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´╗┐Title: Passages from the French and Italian Notebooks, Volume 1.
Author: Hawthorne, Nathaniel, 1804-1864
Language: English
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PASSAGES FROM THE FRENCH AND ITALIAN NOTE-BOOKS

OF

NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE



VOL. I.



PASSAGES FROM HAWTHORNE'S NOTE-BOOKS IN FRANCE AND ITALY.



FRANCE.


Hotel de Louvre, January 6th, 1858.--On Tuesday morning, our dozen trunks
and half-dozen carpet-bags being already packed and labelled, we began to
prepare for our journey two or three hours before light. Two cabs were at
the door by half past six, and at seven we set out for the London Bridge
station, while it was still dark and bitterly cold.  There were already
many people in the streets, growing more numerous as we drove city-ward;
and, in Newgate Street, there was such a number of market-carts, that we
almost came to a dead lock with some of them.  At the station we found
several persons who were apparently going in the same train with us,
sitting round the fire of the waiting-room.  Since I came to England
there has hardly been a morning when I should have less willingly
bestirred myself before daylight; so sharp and inclement was the
atmosphere.  We started at half past eight, having taken through tickets
to Paris by way of Folkestone and Boulogne.  A foot-warmer (a long, flat
tin utensil, full of hot water) was put into the carriage just before we
started; but it did not make us more than half comfortable, and the frost
soon began to cloud the windows, and shut out the prospect, so that we
could only glance at the green fields--immortally green, whatever winter
can do against them--and at, here and there, a stream or pool with the
ice forming on its borders.  It was the first cold weather of a very mild
season.  The snow began to fall in scattered and almost invisible flakes;
and it seemed as if we had stayed our English welcome out, and were to
find nothing genial and hospitable there any more.

At Folkestone, we were deposited at a railway station close upon a
shingly beach, on which the sea broke in foam, and which J----- reported
as strewn with shells and star-fish; behind was the town, with an old
church in the midst; and, close, at hand, the pier, where lay the steamer
in which we were to embark.  But the air was so wintry, that I had no
heart to explore the town, or pick up shells with J----- on the beach; so
we kept within doors during the two hours of our stay, now and then
looking out of the windows at a fishing-boat or two, as they pitched and
rolled with an ugly and irregular motion, such as the British Channel
generally communicates to the craft that navigate it.

At about one o'clock we went on board, and were soon under steam, at a
rate that quickly showed a long line of the white cliffs of Albion behind
us.  It is a very dusky white, by the by, and the cliffs themselves do
not seem, at a distance, to be of imposing height, and have too even an
outline to be picturesque.

As we increased our distance from England, the French coast came more and
more distinctly in sight, with a low, wavy outline, not very well worth
looking at, except because it was the coast of France.  Indeed, I looked
at it but little; for the wind was bleak and boisterous, and I went down
into the cabin, where I found the fire very comfortable, and several
people were stretched on sofas in a state of placid wretchedness. . . .
I have never suffered from sea-sickness, but had been somewhat
apprehensive of this rough strait between England and France, which seems
to have more potency over people's stomachs than ten times the extent of
sea in other quarters.  Our passage was of two hours, at the end of which
we landed on French soil, and found ourselves immediately in the clutches
of the custom-house officers, who, however, merely made a momentary
examination of my passport, and allowed us to pass without opening even
one of our carpet-bags.  The great bulk of our luggage had been
registered through to Paris, for examination after our arrival there.

We left Boulogne in about an hour after our arrival, when it was already
a darkening twilight.  The weather had grown colder than ever, since our
arrival in sunny France, and the night was now setting in, wickedly black
and dreary.  The frost hardened upon the carriage windows in such
thickness that I could scarcely scratch a peep-hole through it; but, from
such glimpses as I could catch, the aspect of the country seemed pretty
much to resemble the December aspect of my dear native land,--broad,
bare, brown fields, with streaks of snow at the foot of ridges, and along
fences, or in the furrows of ploughed soil.  There was ice wherever there
happened to be water to form it.

We had feet-warmers in the carriage, but the cold crept in nevertheless;
and I do not remember hardly in my life a more disagreeable short journey
than this, my first advance into French territory.  My impression of
France will always be that it is an Arctic region.  At any season of the
year, the tract over which we passed yesterday must be an uninteresting
one as regards its natural features; and the only adornment, as far as I
could observe, which art has given it, consists in straight rows of very
stiff-looking and slender-stemmed trees.  In the dusk they resembled
poplar-trees.

Weary and frost-bitten,--morally, if not physically,--we reached Amiens
in three or four hours, and here I underwent much annoyance from the
French railway officials and attendants, who, I believe, did not mean to
incommode me, but rather to forward my purposes as far as they well
could.  If they would speak slowly and distinctly I might understand them
well enough, being perfectly familiar with the written language, and
knowing the principles of its pronunciation; but, in their customary
rapid utterance, it sounds like a string of mere gabble.  When left to
myself, therefore, I got into great difficulties. . . . It gives a
taciturn personage like myself a new conception as to the value of
speech, even to him, when he finds himself unable either to speak or
understand.

Finally, being advised on all hands to go to the Hotel du Rhin, we were
carried thither in an omnibus, rattling over a rough pavement, through an
invisible and frozen town; and, on our arrival, were ushered into a
handsome salon, as chill as a tomb.  They made a little bit of a
wood-fire for us in a low and deep chimney-hole, which let a hundred
times more heat escape up the flue than it sent into the room.

In the morning we sallied forth to see the cathedral.

The aspect of the old French town was very different from anything
English; whiter, infinitely cleaner; higher and narrower houses, the
entrance to most of which seeming to be through a great gateway,
affording admission into a central court-yard; a public square, with a
statue in the middle, and another statue in a neighboring street.  We met
priests in three-cornered hats, long frock-coats, and knee-breeches; also
soldiers and gendarmes, and peasants and children, clattering over the
pavements in wooden shoes.

It makes a great impression of outlandishness to see the signs over the
shop doors in a foreign tongue.  If the cold had not been such as to dull
my sense of novelty, and make all my perceptions torpid, I should have
taken in a set of new impressions, and enjoyed them very much.  As it
was, I cared little for what I saw, but yet had life enough left to enjoy
the cathedral of Amiens, which has many features unlike those of English
cathedrals.

It stands in the midst of the cold, white town, and has a high-shouldered
look to a spectator accustomed to the minsters of England, which cover a
great space of ground in proportion to their height.  The impression the
latter gives is of magnitude and mass; this French cathedral strikes one
as lofty.  The exterior is venerable, though but little time-worn by the
action of the atmosphere; and statues still keep their places in numerous
niches, almost as perfect as when first placed there in the thirteenth
century.  The principal doors are deep, elaborately wrought, pointed
arches; and the interior seemed to us, at the moment, as grand as any
that we had seen, and to afford as vast an idea of included space; it
being of such an airy height, and with no screen between the chancel and
nave, as in all the English cathedrals.  We saw the differences, too,
betwixt a church in which the same form of worship for which it was
originally built is still kept up, and those of England, where it has
been superseded for centuries; for here, in the recess of every arch of
the side aisles, beneath each lofty window, there was a chapel dedicated
to some Saint, and adorned with great marble sculptures of the
crucifixion, and with pictures, execrably bad, in all cases, and various
kinds of gilding and ornamentation.  Immensely tall wax candles stand
upon the altars of these chapels, and before one sat a woman, with a
great supply of tapers, one of which was burning.  I suppose these were
to be lighted as offerings to the saints, by the true believers.
Artificial flowers were hung at some of the shrines, or placed under
glass.  In every chapel, moreover, there was a confessional,--a little
oaken structure, about as big as a sentry-box, with a closed part for the
priest to sit in, and an open one for the penitent to kneel at, and
speak, through the open-work of the priest's closet.  Monuments, mural
and others, to long-departed worthies, and images of the Saviour, the
Virgin, and saints, were numerous everywhere about the church; and in the
chancel there was a great deal of quaint and curious sculpture, fencing
in the Holy of Holies, where the High Altar stands.  There is not much
painted glass; one or two very rich and beautiful rose-windows, however,
that looked antique; and the great eastern window which, I think, is
modern.  The pavement has, probably, never been renewed, as one piece of
work, since the structure was erected, and is foot-worn by the successive
generations, though still in excellent repair.  I saw one of the small,
square stones in it, bearing the date of 1597, and no doubt there are a
thousand older ones.  It was gratifying to find the cathedral in such
good condition, without any traces of recent repair; and it is perhaps a
mark of difference between French and English character, that the
Revolution in the former country, though all religious worship disappears
before it, does not seem to have caused such violence to ecclesiastical
monuments, as the Reformation and the reign of Puritanism in the latter.
I did not see a mutilated shrine, or even a broken-nosed image, in the
whole cathedral.  But, probably, the very rage of the English fanatics
against idolatrous tokens, and their smashing blows at them, were
symptoms of sincerer religious faith than the French were capable of.
These last did not care enough about their Saviour to beat down his
crucified image; and they preserved the works of sacred art, for the sake
only of what beauty there was in them.

While we were in the cathedral, we saw several persons kneeling at their
devotions on the steps of the chancel and elsewhere.  One dipped his
fingers in the holy water at the entrance: by the by, I looked into the
stone basin that held it, and saw it full of ice.  Could not all that
sanctity at least keep it thawed?  Priests--jolly, fat, mean-looking
fellows, in white robes--went hither and thither, but did not interrupt
or accost us.

There were other peculiarities, which I suppose I shall see more of in my
visits to other churches, but now we were all glad to make our stay as
brief as possible, the atmosphere of the cathedral being so bleak, and
its stone pavement so icy cold beneath our feet.  We returned to the
hotel, and the chambermaid brought me a book, in which she asked me to
inscribe my name, age, profession, country, destination, and the
authorization under which I travelled.  After the freedom of an English
hotel, so much greater than even that of an American one, where they make
you disclose your name, this is not so pleasant.

We left Amiens at half past one; and I can tell as little of the country
between that place and Paris, as between Boulogne and Amiens.  The
windows of our railway carriage were already frosted with French breath
when we got into it, and the ice grew thicker and thicker continually.  I
tried, at various times, to rub a peep-hole through, as before; but the
ice immediately shot its crystallized tracery over it again; and, indeed,
there was little or nothing to make it worth while to look out, so bleak
was the scene.  Now and then a chateau, too far off for its
characteristics to be discerned; now and then a church, with a tall gray
tower, and a little peak atop; here and there a village or a town, which
we could not well see.  At sunset there was just that clear, cold, wintry
sky which I remember so well in America, but have never seen in England.

At five we reached Paris, and were suffered to take a carriage to the
hotel de Louvre, without any examination of the little luggage we had
with us.  Arriving, we took a suite of apartments, and the waiter
immediately lighted a wax candle in each separate room.

We might have dined at the table d'hote, but preferred the restaurant
connected with and within the hotel.  All the dishes were very delicate,
and a vast change from the simple English system, with its joints,
shoulders, beefsteaks, and chops; but I doubt whether English cookery,
for the very reason that it is so simple, is not better for men's moral
and spiritual nature than French.  In the former case, you know that you
are gratifying your animal needs and propensities, and are duly ashamed
of it; but, in dealing with these French delicacies, you delude yourself
into the idea that you are cultivating your taste while satisfying your
appetite.  This last, however, it requires a good deal of perseverance to
accomplish.

In the cathedral at Amiens there were printed lists of acts of devotion
posted on the columns, such as prayers at the shrines of certain saints,
whereby plenary indulgences might be gained.  It is to be observed,
however, that all these external forms were necessarily accompanied with
true penitence and religious devotion.


Hotel de Louvre, January 8th.--It was so fearfully cold this morning that
I really felt little or no curiosity to see the city. . . . Until after
one o'clock, therefore, I knew nothing of Paris except the lights which I
had seen beneath our window the evening before, far, far downward, in the
narrow Rue St. Honore, and the rumble of the wheels, which continued
later than I was awake to hear it, and began again before dawn.  I could
see, too, tall houses, that seemed to be occupied in every story, and
that had windows on the steep roofs.  One of these houses is six stories
high.  This Rue St. Honore is one of the old streets in Paris, and is
that in which Henry IV. was assassinated; but it has not, in this part of
it, the aspect of antiquity.

After one o'clock we all went out and walked along the Rue de
Rivoli. . . . We are here, right in the midst of Paris, and close to
whatever is best known to those who hear or read about it,--the Louvre
being across the street, the Palais Royal but a little way off, the
Tuileries joining to the Louvre, the Place de la Concorde just beyond,
verging on which is the Champs Elysees.  We looked about us for a
suitable place to dine, and soon found the Restaurant des Echelles, where
we entered at a venture, and were courteously received.  It has a
handsomely furnished saloon, much set off with gilding and mirrors; and
appears to be frequented by English and Americans; its carte, a bound
volume, being printed in English as well as French. . . .

It was now nearly four o'clock, and too late to visit the galleries of
the Louvre, or to do anything else but walk a little way along the
street.  The splendor of Paris, so far as I have seen, takes me
altogether by surprise: such stately edifices, prolonging themselves in
unwearying magnificence and beauty, and, ever and anon, a long vista of a
street, with a column rising at the end of it, or a triumphal arch,
wrought in memory of some grand event.  The light stone or stucco, wholly
untarnished by smoke and soot, puts London to the blush, if a blush could
be seen on its dingy face; but, indeed, London is not to be mentioned,
nor compared even, with Paris.  I never knew what a palace was till I had
a glimpse of the Louvre and the Tuileries; never had my idea of a city
been gratified till I trod these stately streets.  The life of the scene,
too, is infinitely more picturesque than that of London, with its
monstrous throng of grave faces and black coats; whereas, here, you see
soldiers and priests, policemen in cocked hats, Zonaves with turbans,
long mantles, and bronzed, half-Moorish faces; and a great many people
whom you perceive to be outside of your experience, and know them ugly to
look at, and fancy them villanous.  Truly, I have no sympathies towards
the French people; their eyes do not win me, nor do their glances melt
and mingle with mine.  But they do grand and beautiful things in the
architectural way; and I am grateful for it.  The Place de la Concorde is
a most splendid square, large enough for a nation to erect trophies in of
all its triumphs; and on one side of it is the Tuileries, on the opposite
side the Champs Elysees, and, on a third, the Seine, adown which we saw
large cakes of ice floating, beneath the arches of a bridge.  The Champs
Elysees, so far as I saw it, had not a grassy soil beneath its trees, but
the bare earth, white and dusty.  The very dust, if I saw nothing else,
would assure me that I was out of England.

We had time only to take this little walk, when it began to grow dusk;
and, being so pitilessly cold, we hurried back to our hotel.  Thus far, I
think, what I have seen of Paris is wholly unlike what I expected; but
very like an imaginary picture which I had conceived of St. Petersburg,--
new, bright, magnificent, and desperately cold.

A great part of this architectural splendor is due to the present
Emperor, who has wrought a great change in the aspect of the city within
a very few years.  A traveller, if he looks at the thing selfishly, ought
to wish him a long reign and arbitrary power, since he makes it his
policy to illustrate his capital with palatial edifices, which are,
however, better for a stranger to look at, than for his own people to pay
for.

We have spent to-day chiefly in seeing some of the galleries of the
Louvre.  I must confess that the vast and beautiful edifice struck me far
more than the pictures, sculpture, and curiosities which it contains,--
the shell more than the kernel inside; such noble suites of rooms and
halls were those through which we first passed, containing Egyptian, and,
farther onward, Greek and Roman antiquities; the walls cased in
variegated marbles; the ceilings glowing with beautiful frescos; the
whole extended into infinite vistas by mirrors that seemed like vacancy,
and multiplied everything forever.  The picture-rooms are not so
brilliant, and the pictures themselves did not greatly win upon me in
this one day.  Many artists were employed in copying them, especially in
the rooms hung with the productions of French painters.  Not a few of
these copyists were females; most of them were young men, picturesquely
mustached and bearded; but some were elderly, who, it was pitiful to
think, had passed through life without so much success as now to paint
pictures of their own.

From the pictures we went into a suite of rooms where are preserved many
relics of the ancient and later kings of France; more relics of the elder
ones, indeed, than I supposed had remained extant through the Revolution.
The French seem to like to keep memorials of whatever they do, and of
whatever their forefathers have done, even if it be ever so little to
their credit; and perhaps they do not take matters sufficiently to heart
to detest anything that has ever happened.  What surprised me most were
the golden sceptre and the magnificent sword and other gorgeous relics of
Charlemagne,--a person whom I had always associated with a sheepskin
cloak.  There were suits of armor and weapons that had been worn and
handled by a great many of the French kings; and a religious book that
had belonged to St. Louis; a dressing-glass, most richly set with
precious stones, which formerly stood on the toilet-table of Catherine
de' Medici, and in which I saw my own face where hers had been.  And
there were a thousand other treasures, just as well worth mentioning as
these.  If each monarch could have been summoned from Hades to claim his
own relics, we should have had the halls full of the old Childerics,
Charleses, Bourbons and Capets, Henrys and Louises, snatching with
ghostly hands at sceptres, swords, armor, and mantles; and Napoleon would
have seen, apparently, almost everything that personally belonged to
him,--his coat, his cocked hats, his camp-desk, his field-bed, his
knives, forks, and plates, and even a lock of his hair.  I must let it
all go.  These things cannot be reproduced by pen and ink.


Hotel de Louvre, January 9th.--. . . . Last evening Mr. Fezaudie called.
He spoke very freely respecting the Emperor and the hatred entertained
against him in France; but said that he is more powerful, that is, more
firmly fixed as a ruler, than ever the first Napoleon was.  We, who look
back upon the first Napoleon as one of the eternal facts of the past, a
great bowlder in history, cannot well estimate how momentary and
insubstantial the great Captain may have appeared to those who beheld his
rise out of obscurity.  They never, perhaps, took the reality of his
career fairly into their minds, before it was over.  The present Emperor,
I believe, has already been as long in possession of the supreme power as
his uncle was.  I should like to see him, and may, perhaps, do--so, as he
is our neighbor, across the way.

This morning Miss ------, the celebrated astronomical lady, called.  She
had brought a letter of introduction to me, while consul; and her purpose
now was to see if we could take her as one of our party to Rome, whither
she likewise is bound.  We readily consented, for she seems to be a
simple, strong, healthy-humored woman, who will not fling herself as a
burden on our shoulders; and my only wonder is that a person evidently so
able to take care of herself should wish to have an escort.

We issued forth at about eleven, and went down the Rue St. Honore, which
is narrow, and has houses of five or six stories on either side, between
which run the streets like a gully in a rock.  One face of our hotel
borders and looks on this street.  After going a good way, we came to an
intersection with another street, the name of which I forget; but, at
this point, Ravaillac sprang at the carriage of Henry IV. and plunged his
dagger into him.  As we went down the Rue St. Honore, it grew more and
more thronged, and with a meaner class of people.  The houses still were
high, and without the shabbiness of exterior that distinguishes the old
part of London, being of light-colored stone; but I never saw anything
that so much came up to my idea of a swarming city as this narrow,
crowded, and rambling street.

Thence we turned into the Rue St. Denis, which is one of the oldest
streets in Paris, and is said to have been first marked out by the track
of the saint's footsteps, where, after his martyrdom, he walked along it,
with his head under his arm, in quest of a burial-place.  This legend may
account for any crookedness of the street; for it could not reasonably be
asked of a headless man that he should walk straight.

Through some other indirections we at last found the Rue Bergere, down
which I went with J----- in quest of Hottinguer et Co., the bankers,
while the rest of us went along the Boulevards, towards the Church of the
Madeleine. . . . This business accomplished, J----- and I threaded our
way back, and overtook the rest of the party, still a good distance from
the Madeleine.  I know not why the Boulevards are called so.  They are a
succession of broad walks through broad streets, and were much thronged
with people, most of whom appeared to be bent more on pleasure than
business.  The sun, long before this, had come out brightly, and gave us
the first genial and comfortable sensations which we have had in Paris.

Approaching the Madeleine, we found it a most beautiful church, that
might have been adapted from Heathenism to Catholicism; for on each side
there is a range of magnificent pillars, unequalled, except by those of
the Parthenon.  A mourning-coach, arrayed in black and silver, was drawn
up at the steps, and the front of the church was hung with black cloth,
which covered the whole entrance.  However, seeing the people going in,
we entered along with them.  Glorious and gorgeous is the Madeleine.  The
entrance to the nave is beneath a most stately arch; and three arches of
equal height open from the nave to the side aisles; and at the end of the
nave is another great arch, rising, with a vaulted half-dome, over the
high altar.  The pillars supporting these arches are Corinthian, with
richly sculptured capitals; and wherever gilding might adorn the church,
it is lavished like sunshine; and within the sweeps of the arches there
are fresco paintings of sacred subjects, and a beautiful picture covers
the hollow of the vault over the altar; all this, besides much sculpture;
and especially a group above and around the high altar, representing the
Magdalen smiling down upon angels and archangels, some of whom are
kneeling, and shadowing themselves with their heavy marble wings.  There
is no such thing as making my page glow with the most distant idea of the
magnificence of this church, in its details and in its whole.  It was
founded a hundred or two hundred years ago; then Bonaparte contemplated
transforming it into a Temple of Victory, or building it anew as one.
The restored Bourbons remade it into a church; but it still has a
heathenish look, and will never lose it.

When we entered we saw a crowd of people, all pressing forward towards
the high altar, before which burned a hundred wax lights, some of which
were six or seven feet high; and, altogether, they shone like a galaxy of
stars.  In the middle of the nave, moreover, there was another galaxy of
wax candles burning around an immense pall of black velvet, embroidered
with silver, which seemed to cover, not only a coffin, but a sarcophagus,
or something still more huge.  The organ was rumbling forth a deep,
lugubrious bass, accompanied with heavy chanting of priests, out of which
sometimes rose the clear, young voices of choristers, like light flashing
out of the gloom.  The church, between the arches, along the nave, and
round the altar, was hung with broad expanses of black cloth; and all the
priests had their sacred vestments covered with black.  They looked
exceedingly well; I never saw anything half so well got up on the stage.
Some of these ecclesiastical figures were very stately and noble, and
knelt and bowed, and bore aloft the cross, and swung the censers in a way
that I liked to see.  The ceremonies of the Catholic Church were a superb
work of art, or perhaps a true growth of man's religious nature; and so
long as men felt their original meaning, they must have been full of awe
and glory.  Being of another parish, I looked on coldly, but not
irreverently, and was glad to see the funeral service so well performed,
and very glad when it was over.  What struck me as singular, the person
who performed the part usually performed by a verger, keeping order among
the audience, wore a gold-embroidered scarf, a cocked hat, and, I
believe, a sword, and had the air of a military man.

Before the close of the service a contribution-box--or, rather, a black
velvet bag--was handed about by this military verger; and I gave J----- a
franc to put in, though I did not in the least know for what.

Issuing from the church, we inquired of two or three persons who was the
distinguished defunct at whose obsequies we had been assisting, for we
had some hope that it might be Rachel, who died last week, and is still
above ground.  But it proved to be only a Madame Mentel, or some such
name, whom nobody had ever before heard of.  I forgot to say that her
coffin was taken from beneath the illuminated pall, and carried out of
the church before us.

When we left the Madeleine we took our way to the Place de la Concorde,
and thence through the Elysian Fields (which, I suppose, are the French
idea of heaven) to Bonaparte's triumphal arch.  The Champs Elysees may
look pretty in summer; though I suspect they must be somewhat dry and
artificial at whatever season,--the trees being slender and scraggy, and
requiring to be renewed every few years.  The soil is not genial to them.
The strangest peculiarity of this place, however, to eyes fresh from
moist and verdant England, is, that there is not one blade of grass in
all the Elysian Fields, nothing but hard clay, now covered with white
dust.  It gives the whole scene the air of being a contrivance of man, in
which Nature has either not been invited to take any part, or has
declined to do so.  There were merry-go-rounds, wooden horses, and other
provision for children's amusements among the trees; and booths, and
tables of cakes, and candy-women; and restaurants on the borders of the
wood; but very few people there; and doubtless we can form no idea of
what the scene might become when alive with French gayety and vivacity.

As we walked onward the Triumphal Arch began to loom up in the distance,
looking huge and massive, though still a long way off.  It was not,
however, till we stood almost beneath it that we really felt the grandeur
of this great arch, including so large a space of the blue sky in its
airy sweep.  At a distance it impresses the spectator with its solidity;
nearer, with the lofty vacancy beneath it.  There is a spiral staircase
within one of its immense limbs; and, climbing steadily upward, lighted
by a lantern which the doorkeeper's wife gave us, we had a bird's-eye
view of Paris, much obscured by smoke or mist.  Several interminable
avenues shoot with painful directness right towards it.

On our way homeward we visited the Place Vendome, in the centre of which
is a tall column, sculptured from top to bottom, all over the pedestal,
and all over the shaft, and with Napoleon himself on the summit.  The
shaft is wreathed round and roundabout with representations of what, as
far as I could distinguish, seemed to be the Emperor's victories.  It has
a very rich effect.  At the foot of the column we saw wreaths of
artificial flowers, suspended there, no doubt, by some admirer of
Napoleon, still ardent enough to expend a franc or two in this way.


Hotel de Louvre, January 10th.--We had purposed going to the Cathedral
of Notre Dame to-day, but the weather and walking were too unfavorable
for a distant expedition; so we merely went across the street to the
Louvre. . . . .

Our principal object this morning was to see the pencil drawings by
eminent artists.  Of these the Louvre has a very rich collection,
occupying many apartments, and comprising sketches by Annibale Caracci,
Claude, Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci, Michel Angelo, Rubens, Rembrandt, and
almost all the other great masters, whether French, Italian, Dutch, or
whatever else; the earliest drawings of their great pictures, when they
had the glory of their pristine idea directly before their minds' eye,--
that idea which inevitably became overlaid with their own handling of it
in the finished painting.  No doubt the painters themselves had often a
happiness in these rude, off-hand sketches, which they never felt again
in the same work, and which resulted in disappointment, after they had
done their best.  To an artist, the collection must be most deeply
interesting: to myself, it was merely curious, and soon grew wearisome.

In the same suite of apartments, there is a collection of miniatures,
some of them very exquisite, and absolutely lifelike, on their small
scale.  I observed two of Franklin, both good and picturesque, one of
them especially so, with its cloud-like white hair.  I do not think we
have produced a man so interesting to contemplate, in many points of
view, as he.  Most of our great men are of a character that I find it
impossible to warm into life by thought, or by lavishing any amount of
sympathy upon them.  Not so Franklin, who had a great deal of common and
uncommon human nature in him.

Much of the time, while my wife was looking at the drawings, I sat
observing the crowd of Sunday visitors.  They were generally of a lower
class than those of week-days; private soldiers in a variety of uniforms,
and, for the most part, ugly little men, but decorous and well behaved.
I saw medals on many of their breasts, denoting Crimean service; some
wore the English medal, with Queen Victoria's head upon it.  A blue
coat, with red baggy trousers, was the most usual uniform.  Some had
short-breasted coats, made in the same style as those of the first
Napoleon, which we had seen in the preceding rooms.  The policemen,
distributed pretty abundantly about the rooms, themselves looked
military, wearing cocked hats and swords.  There were many women of the
middling classes; some, evidently, of the lowest, but clean and decent,
in colored gowns and caps; and laboring men, citizens, Sunday gentlemen,
young artists, too, no doubt looking with educated eyes at these
art-treasures, and I think, as a general thing, each man was mated with a
woman.  The soldiers, however, came in pairs or little squads,
accompanied by women.  I did not much like any of the French faces, and
yet I am not sure that there is not more resemblance between them and the
American physiognomy, than between the latter and the English.  The women
are not pretty, but in all ranks above the lowest they have a trained
expression that supplies the place of beauty.

I was wearied to death with the drawings, and began to have that dreary
and desperate feeling which has often come upon me when the sights last
longer than my capacity for receiving them.  As our time in Paris,
however, is brief and precious, we next inquired our way to the galleries
of sculpture, and these alone are of astounding extent, reaching, I
should think, all round one quadrangle of the Louvre, on the basement
floor.  Hall after hall opened interminably before us, and on either side
of us, paved and incrusted with variegated and beautifully polished
marble, relieved against which stand the antique statues and groups,
interspersed with great urns and vases, sarcophagi, altars, tablets,
busts of historic personages, and all manner of shapes of marble which
consummate art has transmuted into precious stones.  Not that I really
did feel much impressed by any of this sculpture then, nor saw more than
two or three things which I thought very beautiful; but whether it be
good or no, I suppose the world has nothing better, unless it be a few
world-renowned statues in Italy.  I was even more struck by the skill and
ingenuity of the French in arranging these sculptural remains, than by
the value of the sculptures themselves.  The galleries, I should judge,
have been recently prepared, and on a magnificent system,--the adornments
being yet by no means completed,--for besides the floor and wall-casings
of rich, polished marble, the vaulted ceilings of some of the apartments
are painted in fresco, causing them to glow as if the sky were opened.
It must be owned, however, that the statuary, often time-worn and
darkened from its original brilliancy by weather-stains, does not suit
well as furniture for such splendid rooms.  When we see a perfection of
modern finish around them, we recognize that most of these statues have
been thrown down from their pedestals, hundreds of years ago, and have
been battered and externally degraded; and though whatever spiritual
beauty they ever had may still remain, yet this is not made more apparent
by the contrast betwixt the new gloss of modern upholstery, and their
tarnished, even if immortal grace.  I rather think the English have given
really the more hospitable reception to the maimed Theseus, and his
broken-nosed, broken-legged, headless companions, because flouting them
with no gorgeous fittings up.

By this time poor J----- (who, with his taste for art yet undeveloped, is
the companion of all our visits to sculpture and picture galleries) was
wofully hungry, and for bread we had given him a stone,--not one stone,
but a thousand.  We returned to the hotel, and it being too damp and raw
to go to our Restaurant des Echelles, we dined at the hotel.  In my
opinion it would require less time to cultivate our gastronomic taste
than taste of any other kind; and, on the whole, I am not sure that a man
would not be wise to afford himself a little discipline in this line.  It
is certainly throwing away the bounties of Providence, to treat them as
the English do, producing from better materials than the French have to
work upon nothing but sirloins, joints, joints, steaks, steaks, steaks,
chops, chops, chops, chops!  We had a soup to-day, in which twenty kinds
of vegetables were represented, and manifested each its own aroma; a
fillet of stewed beef, and a fowl, in some sort of delicate fricassee.
We had a bottle of Chablis, and renewed ourselves, at the close of the
banquet, with a plate of Chateaubriand ice.  It was all very good, and we
respected ourselves far more than if we had eaten a quantity of red roast
beef; but I am not quite sure that we were right. . . .

Among the relics of kings and princes, I do not know that there was
anything more interesting than a little brass cannon, two or three inches
long, which had been a toy of the unfortunate Dauphin, son of Louis XVI.
There was a map,--a hemisphere of the world,--which his father had drawn
for this poor boy; very neatly done, too.  The sword of Louis XVI., a
magnificent rapier, with a beautifully damasked blade, and a jewelled
scabbard, but without a hilt, is likewise preserved, as is the hilt of
Henry IV.'s sword.  But it is useless to begin a catalogue of these
things.  What a collection it is, including Charlemagne's sword and
sceptre, and the last Dauphin's little toy cannon, and so much between
the two!


Hotel de Louvre, January 11th.--This was another chill, raw day,
characterized by a spitefulness of atmosphere which I do not remember
ever to have experienced in my own dear country.  We meant to have
visited the Hotel des Invalides, but J----- and I walked to the Tivoli,
the Place de la Concorde, the Champs Elysees, and to the Place de
Beaujou, and to the residence of the American minister, where I wished to
arrange about my passport.  After speaking with the Secretary of
Legation, we were ushered into the minister's private room, where he
received me with great kindness.  Mr. ------ is an old gentleman with a
white head, and a large, florid face, which has an expression of
amiability, not unmingled with a certain dignity.  He did not rise from
his arm-chair to greet me,--a lack of ceremony which I imputed to the
gout, feeling it impossible that he should have willingly failed in
courtesy to one of his twenty-five million sovereigns.  In response to
some remark of mine about the shabby way in which our government treats
its officials pecuniarily, he gave a detailed account of his own troubles
on that score; then expressed a hope that I had made a good thing out of
my consulate, and inquired whether I had received a hint to resign; to
which I replied that, for various reasons, I had resigned of my own
accord, and before Mr. Buchanan's inauguration.  We agreed, however, in
disapproving the system of periodical change in our foreign officials;
and I remarked that a consul or an ambassador ought to be a citizen both
of his native country and of the one in which he resided; and that his
possibility of beneficent influence depended largely on his being so.
Apropos to which Mr. ------ said that he had once asked a diplomatic
friend of long experience, what was the first duty of a minister.  "To
love his own country, and to watch over its interests," answered the
diplomatist.  "And his second duty?" asked Mr. ------.  "To love and to
promote the interests of the country to which he is accredited," said his
friend.  This is a very Christian and sensible view of the matter; but it
can scarcely have happened once in our whole diplomatic history, that a
minister can have had time to overcome his first rude and ignorant
prejudice against the country of his mission; and if there were any
suspicion of his having done so, it would be held abundantly sufficient
ground for his recall.  I like Mr. ------, a good-hearted, sensible old
man.

J-----  and I returned along the Champs Elysees, and, crossing the Seine,
kept on our way by the river's brink, looking at the titles of books on
the long lines of stalls that extend between the bridges.  Novels,
fairy-tales, dream books, treatises of behavior and etiquette,
collections of bon-mots and of songs, were interspersed with volumes in
the old style of calf and gilt binding, the works of the classics of
French literature.  A good many persons, of the poor classes, and of
those apparently well to do, stopped transitorily to look at these books.
On the other side of the street was a range of tall edifices with shops
beneath, and the quick stir of French life hurrying, and babbling, and
swarming along the sidewalk.  We passed two or three bridges, occurring
at short intervals, and at last we recrossed the Seine by a bridge which
oversteps the river, from a point near the National Institute, and
reaches the other side, not far from the Louvre. . . .

Though the day was so disagreeable, we thought it best not to lose the
remainder of it, and therefore set out to visit the Cathedral of Notre
Dame.  We took a fiacre in the Place de Carousel, and drove to the door.
On entering, we found the interior miserably shut off from view by the
stagings erected for the purpose of repairs.  Penetrating from the nave
towards the chancel, an official personage signified to us that we must
first purchase a ticket for each grown person, at the price of half a
franc each.  This expenditure admitted us into the sacristy, where we
were taken in charge by a guide, who came down upon us with an avalanche
or cataract of French, descriptive of a great many treasures reposited in
this chapel.  I understood hardly more than one word in ten, but gathered
doubtfully that a bullet which was shown us was the one that killed the
late Archbishop of Paris, on the floor of the cathedral.  [But this was a
mistake.  It was the archbishop who was killed in the insurrection of
1848.  Two joints of his backbone were also shown.]  Also, that some
gorgeously embroidered vestments, which he drew forth, had been used at
the coronation of Napoleon I.  There were two large, full-length
portraits hanging aloft in the sacristy, and a gold or silver gilt, or,
at all events, gilt image of the Virgin, as large as life, standing on a
pedestal.  The guide had much to say about these, but, understanding him
so imperfectly, I have nothing to record.

The guide's supervision of us seemed not to extend beyond this sacristy,
on quitting which he gave us permission to go where we pleased, only
intimating a hope that we would not forget him; so I gave him half a
franc, though thereby violating an inhibition on the printed ticket of
entrance.

We had been much disappointed at first by the apparently narrow limits
of the interior of this famous church; but now, as we made our way round
the choir, gazing into chapel after chapel, each with its painted window,
its crucifix, its pictures, its confessional, and afterwards came back
into the nave, where arch rises above arch to the lofty roof, we came to
the conclusion that it was very sumptuous.  It is the greatest of pities
that its grandeur and solemnity should just now be so infinitely marred
by the workmen's boards, timber, and ladders occupying the whole centre
of the edifice, and screening all its best effects.  It seems to have
been already most richly ornamented, its roof being painted, and the
capitals of the pillars gilded, and their shafts illuminated in fresco;
and no doubt it will shine out gorgeously when all the repairs and
adornments shall be completed.  Even now it gave to my actual sight what
I have often tried to imagine in my visits to the English cathedrals,--
the pristine glory of those edifices, when they stood glowing with gold
and picture, fresh from the architects' and adorners' hands.

The interior loftiness of Notre Dame, moreover, gives it a sublimity
which would swallow up anything that might look gewgawy in its
ornamentation, were we to consider it window by window, or pillar by
pillar.  It is an advantage of these vast edifices, rising over us and
spreading about us in such a firmamental way, that we cannot spoil them
by any pettiness of our own, but that they receive (or absorb) our
pettiness into their own immensity.  Every little fantasy finds its place
and propriety in them, like a flower on the earth's broad bosom.

When we emerged from the cathedral, we found it beginning to rain or
snow, or both; and, as we had dismissed our fiacre at the door, and could
find no other, we were at a loss what to do.  We stood a few moments on
the steps of the Hotel Dieu, looking up at the front of Notre Dame, with
its twin towers, and its three deep-pointed arches, piercing through a
great thickness of stone, and throwing a cavern-like gloom around these
entrances.  The front is very rich.  Though so huge, and all of gray
stone, it is carved and fretted with statues and innumerable devices, as
cunningly as any ivory casket in which relics are kept; but its size did
not so much impress me. . . .


Hotel de Louvre, January 12th.--This has been a bright day as regards
weather; but I have done little or nothing worth recording.  After
breakfast, I set out in quest of the consul, and found him up a court, at
51 Rue Caumartin, in an office rather smaller, I think, than mine at
Liverpool; but, to say the truth, a little better furnished.  I was
received in the outer apartment by an elderly, brisk-looking man, in
whose air, respectful and subservient, and yet with a kind of authority
in it, I recognized the vice-consul.  He introduced me to Mr. ------, who
sat writing in an inner room; a very gentlemanly, courteous, cool man of
the world, whom I should take to be an excellent person for consul at
Paris.  He tells me that he has resided here some years, although his
occupancy of the consulate dates only from November last.  Consulting him
respecting my passport, he gave me what appear good reasons why I should
get all the necessary vises here; for example, that the vise of a
minister carries more weight than that of a consul; and especially that
an Austrian consul will never vise a passport unless he sees his
minister's name upon it.  Mr. ------ has travelled much in Italy, and
ought to be able to give me sound advice.  His opinion was, that at this
season of the year I had better go by steamer to Civita Veechia, instead
of landing at Leghorn, and thence journeying to Rome.  On this point I
shall decide when the time comes.  As I left the office the vice-consul
informed me that there was a charge of five francs and some sous for the
consul's vise, a tax which surprised me,--the whole business of passports
having been taken from consuls before I quitted office, and the consular
fee having been annulled even earlier.  However, no doubt Mr. ------ had
a fair claim to my five francs; but, really, it is not half so pleasant
to pay a consular fee as it used to be to receive it.

Afterwards I walked to Notre Dame, the rich front of which I viewed with
more attention than yesterday.  There are whole histories, carved in
stone figures, within the vaulted arches of the three entrances in this
west front, and twelve apostles in a row above, and as much other
sculpture as would take a month to see.  We then walked quite round it,
but I had no sense of immensity from it, not even that of great height,
as from many of the cathedrals in England.  It stands very near the
Seine; indeed, if I mistake not, it is on an island formed by two
branches of the river.  Behind it, is what seems to be a small public
ground (or garden, if a space entirely denuded of grass or other green
thing, except a few trees, can be called so), with benches, and a
monument in the midst.  This quarter of the city looks old, and appears
to be inhabited by poor people, and to be busied about small and petty
affairs; the most picturesque business that I saw being that of the old
woman who sells crucifixes of pearl and of wood at the cathedral door.
We bought two of these yesterday.

I must again speak of the horrible muddiness, not only of this part of
the city, but of all Paris, so far as I have traversed it to-day.  My
ways, since I came to Europe, have often lain through nastiness, but I
never before saw a pavement so universally overspread with mud-padding as
that of Paris.  It is difficult to imagine where so much filth can come
from.

