundays and holidays the music of a barrel-organ being thrown into the
bargain. The harbor is then black with spectators, and the boats and
little steamers, making the cruise of the port for half a franc, are
crowded with holiday-makers. The bright silk head-dresses of the women,
the men's crimson or scarlet sombreros and plaids, the uniforms of the
soldiers, the gay dresses of the ladies, make up a picturesque scene. On
board the boats the music of the barrel-organ must on no account be paid
for. A well-intentioned stranger who should offer the musician a penny is
given to understand that the treat is gratuitous and generously supplied
by the owners of the craft. Greed being almost universal in those parts of
the world frequented by tourists, it is gratifying to be able to chronicle
such exceptions. Seldom, indeed, has the sightseer at Barcelona to put his
hand in his pocket.

If inferior to other Spanish cities in picturesqueness and interest
generally, the capital of Catalonia atones for the deficit by its
abundance of resources. It possesses nothing to be called a
picture-gallery; the museums are second-rate, the collections of
antiquities inconsiderable. But what other city in Spain can boast of so
many learned bodies and diverse centers of intellectual activity?
Excessive devotion and scientific inquiry do not here seem at variance.
Strange to say, a population that seems perpetually on its knees is the
first to welcome modern ideas.

The Academy of Arts was founded in 1751, and owes its origin to the Junta,
or Tribunal of Commerce of Catalonia. This art school is splendidly lodged
in the Lonja Palace, and attached to it is a museum, containing a few
curious specimens of old Spanish masters, some rather poor copies of the
Italian schools, and one real artistic treasure of the first water. This
is a collection of studies in black and white by the gifted Fortuny, whose
first training was received here. The sketches are masterly, and atone for
the insignificance of the remaining collection. Students of both sexes are
admitted to the classes, the course of study embracing painting in all its
branches, modeling, etching, linear drawing and perspective, anatomy and
æsthetics. It is gratifying to find that girls attend these classes,
although as yet in small numbers.

The movement in favor of the higher education of women marches at a
snail's pace in Spain. The vast number of convents and what are called
"Escuelas Pias," or religious schools, attest the fact that even in the
most cosmopolitan and enlightened Spanish town the education of girls
still remains chiefly in the hands of the nuns. Lay schools and colleges
exist, also a normal school for the training of female teachers, founded a
few years ago. Here and there we find rich families entrusting their girls
to English governesses, but such cases are rare.

We must remember, however, that besides the numerous "Escuelas pias" and
secular schools, several exist opened under the auspices of the Spanish
Evangelical body, and also the League for the Promotion of lay Teaching.
We need not infer, then, that because they do not attend the municipal
schools the children go untaught.

How reluctantly Catholic countries are won over to educate their women we
have witnessed in France. Here in the twentieth century the chief
occupation of an educated Spanish lady seems to be that of counting her
beads in church.

Music is universally taught, the cultivation of the piano being nowhere
more assiduous. Pianoforte teachers may be counted by the hundred; and a
Conservatorium, besides academies due to private initiative, offers a
thorough musical training to the student. Elegant pianos, characterized by
great delicacy of tone and low price, are a leading feature of Barcelona
manufacture, notably of the firm Bernareggi.

The University, attended by two thousand five hundred students, was
founded so long ago as 1430, and rebuilt in 1873.

A technical school--the only complete school of arts and sciences existing
in Spain--was opened under the same roof in 1850; and, in connection with
it, night classes are held. Any workman provided with a certificate of
good conduct can attend these classes free of cost. Schools of
architecture and navigation are also attached to the University.

Thirst after knowledge characterizes all classes of the community. A
workman's literary club, or Athenæum, founded a few years back, is now a
flourishing institution, aided by municipal funds. No kind of recreation
is allowed within its walls. Night-schools opened here are attended by
several hundred scholars. Barcelona also boasts of an Academy of _Belles
Lettres_, the first founded in Spain; schools of natural science,
chemistry, agriculture, of medicine and surgery, of jurisprudence, an
academy devoted to the culture of the Catalonian language, and containing
library and museum. This society has greatly contributed to the protection
of ancient buildings throughout the province, besides amassing valuable
treasure, legend, botanical and geological specimens and antiquities. The
Archæological Society of Barcelona has also effected good work: to its
initiative the city is mainly indebted for the charming little collection
of antiquities known as the "Museo Provincial," before alluded to.

In places of public entertainment Barcelona is unusually rich. Its Opera
House, holding four thousand spectators, equals in spaciousness the
celebrated house of Moscow. The unpretentious exterior gives no idea of
the splendor within. A dozen theaters may be counted besides. Bull-fights,
alas! still disgrace the most advanced city of the Peninsula. The
bull-ring was founded in 1834, and the brutal spectacle still attracts
enormous crowds, chiefly consisting of natives. The bull-fight is almost
unanimously repudiated by foreign residents of all ranks.

A few words must now be said about the history of this ancient place. The
city founded here by Hamilcar Barco, father of the great Hannibal, is
supposed to stand on the site of one more ancient still, existing long
before the foundation of Rome. The Carthaginian city in 206 B. C. became a
Roman colonia, under the title of "Faventia Julia Augusta Pia Barzino,"
which was eclipsed in importance, however, by Tarragona, the Roman
capital. In 409 A. D. it was taken by the Goths, and under their
domination increased in size and influence, coining its own money stamped
with the legend "Barcinona." On the destruction of Tarragona by the Moors
Barcelona capitulated, was treated with clemency, and again became a
metropolis. After many vicissitudes it was ruled in the ninth century by a
Christian chief of its own, whose descendants till the twelfth governed it
under the title of Counts of Barcelona, later assuming that of Kings of
Aragon, to which kingdom the province was annexed. During the Middle Ages
Barcelona played a foremost part in the history of commerce. In the words
of Ford, "Like Carthage of old, it was the lord and terror of the
Mediterranean. It divided with Italy the enriching commerce of the East.
It was then a city of commerce, conquest, and courtiers, of taste,
learning, and luxury--the Athens of the troubadour."

Its celebrated commercial code, framed in the thirteenth century, obtained
acceptance throughout Europe. Here one of the first printing-presses in
Spain was set up, and here Columbus was received by Ferdinand and Isabella
after his discovery of a new world. A hundred years later a ship was
launched from the port, made to move by means of steam. The story of
Barcelona is henceforth but a catalogue of tyrannies and treacheries,
against which the brave, albeit turbulent, city struggled single-handed.
In 1711 it was bombarded and partly ruined by Philip V.; a few years
later, after a magnanimous defense, it was stormed by Berwick, on behalf
of Louis XIV., and given up to pillage, outrage, fire, and sword.
Napoleon's fraudulent seizure of Barcelona is one of the most shameful
pages of his shameful history. The first city--the key of Spain, as he
called it--only to be taken in fair war by eighty thousand men, was basely
entrapped, and remained in the hands of the French till the Treaty of
Paris in 1814. From that time Barcelona has only enjoyed fitful intervals
of repose. In 1827 a popular rising took place in favor of Don Carlos. In
1834 Queen Christina was opposed, and in 1840 public opinion declared for
Espartero. In 1856 and 1874 insurrections occurred, not without bloodshed.

Barcelona is a great gathering-place of merchants from all parts of
Europe. In its handsome hotels is heard a very Babel of tongues. The
principal manufactures consist of woolen stuffs--said to be inferior to
English in quality--silk, lace, firearms, hats, hardware, pianos; the
last, as has been already stated, of excellent quality, and low in price.
Porcelain, crystal, furniture, and inlaid work, must be included in this
list, also ironwork and stone blocks.

Beautifully situated on the Mediterranean between the mouths of two
rivers,--the Llobregat and the Besos--and possessing one of the finest
climates in the world, Barcelona is doubtless destined ere long to rival
Algiers as a health resort. Three lines of railway now connect it directly
with Paris, from which it is separated by twenty-eight hours' journey. The
traveller may leave Barcelona at five o'clock in the morning and reach
Lyons at midnight with only a change of carriages on the frontier. The
route _viâ_ Bordeaux is equally expeditious; that by way of
Clermont-Ferrand less so, but more picturesque. Hotels in the capital of
Catalonia leave nothing to desire on the score of management, hygiene,
comfort, and prices strictly regulated by tariff. The only drawback to be
complained of is the total absence of the feminine element--not a woman
to be seen on the premises. Good family hotels, provided with lady clerks
and chambermaids, is a decided desideratum. The traveller wishing to
attain a knowledge of the Spanish language, and see something of Spanish
life and manners, may betake himself to one of the numerous

Barcelona is very rich in philanthropic and charitable institutions.
Foremost of these is its Hospital of Santa Cruz, numbering six hundred
beds. It is under the conjoint management of sisters and brothers of
charity and lay nurses of both sexes. An asylum for the insane forms part
of the building, with annexes for the convalescent. The Hospital del
Sagrado Corazon, founded by public subscription in 1870 for surgical
cases, also speaks volumes for the munificence of the citizens. The only
passport required of the patient is poverty. One interesting feature about
this hospital is that the committee of management consists of ladies. The
nursing staff is formed of French Sisters of St. Vincent de Paul. Besides
these must be named the orphanage for upwards of two thousand children of
both sexes--Casa de Caridad de la Provincia de Barcelona--asylums for
abandoned infants, for the orphaned children of seamen, maternity
hospitals, crêches, etc. There is also a school for the blind and deaf
mutes, the first of the kind established in Spain. Here the blind of both
sexes receive a thorough musical training, and deaf mutes are taught
according to the system known as lip-speech. All teaching is gratuitous.

Barcelona possesses thirty-eight churches, without counting the chapels
attached to convents, and a vast number of conventual houses. Several
evangelical services are held on Sundays both in the city and in the
suburb of Barceloneta. The Protestant communities of Spain, England,
France, Germany, Sweden, and other countries, have here their
representative and organization. Sunday-schools and night-schools for
adults are held in connection with these churches. The Protestant body
seems active. We find here a branch depôt of the Religious Tract Society;
various religious magazines, many of them translations from the English
and German, are published. Among these are the "Revista Christiana,"
intended for the more thoughtful class of readers; "La Luz," organ of the
Reformed Church of Spain; and several illustrated periodicals for
children. Will Protestantism ever take deep root in the home of the
Inquisition? Time will show.

That very advanced political opinions should be held here need hardly
surprise us. We find the following Democratic clubs in existence: The
Historic Republican Club ("Centro Republicano Historico"), the Possibilist
Republican Club ("Circulo Republicano Possibilista"), the Democratic
Progressist Club, the Federal Republican Club, and many others. When next
a great popular movement takes place in Spain--and already the event looms
in the distance--without doubt the first impulse will be given at

Electric lighting was early introduced here, a company being founded so
long back as 1880, and having branches in the capital, Seville, Valencia,
Bilbao, and other towns. The importance of Barcelona as a center of
commerce is attested by the extraordinary number of banks. At every turn
the stranger comes upon a bank. "Compared to the mighty hives of English
industry and skill, here everything is petty," wrote Ford, fifty years
ago. Very different would be his verdict could he revisit the Manchester
and Liverpool of Catalonia in our own day.

One curious feature of social life in Spain is the extraordinary number of
religious fête days and public holidays. No Bank Holiday Act is needed, as
in the neighboring country of France. Here is a list of days during which
business is for the most part suspended in this recreation-loving city:
Twelfth-cake Day is the great festival of the little ones--carnival is
kept up, if with less of former splendor, nevertheless with much spirit;
on Ash Wednesday rich and poor betake themselves to the country; Holy
Thursday and Good Friday are celebrated with great pomp in the churches;
on Easter Eve takes place a procession of shepherds in the park; Easter
Monday is a day given up to rural festivity; the 19th of March St. José's
Day--is a universal fête, hardly a family in Spain without a José among
its number. The first Sunday in May is a feast of flowers and poetic
competitions; the days consecrated to St. Juan and St. Pedro are public
holidays, patronized by enormous numbers of country-folks; All Saints' and
All Souls' Days are given up, as we have seen, to alternate devotion and
festivity. On the 20th of December is celebrated the Feast of the
Nativity, the fair and the displays of the shops attracting strangers from
all parts. But it is especially the days sacred to the Virgin that are
celebrated by all classes. Balls, banquets, processions, miracle-plays,
illuminations, bull-fights, horse-races, scholastic fêtes, industrial
exhibitions, civic ceremonial, besides solemn services, occupy old and
young, rich and poor. Feasting is the order of the day, and the
confectioners' windows are wonderful to behold.

Although many local customs are dying out, we may still see some of the
curious street sights described by Ford fifty years ago, and the
Mariolatry he deplored is still as active as ever. The goodly show of
dainties in the shops, however, belie his somewhat acrimonious description
of a Spanish reception. "Those who receive," he wrote, "provide very
little refreshment unless they wish to be covered with glory; space,
light, and a little bad music, are sufficient to amuse these merry,
easily-pleased souls, and satisfy their frugal bodies. To those who, by
hospitality and entertainment, can only understand eating and
drinking--food for man and beast--such hungry proceedings will be more
honored in the breach than in the observance; but these matters depend
much on latitude and longitude." Be this as it may, either the climate of
Barcelona has changed, or international communication has revolutionized
Spanish digestion. Thirty years ago, when travelling in Spain, it was no
unusual sight to see a spare, aristocratic hidalgo enter a restaurant,
and, with much form and ceremony, breakfast off a tiny omelette. Nowadays
we find plenty of Spanish guests at public ordinaries doing ample justice
to a plentiful board. English visitors in a Spanish house will not only
get good music, in addition to space and light, but abundant hospitality
of material sort.

The Spain of which Ford wrote so humorously, and, it must be admitted,
often so maliciously, is undergoing slow, but sure, transformation. Many
national characteristics remain--the passion for the brutal bull-fight
still disgraces a polished people, the women still spend the greater
portion of their lives in church, religious intolerance at the beginning
of the twentieth century must be laid to the charge of a slowly
progressive nation. On the other hand, and nowhere is the fact more
patent than at Barcelona, the great intellectual and social revolution,
described by contemporary Spanish novelists, is bringing the peninsula in
closer sympathy with her neighbors. Many young Spaniards, _for_ instance,
are now educated in England, English is freely spoken at Malaga, and its
literature is no longer unknown to Spanish readers. These facts indicate
coming change. The exclusiveness which has hitherto barred the progress of
this richly-dowed and attractive country is on the wane. Who shall say? We
may ere long see dark-eyed students from Barcelona at Girton College, and
a Spanish society for the protection of animals prohibiting the torture of
bulls and horses for the public pleasure.

Already--all honor to her name--a Spanish woman novelist, the gifted
Caballero, has made pathetic appeals to her country-folks for a gentler
treatment of animals in general. For the most part, it must be sadly
confessed, in vain!

In spite of its foremost position, in intellectual and commercial
pre-eminence, Barcelona has produced no famous men. Her noblest monument
is raised to an alien; Lopez, a munificent citizen, honored by a statue,
was born at Santander. Prim, although a Catalan, did not first see the
light in the capital. By some strange concatenation of events, this noble
city owes her fame rather to the collective genius and spirit of her
children than to any one. A magnanimous stepmother, she has adopted those
identified with her splendor to whom she did not herself give birth.

Balzac wittily remarks that the dinner is the barometer of the family
purse in Paris. One perceives whether Parisians are flourishing or no by a
glance at the daily board. Clothes afford a nice indication of
temperature all the world over. We have only to notice what people wear,
and we can construct a weather-chart for ourselves. Although the late
autumn was, on the whole, favorable, I left fires, furs, and overcoats in
Paris. At Lyons, a city afflicted with a climate the proper epithet of
which is "muggy," ladies had not yet discarded their summer clothes, and
were only just beginning to refurbish felt hats and fur-lined pelisses.

At Montpellier the weather was April-like--mild, blowy, showery;
waterproofs, goloshes, and umbrellas were the order of the day. On
reaching Barcelona I found a blazing sun, windows thrown wide open, and
everybody wearing the lightest garments. Such facts do duty for a

Boasting, as it does of one of the finest climates in the world, natural
position of rare beauty, a genial, cosmopolitan, and strikingly handsome
population, and lastly, accessibility, Barcelona should undoubtedly be a
health resort hardly second to Algiers. Why it is not, I will undertake to

In the first place, there is something that invalids and valetudinarians
require more imperatively than a perfect climate. They cannot do without
the ministrations of women. To the suffering, the depressed, the nervous,
feminine influence is ofttimes of more soothing--nay, healing--power than
any medical prescription.

Let none take the flattering unction to their souls--as well look for a
woman in a Bashaw's army, or on a man-of-war, as in the palatial,
well-appointed, otherwise irreproachable hotels of Barcelona! They boast
of marble floors, baths that would not have dissatisfied a Roman epicure,
salons luxurious as those of a West-end club, newspapers in a score of
languages, a phalanx of gentlemanly waiters, a varied ordinary, delicious
wines, but not a daughter of Eve, old or young, handsome or ugly--if,
indeed, there exists an ugly woman in Barcelona--to be caught sight of
anywhere! No charming landlady, as in French hotels, taking friendliest
interest in her guests, no housemaids, willing and nimble as the Marys and
Janes we have left at home, not even a rough, kindly, garrulous charwoman
scrubbing the floors. The fashionable hotel here is a vast barrack
conducted on strictly impersonal principles. Visitors obtain their money's
worth, and pay their bills. There the transaction between innkeeper and
traveller ends.

Good family hotels or "pensions," in which invalids would find a home-like
element, are sadly needed in this engaging, highly-favored city. The next
desideratum is a fast train from Port Bou--the first Spanish town on the
frontier. An express on the Spanish line would shorten the journey to
Lyons by several hours. New carriages are needed as much as new iron
roads. Many an English third-class is cleaner and more comfortable than
the so-called "first" here. It must be added that the officials are all
politeness and attention, and that beyond slowness and shabbiness the
traveller has nothing to complain of. Exquisite urbanity is still a
characteristic of the Barcelonese as it was in the age of Cervantes. One
exception will be mentioned farther on.

If there are no women within the hotel walls--except, of course, stray
lady tourists--heaven be praised, there are enough, and to spare, of most
bewitching kind without. Piquancy is, perhaps, the foremost charm of a
Spanish beauty, whether a high-born señora in her brougham, or a
flower-girl at her stall. One and all seem born to turn the heads of the
other sex, after the fashion of Carmen in Merimée's story. Nor is outward
attraction confined to women. The city police, cab-drivers,
tramway-conductors, all possess what Schopenhauer calls the best possible
letter of introduction, namely, good looks.

The number of the police surprise us. These bustling, brilliant streets,
with their cosmopolitan crowds, seem the quietest, most orderly in the
world. It seems hard to believe that this tranquillity and contentment
should be fallacious--on the surface only. Yet such is the case, as shown
by the recent outbreak of rioting and bloodshed.

"I have seen revolution after revolution," said to me a Spanish gentleman
of high position, an hidalgo of the old school; "I expect to see more if
my life is sufficiently prolonged. Spain has no government; each in power
seeks but self-aggrandizement. Our army is full of Boulangers, each ready
to usurp power for his own ends. You suggest a change of dynasty? We could
not hope to be thereby the gainers. A Republic, say you? That also has
proved a failure with us. Ah, you English are happy; you do not need to
change abruptly the existing order of things, you effect revolutions more

I observed that perhaps national character and temperament had something
to do with the matter. He replied very sadly, "You are right; we
Southerners are more impetuous, of fiercer temper. Whichever way I look, I
see no hope for unhappy Spain."

Such somber reflections are difficult to realize by the passing traveller.
Yet, when we consider the tremendous force of such a city as Barcelona,
its progressive tendencies, its spirit of scientific inquiry, we can but
admit that an Ultramontane regency and reactionary government must be out
of harmony with the tendencies of modern Spain.

There is only one occupation which seems to have a deteriorating effect
upon the Spanish temper. The atmosphere of the post-office, at any rate,
makes a Catalan rasping as an east wind, acrimonious as a sloe-berry. I
had been advised to provide myself with a passport before revisiting
Spain, but I refused to do so on principle.

What business have we with this relic of barbarism at the beginning of the
twentieth century, in times of peace among a friendly people? The taking a
passport under such circumstances seemed to me as much of an anachronism
as the wearing of a scapular, or seeking the royal touch for scrofula. By
pure accident, a registered letter containing bank notes was addressed to
me at the Poste Restante. Never was such a storm in a teacup, such
groaning of the mountain before the creeping forth of a tiny mouse! The
delivery of registered letters in Spain is accompanied with as much form
as a marriage contract in France. Let future travellers in expectation of
such documents provide themselves, not only with a passport, but a copy of
their baptismal register, of the marriage certificate of their parents,
the family Bible--no matter its size--and any other proofs of identity
they can lay hands upon. They will find none superfluous.



    Its Greek founders and early history--Superb view from the sea--The
    Cannebière--The Parado and Chemin de la Corniche--Château d'If and
    Monte-Cristo--Influence of the Greeks in Marseilles--Ravages by plague
    and pestilence--Treasures of the Palais des Arts--The chapel of Notre
    Dame de la Garde--The new Marseilles and its future.

About six hundred years before the birth of Christ, when the
Mediterranean, ringed round with a long series of commercial colonies, was
first beginning to transform itself with marvelous rapidity into "a Greek
lake," a body of adventurous Hellenic mariners--young Columbuses of their
day--full of life and vigor, sailed forth from Phocæa in Asia Minor, and
steered their course, by devious routes, to what was then the Far West, in
search of a fitting and unoccupied place in which to found a new trading
city. Hard pressed by the Persians on their native shore, these free young
Greeks--the Pilgrim Fathers of modern Marseilles--left behind for ever the
city of their birth, and struck for liberty in some distant land, where no
Cyrus or Xerxes could ever molest them. Sailing away past Greece and
Sicily, and round Messina into the almost unknown Tyrrhenian Sea, the
adventurous voyagers arrived at last, after various false starts in
Corsica and elsewhere, at some gaunt white hills of the Gaulish coast,
and cast anchor finally in a small but almost land-locked harbor, under
the shelter of some barren limestone mountains. Whether they found a
Phoenician colony already established on the spot or not, matters as
little to history nowadays as whether their leaders' names were really
Simos and Protis or quite otherwise. What does matter is the indubitable
fact that Massalia, as its Greek founders called it, preserved through all
its early history the impress of a truly Hellenic city; and that even to
this moment much good Greek blood flows, without question, in the hot
veins of all its genuine native-born citizens.

The city thus founded has had a long, a glorious, and an eventful history.
Marseilles is to-day the capital of the Mediterranean, the true commercial
metropolis of that inland sea which now once more has become a single
organic whole, after its long division by the Mohammedan conquest of North
Africa and the Levant into two distinct and hostile portions. Naples, it
is true, has a larger population; but then, a population of Neapolitan
lazzaroni, mere human drones lounging about their hive and basking in the
sunlight, does not count for much, except for the macaroni trade. What
Venice once was, that Marseilles is to-day; the chief gate of
Mediterranean traffic, the main mart of merchants who go down in ships on
the inland sea. In the Cannebière and the Old Port, she possesses, indeed,
as Edmond About once graphically phrased it, "an open door upon the
Mediterranean and the whole world." The steamers and sailing vessels that
line her quays bind together the entire Mediterranean coast into a single
organic commercial whole. Here is the packet for Barcelona and Malaga;
there, the one for Naples, Malta, and Constantinople. By this huge liner,
sunning herself at La Joliette, we can go to Athens and Alexandria; by
that, to Algiers, Cagliari, and Tunis. Nay, the Suez Canal has extended
her bounds beyond the inland sea to the Indian Ocean; and the Pillars of
Hercules no longer restrain her from free use of the great Atlantic
water-way. You may take ship, if you will, from the Quai de la Fraternité
for Bombay or Yokohama, for Rio or Buenos Ayres, for Santa Cruz,
Teneriffe, Singapore, or Melbourne. And this wide extension of her
commercial importance Marseilles owes, mainly no doubt, to her exceptional
advantages of natural position, but largely also, I venture to think, to
the Hellenic enterprise of her acute and vigorous Græco-Gaulish

And what a marvelous history has she not behind her! First of all, no
doubt, a small fishing and trading station of prehistoric Gaulish or
Ligurian villagers occupied the site where now the magnificent façade of
the Bourse commemorates the names of Massalia's greatest Phocæan
navigators. Then the Phoenicians supervened upon the changeful scene, and
built those antique columns and forgotten shrines whose scanty remains
were recently unearthed in the excavations for making the Rue de la
République. Next came the early Phocæan colonists, reinforced a little
later by the whole strength of their unconquerable townsmen, who sailed
away in a body, according to the well-known legend preserved in Herodotus,
when they could no longer hold out against the besieging Persian. The
Greek town became as it were a sort of early Calcutta for the Gaulish
trade, with its own outlying colonies at Nice, Antibes, and Hyères, and
its inland "factories" (to use the old familiar Anglo-Indian word) at
Tarascon, Avignon, and many other ancient towns of the Rhône valley. Her
admirals sailed on every known sea: Euthymenes explored the coasts of
Africa as far as Senegal; Pytheas followed the European shore past Britain
and Ireland to the north of the Shetlands. Till the Roman arrived upon the
Gaulish coast with his dreaded short-sword, Massalia, in short, remained
undisputed queen of all the western Mediterranean waters.

Before the wolf of the Capitol, however, all stars paled. Yet even under
the Roman Empire Massilia (as the new conquerors called the name, with a
mere change of vowel) retained her Greek speech and manners, which she
hardly lost (if we may believe stray hints in later historians) till the
very eve of the barbarian invasion. With the period of the Crusades, the
city of Euthymenes became once more great and free, and hardly lost her
independence completely up to the age of Louis XIV. It was only after the
French Revolution, however, that she began really to supersede Venice as
the true capital of the Mediterranean. The decline of the Turkish power,
the growth of trade with Alexandria and the Levant, the final crushing of
the Barbary pirates, the conquest of Algeria, and, last of all, the
opening of the Suez Canal--a French work--all helped to increase her
commerce and population by gigantic strides in half a dozen decades. At
the present day Marseilles is the chief maritime town of France, and the
acknowledged center of Mediterranean travel and traffic.

The right way for the stranger to enter Marseilles is, therefore, by sea,
the old-established high road of her antique commerce. The Old Port and
the Cannebière are her front door, while the railway from Paris leads you
in at best, as it were, through shabby corridors, by a side entry. Seen
from the sea, indeed, Marseilles is superb. I hardly know whether the
whole Mediterranean has any finer approach to a great town to display
before the eyes of the artistic traveller. All round the city rises a
semicircle of arid white hills, barren and bare indeed to look upon; but
lighted up by the blue Provençal sky with a wonderful flood of borrowed
radiance, bringing out every jutting peak and crag through the clear dry
air in distinct perspective. Their sides are dotted with small square
white houses, the famous _bastides_ or country boxes of the good
Marseillais bourgeois. In front, a group of sunlit rocky isles juts out
from the bay, on one of which tower the picturesque bastions of the
Chateau d'If, so familiar to the reader of "Monte-Cristo." The foreground
is occupied by the town itself, with its forest of masts, and the new dome
of its checkered and gaudy Byzantine Cathedral, which has quite supplanted
the old cathedral of St. Lazare, of which only a few traces remain. In the
middle distance the famous old pilgrimage chapel of Notre Dame de la Garde
crowns the summit of a pyramidal hill, with its picturesque mass of
confused architecture. Away to right and left, those endless white hills
gleam on with almost wearying brightness in the sun for miles together;
but full in front, where the eye rests longest, the bustle and commotion
of a great trading town teem with varied life upon the quays and

If you are lucky enough to enter Marseilles for the first time by the Old
Port, you find yourself at once in the very thick of all that is most
characteristic and vivid and local in the busy city. That little oblong
basin, shut in on its outer side by projecting hills, was indeed the
making of the great town. Of course the Old Port is now utterly
insufficient for the modern wants of a first-class harbor; yet it still
survives, not only as a historical relic but as a living reality,
thronged even to-day with the crowded ships of all nations. On the quay
you may see the entire varied Mediterranean world in congress assembled.
Here Greeks from Athens and Levantines from Smyrna jostle cheek by jowl
with Italians from Genoa and Arabs or Moors from Tangier or Tunis. All
costumes and all manners are admissible. The crowd is always excited, and
always animated. A babel of tongues greets your ears as you land, in which
the true Marseillais dialect of the Provençal holds the chief place--a
graceful language, wherein the predominant Latin element has not even yet
wholly got rid of certain underlying traces of Hellenic origin. Bright
color, din, life, movement: in a moment the traveller from a northern
climate recognizes the patent fact that he has reached a new world--that
vivid, impetuous, eager southern world, which has its center to-day on the
Provençal seaboard.


Go a yard or two farther into the crowded Cannebière, and the difference
between this and the chilly North will at each step be forced even more
strikingly upon you. That famous thoroughfare is firmly believed by every
good son of old Marseilles to be, in the familiar local phrase, "la plus
belle rue de l'univers." My own acquaintance with the precincts of the
universe being somewhat limited (I have never travelled myself, indeed,
beyond the narrow bounds of our own solar system), I should be loth to
endorse too literally and unreservedly this sweeping commendation of the
Marseillais mind; but as regards our modest little planet at least, I
certainly know no other street within my own experience (save Broadway,
New York) that has quite so much life and variety in it as the Cannebière.
It is not long, to be sure, but it is broad and airy, and from morning
till night its spacious _trottoirs_ are continually crowded by such a
surging throng of cosmopolitan humanity as you will hardly find elsewhere
on this side of Alexandria. For cosmopolitanism is the true key-note of
Marseilles, and the Cannebière is a road that leads in one direction
straight to Paris, but opens in the other direction full upon Algiers and
Italy, upon Egypt and India.

What a picture it offers, too, of human life, that noisy Cannebière! By
day or by night it is equally attractive. On it centers all that is alive
in Marseilles--big hotels, glittering cafés, luxurious shops, scurrying
drays, high-stepping carriage-horses, and fashionably-dressed humanity; an
endless crowd, many of them hatless and bonnetless in true southern
fashion, parade without ceasing its ringing pavements. At the end of all,
the Old Port closes the view with its serried masts, and tells you the
wherefore of this mixed society. The Cannebière, in short, is the Rue de
Rivoli of the Mediterranean, the main thoroughfare of all those teeming
shores of oil and wine, where culture still lingers by its ancient cradle.

Close to the Quai, and at the entrance of the Cannebière, stands the
central point of business in new Marseilles, the Bourse, where the filial
piety of the modern Phocæans has done ample homage to the sacred memory of
their ancient Hellenic ancestors. For in the place of honor on the façade
of that great palace of commerce the chief post has been given, as was
due, to the statues of the old Massaliote admirals, Pytheas and
Euthymenes. It is this constant consciousness of historical continuity
that adds so much interest to Mediterranean towns. One feels as one stands
before those two stone figures in the crowded Cannebière, that after all
humanity is one, and that the Phocæans themselves are still, in the
persons of their sons, among us.

The Cannebière runs nearly east and west, and is of no great length, under
its own name at least; but under the transparent alias of the Rue de
Noailles it continues on in a straight line till it widens out at last
into the Allées de Meilhan, the favorite haunt of all the gossips and
quidnuncs of Marseilles. The Allées de Meilhan, indeed, form the _beau
idéal_ of the formal and fashionable French promenade. Broad avenues of
plane trees cast a mellow shade over its well-kept walks, and the neatest
of nurses in marvelous caps and long silk streamers dandle the laciest and
fluffiest of babies, in exquisite costumes, with ostentatious care, upon
their bountiful laps. The stone seats on either side buzz with the latest
news of the town; the Zouave flirts serenely with the bonnetless
shop-girls; the sergeant-de-ville stalks proudly down the midst, and
barely deigns to notice such human weaknesses. These Allées are the
favorite haunt of all idle Marseilles, below the rank of "carriage
company," and it is probable that Satan finds as much mischief still for
its hands to do here as in any other part of that easy-going city.

At right angles to the main central artery thus constituted by the
Cannebière, the Rue de Noailles, and the Allées de Meilhan runs the second
chief stream of Marseillais life, down a channel which begins as the Rue
d'Aix and the Cours Belzunce, and ends, after various intermediate
disguises, as the Rue de Rome and the Prado. Just where it crosses the
current of the Cannebière, this polyonymous street rejoices in the title
of the Cours St. Louis. Close by is the place where the flower-women sit
perched up quaintly in their funny little pulpits, whence they hand down
great bunches of fresh dewy violets or pinky-white rosebuds, with
persuasive eloquence to the obdurate passer-by. This flower-market is one
of the sights of Marseilles, and I know no other anywhere--not even at
Nice--so picturesque or so old-world. It keeps up something of the true
Provençal flavor, and reminds one that here, in this Greek colony, we are
still in the midst of the land of roses and of Good King René, the land of
troubadours, and gold and flowers, and that it is the land of sun and
summer sunshine.

As the Rue de Rome emerges from the town and gains the suburb, it clothes
itself in overhanging shade of plane-trees, and becomes known forthwith as
the Prado--that famous Prado, more sacred to the loves and joys of the
Marseillais than the Champs Elysées are to the born Parisian. For the
Prado is the afternoon-drive of Marseilles, the Rotten Row of local
equestrianism, the rallying-place and lounge of all that is fashionable in
the Phocæan city as the Allées de Meilhan are of all that is bourgeois or
frankly popular. Of course the Prado does not differ much from all other
promenades of its sort in France: the upper-crust of the world has grown
painfully tame and monotonous everywhere within the last twenty-five
years: all flavor and savor of national costume or national manners has
died out of it in the lump, and left us only in provincial centers the
insipid graces of London and Paris, badly imitated. Still, the Prado is
undoubtedly lively; a broad avenue bordered with magnificent villas of the
meretricious Haussmannesque order of architecture; and it possesses a
certain great advantage over every other similar promenade I know of in
the world--it ends at last in one of the most beautiful and picturesque
sea-drives in all Europe.

This sea-drive has been christened by the Marseillais, with pardonable
pride, the Chemin de la Corniche, in humble imitation of that other great
Corniche road which winds its tortuous way by long, slow gradients over
the ramping heights of the Turbia between Nice and Mentone. And a "ledge
road" it is in good earnest, carved like a shelf out of the solid
limestone. When I first knew Marseilles there was no Corniche: the Prado,
a long flat drive through a marshy plain, ended then abruptly on the
sea-front; and the hardy pedestrian who wished to return to town by way of
the cliffs had to clamber along a doubtful and rocky path, always
difficult, often dangerous, and much obstructed by the attentions of the
prowling _douanier_, ever ready to arrest him as a suspected smuggler.
Nowadays, however, all that is changed. The French engineers--always
famous for their roads--have hewn a broad and handsome carriage-drive out
of the rugged rock, here hanging on a shelf sheer above the sea; there
supported from below by heavy buttresses of excellent masonwork; and have
given the Marseillais one of the most exquisite promenades to be found
anywhere on the seaboard of the Continent. It somewhat resembles the new
highway from Villefranche to Monte Carlo; but the islands with which the
sea is here studded recall rather Cannes or the neighborhood of Sorrento.
The seaward views are everywhere delicious; and when sunset lights up the
bare white rocks with pink and purple, no richer coloring against the
emerald green bay, can possibly be imagined in art or nature. It is as
good as Torquay; and how can cosmopolitan say better?

On the Corniche, too, is the proper place nowadays to eat that famous old
Marseillais dish, immortalized by Thackeray, and known as _bouillabaisse_.
The Réserve de Roubion in particular prides itself on the manufacture of
this strictly national Provençal dainty, which proves, however, a little
too rich and a little too mixed in its company for the fastidious taste of
most English gourmets. Greater exclusiveness and a more delicate
eclecticism in matters of cookery please our countrymen better than such
catholic comprehensiveness. I once asked a white-capped Provençal _chef_
what were the precise ingredients of his boasted _bouillabaisse_; and the
good man opened his palms expansively before him as he answered with a
shrug, "Que voulez-vous? Fish to start with; and then--a handful of
anything that happens to be lying about loose in the kitchen."

Near the end of the Prado, at its junction with the Corniche, modern
Marseilles rejoices also in its park or Public Garden. Though laid out on
a flat and uninteresting plain, with none of the natural advantages of the
Bois de Boulogne or of the beautiful Central Park at New York, these
pretty grounds are nevertheless interesting to the northern visitor, who
makes his first acquaintance with the Mediterranean here, by their curious
and novel southern vegetation. The rich types of the south are everywhere
apparent. Clumps of bamboo in feathery clusters overhang the ornamental
waters; cypresses and araucarias shade the gravel walks; the eucalyptus
showers down its fluffy flowers upon the grass below; the quaint
Salisburia covers the ground in autumn with its pretty and curious
maidenhair-shaped foliage. Yuccas and cactuses flourish vigorously in the
open air, and even fan-palms manage to thrive the year round in cosy
corners. It is an introduction to the glories of Rivieran vegetation, and
a faint echo of the magnificent tones of the North African flora.

As we wind in and out on our way back to Marseilles by the Corniche road,
with the water ever dashing white from the blue against the solid crags,
whose corners we turn at every tiny headland, the most conspicuous object
in the nearer view is the Château d'If, with the neighboring islets of
Pomègues and Ratonneau. Who knows not the Château d'If, by name at least,
has wasted his boyhood. The castle is not indeed of any great
antiquity--it was built by order of François I--nor can it lay much claim
to picturesqueness of outline or beauty of architecture; but in historical
and romantic associations it is peculiarly rich, and its situation is
bold, interesting, and striking. It was here that Mirabeau was imprisoned
under a _lettre de cachet_ obtained by his father, the friend of man; and
it was here, to pass from history to romance, that Monte-Cristo went
through those marvelous and somewhat incredible adventures which will keep
a hundred generations of school-boys in breathless suspense long after
Walter Scott is dead and forgotten.

But though the Prado and the Corniche are alive with carriages on sunny
afternoons, it is on the quays themselves, and around the docks and
basins, that the true vivacious Marseillais life must be seen in all its
full flow and eagerness. The quick southern temperament, the bronzed
faces, the open-air existence, the hurry and bustle of a great seaport
town, display themselves there to the best advantage. And the ports of
Marseilles are many and varied: their name is legion, and their shipping
manifold. As long ago as 1850, the old square port, the Phocæan harbor,
was felt to have become wholly insufficient for the needs of modern
commerce in Marseilles. From that day to this, the accommodation for
vessels has gone on increasing with that incredible rapidity which marks
the great boom of modern times. Never, surely, since the spacious days of
great Elizabeth, has the world so rapidly widened its borders as in these
latter days in which we are all living. The Pacific and the Indian Ocean
have joined the Atlantic. In 1853 the Port de la Joliette was added,
therefore, to the Old Harbor, and people thought Marseilles had met all
the utmost demands of its growing commerce. But the Bassin du Lazaret and
the Bassin d'Arenc were added shortly after; and then, in 1856, came the
further need for yet another port, the Bassin National. In 1872 the Bassin
de la Gare Maritime was finally executed; and now the Marseillais are
crying out again that the ships know not where to turn in the harbor.
Everywhere the world seems to cosmopolitanize itself and to extend its
limits: the day of small things has passed away for ever; the day of vast
ports, huge concerns, gigantic undertakings is full upon us.

Curiously enough, however, in spite of all this rapid and immense
development, it is still to a great extent the Greek merchants who hold in
their hands--even in our own time--the entire commerce and wealth of the
old Phocæan city. A large Hellenic colony of recent importation still
inhabits and exploits Marseilles. Among the richly-dressed crowd of
southern ladies that throngs the Prado on a sunny afternoon in full
season, no small proportion of the proudest and best equipped who loll
back in their carriages were born at Athens or in the Ionic Archipelago.
For even to this day, these modern Greeks hang together wonderfully with
old Greek persistence. Their creed keeps them apart from the Catholic
French, in whose midst they live, and trade, and thrive; for, of course,
they are all members of the "Orthodox" Church, and they retain their
orthodoxy in spite of the ocean of Latin Christianity which girds them
round with its flood on every side. The Greek community, in fact, dwells
apart, marries apart, worships apart, and thinks apart. The way the
marriages, in particular, are most frequently managed, differs to a very
curious extent from our notions of matrimonial proprieties. The system--as
duly explained to me one day under the shady plane-trees of the Allées de
Meilhan, in very choice modern Greek, by a Hellenic merchant of
Marseilles, who himself had been "arranged for" in this very manner--is
both simple and mercantile to the highest degree yet practised in any
civilized country. It is "marriage by purchase" pure and simple; only
here, instead of the husband buying the wife, it is the wife who
practically buys the husband.

A trader or ship-owner of Marseilles, let us say, has two sons, partners
in his concern, who he desires to marry. It is important, however, that
the wives he selects for them should not clash with the orthodoxy of the
Hellenic community. Our merchant, therefore, anxious to do the best in
both worlds at once, writes to his correspondents of the great Greek
houses in Smyrna, Constantinople, Beyrout, and Alexandria; nay, perhaps
even in London, Manchester, New York, and Rio, stating his desire to
settle his sons in life, and the amount of _dot_ they would respectively
require from the ladies upon whom they decided to bestow their name and
affections. The correspondents reply by return of post, recommending to
the favorable attention of the happy swains certain Greek young ladies in
the town of their adoption, whose _dot_ and whose orthodoxy can be
equally guaranteed as beyond suspicion. Photographs and lawyers' letters
are promptly exchanged; settlements are drawn up to the mutual
satisfaction of both the high contracting parties; and when all the
business portion of the transaction has been thoroughly sifted, the young
ladies are consigned, with the figs and dates, as per bill of lading, to
the port of entry, where their lords await them, and are duly married, on
the morning of their arrival, at the Greek church in the Rue de la Grande
Armée, by the reverend archimandrite. The Greeks are an eminently
commercial people, and they find this idyllic mode of conducting a
courtship not only preserves the purity of the orthodox faith and the
Hellenic blood, but also saves an immense amount of time which might
otherwise be wasted on the composition of useless love-letters.

It was not so, however, in the earlier Greek days. Then, the colonists of
Marseilles and its dependent towns must have intermarried freely with the
native Gaulish and Ligurian population of all the tributary Provençal
seaboard. The true antique Hellenic stock--the Aryan Achæans of the
classical period--were undoubtedly a fair, a light-haired race, with a far
more marked proportion of the blond type than now survives among their
mixed and degenerate modern descendants. In Greece proper, a large
intermixture of Albanian and Sclavonic blood, which the old Athenians
would have stigmatized as barbarian or Scythian, has darkened the
complexion and blackened the hair of a vast majority of the existing
population. But in Marseilles, curiously enough, and in the surrounding
country, the genuine old light Greek type has left its mark to this day
upon the physique of the inhabitants. In the ethnographical map of
France, prepared by two distinguished French savants, the other
Mediterranean departments are all, without exception, marked as "dark" or
"very dark," while the department of the Bouches du Rhône is marked as
"white," having, in fact, as large a proportion of fair complexions, blond
hair, and light eyes as the eastern semi-German provinces, or as Normandy
and Flanders. This curious survival of a very ancient type in spite of
subsequent deluges, must be regarded as a notable instance of the way in
which the popular stratum everywhere outlasts all changes of conquest and
dynasty, of governing class and ruling family.

Just think, indeed, how many changes and revolutions in this respect that
fiery Marseilles has gone through since the early days of her Hellenic
independence! First came that fatal but perhaps indispensable error of
inviting the Roman aid against her Ligurian enemies, which gave the Romans
their earliest foothold in Southern Gaul. Then followed the foundation of
Aquæ Sextiæ or Aix, the first Roman colony in what was soon to be the
favorite province of the new conquerors. After that, in the great civil
war, the Greeks of Marseilles were unlucky enough to espouse the losing
cause; and, in the great day of Cæsar's triumph, their town was reduced
accordingly to the inferior position of a mere Roman dependency. Merged
for a while in the all-absorbing empire, Marseilles fell at last before
Visigoths and Burgundians in the stormy days of that vast upheaval, during
which it is impossible for even the minutest historian to follow in detail
the long list of endless conquests and re-conquests, while the wandering
tribes ebbed and flowed on one another in wild surging waves of refluent
confusion. Ostrogoth and Frank, Saracen and Christian, fought one after
another for possession of the mighty city. In the process her Greek and
Roman civilization was wholly swept away and not a trace now remains of
those glorious basilicas, temples, and arches, which must once, no doubt,
have adorned the metropolis of Grecian Gaul far more abundantly than they
still adorn mere provincial centers like Arles and Nîmes, Vienne, and
Orange. But at the end of it all, when Marseilles emerges once more into
the light of day as an integral part of the Kingdom of Provence, it still
retains its essentially Greek population, fairer and handsomer than the
surrounding dark Ligurian stock; it still boasts its clear-cut Greek
beauty of profile, its Hellenic sharpness of wit and quickness of
perception. And how interesting in this relation to note, too, that
Marseilles kept up, till a comparatively late period in the Middle Ages,
her active connection with the Byzantine Empire; and that her chief
magistrate was long nominated--in name at least, if not in actual fact--by
the shadowy representative of the Cæsars at Constantinople.

May we not attribute to this continuous persistence of the Greek element
in the life of Marseilles something of that curious local and
self-satisfied feeling which northern Frenchmen so often deride in the
born Marseillais? With the Greeks, the sense of civic individuality and
civic separateness was always strong. Their _Polis_ was to them their
whole world--the center of everything. They were Athenians, Spartans,
Thebans first; Greeks or even Boeotians and Lacedæmonians in the second
place only. And the Marseillais bourgeois, following the traditions of his
Phocæan ancestry, is still in a certain sense the most thoroughly
provincial, the most uncentralized and anti-Parisian of modern French
citizens. He believes in Marseilles even more devoutly than the average
boulevardier believes in Paris. To him the Cannebière is the High Street
of the world, and the Cours St. Louis the hub of the universe. How pleased
with himself and all his surroundings he is, too! "At Marseilles, we do
so-and-so," is a frequent phrase which seems to him to settle off-hand all
questions of etiquette, of procedure, or of the fitness of things
generally. "Massilia locuta est; causa finita est." That anything can be
done better anywhere than it is done in the Cannebière or the Old Port is
an idea that never even so much as occurs to his smart and quick but
somewhat geographically limited intelligence. One of the best and
cleverest of Mars's clever Marseillais caricatures exhibits a good
bourgeois from the Cours Pierre Puget, in his Sunday best, abroad on his
travels along the Genoese Riviera. On the shore at San Remo, the happy,
easy-going, conceited fellow, brimming over to the eyes with the
happy-go-lucky Cockney joy of the South, sees a couple of pretty Italian
fisher-girls mending their nets, and addresses them gaily in his own soft
dialect: "Hé bien, més pitchounettes, vous êtes tellement croussetillantes
que, sans ézaggérer, bagasse! ze vous croyais de Marseille!" To take
anyone elsewhere for a born fellow-citizen was the highest compliment his
good Marseillais soul could possibly hit upon.

Nevertheless, the Marseillais are not proud. They generously allow the
rest of the world to come and admire them. They throw their doors open to
East and West; they invite Jew and Greek alike to flow in unchecked, and
help them make their own fortunes. They know very well that if Marseilles,
as they all firmly believe, is the finest town in the round world, it is
the trade with the Levant that made and keeps it so. And they take good
care to lay themselves out for entertaining all and sundry as they come,
in the handsomest hotels in Southern Europe. The mere through passenger
traffic with India alone would serve to make Marseilles nowadays a
commercial town of the first importance.

Marseilles, however, has had to pay a heavy price, more than once, for her
open intercourse with the Eastern world, the native home of cholera and
all other epidemics. From a very early time, the city by the Rhône has
been the favorite haunt of the Plague and like oriental visitants; and
more than one of its appalling epidemics has gained for itself a memorable
place in history. To say the truth, old Marseilles laid itself out almost
deliberately for the righteous scourge of zymotic disease. The _vieille
ville_, that trackless labyrinth of foul and noisome alleys, tortuous,
deeply worn, ill-paved, ill-ventilated, has been partly cleared away by
the works of the Rue de la République now driven through its midst; but
enough still remains of its Dædalean maze to show the adventurous
traveller who penetrates its dark and drainless dens how dirty the
strenuous Provençal can be when he bends his mind to it. There the
true-blooded Marseillais of the old rock and of the Greek profile still
lingers in his native insanitary condition; there the only scavenger is
that "broom of Provence," the swooping _mistral_--the fierce Alpine wind
which, blowing fresh down with sweeping violence from the frozen
mountains, alone can change the air and cleanse the gutters of that filthy
and malodorous mediæval city. Everywhere else the _mistral_ is a curse: in
Marseilles it is accepted with mitigated gratitude as an excellent
substitute for main drainage.

It is not to be wondered at that, under such conditions, Marseilles was
periodically devastated by terrible epidemics. Communications with
Constantinople, Alexandria, and the Levant were always frequent;
communications with Tunis, Algiers, and Morocco were far from uncommon.
And if the germs of disease were imported from without, they found at
Marseilles an appropriate nest provided beforehand for their due
development. Time after time the city was ravaged by plague or pestilence;
the most memorable occasion being the great epidemic of 1720, when,
according to local statistics (too high, undoubtedly), as many as forty
thousand persons died in the streets, "like lambs on the hill-tops."
Never, even in the East itself, the native home of the plague, says Méry,
the Marseilles poet-romancer, was so sad a picture of devastation seen as
in the doomed streets of that wealthy city. The pestilence came, according
to public belief, in a cargo of wool in May, 1720: it raged till, by
September, the tale of dead per diem had reached the appalling number of a

So awful a public calamity was not without the usual effect in bringing
forth counterbalancing examples of distinguished public service and noble
self-denial. Chief among them shines forth the name of the Chevalier Rose,
who, aided by a couple of hundred condemned convicts, carried forth to
burial in the ditches of La Tourette no less than two thousand dead bodies
which infected the streets with their deadly contagion. There, quicklime
was thrown over the horrible festering mass, in a spot still remembered as
the "Graves of the Plague-stricken." But posterity has chosen most
especially to select for the honors of the occasion Monseigneur
Belzunce--"Marseilles' good bishop," as Pope calls him, who returned in
the hour of danger to his stricken flock from the salons of Versailles,
and by offering the last consolations of religion to the sick and dying,
aided somewhat in checking the orgy of despair and of panic-stricken
callousness which reigned everywhere throughout the doomed city. The
picture is indeed a striking and romantic one. On a high altar raised in
the Cours which now bears his name, the brave bishop celebrated Mass one
day before the eyes of all his people, doing penance to heaven in the name
of his flock, his feet bare, a rope round his neck, and a flaming torch
held high in his hand, for the expiation of the sins that had brought such
punishment. His fervent intercession, the faithful believed, was at last
effectual. In May, 1721, the plague disappeared; but it left Marseilles
almost depopulated. The bishop's statue in bronze, by Ramus, on the Cours
Belzunce, now marks the site of this strange and unparalleled religious

From the Belzunce Monument, the Rue Tapis Vert and the Allées des Capucins
lead us direct by a short cut to the Boulevard Longchamp, which terminates
after the true modern Parisian fashion, with a vista of the great
fountains and the Palais des Arts, a bizarre and original but not in its
way unpleasing specimen of recent French architecture. It is meretricious,
of course--that goes without the saying: what else can one expect from the
France of the Second Empire? But it is distinctly, what the children call
"grand," and if once you can put yourself upon its peculiar level, it is
not without a certain queer rococo beauty of its own. As for the Château
d'Eau, its warmest admirer could hardly deny that it is painfully
_baroque_ in design and execution. Tigers, panthers, and lions decorate
the approach; an allegorical figure representing the Durance, accompanied
by the geniuses of the Vine and of Corn, holds the seat of honor in the
midst of the waterspouts. To right and left a triton blows his shelly
trumpet; griffins and fauns crown the summit; and triumphal arches flank
the sides. A marvelous work indeed, of the Versailles type, better fitted
to the ideas of the eighteenth century than to those of the age in which
we live at present.

The Palais des Arts, one wing of this monument, encloses the usual French
provincial picture-gallery, with the stereotyped Rubens, and the
regulation Caraccio. It has its Raffael, its Giulio Romano, and its Andrea
del Sarto. It even diverges, not without success, into the paths of Dutch
and Flemish painting. But it is specially rich, of course, in Provençal
works, and its Pugets in particular are both numerous and striking. There
is a good Murillo and a square-faced Holbein, and many yards of modern
French battles and nudities, alternating for the most part from the
sensuous to the sanguinary. But the gem of the collection is a most
characteristic and interesting Perugino, as beautiful as anything from the
master's hand to be found in the galleries of Florence. Altogether, the
interior makes one forgive the façade and the Château d'Eau. One good
Perugino covers, like charity, a multitude of sins of the Marseillais

Strange to say, old as Marseilles is, it contains to-day hardly any
buildings of remote antiquity. One would be tempted to suppose beforehand
that a town with so ancient and so continuous a history would teem with
Græco-Roman and mediæval remains. As Phocæan colony, imperial town,
mediæval republic, or Provençal city, it has so long been great, famous,
and prosperous that one might not unnaturally expect in its streets to
meet with endless memorials of its early grandeur. Nothing could be
farther from the actual fact. While Nîmes, a mere second-rate provincial
municipality, and Arles, a local Roman capital, have preserved rich
mementoes of the imperial days--temples, arches, aqueducts,
amphitheaters--Marseilles, their mother city, so much older, so much
richer, so much greater, so much more famous, has not a single Roman
building; scarcely even a second-rate mediæval chapel. Its ancient
cathedral has been long since pulled down; of its oldest church but a
spire now remains, built into a vulgar modern pseudo-Gothic Calvary. St.
Victor alone, near the Fort St. Nicolas, is the one really fine piece of
mediæval architecture still left in the town after so many ages.

St. Victor itself remains to us now as the last relic of a very ancient
and important monastery, founded by St. Cassian in the fifth century, and
destroyed by the Saracens--those incessant scourges of the Provençal
coast--during one of their frequent plundering incursions. In 1040 it was
rebuilt, only to be once more razed to the ground, till, in 1350, Pope
Urban V., who himself had been abbot of this very monastery restored it
from the base, with those high, square towers, which now, in their worn
and battered solidity, give it rather the air of a castellated fortress
than of a Christian temple. Doubtless the strong-handed Pope, warned by
experience, intended his church to stand a siege, if necessary, on the
next visit to Marseilles of the Paynim enemy. The interior, too, is not
unworthy of notice. It contains the catacombs where, according to the
naïve Provençal faith, Lazarus passed the last days of his second life;
and it boasts an antique black image of the Virgin, attributed by a
veracious local legend to the skilful fingers of St. Luke the Evangelist.
Modern criticism ruthlessly relegates the work to a nameless but
considerably later Byzantine sculptor.

By far the most interesting ecclesiastical edifice in Marseilles, however,
even in its present charred and shattered condition, is the ancient
pilgrimage chapel of Notre Dame de la Garde, the antique High Place of
primitive Phoenician and Ligurian worship. How long a shrine for some
local cult has existed on the spot it would be hard to say, but, at least,
we may put it at two dozen centuries. All along the Mediterranean coast,
in fact, one feels oneself everywhere thus closely in almost continuous
contact with the earliest religious beliefs of the people. The paths that
lead to these very antique sacred sites, crowning the wind-swept hills
that overlook the valley, are uniformly worn deep by naked footsteps into
the solid rock--a living record of countless generations of fervent
worshipers. Christianity itself is not nearly old enough to account for
all those profoundly-cut steps in the schistose slate or hard white
limestone of the Provençal hills. The sanctity of the High Places is more
ancient by far than Saint or Madonna. Before ever a Christian chapel
crested these heights they were crested by forgotten Pagan temples; and
before the days of Aphrodite or Pallas, in turn, they were crested by the
shrines of some long since dead-and-buried Gaulish or Ligurian goddess.
Religions change, creeds disappear, but sacred sites remain as holy as
ever; and here where priests now chant their loud hymns before the high
altar, some nameless bloody rites took place, we may be sure, long ages
since, before the lonely shrine of some Celtic Hesus or some hideous and
deformed Phoenician Moloch.

It is a steep climb even now from the Old Port or the Anse des Catalans to
the Colline Notre Dame; several different paths ascend to the summit, all
alike of remote antiquity, and all ending at last in fatiguing steps.
Along the main road, hemmed in on either side by poor southern hovels,
wondrous old witches of true Provençal ugliness drive a brisk trade in
rosaries, and chaplets, and blessed medals. These wares are for the
pilgrim; but to suit all tastes, the same itinerant chapwomen offer to the
more worldly-minded tourist of the Cookian type appropriate gewgaws, in
the shape of photographs, images, and cheap trinkets. At the summit stand
the charred and blackened ruins of Notre Dame de la Garde. Of late years,
indeed, that immemorial shrine has fallen on evil times and evil days in
many matters. To begin with, the needs of modern defence compelled the
Government some years since to erect on the height a fort, which encloses
in its midst the ancient chapel. Even military necessities, however, had
to yield in part to the persistent religious sentiment of the community;
and though fortifications girt it round on every side, the sacred site of
Our Lady remained unpolluted in the center of the great defensive works of
the fortress. Passing through the gates of those massive bastions a
strongly-guarded path still guided the faithful sailor-folk of Marseilles
to the revered shrine of their ancestral Madonna. Nay, more; the antique
chapel of the thirteenth century was superseded by a gorgeous Byzantine
building, from designs by Espérandieu, all glittering with gold, and
precious stones, and jewels. On the topmost belfry stood a gigantic gilded
statue of Our Lady. Dome and apse were of cunning workmanship--white
Carrara marble and African _rosso antico_ draped the interior with
parti-colored splendor. Corsican granite and Esterel porphyry supported
the massive beams of the transepts; frescoes covered every inch of the
walls: the pavement was mosaic, the high altar was inlaid with costly
Florentine stonework. Every Marseilles fisherman rejoiced in heart that
though the men of battle had usurped the sanctuary, their Madonna was now
housed by the sons of the Faithful in even greater magnificence and glory
than ever.

But in 1884 a fire broke out in the shrine itself, which wrecked almost
irreparably the sumptuous edifice. The statue of the Virgin still crowns
the façade, to be sure, and the chapel still shows up bravely from a
modest distance; but within, all the glory has faded away, and the
interior of the church is no longer accessible. Nevertheless, the visitor
who stands upon the platform in front of the doorway and gazes down upon
the splendid panoramic view that stretches before him in the vale beneath,
will hardly complain of having had his stiff pull uphill for nothing.
Except the view of Montreal and the St. Lawrence River from Mont Royal
Mountain, I hardly know a town view in the world to equal that from Notre
Dame de la Garde, for beauty and variety, on a clear spring morning.

Close at our feet lies the city itself, filling up the whole wide valley
with its mass, and spreading out long arms of faubourg, or roadway, up the
lateral openings. Beyond rise the great white limestone hills, dotted
about like mushrooms, with their glittering _bastides_. In front lies the
sea--the blue Mediterranean--with that treacherous smile which has so
often deceived us all the day before we trusted ourselves too rashly, with
ill-deserved confidence, upon its heaving bosom. Near the shore the waves
chafe the islets and the Château d'If; then come the Old Port and the busy
bassins; and, beyond them all, the Chain of Estaques, rising grim and gray
in serrated outline against the western horizon. A beautiful prospect
though barren and treeless, for nowhere in the world are mountains barer
than those great white guardians of the Provençal seaboard.

The fortress that overhangs the Old Port at our feet itself deserves a few
passing words of polite notice; for it is the Fort St. Nicolas, the one
link in his great despotic chain by which Louis Quatorze bound
recalcitrant Marseilles to the throne of the Tuileries. The town--like all
great commercial towns--had always clung hard to its ancient liberties.
Ever rebellious when kings oppressed, it was a stronghold of the Fronde;
and when Louis at last made his entry perforce into the malcontent city,
it was through a breach he had effected in the heavy ramparts. The king
stood upon this commanding spot, just above the harbor, and, gazing
landward, asked the citizens round him how men called those little square
boxes which he saw dotted about over the sunlit hillsides. "We call them
_bastides_, sire," answered a courtly Marseillais. "Every citizen of our
town has one." "Moi aussi, je veux avoir ma bastide à Marseille," cried
the theatrical monarch, and straightway gave orders for building the Fort
St. Nicolas: so runs the tale that passes for history. But as the fort
stands in the very best possible position, commanding the port, and could
only have been arranged for after consultation with the engineers of the
period--it was Vauban who planned it--I fear we must set down Louis's _bon
mot_ as one of those royal epigrams which has been carefully prepared and
led up to beforehand.

In every town, however, it is a favorite theory of mine that the best of
all sights is the town itself: and nowhere on earth is this truism truer
than here at Marseilles. After one has climbed Notre Dame, and explored
the Prado and smiled at the Château d'Eau and stood beneath the frowning
towers of St. Victor, one returns once more with real pleasure and
interest to the crowded Cannebière and sees the full tide of human life
flow eagerly on down that picturesque boulevard. That, after all, is the
main picture that Marseilles always leaves photographed on the visitor's
memory. How eager, how keen, how vivacious is the talk; how fiery the
eyes; how emphatic the gesture! With what teeming energy, with what
feverish haste, the great city pours forth its hurrying thousands! With
what endless spirit they move up and down in endless march upon its
clattering pavements! _Circulez, messieurs, circulez_: and they do just
circulate! From the Quai de la Fraternité to the Allées de Meilhan, what
mirth and merriment, what life and movement! In every _café_, what warm
southern faces! At every shop-door, what quick-witted, sharp-tongued,
bartering humanity! I have many times stopped at Marseilles, on my way
hither and thither round this terraqueous globe, farther south or east;
but I never stop there without feeling once more the charm and interest of
its strenuous personality. There is something of Greek quickness and Greek
intelligence left even now about the old Phocæan colony. A Marseillais
crowd has to this very day something of the sharp Hellenic wit; and I
believe the rollicking humor of Aristophanes would be more readily seized
by the public of the Alcazar than by any other popular audience in modern

"Bon chien chasse de race," and every Marseillais is a born Greek and a
born littérateur. Is it not partly to this old Greek blood, then, that we
may set down the long list of distinguished men who have drawn their first
breath in the Phocæan city? From the days of the Troubadours, Raymond des
Tours and Barral des Baux, Folquet, and Rostang, and De Salles, and
Bérenger, through the days of D'Urfé, and Mascaron, and Barbaroux, and De
Pastoret, to the days of Méry, and Barthélemy, and Taxile Delord, and
Joseph Autran, Marseilles has always been rich in talent. It is enough to
say that her list of great men begins with Petronius Arbiter, and ends
with Thiers, to show how long and diversely she has been represented in
her foremost citizens. Surely, then, it is not mere fancy to suppose that
in all this the true Hellenic blood has counted for something! Surely it
is not too much to believe that with the Greek profile and the Greek
complexion the inhabitants have still preserved to this day some modest
measure of the quick Greek intellect, the bright Greek fancy, and the
plastic and artistic Greek creative faculty! I love to think it, for
Marseilles is dear to me; especially when I land there after a sound

Unlike many of the old Mediterranean towns, too, Marseilles has not only a
past but also a future. She lives and will live. In the middle of the past
century, indeed, it might almost have seemed to a careless observer as if
the Mediterranean were "played out." And so in part, no doubt, it really
is; the tracks of commerce and of international intercourse have shifted
to wider seas and vaster waterways. We shall never again find that inland
basin ringed round by a girdle of the great merchant cities that do the
carrying trade and finance of the world. Our area has widened, so that New
York, Rio, San Francisco, Yokohama, Shanghai, Calcutta, Bombay, and
Melbourne have taken the place of Syracuse, Alexandria, Tyre, and
Carthage, of Florence, Genoa, Venice, and Constantinople. But in spite of
this cramping change, this degradation of the Mediterranean from the
center of the world into a mere auxiliary or side-avenue of the Atlantic,
a certain number of Mediterranean ports have lived on uninterruptedly by
force of position from one epoch into the other. Venice has had its faint
revival of recent years; Trieste has had its rise; Barcelona, Algiers,
Smyrna, Odessa, have grown into great harbors for cosmopolitan traffic. Of
this new and rejuvenescent Mediterranean, girt round by the fresh young
nationalities of Italy and the Orient, and itself no longer an inland sea,
but linked by the Suez Canal with the Indian Ocean and so turned into the
main highway of the nations between East and West, Marseilles is still the
key and the capital. That proud position the Phocæan city is not likely to
lose. And as the world is wider now than ever, the new Marseilles is
perforce a greater and a wealthier town than even the old one in its
proudest days. Where tribute came once from the North African, Levantine,
and Italian coasts alone, it comes now from every shore of Europe, Asia,
Africa, and America, with Australia and the Pacific Isles thrown in as an
afterthought. Regions Cæsar never knew enrich the good Greeks of the Quai
de la Fraternité: brown, black, and yellow men whom his legions never saw
send tea and silk, cotton, corn, and tobacco to the crowded warehouses of
the Cannebière and the Rue de la République.



    The Queen of the Riviera--The Port of Limpia--Castle Hill--Promenade
    des Anglais--The Carnival and Battle of Flowers--Place Masséna, the
    center of business--Beauty of the suburbs--The road to Monte
    Carlo--The quaintly picturesque town of Villefranche--Aspects of Nice
    and its environs.

Who loves not Nice, knows it not. Who knows it, loves it. I admit it is
windy, dusty, gusty. I allow it is meretricious, fashionable, vulgar. I
grant its Carnival is a noisy orgy, its Promenade a meeting place for all
the wealthiest idlers of Europe or America, and its clubs more desperate
than Monte Carlo itself in their excessive devotion to games of hazard.
And yet, with all its faults, I love it still. Yes, deliberately love it;
for nothing that man has done or may ever do to mar its native beauty can
possibly deface that beauty itself as God made it. Nay, more, just because
it is Nice, we can readily pardon it these obvious faults and minor
blemishes. The Queen of the Riviera, with all her coquettish little airs
and graces, pleases none the less, like some proud and haughty girl in
court costume, partly by reason of that very finery of silks and feathers
which we half-heartedly deprecate. If she were not herself, she would be
other than she is. Nice is Nice, and that is enough for us.

Was ever town more graciously set, indeed, in more gracious surroundings?
Was ever pearl girt round with purer emeralds? On every side a vast
semicircle of mountains hems it in, among which the bald and naked summit
of the Mont Cau d'Aspremont towers highest and most conspicuous above its
darkling compeers. In front the blue Mediterranean, that treacherous
Mediterranean all guile and loveliness, smiles with myriad dimples to the
clear-cut horizon. Eastward, the rocky promontories of the Mont Boron and
the Cap Ferrat jut boldly out into the sea with their fringe of white
dashing breakers. Westward, the longer and lower spit of the point of
Antibes bounds the distant view, with the famous pilgrimage chapel of
Notre Dame de la Garoupe just dimly visible on its highest knoll against
the serrated ridge of the glorious Esterel in the background. In the midst
of all nestles Nice itself, the central gem in that coronet of mountains.
There are warmer and more sheltered nooks on the Riviera, I will allow:
there can be none more beautiful. Mentone may surpass it in the charm of
its mountain paths and innumerable excursions; Cannes in the rich variety
of its nearer walks and drives; but for mingled glories of land and sea,
art and nature, antiquity and novelty, picturesqueness and magnificence,
Nice still stands without a single rival on all that enchanted coast that
stretches its long array of cities and bays between Marseilles and Genoa.
There are those, I know, who run down Nice as commonplace and vulgarized.
But then they can never have strayed one inch, I feel sure, from the
palm-shaded _trottoir_ of the Promenade des Anglais. If you want Italian
mediævalism, go to the Old Town; if you want quaint marine life, go to the
good Greek port of Limpia; if you want a grand view of sea and land and
snow mountains in the distance, go to the Castle Hill; if you want the
most magnificent panorama in the whole of Europe, go to the summit of the
Corniche Road. No, no; these brawlers disturb our pure worship. We have
only one Nice, let us make the most of it.

It is so easy to acquire a character for superiority by affecting to
criticize what others admire. It is so easy to pronounce a place vulgar
and uninteresting by taking care to see only the most vulgar and
uninteresting parts of it. But the old Rivieran who knows his Nice well,
and loves it dearly, is troubled rather by the opposite difficulty. Where
there is so much to look at and so much to describe, where to begin? what
to omit? how much to glide over? how much to insist upon? Language fails
him to give a conception of this complex and polychromatic city in a few
short pages to anyone who knows it by name alone as the cosmopolitan
winter capital of fashionable seekers after health and pleasure. It is
that, indeed, but it is so much more that one can never tell it.

For there are at least three distinct Nices, Greek, Italian, French; each
of them beautiful in its own way, and each of them interesting for its own
special features. To the extreme east, huddled in between the Mont Boron
and the Castle Hill, lies the seafaring Greek town, the most primitive and
original Nice of all; the home of the fisher-folk and the petty coasting
sailors; the Nicæa of the old undaunted Phocæan colonists; the Nizza di
Mare of modern Italians; the mediæval city; the birthplace of Garibaldi.
Divided from this earliest Nice by the scarped rock on whose summit stood
the château of the Middle Ages, the eighteenth century Italian town (the
Old Town as tourists nowadays usually call it, the central town of the
three) occupies the space between the Castle Hill and the half dry bed of
the Paillon torrent. Finally, west of the Paillon, again, the modern
fashionable pleasure resort extends its long line of villas, hotels, and
palaces in front of the sea to the little stream of the Magnan on the road
to Cannes, and stretches back in endless boulevards and avenues and
gardens to the smiling heights of Cimiez and Carabacel. Every one of these
three towns, "in three different ages born," has its own special history
and its own points of interest. Every one of them teems with natural
beauty, with picturesque elements, and with varieties of life, hard indeed
to discover elsewhere.

The usual guide-book way to attack Nice is, of course, the topsy-turvey
one, to begin at the Haussmannised white façades of the Promenade des
Anglais and work backwards gradually through the Old Town to the Port of
Limpia and the original nucleus that surrounds its quays. I will venture,
however, to disregard this time-honored but grossly unhistorical practice,
and allow the reader and myself, for once in our lives, to "begin at the
beginning." The Port of Limpia, then, is, of course, the natural starting
point and prime original of the very oldest Nice. Hither, in the fifth
century before the Christian era, the bold Phocæan settlers of Marseilles
sent out a little colony, which landed in the tiny land-locked harbor and
called the spot Nicæa (that is to say, the town of victory) in gratitude
for their success against its rude Ligurian owners. For twenty-two
centuries it has retained that name almost unchanged, now perhaps, the
only memento still remaining of its Greek origin. During its flourishing
days as a Hellenic city Nicæa ranked among the chief commercial entrepôts
of the Ligurian coast; but when "the Province" fell at last into the
hands of the Romans, and the dictator Cæsar favored rather the pretensions
of Cemenelum or Cimiez on the hill-top in the rear, the town that
clustered round the harbor of Limpia became for a time merely the port of
its more successful inland rival. Cimiez still possesses its fine ruined
Roman amphitheater and baths, besides relics of temples and some other
remains of the imperial period; but the "Quartier du Port," the ancient
town of Nice itself, is almost destitute of any architectural signs of its
antique greatness.

Nevertheless, the quaint little seafaring village that clusters round the
harbor, entirely cut off as it is by the ramping crags of the Castle Hill
from its later representative, the Italianized Nice of the last century,
may fairly claim to be the true Nice of history, the only spot that bore
that name till the days of the Bourbons. Its annals are far too long and
far too eventful to be narrated here in full. Goths, Burgundians,
Lombards, and Franks disputed for it in turn, as the border fortress
between Gaul and Italy; and that familiar round white bastion on the
eastern face of the Castle Hill, now known to visitors as the Tour
Bellanda, and included (such is fate!) as a modern belvedere in the
grounds of the comfortable Pension Suisse, was originally erected in the
fifth century after Christ to protect the town from the attacks of these
insatiable invaders. But Nice had its consolations, too, in these evil
days, for when the Lombards at last reduced the hill fortress of Cimiez,
the Roman town, its survivors took refuge from their conquerors in the
city by the port, which thus became once more, by the fall of its rival,
unquestioned mistress of the surrounding littoral.

The after story of Nice is confused and confusing. Now a vassal of the
Frankish kings; now again a member of the Genoese league; now engaged in a
desperate conflict with the piratical Saracens; and now constituted into a
little independent republic on the Italian model; Nizza struggled on
against an adverse fate as a fighting-ground of the races, till it fell
finally into the hands of the Counts of Savoy, to whom it owes whatever
little still remains of the mediæval castle. Continually changing hands
between France and the kingdom of Sardinia in later days, it was
ultimately made over to Napoleon III. by the Treaty of Villafranca, and is
now completely and entirely Gallicized. The native dialect, however,
remains even to the present day an intermediate form between Provençal and
Italian, and is freely spoken (with more force than elegance) in the Old
Town and around the enlarged modern basins of the Port of Limpia. Indeed,
for frankness of expression and perfect absence of any false delicacy, the
ladies of the real old Greek Nice surpass even their London compeers at

One of the most beautiful and unique features of Nice at the present day
is the Castle Hill a mass of solid rearing rock, not unlike its namesake
at Edinburgh in position, intervening between the Port and the eighteenth
century town, to which latter I will in future allude as the Italian city.
It is a wonderful place, that Castle Hill--wonderful alike by nature, art,
and history, and I fear I must also add at the same time "uglification."
In earlier days it bore on its summit or slopes the _château fort_ of the
Counts of Provence with the old cathedral and archbishop's palace (now
wholly destroyed), and the famous deep well, long ranked among the wonders
of the world in the way of engineering. But military necessity knows no
law; the cathedral gave place in the fifteenth century to the bastions of
the Duke of Savoy's new-fangled castle; the castle itself in turn was
mainly battered down in 1706 by the Duke of Berwick; and of all its
antiquities none now remain save the Tour Bellanda, in its degraded
condition of belvedere, and the scanty ground-plan of the mediæval

Nevertheless, the Castle Hill is still one of the loveliest and greenest
spots in Nice. A good carriage road ascends it to the top by leafy
gradients, and leads to an open platform on the summit, now converted into
charming gardens, rich with palms and aloes and cactuses and bright
southern flowers. On one side, alas! a painfully artificial cataract, fed
from the overflow of the waterworks, falls in stiff cascades among
hand-built rockwork; but even that impertinent addition to the handicraft
of nature can hardly offend the visitor for long among such glorious
surroundings. For the view from the summit is one of the grandest in all
France. The eye ranges right and left over a mingled panorama of sea and
mountains, scarcely to be equaled anywhere round the lovely Mediterranean,
save on the Ligurian coast and the neighborhood of Sorrento. Southward
lies the blue expanse of water itself, bounded only in very clear and
cloudless weather by the distant peaks of Corsica on the doubtful horizon.
Westward, the coast-line includes the promontory of Antibes, basking low
on the sea, the Iles Lérins near Cannes, the mouth of the Var, and the
dim-jagged ridge of the purple Esterel. Eastward, the bluff headland of
the Mont Boron, grim and brown, blocks the view towards Italy. Close below
the spectator's feet the three distinct towns of Nice gather round the
Port and the two banks of the Paillon, spreading their garden suburbs,
draped in roses and lemon groves, high up the spurs of the neighboring
mountains. But northward a tumultuous sea of Alps rises billow-like to the
sky, the nearer peaks frowning bare and rocky, while the more distant
domes gleam white with virgin snow. It is a sight, once seen, never to be
forgotten. One glances around entranced, and murmurs to oneself slowly,
"It is good to be here." Below, the carriages are rolling like black
specks along the crowded Promenade, and the band is playing gaily in the
Public Garden; but up there you look across to the eternal hills, and feel
yourself face to face for one moment with the Eternities behind them.

One may descend from the summit either by the ancient cemetery or by the
Place Garibaldi, through bosky gardens of date-palm, fan-palm, and agave.
Cool winding alleys now replace the demolished ramparts, and lovely views
open out on every side as we proceed over the immediate foreground.

At the foot of the Castle Hill, a modern road, hewn in the solid rock
round the base of the seaward escarpment, connects the Greek with the
Italian town. The angle where it turns the corner, bears on native lips
the quaint Provençal or rather Niçois name of Raüba Capeu or Rob-hat
Point, from the common occurrence of sudden gusts of wind, which remove
the unsuspecting Parisian headgear with effective rapidity, to the great
joy of the observant _gamins_. Indeed, windiness is altogether the weak
point of Nice, viewed as a health-resort; the town lies exposed in the
open valley of the Paillon, down whose baking bed the _mistral_, that
scourge of Provence, sweeps with violent force from the cold mountain-tops
in the rear; and so it cannot for a moment compete in point of climate
with Cannes, Monte Carlo, Mentone or San Remo, backed up close behind by
their guardian barrier of sheltering hills. But not even the _mistral_ can
make those who love Nice love her one atom the less. Her virtues are so
many that a little wholesome bluster once in a while may surely be
forgiven her. And yet the dust does certainly rise in clouds at times from
the Promenade des Anglais.

The Italian city, which succeeds next in order, is picturesque and
old-fashioned, but is being daily transformed and Gallicized out of all
knowledge by its modern French masters. It dates back mainly to the
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, when the population became too dense
for the narrow limits of the small Greek town, and began to overflow,
behind the Castle Hill, on to the eastern banks of the Paillon torrent.
The sea-front in this quarter, now known as the Promenade du Midi, has
been modernized into a mere eastward prolongation of the Promenade des
Anglais, of which "more anon;" but the remainder of the little triangular
space between the Castle Hill and the river-bed still consists of funny
narrow Italian lanes, dark, dense, and dingy, from whose midst rises the
odd and tile-covered dome of the cathedral of St. Réparate. That was the
whole of Nice as it lived and moved till the beginning of this century;
the real Nice of to-day, the Nice of the tourist, the invalid, and the
fashionable world, the Nice that we all visit or talk about, is a purely
modern accretion of some half-dozen decades.

This wonderful modern town, with its stately sea-front, its noble quays,
its dainty white villas, its magnificent hotels, and its Casino, owes its
existence entirely to the vogue which the coast has acquired in our own
times as a health-resort for consumptives. As long ago as Smollett's time,
the author of "Roderick Random" remarks complacently that an
acquaintance, "understanding I intended to winter in the South of France,
strongly recommended the climate of Nice in Provence, which indeed I had
often heard extolled," as well he might have done. But in those days
visitors had to live in the narrow and dirty streets of the Italian town,
whose picturesqueness itself can hardly atone for their unwholesome air
and their unsavory odors. It was not till the hard winters of 1822-23-24
that a few kind-hearted English residents, anxious to find work for the
starving poor, began the construction of a sea-road beyond the Paillon,
which still bears the name of the Promenade des Anglais. Nice may well
commemorate their deed to this day, for to them she owes as a
watering-place her very existence.


The western suburb, thus pushed beyond the bed of the boundary torrent,
has gradually grown in wealth and prosperity till it now represents the
actual living Nice of the tourist and the winter resident. But how to
describe that gay and beautiful city; that vast agglomeration of villas,
_pensions_, hotels, and clubs; that endless array of sun-worshipers
gathered together to this temple of the sun from all the four quarters of
the habitable globe? The sea-front consists of the Promenade des Anglais
itself, which stretches in an unbroken line of white and glittering
houses, most of them tasteless, but all splendid and all opulent, from the
old bank of the Paillon to its sister torrent, the Magnan, some two miles
away. On one side the villas front the shore with their fantastic façades;
on the other side a walk, overshadowed with date-palms and
purple-flowering judas-trees, lines the steep shingle beach of the
tideless sea.

There is one marked peculiarity of the Promenade des Anglais, however,
which at once distinguishes it from any similar group of private houses
to be found anywhere in England. There the British love of privacy, which
has, of course, its good points, but has also its compensating
disadvantages, leads almost every owner of beautiful grounds or gardens to
enclose them with a high fence or with the hideous monstrosity known to
suburban Londoners as "park paling." This plan, while it ensures complete
seclusion for the fortunate few within, shuts out the deserving many
outside from all participation in the beauty of the grounds or the natural
scenery. On the Promenade des Anglais, on the contrary, a certain generous
spirit of emulation in contributing to the public enjoyment and the
general effectiveness of the scene as a whole has prompted the owners of
the villas along the sea-front to enclose their gardens only with low
ornamental balustrades or with a slight and unobtrusive iron fence, so
that the passers-by can see freely into every one of them, and feast their
eyes on the beautiful shrubs and flowers. The houses and grounds thus form
a long line of delightful though undoubtedly garish and ornate
decorations, in full face of the sea. The same plan has been adopted in
the noble residential street known as Euclid Avenue at Cleveland, Ohio,
and in many other American cities. It is to be regretted that English
tastes and habits do not oftener thus permit their wealthier classes to
contribute, at no expense or trouble to themselves, to the general
pleasure of less fortunate humanity.

The Promenade is, of course, during the season the focus and center of
fashionable life at Nice. Here carriages roll, and amazons ride and
flâneurs lounge in the warm sunshine during the livelong afternoon. In
front are the baths, bathing being practicable at Nice from the beginning
of March; behind are the endless hotels and clubs of this city of
strangers. For the English are not alone on the Promenade des Anglais; the
American tongue is heard there quite as often as the British dialect,
while Germans, Russians, Poles, and Austrians cluster thick upon the shady
seats beneath the planes and carob-trees. During the Carnival especially
Nice resolves itself into one long orgy of frivolous amusement. Battles of
flowers, battles of _confetti_, open-air masquerades, and universal
tom-foolery pervade the place. Everybody vies with everybody else in
making himself ridiculous; and even the staid Briton, released from the
restraints of home or the City, abandons himself contentedly for a week at
a time to a sort of prolonged and glorified sunny southern Derby Day. Mr.
Bultitude disguises himself as a French clown; Mr. Dombey, in domino,
flings roses at his friends on the seats of the tribune. Everywhere is
laughter, noise, bustle, and turmoil; everywhere the manifold forms of
antique saturnalian freedom, decked out with gay flowers or travestied in
quaint clothing, but imported most incongruously for a week in the year
into the midst of our modern work-a-day twentieth-century Europe.

Only a comparatively few winters ago fashionable Nice consisted almost
entirely of the Promenade des Anglais, with a few slight tags and
appendages in either direction. At its eastern end stood (and still
stands) the Jardin Public, that paradise of children and of be-ribboned
French nursemaids, where the band discourses lively music every afternoon
at four, and all the world sits round on two-sou chairs to let all the
rest of the world see for itself it is still in evidence. These, and the
stately quays along the Paillon bank, lined with shops where female human
nature can buy all the tastiest and most expensive gewgaws in Europe,
constituted the real Nice of the early eighties. But with the rapid
growth of that general taste for more sumptuous architecture which marks
our age, the Phocæan city woke up a few years since with electric energy
to find itself in danger of being left behind by its younger competitors.
So the Niçois conscript fathers put their wise heads together, in conclave
assembled, and resolved on a general transmogrification of the center of
their town. By continuously bridging and vaulting across the almost dry
bed of the Paillon torrent they obtained a broad and central site for a
new large garden, which now forms the natural focus of the transformed
city. On the upper end of this important site they erected a large and
handsome casino in the gorgeous style of the Third Republic, all glorious
without and within, as the modern Frenchman understands such glory, and
provided with a theater, a winter garden, restaurants, cafés, ball-rooms,
_petits chevaux_, and all the other most pressing requirements of an
advanced civilization. But in doing this they sacrificed by the way the
beautiful view towards the mountains behind, which can now only be
obtained from the Square Masséna or the Pont Vieux farther up the river.
Most visitors to Nice, however, care little for views, and a great deal
for the fitful and fearsome joys embodied to their minds in the outward
and visible form of a casino.

This wholesale bridging over of the lower end of the Paillon has united
the French and Italian towns and abolished the well-marked boundary line
which once cut them off so conspicuously from one another. The inevitable
result has been that the Italian town too has undergone a considerable
modernization along the sea-front, so that the Promenade des Anglais and
the Promenade du Midi now practically merge into one continuous parade,
and are lined along all their length with the same clipped palm-trees and
the same magnificent white palatial buildings. When the old theater in the
Italian town was burnt down in the famous and fatal conflagration some
years since the municipality erected a new one on the same site in the
most approved style of Parisian luxury. A little behind lie the Préfecture
and the beautiful flower market, which no visitor to Nice should ever
miss; for Nice is above all things, even more than Florence, a city of
flowers. The sheltered quarter of the Ponchettes, lying close under the
lee of the Castle Hill, has become of late, owing to these changes, a
favorite resort for invalids, who find here protection from the cutting
winds which sweep with full force down the bare and open valley of the
Paillon over the French town.

I am loth to quit that beloved sea-front, on the whole the most charming
marine parade in Europe, with the Villefranche point and the
pseudo-Gothic, pseudo-Oriental monstrosity of Smith's Folly on one side
and the delicious bay towards Antibes on the other. But there are yet
various aspects of Nice which remain to be described: the interior is
almost as lovely in its way as the coast that fringes it. For this inner
Nice, the Place Masséna, called (like the Place Garibaldi) after another
distinguished native, forms the starting point and center. Here the trams
from all quarters run together at last; hence the principal roads radiate
in all directions. The Place Masséna is the center of business, as the
Jardin Public and the Casino are the centers of pleasure. Also (_verbum
sap._) it contains an excellent _pâtisserie_, where you can enjoy an ice
or a little French pastry with less permanent harm to your constitution
and morals than anywhere in Europe. Moreover, it forms the approach to
the Avenue de la Gare, which divides with the Quays the honor of being the
best shopping street in the most fashionable watering-place of the
Mediterranean. If these delights thy soul may move, why, the Place Masséna
is the exact spot to find them in.

Other great boulevards, like the Boulevard Victor Hugo and the Boulevard
Dubouchage, have been opened out of late years to let the surplus wealth
that flows into Nice in one constant stream find room to build upon.
Châteaux and gardens are springing up merrily on every side; the slopes of
the hills gleam gay with villas; Cimiez and Carabacel, once separate
villages, have now been united by continuous dwellings to the main town;
and before long the city where Garibaldi was born and where Gambetta lies
buried will swallow up in itself the entire space of the valley, and its
border spurs from mountain to mountain. The suburbs, indeed, are almost
more lovely in their way than the town itself; and as one wanders at will
among the olive-clad hills to westward, looking down upon the green
lemon-groves that encircle the villas, and the wealth of roses that drape
their sides, one cannot wonder that Joseph de Maistre, another Niçois of
distinction, in the long dark evenings he spent at St. Petersburg, should
time and again have recalled with a sigh "ce doux vallon de Magnan." Nor
have the Russians themselves failed to appreciate the advantages of the
change, for they flock by thousands to the Orthodox Quarter on the heights
of Saint Philippe, which rings round the Greek chapel erected in memory of
the Czarewitch Nicholas Alexandrowitch, who died at Nice in 1865.

After all, however, to the lover of the picturesque Nice town itself is
but the threshold and starting point for that lovely country which
spreads on all sides its endless objects of interest and scenic beauty
from Antibes to Mentone. The excursions to be made from it in every
direction are simply endless. Close by lie the monastery and amphitheater
of Cimiez; the Italianesque cloisters and campanile of St. Pons; the
conspicuous observatory on the Mont Gros, with its grand Alpine views; the
hillside promenades of Le Ray and Les Fontaines. Farther afield the
carriage-road up the Paillon valley leads direct to St. André through a
romantic limestone gorge, which terminates at last in a grotto and natural
bridge, overhung by the moldering remains of a most southern château. A
little higher up, the steep mountain track takes one on to Falicon,
perched "like an eagle's nest" on its panoramic hill-top, one of the most
famous points of view among the Maritime Alps. The boundary hills of the
Magnan, covered in spring with the purple flowers of the wild gladiolus;
the vine-clad heights of Le Bellet, looking down on the abrupt and
rock-girt basin of the Var; the Valley of Hepaticas, carpeted in March
with innumerable spring blossoms; the longer drive to Contes in the very
heart of the mountains: all alike are lovely, and all alike tempt one to
linger in their precincts among the shadow of the cypress trees or under
the cool grottos green and lush with spreading fronds of wild maidenhair.

Among so many delicious excursions it were invidious to single out any for
special praise; yet there can be little doubt that the most popular, at
least with the general throng of tourists, is the magnificent coast-road
by Villefranche (or Villafranca) to Monte Carlo and Monaco. This
particular part of the coast, between Nice and Mentone, is the one where
the main range of the Maritime Alps, abutting at last on the sea, tumbles
over sheer with a precipitous descent from four thousand feet high to the
level of the Mediterranean. Formerly, the barrier ridge could only be
surmounted by the steep but glorious Corniche route; of late years,
however, the French engineers, most famous of road-makers, have hewn an
admirable carriage-drive out of the naked rock, often through covered
galleries or tunnels in the cliff itself, the whole way from Nice to Monte
Carlo and Mentone. The older portion of this road, between Nice and
Villefranche, falls well within the scope of our present subject.

You leave modern Nice by the quays and the Pont Garibaldi, dash rapidly
through the new broad streets that now intersect the Italian city, skirt
the square basins lately added to the more shapeless ancient Greek port of
Limpia, and begin to mount the first spurs of the Mont Boron among the
villas and gardens of the Quartier du Lazaret. Banksia roses fall in
cataracts over the walls as you go; looking back, the lovely panorama of
Nice opens out before your eyes. In the foreground, the rocky islets of La
Réserve foam white with the perpetual plashing of that summer sea. In the
middle distance, the old Greek harbor, with its mole and lighthouse,
stands out against the steep rocks of the Castle Hill. The background
rises up in chain on chain of Alps, allowing just a glimpse at their base
of that gay and fickle promenade and all the Parisian prettinesses of the
new French town. The whole forms a wonderful picture of the varied
Mediterranean world, Greek, Roman, Italian, French, with the vine-clad
hills and orange-groves behind merging slowly upward into the snow-bound

Turning the corner of the Mont Boron by the grotesque vulgarisms of the
Château Smith (a curious semi-oriental specimen of the shell-grotto order
of architecture on a gigantic scale) a totally fresh view bursts upon our
eyes of the Rade de Villefranche, that exquisite land-locked bay bounded
on one side by the scarped crags of the Mont Boron itself, and on the
other by the long and rocky peninsula of St. Jean, which terminates in the
Cap Ferrat and the Villefranche light. The long deep bay forms a favorite
roadstead and rendezvous for the French Mediterranean squadron, whose huge
ironclad monsters may often be seen ploughing their way in single file
from seaward round the projecting headlands, or basking at ease on the
calm surface of that glassy pond. The surrounding heights, of course,
bristle with fortifications, which, in these suspicious days of armed
European tension, the tourist and the sketcher are strictly prohibited
from inspecting with too attentive an eye. The quaintly picturesque town
of Villefranche itself, Italian and dirty, but amply redeemed by its
slender bell-tower and its olive-clad terraces, nestles snugly at the very
bottom of its pocket-like bay. The new road to Monte Carlo leaves it far
below, with true modern contempt for mere old-world beauty; the artist and
the lover of nature will know better than to follow the example of those
ruthless engineers; they will find many subjects for a sketch among those
whitewashed walls, and many a rare sea-flower tucked away unseen among
those crannied crags.

And now, when all is said and done, I, who have known and loved Nice for
so many bright winters, feel only too acutely how utterly I have failed to
set before those of my readers who know it not the infinite charms of that
gay and rose-wreathed queen of the smiling Riviera. For what words can
paint the life and movement of the sparkling sea-front? the manifold
humors of the Jardin Public? the southern vivacity of the washer-women
who pound their clothes with big stones in the dry bed of the pebbly
Paillon? the luxuriant festoons of honeysuckle and mimosa that drape the
trellis-work arcades of Carabacel and Cimiez? Who shall describe aright
with one pen the gnarled olives of Beaulieu and the palace-like front of
the Cercle de la Méditerranée? Who shall write with equal truth of the
jewelers' shops on the quays, of the oriental bazaars of the Avenue, and
of the dome after dome of bare mountain tops that rise ever in long
perspective to the brilliant white summits of the great Alpine backbone?
Who shall tell in one breath of the carmagnoles of the Carnival, or the
dust-begrimed bouquets of the Battle of Flowers, and of the silent summits
of the Mont Cau and the Cime de Vinaigrier, or the vast and varied
sea-view that bursts on the soul unawares from the Corniche near Eza?
There are aspects of Nice and its environs which recall Bartholomew Fair,
or the Champs Élysées after a Sunday review; and there are aspects which
recall the prospect from some solemn summit of the Bernese Oberland, mixed
with some heather-clad hill overlooking the green Atlantic among the
Western Highlands. Yet all is so graciously touched and lighted with
Mediterranean color and Mediterranean sunshine, that even in the midst of
her wildest frolics you can seldom be seriously angry with Nice. The works
of God's hand are never far off. You look up from the crowd of carriages
and loungers on the Promenade des Anglais, and the Cap Ferrat rises bold
and bluff before your eyes above the dashing white waves of the sky-blue
sea: you cross the bridge behind the Casino amid the murmur of the quays,
and the great bald mountains soar aloft to heaven above the brawling
valley of the snow-fed Paillon. It is a desecration, perhaps, but a
desecration that leaves you still face to face with all that is purest and
most beautiful in nature.

And then, the flowers, the waves, the soft air, the sunshine! On the
beach, between the bathing places, men are drying scented orange peel to
manufacture perfumes: in the dusty high roads you catch whiffs as you pass
of lemon blossom and gardenia: the very trade of the town is an expert
trade in golden acacia and crimson anemones: the very _gamins_ pelt you in
the rough horse-play of the Carnival with sweet-smelling bunches of
syringa and lilac. Luxury that elsewhere would move one to righteous wrath
is here so democratic in its display that one almost condones it. The
gleaming white villas, with carved caryatides or sculptured porches of
freestone nymphs, let the wayfarer revel as he goes in the riches of their
shrubberies or their sunlit fountains and in the breezes that blow over
their perfumed parterres. Nice vulgar! Pah, my friend, if you say so, I
know well why. You have a vulgar soul that sees only the gewgaws and the
painted ladies. You have never strolled up by yourself from the noise and
dust of the crowded town to the free heights of the Mont Alban or the
flowery olive-grounds of the Magnan valley. You have never hunted for
purple hellebore among the gorges of the Paillon or picked orchids and
irises in big handfuls upon the slopes of Saint André. I doubt even
whether you have once turned aside for a moment from the gay crowd of the
Casino and the Place Masséna into the narrow streets of the Italian town;
communed in their own delicious dialect with the free fisherfolk of the
Limpia quarter; or looked out with joy upon the tumbled plain of mountain
heights from the breezy level of the Castle platform. Probably you have
only sat for days in the balcony of your hotel, rolled at your ease down
the afternoon Promenade, worn a false nose at the evening parade of the
Carnival, or returned late at night by the last train from Monte Carlo
with your pocket much lighter and your heart much heavier than when you
left by the morning express in search of fortune. And then you say Nice is
vulgar! You have no eyes, it seems, for sea, or shore, or sky, or
mountain; but you look down curiously at the dust in the street, and you
mutter to yourself that you find it uninteresting. When you go to Nice
again, walk alone up the hills to Falicon, returning by Le Ray, and then
say, if you dare, Nice is anything on earth but gloriously beautiful.



    In the days of the Doges--Origin of the name--The blue bay of
    Cannes--Ste. Marguerite and St. Honorat--Historical associations--The
    Rue L'Antibes--The rock of Monaco--"Notre Dame de la Roulette"--From
    Monte Carlo to Mentone--San Remo--A romantic railway.

"Oh, Land of Roses, what bulbul shall sing of thee?" In plain prose, how
describe the garden of Europe? The Riviera! Who knows, save he who has
been there, the vague sense of delight which the very name recalls to the
poor winter exile, banished by frost and cold from the fogs and bronchitis
of more northern climes? What visions of gray olives, shimmering silvery
in the breeze on terraced mountain slopes! What cataracts of Marshal
Niels, falling in rich profusion over gray limestone walls! What aloes and
cactuses on what sun-smitten rocks! What picnics in December beneath what
cloudless blue skies! But to those who know and appreciate it best, the
Riviera is something more than mere scenery and sunshine. It is life, it
is health, it is strength, it is rejuvenescence. The return to it in
autumn is as the renewal of youth. Its very faults are dear to us, for
they are the defects of its virtues. We can put up with its dust when we
remember that dust means sun and dry air; we can forgive its staring
white roads when we reflect to ourselves that they depend upon almost
unfailing fine weather and bright, clear skies, when northern Europe is
wrapped in fog and cold and wretchedness.

And what is this Riviera that we feeble folk who "winter in the south"
know and adore so well? Has everybody been there, or may one venture even
now to paint it in words once more for the twentieth time? Well, after
all, how narrow is our conception of "everybody!" I suppose one out of
every thousand at a moderate estimate, has visited that smiling coast that
spreads its entrancing bays between Marseilles and Genoa; my description
is, therefore, primarily for the nine hundred and ninety-nine who have not
been there. And even the thousandth himself, if he knows his Cannes and
his Mentone well, will not grudge me a reminiscence of those delicious
gulfs and those charming headlands that must be indelibly photographed on
his memory.

The name Riviera is now practically English. But in origin it is Genoese.
To those seafaring folk, in the days of the Doges, the coasts to east and
west of their own princely city were known, naturally enough, as the
Riviera di Levante and the Riviera di Ponente respectively, the shores of
the rising and the setting sun. But on English lips the qualifying clause
"di Ponente" has gradually in usage dropped out altogether, and we speak
nowadays of this favored winter resort, by a somewhat illogical clipping,
simply as "the Riviera." In our modern and specially English sense, then,
the Riviera means the long and fertile strip of coast between the arid
mountains and the Ligurian Sea, beginning at St. Raphael and ending at
Genoa. Hyères, it is true, is commonly reckoned of late among Riviera
towns, but by courtesy only. It lies, strictly speaking, outside the
charmed circle. One may say that the Riviera, properly so called, has its
origin where the Estérel abuts upon the Gulf of Fréjus, and extends as far
as the outliers of the Alps skirt the Italian shore of the Mediterranean.

Now, the Riviera is just the point where the greatest central mountain
system of all Europe topples over most directly into the warmest sea. And
its best-known resorts, Nice, Monte Carlo, Mentone, occupy the precise
place where the very axis of the ridge abuts at last on the shallow and
basking Mediterranean. They are therefore as favorably situated with
regard to the mountain wall as Pallanza or Riva, with the further
advantage of a more southern position and of a neighboring extent of sunny
sea to warm them. The Maritime Alps cut off all northerly winds; while the
hot air of the desert, tempered by passing over a wide expanse of
Mediterranean waves, arrives on the coast as a delicious breeze, no longer
dry and relaxing, but at once genial and refreshing. Add to these varied
advantages the dryness of climate due to an essentially continental
position (for the Mediterranean is after all a mere inland salt lake), and
it is no wonder we all swear by the Riviera as the fairest and most
pleasant of winter resorts. My own opinion remains always unshaken, that
Antibes, for climate, may fairly claim to rank as the best spot in Europe
or round the shores of the Mediterranean.

Not that I am by any means a bigoted Antipolitan. I have tried every other
nook and cranny along that delightful coast, from Carqueyranne to
Cornigliano, and I will allow that every one of them has for certain
purposes its own special advantages. All, all are charming. Indeed, the
Riviera is to my mind one long feast of delights. From the moment the
railway strikes the sea near Fréjus the traveller feels he can only do
justice to the scenery on either side by looking both ways at once, and so
"contracting a squint," like a sausage-seller in Aristophanes. Those
glorious peaks of the Estérel alone would encourage the most prosaic to
"drop into poetry," as readily as Mr. Silas Wegg himself in the mansion of
the Boffins. How am I to describe them, those rearing masses of rock, huge
tors of red porphyry, rising sheer into the air with their roseate crags
from a deep green base of Mediterranean pinewood? When the sun strikes
their sides, they glow like fire. There they lie in their beauty, like a
huge rock pushed out into the sea, the advance-guard of the Alps, unbroken
save by the one high-road that runs boldly through their unpeopled midst,
and by the timider railway that, fearing to tunnel their solid porphyry
depths, winds cautiously round their base by the craggy sea-shore, and so
gives us as we pass endless lovely glimpses into sapphire bays with red
cliffs and rocky lighthouse-crowned islets. On the whole, I consider the
Estérel, as scenery alone, the loveliest "bit" on the whole Riviera;
though wanting in human additions, as nature it is the best, the most
varied in outline, the most vivid in coloring.

Turning the corner by Agay, you come suddenly, all unawares, on the blue
bay of Cannes, or rather on the Golfe de la Napoule, whose very name
betrays unintentionally the intense newness and unexpectedness of all this
populous coast, this "little England beyond France" that has grown up
apace round Lord Brougham's villa on the shore by the mouth of the Siagne.
For when the bay beside the Estérel received its present name, La Napoule,
not Cannes, was still the principal village on its bank. Nowadays, people
drive over on a spare afternoon from the crowded fashionable town to the
slumbrous little hamlet; but in older days La Napoule was a busy local
market when Cannes was nothing more than a petty hamlet of Provençal

The Golfe de la Napoule ends at the Croisette of Cannes, a long, low
promontory carried out into the sea by a submarine bank, whose farthest
points re-emerge as the two Iles Lérins, Ste. Marguerite and St. Honorat.
Their names are famous in history. A little steamer plies from Cannes to
"the Islands," as everybody calls them locally; and the trip, in calm
weather, if the Alps are pleased to shine out, is a pleasant and
instructive one. Ste. Marguerite lies somewhat the nearer of the two, a
pretty little islet, covered with a thick growth of maritime pines, and
celebrated as the prison of that mysterious being, the Man with the Iron
Mask, who has given rise to so much foolish and fruitless speculation.
Near the landing-place stands the Fort, perched on a high cliff and
looking across to the Croisette. Uninteresting in itself, this old
fortification is much visited by wonder-loving tourists for the sake of
its famous prisoner, whose memory still haunts the narrow terrace
corridor, where he paced up and down for seventeen years of unrelieved

St. Honorat stands farther out to sea than its sister island, and, though
lower and flatter, is in some ways more picturesque, in virtue of its
massive mediæval monastery and its historical associations. In the early
middle ages, when communications were still largely carried on by water,
the convent of the Iles Lérins enjoyed much reputation as a favorite
stopping-place, one might almost say hotel, for pilgrims to or from Rome;
and most of the early British Christians in their continental wanderings
found shelter at one time or another under its hospitable roof. St.
Augustine stopped here on his way to Canterbury; St. Patrick took the
convent on his road from Ireland; Salvian wrote within its walls his
dismal jeremiad; Vincent de Lérins composed in it his "Pilgrim's Guide."
The somber vaults of the ancient cloister still bear witness by their
astonishingly thick and solid masonry to their double use as monastery and
as place of refuge from the "Saracens," the Barbary corsairs of the ninth,
tenth, and eleventh centuries. Indeed, Paynim fleets plundered the place
more than once, and massacred the monks in cold blood.

Of Cannes itself, marvelous product of this gad-about and commercial age,
how shall the truthful chronicler speak with becoming respect and becoming
dignity? For Cannes has its faults. Truly a wonderful place is that
cosmopolitan winter resort. Rococo châteaux, glorious gardens of
palm-trees, imitation Moorish villas, wooden châlets from the
scene-painter's ideal Switzerland, Elizabethan mansions stuck in Italian
grounds, lovely groves of mimosa, eucalyptus, and judas-trees, all mingle
together in so strange and incongruous a picture that one knows not when
to laugh, when to weep, when to admire, when to cry "Out on it!" Imagine a
conglomeration of two or three white-faced Parisian streets, interspersed
with little bits of England, of Brussels, of Algiers, of Constantinople,
of Pekin, of Bern, of Nuremberg and of Venice, jumbled side by side on a
green Provençal hillside before a beautiful bay, and you get modern
Cannes; a Babel set in Paradise; a sort of _boulevardier_ Bond Street,
with a view across blue waves to the serrated peaks of the ever lovely
Estérel. Nay; try as it will, Cannes cannot help being beautiful. Nature
has done so much for it that art itself, the debased French art of the
Empire and the Republic, can never for one moment succeed in making it
ugly; though I am bound to admit it has striven as hard as it knew for
that laudable object. But Cannes is Cannes still, in spite of Grand Dukes
and landscape gardeners and architects. And the Old Town, at least, is yet
wholly unspoilt by the speculative builder. Almost every Riviera
watering-place has such an old-world nucleus or kernel of its own, the
quaint fisher village of ancient days, round which the meretricious modern
villas have clustered, one by one, in irregular succession. At Cannes the
Old Town is even more conspicuous than elsewhere; for it clambers up the
steep sides of a little seaward hillock, crowned by the tower of an
eleventh century church, and is as picturesque, as gray, as dirty, as most
other haunts of the hardy Provençal fisherman. Strange, too, to see how
the two streams of life flow on ever, side by side, yet ever unmingled.
The Cannes of the fishermen is to this day as unvaried as if the new
cosmopolitan winter resort had never grown up, with its Anglo-Russian airs
and graces, its German-American frivolities, round that unpromising

The Rue d'Antibes is the principal shopping street of the newer and richer
Cannes. If we follow it out into the country by its straight French
boulevard it leads us at last to the funny old border city from which it
still takes its unpretending name. Antibes itself belongs to that very
first crop of civilized Provençal towns which owe their origin to the
sturdy old Phocæan colonists. It is a Greek city by descent, the Antipolis
which faced and defended the harbor of Nicæa; and for picturesqueness and
beauty it has not its equal on the whole picturesque and beautiful
Riviera. Everybody who has travelled by the "Paris, Lyon, Méditerranée"
knows well the exquisite view of the mole and harbor as seen in passing
from the railway. But that charming glimpse, quaint and varied as it is,
gives by no means a full idea of the ancient Phocæan city. The town stands
still surrounded by its bristling fortification, the work of Vauban,
pierced by narrow gates in their thickness, and topped with noble
ramparts. The Fort Carré that crowns the seaward promontory, the rocky
islets, and the two stone breakwaters of the port (a small-scale Genoa),
all add to the striking effect of the situation and prospect. Within, the
place is as quaint and curious as without: a labyrinth of narrow streets,
poor in memorials of Antipolis, but rich in Roman remains, including that
famous and pathetic inscription to the boy Septentrio, QVI ANTIPOLI IN
THEATRO BIDVO SALTAVIT ET PLACVIT. The last three words borrowed from this
provincial tombstone, have become proverbial of the short-lived glory of
the actor's art.