After dinner I walked through the gardens of the Tuileries; but as dusk
was coming on, and as I was afraid of being shut up within the iron
railing, I did not have time to examine them particularly.  There are
wide, intersecting walks, fountains, broad basins, and many statues; but
almost the whole surface of the gardens is barren earth, instead of the
verdure that would beautify an English pleasure-ground of this sort.  In
the summer it has doubtless an agreeable shade; but at this season the
naked branches look meagre, and sprout from slender trunks.  Like the
trees in the Champs Elysees, those, I presume, in the gardens of the
Tuileries need renewing every few years.  The same is true of the human
race,--families becoming extinct after a generation or two of residence
in Paris.  Nothing really thrives here; man and vegetables have but an
artificial life, like flowers stuck in a little mould, but never taking
root.  I am quite tired of Paris, and long for a home more than ever.



MARSEILLES.


Hotel d'Angleterre, January 15th.--On Tuesday morning, (12th) we took our
departure from the Hotel de Louvre.  It is a most excellent and perfectly
ordered hotel, and I have not seen a more magnificent hall, in any
palace, than the dining-saloon, with its profuse gilding, and its
ceiling, painted in compartments; so that when the chandeliers are all
alight, it looks a fit place for princes to banquet in, and not very fit
for the few Americans whom I saw scattered at its long tables.

By the by, as we drove to the railway, we passed through the public
square, where the Bastille formerly stood; and in the centre of it now
stands a column, surmounted by a golden figure of Mercury (I think),
which seems to be just on the point of casting itself from a gilt ball
into the air.  This statue is so buoyant, that the spectator feels quite
willing to trust it to the viewless element, being as sure that it would
be borne up as that a bird would fly.

Our first day's journey was wholly without interest, through a country
entirely flat, and looking wretchedly brown and barren.  There were rows
of trees, very slender, very prim and formal; there was ice wherever
there happened to be any water to form it; there were occasional
villages, compact little streets, or masses of stone or plastered
cottages, very dirty and with gable ends and earthen roofs; and a
succession of this same landscape was all that we saw, whenever we rubbed
away the congelation of our breath from the carriage windows.  Thus we
rode on, all day long, from eleven o'clock, with hardly a five minutes'
stop, till long after dark, when we came to Dijon, where there was a halt
of twenty-five minutes for dinner.  Then we set forth again, and rumbled
forward, through cold and darkness without, until we reached Lyons at
about ten o'clock.  We left our luggage at the railway station, and took
an omnibus for the Hotel de Provence, which we chose at a venture, among
a score of other hotels.

As this hotel was a little off the direct route of the omnibus, the
driver set us down at the corner of a street, and pointed to some lights,
which he said designated the Hotel do Provence; and thither we proceeded,
all seven of us, taking along a few carpet-bags and shawls, our equipage
for the night.  The porter of the hotel met us near its doorway, and
ushered us through an arch, into the inner quadrangle, and then up some
old and worn steps,--very broad, and appearing to be the principal
staircase.  At the first landing-place, an old woman and a waiter or two
received us; and we went up two or three more flights of the same broad
and worn stone staircases.  What we could see of the house looked very
old, and had the musty odor with which I first became acquainted at
Chester.

After ascending to the proper level, we were conducted along a
corridor, paved with octagonal earthen tiles; on one side were
windows, looking into the courtyard, on the other doors opening into the
sleeping-chambers.  The corridor was of immense length, and seemed still
to lengthen itself before us, as the glimmer of our conductor's candle
went farther and farther into the obscurity.  Our own chamber was at a
vast distance along this passage; those of the rest of the party were on
the hither side; but all this immense suite of rooms appeared to
communicate by doors from one to another, like the chambers through which
the reader wanders at midnight, in Mrs. Radcliffe's romances.  And they
were really splendid rooms, though of an old fashion, lofty, spacious,
with floors of oak or other wood, inlaid in squares and crosses,
and waxed till they were slippery, but without carpets.  Our own
sleeping-room had a deep fireplace, in which we ordered a fire, and asked
if there were not some saloon already warmed, where we could get a cup of
tea.

Hereupon the waiter led us back along the endless corridor, and down the
old stone staircases, and out into the quadrangle, and journeyed with us
along an exterior arcade, and finally threw open the door of the salle a
manger, which proved to be a room of lofty height, with a vaulted roof, a
stone floor, and interior spaciousness sufficient for a baronial hall,
the whole bearing the same aspect of times gone by, that characterized
the rest of the house.  There were two or three tables covered with white
cloth, and we sat down at one of them and had our tea.  Finally we wended
back to our sleeping-rooms,--a considerable journey, so endless seemed
the ancient hotel.  I should like to know its history.

The fire made our great chamber look comfortable, and the fireplace threw
out the heat better than the little square hole over which we cowered in
our saloon at the Hotel de Louvre. . . .

In the morning we began our preparations for starting at ten.  Issuing
into the corridor, I found a soldier of the line, pacing to and fro there
as sentinel.  Another was posted in another corridor, into which I
wandered by mistake; another stood in the inner court-yard, and another
at the porte-cochere.  They were not there the night before, and I know
not whence nor why they came, unless that some officer of rank may have
taken up his quarters at the hotel.  Miss M------ says she heard at
Paris, that a considerable number of troops had recently been drawn
together at Lyons, in consequence of symptoms of disaffection that have
recently shown themselves here.

Before breakfast I went out to catch a momentary glimpse of the city.
The street in which our hotel stands is near a large public square; in
the centre is a bronze equestrian statue of Louis XIV.; and the square
itself is called the Place de Louis le Grand.  I wonder where this statue
hid itself while the Revolution was raging in Lyons, and when the
guillotine, perhaps, stood on that very spot.

The square was surrounded by stately buildings, but had what seemed to be
barracks for soldiers,--at any rate, mean little huts, deforming its
ample space; and a soldier was on guard before the statue of Louis le
Grand.  It was a cold, misty morning, and a fog lay throughout the area,
so that I could scarcely see from one side of it to the other.

Returning towards our hotel, I saw that it had an immense front, along
which ran, in gigantic letters, its title,--

     HOTEL DE PROVENCE ET DES AMBASSADEURS.

The excellence of the hotel lay rather in the faded pomp of its
sleeping-rooms, and the vastness of its salle a manger, than in anything
very good to eat or drink.

We left it, after a poor breakfast, and went to the railway station.
Looking at the mountainous heap of our luggage the night before, we had
missed a great carpet-bag; and we now found that Miss M------'s trunk had
been substituted for it, and, there being the proper number of packages
as registered, it was impossible to convince the officials that anything
was wrong.  We, of course, began to generalize forthwith, and pronounce
the incident to be characteristic of French morality.  They love a
certain system and external correctness, but do not trouble themselves to
be deeply in the right; and Miss M------ suggested that there used to be
parallel cases in the French Revolution, when, so long as the assigned
number were sent out of prison to be guillotined, the jailer did not much
care whether they were the persons designated by the tribunal or not.  At
all events, we could get no satisfaction about the carpet-bag, and shall
very probably be compelled to leave Marseilles without it.

This day's ride was through a far more picturesque country than that we
saw yesterday.  Heights began to rise imminent above our way, with
sometimes a ruined castle wall upon them; on our left, the rail-track
kept close to the hills; on the other side there was the level bottom of
a valley, with heights descending upon it a mile or a few miles away.
Farther off we could see blue hills, shouldering high above the
intermediate ones, and themselves worthy to be called mountains.  These
hills arranged themselves in beautiful groups, affording openings between
them, and vistas of what lay beyond, and gorges which I suppose held a
great deal of romantic scenery.  By and by a river made its appearance,
flowing swiftly in the same direction that we were travelling,--a
beautiful and cleanly river, with white pebbly shores, and itself of a
peculiar blue.  It rushed along very fast, sometimes whitening over
shallow descents, and even in its calmer intervals its surface was all
covered with whirls and eddies, indicating that it dashed onward in
haste.  I do not now know the name of this river, but have set it down as
the "arrowy Rhone."  It kept us company a long while, and I think we did
not part with it as long as daylight remained.  I have seldom seen
hill-scenery that struck me more than some that we saw to-day, and the
old feudal towers and old villages at their feet; and the old churches,
with spires shaped just like extinguishers, gave it an interest
accumulating from many centuries past.

Still going southward, the vineyards began to border our track, together
with what I at first took to be orchards, but soon found were plantations
of olive-trees, which grow to a much larger size than I supposed, and
look almost exactly like very crabbed and eccentric apple-trees.  Neither
they nor the vineyards add anything to the picturesqueness of the
landscape.

On the whole, I should have been delighted with all this scenery if it
had not looked so bleak, barren, brown, and bare; so like the wintry New
England before the snow has fallen.  It was very cold, too; ice along the
borders of streams, even among the vineyards and olives.  The houses are
of rather a different shape here than, farther northward, their roofs
being not nearly so sloping.  They are almost invariably covered with
white plaster; the farm-houses have their outbuildings in connection with
the dwelling,--the whole surrounding three sides of a quadrangle.

We travelled far into the night, swallowed a cold and hasty dinner at
Avignon, and reached Marseilles sorely wearied, at about eleven o'clock.
We took a cab to the Hotel d'Angleterre (two cabs, to be quite accurate),
and find it a very poor place.

To go back a little, as the sun went down, we looked out of the window of
our railway carriage, and saw a sky that reminded us of what we used to
see day after day in America, and what we have not seen since; and, after
sunset, the horizon burned and glowed with rich crimson and orange
lustre, looking at once warm and cold.  After it grew dark, the stars
brightened, and Miss M------ from her window pointed out some of the
planets to the children, she being as familiar with them as a gardener
with his flowers.  They were as bright as diamonds.

We had a wretched breakfast, and J----- and I then went to the railway
station to see about our luggage.  On our walk back we went astray,
passing by a triumphal arch, erected by the Marseillais, in honor of
Louis Napoleon; but we inquired our way of old women and soldiers, who
were very kind and courteous,--especially the latter,--and were directed
aright.  We came to a large, oblong, public place, set with trees, but
devoid of grass, like all public places in France.  In the middle of it
was a bronze statue of an ecclesiastical personage, stretching forth his
hands in the attitude of addressing the people or of throwing a
benediction over them.  It was some archbishop, who had distinguished
himself by his humanity and devotedness during the plague of 1720.  At
the moment of our arrival the piazza was quite thronged with people, who
seemed to be talking amongst themselves with considerable earnestness,
although without any actual excitement.  They were smoking cigars;
and we judged that they were only loitering here for the sake of the
sunshine, having no fires at home, and nothing to do.  Some looked like
gentlemen, others like peasants; most of them I should have taken for the
lazzaroni of this Southern city,--men with cloth caps, like the classic
liberty-cap, or with wide-awake hats.  There were one or two women of the
lower classes, without bonnets, the elder ones with white caps, the
younger bareheaded.  I have hardly seen a lady in Marseilles; and I
suspect, it being a commercial city, and dirty to the last degree,
ill-built, narrow-streeted, and sometimes pestilential, there are few or
no families of gentility resident here.

Returning to the hotel, we found the rest of the party ready to go
out; so we all issued forth in a body, and inquired our way to the
telegraph-office, in order to send my message about the carpet-bag.  In a
street through which we had to pass (and which seemed to be the Exchange,
or its precincts), there was a crowd even denser, yes, much denser, than
that which we saw in the square of the archbishop's statue; and each man
was talking to his neighbor in a vivid, animated way, as if business were
very brisk to-day.

At the telegraph-office, we discovered the cause that had brought out
these many people.  There had been attempts on the Emperor's life,--
unsuccessful, as they seem fated to be, though some mischief was done to
those near him.  I rather think the good people of Marseilles were glad
of the attempt, as an item of news and gossip, and did not very greatly
care whether it were successful or no.  It seemed to have roused their
vivacity rather than their interest.  The only account I have seen of it
was in the brief public despatch from the Syndic (or whatever he be) of
Paris to the chief authority of Marseilles, which was printed and posted
in various conspicuous places.  The only chance of knowing the truth with
any fulness of detail would be to come across an English paper.  We have
had a banner hoisted half-mast in front of our hotel to-day as a token,
the head-waiter tells me, of sympathy and sorrow for the General and
other persons who were slain by this treasonable attempt.

J----- and I now wandered by ourselves along a circular line of quays,
having, on one side of us, a thick forest of masts, while, on the
other, was a sweep of shops, bookstalls, sailors' restaurants and
drinking-houses, fruit-sellers, candy-women, and all manner of open-air
dealers and pedlers; little children playing, and jumping the rope, and
such a babble and bustle as I never saw or heard before; the sun lying
along the whole sweep, very hot, and evidently very grateful to those who
basked in it.  Whenever I passed into the shade, immediately from too
warm I became too cold.  The sunshine was like hot air; the shade, like
the touch of cold steel,--sharp, hard, yet exhilarating.  From the broad
street of the quays, narrow, thread-like lanes pierced up between the
edifices, calling themselves streets, yet so narrow, that a person in the
middle could almost touch the houses on either hand.  They ascended
steeply, bordered on each side by long, contiguous walls of high houses,
and from the time of their first being built, could never have had a
gleam of sunshine in them,--always in shadow, always unutterably nasty,
and often pestiferous.  The nastiness which I saw in Marseilles exceeds
my heretofore experience.  There is dirt in the hotel, and everywhere
else; and it evidently troubles nobody,--no more than if all the people
were pigs in a pigsty. . . .

Passing by all this sweep of quays, J----- and I ascended to an elevated
walk, overlooking the harbor, and far beyond it; for here we had our
first view of the Mediterranean, blue as heaven, and bright with
sunshine.  It was a bay, widening forth into the open deep, and bordered
with heights, and bold, picturesque headlands, some of which had either
fortresses or convents on them.  Several boats and one brig were under
sail, making their way towards the port.  I have never seen a finer
sea-view.  Behind the town, there seemed to be a mountainous landscape,
imperfectly visible, in consequence of the intervening edifices.



THE MEDITERRANEAN SEA.


Steamer Calabrese, January 17th.--If I had remained at Marseilles, I
might have found many peculiarities and characteristics of that Southern
city to notice; but I fear that these will not be recorded if I leave
them till I touch the soil of Italy.  Indeed, I doubt whether there be
anything really worth recording in the little distinctions between one
nation and another; at any rate, after the first novelty is over, new
things seem equally commonplace with the old.  There is but one little
interval when the mind is in such a state that it can catch the fleeting
aroma of a new scene.  And it is always so much pleasanter to enjoy this
delicious newness than to attempt arresting it, that it requires great
force of will to insist with one's self upon sitting down to write.  I
can do nothing with Marseilles, especially here on the Mediterranean,
long after nightfall, and when the steamer is pitching in a pretty lively
way.

(Later.)--I walked out with J----- yesterday morning, and reached the
outskirts of the city, whence we could see the bold and picturesque
heights that surround Marseilles as with a semicircular wall.  They rise
into peaks, and the town, being on their lower slope, descends from them
towards the sea with a gradual sweep.  Adown the streets that descend
these declivities come little rivulets, running along over the pavement,
close to the sidewalks, as over a pebbly bed; and though they look vastly
like kennels, I saw women washing linen in these streams, and others
dipping up the water for household purposes.  The women appear very much
in public at Marseilles.  In the squares and places you see half a dozen
of them together, sitting in a social circle on the bottoms of upturned
baskets, knitting, talking, and enjoying the public sunshine, as if it
were their own household fire.  Not one in a thousand of them, probably,
ever has a household fire for the purpose of keeping themselves warm, but
only to do their little cookery; and when there is sunshine they take
advantage of it, and in the short season of rain and frost they shrug
their shoulders, put on what warm garments they have, and get through the
winter somewhat as grasshoppers and butterflies do,--being summer insects
like then.  This certainly is a very keen and cutting air, sharp as a
razor, and I saw ice along the borders of the little rivulets almost at
noonday.  To be sure, it is midwinter, and yet in the sunshine I found
myself uncomfortably warm, but in the shade the air was like the touch of
death itself.  I do not like the climate.

There are a great number of public places in Marseilles, several of
which are adorned with statues or fountains, or triumphal arches or
columns, and set out with trees, and otherwise furnished as a kind of
drawing-rooms, where the populace may meet together and gossip.  I never
before heard from human lips anything like this bustle and babble, this
thousand-fold talk which you hear all round about you in the crowd of a
public square; so entirely different is it from the dulness of a crowd in
England, where, as a rule, everybody is silent, and hardly half a dozen
monosyllables will come from the lips of a thousand people.  In
Marseilles, on the contrary, a stream of unbroken talk seems to bubble
from the lips of every individual.  A great many interesting scenes take
place in these squares.  From the window of our hotel (which looked into
the Place Royale) I saw a juggler displaying his art to a crowd, who
stood in a regular square about him, none pretending to press nearer than
the prescribed limit.  While the juggler wrought his miracles his wife
supplied him with his magic materials out of a box; and when the
exhibition was over she packed up the white cloth with which his table
was covered, together with cups, cards, balls, and whatever else, and
they took their departure.

I have been struck with the idle curiosity, and, at the same time, the
courtesy and kindness of the populace of Marseilles, and I meant to
exemplify it by recording how Miss S------ and I attracted their notice,
and became the centre of a crowd of at least fifty of them while doing no
more remarkable thing than settling with a cab-driver.  But really this
pitch and swell is getting too bad, and I shall go to bed, as the best
chance of keeping myself in an equable state.



ROME.


37 Palazzo Larazani, Via Porta Pinciana, January 24th.--We left
Marseilles in the Neapolitan steamer Calabrese, as noticed above, a week
ago this morning.  There was no fault to be found with the steamer, which
was very clean and comfortable, contrary to what we had understood
beforehand; except for the coolness of the air (and I know not that this
was greater than that of the Atlantic in July), our voyage would have
been very pleasant; but for myself, I enjoyed nothing, having a cold upon
me, or a low fever, or something else that took the light and warmth out
of everything.

I went to bed immediately after my last record, and was rocked to sleep
pleasantly enough by the billows of the Mediterranean; and, coming on
deck about sunrise next morning, found the steamer approaching Genoa.  We
saw the city, lying at the foot of a range of hills, and stretching a
little way up their slopes, the hills sweeping round it in the segment of
a circle, and looking like an island rising abruptly out of the sea; for
no connection with the mainland was visible on either side.  There was
snow scattered on their summits and streaking their sides a good way
down.  They looked bold, and barren, and brown, except where the snow
whitened them.  The city did not impress me with much expectation of size
or splendor.  Shortly after coming into the port our whole party landed,
and we found ourselves at once in the midst of a crowd of cab-drivers,
hotel-runnets, and coin missionaires, who assaulted us with a volley of
French, Italian, and broken English, which beat pitilessly about our
ears; for really it seemed as if all the dictionaries in the world had
been torn to pieces, and blown around us by a hurricane.  Such a pother!
We took a commissionaire, a respectable-looking man, in a cloak, who said
his name was Salvator Rosa; and he engaged to show us whatever was
interesting in Genoa.

In the first place, he took us through narrow streets to an old church,
the name of which I have forgotten, and, indeed, its peculiar features;
but I know that I found it pre-eminently magnificent,--its whole interior
being incased in polished marble, of various kinds and colors, its
ceiling painted, and its chapels adorned with pictures.  However, this
church was dazzled out of sight by the Cathedral of San Lorenzo, to which
we were afterwards conducted, whose exterior front is covered with
alternate slabs of black and white marble, which were brought, either in
whole or in part, from Jerusalem.  Within, there was a prodigious
richness of precious marbles, and a pillar, if I mistake not, from
Solomon's Temple; and a picture of the Virgin by St. Luke; and others
(rather more intrinsically valuable, I imagine), by old masters, set in
superb marble frames, within the arches of the chapels.  I used to try to
imagine how the English cathedrals must have looked in their primeval
glory, before the Reformation, and before the whitewash of Cromwell's
time had overlaid their marble pillars; but I never imagined anything at
all approaching what my eyes now beheld: this sheen of polished and
variegated marble covering every inch of its walls; this glow of
brilliant frescos all over the roof, and up within the domes; these
beautiful pictures by great masters, painted for the places which they
now occupied, and making an actual portion of the edifice; this wealth of
silver, gold, and gems, that adorned the shrines of the saints, before
which wax candles burned, and were kept burning, I suppose, from year's
end to year's end; in short, there is no imagining nor remembering a
hundredth part of the rich details.  And even the cathedral (though I
give it up as indescribable) was nothing at all in comparison with a
church to which the commissionaire afterwards led us; a church that had
been built four or five hundred years ago, by a pirate, in expiation of
his sins, and out of the profit of his rapine.  This last edifice, in its
interior, absolutely shone with burnished gold, and glowed with pictures;
its walls were a quarry of precious stones, so valuable were the marbles
out of which they were wrought; its columns and pillars were of
inconceivable costliness; its pavement was a mosaic of wonderful beauty,
and there were four twisted pillars made out of stalactites.  Perhaps the
best way to form some dim conception of it is to fancy a little
casket, inlaid inside with precious stones, so that there shall not a
hair's-breadth be left unprecious-stoned, and then to conceive this
little bit of a casket iucreased to the magnitude of a great church,
without losing anything of the excessive glory that was compressed into
its original small compass, but all its pretty lustre made sublime by the
consequent immensity.  At any rate, nobody who has not seen a church
like this can imagine what a gorgeous religion it was that reared it.

In the cathedral, and in all the churches, we saw priests and many
persons kneeling at their devotions; and our Salvator Rosa, whenever we
passed a chapel or shrine, failed not to touch the pavement with one
knee, crossing himself the while; and once, when a priest was going
through some form of devotion, he stopped a few moments to share in it.

He conducted us, too, to the Balbi Palace, the stateliest and most
sumptuous residence, but not more so than another which he afterwards
showed us, nor perhaps than many others which exist in Genoa, THE SUPERB.
The painted ceilings in these palaces are a glorious adornment; the walls
of the saloons, incrusted with various-colored marbles, give an idea of
splendor which I never gained from anything else.  The floors, laid in
mosaic, seem too precious to tread upon.  In the royal palace, many of
the floors were of various woods, inlaid by an English artist, and they
looked like a magnification of some exquisite piece of Tunbridge ware;
but, in all respects, this palace was inferior to others which we saw.  I
say nothing of the immense pictorial treasures which hung upon the walls
of all the rooms through which we passed; for I soon grew so weary of
admirable things, that I could neither enjoy nor understand them.  My
receptive faculty is very limited, and when the utmost of its small
capacity is full, I become perfectly miserable, and the more so the
better worth seeing are the things I am forced to reject.  I do not know
a greater misery; to see sights, after such repletion, is to the mind
what it would be to the body to have dainties forced down the throat long
after the appetite was satiated.

All this while, whenever we emerged into the vaultlike streets,
we were wretchedly cold.  The commissionaire took us to a sort of
pleasure-garden, occupying the ascent of a hill, and presenting seven
different views of the city, from as many stations.  One of the objects
pointed out to us was a large yellow house, on a hillside, in the
outskirts of Genoa, which was formerly inhabited for six months by
Charles Dickens.  Looking down from the elevated part of the
pleasure-gardens, we saw orange-trees beneath us, with the golden fruit
hanging upon them, though their trunks were muffled in straw; and, still
lower down, there was ice and snow.

Gladly (so far as I myself was concerned) we dismissed the
commissionaire, after he had brought us to the hotel of the Cross of
Malta, where we dined; needlessly, as it proved, for another dinner
awaited us, after our return on board the boat.

We set sail for Leghorn before dark, and I retired early, feeling still
more ill from my cold than the night before.  The next morning we were in
the crowded port of Leghorn.  We all went ashore, with some idea of
taking the rail for Pisa, which is within an hour's distance, and might
have been seen in time for our departure with the steamer.  But a
necessary visit to a banker's, and afterwards some unnecessary
formalities about our passports, kept us wandering through the streets
nearly all day; and we saw nothing in the slightest degree interesting,
except the tomb of Smollett, in the burial-place attached to the English
Chapel.  It is surrounded by an iron railing, and marked by a slender
obelisk of white marble, the pattern of which is many times repeated over
surrounding graves.

We went into a Jewish synagogue,--the interior cased in marbles, and
surrounded with galleries, resting upon arches above arches.  There were
lights burning at the altar, and it looked very like a Christian church;
but it was dirty, and had an odor not of sanctity.

In Leghorn, as everywhere else, we were chilled to the heart, except when
the sunshine fell directly upon us; and we returned to the steamer with a
feeling as if we were getting back to our home; for this life of
wandering makes a three days' residence in one place seem like home.

We found several new passengers on board, and among others a monk, in a
long brown frock of woollen cloth, with an immense cape, and a little
black covering over his tonsure.  He was a tall figure, with a gray
beard, and might have walked, just as he stood, out of a picture by one
of the old masters.  This holy person addressed me very affably in
Italian; but we found it impossible to hold much conversation.

The evening was beautiful, with a bright young moonlight, not yet
sufficiently powerful to overwhelm the stars, and as we walked the deck,
Miss M------ showed the children the constellations, and told their
names.  J----- made a slight mistake as to one of them, pointing it out
to me as "O'Brien's belt!"

Elba was presently in view, and we might have seen many other interesting
points, had it not been for our steamer's practice of resting by day, and
only pursuing its voyage by night.  The next morning we found ourselves
in the harbor of Civita Vecchia, and, going ashore with our luggage, went
through a blind turmoil with custom-house officers, inspectors of
passports, soldiers, and vetturino people.  My wife and I strayed a
little through Civita Vecchia, and found its streets narrow, like clefts
in a rock (which seems to be the fashion of Italian towns), and smelling
nastily.  I had made a bargain with a vetturino to send us to Rome in a
carriage, with four horses, in eight hours; and as soon as the
custom-house and passport people would let us, we started, lumbering
slowly along with our mountain of luggage.  We had heard rumors of
robberies lately committed on this route; especially of a Nova Scotia
bishop, who was detained on the road an hour and a half, and utterly
pillaged; and certainly there was not a single mile of the dreary and
desolate country over which we passed, where we might not have been
robbed and murdered with impunity.  Now and then, at long distances, we
came to a structure that was either a prison, a tavern, or a barn, but
did not look very much like either, being strongly built of stone, with
iron-grated windows, and of ancient and rusty aspect.  We kept along by
the seashore a great part of the way, and stopped to feed our horses at a
village, the wretched street of which stands close along the shore of the
Mediterranean, its loose, dark sand being made nasty by the vicinity.
The vetturino cheated us, one of the horses giving out, as he must have
known it would do, half-way on our journey; and we staggered on through
cold and darkness, and peril, too, if the banditti were not a myth,--
reaching Rome not much before midnight.  I perpetrated unheard-of
briberies on the custom-house officers at the gates, and was permitted to
pass through and establish myself at Spillman's Hotel, the only one where
we could gain admittance, and where we have been half frozen ever since.

And this is sunny Italy, and genial Rome!


Palazzo Larazani, Via Porta Pinciana, February 3d.--We have been in Rome
a fortnight to-day, or rather at eleven o'clock to-night; and I have
seldom or never spent so wretched a time anywhere.  Our impressions were
very unfortunate, arriving at midnight, half frozen in the wintry rain,
and being received into a cold and cheerless hotel, where we shivered
during two or three days; meanwhile seeking lodgings among the sunless,
dreary alleys which are called streets in Rome.  One cold, bright day
after another has pierced me to the heart, and cut me in twain as with a
sword, keen and sharp, and poisoned at point and edge.  I did not think
that cold weather could have made me so very miserable.  Having caught a
feverish influenza, I was really glad of being muffled up comfortably in
the fever heat.  The atmosphere certainly has a peculiar quality of
malignity.  After a day or two we settled ourselves in a suite of ten
rooms, comprehending one flat, or what is called the second piano of this
house.  The rooms, thus far, have been very uncomfortable, it being
impossible to warm them by means of the deep, old-fashioned, inartificial
fireplaces, unless we had the great logs of a New England forest to burn
in them; so I have sat in my corner by the fireside with more clothes on
than I ever wore before, and my thickest great-coat over all.  In the
middle of the day I generally venture out for an hour or two, but have
only once been warm enough even in the sunshine, and out of the sun never
at any time.  I understand now the force of that story of Diogenes when
he asked the Conqueror, as the only favor he could do him, to stand out
of his sunshine, there being such a difference in these Southern climes
of Europe between sun and shade.  If my wits had not been too much
congealed, and my fingers too numb, I should like to have kept a minute
journal of my feelings and impressions during the past fortnight.  It
would have shown modern Rome in an aspect in which it has never yet been
depicted.  But I have now grown somewhat acclimated, and the first
freshness of my discomfort has worn off, so that I shall never be able to
express how I dislike the place, and how wretched I have been in it; and
soon, I suppose, warmer weather will come, and perhaps reconcile
me to Rome against my will.  Cold, narrow lanes, between tall, ugly,
mean-looking whitewashed houses, sour bread, pavements most uncomfortable
to the feet, enormous prices for poor living; beggars, pickpockets,
ancient temples and broken monuments, and clothes hanging to dry about
them; French soldiers, monks, and priests of every degree; a shabby
population, smoking bad cigars,--these would have been some of the points
of my description.  Of course there are better and truer things to be
said. . . .

It would be idle for me to attempt any sketches of these famous sites and
edifices,--St. Peter's, for example,--which have been described by a
thousand people, though none of them have ever given me an idea of what
sort of place Rome is. . . .

The Coliseum was very much what I had preconceived it, though I was not
prepared to find it turned into a sort of Christian church, with a pulpit
on the verge of the open space. . . . The French soldiers, who keep
guard within it, as in other public places in Rome, have an excellent
opportunity to secure the welfare of their souls.


February 7th.--I cannot get fairly into the current of my journal since
we arrived, and already I perceive that the nice peculiarities of Roman
life are passing from my notice before I have recorded them.  It is a
very great pity.  During the past week I have plodded daily, for an hour
or two, through the narrow, stony streets, that look worse than the worst
backside lanes of any other city; indescribably ugly and disagreeable
they are, . . . . without sidewalks, but provided with a line of larger
square stones, set crosswise to each other, along which there is somewhat
less uneasy walking. . . . Ever and anon, even in the meanest streets,
--though, generally speaking, one can hardly be called meaner than
another,--we pass a palace, extending far along the narrow way on a line
with the other houses, but distinguished by its architectural windows,
iron-barred on the basement story, and by its portal arch, through which
we have glimpses, sometimes of a dirty court-yard, or perhaps of a clean,
ornamented one, with trees, a colonnade, a fountain, and a statue in the
vista; though, more likely, it resembles the entrance to a stable, and
may, perhaps, really be one.  The lower regions of palaces come to
strange uses in Rome. . . . In the basement story of the Barberini
Palace a regiment of French soldiers (or soldiers of some kind [we find
them to be retainers of the Barberini family, not French]) seems to be
quartered, while no doubt princes have magnificent domiciles above.  Be
it palace or whatever other dwelling, the inmates climb through rubbish
often to the comforts, such as they may be, that await them above.  I
vainly try to get down upon paper the dreariness, the ugliness,
shabbiness, un-home-likeness of a Roman street.  It is also to be said
that you cannot go far in any direction without coming to a piazza, which
is sometimes little more than a widening and enlarging of the dingy
street, with the lofty facade of a church or basilica on one side, and a
fountain in the centre, where the water squirts out of some fantastic
piece of sculpture into a great stone basin.  These fountains are often
of immense size and most elaborate design. . . .

There are a great many of these fountain-shapes, constructed under the
orders of one pope or another, in all parts of the city; and only the
very simplest, such as a jet springing from a broad marble or porphyry
vase, and falling back into it again, are really ornamental.  If an
antiquary were to accompany me through the streets, no doubt he would
point out ten thousand interesting objects that I now pass over
unnoticed, so general is the surface of plaster and whitewash; but often
I can see fragments of antiquity built into the walls, or perhaps a
church that was a Roman temple, or a basement of ponderous stones that
were laid above twenty centuries ago.  It is strange how our ideas of
what antiquity is become altered here in Rome; the sixteenth century, in
which many of the churches and fountains seem to have been built or
re-edified, seems close at hand, even like our own days; a thousand
years, or the days of the latter empire, is but a modern date, and
scarcely interests us; and nothing is really venerable of a more recent
epoch than the reign of Constantine.  And the Egyptian obelisks that
stand in several of the piazzas put even the Augustan or Republican
antiquities to shame.  I remember reading in a New York newspaper an
account of one of the public buildings of that city,--a relic of "the
olden time," the writer called it; for it was erected in 1825!  I am glad
I saw the castles and Gothic churches and cathedrals of England before
visiting Rome, or I never could have felt that delightful reverence for
their gray and ivy-hung antiquity after seeing these so much older
remains.  But, indeed, old things are not so beautiful in this dry
climate and clear atmosphere as in moist England. . . .

Whatever beauty there may be in a Roman ruin is the remnant of what was
beautiful originally; whereas an English ruin is more beautiful often in
its decay than even it was in its primal strength.  If we ever build such
noble structures as these Roman ones, we can have just as good ruins,
after two thousand years, in the United States; but we never can have a
Furness Abbey or a Kenilworth.  The Corso, and perhaps some other
streets, does not deserve all the vituperation which I have bestowed on
the generality of Roman vias, though the Corso is narrow, not averaging
more than nine paces, if so much, from sidewalk to sidewalk.  But palace
after palace stands along almost its whole extent,--not, however, that
they make such architectural show on the street as palaces should.  The
enclosed courts were perhaps the only parts of these edifices which the
founders cared to enrich architecturally.  I think Linlithgow Palace, of
which I saw the ruins during my last tour in Scotland, was built, by an
architect who had studied these Roman palaces.  There was never any idea
of domestic comfort, or of what we include in the name of home, at all
implicated in such structures, they being generally built by wifeless and
childless churchmen for the display of pictures and statuary in galleries
and long suites of rooms.

I have not yet fairly begun the sight-seeing of Rome.  I have been four
or five times to St. Peter's, and always with pleasure, because there is
such a delightful, summerlike warmth the moment we pass beneath the
heavy, padded leather curtains that protect the entrances.  It is almost
impossible not to believe that this genial temperature is the result of
furnace-heat, but, really, it is the warmth of last summer, which will be
included within those massive walls, and in that vast immensity of space,
till, six months hence, this winter's chill will just have made its way
thither.  It would be an excellent plan for a valetudinarian to lodge
during the winter in St. Peter's, perhaps establishing his household in
one of the papal tombs.  I become, I think, more sensible of the size of
St. Peter's, but am as yet far from being overwhelmed by it.  It is not,
as one expects, so big as all out of doors, nor is its dome so immense as
that of the firmament.  It looked queer, however, the other day, to see a
little ragged boy, the very least of human things, going round and
kneeling at shrine after shrine, and a group of children standing on
tiptoe to reach the vase of holy water. . . .

On coming out of St. Peter's at my last visit, I saw a great sheet of ice
around the fountain on the right hand, and some little Romans awkwardly
sliding on it.  I, too, took a slide, just for the sake of doing what I
never thought to do in Rome.  This inclement weather, I should suppose,
must make the whole city very miserable; for the native Romans, I am
told, never keep any fire, except for culinary purposes, even in the
severest winter.  They flee from their cheerless houses into the open
air, and bring their firesides along with them in the shape of small
earthen vases, or pipkins, with a handle by which they carry them up and
down the streets, and so warm at least their hands with the lighted
charcoal.  I have had glimpses through open doorways into interiors, and
saw them as dismal as tombs.  Wherever I pass my summers, let me spend my
winters in a cold country.

We went yesterday to the Pantheon. . . .

When I first came to Rome, I felt embarrassed and unwilling to pass, with
my heresy, between a devotee and his saint; for they often shoot their
prayers at a shrine almost quite across the church.  But there seems to
be no violation of etiquette in so doing.  A woman begged of us in
the Pantheon, and accused my wife of impiety for not giving her an
alms. . . . People of very decent appearance are often unexpectedly
converted into beggars as you approach them; but in general they take a
"No" at once.


February 9th.--For three or four days it has been cloudy and rainy, which
is the greater pity, as this should be the gayest and merriest part of
the Carnival.  I go out but little,--yesterday only as far as Pakenham's
and Hooker's bank in the Piazza de' Spagna, where I read Galignani and
the American papers.  At last, after seeing in England more of my
fellow-compatriots than ever before, I really am disjoined from my
country.

To-day I walked out along the Pincian Hill. . . . As the clouds still
threatened rain, I deemed it my safest course to go to St. Peter's for
refuge.  Heavy and dull as the day was, the effect of this great world of
a church was still brilliant in the interior, as if it had a sunshine of
its own, as well as its own temperature; and, by and by, the sunshine of
the outward world came through the windows, hundreds of feet aloft, and
fell upon the beautiful inlaid pavement. . . . Against a pillar, on one
side of the nave, is a mosaic copy of Raphael's Transfiguration, fitly
framed within a great arch of gorgeous marble; and, no doubt, the
indestructible mosaic has preserved it far more completely than the
fading and darkening tints in which the artist painted it.  At any rate,
it seemed to me the one glorious picture that I have ever seen.  The
pillar nearest the great entrance, on the left of the nave, supports the
monument to the Stuart family, where two winged figures, with inverted
torches, stand on either side of a marble door, which is closed forever.
It is an impressive monument, for you feel as if the last of the race had
passed through that door.

Emerging from the church, I saw a French sergeant drilling his men in the
piazza.  These French soldiers are prominent objects everywhere about the
city, and make up more of its sight and sound than anything else that
lives.  They stroll about individually; they pace as sentinels in all the
public places; and they march up and down in squads, companies, and
battalions, always with a very great din of drum, fife, and trumpet; ten
times the proportion of music that the same number of men would require
elsewhere; and it reverberates with ten times the noise, between the high
edifices of these lanes, that it could make in broader streets.
Nevertheless, I have no quarrel with the French soldiers; they are fresh,
healthy, smart, honest-looking young fellows enough, in blue coats and
red trousers; . . . . and, at all events, they serve as an efficient
police, making Rome as safe as London; whereas, without them, it would
very likely be a den of banditti.

On my way home I saw a few tokens of the Carnival, which is now in full
progress; though, as it was only about one o'clock, its frolics had not
commenced for the day. . . . I question whether the Romans themselves
take any great interest in the Carnival.  The balconies along the Corso
were almost entirely taken by English and Americans, or other foreigners.

As I approached the bridge of St. Angelo, I saw several persons engaged,
as I thought, in fishing in the Tiber, with very strong lines; but on
drawing nearer I found that they were trying to hook up the branches, and
twigs, and other drift-wood, which the recent rains might have swept into
the river.  There was a little heap of what looked chiefly like willow
twigs, the poor result of their labor.  The hook was a knot of wood, with
the lopped-off branches projecting in three or four prongs.  The Tiber
has always the hue of a mud-puddle; but now, after a heavy rain which has
washed the clay into it, it looks like pease-soup.  It is a broad and
rapid stream, eddying along as if it were in haste to disgorge its
impurities into the sea.  On the left side, where the city mostly is
situated, the buildings hang directly over the stream; on the other,
where stand the Castle of St. Angelo and the Church of St. Peter, the
town does not press so imminent upon the shore.  The banks are clayey,
and look as if the river had been digging them away for ages; but I
believe its bed is higher than of yore.


February 10th.--I went out to-day, and, going along the Via Felice and
the Via delle Quattro Fontane, came unawares to the Basilica of Santa
Maria Maggiore, on the summit of the Esquiline Hill.  I entered it,
without in the least knowing what church it was, and found myself in a
broad and noble nave, both very simple and very grand.  There was a long
row of Ionic columns of marble, twenty or thereabouts on each side,
supporting a flat roof.  There were vaulted side aisles, and, at the
farther end, a bronze canopy over the high altar; and all along the
length of the side aisles were shrines with pictures, sculpture, and
burning lamps; the whole church, too, was lined with marble: the roof was
gilded; and yet the general effect of severe and noble simplicity
triumphed over all the ornament.  I should have taken it for a Roman
temple, retaining nearly its pristine aspect; but Murray tells us that it
was founded A. D. 342 by Pope Liberius, on the spot precisely marked out
by a miraculous fall of snow, in the month of August, and it has
undergone many alterations since his time.  But it is very fine, and
gives the beholder the idea of vastness, which seems harder to attain
than anything else.  On the right hand, approaching the high altar, there
is a chapel, separated from the rest of the church by an iron paling;
and, being admitted into it with another party, I found it most
elaborately magnificent.  But one magnificence outshone another, and made
itself the brightest conceivable for the moment.  However, this chapel
was as rich as the most precious marble could make it, in pillars and
pilasters, and broad, polished slabs, covering the whole walls (except
where there were splendid and glowing frescos; or where some monumental
statuary or bas-relief, or mosaic picture filled up an arched niche).
Its architecture was a dome, resting on four great arches; and in size it
would alone have been a church.  In the centre of the mosaic pavement
there was a flight of steps, down which we went, and saw a group in
marble, representing the nativity of Christ, which, judging by the
unction with which our guide talked about it, must have been of peculiar
sanctity.  I hate to leave this chapel and church, without being able to
say any one thing that may reflect a portion of their beauty, or of the
feeling which they excite.  Kneeling against many of the pillars there
were persons in prayer, and I stepped softly, fearing lest my tread on
the marble pavement should disturb them,--a needless precaution, however,
for nobody seems to expect it, nor to be disturbed by the lack of it.