The general aspect of Antibes town, however, is at present mediæval, or
even seventeenth century. A flavor as of Louis Quatorz pervades the whole
city, with its obtrusive military air of a border fortress; for, of
course, while the Var still formed the frontier between France and Italy,
Antibes ranked necessarily as a strategic post of immense importance; and
at the present day, in our new recrudescence of military barbarism, great
barracks surround the fortifications with fresh white-washed walls, and
the "Hun! Deusse!" of the noisy French drill-sergeant resounds all day
long from the exercise-ground by the railway station. Antibes itself is
therefore by no means a place to stop at; it is the Cap d'Antibes close
by that attracts now every year an increasing influx of peaceful and
cultivated visitors. The walks and drives are charming; the pine-woods,
carpeted with wild anemones, are a dream of delight; and the view from the
Lighthouse Hill behind the town is one of the loveliest and most varied on
the whole round Mediterranean.

But I must not linger here over the beauties of the Cap d'Antibes, but
must be pushing onwards towards Monaco and Monte Carlo.

It is a wonderful spot, this little principality of Monaco, hemmed in
between the high mountains and the assailing sea, and long hermetically
cut off from all its more powerful and commercial neighbors. Between the
palm-lined boulevards of Nice and the grand amphitheater of mountains that
shuts in Mentone as with a perfect semicircle of rearing peaks, one rugged
buttress, the last long subsiding spur of the great Alpine axis, runs
boldly out to seaward, and ends in the bluff rocky headland of the Tête de
Chien that overhangs Monte Carlo. Till very lately no road ever succeeded
in turning the foot of that precipitous promontory: the famous Corniche
route runs along a ledge high up its beetling side, past the massive Roman
ruin of Turbia, and looks down from a height of fifteen hundred feet upon
the palace of Monaco. This mountain bulwark of the Turbia long formed the
real boundary line between ancient Gaul and Liguria; and on its very
summit, where the narrow Roman road wound along the steep pass now widened
into the magnificent highway of the Corniche, Augustus built a solid
square monument to mark the limit between the Province and the Italian
soil, as well as to overawe the mountaineers of this turbulent region. A
round mediæval tower, at present likewise in ruins, crowns the Roman
work. Here the Alps end abruptly. The rock of Monaco at the base is their
last ineffectual seaward protest.

And what a rock it is, that quaint ridge of land, crowned by the strange
capital of that miniature principality! Figure to yourself a huge whale
petrified, as he basks there on the shoals his back rising some two
hundred feet from the water's edge, his head to the sea, and his tail just
touching the mainland, and you have a rough mental picture of the Rock of
Monaco. It is, in fact, an isolated hillock, jutting into the
Mediterranean at the foot of the Maritime Alps (a final reminder, as it
were, of their dying dignity), and united to the Undercliff only by a
narrow isthmus at the foot of the crag which bears the mediæval bastions
of the Prince's palace. As you look down on it from above from the heights
of the Corniche, I have no hesitation in saying it forms the most
picturesque town site in all Europe. On every side, save seaward, huge
mountains gird it round; while towards the smiling blue Mediterranean
itself the great rock runs outward, bathed by tiny white breakers in every
part, except where the low isthmus links it to the shore; and with a good
field-glass you can see down in a bird's eye view into every street and
courtyard of the clean little capital. The red-tiled houses, the white
palace with its orderly gardens and quadrangles, the round lunettes of the
old wall, the steep cobbled mule-path which mounts the rock from the
modern railway-station, all lie spread out before one like a pictorial
map, painted in the bright blue of Mediterranean seas, the dazzling gray
of Mediterranean sunshine, and the brilliant russet of Mediterranean

There can be no question at all that Monte Carlo even now, with all its
gew-gaw additions, is very beautiful: no Haussmann could spoil so much
loveliness of position; and even the new town itself, which grows apace
each time I revisit it, has a picturesqueness of hardy arch, bold rock,
well-perched villa, which redeems it to a great extent from any rash
charge of common vulgarity. All looks like a scene in a theater, not like
a prosaic bit of this work-a-day world of ours. Around us is the blue
Mediterranean, broken into a hundred petty sapphire bays. Back of us rise
tier after tier of Maritime Alps, their huge summits clouded in a fleecy
mist. To the left stands the white rock of Monaco; to the right, the green
Italian shore, fading away into the purple mountains that guard the Gulf
of Genoa. Lovely by nature, the immediate neighborhood of the Casino has
been made in some ways still more lovely by art. From the water's edge,
terraces of tropical vegetation succeed one another in gradual steps
towards the grand façade of the gambling-house; clusters of palms and
aloes, their base girt by exotic flowers, are thrust cunningly into the
foreground of every point in the view, so that you see the bay and the
mountains through the artistic vistas thus deftly arranged in the very
spots where a painter's fancy would have set them. You look across to
Monaco past a clump of drooping date-branches; you catch a glimpse of
Bordighera through a framework of spreading dracænas and quaintly
symmetrical fan-palms.

Once more under way, and this time on foot. For the road from Monte Carlo
to Mentone is almost as lovely in its way as that from Nice to Monte
Carlo. It runs at first among the ever-increasing villas and hotels of the
capital of Chance, and past that sumptuous church, built from the gains
of the table, which native wit has not inaptly christened "Nôtre Dame de
la Roulette." There is one point of view of Monaco and its bay, on the
slopes of the Cap Martin, not far from Roquebrune, so beautiful that
though I have seen it, I suppose, a hundred times or more, I can never
come upon it to this day without giving vent to an involuntary cry of
surprise and admiration.

Roquebrune itself, which was an Italian Roccabruna when I first knew it,
has a quaint situation of its own, and a quaint story connected with it.
Brown as its own rocks, the tumbled little village stands oddly jumbled in
and out among huge masses of pudding-stone, which must have fallen at some
time or other in headlong confusion from the scarred face of the
neighboring hillside. From the Corniche road it is still quite easy to
recognize the bare patch on the mountain slope whence the landslip
detached itself, and to trace its path down the hill to its existing
position. But local legend goes a little farther than that: it asks us to
believe that the rock fell as we see it _with the houses on top_; in other
words, that the village was built before the catastrophe took place, and
that it glided down piecemeal into the tossed-about form it at present
presents to us. Be this as it may, and the story makes some demand on the
hearer's credulity, it is certain that the houses now occupy most
picturesque positions: here perched by twos and threes on broken masses of
conglomerate, there wedged in between two great walls of beetling cliff,
and yonder again hanging for dear life to some slender foothold on the
precipitous hillside.

We reach the summit of the pass. The Bay of Monaco is separated from the
Bay of Mentone by the long, low-headland of Cap Martin, covered with
olive groves and scrubby maritime pines. As one turns the corner from
Roquebrune by the col round the cliff, there bursts suddenly upon the view
one of the loveliest prospects to be beheld from the Corniche. At our
feet, embowered among green lemons and orange trees, Mentone half hides
itself behind its villas and its gardens. In the middle distance the old
church with its tall Italian campanile stands out against the blue peaks
of that magnificent amphitheater. Beyond, again, a narrow gorge marks the
site of the Pont St. Louis and the Italian frontier. Farther eastward the
red rocks merge half indistinctly into the point of La Mortola, with Mr.
Hanbury's famous garden; then come the cliffs and fortifications of
Ventimiglia, gleaming white in the sun; and last of all, the purple hills
that hem in San Remo. It is an appropriate approach to a most lovely spot;
for Mentone ranks high for beauty, even among her bevy of fair sisters on
the Ligurian sea-board.

Yes, Mentone is beautiful, most undeniably beautiful; and for walks and
drives perhaps it may bear away the palm from all rivals on that enchanted
and enchanting Riviera. Five separate valleys, each carved out by its own
torrent, with dry winter bed, converge upon the sea within the town
precincts. Four principal rocky ridges divide these valleys with their
chine-like backbone, besides numberless minor spurs branching laterally
inland. Each valley is threaded by a well-made carriage-road, and each
dividing ridge is climbed by a bridle-path and footway. The consequence is
that the walks and drives at Mentone are never exhausted, and excursions
among the hills might occupy the industrious pedestrian for many
successive winters. What hills they are, too, those great bare needles
and pinnacles of rock, worn into jagged peaks and points by the ceaseless
rain of ages, and looking down from their inaccessible tops with
glittering scorn upon the green lemon groves beneath them!

The next town on the line, Bordighera, is better known to the world at
large as a Rivieran winter resort, though of a milder and quieter type, I
do not say than Nice or Cannes, but than Mentone or San Remo. Bordighera,
indeed, has just reached that pleasant intermediate stage in the evolution
of a Rivieran watering-place when all positive needs of the northern
stranger are amply supplied, while crowds and fashionable amusements have
not yet begun to invade its primitive simplicity. The walks and drives on
every side are charming; the hotels are comfortable, and the prices are
still by no means prohibitive.


San Remo comes next in order of the cosmopolitan winter resorts: San Remo,
thickly strewn with spectacled Germans, like leaves in Vallombrosa, since
the Emperor Frederick chose the place for his last despairing rally. The
Teuton finds himself more at home, indeed, across the friendly Italian
border than in hostile France; and the St. Gotthard gives him easy access
by a pleasant route to these nearer Ligurian towns, so that the Fatherland
has now almost annexed San Remo, as England has annexed Cannes, and
America Nice and Cimiez. Built in the evil days of the Middle Ages, when
every house was a fortress and every breeze bore a Saracen, San Remo
presents to-day a picturesque labyrinth of streets, lanes, vaults, and
alleys, only to be surpassed in the quaint neighboring village of Taggia.
This is the heart of the earthquake region, too; and to protect themselves
against that frequent and unwelcome visitor, whose mark may be seen on
half the walls in the outskirts, the inhabitants of San Remo have
strengthened their houses by a system of arches thrown at varying heights
across the tangled paths, which recalls Algiers or Tunis. From certain
points of view, and especially from the east side, San Remo thus resembles
a huge pyramid of solid masonry, or a monstrous pagoda hewn out by giant
hands from a block of white free-stone. As Dickens well worded it, one
seems to pass through the town by going perpetually from cellar to cellar.
A romantic railway skirts the coast from San Remo to Alassio and Savona.
It forms one long succession of tunnels, interspersed with frequent
breathing spaces beside lovely bays, "the peacock's neck in hue," as the
Laureate sings of them. One town after another sweeps gradually into view
round the corner of a promontory, a white mass of houses crowning some
steep point of rock, of which Alassio alone has as yet any pretensions to
be considered a home for northern visitors.



    Early history--Old fortifications--The rival of Venice--Changes of
    twenty-five years--From the parapet of the Corso--The lower town--The
    Genoese palazzi--Monument to Christopher Columbus--The old
    Dogana--Memorials in the Campo Santo--The Bay of Spezzia--The Isola
    Palmeria--Harbor scenes.

Genova la Superba--Genoa the Proud--an epithet not inappropriate for this
city of merchant princes of olden days, which was once the emporium of the
Tyrrhenian, as was Venice of the Adriatic sea, and the rival of the latter
for the commerce of the Eastern Mediterranean. No two cities, adapted to
play a similar part in history, could be more unlike in their natural
environments: Venice clustered on a series of mud banks, parted by an
expanse of water from a low coast-line, beyond which the far-away
mountains rise dimly in the distance, a fleet, as it were, of houses
anchored in the shallows of the Adriatic; Genoa stretching along the shore
by the deepening water, at the very feet of the Apennines, climbing up
their slopes, and crowning their lower summits with its watch-towers. No
seaport in Italy possesses a site so rich in natural beauty, not even
Spezzia in its bay, for though the scenery in the neighborhood certainly
surpasses that around Genoa, the town itself is built upon an almost level
plain; not even Naples itself, notwithstanding the magnificent sweep of
its bay, dominated by the volcanic cone of Vesuvius, and bounded by the
limestone crags of the range of Monte S. Angelo. Genoa, however, like all
places and persons, has had its detractors. Perhaps of no town has a more
bitter sarcasm been uttered, than the well known one, which no doubt
originated in the mouth of some envious Tuscan, when the two peoples were
contending for the mastery of the western sea, and the maker of the
epigram was on the losing side. Familiar as it is to many, we will venture
to quote it again, as it may be rendered in our own tongue: "Treeless
hills, a fishless sea, faithless men, shameless women." As to the reproach
in the first clause, one must admit there is still some truth; and in
olden days, when gardens were fewer and more land was left in its natural
condition, there may have been even more point. The hills around Genoa
undoubtedly seem a little barren, when compared with those on the Riviera
some miles farther to the south, with their extraordinary luxuriance of
vegetation, their endless slopes of olives, which only cease to give place
to oak and pine and myrtle. There is also, I believe, some truth in the
second clause; but as to the rest it is not for a comparative stranger to
express an opinion. So far however as the men are concerned the reproach
is not novel. Centuries since, Liguria, of which Genoa is the principal
town, was noted for the cunning and treacherous disposition of its people,
who ethnologically differ considerably from their neighbors. In Virgil's
"Æneid" a Ligurian chief shows more cunning than courage in a fight with
an Amazon, and is thus apostrophized before receiving his death-blow from
a woman's hand: "In vain, O shifty one, hast thou tried thy hereditary
craft." The people of this part of Italy form one of a series of
ethnological islands; where a remnant, by no means inconsiderable, of an
earlier race has survived the invading flood of a stronger people. This
old-world race--commonly called the Iberian--is characteristically short
in stature, dark in hair, eyes, and complexion. Representatives of it
survive in Brittany, Wales, Ireland, the Basque Provinces, and other
out-of-the-way corners of Europe; insulated or pressed back, till they
could no farther go, by the advance of the Aryan race, by some or other
representative of which Europe is now peopled. On the Ligurian coast,
however, as might be expected, in the track of two thousand years of
commerce and civilization, the races, however different in origin and
formerly naturally hostile, have been almost fused together by
intermarriage; and this, at any rate in Genoa, seems to have had a
fortuitous result in the production of an exceptionally good-looking
people, especially in the case of the younger women. I well remember some
years since, when driving out on a summer evening on the western side of
Genoa, to have passed crowds of women, most of them young, returning from
work in the factories, and certainly I never saw so large a proportion of
beautiful faces as there were among them.

Genoa for at least two thousand years has been an important center of
commerce; though, of course, like most other places, it has not been
uniformly prosperous. It fell under the Roman power about two centuries
before the Christian era, the possession of it for a time being disputed
with the Carthaginians; then it became noted as a seaport town for the
commerce of the western part of the Mediterranean, it declined and
suffered during the decadence and fall of the Empire, and then gradually
rose into eminence during the Middle Ages. Even in the tenth century
Genoa was an important community; its citizens, as beseemed men who were
hardy sailors, found a natural pleasure in any kind of disturbance; they
joined in the Crusades, and turned religious enthusiasm to commercial
profit by the acquisition of various towns and islands in the East. The
rather unusual combination of warrior and merchant, which the Genoese of
the Middle Ages present, is no doubt due not only to social character, but
also to exceptional circumstances. "The constant invasions of the Saracens
united the professions of trade and war, and its greatest merchants became
also its greatest generals, while its naval captains were also merchants."

Genoa, as may be supposed, had from the first to contend with two
formidable rivals: the one being Pisa in its own waters; the other Venice,
whose citizens were equally anxious for supremacy in the Levant and the
commerce of the East. With both these places the struggle was long and
fierce, but the fortune of war on the whole was distinctly favorable to
Genoa nearer home, and unfavorable in regard to the more distant foe. Pisa
was finally defeated in the neighborhood of Leghorn, and in the year 1300
had to cede to her enemy a considerable amount of territory, including the
island of Corsica; while Venice, after more than a century of conflict
with very varying fortune, at last succeeded in obtaining the supremacy in
the Eastern Mediterranean.

The internal history of the city during all this period was not more
peaceful than its external. Genoa presents the picture of a house divided
against itself; and, strange to say, falsifies the proverb by prospering
instead of perishing. If there were commonly wars without, there were yet
more persistent factions within. Guelphs, headed by the families of
Grimaldi and Fieschi, and Ghibellines, by those of Spinola and Doria,
indulged in faction-fights and sometimes in civil warfare, until at last
some approach to peace was procured by the influence of Andrea Doria, who,
in obtaining the freedom of the state from French control, brought about
the adoption of most important constitutional changes, which tended to
obliterate the old and sharply divided party lines. Yet even he narrowly
escaped overthrow from a conspiracy, headed by one of the Fieschi; his
great-nephew and heir was assassinated, and his ultimate triumph was due
rather to a fortunate accident, which removed from the scene the leader of
his opponents, than to his personal power. Then the tide of prosperity
began to turn against the Genoese. The Turk made himself master of their
lands and cities in the East. Venice ousted them from the commerce of the
Levant. War arose with France, and the city itself was captured by that
power in the year 1684. The following century was far from being a
prosperous time for Genoa, and near the close it opened its gates to the
Republican troops, a subjugation which ultimately resulted in no little
suffering to the inhabitants.

Genoa at that time was encircled on the land side by a double line of
fortifications, a considerable portion of which still remains. The outer
one, with its associated detached forts, mounted up the inland slopes to
an elevation of some hundreds of feet above the sea, and within this is an
inner line of much greater antiquity. As it was for those days a place of
exceptional strength, its capture became of the first importance, in the
great struggle between France and Austria, as a preliminary to driving the
Republican troops out of Italy. The city was defended by the French under
the command of Massena; it was attacked on the land side by the
Imperialist force, while it was blockaded from the sea by the British
fleet. After fifteen days of hard fighting among the neighboring
Apennines, Massena was finally shut up in the city. No less desperate
fighting followed around the walls, until at last the defending force was
so weakened by its losses that further aggressive operations became
impossible on its part, and the siege was converted into a blockade. The
results were famine and pestilence. A hundred thousand persons were cooped
up within the walls. "From the commencement of the siege the price of
provisions had been extravagantly high, and in its latter days grain of
any sort could not be had at any cost.... The neighboring rocks within the
walls were covered with a famished crowd, seeking, in the vilest animals
and the smallest traces of vegetation, the means of assuaging their
intolerable pangs.... In the general agony, not only leather and skins of
every kind were consumed, but the horror at human flesh was so much abated
that numbers were supported on the dead bodies of their fellow citizens.
Pestilence, as usual, came in the rear of famine, and contagious fevers
swept off multitudes, whom the strength of the survivors was unable to
inter." Before the obstinate defense was ended, and Massena, at the end of
all his resources, was compelled to capitulate on honorable terms, twenty
thousand of the inhabitants had perished from hunger or disease. The end
of this terrible struggle brought little profit to the conquerors, for
before long the battle of Marengo, and the subsequent successes of
Napoleon in Northern Italy, led to the city being again surrendered to the
French. It had to endure another siege at the end of Napoleon's career,
for in 1814 it was attacked by English troops under Lord William
Bentinck. Fortunately for the inhabitants, the French commander decided to
surrender after a few days' severe struggle around the outer defenses. On
the settlement of European affairs which succeeded the final fall of
Napoleon, Genoa was annexed to the kingdom of Sardinia, and now forms part
of united Italy; though, it is said, the old instincts of the people give
them a theoretic preference for a republican form of government.

Genoa, like so many of the chief Italian towns, has been greatly altered
during the last twenty-five years. Its harbors have been much enlarged;
its defenses have been extended far beyond their ancient limits. Down by
the water-side, among the narrow streets on the shelving ground that
fringes the sea, we are still in old Genoa--the city of the merchant
princes of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries; but higher up the slopes
a new town has sprung up, with broad streets and fine modern houses, and a
"corso," bordered by trees and mansions, still retains in its zigzag
outline the trace of the old fortifications which enclosed the arm of
Massena. More than one spot, on or near this elevated road, commands a
splendid outlook over the city and neighborhood.

From such a position the natural advantages of the site of Genoa, the
geographical conditions which have almost inevitably determined its
history, can be apprehended at a glance. Behind us rise steeply, as has
been already said, the hills forming the southernmost zone of the
Apennines. This, no doubt, is a defect in a military point of view,
because the city is commanded by so many positions of greater elevation;
but this defect was less serious in ancient days, when the range of
ordnance was comparatively short; while the difficulty of access which
these positions presented, and the obstacles which the mountain barrier of
the Apennines offered to the advance of an enemy from the comparatively
distant plains of Piedmont, rendered the city far more secure than it may
at first sight have appeared. Beneath us lies a deeply recessed bay, in
outline like the half of an egg, guarded on the east by a projecting
shoulder; while on the western side hills descend, at first rapidly, then
more gently, to a point which projects yet farther to the south. This
eastern shoulder is converted into a kind of peninsula, rudely triangular
in shape, by the valley of the Bisagno, a stream of considerable size
which thus forms a natural moat for the fortifications on the eastern side
of the town. In a bay thus sheltered on three sides by land, vessels were
perfectly safe from most of the prevalent winds; and it was only necessary
to carry out moles from the western headland and from some point on the
eastern shore, to protect them also from storms which might blow from the
south. The first defense was run out from the latter side, and still bears
the name of the Molo Vecchio; then the port was enlarged, by carrying out
another mole from the end of the western headland; this has been greatly
extended, so that the town may now be said to possess an inner and an
outer harbor. From the parapet of the Corso these topographical facts are
seen at a glance, as we look over the tall and densely-massed houses to
the busy quays, and the ships which are moored alongside. Such a scene
cannot fail to be attractive, and the lighthouse, rising high above the
western headland, is less monotonous in outline than is usual with such
buildings, and greatly enhances the effect of the picture. The city,
however, when regarded from this elevated position is rather wanting in
variety. We look down over a crowded mass of lofty houses, from which,
indeed, two or three domes or towers rise up; but there is not enough
diversity in the design of the one, or a sufficiently marked pre-eminence
in the others, to afford a prospect which is comparable with that of many
other ancient cities. Still some variety is given by the trees, which here
and there, especially towards the eastern promontory, are interspersed
among the houses; while the Ligurian coast on the one hand, and the
distant summits of the Maritime Alps on the other, add to the scene a
never-failing charm.

Of the newer part of the town little more need be said. It is like the
most modern part of any Continental city, and only differs from the
majority of these by the natural steepness and irregularity of the site.
In Genoa, except for a narrow space along the shore, one can hardly find a
plot of level ground. Now that the old limits of the enceinte have been
passed, it is still growing upwards; but beyond and above the farthest
houses the hills are still crowned by fortresses, keeping watch and ward
over the merchant city. These, of course, are of modern date; but some of
them have been reconstructed on the ancient sites, and still encrust, as
can be seen at a glance, towers and walls which did their duty in the
olden times. For a season, indeed, there was more to be protected than
merchandise, for, till lately, Genoa was the principal arsenal of the
Italian kingdom; but this has now been removed to Spezzia. Italy, however,
does not seem to feel much confidence in that immunity from plunder which
has been sometimes accorded to "open towns," or in the platitudes of
peace-mongers; and appears to take ample precautions that an enemy in
command of the sea shall not thrust his hand into a full purse without a
good chance of getting nothing better than crushed fingers.

But in the lower town we are still in the Genoa of the olden time. There
is not, indeed, very much to recall the city of the more strictly mediæval
epoch; though two churches date from days before the so-called
"Renaissance," and are good examples of its work. Most of what we now see
belongs to the Genoa of the sixteenth century; or, at any rate, is but
little anterior in age to this. The lower town, however, even where its
buildings are comparatively modern, still retains in plan--in its narrow,
sometimes irregular, streets; in its yet narrower alleys, leading by
flights of steps up the steep hill side; in its crowded, lofty houses; in
its "huddled up" aspect, for perhaps no single term can better express our
meaning--the characteristics of an ancient Italian town. In its streets
even the summer sun--let the proverb concerning the absence of the sun and
the presence of the doctor say what it may--can seldom scorch, and the
bitter north wind loses its force among the maze of buildings. Open spaces
of any kind are rare; the streets, in consequence of their narrowness, are
unusually thronged, and thus produce the idea of a teeming population;
which, indeed, owing to the general loftiness of the houses, is large in
proportion to the area. They are accordingly ill-adapted for the
requirements of modern traffic.

Genoa, like Venice, is noted for its _palazzi_--for the sumptuous
dwellings inhabited by the burgher aristocracy of earlier days, which are
still, in not a few cases, in possession of their descendants. But in
style and in position nothing can be more different. We do not refer to
the obvious distinction that in the one city the highway is water, in the
other it is dry land; or to the fact that buildings in the so-called
Gothic style are common in Venice, but are not to be found among the
mansions of Genoa. It is rather to this, that the Via Nuova, which in this
respect holds the same place in Genoa as the Grand Canal does in Venice,
is such a complete contrast to it, that they must be compared by their
opposites. The latter is a broad and magnificent highway, affording a full
view and a comprehensive survey of the stately buildings which rise from
its margin. The former is a narrow street, corresponding in dimensions
with one of the less important among the side canals in the other city. It
is thus almost impossible to obtain any good idea of the façade of the
Genoese palazzi. The passing traveller has about as much chance of doing
this as he would have of studying the architecture of Mincing Lane; and
even if he could discover a quiet time, like Sunday morning in the City,
he would still have to strain his neck by staring upwards at the
overhanging mass of masonry, and find a complete view of any one building
almost impossible. But so far as these palazzi can be seen, how far do
they repay examination? It is a common-place with travellers to expatiate
on the magnificence of the Via Nuova, and one or two other streets in
Genoa. There is an imposing magniloquence in the word palazzo, and a
"street of palaces" is a formula which impels many minds to render instant

But, speaking for myself, I must own to being no great admirer of this
part of Genoa; to me the design of these palazzi appears often heavy and
oppressive. They are sumptuous rather than dignified, and impress one more
with the length of the purse at the architect's command than with the
quality of his genius or the fecundity of his conceptions. No doubt there
are some fine buildings--the Palazzo Spinola, the Palazzo Doria Tursi, the
Palazzo del' Universita, and the Palazzo Balbi, are among those most
generally praised. But if I must tell the plain, unvarnished truth, I
never felt and never shall feel much enthusiasm for the "city of palaces."
It has been some relief to me to find that I am not alone in this heresy,
as it will appear to some. For on turning to the pages of Fergusson,[1]
immediately after penning the above confession, I read for the first time
the following passage (and it must be admitted that, though not free from
occasional "cranks" as to archæological questions, he was a critic of
extensive knowledge and no mean authority):--"When Venice adopted the
Renaissance style, she used it with an aristocratic elegance that relieves
even its most fantastic forms in the worst age. In Genoa there is a
pretentious parvenu vulgarity, which offends in spite of considerable
architectural merit. Their size, their grandeur, and their grouping may
force us to admire the palaces of Genoa; but for real beauty or
architectural propriety of design they will not stand a moment's
comparison with the contemporary or earlier palaces of Florence, Rome, or
Venice." Farther on he adds very truly, after glancing at the rather
illegitimate device by which the façades have been rendered more effective
by the use of paint, instead of natural color in the materials employed,
as in the older buildings of Venice, he adds:--"By far the most beautiful
feature of the greater palaces of Genoa is their courtyards" (a feature
obviously which can only make its full appeal to a comparatively limited
number of visitors), "though these, architecturally, consist of nothing
but ranges of arcades, resting on attenuated Doric pillars. These are
generally of marble, sometimes grouped in pairs, and too frequently with a
block of an entablature over each, under the springing of the arch; but
notwithstanding these defects, a cloistered court is always and inevitably
pleasing, and if combined with gardens and scenery beyond, which is
generally the case in this city, the effect, as seen from the streets, is
so poetic as to disarm criticism. All that dare be said is that, beautiful
as they are, with a little more taste and judgment they might have been
ten times more so than they are now."


Several of these palazzi contain pictures and art-collections of
considerable value, and the interest of those has perhaps enhanced the
admiration which they have excited in visitors. One of the most noteworthy
is the Palazzo Brignole Sale, commonly called the Palazzo Rosso, because
its exterior is painted red. This has now become a memorial of the
munificence of its former owner, the Duchess of Galliera, a member of the
Brignole Sale family, who, with the consent of her husband and relations,
in the year 1874 presented this palace and its contents to the city of
Genoa, with a revenue sufficient for its maintenance. The Palazzo Reale,
in the Via Balbi, is one of those where the garden adds a charm to an
otherwise not very striking, though large, edifice. This, formerly the
property of the Durazzo family, was purchased by Charles Albert, King of
Sardinia, and has thus become a royal residence. The Palazzo Ducale, once
inhabited by the Doges of Genoa, has now been converted into public
offices, and the palazzo opposite to the Church of St. Matteo bears an
inscription which of itself gives the building an exceptional interest:
"Senat. Cons. Andreæ de Oria, patriæ liberatori, munus publicum." It is
this, the earlier home of the great citizen of Genoa, of which Rogers has
written in the often-quoted lines:--

              "He left it for a better; and 'tis now
  A house of trade, the meanest merchandise
  Cumbering its floors. Yet, fallen as it is,
  'Tis still the noblest dwelling--even in Genoa!
  And hadst thou, Andrea, lived there to the last,
  Thou hadst done well: for there is that without,
  That in the wall, which monarchs could not give
  Nor thou take with thee--that which says aloud,
  It was thy country's gift to her deliverer!"

The great statesman lies in the neighboring church, with other members of
his family, and over the high altar hangs the sword which was given to him
by the Pope. The church was greatly altered--embellished it was doubtless
supposed--by Doria himself; but the old cloisters, dating from the
earliest part of the fourteenth century, still remain intact. The grander
palazzo which he erected, as an inscription outside still informs us, was
in a more open, and doubtless then more attractive, part of the city. In
the days of Doria it stood in ample gardens, which extended on one side
down to a terrace overlooking the harbor, on the other some distance up
the hillside. From the back of the palace an elaborate structure of
ascending flight of steps in stone led up to a white marble colossal
statue of Hercules, which from this elevated position seemed to keep watch
over the home of the Dorias and the port of Genoa. All this is sadly
changed; the admiral would now find little pleasure in his once stately
home. It occupies a kind of peninsula between two streams of
twentieth-century civilization. Between the terrace wall and the sea the
railway connecting the harbor with the main line has intervened, with its
iron tracks, its sheds, and its shunting-places--a dreary unsightly
outlook, for the adjuncts of a terminus are usually among the most ugly
appendages of civilization. The terraced staircase on the opposite side of
the palace has been swept away by the main line of the railway, which
passes within a few yards of its façade, thus severing the gardens and
isolating the shrine of Hercules, who looks down forlornly on the result
of labors which even he might have deemed arduous, while snorting,
squealing engines pass and repass--beasts which to him would have seemed
more formidable than Lernæan hydra or Nemaean lion.

The palace follows the usual Genoese rule of turning the better side
inwards, and offering the less attractive to the world at large. The
landward side, which borders a narrow street, and thus, one would
conjecture, must from the first have been connected with the upper gardens
by a bridge, or underground passage, is plain, almost heavy, in its
design, but it does not rise to so great an elevation as is customary with
the palazzi in the heart of the city. The side which is turned towards the
sea is a much more attractive composition, for it is associated with the
usual cloister of loggia which occupies three sides of an oblong. This, as
the ground slopes seaward, though on the level of the street outside,
stands upon a basement story, and communicates by flights of steps with
the lower gardens. The latter are comparatively small, and in no way
remarkable; but in the days--not so very distant--when their terraces
looked down upon the Mediterranean, when the city and its trade were on a
smaller scale, when the picturesque side of labor had not yet been
extruded by the dust and grime of over-much toil, no place in Genoa could
have been more pleasant for the evening stroll, or for dreamy repose in
some shaded nook during the heat of the day. The palazzo itself shows
signs of neglect--the family, I believe, have for some time past ceased to
use it for a residence; two or three rooms are still retained in their
original condition, but the greater part of the building is let off. In
the corridor, near the entrance, members of the Doria family, dressed in
classic garb, in conformity with the taste which prevailed in the
sixteenth century, are depicted in fresco upon the walls. On the roof of
the grand saloon Jupiter is engaged in overthrowing the Titans. These
frescoes are the work of Perini del Vaga, a pupil of Raphael. The great
admiral, the builder of the palace, is represented among the figures in
the corridor, and by an oil painting in the saloon, which contains some
remains of sumptuous furniture and a few ornaments of interest. He was a
burly man, with a grave, square, powerful face, such a one as often looks
out at us from the canvas of Titian or of Tintoret--a man of kindly
nature, but masterful withal; cautious and thoughtful, but a man of action
more than of the schools or of the library; one little likely to be swayed
by passing impulse or transient emotion, but clear and firm of purpose,
who meant to attain his end were it in mortal to command success, and
could watch and wait for the time. Such men, if one may trust portraits
and trust history, were not uncommon in the great epoch when Europe was
shaking itself free from the fetters of mediæval influences, and was
enlarging its mental no less than its physical horizon. Such men are the
makers of nations, and not only of their own fortunes; they become rarer
in the days of frothy stump oratory and hysteric sentiment, when a people
babbles as it sinks into senile decrepitude.

Andrea Doria himself--"Il principe" as he was styled--had a long and in
some respects a checkered career. In his earlier life he obtained
distinction as a successful naval commander, and in the curious
complications which prevailed in those days among the Italian States and
their neighbors ultimately became Admiral of the French fleet. But he
found that Genoa would obtain little good from the French King, who was
then practically its master; so he transferred his allegiance to the
Emperor Charles, and by his aid expelled from his native city the troops
with which he had formerly served. So great was his influence in Genoa
that he might easily have obtained supreme power; but at this, like a true
patriot, he did not grasp, and the Constitution, which was adopted under
his influence, gradually put an end to the bitter party strife which had
for so long been the plague of Genoa, and it remained in force until the
French Revolution. Still, notwithstanding the gratitude generally felt for
his great services to the State, he experienced in his long life--for he
died at the age of ninety-two--the changefulness of human affairs. He had
no son, and his heir and grand-nephew--a young man--was unpopular, and, as
is often the case, the sapling was altogether inferior in character to the
withering tree. The members of another great family--the Fieschi--entered
into a conspiracy, and collected a body of armed men on the pretext of an
expedition against the corsairs who for so long were the pests of the
Mediterranean. The outbreak was well planned; on New Year's night, in the
year 1547, the chief posts in the city were seized. Doria himself was just
warned in time, and escaped capture; but his heir was assassinated, and
his enemies seemed to have triumphed. But their success was changed to
failure by an accident. Count Fiescho in passing along a plank to a galley
in the harbor made a false step, and fell into the sea. In those days the
wearing of armor added to the perils of the deep; the count sank like a
stone, and so left the conspirators without a leader exactly at the most
critical moment. They were thus before long defeated and dispersed, and
had to experience the truth of the proverb, "Who breaks pays," for in
those days men felt little sentimental tenderness for leaders of sedition
and disturbers of the established order. The Fieschi were exiled, and
their palace was razed to the ground. So the old admiral returned to his
home and his terrace-walk overlooking the sea, until at last his long life
ended, and they buried him with his fathers in the Church of S. Matteo.

Not far from the Doria Palace is the memorial to another admiral, of fame
more world-wide than that of Doria. In the open space before the railway
station--a building, a façade of which is not without architectural
merit--rises a handsome monument in honor of Christopher Columbus. He was
not strictly a native of the city, but he was certainly born on Genoese
soil, and, as it seems to be now agreed, at Cogoleto, a small village a
few miles west of the city. He was not, however, able to convince the
leaders of his own State that there were wide parts of the world yet to be
discovered; and it is a well-known story how for a long time he preached
to deaf ears, and found, like most heralds of startling physical facts,
his most obstinate opponents among the ecclesiastics of his day. Spain at
last, after Genoa and Portugal and England had all refused, placed
Columbus in command of a voyage of discovery; and on Spanish ground
also--in neglect and comparative poverty, worn out by toil and
anxieties--the great explorer ended his checkered career. Genoa, however,
though inattentive to the comparatively obscure enthusiast, has not failed
to pay honor to the successful discoverer; and is glad to catch some
reflected light from the splendor of successes to the aid of which she did
not contribute. In this respect, however, the rest of the world cannot
take up their parable at her; men generally find that on the whole it is
less expensive, and certainly less troublesome, to build the tombs of the
prophets, instead of honoring them while alive; then, indeed, whether
bread be asked or no, a stone is often given. So now the effigy of
Columbus stands on high among exotic plants, where all the world can see,
for it is the first thing encountered by the traveller as he quits the
railway station.

One of the most characteristic--if not one of the sweetest--places in
Genoa is the long street, which, under more than one name, intervenes
between the last row of houses in the town and the harbor. From the latter
it is, indeed, divided by a line of offices and arched halls; these are
covered by a terrace-roof and serve various purposes more or less directly
connected with the shipping. The front walls of houses which rise high on
the landward side are supported by rude arches. Thus, as is so common in
Italian towns, there is a broad foot-walk, protected alike from sun and
rain, replacing the "ground-floor front," with dark shops at the back, and
stalls, for the sale of all sorts of odds and ends, pitched in the spaces
between the arches. In many towns these arcades are often among the most
ornamental features; but in Genoa, though not without a certain
quaintness, they are so rude in design and construction that they hardly
deserve this title. The old Dogana, one of the buildings in the street,
gives a good idea of the commercial part of Genoa before the days of
steam, and has a considerable interest of its own. In the first place, it
is a standing memorial of the bitter feud between Genoa and Venice, for it
is built with the stones of a castle which, being captured by the one from
the other, was pulled down and shipped to Genoa in the year 1262. Again,
within its walls was the Banca di San Georgio, which had its origin in a
municipal debt incurred in order to equip an expedition to stop the forays
of a family named Grimaldi, who had formed a sort of Cave of Adullam at
Monaco. The institution afterwards prospered, and held in trust most of
the funds for charitable purposes, till "the French passed their sponge
over the accounts, and ruined all the individuals in the community." It
has also an indirect connection with English history, for on the defeat of
the Grimaldi many of their retainers entered the service of France, and
were the Genoese bowmen who fought at Cressy. Lastly, against its walls
the captured chains of the harbor of Pisa were suspended for nearly six
centuries, for they were only restored to their former owners a
comparatively few years since.

Turning up from this part of the city we thread narrow streets, in which
many of the principal shops are still located. We pass, in a busy piazza,
the _Loggia dei Banchi Borsa_--the old exchange--a quaint structure of the
end of the sixteenth century, standing on a raised platform; and proceed
from it into the _Via degli Orefici_--a street just like one of the lanes
which lead from Cheapside to Cannon Street, if, indeed, it be not still
narrower, but full of tempting shops. Genoa is noted for its work in
coral and precious metals, but the most characteristic, as all visitors
know, is a kind of filigree work in gold or silver, which is often of
great delicacy and beauty, and is by no means so costly as might be
anticipated from the elaborate workmanship.

The most notable building in Genoa, anterior to the days when the
architecture of the Renaissance was in favor, is the cathedral, which is
dedicated to S. Lorenzo. The western façade, which is approached by a
broad flight of steps, is the best exposed to view, the rest of the
building being shut in rather closely after the usual Genoese fashion. It
is built of alternating courses of black and white marble, the only
materials employed for mural decoration, so far as I remember, in the
city. The western façade in its lower part is a fine example of "pointed"
work, consisting of a triple portal which, for elegance of design and
richness of ornamentation, could not readily be excelled. It dates from
about the year 1307, when the cathedral was almost rebuilt. The latter, as
a whole, is a very composite structure, for parts of an earlier Romanesque
cathedral still remain, as in the fine "marble" columns of the nave; and
important alterations were made at a much later date. These, to which
belongs the mean clerestory, painted in stripes of black and white, to
resemble the banded courses of stone below, are generally most
unsatisfactory; and here, as in so many other buildings, one is compelled,
however reluctantly, "to bless the old and ban the new." The most richly
decorated portion of the interior is the side chapel, constructed at the
end of the fifteenth century, and dedicated to St. John the Baptist; here
his relics are enshrined for the reverence of the faithful and, as the
guide-books inform us, are placed in a magnificent silver-gilt shrine,
which is carried in solemn procession on the day of his nativity. We are
also informed that women, as a stigma for the part which the sex played in
the Baptist's murder, are only permitted to enter the chapel once in a
year. This is not by any means the only case where the Church of Rome
gives practical expression to its decided view as to which is the superior
sex. The cathedral possesses another great, though now unhappily
mutilated, treasure in the _sacro catino_. This, in the first place, was
long supposed to have been carved from a single emerald; in the next, it
was a relic of great antiquity and much sanctity; though as to its precise
claims to honor in this respect authorities differed. According to one, it
had been a gift from the Queen of Sheba to Solomon; according to another,
it had contained the paschal lamb at the Last Supper; while a third
asserted that in this dish Joseph of Arimathea had caught the blood which
flowed from the pierced side of the crucified Saviour. Of its great
antiquity there can at least be no doubt, for it was taken by the Genoese
when they plundered Cæsarea so long since as the year 1101, and was then
esteemed the most precious thing in the spoil. The material is a green
glass--a conclusion once deemed so heretical that any experiment on the
_catino_ was forbidden on pain of death. As regards its former use, no
more can be said than that it might possibly be as old as the Christian
era. It is almost needless to say that Napoleon carried it away to Paris;
but the worst result of this robbery was that when restitution was made
after the second occupation of that city, the _catino_, through some gross
carelessness, was so badly packed that it was broken on the journey back,
and has been pieced together by a gold-setting of filigree, according to
the guide-books. An inscription in the nave supplies us with an
interesting fact in the early history of Genoa which perhaps ought not to
be omitted. It is that the city was founded by one Janus, a great grandson
of Noah; and that another Janus, after the fall of Troy, also settled in
it. Colonists from that ill-fated town really seem to have distributed
themselves pretty well over the known world.

More than one of the smaller churches of Genoa is of archæological
interest, and the more modern fabric, called L'Annunziata, is extremely
rich in its internal decorations, though these are more remarkable for
their sumptuousness than for their good taste. But one structure calls for
some notice in any account of the city. This is the Campo Santo, or
burial-place of Genoa, situated at some distance without the walls in the
Valley of the Bisagno. A large tract of land on the slope which forms the
right bank of that stream has been converted into a cemetery, and was laid
out on its present plan rather more than twenty-five years since.
Extensive open spaces are enclosed within and divided by corridors with
cloisters; terraces also, connected by flights of steps, lead up to a long
range of buildings situated some distance above the river, in the center
of which is a chapel crowned with a dome, supported internally by large
columns of polished black Como marble. The bodies of the poorer people are
buried in the usual way in the open ground of the cemetery, and the floor
of the corridors appears to cover a continuous series of vaults, closed,
as formerly in our churches, with great slabs of stone; but a very large
number of the dead rest above the ground in vaults constructed on a plan
which has evidently been borrowed from catacombs like those of Rome. There
is, however, this difference, that in the latter the "loculi," or
separate compartments to contain the corpses, were excavated in the rock,
while here they are constructed entirely of masonry. In both cases the
"loculus" is placed with its longer axis parallel to the outer side, as
was occasionally the method in the rock-hewn tombs of Palestine, instead
of having an opening at the narrower end, so that the corpse, whether
coffined or not, lies in the position of a sleeper in the berth of a ship.
After a burial, the loculus, as in the catacombs, is closed, and an
inscription placed on a slab outside. Thus in the Campo Santo at Genoa we
walk through a gallery of tombs. On either hand are ranges of low
elongated niches, rising tier above tier, each bearing a long white marble
tablet, surrounded by a broad border of dark serpentine breccia. The
interior generally is faced with white marble, which is toned down by the
interspaces of the darker material, and the effect produced by these
simple monumental corridors, these silent records of those who have rested
from their labors, is impressive, if somewhat melancholy. In the
cloisters, as a rule, the more sumptuous memorials are to be found. Here
commonly sections of the wall are given up to the monuments of a family,
the vaults, as I infer, being underneath the pavement. These memorials are
often elaborate in design, and costly in their materials. They will be,
and are, greatly admired by those to whose minds sumptuousness is the
chief element in beauty, and rather second-rate execution of conceptions
distinctly third-rate gives no offense. Others, however, will be chiefly
impressed with the inferiority of modern statuary to the better work of
classic ages, and will doubt whether the more ambitious compositions which
met our eyes in these galleries are preferable to the simple dignity of
the mediæval altar tomb, and the calm repose of its recumbent figure.

The drive to the Campo Santo, in addition to affording a view of one of
the more perfect parts of the old defensive enclosure of Genoa, of which
the Porta Chiappia, one of the smaller gates, may serve as an example,
passes within sight, though at some distance below, one of the few relics
of classic time which the city has retained. This is the aqueduct which
was constructed by the Romans. Some portions of it, so far as can be seen
from below, appear to belong to the original structure; but, as it is
still in use, it has been in many parts more or less reconstructed and

The environs of Genoa are pleasant. On both sides, particularly on the
eastern, are country houses with gardens. The western for a time is less
attractive. The suburb of Sanpierdarena is neither pretty nor interesting;
but at Conigliano, and still more at Sestre Ponente, the grimy
finger-marks of commerce become less conspicuous, and Nature is not wholly
expelled by the two-pronged fork of mechanism. Pegli, still farther west,
is a very attractive spot, much frequented in the summer time for
sea-bathing. On this part of the coast the hills in places draw near to
the sea, and crags rise from the water; the rocks are of interest in more
than one respect to the geologist. One knoll of rock rising from the sand
in the Bay of Pra is crowned by an old fortress, and at Pegli itself are
one or two villas of note. Of these the gardens of the Villa Pallavicini
commonly attract visitors. They reward some by stalactite grottoes and
"sheets of water with boats, under artificial caverns, a Chinese pagoda,
and an Egyptian obelisk;" others will be more attracted by the beauty of
the vegetation, for palms and oleanders, myrtles, and camellias, with
many semi-tropical plants, flourish in the open air.

We may regard Genoa as the meeting-place of the two Rivieras. The coast to
the west--the Riviera di Ponente--what has now, by the cession of Nice,
become in part French soil, is the better known; but that to the east, the
Riviera di Levante, though less accessible on the whole, and without such
an attractive feature as the Corniche road, in the judgment of some is
distinctly the more beautiful. There is indeed a road which, for a part of
the way, runs near the sea; but the much more indented character of the
coast frequently forces it some distance inland, and ultimately it has to
cross a rather considerable line of hills in order to reach Spezzia. The
outline of the coast, indeed, is perhaps the most marked feature of
difference between the two Rivieras. The hills on the eastern side descend
far more steeply to the water than they do upon the western. They are much
more sharply furrowed with gullies and more deeply indented by inlets of
the sea; thus the construction of a railway from Genoa to Spezzia has been
a work involving no slight labor. There are, it is stated, nearly fifty
tunnels between the two towns, and it is strictly true that for a large
part of the distance north of the latter place the train is more
frequently under than above ground. Here it is actually an advantage to
travel by the slowest train that can be found, for this may serve as an
epitome of the journey by an express: "Out of a tunnel; one glance,
between rocks and olive-groves, up a ravine, into which a picturesque old
village is wedged; another glance down the same to the sea, sparkling in
the sunlight below; a shriek from the engine, and another plunge into
darkness." So narrow are some of these gullies, up which, however, a
village climbs, that, if I may trust my memory, I have seen a train halted
at a station with the engine in the opening of one tunnel and the last car
not yet clear of another.

But the coast, when explored, is full of exquisite nooks, and here and
there, where by chance the hills slightly recede, or a larger valley than
usual comes down to the sea, towns of some size are situated, from which,
as halting-places, the district might be easily explored, for trains are
fairly frequent, and the distances are not great. For a few miles from
Genoa the coast is less hilly than it afterwards becomes; nevertheless,
the traveller is prepared for what lies before him by being conducted from
the main station, on the west side of Genoa, completely beneath the city
to near its eastern wall. Then Nervi is passed, which, like Pegli,
attracts not a few summer visitors, and is a bright and sunny town, with
pleasant gardens and villas. Recco follows, also bright and cheerful,
backed by the finely-outlined hills, which form the long promontory
enclosing the western side of the Bay of Rapallo. Tunnels and villages, as
the railway now plunges into the rock, now skirts the margin of some
little bay, lead first to Rapallo and then to Chiavari, one with its
slender campanile, the other with its old castle. The luxuriance of the
vegetation in all this district cannot fail to attract notice. The slopes
of the hills are grey with olives; oranges replace apples in the orchards,
and in the more sheltered nooks we espy the paler gold of the lemon. Here
are great spiky aloes, there graceful feathering palms; here pines of
southern type, with spreading holm-oaks, and a dozen other evergreen

Glimpse after glimpse of exquisite scenery flashes upon us as we proceed
to Spezzia, but, as already said, its full beauty can only be appreciated
by rambling among the hills or boating along the coast. There is endless
variety, but the leading features are similar: steep hills furrowed by
ravines, craggy headlands and sheltered coves; villages sometimes perched
high on a shoulder, sometimes nestling in a gully; sometimes a campanile,
sometimes a watch-tower; slopes, here clothed with olive groves, here with
their natural covering of pine and oak scrub, of heath, myrtle, and
strawberry-trees. A change also in the nature of the rock diversifies the
scenery, for between Framura and Bonasola occurs a huge mass of
serpentine, which recalls, in its peculiar structure and tints, the crags
near the Lizard in England. This rock is extensively quarried in the
neighborhood of Levanto, and from that little port many blocks are

Spezzia itself has a remarkable situation. A large inlet of the sea runs
deep into the land, parallel with the general trend of the hills, and
almost with that of the coast-line. The range which shelters it on the
west narrows as it falls to the headland of Porto Venere, and is extended
yet farther by rocky islands; while on the opposite coast, hills no less,
perhaps yet more, lofty, protect the harbor from the eastern blasts. In
one direction only is it open to the wind, and against this the
comparative narrowness of the inlet renders the construction of artificial
defenses possible. At the very head of this deeply embayed sheet of water
is a small tract of level ground--the head, as it were, of a
valley--encircled by steep hills. On this little plain, and by the
waterside, stands Spezzia. Formerly it was a quiet country town, a small
seaport with some little commerce; but when Italy ceased to be a
geographical expression, and became practically one nation, Spezzia was
chosen, wisely it must be admitted, as the site of the chief naval
arsenal. A single glance shows its natural advantages for such a purpose.
Access from the land must always present difficulties, and every road can
be commanded by forts, perched on yet more elevated positions; while a
hostile fleet, as it advances up the inlet, must run the gauntlet of as
many batteries as the defenders can build. Further, the construction of a
breakwater across the middle of the channel at once has been a protection
from the storms, and has compelled all who approach to pass through
straits commanded by cannon. The distance of the town from its outer
defenses and from the open sea seems enough to secure it even from modern
ordnance; so that, until the former are crushed, it cannot be reached by
projectiles. But it must be confessed that the change has not been without
its drawbacks. The Spezzia of to-day may be a more prosperous town than
the Spezzia of a quarter of a century since, but it has lost some of its
beauty. A twentieth-century fortress adds no charm to the scenery, and
does not crown a hill so picturesquely as did a mediæval castle. Houses
are being built, roads are being made, land is being reclaimed from the
sea for the construction of quays. Thus the place has a generally untidy
aspect; there is a kind of ragged selvage to town and sea, which, at
present, on a near view, is very unsightly. Moreover, the buildings of an
arsenal can hardly be picturesque or magnificent; and great factories,
more or less connected with them, have sprung up in the neighborhood, from
which rise tall red brick chimneys, the campaniles of the twentieth
century. The town itself was never a place of any particular interest; it
has neither fine churches nor old gateways nor picturesque streets--a
ruinous fort among the olive groves overlooking the streets is all that
can claim to be ancient--so that its growth has not caused the loss of any
distinctive feature--unless it be a grove of old oleanders, which were
once a sight to see in summer time. Many of these have now disappeared,
perhaps from natural decay; and the survivors are mixed with orange trees.
These, during late years, have been largely planted about the town. In one
of the chief streets they are growing by the side of the road, like planes
or chestnuts in other towns. The golden fruit and the glossy leaves,
always a delight to see, appear to possess a double charm by contrast with
the arid flags and dusty streets. Ripe oranges in dozens, in hundreds, all
along by the pathway, and within two or three yards of the pavement! Are
the boys of Spezzia exceptionally virtuous? or are these golden apples of
the Hesperides a special pride of the populace, and does "Father Stick"
still rule in home and school, and is this immunity the result of physical
coercion rather than of moral suasion? Be this as it may, I have with mine
own eyes seen golden oranges by hundreds hanging on the trees in the
streets of Spezzia, and would be glad to know how long they would remain
in a like position in those of an English town, among "the most
law-abiding people in the universe!"

But if the vicinity of the town has lost some of its ancient charm, if
modern Spezzia reminds us too much, now of Woolwich, now of a "new
neighborhood" on the outskirts of London, we have but to pass into the
uplands, escaping from the neighborhood of forts, to find the same
beauties as the mountains of this coast ever afford. There the sugar-cane
and the vine, the fig and the olive cease, though the last so abounds that
one might suppose it an indigenous growth; there the broken slopes are
covered with scrub oak and dwarf pine; there the myrtle blossoms, hardly
ceasing in the winter months; there the strawberry-tree shows its waxen
flowers, and is bright in season with its rich crimson berries. Even the
villages add a beauty to the landscape--at any rate, when regarded from a
distance; some are perched high up on the shoulders of hills, with distant
outlooks over land and sea; others lie down by the water's edge in
sheltered coves, beneath some ruined fort, which in olden time protected
the fisher-folk from the raids of corsairs. Such are Terenza and Lerici,
looking at each other across the waters of the little "Porto;" and many
another village, in which grey and white and pink tinted houses blend into
one pleasant harmony of color. For all this part of the coast is a series
of rocky headlands and tiny bays, one succession of quiet nooks, to which
the sea alone forms a natural highway. Not less irregular, not less
sequestered, is the western coast of the Bay of Spezzia, which has been
already mentioned. Here, at Porto Venere, a little village still carries
us back in its name to classic times; and the old church on the rugged
headland stands upon a site which was once not unfitly occupied by a
temple of the seaborn goddess. The beauty of the scene is enhanced by a
rocky wooded island, the Isola Palmeria, which rises steeply across a
narrow strait; though the purpose to which it has been devoted--a prison
for convicts--neither adds to its charm nor awakens pleasant reflections.

To some minds also the harbor itself, busy and bright as the scene often
is, will suggest more painful thoughts than it did in olden days. For it
is no preacher of "peace at any price," and is a daily witness that
millennial days are still far away from the present epoch. Here may be
seen at anchor the modern devices for naval war: great turret-ships and
ironclads, gunboats and torpedo launches--evils, necessary undoubtedly,
but evils still; outward and visible signs of the burden of taxation,
which is cramping the development of Italy, and is indirectly the heavy
price which it has to pay for entering the ranks of the great Powers of
Europe. These are less picturesque than the old line-of-battle ships, with
their high decks, their tall masts, and their clouds of canvas; still,
nothing can entirely spoil the harbor of Spezzia, and even these floating
castles group pleasantly in the distance with the varied outline of hills
and headlands, which is backed at last, if we look southward, by the grand
outline of a group of veritable mountains--the Apuan Alps.



    Shelley's last months at Lerici--Story of his death--Carrara and its
    marble quarries--Pisa--Its grand group of ecclesiastical
    buildings--The cloisters of the Campo Santo--Napoleon's life on
    Elba--Origin of the Etruscans--The ruins of Tarquinii--Civita Vecchia,
    the old port of Rome--Ostia.

The Bay of Spezzia is defined sharply enough on its western side by the
long, hilly peninsula which parts it from the Mediterranean, but as this
makes only a small angle with the general trend of the coast-line, its
termination is less strongly marked on the opposite side. Of its beauties
we have spoken in an earlier article, but there is a little town at the
southern extremity which, in connection with the coast below, has a
melancholy interest to every lover of English literature. Here, at Lerici,
Shelley spent what proved to be the last months of his life. The town
itself, once strongly fortified by its Pisan owners against their foes of
Genoa on the one side and Lucca on the other, is a picturesque spot. The
old castle crowns a headland, guarding the little harbor and overlooking
the small but busy town. At a short distance to the southeast is the Casa
Magni, once a Jesuit seminary, which was occupied by Shelley. Looking
across the beautiful gulf to the hills on its opposite shore and the
island of Porto Venere, but a few miles from the grand group of the
Carrara mountains, in the middle of the luxuriant scenery of the Eastern
Riviera, the house, though in itself not very attractive, was a fit home
for a lover of nature. But Shelley's residence within its walls was too
soon cut short. There are strange tales (like those told with bated breath
by old nurses by the fireside) that as the closing hour approached the
spirits of the unseen world took bodily form and became visible to the
poet's eye; tales of a dark-robed figure standing by his bedside beckoning
him to follow; of a laughing child rising from the sea as he walked by
moonlight on the terrace, clapping its hands in glee; and of other
warnings that the veil which parted him from the spirit world was
vanishing away. Shelley delighted in the sea. On the 1st of July he left
Lerici for Leghorn in a small sailing vessel. On the 8th he set out to
return, accompanied only by his friend, Mr. Williams, and an English lad.
The afternoon was hot and sultry, and as the sun became low a fearful
squall burst upon the neighboring sea. What happened no one exactly knows,
but they never came back to the shore. Day followed day, and the great sea
kept its secret; but at last, on the 22d, the corpse of Shelley was washed
up near Viareggio and that of Williams near Bocca Lerici, three miles
away. It was not till three weeks afterwards that the body of the sailor
lad came ashore. Probably the felucca had either capsized or had been
swamped at the first break of the storm; but when it was found, some three
months afterwards, men said that it looked as if it had been run down, and
even more ugly rumors got abroad that this was no accident, but the work
of some Italians, done in the hope of plunder, as it was expected that the
party had in charge a considerable sum of money. The bodies were at first
buried in the sand with quicklime; but at that time the Tuscan law
required "any object then cast ashore to be burned, as a precaution
against plague," so, by the help of friends, the body of Shelley was
committed to the flames "with fuel and frankincense, wine, salt, and oil,
the accompaniments of a Greek cremation," in the presence of Byron Leigh
Hunt, and Trelawny. The corpse of Williams had been consumed in like
fashion on the previous day. "It was a glorious day and a splendid
prospect; the cruel and calm sea before, the Appennines behind. A curlew
wheeled close to the pyre, screaming, and would not be driven away; the
flames arose golden and towering." The inurned ashes were entombed, as
everyone knows, in the Protestant burial ground at Rome by the side of
Keats' grave, near the pyramid of Cestius. Much as there was to regret in
Shelley's life, there was more in his death, for such genius as his is
rare, and if the work of springtide was so glorious, what might have been
the summer fruitage?

As the Gulf of Spezzia is left behind, the Magra broadens out into an
estuary as it enters the sea, the river which formed in olden days the
boundary between Liguria and Etruria. Five miles from the coast, and less
than half the distance from the river, is Sarzana, the chief city of the
province, once fortified, and still containing a cathedral of some
interest. It once gave birth to a Pope, Nicholas V., the founder of the
Vatican Library, and in the neighborhood the family of the Buonapartes had
their origin, a branch of it having emigrated to Corsica. Sarzana bore
formerly the name of Luna Nova, as it had replaced another Luna which
stood near to the mouth of the river. This was in ruins even in the days
of Lucan, and now the traveller from Saranza to Pisa sees only "a strip of
low, grassy land intervening between him and the sea. Here stood the
ancient city. There is little enough to see. Beyond a few crumbling tombs
and a fragment or two of Roman ruins, nothing remains of Luna. The fairy
scene described by Rutilus, so appropriate to the spot which bore the name
of the virgin-queen of heaven, the 'fair white walls' shaming with their
brightness the untrodden snow, the smooth, many-tinted rocks overrun with
laughing lilies, if not the pure creation of the poet, have now vanished
from the sight. Vestiges of an amphitheater, of a semicircular building
which may be a theater, of a circus, a _piscina_, and fragments of
columns, pedestals for statues, blocks of pavement and inscriptions, are
all that Luna has now to show."

But all the while the grand group of the Carrara hills is in view,
towering above a lowland region which rolls down towards the coast. A
branch line now leads from Avenza, a small seaport town from which the
marble is shipped, to the town of Carrara, through scenery of singular
beauty. The shelving banks and winding slopes of the foreground hills are
clothed with olives and oaks and other trees; here and there groups of
houses, white and grey and pink, cluster around a campanile tower on some
coign of vantage, while at the back rises the great mountain wall of the
Apuan Alps, with its gleaming crags, scarred, it must be admitted, rather
rudely and crudely by its marble quarries, though the long slopes of
screes beneath these gashes in the more distant views almost resemble the
Alpine snows. The situation of the town is delightful, for it stands at
the entrance of a rapidly narrowing valley, in a sufficiently elevated
position to command a view of this exquisitely rich lowland as it shelves
and rolls down to the gleaming sea. Nor is the place itself devoid of
interest. One of its churches at least, S. Andrea, is a really handsome
specimen of the architecture of this part of Italy in the thirteenth
century, but the quarries dominate, and their products are everywhere.
Here are the studios of sculptors and the ateliers of workmen. The fair
white marble here, like silver in the days of Solomon, is of little
account; it paves the street, builds the houses, serves even for the
basest uses, and is to be seen strewn or piled up everywhere to await
dispersal by the trains to more distant regions. Beyond the streets of
Carrara, in the direction of the mountains, carriage roads no longer
exist. Lanes wind up the hills here and there in rather bewildering
intricacy, among vines and olive groves, to hamlets and quarries; one,
indeed, of rather larger size and more fixity of direction, keeps for a
time near the river, if indeed the stream which flows by Carrara be worthy
of that name, except when the storms are breaking or the snows are melting
upon the mountains. But all these lanes alike terminate in a quarry, are
riven with deep ruts, ploughed up like a field by the wheels of the heavy
wagons that bring down the great blocks of marble. One meets these
grinding and groaning on their way, drawn by yokes of dove-colored oxen
(longer than that with which Elisha was ploughing when the older prophet
cast his mantle upon his shoulders), big, meek-looking beasts, mild-eyed
and melancholy as the lotus-eaters. To meet them is not always an unmixed
pleasure, for the lanes are narrow, and there is often no room to spare;
how the traffic is regulated in some parts is a problem which I have not
yet solved.

Carrara would come near to being an earthly paradise were it not for the
mosquitos, which are said to be such that they would have made even the
Garden of Eden untenable, especially to its first inhabitants. Of them,
however, I cannot speak, for I have never slept in the town, or even
visited it at the season when this curse of the earth is at its worst; but
I have no hesitation in asserting that the mountains of Carrara are not
less beautiful in outline than those of any part of the main chain of the
Alps of like elevation, while they are unequalled in color and variety of

To Avenza succeeds Massa, a considerable town, beautifully situated among
olive-clad heights, which are spotted with villas and densely covered with
foliage. Like Carrara, it is close to the mountains, and disputes with
Carrara for the reputation of its quarries. This town was once the capital
of a duchy, Massa-Carrara, and the title was borne by a sister of Napoleon
I. Her large palace still remains; her memory should endure, though not
precisely in honor, for according to Mr. Hare, she pulled down the old
cathedral to improve the view from her windows. But if Massa is beautiful,
so is Pietra Santa, a much smaller town enclosed by old walls and
singularly picturesque in outline. It has a fine old church, with a
picturesque campanile, which, though slightly more modern than the church
itself, has seen more than four centuries. The piazza, with the Town Hall,
this church and another one, is a very characteristic feature. In the
baptistry of one of the churches are some bronzes by Donatello. About half
a dozen miles away, reached by a road which passes through beautiful
scenery, are the marble quarries of Seravezza, which were first opened by
Michael Angelo, and are still in full work. There is only one drawback to
travelling by railway in this region; the train goes too fast. Let it be
as slow as it will, and it can be very slow, we can never succeed in
coming to a decision as to which is the most picturesquely situated place
or the most lovely view. Comparisons notoriously are odious, but
delightful, as undoubtedly is the Riviera di Ponenta to me, the Riviera di
Levante seems even more lovely.

After Pietra Santa, however, the scenery becomes less attractive, the
Apuan Alps begin to be left behind, and a wider strip of plain parts the
Apennines from the sea. This, which is traversed by the railway, is in
itself flat, stale, though perhaps not unprofitable to the husbandman.
Viareggio, mentioned on a previous page, nestles among its woods of oaks
and pines, a place of some little note as a health resort; and then the
railway after emerging from the forest strikes away from the sea, and
crosses the marshy plains of the Serchio, towards the banks of the Arno.


It now approaches the grand group of ecclesiastical buildings which rise
above the walls of Pisa. As this town lies well inland, being six miles
from the sea, we must content ourselves with a brief mention. But a long
description is needless, for who does not know of its cathedral and its
Campo Santo, of its baptistry and its leaning tower? There is no more
marvelous or complete group of ecclesiastical buildings in Europe, all
built of the white marble of Carrara, now changed by age into a delicate
cream color, but still almost dazzling in the glory of the mid-day sun,
yet never so beautiful as when walls, arches, and pinnacles are aglow at
its rising, or flushed at its setting. In the cloisters of the Campo Santo
you may see monuments which range over nearly five centuries, and
contrast ancient and modern art; the frescoes on their walls, though often
ill preserved, and not seldom of little merit, possess no small interest
as illustrating medieval notions of a gospel of love and peace. Beneath
their roof at the present time are sheltered a few relics of Roman and
Etruscan days which will repay examination. The very soil also of this
God's acre is not without an interest, for when the Holy Land was lost to
the Christians, fifty-and-three shiploads of earth were brought hither
from Jerusalem that the dead of Pisa might rest in ground which had been
sanctified by the visible presence of their Redeemer. The cathedral is a
grand example of the severe but stately style which was in favor about the
end of the eleventh century, for it was consecrated in the year 1118. It
commemorates a great naval victory won by the Pisans, three years before
the battle of Hastings, and the columns which support the arches of the
interior were at once the spoils of classic buildings and the memorials of
Pisan victories. The famous leaning tower, though later in date,
harmonizes well in general style with the cathedral. Its position, no
doubt, attracts most attention, for to the eye it seems remarkably
insecure, but one cannot help wishing that the settlement had never
occurred, for the slope is sufficient to interfere seriously with the
harmony of the group. The baptistry also harmonizes with the cathedral,
though it was not begun till some forty years after the latter was
completed, and not only was more than a century in building, but also
received some ornamental additions in the fourteenth century. But though
this cathedral group is the glory and the crown of Pisa, the best monument
of its proudest days, there are other buildings of interest in the town
itself; and the broad quays which flank the Arno on each side, the
Lungarno by name, which form a continuous passage from one end of the town
to the other, together with the four bridges which link its older and
newer part, are well worthy of more than a passing notice.

The land bordering the Arno between Pisa and its junction with the
Mediterranean has no charm for the traveller, however it may commend
itself to the farmer. A few miles south of the river's mouth is Leghorn,
and on the eleven miles' journey by rail from it to Pisa the traveller
sees as much, and perhaps more, than he could wish of the delta of the
Arno. It is a vast alluvial plain, always low-lying, in places marshy;
sometimes meadow land, sometimes arable. Here and there are slight and
inconspicuous lines of dunes, very probably the records of old sea margins
as the river slowly encroached upon the Mediterranean, which are covered
sometimes with a grove of pines.

Leghorn is not an old town, and has little attraction for the antiquarian
or the artist. In fact, I think it, for its size, the most uninteresting
town, whether on the sea or inland, that I have entered in Italy. Brindisi
is a dreary hole, but it has one or two objects of interest. Bari is not
very attractive, but it has two churches, the architecture of which will
repay long study; but Leghorn is almost a miracle of commonplace
architecture and of dullness. Of course there is a harbor, of course there
are ships, of course there is the sea, and all these possess a certain
charm; but really this is about as small as it can be under the
circumstances. The town was a creation of the Medici, "the masterpiece of
that dynasty." In the middle of the sixteenth century it was an
insignificant place, with between seven and eight hundred inhabitants.
But it increased rapidly when the princes of that family took the town in
hand and made it a cave of Adullam, whither the discontented or oppressed
from other lands might resort: Jews and Moors from Spain and Portugal,
escaping from persecution; Roman Catholics from England, oppressed by the
retaliatory laws of Elizabeth; merchants from Marseilles, seeking refuge
from civil war. Thus fostered, it was soon thronged by men of talent and
energy; it rapidly grew into an important center of commerce, and now the
town with its suburbs contains nearly a hundred thousand souls.

Leghorn is intersected by canals, sufficiently so to have been sometimes
called a "Little Venice," and has been fortified, but as the defenses
belong to the system of Vauban, they add little to either the interest or
the picturesqueness of the place. Parts of the walls and the citadel
remain, the latter being enclosed by a broad water-ditch. The principal
street has some good shops, and there are two fairly large piazzas; in
one, bearing the name of Carlo Alberto, are statues of heroic size to the
last Grand Duke and to his predecessor. The inscription on the latter is
highly flattering; but that on the former states that the citizens had
come to the conclusion that the continuance of the Austro-Lorenese dynasty
was incompatible with the good order and happiness of Tuscany, and had
accordingly voted union with Italy. The other piazza now bears Victor
Emmanuel's name; in it are a building which formerly was a royal palace,
the town hall, and the cathedral; the last a fair-sized church, but a
rather plain specimen of the Renaissance style, with some handsome columns
of real marble and a large amount of imitation, painted to match. There
are also some remains of the old fortifications, though they are not so
very old, by the side of the inner or original harbor. As this in course
of time proved too shallow for vessels of modern bulk, the Porto Nuovo, or
outer harbor, was begun nearly fifty years since, and is protected from
the waves by a semicircular mole. Among the other lions of the place, and
they are all very small, is a statue of Duke Ferdinand I., one of the
founders of Leghorn, with four Turkish slaves about the pedestal. The
commerce of Leghorn chiefly consists of grain, cotton, wool, and silk, and
is carried on mainly with the eastern ports of the Mediterranean. There is
also an important shipbuilding establishment. It has, however, one link of
interest with English literature, for in the Protestant cemetery was
buried Tobias Smollet. There is a pleasant public walk by the sea margin
outside the town, from where distant views of Elba and other islands are

The hilly ground south of the broad valley of the Arno is of little
interest, and for a considerable distance a broad strip of land, a level
plain of cornfields and meadow, intervenes between the sea and the foot of
the hills. Here and there long lines of pine woods seem almost to border
the former; the rounded spurs of the latter are thickly wooded, but are
capped here and there by grey villages, seemingly surrounded by old walls,
and are backed by the bolder outlines of the more distant Apennines. For
many a long mile this kind of scenery will continue, this flat, marshy,
dyke-intersected plain, almost without a dwelling upon it, though village
after village is seen perched like epaulettes on the low shoulders of the
hills. It is easy to understand why they are placed in this apparently
inconvenient position, for we are at the beginning of the Tuscan Maremma,
a district scourged by malaria during the summer months, and none too
healthy, if one may judge by the looks of the peasants, during any time of
the year. But one cannot fail to observe that towards the northern
extremity houses have become fairly common on this plain, and many of them
are new, so that the efforts which have been made to improve the district
by draining seem to have met with success. For some time the seaward views
are very fine; comparatively near to the coast a hilly island rises
steeply from the water and is crowned with a low round tower. Behind this
lies Elba, a long, bold, hilly ridge, and far away, on a clear day, the
great mountain mass of Corsica looms blue in the distance.

Elba has its interests for the geologist, its beauties for the lover of
scenery. It has quarries of granite and serpentine, but its fame rests on
its iron mines, which have been noted from very early times and from which
fine groups of crystals of hematite are still obtained. So famed was it in
the days of the Roman Empire as to call forth from Virgil the well-known
line, "Insula inexhaustis chalybum generosa metallis." When these, its
masters, had long passed away, it belonged in turn to Pisa, to Genoa, to
Lucca, and, after others, to the Grand Duke Cosimo of Florence. Then it
became Neapolitan, and at last French. As everyone knows, it was assigned
to Napoleon after his abdication, and from May, 1814, to February, 1815,
he enjoyed the title of King of Elba. Then, while discontent was deepening
in France, and ambassadors were disputing round the Congress-table at
Vienna, he suddenly gave the slip to the vessels which were watching the
coast and landed in France to march in triumph to Paris, to be defeated at
Waterloo, and to die at St. Helena.

The island is for the most part hilly, indeed almost mountainous, for it
rises at one place nearly three thousand feet above the sea. The valleys
and lower slopes are rich and fertile, producing good fruit and fair wine,
and the views are often of great beauty. The fisheries are of some
importance, especially that of the tunny. Porto Ferrajo, the chief town,
is a picturesquely situated place, on the northern side, which still
retains the forts built by Cosimo I. to defend his newly obtained
territory, and the mansion, a very modest palace, inhabited by Napoleon.

"It must be confessed my isle is very little," was Napoleon's remark when
for the first time he looked around over his kingdom from a mountain
summit above Porto Ferrajo. Little it is in reality, for the island is not
much more than fifteen miles long, and at the widest part ten miles
across; and truly little it must have seemed to the man who had dreamed of
Europe for his empire, and had half realized his vision. Nevertheless, as
one of his historians remarks, "If an empire could be supposed to exist
within such a brief space, Elba possesses so much both of beauty and
variety as might constitute the scene of a summer night's dream of

At first he professed to be "perfectly resigned to his fate, often spoke
of himself as a man politically dead, and claimed credit for what he said
on public affairs, as having no remaining interest in them." A comment on
himself in connection with Elba is amusing. He had been exploring his new
domain in the company of Sir Niel Campbell, and had visited, as a matter
of course, the iron mines. On being informed that they were valuable, and
brought in a revenue of about twenty thousand pounds per annum, "These
then," he said, "are mine." But being reminded that he had conferred that
revenue on the Legion of Honor, he exclaimed, "Where was my head when I
made such a grant? But I have made many foolish decrees of that sort!"

He set to work at once to explore every corner of the island, and then to
design a number of improvements and alterations on a scale which, had they
been carried into execution with the means which he possessed, would have
perhaps taken his lifetime to execute. The instinct of the conqueror was
by no means dead within him; for "one of his first, and perhaps most
characteristic, proposals was to aggrandize and extend his Lilliputian
dominions by the occupation of an uninhabited island called Pianosa, which
had been left desolate on account of the frequent descents of the
corsairs. He sent thirty of his guards, with ten of the independent
company belonging to the island, upon this expedition (what a contrast to
those which he had formerly directed!), sketched out a plan of
fortification, and remarked with complacency, 'Europe will say that I have
already made a conquest.'"

He was after a short time joined on the island by his mother and his
sister Pauline, and not a few of those who had once fought under his flag
drifted gradually to Elba and took service in his guards. A plot was
organized in France, and when all was ready Napoleon availed himself of
the temporary absence of Sir Neil Campbell and of an English cruiser and
set sail from Elba.

At four in the afternoon of Sunday, the 26th of February, "a signal gun
was fired, the drums beat to arms, the officers tumbled what they could of
their effects into flour-sacks, the men arranged their knapsacks, the
embarkation began, and at eight in the evening they were under weigh." He
had more than one narrow escape on his voyage; for he was hailed by a
French frigate. His soldiers, however, had concealed themselves, and his
captain was acquainted with the commander of the frigate, so no suspicions
were excited. Sir Niel Campbell also, as soon as he found out what had
happened, gave chase in a sloop of war, but only arrived in time to obtain
a distant view of Napoleon's flotilla as its passengers landed.

Pianosa, the island mentioned above, lies to the north of Elba, and gets
its name from its almost level surface; for the highest point is said to
be only eighty feet above the sea. Considering its apparent
insignificance, it figures more than could be expected in history. The
ill-fated son of Marcus Agrippa was banished here by Augustus, at the
instigation of Livia, and after a time was more effectually put out of the
way, in order to secure the succession of her son Tiberius. We read also
that it was afterwards the property of Marcus Piso, who used it as a
preserve for peacocks, which were here as wild as pheasants with us. Some
remnants of Roman baths still keep up the memory of its former masters.
Long afterwards it became a bone of contention between Pisa and Genoa, and
the latter State, on permitting the former to resume possession of these
islands of the Tuscan Archipelago, stipulated that Pianosa should be left
forever uncultivated and deserted. To secure the execution of this
engagement the Genoese stopped up all the wells with huge blocks of rock.

Capraja, a lovely island to the northwest of Elba, is rather nearer to
Corsica than to Italy. Though less than four miles long, and not half this
breadth, it rivals either in hilliness, for its ridges rise in two places
more than fourteen hundred feet above the sea. Saracen, Genoese, Pisan,
and Corsican have caused it in bygone times to lead a rather troubled
existence, and even so late as 1796 Nelson knocked to pieces the fort
which defended its harbor, and occupied the island.

"The 'stagno,' or lagoon, the sea-marsh of Strabo, is a vast expanse of
stagnant salt water, so shallow that it may be forded in parts, yet never
dried up by the hottest summer; the curse of the country around for the
foul and pestilent vapour and the swarms of mosquitoes and other insects
it generates at that season, yet compensating the inhabitants with an
abundance of fish. The fishery is generally carried on at night, and in
the way often practiced in Italy and Sicily, by harpooning the fish, which
are attracted by a light in the prow of the boat. It is a curious sight on
calm nights to see hundreds of these little skiffs or canoes wandering
about with their lights, and making an ever-moving illumination on the
surface of the lake."[2]

Elba seems to maintain some relation with the mainland by means of the
hilly promontory which supports the houses of Piombino, a small town,
chiefly interesting as being at no great distance from Populonia, an old
Etruscan city of which some considerable ruins still remain. Here, when
the clans gathered to bring back the Tarquins to Rome, stood

      "Sea-girt Populonia,
    Whose sentinels descry
  Sardinia's snowy mountain tops
    Fringing the southern sky."

But long after Lars Porsenna of Clusium had retreated baffled from the
broken bridge Populonia continued to be a place of some importance, for it
has a castle erected in the Middle Ages. But now it is only a poor
village; it retains, however, fragments of building recalling its Roman
masters, and its walls of polygonal masonry carry us back to the era of
the Etruscans.

It must not be forgotten that almost the whole of the coast line described
in this chapter, from the river Magra to Civita Vecchia, belonged to that
mysterious and, not so long since, almost unknown people, the Etruscans.
Indeed, at one time their sway extended for a considerable distance north
and south of these limits. Even now there is much dispute as to their
origin, but they were a powerful and civilized race before Rome was so
much as founded. They strove with it for supremacy in Italy, and were not
finally subdued by that nation until the third century before our era.
"Etruria was of old densely populated, not only in those parts which are
still inhabited, but also, as is proved by remains of cities and
cemeteries, in tracts now desolated by malaria and relapsed into the
desert; and what is now the fen or the jungle, the haunt of the wild boar,
the buffalo, the fox, and the noxious reptile, where man often dreads to
stay his steps, and hurries away from a plague-stricken land, of old
yielded rich harvests of corn, wine and oil, and contained numerous
cities mighty and opulent, into whose laps commerce poured the treasures
of the East and the more precious produce of Hellenic genius. Most of
these ancient sites are now without a habitant, furrowed yearly by the
plough, or forsaken as unprofitable wilderness; and such as are still
occupied are, with few exceptions, mere phantoms of their pristine
greatness, mere villages in the place of populous cities. On every hand
are traces of bygone civilization, inferior in quality, no doubt, to that
which at present exists but much wider in extent and exerting far greater
influence on the neighboring nations and on the destinies of the

South of this headland the Maremma proper begins. Follonica, the only
place for some distance which can be called a town, is blackened with
smoke to an extent unusual in Italy, for here much of the iron ore from
Elba is smelted. But the views in the neighborhood, notwithstanding the
flatness of the marshy or scrub-covered plain, are not without a charm.
The inland hills are often attractive; to the north lie the headland of
Piombino and sea-girt Elba, to the south the promontory of Castiglione,
which ends in a lower line of bluff capped by a tower, and the irregular
little island of Formica. At Castiglione della Pescaia is a little harbor,
once fortified, which exports wool and charcoal, the products of the
neighboring hills. The promontory of Castiglione must once have been an
island, for it is parted from the inland range by the level plain of the
Maremma. Presently Grosseto, the picturesque capital of the Maremma,
appears, perched on steeply rising ground above the enclosing plain, its
sky-line relieved by a couple of low towers and a dome; it has been
protected with defenses, which date probably from late in the seventeenth
century. Then, after the Omborne has been crossed, one of the rivers,
which issue from the Apennines, the promontory of Talamone comes down to
the sea, protecting the village of the same name. It is a picturesque
little place, overlooked by an old castle, and the anchorage is sheltered
by the island of S. Giglio, quiet enough now, but the guide-book tells us
that here, two hundred and twenty-five years before the Christian era, the
Roman troops disembarked and scattered an invading Gaulish army. But to
the south lies another promontory on a larger scale than Tlamone; this is
the Monte Argentario, the steep slopes of which are a mass of forests. The
views on this part of the coast are exceptionally attractive. Indeed, it
would be difficult to find anything more striking than the situation of
Orbitello. The town lies at the foot of the mountain, for Argentario,
since it rises full two thousand feet above the sea, and is bold in
outline, deserves the name. It is almost separated from the mainland by a
great salt-water lagoon, which is bounded on each side by two low and
narrow strips of land. The best view is from the south, where we look
across a curve of the sea to the town and to Monte Argentario with its
double summit, which, as the border of the lagoon is so low, seems to be
completely insulated.

Orbitello is clearly proved to have been an Etruscan town; perhaps,
according to Mr. Dennis, founded by the Pelasgi, "for the foundations of
the sea-wall which surrounds it on three sides are of vast polygonal
blocks, just such as are seen in many ancient sites of central Italy
(Norba, Segni, Palæstrina, to wit), and such as compose the walls of the
neighboring Cosa." Tombs of Etruscan construction have also been found in
the immediate neighborhood of the city, on the isthmus of sand which
connects it with the mainland. Others also have been found within the
circuit of the walls. The tombs have been unusually productive; in part,
no doubt, because they appear to have escaped earlier plunderers. Vases,
numerous articles in bronze, and gold ornaments of great beauty have been
found. Of the town itself, which from the distance has a very picturesque
aspect, Mr. Dennis says: "It is a place of some size, having nearly six
thousand inhabitants, and among Maremma towns is second only to Grosseto.
It is a proof how much population tends to salubrity in the Maremma that
Orbitello, though in the midst of a stagnant lagoon ten square miles in
extent, is comparatively healthy, and has more than doubled its population
in thirty years, while Telamona and other small places along the coast are
almost deserted in summer, and the few people that remain become bloated
like wine-skins or yellow as lizards." But the inland district is full of
ruins and remnants of towns which in many cases were strongholds long
before Romulus traced out the lines of the walls of Rome with his plough,
if indeed that ever happened. Ansedonia, the ancient Cosa, is a very few
miles away, Rusellæ, Saturnia, Sovana at a considerably greater distance;
farther to the south rises another of these forest-clad ridges which,
whether insulated by sea or by fen, are so characteristic of this portion
of the Italian coast. Here the old walls of Corno, another Etruscan town,
may be seen to rise above the olive-trees and the holm-oaks.

Beyond this the lowland becomes more undulating, and the foreground
scenery a little less monotonous. Corneto now appears, crowning a gently
shelving plateau at the end of a spur from the inland hills, which is
guarded at last by a line of cliffs. Enclosed by a ring of old walls, like
Cortona, it "lifts to heaven a diadem of towers." In site and in aspect it
is a typical example of one of the old cities of Etruria. Three hundred
feet and more above the plain which parts it from the sea, with the
gleaming water full in view on one side and the forest-clad ranges on the
other, the outlook is a charming one, and the attractions within its walls
are by no means slight. There are several old churches, and numerous
Etruscan and Roman antiquities are preserved in the municipal museum. The
town itself, however, is not of Etruscan origin, its foundation dates only
from the Middle Ages; but on an opposite and yet more insulated hill the
ruins of Tarquinii, one of the great cities of the Etrurian League, can
still be traced; hardly less important than Veii, one of the most active
cities in the endeavor to restore the dynasty of the Tarquins, it
continued to flourish after it had submitted to Rome, but it declined in
the dark days which followed the fall of the Empire, and never held up its
head after it had been sacked by the Saracens, till at last it was
deserted for Corneto, and met the usual fate of becoming a quarry for the
new town. Only the remnants of buildings and of its defenses are now
visible; but the great necropolis which lies to the southeast of the
Corneto, and on the same spur with it, has yielded numerous antiquities. A
romantic tale of its discovery, so late as 1823, is related in the
guide-books. A native of Corneto in digging accidentally broke into a
tomb. Through the hole he beheld the figure of a warrior extended at
length, accoutred in full armour. For a few minutes he gazed astonished,
then the form of the dead man vanished almost like a ghost, for it
crumbled into dust under the influence of the fresh air. Numerous
subterranean chambers have since been opened; the contents, vases,
bronzes, gems and ornaments, have been removed to museums or scattered
among the cabinets of collectors, but the mural paintings still remain.
They are the works of various periods from the sixth to the second or
third century before the Christian era, and are indicative of the
influence exercised by Greek art on the earlier inhabitants of Italy.

As the headland, crowned by the walls of Corneto, recedes into the
distance a little river is crossed, which, unimportant as it seems, has a
place in ecclesiastical legend, for we are informed that at the Torre
Bertaldo, near its mouth, an angel dispelled St. Augustine's doubts on the
subject of the Trinity. Then the road approaches the largest port on the
coast since Leghorn was left. Civita Vecchia, as the name implies, is an
old town, which, after the decline of Ostia, served for centuries as the
port of Rome. It was founded by Trajan, and sometimes bore his name in
olden time, but there is little or nothing within the walls to indicate so
great an antiquity. It was harried, like so many other places near the
coast, by the Saracens, and for some years was entirely deserted, but
about the middle of the ninth century the inhabitants returned to it, and
the town, which then acquired its present name, by degrees grew into
importance as the temporal power of the Papacy increased. If there is
little to induce the traveller to halt, there is not much more to tempt
the artist. Civita Vecchia occupies a very low and faintly defined
headland. Its houses are whitish in color, square in outline, and rather
flat-topped. There are no conspicuous towers or domes. It was once
enclosed by fortifications, built at various dates about the seventeenth
century. These, however, have been removed on the land side, but still
remain fairly perfect in the neighborhood of the harbor, the entrance to
which is protected by a small island, from which rises a low massive tower
and a high circular pharos. There is neither animation nor commerce left
in the place; what little there was disappeared when the railway was
opened. It is living up to its name, and its old age cannot be called

South of Civita Vecchia the coast region, though often monotonous enough,
becomes for a time slightly more diversified. There is still some marshy
ground, still some level plain, but the low and gently rolling hills which
border the main mass of the Apennines extend at times down to the sea, and
even diversify its coast-line, broken by a low headland. This now and
again, as at Santa Marinella, is crowned by an old castle. All around much
evergreen scrub is seen, here growing in tufts among tracts of coarse
herbage, there expanding into actual thickets of considerable extent, and
the views sometimes become more varied, and even pretty. Santa Severa, a
large castle built of grey stone, with its keep-like group of higher
towers on its low crag overlooking the sea, reminds us of some old
fortress on the Fifeshire coast. Near this headland, so antiquarians say,
was Pyrgos, once the port of the Etruscan town of Cære, which lies away
among the hills at a distance of some half-dozen miles. Here and there
also a lonely old tower may be noticed along this part of the coast. These
recall to mind in their situation, though they are more picturesque in
their aspect, the Martello Towers on the southern coast of England. Like
them, they are a memorial of troublous times, when the invader was
dreaded. They were erected to protect the Tuscan coast from the descents
of the Moors, who for centuries were the dread of the Mediterranean.
Again and again these corsairs swooped down; now a small flotilla would
attack some weakly defended town; now a single ship would land its
boatload of pirates on some unguarded beach to plunder a neighboring
village or a few scattered farms, and would retreat from the raid with a
little spoil and a small band of captives, doomed to slavery, leaving
behind smoking ruins and bleeding corpses. It is strange to think how long
it was before perfect immunity was secured from these curses of the
Mediterranean. England, whatever her enemies may say, has done a few good
deeds in her time, and one of the best was when her fleet, under the
command of Admiral Pellew, shattered the forts of Algiers and burnt every
vessel of the pirate fleet.

The scenery for a time continues to improve. The oak woods become higher,
the inland hills are more varied in outline and are forest-clad. Here
peeps out a crag, there a village or a castle. At Palo a large,
unattractive villa and a picturesque old castle overlook a fine line of
sea-beach, where the less wealthy classes in Rome come down for a breath
of fresh air in the hot days of summer. It also marks the site of Alsium,
where, in Roman times, one or two personages of note, of whom Pompey was
the most important, had country residences. For a time there is no more
level plain; the land everywhere shelves gently to the sea, covered with
wood or with coarse herbage. But before long there is another change, and
the great plain of the Tiber opens out before our eyes, extending on one
hand to the not distant sea, on the other to the hills of Rome. It is
flat, dreary, and unattractive, at any rate in the winter season, as is
the valley of the Nen below Peterborough, or of the Witham beyond the
Lincolnshire wolds. It is cut up by dykes, which are bordered by low
banks. Here and there herds of mouse-colored oxen with long horns are
feeding, and hay-ricks, round with low conical tops, are features more
conspicuous than cottages. The Tiber winds on its serpentine course
through this fenland plain, a muddy stream, which it was complimentary for
the Romans to designate _flavus_, unless that word meant a color anything
but attractive. One low tower in the distance marks the site of Porto,
another that of Ostia and near the latter a long grove of pines is a
welcome variation to the monotony of the landscape.

These two towns have had their day of greatness. The former, as its name
implies, was once the port of Rome, and in the early days of Christianity
was a place of note. It was founded by Trajan, in the neighborhood of a
harbor constructed by Claudius; for this, like that of Ostia, which it was
designed to replace, was already becoming choked up. But though emperors
may propose, a river disposes, especially when its mud is in question. The
port of Trajan has long since met with the same fate; it is now only a
shallow basin two miles from the sea. Of late years considerable
excavations have been made at Porto on the estate of Prince Tortonia, to
whom the whole site belongs. The port constructed by Trajan was hexagonal
in form; it was surrounded by warehouses and communicated with the sea by
a canal. Between it and the outer or Claudian port a palace was built for
the emperor, and the remains of the wall erected by Constantine to protect
the harbor on the side of the land can still be seen. The only mediæval
antiquities which Porto contains are the old castle, which serves as the
episcopal palace, and the flower of the church of Santa Rufina, which is
at least as old as the tenth century.

Ostia, which is a place of much greater antiquity than Porto, is not so
deserted, though its star declined as that of the other rose. Founded, as
some say, by Ancus Martius, it was the port of Rome until the first
century of the present era. Then the silting up of its communication with
the sea caused the transference of the commerce to Porto, but "the fame of
the temple of Castor and Pollux, the numerous villas of the Roman
patricians abundantly scattered along the coast, and the crowds of people
who frequented its shores for the benefit of sea bathing, sustained the
prosperity of the city for some time after the destruction of its harbor."
But at last it went down hill, and then invaders came. Once it had
contained eighty thousand inhabitants; in the days of the Medici it was a
poor village, and the people eked out their miserable existences by making
lime of the marbles of the ruined temples! So here the vandalism of
peasants, even more than of patricians, has swept away many a choice relic
of classic days. Villas and temples alike have been destroyed; the sea is
now at a distance; Ostia is but a small village, "one of the most
picturesque though melancholy sites near Rome," but during the greater
part of the present century careful excavations have been made, many
valuable art treasures have been unearthed, and a considerable portion of
the ancient city has been laid bare. Shops and dwellings, temples and
baths, the theater and the forum, with many a remnant of the ancient town,
can now be examined, and numerous antiquities of smaller size are
preserved in the museum at the old castle. This, with its strong bastions,
its lofty circular tower and huge machicolations, is a very striking
object as it rises above the plain "massive and gray against the
sky-line." It has been drawn by artists not a few, from Raffaelle, who saw
it when it had not very long been completed, down to the present time.



    Its early days--The Grand Canal and its palaces--Piazza of St. Mark--A
    Venetian funeral--The long line of islands--Venetian glass--Torcello,
    the ancient Altinum--Its two unique churches.

So long as Venice is unvisited a new sensation is among the possibilities
of life. There is no town like it in Europe. Amsterdam has its canals, but
Venice is all canals; Genoa has its palaces, but in Venice they are more
numerous and more beautiful. Its situation is unique, on a group of
islands in the calm lagoon. But the Venice of to-day is not the Venice of
thirty years ago. Even then a little of the old romance had gone, for a
long railway viaduct had linked it to the mainland. In earlier days it
could be reached only by a boat, for a couple of miles of salt water lay
between the city and the marshy border of the Paduan delta. Now Venice is
still more changed, and for the worse. The people seem more
poverty-stricken and pauperized. Its buildings generally, especially the
ordinary houses, look more dingy and dilapidated. The paint seems more
chipped, the plaster more peeled, the brickwork more rotten; everything
seems to tell of decadence, commercial and moral, rather than of
regeneration. In the case of the more important structures, indeed, the
effects of time have often been more than repaired. Here a restoration,
not seldom needless and ill-judged, has marred some venerable relic of
olden days with crude patches of color, due to modern reproductions of the
ancient and original work: the building has suffered, as it must be
admitted not a few of our own most precious heirlooms have suffered, from
the results of zeal untempered by discretion, and the destroyer has worked
his will under the guise of the restorer.

The mosquito flourishes still in Venice as it did of yore. It would be too
much to expect that the winged representative of the genus should thrive
less in Italian freedom than under Austrian bondage, but something might
have been done to extirpate the two-legged species. He is present in force
in most towns south of the Alps, but he is nowhere so abundant or so
exasperating as in Venice. If there is one place in one town in Europe
where the visitor might fairly desire to possess his soul in peace and to
gaze in thoughtful wonder, it is in the great piazza, in front of the
façade, strange and beautiful as a dream, of the duomo of St. Mark. Halt
there and try to feast on its marvels, to worship in silence and in peace.
Vain illusion. There is no crowd of hurrying vehicles or throng of
hurrying men to interfere of necessity with your visions (there are often
more pigeons than people in the piazza), but up crawls a beggar, in
garments vermin-haunted, whining for "charity"; down swoop would-be
guides, volunteering useless suggestions in broken and barely intelligible
English; from this side and from that throng vendors of rubbish,
shell-ornaments, lace, paltry trinkets, and long ribands of photographic
"souvenirs," appalling in their ugliness. He who can stand five minutes
before San Marco and retain a catholic love of mankind must indeed be
blessed with a temper of much more than average amiability.

The death of Rome was indirectly the birth of Venice. Here in the great
days of the Empire there was not, so far as we know, even a village.
Invaders came, the Adriatic littoral was wrecked; its salvage is to be
found among the islands of the lagoons. Aquileia went up in flames, the
cities of the Paduan delta trembled before the hordes of savage Huns, but
the islands of its coast held out a hope of safety. What in those days
these camps of refuge must have been can be inferred from the islands
which now border the mainland, low, marshy, overgrown by thickets, and
fringed by reeds; they were unhealthy, but only accessible by intricate
and difficult channels, and with little to tempt the spoiler. It was
better to risk fever in the lagoons than to be murdered or driven off into
slavery on the mainland. It was some time before Venice took the lead
among these scattered settlements. It became the center of government in
the year 810, but it was well-nigh two centuries before the Venetian State
attained to any real eminence. Towards this, the first and perhaps the
most important step was crushing the Istrian and Dalmatian pirates. This
enabled the Republic to become a great "Adriatic and Oriental Company,"
and to get into their hands the carrying trade to the East. The men of
Venice were both brave and shrewd, something like our Elizabethan
forefathers, mighty on sea and land, but men of understanding also in the
arts of peace. She did battle with Genoa for commercial supremacy, with
the Turk for existence. She was too strong for the former, but the latter
at last wore her out, and Lepanto was one of her latest and least fruitful
triumphs. Still, it was not till the end of the sixteenth century that a
watchful eye could detect the symptoms of senile decay. Then Venice
tottered gradually to its grave. Its slow disintegration occupied more
than a century and a half; but the French Revolution indirectly caused the
collapse of Venice, for its last doge abdicated, and the city was occupied
by Napoleon in 1797. After his downfall Venetia was handed over to
Austria, and found in the Hapsburg a harsh and unsympathetic master. It
made a vain struggle for freedom in 1848, but was at last ceded to Italy
after the Austro-Prussian war in 1866.

The city is built upon a group of islands; its houses are founded on
piles, for there is no really solid ground. How far the present canals
correspond with the original channels between small islands, how far they
are artificial, it is difficult to say; but whether the original islets
were few or many, there can be no doubt that they were formerly divided by
the largest, or the Grand Canal, the _Rio Alto_ or Deep Stream. This takes
an S-like course, and parts the city roughly into two halves. The side
canals, which are very numerous, for the town is said to occupy one
hundred and fourteen islands, are seldom wider, often rather narrower than
a by-street in the City of London. In Venice, as has often been remarked,
not a cart or a carriage, not even a coster's donkey-cart, can be used.
Streets enough there are, but they are narrow and twisting, very like the
courts in the heart of London. The carriage, the cab, and the omnibus are
replaced by the gondolas. These it is needless to describe, for who does
not know them? One consequence of this substitution of canals for streets
is that the youthful Venetian takes to the water like a young duck to a
pond, and does not stand much on ceremony, in the matter of taking off
his clothes. Turn into a side canal on a summer's day, and one may see the
younger members of a family all bathing from their own doorstep, the
smallest one, perhaps, to prevent accidents, being tied by a cord to a
convenient ring; nay, sometimes as we are wandering through one of the
narrow _calle_ (alleys) we hear a soft patter of feet, something damp
brushes past, and a little Venetian lad, lithe and black-eyed,
bare-legged, bare-backed, and all but bare-breeched, shoots past as he
makes a short cut to his clothes across a block of buildings, round which
he cannot yet manage to swim.

In such a city as Venice it is hard to praise one view above another.
There is the noble sweep of the Grand Canal, with its palaces; there are
many groups of buildings on a less imposing scale, but yet more
picturesque, on the smaller canals, often almost every turn brings some
fresh surprise; but there are two views which always rise up in my mind
before all others whenever my thoughts turn to Venice, more especially as
it used to be. One is the view of the façade of San Marco from the Piazza.
I shall make no apology for quoting words which describe more perfectly
than my powers permit the impressions awakened by this dream-like
architectural conception. "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, as 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 sculptures 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
features 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 them another
range of glittering pinnacles, mixed with white arches edged with scarlet
flowers, a confusion of delight, among 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."[4]

This is San Marco as it was. Eight centuries had harmed it little; they
had but touched the building with a gentle hand and had mellowed its tints
into tender harmony; now its new masters, cruel in their kindness, have
restored the mosaics and scraped the marbles; now raw blotches and patches
of crude color glare out in violent contrast with those parts which, owing
to the intricacy of the carved work, or some other reason, it has been
found impossible to touch. To look at St. Mark's now is like listening to
some symphony by a master of harmony which is played on instruments all
out of tune.

Photographs, pictures, illustrations of all kinds, have made St. Mark's so
familiar to all the world that it is needless to attempt to give any
description of its details.

It may suffice to say that the cathedral stands on the site of a smaller
and older building, in which the relics of St. Mark, the tutelary saint of
Venice, had been already enshrined. The present structure was begun about
the year 976, and occupied very nearly a century in building. But it is
adorned with the spoils of many a classic structure: with columns and
slabs of marble and of porphyry and of serpentine, which were hewn from
quarries in Greece and Syria, in Egypt and Libya, by the hands of Roman
slaves, and decked the palaces and the baths, the temples and the theaters
of Roman cities.

The inside of St. Mark's is not less strange and impressive, but hardly so
attractive as the exterior. It is plain in outline and almost heavy in
design, a Greek cross in plan, with a vaulted dome above the center and
each arm. Much as the exterior of St. Mark's owes to marble, porphyry,
and mosaic, it would be beautiful if constructed only of grey limestone.
This could hardly be said of the interior: take away the choice stones
from columns and dado and pavement, strip away the crust of mosaic, those
richly robed figures on ground of gold, from wall and from vault (for the
whole interior is veneered with marbles or mosaics), and only a rather
dark, massive building would remain, which would seem rather lower and
rather smaller than one had been led to expect.

The other view in Venice which seems to combine best its peculiar
character with its picturesque beauty may be obtained at a very short
distance from St. Mark's. Leave the façade of which we have just spoken,
the three great masts, with their richly ornamented sockets of bronze,
from which, in the proud days of Venice, floated the banners of Candia,
Cyprus, and the Morea; turn from the Piazza into the Piazzetta; leave on
the one hand the huge Campanile, more huge than beautiful (if one may
venture to whisper a criticism), on the other the sumptuous portico of the
Ducal Palace; pass on beneath the imposing façade of the palace itself,
with its grand colonnade; on between the famous columns, brought more than
seven centuries since from some Syrian ruins, which bear the lion of St.
Mark and the statue of St. Theodore, the other patron of the Republic; and
then, standing on the Molo at the head of the Riva degli Schiavoni, look
around; or better still, step down into one of the gondolas which are in
waiting at the steps, and push off a few dozen yards from the land: then
look back on the façade of the Palace and the Bridge of Sighs, along the
busy quays of the Riva, towards the green trees of the Giardini Publici,
look up the Piazzetta, between the twin columns, to the glimpses of St.
Mark's and the towering height of the Campanile, along the façade of the
Royal Palace, with the fringe of shrubbery below contrasting pleasantly
with all these masses of masonry, up the broad entrance to the Grand
Canal, between its rows of palaces, across it to the great dome of Santa
Maria della Salute and the Dogana della Mare, with its statue of Fortune
(appropriate to the past rather than to the present) gazing out from its
seaward angle. Beyond this, yet farther away, lies the Isola San Giorgio,
a group of plain buildings only, a church, with a dome simple in outline
and a brick campanile almost without adornment, yet the one thing in
Venice, after the great group of St. Mark; this is a silent witness to its
triumphs in presses itself on the mind. From this point of view Venice
rises before our eyes in its grandeur and in its simplicity, in its
patrician and its plebeian aspects, as "a sea Cybele, fresh from ocean,
throned on her hundred isles ... a ruler of the waters and their powers."


But to leave Venice without a visit to the Grand Canal would be to leave
the city with half the tale untold. Its great historic memories are
gathered around the Piazza of St. Mark; this is a silent witness to its
triumphs in peace and in war, to the deeds noble and brave, of its rulers.
But the Grand Canal is the center of its life, commercial and domestic; it
leads from its quays to its Exchange, from the Riva degli Schiavoni and
the Dogana della Mare to the Rialto. It is bordered by the palaces of the
great historic families who were the rulers and princes of Venice, who
made the State by their bravery and prudence, who destroyed it by their
jealousies and self-seeking. The Grand Canal is a genealogy of Venice,
illustrated and engraved on stone. As one glides along in a gondola,
century after century in the history of domestic architecture, from the
twelfth to the eighteenth, slowly unrolls itself before us. There are
palaces which still remain much as they were of old, but here and there
some modern structure, tasteless and ugly, has elbowed for itself a place
among them; not a few, also, have been converted into places of business,
and are emblazoned with prominent placards proclaiming the trade of their
new masters, worthy representatives of an age that is not ashamed to daub
the cliffs of the St. Gothard with the advertisements of hotels and to
paint its boulders for the benefit of vendors of chocolate!

But in the present era one must be thankful for anything that is spared by
the greed of wealth and the vulgarity of a "democracy." Much of old Venice
still remains, though little steamers splutter up and down the Grand
Canal, and ugly iron bridges span its waters, both, it must be admitted,
convenient, though hideous; still the gondolas survive; still one hears at
every corner the boatman's strange cry of warning, sometimes the only
sound except the knock of the oar that breaks the silence of the liquid
street. Every turn reveals something quaint and old-world. Now it is a
market-boat, with its wicker panniers hanging outside, loaded with fish or
piled with vegetables from one of the more distant islets; now some little
bridge, now some choice architectural fragment, a doorway, a turret, an
oriel, or a row of richly ornate windows, now a tiny piazzetta leading up
to the façade and campanile of a more than half-hidden church; now the
marble enclosure of a well. Still the water-carriers go about with buckets
of hammered copper hung at each end of a curved pole; still, though more
rarely, some quaint costume may be seen in the _calle_; still the dark
shops in the narrow passages are full of goods strange to the eye, and
bright in their season with the flowers and fruits of an Italian summer;
still the purple pigeons gather in scores at the wonted hour to be fed on
the Piazza of St. Mark, and, fearless of danger, convert the distributor
of a pennyworth of maize into a walking dovecot.