The situation of the church, I should suppose, is the loftiest in Rome:
it has a fountain at one end, and a column at the other; but I did not
pay particular attention to either, nor to the exterior of the church
itself.

On my return, I turned aside from the Via delle Quattro Fontane into the
Via Quirinalis, and was led by it into the Piazza di Monte Cavallo.  The
street through which I passed was broader, cleanlier, and statelier than
most streets in Rome, and bordered by palaces; and the piazza had noble
edifices around it, and a fountain, an obelisk, and two nude statues in
the centre.  The obelisk was, as the inscription indicated, a relic of
Egypt; the basin of the fountain was an immense bowl of Oriental granite,
into which poured a copious flood of water, discolored by the rain; the
statues were colossal,--two beautiful young men, each holding a fiery
steed.  On the pedestal of one was the inscription, OPUS PHIDIAE; on the
other, OPUS PRAXITELIS.  What a city is this, when one may stumble, by
mere chance,--at a street corner, as it were,--on the works of two such
sculptors!  I do not know the authority on which these statues (Castor
and Pollux, I presume) are attributed to Phidias and Praxiteles; but they
impressed me as noble and godlike, and I feel inclined to take them for
what they purport to be.  On one side of the piazza is the Pontifical
Palace; but, not being aware of this at the time, I did not look
particularly at the edifice.

I came home by way of the Corso, which seemed a little enlivened by
Carnival time; though, as it was not yet two o'clock, the fun had not
begun for the day.  The rain throws a dreary damper on the festivities.


February 13th.--Day before yesterday we took J----- and R----- in a
carriage, and went to see the Carnival, by driving up and down the Corso.
It was as ugly a day, as respects weather, as has befallen us since we
came to Rome,--cloudy, with an indecisive wet, which finally settled into
a rain; and people say that such is generally the weather in Carnival
time.  There is very little to be said about the spectacle.  Sunshine
would have improved it, no doubt; but a person must have very broad
sunshine within himself to be joyous on such shallow provocation.  The
street, at all events, would have looked rather brilliant under a sunny
sky, the balconies being hung with bright-colored draperies, which were
also flung out of some of the windows. . . . Soon I had my first
experience of the Carnival in a handful of confetti, right slap in my
face. . . . Many of the ladies wore loose white dominos, and some of
the gentlemen had on defensive armor of blouses; and wire masks over the
face were a protection for both sexes,--not a needless one, for I
received a shot in my right eye which cost me many tears.  It seems to be
a point of courtesy (though often disregarded by Americans and English)
not to fling confetti at ladies, or at non-combatants, or quiet
bystanders; and the engagements with these missiles were generally
between open carriages, manned with youths, who were provided with
confetti for such encounters, and with bouquets for the ladies.  We had
one real enemy on the Corso; for our former friend Mrs. T------ was
there, and as often as we passed and repassed her, she favored us with a
handful of lime.  Two or three times somebody ran by the carriage and
puffed forth a shower of winged seeds through a tube into our faces and
over our clothes; and, in the course of the afternoon, we were hit with
perhaps half a dozen sugar-plums.  Possibly we may not have received our
fair share of these last salutes, for J----- had on a black mask, which
made him look like an imp of Satan, and drew many volleys of confetti
that we might otherwise have escaped.  A good many bouquets were flung at
our little R-----, and at us generally. . . . This was what is called
masking-day, when it is the rule to wear masks in the Corso, but the
great majority of people appeared without them. . . . Two fantastic
figures, with enormous heads, set round with frizzly hair, came and
grinned into our carriage, and J----- tore out a handful of hair
(which proved to be sea-weed) from one of their heads, rather to
the discomposure of the owner, who muttered his indignation in
Italian. . . . On comparing notes with J----- and R-----, indeed with
U---- too, I find that they all enjoyed the Carnival much more than I
did.  Only the young ought to write descriptions of such scenes.  My cold
criticism chills the life out of it.


February 14th.--Friday, 12th, was a sunny day, the first that we had had
for some time; and my wife and I went forth to see sights as well as to
make some calls that had long been due.  We went first to the church of
Santa Maria Maggiore, which I have already mentioned, and, on our return,
we went to the Piazza di Monte Cavallo, and saw those admirable ancient
statues of Castor and Pollux, which seem to me sons of the morning, and
full of life and strength.  The atmosphere, in such a length of time, has
covered the marble surface of these statues with a gray rust, that
envelops both the men and horses as with a garment; besides which, there
are strange discolorations, such as patches of white moss on the elbows,
and reddish streaks down the sides; but the glory of form overcomes all
these defects of color.  It is pleasant to observe how familiar some
little birds are with these colossal statues,--hopping about on their
heads and over their huge fists, and very likely they have nests in their
ears or among their hair.

We called at the Barberini Palace, where William Story has established
himself and family for the next seven years, or more, on the third piano,
in apartments that afford a very fine outlook over Rome, and have the sun
in them through most of the day.  Mrs. S---- invited us to her fancy
ball, but we declined.

On the staircase ascending to their piano we saw the ancient Greek
bas-relief of a lion, whence Canova is supposed to have taken the idea of
his lions on the monument in St. Peter's.  Afterwards we made two or
three calls in the neighborhood of the Piazza de' Spagna, finding only
Mr. Hamilton Fish and family, at the Hotel d'Europe, at home, and next
visited the studio of Mr. C. G. Thompson, whom I knew in Boston.  He has
very greatly improved since those days, and, being always a man of
delicate mind, and earnestly desiring excellence for its own sake, he has
won himself the power of doing beautiful and elevated works.  He is now
meditating a series of pictures from Shakespeare's "Tempest," the
sketches of one or two of which he showed us, likewise a copy of a small
Madonna, by Raphael, wrought with a minute faithfulness which it makes
one a better man to observe. . . . Mr. Thompson is a true artist, and
whatever his pictures have of beauty comes from very far beneath the
surface; and this, I suppose, is one weighty reason why he has but
moderate success.  I should like his pictures for the mere color, even if
they represented nothing.  His studio is in the Via Sistina; and at a
little distance on the other side of the same street is William Story's,
where we likewise went, and found him at work on a sitting statue of
Cleopatra.

William Story looks quite as vivid, in a graver way, as when I saw him
last, a very young man.  His perplexing variety of talents and
accomplishments--he being a poet, a prose writer, a lawyer, a painter, a
musician, and a sculptor--seems now to be concentrating itself into this
latter vocation, and I cannot see why he should not achieve something
very good.  He has a beautiful statue, already finished, of Goethe's
Margaret, pulling a flower to pieces to discover whether Faust loves her;
a very type of virginity and simplicity.  The statue of Cleopatra, now
only fourteen days advanced in the clay, is as wide a step from the
little maidenly Margaret as any artist could take; it is a grand subject,
and he is conceiving it with depth and power, and working it out with
adequate skill.  He certainly is sensible of something deeper in his art
than merely to make beautiful nudities and baptize them by classic names.
By the by, he told me several queer stories of American visitors to his
studio: one of them, after long inspecting Cleopatra, into which he has
put all possible characteristics of her time and nation and of her own
individuality, asked, "Have you baptized your statue yet?" as if the
sculptor were waiting till his statue were finished before he chose the
subject of it,--as, indeed, I should think many sculptors do.  Another
remarked of a statue of Hero, who is seeking Leander by torchlight, and
in momentary expectation of finding his drowned body, "Is not the face a
little sad?"  Another time a whole party of Americans filed into his
studio, and ranged themselves round his father's statue, and, after much
silent examination, the spokesman of the party inquired, "Well, sir, what
is this intended to represent?"  William Story, in telling these little
anecdotes, gave the Yankee twang to perfection. . . .

The statue of his father, his first work, is very noble, as noble and
fine a portrait-statue as I ever saw.  In the outer room of his studio a
stone-cutter, or whatever this kind of artisan is called, was at work,
transferring the statue of Hero from the plaster-cast into marble; and
already, though still in some respects a block of stone, there was a
wonderful degree of expression in the face.  It is not quite pleasant to
think that the sculptor does not really do the whole labor on his
statues, but that they are all but finished to his hand by merely
mechanical people.  It is generally only the finishing touches that are
given by his own chisel.

Yesterday, being another bright day, we went to the basilica of St. John
Lateran, which is the basilica next in rank to St. Peter's, and has the
precedence of it as regards certain sacred privileges.  It stands on a
most noble site, on the outskirts of the city, commanding a view of the
Sabine and Alban hills, blue in the distance, and some of them hoary with
sunny snow.  The ruins of the Claudian aqueduct are close at hand.  The
church is connected with the Lateran palace and museum, so that the whole
is one edifice; but the facade of the church distinguishes it, and is
very lofty and grand,--more so, it seems to me, than that of St. Peter's.
Under the portico is an old statue of Constantine, representing him as a
very stout and sturdy personage.  The inside of the church disappointed
me, though no doubt I should have been wonderstruck had I seen it a month
ago.  We went into one of the chapels, which was very rich in colored
marbles; and, going down a winding staircase, found ourselves among the
tombs and sarcophagi of the Corsini family, and in presence of a marble
Pieta very beautifully sculptured.  On the other side of the church we
looked into the Torlonia Chapel, very rich and rather profusely gilded,
but, as it seemed to me, not tawdry, though the white newness of the
marble is not perfectly agreeable after being accustomed to the milder
tint which time bestows on sculpture.  The tombs and statues appeared
like shapes and images of new-fallen snow.  The most interesting thing
which we saw in this church (and, admitting its authenticity, there can
scarcely be a more interesting one anywhere) was the table at which the
Last Supper was eaten.  It is preserved in a corridor, on one side of the
tribune or chancel, and is shown by torchlight suspended upon the wall
beneath a covering of glass.  Only the top of the table is shown,
presenting a broad, flat surface of wood, evidently very old, and showing
traces of dry-rot in one or two places.  There are nails in it, and the
attendant said that it had formerly been covered with bronze.  As well as
I can remember, it may be five or six feet square, and I suppose would
accommodate twelve persons, though not if they reclined in the Roman
fashion, nor if they sat as they do in Leonardo da Vinci's picture.  It
would be very delightful to believe in this table.

There are several other sacred relics preserved in the church; for
instance, the staircase of Pilate's house up which Jesus went, and the
porphyry slab on which the soldiers cast lots for his garments.  These,
however, we did not see.  There are very glowing frescos on portions of
the walls; but, there being much whitewash instead of incrusted marble,
it has not the pleasant aspect which one's eye learns to demand in Roman
churches.  There is a good deal of statuary along the columns of the
nave, and in the monuments of the side aisles.

In reference to the interior splendor of Roman churches, I must say that
I think it a pity that painted windows are exclusively a Gothic ornament;
for the elaborate ornamentation of these interiors puts the ordinary
daylight out of countenance, so that a window with only the white
sunshine coming through it, or even with a glimpse of the blue Italian
sky, looks like a portion left unfinished, and therefore a blotch in the
rich wall.  It is like the one spot in Aladdin's palace which he left for
the king, his father-in-law, to finish, after his fairy architects had
exhausted their magnificence on the rest; and the sun, like the king,
fails in the effort.  It has what is called a porta santa, which we saw
walled up, in front of the church, one side of the main entrance.  I know
not what gives it its sanctity, but it appears to be opened by the pope
on a year of jubilee, once every quarter of a century.

After our return . . . . I took R----- along the Pincian Hill, and
finally, after witnessing what of the Carnival could be seen in the
Piazza del Popolo from that safe height, we went down into the Corso, and
some little distance along it.  Except for the sunshine, the scene was
much the same as I have already described; perhaps fewer confetti and
more bouquets.  Some Americans and English are said to have been brought
before the police authorities, and fined for throwing lime.  It is
remarkable that the jollity, such as it is, of the Carnival, does not
extend an inch beyond the line of the Corso; there it flows along in a
narrow stream, while in the nearest street we see nothing but the
ordinary Roman gravity.


February 15th.--Yesterday was a bright day, but I did not go out till the
afternoon, when I took an hour's walk along the Pincian, stopping a good
while to look at the old beggar who, for many years past, has occupied
one of the platforms of the flight of steps leading from the Piazza de'
Spagna to the Triniti de' Monti.  Hillard commemorates him in his book.
He is an unlovely object, moving about on his hands and knees,
principally by aid of his hands, which are fortified with a sort of
wooden shoes; while his poor, wasted lower shanks stick up in the air
behind him, loosely vibrating as he progresses.  He is gray, old, ragged,
a pitiable sight, but seems very active in his own fashion, and bestirs
himself on the approach of his visitors with the alacrity of a spider
when a fly touches the remote circumference of his web.  While I looked
down at him he received alms from three persons, one of whom was a young
woman of the lower orders; the other two were gentlemen, probably either
English or American.  I could not quite make out the principle on which
he let some people pass without molestation, while he shuffled from one
end of the platform to the other to intercept an occasional individual.
He is not persistent in his demands, nor, indeed, is this a usual fault
among Italian beggars.  A shake of the head will stop him when wriggling
towards you from a distance.  I fancy he reaps a pretty fair harvest, and
no doubt leads as contented and as interesting a life as most people,
sitting there all day on those sunny steps, looking at the world, and
making his profit out of it.  It must be pretty much such an occupation
as fishing, in its effect upon the hopes and apprehensions; and probably
he suffers no more from the many refusals he meets with than the angler
does, when he sees a fish smell at his bait and swim away.  One success
pays for a hundred disappointments, and the game is all the better for
not being entirely in his own favor.

Walking onward, I found the Pincian thronged with promenaders, as also
with carriages, which drove round the verge of the gardens in an unbroken
ring.

To-day has been very rainy.  I went out in the forenoon, and took a
sitting for my bust in one of a suite of rooms formerly occupied by
Canova.  It was large, high, and dreary from the want of a carpet,
furniture, or anything but clay and plaster.  A sculptor's studio has not
the picturesque charm of that of a painter, where there is color, warmth,
and cheerfulness, and where the artist continually turns towards you the
glow of some picture, which is resting against the wall. . . . I was
asked not to look at the bust at the close of the sitting, and, of
course, I obeyed; though I have a vague idea of a heavy-browed
physiognomy, something like what I have seen in the glass, but looking
strangely in that guise of clay. . . .

It is a singular fascination that Rome exercises upon artists.  There is
clay elsewhere, and marble enough, and heads to model, and ideas may be
made sensible objects at home as well as here.  I think it is the
peculiar mode of life that attracts, and its freedom from the
inthralments of society, more than the artistic advantages which Rome
offers; and, no doubt, though the artists care little about one another's
works, yet they keep each other warm by the presence of so many of them.

The Carnival still continues, though I hardly see how it can have
withstood such a damper as this rainy day.  There were several people--
three, I think--killed in the Corso on Saturday; some accounts say that
they were run over by the horses in the race; others, that they were
ridden down by the dragoons in clearing the course.

After leaving Canova's studio, I stepped into the church of San Luigi de'
Francesi, in the Via di Ripetta.  It was built, I believe, by Catherine
de' Medici, and is under the protection of the French government, and a
most shamefully dirty place of worship, the beautiful marble columns
looking dingy, for the want of loving and pious care.  There are many
tombs and monuments of French people, both of the past and present,--
artists, soldiers, priests, and others, who have died in Rome.  It was so
dusky within the church that I could hardly distinguish the pictures in
the chapels and over the altar, nor did I know that there were any worth
looking for.  Nevertheless, there were frescos by Domenichino, and
oil-paintings by Guido and others.  I found it peculiarly touching to
read the records, in Latin or French, of persons who had died in this
foreign laud, though they were not my own country-people, and though I
was even less akin to them than they to Italy.  Still, there was a sort
of relationship in the fact that neither they nor I belonged here.


February 17th.--Yesterday morning was perfectly sunny, and we went out
betimes to see churches; going first to the Capuchins', close by the
Piazza Barberini.

["The Marble Faun" takes up this description of the church and of the
dead monk, which we really saw, just as recounted, even to the sudden
stream of blood which flowed from the nostrils, as we looked at him.--
ED.]

We next went to the Trinita de' Monti, which stands at the head of the
steps, leading, in several flights, from the Piazza de' Spagna.  It is
now connected with a convent of French nuns, and when we rang at a side
door, one of the sisterhood answered the summons, and admitted us into
the church.  This, like that of the Capuchins', had a vaulted roof over
the nave, and no side aisles, but rows of chapels instead.  Unlike the
Capuchins', which was filthy, and really disgraceful to behold, this
church was most exquisitely neat, as women alone would have thought it
worth while to keep it.  It is not a very splendid church, not rich in
gorgeous marbles, but pleasant to be in, if it were only for the sake of
its godly purity.  There was only one person in the nave; a young girl,
who sat perfectly still, with her face towards the altar, as long as we
stayed.  Between the nave and the rest of the church there is a high iron
railing, and on the other side of it were two kneeling figures in black,
so motionless that I at first thought them statues; but they proved to be
two nuns at their devotions; and others of the sisterhood came by and by
and joined them.  Nuns, at least these nuns, who are French, and probably
ladies of refinement, having the education of young girls in charge, are
far pleasanter objects to see and think about than monks; the odor of
sanctity, in the latter, not being an agreeable fragrance.  But these
holy sisters, with their black crape and white muslin, looked really pure
and unspotted from the world.

On the iron railing above mentioned was the representation of a golden
heart, pierced with arrows; for these are nuns of the Sacred Heart.  In
the various chapels there are several paintings in fresco, some by
Daniele da Volterra; and one of them, the "Descent from the Cross," has
been pronounced the third greatest picture in the world.  I never should
have had the slightest suspicion that it was a great picture at all, so
worn and faded it looks, and so hard, so difficult to be seen, and so
undelightful when one does see it.

From the Trinita we went to the Santa Maria del Popolo, a church built on
a spot where Nero is said to have been buried, and which was afterwards
made horrible by devilish phantoms.  It now being past twelve, and all
the churches closing from twelve till two, we had not time to pay much
attention to the frescos, oil-pictures, and statues, by Raphael and other
famous men, which are to be seen here.  I remember dimly the magnificent
chapel of the Chigi family, and little else, for we stayed but a short
time; and went next to the sculptor's studio, where I had another sitting
for my bust.  After I had been moulded for about an hour, we turned
homeward; but my wife concluded to hire a balcony for this last afternoon
and evening of the Carnival, and she took possession of it, while I went
home to send to her Miss S------ and the two elder children.  For my
part, I took R-----, and walked, by way of the Pincian, to the Piazza del
Popolo, and thence along the Corso, where, by this time, the warfare of
bouquets and confetti raged pretty fiercely.  The sky being blue and the
sun bright, the scene looked much gayer and brisker than I had before
found it; and I can conceive of its being rather agreeable than
otherwise, up to the age of twenty.  We got several volleys of confetti.
R----- received a bouquet and a sugar-plum, and I a resounding hit from
something that looked more like a cabbage than a flower.  Little as I
have enjoyed the Carnival, I think I could make quite a brilliant sketch
of it, without very widely departing from truth.


February 19th.--Day before yesterday, pretty early, we went to St.
Peter's, expecting to see the pope cast ashes on the heads of the
cardinals, it being Ash-Wednesday.  On arriving, however, we found no
more than the usual number of visitants and devotional people scattered
through the broad interior of St. Peter's; and thence concluded that the
ceremonies were to be performed in the Sistine Chapel.  Accordingly, we
went out of the cathedral, through the door in the left transept, and
passed round the exterior, and through the vast courts of the Vatican,
seeking for the chapel.  We had blundered into the carriage-entrance of
the palace; there is an entrance from some point near the front of the
church, but this we did not find.  The papal guards, in the strangest
antique and antic costume that was ever seen,--a party-colored dress,
striped with blue, red, and yellow, white and black, with a doublet and
ruff, and trunk-breeches, and armed with halberds,--were on duty at the
gateways, but suffered us to pass without question.  Finally, we reached
a large court, where some cardinals' red equipages and other carriages
were drawn up, but were still at a loss as to the whereabouts of the
chapel.  At last an attendant kindly showed us the proper door, and led
us up flights of stairs, along passages and galleries, and through halls,
till at last we came to a spacious and lofty apartment adorned with
frescos; this was the Sala Regia, and the antechamber to the Sistine
Chapel.

The attendant, meanwhile, had informed us that my wife could not be
admitted to the chapel in her bonnet, and that I myself could not enter
at all, for lack of a dress-coat; so my wife took off her bonnet, and,
covering her head with her black lace veil, was readily let in, while I
remained in the Sala Regia, with several other gentlemen, who found
themselves in the same predicament as I was.  There was a wonderful
variety of costume to be seen and studied among the persons around me,
comprising garbs that have been elsewhere laid aside for at least three
centuries,--the broad, plaited, double ruff, and black velvet cloak,
doublet, trunk-breeches, and sword of Queen Elizabeth's time,--the papal
guard, in their striped and party-colored dress as before described,
looking not a little like harlequins; other soldiers in helmets and
jackboots; French officers of various uniform; monks and priests;
attendants in old-fashioned and gorgeous livery; gentlemen, some in black
dress-coats and pantaloons, others in wide-awake hats and tweed
overcoats; and a few ladies in the prescribed costume of black; so that,
in any other country, the scene might have been taken for a fancy ball.
By and by, the cardinals began to arrive, and added their splendid purple
robes and red hats to make the picture still more brilliant.  They were
old men, one or two very aged and infirm, and generally men of bulk and
substance, with heavy faces, fleshy about the chin.  Their red hats,
trimmed with gold-lace, are a beautiful piece of finery, and are
identical in shape with the black, loosely cocked beavers worn by the
Catholic ecclesiastics generally.  Wolsey's hat, which I saw at the
Manchester Exhibition, might have been made on the same block, but
apparently was never cocked, as the fashion now is.  The attendants
changed the upper portions of their master's attire, and put a little cap
of scarlet cloth on each of their heads, after which the cardinals, one
by one, or two by two, as they happened to arrive, went into the chapel,
with a page behind each holding up his purple train.  In the mean while,
within the chapel, we heard singing and chanting; and whenever the
voluminous curtains that hung before the entrance were slightly drawn
apart, we outsiders glanced through, but could see only a mass of people,
and beyond them still another chapel, divided from the hither one by a
screen.  When almost everybody had gone in, there was a stir among the
guards and attendants, and a door opened, apparently communicating with
the inner apartments of the Vatican.  Through this door came, not the
pope, as I had partly expected, but a bulky old lady in black, with a red
face, who bowed towards the spectators with an aspect of dignified
complaisance as she passed towards the entrance of the chapel.  I took
off my hat, unlike certain English gentlemen who stood nearer, and found
that I had not done amiss, for it was the Queen of Spain.

There was nothing else to be seen; so I went back through the
antechambers (which are noble halls, richly frescoed on the walls and
ceilings), endeavoring to get out through the same passages that had let
me in.  I had already tried to descend what I now supposed to be the
Scala Santa, but had been turned back by a sentinel.  After wandering to
and fro a good while, I at last found myself in a long, long gallery, on
each side of which were innumerable inscriptions, in Greek and Latin, on
slabs of marble, built into the walls; and classic altars and tablets
were ranged along, from end to end.  At the extremity was a closed iron
grating, from which I was retreating; but a French gentleman accosted me,
with the information that the custode would admit me, if I chose, and
would accompany me through the sculpture department of the Vatican.  I
acceded, and thus took my first view of those innumerable art-treasures,
passing from one object to another, at an easy pace, pausing hardly a
moment anywhere, and dismissing even the Apollo, and the Laocoon, and the
Torso of Hercules, in the space of half a dozen breaths.  I was well
enough content to do so, in order to get a general idea of the contents
of the galleries, before settling down upon individual objects.

Most of the world-famous sculptures presented themselves to my eye with a
kind of familiarity, through the copies and casts which I had seen; but I
found the originals more different than I anticipated.  The Apollo, for
instance, has a face which I have never seen in any cast or copy.  I must
confess, however, taking such transient glimpses as I did, I was more
impressed with the extent of the Vatican, and the beautiful order in
which it is kept, and its great sunny, open courts, with fountains,
grass, and shrubs, and the views of Rome and the Campagna from its
windows,--more impressed with these, and with certain vastly capacious
vases, and two seat sarcophagi,--than with the statuary.  Thus I went
round the whole, and was dismissed through the grated barrier into the
gallery of inscriptions again; and after a little more wandering, I made
my way out of the palace. . . .

Yesterday I went out betimes, and strayed through some portion of ancient
Rome, to the Column of Trajan, to the Forum, thence along the Appian Way;
after which I lost myself among the intricacies of the streets, and
finally came out at the bridge of St. Angelo.  The first observation
which a stranger is led to make, in the neighborhood of Roman ruins, is
that the inhabitants seem to be strangely addicted to the washing of
clothes; for all the precincts of Trajan's Forum, and of the Roman Forum,
and wherever else an iron railing affords opportunity to hang them, were
whitened with sheets, and other linen and cotton, drying in the sun.  It
must be that washerwomen burrow among the old temples.  The second
observation is not quite so favorable to the cleanly character of the
modern Romans; indeed, it is so very unfavorable, that I hardly know how
to express it.  But the fact is, that, through the Forum, . . . . and
anywhere out of the commonest foot-track and roadway, you must look well
to your steps. . . . If you tread beneath the triumphal arch of Titus
or Constantine, you had better look downward than upward, whatever be the
merit of the sculptures aloft. . . .

After a while the visitant finds himself getting accustomed to this
horrible state of things; and the associations of moral sublimity and
beauty seem to throw a veil over the physical meannesses to which I
allude.  Perhaps there is something in the mind of the people of these
countries that enables them quite to dissever small ugliness from great
sublimity and beauty.  They spit upon the glorious pavement of St.
Peter's, and wherever else they like; they place paltry-looking wooden
confessionals beneath its sublime arches, and ornament them with cheap
little colored prints of the crucifixion; they hang tin hearts and other
tinsel and trumpery at the gorgeous shrines of the saints, in chapels
that are incrusted with gems, or marbles almost as precious; they put
pasteboard statues of saints beneath the dome of the Pantheon; in short,
they let the sublime and the ridiculous come close together, and are not
in the least troubled by the proximity.  It must be that their sense of
the beautiful is stronger than in the Anglo-Saxon mind, and that it
observes only what is fit to gratify it.

To-day, which was bright and cool, my wife and I set forth immediately
after breakfast, in search of the Baths of Diocletian, and the church of
Santa Maria degl' Angeli.  We went too far along the Via di Porta Pia,
and after passing by two or three convents, and their high garden walls,
and the villa Bonaparte on one side, and the villa Torlonia on the other,
at last issued through the city gate.  Before us, far away, were the
Alban hills, the loftiest of which was absolutely silvered with snow and
sunshine, and set in the bluest and brightest of skies.  We now retraced
our steps to the Fountain of the Termini, where is a ponderous heap of
stone, representing Moses striking the rock; a colossal figure, not
without a certain enormous might and dignity, though rather too evidently
looking his awfullest.  This statue was the death of its sculptor, whose
heart was broken on account of the ridicule it excited.  There are many
more absurd aquatic devices in Rome, however, and few better.

We turned into the Piazza de' Termini, the entrance of which is at this
fountain; and after some inquiry of the French soldiers, a numerous
detachment of whom appear to be quartered in the vicinity, we found our
way to the portal of Santa Maria degl' Angeli.  The exterior of this
church has no pretensions to beauty or majesty, or, indeed, to
architectural merit of any kind, or to any architecture whatever; for it
looks like a confused pile of ruined brickwork, with a facade resembling
half the inner curve of a large oven.  No one would imagine that there
was a church under that enormous heap of ancient rubbish.  But the door
admits you into a circular vestibule, once an apartment of Diocletian's
Baths, but now a portion of the nave of the church, and surrounded with
monumental busts; and thence you pass into what was the central hall;
now, with little change, except of detail and ornament, transformed into
the body of the church.  This space is so lofty, broad, and airy, that
the soul forthwith swells out and magnifies itself, for the sake of
filling it.  It was Michael Angelo who contrived this miracle; and I feel
even more grateful to him for rescuing such a noble interior from
destruction, than if he had originally built it himself.  In the ceiling
above, you see the metal fixtures whereon the old Romans hung their
lamps; and there are eight gigantic pillars of Egyptian granite, standing
as they stood of yore.  There is a grand simplicity about the church,
more satisfactory than elaborate ornament; but the present pope has paved
and adorned one of the large chapels of the transept in very beautiful
style, and the pavement of the central part is likewise laid in rich
marbles.  In the choir there are several pictures, one of which was
veiled, as celebrated pictures frequently are in churches.  A person, who
seemed to be at his devotions, withdrew the veil for us, and we saw a
Martyrdom of St. Sebastian, by Domenichino, originally, I believe,
painted in fresco in St. Peter's, but since transferred to canvas, and
removed hither.  Its place at St. Peter's is supplied by a mosaic copy.
I was a good deal impressed by this picture,--the dying saint, amid the
sorrow of those who loved him, and the fury of his enemies, looking
upward, where a company of angels, and Jesus with them, are waiting to
welcome him and crown him; and I felt what an influence pictures might
have upon the devotional part of our nature.  The nailmarks in the hands
and feet of Jesus, ineffaceable, even after he had passed into bliss and
glory, touched my heart with a sense of his love for us.  I think this
really a great picture.  We walked round the church, looking at other
paintings and frescos, but saw no others that greatly interested us.  In
the vestibule there are monuments to Carlo Maratti and Salvator Rosa, and
there is a statue of St. Bruno, by Houdon, which is pronounced to be very
fine.  I thought it good, but scarcely worthy of vast admiration.  Houdon
was the sculptor of the first statue of Washington, and of the bust,
whence, I suppose, all subsequent statues have been, and will be, mainly
modelled.

After emerging from the church, I looked back with wonder at the stack of
shapeless old brickwork that hid the splendid interior.  I must go there
again, and breathe freely in that noble space.


February 20th.--This morning, after breakfast, I walked across the city,
making a pretty straight course to the Pantheon, and thence to the bridge
of St. Angelo, and to St. Peter's.  It had been my purpose to go to the
Fontana Paolina; but, finding that the distance was too great, and being
weighed down with a Roman lassitude, I concluded to go into St. Peter's.
Here I looked at Michael Angelo's Pieta, a representation of the dead
Christ, in his mother's lap.  Then I strolled round the great church, and
find that it continues to grow upon me both in magnitude and beauty, by
comparison with the many interiors of sacred edifices which I have lately
seen.  At times, a single, casual, momentary glimpse of its magnificence
gleams upon my soul, as it were, when I happen to glance at arch opening
beyond arch, and I am surprised into admiration.  I have experienced that
a landscape and the sky unfold the deepest beauty in a similar way; not
when they are gazed at of set purpose, but when the spectator looks
suddenly through a vista, among a crowd of other thoughts.  Passing near
the confessional for foreigners to-day, I saw a Spaniard, who had just
come out of the one devoted to his native tongue, taking leave of his
confessor, with an affectionate reverence, which--as well as the benign
dignity of the good father--it was good to behold. . . .

I returned home early, in order to go with my wife to the Barberini
Palace at two o'clock.  We entered through the gateway, through the Via
delle Quattro Fontane, passing one or two sentinels; for there is
apparently a regiment of dragoons quartered on the ground-floor of the
palace; and I stumbled upon a room containing their saddles, the other
day, when seeking for Mr. Story's staircase.  The entrance to the
picture-gallery is by a door on the right hand, affording us a sight of a
beautiful spiral staircase, which goes circling upward from the very
basement to the very summit of the palace, with a perfectly easy ascent,
yet confining its sweep within a moderate compass.  We looked up through
the interior of the spiral, as through a tube, from the bottom to the
top.  The pictures are contained in three contiguous rooms of the lower
piano, and are few in number, comprising barely half a dozen which I
should care to see again, though doubtless all have value in their way.
One that attracted our attention was a picture of "Christ disputing with
the Doctors," by Albert Duerer, in which was represented the ugliest,
most evil-minded, stubborn, pragmatical, and contentious old Jew that
ever lived under the law of Moses; and he and the child Jesus were
arguing, not only with their tongues, but making hieroglyphics, as it
were, by the motion of their hands and fingers.  It is a very queer, as
well as a very remarkable picture.  But we passed hastily by this, and
almost all others, being eager to see the two which chiefly make the
collection famous,--Raphael's Fornarina, and Guido's portrait of Beatrice
Cenci.  These were found in the last of the three rooms, and as regards
Beatrice Cenci, I might as well not try to say anything; for its spell is
indefinable, and the painter has wrought it in a way more like magic than
anything else. . . .

It is the most profoundly wrought picture in the world; no artist did it,
nor could do it, again.  Guido may have held the brush, but he painted
"better than he knew."  I wish, however, it were possible for some
spectator, of deep sensibility, to see the picture without knowing
anything of its subject or history; for, no doubt, we bring all our
knowledge of the Cenci tragedy to the interpretation of it.

Close beside Beatrice Cenci hangs the Fornarina. . . .

While we were looking at these works Miss M------ unexpectedly joined us,
and we went, all three together, to the Rospigliosi Palace, in the Piazza
di Monte Cavallo.  A porter, in cocked hat, and with a staff of office,
admitted us into a spacious court before the palace, and directed us to a
garden on one side, raised as much as twenty feet above the level on
which we stood.  The gardener opened the gate for us, and we ascended a
beautiful stone staircase, with a carved balustrade, bearing many marks
of time and weather.  Reaching the garden-level, we found it laid out in
walks, bordered with box and ornamental shrubbery, amid which were
lemon-trees, and one large old exotic from some distant clime.  In the
centre of the garden, surrounded by a stone balustrade, like that of the
staircase, was a fish-pond, into which several jets of water were
continually spouting; and on pedestals, that made part of the balusters,
stood eight marble statues of Apollo, Cupid, nymphs, and other such sunny
and beautiful people of classic mythology.  There had been many more of
these statues, but the rest had disappeared, and those which remained had
suffered grievous damage, here to a nose, there to a hand or foot, and
often a fracture of the body, very imperfectly mended.  There was a
pleasant sunshine in the garden, and a springlike, or rather a genial,
autumnal atmosphere, though elsewhere it was a day of poisonous Roman
chill.

At the end of the garden, which was of no great extent, was an edifice,
bordering on the piazza, called the Casino, which, I presume, means a
garden-house.  The front is richly ornamented with bas-reliefs, and
statues in niches; as if it were a place for pleasure and enjoyment, and
therefore ought to be beautiful.  As we approached it, the door swung
open, and we went into a large room on the ground-floor, and, looking up
to the ceiling, beheld Guido's Aurora.  The picture is as fresh and
brilliant as if he had painted it with the morning sunshine which it
represents.  It could not be more lustrous in its lines, if he had given
it the last touch an hour ago.  Three or four artists were copying it at
that instant, and positively their colors did not look brighter, though a
great deal newer than his.  The alacrity and movement, briskness and
morning stir and glow, of the picture are wonderful.  It seems impossible
to catch its glory in a copy.  Several artists, as I said, were making
the attempt, and we saw two other attempted copies leaning against the
wall, but it was easy to detect failure in just essential points.  My
memory, I believe, will be somewhat enlivened by this picture hereafter:
not that I remember it very distinctly even now; but bright things leave
a sheen and glimmer in the mind, like Christian's tremulous glimpse of
the Celestial City.

In two other rooms of the Casino we saw pictures by Domenichino, Rubens,
and other famous painters, which I do not mean to speak of, because I
cared really little or nothing about them.  Returning into the garden,
the sunny warmth of which was most grateful after the chill air and cold
pavement of the Casino, we walked round the laguna, examining the
statues, and looking down at some little fishes that swarmed at the stone
margin of the pool.  There were two infants of the Rospigliosi family:
one, a young child playing with a maid and head-servant; another, the
very chubbiest and rosiest boy in the world, sleeping on its nurse's
bosom.  The nurse was a comely woman enough, dressed in bright colors,
which fitly set off the deep lines of her Italian face.  An old painter
very likely would have beautified and refined the pair into a Madonna,
with the child Jesus; for an artist need not go far in Italy to find a
picture ready composed and tinted, needing little more than to be
literally copied.

Miss M------ had gone away before us; but my wife and I, after leaving
the Palazzo Rospigliosi, and on our way hone, went into the Church of St.
Andrea, which belongs to a convent of Jesuits.  I have long ago exhausted
all my capacity of admiration for splendid interiors of churches, but
methinks this little, little temple (it is not more than fifty or sixty
feet across) has a more perfect and gem-like beauty than any other.  Its
shape is oval, with an oval dome, and, above that, another little dome,
both of which are magnificently frescoed.  Around the base of the larger
dome is wreathed a flight of angels, and the smaller and upper one is
encircled by a garland of cherubs,--cherub and angel all of pure white
marble.  The oval centre of the church is walled round with precious and
lustrous marble of a red-veined variety interspersed with columns and
pilasters of white; and there are arches opening through this rich wall,
forming chapels, which the architect seems to have striven hard to make
even more gorgeous than the main body of the church.  They contain
beautiful pictures, not dark and faded, but glowing, as if just from the
painter's hands; and the shrines are adorned with whatever is most rare,
and in one of them was the great carbuncle; at any rate, a bright, fiery
gem as big as a turkey's egg.  The pavement of the church was one star of
various-colored marble, and in the centre was a mosaic, covering, I
believe, the tomb of the founder.  I have not seen, nor expect to see,
anything else so entirely and satisfactorily finished as this small oval
church; and I only wish I could pack it in a large box, and send it home.

I must not forget that, on our way from the Barberini Palace, we stopped
an instant to look at the house, at the corner of the street of the four
fountains, where Milton was a guest while in Rome.  He seems quite a man
of our own day, seen so nearly at the hither extremity of the vista
through which we look back, from the epoch of railways to that of the
oldest Egyptian obelisk.  The house (it was then occupied by the Cardinal
Barberini) looks as if it might have been built within the present
century; for mediaeval houses in Rome do not assume the aspect of
antiquity; perhaps because the Italian style of architecture, or
something similar, is the one more generally in vogue in most cities.


February 21st.--This morning I took my way through the Porta del Popolo,
intending to spend the forenoon in the Campagna; but, getting weary of
the straight, uninteresting street that runs out of the gate, I turned
aside from it, and soon found myself on the shores of the Tiber.  It
looked, as usual, like a saturated solution of yellow mud, and eddied
hastily along between deep banks of clay, and over a clay bed, in which
doubtless are hidden many a richer treasure than we now possess.  The
French once proposed to draw off the river, for the purpose of recovering
all the sunken statues and relics; but the Romans made strenuous
objection, on account of the increased virulence of malaria which would
probably result.  I saw a man on the immediate shore of the river, fifty
feet or so beneath the bank on which I stood, sitting patiently, with an
angling rod; and I waited to see what he might catch.  Two other persons
likewise sat down to watch him; but he caught nothing so long as I
stayed, and at last seemed to give it up.  The banks and vicinity of the
river are very bare and uninviting, as I then saw them; no shade, no
verdure,--a rough, neglected aspect, and a peculiar shabbiness about the
few houses that were visible.  Farther down the stream the dome of St.
Peter's showed itself on the other side, seeming to stand on the
outskirts of the city.  I walked along the banks, with some expectation
of finding a ferry, by which I might cross the river; but my course was
soon interrupted by the wall, and I turned up a lane that led me straight
back again to the Porta del Popolo.  I stopped a moment, however, to see
some young men pitching quoits, which they appeared to do with a good
deal of skill.

I went along the Via di Ripetta, and through other streets, stepping into
two or three churches, one of which was the Pantheon. . . .

There are, I think, seven deep, pillared recesses around the
circumference of it, each of which becomes a sufficiently capacious
chapel; and alternately with these chapels there is a marble structure,
like the architecture of a doorway, beneath which is the shrine of a
saint; so that the whole circle of the Pantheon is filled up with the
seven chapels and seven shrines.  A number of persons were sitting or
kneeling around; others came in while I was there, dipping their fingers
in the holy water, and bending the knee, as they passed the shrines and
chapels, until they reached the one which, apparently, they had selected
as the particular altar for their devotions.  Everybody seemed so devout,
and in a frame of mind so suited to the day and place, that it really
made me feel a little awkward not to be able to kneel down along with
them.  Unlike the worshippers in our own churches, each individual here
seems to do his own individual acts of devotion, and I cannot but think
it better so than to make an effort for united prayer as we do.  It is my
opinion that a great deal of devout and reverential feeling is kept alive
in people's hearts by the Catholic mode of worship.

Soon leaving the Pantheon, a few minutes' walk towards the Corso brought
me to the Church of St. Ignazio, which belongs to the College of the
Jesuits.  It is spacious and of beautiful architecture, but not
strikingly distinguished, in the latter particular, from many others; a
wide and lofty nave, supported upon marble columns, between which arches
open into the side aisles, and at the junction of the nave and transept a
dome, resting on four great arches.  The church seemed to be purposely
somewhat darkened, so that I could not well see the details of the
ornamentation, except the frescos on the ceiling of the nave, which were
very brilliant, and done in so effectual a style, that I really could not
satisfy myself that some of the figures did not actually protrude from
the ceiling,--in short, that they were not colored bas-reliefs, instead
of frescos.  No words can express the beautiful effect, in an upholstery
point of view, of this kind of decoration.  Here, as at the Pantheon,
there were many persons sitting silent, kneeling, or passing from shrine
to shrine.

I reached home at about twelve, and, at one, set out again, with my wife,
towards St. Peter's, where we meant to stay till after vespers.  We
walked across the city, and through the Piazza de Navona, where we
stopped to look at one of Bernini's absurd fountains, of which the water
makes but the smallest part,--a little squirt or two amid a prodigious
fuss of gods and monsters.  Thence we passed by the poor, battered-down
torso of Pasquin, and came, by devious ways, to the bridge of St. Angelo;
the streets bearing pretty much their weekday aspect, many of the shops
open, the market-stalls doing their usual business, and the people brisk
and gay, though not indecorously so.  I suppose there was hardly a man or
woman who had not heard mass, confessed, and said their prayers; a thing
which--the prayers, I mean--it would be absurd to predicate of London,
New York, or any Protestant city.  In however adulterated a guise, the
Catholics do get a draught of devotion to slake the thirst of their
souls, and methinks it must needs do them good, even if not quite so pure
as if it came from better cisterns, or from the original fountain-head.

Arriving at St. Peter's shortly after two, we walked round the whole
church, looking at all the pictures and most of the monuments, . . . .
and paused longest before Guido's "Archangel Michael overcoming Lucifer."
This is surely one of the most beautiful things in the world, one of the
human conceptions that are imbued most deeply with the celestial. . . .

We then sat down in one of the aisles and awaited the beginning of
vespers, which we supposed would take place at half past three.  Four
o'clock came, however, and no vespers; and as our dinner-hour is
five, . . . . we at last cane away without hearing the vesper hymn.


February 23d.--Yesterday, at noon, we set out for the Capitol, and after
going up the acclivity (not from the Forum, but from the opposite
direction), stopped to look at the statues of Castor and Pollux, which,
with other sculptures, look down the ascent.  Castor and his brother seem
to me to have heads disproportionately large, and are not so striking, in
any respect, as such great images ought to be.  But we heartily admired
the equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, . . . . and looked at
a fountain, principally composed, I think, of figures representing the
Nile and the Tiber, who loll upon their elbows and preside over the
gushing water; and between them, against the facade of the Senator's
Palace, there is a statue of Minerva, with a petticoat of red porphyry.
Having taken note of these objects, we went to the museum, in an edifice
on our left, entering the piazza, and here, in the vestibule, we found
various old statues and relics.  Ascending the stairs, we passed through
a long gallery, and, turning to our left, examined somewhat more
carefully a suite of rooms running parallel with it.  The first of these
contained busts of the Caesars and their kindred, from the epoch of the
mightiest Julius downward; eighty-three, I believe, in all.  I had seen a
bust of Julius Caesar in the British Museum, and was surprised at its
thin and withered aspect; but this head is of a very ugly old man
indeed,--wrinkled, puckered, shrunken, lacking breadth and substance;
careworn, grim, as if he had fought hard with life, and had suffered in
the conflict; a man of schemes, and of eager effort to bring his schemes
to pass.  His profile is by no means good, advancing from the top of his
forehead to the tip of his nose, and retreating, at about the same angle,
from the latter point to the bottom of his chin, which seems to be thrust
forcibly down into his meagre neck,--not that he pokes his head forward,
however, for it is particularly erect.

The head of Augustus is very beautiful, and appears to be that of a
meditative, philosophic man, saddened with the sense that it is not very
much worth while to be at the summit of human greatness after all.  It is
a sorrowful thing to trace the decay of civilization through this series
of busts, and to observe how the artistic skill, so requisite at first,
went on declining through the dreary dynasty of the Caesars, till at
length the master of the world could not get his head carved in better
style than the figure-head of a ship.

In the next room there were better statues than we had yet seen; but in
the last room of the range we found the "Dying Gladiator," of which I had
already caught a glimpse in passing by the open door.  It had made all
the other treasures of the gallery tedious in my eagerness to come to
that.  I do not believe that so much pathos is wrought into any other
block of stone.  Like all works of the highest excellence, however, it
makes great demands upon the spectator.  He must make a generous gift of
his sympathies to the sculptor, and help out his skill with all his
heart, or else he will see little more than a skilfully wrought surface.
It suggests far more than it shows.  I looked long at this statue, and
little at anything else, though, among other famous works, a statue of
Antinous was in the same room.

I was glad when we left the museum, which, by the by, was piercingly
chill, as if the multitude of statues radiated cold out of their marble
substance.  We might have gone to see the pictures in the Palace of the
Conservatori, and S-----, whose receptivity is unlimited and forever
fresh, would willingly have done so; but I objected, and we went towards
the Forum.  I had noticed, two or three times, an inscription over a
mean-looking door in this neighborhood, stating that here was the
entrance to the prison of the holy apostles Peter and Paul; and we soon
found the spot, not far from the Forum, with two wretched frescos of the
apostles above the inscription.  We knocked at the door without effect;
but a lame beggar, who sat at another door of the same house (which
looked exceedingly like a liquor-shop), desired us to follow him, and
began to ascend to the Capitol, by the causeway leading from the Forum.
A little way upward we met a woman, to whom the beggar delivered us over,
and she led us into a church or chapel door, and pointed to a long flight
of steps, which descended through twilight into utter darkness.  She
called to somebody in the lower regions, and then went away, leaving us
to get down this mysterious staircase by ourselves.  Down we went,
farther and farther from the daylight, and found ourselves, anon, in a
dark chamber or cell, the shape or boundaries of which we could not make
out, though it seemed to be of stone, and black and dungeon-like.
Indistinctly, and from a still farther depth in the earth, we heard
voices,--one voice, at least,--apparently not addressing ourselves, but
some other persons; and soon, directly beneath our feet, we saw a
glimmering of light through a round, iron-grated hole in the bottom of
the dungeon.  In a few moments the glimmer and the voice came up through
this hole, and the light disappeared, and it and the voice came
glimmering and babbling up a flight of stone stairs, of which we had not
hitherto been aware.  It was the custode, with a party of visitors, to
whom he had been showing St. Peter's dungeon.  Each visitor was provided
with a wax taper, and the custode gave one to each of us, bidding us wait
a moment while he conducted the other party to the upper air.  During his
absence we examined the cell, as well as our dim lights would permit, and
soon found an indentation in the wall, with an iron grate put over it for
protection, and an inscription above informing us that the Apostle Peter
had here left the imprint of his visage; and, in truth, there is a
profile there,--forehead, nose, mouth, and chin,--plainly to be seen, an
intaglio in the solid rock.  We touched it with the tips of our fingers,
as well as saw it with our eyes.

The custode soon returned, and led us down the darksome steps, chattering
in Italian all the time.  It is not a very long descent to the lower
cell, the roof of which is so low that I believe I could have reached it
with my hand.  We were now in the deepest and ugliest part of the old
Mamertine Prison, one of the few remains of the kingly period of Rome,
and which served the Romans as a state-prison for hundreds of years
before the Christian era.  A multitude of criminals or innocent persons,
no doubt, have languished here in misery, and perished in darkness.  Here
Jugurtha starved; here Catiline's adherents were strangled; and,
methinks, there cannot be in the world another such an evil den, so
haunted with black memories and indistinct surmises of guilt and
suffering.  In old Rome, I suppose, the citizens never spoke of this
dungeon above their breath.  It looks just as bad as it is; round, only
seven paces across, yet so obscure that our tapers could not illuminate
it from side to side,-- the stones of which it is constructed being as
black as midnight.  The custode showed us a stone post, at the side of
the cell, with the hole in the top of it, into which, he said, St.
Peter's chain had been fastened; and he uncovered a spring of water, in
the middle of the stone floor, which he told us had miraculously gushed
up to enable the saint to baptize his jailer.  The miracle was perhaps
the more easily wrought, inasmuch as Jugurtha had found the floor of the
dungeon oozy with wet.  However, it is best to be as simple and childlike
as we can in these matters; and whether St. Peter stamped his visage into
the stone, and wrought this other miracle or no, and whether or no he
ever was in the prison at all, still the belief of a thousand years and
more gives a sort of reality and substance to such traditions.  The
custode dipped an iron ladle into the miraculous water, and we each of us
drank a sip; and, what is very remarkable, to me it seemed hard water and
almost brackish, while many persons think it the sweetest in Rome.  I
suspect that St. Peter still dabbles in this water, and tempers its
qualities according to the faith of those who drink it.

The staircase descending into the lower dungeon is comparatively modern,
there having been no entrance of old, except through the small circular
opening in the roof.  In the upper cell the custode showed us an ancient
flight of stairs, now built into the wall, which used to lead from the
Capitol.  The whole precincts are now consecrated, and I believe the
upper portion, perhaps both upper and lower, are a shrine or a chapel.

I now left S------ in the Forum, and went to call on Mr. J. P. K------ at
the Hotel d'Europe.  I found him just returned from a drive,--a gentleman
of about sixty, or more, with gray hair, a pleasant, intellectual face,
and penetrating, but not unkindly eyes.  He moved infirmly, being on the
recovery from an illness.  We went up to his saloon together, and had a
talk,--or, rather, he had it nearly all to himself,--and particularly
sensible talk, too, and full of the results of learning and experience.
In the first place, he settled the whole Kansas difficulty; then he made
havoc of St. Peter, who came very shabbily out of his hands, as regarded
his early character in the Church, and his claims to the position he now
holds in it.  Mr. K------ also gave a curious illustration, from
something that happened to himself, of the little dependence that can be
placed on tradition purporting to be ancient, and I capped his story by
telling him how the site of my town-pump, so plainly indicated in the
sketch itself, has already been mistaken in the city council and in the
public prints.


February 24th.--Yesterday I crossed the Ponte Sisto, and took a short
ramble on the other side of the river; and it rather surprised me to
discover, pretty nearly opposite the Capitoline Hill, a quay, at which
several schooners and barks, of two or three hundred tons' burden, were
moored.  There was also a steamer, armed with a large gun and two brass
swivels on her forecastle, and I know not what artillery besides.
Probably she may have been a revenue-cutter.

Returning I crossed the river by way of the island of St. Bartholomew
over two bridges.  The island is densely covered with buildings, and is a
separate small fragment of the city.  It was a tradition of the ancient
Romans that it was formed by the aggregation of soil and rubbish brought
down by the river, and accumulating round the nucleus of some sunken
baskets.

On reaching the hither side of the river, I soon struck upon the ruins of
the theatre of Marcellus, which are very picturesque, and the more so
from being closely linked in, indeed, identified with the shops,
habitations, and swarming life of modern Rome.  The most striking portion
was a circular edifice, which seemed to have been composed of a row of
Ionic columns standing upon a lower row of Doric, many of the antique
pillars being yet perfect; but the intervening arches built up with
brickwork, and the whole once magnificent structure now tenanted by poor
and squalid people, as thick as mites within the round of an old cheese.
From this point I cannot very clearly trace out my course; but I passed,
I think, between the Circus Maximus and the Palace of the Caesars, and
near the Baths of Caracalla, and went into the cloisters of the Church of
San Gregorio.  All along I saw massive ruins, not particularly
picturesque or beautiful, but huge, mountainous piles, chiefly of
brickwork, somewhat tweed-grown here and there, but oftener bare and
dreary. . . . All the successive ages since Rome began to decay have
done their best to ruin the very ruins by taking away the marble and the
hewn stone for their own structures, and leaving only the inner filling
up of brickwork, which the ancient architects never designed to be seen.
The consequence of all this is, that, except for the lofty and poetical
associations connected with it, and except, too, for the immense
difference in magnitude, a Roman ruin may be in itself not more
picturesque than I have seen an old cellar, with a shattered brick
chimney half crumbling down into it, in New England.

By this time I knew not whither I was going, and turned aside from a
broad, paved road (it was the Appian Way) into the Via Latina, which I
supposed would lead to one of the city gates.  It was a lonely path: on
my right hand extensive piles of ruin, in strange shapes or
shapelessness, built of the broad and thin old Roman bricks, such as may
be traced everywhere, when the stucco has fallen away from a modern Roman
house; for I imagine there has not been a new brick made here for a
thousand years.  On my left, I think, was a high wall, and before me,
grazing in the road . . . . [the buffalo calf of the Marble Faun.--ED.].
The road went boldly on, with a well-worn track up to the very walls of
the city; but there it abruptly terminated at an ancient, closed-up
gateway.  From a notice posted against a door, which appeared to be the
entrance to the ruins on my left, I found that these were the remains of
Columbaria, where the dead used to be put away in pigeon-holes.  Reaching
the paved road again, I kept on my course, passing the tomb of the
Scipios, and soon came to the gate of San Sebastiano, through which I
entered the Campagna.  Indeed, the scene around was so rural, that I had
fancied myself already beyond the walls.  As the afternoon was getting
advanced, I did not proceed any farther towards the blue hills which I
saw in the distance, but turned to my left, following a road that runs
round the exterior of the city wall.  It was very dreary and solitary,--
not a house on the whole track, with the broad and shaggy Campagna on one
side, and the high, bare wall, looking down over my head, on the other.
It is not, any more than the other objects of the scene, a very
picturesque wall, but is little more than a brick garden-fence seen
through a magnifying-glass, with now and then a tower, however, and
frequent buttresses, to keep its height of fifty feet from toppling over.
The top was ragged, and fringed with a few weeds; there had been
embrasures for guns and eyelet-holes for musketry, but these were
plastered up with brick or stone.  I passed one or two walled-up gateways
(by the by, the Parts, Latina was the gate through which Belisarius first
entered Rome), and one of these had two high, round towers, and looked
more Gothic and venerable with antique strength than any other portion of
the wall.  Immediately after this I came to the gate of San Giovanni,
just within which is the Basilica of St. John Lateran, and there I was
glad to rest myself upon a bench before proceeding homeward.

There was a French sentinel at this gateway, as at all the others; for
the Gauls have always been a pest to Rome, and now gall her worse than
ever.  I observed, too, that an official, in citizen's dress, stood there
also, and appeared to exercise a supervision over some carts with country
produce, that were entering just then.


February 25th.--We went this forenoon to the Palazzo Borghese, which is
situated on a street that runs at right angles with the Corso, and very
near the latter.  Most of the palaces in Rome, and the Borghese among
them, were built somewhere about the sixteenth century; this in 1590, I
believe.  It is an immense edifice, standing round the four sides of a
quadrangle; and though the suite of rooms comprising the picture-gallery
forms an almost interminable vista, they occupy only a part of the
ground-floor of one side.  We enter from the street into a large court,
surrounded with a corridor, the arches of which support a second series
of arches above.  The picture-rooms open from one into another, and have
many points of magnificence, being large and lofty, with vaulted ceilings
and beautiful frescos, generally of mythological subjects, in the flat
central part of the vault.  The cornices are gilded; the deep embrasures
of the windows are panelled with wood-work; the doorways are of polished
and variegated marble, or covered with a composition as hard, and
seemingly as durable.  The whole has a kind of splendid shabbiness thrown
over it, like a slight coating of rust; the furniture, at least the
damask chairs, being a good deal worn, though there are marble and mosaic
tables, which may serve to adorn another palace when this one crumbles
away with age.  One beautiful hall, with a ceiling more richly gilded
than the rest, is panelled all round with large looking-glasses, on which
are painted pictures, both landscapes and human figures, in oils; so that
the effect is somewhat as if you saw these objects represented in the
mirrors.  These glasses must be of old date, perhaps coeval with the
first building of the palace; for they are so much dimmed, that one's own
figure appears indistinct in them, and more difficult to be traced than
the pictures which cover them half over.  It was very comfortless,--
indeed, I suppose nobody ever thought of being comfortable there, since
the house was built,--but especially uncomfortable on a chill, damp day
like this.  My fingers were quite numb before I got half-way through the
suite of apartments, in spite of a brazier of charcoal which was
smouldering into ashes in two or three of the rooms.  There was not, so
far as I remember, a single fireplace in the suite.  A considerable
number of visitors--not many, however--were there; and a good many
artists; and three or four ladies among them were making copies of the
more celebrated pictures, and in all or in most cases missing the
especial points that made their celebrity and value.  The Prince Borghese
certainly demeans himself like a kind and liberal gentleman, in throwing
open this invaluable collection to the public to see, and for artists to
carry away with them, and diffuse all over the world, so far as their own
power and skill will permit.  It is open every day of the week, except
Saturday and Sunday, without any irksome restriction or supervision; and
the fee, which custom requires the visitor to pay to the custode, has the
good effect of making us feel that we are not intruders, nor received in
an exactly eleemosynary way.  The thing could not be better managed.

The collection is one of the most celebrated in the world, and contains
between eight and nine hundred pictures, many of which are esteemed
masterpieces.  I think I was not in a frame for admiration to-day, nor
could achieve that free and generous surrender of myself which I have
already said is essential to the proper estimate of anything excellent.
Besides, how is it possible to give one's soul, or any considerable part
of it, to a single picture, seen for the first time, among a thousand
others, all of which set forth their own claims in an equally good light?
Furthermore, there is an external weariness, and sense of a thousand-fold
sameness to be overcome, before we can begin to enjoy a gallery of the
old Italian masters. . . . I remember but one painter, Francia, who
seems really to have approached this awful class of subjects (Christs and
Madonnas) in a fitting spirit; his pictures are very singular and
awkward, if you look at them with merely an external eye, but they are
full of the beauty of holiness, and evidently wrought out as acts of
devotion, with the deepest sincerity; and are veritable prayers upon
canvas. . . .

I was glad, in the very last of the twelve rooms, to come upon some Dutch
and Flemish pictures, very few, but very welcome; Rubens, Rembrandt,
Vandyke, Paul Potter, Teniers, and others,--men of flesh and blood, and
warm fists, and human hearts.  As compared with them, these mighty
Italian masters seem men of polished steel; not human, nor addressing
themselves so much to human sympathies, as to a formed, intellectual
taste.


March 1st.--To-day began very unfavorably; but we ventured out at about
eleven o'clock, intending to visit the gallery of the Colonna Palace.
Finding it closed, however, on account of the illness of the custode, we
determined to go to the picture-gallery of the Capitol; and, on our way
thither, we stepped into Il Gesu, the grand and rich church of the
Jesuits, where we found a priest in white, preaching a sermon, with vast
earnestness of action and variety of tones, insomuch that I fancied
sometimes that two priests were in the agony of sermonizing at once.  He
had a pretty large and seemingly attentive audience clustered round him
from the entrance of the church, half-way down the nave; while in the
chapels of the transepts and in the remoter distances were persons
occupied with their own individual devotion.  We sat down near the chapel
of St. Ignazio, which is adorned with a picture over the altar, and with
marble sculptures of the Trinity aloft, and of angels fluttering at the
sides.  What I particularly noted (for the angels were not very real
personages, being neither earthly nor celestial) was the great ball of
lapis lazuli, the biggest in the world, at the feet of the First Person
in the Trinity.  The church is a splendid one, lined with a great variety
of precious marbles, . . . . but partly, perhaps, owing to the dusky
light, as well as to the want of cleanliness, there was a dingy effect
upon the whole.  We made but a very short stay, our New England breeding
causing us to feel shy of moving about the church in sermon time.

It rained when we reached the Capitol, and, as the museum was not yet
open, we went into the Palace of the Conservators, on the opposite side
of the piazza.  Around the inner court of the ground-floor, partly under
two opposite arcades, and partly under the sky, are several statues and
other ancient sculptures; among them a statue of Julius Caesar, said to
be the only authentic one, and certainly giving an impression of him more
in accordance with his character than the withered old face in the
museum; also, a statue of Augustus in middle age, still retaining a
resemblance to the bust of him in youth; some gigantic heads and hands
and feet in marble and bronze; a stone lion and horse, which lay long at
the bottom of a river, broken and corroded, and were repaired by
Michel Angelo; and other things which it were wearisome to set down.
We inquired of two or three French soldiers the way into the
picture-gallery; but it is our experience that French soldiers in
Rome never know anything of what is around them, not even the name of
the palace or public place over which they stand guard; and though
invariably civil, you might as well put a question to a statue of an old
Roman as to one of them.  While we stood under the loggia, however,
looking at the rain plashing into the court, a soldier of the Papal Guard
kindly directed us up the staircase, and even took pains to go with us to
the very entrance of the picture-rooms.  Thank Heaven, there are but two
of them, and not many pictures which one cares to look at very long.

Italian galleries are at a disadvantage as compared with English ones,
inasmuch as the pictures are not nearly such splendid articles of
upholstery; though, very likely, having undergone less cleaning and
varnishing, they may retain more perfectly the finer touches of the
masters.  Nevertheless, I miss the mellow glow, the rich and mild
external lustre, and even the brilliant frames of the pictures I have
seen in England.  You feel that they have had loving care taken of them;
even if spoiled, it is because they have been valued so much.  But these
pictures in Italian galleries look rusty and lustreless, as far as the
exterior is concerned; and, really, the splendor of the painting, as a
production of intellect and feeling, has a good deal of difficulty in
shining through such clouds.

There is a picture at the Capitol, the "Rape of Europa," by Paul
Veronese, that would glow with wonderful brilliancy if it were set in a
magnificent frame, and covered with a sunshine of varnish; and it is a
kind of picture that would not be desecrated, as some deeper and holier
ones might be, by any splendor of external adornment that could be
bestowed on it.  It is deplorable and disheartening to see it in faded
and shabby plight,--this joyous, exuberant, warm, voluptuous work.  There
is the head of a cow, thrust into the picture, and staring with wild,
ludicrous wonder at the godlike bull, so as to introduce quite a new
sentiment.

Here, and at the Borghese Palace, there were some pictures by Garofalo,
an artist of whom I never heard before, but who seemed to have been a man
of power.  A picture by Marie Subleyras--a miniature copy from one by her
husband, of the woman anointing the feet of Christ--is most delicately
and beautifully finished, and would be an ornament to a drawing-room; a
thing that could not truly be said of one in a hundred of these grim
masterpieces.  When they were painted life was not what it is now, and
the artists had not the same ends in view. . . . It depresses the
spirits to go from picture to picture, leaving a portion of your vital
sympathy at every one, so that you come, with a kind of half-torpid
desperation, to the end.  On our way down the staircase we saw several
noteworthy bas-reliefs, and among them a very ancient one of Curtius
plunging on horseback into the chasm in the Forum.  It seems to me,
however, that old sculpture affects the spirits even more dolefully than
old painting; it strikes colder to the heart, and lies heavier upon it,
being marble, than if it were merely canvas.

My wife went to revisit the museum, which we had already seen, on the
other side of the piazza; but, being cold, I left her there, and went out
to ramble in the sun; for it was now brightly, though fitfully, shining
again.  I walked through the Forum (where a thorn thrust itself out and
tore the sleeve of my talma) and under the Arch of Titus, towards the
Coliseum.  About a score of French drummers were beating a long, loud
roll-call, at the base of the Coliseum, and under its arches; and a score
of trumpeters responded to these, from the rising ground opposite the
Arch of Constantine; and the echoes of the old Roman ruins, especially
those of the Palace of the Caesars, responded to this martial uproar of
the barbarians.  There seemed to be no cause for it; but the drummers
beat, and the trumpeters blew, as long as I was within hearing.

I walked along the Appian Way as far as the Baths of Caracalla.  The
Palace of the Caesars, which I have never yet explored, appears to be
crowned by the walls of a convent, built, no doubt, out of some of the
fragments that would suffice to build a city; and I think there is
another convent among the baths.  The Catholics have taken a peculiar
pleasure in planting themselves in the very citadels of paganism, whether
temples or palaces.  There has been a good deal of enjoyment in the
destruction of old Rome.  I often think so when I see the elaborate pains
that have been taken to smash and demolish some beautiful column, for no
purpose whatever, except the mere delight of annihilating a noble piece
of work.  There is something in the impulse with which one sympathizes;
though I am afraid the destroyers were not sufficiently aware of the
mischief they did to enjoy it fully.  Probably, too, the early Christians
were impelled by religious zeal to destroy the pagan temples, before the
happy thought occurred of converting them into churches.


March 3d.--This morning was U----'s birthday, and we celebrated it by
taking a barouche, and driving (the whole family) out on the Appian Way
as far as the tomb of Cecilia Metella.  For the first time since we came
to Rome, the weather was really warm,--a kind of heat producing languor
and disinclination to active movement, though still a little breeze which
was stirring threw an occasional coolness over us, and made us distrust
the almost sultry atmosphere.  I cannot think the Roman climate healthy
in any of its moods that I have experienced.

Close on the other side of the road are the ruins of a Gothic chapel,
little more than a few bare walls and painted windows, and some other
fragmentary structures which we did not particularly examine.  U---- and
I clambered through a gap in the wall, extending from the basement of the
tomb, and thus, getting into the field beyond, went quite round the
mausoleum and the remains of the castle connected with it.  The latter,
though still high and stalwart, showed few or no architectural features
of interest, being built, I think, principally of large bricks, and not
to be compared to English ruins as a beautiful or venerable object.

A little way beyond Cecilia Metella's tomb, the road still shows a
specimen of the ancient Roman pavement, composed of broad, flat
flagstones, a good deal cracked and worn, but sound enough, probably, to
outlast the little cubes which make the other portions of the road so
uncomfortable.  We turned back from this point and soon re-entered the
gate of St. Sebastian, which is flanked by two small towers, and just
within which is the old triumphal arch of Drusus,--a sturdy construction,
much dilapidated as regards its architectural beauty, but rendered far
more picturesque than it could have been in its best days by a crown of
verdure on its head.  Probably so much of the dust of the highway has
risen in clouds and settled there, that sufficient soil for shrubbery to
root itself has thus been collected, by small annual contributions, in
the course of two thousand years.  A little farther towards the city we
turned aside from the Appian Way, and came to the site of some ancient
Columbaria, close by what seemed to partake of the character of a villa
and a farm-house.  A man came out of the house and unlocked a door in a
low building, apparently quite modern; but on entering we found ourselves
looking into a large, square chamber, sunk entirely beneath the surface
of the ground.  A very narrow and steep staircase of stone, and evidently
ancient, descended into this chamber; and, going down, we found the walls
hollowed on all sides into little semicircular niches, of which, I
believe, there were nine rows, one above another, and nine niches in
each row.  Thus they looked somewhat like the little entrances to a
pigeon-house, and hence the name of Columbarium.  Each semicircular niche
was about a foot in its semidiameter.  In the centre of this subterranean
chamber was a solid square column, or pier, rising to the roof, and
containing other niches of the same pattern, besides one that was high
and deep, rising to the height of a man from the floor on each of the
four sides.  In every one of the semicircular niches were two round holes
covered with an earthen plate, and in each hole were ashes and little
fragments of bones,--the ashes and bones of the dead, whose names were
inscribed in Roman capitals on marble slabs inlaid into the wall over
each individual niche.  Very likely the great ones in the central pier
had contained statues, or busts, or large urns; indeed, I remember that
some such things were there, as well as bas-reliefs in the walls; but
hardly more than the general aspect of this strange place remains in my
mind.  It was the Columbarium of the connections or dependants of the
Caesars; and the impression left on me was, that this mode of disposing
of the dead was infinitely preferable to any which has been adopted since
that day.  The handful or two of dry dust and bits of dry bones in each
of the small round holes had nothing disgusting in them, and they are no
drier now than they were when first deposited there.  I would rather have
my ashes scattered over the soil to help the growth of the grass and
daisies; but still I should not murmur much at having them decently
pigeon-holed in a Roman tomb.

After ascending out of this chamber of the dead, we looked down into
another similar one, containing the ashes of Pompey's household, which
was discovered only a very few years ago.  Its arrangement was the same
as that first described, except that it had no central pier with a
passage round it, as the former had.

While we were down in the first chamber the proprietor of the spot--a
half-gentlemanly and very affable kind of person--came to us, and
explained the arrangements of the Columbarium, though, indeed, we
understood them better by their own aspect than by his explanation.  The
whole soil around his dwelling is elevated much above the level of the
road, and it is probable that, if he chose to excavate, he might bring to
light many more sepulchral chambers, and find his profit in them too, by
disposing of the urns and busts.  What struck me as much as anything was
the neatness of these subterranean apartments, which were quite as fit to
sleep in as most of those occupied by living Romans; and, having
undergone no wear and tear, they were in as good condition as on the day
they were built.

In this Columbarium, measuring about twenty feet square, I roughly
estimate that there have been deposited together the remains of at least
seven or eight hundred persons, reckoning two little heaps of bones and
ashes in each pigeon-hole, nine pigeon-holes in each row, and nine rows
on each side, besides those on the middle pier.  All difficulty in
finding space for the dead would be obviated by returning to the ancient
fashion of reducing them to ashes,--the only objection, though a very
serious one, being the quantity of fuel that it would require.  But
perhaps future chemists may discover some better means of consuming or
dissolving this troublesome mortality of ours.

We got into the carriage again, and, driving farther towards the city,
came to the tomb of the Scipios, of the exterior of which I retain no
very definite idea.  It was close upon the Appian Way, however, though
separated from it by a high fence, and accessible through a gateway,
leading into a court.  I think the tomb is wholly subterranean, and that
the ground above it is covered with the buildings of a farm-house; but of
this I cannot be certain, as we were led immediately into a dark,
underground passage, by an elderly peasant, of a cheerful and affable
demeanor.  As soon as he had brought us into the twilight of the tomb, he
lighted a long wax taper for each of us, and led us groping into blacker
and blacker darkness.  Even little R----- followed courageously in the
procession, which looked very picturesque as we glanced backward or
forward, and beheld a twinkling line of seven lights, glimmering faintly
on our faces, and showing nothing beyond.  The passages and niches of the
tomb seem to have been hewn and hollowed out of the rock, not built by
any art of masonry; but the walls were very dark, almost black, and our
tapers so dim that I could not gain a sufficient breadth of view to
ascertain what kind of place it was.  It was very dark, indeed; the
Mammoth Cave of Kentucky could not be darker.  The rough-hewn roof was
within touch, and sometimes we had to stoop to avoid hitting our heads;
it was covered with damps, which collected and fell upon us in occasional
drops.  The passages, besides being narrow, were so irregular and
crooked, that, after going a little way, it would have been impossible to
return upon our steps without the help of the guide; and we appeared to
be taking quite an extensive ramble underground, though in reality I
suppose the tomb includes no great space.  At several turns of our dismal
way, the guide pointed to inscriptions in Roman capitals, commemorating
various members of the Scipio family who were buried here; among them, a
son of Scipio Africanus, who himself had his death and burial in a
foreign land.  All these inscriptions, however, are copies,--the
originals, which were really found here, having been removed to the
Vatican.  Whether any bones and ashes have been left, or whether any were
found, I do not know.  It is not, at all events, a particularly
interesting spot, being such shapeless blackness, and a mere dark hole,
requiring a stronger illumination than that of our tapers to distinguish
it from any other cellar.  I did, at one place, see a sort of frieze,
rather roughly sculptured; and, as we returned towards the twilight of
the entrance-passage, I discerned a large spider, who fled hastily away
from our tapers,--the solitary living inhabitant of the tomb of the
Scipios.

One visit that we made, and I think it was before entering the city
gates, I forgot to mention.  It was to an old edifice, formerly called
the Temple of Bacchus, but now supposed to have been the Temple of Virtue
and Honor.  The interior consists of a vaulted hall, which was converted
from its pagan consecration into a church or chapel, by the early
Christians; and the ancient marble pillars of the temple may still be
seen built in with the brick and stucco of the later occupants.  There is
an altar, and other tokens of a Catholic church, and high towards the
ceiling, there are some frescos of saints or angels, very curious
specimens of mediaeval, and earlier than mediaeval art.  Nevertheless,
the place impressed me as still rather pagan than Christian.  What is
most remarkable about this spot or this vicinity lies in the fact that
the Fountain of Egeria was formerly supposed to be close at hand; indeed,
the custode of the chapel still claims the spot as the identical one
consecrated by the legend.  There is a dark grove of trees, not far from
the door of the temple; but Murray, a highly essential nuisance on such
excursions as this, throws such overwhelming doubt, or rather
incredulity, upon the site, that I seized upon it as a pretext for not
going thither.  In fact, my small capacity for sight-seeing was already
more than satisfied.

On account of ------ I am sorry that we did not see the grotto, for her
enthusiasm is as fresh as the waters of Egeria's well can be, and she has
poetical faith enough to light her cheerfully through all these mists of
incredulity.

Our visits to sepulchral places ended with Scipio's tomb, whence we
returned to our dwelling, and Miss M------ came to dine with us.


March 10th.--On Saturday last, a very rainy day, we went to the Sciarra
Palace, and took U---- with us.  It is on the Corso, nearly opposite to
the Piazza Colonna.  It has (Heaven be praised!) but four rooms of
pictures, among which, however, are several very celebrated ones.  Only a
few of these remain in my memory,--Raphael's "Violin Player," which I am
willing to accept as a good picture; and Leonardo da Vinci's "Vanity and
Modesty," which also I can bring up before my mind's eye, and find it
very beautiful, although one of the faces has an affected smile, which I
have since seen on another picture by the same artist, Joanna of Aragon.
The most striking picture in the collection, I think, is Titian's "Bella
Donna,"--the only one of Titian's works that I have yet seen which makes
an impression on me corresponding with his fame.  It is a very splendid
and very scornful lady, as beautiful and as scornful as Gainsborough's
Lady Lyndoch, though of an entirely different type.  There were two
Madonnas by Guido, of which I liked the least celebrated one best; and
several pictures by Garofalo, who always produces something noteworthy.
All the pictures lacked the charm (no doubt I am a barbarian to think it
one) of being in brilliant frames, and looked as if it were a long, long
while since they were cleaned or varnished.  The light was so scanty,
too, on that heavily clouded day, and in those gloomy old rooms of the
palace, that scarcely anything could be fairly made out.

[I cannot refrain from observing here, that Mr. Hawthorne's inexorable
demand for perfection in all things leads him to complain of grimy
pictures and tarnished frames and faded frescos, distressing beyond
measure to eyes that never failed to see everything before him with the
keenest apprehension.  The usual careless observation of people both of
the good and the imperfect is much more comfortable in this imperfect
world.  But the insight which Mr. Hawthorne possessed was only equalled
by his outsight, and he suffered in a way not to be readily conceived,
from any failure in beauty, physical, moral, or intellectual.  It is not,
therefore, mere love of upholstery that impels him to ask for perfect
settings to priceless gems of art; but a native idiosyncrasy, which
always made me feel that "the New Jerusalem," "even like a jasper stone,
clear as crystal," "where shall in no wise enter anything that defileth,
neither what worketh abomination nor maketh a lie," would alone satisfy
him, or rather alone not give him actual pain.  It may give an idea of
this exquisite nicety of feeling to mention, that one day he took in his
fingers a half-bloomed rose, without blemish, and, smiling with an
infinite joy, remarked, "This is perfect.  On earth a flower only can be
perfect."--ED.]

The palace is about two hundred and fifty years old, and looks as if it
had never been a very cheerful place; most shabbily and scantily
furnished, moreover, and as chill as any cellar.  There is a small
balcony, looking down on the Corso, which probably has often been filled
with a merry little family party, in the carnivals of days long past.  It
has faded frescos, and tarnished gilding, and green blinds, and a few
damask chairs still remain in it.

On Monday we all went to the sculpture-gallery of the Vatican, and saw as
much of the sculpture as we could in the three hours during which the
public are admissible.  There were a few things which I really enjoyed,
and a few moments during which I really seemed to see them; but it is in
vain to attempt giving the impression produced by masterpieces of art,
and most in vain when we see them best.  They are a language in
themselves, and if they could be expressed as well any way except by
themselves, there would have been no need of expressing those particular
ideas and sentiments by sculpture.  I saw the Apollo Belvedere as
something ethereal and godlike; only for a flitting moment, however, and
as if he had alighted from heaven, or shone suddenly out of the sunlight,
and then had withdrawn himself again.  I felt the Laocoon very
powerfully, though very quietly; an immortal agony, with a strange
calmness diffused through it, so that it resembles the vast rage of the
sea, calm on account of its immensity; or the tumult of Niagara, which
does not seem to be tumult, because it keeps pouring on for ever and
ever.  I have not had so good a day as this (among works of art) since we
came to Rome; and I impute it partly to the magnificence of the
arrangements of the Vatican,--its long vistas and beautiful courts, and
the aspect of immortality which marble statues acquire by being kept free
from dust.  A very hungry boy, seeing in one of the cabinets a vast
porphyry vase, forty-four feet in circumference, wished that he had it
full of soup.

Yesterday, we went to the Pamfili Doria Palace, which, I believe, is the
most splendid in Rome.  The entrance is from the Corso into a court,
surrounded by a colonnade, and having a space of luxuriant verdure and
ornamental shrubbery in the centre.  The apartments containing pictures
and sculptures are fifteen in number, and run quite round the court in
the first piano,--all the rooms, halls, and galleries of beautiful
proportion, with vaulted roofs, some of which glow with frescos; and all
are colder and more comfortless than can possibly be imagined without
having been in them.  The pictures, most of them, interested me very
little.  I am of opinion that good pictures are quite as rare as good
poets; and I do not see why we should pique ourselves on admiring any but
the very best.  One in a thousand, perhaps, ought to live in the applause
of men, from generation to generation, till its colors fade or blacken
out of sight, and its canvas rots away; the rest should be put in
garrets, or painted over by newer artists, just as tolerable poets are
shelved when their little day is over.  Nevertheless, there was one long
gallery containing many pictures that I should be glad to see again under
more favorable circumstances, that is, separately, and where I might
contemplate them quite undisturbed, reclining in an easy-chair.  At one
end of the long vista of this gallery is a bust of the present Prince
Doria, a smooth, sharp-nosed, rather handsome young man, and at the other
end his princess, an English lady of the Talbot family, apparently a
blonde, with a simple and sweet expression.  There is a noble and
striking portrait of the old Venetian admiral, Andrea Doria, by Sebastian
del Piombo, and some other portraits and busts of the family.

In the whole immense range of rooms I saw but a single fireplace, and
that so deep in the wall that no amount of blaze would raise the
atmosphere of the room ten degrees.  If the builder of the palace, or any
of his successors, have committed crimes worthy of Tophet, it would be a
still worse punishment for him to wander perpetually through this suite
of rooms on the cold floors of polished brick tiles or marble or mosaic,
growing a little chiller and chiller through every moment of eternity,--
or, at least, till the palace crumbles down upon him.