Still Venice is delightful to the eyes (unhappily not always so to the
nose in many a nook and corner) notwithstanding the pressure of poverty
and the wantonness of restorers. Perchance it may revive and yet see
better days (its commerce is said to have increased since 1866); but if
so, unless a change comes over the spirit of the age, the result will be
the more complete destruction of all that made its charm and its wonder;
so this chapter may appropriately be closed by a brief sketch of one scene
which seems in harmony with the memories of its departed greatness, a
Venetian funeral. The dead no longer rest among the living beneath the
pavement of the churches: the gondola takes the Venetian "about the
streets" to the daily business of life; it bears him away from his home to
the island cemetery. From some narrow alley, muffled by the enclosing
masonry, comes the sound of a funeral march; a procession emerges on to
the piazzetta by the water-side; the coffin is carried by long-veiled
acolytes and mourners with lighted torches, accompanied by a brass band
with clanging cymbals. A large gondola, ornamented with black and silver,
is in waiting at the nearest landing place; the band and most of the
attendants halt by the water-side; the coffin is placed in the boat, the
torches are extinguished; a wilder wail of melancholy music, a more
resonant clang of the cymbals, sounds the last farewell to home and its
pleasures and its work; the oars are dipped in the water, and another
child of Venice is taken from the city of the living to the city of the

A long line of islands completely shelters Venice from the sea, so that
the waters around its walls are very seldom ruffled into waves. The tide
also rises and falls but little, not more than two or three feet, if so
much. Thus no banks of pestiferous mud are laid bare at low water by the
ebb and flow, and yet some slight circulation is maintained in the canals,
which, were it not for this, would be as intolerable as cesspools. Small
boats can find their way over most parts of the lagoon, where in many
places a safe route has to be marked out with stakes, but for large
vessels the channels are few. A long island, Malamocco by name, intervenes
between Venice and the Adriatic, on each side of which are the chief if
not the only entrances for large ships. At its northern end is the sandy
beach of the Lido, a great resort of the Venetians, for there is good
sea-bathing. But except this, Malamocco has little to offer; there is more
interest in other parts of the lagoon. At the southern end, some fifteen
miles away, the old town of Chioggia is a favorite excursion. On the sea
side the long fringe of narrow islands, of which Malamocco is one,
protected by massive walls, forms a barrier against the waves of the
Adriatic. On the land side is the dreary fever-haunted region of the
_Laguna Morta_, like a vast fen, beyond which rise the serrate peaks of
the Alps and the broken summits of the Euganean Hills. The town itself,
the Roman Fossa Claudia, is a smaller edition of Venice, joined like it to
the mainland by a bridge. If it has fewer relics of architectural value it
has suffered less from modern changes, and has retained much more of its
old-world character.

Murano, an island or group of islands, is a tiny edition of Venice, and a
much shorter excursion, for it lies only about a mile and a half away to
the north of the city. Here is the principal seat of the workers in glass;
here are made those exquisite reproductions of old Venetian glass and of
ancient mosaic which have made the name of Salviati noted in all parts of
Europe. Here, too, is a cathedral which, though it has suffered from time,
neglect and restoration, is still a grand relic. At the eastern end there
is a beautiful apse enriched by an arcade and decorated with inlaid
marbles, but the rest of the exterior is plain. As usual in this part of
Italy (for the external splendor of St. Mark's is exceptional) all
richness of decoration is reserved for the interior. Here columns of
choice stones support the arches; there is a fine mosaic in the eastern
apse, but the glory of Murano is its floor, a superb piece of _opus
Alexandrinum_, inlaid work of marbles and porphyries, bearing date early
in the eleventh century, and richer in design than even that at St.
Mark's, for peacocks and other birds, with tracery of strange design, are
introduced into its patterns.

But there is another island beyond Murano, some half-dozen miles away from
Venice, which must not be left unvisited. It is reached by a delightful
excursion over the lagoon, among lonely islands thinly inhabited, the
garden grounds of Venice, where they are not left to run wild with rank
herbage or are covered by trees. This is Torcello, the ancient Altinum.
Here was once a town of note, the center of the district when Venice was
struggling into existence. Its houses now are few and ruinous; the ground
is half overgrown with populars and acacias and pomegranates, red in
summer-time with scarlet flowers. But it possesses two churches which,
though small in size are almost unique in their interest, the duomo,
dedicated to St. Mary, and the church of Sta. Fosca. They stand side by
side, and are linked together by a small cloister. The former is a plain
basilica which retains its ancient plan and arrangement almost intact. At
one end is an octagonal baptistry, which, instead of being separated from
the cathedral by an _atrium_ or court, is only divided from it by a
passage. The exterior of the cathedral is plain; the interior is not much
more ornate. Ancient columns, with quaintly carved capitals supporting
stilted semicircular arches, divide the aisles from the nave. Each of
these has an apsidal termination. The high altar stands in the center of
the middle one, and behind it, against the wall, the marble throne of the
bishop is set up on high, and is approached by a long flight of marble
steps. On each side, filling up the remainder of the curve, six rows of
steps rise up like the seats of an amphitheater, the places of the
attendant priests. The chancel, true to its name, is formed by enclosing a
part of the nave with a low stone wall and railing. Opinions differ as to
the date of this cathedral. According to Fergusson it was erected early in
the eleventh century, but it stands on the site of one quite four
centuries older, and reproduces the arrangement of its predecessor if it
does not actually incorporate portions of it. Certainly the columns and
capitals in the nave belong, as a rule, to an earlier building. Indeed,
they have probably done duty more than once, and at least some of them
were sculptured before the name of Attila had been heard of in the delta
of the North Italian rivers.

The adjoining church of Sta. Fosca is hardly less interesting. An
octagonal case, with apses at the eastern end, supports a circular drum,
which is covered by a low conical roof, and a cloister or corridor
surrounds the greater part of the church. This adds much to the beauty of
the design, the idea, as Fergusson remarks, being evidently borrowed from
the circular colonnades of the Roman temples. He also justly praises the
beauty of the interior. In this church also, which in its present
condition is not so old as the cathedral, the materials of a much older
building or buildings have been employed. But over these details or the
mosaics in the cathedral we must not linger, and must only pause to
mention the curious stone chair in the adjacent court which bears the name
of the throne of Attila; perhaps, like the chair of the Dukes of
Corinthia, it was the ancient seat of the chief magistrate of the island.



    The bleak and barren shores of the Nile Delta--Peculiar shape of the
    city--Strange and varied picture of Alexandrian street life--The Place
    Mehemet Ali--Glorious panorama from the Cairo citadel--Pompey's
    Pillar--The Battle of the Nile--Discovery of the famous inscribed
    stone at Rosetta--Port Said and the Suez Canal.

It is with a keen sense of disappointment that the traveller first sights
the monotonous and dreary-looking Egyptian sea-board. The low ridges of
desolate sandhills, occasionally broken by equally unattractive lagunes,
form a melancholy contrast to the beautiful scenery of the North African
littoral farther west, which delighted his eyes a short time before, while
skirting the Algerian coast. What a change from the thickly-wooded hills
gently sloping upwards from the water's edge to the lower ridges of the
Atlas range, whose snow-clad peaks stand out clear in the brilliant
atmosphere, the landscape diversified with cornfields and olive groves,
and thickly studded with white farmhouses, looking in the distance but
white specks, and glittering like diamonds under the glowing rays of the
sun. Now, instead of all this warmth of color and variety of outline, one
is confronted by the bleak and barren shores of the Nile Delta.

If the expectant traveller is so disenchanted with his first view of
Egypt from the sea, still greater is his disappointment as the ship
approaches the harbor. This bustling and painfully modern-looking
town--the city of the great Alexander, and the gate of that land of
oriental romance and fascinating association--might, but for an occasional
palm-tree or minaret standing out among the mass of European buildings, be
mistaken for some flourishing European port, say a Marseilles or Havre
plumped down on the Egyptian plain.

But though we must not look for picturesque scenery and romantic
surroundings in this thriving port, there is yet much to interest the
antiquarian and the "intelligent tourist" in this classic district. The
Delta sea-board was for centuries the battle-ground of the Greek and Roman
Empires, and the country between Alexandria and Port Said is strewed with
historic sites.

Alexandria itself, though a much Europeanized and a hybrid sort of city,
is not without interest. It has been rather neglected by Egyptian travel
writers, and consequently by the tourist, who rarely strikes out a line
for himself. It is looked upon too much as the port of Cairo, just as
Leghorn is of Pisa and Florence, and visitors usually content themselves
with devoting to it but one day, and then rushing off by train to Cairo.

It would be absurd, of course, to compare Alexandria, in point of
artistic, antiquarian, and historical interest, to this latter city;
though, as a matter of fact, Cairo is a modern city compared to the
Alexandria of Alexander; just as Alexandria is but of mushroom growth
contrasted with Heliopolis, Thebes, Memphis, or the other dead cities of
the Nile Valley of which traces still remain. It has often been remarked
that the ancient city has bequeathed nothing but its ruins and its name
to Alexandria of to-day. Even these ruins are deplorably scanty, and most
of the sites are mainly conjectural. Few vestiges remain of the
architectural splendor of the Ptolemaic dynasty. Where are now the 4,000
palaces, the 4,000 baths, and the 400 theaters, about which the conquering
general Amru boasted to his master, the Caliph Omar? What now remains of
the magnificent temple of Serapis, towering over the city on its platform
of one hundred steps? Though there are scarcely any traces of the glories
of ancient Alexandria, once the second city of the Empire, yet the
recollection of its splendors has not died out, and to the thoughtful
traveller this city of memories has its attractions. Here St. Mark
preached the Gospel and suffered martyrdom, and here Athanasius opposed in
warlike controversy the Arian heresies. Here for many centuries were
collected in this center of Greek learning and culture the greatest
intellects of the civilized world. Here Cleopatra, "vainqueur des
vainqueurs du monde," held Antony willing captive, while Octavius was
preparing his legions to crush him. Here Amru conquered, and here
Abercrombie fell. Even those whose tastes do not incline them to
historical or theological researches are familiar, thanks to Kingsley's
immortal romance, with the story of the noble-minded Hypatia and the
crafty and ambitious Cyril, and can give rein to their imagination by
verifying the sites of the museum where she lectured, and the Cæsarum
where she fell a victim to the atrocious zeal of Peter the Reader and his
rabble of fanatical monks.

The peculiar shape of the city, built partly on the Pharos Island and
peninsula, and partly on the mainland, is due, according to the
chroniclers, to a patriotic whim of the founder, who planned the city in
the form of a chlamys, the short cloak or tunic worn by the Macedonian
soldiers. The modern city, though it has pushed its boundaries a good way
to the east and west, still preserves this curious outline, though to a
non-classical mind it rather suggests a star-fish. Various legends are
extant to account for the choice of this particular spot for a
Mediterranean port. According to the popular version, a venerable seer
appeared to the Great Conqueror in a dream, and quoted those lines of the
Odyssey which describe the one sheltered harbor on the northern coast of
Egypt:--"a certain island called Pharos, that with the high-waved sea is
washed, just against Egypt." Acting on this supernatural hint, Alexander
decided to build his city on that part of the coast to which the Pharos
isle acted as a natural breakwater, and where a small Greek fishing
settlement was already established, called Rhacotis. The legend is
interesting, but it seems scarcely necessary to fall back on a mythical
story to account for the selection of this site. The two great aims of
Alexander were the foundation of a center for trade, and the extension of
commerce, and also the fusion of the Greek and Roman nations. For the
carrying out of these objects, the establishment of a convenient sea-port
with a commanding position at the mouth of the Nile was required. The
choice of a site a little west of the Nile mouths was, no doubt, due to
his knowledge of the fact that the sea current sets eastward, and that the
alluvial soil brought down by the Nile would soon choke a harbor excavated
east of the river, as had already happened at Pelusium. It is this
alluvial wash which has rendered the harbors of Rosetta and Damietta
almost useless for vessels of any draught, and at Port Said the
accumulation of sand necessitates continuous dredging in order to keep
clear the entrance of the Suez Canal.

A well-known writer on Egypt has truly observed that there are three
Egypts to interest the traveller. The Egypt of the Pharoahs and the Bible,
the Egypt of the Caliphates and the "Arabian Nights," and the Egypt of
European commerce and enterprise. It is to this third stage of
civilization that the fine harbor of Alexandria bears witness. Not only is
it of interest to the engineer and the man of science, but it is also of
great historic importance. It serves as a link between ancient and modern
civilization. The port is Alexander the Great's best monument--"si quæris
monumentum respice." But for this, Alexandria might now be a little
fishing port of no more importance than the little Greek fishing village,
Rhacotis, whose ruins lie buried beneath its spacious quays. It is not
inaccurate to say that the existing harbor is the joint work of Alexander
and English engineers of the present century. It was originally formed by
the construction of a vast mole (Heptastadion) joining the island of
Pharos to the mainland; and this stupendous feat of engineering, planned
and carried out by Alexander, has been supplemented by the magnificent
breakwater constructed by England in 1872, at a cost of over two and a
half millions sterling. After Marseilles, Malta, and Spezzia, it is
perhaps the finest port in the Mediterranean, both on account of its
natural advantages as a haven, and by reason of the vast engineering works
mentioned above. The western harbor (formerly called Eunostos or "good
home sailing") of which we are speaking--for the eastern, or so-called new
harbor, is choked with sand and given up to native craft--has only one
drawback in the dangerous reef at its entrance, and which should have been
blasted before the breakwater and the other engineering works were
undertaken. The passage through the bar is very intricate and difficult,
and is rarely attempted in very rough weather. The eastern harbor will be
of more interest to the artist, crowded as it is with the picturesque
native craft and dahabyehs with their immense lateen sails. The traveller,
so disgusted with the modern aspect of the city from the western harbor,
finds some consolation here, and begins to feel that he is really in the
East. Formerly this harbor was alone available for foreign ships, the
bigoted Moslems objecting to the "Frankish dogs" occupying their best
haven. This restriction has, since the time of Mehemet Ali, been removed,
greatly to the advantage of Alexandrian trade.

During the period of Turkish misrule--when Egypt under the Mamelukes,
though nominally a vilayet of the Ottoman Empire, was practically under
the dominion of the Beys--the trade of Alexandria had declined
considerably, and Rosetta had taken away most of its commerce. When
Mehemet Ali, the founder of the present dynasty, rose to power, his clear
intellect at once comprehended the importance of this ancient emporium,
and the wisdom of Alexander's choice of a site for the port which was
destined to become the commercial center of three continents.

Mehemet is the creator of modern Alexandria. He deepened the harbor, which
had been allowed to be choked by the accumulation of sand, lined it with
spacious quays, built the massive forts which protect the coast, and
restored the city to its old commercial importance, by putting it into
communication with the Nile through the medium of the Mahmoudiyeh Canal.
This vast undertaking was only effected with great loss of life. It was
excavated by the forced labor of 250,000 peasants, of whom some 20,000
died from the heat and the severe toil.

On landing from the steamer the usual scrimmage with Arab porters,
Levantine hotel touts, and Egyptian donkey boys, will have to be endured
by the traveller. He may perhaps be struck, if he has any time or temper
left for reflection at all, with the close connection between the English
world of fashion and the donkey, so far at least as nomenclature is
concerned, each animal being named after some English celebrity. The
inseparable incidents of disembarkation at an Eastern port are, however,
familiar to all who have visited the East; and the same scenes are
repeated at every North African port, from Tangier to Port Said, and need
not be further described.

The great thoroughfare of Alexandria, a fine street running in a straight
line from the western gate of the city to the Place Mehemet Ali, is within
a few minutes of the quay. A sudden turn and this strange mingling of
Eastern and Western life bursts upon the spectator's astonished gaze. This
living diorama, formed by the brilliant and ever-shifting crowd, is in its
way unique. A greater variety of nationalities is collected here than even
in Constantinople or cosmopolitan Algiers. Let us stand aside and watch
this motley collection of all nations, kindreds, and races pouring along
this busy highway. The kaleidoscopic variety of brilliant color and
fantastic costume seems at first a little bewildering. Solemn and
impassive-looking Turks gently ambling past on gaily caparisoned asses,
grinning negroes from the Nubian hills, melancholy-looking fellahs in
their scanty blue kaftans, cunning-featured Levantines, green-turbaned
Shereefs, and picturesque Bedouins from the desert stalking along in
their flowing bernouses, make up the mass of this restless throng.
Interspersed, and giving variety of color to this living kaleidoscope,
gorgeously-arrayed Jews, fierce-looking Albanians, their many-colored
sashes bristling with weapons, and petticoated Greeks. Then, as a pleasing
relief to this mass of color, a group of Egyptian ladies glide past, "a
bevy of fair damsels richly dight," no doubt, but their faces, as well as
their rich attire, concealed under the inevitable yashmak surmounting the
balloon-like trousers. Such are the elements in this mammoth masquerade
which make up the strange and varied picture of Alexandrian street life.
And now we may proceed to visit the orthodox sights, but we have seen the
greatest sight Alexandria has to show us.


The Place Mehemet Ali, usually called for the sake of brevity the Grand
Square, is close at hand. This is the center of the European quarter, and
round it are collected the banks, consular offices, and principal shops.
This square, the focus of the life of modern Alexandria, is appropriately
named after the founder of the present dynasty, and the creator of the
Egypt of to-day. To this great ruler, who at one time bid fair to become
the founder, not only of an independent kingdom, but of a great Oriental
Empire, Alexandria owes much of its prosperity and commercial importance.
The career of Mehemet Ali is interesting and romantic. There is a certain
similarity between his history and that of Napoleon I., and the
coincidence seems heightened when we remember that they were born in the
same year. Each, rising from an obscure position, started as an adventurer
on foreign soil, and each rose to political eminence by force of arms.
Unlike Napoleon, however, in one important point, Mehemet Ali founded a
dynasty which still remains in power, in spite of the weakness and
incapacity of his successors. To Western minds, perhaps, his great claim
to hold a high rank in the world's history lies in his efforts to
introduce European institutions and methods of civilization, and to
establish a system of government opposed to Mohammedan instincts. He
created an army and navy which were partly based on European models,
stimulated agriculture and trade, and organized an administrative and
fiscal system which did much towards putting the country on a sound
financial footing. The great blot of his reign was no doubt the horrible
massacre of the Mameluke Beys, and this has been the great point of attack
by his enemies and detractors. It is difficult to excuse this oriental
example of a _coup d'état_, but it must be remembered that the existence
of this rebellious element was incompatible with the maintenance of his
rule, and that the peace of the country was as much endangered by the
Mameluke Beys as was that of the Porte by the Janissaries a few years
later, when a somewhat similar atrocity was perpetrated.

In the middle of the square stands a handsome equestrian statue of Mehemet
Ali which is, in one respect, probably unique. The Mohammedan religion
demands the strictest interpretation of the injunction in the decalogue
against making "to thyself any craven image," and consequently a statue to
a follower of the creed of Mahomet is rarely seen in a Mohammedan country.
The erection of this particular monument was much resented by the more
orthodox of the Mussulman population of Alexandria, and the religious
feelings of the mob manifested themselves in riots and other hostile
demonstrations. Not only representations in stone or metal, but any kind
of likeness of the human form is thought impious by Mohammedans. They
believe that the author will be compelled on the Resurrection Day to indue
with life the sacrilegious counterfeit presentment. Tourists in Egypt who
are addicted to sketching, or who dabble in photography, will do well to
remember these conscientious scruples of the Moslem race, and not let
their zeal for bringing back pictorial mementoes of their travels induce
them to take "snapshots" of mosque interiors, for instance. In Egypt, no
doubt, the natives have too wholesome a dread of the Franks to manifest
their outraged feelings by physical force, but still it is ungenerous, not
to say unchristian, to wound people's religious prejudices. In some other
countries of North Africa, notably in the interior of Morocco or Tripoli,
promiscuous photography might be attended with disagreeable results, if
not a certain amount of danger. A tourist would find a Kodak camera, even
with all the latest improvements, a somewhat inefficient weapon against a
mob of fanatical Arabs.

That imposing pile standing out so prominently on the western horn of
Pharos is the palace of Ras-et-Teen, built by Mehemet Ali, and restored in
execrable taste by his grandson, the ex-Khedive Ismail. Seen from the
ship's side, the palace has a rather striking appearance. The exterior,
however, is the best part of it, as the ornate and gaudy interior contains
little of interest. From the upper balconies there is a good view of the
harbor, and the gardens are well worth visiting. They are prettily laid
out, and among many other trees, olives may be seen, unknown in any other
part of the Delta. The decorations and appointments of the interior are
characterized by a tawdry kind of magnificence. The incongruous mixture of
modern French embellishments and oriental splendor gives the saloons a
meretricious air, and the effect is bizarre and unpleasing. It is a relief
to get away from such obtrusive evidences of the ex-Khedive's decorative
tastes, by stepping out on the balcony. What a forest of masts meets the
eye as one looks down on the vast harbor; the inner one, a "sea within a
sea," crowded with vessels bearing the flags of all nations, and full of
animation and movement.

The view is interesting, and makes one realize the commercial importance
of this great emporium of trade, the meeting-place of the commerce of
three continents, yet it does not offer many features to distinguish it
from a view of any other thriving port.

For the best view of the city and the surrounding country we must climb
the slopes of Mount Caffarelli to the fort which crowns the summit, or
make our way to the fortress Kom-el-Deek on the elevated ground near the
Rosetta Gate. Alexandria, spread out like a map, lies at our feet. At this
height the commonplace aspect of a bustling and thriving seaport, which
seems on a close acquaintance to be Europeanized and modernized out of the
least resemblance to an oriental city, is changed to a prospect of some
beauty. At Alexandria, even more than at most cities of the East, distance
lends enchantment to the view. From these heights the squalid back streets
and the bustling main thoroughfares look like dark threads woven into the
web of the city, relieved by the white mosques, with their swelling domes
curving inward like fan palms towards the crescents flashing in the rays
of the sun, and their tall graceful minarets piercing the smokeless and
cloudless atmosphere. The subdued roar of the busy streets and quays is
occasionally varied by the melodious cry of the muezzin. Then looking
northward one sees the clear blue of the Mediterranean, till it is lost
in the hazy horizon. To the west and south the placid waters of the
Mareotis Lake, in reality a shallow and insalubrious lagoon, but to all
appearances a smiling lake, which, with its water fringed by the low-lying
sand dunes, reminds the spectator of the peculiar beauties of the Norfolk

Looking south beyond the lake lies the luxuriant plain of the Delta. The
view may not be what is called picturesque, but the scenery has its
special charm. The country is no doubt flat and monotonous, but there is
no monotony of color in this richly cultivated plain.

Innumerable pens have been worn out in comparison and simile when
describing the peculiar features of this North African Holland. To some
this huge market garden with its network of canals, simply suggests a
chess-board. Others are not content with these prosaic comparisons, and
their more fanciful metaphor likens the country to a green robe interwoven
with silver threads, or to a seven-ribbed fan, the ribs being of course
the seven mouths of the Nile. Truth to tell, though, the full force of
this fanciful image would be more felt by a spectator who is enjoying that
glorious panorama from the Cairo citadel, as the curious triangular form
of the Delta is much better seen from that point than from Alexandria at
the base of the triangle.

One may differ as to the most appropriate metaphors, but all must agree
that there are certain elements of beauty about the Delta landscape. Seen,
as most tourists do see it, in winter or spring, the green fields of
waving corn and barley, the meadows of water-melons and cucumbers, the
fields of pea and purple lupin one mass of colors, interspersed with the
palm-groves and white minarets, which mark the site of the almost
invisible mud villages, and intersected thickly with countless canals and
trenches that in the distance look like silver threads, and suggest
Brobdignagian filigree work, or the delicate tracery of King Frost on our
window-panes, the view is impressive and not without beauty.

In the summer and early autumn, especially during August and September
when the Nile is at its height, the view is more striking though hardly so
beautiful. Then it is that this Protean country offers its most impressive
aspect. The Delta becomes an inland archipelago studded with green
islands, each island crowned with a white-mosqued village, or conspicuous
with a cluster of palms. The Nile and its swollen tributaries are covered
with huge-sailed dahabyehs, which give life and variety to the watery

Alexandria can boast of few "lions" as the word is usually understood, but
of these by far the most interesting is the column known by the name of
Pompey's Pillar. Everyone has heard of the famous monolith, which is as
closely associated in people's minds with Alexandria as the Colosseum is
with Rome, or the Alhambra with Granada. It has, of course, no more to do
with the Pompey of history (to whom it is attributed by the unlettered
tourist) than has Cleopatra's Needle with that famous Queen, the "Serpent
of Old Nile"; or Joseph's Well at Cairo with the Hebrew Patriarch. It owes
its name to the fact that a certain prefect, named after Cæsar's great
rival, erected on the summit of an existing column a statue in honor of
the horse of the Roman Emperor Diocletian. There is a familiar legend
which has been invented to account for the special reason of its erection,
which guide-book compilers are very fond of. According to this story,
this historic animal, through an opportune stumble, stayed the persecution
of the Alexandrian Christians, as the tyrannical emperor had sworn to
continue the massacre till the blood of the victims reached his horse's
knees. Antiquarians and Egyptologists are, however, given to scoffing at
the legend as a plausible myth.

In the opinion of many learned authorities, the shaft of this column was
once a portion of the Serapeum, that famous building which was both a
temple of the heathen god Serapis and a vast treasure-house of ancient
civilization. It has been suggested--in order to account for its omission
in the descriptions of Alexandria, given by Pliny and Strabo, who had
mentioned the two obelisks of Cleopatra--that the column had fallen, and
that the Prefect Pompey had merely re-erected it in honor of Diocletian,
and replaced the statue of Serapis with one of the Emperor--or of his
horse, according to some chroniclers. This statute, if it ever existed,
has now disappeared. As it stands, however, it is a singularly striking
and beautiful monument, owing to its great height, simplicity of form, and
elegant proportions. It reminds the spectator a little of Nelson's Column
in Trafalgar Square, and perhaps the absence of a statue is not altogether
to be regretted considering the height of the column, as it might suggest
to the irrepressible tourists who scoff at Nelson's statue as the
"Mast-headed Admiral," some similar witticism at the expense of

With the exception of this monolith, which, "a solitary column, mourns
above its prostrate brethren," only a few fragmentary and scattered ruins
of fallen columns mark the site of the world-renowned Serapeum. Nothing
else remains of the famous library, the magnificent portico with its
hundred steps, the vast halls, and the four hundred marble columns of that
great building designed to perpetuate the glories of the Ptolemies. This
library, which was the forerunner of the great libraries of modern times,
must not be confounded with the equally famous one that was attached to
the Museum, whose exact site is still a bone of contention among
antiquarians. The latter was destroyed by accident, when Julius Cæsar set
fire to the Alexandrian fleet. The Serapeum collection survived for six
hundred years, till its wanton destruction through the fanaticism of the
Caliph Omar. The Arab conqueror is said to have justified this barbarism
with a fallacious epigram, which was as unanswerable, however logically
faulty, as the famous one familiar to students of English history under
the name of Archbishop Morton's Fork. "If these writings," declared the
uncompromising conqueror, "agree with the Book of God, they are useless,
and need not be preserved; if they disagree, they are pernicious, and
ought to be destroyed." Nothing could prevail against this flagrant
example of a _petitio principii_, and for six months the three hundred
thousand parchments supplied fuel for the four thousand baths of

Hard by Pompey's Pillar is a dreary waste, dotted with curiously carved
structures. This is the Mohammedan cemetery. As in most Oriental towns,
the cemetery is at the west end of the town, as the Mohammedans consider
that the quarter of the horizon in which the sun sets is the most suitable
spot for their burying-places.

In this melancholy city of the dead are buried also many of the ruins of
the Serapeum, and scattered about among the tombs are fragments of columns
and broken pedestals. On some of the tombs a green turban is roughly
painted, strangely out of harmony with the severe stone carving. This
signifies that the tomb holds the remains of a descendant of the prophet,
or of a devout Moslem, who had himself, and not vicariously as is so often
done, made the pilgrimage to the sacred city of Mecca. Some of the
head-stones are elaborately carved, but most are quite plain, with the
exception of a verse of the Koran cut in the stone. The observant tourist
will notice on many of the tombs a curious little round hole cut in the
stone at the head, which seems to be intended to form a passage to the
interior of the vault, though the aperture is generally filled up with
earth. It is said that this passage is made to enable the Angel Israfel at
the Resurrection to draw out the occupant by the hair of his head; and the
custom which obtains among the lower class Moslems of shaving the head
with the exception of a round tuft of hair in the middle--a fashion which
suggests an incipient pigtail or an inverted tonsure--is as much due to
this superstition as to sanitary considerations.

Of far greater interest than this comparatively modern cemetery are the
cave cemeteries of El-Meks. These catacombs are some four miles from the
city. The route along the low ridge of sand-hills is singularly
unpicturesque, but the windmills which fringe the shore give a homely
aspect to the country, and serve at any rate to break the monotony of this
dreary and prosaic shore. We soon reach Said Pacha's unfinished palace of
El-Meks, which owes its origin to the mania for building which helped to
make the reign of that weak-minded ruler so costly to his over-taxed
subjects. One glimpse at the bastard style of architecture is sufficient
to remove any feeling of disappointment on being told that the building is
not open to the public. The catacombs, which spread for a long distance
along the seashore, and of which the so-called Baths of Cleopatra are a
part, are very extensive, and tourists are usually satisfied with
exploring a part. There are no mummies, but the niches can be clearly
seen. The plan of the catacombs is curiously like the wards of a key.

There are few "sights" in Alexandria of much interest besides those
already mentioned. In fact, Alexandria is interesting more as a city of
sites than sights. It is true that the names of some of the mosques, such
as that of the One Thousand and One Columns, built on the site of St.
Mark's martyrdom, and the Mosque of St. Athanasius, are calculated to
arouse the curiosity of the tourist: but the interest is in the name
alone. The Mosque of many Columns is turned into a quarantine station, and
the Mosque of St. Athanasius has no connection with the great Father
except that it stands on the site of a church in which he probably

Then there is the Coptic Convent of St. Mark, which, according to the
inmates, contains the body of the great Evangelist--an assertion which
would scarcely deceive the most ignorant and the most credulous tourist
that ever entrusted himself to the fostering care of Messrs. Cook, as it
is well known that St. Mark's body was removed to Venice in the ninth
century. The mosque, with the ornate exterior and lofty minaret, in which
the remains of Said Pacha are buried, is the only one besides those
already mentioned which is worth visiting.

The shores of the Delta from Alexandria to Rosetta are singularly rich in
historical associations, and are thickly strewn with historic landmarks.
The plain in which have been fought battles which have decided the fate of
the whole western world, may well be called the "Belgium of the East." In
this circumscribed area the empires of the East and West struggled for the
mastery, and many centuries later the English here wrested from Napoleon
their threatened Indian Empire. In the few miles' railway journey between
Alexandria and the suburban town of Ramleh the passenger traverses classic
ground. At Mustapha Pacha the line skirts the Roman camp, where Octavius
defeated the army of Antony, and gained for Rome a new empire.
Unfortunately there are now few ruins left of this encampment, as most of
the stones were used by Ismail Pacha in building one of his innumerable
palaces, now converted into a hospital and barracks for the English
troops. Almost on this very spot where Octavius conquered, was fought the
battle of Alexandria, which gave the death-blow to Napoleon's great scheme
of founding an Eastern Empire, and converting the Mediterranean into "un
lac français." This engagement was, as regards the number of troops
engaged, an insignificant one; but as the great historian of modern Europe
has observed, "The importance of a triumph is not always to be measured by
the number of men engaged. The contest of 12,000 Britons with an equal
number of French on the sands of Alexandria, in its remote effect,
overthrew a greater empire than that of Charlemagne, and rescued mankind
from a more galling tyranny than that of the Roman Emperors."[5] A few
minutes more and the traveller's historical musings are interrupted by the
shriek of the engine as the train enters the Ramleh station. This pleasant
and salubrious town, with its rows of trim villas standing in their own
well-kept grounds and gardens, the residences of Alexandrian merchants,
suggests a fashionable or "rising" English watering place rather than an
Oriental town. As a residence it has no doubt many advantages, including a
good and sufficient water supply, and frequent communication by train with
Alexandria. But these are not the attractions which appeal to the
traveller or tourist. The only objects of interest are the ruins of the
Temple of Arsenoe, the wife of Ptolemy Philadelphus. Concerning this
temple there is an interesting and romantic legend, which no doubt
suggested to Pope his fanciful poem, "The Rape of the Lock":--

  "Not Berenice's hair first rose so bright,
  The heavens bespangling with dishevelled light."

This pretty story, which has been immortalized by Catullus, is as
follows:--When Ptolemy Euergetes left for his expedition to Syria, his
wife Berenice vowed to dedicate her hair to Venus Zephyrites should her
husband return safe and sound. Her prayer was answered, and in fulfilment
of her vow she hung within the Temple of Arsenoe the golden locks that had
adorned her head. Unfortunately they were stolen by some sacrilegious
thief. The priests were naturally troubled, the King was enraged, and the
Queen inconsolable. However, the craft of Conon, the Court astronomer,
discovered a way by which the mysterious disappearance could be
satisfactorily explained, the priests absolved of all blame, and the
vanity of the Queen gratified. The wily astronomer-courtier declared that
Jupiter had taken the locks and transformed them into a constellation,
placing it in that quarter of the heavens (the "Milky Way") by which the
gods, according to tradition, passed to and from Olympus. This pious fraud
was effected by annexing the group of stars which formed the tail of the
constellation Leo, and declaring that this cluster of stars was the new
constellation into which Berenice's locks had been transformed. This
arbitrary modification of the celestial system is known by the name of
Coma Berenices, and is still retained in astronomical charts.

  "I 'mongst the stars myself resplendent now,
  I, who once curled on Berenice's brow,
  The tress which she, uplifting her fair arm,
  To many a god devoted, so from harm
  They might protect her new-found royal mate,
  When from her bridal chamber all elate,
  With its sweet triumph flushed, he went in haste
  To lay the regions of Assyria waste."[6]

A few miles northwest of Ramleh, at the extremity of the western horn of
Aboukir Bay, lies the village of Aboukir. The railway to Rosetta skirts
that bay of glorious memory, and as the traveller passes by those silent
and deserted shores which fringe the watery arena whereon France and
England contended for the Empire of the East, he lives again in those
stirring times, and the dramatic episodes of that famous Battle of the
Nile crowd upon the memory. That line of deep blue water, bounded on the
west by the rocky islet, now called Nelson's Island, and on the east by
Fort St. Julien on the Rosetta headland, marks the position of the French
fleet on the 1st of August, 1798. The fleet was moored in the form of a
crescent close along the shore, and was covered by the batteries of Fort
Aboukir. So confident was Bruèys, the French Admiral, in the strength of
his position, and in his superiority in guns and men (nearly as three to
two) over Nelson's fleet, that he sent that famous despatch to Paris,
declaring that the enemy was purposely avoiding him. Great must have been
his dismay when the English fleet, which had been scouring the
Mediterranean with bursting sails for six long weeks in search of him, was
signaled, bearing down unflinchingly upon its formidable foe--that foe
with which Nelson had vowed he would do battle, if above water, even if he
had to sail to the Antipodes. "By to-morrow I shall have gained a peerage
or Westminster Abbey," were the historic words uttered by the English
Admiral when the French fleet was sighted, drawn up in order of battle in
Aboukir Bay. The soundings of this dangerous roadstead were unknown to
him, but declaring that "where there was room for the enemy to swing,
there must be room for us to anchor," he ordered his leading squadron to
take up its position to the landward of the enemy. The remainder of the
English fleet was ordered to anchor on the outside of the enemy's line,
but at close quarters, thus doubling on part of the enemy's line, and
placing it in a defile of fire. In short, the effect of this brilliant and
masterly disposition of the English fleet was to surround two-thirds of
the enemy's ships, and cut them off from the support of their consorts,
which were moored too far off to injure the enemy or aid their friends.
The French Admiral, in spite of his apparently impregnable position, was
consequently out-manoeuvred from the outset, and the victory of Nelson
virtually assured.

Evening set in soon after Nelson had anchored. All through the night the
battle raged fiercely and unintermittently, "illuminated by the incessant
discharge of over two thousand cannon," and the flames which burst from
the disabled ships of the French squadron. The sun had set upon as proud a
fleet as ever set sail from the shores of France, and morning rose upon a
strangely altered scene. Shattered and blackened hulks now only marked the
position they had occupied but a few hours before. On one ship alone, the
_Tonnant_, the tricolor was flying. When the _Theseus_ drew near to take
her as prize, she hoisted a flag of truce, but kept her colors flying.
"Your battle flag or none!" was the stern reply, as her enemy rounded to
and prepared to board. Slowly and reluctantly, like an expiring hope, that
pale flag fluttered down her lofty spars, and the next that floated there
was the standard of Old England. "And now the battle was over--India was
saved upon the shores of Egypt--the career of Napoleon was checked, and
his navy was annihilated. Seven years later that navy was revived, to
perish utterly at Trafalgar--a fitting hecatomb for the obsequies of
Nelson, whose life seemed to terminate as his mission was then and thus
accomplished." The glories of Trafalgar, immortalized by the death of
Nelson, have no doubt obscured to some extent those of the Nile. The
latter engagement has not, indeed, been enshrined in the memory of
Englishmen by popular ballads--those instantaneous photographs, as they
might be called, of the highest thoughts and strongest emotions inspired
by patriotism--but hardly any great sea-fight of modern times has been
more prolific in brilliant achievements of heroism and deeds of splendid
devotion than the Battle of the Nile. The traditions of this terrible
combat have not yet died out among the Egyptians and Arabs, whose
forefathers had lined the shores of the bay on that memorable night, and
watched with mingled terror and astonishment the destruction of that great
armament. It was with some idea of the moral effect the landing of English
troops on the shores of this historic bay would have on Arabi's soldiery,
that Lord Wolseley contemplated disembarking there the English
expeditionary force in August, 1882.

On the eastern horn of Aboukir Bay, on the Rosetta branch of the Nile, and
about five miles from its mouth, lies the picturesque town of Rosetta. Its
Arabic name is Rashid, an etymological coincidence which has induced some
writers to jump to the conclusion that it is the birthplace of Haroun Al
Rashid. To some persons no doubt the town would be shorn of much of its
interest if dissociated from our old friend of "The Thousand and One
Nights;" but the indisputable fact remains that Haroun Al Rashid died some
seventy years before the foundation of the town in A. D. 870. Rosetta was
a port of some commercial importance until the opening of the Mahmoudiyeh
Canal in 1819 diverted most of its trade to Alexandria. The town is not
devoid of architectural interest, and many fragments of ruins may be met
with in the half-deserted streets, and marble pillars, which bear signs of
considerable antiquity, may be noticed built into the doorways of the
comparatively modern houses. One of the most interesting architectural
features of Rosetta is the North Gate, flanked with massive towers of a
form unusual in Egypt, each tower being crowned with a conical-shaped
roof. Visitors will probably have noticed the curious gabled roofs and
huge projecting windows of most of the houses. It was from these
projecting doorways and latticed windows that such fearful execution was
done to the British troops at the time of the ill-fated English expedition
to Egypt in 1807. General Wauchope had been sent by General Fraser, who
was in command of the troops, with an absurdly inadequate force of 1,200
men to take the strongly-garrisoned town. Mehemet Ali's Albanian troops
had purposely left the gates open in order to draw the English force into
the narrow and winding streets. Their commander, without any previous
examination, rushed blindly into the town with all his men. The Albanian
soldiery waited till the English were confined in this infernal labyrinth
of narrow, crooked streets, and then from every window and housetop rained
down on them a perfect hail of musket-shot and rifle-ball. Before the
officers could extricate their men from this terrible death-trap a third
of the troops had fallen. Such was the result of this rash and futile
expedition, which dimmed the lustre of their arms in Egypt, and
contributed a good deal to the loss of their military prestige. That this
crushing defeat should have taken place so near the scene of the most
glorious achievement of their arms but a few years before, was naturally
thought a peculiar aggravation of the failure of this ill-advised

To archæological students and Egyptologists Rosetta is a place of the
greatest interest, as it was in its neighborhood that the famous inscribed
stone was found which furnished the clue--sought in vain for so many years
by Egyptian scholars--to the hieroglyphic writings of Egypt. Perhaps none
of the archæological discoveries made in Egypt since the land was
scientifically exploited by the savants attached to Napoleon's expedition,
not even that of the mummified remains of the Pharaohs, is more precious
in the eyes of Egyptologists and antiquarians than this comparatively
modern and ugly-looking block of black basalt, which now reposes in the
Egyptian galleries of the British Museum. The story of its discovery is
interesting. A certain Monsieur Bouchard, a French Captain of Engineers,
while making some excavations at Fort St. Julien, a small fortress in the
vicinity of Rosetta, discovered this celebrated stone in 1799. The
interpretation of the inscription for many years defied all the efforts of
the most learned French savants and English scholars, until, in 1822, two
well-known Egyptologists, Champollion and Dr. Young, after independent
study and examination, succeeded in deciphering that part of the
inscription which was in Greek characters. From this they learnt that the
inscription was triplicate and trilingual: one in Greek, the other in the
oldest form of hieroglyphics, the purest kind of "picture-writing," and
the third in demotic characters--the last being the form of hieroglyphics
used by the people, in which the symbols are more obscure than in the pure
hieroglyphics used by the priests. The inscription, when finally
deciphered, proved to be one of comparatively recent date, being a decree
of Ptolemy V., issued in the year 196 B. C. The Rosetta stone was acquired
by England as part of the spoils of war in the Egyptian expedition of

At Rosetta the railway leaves the coast and goes south to Cairo.

If the traveller wishes to see something of the agriculture of the Delta,
he would get some idea of the astonishing fertility of the country by
merely taking the train to Damanhour, the center of the cotton-growing
district. The journey does not take more than a couple of hours. The
passenger travelling by steamer from Alexandria to Port Said, though he
skirts the coast, can see no signs of the agricultural wealth of Egypt,
and for him the whole of Egypt might be an arid desert instead of one of
the most fertile districts in the whole world. The area of cultivated
lands, which, however, extends yearly seawards, is separated from the
coast by a belt composed of strips of sandy desert, marshy plain, low
sandhills, and salt lagunes, which varies in breadth from fifteen to
thirty miles. A line drawn from Alexandria to Damietta, through the
southern shore of Lake Boorlos, marks approximately the limit of
cultivated land in this part of the Delta. The most unobservant traveller
in Egypt cannot help perceiving that its sole industry is agriculture, and
that the bulk of its inhabitants are tillers of the soil. Egypt seems,
indeed, intended by nature to be the granary and market-garden of North
Africa, and the prosperity of the country depends on its being allowed to
retain its place as a purely agricultural country. The ill-advised, but
fortunately futile, attempts which have been made by recent rulers to
develop manufactures at the expense of agriculture, are the outcome of a
short-sighted policy or perverted ambition. Experience has proved that
every acre diverted from its ancient and rational use as a bearer of crops
is a loss to the national wealth.

That "Egypt is the gift of the Nile" has been insisted upon with "damnable
iteration" by every writer on Egypt, from Herodotus downwards. According
to the popular etymology,[7] the very name of the Nile ([Greek: Neilos],
from [Greek: nea ilys], new mud) testifies to its peculiar fertilizing
properties. The Nile is all in all to the Egyptian, and can we wonder that
Egyptian mythologists recognized in it the Creative Principle waging
eternal warfare with Typhon, the Destructive Principle, represented by the
encroaching desert? As Mr. Stanley Lane-Poole has well observed, "without
the Nile there would be no Egypt; the great African Sahara would spread
uninterruptedly to the Red Sea. Egypt is, in short, a long oasis worn in
the rocky desert by the ever-flowing stream, and made green and fertile by
its waters."

At Cairo the Nile begins to rise about the third week in June, and the
beginning of the overflow coincides with the heliacal rising of the Dog
Star. The heavens have been called the clocks of the Ancients, and,
according to some writers, it was the connection between the rise of the
Nile and that of the Dog Star that first opened the way to the study of
astronomy among the ancient Egyptians, so that not only was the Nile the
creator of their country, but also of their science. The fellahs, however,
still cherish a lingering belief in the supernatural origin of the
overflow. They say that a miraculous drop of water falls into the Nile on
the 17th of June, which causes the river to swell. Till September the
river continues to rise, not regularly, but by leaps and bounds. In this
month it attains its full height, and then gradually subsides till it
reaches its normal height in the winter months.

As is well known, the quality of the harvest depends on the height of the
annual overflow--a rise of not less than eighteen feet at Cairo being just
sufficient, while a rise of over twenty-six feet, or thereabouts, would
cause irreparable damage. It is a common notion that a very high Nile is
beneficial; whereas an excessive inundation would do far more harm to the
country than an abnormal deficiency of water. Statistics show conclusively
that most of the famines in Egypt have occurred after an exceptionally
high Nile. Shakespeare, who, we know, is often at fault in matters of
natural science, is perhaps partly accountable for this popular
error:--"The higher Nilus swells, the more it promises," he makes
Antony say, when describing the wonders of Egypt to Cæsar.


The coast between Rosetta and Port Said is, like the rest of the Egyptian
littoral, flat and monotonous. The only break in the dreary vista is
afforded by the picturesque-looking town of Damietta, which, with its
lofty houses, looking in the distance like marble palaces, has a striking
appearance seen from the sea. The town, though containing some spacious
bazaars and several large and well-proportioned mosques, has little to
attract the visitor, and there are no antiquities or buildings of any
historic interest. The traveller, full of the traditions of the Crusades,
who expects to find some traces of Saladin and the Saracens, will be
doomed to disappointment. Damietta is comparatively modern, the old
Byzantine city having been destroyed by the Arabs early in the thirteenth
century, and rebuilt--at a safer distance from invasion by sea--a few
miles inland, under the name of Mensheeyah. One of the gateways of the
modern town, the Mensheeyah Gate, serves as a reminder of its former name.
Though the trade of Damietta has, in common with most of the Delta
sea-ports, declined since the construction of the Mahmoudiyeh Canal, it is
still a town of some commercial importance, and consular representatives
of several European powers are stationed here. To sportsmen Damietta
offers special advantages, as it makes capital headquarters for the
wild-fowl shooting on Menzaleh Lake, which teems with aquatic birds of all
kinds. Myriads of wild duck may be seen feeding here, and "big game"--if
the expression can be applied to birds--in the shape of herons, pelicans,
storks, flamingoes, etc., is plentiful. In the marshes which abut on the
lake, specimens of the papyrus are to be found, this neighborhood being
one of the few habitats of this rare plant. Soon after rounding the
projecting ridge of low sand-hills which fringe the estuary of the
Damietta Branch of the Nile, the noble proportions of the loftiest
lighthouse of the Mediterranean come into view. It is fitted with one of
the most powerful electric lights in the world, its penetrating rays being
visible on a clear night at a distance of over twenty-five miles. Shortly
afterwards the forest of masts, apparently springing out of the desert,
informs the passenger of the near vicinity of Port Said.

There is, of course, nothing to see at Port Said from a tourist's
standpoint. The town is little more than a large coaling station, and is
of very recent growth. It owes its existence solely to the Suez Canal, and
to the fact that the water at that part of the coast is deeper than at
Pelusium, where the isthmus is narrowest. The town is built partly on
artificial foundations on the strip of low sand-banks which forms a
natural sea-wall protecting Lake Menzaleh from the Mediterranean. In the
autumn at high Nile it is surrounded on all sides by water. An imaginative
writer once called Port Said the Venice of Africa--not a very happy
description, as the essentially modern appearance of this coaling station
strikes the most unobservant visitor. The comparison might for its
inappositeness rank with the proverbial one between Macedon and Monmouth.
Both Venice and Port Said are land-locked, and that is the only feature
they have in common.

The sandy plains in the vicinity of the town are, however, full of
interest to the historian and archæologist. Here may be found ruins and
remains of antiquity which recall a period of civilization reaching back
more centuries than Port Said (built in 1859) does years. The ruins of
Pelusium (the Sin of the Old Testament), the key of Northeastern Egypt in
the Pharaonic period, are only eighteen miles distant, and along the shore
may still be traced a few vestiges of the great highway--the oldest road
in the world of which remains exist--constructed by Rameses II., in 1350
B. C., when he undertook his expedition for the conquest of Syria.

To come to more recent history. It was on the Pelusiac shores that
Cambyses defeated the Egyptians, and here some five centuries later Pompey
the Great was treacherously murdered when he fled to Egypt, after the
Battle of Pharsalia.

To the southwest of Port Said, close to the wretched little fishing
village of Sais, situated on the southern shore of Lake Menzaleh, are the
magnificent ruins of Tanis (the Zoan of the Old Testament). These seldom
visited remains are only second to those of Thebes in historical and
archæological interest. It is a little curious that while tourists flock
in crowds to distant Thebes and Karnak, few take the trouble to visit the
easily accessible ruins of Tanis. The ruins were uncovered at great cost
of labor by the late Mariette Bey, and in the great temple were unearthed
some of the most notable monuments of the Pharaohs, including over a dozen
gigantic fallen obelisks--a larger number than any Theban temple contains.
This vast building, restored and enlarged by Rameses II., goes back to
over five thousand years. As Thebes declined Tanis rose in importance, and
under the kings of the Twenty-first Dynasty it became the chief seat of
Government. Mr. John Macgregor (Rob Roy), who was one of the first of
modern travellers to call attention to these grand ruins, declares that of
all the celebrated remains he had seen none impressed him "so deeply with
the sense of fallen and deserted magnificence" as the ruined temple of

The Suez Canal is admittedly one of the greatest undertakings of modern
times, and has perhaps effected a greater transformation in the world's
commerce, during the thirty years that have elapsed since its completion,
than has been effected in the same period by the agency of steam. It was
emphatically the work of one man, and of one, too, who was devoid of the
slightest technical training in the engineering profession. Monsieur de
Lesseps cannot, of course, claim any originality in the conception of this
great undertaking, for the idea of opening up communication between the
Mediterranean and the Red Sea by means of a maritime canal is almost as
old as Egypt itself, and many attempts were made by the rulers of Egypt
from Sesostris downwards to span the Isthmus with "a bridge of water."
Most of these projects proved abortive, though there was some kind of
water communication between the two seas in the time of the Ptolemies, and
it was by this canal that Cleopatra attempted to escape after the battle
of Actium. When Napoleon the Great occupied Egypt, he went so far as to
appoint a commission of engineers to examine into a projected scheme for a
maritime canal, but owing to the ignorance of the commissioners, who
reported that there was a difference of thirty feet in the levels of the
two seas--though there is really scarcely more than six inches--which
would necessitate vast locks, and involve enormous outlay of money, the
plan was given up.

The Suez Canal is, in short, the work of one great man, and its existence
is due to the undaunted courage, the indomitable energy, to the intensity
of conviction, and to the magnetic personality of M. de Lesseps, which
influenced everyone with whom he came in contact, from Viceroy down to the
humblest fellah. This great project was carried out, too, not by a
professional engineer, but by a mere consular clerk, and was executed in
spite of the most determined opposition of politicians and capitalists,
and in the teeth of the mockery and ridicule of practical engineers, who
affected to sneer at the scheme as the chimerical dream of a vainglorious

The Canal, looked at from a purely picturesque standpoint, does not
present such striking features as other great monuments of engineering
skill--the Forth Bridge, the Mont Cenis Tunnel, or the great railway which
scales the highest peaks of the Rocky Mountains. This "huge ditch," as it
has been contemptuously called, "has not indeed been carried over high
mountains, nor cut through rock-bound tunnels, nor have its waters been
confined by Titanic masses of masonry." In fact, technically speaking, the
name canal as applied to this channel is a misnomer. It has nothing in
common with other canals--no locks, gates, reservoirs, nor pumping
engines. It is really an artificial strait, or a prolongation of an arm of
the sea. We can freely concede this, yet to those of imaginative
temperament there are elements of romance about this great enterprise. It
is the creation of a nineteenth-century wizard who, with his enchanter's
wand--the spade--has transformed the shape of the globe, and summoned the
sea to flow uninterruptedly from the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean.
Then, too, the most matter-of-fact traveller who traverses it can hardly
fail to be impressed with the genius loci. Every mile of the Canal passes
through a region enriched by the memories of events which had their birth
in the remotest ages of antiquity. Across this plain four thousand years
ago Abraham wandered from far-away Ur of the Chaldees. Beyond the placid
waters of Lake Menzaleh lie the ruins of Zoan, where Moses performed his
miracles. On the right lies the plain of Pelusium, across which Rameses
II. led his great expedition for the conquest of Syria; and across this
sandy highway the hosts of Persian, Greek, and Roman conquerors
successively swept to take possession of the riches of Egypt. In passing
through the Canal at night--the electric light seeming as a pillar of fire
to the steamer, as it swiftly, but silently, ploughs its course through
the desert--the strange impressiveness of the scene is intensified. "The
Canal links together in sweeping contrast the great Past and the greater
Present, pointing to a future which we are as little able to divine, as
were the Pharaohs or Ptolemies of old to forecast the wonders of the
twentieth century."



    "England's Eye in the Mediterranean"--Vast systems of
    fortifications--Sentinels and martial music--The Strada Reale of
    Valletta--Church of St. John--St. Elmo--The Military Hospital, the
    "very glory of Malta"--Citta Vecchia--Saint Paul and his voyages.

There is a difference of opinion among voyagers as to whether it is best
to approach Malta by night or by day; whether there is a greater charm in
tracing the outline of "England's Eye in the Mediterranean" by the long,
undulating lines of light along its embattled front, and then, as the sun
rises, to permit the details to unfold themselves, or to see the entire
mass of buildings and sea walls and fortifications take shape according to
the rapidity with which the ship nears the finest of all the British
havens in the Middle Sea. Much might be said for both views, and if by
"Malta" is meant its metropolis, then the visitor would miss a good deal
who did not see the most picturesque portion of the island in both of
these aspects. And by far the majority of those who touch at Valletta, on
their way to or from some other place, regard this city as "the colony" in
miniature. Many, indeed, are barely aware that it has a name apart from
that of the island on which it is built; still fewer that the "Villa" of
La Valletta is only one of four fortified towns all run into one, and
that over the surface of this thickly populated clump are scattered scores
of villages, while their entire coasts are circled by a ring of forts
built wherever the cliffs are not steep enough to serve as barriers
against an invader. On the other hand, while there is no spot in the
Maltese group half so romantic, or any "casal" a tithe as magnificent as
Valletta and its suburbs, it is a little unfortunate for the scenic
reputation of the chief island-fortress that so few visitors see any other
part of it than the country in the immediate vicinity of its principal
town. For, if none of the islands are blessed with striking scenery, that
of Malta proper is perhaps the least attractive.

Though less than sixty miles from Sicily, these placid isles oft though
they have been shaken by earthquakes, do not seem to have ever been
troubled by the volcanic outbursts of Etna. Composed of a soft, creamy
rock, dating from the latest geological period, the elephants and
hippopotami disinterred from their caves show that, at a time when the
Mediterranean stretched north and south over broad areas which are now dry
land, these islands were still under water, and that at a date
comparatively recent, before the Straits of Gibraltar had been opened, and
when the contracted Mediterranean was only a couple of lakes Malta was
little more than a peninsula of Africa. Indeed, so modern is the group as
we know it, that within the human era Comino seems to have been united
with the islands on each side of it. For, as the deep wheel-ruts on the
opposite shores of the two nearer islands, even at some distance in the
water, demonstrate, the intervening straits have either been recently
formed, or were at one period so shallow as to be fordable.

But if it be open to doubt whether night or day is the best time to make
our first acquaintance with Malta, there can be none as to the season of
the year when it may be most advantageously visited; for if the tourist
comes to Malta in spring, he will find the country bright with flowers,
and green with fields of wheat and barley, and cumin and "sulla" clover,
or cotton, and even with plots of sugar-cane, tobacco, and the fresh
foliage of vineyards enclosed by hedges of prickly pears ready to burst
into gorgeous blossom. Patches of the famous Maltese potatoes flourish
cheek by jowl with noble crops of beans and melons. Figs and pomegranates,
peaches, pears, apricots, and medlars are in blossom; and if the curious
pedestrian peers over the orchard walls, he may sight oranges and lemons
gay with the flowers of which the fragrance is scenting the evening air.
But in autumn, when the birds of passage arrive for the winter, the land
has been burnt into barrenness by the summer sun of the scorching sirocco.
The soil, thin, but amazingly fertile, and admirably suited by its spongy
texture to retain the moisture, looks white and parched as it basks in the
hot sunshine; and even the gardens, enclosed by high stone walls to
shelter them from the torrid winds from Africa, or the wild "gregale" from
the north, or the Levanter which sweeps damp and depressing towards the
Straits of Gibraltar, fail to relieve the dusty, chalk-like aspect of the
landscape. Hills there are--they are called the "Bengemma mountains" by
the proud Maltese--but they are mere hillocks to the scoffer from more
Alpine regions, for at Ta-l'aghlia, the highest elevation in Malta, 750
feet is the total tale told by the barometer, while it is seldom that the
sea cliffs reach half that height. The valleys in the undulating surface
are in proportion, and even they and the little glens worn by the
watercourses are bald, owing to the absence of wood; for what timber grew
in ancient times has long ago been hewn down, and the modern Maltee has so
inveterate a prejudice against green leaves which are not saleable that he
is said to have quietly uprooted the trees which a paternal Government
planted for the supposed benefit of unappreciative children. Hence, with
the exception of a bosky grove around some ancient palace of the knights,
or a few carob trees, so low that the goats in lack of humble fodder can,
as in Morocco, climb into them for a meal, the rural districts of Malta
lack the light and shade which forests afford, just as its arid scenery is
unrelieved either by lake, or river, or by any brook worthy of the name.
However, as the blue sea, running into inlet and bay, or ending the vista
of some narrow street, or driving the spray before the "tempestuous" wind,
called "Euroklydon," is seldom out of sight, the sparkle of inland water
is less missed than it would be were the country larger.

But Malta proper is only one of the Maltese group. As the geography books
have it, there are three main islands, Malta, Gozo, and between them the
little one of Comino, which with Cominetto, a still smaller islet close
by, seems to have been the crest of a land of old, submerged beneath the
sea. The voyager is barely out of sight of Sicily before the faint
outlines of these isles are detected, like sharply defined clouds against
a serenely blue sky. Yet, undeniably, the first view of Malta is
disappointing; for with Etna fresh in the memory of the visitor from one
direction, and the great Rock of Gibraltar vivid in the recollection of
those arriving from the other end of the Mediterranean, there is little in
any of the three islands to strike the imagination. For most of the
picturesqueness of Malta is due to the works of man, and all of its
romance to the great names and mighty events with which its historic
shores are associated. But there are also around the coasts of this major
member of the Maltese clump the tiny Filfla, with its venerable church;
the Pietro Negro, or Black Rock; Gzeier sanctified by the wreck of St.
Paul; and Scoglio Marfo, on which a few fishermen encamp, or which grow
grass enough for some rabbits or a frugal goat or two; and, great in fame
though small in size, the Hagra tal General, or Fungus Rock, on which
still flourishes that curious parasitic plant, the _Fungus Melitensis_ of
the old botanists, the _Cynomorium coccineum_ of latter-day systematists.
The visitor who has the curiosity to land on the rock in April or May will
find it in full flower, and perhaps, considering its ancient reputation,
may be rather disappointed with the appearance of a weed which at one time
enjoyed such a reputation as a stauncher of blood and a sovereign remedy
for a host of other diseases that the Knights of Malta stored it carefully
as a gift for friendly monarchs and to the hospitals of the island. It is
less valued in our times, though until very recently the keeper of the
rock on which it flourishes most abundantly was a permanent official in
the colonial service. The place indeed is seldom profaned nowadays by
human feet; for the box drawn in a pulley by two cables, which was the
means of crossing the hundred and fifty feet of sea between the rocks and
the shore of Dueira, was broken down some years ago, and has not since
been renewed. But, apart from these scientific associations of this
outlier of Gozo, the second largest island of the Maltese group is worthy
of being more frequently examined than it is, albeit the lighthouse of Ta
Giurdan is familiar enough to every yachtsman in the "Magnum Mare." For it
is the first bit of Malta seen from the west, and the last memory of it
which the home-coming exile sights as he returns with a lighter heart from
the East. Yet except for its classical memories (it was the fable isle of
Calypso, the Gaulos of the Greeks, the Gaulum of the Romans, and the
Ghaudex of the Arabs, a name still in use among the natives), the tourist
in search of the picturesque will not find a great deal to gratify him in
Gozo, with its bay-indented shore, rugged in places, but except in the
southern and western coast rarely attaining a height of three hundred feet
above the sea. Still, its pleasing diversity of hill and dale, its
occasional groves of trees, and the flourishing gardens from which
Valletta market is supplied with a great portion of its vegetables, lend
an appearance of rural beauty to Gozo seldom seen or altogether lacking in
the rest of the group. Gozo appears to have suffered less from foreign
invasions than Malta or even Comino. Its goat cheese still preserves
something of the reputation that comestible obtained in days when the
world had a limited acquaintance with dairy produce, and the "Maltese
jacks," potent donkeys (the very antipodes of their tiny kindred on the
Barbary coast) are mostly exported from this spot. But, like the peculiar
dogs and cats of the group, they are now getting scarce.

The appearance of the Gozitans also is somewhat different from that of
their countrymen elsewhere, and they speak the Maltese tongue with a
closer approach to the Arabic than do the inhabitants of the other
islands, whose speech has become intermingled with that of every
Mediterranean race, from the Tyrians to the Italians, though the basis of
it is unquestionably Phoenician, and is gradually getting dashed with the
less sonorous language of their latest rulers. Indeed, the lamps in daily
use are identical in shape with the earthenware ones disinterred from the
most ancient of Carthaginian tombs, and until lately a peculiar jargon,
allied to Hebrew, and known as "Braik," was spoken at Casal Garbo, an
inland village not far from the bay off which lies the General's Rock. But
the Gozo folk nowadays trade neither in tin nor in purple, their
gaily-painted boats crossing the Straits of Freghi with no more romantic
cargoes than cabbages and cucumbers for His Majesty's ships; and the
swarthy damsels who sit at the half-doors of the white houses are intent
on nothing so much as the making of the famous Maltese lace. Except,
however, in the strength, industry, and thrift of the Gozitans, there is
little in this island to remind the visitor of their Phoenician
forefathers, and in a few years, owing to the steady intercourse which
daily steam communication has brought about between them and their less
sophisticated countrymen, the "Giant's Tower" (the ruins of a temple of
Astarte) at Casal Xghara will be about the only remnant of these
pre-historic settlers. But Casal Nadur, with its robust men and handsome
women, the Tierka Zerka or Azure Window, a natural arch on the seashore,
and Rabato, the little capital in the center of the island, which, in
honor of the Jubilee year, changed its name for that of Victoria, are all
worthy of a walk farther afield than Migiarro, or the "carting place," off
which the Valletta steamer anchors. From the ruined walls of the citadel
the visitor can survey Gozo with its conical hills, flattened at the top
owing to the wearing away of the upper limestone by the action of the
weather and sinking of the underlying greensand, the whole recalling a
volcano-dotted region. Then, if he cares to tarry so long, the sightseer
may from this pleasant center tramp or drive to the Bay of Ramla, in a
rock overhanging which is another "Grotto of Calypso," or to the Bay of
Marsa-il-Forno, or to the Bay of Xlendi, through a well-watered ravine
filled with fruit-trees, a walk which offers an opportunity of seeing the
best cliff scenery in the island; or, finally, to the Cala Dueira, hard by
which is the General's Rock, which (as we already know) forms one of the
chief lions of Gozo. Comino with its caves will not detain the most eager
of sightseers very long, and its scanty industries, incapable of
supporting more than forty people, are not calculated to arouse much

The shortest route to Valletta from Migiarro is to Marfa; but most people
will prefer to land at once at Valletta. Here the change from the quiet
islands to the busy metropolis of the group is marked. Everything betokens
the capital of a dependency which, if not itself wealthy, is held by a
wealthy nation, and a fortress upon which money has been lavished by a
succession of military masters without any regard to the commercial
aspects of the outlay. For if Malta has been and must always continue to
be a trading center, it has for ages never ceased to be primarily a place
of arms, a stronghold to the defensive strength of which every other
interest must give way. All the public buildings are on a scale of
substantiality which, to the voyager hitherto familiar only with
Gibraltar, is rather striking. Even the residences of the officials are
finer than one would expect in a "colony" (though there are no colonists,
and no room for them) with a population less than 170,000, and a
revenue rarely exceeding £250,000 per annum. Dens, vile beyond belief,
there are no doubt in Valletta. But these are for the most part in narrow
bye-lanes, which have few attractions for the ordinary visitor, or in the
Manderaggio, a quasi-subterranean district, mostly below sea-level, where
the houses are often without windows and conveniences even more important;
so that there is an unconscious grimness in the prophetic humor which has
dubbed this quarter of Valletta (two-and-a-half acres in area, peopled by
2,544 persons) "the place of cattle." Yet though the ninety-five square
miles of the Maltese islands are about the most densely populated portions
of the earth, the soil is so fertile, and the sources of employment,
especially since the construction of the Suez Canal, so plentiful, that
extreme penury is almost unknown, while the rural population seem in the
happy mean of being neither rich nor poor.


But the tourist who for the first time surveys Valletta from the deck of a
steamer as she anchors in the Quarantine Harbor, or still better from the
Grand Harbor on the other side of the peninsula on which the capital is
built, sees little of this. Scarcely is the vessel at rest before she is
surrounded by a swarm of the peculiar high-prowed "dghaisas," or Maltese
boats, the owners of which, standing while rowing, are clamorous to pull
the passenger ashore; for Malta, like its sister fortress at the mouth of
the Mediterranean, does not encourage wharves and piers, alongside of
which large craft may anchor and troublesome crews swarm when they are not
desired. Crowds of itinerant dealers, wily people with all the supple
eagerness of the Oriental, and all the lack of conscience which is the
convenient heritage of the trader of the Middle Sea, establish themselves
on deck, ready to part with the laces, and filigrees, and corals, and
shells, and apocryphal coins of the Knights of St. John, for any ransom
not less than twice their value. But in Malta, as elsewhere in the
Mediterranean ports, there are always two prices, the price for which the
resident obtains anything, and the price which the stranger is asked to
pay. To these tariffs a new one has of late years been added, and this is
that paradisaical figure, that fond legend of a golden age invoked only
when the buyer is very eager, or very verdant, or very rich, "the price
that Lady Brassey paid." However, even when the sojourner fancies that he
has made a fair bargain (and the appraisements fall suddenly as the last
bell begins to ring), the pedler is well in pocket, so well, indeed, that
it has been calculated every steamer leaves behind it something like two
hundred pounds in cash.

But if the rubbish sold in Valletta can be bought quite as good and rather
more cheaply in London, Valletta itself must be seen _in situ_. The
entrance to either of the harbors enables one to obtain but a slight idea
of the place. It seems all forts and flat-roofed buildings piled one above
the other in unattractive terraces. There are guns everywhere, and, right
and left, those strongholds which are the final purposes of cannon. As the
steamer creeps shrieking into "Port Marsa-Musciet" (the "Port" is
superfluous, since the Arabic "Marsa" means the same thing) or Quarantine
Harbor, it passes Dragut Point, with Fort Tigne on the right and Fort St.
Elmo on the left, in addition to Fort Manoel and the Lazaretto on an
island straight ahead. Had our destination been the Grand Harbor on the
other side of Valletta, Fort Ricasoli and Fort St. Angelo would have been
equally in evidence, built on two of the various projections which
intersect the left side of that haven. But the forts are, as it were,
only the ganglia of the vast systems of fortifications which circle every
creek and bay and headland of Valletta and its offshoots. Ages of toil,
millions of money, and the best talent of three centuries of engineers
have been lavished on the bewildering mass of curtains and horn-works, and
ravelins and demilunes, and ditches and palisades, and drawbridges and
bastions, and earthworks, which meet the eye in profusion enough to have
delighted the soul of Uncle Toby. Sentinels and martial music are the most
familiar of sights and sounds, and after soldiers and barracks, sailors
and war-ships, the most frequent reminders that Malta, like Gibraltar, is
a great military and naval station. But it is also in possession of some
civil rights unknown to the latter. Among these is a legislature with
limited power and boundless chatter, and, what is of more importance to
the visitor, the citizens can go in and out of Valletta at all hours of
the day and night, no raised drawbridge or stolid portcullis barring their
movements in times of peace. The stranger lands without being questioned
as to his nationality, and in Malta the Briton is bereft of the
_Civis-Romanus-sum_ sort of feeling he imbibes in Gibraltar; for here the
alien can circulate as freely as the lords of the soil. But the man who
wishes to explore Valletta must be capable of climbing; for from the
landing place to the chief hotel in the main street the ascent is
continuous, and for the first part of the way is by a flight of stairs.
Indeed, these steps are so often called into requisition that one can
sympathize with the farewell anathema of Bryon as he limped up one of
these frequent obstacles to locomotion,

  "Adieu! ye cursed streets of stairs!
  (How surely he who mounts you swears)."

The reason of this peculiar construction is that Valletta is built on the
ridge of Mount Scebarras, so that the ascent from the harbor to the
principal streets running along the crest of the hill is necessarily
steep. The result is, however, a more picturesque town than would have
been the case had the architect who laid out the town when Jean de La
Valette, Grand Master of the Knights, resolved in 1566 to transfer the
capital here from the center of the island, been able to find funds to
form a plateau by leveling down the summit of the mound. Hence Valletta is
composed of streets running longitudinally and others crossing the former
at right angles. Most of these are eked out by steps; one, the Strada
Santa Lucia, is made up of flights of them, and none are level from end to
end. The backbone of the town and the finest of its highways is the Strada
Reale, or Royal Street, which in former days was known as the Strada San
Georgio, and during the brief French occupation as "the Street of the
Rights of Man." Seven main streets run parallel with it, while eleven at
right angles extend in straight lines across the promontory from harbor to
harbor. The Strada Reale, with the Strada Mercanti alongside of it are,
however, the most typical bits of the capital, and the visitor who
conscientiously tramps through either, with a peep here and there up or
down the less important transverse "strade," obtains a fair idea of the
city of La Valette, whose statue stands with that of L'Isle Adam over the
Porta Reale at the farther end of the street bearing that name. Here the
first barrier to an invasion from the landward side is met with in the
shape of a deep ditch hewn through the solid rock, right across the
peninsula from the one harbor to the other, cutting off if necessary the
suburb of Floriana from the town proper, though Floriana, with its rampart
gardens, parade ground, and barracks, is again protected on the inland
aspect by other of the great fortifications which circle the seashore

However, the drawbridge is down at present, and a long stream of people,
civil and military, are crossing and recrossing it, to and from the Strada
Reale. For this street is the chief artery through which is ever
circulating the placid current of Valletteese life. Soldiers in the varied
uniforms of the regiments represented in the garrison are marching
backwards and forwards, to or from parade, or to keep watch on the
ramparts, or are taking their pleasure afoot, or in the neat little
covered "carrozzellas" or cabs of the country, in which, unlike those of
Gibraltar of a similar build, a drive can be taken at the cost of the coin
which, according to Sydney Smith, was struck to enable a certain thrifty
race to be generous. Sailors from the war-ships in the Grand Harbor, and
merchant seamen on a run ashore, are utilizing what time they can spare
from the grog shops in the lower town to see the sights of the place.
Cabmen and carmen driving cars without sides, and always rushing at the
topmost speed of their little horses, scatter unwary pedestrians. Native
women, with that curious "faldetta," or one-sided hood to their black
cloaks which is a characteristic of Malta as the mantilla is of Spain,
pass side by side with English ladies in the latest of London fashions, or
sturdy peasant women, returning from market, get sadly in the way of the
British nursemaid dividing her attention in unequal proportions between
her infantile charges and the guard marching for "sentry-go" to the
ramparts. Flocks of goats, their huge udders almost touching the ground,
are strolling about to be milked at the doors of customers. Maltese
laborers, brown little men, bare-footed, broad-shouldered, and muscular,
in the almost national dress of a Glengarry cap, cotton trousers, and
flannel shirt, with scarlet sash, coat over one arm, and little earrings,
jostle the smart officers making for the Union Club, or the noisy
"globe-trotter" just landed from the steamer which came to anchor an hour
ago. A few snaky-eyed Hindoos in gaily embroidered caps invite you to
inspect their stock of ornamental wares, but except for an Arab or two
from Tunis, or a few hulking Turks from Tripoli with pilot jackets over
their barracans, the Strada Reale of Valletta has little of that human
picturesqueness imparted to the Water-port Street of Gibraltar by the
motley swarms of Spaniards, and Sicilians, and negroes, and Moors, and
English who fill it at all periods between morning gun-fire to the hour
when the stranger is ousted from within the gates. Malta being a most
religiously Roman Catholic country, priests and robe-girded Carmelites are
everywhere plentiful, and all day long the worshipers entering and leaving
the numerous churches, with the eternal "jingle-jingle" of their bells,
remind one of Rabelais's description of England in his day. At every
turning the visitor is accosted by whining beggars whose pertinacity is
only equaled by that of the boot-blacks and cabmen, who seem to fancy that
the final purpose of man in Malta is to ride in carrozzellas with shining
shoes. In Gibraltar we find a relief to the eye in the great rock towering
overhead, the tree-embosomed cottages nestling on its slopes, or the
occasional clumps of palms in the hollows. These are wanting to the chief
strada of Valletta. In architectural beauty the two streets cannot,
however, be compared. The Water-port is lined with houses, few of which
are handsome and most of which are mean, while the scarcity of space tends
to crowd the narrow "ramps" as thickly as any lane in Valletta. It is
seldom that the shops are better than those of a petty English town, and
altogether the civil part of the rock fortresses has not lost the impress
of having been reared by a people with but little of the world's wealth to
spare, and kept alive by a population who have not a great deal to spend.

The main street of Valletta on the other hand is lined by good, and in
most cases by handsome, houses, frequently with little covered stone
balconies which lend a peculiar character to the buildings. The yellow
limestone is also pleasant to look upon, while the many palaces which the
comfort-loving knights erected for their shelter, impart to Valletta the
appearance of a "a city built by gentlemen for gentlemen." Here on the
right is the pretty Opera House (open, in common with the private
theaters, on Sunday and Saturday alike), and on the other side of the road
the Auberge of the Language of Provence, now occupied by the Union Club. A
little farther on, in an open space shaded with trees, is the Church of
St. John, on which the knights lavished their riches, and still,
notwithstanding the pillage of the French troops in 1798, rich in vessels
of gold and silver, crosses, pixes, jewels, monuments chivalric
emblazonments, paintings, carven stone and other ecclesiastical
embellishments, though like the wealthy order of military monks, whose
pride it was, the Church of St. John is ostentatiously plain on the
outside. The Auberge d'Auvergne, now the Courts of Justice, is on the
other side of the street, and hard by, a building which was formerly the
Treasury of the Knights, the storehouse into which was gathered the
contributions of the Commanderies throughout Europe. The Public Library
fronted by some trees a little way back from the road is interesting from
its containing the books of the Bailiff Louis de Tencin, the Grand Master
de Rohan (who erected it), and of many of the more lettered knights,
besides a good collection of the island antiquities. Close to it is the
palace of the Grand Master, now the residence of the Governor, or in part
utilized as Government offices. The courtyards, planted with oranges,
euphorbias, hibiscus, and other greenery, and the walls covered with
Bougainvillia, have a delightfully cool appearance to the pedestrian who
enters from the hot street; while the broad marble staircase, the
corridors lined with portraits and men-at-arms, and pictures representing
the warlike exploits of the knightly galleys, the armory full of ancient
weapons, and majolica vases from the Pharmacy, and the numerous relics of
the former rulers of the island, are worthy of a long study by those
interested in art or antiquity. The Council Chamber also merits a visit,
for there may be seen the priceless hangings of Brussels tapestry. And
last of all, the idlest of tourists is not likely to neglect the Hall of
St. Michael and St. George, the frescoes celebrating the famous deeds of
the Order of St. John, and the quaint clock in the interior court, which,
according to Maltese legend, was brought from Rhodes when that island was
abandoned after a resistance only less glorious than a victory. For, as
Charles V. exclaimed when he heard of the surrender which led to Malta
becoming the home of the knights, "there has been nothing in the world so
well lost as Rhodes." The main guard, with its pompous Latin inscription
recording how "Magnæ et invictæ Britanniæ Melitensium Amor et Europæ vox
Has insulas confirmant AN MDCCCXIV," is exactly opposite the palace. But
when the visitor sees the wealth of art which the knights were forced to
leave behind them, he is apt to be puzzled how the Maltese, who
contributed not one baiocco to buy it, or to build these palaces or
fortifications, could either through "Amor," or that necessity which knows
no law, make them over us to us, or how "Magna et invicta Britannia" could
accept without compensation the property of the military monks, whose
Order, bereft of wealth and influence, still exists and claims with the
acquiescence of at least one court to rank among the sovereign Powers of
Christendom. The knights are, however, still the greatest personalities in
Malta. We come upon them, their eight-pointed cross and their works at
every step. Their ghosts still walk the highways. The names of the Grand
Masters are immortalized in the cities they founded and in the forts they
reared. Their portraits in the rude art of the Berlin lithographer hang on
even the walls of the hotels. Their ecclesiastical side is in evidence by
the churches which they reared, by the hagiological names which they gave
to many of the streets, by the saintly figures with which, in spite of
three-fourths of a century of Protestant rulers, still stand at the
corners, and by the necessity which we have only recently found to come to
an understanding with the Pope as to the limits of the canon law in this
most faithful portion of his spiritual dominions.

On the other hand, the secular side of the Order is quite as prominent.
Here, for instance, after descending some steps which serve as a
footpath, we come to the Fort of St. Elmo, which terminates the Strada
Reale. But long before there was any regular town on Monte Sceberras, when
the capital was in the center of the island, this fortress on the point
midway between the two harbors was a place round which the tide of battle
often swirled, when Paynim and Christian fought for the mastery of the
island. Of all these sieges the greatest is that of 1565, a year before
the town of Valletta was laid out. Twice previously, in 1546 and 1551, the
Turks had endeavored to expel the knights, but failed to effect a landing.
But in the year mentioned Sultan Solyman, The Magnificent, the same
Solyman who thirty-four years before had driven them from Rhodes,
determined to make one supreme effort to dislodge the Order from their new
home. The invading fleet consisted of a hundred and thirty-eight vessels
under the Renegade Piali, and an army of thirty-three thousand men under
the orders of Mustafa Pasha. These sea and land forces were soon
afterwards increased by the arrival of two thousand five hundred resolute
old Corsairs brought from Algiers by Hassan Pasha, and eighteen ships
containing sixteen hundred men under the still more famous Dragut, the
Pirate Chief of Tripoli, who, by the fortunes of war, was in a few years
later fated to toil as a galley-slave in this very harbor. The siege
lasted for nearly four months. Every foot of ground was contested with
heroic determination until it was evident that Fort St. Elmo could no
longer hold out. Then the knights, worn and wounded, and reduced to a mere
remnant of their number, received the viaticum in the little castle
chapel, and embracing each other went forth on the ramparts to meet
whatever lot was in store for them. But St. Angelo and Senglea, at the
end of the peninsula on which Isola is now built, held out until, on the
arrival of succor from Sicily, the Turks withdrew. Of the forty thousand
men who on the 18th of May had sat down before the Castle, not ten
thousand re-embarked; whilst of the eight or nine thousand defenders,
barely six hundred were able to join in the Te Deum of thanks for the
successful termination of what was one of the greatest struggles in
ancient or modern times. Then it was that "the most illustrous and most
Reverend Lord, Brother John de la Valette," to quote his titles inscribed
over the Porta Reale, determined to lay out the new city, so that, before
twelve months passed, the primeval prophecy that there would be a time
when every foot of land in Monte Sceberras would be worth an ounce of
silver bade fair to come true. St. Elmo is still the chief of the island
fortresses, and the little chapel which the knights left to fall under the
Turkish scimitars is again in good preservation, after having been long
forgotten under a pile of rubbish. But though churchmen and soldiers, the
masters of Malta were, if all tales are true, a good deal more
_militaires_ than monks. Eye-witnesses describe the knights as they sailed
on a warlike expedition waving their hands to fair ladies on the shore. In
their albergos or barracks the "Languages" lived luxuriously, and though
dueling was strictly prohibited, there is a narrow street, the Strada
Stretta, running parallel with the Reale, in which this extremely
unecclesiastical mode of settling disputes was winked at. For by a
pleasant fiction, any encounter within its limits was regarded as simply a
casual difficulty occasioned by two fiery gentlemen accidentally jostling
each other!

Turning into the Strada Mercanti, the San Giacomio of a former
nomenclature, we come upon more reminders of this picturesque brotherhood.
For close by the Hospital for Incurables is the site of their cemetery,
and farther up the steep street is the Military Hospital, which was
founded by the Grand Master, Fra Luis de Vasconçelos. This infirmary, as
an old writer tells us, was in former days "the very glory of Malta."
Every patient had two beds for change, and a closet with lock and key to
himself. No more than two people were put in one ward, and these were
waited upon by the "Serving Brothers," their food being brought to them on
silver dishes, and everything else ordered with corresponding
magnificence. Nowadays, though scarcely so sumptuous, the hospital is
still a noble institution, one of the rooms, four hundred and eighty feet
in length, being accounted the longest in Europe. But there are no silver
dishes, and the nurses have ceased to be of knightly rank. The University,
an institution which turns out doctors with a celerity which accounts for
the number of them in the island, is an even less imposing building than
the public pawnbroking establishment hard by, and neither is so noteworthy
as the market, which is remarkable from a literary point of view as being
perhaps the only edifice in Valletta the founder of which has been content
to inscribe his merits in the vulgar tongue. On the top of the hill, for
we have been climbing all the time, is a house with a fine marble doorway,
which also is the relic of the knights. For this building was the
Castellania, or prison, and the pillory in which prisoners did penance,
and the little window from above which prisoners were suspended by the
hands, are still, with the huge hook to which the rope was attached, to be
seen by those who are curious in such disciplinary matters. But like the
rock-hewn dungeons in which the knights kept their two thousand
galley-slaves, in most cases Turks and Moors who had fallen in the way of
their war-ships, which still exist in the rear of the Dockyard Terrace,
such reminders of a cruel age and a stern Order are depressing to the
wanderer in search of the picturesque. He prefers to look at the Auberge
of the Language of Italy, where the Royal Engineers have their quarters,
or at the Palazzo Parisi, opposite (it is a livery stable at present),
where General Bonaparte resided during that brief stay in Malta which has
served ever since to make the French name abhorred in the island, or at
the Auberge de Castille, the noblest of all the knights' palaces, where
the two scientific corps hold their hospitable mess.

We have now tramped the entire length of the two chief longitudinal
streets of Malta, and have seen most of the buildings of much general
interest. But in the Strade Mezzodi and Britannica there are many private
dwellings of the best description, and even some public ones, like the
Auberge de France (devoted to the head of the Commissariat Department),
warrant examination from a historical if not from an architectural, point
of view. All of these knightly hotels are worthy of notice. Most of them
are now appropriated to the needs of Government offices or, like the
Auberge d'Arragon (an Episcopal residence), to the housing of local
dignitaries. But where the Auberge d'Allemagne once stood the collegiate
church of St. Paul has been built, and if there ever was an Auberge
d'Angleterre (for the language of England was suppressed when Henry VIII.
confiscated the English Commanderies and was early succeeded by that of
Bavaria), the building which bore her name was leveled when the new
theater was built. It is nevertheless certain that the Turcopolier or
General of the Horse was, until the Reformation, selected from the
Language of England, just as that of Provence always furnished the Grand
Commander, France the Grand Hospitaller, Italy the Admiral, Arragon the
Drapier, Auvergne the Commander, Germany the Grand Bailiff, and Castile
the Grand Chancellor of the Sovereign Order, whose Grand Master held among
other titles those of Prince of Malta and Gozo.

We are now at the Upper Barracca, one of those arcades erected as
promenades by the knights, and still the favorite walk of the citizens in
the cool of morning and evening. From this point also is obtained a good
bird's-eye view of Valletta and much of the neighboring country, and if
the visitor continues his walk to St. Andrew's Bastion he may witness a
panorama of both harbors; one, which the Maltese affirm (and we are not
called upon to contradict them), is surpassed by the Bosphorus alone. It
is at all events the most picturesque of the island views. There at a
glance may be seen the two chief harbors alive with boats, sailing
vessels, and steamers, from the huge ironclad to the noisy little launch.
We then see that beside the main peninsula upon which Valletta is built,
and which divides the Quarantine from the Grand Harbor, there are several
other headlands projecting into these ports in addition to the island
occupied by Fort Manoel and the Lazaretto. These narrow peninsulas cut the
havens into a host of subsidiary basins, bays, and creeks, while Valletta
itself has overflowed into the suburbs of Floriana, Sliema, and St.
Julian, and may by-and-by occupy Tasbiesch and Pieta; Bighi, where the
Naval Hospital is situated, and Corradino, associated with gay memories of
the racecourse, and the more sombre ones which pertain to the cemeteries
and the prisons, all of which are centered in this quarter, where in
former days the knights had their horse-breeding establishments and their
game preserves.

But there are certain suburbs of Valletta which no good Maltese will
describe by so humble a name. These are the "Three Cities" of Vittoriosa
and Senglea, built on the two peninsulas projecting into the Grand Harbor,
and separated by the Dockyard Creek, and Burmola or Cosspicua, stretching
back from the shore. These three "cities" are protected by the huge
Firenzuola and Cottonera lines of fortifications, and as Fort Angelo, the
most ancient of the Maltese strongholds, and Fort Ricasoli, recalling the
name of its builder, are among their castles, they hold their heads very
high in Malta. Indeed, long before Valletta was thought of, and when
Notabile was seen to be unfitted for their purpose, the knights took up
their residence in Borgo or the Burgh, which, as the Statue of Victory
still standing announces, was dignified by the name of Citta Vittoriosa
after their victory over the Turks. Strada Antico Palazzo del Governatore
recalls the old Palace which once stood in this street, and indeed until
1571 this now poor town was the seat of Government. Antique buildings,
like the Nunnery of Santa Scolastica, once a hospital, and the
Inquisitor's Palace, now the quarters of the English garrison, are
witnesses to its fatten dignity. Burmola is also a city of old churches,
and Senglea named after the Grand Master De la Sengle, though at present a
place of little consequence, contains plenty of architectural proofs that
when its old name of "Chersoneso," or the Peninsula, was changed to Isola,
or "The Unconquered," this "city," with Fort Michael to do its fighting,
played in Malta militant a part almost as important as it does nowadays
when its dockyard and arsenal are its chief titles to fame.

Turning our survey inland, we see from the Barracca a rolling country,
whitish, dry, and uninviting, dotted with white rocks projecting above the
surface; white little villages, each with its church and walled fields;
and topping all, on the summit of a rising ground, a town over which rise
the spires of a cathedral. This is Citta Vecchia, the "old city" as it was
called when the capital was transferred to Valletta, though the people
round about still call it by the Saracenic name of "Medina," (the town),
the more modern designation of "Notabile" being due to a complimentary
remark of Alfonso the Magnanimous, King of Castile. No town in Malta is
more ancient. Here, we know from the famous oration of Cicero, that
Verres, Prætor of Sicily, established some manufactories for cotton goods,
out of which were made women's dresses of extraordinary magnificence, and
here also the same voluptuous ruler did a reprehensible amount of
plundering from temples and the "abodes of wealthy and honorable
citizens." In their time-honored capital the Grand Masters had to be
inaugurated, and in its cathedral every Bishop of Malta must still be
consecrated. But the glory of Notabile is its memories, for in all
Christendom there is no more silent city than the one towards which we
creep by means of the island railway which has of late years shortened the
eight miles between it and Valletta. Every rood, after leaving the
cave-like station hollowed out of the soft solid rock, and the tunnels
under the fortifications, seems sleepier and sleepier. Every few minutes
we halt at a white-washed shed hard by a white-washed "casal." And all the
"casals" seem duplicates of each other. The white streets of these
villages are narrow, and the people few. But the church is invariably
disproportionately large, well built, and rich in decorations, while the
shops in the little square are much poorer than people who support so fine
a church ought to patronize. There is Hamrun, with its Apostolic Institute
directed by Algerian missionaries, Misada in the valley, and Birchircara.
Casal Curmi, where the cattle market is held, is seen in the distance, and
at Lia and Balzan we are among the orange and lemon gardens for which
these villages are famous. The San Antonio Palace, with its pleasant
grounds, forms a relief to the eye. At Attard, "the village of roses," the
aqueduct which supplies Valletta with the water of Diar Handur comes in
sight, and then, at San Salvador, the train begins the steep pull which
ends at the base of the hill on which Notabile is built.

On this slope are little terraced fields and remains of what must at one
time have been formidable fortifications. But all is crumbling now. A few
of the Valletta merchants are taking advantage of the railway by building
country houses, and some of the old Maltese nobility cling to the town
associated with their quondam glory. But its decaying mansions with their
mouldering coats of arms, palaces appropriated to prosaic purposes,
ramparts from which for ages the clash of arms has departed, and streets
silent except for the tread of the British soldiers stationed there or the
mumble of the professional beggar, tell a tale of long-departed greatness.
A statue of Juno is embedded in the gateway, and in the shed-like museum
have been collected a host of Phoenician, Roman, and other remains dug out
of the soil of the city. Maltese boys pester us to buy copper coins of the
knights which are possibly honest, and their parents produce silver ones
which are probably apocryphal.

In Notabile itself there is not, however, a great deal to look at, though
from the summit of the Sanatorium, of old the Courts of Justice (and there
are dreadful dungeons underneath it still), a glance may be obtained over
the entire island. To the prosaic eye it looks rather dry to be the "Fior
del Mondo," the flower of the world, as the patriotic Maltese terms the
land which he leaves with regret and returns to with joy. There to the
south lies Verdala Palace, and the Boschetto, a grove in much request for
picnic parties from Valletta, and beyond both, the Inquisitor's summer
palace, close to where the sea spray is seen flying against the rugged
cliffs. The Bingemma hills, thick with Phoenician tombs, are seen to the
west, and if the pedestrian cares he may visit the old rock fortress of
Kala ta Bahria, Imtarfa, where stood the temple of Proserpine, and
Imtahleb near the seashore, where in the season wild strawberries abound.
Musta, with its huge domed church, is prominent enough to the northeast,
while with a glass it is not difficult to make out Zebbar and Zeitun,
Zurrico, Paola, and other villages of the southeastern coast scattered
through a region where remains of the past are very plentiful. For here
are the ruins of the temples of Hagiar Khim and Mnaidra, rude prehistoric
monuments, and on the shore of the Marsa Scirocco (a bay into which the
hot wind of Africa blows direct), is a megalithic wall believed to be the
last of the temple of Melkarte, the Tyrian Hercules.

But in Notabile, far before Apollo and Proserpine, whose marble temples
stood here, before even the knights, whose three centuries of iron rule
have a singular fascination for the Maltese, there is a name very often in
many mouths. And that is "San Paolo." Saint Paul is in truth the great
man of Malta, and the people make very much of him. He is almost as
popular a personage as Sir Thomas Maitland, the autocratic "King Tom," of
whose benevolent despotism and doughty deeds also one is apt in time to
get a little tired. Churches and streets and cathedrals are dedicated to
the Apostle of the Gentiles, and from the summit of the Sanatorium a
barefooted Maltese points out "the certain creek with a shore" in which he
was wrecked, the island of Salmun, on which there is a statue of him, and
the church erected in his honor. It is idle to hint to this pious son of
Citta Vecchia that it is doubtful whether Paul was ever wrecked in Malta
at all, that not unlikely the scene of that notable event was Melita, in
the Gulf of Ragusa. Are there not hard by serpents turned into stone, if
no living serpents to bite anybody, and a miraculous fountain which bursts
forth at the Apostle's bidding? And is not "the tempestuous wind called
Euroklydon" blowing at this very moment? And in the cathedral we learn for
the first time that Publius, on the site of whose house it is built,
became the first bishop of Malta. For is not his martyrdom sculptured in
marble, and painted on canvas? And by-and-by we see the grotto in which
St. Paul did three months' penance, though the reason is not explained,
and over it the chapel raised to the memory of the converted Roman
Governor, and not far away the Catacombs in which the early Christians
sheltered themselves, though whether there is an underground passage from
there to Valletta, as historians affirm, is a point in which our
barefooted commentator is not agreed.

All these are to him irreverent doubts. Notabile, with its cathedral, and
convents, and monasteries, its church of St. Publius, the "stone of which
never grows less," the seminary for priests, the Bishop's Palace and the
Bishop's Hospital, is no place for scepticism touching Saint Paul and his
voyages. Any such unbeliefs we had better carry elsewhere. The day is hot
and the old city is somnolent, and the talk is of the past. At the wicket
gate of the little station at the hill foot the engine is, at least, of
the present. And as we slowly steam into Valletta, and emerge into the
busy street, we seem to have leapt in an hour from the Middle Ages into
the Twentieth Century. The band is playing in the Palace Square, and the
politicians are in procession over some event with which we as seekers
after the picturesque are not concerned. But in Valletta we are in the
land of living men. Behind us is a city of the dead, and around it lie
villages which seem never to have been alive.



    Scylla and Charybdis--Messina, the chief commercial center of
    Sicily--The magnificent ruins of the Greek Theater at
    Taormina--Omnipresence of Mt. Etna--Approach to Syracuse--The famous
    Latomia del Paradiso--Girgenti, the City of Temples--Railway route to
    Palermo--Mosaics--Cathedral and Abbey of Monreale--Monte Pellegrino at
    the hour of sunset.

To the traveller who proposes to enter Sicily by the favorite sea-route
from Naples to Messina the approach to the island presents a scene of
singular interest and beauty. A night's voyage from the sunny bay which
sleeps at the foot of Vesuvius suffices to bring him almost within the
shadow of Etna. By daybreak he has just passed the Punta del Faro, the
lighthoused promontory at the extreme northeastern angle of this
three-cornered isle, the Trinacria of the ancients, and is steaming into
the Straits. Far to his left he can see, with the eye of faith at any
rate, the rock of Scylla jutting out from the Calabrian coast, while the
whirlpool of Charybdis, he will do well to believe, is eddying and foaming
at the foot of the Pharos a few hundred yards to his right. Here let him
resolutely locate the fabled monster of the gaping jaws into which were
swept those luckless mariners of old whose dread of Scylla drove them too
near to the Sicilian shore. Modern geographers may maintain (as what will
they not maintain?) that Charybdis should be identified with the
Garofalo, the current which sweeps round the breakwater of Messina seven
miles to the south; but Circe distinctly told Ulysses that the two
monsters were not a "bowshot apart"; and the perfectly clear and
straightforward account given of the matter by Æneas to Dido renders it
impossible to doubt that Scylla and Charybdis faced each other at the
mouth of the Straits. The traveller will be amply justified in believing
that he has successfully negotiated the passage between these two terrors
as soon as he has left the Pharos behind him and is speeding along the
eastern coast of the island towards the city of Messina.

Very bold and impressive grows the island scenery under the gradually
broadening daylight. Tier on tier above him rise the bare, brown
hill-slopes, spurs of the great mountain pyramid which he is approaching.
These tumbled masses of the mountains, deepening here where the night
shadow still lingers into downright black, and reddening there where they
"take the morning" to the color of rusty iron, proclaim their volcanic
character, to all who are familiar with the signs thereof, unmistakably
enough. Just such a ferruginous face does Nature turn towards you as you
drop down at twilight past the Isleta of Las Palmas, in Gran Canaria, or
work your way from the eastern to the western coast of Teneriffe, round
the spreading skirts of the Peak. Rock scenery of another character is
visible on the left, among the Calabrian mountains, dwarfed somewhat by
the nearer as well as loftier heights of the island opposite, but bearing
no mean part in the composition of the land- and sea-scape, nevertheless.
Mile after mile the view maintains its rugged beauty, and when at last the
town and harbor of Messina rise in sight, and the fort of Castellaccio
begins to fill the eye, to the exclusion of the natural ramparts of the
hills, the traveller will be fain to admit that few islands in the world
are approached through scenery so romantic and so well attuned to its
historic associations.

There are those who find Messina disappointing, and there is no doubt that
to quit the waters of a rock-embosomed strait for the harbor of a large
commercial seaport possessing no special claim to beauty of situation, is
to experience a certain effect of disenchantment. It would not be fair,
however, to hold the town, as a town, responsible for this. It is only
some such jewel as Naples or as Algiers that could vie with such a
setting. Messina is not an Algiers or a Naples; it is only an honest,
ancient, prosperous, active, fairly clean, and architecturally
unimpressive town. The chief commercial center of Sicily, with upwards of
eighty thousand inhabitants, a Cathedral, an Archbishop, and a University,
it can afford, its inhabitants perhaps believe, to dispense with æsthetic
attractions. But its spacious quays, its fine and curiously shaped port,
the Harbor of the Sickle as it was called by the ancients when after it
they named the city "Zancle," have an interest of their own if they are
without much claim to the picturesque; and the view from the Faro Grande
on the curve of the Sickle, with the Sicilian mountains behind, the
Calabrian rocks in front, and the Straits to the right and left of the
spectator, is not to be despised.

Still, Messina is not likely to detain any pleasure-tourist long,
especially with Taormina, the gem of the island, and one might almost say,
indeed, of all Italy, awaiting him at only the distance of a railway
journey of some sixty to a hundred miles. The line from Messina to
Giardini, the station for Taormina, and the spot whence Garibaldi crossed
to Calabria in the autumn of 1860, skirts the sea-coast, burrowing under
headlands and spanning dry river-beds for a distance of thirty miles, amid
the scenery which has been already viewed from the Straits, but which
loses now from its too close neighborhood to the eye. The rock-built town
of ancient Taormina is perched upon a steep and craggy bluff some four
hundred feet above the railway line, and is approached by an extremely
circuitous road of about three miles in length. Short cuts there are for
the youthful, the impetuous, and the sound in wind; but even these
fortunate persons might do worse than save their breath and restrain their
impatience to reach their destination, if only for the sake of the varying
panorama which unfolds itself as they ascend from level to level on their
winding way. There can be no denying that Taormina stands nobly and
confronts the Straits with a simple dignity that many greater and even
higher cities might well envy. To see it from a favoring angle of the
battlemented road, with the southern sunlight bathing its bright white
walls and broken lines of housetops, with the tower of Sant' Agostino
traced against the cone of Etna, and the wall that skirts it almost
trembling on the utmost verge of the cliff, while at the foot of the
declivity the Straits trend southward in "tender, curving lines of creamy
spray," to see this is at least to admit that some short cuts are not
worth taking, and that the bridle-path up the hillside might well be left
to those animals for whose use it was constructed, and who are generally
believed to prefer an abridgment of their journey to any conceivable
enhancement of its picturesque attractions.


At Taormina one may linger long. The pure, inspiriting air of its lofty
plateau, and the unequaled beauty of the prospect which it commands, would
alone be sufficient to stay the hurried footsteps of even the most
time-pressed of "globe-trotters"; but those who combine a love of scenery
with a taste for archæology and the classical antique will find it indeed
a difficult place to leave. For, a little way above the town, and in the
center of an exquisite landscape stand the magnificent ruins of the Greek
Theater, its auditorium, it is true, almost leveled with the plain, but
more perfect as to the remains of its stage and proscenium than any other
in Sicily, and, with one exception, in the world. But there is no need to
be a scholar or an antiquarian to feel the extraordinary fascination of
the spot. Nowhere among all the relics of bygone civilizations have Time
and Nature dealt more piously with the work of man. Every spring and
summer that have passed over those mouldering columns and shattered arches
have left behind them their tribute of clasping creeper and clambering
wild flower and softly draping moss. Boulder and plinth in common, the
masonry alike of Nature and of man, have mellowed into the same exquisite
harmony of greys and greens; and the eye seeks in vain to distinguish
between the handiwork of the Great Mother and those monuments of her
long-dead children which she has clothed with an immortality of her own.

Apart, however, from the indescribable charm of its immediate
surroundings, the plateau of the theater must fix itself in the memory of
all who have entered Sicily by way of Messina as having afforded them
their first "clear" view of Etna, their first opportunity, that is to say,
of looking at the majestic mountain unintercepted at any point of its
outline or mass by objects on a lower level. The whole panorama indeed
from this point is magnificent. To the left, in the foreground, rise the
heights of Castiglione from the valley of the Alcantara; while, as the eye
moves round the prospect from left to right, it lights in succession on
the hermitage of S. Maria della Rocca, the Castle of Taormina, the
overhanding hill of Mola, and Monte Venere towering above it. But,
dominating the whole landscape, and irresistibly recalling to itself the
gaze which wanders for a moment to the nearer chain of mountains or the
blue Calabrian hills across the Strait, arises the never-to-be-forgotten
pyramid of Etna, a mountain unrivaled in its combination of majesty and
grace, in the soft symmetry of its "line," and the stern contrast between
its lava-scarred sides, with their associations of throe and torture, and
the eternal peace of its snow-crowned head. It will be seen at a closer
view from Catania, and, best of all, on the journey from that place to
Syracuse; but the first good sight of it from Taormina, at any rate when
weather and season have been favorable, is pretty sure to become an
abiding memory.

Twenty miles farther southwards along the coast lie the town and baths of
Aci Reale, a pleasant resort in the "cure" season, but to others than
invalids more interesting in its associations with Theocritus and Ovid,
with "Homer the Handel of Epos, and Handel the Homer of song;" in a word,
with Acis and Galatea, and Polyphemus, and the much-enduring Ulysses. Aci
Castello, a couple of miles or so down the coast, is, to be precise, the
exact spot which is associated with these very old-world histories, though
Polyphemus's sheep-run probably extended far along the coast in both
directions, and the legend of the giant's defeat and discomfiture by the
hero of the Odyssey is preserved in the nomenclature of the rocky chain
which juts out at this point from the Sicilian shore. The Scogli dei
Ciclopi are a fine group of basaltic rocks, the biggest of them some two
hundred feet in height and two thousand feet in circumference, no doubt
"the stone far greater than the first" with which Polyphemus took his shot
at the retreating Wanderer, and which "all but struck the end of the
rudder." It is a capital "half-brick" for a giant to "heave" at a
stranger, whether the Cyclops did, in fact, heave it or not; and, together
with its six companions, it stands out bravely and with fine sculpturesque
effect against the horizon. A few miles farther on is Catania, the second
city in population and importance of Sicily, but, except for one advantage
which would give distinction to the least interesting of places, by no
means the second in respect of beauty. As a town, indeed, it is
commonplace. Its bay, though of ample proportions, has no particular grace
of contour; and even the clustering masts in its busy harbor scarcely
avail to break the monotony of that strip of houses on the flat seaboard,
which, apart from its surroundings, is all that constitutes Catania. But
with Etna brooding over it day and night, and the town lying outstretched
and nestling between the two vast arms which the giant thrusts out towards
the sea on each side, Catania could not look wholly prosaic and
uninteresting even if she tried.

We must again return to the mountain, for Etna, it must be remembered, is
a persistent feature, is _the_ persistent feature of the landscape along
nearly the whole eastern coast of Sicily from Punta di Faro to the Cape of
Santa Croce, if not to the promontory of Syracuse. Its omnipresence
becomes overawing as one hour of travel succeeds another and the great
mountain is as near as ever. For miles upon miles by this southward course
it haunts the traveller like a reproving conscience. Each successive stage
on his journey gives him only a different and not apparently more distant
view. Its height, ten thousand feet, although, of course, considerable,
seems hardly sufficient to account for this perpetual and unabating
prominence, which, however, is partly to be explained by the outward trend
taken by the sea-coast after we pass Catania, and becoming more and more
marked during the journey from that city to Syracuse. There could be no
better plan of operations for one who wishes to view the great mountain
thoroughly, continuously, protractedly, and at its best, than to await a
favorable afternoon, and then to take the journey in question by railway,
so timing it as to reach the tongue of Santa Croce about sunset. From
Catania to Lentini the traveller has Etna, wherever visible, on his right;
at Lentini the line of railway takes a sharp turn to the left, and,
striking the coast at Agnone, hugs it all along the northern shore of the
promontory, terminating with Cape Santa Croce, upon approaching which
point it doubles back upon itself, to follow the "re-entering angle" of
the cape, and then, once more turning to the left, runs nearly due
southward along the coast to Syracuse. Throughout the twenty miles or so
from Lentini to Augusta, beneath the promontory of Santa Croce, Etna lies
on the traveller's left, with the broad blue bay fringed for part of the
way by a mile-wide margin of gleaming sand between him and it. Then the
great volcanic cone, all its twenty miles from summit to sea-coast
foreshortened into nothingness by distance, seems to be rising from the
very sea; its long-cooled lava streams might almost be mingling with the
very waters of the bay. As the rays of the westering sun strike from
across the island upon silver-gray sand and blue-purple sea and
russet-iron mountain slopes, one's first impulse is to exclaim with
Wordsworth, in vastly differing circumstances, that "earth hath not
anything to show more fair." But it has. For he who can prolong his view
of the mountain until after the sun has actually sunk will find that even
the sight he has just witnessed can be surpassed. He must wait for the
moment when the silver has gone out of the sand, and the purple of the sea
has changed to gray, and the russet of Etna's lava slopes is deepening
into black; for that is also the moment when the pink flush of the
departed sunset catches its peak and closes the symphony of color with a
chord more exquisitely sweet than all.