Neither would it assuage his torment in the least to be compelled to gaze
up at the dark old pictures,--the ugly ghosts of what may once have been
beautiful.  I am not going to try any more to receive pleasure from a
faded, tarnished, lustreless picture, especially if it be a landscape.
There were two or three landscapes of Claude in this palace, which I
doubt not would have been exquisite if they had been in the condition of
those in the British National Gallery; but here they looked most forlorn,
and even their sunshine was sunless.  The merits of historical painting
may be quite independent of the attributes that give pleasure, and a
superficial ugliness may even heighten the effect; but not so of
landscapes.


Via Porta, Palazzo Larazani, March 11th.--To-day we called at Mr.
Thompson's studio, and . . . . he had on the easel a little picture of
St. Peter released from prison by the angel, which I saw once before.  It
is very beautiful indeed, and deeply and spiritually conceived, and I
wish I could afford to have it finished for myself.  I looked again, too,
at his Georgian slave, and admired it as much as at first view; so very
warm and rich it is, so sensuously beautiful, and with an expression of
higher life and feeling within.  I do not think there is a better painter
than Mr. Thompson living,--among Americans at least; not one so earnest,
faithful, and religious in his worship of art.  I had rather look at his
pictures than at any except the very finest of the old masters, and,
taking into consideration only the comparative pleasure to be derived, I
would not except more than one or two of those.  In painting, as in
literature, I suspect there is something in the productions of the day
that takes the fancy more than the works of any past age,--not greater
merit, nor nearly so great, but better suited to this very present time.

After leaving him, we went to the Piazza de' Termini, near the Baths of
Diocletian, and found our way with some difficulty to Crawford's studio.
It occupies several great rooms, connected with the offices of the Villa
Negroni; and all these rooms were full of plaster casts and a few works
in marble,--principally portions of his huge Washington monument, which
he left unfinished at his death.  Close by the door at which we entered
stood a gigantic figure of Mason, in bag-wig, and the coat, waistcoat,
breeches, and knee and shoe buckles of the last century, the enlargement
of these unheroic matters to far more than heroic size having a very odd
effect.  There was a figure of Jefferson on the same scale; another of
Patrick Henry, besides a horse's head, and other portions of the
equestrian group which is to cover the summit of the monument.  In one of
the rooms was a model of the monument itself, on a scale, I should think,
of about an inch to afoot.  It did not impress me as having grown out of
any great and genuine idea in the artist's mind, but as being merely an
ingenious contrivance enough.  There were also casts of statues that
seemed to be intended for some other monument referring to Revolutionary
times and personages; and with these were intermixed some ideal statues
or groups,--a naked boy playing marbles, very beautiful; a girl with
flowers; the cast of his Orpheus, of which I long ago saw the marble
statue; Adam and Eve; Flora,--all with a good deal of merit, no doubt,
but not a single one that justifies Crawford's reputation, or that
satisfies me of his genius.  They are but commonplaces in marble and
plaster, such as we should not tolerate on a printed page.  He seems to
have been a respectable man, highly respectable, but no more, although
those who knew him seem to have rated him much higher.  It is said that
he exclaimed, not very long before his death, that he had fifteen years
of good work still in him; and he appears to have considered all his life
and labor, heretofore, as only preparatory to the great things that he
was to achieve hereafter.  I should say, on the contrary, that he was a
man who had done his best, and had done it early; for his Orpheus is
quite as good as anything else we saw in his studio.

People were at work chiselling several statues in marble from the plaster
models,--a very interesting process, and which I should think a doubtful
and hazardous one; but the artists say that there is no risk of mischief,
and that the model is sure to be accurately repeated in the marble.
These persons, who do what is considered the mechanical part of the
business, are often themselves sculptors, and of higher reputation than
those who employ them.

It is rather sad to think that Crawford died before he could see his
ideas in the marble, where they gleam with so pure and celestial a light
as compared with the plaster.  There is almost as much difference as
between flesh and spirit.

The floor of one of the rooms was burdened with immense packages,
containing parts of the Washington monument, ready to be forwarded to its
destination.  When finished, and set up, it will probably make a very
splendid appearance, by its height, its mass, its skilful execution; and
will produce a moral effect through its images of illustrious men, and
the associations that connect it with our Revolutionary history; but I do
not think it will owe much to artistic force of thought or depth of
feeling.  It is certainly, in one sense, a very foolish and illogical
piece of work,--Washington, mounted on an uneasy steed, on a very narrow
space, aloft in the air, whence a single step of the horse backward,
forward, or on either side, must precipitate him; and several of his
contemporaries standing beneath him, not looking up to wonder at his
predicament, but each intent on manifesting his own personality to the
world around.  They have nothing to do with one another, nor with
Washington, nor with any great purpose which all are to work out
together.


March 14th.--On Friday evening I dined at Mr. T. B. Read's, the poet and
artist, with a party composed of painters and sculptors,--the only
exceptions being the American banker and an American tourist who has
given Mr. Read a commission.  Next to me at table sat Mr. Gibson, the
English sculptor, who, I suppose, stands foremost in his profession at
this day.  He must be quite an old man now, for it was whispered about
the table that he is known to have been in Rome forty-two years ago, and
he himself spoke to me of spending thirty-seven years here, before he
once returned home.  I should hardly take him to be sixty, however,
his hair being more dark than gray, his forehead unwrinkled, his
features unwithered, his eye undimmed, though his beard is somewhat
venerable. . . .

He has a quiet, self-contained aspect, and, being a bachelor, has
doubtless spent a calm life among his clay and marble, meddling little
with the world, and entangling himself with no cares beyond his studio.
He did not talk a great deal; but enough to show that he is still an
Englishman in many sturdy traits, though his accent has something foreign
about it.  His conversation was chiefly about India, and other topics of
the day, together with a few reminiscences of people in Liverpool, where
he once resided.  There was a kind of simplicity both in his manner and
matter, and nothing very remarkable in the latter. . . .

The gist of what he said (upon art) was condemnatory of the
Pre-Raphaelite modern school of painters, of whom he seemed to spare
none, and of their works nothing; though he allowed that the old
Pre-Raphaelites had some exquisite merits, which the moderns entirely
omit in their imitations.  In his own art, he said the aim should be to
find out the principles on which the Greek sculptors wrought, and to do
the work of this day on those principles and in their spirit; a fair
doctrine enough, I should think, but which Mr. Gibson can scarcely be
said to practise. . . . The difference between the Pre-Raphaelites and
himself is deep and genuine, they being literalists and realists, in a
certain sense, and he a pagan idealist.  Methinks they have hold of the
best end of the matter.


March 18th.--To-day, it being very bright and mild, we set out, at noon,
for an expedition to the Temple of Vesta, though I did not feel much
inclined for walking, having been ill and feverish for two or three days
past with a cold, which keeps renewing itself faster than I can get rid
of it.  We kept along on this side of the Corso, and crossed the Forum,
skirting along the Capitoline Hill, and thence towards the Circus
Maximus.  On our way, looking down a cross street, we saw a heavy arch,
and, on examination, made it out to be the Arch of Janus Quadrifrons,
standing in the Forum Boarium.  Its base is now considerably below the
level of the surrounding soil, and there is a church or basilica close
by, and some mean edifices looking down upon it.  There is something
satisfactory in this arch, from the immense solidity of its structure.
It gives the idea, in the first place, of a solid mass constructed of
huge blocks of marble, which time can never wear away, nor earthquakes
shake down; and then this solid mass is penetrated by two arched
passages, meeting in the centre.  There are empty niches, three in a row,
and, I think, two rows on each face; but there seems to have been very
little effort to make it a beautiful object.  On the top is some
brickwork, the remains of a mediaeval fortress built by the Frangipanis,
looking very frail and temporary being brought thus in contact with the
antique strength of the arch.

A few yards off, across the street, and close beside the basilica, is
what appears to be an ancient portal, with carved bas-reliefs, and an
inscription which I could not make out.  Some Romans were lying dormant
in the sun, on the steps of the basilica; indeed, now that the sun is
getting warmer, they seem to take advantage of every quiet nook to bask
in, and perhaps to go to sleep.

We had gone but a little way from the arch, and across the Circus
Maximus, when we saw the Temple of Vesta before us, on the hank of the
Tiber, which, however, we could not see behind it.  It is a most
perfectly preserved Roman ruin, and very beautiful, though so small that,
in a suitable locality, one would take it rather for a garden-house than
an ancient temple.  A circle of white marble pillars, much time-worn and
a little battered, though but one of them broken, surround the solid
structure of the temple, leaving a circular walk between it and the
pillars, the whole covered by a modern roof which looks like wood, and
disgraces and deforms the elegant little building.  This roof resembles,
as much as anything else, the round wicker cover of a basket, and gives a
very squat aspect to the temple.  The pillars are of the Corinthian
order, and when they were new and the marble snow-white and sharply
carved and cut, there could not have been a prettier object in all Rome;
but so small an edifice does not appear well as a ruin.

Within view of it, and, indeed, a very little way off, is the Temple of
Fortuna Virilis, which likewise retains its antique form in better
preservation than we generally find a Roman ruin, although the Ionic
pillars are now built up with blocks of stone and patches of brickwork,
the whole constituting a church which is fixed against the side of a tall
edifice, the nature of which I do not know.

I forgot to say that we gained admittance into the Temple of Vesta, and
found the interior a plain cylinder of marble, about ten paces across,
and fitted up as a chapel, where the Virgin takes the place of Vesta.

In very close vicinity we came upon the Ponto Rotto, the old Pons Emilius
which was broken down long ago, and has recently been pieced out by
connecting a suspension bridge with the old piers.  We crossed by this
bridge, paying a toll of a baioccho each, and stopped in the midst of the
river to look at the Temple of Vesta, which shows well, right on the
brink of the Tiber.  We fancied, too, that we could discern, a little
farther down the river, the ruined and almost submerged piers of the
Sublician bridge, which Horatius Cocles defended.  The Tiber here whirls
rapidly along, and Horatius must have had a perilous swim for his life,
and the enemy a fair mark at his head with their arrows.  I think this is
the most picturesque part of the Tiber in its passage through Rome.

After crossing the bridge, we kept along the right bank of the river,
through the dirty and hard-hearted streets of Trastevere (which have in
no respect the advantage over those of hither Rome), till we reached St.
Peter's.  We saw a family sitting before their door on the pavement in
the narrow and sunny street, engaged in their domestic avocations,--the
old woman spinning with a wheel.  I suppose the people now begin to live
out of doors.  We entered beneath the colonnade of St. Peter's and
immediately became sensible of an evil odor,--the bad odor of our fallen
nature, which there is no escaping in any nook of Rome. . . .

Between the pillars of the colonnade, however, we had the pleasant
spectacle of the two fountains, sending up their lily-shaped gush, with
rainbows shining in their falling spray.  Parties of French soldiers, as
usual, were undergoing their drill in the piazza.  When we entered the
church, the long, dusty sunbeams were falling aslantwise through the dome
and through the chancel behind it. . . .


March 23d.--On the 21st we all went to the Coliseum, and enjoyed
ourselves there in the bright, warm sun,--so bright and warm that we were
glad to get into the shadow of the walls and under the arches, though,
after all, there was the freshness of March in the breeze that stirred
now and then.  J----- and baby found some beautiful flowers growing round
about the Coliseum; and far up towards the top of the walls we saw tufts
of yellow wall-flowers and a great deal of green grass growing along the
ridges between the arches.  The general aspect of the place, however, is
somewhat bare, and does not compare favorably with an English ruin both
on account of the lack of ivy and because the material is chiefly brick,
the stone and marble having been stolen away by popes and cardinals to
build their palaces.  While we sat within the circle, many people, of
both sexes, passed through, kissing the iron cross which stands in the
centre, thereby gaining an indulgence of seven years, I believe.  In
front of several churches I have seen an inscription in Latin,
"INDULGENTIA PLENARIA ET PERPETUA PRO CUNCTIS MORTUIS ET VIVIS"; than
which, it seems to me, nothing more could be asked or desired.  The terms
of this great boon are not mentioned.

Leaving the Coliseum, we went and sat down in the vicinity of the Arch of
Constantine, and J----- and R----- went in quest of lizards.  J----- soon
caught a large one with two tails; one, a sort of afterthought, or
appendix, or corollary to the original tail, and growing out from it
instead of from the body of the lizard.  These reptiles are very
abundant, and J----- has already brought home several, which make their
escape and appear occasionally darting to and fro on the carpet.  Since
we have been here, J----- has taken up various pursuits in turn.  First
he voted himself to gathering snail-shells, of which there are many
sorts; afterwards he had a fever for marbles, pieces of which he found on
the banks of the Tiber, just on the edge of its muddy waters, and in the
Palace of the Caesars, the Baths of Caracalla, and indeed wherever else
his fancy led him; verde antique, rosso antico, porphyry, giallo antico,
serpentine, sometimes fragments of bas-reliefs and mouldings, bits of
mosaic, still firmly stuck together, on which the foot of a Caesar had
perhaps once trodden; pieces of Roman glass, with the iridescence glowing
on them; and all such things, of which the soil of Rome is full.  It
would not be difficult, from the spoil of his boyish rambles, to furnish
what would be looked upon as a curious and valuable museum in America.

Yesterday we went to the sculpture-galleries of the Vatican.  I think I
enjoy these noble galleries and their contents and beautiful arrangement
better than anything else in the way of art, and often I seem to have a
deep feeling of something wonderful in what I look at.  The Laocoon on
this visit impressed me not less than before; it is such a type of human
beings, struggling with an inextricable trouble, and entangled in a
complication which they cannot free themselves from by their own efforts,
and out of which Heaven alone can help them.  It was a most powerful
mind, and one capable of reducing a complex idea to unity, that imagined
this group.  I looked at Canova's Perseus, and thought it exceedingly
beautiful, but, found myself less and less contented after a moment or
two, though I could not tell why.  Afterwards, looking at the Apollo, the
recollection of the Perseus disgusted me, and yet really I cannot explain
how one is better than the other.

I was interested in looking at the busts of the Triumvirs, Antony,
Augustus, and Lepidus.  The first two are men of intellect, evidently,
though they do not recommend themselves to one's affections by their
physiognomy; but Lepidus has the strangest, most commonplace countenance
that can be imagined,--small-featured, weak, such a face as you meet
anywhere in a man of no mark, but are amazed to find in one of the three
foremost men of the world.  I suppose that it is these weak and shallow
men, when chance raises them above their proper sphere, who commit
enormous crimes without any such restraint as stronger men would feel,
and without any retribution in the depth of their conscience.  These old
Roman busts, of which there are so many in the Vatican, have often a most
lifelike aspect, a striking individuality.  One recognizes them as
faithful portraits, just as certainly as if the living originals were
standing beside them.  The arrangement of the hair and beard too, in many
cases, is just what we see now, the fashions of two thousand years ago
having come round again.


March 25th.--On Tuesday we went to breakfast at William Story's in the
Palazzo Barberini.  We had a very pleasant time.  He is one of the most
agreeable men I know in society.  He showed us a note from Thackeray, an
invitation to dinner, written in hieroglyphics, with great fun and
pictorial merit.  He spoke of an expansion of the story of Blue Beard,
which he himself had either written or thought of writing, in which the
contents of the several chambers which Fatima opened, before arriving at
the fatal one, were to be described.  This idea has haunted my mind ever
since, and if it had but been my own I am pretty sure that it would
develop itself into something very rich.  I mean to press William Story
to work it out.  The chamber of Blue Beard, too (and this was a part of
his suggestion), might be so handled as to become powerfully interesting.
Were I to take up the story I would create an interest by suggesting a
secret in the first chamber, which would develop itself more and more in
every successive hall of the great palace, and lead the wife irresistibly
to the chamber of horrors.

After breakfast, we went to the Barberini Library, passing through the
vast hall, which occupies the central part of the palace.  It is the most
splendid domestic hall I have seen, eighty feet in length at least, and
of proportionate breadth and height; and the vaulted ceiling is entirely
covered, to its utmost edge and remotest corners, with a brilliant
painting in fresco, looking like a whole heaven of angelic people
descending towards the floor.  The effect is indescribably gorgeous.  On
one side stands a Baldacchino, or canopy of state, draped with scarlet
cloth, and fringed with gold embroidery; the scarlet indicating that the
palace is inhabited by a cardinal.  Green would be appropriate to a
prince.  In point of fact, the Palazzo Barberini is inhabited by a
cardinal, a prince, and a duke, all belonging to the Barberini family,
and each having his separate portion of the palace, while their servants
have a common territory and meeting-ground in this noble hall.

After admiring it for a few minutes, we made our exit by a door on the
opposite side, and went up the spiral staircase of marble to the library,
where we were received by an ecclesiastic, who belongs to the Barberini
household, and, I believe, was born in it.  He is a gentle, refined,
quiet-looking man, as well he may be, having spent all his life among
these books, where few people intrude, and few cares can come.  He showed
us a very old Bible in parchment, a specimen of the earliest printing,
beautifully ornamented with pictures, and some monkish illuminations of
indescribable delicacy and elaboration.  No artist could afford to
produce such work, if the life that he thus lavished on one sheet of
parchment had any value to him, either for what could be done or enjoyed
in it.  There are about eight thousand volumes in this library, and,
judging by their outward aspect, the collection must be curious and
valuable; but having another engagement, we could spend only a little
time here.  We had a hasty glance, however, of some poems of Tasso, in
his own autograph.

We then went to the Palazzo Galitzin, where dwell the Misses Weston, with
whom we lunched, and where we met a French abbe, an agreeable man, and an
antiquarian, under whose auspices two of the ladies and ourselves took
carriage for the Castle of St. Angelo.  Being admitted within the
external gateway, we found ourselves in the court of guard, as I presume
it is called, where the French soldiers were playing with very dirty
cards, or lounging about, in military idleness.  They were well behaved
and courteous, and when we had intimated our wish to see the interior of
the castle, a soldier soon appeared, with a large unlighted torch in his
hand, ready to guide us.  There is an outer wall, surrounding the solid
structure of Hadrian's tomb; to which there is access by one or two
drawbridges; the entrance to the tomb, or castle, not being at the base,
but near its central height.  The ancient entrance, by which Hadrian's
ashes, and those of other imperial personages, were probably brought into
this tomb, has been walled up,--perhaps ever since the last emperor was
buried here.  We were now in a vaulted passage, both lofty and broad,
which circles round the whole interior of the tomb, from the base to the
summit.  During many hundred years, the passage was filled with earth and
rubbish, and forgotten, and it is but partly excavated, even now;
although we found it a long, long and gloomy descent by torchlight to the
base of the vast mausoleum.  The passage was once lined and vaulted with
precious marbles (which are now entirely gone), and paved with fine
mosaics, portions of which still remain; and our guide lowered his
flaming torch to show them to us, here and there, amid the earthy
dampness over which we trod.  It is strange to think what splendor and
costly adornment were here wasted on the dead.

After we had descended to the bottom of this passage, and again retraced
our steps to the highest part, the guide took a large cannon-ball, and
sent it, with his whole force, rolling down the hollow, arched way,
rumbling, and reverberating, and bellowing forth long thunderous echoes,
and winding up with a loud, distant crash, that seemed to come from the
very bowels of the earth.

We saw the place, near the centre of the mausoleum, and lighted from
above, through an immense thickness of stone and brick, where the ashes
of the emperor and his fellow-slumberers were found.  It is as much as
twelve centuries, very likely, since they were scattered to the winds,
for the tomb has been nearly or quite that space of time a fortress; The
tomb itself is merely the base and foundation of the castle, and, being
so massively built, it serves just as well for the purpose as if it were
a solid granite rock.  The mediaeval fortress, with its antiquity of more
than a thousand years, and having dark and deep dungeons of its own, is
but a modern excrescence on the top of Hadrian's tomb.

We now ascended towards the upper region, and were led into the vaults
which used to serve as a prison, but which, if I mistake not, are
situated above the ancient structure, although they seem as damp and
subterranean as if they were fifty feet under the earth.  We crept down
to them through narrow and ugly passages, which the torchlight would not
illuminate, and, stooping under a low, square entrance, we followed the
guide into a small, vaulted room,--not a room, but an artificial cavern,
remote from light or air, where Beatrice Cenci was confined before her
execution.  According to the abbe, she spent a whole year in this
dreadful pit, her trial having dragged on through that length of time.
How ghostlike she must have looked when she came forth!  Guido never
painted that beautiful picture from her blanched face, as it appeared
after this confinement.  And how rejoiced she must have been to die at
last, having already been in a sepulchre so long!

Adjacent to Beatrice's prison, but not communicating with it, was that of
her step-mother; and next to the latter was one that interested me almost
as much as Beatrice's,--that of Benvenuto Cellini, who was confined here,
I believe, for an assassination.  All these prison vaults are more
horrible than can be imagined without seeing them; but there are worse
places here, for the guide lifted a trap-door in one of the passages, and
held his torch down into an inscrutable pit beneath our feet.  It was an
oubliette, a dungeon where the prisoner might be buried alive, and never
come forth again, alive or dead.  Groping about among these sad
precincts, we saw various other things that looked very dismal; but at
last emerged into the sunshine, and ascended from one platform and
battlement to another, till we found ourselves right at the feet of the
Archangel Michael.  He has stood there in bronze for I know not how many
hundred years, in the act of sheathing a (now) rusty sword, such being
the attitude in which he appeared to one of the popes in a vision, in
token that a pestilence which was then desolating Rome was to be stayed.

There is a fine view from the lofty station over Rome and the whole
adjacent country, and the abbe pointed out the site of Ardea, of
Corioli, of Veii, and other places renowned in story.  We were ushered,
too, into the French commandant's quarters in the castle.  There is
a large hall, ornamented with frescos, and accessible from this a
drawing-room, comfortably fitted up, and where we saw modern furniture,
and a chess-board, and a fire burning clear, and other symptoms that the
place had perhaps just been vacated by civilized and kindly people.  But
in one corner of the ceiling the abbe pointed out a ring, by which, in
the times of mediaeval anarchy, when popes, cardinals, and barons were
all by the ears together, a cardinal was hanged.  It was not an
assassination, but a legal punishment, and he was executed in the best
apartment of the castle as an act of grace.

The fortress is a straight-lined structure on the summit of the immense
round tower of Hadrian's tomb; and to make out the idea of it we must
throw in drawbridges, esplanades, piles of ancient marble balls for
cannon; battlements and embrasures, lying high in the breeze and
sunshine, and opening views round the whole horizon; accommodation for
the soldiers; and many small beds in a large room.

How much mistaken was the emperor in his expectation of a stately, solemn
repose for his ashes through all the coming centuries, as long as the
world should endure!  Perhaps his ghost glides up and down disconsolate,
in that spiral passage which goes from top to bottom of the tomb, while
the barbarous Gauls plant themselves in his very mausoleum to keep the
imperial city in awe.

Leaving the Castle of St. Angelo, we drove, still on the same side of the
Tiber, to the Villa Pamfili, which lies a short distance beyond the
walls.  As we passed through one of the gates (I think it was that of San
Pancrazio) the abbe pointed out the spot where the Constable de Bourbon
was killed while attempting to scale the walls.  If we are to believe
Benvenuto Cellini, it was he who shot the constable.  The road to the
villa is not very interesting, lying (as the roads in the vicinity of
Rome often do) between very high walls, admitting not a glimpse of the
surrounding country; the road itself white and dusty, with no verdant
margin of grass or border of shrubbery.  At the portal of the villa we
found many carriages in waiting, for the Prince Doria throws open the
grounds to all comers, and on a pleasant day like this they are probably
sure to be thronged.  We left our carriage just within the entrance, and
rambled among these beautiful groves, admiring the live-oak trees, and
the stone-pines, which latter are truly a majestic tree, with tall
columnar stems, supporting a cloud-like density of boughs far aloft, and
not a straggling branch between there and the ground.  They stand in
straight rows, but are now so ancient and venerable as to have lost the
formal look of a plantation, and seem like a wood that might have
arranged itself almost of its own will.  Beneath them is a flower-strewn
turf, quite free of underbrush.  We found open fields and lawns,
moreover, all abloom with anemones, white and rose-colored and purple and
golden, and far larger than could be found out of Italy, except in
hot-houses.  Violets, too, were abundant and exceedingly fragrant.  When
we consider that all this floral exuberance occurs in the midst of March,
there does not appear much ground for complaining of the Roman climate;
and so long ago as the first week of February I found daisies among the
grass, on the sunny side of the Basilica of St. John Lateran.  At this
very moment I suppose the country within twenty miles of Boston may be
two feet deep with snow, and the streams solid with ice.

We wandered about the grounds, and found them very beautiful indeed;
nature having done much for them by an undulating variety of surface, and
art having added a good many charms, which have all the better effect now
that decay and neglect have thrown a natural grace over them likewise.
There is an artificial ruin, so picturesque that it betrays itself;
weather-beaten statues, and pieces of sculpture, scattered here and
there; an artificial lake, with upgushing fountains; cascades, and
broad-bosomed coves, and long, canal-like reaches, with swans taking
their delight upon them.  I never saw such a glorious and resplendent
lustre of white as shone between the wings of two of these swans.  It was
really a sight to see, and not to be imagined beforehand.  Angels, no
doubt, have just such lustrous wings as those.  English swans partake of
the dinginess of the atmosphere, and their plumage has nothing at all to
be compared to this; in fact, there is nothing like it in the world,
unless it be the illuminated portion of a fleecy, summer cloud.

While we were sauntering along beside this piece of water, we were
surprised to see U---- on the other side.  She had come hither with E----
S------ and her two little brothers, and with our R-----, the whole under
the charge of Mrs. Story's nursery-maids.  U---- and E---- crossed, not
over, but beneath the water, through a grotto, and exchanged greetings
with us.  Then, as it was getting towards sunset and cool, we took our
departure; the abbe, as we left the grounds, taking me aside to give me a
glimpse of a Columbarium, which descends into the earth to about the
depth to which an ordinary house might rise above it.  These grounds, it
is said, formed the country residence of the Emperor Galba, and he was
buried here after his assassination.  It is a sad thought that so much
natural beauty and long refinement of picturesque culture is thrown away,
the villa being uninhabitable during all the most delightful season of
the year on account of malaria.  There is truly a curse on Rome and all
its neighborhood.

On our way home we passed by the great Paolina fountain, and were
assailed by many beggars during the short time we stopped to look at it.
It is a very copious fountain, but not so beautiful as the Trevi, taking
into view merely the water-gush of the latter.


March 26th.--Yesterday, between twelve and one, our whole family went to
the Villa Ludovisi, the entrance to which is at the termination of a
street which passes out of the Piazza Barberini, and it is no very great
distance from our own street, Via Porta Pinciana.  The grounds, though
very extensive, are wholly within the walls of the city, which skirt
them, and comprise a part of what were formerly the gardens of Sallust.
The villa is now the property of Prince Piombini, a ticket from whom
procured us admission.  A little within the gateway, to the right, is a
casino, containing two large rooms filled with sculpture, much of which
is very valuable.  A colossal head of Juno, I believe, is considered the
greatest treasure of the collection, but I did not myself feel it to be
so, nor indeed did I receive any strong impression of its excellence.  I
admired nothing so much, I think, as the face of Penelope (if it be her
face) in the group supposed also to represent Electra and Orestes.  The
sitting statue of Mars is very fine; so is the Arria and Paetus; so are
many other busts and figures.

By and by we left the casino and wandered among the grounds, threading
interminable alleys of cypress, through the long vistas of which we could
see here and there a statue, an urn, a pillar, a temple, or garden-house,
or a bas-relief against the wall.  It seems as if there must have been a
time, and not so very long ago,--when it was worth while to spend money
and thought upon the ornamentation of grounds in the neighborhood of
Rome.  That time is past, however, and the result is very melancholy; for
great beauty has been produced, but it can be enjoyed in its perfection
only at the peril of one's life. . . . For my part, and judging from my
own experience, I suspect that the Roman atmosphere, never wholesome, is
always more or less poisonous.

We came to another and larger casino remote from the gateway, in which
the Prince resides during two months of the year.  It was now under
repair, but we gained admission, as did several other visitors, and saw
in the entrance-hall the Aurora of Guercino, painted in fresco on the
ceiling.  There is beauty in the design; but the painter certainly was
most unhappy in his black shadows, and in the work before us they give
the impression of a cloudy and lowering morning which is likely enough to
turn to rain by and by.  After viewing the fresco we mounted by a spiral
staircase to a lofty terrace, and found Rome at our feet, and, far off,
the Sabine and Alban mountains, some of them still capped with snow.  In
another direction there was a vast plain, on the horizon of which, could
our eyes have reached to its verge, we might perhaps have seen the
Mediterranean Sea.  After enjoying the view and the warm sunshine we
descended, and went in quest of the gardens of Sallust, but found no
satisfactory remains of them.

One of the most striking objects in the first casino was a group by
Bernini,--Pluto, an outrageously masculine and strenuous figure, heavily
bearded, ravishing away a little, tender Proserpine, whom he holds aloft,
while his forcible gripe impresses itself into her soft virgin flesh.  It
is very disagreeable, but it makes one feel that Bernini was a man of
great ability.  There are some works in literature that bear an analogy
to his works in sculpture, when great power is lavished a little outside
of nature, and therefore proves to be only a fashion,--and not
permanently adapted to the tastes of mankind.


March 27th.--Yesterday forenoon my wife and I went to St. Peter's to see
the pope pray at the chapel of the Holy Sacrament.  We found a good many
people in the church, but not an inconvenient number; indeed, not so many
as to make any remarkable show in the great nave, nor even in front of
the chapel.  A detachment of the Swiss Guard, in their strange,
picturesque, harlequin-like costume, were on duty before the chapel, in
which the wax tapers were all lighted, and a prie-dieu was arranged near
the shrine, and covered with scarlet velvet.  On each side, along the
breadth of the side aisle, were placed seats, covered with rich tapestry
or carpeting; and some gentlemen and ladies--English, probably, or
American--had comfortably deposited themselves here, but were compelled
to move by the guards before the pope's entrance.  His Holiness should
have appeared precisely at twelve, but we waited nearly half an hour
beyond that time; and it seemed to me particularly ill-mannered in the
pope, who owes the courtesy of being punctual to the people, if not to
St. Peter.  By and by, however, there was a stir; the guard motioned to
us to stand away from the benches, against the backs of which we had been
leaning; the spectators in the nave looked towards the door, as if they
beheld something approaching; and first, there appeared some cardinals,
in scarlet skull-caps and purple robes, intermixed with some of the Noble
Guard and other attendants.  It was not a very formal and stately
procession, but rather straggled onward, with ragged edges, the
spectators standing aside to let it pass, and merely bowing, or perhaps
slightly bending the knee, as good Catholics are accustomed to do when
passing before the shrines of saints.  Then, in the midst of the purple
cardinals, all of whom were gray-haired men, appeared a stout old man,
with a white skull-cap, a scarlet, gold-embroidered cape falling over
his shoulders, and a white silk robe, the train of which was borne up by
an attendant.  He walked slowly, with a sort of dignified movement,
stepping out broadly, and planting his feet (on which were red shoes)
flat upon the pavement, as if he were not much accustomed to locomotion,
and perhaps had known a twinge of the gout.  His face was kindly
and venerable, but not particularly impressive.  Arriving at the
scarlet-covered prie-dieu, he kneeled down and took off his white
skull-cap; the cardinals also kneeled behind and on either side of him,
taking off their scarlet skull-caps; while the Noble Guard remained
standing, six on one side of his Holiness and six on the other.  The pope
bent his head upon the prie-dieu, and seemed to spend three or four
minutes in prayer; then rose, and all the purple cardinals, and bishops,
and priests, of whatever degree, rose behind and beside him.  Next, he
went to kiss St. Peter's toe; at least I believe he kissed it, but I was
not near enough to be certain; and lastly, he knelt down, and directed
his devotions towards the high altar.  This completed the ceremonies, and
his Holiness left the church by a side door, making a short passage into
the Vatican.

I am very glad I have seen the pope, because now he may be crossed out of
the list of sights to be seen.  His proximity impressed me kindly and
favorably towards him, and I did not see one face among all his cardinals
(in whose number, doubtless, is his successor) which I would so soon
trust as that of Pio Nono.

This morning I walked as far as the gate of San Paolo, and, on
approaching it, I saw the gray sharp pyramid of Caius Cestius pointing
upward close to the two dark-brown, battlemented Gothic towers of the
gateway, each of these very different pieces of architecture looking the
more picturesque for the contrast of the other.  Before approaching the
gateway and pyramid, I walked onward, and soon came in sight of Monte
Testaccio, the artificial hill made of potsherds.  There is a gate
admitting into the grounds around the hill, and a road encircling its
base.  At a distance, the hill looks greener than any other part of the
landscape, and has all the curved outlines of a natural hill, resembling
in shape a headless sphinx, or Saddleback Mountain, as I used to see it
from Lenox.  It is of very considerable height,--two or three hundred
feet at least, I should say,--and well entitled, both by its elevation
and the space it covers, to be reckoned among the hills of Rome.  Its
base is almost entirely surrounded with small structures, which seem to
be used as farm-buildings.  On the summit is a large iron cross, the
Church having thought it expedient to redeem these shattered pipkins from
the power of paganism, as it has so many other Roman ruins.  There was a
pathway up the hill, but I did not choose to ascend it under the hot sun,
so steeply did it clamber up.  There appears to be a good depth of soil
on most parts of Monte Testaccio, but on some of the sides you observe
precipices, bristling with fragments of red or brown earthenware, or
pieces of vases of white unglazed clay; and it is evident that this
immense pile is entirely composed of broken crockery, which I should
hardly have thought would have aggregated to such a heap had it all been
thrown here,--urns, teacups, porcelain, or earthen,--since the beginning
of the world.

I walked quite round the hill, and saw, at no great distance from it, the
enclosure of the Protestant burial-ground, which lies so close to the
pyramid of Caius Cestius that the latter may serve as a general monument
to the dead.  Deferring, for the present, a visit to the cemetery, or to
the interior of the pyramid, I returned to the gateway of San Paolo, and,
passing through it, took a view of it from the outside of the city wall.
It is itself a portion of the wall, having been built into it by the
Emperor Aurelian, so that about half of it lies within and half without.
The brick or red stone material of the wall being so unlike the marble of
the pyramid, the latter is as distinct, and seems as insulated, as if it
stood alone in the centre of a plain; and really I do not think there is
a more striking architectural object in Rome.  It is in perfect
condition, just as little ruined or decayed as on the day when the
builder put the last peak on the summit; and it ascends steeply from its
base, with a point so sharp that it looks as if it would hardly afford
foothold to a bird.  The marble was once white, but is now covered with a
gray coating like that which has gathered upon the statues of Castor and
Pollux on Monte Cavallo.  Not one of the great blocks is displaced, nor
seems likely to be through all time to come.  They rest one upon another,
in straight and even lines, and present a vast smooth triangle, ascending
from a base of a hundred feet, and narrowing to an apex at the height of
a hundred and twenty-five, the junctures of the marble slabs being so
close that, in all these twenty centuries, only a few little tufts of
grass, and a trailing plant or two, have succeeded in rooting themselves
into the interstices.

It is good and satisfactory to see anything which, being built for an
enduring monument, has endured so faithfully, and has a prospect of such
an interminable futurity before it.  Once, indeed, it seemed likely to be
buried; for three hundred years ago it had become covered to the depth of
sixteen feet, but the soil has since been dug away from its base, which
is now lower than that of the road which passes through the neighboring
gate of San Paolo.  Midway up the pyramid, cut in the marble, is an
inscription in large Roman letters, still almost as legible as when first
wrought.

I did not return through the Paolo gateway, but kept onward, round the
exterior of the wall, till I came to the gate of San Sebastiano.  It was
a hot and not a very interesting walk, with only a high bare wall of
brick, broken by frequent square towers, on one side of the road, and a
bank and hedge or a garden wall on the other.  Roman roads are most
inhospitable, offering no shade, and no seat, and no pleasant views of
rustic domiciles; nothing but the wheel-track of white dust, without a
foot path running by its side, and seldom any grassy margin to refresh
the wayfarer's feet.


April 3d.--A few days ago we visited the studio of Mr. ------, an
American, who seems to have a good deal of vogue as a sculptor.  We found
a figure of Pocahontas, which he has repeated several times; another,
which he calls "The Wept of the Wish-ton-Wish," a figure of a smiling
girl playing with a cat and dog, and a schoolboy mending a pen.  These
two last were the only ones that gave me any pleasure, or that really had
any merit; for his cleverness and ingenuity appear in homely subjects,
but are quite lost in attempts at a higher ideality.  Nevertheless, he
has a group of the Prodigal Son, possessing more merit than I should have
expected from Mr. ------, the son reclining his head on his father's
breast, with an expression of utter weariness, at length finding perfect
rest, while the father bends his benign countenance over him, and seems
to receive him calmly into himself.  This group (the plaster-cast
standing beside it) is now taking shape out of an immense block of
marble, and will be as indestructible as the Laocoon; an idea at once
awful and ludicrous, when we consider that it is at best but a
respectable production.  I have since been told that Mr. ------ had
stolen, adopted, we will rather say, the attitude and idea of the group
from one executed by a student of the French Academy, and to be seen
there in plaster.  (We afterwards saw it in the Medici Casino.)

Mr. ------ has now been ten years in Italy, and, after all this time, he
is still entirely American in everything but the most external surface of
his manners; scarcely Europeanized, or much modified even in that.  He is
a native of ------, but had his early breeding in New York, and might,
for any polish or refinement that I can discern in him, still be a
country shopkeeper in the interior of New York State or New England.  How
strange!  For one expects to find the polish, the close grain and white
purity of marble, in the artist who works in that noble material; but,
after all, he handles club, and, judging by the specimens I have seen
here, is apt to be clay, not of the finest, himself.  Mr. ------ is
sensible, shrewd, keen, clever; an ingenious workman, no doubt; with tact
enough, and not destitute of taste; very agreeable and lively in his
conversation, talking as fast and as naturally as a brook runs, without
the slightest affectation.  His naturalness is, in fact, a rather
striking characteristic, in view of his lack of culture, while yet his
life has been concerned with idealities and a beautiful art.  What degree
of taste he pretends to, he seems really to possess, nor did I hear a
single idea from him that struck me as otherwise than sensible.

He called to see us last evening, and talked for about two hours in a
very amusing and interesting style, his topics being taken from his own
personal experience, and shrewdly treated.  He spoke much of Greenough,
whom he described as an excellent critic of art, but possessed of not the
slightest inventive genius.  His statue of Washington, at the Capitol, is
taken precisely from the Plodian Jupiter; his Chanting Cherubs are copied
in marble from two figures in a picture by Raphael.  He did nothing that
was original with himself  To-day we took R-----, and went to see Miss
------, and as her studio seems to be mixed up with Gibson's, we had an
opportunity of glancing at some of his beautiful works.  We saw a Venus
and a Cupid, both of them tinted; and, side by side with them, other
statues identical with these, except that the marble was left in its pure
whiteness.

We found Miss ------ in a little upper room.  She has a small, brisk,
wide-awake figure, not ungraceful; frank, simple, straightforward, and
downright.  She had on a robe, I think, but I did not look so low, my
attention being chiefly drawn to a sort of man's sack of purple or
plum-colored broadcloth, into the side-pockets of which her hands were
thrust as she came forward to greet us.  She withdrew one hand, however,
and presented it cordially to my wife (whom she already knew) and to
myself, without waiting for an introduction.  She had on a shirt-front,
collar, and cravat like a man's, with a brooch of Etruscan gold, and on
her curly head was a picturesque little cap of black velvet, and her face
was as bright and merry, and as small of feature as a child's.  It looked
in one aspect youthful, and yet there was something worn in it too.
There never was anything so jaunty as her movement and action; she was
very peculiar, but she seemed to be her actual self, and nothing affected
or made up; so that, for my part, I gave her full leave to wear what may
suit her best, and to behave as her inner woman prompts.  I don't quite
see, however, what she is to do when she grows older, for the decorum of
age will not be consistent with a costume that looks pretty and excusable
enough in a young woman.