From Cape Santa Croce to Syracuse the route declines a little perhaps in
interest. The great volcano which has filled the eye throughout the
journey is now less favorably placed for the view, and sometimes, as when
the railway skirts the Bay of Megara in a due southward direction, is
altogether out of sight. Nor does the approach to Syracuse quite prepare
one for the pathetic charm of this most interesting of the great, dead,
half-deserted cities of the ancient world, or even for the singular beauty
of its surroundings. You have to enter the inhabited quarter itself, and
to take up your abode on that mere sherd and fragment of old Greek
Syracuse, the Island of Ortygia, to which the present town is confined (or
rather, you have to begin by doing this, and then to sally forth on a long
walk of exploration round the _contorni_, to trace the line of the ancient
fortifications, and to map out as best you may the four other quarters,
each far larger than Ortygia, which, long since given over to
orange-gardens and scattered villas and farmhouses, were once no doubt
well-peopled districts of the ancient city), ere you begin either to
discover its elements of material beauty or to feel anything of its
spiritual magic. It is hard to believe that this decayed and apparently
still decaying little island town was once the largest of the Hellenic
cities, twenty miles, according to Strabo, in circumference, and even in
the time of Cicero containing in one of its now deserted quarters "a very
large Forum, most beautiful porticoes, a highly decorated Town Hall, a
most spacious Senate House, and a superb Temple of Jupiter Olympius." A
spoiler more insatiable than Verres has, alas! carried off all these
wonders of art and architecture, and of most of them not even a trace of
the foundations remains. Of the magnificent Forum a single unfluted column
appears to be the solitary relic. The porticoes, the Town Hall, the Senate
House, the Temple of the Olympian Jove are irrecoverable even by the most
active architectural imagination. But the west wall of the district which
contained these treasures is still partially traceable, and in the
adjoining quarter of the ancient city we find ourselves in its richest
region both of the archæological and the picturesque.

For here is the famous Latomia del Paradiso, quarry, prison, guard-house,
and burial-place of the Syracusan Greek, and the yet more famous Theater,
inferior to that of Taormina in the completeness of the stage and
proscenium, but containing the most perfectly preserved auditorium in the
world. The entrance to the Latomia, that gigantic, ear-shaped orifice hewn
out of the limestone cliff, and leading into a vast whispering-chamber,
the acoustic properties of which have caused it to be identified with the
(historic or legendary) Ear of Dionysius, has a strange, wild
impressiveness of its own. But in beauty though not in grandeur it is
excelled by another abandoned limestone quarry in the neighborhood, which
has been converted by its owner into an orangery. This lies midway between
the Latomia del Paradiso and the Quarry of the Cappuccini, and is in truth
a lovely retreat. Over it broods the perfect stillness that never seems so
deep as in those deserted places which have once been haunts of busy life.
It is rich in the spiritual charm of natural beauty and the sensuous
luxury of sub-tropical culture: close at hand the green and gold of orange
trees, in the middle distance the solemn plumes of the cypresses, and
farther still the dazzling white walls of the limestone which the blue sky
bends down to meet.

To pass from the quarries to the remains of the Greek Theater hard by is
in some measure to exchange the delight of the eye for the subtler
pleasures of mental association. Not that the concentric curves of these
moldering and moss-lined stone benches are without their appeal to the
senses. On the contrary, they are beautiful in themselves, and, like all
architectural ruins, than which no animate things in nature more perfectly
illustrate the scientific doctrine of "adaptation to environment," they
harmonize deliciously in line and tone with their natural surroundings.
Yet to most people, and especially so to those of the contemplative habit,
the Greek Theater at Syracuse, like the Amphitheaters of Rome and Verona,
will be most impressive at moments when the senses are least active and
the imagination busiest. It is when we abstract the mind from the existing
conditions of the ruin; it is when we "restore" it by those processes of
mental architecture which can never blunder into Vandalism; it is when we
re-people its silent, time-worn benches with the eager, thronging life of
twenty centuries ago, that there is most of magic in its spell. And here
surely imagination has not too arduous a task, so powerfully is it
assisted by the wonderful completeness of these remains. More than forty
tiers of seats shaped out of the natural limestone of the rock can still
be quite distinctly traced; and though their marble facings have of course
long moldered into dust, whole _cunei_ of them are still practically as
uninjured by time, still as fit for the use for which they were intended,
as when the Syracusans of the great age of Attic Drama flocked hither to
hear the tragedies of that poet whom they so deeply reverenced that to be
able to recite his verse was an accomplishment rewarded in the prisoners
who possessed it by liberation from bondage. To the lover of classical
antiquity Syracuse will furnish "moments" in abundance; but at no other
spot either in Ortygia itself or in these suburbs of the modern city, not
at the Fountain of Arethusa on the brink of the great port; not in the
Temple of Minerva, now the Cathedral, with its Doric columns embedded in
the ignominy of plaster; not in that wildest and grandest of those ancient
Syracusan quarries, the Latomia dei Cappuccini, where the ill-fated
remnant of the routed army of Nicias is supposed to have expiated in
forced labor the failure of the Sicilian Expedition, will he find it so
easy to rebuild the ruined past as here on this desolate plateau, with
these perfect monuments of the immortal Attic stage around him, and at his
feet the town, the harbor, the promontory of Plemmyrium, the blue waters
of the Ionian Sea.

It is time, however, to resume our journey and to make for that hardly
less interesting or less beautifully situated town of Sicily which is
usually the next halting-place of the traveller. The route to Girgenti
from Syracuse is the most circuitous piece of railway communication in the
island. To reach our destination it is necessary to retrace our steps
almost the whole way back to Catania. At Bicocca, a few miles distant from
that city, the line branches off into the interior of the country for a
distance of some fifty or sixty miles, when it is once more deflected, and
then descends in a southwesterly direction towards the coast. At a few
miles from the sea, within easy reach of its harbor, Porto Empedocle, lies
Girgenti. The day's journey will have been an interesting one. Throughout
its westward course the line, after traversing the fertile Plain of
Catania, the rich grain-bearing district which made Sicily the granary of
the Roman world, ascends gradually into a mountainous region and plunges
between Calascibetta and Castrogiovanni into a tortuous ravine, above
which rise towering the two last-named heights. The latter of the two is
planted on the site of the plain of Enna, the scene of the earliest
abduction recorded in history. Flowers no longer flourish in the same
abundance on the meads from which Persephone was carried off by the Dark
King of Hades; but the spot is still fair and fertile, truly a "green
navel of the isle," the central Omphalos from which the eye ranges
northward, eastward, and south-westward over each expanse of Trinacria's
triple sea. But those who do not care to arrest their journey for the sake
of sacrificing to Demeter, or of enjoying the finest, in the sense of the
most extensive, view in Sicily, may yet admire the noble situation of the
rock-built town of Castrogiovanni, looking down upon the railway from its
beetling crag.

Girgenti, the City of Temples, the richest of all places in the world
save one in monuments of Pagan worship, conceals its character effectually
enough from him who enters it from the north. Within the precincts of the
existing city there is little sign to be seen of its archæological
treasures, and, to tell the truth, it has but few attractions of its own.
Agrigentum, according to Pindar "the most beautiful city of mortals," will
not so strike a modern beholder; but that, no doubt, is because, like
Syracuse and other famous seats of ancient art and religious reverence, it
has shrunk to dimensions so contracted as to leave all the riches of those
stately edifices to which it owed the fame of its beauty far outside its
present boundaries. Nothing, therefore, need detain the traveller in the
town itself (unless, indeed, he would snatch a brief visit to the
later-built cathedral, remarkable for nothing but the famous marble
sarcophagus with its relief of the Myth of Hippolytus), and he will do
well to mount the Rupe Atenea without delay. The view, however, in every
direction is magnificent, the town to the right of the spectator and
behind him, the sea in front, and the rolling, ruin-dotted plain between.
From this point Girgenti itself looks imposing enough with the irregular
masses of its roofs and towers silhouetted against the sky. But it is the
seaward view which arrests and detains the eye. Hill summit or hotel
window, it matters little what or where your point of observation is, you
have but to look from the environs of Girgenti towards Porto Empedocle, a
few miles to the south, and you bring within your field of vision a space
of a few dozen acres in extent which one may reasonably suppose to have no
counterpart in any area of like dimensions on the face of the globe. It is
a garden of moldering shrines, a positive orchard of shattered porticoes
and broken column-shafts, and huge pillars prostrate at the foot of their
enormous plinths. You can count and identify and name them all even from
where you stand. Ceres and Proserpine, Juno Lacinia, Concord, Hercules,
Æsculapius, Jupiter Olympius, Castor and Pollux, all are visible at once,
all recognizable and numerable from east to west in their order as above.
It is a land of ruined temples, and, to all appearance, of nothing else.
One can just succeed, indeed, in tracing the coils of the railway as it
winds like a black snake towards Porto Empedocle, but save that there are
no signs of life. One descries no wagon upon the roads, no horse in the
furrows, no laborer among the vines. Girgenti itself, with its hum and
clatter, lies behind you; no glimpse of life or motion is visible on the
quays of the port. All seems as desolate as those gray and moldering fanes
of the discrowned gods, a solitude which only changes in character without
deepening in intensity as the eye travels across the foam-fringed
coast-line out on the sailless sea. There is a strange beauty in this
silent Pantheon of dead deities, this landscape which might almost seem to
be still echoing the last wail of the dying Pan; and it is a beauty of
death and desolation to which the like of nature, here especially
abounding, contributes not a little by contrast. For nowhere in Sicily is
the country-side more lavishly enriched by the olive. Its contorted stem
and quivering, silvery foliage are everywhere. Olives climb the
hill-slopes in straggling files; olives cluster in twos and threes and
larger groups upon the level plain; olives trace themselves against the
broken walls of the temples, and one catches the flicker of their branches
in the sunlight that streams through the roofless peristyles. From Rupe
Atenea out across the plain to where the eye lights upon the white loops
of the road to Porto Empedocle one might almost say that every object
which is not a temple or a fragment of a temple is an olive tree.

By far the most interesting of the ruins from the archæologist's point of
view is that of the Temple of Concord, which, indeed, is one of the
best-preserved in existence, thanks, curiously enough, to the religious
Philistinism which in the Middle Ages converted it into a Christian
church. It was certainly not in the spirit of its tutelary goddess that it
was so transformed: nothing, no doubt, was farther from the thoughts of
those who thus appropriated the shrine of Concord than to illustrate the
doctrine of the unity of religion. But art and archæology, if not romance,
have good reason to thank them that they "took over" the building on any
grounds, for it is, of course, to this circumstance that we owe its
perfect condition of preservation, and the fact that all the details of
the Doric style as applied to religious architecture can be studied in
this temple while so much of so many of its companion fanes has crumbled
into indistinguishable ruin. Concordia has remained virtually intact
through long centuries under the homely title of "the Church of St.
Gregory of the Turnips," and it rears its stately façade before the
spectator in consequence with architrave complete, a magnificent hexastyle
of thirty-four columns, its lateral files of thirteen shafts apiece
receding in noble lines of perspective. Juno Lacinia, or Juno Lucinda (for
it may have been either as the "Lacinian Goddess" or as the Goddess of
Childbed that Juno was worshipped here), an older fane than Concordia,
though the style had not yet entered on its decline when the latter temple
was built, is to be seen hard by, a majestic and touching ruin. It dates
from the fifth century B. C., and is therefore Doric of the best period.
Earthquakes, it seems, have co-operated with time in the work of
destruction, and though twenty-five whole pillars are left standing, the
façade, alas! is represented only by a fragment of architrave. More
extensive still have been the ravages inflicted on the Temple of Hercules
by his one unconquerable foe. This great and famous shrine, much venerated
of old by the Agrigentines, and containing that statue of the god which
the indefatigable "collector" Verres vainly endeavored to loot, is now
little more than a heap of tumbled masonry, with one broken column-shaft
alone still standing at one extremity of its site. But it is among the
remains of the ancient sanctuary of Zeus, all unfinished, though that
edifice was left by its too ambitious designers, that we get the best idea
of the stupendous scale on which those old-world religious architects and
masons worked. The ruin itself has suffered cruelly from the hand of man;
so much so, indeed, that little more than the ground plan of the temple is
to be traced by the lines of column bases, vast masses of its stone having
been removed from its site to be used in the construction of the Mole. But
enough remains to show the gigantic scale on which the work was planned
and partially carried out. The pillars which once stood upon those bases
were twenty feet in circumference, or more than two yards in diameter and
each of their flutings forms a niche big enough to contain a man! Yon
Caryatid, who has been carefully and skillfully pieced together from the
fragments doubtless of many Caryatids, and who now lies, hands under head,
supine and staring at the blue sky above him, is more than four times the
average height of a man. From the crown of his bowed head to his stony
soles he measures twenty-five feet, and to watch a tourist sitting by or
on him and gazing on Girgenti in the distance is to be visited by a touch
of that feeling of the irony of human things to which Shelley gives
expression in his "Ozymandias."

The railway route from Girgenti to Palermo is less interesting than that
from Catania to Girgenti. It runs pretty nearly due south and north across
the island from shore to shore, through a country mountainous indeed, as
is Sicily everywhere, but not marked by anything particularly striking in
the way of highland scenery. At Termini we strike the northern coast, and
the line branches off to the west. Another dozen miles or so brings us to
Santa Flavia, whence it is but half an hour's walk to the ruins of
Soluntum, situated on the easternmost hill of the promontory of Catalfano.
The coast-view from this point is striking, and on a clear day the
headland of Cefalu, some twenty miles away to the eastward, is plainly
visible. Ten more miles of "westing" and we approach Palermo, the Sicilian
capital, a city better entered from the sea, to which it owes its beauty
as it does its name.

To the traveller fresh from Girgenti and its venerable ruins, or from
Syracuse with its classic charm, the first impressions of Palermo may very
likely prove disappointing. Especially will they be so if he has come with
a mind full of historic enthusiasm and a memory laden with the records of
Greek colonization, Saracen dominion, and Norman conquest, and expecting
to find himself face to face with the relics and remainder of at any rate
the modern period of the three. For Palermo is emphatically what the
guide-books are accustomed to describe as "a handsome modern city"; which
means, as most people familiar with the Latin countries are but too well
aware, a city as like any number of other Continental cities, built and
inhabited by Latin admirers and devotees of Parisian "civilization," as
"two peas in a pod." In the Sicilian capital the passion for the
monotonous magnificence of the boulevard has been carried to an almost
amusing pitch. Palermo may be regarded from this point of view as
consisting of two most imposing boulevards of approximately equal length,
each bisecting the city with scrupulous equality from east to west and
from north to south, and intersecting each other in its exact center at
the mathematically precise angle of ninety degrees. You stand at the Porta
Felice, the water-gate of the city, with your back to the sea, and before
you, straight as a die, stretches the handsome Via Vittorio Emanuele for a
mile or more ahead. You traverse the handsome Via Vittorio Emanuele for
half its length and you come to the Quattro Canti, a small octagonal
piazza which boasts itself to be the very head of Palermo, and from this
intersection of four cross-roads, you see stretching to right and left of
you the equally handsome Via Macqueda. Walk down either of these two great
thoroughfares, the Macqueda or the Vittorio Emanuele, and you will be
equally satisfied with each; the only thing which may possibly mar your
satisfaction will be your consciousness that you would be equally
satisfied with the other, and, indeed, that it requires an effort of
memory to recollect in which of the two you are. There is nothing to
complain of in the architecture or decoration of the houses. All is
correct, regular, and symmetrical in line, bright and cheerful in color,
and, as a whole, absolutely wanting in individuality and charm.

It is, however, of course impossible to kill an ancient and interesting
city altogether with boulevards. Palermo, like every other city, has its
"bits," to be found without much difficulty by anyone who will quit the
beaten track of the two great thoroughfares and go a-questing for them
himself. He may thus find enough here and there to remind him that he is
living on the "silt" of three, nay, four civilizations, on a fourfold
formation to which Greek and Roman, Saracen and Norman, have each
contributed its successive layer. It need hardly be said that the latter
has left the deepest traces of any. The Palazzo Reale, the first of the
Palermitan sights to which the traveller is likely to bend his way, will
afford the best illustration of this. Saracenic in origin, it has received
successive additions from half-a-dozen Norman princes, from Robert
Guiscard downwards, and its chapel, the Cappella Palatina, built by Roger
II. in the early part of the twelfth century, is a gem of decorative art
which would alone justify a journey to Sicily to behold. The purely
architectural beauties of the interior are impressive enough, but the eye
loses all sense of them among the wealth of their decoration. The stately
files of Norman arches up the nave would in any other building arrest the
gaze of the spectator, but in the Cappella Palatina one can think of
nothing but mosaics. Mosaics are everywhere, from western door to eastern
window, and from northern to southern transept wall. A full-length,
life-sized saint in mosaic grandeur looks down upon you from every
interval between the arches of the nave, and medallions of saints in
mosaic, encircled with endless tracery and arabesque, form the inner face
of every arch. Mosaic angels float with outstretched arms above the apse.
A colossal Madonna and Bambino, overshadowed by a hovering Père Eternel,
peer dimly forth in mosaic across the altar through the darkness of the
chancel. The ground is golden throughout, and the somber richness of the
effect is indescribable. In Palermo and its environs, in the Church of
Martorana, and in the Cathedral of Monreale, no less than here, there is
an abundance of that same decoration, and the mosaics of the latter of the
two edifices above mentioned are held to be the finest of all; but it is
by those of the Cappella Palatina, the first that he is likely to make the
acquaintance of, that the visitor, not being an expert or connoisseur in
this particular species of art-work, will perhaps be the most deeply

The Palazzo Reale may doubtless too be remembered by him, as affording him
the point of view from which he has obtained his first idea of the
unrivaled situation of Palermo. From the flat roof of the Observatory,
fitted up in the tower of S. Ninfa, a noble panorama lies stretched around
us. The spectator is standing midway between Amphitrite and the Golden
Shell that she once cast in sport upon the shore. Behind him lies the
Conca d'Oro, with the range of mountains against which it rests, Grifone
and Cuccio, and the Billieni Hills, and the road to Monreale winding up
the valley past La Rocca; in front lies the noble curve of the gulf, from
Cape Mongerbino to the port, the bold outlines of Monte Pellegrino, the
Bay of Mondello still farther to the left, and Capo di Gallo completing
the coast-line with its promontory dimly peering through the haze.
Palermo, however, does not perhaps unveil the full beauty of its situation
elsewhere than down at the sea's edge, with the city nestling in the curve
behind one and Pellegrino rising across the waters in front.

But the environs of the city, which are of peculiar interest and
attraction, invite us, and first among these is Monreale, at a few miles'
distance, a suburb to which the traveller ascends by a road commanding at
every turn some new and striking prospect of the bay. On one hand as he
leaves the town, lies the Capuchin Monastery, attractive with its
catacombs of mummified ex-citizens of Palermo to the lover of the gruesome
rather than of the picturesque. Farther on is the pretty Villa Tasca, then
La Rocca, whence by a winding road of very ancient construction we climb
the royal mount crowned by the famous Cathedral and Benedictine Abbey of
Monreale. Here more mosaics, as has been said, as fine in quality and in
even greater abundance than those which decorate the interior of the
Cappella Palatina; they cover, it is said, an area of seventy thousand
four hundred square feet. From the Cathedral we pass into the beautiful
cloisters, and thence into the fragrant orange-garden, from which another
delightful view of the valley towards Palermo is obtained. San Martino,
the site of a suppressed Benedictine monastery, is the next spot of
interest. A steep path branching off to the right from Monreale leads to a
deserted fort, named Il Castellaccio, from which the road descends as far
as S. Martino, whence a pleasant journey back to Palermo is made through
the picturesque valley of Bocca di Falco.

The desire to climb a beautiful mountain is as strong as if climbing it
were not as effectual a way of hiding its beauties as it would be to sit
upon its picture; and Monte Pellegrino, sleeping in the sunshine, and
displaying the noble lines of what must surely be one of the most
picturesque mountains in the world, is likely enough to lure the traveller
to its summit. That mass of gray limestone, which takes such an exquisite
flush under the red rays of the evening, is not difficult to climb. The
zigzag path which mounts its sides is plainly visible from the town, and
though steep at first, it grows gradually easier of ascent on the upper
slopes of the mountain. Pellegrino was originally an island, and is still
separated by the plain of the Conca d'Oro from the other mountains near
the coast. Down to a few centuries ago it was clothed with underwood, and
in much earlier times it grew corn for the soldiers of Hamilcar Barca, who
occupied it in the first Punic War. Under an overhanging rock on its
summit is the Grotto of Sta. Rosalia, the patron saint of the city, the
maiden whom tradition records to have made this her pious retreat several
centuries ago, and the discovery of whose remains in 1664 had the effect
of instantaneously staying the ravages of the plague by which Palermo was
just then being desolated. The grotto has since been converted, as under
the circumstances was only fitting, into a church, to which many
pilgrimages are undertaken by the devout. A steep path beyond the chapel
leads to the survey station on the mountain top, from which a
far-stretching view is commanded. The cone of Etna, over eighty miles off
as the crow flies, can be seen from here, and still farther to the north,
among the Liparæan group, the everlasting furnaces of Stromboli and
Vulcano. There is a steeper descent of the mountain towards the southwest,
and either by this or by retracing our original route we regain the road,
which skirts the base of the mountain on the west, and, at four miles'
distance from the gate of the town, conducts to one of the most charmingly
situated retreats that monarch ever constructed for himself, the royal
villa-chateau of La Favorita, erected by Ferdinand IV. (Ferdinand I. of
the Two Sicilies), otherwise not the least uncomfortable of the series of
uncomfortable princes whom the Bourbons gave to the South Italian

Great as are the attractions of Palermo, they will hardly avail to detain
the visitor during the rest of his stay in Sicily. For him who wishes to
see Trinacria thoroughly, and who has already made the acquaintance of
Messina and Syracuse, of Catania and Girgenti, the capital forms the most
convenient of head-quarters from which to visit whatever places of
interest remain to be seen in the western and southwestern corner of the
island. For it is hence that, in the natural order of things, he would
start for Marsala (famous as the landing-place of "the Thousand," under
Garibaldi, in 1860, and the commencement of that memorable march which
ended in a few weeks in the overthrow of the Bourbon rule) and Trapani
(from _drepanon_), another sickle-shaped town, dear to the Virgilian
student as the site of the games instituted by Æneas to the memory of the
aged Anchises, who died at Eryx, a poetically appropriate spot for a lover
of Aphrodite to end his days in. The town of the goddess on the top of
Monte San Giuliano, the ancient Eryx, is fast sinking to decay. Degenerate
descendants, or successors would perhaps be more correct, of her ancient
worshippers prefer the plain at its foot, and year by year migrations take
place thither which threaten to number this immemorial settlement of pagan
antiquity among the dead cities of the past, and to leave its grass-grown
streets and moldering cathedral alone with the sea and sky. There are no
remains of the world-famed shrine of Venus Erycina now save a few traces
of its foundation and an ancient reservoir, once a fountain dedicated to
the goddess. One need not linger on San Giuliano longer than is needful to
survey the mighty maritime panorama which surrounds the spectator, and to
note Cape Bon in Africa rising faintly out of the southward haze.

For Selinunto has to be seen, and Segesta, famous both for the grandeur
and interest of their Greek remains. From Castelvetrano station, on the
return route, it is but a short eight miles to the ruins of Selinus, the
westernmost of the Hellenic settlements of Sicily, a city with a history
of little more than two centuries of active life, and of upwards of two
thousand years of desolation. Pammilus of Megara founded it, so says
legend, in the seventh century B. C. In the fifth century of that era the
Carthaginians destroyed it. Ever since that day it has remained deserted
except as a hiding-place for the early Christians in the days of their
persecution, and as a stronghold of the Mohammedans in their resistance to
King Roger. Yet in its short life of some two hundred and twenty years it
became, for some unknown reason of popular sanctity, the site of no fewer
than seven temples, four of them among the largest ever known to have
existed. Most of them survive, it is true, only in the condition of
prostrate fragments, for it is supposed that earthquake and not time has
been their worst foe, and the largest of them, dedicated to Hercules, or
as some hold, to Appollo, was undoubtedly never finished at all. Its
length, including steps, reaches the extraordinary figure of three hundred
and seventy-one feet; its width, including steps, is a hundred and
seventy-seven feet; while its columns would have soared when completed to
the stupendous height of fifty-three feet. It dates from the fifth century
B. C., and it was probably the appearance of the swarthy Carthaginian
invaders which interrupted the masons at their work. It now lies a
colossal heap of mighty, prostrate, broken columns, their flutings worn
nearly smooth by time and weather, and of plinths shaped and rounded by
the same agencies into the similitude of gigantic mountain boulders.

It is, however, the temples of Selinunto rather than their surroundings
which command admiration and in this respect they stand in marked contrast
to that site of a single unnamed ruin, which is, perhaps, taking site and
ruin together, the most "pathetic" piece of the picturesque in all Sicily,
the hill and temple of Segesta. From Calatafimi, scene of one of the
Garibaldian battles, to Segesta the way lies along the Castellamare road,
and through a beautiful and well-watered valley. The site of the town
itself is the first to be reached. Monte Barbaro, with the ruins of the
theater, lies to the north, to the west the hill whereon stands the famous
Temple. No one needs a knowledge of Greek archæology or Greek history, or
even a special love for Greek art, in order to be deeply moved by the
spectacle which the spot presents. He needs no more than the capacity of
Virgil's hero to be touched by "the sense of tears in mortal things." The
Temple itself is perfect, except that its columns are still unfluted; but
it is not the simple and majestic outline of the building, its lines of
lessening columns, or its massive architraves upborne upon those mighty
shafts, which most impress us, but the harmony between this great work of
man and its natural surroundings. In this mountain solitude, and before
this deserted shrine of an extinct worship we are in presence of the union
of two desolations, and one had well-nigh said of two eternities, the
everlasting hills and the imperishable yearnings of the human heart. No
words can do justice to the lonely grandeur of the Temple of Segesta. It
is unlike any other in Sicily in this matter of unique position. It has
no rival temple near it, nor are there even the remains of any other
building, temple or what not, to challenge comparison, within sight of the
spectator. This ruin stands alone in every sense, alone in point of
physical isolation, alone in the austere pathos which that position
imparts to it.

In the Museum of Palermo, to which city the explorer of these ruined
sanctuaries of art and religion may now be supposed to have returned, the
interesting metopes of Selinus will recall the recollection of that
greater museum of ruins which he just visited at Selinunto; but the
suppressed monastery, which has been now turned into a Museo Nazionale,
has not much else besides its Hellenic architectural fragments to detain
him. And it may be presumed, perhaps, that the pursuit of antiquities,
which may be hunted with so much greater success in other parts of the
islands, is not precisely the object which leads most visitors to Sicily
to prolong their stay in this beautifully seated city. Its attraction
lies, in effect and almost wholly, in the characteristic noted in the
phrase just used. Architecturally speaking, Palermo is naught: it is
branded, as has been already said, with the banality and want of
distinction of all modern Italian cities of the second class. And,
moreover, all that man has ever done for her external adornment she can
show you in a few hours; but days and weeks would not more than suffice
for the full appreciation of all she owes to nature. Antiquities she has
none, or next to none, unless, indeed, we are prepared to include relics
of the comparatively modern Norman domination, which of course abound in
her beautiful mosaics, in that category. The silt of successive ages, and
the detritus of a life which from the earliest times has been a busy one,
have irrecoverably buried almost all vestiges of her classic past. Her
true, her only, but her all-sufficient attraction is conveyed in her
ancient name. She is indeed "Panormus"; it is as the "all harbor city"
that she fills the eye and mind and lingers in the memory and lives anew
in the imagination. When the city itself and its environs as far as
Monreale and San Martino and La Zisa have been thoroughly explored; when
the imposing Porta Felice has been duly admired; when the beautiful
gardens of La Flora, with its wealth of sub-tropical vegetation, has been
sufficiently promenaded on; when La Cala, a quaint little narrow, shallow
harbor, and the busy life on its quays have been adequately studied; then
he who loves nature better than the works of man, and prefers the true
eternal to the merely figurative "immortal," will confess to himself that
Palermo has nothing fairer, nothing more captivating, to show than that
_chef-d' oeuvre_ which the Supreme Artificer executed in shaping those
noble lines of rock in which Pellegrino descends to the city at its foot,
and in tracing that curve of coast-line upon which the city has sprung up
under the mountain's shadow. The view of this guardian and patron height,
this tutelary rock, as one might almost fancy it, of the Sicilian capital
is from all points and at all hours beautiful. It dominates the city and
the sea alike from whatever point one contemplates it, and the bold yet
soft beauty of its contours has in every aspect a never-failing charm. The
merest lounger, the most frivolous of promenaders in Palermo, should
congratulate himself on having always before his eyes a mountain, the mere
sight of which may be almost described as a "liberal education" in poetry
and art. He should haunt the Piazza Marina, however, not merely at the
promenading time of day, but then also, nay, then most of all, when the
throng has begun to thin, and, as Homer puts it, "all the ways are
shadowed," at the hour of sunset. For then the clear Mediterranean air is
at its clearest, the fringing foam at its whitest, the rich, warm
background of the Conca d'Oro at its mellowest, while the bare,
volcanic-looking sides of Monte Pellegrino seem fusing into ruddy molten
metal beneath the slanting rays. Gradually, as you watch the color die out
of it, almost as it dies out of a snow-peak at the fading of the
_Alpen-gluth_, the shadows begin to creep up the mountain-sides,
forerunners of the night which has already fallen upon the streets of the
city, and through which its lights are beginning to peer. A little longer,
and the body of the mountain will be a dark, vague mass, with only its
cone and graceful upper ridges traced faintly against pale depths of sky.

Thus and at such an hour may one see the city, bay, and mountain at what
may be called their æsthetic or artistic best. But they charm, and with a
magic of almost equal potency, at all hours. The fascination remains
unabated to the end, and never, perhaps, is it more keenly felt by the
traveller than when Palermo is smiling her God-speed upon the parting
guest, and from the deck of the steamer which is to bear him away he waves
his last farewell to the receding city lying couched, the loveliest of
Ocean's Nereids, in her shell of gold.

If his hour of departure be in the evening, when the rays of the westering
sun strike athwart the base of Pellegrino, and tip with fire the summits
of the low-lying houses of the seaport, and stream over and past them upon
the glowing waters of the harbor the sight is one which will not be soon
forgotten. Dimmer and dimmer grows the beautiful city with the increasing
distance and the gathering twilight. The warm rose-tints of the noble
mountain cool down into purple, and darken at last into a heavy mass of
somber shadows; the sea changes to that spectral silver which overspreads
it in the gloaming. It is a race between the flying steamer and the
falling night to hide the swiftly fading coast-line altogether from the
view; and so close is the contest that up to the last it leaves us
doubtful whether it be darkness or distance that has taken it from us. But
in a few more minutes, be it from one cause or from the other, the
effacement is complete. Behind us, where Palermo lay a while ago, there
looms only a bank of ever-darkening haze, and before the bows of our
vessel the gray expanse of Mediterranean waters which lie between us and
the Bay of Naples.



    The Bay of Naples--Vesuvius--Characteristic scenes of street life--The
    _alfresco_ restaurants--Chapel of St. Januarius--Virgil's Tomb--Capri,
    the Mecca of artists and lovers of the picturesque--The Emperor
    Tiberius--Description of the Blue Grotto--The coast-road from
    Castellamare to Sorrento--Amalfi--Sorrento, "the village of flowers
    and the flower of villages"--The Temples of Pæstum.

Naples in itself, apart from its surroundings, is not of surpassing
beauty. Its claim to be "the most beautiful city in Europe" rests solely
on the adventitious aid of situation. When the fictitious charm which
distance gives is lost by a near approach, it will be seen that the city
which has inspired the poets of all ages is little more than a huge,
bustling, commonplace commercial port, not to be compared for a moment,
æsthetically speaking, with Genoa, Florence, Venice, or many other Italian
towns equally well known to the traveller. This inherent lack is, however,
more than compensated for by the unrivaled natural beauties of its
position, and of its charming environs. No town in Europe, not Palermo
with its "Golden Shell," Constantinople with its "Golden Horn," nor Genoa,
the "Gem of the Riviera," can boast of so magnificent a situation. The
traveller who approaches Naples by sea may well be excused for any
exuberance of language. As the ship enters the Gulf, passing between the
beautiful isles of Ischia and Capri, which seem placed like twin outposts
to guard the entrance of this watery paradise, the scene is one which will
not soon fade from the memory. All around stretches the bay in its azure
immensity, its sweeping curves bounded on the right by the rocky
Sorrentine promontory, with Sorrento, Meta, and a cluster of little
fishing villages nestling in the olive-clad precipices, half hidden by
orange groves and vineyards, and the majestic form of Monte Angelo
towering above. Farther along the coast, Vesuvius, the tutelary genius of
the scene, arrests the eye, its vine-clad lower slopes presenting a
startling contrast to the dark cone of the volcano belching out fire and
smoke, a terrible earnest of the hidden powers within. On the left the
graceful undulations of the Camaldoli hills descend to the beautifully
indented bay of Pozzuoli, which looks like a miniature replica of the
parent gulf with the volcano of Monte Nuovo for its Vesuvius. Then
straight before the spectator lies a white mass like a marble quarry;
this, with a white projecting line losing itself in the graceful curve of
Vesuvius, resolves itself, as the steamer draws nearer, into Naples and
its suburbs of Portici and Torre del Greco. Beyond, in the far background,
the view is shut in by a phantom range of snowy peaks, an offshoot of the
Abruzzi Mountains, faintly discerned in the purple haze of the horizon.
All these varied prospects unite to form a panorama which, for beauty and
extent, is hardly to be matched in Europe.

This bald and inadequate description may perhaps serve to explain one
reason for the pre-eminence among the many beautiful views in the South of
Europe popularly allowed to the Bay of Naples. One must attribute the
æsthetic attraction of the Bay a good deal to the variety of beautiful and
striking objects comprised in the view. Here we have not merely a
magnificent bay with noble, sweeping curves (the deeply indented coasts of
the Mediterranean boast many more extensive), but in addition we have in
this comparatively circumscribed area an unequaled combination of sea,
mountain, and island scenery. In short, the Gulf of Naples, with its
islands, capes, bays, straits, and peninsulas, is an epitome of the
principal physical features of the globe, and might well serve as an
object lesson for a child making its first essay at geography. Then, too,
human interest is not lacking. The mighty city of Naples, like a huge
octopus, stretches out its feelers right and left, forming the straggling
towns and villages which lie along the eastern and western shores of the
bay. A more plausible, if prosaic, reason for the popularity of the Bay of
Naples may, however, be found in its familiarity. Naples and Vesuvius are
as well known to us in prints, photographs, or engravings as St. Paul's
Cathedral or the Houses of Parliament. If other famous bays, Palermo or
Corinth, for instance, were equally well known, that of Naples would have
many rivals in popular estimation.

The traveller feels landing a terrible anticlimax. The noble prospect of
the city and the bay has raised his expectations to the highest pitch, and
the disenchantment is all the greater. The sordid surroundings of the
port, the worst quarter of the city, the squalor and filth of the streets,
preceded by the inevitable warfare with the rapacious rabble of yelling
boatmen, porters, and cab-drivers, make the disillusionized visitor
inclined to place a sinister interpretation on the equivocal maxim, _Vedi
Napoli e poi mori_; and Goethe's aphorism, that a man can never be
utterly miserable who retains the recollection of Naples, seems to him the
hollowest mockery and the cruellest irony.

The streets of Naples are singularly lacking in architectural interest.
Not only are there few historic buildings or monuments, which is curious
when we consider the important part Naples played in the mediæval history
of the South of Europe, but there are not many handsome modern houses or
palaces of any pretensions. Not that Naples is wanting in interest. The
conventional sight-seer, who calls a place interesting in proportion to
the number of pages devoted to its principal attractions in the
guide-books, may, perhaps, contemptuously dismiss this great city as a
place which can be sufficiently well "done" in a couple of days; but to
the student of human nature Naples offers a splendid field in its varied
and characteristic scenes of street life. To those who look below the
surface, this vast hive of humanity, in which Italian life can be studied
in all its varied phases and aspects, cannot be wholly commonplace.

It is a truism that the life of Naples must be seen in the streets. The
street is the Neapolitan's bedroom, dining-room, dressing-room, club, and
recreation ground. The custom of making the streets the home is not
confined to the men. The fair sex are fond of performing _al fresco_
toilettes, and may frequently be seen mutually assisting each other in the
dressing of their magnificent hair in full view of the passers-by.

As in Oriental cities, certain trades are usually confined to certain
streets or alleys in the poorer quarters of the town. The names at street
corners show that this custom is a long-established one. There are streets
solely for cutlers, working jewelers, second-hand bookstalls, and old
clothes shops, to name a few of the staple trades. The most curious of
these trading-streets is one not far from the Cathedral, confined to the
sale of religious wares; shrines, tawdry images, cheap crucifixes,
crosses, and rosaries make up the contents of these ecclesiastical marine
stores. This distinctive local character of the various arts and crafts is
now best exemplified in the Piazza degli Orefici. This square and the
adjoining streets are confined to silversmiths and jewelers, and here the
characteristic ornaments of the South Italian peasant women can still be
bought, though they are beginning to be replaced by the cheap,
machine-made abominations of Birmingham. Apart from the thronging crowds
surging up and down, these narrow streets and alleys are full of dramatic
interest. The curious characteristic habits and customs of the people may
best be studied in the poor quarters round the Cathedral. He who would
watch this shifting and ever-changing human kaleidoscope must not,
however, expect to do it while strolling leisurely along. This would be as
futile as attempting to stem the ebb and flow of the street currents, for
the streets are narrow and the traffic abundant. A doorway will be found a
convenient harbor of refuge from the long strings of heavily laden mules
and donkeys which largely replace vehicular traffic. A common and highly
picturesque object is the huge charcoal-burner's wagon, drawn usually by
three horses abreast. The richly decorated pad of the harness is very
noticeable, with its brilliant array of gaudy brass flags and the shining
_repoussé_ plates, with figures of the Madonna and the saints, which,
together with the Pagan symbols of horns and crescents, are supposed to
protect the horses from harm. Unfortunately these talismans do not seem
able to protect them from the brutality of their masters. The Neapolitan's
cruelty to animals is proverbial. This characteristic is especially
noticeable on Festas and Sundays. A Neapolitan driver apparently considers
the seating capacity of a vehicle and the carrying power of a horse to be
limited only by the number of passengers who can contrive to hang on, and
with anything less than a dozen perched on the body of the cart, two or
three in the net, and a couple on the shafts, he will think himself weakly
indulgent to his steed. It is on the Castellamare Road on a Festa that the
visitor will best realize the astonishing elasticity of a Neapolitan's
notions as to the powers of a beast of burden. A small pony will often be
seen doing its best to drag uphill a load of twelve or fifteen hulking
adults, incited to its utmost efforts by physical suasion in the form of
sticks and whips, and moral suasion in the shape of shrill yells and
oaths. Their diabolical din seems to give some color to the saying that
"Naples is a paradise inhabited by devils."

The _al fresco_ restaurants of the streets are curious and instructive.
That huge jar of oil simmering on a charcoal fire denotes a fried-fish
stall, where fish and "oil-cakes" are retailed at one sou a portion. These
stalls are much patronized by the very poor, with whom macaroni is an
almost unattainable luxury. At street corners a snail-soup stall may often
be seen, conspicuous by its polished copper pot. The poor consider snails
a great delicacy; and in this they are only following ancient customs, for
even in Roman times snails were in demand, if we may judge from the number
of snail-shells found among the Pompeii excavations. A picturesque feature
are the herds of goats. These ambulating dairies stream through the town
in the early morning. The intelligent beasts know their customers, and
each flock has its regular beat, which it takes of its own accord.
Sometimes the goats are milked in the streets, the pail being let down
from the upper floors of the houses by a string, a pristine type of
_ascenseur_. Generally, though, the animal mounts the stairs to be milked,
and descends again in the most matter-of-fact manner.

The gaudily painted stalls of the iced-water and lemonade dealers give
warmth of color to the streets. There are several grades in the calling of
_acquaiolo_ (water-seller). The lowest member of the craft is the
peripatetic _acquaiolo_, who goes about furnished simply with a barrel of
iced water strapped on his back, and a basket of lemons slung to his
waist, and dispenses drinks at two centesimi a tumbler. It was thought
that the completion of the Serino aqueduct, which provides the whole of
Naples with excellent water at the numerous public fountains, would do
away with the time-honored water-seller; but it seems that the poorer
classes cannot do without a flavoring of some sort, and so this humble
fraternity continue as a picturesque adjunct of the streets. These are
only a few of the more striking objects of interest which the observer
will not fail to notice in his walks through the city. But we must leave
this fascinating occupation and turn to some of the regulation sights of

Though, in proportion to its size, Naples contains fewer sights and
specific objects of interest than any other city in Italy, there are still
a few public buildings and churches which the tourist should not neglect.
There are quite half-a-dozen churches out of the twenty-five or thirty
noticed by the guide-books which fully repay the trouble of visiting them.
The Cathedral is in the old part of the town. Its chief interest lies in
the gorgeous Chapel of St. Januarius, the patron saint of Naples. In a
silver shrine under the richly decorated altar is the famous phial
containing the coagulated blood of the saint. This chapel was built at the
beginning of the seventeenth century, in fulfilment of a vow by the
grateful populace in honor of the saint who had saved their city "from the
fire of Vesuvius by the intercession of his precious blood." St. Januarius
is held in the highest veneration by the lower classes of Naples, with
whom the liquefaction ceremony, which takes place twice a year, is an
article of faith in which they place the most implicit reliance. The
history of the holy man is too well known to need repetition here. The
numerous miracles attributed to him, and the legends which have grown
round his name, would make no inconsiderable addition to the hagiological
literature of Italy.

Of the other churches, Sta. Chiara, S. Domenico Maggiore, and S. Lorenzo
are best worth visiting. In building Sta. Chiara the architect would seem
to have aimed at embodying, as far as possible, the idea of the church
militant, the exterior resembling a fortress rather than a place of
worship. In accordance with the notions of church restoration which
prevailed in the last century, Giotto's famous frescoes have been covered
with a thick coating of whitewash, the sapient official who was
responsible for the restoration considering these paintings too dark and
gloomy for mural decoration. Now the most noteworthy objects in the church
are the Gothic tombs of the Angevin kings.

The two churches of S. Domenico and S. Lorenzo are not far off, and the
sightseer in this city of "magnificent distances" is grateful to the
providence which has placed the three most interesting churches in Naples
within a comparatively circumscribed area. S. Domenico should be visited
next, as it contains some of the best examples of Renaissance sculpture in
Naples as Sta. Chiara does of Gothic art. It was much altered and repaired
in the course of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, but still
remains one of the handsomest of the Neapolitan churches. Its most
important monument is the marble group in relief of the Virgin, with SS.
Matthew and John, by Giovanni da Nola, which is considered to be the
sculptor's best work. The Gothic church of S. Lorenzo has fortunately
escaped in part the disfiguring hands of the seventeenth century restorer.
This church is of some literary and historical interest, Petrarch having
spent several months in the adjoining monastery; and it was here that
Boccaccio saw the beautiful princess immortalized in his tales by the name
of Fiammetta.

In order to appreciate the true historical and geographical significance
of Naples, we must remember that the whole of this volcanic district is
one great palimpsest, and that it is only with the uppermost and least
important inscription that we have hitherto concerned ourselves. To form
an adequate idea of this unique country we must set ourselves to decipher
the earlier-written inscriptions. For this purpose we must visit the
National Museum, which contains rich and unique collections of antiquities
elsewhere absolutely unrepresented. Here will be found the best treasures
from the buried towns of Cumæ, Herculaneum, and Pompeii. The history of
nearly a thousand years may be read in this vast necropolis of ancient

To many, however, the living present has a deeper interest than the buried
past, and to these the innumerable beautiful excursions round Naples will
prove more attractive than all the wealth of antiquities in the Museum.
Certainly, from a purely æsthetic standpoint, all the best things in
Naples are out of it if the bull may be allowed. To reach Pozzuoli and the
classic district of Baiæ and Cumæ, we pass along the fine promenade of the
Villa Nazionale, which stretches from the Castello dell' Ovo (the Bastille
of Naples) to the Posilipo promontory, commanding, from end to end, superb
unobstructed views of the Bay. Capri, the central point of the prospect,
appears to change its form from day to day, like a fairy island.
Sometimes, on a cloudless day, the fantastic outlines of the cliffs stand
out clearly defined against the blue sea and the still bluer background of
the sky; the houses are plainly distinguished, and you can almost fancy
that you can descry the groups of idlers leaning over the parapet of the
little piazza, so clear is the atmosphere. Sometimes the island is bathed
in a bluish haze, and by a curious atmospheric effect a novel form of
_Fata Morgana_ is seen, the island, appearing to be lifted out of the
water and suspended between sea and sky.

The grounds of the Villa Nazionale are extensive, and laid out with taste,
but are disfigured by inferior plaster copies, colossal in size, of famous
antique statues. It is strange that Naples, while possessing some of the
greatest masterpieces of ancient sculptors, should be satisfied with these
plastic monstrosities for the adornment of its most fashionable promenade.
The most interesting feature of the Villa Nazionale is the Aquarium. It is
not merely a show place, but an international biological station, and, in
fact, the portion open to the public consists only of the spare tanks of
the laboratory. This institution is the most important of its kind in
Europe, and is supported by the principal European Universities, who each
pay for so many "tables."


At the entrance to the tunneled highway known as the Grotto di Posilipo,
which burrows through the promontory that forms the western bulwark of
Naples, and serves as a barrier to shut out the noise of that overgrown
city, is a columbarium known as Virgil's Tomb. The guide-books, with their
superior erudition, speak rather contemptuously of this historic spot as
the "so-called tomb of Virgil." Yet historical evidence seems to point to
the truth of the tradition which has assigned this spot as the place where
Virgil's ashes were once placed. A visit to this tomb is a suitable
introduction to the neighborhood of which Virgil seems to be the tutelary
genius. Along the sunny slopes of Posilipo the poet doubtless occasionally
wended his way to the villa of Lucullus, at the extreme end of the
peninsula. Leaving the gloomy grotto, the short cut to Pozzuoli, on our
right, we begin to mount the far-famed "Corniche" of Posilipo, which
skirts the cliffs of the promontory. The road at first passes the
fashionable Mergellina suburb, fringed by an almost uninterrupted series
of villa gardens. This is, perhaps, one of the most beautiful drives in
the South of Europe. Every winding discloses views which are at once the
despair and the delight of the painter. At every turn we are tempted to
stop and feast the eyes on the glorious prospect. Perhaps of all the fine
views in and around Naples, that from the Capo di Posilipo is the most
striking, and dwells longest in the memory. At one's feet lies Naples, its
whitewashed houses glittering bright in the flood of sunshine. Beyond,
across the deep blue waters of the gulf, Vesuvius, the evil genius of this
smiling country, arrests the eye, from whose summit, like a halo,

  "A wreath of light blue vapor, pure and rare,
    Mounts, scarcely seen against the deep blue sky;

      *       *       *       *       *

    ... It forms, dissolving there,
    The dome, as of a palace, hung on high
  Over the mountains."

Portici, Torre del Greco, and Torre del' Annunziata can hardly be
distinguished in this densely populated fringe of coast-line, which
extends from Naples to Castellamare. Sometimes at sunset we have a
magnificent effect. This sea-wall of continuous towns and villages lights
up under the dying rays of the sun like glowing charcoal. The
conflagration appears to spread to Naples, and the huge city is "lit up
like Sodom, as if fired by some superhuman agency." This atmospheric
phenomenon may remind the imaginative spectator of the dread possibilities
afforded by the proximity of the ever-threatening volcano towering _in
terrorem_ over the thickly populated plain. There is a certain weird charm
born of impending danger, which gives the whole district a pre-eminence in
the world of imagination. It has passed through its baptism of fire; and
who knows how soon "the dim things below" may be preparing a similar fate
for a city so rashly situated? These dismal reflections are, however, out
of place on the peaceful slopes of Posilipo, whose very name denotes
freedom from care.

The shores of this promontory are thickly strewed with Roman ruins, which
are seldom explored owing to their comparative inaccessibility. Most of
the remains, theaters, temples, baths, porticoes, and other buildings,
whose use or nature defies the learning of the antiquary, are thought to
be connected with the extensive villa of the notorious epicure Vedius
Polio. Traces of the fish-tanks for the eels, which Seneca tells us were
fed with the flesh of disobedient slaves, are still visible. Descending
the winding gradients of Posilipo, we get the first glimpse of the lovely
little Bay of Pozzuoli. The view is curious and striking. So deeply and
sharply indented is the coast, and so narrow and tortuous are the channels
that separate the islands Ischia, Procida, and Nisida, that it is
difficult to distinguish the mainland. We enjoy a unique panorama of land
and sea, islands, bays, straits, capes, and peninsulas all inextricably

Continuing our journey past the picturesque town of Pozzuoli, its
semi-oriental looking houses clustered together on a rocky headland, like
Monaco, we reach the hallowed ground of the classical student. No one who
has read his Virgil or his Horace at school can help being struck by the
constant succession of once familiar names scattered so thickly among the
dry bones of the guide-books. The district between Cumæ and Pozzuoli is
the _sanctum sanctorum_ of classical Italy, and "there is scarcely a spot
which is not identified with the poetical mythology of Greece, or
associated with some name familiar in the history of Rome." Leaving
Pozzuoli, we skirt the Phlegræan Fields, which, owing to their
malaria-haunted situation, still retain something of their ancient
sinister character. This tract is, however, now being drained and
cultivated a good deal. That huge mound on our right, looking like a
Celtic sepulchral barrow, is Monte Nuovo, a volcano, as its name denotes,
of recent origin. Geologically speaking, it is a thing of yesterday,
being thrown up in the great earthquake of September 30th, 1538, when, as
Alexandre Dumas graphically puts it, "One morning Pozzuoli woke up, looked
around, and could not recognize its position; where had been the night
before a lake was now a mountain." The lake referred to is Avernus, a name
familiar to all through the venerable and invariably misquoted classical
tag, _facilis descensus Averni_, etc. This insignificant-looking volcanic
molehill is the key to the physical geography of the whole district.
Though the upheaval of Monte Nuovo has altered the configuration of the
country round, the depopulation of this deserted but fertile country is
due, not to the crater, but to the malaria, the scourge of the coast. The
scarcity of houses on the western horn of the Bay of Naples is very
marked, especially when contrasted with the densely populated sea-board on
the Castellamare side. Leaving Monte Nuovo we come to a still more fertile
tract of country, and the luxuriant vegetation of these Avernine hills
"radiant with vines" contrasts pleasingly with the gloomy land "where the
dusky nation of Cimmeria dwells" of the poet. The mythological traditions
of the beautiful plain a few miles farther on, covered with vineyards and
olive-groves and bright with waving corn-fields, where Virgil has placed
the Elysian Fields, seem far more appropriate to the landscape as we see
it. Perhaps a sense of the dramatic contrast was present in the poet's
mind when he placed the Paradiso and the Inferno of the ancients so near

Quite apart from the charm with which ancient fable and poetry have
invested this district, the astonishing profusion of ruins makes it
especially interesting to the antiquary. A single morning's walk in the
environs of Baiæ or Cumæ will reveal countless fragmentary monuments of
antiquities quite outside of the stock ruins of the guide-books, which the
utilitarian instincts of the country people only partially conceal, Roman
tombs serving as granaries or receptacles for garden produce, temples
affording stable-room for goats and donkeys, amphitheaters half-concealed
by olive-orchards or orange-groves, walls of ancient villas utilized in
building up the terraced vineyards; and, in short, the trained eye of an
antiquary would, in a day's walk, detect a sufficient quantity of antique
material almost to reconstruct another Pompeii. But though every acre of
this antiquary's paradise teems with relics of the past, and though every
bay and headland is crowded with memories of the greatest names in Roman
history, we must not linger in this supremely interesting district, but
must get on to the other beautiful features of the Gulf of Naples.