Miss ------ led us into a part of the extensive studio, or collection of
studios, where some of her own works were to be seen: Beatrice Cenci,
which did not very greatly impress me; and a monumental design, a female
figure,--wholly draped even to the stockings and shoes,--in a quiet
sleep.  I liked this last.  There was also a Puck, doubtless full of fun;
but I had hardly time to glance at it.  Miss ------ evidently has good
gifts in her profession, and doubtless she derives great advantage from
her close association with a consummate artist like Gibson; nor yet does
his influence seem to interfere with the originality of her own
conceptions.  In one way, at least, she can hardly fail to profit,--that
is, by the opportunity of showing her works to the throngs of people who
go to see Gibson's own; and these are just such people as an artist would
most desire to meet, and might never see in a lifetime, if left to
himself.  I shook hands with this frank and pleasant little person, and
took leave, not without purpose of seeing her again.

Within a few days, there have been many pilgrims in Rome, who come hither
to attend the ceremonies of holy week, and to perform their vows, and
undergo their penances.  I saw two of them near the Forum yesterday, with
their pilgrim staves, in the fashion of a thousand years ago. . . . I
sat down on a bench near one of the chapels, and a woman immediately came
up to me to beg.  I at first refused; but she knelt down by my side, and
instead of praying to the saint prayed to me; and, being thus treated as
a canonized personage, I thought it incumbent on me to be gracious to the
extent of half a paul.  My wife, some time ago, came in contact with a
pickpocket at the entrance of a church; and, failing in his enterprise
upon her purse, he passed in, dipped his thieving fingers in the holy
water, and paid his devotions at a shrine.  Missing the purse, he said
his prayers, in the hope, perhaps, that the saint would send him better
luck another time.


April 10th.--I have made no entries in my journal recently, being
exceedingly lazy, partly from indisposition, as well as from an
atmosphere that takes the vivacity out of everybody.  Not much has
happened or been effected.  Last Sunday, which was Easter Sunday, I went
with J----- to St. Peter's, where we arrived at about nine o'clock, and
found a multitude of people already assembled in the church.  The
interior was arrayed in festal guise, there being a covering of scarlet
damask over the pilasters of the nave, from base to capital, giving an
effect of splendor, yet with a loss as to the apparent dimensions of the
interior.  A guard of soldiers occupied the nave, keeping open a wide
space for the passage of a procession that was momently expected, and
soon arrived.  The crowd was too great to allow of my seeing it in
detail; but I could perceive that there were priests, cardinals, Swiss
guards, some of them with corselets on, and by and by the pope himself
was borne up the nave, high over the heads of all, sitting under a
canopy, crowned with his tiara.  He floated slowly along, and was set
down in the neighborhood of the high altar; and the procession being
broken up, some of its scattered members might be seen here and there,
about the church,--officials in antique Spanish dresses; Swiss guards, in
polished steel breastplates; serving-men, in richly embroidered liveries;
officers, in scarlet coats and military boots; priests, and divers other
shapes of men; for the papal ceremonies seem to forego little or nothing
that belongs to times past, while it includes everything appertaining to
the present.  I ought to have waited to witness the papal benediction
from the balcony in front of the church; or, at least, to hear the famous
silver trumpets, sounding from the dome; but J----- grew weary (to say
the truth, so did I), and we went on a long walk, out of the nearest city
gate, and back through the Janiculum, and, finally, homeward over the
Ponto Rotto.  Standing on the bridge, I saw the arch of the Cloaca
Maxima, close by the Temple of Vesta, with the water rising within two or
three feet of its keystone.

The same evening we went to Monte Cavallo, where, from the gateway of the
Pontifical Palace, we saw the illumination of St. Peter's.  Mr. Akers,
the sculptor, had recommended this position to us, and accompanied us
thither, as the best point from which the illumination could be witnessed
at a distance, without the incommodity of such a crowd as would be
assembled at the Pincian.  The first illumination, the silver one, as it
is called, was very grand and delicate, describing the outline of the
great edifice and crowning dome in light; while the day was not yet
wholly departed.  As ------ finally remarked, it seemed like the
glorified spirit of the Church, made visible, or, as I will add, it
looked as this famous and never-to-be-forgotten structure will look to
the imaginations of men, through the waste and gloom of future ages,
after it shall have gone quite to decay and ruin: the brilliant, though
scarcely distinct gleam of a statelier dome than ever was seen, shining
on the background of the night of Time.  This simile looked prettier in
my fancy than I have made it look on paper.

After we had enjoyed the silver illumination a good while, and when all
the daylight had given place to the constellated night, the distant
outline of St. Peter's burst forth, in the twinkling of an eye, into a
starry blaze, being quite the finest effect that I ever witnessed.  I
stayed to see it, however, only a few minutes; for I was quite ill and
feverish with a cold,--which, indeed, I have seldom been free from, since
my first breathing of the genial atmosphere of Rome.  This pestilence
kept me within doors all the next day, and prevented me from seeing the
beautiful fireworks that were exhibited in the evening from the platform
on the Pincian, above the Piazza del Popolo.

On Thursday, I paid another visit to the sculpture-gallery of the
Capitol, where I was particularly struck with a bust of Cato the Censor,
who must have been the most disagreeable, stubborn, ugly-tempered,
pig-headed, narrow-minded, strong-willed old Roman that ever lived.  The
collection of busts here and at the Vatican are most interesting, many of
the individual heads being full of character, and commending themselves
by intrinsic evidence as faithful portraits of the originals.  These
stone people have stood face to face with Caesar, and all the other
emperors, and with statesmen, soldiers, philosophers, and poets of the
antique world, and have been to them like their reflections in a mirror.
It is the next thing to seeing the men themselves.

We went afterwards into the Palace of the Conservatori, and saw, among
various other interesting things, the bronze wolf suckling Romulus and
Remus, who sit beneath her dugs, with open mouths to receive the milk.

On Friday, we all went to see the Pope's Palace on the Quirinal.  There
was a vast hall, and an interminable suite of rooms, cased with marble,
floored with marble or mosaics or inlaid wood, adorned with frescos on
the vaulted ceilings, and many of them lined with Gobelin tapestry; not
wofully faded, like almost all that I have hitherto seen, but brilliant
as pictures.  Indeed, some of them so closely resembled paintings, that I
could hardly believe they were not so; and the effect was even richer
than that of oil-paintings.  In every room there was a crucifix; but I
did not see a single nook or corner where anybody could have dreamed of
being comfortable.  Nevertheless, as a stately and solemn residence for
his Holiness, it is quite a satisfactory affair.  Afterwards, we went
into the Pontifical Gardens, connected with the palace.  They are very
extensive, and laid out in straight avenues, bordered with walls of box,
as impervious as if of stone,--not less than twenty feet high, and
pierced with lofty archways, cut in the living wall.  Some of the avenues
were overshadowed with trees, the tops of which bent over and joined one
another from either side, so as to resemble a side aisle of a Gothic
cathedral.  Marble sculptures, much weather-stained, and generally
broken-nosed, stood along these stately walks; there were many fountains
gushing up into the sunshine; we likewise found a rich flower-garden,
containing rare specimens of exotic flowers, and gigantic cactuses, and
also an aviary, with vultures, doves, and singing birds.  We did not see
half the garden, but, stiff and formal as its general arrangement is, it
is a beautiful place,--a delightful, sunny, and serene seclusion.
Whatever it may be to the pope, two young lovers might find the Garden of
Eden here, and never desire to stray out of its precincts.  They might
fancy angels standing in the long, glimmering vistas of the avenues.

It would suit me well enough to have my daily walk along such straight
paths, for I think them favorable to thought, which is apt to be
disturbed by variety and unexpectedness.


April 12th.--We all, except R-----, went to-day to the Vatican, where we
found our way to the Stanze of Raphael, these being four rooms, or halls,
painted with frescos.  No doubt they were once very brilliant and
beautiful; but they have encountered hard treatment since Raphael's time,
especially when the soldiers of the Constable de Bourbon occupied these
apartments, and made fires on the mosaic floors.  The entire walls and
ceilings are covered with pictures; but the handiwork or designs of
Raphael consist of paintings on the four sides of each room, and include
several works of art.  The School of Athens is perhaps the most
celebrated; and the longest side of the largest hall is occupied by a
battle-piece, of which the Emperor Constantine is the hero, and which
covers almost space enough for a real battle-field.  There was a
wonderful light in one of the pictures,--that of St. Peter awakened in
his prison, by the angel; it really seemed to throw a radiance into the
hall below.  I shall not pretend, however, to have been sensible of any
particular rapture at the sight of these frescos; so faded as they are,
so battered by the mischances of years, insomuch that, through all the
power and glory of Raphael's designs, the spectator cannot but be
continually sensible that the groundwork of them is an old plaster wall.
They have been scrubbed, I suppose,--brushed, at least,--a thousand times
over, till the surface, brilliant or soft, as Raphael left it, must have
been quite rubbed off, and with it, all the consummate finish, and
everything that made them originally delightful.  The sterner features
remain, the skeleton of thought, but not the beauty that once clothed it.
In truth, the frescos, excepting a few figures, never had the real touch
of Raphael's own hand upon them, having been merely designed by him, and
finished by his scholars, or by other artists.

The halls themselves are specimens of antique magnificence, paved with
elaborate mosaics; and wherever there is any wood-work, it is richly
carved with foliage and figures.  In their newness, and probably for a
hundred years afterwards, there could not have been so brilliant a suite
of rooms in the world.

Connected with them--at any rate, not far distant--is the little Chapel
of San Lorenzo, the very site of which, among the thousands of apartments
of the Vatican, was long forgotten, and its existence only known by
tradition.  After it had been walled up, however, beyond the memory of
man, there was still a rumor of some beautiful frescos by Fra Angelico,
in an old chapel of Pope Nicholas V., that had strangely disappeared out
of the palace, and, search at length being made, it was discovered, and
entered through a window.  It is a small, lofty room, quite covered over
with frescos of sacred subjects, both on the walls and ceiling, a good
deal faded, yet pretty distinctly preserved.  It would have been no
misfortune to me, if the little old chapel had remained still hidden.

We next issued into the Loggie, which consist of a long gallery, or
arcade or colonnade, the whole extent of which was once beautifully
adorned by Raphael.  These pictures are almost worn away, and so defaced
as to be untraceable and unintelligible, along the side wall of the
gallery; although traceries of Arabesque, and compartments where there
seem to have been rich paintings, but now only an indistinguishable waste
of dull color, are still to be seen.  In the coved ceiling, however,
there are still some bright frescos, in better preservation than any
others; not particularly beautiful, nevertheless.  I remember to have
seen (indeed, we ourselves possess them) a series of very spirited and
energetic engravings, old and coarse, of these frescos, the subject being
the Creation, and the early Scripture history; and I really think that
their translation of the pictures is better than the original.  On
reference to Murray, I find that little more than the designs is
attributed to Raphael, the execution being by Giulio Romano and other
artists.

Escaping from these forlorn splendors, we went into the
sculpture-gallery, where I was able to enjoy, in some small degree, two
or three wonderful works of art; and had a perception that there were a
thousand other wonders around me.  It is as if the statues kept, for the
most part, a veil about them, which they sometimes withdraw, and let
their beauty gleam upon my sight; only a glimpse, or two or three
glimpses, or a little space of calm enjoyment, and then I see nothing but
a discolored marble image again.  The Minerva Medica revealed herself
to-day.  I wonder whether other people are more fortunate than myself,
and can invariably find their way to the inner soul of a work of art.  I
doubt it; they look at these things for just a minute, and pass on,
without any pang of remorse, such as I feel, for quitting them so soon
and so willingly.  I am partly sensible that some unwritten rules of
taste are making their way into my mind; that all this Greek beauty has
done something towards refining me, though I am still, however, a very
sturdy Goth. . . .


April 15th.--Yesterday I went with J----- to the Forum, and descended
into the excavations at the base of the Capitol, and on the site of the
Basilica of Julia.  The essential elements of old Rome are there:
columns, single, or in groups of two or three, still erect, but battered
and bruised at some forgotten time with infinite pains and labor;
fragments of other columns lying prostrate, together with rich capitals
and friezes; the bust of a colossal female statue, showing the bosom and
upper part of the arms, but headless; a long, winding space of pavement,
forming part of the ancient ascent to the Capitol, still as firm and
solid as ever; the foundation of the Capitol itself, wonderfully massive,
built of immense square blocks of stone, doubtless three thousand years
old, and durable for whatever may be the lifetime of the world; the Arch
of Septimius, Severus, with bas-reliefs of Eastern wars; the Column of
Phocas, with the rude series of steps ascending on four sides to its
pedestal; the floor of beautiful and precious marbles in the Basilica of
Julia, the slabs cracked across,--the greater part of them torn up and
removed, the grass and weeds growing up through the chinks of what
remain; heaps of bricks, shapeless bits of granite, and other ancient
rubbish, among which old men are lazily rummaging for specimens that a
stranger may be induced to buy,--this being an employment that suits the
indolence of a modern Roman.  The level of these excavations is about
fifteen feet, I should judge, below the present street, which passes
through the Forum, and only a very small part of this alien surface has
been removed, though there can be no doubt that it hides numerous
treasures of art and monuments of history.  Yet these remains do not make
that impression of antiquity upon me which Gothic ruins do.  Perhaps it
is so because they belong to quite another system of society and epoch of
time, and, in view of them, we forget all that has intervened betwixt
them and us; being morally unlike and disconnected with them, and not
belonging to the same train of thought; so that we look across a gulf to
the Roman ages, and do not realize how wide the gulf is.  Yet in that
intervening valley lie Christianity, the Dark Ages, the feudal system,
chivalry and romance, and a deeper life of the human race than Rome
brought to the verge of the gulf.

To-day we went to the Colonna Palace, where we saw some fine pictures,
but, I think, no masterpieces.  They did not depress and dishearten me so
much as the pictures in Roman palaces usually do; for they were in
remarkably good order as regards frames and varnish; indeed, I rather
suspect some of them had been injured by the means adopted to preserve
their beauty.  The palace is now occupied by the French Ambassador, who
probably looks upon the pictures as articles of furniture and household
adornment, and does not choose to have squares of black and forlorn
canvas upon his walls.  There were a few noble portraits by Vandyke; a
very striking one by Holbein, one or two by Titian, also by Guercino, and
some pictures by Rubens, and other forestieri painters, which refreshed
my weary eyes.  But--what chiefly interested me was the magnificent and
stately hall of the palace; fifty-five of my paces in length, besides a
large apartment at either end, opening into it through a pillared space,
as wide as the gateway of a city.  The pillars are of giallo antico, and
there are pilasters of the same all the way up and down the walls,
forming a perspective of the richest aspect, especially as the broad
cornice flames with gilding, and the spaces between the pilasters are
emblazoned with heraldic achievements and emblems in gold, and there are
Venetian looking-glasses, richly decorated over the surface with
beautiful pictures of flowers and Cupids, through which you catch the
gleam of the mirror; and two rows of splendid chandeliers extend from end
to end of the hall, which, when lighted up, if ever it be lighted up,
now-a-nights, must be the most brilliant interior that ever mortal eye
beheld.  The ceiling glows with pictures in fresco, representing scenes
connected with the history of the Colonna family; and the floor is paved
with beautiful marbles, polished and arranged in square and circular
compartments; and each of the many windows is set in a great
architectural frame of precious marble, as large as the portal of a door.
The apartment at the farther end of the hall is elevated above it, and is
attained by several marble steps, whence it must have been glorious in
former days to have looked down upon a gorgeous throng of princes,
cardinals, warriors, and ladies, in such rich attire as might be worn
when the palace was built.  It is singular how much freshness and
brightness it still retains; and the only objects to mar the effect were
some ancient statues and busts, not very good in themselves, and now made
dreary of aspect by their corroded surfaces,--the result of long burial
under ground.

In the room at the entrance of the hall are two cabinets, each a wonder
in its way,--one being adorned with precious stones; the other with ivory
carvings of Michael Angelo's Last Judgment, and of the frescos of
Raphael's Loggie.  The world has ceased to be so magnificent as it once
was.  Men make no such marvels nowadays.  The only defect that I remember
in this hall was in the marble steps that ascend to the elevated
apartment at the end of it; a large piece had been broken out of one of
them, leaving a rough irregular gap in the polished marble stair.  It is
not easy to conceive what violence can have done this, without also doing
mischief to all the other splendor around it.


April 16th.--We went this morning to the Academy of St. Luke (the Fine
Arts Academy at Rome) in the Via Bonella, close by the Forum.  We rang
the bell at the house door; and after a few moments it was unlocked or
unbolted by some unseen agency from above, no one making his appearance
to admit us.  We ascended two or three flights of stairs, and entered a
hall, where was a young man, the custode, and two or three artists
engaged in copying some of the pictures.  The collection not being vastly
large, and the pictures being in more presentable condition than usual, I
enjoyed them more than I generally do; particularly a Virgin and Child by
Vandyke, where two angels are singing and playing, one on a lute and the
other on a violin, to remind the holy infant of the strains he used to
hear in heaven.  It is one of the few pictures that there is really any
pleasure in looking at.  There were several paintings by Titian, mostly
of a voluptuous character, but not very charming; also two or more by
Guido, one of which, representing Fortune, is celebrated.  They did not
impress me much, nor do I find myself strongly drawn towards Guido,
though there is no other painter who seems to achieve things so magically
and inscrutably as he sometimes does.  Perhaps it requires a finer taste
than mine to appreciate him; and yet I do appreciate him so far as to see
that his Michael, for instance, is perfectly beautiful. . . . In the
gallery, there are whole rows of portraits of members of the Academy of
St. Luke, most of whom, judging by their physiognomies, were very
commonplace people; a fact which makes itself visible in a portrait,
however much the painter may try to flatter his sitter.  Several of the
pictures by Titian, Paul Veronese, and other artists, now exhibited in
the gallery, were formerly kept in a secret cabinet in the Capitol, being
considered of a too voluptuous character for the public eye.  I did not
think them noticeably indecorous, as compared with a hundred other
pictures that are shown and looked at without scruple;--Calypso and her
nymphs, a knot of nude women by Titian, is perhaps as objectionable as
any.  But even Titian's flesh-tints cannot keep, and have not kept their
warmth through all these centuries.  The illusion and lifelikeness
effervesces and exhales out of a picture as it grows old; and we go on
talking of a charm that has forever vanished.

From St. Luke's we went to San Pietro in Vincoli, occupying a fine
position on or near the summit of the Esquiline mount.  A little abortion
of a man (and, by the by, there are more diminutive and ill-shapen men
and women in Rome than I ever saw elsewhere, a phenomenon to be accounted
for, perhaps, by their custom of wrapping the new-born infant in
swaddling-clothes), this two-foot abortion hastened before us, as we drew
nigh, to summon the sacristan to open the church door.  It was a needless
service, for which we rewarded him with two baiocchi.  San Pietro is a
simple and noble church, consisting of a nave divided from the side
aisles by rows of columns, that once adorned some ancient temple; and its
wide, unencumbered interior affords better breathing-space than most
churches in Rome.  The statue of Moses occupies a niche in one of the
side aisles on the right, not far from the high altar.  I found it grand
and sublime, with a beard flowing down like a cataract; a truly majestic
figure, but not so benign as it were desirable that such strength should
be.  The horns, about which so much has been said, are not a very
prominent feature of the statue, being merely two diminutive tips rising
straight up over his forehead, neither adding to the grandeur of the
head, nor detracting sensibly from it.  The whole force of this statue is
not to be felt in one brief visit, but I agree with an English gentleman,
who, with a large party, entered the church while we were there, in
thinking that Moses has "very fine features,"--a compliment for which the
colossal Hebrew ought to have made the Englishman a bow.

Besides the Moses, the church contains some attractions of a pictorial
kind, which are reposited in the sacristy, into which we passed through a
side door.  The most remarkable of these pictures is a face and bust of
Hope, by Guido, with beautiful eyes lifted upwards; it has a grace which
artists are continually trying to get into their innumerable copies, but
always without success; for, indeed, though nothing is more true than the
existence of this charm in the picture, yet if you try to analyze it, or
even look too intently at it, it vanishes, till you look again with more
trusting simplicity.

Leaving the church, we wandered to the Coliseum, and to the public
grounds contiguous to them, where a score and more of French drummers
were beating each man his drum, without reference to any rub-a-dub but
his own.  This seems to be a daily or periodical practice and point of
duty with them.  After resting ourselves on one of the marble benches, we
came slowly home, through the Basilica of Constantine, and along the
shady sides of the streets and piazzas, sometimes, perforce, striking
boldly through the white sunshine, which, however, was not so hot as to
shrivel us up bodily.  It has been a most beautiful and perfect day as
regards weather, clear and bright, very warm in the sunshine, yet
freshened throughout by a quiet stir in the air.  Still there is
something in this air malevolent, or, at least, not friendly.  The Romans
lie down and fall asleep in it, in any vacant part of the streets, and
wherever they can find any spot sufficiently clean, and among the ruins
of temples.  I would not sleep in the open air for whatever my life may
be worth.

On our way home, sitting in one of the narrow streets, we saw an old
woman spinning with a distaff; a far more ancient implement than the
spinning-wheel, which the housewives of other nations have long since
laid aside.


April 18th.--Yesterday, at noon, the whole family of us set out on a
visit to the Villa Borghese and its grounds, the entrance to which is
just outside of the Porta del Popolo.  After getting within the grounds,
however, there is a long walk before reaching the casino, and we found
the sun rather uncomfortably hot, and the road dusty and white in the
sunshine; nevertheless, a footpath ran alongside of it most of the way
through the grass and among the young trees.  It seems to me that the
trees do not put forth their leaves with nearly the same magical rapidity
in this southern land at the approach of summer, as they do in more
northerly countries.  In these latter, having a much shorter time to
develop themselves, they feel the necessity of making the most of it.
But the grass, in the lawns and enclosures along which we passed, looked
already fit to be mowed, and it was interspersed with many flowers.

Saturday being, I believe, the only day of the week on which visitors are
admitted to the casino, there were many parties in carriages, artists on
foot, gentlemen on horseback, and miscellaneous people, to whom the door
was opened by a custode on ringing a bell.  The whole of the basement
floor of the casino, comprising a suite of beautiful rooms, is filled
with statuary.  The entrance hall is a very splendid apartment, brightly
frescoed, and paved with ancient mosaics, representing the combats with
beasts and gladiators in the Coliseum, curious, though very rudely and
awkwardly designed, apparently after the arts had begun to decline.  Many
of the specimens of sculpture displayed in these rooms are fine, but none
of them, I think, possess the highest merit.  An Apollo is beautiful; a
group of a fighting Amazon, and her enemies trampled under her horse's
feet, is very impressive; a Faun, copied from that of Praxiteles, and
another, who seems to be dancing, were exceedingly pleasant to look at.
I like these strange, sweet, playful, rustic creatures, . . . . linked so
prettily, without monstrosity, to the lower tribes. . . . Their
character has never, that I know of, been wrought out in literature; and
something quite good, funny, and philosophical, as well as poetic, might
very likely be educed from them. . . . The faun is a natural and
delightful link betwixt human and brute life, with something of a divine
character intermingled.

The gallery, as it is called, on the basement floor of the casino, is
sixty feet in length, by perhaps a third as much in breadth, and is
(after all I have seen at the Colonna Palace and elsewhere) a more
magnificent hall than I imagined to be in existence.  It is floored with
rich marble in beautifully arranged compartments, and the walls are
almost entirely eased with marble of various sorts, the prevailing kind
being giallo antico, intermixed with verd antique, and I know not what
else; but the splendor of the giallo antico gives the character to the
room, and the large and deep niches along the walls appear to be lined
with the same material.  Without coming to Italy, one can have no idea of
what beauty and magnificence are produced by these fittings up of
polished marble.  Marble to an American means nothing but white
limestone.

This hall, moreover, is adorned with pillars of Oriental alabaster, and
wherever is a space vacant of precious and richly colored marble it is
frescoed with arabesque ornaments; and over the whole is a coved and
vaulted ceiling, glowing with picture.  There never can be anything
richer than the whole effect.  As to the sculpture here it was not very
fine, so far as I can remember, consisting chiefly of busts of the
emperors in porphyry; but they served a good purpose in the upholstery
way.  There were also magnificent tables, each composed of one great slab
of porphyry; and also vases of nero antico, and other rarest substance.
It remains to be mentioned that, on this almost summer day, I was quite
chilled in passing through these glorious halls; no fireplace anywhere;
no possibility of comfort; and in the hot season, when their coolness
might be agreeable, it would be death to inhabit them.

Ascending a long winding staircase, we arrived at another suite of rooms,
containing a good many not very remarkable pictures, and a few more
pieces of statuary.  Among the latter, is Canova's statue of Pauline, the
sister of Bonaparte, who is represented with but little drapery, and in
the character of Venus holding the apple in her hand.  It is admirably
done, and, I have no doubt, a perfect likeness; very beautiful too; but
it is wonderful to see how the artificial elegance of the woman of this
world makes itself perceptible in spite of whatever simplicity she could
find in almost utter nakedness.  The statue does not afford pleasure in
the contemplation.

In one of these upper rooms are some works of Bernini; two of them,
Aeneas and Anchises, and David on the point of slinging a stone at
Goliath, have great merit, and do not tear and rend themselves quite out
of the laws and limits of marble, like his later sculpture.  Here is also
his Apollo overtaking Daphne, whose feet take root, whose, finger-tips
sprout into twigs, and whose tender body roughens round about with bark,
as he embraces her.  It did not seem very wonderful to me; not so good as
Hillard's description of it made me expect; and one does not enjoy these
freaks in marble.

We were glad to emerge from the casino into the warm sunshine; and, for
my part, I made the best of my way to a large fountain, surrounded by a
circular stone seat of wide sweep, and sat down in a sunny segment of the
circle.  Around grew a solemn company of old trees,--ilexes, I believe,--
with huge, contorted trunks and evergreen branches, . . . . deep groves,
sunny openings, the airy gush of fountains, marble statues, dimly visible
in recesses of foliage, great urns and vases, terminal figures, temples,
--all these works of art looking as if they had stood there long enough
to feel at home, and to be on friendly and familiar terms with the grass
and trees.  It is a most beautiful place, . . . . and the Malaria is its
true master and inhabitant!


April 22d.--We have been recently to the studio of Mr. Brown [now dead],
the American landscape-painter, and were altogether surprised and
delighted with his pictures.  He is a plain, homely Yankee, quite
unpolished by his many years' residence in Italy; he talks
ungrammatically, and in Yankee idioms; walks with a strange, awkward gait
and stooping shoulders; is altogether unpicturesque; but wins one's
confidence by his very lack of grace.  It is not often that we see an
artist so entirely free from affectation in his aspect and deportment.
His pictures were views of Swiss and Italian scenery, and were most
beautiful and true.  One of them, a moonlight picture, was really
magical,-- the moon shining so brightly that it seemed to throw a light
even beyond the limits of the picture,--and yet his sunrises and sunsets,
and noontides too, were nowise inferior to this, although their
excellence required somewhat longer study, to be fully appreciated.  I
seemed to receive more pleasure front Mr. Brown's pictures than from any
of the landscapes by the old masters; and the fact serves to strengthen
me in the belief that the most delicate if not the highest charm of a
picture is evanescent, and that we continue to admire pictures
prescriptively and by tradition, after the qualities that first won
them their fame have vanished.  I suppose Claude was a greater
landscape-painter than Brown; but for my own pleasure I would prefer one
of the latter artist's pictures,--those of the former being quite changed
from what he intended them to be by the effect of time on his pigments.
Mr. Brown showed us some drawings from nature, done with incredible care
and minuteness of detail, as studies for his paintings.  We complimented
him on his patience; but he said, "O, it's not patience,--it's love!"  In
fact, it was a patient and most successful wooing of a beloved object,
which at last rewarded him by yielding itself wholly.

We have likewise been to Mr. B------'s [now dead] studio, where we saw
several pretty statues and busts, and among them an Eve, with her wreath
of fig-leaves lying across her poor nudity; comely in some points, but
with a frightful volume of thighs and calves.  I do not altogether see
the necessity of ever sculpturing another nakedness.  Man is no longer a
naked animal; his clothes are as natural to him as his skin, and
sculptors have no more right to undress him than to flay him.

Also, we have seen again William Story's Cleopatra,--a work of genuine
thought and energy, representing a terribly dangerous woman; quiet enough
for the moment, but very likely to spring upon you like a tigress.  It is
delightful to escape to his creations from this universal prettiness,
which seems to be the highest conception of the crowd of modern
sculptors, and which they almost invariably attain.

Miss Bremer called on us the other day.  We find her very little changed
from what she was when she came to take tea and spend an evening at our
little red cottage, among the Berkshire hills, and went away so
dissatisfied with my conversational performances, and so laudatory of my
brow and eyes, while so severely criticising my poor mouth and chin.  She
is the funniest little old fairy in person whom one can imagine, with a
huge nose, to which all the rest of her is but an insufficient appendage;
but you feel at once that she is most gentle, kind, womanly, sympathetic,
and true.  She talks English fluently, in a low quiet voice, but with
such an accent that it is impossible to understand her without the
closest attention.  This was the real cause of the failure of our
Berkshire interview; for I could not guess, half the time, what she was
saying, and, of course, had to take an uncertain aim with my responses.
A more intrepid talker than myself would have shouted his ideas across
the gulf; but, for me, there must first be a close and unembarrassed
contiguity with my companion, or I cannot say one real word.  I doubt
whether I have ever really talked with half a dozen persons in my life,
either men or women.

To-day my wife and I have been at the picture and sculpture galleries of
the Capitol.  I rather enjoyed looking at several of the pictures, though
at this moment I particularly remember only a very beautiful face of a
man, one of two heads on the same canvas by Vandyke.  Yes; I did look
with new admiration at Paul Veronese's "Rape of Europa."  It must have
been, in its day, the most brilliant and rejoicing picture, the most
voluptuous, the most exuberant, that ever put the sunshine to shame.  The
bull has all Jupiter in him, so tender and gentle, yet so passionate,
that you feel it indecorous to look at him; and Europa, under her thick
rich stuffs and embroideries, is all a woman.  What a pity that such a
picture should fade, and perplex the beholder with such splendor shining
through such forlornness!

We afterwards went into the sculpture-gallery, where I looked at the Faun
of Praxiteles, and was sensible of a peculiar charm in it; a sylvan
beauty and homeliness, friendly and wild at once.  The lengthened, but
not preposterous ears, and the little tail, which we infer, have an
exquisite effect, and make the spectator smile in his very heart.  This
race of fauns was the most delightful of all that antiquity imagined.  It
seems to me that a story, with all sorts of fun and pathos in it, might
be contrived on the idea of their species having become intermingled with
the human race; a family with the faun blood in them, having prolonged
itself from the classic era till our own days.  The tail might have
disappeared, by dint of constant intermarriages with ordinary mortals;
but the pretty hairy ears should occasionally reappear in members of the
family; and the moral instincts and intellectual characteristics of the
faun might be most picturesquely brought out, without detriment to the
human interest of the story.  Fancy this combination in the person of a
young lady!

I have spoken of Mr. Gibson's colored statues.  It seems (at least Mr.
Nichols tells me) that he stains them with tobacco juice. . . . Were he
to send a Cupid to America, he need not trouble himself to stain it
beforehand.


April 25th.--Night before last, my wife and I took a moonlight ramble
through Rome, it being a very beautiful night, warm enough for comfort,
and with no perceptible dew or dampness.  We set out at about nine
o'clock, and, our general direction being towards the Coliseum, we soon
came to the Fountain of Trevi, full on the front of which the moonlight
fell, making Bernini's sculptures look stately and beautiful, though the
semicircular gush and fall of the cascade, and the many jets of the
water, pouring and bubbling into the great marble basin, are of far more
account than Neptune and his steeds, and the rest of the figures. . . .

We ascended the Capitoline Hill, and I felt a satisfaction in placing my
hand on those immense blocks of stone, the remains of the ancient
Capitol, which form the foundation of the present edifice, and will make
a sure basis for as many edifices as posterity may choose to rear upon
it, till the end of the world.  It is wonderful, the solidity with which
those old Romans built; one would suppose they contemplated the whole
course of Time as the only limit of their individual life.  This is not
so strange in the days of the Republic, when, probably, they believed in
the permanence of their institutions; but they still seemed to build for
eternity, in the reigns of the emperors, when neither rulers nor people
had any faith or moral substance, or laid any earnest grasp on life.

Reaching the top of the Capitoline Hill, we ascended the steps of the
portal of the Palace of the Senator, and looked down into the piazza,
with the equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius in the centre of it.  The
architecture that surrounds the piazza is very ineffective; and so, in my
opinion, are all the other architectural works of Michael Angelo,
including St. Peter's itself, of which he has made as little as could
possibly be made of such a vast pile of material.  He balances everything
in such a way that it seems but half of itself.

We soon descended into the piazza, and walked round and round the statue
of Marcus Aurelius, contemplating it from every point and admiring it in
all. . . . On these beautiful moonlight nights, Rome appears to keep
awake and stirring, though in a quiet and decorous way.  It is, in fact,
the pleasantest time for promenades, and we both felt less wearied than
by any promenade in the daytime, of similar extent, since our residence
in Rome.  In future, I mean to walk often after nightfall.

Yesterday, we set out betimes, and ascended the dome of St. Peter's.  The
best view of the interior of the church, I think, is from the first
gallery beneath the dome.  The whole inside of the dome is set with
mosaic-work, the separate pieces being, so far as I could see, about half
an inch square.  Emerging on the roof, we had a fine view of all the
surrounding Rome, including the Mediterranean Sea in the remote distance.
Above us still rose the whole mountain of the great dome, and it made an
impression on me of greater height and size than I had yet been able to
receive.  The copper ball at the summit looked hardly bigger than a man
could lift; and yet, a little while afterwards, U----, J-----, and I
stood all together in that ball, which could have contained a dozen more
along with us.  The esplanade of the roof is, of course, very extensive;
and along the front of it are ranged the statues which we see from below,
and which, on nearer examination, prove to be roughly hewn giants.  There
is a small house on the roof, where, probably, the custodes of this part
of the edifice reside; and there is a fountain gushing abundantly into a
stone trough, that looked like an old sarcophagus.  It is strange where
the water comes from at such a height.  The children tasted it, and
pronounced it very warm and disagreeable.  After taking in the prospect
on all sides we rang a bell, which summoned a man, who directed us
towards a door in the side of the dome, where a custode was waiting to
admit us.  Hitherto the ascent had been easy, along a slope without
stairs, up which, I believe, people sometimes ride on donkeys.  The rest
of the way we mounted steep and narrow staircases, winding round within
the wall, or between the two walls of the dome, and growing narrower and
steeper, till, finally, there is but a perpendicular iron ladder, by
means of which to climb into the copper ball.  Except through small
windows and peep-holes, there is no external prospect of a higher point
than the roof of the church.  Just beneath the ball there is a circular
room capable of containing a large company, and a door which ought to
give access to a gallery on the outside; but the custode informed us that
this door is never opened.  As I have said, U----, J-----, and I
clambered into the copper ball, which we found as hot as an oven; and,
after putting our hands on its top, and on the summit of St. Peter's,
were glad to clamber down again.  I have made some mistake, after all, in
my narration.  There certainly is a circular balcony at the top of the
dome, for I remember walking round it, and looking, not only across the
country, but downwards along the ribs of the dome; to which are attached
the iron contrivances for illuminating it on Easter Sunday. . . .

Before leaving the church we went to look at the mosaic copy of the
"Transfiguration," because we were going to see the original in the
Vatican, and wished to compare the two.  Going round to the entrance of
the Vatican, we went first to the manufactory of mosaics, to which we had
a ticket of admission.  We found it a long series of rooms, in which the
mosaic artists were at work, chiefly in making some medallions of the
heads of saints for the new church of St. Paul's.  It was rather coarse
work, and it seemed to me that the mosaic copy was somewhat stiffer and
more wooden than the original, the bits of stone not flowing into color
quite so freely as paint from a brush.  There was no large picture now in
process of being copied; but two or three artists were employed on small
and delicate subjects.  One had a Holy Family of Raphael in hand; and the
Sibyls of Guercino and Domenichino were hanging on the wall, apparently
ready to be put into mosaic.  Wherever great skill and delicacy, on the
artists' part were necessary, they seemed quite adequate to the occasion;
but, after all, a mosaic of any celebrated picture is but a copy of a
copy. The substance employed is a stone-paste, of innumerable different
views, and in bits of various sizes, quantities of which were seen in
cases along the whole series of rooms.

We next ascended an amazing height of staircases, and walked along I know
not what extent of passages, . . . . till we reached the picture-gallery
of the Vatican, into which I had never been before.  There are but three
rooms, all lined with red velvet, on which hung about fifty pictures,
each one of them, no doubt, worthy to be considered a masterpiece.  In
the first room were three Murillos, all so beautiful that I could have
spent the day happily in looking at either of them; for, methinks, of all
painters he is the tenderest and truest.  I could not enjoy these
pictures now, however, because in the next room, and visible through the
open door, hung the "Transfiguration."  Approaching it, I felt that the
picture was worthy of its fame, and was far better than I could at once
appreciate; admirably preserved, too, though I fully believe it must have
possessed a charm when it left Raphael's hand that has now vanished
forever.  As church furniture and an external adornment, the mosaic copy
is preferable to the original, but no copy could ever reproduce all the
life and expression which we see here.  Opposite to it hangs the
"Communion of St. Jerome," the aged, dying saint, half torpid with death
already, partaking of the sacrament, and a sunny garland of cherubs in
the upper part of the picture, looking down upon him, and quite
comforting the spectator with the idea that the old man needs only to be
quite dead in order to flit away with them.  As for the other pictures I
did but glance at, and have forgotten them.

The "Transfiguration" is finished with great minuteness and detail, the
weeds and blades of grass in the foreground being as distinct as if they
were growing in a natural soil.  A partly decayed stick of wood with the
bark is likewise given in close imitation of nature.  The reflection of a
foot of one of the apostles is seen in a pool of water at the verge of
the picture.  One or two heads and arms seem almost to project from the
canvas.  There is great lifelikeness and reality, as well as higher
qualities.  The face of Jesus, being so high aloft and so small in the
distance, I could not well see; but I am impressed with the idea that it
looks too much like human flesh and blood to be in keeping with the
celestial aspect of the figure, or with the probabilities of the scene,
when the divinity and immortality of the Saviour beamed from within him
through the earthly features that ordinarily shaded him.  As regards the
composition of the picture, I am not convinced of the propriety of its
being in two so distinctly separate parts,--the upper portion not
thinking of the lower, and the lower portion not being aware of the
higher.  It symbolizes, however, the spiritual short-sightedness of
mankind that, amid the trouble and grief of the lower picture, not a
single individual, either of those who seek help or those who would
willingly afford it, lifts his eyes to that region, one glimpse of which
would set everything right.  One or two of the disciples point upward,
but without really knowing what abundance of help is to be had there.


April 27th.--To-day we have all been with Mr. Akers to some studios of
painters; first to that of Mr. Wilde, an artist originally from Boston.
His pictures are principally of scenes from Venice, and are miracles of
color, being as bright as if the light were transmitted through rubies
and sapphires.  And yet, after contemplating them awhile, we became
convinced that the painter had not gone in the least beyond nature, but,
on the contrary, had fallen short of brilliancies which no palette, or
skill, or boldness in using color, could attain.  I do not quite know
whether it is best to attempt these things.  They may be found in nature,
no doubt, but always so tempered by what surrounds them, so put out of
sight even while they seem full before our eyes, that we question the
accuracy of a faithful reproduction of them on canvas.  There was a
picture of sunset, the whole sky of which would have outshone any gilded
frame that could have been put around it.  There was a most gorgeous
sketch of a handful of weeds and leaves, such as may be seen strewing
acres of forest-ground in an American autumn.  I doubt whether any other
man has ever ventured to paint a picture like either of these two, the
Italian sunset or the American autumnal foliage.  Mr. Wilde, who is still
young, talked with genuine feeling and enthusiasm of his art, and is
certainly a man of genius.

We next went to the studio of an elderly Swiss artist, named Mueller, I
believe, where we looked at a great many water-color and crayon drawings
of scenes in Italy, Greece, and Switzerland.  The artist was a quiet,
respectable, somewhat heavy-looking old gentleman, from whose aspect one
would expect a plodding pertinacity of character rather than quickness of
sensibility.  He must have united both these qualities, however, to
produce such pictures as these, such faithful transcripts of whatever
Nature has most beautiful to show, and which she shows only to those who
love her deeply and patiently.  They are wonderful pictures, compressing
plains, seas, and mountains, with miles and miles of distance, into the
space of a foot or two, without crowding anything or leaving out a
feature, and diffusing the free, blue atmosphere throughout.  The works
of the English watercolor artists which I saw at the Manchester
Exhibition seemed to me nowise equal to these.  Now, here are three
artists, Mr. Brown, Mr. Wilde, and Mr. Mueller, who have smitten me with
vast admiration within these few days past, while I am continually
turning away disappointed from the landscapes of the most famous among
the old masters, unable to find any charm or illusion in them.  Yet I
suppose Claude, Poussin, and Salvator Rosa must have won their renown by
real achievements.  But the glory of a picture fades like that of a
flower.

Contiguous to Mr. Mueller's studio was that of a young German artist, not
long resident in Rome, and Mr. Akers proposed that we should go in there,
as a matter of kindness to the young man, who is scarcely known at all,
and seldom has a visitor to look at his pictures.  His studio comprised
his whole establishment; for there was his little bed, with its white
drapery, in a corner of the small room, and his dressing-table, with its
brushes and combs, while the easel and the few sketches of Italian scenes
and figures occupied the foreground.  I did not like his pictures very
well, but would gladly have bought them all if I could have afforded it,
the artist looked so cheerful, patient, and quiet, doubtless amidst huge
discouragement.  He is probably stubborn of purpose, and is the sort of
man who will improve with every year of his life.  We could not speak his
language, and were therefore spared the difficulty of paying him any
compliments; but Miss Shepard said a few kind words to him in German.
and seemed quite to win his heart, insomuch that he followed her with
bows and smiles a long way down the staircase.  It is a terrible
business, this looking at pictures, whether good or bad, in the presence
of the artists who paint them; it is as great a bore as to hear a poet
read his own verses.  It takes away all my pleasure in seeing the
pictures, and even remakes me question the genuineness of the impressions
which I receive from them.

After this latter visit Mr. Akers conducted us to the shop of the
jeweller Castellani, who is a great reproducer of ornaments in the old
Roman and Etruscan fashion.  These antique styles are very fashionable
just now, and some of the specimens he showed us were certainly very
beautiful, though I doubt whether their quaintness and old-time
curiousness, as patterns of gewgaws dug out of immemorial tombs, be not
their greatest charm.  We saw the toilet-case of an Etruscan lady,--that
is to say, a modern imitation of it,--with her rings for summer and
winter, and for every day of the week, and for thumb and fingers; her
ivory comb; her bracelets; and more knick-knacks than I can half
remember.  Splendid things of our own time were likewise shown us; a
necklace of diamonds worth eighteen thousand scudi, together with
emeralds and opals and great pearls.  Finally we came away, and my wife
and Miss Shepard were taken up by the Misses Weston, who drove with them
to visit the Villa Albani.  During their drive my wife happened to raise
her arm, and Miss Shepard espied a little Greek cross of gold which had
attached itself to the lace of her sleeve. . . . Pray heaven the
jeweller may not discover his loss before we have time to restore the
spoil!  He is apparently so free and careless in displaying his precious
wares,--putting inestimable genes and brooches great and small into the
hands of strangers like ourselves, and leaving scores of them strewn on
the top of his counter,--that it would seem easy enough to take a diamond
or two; but I suspect there must needs be a sharp eye somewhere.  Before
we left the shop he requested me to honor him with my autograph in a
large book that was full of the names of his visitors.  This is probably
a measure of precaution.


April 30th.--I went yesterday to the sculpture-gallery of the Capitol,
and looked pretty thoroughly through the busts of the illustrious men,
and less particularly at those of the emperors and their relatives.  I
likewise took particular note of the Faun of Praxiteles, because the idea
keeps recurring to me of writing a little romance about it, and for that
reason I shall endeavor to set down a somewhat minutely itemized detail
of the statue and its surroundings. . . .

We have had beautiful weather for two or three days, very warm in the
sun, yet always freshened by the gentle life of a breeze, and quite cool
enough the moment you pass within the limit of the shade. . . .

In the morning there are few people there (on the Pincian) except the
gardeners, lazily trimming the borders, or filling their watering-pots
out of the marble-brimmed basin of the fountain; French soldiers, in
their long mixed-blue surtouts, and wide scarlet pantaloons, chatting
with here and there a nursery-maid and playing with the child in her
care; and perhaps a few smokers, . . . . choosing each a marble seat or
wooden bench in sunshine or shade as best suits him.  In the afternoon,
especially within an hour or two of sunset, the gardens are much more
populous, and the seats, except when the sun falls full upon them, are
hard to come by.  Ladies arrive in carriages, splendidly dressed;
children are abundant, much impeded in their frolics, and rendered stiff
and stately by the finery which they wear; English gentlemen and
Americans with their wives and families; the flower of the Roman
population, too, both male and female, mostly dressed with great nicety;
but a large intermixture of artists, shabbily picturesque; and other
persons, not of the first stamp.  A French band, comprising a great many
brass instruments, by and by begins to play; and what with music,
sunshine, a delightful atmosphere, flowers, grass, well-kept pathways,
bordered with box-hedges, pines, cypresses, horse-chestnuts, flowering
shrubs, and all manner of cultivated beauty, the scene is a very lively
and agreeable one.  The fine equipages that drive round and round through
the carriage-paths are another noticeable item.  The Roman aristocracy
are magnificent in their aspect, driving abroad with beautiful horses,
and footmen in rich liveries, sometimes as many as three behind and one
sitting by the coachman.


May 1st.--This morning, I wandered for the thousandth time through some
of the narrow intricacies of Rome, stepping here and there into a church.
I do not know the name of the first one, nor had it anything that in Rome
could be called remarkable, though, till I came here, I was not aware
that any such churches existed,--a marble pavement in variegated
compartments, a series of shrines and chapels round the whole floor, each
with its own adornment of sculpture and pictures, its own altar with tall
wax tapers before it, some of which were burning; a great picture over
the high altar, the whole interior of the church ranged round with
pillars and pilasters, and lined, every inch of it, with rich yellow
marble.  Finally, a frescoed ceiling over the nave and transepts, and a
dome rising high above the central part, and filled with frescos brought
to such perspective illusion, that the edges seem to project into the
air.  Two or three persons are kneeling at separate shrines; there are
several wooden confessionals placed against the walls, at one of which
kneels a lady, confessing to a priest who sits within; the tapers are
lighted at the high altar and at one of the shrines; an attendant is
scrubbing the marble pavement with a broom and water, a process, I should
think, seldom practised in Roman churches.  By and by the lady finishes
her confession, kisses the priest's hand, and sits down in one of the
chairs which are placed about the floor, while the priest, in a black
robe, with a short, white, loose jacket over his shoulders, disappears by
a side door out of the church.  I, likewise, finding nothing attractive
in the pictures, take my departure.  Protestantism needs a new apostle to
convert it into something positive. . . .

I now found my way to the Piazza Navona.  It is to me the most
interesting piazza in Rome; a large oblong space, surrounded with tall,
shabby houses, among which there are none that seem to be palaces.  The
sun falls broadly over the area of the piazza, and shows the fountains in
it;--one a large basin with great sea-monsters, probably of Bernini's
inventions, squirting very small streams of water into it; another of the
fountains I do not at all remember; but the central one is an immense
basin, over which is reared an old Egyptian obelisk, elevated on a rock,
which is cleft into four arches.  Monstrous devices in marble, I know not
of what purport, are clambering about the cloven rock or burrowing
beneath it; one and all of them are superfluous and impertinent, the only
essential thing being the abundant supply of water in the fountain.  This
whole Piazza Navona is usually the scene of more business than seems to
be transacted anywhere else in Rome; in some parts of it rusty iron is
offered for sale, locks and keys, old tools, and all such rubbish; in
other parts vegetables, comprising, at this season, green peas, onions,
cauliflowers, radishes, artichokes, and others with which I have never
made acquaintance; also, stalls or wheelbarrows containing apples,
chestnuts (the meats dried and taken out of the shells), green almonds in
their husks, and squash-seeds,--salted and dried in an oven,--apparently
a favorite delicacy of the Romans.  There are also lemons and oranges;
stalls of fish, mostly about the size of smelts, taken from the Tiber;
cigars of various qualities, the best at a baioccho and a half apiece;
bread in loaves or in small rings, a great many of which are strung
together on a long stick, and thus carried round for sale.  Women and men
sit with these things for sale, or carry them about in trays or on boards
on their heads, crying them with shrill and hard voices.  There is a
shabby crowd and much babble; very little picturesqueness of costume or
figure, however, the chief exceptions being, here and there, an old
white-bearded beggar.  A few of the men have the peasant costume,--a
short jacket and breeches of light blue cloth and white stockings,--the
ugliest dress I ever saw.  The women go bareheaded, and seem fond of
scarlet and other bright colors, but are homely and clumsy in form.  The
piazza is dingy in its general aspect, and very dirty, being strewn with
straw, vegetable-tops, and the rubbish of a week's marketing; but there
is more life in it than one sees elsewhere in Rome.

On one side of the piazza is the Church of St. Agnes, traditionally said
to stand on the site of the house where that holy maiden was exposed to
infamy by the Roman soldiers, and where her modesty and innocence were
saved by miracle.  I went into the church, and found it very splendid,
with rich marble columns, all as brilliant as if just built; a frescoed
dome above; beneath, a range of chapels all round the church, ornamented
not with pictures but bas-reliefs, the figures of which almost step and
struggle out of the marble.  They did not seem very admirable as works of
art, none of them explaining themselves or attracting me long enough to
study out their meaning; but, as part of the architecture of the church,
they had a good effect.  Out of the busy square two or three persons had
stepped into this bright and calm seclusion to pray and be devout, for a
little while; and, between sunrise and sunset of the bustling market-day,
many doubtless snatch a moment to refresh their souls.

In the Pantheon (to-day) it was pleasant looking up to the circular
opening, to see the clouds flitting across it, sometimes covering it
quite over, then permitting a glimpse of sky, then showing all the circle
of sunny blue.  Then would come the ragged edge of a cloud, brightened
throughout with sunshine, passing and changing quickly,--not that the
divine smile was not always the same, but continually variable through
the medium of earthly influences.  The great slanting beam of sunshine
was visible all the way down to the pavement, falling upon motes of dust,
or a thin smoke of incense imperceptible in the shadow.  Insects were
playing to and fro in the beam, high up toward the opening.  There is a
wonderful charm in the naturalness of all this, and one might fancy a
swarm of cherubs coming down through the opening and sporting in the
broad ray, to gladden the faith of worshippers on the pavement beneath;
or angels bearing prayers upward, or bringing down responses to them,
visible with dim brightness as they pass through the pathway of heaven's
radiance, even the many hues of their wings discernible by a trusting
eye; though, as they pass into the shadow, they vanish like the motes.
So the sunbeam would represent those rays of divine intelligence which
enable us to see wonders and to know that they are natural things.

Consider the effect of light and shade in a church where the windows are
open and darkened with curtains that are occasionally lifted by a breeze,
letting in the sunshine, which whitens a carved tombstone on the pavement
of the church, disclosing, perhaps, the letters of the name and
inscription, a death's-head, a crosier, or other emblem; then the curtain
falls and the bright spot vanishes.


May 8th.--This morning my wife and I went to breakfast with Mrs. William
Story at the Barberini Palace, expecting to meet Mrs. Jameson, who has
been in Rome for a month or two.  We had a very pleasant breakfast, but
Mrs. Jameson was not present on account of indisposition, and the only
other guests were Mrs. A------ and Mrs. H------, two sensible American
ladies.  Mrs. Story, however, received a note from Mrs. Jameson, asking
her to bring us to see her at her lodgings; so in the course of the
afternoon she called on us, and took us thither in her carriage.  Mrs.
Jameson lives on the first piano of an old palazzo on the Via di Ripetta,
nearly opposite the ferry-way across the Tiber, and affording a pleasant
view of the yellow river and the green bank and fields on the other side.
I had expected to see an elderly lady, but not quite so venerable a one
as Mrs. Jameson proved to be; a rather short, round, and massive
personage, of benign and agreeable aspect, with a sort of black skullcap
on her head, beneath which appeared her hair, which seemed once to have
been fair, and was now almost white.  I should take her to be about
seventy years old.  She began to talk to us with affectionate
familiarity, and was particularly kind in her manifestations towards
myself, who, on my part, was equally gracious towards her.  In truth, I
have found great pleasure and profit in her works, and was glad to hear
her say that she liked mine.  We talked about art, and she showed us a
picture leaning up against the wall of the room; a quaint old Byzantine
painting, with a gilded background, and two stiff figures (our Saviour
and St. Catherine) standing shyly at a sacred distance from one another,
and going through the marriage ceremony.  There was a great deal of
expression in their faces and figures; and the spectator feels, moreover,
that the artist must have been a devout man,--an impression which we
seldom receive from modern pictures, however awfully holy the subject, or
however consecrated the place they hang in.  Mrs. Jameson seems to be
familiar with Italy, its people and life, as well as with its
picture-galleries.  She is said to be rather irascible in her temper; but
nothing could be sweeter than her voice, her look, and all her
manifestations to-day.  When we were coming away she clasped my hand in
both of hers, and again expressed the pleasure of having seen me, and her
gratitude to me for calling on her; nor did I refrain from responding
Amen to these effusions. . . .

Taking leave of Mrs. Jameson, we drove through the city, and out of the
Lateran Gate; first, however, waiting a long while at Monaldini's
bookstore in the Piazza de' Spagna for Mr. Story, whom we finally took up
in the street, after losing nearly an hour.

Just two miles beyond the gate is a space on the green campagna where,
for some time past, excavations have been in progress, which thus far
have resulted in the discovery of several tombs, and the old, buried, and
almost forgotten church or basilica of San Stefano.  It is a beautiful
spot, that of the excavations, with the Alban hills in the distance, and
some heavy, sunlighted clouds hanging above, or recumbent at length upon
them, and behind the city and its mighty dome.  The excavations are an
object of great interest both to the Romans and to strangers, and there
were many carriages and a great many visitors viewing the progress of the
works, which are carried forward with greater energy than anything else I
have seen attempted at Rome.  A short time ago the ground in the vicinity
was a green surface, level, except here and there a little hillock, or
scarcely perceptible swell; the tomb of Cecilia Metella showing itself a
mile or two distant, and other rugged ruins of great tombs rising on the
plain.  Now the whole site of the basilica is uncovered, and they have
dug into the depths of several tombs, bringing to light precious marbles,
pillars, a statue, and elaborately wrought sarcophagi; and if they were
to dig into almost every other inequality that frets the surface of the
campagna, I suppose the result might be the same.  You cannot dig six
feet downward anywhere into the soil, deep enough to hollow out a grave,
without finding some precious relic of the past; only they lose somewhat
of their value when you think that you can almost spurn them out of the
ground with your foot.  It is a very wonderful arrangement of Providence
that these things should have been preserved for a long series of coming
generations by that accumulation of dust and soil and grass and trees and
houses over them, which will keep them safe, and cause their reappearance
above ground to be gradual, so that the rest of the world's lifetime may
have for one of its enjoyments the uncovering of old Rome.

The tombs were accessible by long flights of steps going steeply
downward, and they were thronged with so many visitors that we had to
wait some little time for our own turn.  In the first into which we
descended we found two tombs side by side, with only a partition wall
between; the outer tomb being, as is supposed, a burial-place constructed
by the early Christians, while the adjoined and minor one was a work of
pagan Rome about the second century after Christ.  The former was much
less interesting than the latter.  It contained some large sarcophagi,
with sculpture upon them of rather heathenish aspect; and in the centre
of the front of each sarcophagus was a bust in bas-relief, the features
of which had never been wrought, but were left almost blank, with only
the faintest indications of a nose, for instance.  It is supposed that
sarcophagi were kept on hand by the sculptors, and were bought ready
made, and that it was customary to work out the portrait of the deceased
upon the blank face in the centre; but when there was a necessity for
sudden burial, as may have been the case in the present instance, this
was dispensed with.

The inner tomb was found without any earth in it, just as it had been
left when the last old Roman was buried there; and it being only a week
or two since it was opened, there was very little intervention of
persons, though much of time, between the departure of the friends of the
dead and our own visit.  It is a square room, with a mosaic pavement, and
is six or seven paces in length and breadth, and as much in height to the
vaulted roof.  The roof and upper walls are beautifully ornamented with
frescos, which were very bright when first discovered, but have rapidly
faded since the admission of the air, though the graceful and joyous
designs, flowers and fruits and trees, are still perfectly discernible.
The room must have been anything but sad and funereal; on the contrary,
as cheerful a saloon, and as brilliant, if lighted up, as one could
desire to feast in.  It contained several marble sarcophagi, covering
indeed almost the whole floor, and each of them as much as three or four
feet in length, and two much longer.  The longer ones I did not
particularly examine, and they seemed comparatively plainer; but the
smaller sarcophagi were covered with the most delicately wrought and
beautiful bas-reliefs that I ever beheld; a throng of glad and lovely
shapes in marble clustering thickly and chasing one another round the
sides of these old stone coffins.  The work was as perfect as when the
sculptor gave it his last touch; and if he had wrought it to be placed in
a frequented hall, to be seen and admired by continual crowds as long as
the marble should endure, he could not have chiselled with better skill
and care, though his work was to be shut up in the depths of a tomb
forever.  This seems to me the strangest thing in the world, the most
alien from modern sympathies.  If they had built their tombs above
ground, one could understand the arrangement better; but no sooner had
they adorned them so richly, and furnished them with such exquisite
productions of art, than they annihilated them with darkness.  It was an
attempt, no doubt, to render the physical aspect of death cheerful, but
there was no good sense in it.

We went down also into another tomb close by, the walls of which were
ornamented with medallions in stucco.  These works presented a numerous
series of graceful designs, wrought by the hand in the short space of
(Mr. Story said it could not have been more than) five or ten minutes,
while the wet plaster remained capable of being moulded; and it was
marvellous to think of the fertility of the artist's fancy, and the
rapidity and accuracy with which he must have given substantial existence
to his ideas.  These too--all of them such adornments as would have
suited a festal hall--were made to be buried forthwith in eternal
darkness.  I saw and handled in this tomb a great thigh-bone, and
measured it with my own; it was one of many such relics of the guests who
were laid to sleep in these rich chambers.  The sarcophagi that served
them for coffins could not now be put to a more appropriate use than as
wine-coolers in a modern dining-room; and it would heighten the enjoyment
of a festival to look at them.

We would gladly have stayed much longer; but it was drawing towards
sunset, and the evening, though bright, was unusually cool, so we drove
home; and on the way, Mr. Story told us of the horrible practices of the
modern Romans with their dead,--how they place them in the church, where,
at midnight, they are stripped of their last rag of funeral attire, put
into the rudest wooden coffins, and thrown into a trench,--a half-mile,
for instance, of promiscuous corpses.  This is the fate of all, except
those whose friends choose to pay an exorbitant sum to have them buried
under the pavement of a church.  The Italians have an excessive dread of
corpses, and never meddle with those of their nearest and dearest
relatives.  They have a horror of death, too, especially of sudden death,
and most particularly of apoplexy; and no wonder, as it gives no time for
the last rites of the Church, and so exposes them to a fearful risk of
perdition forever.  On the whole, the ancient practice was, perhaps, the
preferable one; but Nature has made it very difficult for us to do
anything pleasant and satisfactory with a dead body.  God knows best; but
I wish he had so ordered it that our mortal bodies, when we have done
with them, might vanish out of sight and sense, like bubbles.  A person
of delicacy hates to think of leaving such a burden as his decaying
mortality to the disposal of his friends; but, I say again, how
delightful it would be, and how helpful towards our faith in a blessed
futurity, if the dying could disappear like vanishing bubbles, leaving,
perhaps, a sweet fragrance diffused for a minute or two throughout the
death-chamber.  This would be the odor of sanctity!  And if sometimes the
evaporation of a sinful soul should leave an odor not so delightful, a
breeze through the open windows would soon waft it quite away.

Apropos of the various methods of disposing of dead bodies, William Story
recalled a newspaper paragraph respecting a ring, with a stone of a new
species in it, which a widower was observed to wear upon his finger.
Being questioned as to what the gem was, he answered, "It is my wife."
He had procured her body to be chemically resolved into this stone.  I
think I could make a story on this idea: the ring should be one of the
widower's bridal gifts to a second wife; and, of course, it should have
wondrous and terrible qualities, symbolizing all that disturbs the quiet
of a second marriage,--on the husband's part, remorse for his
inconstancy, and the constant comparison between the dead wife of his
youth, now idealized, and the grosser reality which he had now adopted
into her place; while on the new wife's finger it should give pressures,
shooting pangs into her heart, jealousies of the past, and all such
miserable emotions.

By the by, the tombs which we looked at and entered may have been
originally above ground, like that of Cecilia Metella, and a hundred
others along the Appian Way; though, even in this case, the beautiful
chambers must have been shut up in darkness.  Had there been windows,
letting in the light upon the rich frescos and exquisite sculptures,
there would have been a satisfaction in thinking of the existence of so
much visual beauty, though no eye had the privilege to see it.  But
darkness, to objects of sight, is annihilation, as long as the darkness
lasts.


May 9th.--Mrs. Jameson called this forenoon to ask us to go and see her
this evening; . . . . so that I had to receive her alone, devolving part
of the burden on Miss Shepard and the three children, all of whom I
introduced to her notice.  Finding that I had not been farther beyond the
walls of Rome than the tomb of Cecilia Metella, she invited me to take a
drive of a few miles with her this afternoon. . . . The poor lady seems
to be very lame; and I am sure I was grateful to her for having taken the
trouble to climb up the seventy steps of our staircase, and felt pain at
seeing her go down them again.  It looks fearfully like the gout, the
affection being apparently in one foot.  The hands, by the way, are
white, and must once have been, perhaps now are, beautiful.  She must
have been a perfectly pretty woman in her day,--a blue or gray eyed,
fair-haired beauty.  I think that her hair is not white, but only flaxen
in the extreme.

At half past four, according to appointment, I arrived at her lodgings,
and had not long to wait before her little one-horse carriage drove up to
the door, and we set out, rumbling along the Via Scrofa, and through the
densest part of the city, past the theatre of Marcellus, and thence along
beneath the Palatine Hill, and by the Baths of Caracalla, through the
gate of San Sebastiano.  After emerging from the gate, we soon came to
the little Church of "Domine, quo vadis?"  Standing on the spot where St.
Peter is said to have seen a vision of our Saviour bearing his cross,
Mrs. Jameson proposed to alight; and, going in, we saw a cast from
Michael Angelo's statue of the Saviour; and not far from the threshold of
the church, yet perhaps in the centre of the edifice, which is extremely
small, a circular stone is placed, a little raised above the pavement,
and surrounded by a low wooden railing.  Pointing to this stone, Mrs.
Jameson showed me the prints of two feet side by side, impressed into its
surface, as if a person had stopped short while pursuing his way to Rome.
These, she informed me, were supposed to be the miraculous prints of the
Saviour's feet; but on looking into Murray, I am mortified to find that
they are merely facsimiles of the original impressions, which are
treasured up among the relics of the neighboring Basilica of San
Sebastiano.  The marks of sculpture seemed to me, indeed, very evident in
these prints, nor did they indicate such beautiful feet as should have
belonged to the hearer of the best of glad tidings.

Hence we drove on a little way farther, and came to the Basilica of San
Sebastiano, where also we alighted, and, leaning on my arm, Mrs. Jameson
went in.  It is a stately and noble interior, with a spacious
unencumbered nave, and a flat ceiling frescoed and gilded.  In a chapel
at the left of the entrance is the tomb of St. Sebastian,--a sarcophagus
containing his remains, raised on high before the altar, and beneath it a
recumbent statue of the saint pierced with gilded arrows.  The sculpture
is of the school of Bernini,--done after the design of Bernini himself,
Mrs. Jameson said, and is more agreeable and in better taste than most of
his works.  We walked round the basilica, glancing at the pictures in the
various chapels, none of which seemed to be of remarkable merit, although
Mrs. Jameson pronounced rather a favorable verdict on one of St. Francis.
She says that she can read a picture like the page of a book; in fact,
without perhaps assuming more taste and judgment than really belong to
her, it was impossible not to perceive that she gave her companion no
credit for knowing one single simplest thing about art.  Nor, on the
whole, do I think she underrated me; the only mystery is, how she came to
be so well aware of my ignorance on artistical points.

In the basilica the Franciscan monks were arranging benches on the floor
of the nave, and some peasant children and grown people besides were
assembling, probably to undergo an examination in the catechism, and we
hastened to depart, lest our presence should interfere with their
arrangements.  At the door a monk met us, and asked for a contribution in
aid of his church, or some other religious purpose.  Boys, as we drove
on, ran stoutly along by the side of the chaise, begging as often as they
could find breath, but were constrained finally to give up the pursuit.
The great ragged bulks of the tombs along the Appian Way now hove in
sight, one with a farm-house on its summit, and all of them
preposterously huge and massive.  At a distance, across the green
campagna on our left, the Claudian aqueduct strode away over miles of
space, and doubtless reached even to that circumference of blue hills
which stand afar off, girdling Rome about.  The tomb of Cecilia Metella
came in sight a long while before we reached it, with the warm buff hue
of its travertine, and the gray battlemented wall which the Caetanis
erected on the top of its circular summit six hundred years ago.  After
passing it, we saw an interminable line of tombs on both sides of the
way, each of which might, for aught I know, have been as massive as that
of Cecilia Metella, and some perhaps still more monstrously gigantic,
though now dilapidated and much reduced in size.  Mrs. Jameson had an
engagement to dinner at half past six, so that we could go but a little
farther along this most interesting road, the borders of which are strewn
with broken marbles; fragments of capitals, and nameless rubbish that
once was beautiful.  Methinks the Appian Way should be the only entrance
to Rome,--through an avenue of tombs.

The day had been cloudy, chill, and windy, but was now grown calmer and
more genial, and brightened by a very pleasant sunshine, though great
dark clouds were still lumbering up the sky.  We drove homeward, looking
at the distant dome of St. Peter's and talking of many things,--painting,
sculpture, America, England, spiritualism, and whatever else came up.
She is a very sensible old lady, and sees a great deal of truth; a good
woman, too, taking elevated views of matters; but I doubt whether she has
the highest and finest perceptions in the world.  At any rate, she
pronounced a good judgment on the American sculptors now in Rome,
condemning them in the mass as men with no high aims, no worthy
conception of the purposes of their art, and desecrating marble by the
things they wrought in it.  William Story, I presume, is not to be
included in this censure, as she had spoken highly of his sculpturesque
faculty in our previous conversation.  On my part, I suggested that the
English sculptors were little or nothing better than our own, to which
she acceded generally, but said that Gibson had produced works equal to
the antique,--which I did not dispute, but still questioned whether the
world needed Gibson, or was any the better for him.  We had a great
dispute about the propriety of adopting the costume of the day in modern
sculpture, and I contended that either the art ought to be given up
(which possibly would be the best course), or else should be used for
idealizing the man of the day to himself; and that, as Nature makes us
sensible of the fact when men and women are graceful, beautiful, and
noble, through whatever costume they wear, so it ought to be the test of
the sculptor's genius that he should do the same.  Mrs. Jameson decidedly
objected to buttons, breeches, and all other items of modern costume;
and, indeed, they do degrade the marble, and make high sculpture utterly
impossible.  Then let the art perish as one that the world has done with,
as it has done with many other beautiful things that belonged to an
earlier time.

It was long past the hour of Mrs. Jameson's dinner engagement when we
drove up to her door in the Via Ripetta.  I bade her farewell with much
good-feeling on my own side, and, I hope, on hers, excusing myself,
however, from keeping the previous engagement to spend the evening with
her, for, in point of fact, we had mutually had enough of one another for
the time being.  I am glad to record that she expressed a very favorable
opinion of our friend Mr. Thompson's pictures.


May 12th.--To-day we have been to the Villa Albani, to which we had a
ticket of admission through the agency of Mr. Cass (the American
Minister).  We set out between ten and eleven o'clock, and walked through
the Via Felice, the Piazza Barberini, and a long, heavy, dusty range of
streets beyond, to the Porta Salara, whence the road extends, white and
sunny, between two high blank walls to the gate of the villa, which is at
no great distance.  We were admitted by a girl, and went first to the
casino, along an aisle of overshadowing trees, the branches of which met
above our heads.  In the portico of the casino, which extends along its
whole front, there are many busts and statues, and, among them, one of
Julius Caesar, representing him at an earlier period of life than others
which I have seen.  His aspect is not particularly impressive; there is a
lack of chin, though not so much as in the older statues and busts.
Within the edifice there is a large hall, not so brilliant, perhaps, with
frescos and gilding as those at the Villa Borghese, but lined with the
most beautiful variety of marbles.  But, in fact, each new splendor of
this sort outshines the last, and unless we could pass from one to
another all in the same suite, we cannot remember them well enough to
compare the Borghese with the Albani, the effect being more on the fancy
than on the intellect.  I do not recall any of the sculpture, except a
colossal bas-relief of Antinous, crowned with flowers, and holding
flowers in his hand, which was found in the ruins of Hadrian's Villa.
This is said to be the finest relic of antiquity next to the Apollo and
the Laocoon; but I could not feel it to be so, partly, I suppose, because
the features of Autinous do not seem to me beautiful in themselves; and
that heavy, downward look is repeated till I am more weary of it than of
anything else in sculpture.  We went up stairs and down stairs, and saw a
good many beautiful things, but none, perhaps, of the very best and
beautifullest; and second-rate statues, with the corroded surface of old
marble that has been dozens of centuries under the ground, depress the
spirits of the beholder.  The bas-relief of Antinous has at least the
merit of being almost as white and fresh, and quite as smooth, as if it
had never been buried and dug up again.  The real treasures of this
villa, to the number of nearly three hundred, were removed to Paris by
Napoleon, and, except the Antinous, not one of them ever came back.

There are some pictures in one or two of the rooms, and among them I
recollect one by Perugino, in which is a St. Michael, very devout and
very beautiful; indeed, the whole picture (which is in compartments,
representing the three principal points of the Saviour's history)
impresses the beholder as being painted devoutly and earnestly by a
religious man.  In one of the rooms there is a small bronze Apollo,
supposed by Winckelmann to be an original of Praxiteles; but I could not
make myself in the least sensible of its merit.

The rest of the things in the casino I shall pass over, as also those in
the coffee-house,--an edifice which stands a hundred yards or more from
the casino, with an ornamental garden, laid out in walks and flower-plats
between.  The coffee-house has a semicircular sweep of porch with a good
many statues and busts beneath it, chiefly of distinguished Romans.  In
this building, as in the casino, there are curious mosaics, large vases
of rare marble, and many other things worth long pauses of admiration;
but I think that we were all happier when we had done with the works of
art, and were at leisure to ramble about the grounds.  The Villa Albani
itself is an edifice separate from both the coffee-house and casino, and
is not opened to strangers.  It rises, palace-like, in the midst of the
garden, and, it is to be hoped, has some possibility of comfort amidst
its splendors.--Comfort, however, would be thrown away upon it; for
besides that the site shares the curse that has fallen upon every
pleasant place in the vicinity of Rome, . . . . it really has no occupant
except the servants who take care of it.  The Count of Castelbarco, its
present proprietor, resides at Milan.  The grounds are laid out in the
old fashion of straight paths, with borders of box, which form hedges of
great height and density, and as even as a brick wall at the top and
sides.  There are also alleys forming long vistas between the trunks and
beneath the boughs of oaks, ilexes, and olives; and there are shrubberies
and tangled wildernesses of palm, cactus, rhododendron, and I know not
what; and a profusion of roses that bloom and wither with nobody to pluck
and few to look at them.  They climb about the sculpture of fountains,
rear themselves against pillars and porticos, run brimming over the
walls, and strew the path with their falling leaves.  We stole a few, and
feel that we have wronged our consciences in not stealing more.  In one
part of the grounds we saw a field actually ablaze with scarlet poppies.
There are great lagunas; fountains presided over by naiads, who squirt
their little jets into basins; sunny lawns; a temple, so artificially
ruined that we half believed it a veritable antique; and at its base a
reservoir of water, in which stone swans seemed positively to float;
groves of cypress; balustrades and broad flights of stone stairs,
descending to lower levels of the garden; beauty, peace, sunshine, and
antique repose on every side; and far in the distance the blue hills that
encircle the campagna of Rome.  The day was very fine for our purpose;
cheerful, but not too bright, and tempered by a breeze that seemed even a
little too cool when we sat long in the shade.  We enjoyed it till three
o'clock. . . .

At the Capitol there is a sarcophagus with a most beautiful bas-relief of
the discovery of Achilles by Ulysses, in which there is even an
expression of mirth on the faces of many of the spectators.  And to-day
at the Albani a sarcophagus was ornamented with the nuptials of Peleus
and Thetis.

Death strides behind every man, to be sure, at more or less distance,
and, sooner or later, enters upon any event of his life; so that, in this
point of view, they might each and all serve for bas-reliefs on a
sarcophagus; but the Romans seem to have treated Death as lightly and
playfully as they could, and tried to cover his dart with flowers,
because they hated it so much.


May 15th.--My wife and I went yesterday to the Sistine Chapel, it being
my first visit.  It is a room of noble proportions, lofty and long,
though divided in the midst by a screen or partition of white marble,
which rises high enough to break the effect of spacious unity.  There are
six arched windows on each side of the chapel, throwing down their light
from the height of the walls, with as much as twenty feet of space (more
I should think) between them and the floor.  The entire walls and ceiling
of this stately chapel are covered with paintings in fresco, except the
space about ten feet in height from the floor, and that portion was
intended to be adorned by tapestries from pictures by Raphael, but, the
design being prevented by his premature death, the projected tapestries
have no better substitute than paper-hangings.  The roof, which is flat
at top, and coved or vaulted at the sides, is painted in compartments by
Michael Angelo, with frescos representing the whole progress of the world
and of mankind from its first formation by the Almighty . . . . till
after the flood.  On one of the sides of the chapel are pictures by
Perugino, and other old masters, of subsequent events in sacred history;
and the entire wall behind the altar, a vast expanse from the ceiling to
the floor, is taken up with Michael Angelo's summing up of the world's
history and destinies in his "Last Judgment."

There can be no doubt that while these frescos continued in their
perfection, there was nothing else to be compared with the magnificent
and solemn beauty of this chapel.  Enough of ruined splendor still
remains to convince the spectator of all that has departed; but methinks
I have seen hardly anything else so forlorn and depressing as it is now,
all dusky and dim, even the very lights having passed into shadows, and
the shadows into utter blackness; so that it needs a sunshiny day, under
the bright Italian heavens, to make the designs perceptible at all.  As
we sat in the chapel there were clouds flitting across the sky; when the
clouds came the pictures vanished; when the sunshine broke forth the
figures sadly glimmered into something like visibility,--the Almighty
moving in chaos,--the noble shape of Adam, the beautiful Eve; and,
beneath where the roof curves, the mighty figures of sibyls and prophets,
looking as if they were necessarily so gigantic because the thought
within them was so massive.  In the "Last Judgment" the scene of the
greater part of the picture lies in the upper sky, the blue of which
glows through betwixt the groups of naked figures; and above sits Jesus,
not looking in the least like the Saviour of the world, but, with
uplifted arm, denouncing eternal misery on those whom he came to save.  I
fear I am myself among the wicked, for I found myself inevitably taking
their part, and asking for at least a little pity, some few regrets, and
not such a stern denunciatory spirit on the part of Him who had thought
us worth dying for.  Around him stand grim saints, and, far beneath,
people are getting up sleepily out of their graves, not well knowing what
is about to happen; many of them, however, finding themselves clutched by
demons before they are half awake.  It would be a very terrible picture
to one who should really see Jesus, the Saviour, in that inexorable
judge; but it seems to me very undesirable that he should ever be
represented in that aspect, when it is so essential to our religion to
believe him infinitely kinder and better towards us than we deserve.  At
the last day--I presume, that is, in all future days, when we see
ourselves as we are--man's only inexorable judge will be himself, and the
punishment of his sins will be the perception of them.

In the lower corner of this great picture, at the right hand of the
spectator, is a hideous figure of a damned person, girdled about with a
serpent, the folds of which are carefully knotted between his thighs, so
as, at all events, to give no offence to decency.  This figure represents
a man who suggested to Pope Paul III. that the nudities of the "Last
Judgment" ought to be draped, for which offence Michael Angelo at once
consigned him to hell.  It shows what a debtor's prison and dungeon of
private torment men would make of hell if they had the control of it.  As
to the nudities, if they were ever more nude than now, I should suppose,
in their fresh brilliancy, they might well have startled a not very
squeamish eye.  The effect, such as it is, of this picture, is much
injured by the high altar and its canopy, which stands close against the
wall, and intercepts a considerable portion of the sprawl of nakedness
with which Michael Angelo has filled his sky.  However, I am not
unwilling to believe, with faith beyond what I can actually see, that the
greatest pictorial miracles ever yet achieved have been wrought upon the
walls and ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

In the afternoon I went with Mr. Thompson to see what bargain could be
made with vetturinos for taking myself and family to Florence.  We talked
with three or four, and found them asking prices of various enormity,
from a hundred and fifty scudi down to little more than ninety; but Mr.
Thompson says that they always begin in this way, and will probably come
down to somewhere about seventy-five.  Mr. Thompson took me into the Via
Portoghese, and showed me an old palace, above which rose--not a very
customary feature of the architecture of Rome--a tall, battlemented
tower.  At one angle of the tower we saw a shrine of the Virgin, with a
lamp, and all the appendages of those numerous shrines which we see at
the street-corners, and in hundreds of places about the city.  Three or
four centuries ago, this palace was inhabited by a nobleman who had an
only son and a large pet monkey, and one day the monkey caught the infant
up and clambered to this lofty turret, and sat there with him in his arms
grinning and chattering like the Devil himself.  The father was in
despair, but was afraid to pursue the monkey lest he should fling down
the child from the height of the tower and make his escape.  At last he
vowed that if the boy were safely restored to him he would build a shrine
at the summit of the tower, and cause it to be kept as a sacred place
forever.  By and by the monkey came down and deposited the child on the
ground; the father fulfilled his vow, built the shrine, and made it
obligatory, on all future possessors of the palace to keep the lamp
burning before it.  Centuries have passed, the property has changed
hands; but still there is the shrine on the giddy top of the tower, far
aloft over the street, on the very spot where the monkey sat, and there
burns the lamp, in memory of the father's vow.  This being the tenure by
which the estate is held, the extinguishment of that flame might yet turn
the present owner out of the palace.

May 21st.--Mamma and I went, yesterday forenoon, to the Spada Palace,
which we found among the intricacies of Central Rome; a dark and massive
old edifice, built around a court, the fronts giving on which are adorned
with statues in niches, and sculptured ornaments.  A woman led us up a
staircase, and ushered us into a great gloomy hall, square and lofty, and
wearing a very gray and ancient aspect, its walls being painted in
chiaroscuro, apparently a great many years ago.  The hall was lighted by
small windows, high upward from the floors, and admitting only a dusky
light.  The only furniture or ornament, so far as I recollect, was the
colossal statue of Pompey, which stands on its pedestal at one side,
certainly the sternest and severest of figures, and producing the most
awful impression on the spectator.  Much of the effect, no doubt, is due
to the sombre obscurity of the hall, and to the loneliness in which the
great naked statue stands.  It is entirely nude, except for a cloak that
hangs down from the left shoulder; in the left hand, it holds a globe;
the right arm is extended.  The whole expression is such as the statue
might have assumed, if, during the tumult of Caesar's murder, it had
stretched forth its marble hand, and motioned the conspirators to give
over the attack, or to be quiet, now that their victim had fallen at its
feet.  On the left leg, about midway above the ankle, there is a dull,
red stain, said to be Caesar's blood; but, of course, it is just such a
red stain in the marble as may be seen on the statue of Antinous at the
Capitol.  I could not see any resemblance in the face of the statue to
that of the bust of Pompey, shown as such at the Capitol, in which there
is not the slightest moral dignity, or sign of intellectual eminence.  I
am glad to have seen this statue, and glad to remember it in that gray,
dim, lofty hall; glad that there were no bright frescos on the walls, and
that the ceiling was wrought with massive beams, and the floor paved with
ancient brick.