Capri, as viewed from Naples, is the most attractive and striking feature
in the Bay. There is a kind of fascination about this rocky island-garden
which is felt equally by the callow tourist making his first visit to
Italy, and by the seasoned traveller who knew Capri when it was the center
of an art colony as well known as is that of Newlyn at the present day. No
doubt Capri is now considered by super-sensitive people to be as
hopelessly vulgarized and hackneyed as the Isle of Man or the Channel
Isles, now that it has become the favorite picknicking ground of shoals of
Neapolitan excursionists; but that is the fate of most of the beautiful
scenery in the South of Europe, if at all easy of access. These fastidious
minds may, however, find consolation in the thought that to the noisy
excursionists, daily carried to and from Naples by puffing little
cockle-shell steamers, the greater part of the island will always remain
an undiscovered country. They may swarm up the famous steps of Anacapri,
and even penetrate into the Blue Grotto, but they do not, as a rule, carry
the spirit of geographical research farther.

The slight annoyance caused by the great crowds is amply compensated for
by the beauties of the extraordinarily grand scenery which is to be found
within the island desecrated by memories of that "deified beast Tiberius,"
as Dickens calls him. What constitutes the chief charm of the natural
features of Capri are the sharp contrasts and the astonishing variety in
the scenery. Rugged precipices, in height exceeding the cliffs of
Tintagel, and in beauty and boldness of outline surpassing the crags of
the grandest Norwegian fiords, wall in a green and fertile garden-land
covered with orange-orchards, olive-groves, and corn-fields. Cruising
round this rock-bound and apparently inaccessible island, it seems a
natural impregnable fortress, a sea-girt Gibraltar guarding the entrance
of the gulf, girdled round with precipitous crags rising a thousand feet
sheer out of the sea, the cliff outline broken by steep ravines and rocky
headlands, with outworks of crags, reefs, and Titanic masses of tumbled

These physical contrasts are strikingly paralleled in the history of the
island. This little speck on the earth's surface, now given up solely to
fishing, pastoral pursuits, and the exploitation of tourists, and as
little affected by public affairs as if it were in the midst of the
Mediterranean, instead of being almost within cannon-shot of the
metropolis of South Italy, has passed through many vicissitudes, conquered
in turn by Phoenicians, Greeks, and Romans; under Rome little known and
used merely as a lighthouse station for the benefit of the corn-galleys
plying from Sicily to Naples, till the old Emperor Augustus took a fancy
to it, and used it as a sanatorium for his declining years. Some years
later we find this isolated rock in the occupation of the infamous
Tiberius, as the seat of government from which he ruled the destinies of
the whole empire. Then, to run rapidly through succeeding centuries, we
find Capri, after the fall of Rome, sharing in the fortunes and
misfortunes of Naples, and losing all historic individuality till the
beginning of the present century, when the Neapolitan Gibraltar became a
political shuttlecock, tossed about in turn between Naples, England, and
France; and now it complacently accepts the destiny Nature evidently
marked out for it, and has become the sanatorium of Naples, and the Mecca
of artists and lovers of the picturesque.

One cannot be many hours in Capri without being reminded of its tutelary
genius Tiberius. In fact as Mr. A. J. Symonds has forcibly expressed it,
"the hoof-print of illustrious crime is stamped upon the island." All the
_religio loci_, if such a phrase is permissible in connection with
Tiberius, seems centered in this unsavoury personality. We cannot get away
from him. His palaces and villas seem to occupy every prominent point in
the island. Even the treasure-trove of the antiquary bears undying witness
to his vices, and shows that Suetonius, in spite of recent attempts to
whitewash the Emperor's memory, did not trust to mere legends and fables
for his biography. Even the most ardent students of Roman history would
surely be glad to be rid of this forbidding spectre that forces itself so
persistently on their attention. To judge by the way in which the simple
Capriotes seek to perpetuate the name of their illustrious patron, one
might almost suppose that the Emperor, whose name is proverbial as a
personification of crime and vice, had gone through some process akin to

Capri, though still famous for beautiful women, whose classic features,
statuesque forms, and graceful carriage, recall the Helens and the
Aphrodites of the Capitol and Vatican, and seem to invite transfer to the
painter's canvas, can no longer be called the "artist's paradise." The
pristine simplicity of these Grecian-featured daughters of the island,
which made them invaluable as models, is now to a great extent lost. The
march of civilization has imbued them with the commercial instinct, and
they now fully appreciate their artistic value. No casual haphazard
sketches of a picturesque group of peasant girls, pleased to be of service
to a stranger, no impromptu portraiture of a little Capriote fisher-boy,
is now possible. It has become a "sitting" for a consideration, just as if
it took place in an ordinary Paris atelier or a Rome studio. The idea that
the tourist is a gift of Providence, sent for their especial benefit, to
be looked at in the same light as are the "kindly fruits of the earth,"
recalls to our mind the quaint old Indian myth of Mondamin, the beautiful
stranger, with his garments green and yellow, from whose dead body sprang
up the small green feathers, afterwards to be known as maize. However, the
Capriotes turn their visitors to better account than that; in fact, their
eminently practical notions on the point appear to gain ground in this
once unsophisticated country, while the recognized methods of agriculture
remain almost stationary. The appearance of a visitor armed with
sketch-book or camera is now the signal for every male and female Capriote
within range to pose in forced and would-be graceful attitudes, or to
arrange themselves in unnatural conventional groups: aged crones sprout
up, as if by magic, on every doorstep; male loungers "lean airily on
posts"; while at all points of the compass bashful maidens hover around,
each balancing on her head the indispensable water-jar. These vulgarizing
tendencies explain why it is that painters are now beginning to desert

But we are forgetting the great boast of Capri, the Blue Grotto. Everyone
has heard of this famous cave, the beauties of which have been described
by Mr. A. J. Symonds in the following graphic and glowing picture in
prose: Entering the crevice-like portal, "you find yourself transported to
a world of wavering, subaqueous sheen. The grotto is domed in many
chambers; and the water is so clear that you can see the bottom, silvery,
with black-finned fishes diapered upon the blue-white sand. The flesh of a
diver in this water showed like the face of children playing at
snap-dragon; all around him the spray leaped up with living fire; and when
the oars struck the surface, it was as though a phosphorescent sea had
been smitten, and the drops ran from the blades in blue pearls." It must,
however, be remembered that these marvels can only be perfectly seen on a
clear and sunny day, and when, too, the sun is high in the sky. Given
these favorable conditions, the least impressionable must feel the magic
of the scene, and enjoy the shifting brilliancy of light and color. The
spectators seem bathed in liquid sapphire, and the sensation of being
enclosed in a gem is strange indeed. But we certainly shall not experience
any such sensation if we explore this lovely grotto in the company of the
noisy and excited tourists who daily arrive in shoals by the Naples
steamer. To appreciate its beauties the cave must be visited alone and at

Those who complain of the village of Capri being so sadly modernized and
tourist-ridden will find at Anacapri some of that Arcadian simplicity they
are seeking, for the destroying (æsthetically speaking) fingers of
progress and civilization have hardly touched this secluded mountain
village, though scarcely an hour's walk from the "capital" of the island.

We will, of course, take the famous steps, and ignore the excellently
engineered high-road that winds round the cliffs, green with arbutus and
myrtle, in serpentine gradients, looking from the heights above mere loops
of white ribbon. Anacapri is delightfully situated in a richly cultivated
table-land, at the foot of Monte Solaro. Climbing the slopes of the
mountain, we soon reach the Hermitage, where we have a fine bird's-eye
view of the island, with Anacapri spread out at our feet, and the town of
Capri clinging to the hillsides on our right. But a far grander view
rewards our final climb to the summit. We can see clearly outlined every
beautiful feature of the Bay of Naples, with its magnificent coast-line
from Misenum to Sorrento in prominent relief almost at our feet, and
raising our eyes landwards we can see the Campanian Plain till it is
merged in the purple haze of the Apennines. To the south the broad expanse
of water stretches away to the far horizon, and to the right this
incomparable prospect is bounded by that "enchanted land" where

  "Sweeps the blue Salernian bay,
  With its sickle of white sand."

and on a very clear day we can faintly discern a purple, jagged outline,
which shows where "Pæstum and its ruins lie."

In spite of the undeniable beauties of Capri, it seems so given up to
artists and amateur photographers that it is a relief to get away to a
district not quite so well known. We have left to the last, as a fitting
climax, the most beautiful bit of country, not only in the neighborhood of
Naples, but in the whole of South Italy. The coast-road from Castellamare
to Sorrento, Positano, and Amalfi offers a delightful alternation and
combination of the softest idyllic scenery with the wildest and most
magnificent mountain and crag landscape. In fact, it is necessary to
exercise some self-restraint in language and to curb a temptation to
rhapsodize when describing this beautiful region. The drive from Naples to
Castellamare is almost one continuous suburb, and the change from this
monotonous succession of streets of commonplace houses to the beautiful
country we reach soon after leaving the volcanic district at Castellamare
is very marked. In the course of our journey we cannot help noticing the
bright yellow patches of color on the beach and the flat house-tops. This
is the wheat used for the manufacture of macaroni, of which Torre dell'
Annunziata is the great center. All along the road the houses, too, have
their loggias and balconies festooned with the strips of finished macaroni
spread out to dry. All this lights up the dismal prospect of apparently
never-ending buildings, and gives a literally local color to the district.
There is not much to delay the traveller in Castellamare, and soon after
leaving the overcrowded and rather evil-smelling town we enter upon the
beautiful coast-road to Sorrento. For the first few miles the road runs
near the shore, sometimes almost overhanging the sea. We soon get a view
of Vico, picturesquely situated on a rocky eminence. The scenery gets
bolder as we climb the Punta di Scutola. From this promontory we get the
first glimpse of the beautiful Piano di Sorrento. It looks like one vast
garden, so thickly is it covered with vineyards, olive groves, and orange
and lemon orchards, with an occasional aloe and palm tree to give an
Oriental touch to the landscape. The bird's-eye view from the promontory
gives the spectator a general impression of a carpet, in which the
prevailing tones of color are the richest greens and gold. Descending to
this fertile plateau, we find a delightful blending of the sterner
elements of the picturesque with the pastoral and idyllic. The plain is
intersected with romantic, craggy ravines and precipitous, tortuous
gorges, resembling the ancient stone quarries of Syracuse, their rugged
sides covered with olives, wild vines, aloes, and Indian figs. The road to
Amalfi here leaves the sea and is carried through the heart of this rich
and fertile region, and about three miles from Sorrento it begins to climb
the little mountain range which separates the Sorrento plain from the Bay
of Salerno.

We can hardly, however, leave the level little town, consecrated to
memories of Tasso, unvisited. Its flowers and its gardens, next to its
picturesque situation, constitute the great charm of Sorrento. It seems a
kind of garden-picture, its peaceful and smiling aspect contrasting
strangely with its bold and stern situation. Cut off, a natural fortress,
from the rest of the peninsula by precipitous gorges, like Constantine in
Algeria, while its sea-front consists of a precipice descending sheer to
the water's edge, no wonder that it invites comparison with such
dissimilar towns as Grasse, Monaco, Amalfi and Constantine, according to
the aspect which first strikes the visitor. After seeing Sorrento, with
its astonishing wealth of flowers, the garden walls overflowing with
cataracts of roses, and the scent of acacias, orange and lemon flowers
pervading everything, we begin to think that, in comparing the outlying
plain of Sorrento to a flower-garden, we have been too precipitate.
Compared with Sorrento itself, the plain is but a great orchard or
market-garden. Sorrento is the real flower-garden, a miniature Florence,
"the village of flowers and the flower of villages."

We leave Sorrento and its gardens and continue our excursion to Amalfi and
Salerno. After reaching the point at the summit of the Colline del Piano,
whence we get our first view of the famous Isles of the Syrens, looking
far more picturesque than inviting, with their sharp, jagged outline, we
come in sight of a magnificent stretch of cliff and mountain scenery. The
limestone precipices extend uninterruptedly for miles, their outline
broken by a series of stupendous pinnacles, turrets, obelisks, and
pyramids cutting sharply into the blue sky-line. The scenery, though so
wild and bold is not bleak and dismal. The bases of these towering
precipices are covered with a wild tangle of myrtle, arbutus, and
tamarisk, and wild vines and prickly pears have taken root in the ledges
and crevices. The ravines and gorges which relieve the uniformity of this
great sea-wall of cliff have their lower slopes covered with terraced and
trellised orchards of lemons and oranges, an irregular mass of green and
gold. Positano, after Amalfi, is certainly the most picturesque place on
these shores, and, being less known, and consequently not so much
reproduced in idealized sketches and "touched up" photographs as Amalfi,
its first view must come upon the traveller rather as a delightful
surprise. Its situation is curious. The town is built along each side of a
huge ravine, cut off from access landwards by an immense wall of
precipices. The houses climb the craggy slopes in an irregular
ampitheater, at every variety of elevation and level, and the views from
the heights above give a general effect of a cataract of houses having
been poured down each side of the gorge. After a few miles of the grandest
cliff and mountain scenery we reach the Capo di Conca, which juts out into
the bay, dividing it into two crescents. Looking west, we see a broad
stretch of mountainous country, where

                        "... A few white villages
  Scattered above, below, some in the clouds,
  Some on the margins of the dark blue sea,
  And glittering through their lemon groves, announce
  The region of Amalfi."

To attempt to describe Amalfi seems a hopeless task. The churches, towers,
and arcaded houses, scattered about in picturesque confusion on each side
of the gigantic gorge which cleaves the precipitous mountain, gay with the
rich coloring of Italian domestic architecture, make up an indescribably
picturesque medley of loggias, arcades, balconies, domes, and cupolas,
relieved by flat, whitewashed roofs. The play of color produced by the
dazzling glare of the sun and the azure amplitude of sea and sky gives
that general effect of light, color, sunshine, and warmth of atmosphere
which is so hard to portray, either with the brush or the pen. Every nook
of this charming little rock-bound Eden affords tempting material for the
artist, and the whole region is rich in scenes suggestive of poetical

When we look at the isolated position of this once famous city, shut off
from the rest of Italy by a bulwark of precipices, in places so
overhanging the town that they seem to dispute its possession with the
tideless sea which washes the walls of the houses, it is not easy to
realize that it was recognized in mediæval times as the first naval Power
in Europe, owning factories and trading establishments in all the chief
cities of the Levant, and producing a code of maritime laws whose leading
principles have been incorporated in modern international law. No traces
remain of the city's ancient grandeur, and the visitor is tempted to look
upon the history of its former greatness as purely legendary.

The road to Salerno is picturesque, but not so striking as that between
Positano and Amalfi. It is not so daringly engineered, and the scenery is
tamer. Vietri is the most interesting stopping-place. It is beautifully
situated at the entrance to the gorge-like valley which leads to what has
been called the "Italian Switzerland," and is surrounded on all sides by
lemon and orange orchards. Salerno will not probably detain the visitor
long, and, in fact, the town is chiefly known to travellers as the
starting-place for the famous ruins of Pæstum.

These temples, after those of Athens, are the best preserved, and
certainly the most accessible, of any Greek ruins in Europe, and are a
lasting witness to the splendor of the ancient Greek colony of Poseidonia
(Pæstum). "_Non cuivis homini contingit adire Corinthum_," says the poet,
and certainly a visit to these beautiful ruins will make one less regret
the inability to visit the Athenian Parthenon. Though the situation of
the Pæstum Temple lacks the picturesque irregularity of the Acropolis,
and the Temple of Girgenti in Sicily, these ruins will probably impress
the imaginative spectator more. Their isolated and desolate position in
the midst of this wild and abandoned plain, without a vestige of any
building near, suggest an almost supernatural origin, and give a weird
touch to this scene of lonely and majestic grandeur. There seems a
dramatic contrast in bringing to an end at the solemn Temples of Pæstum
our excursion in and around Naples. We began with the noise, bustle, and
teeming life of a great twentieth-century city, and we have gone back some
twenty-five centuries to the long-buried glory of Greek civilization.



  Aboukir, and Nelson's victory, 253-255

  About, Edmond, on the importance of Marseilles, 95

  Abruzzi Mountains, 326

  Aba-Abul-Hajez, builder of Moorish Castle, Gibraltar, 15

  Abyla, Phoenician name of Ceuta, 26

  Aci Castello, 300

  Aci Reale, 300

  Acis and Galatea, 300

  Æneas and the games at Trapani, 318

  Africa, "Crystal atmosphere" of, 5

  Agate Cape, 57

  Agay, 148

  Agnone, 302

  Alameda Gardens, Gibraltar, 13

  Alassio, 159

  Alban, Mont, 143

  Alcantara, Valley of the, 300

  Alexander the Great, founding Alexandria, 237

  Alexandria, 96;
    appearance from the sea, 235;
    historical interest, 236;
    Alexander's choice of the site, 237;
    harbor, 238;
    main street, 240;
    Grand Square, 241;
    Palace of Ras-et-teen, 243;
    view from Mount Caffarelli and the Delta, 244;
    Pompey's Pillar, 246;
    Library, 247;
    the Serapeum, cemeteries, mosques, Coptic convent, and historic
        landmarks, 248;
    defeat of Antony, and Napoleon, 251;
    Ramleh, 251;
    Temple of Arsenoe, 252;
    Aboukir Bay and Nelson, 253, 254;
    Rosetta, Haroun Al Rashid, and the English expedition of 1807, 256;
    fertility of the Delta, 258;
    Cairo and the rising of the Nile, 260;
    Damietta, 261;
    Port Said, 261, 262;
    ruins of Pelusium, 263;
    Suez Canal and M. de Lesseps, 264

  Algeciras, 4, 23, 24

  Algeria, 78, 97

  Algiers, 96, 123;
    "a pearl set in emeralds," 28;
    the approach to, and the Djurjura, 29;
    the Sahel, Atlas, and the ancient and modern towns, 30;
    cathedral and mosque, 31;
    tortuous plan of the new town, 33, 34;
    Mustapha Supérieur, and English colony, 35, 37;
    a Moorish villa, 38;
    view from El Biar, Arab cemetery, and idolatry, 39;
    superstitions and climate, 41

  Alhendin, 59

  Ali, Mehemet, 239;
    his works in Alexandria, 241, 242;
    destroys English troops at Rosetta, 257

  Almeria, 55, 56, 57

  Alps, The, 131;
    the Julian, 147, 148, 154

  Alpujarras, The, 44, 55

  Altinum, 231

  Amalfi, 345, 347, 349

  Amru, 236

  Amsterdam and its canals, 219

  Anacapri, 344

  Anchises, 318

  André, St., 139, 143

  Angelo, Michael, and the marble quarries at Seravezza, 197

  Ansedonia, 211

  Antibes, 96, 147, 151, 152

  Antipolis, 151

  Antony, Mark, defeated by Octavius at Mustapha Pacha, 251

  Apes' Hill, English designation of Ceuta, 26

  Aquæ Sextiæ, or Aix, Roman colony on the site of Marseilles, 109

  Arabic legend and the Moorish Castle, Gibraltar, 15

  Aragon, Kings of, Palace of the, at Barcelona, 67, 83

  Arbiter, Petronius, 122

  Aristophanes, and the sausage-seller, 148

  Arles, 110

  Arsenoe, Temple of, and the story related by Catullus, 252

  Aryan Achæans, 108

  Aryan and Semite struggle against Christianity and Mohammedanism, 4

  Athanasius at Alexandria, 236

  Athens, 96

  Atlantic, Ideas of ancient Greeks respecting the, 2

  Atlas, Mount, 29

  Attard, "village of roses," 291

  Attila, 233

  Augustine, St., and the angel, 213;
    at St. Honorat, 150

  Augustus, and Turbia, 153

  Autran, Joseph, 122

  Avenza, 195

  Avernus, 338

  Avignon, 96


  Bab-el-Sok, gate of the market-place at Tangier, 6

  Baiæ, 339

  Balzac, witty remark on dinners in Paris, 89

  Balzan, 291

  Barbaroux, 122

  Barcelona, 21, 95, 123;
    eulogy of Cervantes, the promenades and the people, 61;
    funerals, and the flower-market, 62;
    streets, Rambla, and cathedral, 65;
    Palais de Justice, and Parliament House, 66;
    Palace of the kings of Aragon, 67;
    museum, park, and monuments to Prim and Columbus, 69;
    bird's-eye view, Fort of Montjuich, Mont Tibidaho, 70;
    cemetery and mode of burial, 71;
    festival of All Saints, 72;
    Catalonia, and the church of Santa Maria del Mar, 74;
    organ in cathedral, and the suburbs, 77;
    Gracia, 77;
    Sarria, 78;
    Barceloneta, 79;
    Academy of Arts, schools, music, the University, and workmen's clubs,
    Archæological Society, primary education, and places of amusement, 82;
    history of, 83;
    trade, healthful properties, and charitable institutions, 84;
    churches, convents, electric lighting, population, and Protestantism,
    democracy, and holidays of, 87;
    Mariolatry, 88;
    Caballaro, 89;
    climate, 90;
    hotels, 90;
    good looks of the men and women, the police, 92;
    progressive tendencies, the post-office and passports, 93

  Barco, Hamilcar, founder of Barcelona, 82

  Barral des Baux, 121

  Barthélemy, 122

  Baths of Barcelona, 90;
    of Cleopatra, 250;
    of Caratraca, 44

  Bay of Biscay, 1

  "Belgium of the East," The, 251

  Bellet, Le, 139

  Belzunce, Monseigneur, and the plague at Marseilles, 113, 114

  Bentinck, Lord W., and his attack on Genoa, 166

  Bérenger, 122

  Berenice, and the Temple of Arsenoe, 252

  Bighi, 288

  Boabdil, last king of Granada, 59

  Boccaccio, and the church of St. Lorenzo, Naples, 232

  Bordighera, 158

  Boron, Mont, 125

  Bouchard, M., and the Egyptian stone at Rosetta, 257

  Britain, and Tangier, 4;
    and the acquisition of Gibraltar, 22

  Browning, Robert, and Gibraltar, 6

  Bruèys, Admiral, defeated by Nelson at Aboukir Bay, 254

  Buena Vista, Gibraltar, 14, 23

  Bull-fights at Barcelona, 82, 87;
    at Malaga, 54

  Burgundians, The, 109

  Burmola, 289

  Byng, Rear-Admiral, and the siege of Gibraltar, 22


  Cabo de Bullones, Spanish name of Ceuta, 26

  Cadiz Bay, 6

  Café at Gibraltar, 11

  Cagliari, 96

  Cairo, 258;
    rising of the Nile, 260

  Cala Dueira, 271

  Calpe, Rock of (Gibraltar), 2, 14

  Camaldoli hills, 326

  Campyses, at Pelusium, 262

  Canal, Grand, at Venice, 222-228

  Cannes, 125, 130;
    "a Babel set in Paradise," 150;
    principal streets, and origin, 151;
    fortifications of Vauban, and Roman remains, 152

  Capraja, 207

  Capri, 326;
    changes in appearance, 334;
    its fascination, 339;
    historical associations, 340;
    palaces of Tiberias, 341;
    its beautiful women, 342;
    Blue Grotto, 343

  Carabacel, 127, 138

  Caratraca, Baths of, 44, 50

  Carinthia, Dukes of, 233

  Carlos, Don, and the rising in Barcelona, 84

  Carnival at Nice, 133

  Carqueyranne, 147

  Carrara, church of St. Andrea, and the marble quarries, 196;
    mosquitos, 197

  Cartama, 51

  Carthagenians, and Genoa, 162;
    destruction of Selinus, 319

  Casal Curmi, 291

  Casal Nadur, 273

  Cassian, St., and the monastery of St. Victor, Marseilles, 116

  Castellaccio, Fort of, 297

  Castellamare, 345

  Castiglione della Pescaia, 209

  Castile, 25

  Castle, Moorish, at Gibraltar, 15

  Catacombs at Alexandria, 249

  Catania, 302

  Cathedral, at Gibraltar, 13;
    at Marseilles, 98;
    at Genoa, 80;
    at Barcelona, 65;
    at Nice, 129;
    at Almeria, 57;
    at Algiers, 31;
    at Pisa, 194;
    St. Mark's, Venice, 224-226

  Catullus, and his story relating to the temple of Arsenoe, 252

  Cemetery at Alexandria, 248

  Cervantes, eulogium on Barcelona, 61

  Ceuta, 17;
    origin of name and history of, 25;
    main features of, 26;
    ancient names, and shape of rock, 26

  Champollion, M., and the Egyptian stone at Rosetta, 258

  Charles Albert, King of Sardinia, and his palace at Genoa, 172

  "Charles III., King," 21, 22

  Charles V., 20

  Château d'If, 105

  Chiavari, 186

  Chioggia, 230

  Cholera, The, at Marseilles, 112

  Cimiez, 127, 138;
    monastery and amphitheatre of, 139, 142

  Civita Vecchia, its founder and history, 213

  Cleopatra, and Antony, at Alexandria, 236;
    Baths of, at Alexandria, 250

  Cleopatra's Needle, 246

  Columbus, Monument to, at Genoa, 177;
    monument at Barcelona, 69;
    his reception at Barcelona by Ferdinand and Isabella, 69, 83

  Cominetto, 270

  Comino, 268, 272

  Concha, General, and the sugar-cane industry of Malaga, 51

  Constantinople, 95

  Contes, 139

  Convent, Coptic, at Alexandria, 248

  Coneto, "lifts to heaven a diadem of towers," 212;
    churches, Etruscan and Roman antiquities, and origin, 213

  Cornigliano, 147

  Corno, Remains of, 212

  Corradino, 288

  Cosspicua, 289

  Cremation suggested for adoption in Barcelona, 71

  Cressy, Battle of, 179

  Cumæ, 333, 339

  Cyclops, The, and the Scogli dei Ciclopi, 301

  Cyrus, 94


  Damanhour, 258

  Damietta, 261

  Darby, Admiral, and the siege of Gibraltar, 18

  Delord, Taxile, 122

  Delta, Egyptian, Fertility of the, 258

  Djama-el-Kebir, Mosque at Tangier of the, 6

  Djurjura, The, 29

  Don, General, and the Alameda Gardens, Gibraltar, 13

  Doria, Andrea, and his influence in Genoa, 164, 173;
    incidents in his life, 176

  Drinkwater, Captain John, and the siege of Gibraltar, 18

  Dumas, Alexandre, allusion to Pozzuoli, 338

  D'Urfé, 122


  "Eagle-Catchers," The (87th Regiment), 4

  Edward, son of King John of Portugal, and his expedition against
        Tangier, 25

  Egypt, variety of interest connected with, 238;
    inscribed stone at Rosetta, 257;
    agricultural wealth of, 258;
    the "gift of the Nile," 259;
    English expedition of 1807, 256

  Elba, quarries and mines of, 203;
    Napoleon's confinement, plans for improving the island, and his
        escape, 203-206

  El Hacho, signal-tower at Gibraltar, 16, 26

  Elliot, General, Monument at Gibraltar to, 13;
    the siege of Gibraltar, 17, 18

  English statuary, Defective, 13

  Eryx, 318

  Esparto grass, 56

  Espérandieu, and the church of Notre Dame de la Garde, Marseilles, 117

  Estepona, 23

  Estérel, The, 148, 150

  Etna, 295-303

  Etruscans, The, 211

  Euganean Hills, The, 230

  Eugénie, Empress, Spanish origin of, 55

  Euroklydon, The, at Malta, 270

  Europa Point, Gibraltar, 13;
    cottage at, 14, 18

  Euthymenes, 97;
    statue at Marseilles, 100


  Falicon, 139, 144

  Famine at Genoa, 165

  Ferdinand, Don, and the Portuguese at Ceuta, 25

  Ferdinand and Isabella, reception of Columbus at Barcelona, 69, 83

  Ferdinand IV., 317

  Ferrat, Cape, 141

  Fiescho, Count, 177

  Filfla, 271

  Flower Market, at Marseilles, 102;
    at Barcelona, 63

  Follonica, 209

  Folquet, 121

  Formica, 209

  Fortifications of Gibraltar, 16;
    of Genoa, 164;
    of Cannes, 152;
    Ventimiglia, 157

  Fortuny, his paintings at Barcelona, 66, 80

  Fossa Claudia, 230

  France, and the siege of Gibraltar, 16;
    captures Genoa, 164;
    and Barcelona, 84

  Fraser, General, and the English expedition to Egypt of 1807, 256

  Frejus, Gulf of, 147

  Funeral at Venice, A, 229

  Funerals at Barcelona, 75


  Galliera, Duchess of, and the Palazzo Rosso, Genoa, 172

  Garibaldi, Birthplace of, 126;
    crossing Calabria, 298;
    landing at Marsala, 318

  Genoa, once a rival of Venice, 160;
    its detractors, 161;
    the beauty of its women, 162;
    history, 163, 164;
    old and new towns, 166;
    position, and view from the slopes, 166;
    mediæval churches, narrowness of streets, and the _palazza_, 168;
    the Via Nuova, 170;
    Fergusson on the architecture of, 171;
    the Palazzo Ducale, and the Statue of Hercules, 172, 173;
    incidents in the life of Doria, 176;
    monument to Columbus, 177;
    the "old dogana," 179;
    the Exchange, trade in coral, precious metals, and filigree work, 180;
    the cathedral, 180;
    reputed origin of, 182;
    church of L'Annunziata, and the Campo Santo, 182;
    the environs, 184;
    meeting-place of the Rivieras, 185;
    railway to Spezzia, and places on the coast, 187

  George I., and Gibraltar, 22

  Giardini, 298

  Gibel Mo-osa, Moorish name of Ceuta, 26

  Gibraltar, 4;
    Robert Browning's reference to, 6;
    resemblance to a lion, 7;
    landing at, 8;
    variety of nationalities at, 10;
    picturesqueness, 10;
    population, 11;
    strict military regulations, and chief objects of interest, 12, 13;
    Moorish Castle, 15;
    fortifications, 16;
    siege of, 16-19;
    capitulation to the Prince of Hesse, 22;
    the "key of the Mediterranean," 21

  Girgenti, "City of Temples," monuments of Pagan worship, and Pindar's
        designation, 307;
    Temple of Concord, 309;
    Temple of Hercules, ravages of earthquakes, and Shelley's allusion in
        "Ozymandias," 311, 312

  Golfe de la Napoule, 148

  Gondolas of Venice, 222

  Gothard, St., 228

  Gough, Colonel, his defeat of Marshal Victor at Tarifa, 4

  Government House at Gibraltar, 23

  Gozo, 270, 272, 273

  Granada, 17, 59

  Greeks, at Gibraltar, 10;
    their trade at Marseilles, 106, 109, 110

  Grimaldi, The, 179

  Gros, Mont, 139

  Grosseto, 209

  Grotto, at Malta and St. Paul, 293;
    of Sta. Rosalia, 317;
    Di Posilipo, 335;
    at Capri, 343

  Guelphs, The, and Genoa, 163

  Guzman, Alonzo Perez de, and his act of defiance at Tarifa, 4

  Gzeier, 271


  Hamilcar Barca, and Pellegrino, 317

  Hamrun, 291

  Harbor of Marseilles, 106

  Haroun al Rashid, reputed birthplace, 256

  Hepaticas, Valley of, 139

  "Hercules, Pillars of," 1, 2, 5, 17

  Hercules and Temple at Girgenti, 311;
    Temple at Selinunto, 319

  Hesse, Prince of, and the acquisition of Gibraltar, 22

  Hicks, Captain, and the siege of Gibraltar, 22

  Hieroglyphics, Egyptian, at Rosetta, 257

  Hiram, and Malaga, 46

  Homeric era, "Pillars of Hercules" in the, 2

  Honorat, St., 149

  Hougoumont, Château of, 15

  Hyères, 96, 146

  Hypatia at Alexandria, 236


  Iberian race of Genoa, 162

  Imtarfa, 292

  Ischia, 326

  Islands of the Blest, 2

  Israfel, The Angel, and a belief of the Moslems, 249

  Ivory on houses in Tangier, 5


  Jews, at Gibraltar, 10

  John of Portugal, King, takes Ceuta from the Moors, 25

  Joseph of Arimathea, and the _sacro catino_ at Genoa, 181

  Jumper, Captain, and the siege of Gibraltar, 20

  Jupiter, Temple of, at Ortygia, 304


  Keats, Grave of, 194


  La Haye, Farmhouse of, 15

  La Mortola, Point, 157

  _Laguna Morta_, The, at Venice, 230

  Landslip at Roquebrune, 156

  Lane-Poole, Mr. Stanley, and the Nile, 259

  Las Palmas, 296

  Lazarus, Legend respecting, at Marseilles, 116

  Leghorn, its dullness, 163;
    history, and canals, 201;
    streets, harbor, trade, statue of Ferdinand, and burial-place of,
        Smollett, 202

  Lentini, 302

  Leo, The constellation, and Berenice's locks, 252

  Lepanto, Battle of, 221

  Lerici, and Shelley's last days, 192

  Lérins, Vincent de, at St. Honorat, 149

  Lesseps, M. de, and the Suez Canal, 264

  Lia, 291

  Library, Garrison, at Gibraltar, 13;
    at Alexandria, 247

  Lighthouse of Ta Giurdan, 272

  Liguria, noted for the cunning of its people, 162

  Ligurian Sea, 146

  Limpia, Harbor and village of, 127

  Lion of St. Mark at Venice, 226

  Lisbon, 21

  Louis XIV., 97;
    and the storming of Barcelona, 83

  Luna, Remains of, 194

  Lyons, Climate of, 90


  Macgregor, Mr. John (Rob Roy), and the ruins of Tanis, 263

  Magnan, The, 139

  Malaga, 95;
    rapid development, 43;
    climate, general appearance, and convenient position for excursions,
    the Alpujarras, 44;
    Phoenician origin, 46;
    history, 48;
    water supply, 48;
    the vineyards, 50;
    sugar industry, 51;
    Castle, Grecian Temple, and the Alcazaba, 51;
    attractiveness of the women, 54;
    harbor, 53;
    Almeria, 55;
    Cape de Gatt, 57;
    the Sierra Tejada, the Sierra Nevada, 58;
    Trevelez and Alhendin, 59;
    Lanjaron, the Muley Hacen, and the Picacho, 60

  Malamocco, 230

  Malta, 267;
    "England's eye in the Mediterranean," 267;
    formerly a peninsula of Africa, and its fertility, 268;
    Gozo, Comino, and Cominetto, and the _Fungus Melitensis_, 270;
    the Gozitans, 272

  Man with the Iron Mask, 149

  Maremma, The, 209

  Marengo, Battle of, 165

  Marfa, 274

  Marguerite, Ste., 145

  Mariette Bey and the ruins of Tanis, 263, 264

  Mark, St., at Alexandria, 236;
    reputed place of burial, 250;
    Lion at Venice, 224

  Marriages of Greeks at Marseilles, 107

  Marsala, 318

    its Greek origin, and importance as the capital of the Mediterranean,
    history, 96, 109;
    appearance from the sea, 97;
    the Old Port and the Cannebière, 98, 99;
    the Bourse, promenades, and statues of Pytheas and Euthymenes, 100;
    flower market and the Prado, 102;
    the Corniche road and _bouillabaisse_, 103, 104;
    Public Garden, Château d'If, and the quays, 105;
    harbors, Greek merchants, and marriage customs, 106-108;
    Greek type in the physique of the people, 109;
    hotels, cholera, plague, and the _mistral_, 112, 113;
    Palais des Arts and the Church of St. Victor, 115, 116;
    Church of Notre Dame de la Garde, 117;
    Chain of Estaques, fortress, and people, 119;
    birthplace of distinguished men, 121;
    its proud position, 123

  Martin, Cap, 156

  Mary, The Virgin, image at St. Victor's, Marseilles, 119

  Mascaron, 122

  Massa, Quarries and palace at, 197

  Massena, General, at Genoa, 165

  Mediterranean, The deep interest connected with the cities and ruins on
        the shores of the, 2;
    Tarifa, 3, 4;
    Tangier, 4-6;
    Gibraltar, 6-18;
    Algeciras, San Roque, and Estepona, 23;
    Ceuta, 25, 26;
    Marseilles, 94-123;
    Genoa, 160-191;
    Barcelona, 61-93;
    Alexandria, 234-264;
    Nice, 124-144;
    Malta, 267-294;
    Malaga, 42-60;
    Algiers, 28-41;
    Tuscan Coast, 192-218;
    Sicily, 295-324;
    Naples, 325-350;
    Venice, 219-233;
    The Riviera, 145-159

  Megara, Bay of, 303

  Mentone, 103;
    mountain paths, 125, 131;
    walks and drives at, 157, 158

  Menzaleh, Lake, 262, 263

  Mery, 122

  Messina, route from Naples, 295;
    general appearance, trade, cathedral, university, etc., 297

  Minden, 19

  Mirabeau imprisoned at Château d'If, 105

  Misada, 291

  _Mistral_, The, 112;
    at Nice, 131

  Mole at Gibraltar, 9, 14, 15, 20

  Monaco, description of, 153, 155

  Monreale, Cathedral and Abbey of, 316

  Monte Carlo, 131;
    its beauty, 155

  Monte-Cristo and Château d'If, 105

  Montpellier, 90

  Monuments to Elliot and Wellington at Gibraltar, 13

  Moorish Castle at Gibraltar, 15

  Moors in Gibraltar, 10;
    Ceuta taken from the, 25;
    in Spain, 47

  Mosque of the Djama-el-Kebir at Tangier, 6;
    at Algiers, 31

  Mosques of Alexandria, 250

  Murano, 231

  Musta, 292

  Mustapha Pacha, 251


  Naples, its population and trade, 95;
    beauty of position, and charming environs, 325;
    sordid surroundings of the port, 327;
    streets, trades, and _al fresco_ toilettes, 328;
    Piazza degli Orefici, and cruelty to animals, 329, 330;
    snails, goats, water sellers, and chapel of St. Januarius, 330;
    churches of Sta. Chiara, S. Domenico Maggiore, and S. Lorenzo, 332;
    antiquities of National Museum, Capri, Villa Nazionale, and Grotto di
        Posilipo, 333;
    "Corniche" of Posilipo, and Roman ruins, 335;
    Pozzuoli, 335;
    Monte Nuovo and Avernus, 337;
    environs of Baiæ and Cumæ, and fascination of Capri, 339;
    the drive to Castellamare, 345;
    Sorrento, 346;
    Amalfi, 347;
    Salerno, 349

  Napoleon, Wars of, and Tarifa, 4;
    and Genoa, 165, 181;
    seizure of Barcelona, 83;
    defeat at Alexandria, 251, 255;
    and a project for a Suez Canal, 264;
    at Malta, 287;
    confinement at Elba, and escape, 203-206;
    at Venice, 222

  Napoleon III., acquires Nice, 129

  Negroes at Gibraltar, 10

  Nelson, feasted at the Moorish Castle, Gibraltar, 16;
    victory at Aboukir Bay, 253, 254;
    at Capraja, 207

  Nervi, 186

  Nevada, Sierra, 58, 59

  Nicæa, 126, 127

  Nice, 21, 96, 102;
    the Queen of the Riviera, 124;
    mountains, and its detractors, 125;
    three distinct towns--Greek, Italian, and French, 126;
    harbor and village of Limpia, and its early history, 127;
    Castle Hill, 128;
    Raüba Capeu, and the _mistral_, 131;
    Italian division and the Promenade du Midi, 132;
    cathedral of St. Réparate, the modern town, and the Promenade des
        Anglais, 133;
    beauty of the private gardens, carnival and battle of flowers, 134,
    the Jardin Public, quays on the Paillon bank and casino, 137;
    theatre, Préfecture, flower market, the Ponchettes, the Place Masséna,
        the Boulevards Victor Hugo and Dubouchage, Cimiez and Carabacel,
    suburbs, 139;
    the road to Monte Carlo, and Monaco, 141;
    Villefranche, and the infinite charms of, 141;
    heights of Mont Alban, and the Magnan valley, 143;
    "gloriously beautiful," 144

  Nicholas Alexandrowitch, The Czarewitch, death at Nice, 138

  Nile, The, alluvial deposit, 237;
    battle of the, 253;
    fertilizing properties, 260

  Nimes, 110

  Notabile, antiquity and manufactures, 290;
    cathedral and churches, 292

  Nuovo, Monte, 337


  "Oceanus River," designation of the Atlantic in Homeric times, 2

  Octavius, defeat of Antony at Mustapha Pacha, 251

  Odessa, 123

  O'Hara's Folly, tower at Gibraltar, 17

  Orange, 110

  Oranges, at Spezzia, 189

  Orbitello, Etruscan relics at, 210

  Ortygia, Island of, 303;
    temple of Jupiter, and the Latonia, 304;
    Greek Theatre, 305

  Ostia, 216, 217

  Ostrogoths, The, and Marseilles, 109


  Pæstum, Temples of, 349, 350

  Paillon, The, 139

  Paintings in the Palais des Arts, Marseilles, 115

  _Palazzi_, The, of Genoa and Venice, 168

  Palermo, 312;
    first impressions disappointing, and the imposing aspect of the
        streets, 312;
    the Palazzo Reale, 315;
    the Cappella Palatina, church of Martorana, and the Cathedral, 316;
    observatory, Monreale, 316;
    museum, and the rocks of Pellegrino, etc., 321, 322;
    the Piazza Marina, 322;
    its beauty at sunset, 323

  Pallanza, 147

  Pammilus of Megara, and the founding of Selinus, 319

  Pastoret, 122

  Patrick, St., at St. Honorat, 150

  Paul, St., wrecked at Gzeier, 271;
    popularity at Malta, 293

  Peak of Teneriffe, and the rock at Ceuta, 27

  Pegli, 186

  Pellegrino, Monte, 316, 317

  Pellew, Admiral, and the destruction of the pirate fleet, 215

  Pelusium, ruins of, 263

  Perini del Vaga, his frescoes at Genoa, 175

  Petrarch, 333

  Pharos of Tarifa, The, 3

  Philip V., 22;
    bombards Barcelona, 83

  Phocæa, 94

  Phoenicians, their designation of Ceuta, 26;
    at Marseilles, 95;
    and Malaga, 46

  Pianosa, 206;
    historical associations, 206

  Pietra Santa, 197

  Pietro Negro, 271

  "Pillars of Hercules," 1;
    in Homeric times, 2, 5, 24, 96

  Pindar and his designation of Agrigentum, 308

  Piombino, 207

  Pirates of Barbary, 97

  Pisa, rival of Genoa, 163;
    Cathedral, Campo Santo, baptistry, and leaning tower of, 198, 199

  Plague, The, at Marseilles, 112, 113;
    at Palermo, 317

  Pliny, 247

  Polyphemus and Aci Reale, 198

  Pompey's Pillar, 247

  Pons, St., 139

  Populonia, 207;
    defeat of Lars Porsenna of Clusium, and possession by the Etruscans,

  Port Said, 258;
    coaling station, 262

  Porto (Tuscany), 216, 217

  Portugal, King John takes Ceuta from the Moors, 25

  Pozzuoli, Bay of, 326, 334, 335;
    town of, 335;
    allusion of Alexandre Dumas, 338

  Prim, Monument to, at Barcelona, 69

  Proserpine, Temple of, at Imtarfa, 292

  Ptolemy Philadelphus and the Temple of Arsenoe, 252

  Punta de Africa, The, the African Pillar of Hercules, 24

  Pyrgos, 214

  Pytheas, 97;
    statue at Marseilles, 100


  Quarry of the Cappucini, 305


  Rabato, 272

  Rameses, and Pelusium, 263

  Ramleh, 251

  Rapallo, Bay of, 186

  Raphael, 175

  Raphael, St., 146

  Raymond des Tours, 121

  Recco, 186

  Revolution, French, and Venice, 222

  Riva, 147

  Riviera, The, general aspect, 145;
    origin of name, 146;
    extent, and climate, 147;
    the Estérel, Agay, Golfe de la Napoule, 148;
    Ste. Marguerite, and St. Honorat, 149;
    Cannes, 150-154;
    Monaco, 153;
    Monte Carlo, 155;
    Mentone, 155, 158;
    Roquebrune, 156, 157;
    Bordighera, and San Remo, 158;
    Alassio and Savona, 159

  Riviera di Levante, 146, 185

  Riviera di Ponento, 146, 185

  Rodney, Lord, and the siege of Gibraltar, 18

  Roger II., 314

  Rogers, Samuel, on Andrea Doria, 173

  Romans, The, at Marseilles, 97, 110;
    at Genoa, 162;
    at Nicæa, 128;
    at Malaga, 46

  Ronda, Mountains of, 17

  Rooke, Sir George, and the siege of Gibraltar, 21

  Roquebrune, 156;
    quaint story connected with, 156

  Rose, The Chevalier, and the plague of Marseilles, 113

  Roses of the Riviera, 145

  Rosetta, 253;
    reputed birthplace of Haroun Al Rashid, 256;
    English expedition of 1807, 256;
    archælogical discoveries, 258

  Rosia Bay, Gibraltar, 14, 20, 23

  Rostang, 121

  Rusellæ, 211

  Ruskin, Professor, on St. Mark's, Venice, 223, 224


  _Sacro catino_, The, at Genoa, 181

  Sahel Mountains, The, 30

  Sais, 263

  Salerno, temples at, 349

  Salles, De, 121

  Salmun, 293

  Salvian, at St. Honorat, 150

  San Remo, 131, 158, 159

  San Roque, 23

  San Salvador, 291

  Santa Croce, Cape, 303

  Santa Marinella, 214

  Santa Severa, 214

  Saracens, at Marseilles, 109;
    at Genoa, 163;
    at Civita Vecchia, 212

  Sarcophagus of Ashmunazar, King of Sidon, at Girgenti, 308

  Savona, 159

  Savoy, Counts of, and Nice, 129

  Scoglio Marfo, 271

  Scylla and Charybdis, 295

  Sebta, or Septem, derivation of "Ceuta," 25

  Segesta, 319;
    temples at, 320

  Selinunto, 319;
    ancient temples at, 320

  Senglea, 289

  Serapeum, The, at Alexandria, 248

  Serapis, Temple of, 236

  Seravezza, Marble quarries at, and Michael Angelo, 197

  Serpentine at Spezzia, 188

  Shakespeare, allusion to the Nile, 260

  Sheba, Queen of, and the _sacro catino_ in the cathedral of Genoa, 181

  Shelley, last days at Lerici, and death, 192, 193

  Shovel, Sir Cloudesley, and the siege of Gibraltar, 21

  Sicily, appearance from the sea, 295;
    Messina, 296, 297;
    Taormina, 297, 298;
    Etna, and Aci Reale, 299, 300;
    Ortygia, 303;
    Syracuse, 303;
    Girgenti, 307;
    Palermo, 312-318;
    San Guiliane, 318;
    Selinunto, 318;
    Monte Pellegrino, 322

  Siege of Gibraltar, 17-20

  Sierra of the Snows, The, 17

  Simos and Protis, supposed founders of Marseilles, 94

  Smollett, Tobias, Grave of, 202

  Snails as an article of diet, 330

  Soldiers at Gibraltar, 11

  Sorrento, 130, 345;
    and Tasso, 346

  Sovana, 211

  Spain, Rock of Calpe, 2;
    landing of first Berber Sheikh, 3;
    antiquity of the Moorish Castle, Gibraltar, 15;
    driven from Gibraltar, 19;
    acquires Ceuta, 25;
    and Columbus, 178;
    the most Catholic country in the world, 74;
    great number of holidays, 87;
    Caballero, lady novelist, 88;
    piquancy of the women, 91;
    unsettled condition of, 92

  Spanish, The, at Gibraltar, 11

  Spanish Succession, War of the, 22

  Spezzia, Scenery around, 160;
    arsenal of, 168;
    exquisite scenery and remarkable situation, 187;
    oranges at, 189;
    villages around, 190;
    harbor and men-of-war, 191;
    Bay of, 192

  Stanfield's painting of Vico, 346

  Statuary, English, its inferior character, 13

  Stone, Egyptian, with inscription, at Rosetta, 257

  Strabo, 247

  Stromboli, 317

  Suez Canal, 96, 123;
    construction by M. de Lesseps, a dream realized, 264

  Syracuse, interest and beauty of, 303


  Taggia, 158

  Talamone, 211

  Tangier, Bay of, 4;
    distant view and features of the town of, 5;
    expedition of Edward, son of King John of Portugal, against, 25

  Tanis, Ruins of (Zoan of the Old Testament), 263

  Taormina, 297;
    elevation of, 298;
    beautiful prospect and ruins of Greek theater, 299

  Tarascon, 96

  Tarif Ibn Malek, first Berber sheikh who landed in Spain, 3

  Tarifa, The Pharos of, 3;
    the arms, town, and history of, 4

  Tarquinii, Ruins of, 212

  Tasso and Sorrento, 346

  Tejada, Sierra, 58

  Teneriffe, 296

  Termini, 312

  _Terral_, The, of Malaga, 43

  Tête de Chien, 153

  Thackeray and _bouillabaisse_, 104

  Theodore, St., statue at Venice, 226

  Thiers, M., 122

  Tiber, The, 215

  Tintoret, 175

  Titian, 175

  Torcello, the ancient Altinum, 231

  Torre dell' Annunziata, Manufacture of macaroni at, 345

  Trajan, founder of Civita Vecchia, 216

  Tramontana, The, of the Riviera, 43

  Trapani, 318

  Trevelez, 59

  Trinacria, 318

  Turbia, The, 103

  Turks, at Gibraltar, 10

  Tuscan coast (_see_ Lerici, Sarzana, Carrara, Pisa, Leghorn, Elba,
        Civita Vecchia, etc.).


  University of Barcelona, 80;
    of Velletta, 286;
    of Messina, 297

  Urban V., Pope, and the church of St. Victor, Marseilles, 116


  Valletta, 267;
    fortress, buildings, population, and abundance of labor, 274, 275;
    the Port, 275;
    military station, and peculiar construction, 276;
    Strada Reale, 278;
    the people, and public buildings, 280;
    the Knights, and various sieges, 284;
    military hospital, 286;
    the University and the prison, 286;
    visit of Bonaparte, and the Strada Mezzodi, 287;
    suburbs, 289;
    Notabile and Hamrun, 290;
    popularity of St. Paul, 293;
    cathedrals, 293, 294

  Vanderdussen, Rear-Admiral, and the siege of Gibraltar, 22

  Vegetation at Marseilles, 104

  Veii, 212

  Venice, 95, 122;
    contrasted with Genoa, 160;
    rival of Genoa, 163;
    the _palazzi_ of, 168;
    a town unequalled in Europe, and general aspect, 219;
    history, 221;
    formation and shape, 222;
    view of San Marco from the Piazza, 223-226;
    date of erection, restoration, and interior of St. Mark's, 225;
    view from the Molo, and the Grand Canal, 226, 227;
    a funeral, 229;
    islands sheltering it from the sea, 230-232

  Ventimiglia, Fortifications of, 157

  Venus, Temple of, shrine at Eryx, 318

  Venus Zephyrites, 252

  Vesuvius, 161, 326

  Viareggio, Recovery of Shelley's body at, 193, 198

  Vico, 346

  Victor, Marshal, dispersal of his army by Colonel Gough at Tarifa, 4

  Villa Franca, 21;
    treaty of, 129;
    picturesqueness of, 141

  Virgil, reference to the cunning of Ligurians, 161;
    the Elysian Fields, 338

  Visigoths, The, 109

  Vittoriosa, 289

  Vulcano, 317


  Wade, Marshal, 13

  War of the Spanish Succession, 22

  Wauchope, General, at Rosetta, 256

  Wellington, Monument at Gibraltar to, 13

  Whittaker, Captain, and the siege of Gibraltar, 22

  Women, of Genoa, 162;
    restrictions at the Cathedral of Genoa against, 181;
    of Spain, 92;
    of Nice, 129;
    their attractiveness at Malaga, 54;
    of Naples, 328;
    of Capri, 342


  Xerxes, 94


  Young, Dr., and the Egyptian stone at Rosetta, 258


  Zerka, 273


[1] History of Modern Architecture.

[2] Dennis: "Cities of Etruria."

[3] Dennis: "Cities of Etruria," I., p. xxxii.

[4] Ruskin: "Stones of Venice."

[5] Alison's "History of Europe."

[6] Sir Theodore Martin.

[7] In Homeric times, as is shown by the Odyssey, the Nile was called
[Greek: Aignptos], a name which was afterwards transferred to the country.

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