From this anteroom we passed through several saloons containing pictures,
some of which were by eminent artists; the Judith of Guido, a copy of
which used to weary me to death, year after year, in the Boston
Athenaeum; and many portraits of Cardinals in the Spada family, and other
pictures, by Guido.  There were some portraits, also of the family, by
Titian; some good pictures by Guercino; and many which I should have been
glad to examine more at leisure; but, by and by, the custode made his
appearance, and began to close the shutters, under pretence that the
sunshine would injure the paintings,--an effect, I presume, not very
likely to follow after two or three centuries' exposure to light, air,
and whatever else might hurt them.  However, the pictures seemed to be in
much better condition, and more enjoyable, so far as they had merit, than
those in most Roman picture-galleries; although the Spada Palace itself
has a decayed and impoverished aspect, as if the family had dwindled from
its former state and grandeur, and now, perhaps, smuggled itself into
some out-of-the-way corner of the old edifice.  If such be the case,
there is something touching in their still keeping possession of Pompey's
statue, which makes their house famous, and the sale of which might give
them the means of building it up anew; for surely it is worth the whole
sculpture-gallery of the Vatican.

In the afternoon Mr. Thompson and I went, for the third or fourth time,
to negotiate with vetturinos. . . . So far as I know them they are a
very tricky set of people, bent on getting as much as they can, by hook
or by crook, out of the unfortunate individual who falls into their
hands.  They begin, as I have said, by asking about twice as much as they
ought to receive; and anything between this exorbitant amount and the
just price is what they thank heaven for, as so much clear gain.
Nevertheless, I am not quite sure that the Italians are worse than other
people even in this matter.  In other countries it is the custom of
persons in trade to take as much as they can get from the public,
fleecing one man to exactly the same extent as another; here they take
what they can obtain from the individual customer.  In fact, Roman
tradesmen do not pretend to deny that they ask and receive different
prices from different people, taxing them according to their supposed
means of payment; the article supplied being the same in one case as in
another.  A shopkeeper looked into his books to see if we were of the
class who paid two pauls, or only a paul and a half for candles; a
charcoal-dealer said that seventy baiocchi was a very reasonable sum for
us to pay for charcoal, and that some persons paid eighty; and Mr.
Thompson, recognizing the rule, told the old vetturino that "a hundred
and fifty scudi was a very proper charge for carrying a prince to
Florence, but not for carrying me, who was merely a very good artist."
The result is well enough; the rich man lives expensively, and pays a
larger share of the profits which people of a different system of
trade-morality would take equally from the poor man.  The effect on the
conscience of the vetturino, however, and of tradesmen of all kinds,
cannot be good; their only intent being, not to do justice between man
and man, but to go as deep as they can into all pockets, and to the very
bottom of some.

We had nearly concluded a bargain, a day or two ago, with a vetturino to
take or send us to Florence, via Perugia, in eight days, for a hundred
scudi; but he now drew back, under pretence of having misunderstood the
terms, though, in reality, no doubt, he was in hopes of getting a better
bargain from somebody else.  We made an agreement with another man, whom
Mr. Thompson knows and highly recommends, and immediately made it sure
and legally binding by exchanging a formal written contract, in which
everything is set down, even to milk, butter, bread, eggs, and coffee,
which we are to have for breakfast; the vetturino being to pay every
expense for himself, his horses, and his passengers, and include it
within ninety-five scudi, and five crowns in addition for
buon-mano. . . . .


May 22d.--Yesterday, while we were at dinner, Mr. ------ called.  I never
saw him but once before, and that was at the door of our little red
cottage in Lenox; he sitting in a wagon with one or two of the
Sedgewicks, merely exchanging a greeting with me from under the brim of
his straw hat, and driving on.  He presented himself now with a long
white beard, such as a palmer might have worn as the growth of his long
pilgrimages, a brow almost entirely bald, and what hair he has quite
hoary; a forehead impending, yet not massive; dark, bushy eyebrows and
keen eyes, without much softness in them; a dark and sallow complexion; a
slender figure, bent a little with age; but at once alert and infirm.  It
surprised me to see him so venerable; for, as poets are Apollo's kinsmen,
we are inclined to attribute to them his enviable quality of never
growing old.  There was a weary look in his face, as if he were tired of
seeing things and doing things, though with certainly enough still to see
and do, if need were.  My family gathered about him, and he conversed
with great readiness and simplicity about his travels, and whatever other
subject came up; telling us that he had been abroad five times, and was
now getting a little home-sick, and had no more eagerness for sights,
though his "gals" (as he called his daughter and another young lady)
dragged him out to see the wonders of Rome again.  His manners and whole
aspect are very particularly plain, though not affectedly so; but it
seems as if in the decline of life, and the security of his position, he
had put off whatever artificial polish he may have heretofore had, and
resumed the simpler habits and deportment of his early New England
breeding.  Not but what you discover, nevertheless, that he is a man of
refinement, who has seen the world, and is well aware of his own place in
it.  He spoke with great pleasure of his recent visit to Spain.  I
introduced the subject of Kansas, and methought his face forthwith
assumed something of the bitter keenness of the editor of a political
newspaper, while speaking of the triumph of the administration over the
Free-Soil opposition.  I inquired whether he had seen S------, and he
gave a very sad account of him as he appeared at their last meeting,
which was in Paris.  S------, he thought, had suffered terribly, and
would never again be the man he was; he was getting fat; he talked
continually of himself, and of trifles concerning himself, and seemed to
have no interest for other matters; and Mr. ------ feared that the shock
upon his nerves had extended to his intellect, and was irremediable.  He
said that S------ ought to retire from public life, but had no friend
true enough to tell him so.  This is about as sad as anything can be.  I
hate to have S------ undergo the fate of a martyr, because he was not
naturally of the stuff that martyrs are made of, and it is altogether by
mistake that he has thrust himself into the position of one.  He was
merely, though with excellent abilities, one of the best of fellows, and
ought to have lived and died in good fellowship with all the world.

S------ was not in the least degree excited about this or any other
subject.  He uttered neither passion nor poetry, but excellent good
sense, and accurate information on whatever subject transpired; a very
pleasant man to associate with, but rather cold, I should imagine, if one
should seek to touch his heart with one's own.  He shook hands kindly all
round, but not with any warmth of gripe; although the ease of his
deportment had put us all on sociable terms with him.

At seven o'clock we went by invitation to take tea with Miss Bremer.
After much search, and lumbering painfully up two or three staircases in
vain, and at last going about in a strange circuity, we found her in a
small chamber of a large old building, situated a little way from the
brow of the Tarpeian Rock.  It was the tiniest and humblest domicile that
I have seen in Rome, just large enough to hold her narrow bed, her
tea-table, and a table covered with books,--photographs of Roman ruins,
and some pages written by herself.  I wonder whether she be poor.
Probably so; for she told us that her expense of living here is only five
pauls a day.  She welcomed us, however, with the greatest cordiality and
lady-like simplicity, making no allusion to the humbleness of her
environment (and making us also lose sight of it, by the absence of all
apology) any more than if she were receiving us in a palace.  There is
not a better bred woman; and yet one does not think whether she has any
breeding or no.  Her little bit of a round table was already spread for
us with her blue earthenware teacups; and after she had got through an
interview with the Swedish Minister, and dismissed him with a hearty
pressure of his hand between both her own, she gave us our tea, and some
bread, and a mouthful of cake.  Meanwhile, as the day declined, there had
been the most beautiful view over the campagna, out of one of her
windows; and, from the other, looking towards St. Peter's, the broad
gleam of a mildly glorious sunset; not so pompous and magnificent as many
that I have seen in America, but softer and sweeter in all its changes.
As its lovely hues died slowly away, the half-moon shone out brighter and
brighter; for there was not a cloud in the sky, and it seemed like the
moonlight of my younger days.  In the garden, beneath her window, verging
upon the Tarpeian Rock, there was shrubbery and one large tree, softening
the brow of the famous precipice, adown which the old Romans used to
fling their traitors, or sometimes, indeed, their patriots.

Miss Bremer talked plentifully in her strange manner,--good English
enough for a foreigner, but so oddly intonated and accented, that it is
impossible to be sure of more than one word in ten.  Being so little
comprehensible, it is very singular how she contrives to make her
auditors so perfectly certain, as they are, that she is talking the best
sense, and in the kindliest spirit.  There is no better heart than hers,
and not many sounder heads; and a little touch of sentiment comes
delightfully in, mixed up with a quick and delicate humor and the most
perfect simplicity.  There is also a very pleasant atmosphere of
maidenhood about her; we are sensible of a freshness and odor of the
morning still in this little withered rose,--its recompense for never
having been gathered and worn, but only diffusing fragrance on its stem.
I forget mainly what we talked about,--a good deal about art, of course,
although that is a subject of which Miss Bremer evidently knows nothing.
Once we spoke of fleas,--insects that, in Rome, come home to everybody's
business and bosom, and are so common and inevitable, that no delicacy is
felt about alluding to the sufferings they inflict.  Poor little Miss
Bremer was tormented with one while turning out our tea. . . . She
talked, among other things, of the winters in Sweden, and said that she
liked them, long and severe as they are; and this made me feel ashamed of
dreading the winters of New England, as I did before coming from home,
and do now still more, after five or six mild English Decembers.

By and by, two young ladies came in,--Miss Bremen's neighbors, it
seemed,--fresh from a long walk on the campagna, fresh and weary at the
same time.  One apparently was German, and the other French, and they
brought her an offering of flowers, and chattered to her with
affectionate vivacity; and, as we were about taking leave, Miss Bremer
asked them to accompany her and us on a visit to the edge of the Tarpeian
Rock.  Before we left the room, she took a bunch of roses that were in a
vase, and gave them to Miss Shepard, who told her that she should make
her six sisters happy by giving one to each.  Then we went down the
intricate stairs, and, emerging into the garden, walked round the brow of
the hill, which plunges headlong with exceeding abruptness; but, so far
as I could see in the moonlight, is no longer quite a precipice.  Then
we re-entered the house, and went up stairs and down again, through
intricate passages, till we got into the street, which was still peopled
with the ragamuffins who infest and burrow in that part of Rome.  We
returned through an archway, and descended the broad flight of steps into
the piazza of the Capitol; and from the extremity of it, just at the head
of the long graded way, where Castor and Pollux and the old milestones
stand, we turned to the left, and followed a somewhat winding path, till
we came into the court of a palace.  This court is bordered by a parapet,
leaning over which we saw the sheer precipice of the Tarpeian Rock, about
the height of a four-story house. . . .

On the edge of this, before we left the court, Miss Bremer bade us
farewell, kissing my wife most affectionately on each cheek, . . . . and
then turning towards myself, . . . . she pressed my hand, and we parted,
probably never to meet again.  God bless her good heart! . . . . She is a
most amiable little woman, worthy to be the maiden aunt of the whole
human race.  I suspect, by the by, that she does not like me half so well
as I do her; it is my impression that she thinks me unamiable, or that
there is something or other not quite right about me.  I am sorry if it
be so, because such a good, kindly, clear-sighted, and delicate person is
very apt to have reason at the bottom of her harsh thoughts, when, in
rare cases, she allows them to harbor with her.

To-day, and for some days past, we have been in quest of lodgings for
next winter; a weary search, up interminable staircases, which seduce us
upward to no successful result.  It is very disheartening not to be able
to place the slightest reliance on the integrity of the people we are to
deal with; not to believe in any connection between their words and their
purposes; to know that they are certainly telling you falsehoods, while
you are not in a position to catch hold of the lie, and hold it up in
their faces.

This afternoon we called on Mr. and Mrs. ------ at the Hotel de l'Europe,
but found only the former at home.  We had a pleasant visit, but I made
no observations of his character save such as I have already sufficiently
recorded; and when we had been with him a little while, Mrs. Chapman, the
artist's wife, Mr. Terry, and my friend, Mr. Thompson, came in.  ------
received them all with the same good degree of cordiality that he did
ourselves, not cold, not very warm, not annoyed, not ecstatically
delighted; a man, I should suppose, not likely to have ardent individual
preferences, though perhaps capable of stern individual dislikes.  But I
take him, at all events, to be a very upright man, and pursuing a narrow
track of integrity; he is a man whom I would never forgive (as I would a
thousand other men) for the slightest moral delinquency.  I would not be
bound to say, however, that he has not the little sin of a fretful and
peevish habit; and yet perhaps I am a sinner myself for thinking so.


May 23d.--This morning I breakfasted at William Story's, and met there
Mr. Bryant, Mr. T------ (an English gentleman), Mr. and Mrs. Apthorp,
Miss Hosmer, and one or two other ladies.  Bryant was very quiet, and
made no conversation audible to the general table.  Mr. T------ talked of
English politics and public men; the "Times" and other newspapers,
English clubs and social habits generally; topics in which I could well
enough bear my part of the discussion.  After breakfast, and aside from
the ladies, he mentioned an illustration of Lord Ellenborough's lack of
administrative ability,--a proposal seriously made by his lordship in
reference to the refractory Sepoys. . . .

We had a very pleasant breakfast, and certainly a breakfast is much
preferable to a dinner, not merely in the enjoyment, while it is passing,
but afterwards.  I made a good suggestion to Miss Hosmer for the design
of a fountain,--a lady bursting into tears, water gushing from a thousand
pores, in literal translation of the phrase; and to call the statue
"Niobe, all Tears."  I doubt whether she adopts the idea; but Bernini
would have been delighted with it.  I should think the gush of water
might be so arranged as to form a beautiful drapery about the figure,
swaying and fluttering with every breath of wind, and rearranging itself
in the calm; in which case, the lady might be said to have "a habit of
weeping." . . . . Apart, with William Story, he and I talked of the
unluckiness of Friday, etc.  I like him particularly well. . . .

We have been plagued to-day with our preparations for leaving Rome
to-morrow, and especially with verifying the inventory of furniture,
before giving up the house to our landlord.  He and his daughter have
been examining every separate article, down even to the kitchen skewers,
I believe, and charging us to the amount of several scudi for cracks and
breakages, which very probably existed when we came into possession.  It
is very uncomfortable to have dealings with such a mean people (though
our landlord is German),--mean in their business transactions; mean even
in their beggary; for the beggars seldom ask for more than a mezzo
baioccho, though they sometimes grumble when you suit your gratuity
exactly to their petition.  It is pleasant to record that the Italians
have great faith in the honor of the English and Americans, and never
hesitate to trust entire strangers, to any reasonable extent, on the
strength of their being of the honest Anglo-Saxon race.

This evening, U---- and I took a farewell walk in the Pincian Gardens to
see the sunset; and found them crowded with people, promenading and
listening to the music of the French baud.  It was the feast of
Whitsunday, which probably brought a greater throng than usual abroad.

When the sun went down, we descended into the Piazza del Popolo, and
thence into the Via Ripetta, and emerged through a gate to the shore of
the Tiber, along which there is a pleasant walk beneath a grove of trees.
We traversed it once and back again, looking at the rapid river, which
still kept its mud-puddly aspect even in the clear twilight, and beneath
the brightening moon.  The great bell of St. Peter's tolled with a deep
boom, a grand and solemn sound; the moon gleamed through the branches of
the trees above us; and U---- spoke with somewhat alarming fervor of her
love for Rome, and regret at leaving it.  We shall have done the child no
good office in bringing her here, if the rest of her life is to be a
dream of this "city of the soul," and an unsatisfied yearning to come
back to it.  On the other hand, nothing elevating and refining can be
really injurious, and so I hope she will always be the better for Rome,
even if her life should be spent where there are no pictures, no statues,
nothing but the dryness and meagreness of a New England village.



JOURNEY TO FLORENCE.


Civita Castellana, May 24th.--We left Rome this morning, after troubles
of various kinds, and a dispute in the first place with Lalla, our female
servant, and her mother. . . . Mother and daughter exploded into a
livid rage, and cursed us plentifully,--wishing that we might never come
to our journey's end, and that we might all break our necks or die of
apoplexy,--the most awful curse that an Italian knows how to invoke upon
his enemies, because it precludes the possibility of extreme unction.
However, as we are heretics, and certain of damnation therefore, anyhow,
it does not much matter to us; and also the anathemas may have been blown
back upon those who invoked them, like the curses that were flung out
from the balcony of St Peter's during Holy Week and wafted by heaven's
breezes right into the faces of some priests who stood near the pope.
Next we had a disagreement, with two men who brought down our luggage,
and put it on the vettura; . . . . and, lastly, we were infested with
beggars, who hung round the carriages with doleful petitions, till we
began to move away; but the previous warfare had put me into too stern a
mood for almsgiving, so that they also were doubtless inclined to curse
more than to bless, and I am persuaded that we drove off under a perfect
shower of anathemas.

We passed through the Porta del Popolo at about eight o'clock; and after
a moment's delay, while the passport was examined, began our journey
along the Flaminian Way, between two such high and inhospitable walls of
brick or stone as seem to shut in all the avenues to Rome.  We had not
gone far before we heard military music in advance of us, and saw the
road blocked up with people, and then the glitter of muskets, and soon
appeared the drummers, fifers, and trumpeters, and then the first
battalion of a French regiment, marching into the city, with two mounted
officers at their head; then appeared a second and then a third
battalion, the whole seeming to make almost an army, though the number on
their caps showed them all to belong to one regiment,--the 1st; then came
a battery of artillery, then a detachment of horse,--these last, by the
crossed keys on their helmets, being apparently papal troops.  All were
young, fresh, good-looking men, in excellent trim as to uniform and
equipments, and marched rather as if they were setting out on a campaign
than returning from it; the fact being, I believe, that they have been
encamped or in barracks within a few miles of the city.  Nevertheless, it
reminded me of the military processions of various kinds which so often,
two thousand years ago and more, entered Rome over the Flaminian Way, and
over all the roads that led to the famous city,--triumphs oftenest, but
sometimes the downcast train of a defeated army, like those who retreated
before Hannibal.  On the whole, I was not sorry to see the Gauls still
pouring into Rome; but yet I begin to find that I have a strange
affection for it, and so did we all,--the rest of the family in a greater
degree than myself even.  It is very singular, the sad embrace with which
Rome takes possession of the soul.  Though we intend to return in a few
months, and for a longer residence than this has been, yet we felt the
city pulling at our heartstrings far more than London did, where we shall
probably never spend much time again.  It may be because the intellect
finds a home there more than in any other spot in the world, and wins the
heart to stay with it, in spite of a good many things strewn all about to
disgust us.

The road in the earlier part of the way was not particularly
picturesque,--the country undulated, but scarcely rose into hills, and
was destitute of trees; there were a few shapeless ruins, too indistinct
for us to make out whether they were Roman or mediaeval.  Nothing struck
one so much, in the forenoon, as the spectacle of a peasant-woman riding
on horseback as if she were a man.  The houses were few, and those of a
dreary aspect, built of gray stone, and looking bare and desolate, with
not the slightest promise of comfort within doors.  We passed two or
three locandas or inns, and finally came to the village (if village it
were, for I remember no houses except our osteria) of Castel Nuovo di
Porta, where we were to take a dejeuner a la fourchette, which was put
upon the table between twelve and one.  On this journey, according to the
custom of travellers in Italy, we pay the vetturino a certain sum, and
live at his expense; and this meal was the first specimen of his catering
on our behalf.  It consisted of a beefsteak, rather dry and hard, but not
unpalatable, and a large omelette; and for beverage, two quart bottles of
red wine, which, being tasted, had an agreeable acid flavor. . . . The
locanda was built of stone, and had what looked like an old Roman altar
in the basement-hall, and a shrine, with a lamp before it, on the
staircase; and the large public saloon in which we ate had a brick floor,
a ceiling with cross-beams, meagrely painted in fresco, and a scanty
supply of chairs and settees.

After lunch, we wandered out into a valley or ravine near the house,
where we gathered some flowers, and J----- found a nest with the young
birds in it, which, however, he put back into the bush whence he took it.

Our afternoon drive was more picturesque and noteworthy.  Soracte rose
before us, bulging up quite abruptly out of the plain, and keeping itself
entirely distinct from a whole horizon of hills.  Byron well compares it
to a wave just on the bend, and about to break over towards the
spectator.  As we approached it nearer and nearer, it looked like the
barrenest great rock that ever protruded out of the substance of the
earth, with scarcely a strip or a spot of verdure upon its steep and gray
declivities.  The road kept trending towards the mountain, following the
line of the old Flaminian Way, which we could see, at frequent intervals,
close beside the modern track.  It is paved with large flag-stones, laid
so accurately together, that it is still, in some places, as smooth and
even as the floor of a church; and everywhere the tufts of grass find it
difficult to root themselves into the interstices.  Its course is
straighter than that of the road of to-day, which often turns aside to
avoid obstacles which the ancient one surmounted.  Much of it, probably,
is covered with the soil and overgrowth deposited in later years; and,
now and then, we could see its flag-stones partly protruding from the
bank through which our road has been cut, and thus showing that the
thickness of this massive pavement was more than a foot of solid stone.
We lost it over and over again; but still it reappeared, now on one side
of us, now on the other; perhaps from beneath the roots of old trees, or
the pasture-land of a thousand years old, and leading on towards the base
of Soracte.  I forget where we finally lost it.  Passing through a town
called Rignano, we found it dressed out in festivity, with festoons of
foliage along both sides of the street, which ran beneath a triumphal
arch, bearing an inscription in honor of a ducal personage of the Massimi
family.  I know no occasion for the feast, except that it is Whitsuntide.
The town was thronged with peasants, in their best attire, and we met
others on their way thither, particularly women and girls, with heads
bare in the sunshine; but there was no tiptoe jollity, nor, indeed,
any more show of festivity than I have seen in my own country at a
cattle-show or muster.  Really, I think, not half so much.

The road still grew more and more picturesque, and now lay along ridges,
at the bases of which were deep ravines and hollow valleys.  Woods were
not wanting; wilder forests than I have seen since leaving America, of
oak-trees chiefly; and, among the green foliage, grew golden tufts of
broom, making a gay and lovely combination of hues.  I must not forget to
mention the poppies, which burned like live coals along the wayside, and
lit up the landscape, even a single one of them, with wonderful effect.
At other points, we saw olive-trees, hiding their eccentricity of boughs
under thick masses of foliage of a livid tint, which is caused, I
believe, by their turning their reverse sides to the light and to the
spectator.  Vines were abundant, but were of little account in the scene.
By and by we came in sight, of the high, flat table-land, on which stands
Civita Castellana, and beheld, straight downward, between us and the
town, a deep level valley with a river winding through it; it was the
valley of the Treja.  A precipice, hundreds of feet in height, falls
perpendicularly upon the valley, from the site of Civita Castellana;
there is an equally abrupt one, probably, on the side from which we saw
it; and a modern road, skilfully constructed, goes winding down to the
stream, crosses it by a narrow stone bridge, and winds upward into the
town.  After passing over the bridge, I alighted, with J----- and R-----,
. . . . and made the ascent on foot, along walls of natural rock, in
which old Etruscan tombs were hollowed out.  There are likewise antique
remains of masonry, whether Roman or of what earlier period, I cannot
tell.  At the summit of the acclivity, which brought us close to the
town, our vetturino took us into the carriage again and quickly brought
us to what appears to be really a good hotel, where all of us are
accommodated with sleeping-chambers in a range, beneath an arcade,
entirely secluded from the rest of the population of the hotel.  After a
splendid dinner (that is, splendid, considering that it was ordered by
our hospitable vetturino), U----, Miss Shepard, J-----, and I walked out
of the little town, in the opposite direction from our entrance, and
crossed a bridge at the height of the table-land, instead of at its base.
On either side, we had a view down into a profound gulf, with sides of
precipitous rock, and heaps of foliage in its lap, through which ran the
snowy track of a stream; here snowy, there dark; here hidden among the
foliage, there quite revealed in the broad depths of the gulf.  This was
wonderfully fine.  Walking on a little farther, Soracte came fully into
view, starting with bold abruptness out of the middle of the country; and
before we got back, the bright Italian moon was throwing a shower of
silver over the scene, and making it so beautiful that it seemed
miserable not to know how to put it into words; a foolish thought,
however, for such scenes are an expression in themselves, and need not be
translated into any feebler language.  On our walk we met parties of
laborers, both men and women, returning from the fields, with rakes and
wooden forks over their shoulders, singing in chorus.  It is very
customary for women to be laboring in the fields.



TO TERNI.--BORGHETTO.


May 25th.--We were aroused at four o'clock this morning; had some eggs
and coffee, and were ready to start between five and six; being thus
matutinary, in order to get to Terni in time to see the falls.  The road
was very striking and picturesque; but I remember nothing particularly,
till we came to Borghetto, which stands on a bluff, with a broad valley
sweeping round it, through the midst of which flows the Tiber.  There is
an old castle on a projecting point; and we saw other battlemented
fortresses, of mediaeval date, along our way, forming more beautiful
ruins than any of the Roman remains to which we have become accustomed.
This is partly, I suppose, owing to the fact that they have been
neglected, and allowed to mantle their decay with ivy, instead of being
cleaned, propped up, and restored.  The antiquarian is apt to spoil the
objects that interest him.

Sometimes we passed through wildernesses of various trees, each
contributing a different hue of verdure to the scene; the vine, also,
marrying itself to the fig-tree, so that a man might sit in the shadow of
both at once, and temper the luscious sweetness of the one fruit with the
fresh flavor of the other.  The wayside incidents were such as meeting a
man and woman borne along as prisoners, handcuffed and in a cart; two men
reclining across one another, asleep, and lazily lifting their heads to
gaze at us as we passed by; a woman spinning with a distaff as she walked
along the road.  An old tomb or tower stood in a lonely field, and
several caves were hollowed in the rocks, which might have been either
sepulchres or habitations.  Soracte kept us company, sometimes a little
on one side, sometimes behind, looming up again and again, when we
thought that we had done with it, and so becoming rather tedious at last,
like a person who presents himself for another and another leave-taking
after the one which ought to have been final.  Honeysuckles sweetened the
hedges along the road.

After leaving Borghetto, we crossed the broad valley of the Tiber, and
skirted along one of the ridges that border it, looking back upon the
road that we had passed, lying white behind us.  We saw a field covered
with buttercups, or some other yellow flower, and poppies burned along
the roadside, as they did yesterday, and there were flowers of a
delicious blue, as if the blue Italian sky had been broken into little
bits, and scattered down upon the green earth.  Otricoli by and by
appeared, situated on a bold promontory above the valley, a village of a
few gray houses and huts, with one edifice gaudily painted in white and
pink.  It looked more important at a distance than we found it on our
nearer approach.  As the road kept ascending, and as the hills grew to be
mountains, we had taken two additional horses, making six in all, with a
man and boy running beside them, to keep them in motion.  The boy had two
club feet, so inconveniently disposed that it seemed almost inevitable
for him to stumble over them at every step; besides which, he seemed to
tread upon his ankles, and moved with a disjointed gait, as if each of
his legs and thighs had been twisted round together with his feet.
Nevertheless, he had a bright, cheerful, intelligent face, and was
exceedingly active, keeping up with the horses at their trot, and
inciting them to better speed when they lagged.  I conceived a great
respect for this poor boy, who had what most Italian peasants would
consider an enviable birthright in those two club feet, as giving him a
sufficient excuse to live on charity, but yet took no advantage of them;
on the contrary, putting his poor misshapen hoofs to such good use as
might have shamed many a better provided biped.  When he quitted us, he
asked no alms of the travellers, but merely applied to Gaetano for some
slight recompense for his well-performed service.  This behavior
contrasted most favorably with that of some other boys and girls, who ran
begging beside the carriage door, keeping up a low, miserable murmur,
like that of a kennel-stream, for a long, long way.  Beggars, indeed,
started up at every point, when we stopped for a moment, and whenever a
hill imposed a slower pace upon us; each village had its deformity or its
infirmity, offering his wretched petition at the step of the carriage;
and even a venerable, white-haired patriarch, the grandfather of all the
beggars, seemed to grow up by the roadside, but was left behind from
inability to join in the race with his light-footed juniors.  No shame is
attached to begging in Italy.  In fact, I rather imagine it to be held an
honorable profession, inheriting some of the odor of sanctity that used
to be attached to a mendicant and idle life in the days of early
Christianity, when every saint lived upon Providence, and deemed it
meritorious to do nothing for his support.

Murray's guide-book is exceedingly vague and unsatisfactory along this
route; and whenever we asked Gaetano the name of a village or a castle,
he gave some one which we had never heard before, and could find nothing
of in the book.  We made out the river Nar, however, or what I supposed
to be such, though he called it Nera.  It flows through a most stupendous
mountain-gorge; winding its narrow passage between high hills, the broad
sides of which descend steeply upon it, covered with trees and shrubbery,
that mantle a host of rocky roughnesses, and make all look smooth.  Here
and there a precipice juts sternly forth.  We saw an old castle on a
hillside, frowning down into the gorge; and farther on, the gray tower of
Narni stands upon a height, imminent over the depths below, and with its
battlemented castle above now converted into a prison, and therefore kept
in excellent repair.  A long winding street passes through Narni,
broadening at one point into a market-place, where an old cathedral
showed its venerable front, and the great dial of its clock, the figures
on which were numbered in two semicircles of twelve points each; one, I
suppose, for noon, and the other for midnight.  The town has, so far as
its principal street is concerned, a city-like aspect, with large, fair
edifices, and shops as good as most of those at Rome, the smartness of
which contrasts strikingly with the rude and lonely scenery of mountain
and stream, through which we had come to reach it.  We drove through
Narni without stopping, and came out from it on the other side, where a
broad, level valley opened before us, most unlike the wild, precipitous
gorge which had brought us to the town.  The road went winding down into
the peaceful vale, through the midst of which flowed the same stream that
cuts its way between the impending hills, as already described.  We
passed a monk and a soldier,--the two curses of Italy, each in his way,--
walking sociably side by side; and from Narni to Terni I remember nothing
that need be recorded.

Terni, like so many other towns in the neighborhood, stands in a high and
commanding position, chosen doubtless for its facilities of defence, in
days long before the mediaeval warfares of Italy made such sites
desirable.  I suppose that, like Narni and Otricoli, it was a city of the
Umbrians.  We reached it between eleven and twelve o'clock, intending to
employ the afternoon on a visit to the famous falls of Terni; but, after
lowering all day, it has begun to rain, and we shall probably have to
give them up.


Half past eight o'clock.--It has rained in torrents during the afternoon,
and we have not seen the cascade of Terni; considerably to my regret, for
I think I felt the more interest in seeing it, on account of its being
artificial.  Methinks nothing was more characteristic of the energy and
determination of the old Romans, than thus to take a river, which they
wished to be rid of, and fling it over a giddy precipice, breaking it
into ten million pieces by the fall. . . . We are in the Hotel delle
tre Colonne, and find it reasonably good, though not, so far as we are
concerned, justifying the rapturous commendations of previous tourists,
who probably travelled at their own charges.  However, there is nothing
really to be complained of, either in our accommodations or table, and
the only wonder is how Gaetano contrives to get any profit out of our
contract, since the hotel bills would alone cost us more than we pay him
for the journey and all.  It is worth while to record as history of
vetturino commissary customs, that for breakfast this morning we had
coffee, eggs, and bread and butter; for lunch an omelette, some stewed
veal, and a dessert of figs and grapes, besides two decanters of a
light-colored acid wine, tasting very like indifferent cider; for dinner,
an excellent vermicelli soup, two young fowls, fricasseed, and a hind
quarter of roast lamb, with fritters, oranges, and figs, and two more
decanters of the wine aforesaid.

This hotel is an edifice with a gloomy front upon a narrow street, and
enterable through an arch, which admits you into an enclosed court;
around the court, on each story, run the galleries, with which the
parlors and sleeping-apartments communicate.  The whole house is dingy,
probably old, and seems not very clean; but yet bears traces of former
magnificence; for instance, in our bedroom, the door of which is
ornamented with gilding, and the cornices with frescos, some of which
appear to represent the cascade of Terni, the roof is crossed with carved
beams, and is painted in the interstices; the floor has a carpet, but
rough tiles underneath it, which show themselves at the margin.  The
windows admit the wind; the door shuts so loosely as to leave great
cracks; and, during the rain to-day, there was a heavy shower through our
ceiling, which made a flood upon the carpet.  We see no chambermaids;
nothing of the comfort and neatness of an English hotel, nor of the smart
splendors of an American one; but still this dilapidated palace affords
us a better shelter than I expected to find in the decayed country towns
of Italy.  In the album of the hotel I find the names of more English
travellers than of any other nation except the Americans, who, I think,
even exceed the former; and, the route being the favorite one for
tourists between Rome and Florence, whatever merit the inns have is
probably owing to the demands of the Anglo-Saxons.  I doubt not, if we
chose to pay for it, this hotel would supply us with any luxury we might
ask for; and perhaps even a gorgeous saloon and state bedchamber.

After dinner, J----- and I walked out in the dusk to see what we could of
Terni.  We found it compact and gloomy (but the latter characteristic
might well enough be attributed to the dismal sky), with narrow streets,
paved from wall to wall of the houses, like those of all the towns in
Italy; the blocks of paving-stone larger than the little square torments
of Rome.  The houses are covered with dingy stucco, and mostly low,
compared with those of Rome, and inhospitable as regards their dismal
aspects and uninviting doorways.  The streets are intricate, as well as
narrow; insomuch that we quickly lost our way, and could not find it
again, though the town is of so small dimensions, that we passed through
it in two directions, in the course of our brief wanderings.  There are
no lamp-posts in Terni; and as it was growing dark, and beginning to rain
again, we at last inquired of a person in the principal piazza, and found
our hotel, as I expected, within two minutes' walk of where we stood.



FOLIGNO.


May 26th.--At six o'clock this morning, we packed ourselves into our
vettura, my wife and I occupying the coupe, and drove out of the city
gate of Terni.  There are some old towers near it, ruins of I know not
what, and care as little, in the plethora of antiquities and other
interesting objects.  Through the arched gateway, as we approached, we
had a view of one of the great hills that surround the town, looking
partly bright in the early sunshine, and partly catching the shadows of
the clouds that floated about the sky.  Our way was now through the Vale
of Terni, as I believe it is called, where we saw somewhat of the
fertility of Italy: vines trained on poles, or twining round mulberry and
other trees, ranged regularly like orchards; groves of olives and fields
of grain.  There are interminable shrines in all sorts of situations;
some under arched niches, or little penthouses, with a brick-tiled roof,
just large enough to cover them; or perhaps in some bit of old Roman
masonry, on the wall of a wayside inn, or in a shallow cavity of the
natural rock, or high upward in the deep cuts of the road; everywhere, in
short, so that nobody need be at a loss when he feels the religious
sentiment stir within him.  Our way soon began to wind among the hills,
which rose steep and lofty from the scanty, level space that lay between;
they continually thrust themselves across the passage, and appeared as if
determined to shut us completely in.  A great hill would put its foot
right before us; but, at the last moment, would grudgingly withdraw it,
and allow us just room enough to creep by.  Adown their sides we
discerned the dry beds of mountain torrents, which had lived too fierce a
life to let it be a long one.  On here and there a hillside or promontory
we saw a ruined castle or a convent, looking from its commanding height
upon the road, which very likely some robber-knight had formerly infested
with his banditti, retreating with his booty to the security of such
strongholds.  We came, once in a while, to wretched villages, where there
was no token of prosperity or comfort; but perhaps there may have been
more than we could appreciate, for the Italians do not seem to have any
of that sort of pride which we find in New England villages, where every
man, according to his taste and means, endeavors to make his homestead an
ornament to the place.  We miss nothing in Italy more than the neat
doorsteps and pleasant porches and thresholds and delightful lawns or
grass-plots, which hospitably invite the imagination into a sweet
domestic interior.  Everything, however sunny and luxuriant may be the
scene around, is especially dreary and disheartening in the immediate
vicinity of an Italian home.

At Strettura (which, as the name indicates, is a very narrow part of the
valley) we added two oxen to our horses, and began to ascend the Monte
Somma, which, according to Murray, is nearly four thousand feet high
where we crossed it.  When we came to the steepest part of the ascent,
Gaetano, who exercises a pretty decided control over his passengers,
allowed us to walk; and we all, with one exception, alighted, and began
to climb the mountain on foot.  I walked on briskly, and soon left the
rest of the party behind, reaching the top of the pass in such a short
time that I could not believe it, and kept onward, expecting still
another height to climb.  But the road began to descend, winding among
the depths of the hills as heretofore; now beside the dry, gravelly bed
of a departed stream, now crossing it by a bridge, and perhaps passing
through some other gorge, that yet gave no decided promise of an outlet
into the world beyond.  A glimpse might occasionally be caught, through a
gap between the hill-tops, of a company of distant mountain-peaks,
pyramidal, as these hills are apt to be, and resembling the camp of an
army of giants.  The landscape was not altogether savage; sometimes a
hillside was covered with a rich field of grain, or an orchard of
olive-trees, looking not unlike puffs of smoke, from the peculiar line of
their foliage; but oftener there was a vast mantle of trees and shrubbery
from top to bottom, the golden tufts of the broom shining out amid the
verdure, and gladdening the whole.  Nothing was dismal except the houses;
those were always so, whether the compact, gray lines of village hovels,
with a narrow street between, or the lonely farm-house, standing far
apart from the road, built of stone, with window-gaps high in the wall,
empty of glass; or the half-castle, half-dwelling, of which I saw a
specimen or two, with what looked like a defensive rampart, drawn around
its court.  I saw no look of comfort anywhere; and continually, in this
wild and solitary region, I met beggars, just as if I were still in the
streets of Rome.  Boys and girls kept beside me, till they delivered me
into the hands of others like themselves; hoary grandsires and
grandmothers caught a glimpse of my approach, and tottered as fast as
they could to intercept me; women came out of the cottages, with rotten
cherries on a plate, entreating me to buy them for a mezzo baioccho; a
man, at work on the road, left his toil to beg, and was grateful for the
value of a cent; in short, I was never safe from importunity, as long as
there was a house or a human being in sight.

We arrived at Spoleto before noon, and while our dejeuner was being
prepared, looked down from the window of the inn into the narrow street
beneath, which, from the throng of people in it, I judged to be the
principal one: priests, papal soldiers, women with no bonnets on their
heads; peasants in breeches and mushroom hats; maids and matrons, drawing
water at a fountain; idlers, smoking on a bench under the window; a talk,
a bustle, but no genuine activity.  After lunch we walked out to see the
lions of Spoleto, and found our way up a steep and narrow street that led
us to the city gate, at which, it is traditionally said, Hannibal sought
to force an entrance, after the battle of Thrasymene, and was repulsed.
The gateway has a double arch, on the inner one of which is a tablet,
recording the above tradition as an unquestioned historical fact.  From
the gateway we went in search of the Duomo, or cathedral, and were kindly
directed thither by an officer, who was descending into the town from the
citadel, which is an old castle, now converted into a prison.  The
cathedral seemed small, and did not much interest us, either by the
Gothic front or its modernized interior.  We saw nothing else in Spoleto,
but went back to the inn and resumed our journey, emerging from the city
into the classic valley of the Clitumnus, which we did not view under the
best of auspices, because it was overcast, and the wind as chill as if it
had the cast in it.  The valley, though fertile, and smilingly
picturesque, perhaps, is not such as I should wish to celebrate, either
in prose or poetry.  It is of such breadth and extent, that its frame of
mountains and ridgy hills hardly serve to shut it in sufficiently, and
the spectator thinks of a boundless plain, rather than of a secluded
vale.  After passing Le Vene, we came to the little temple which Byron
describes, and which has been supposed to be the one immortalized by
Pliny.  It is very small, and stands on a declivity that falls
immediately from the road, right upon which rises the pediment of the
temple, while the columns of the other front find sufficient height to
develop themselves in the lower ground.  A little farther down than the
base of the edifice we saw the Clitumnus, so recently from its source in
the marble rock, that it was still as pure as a child's heart, and as
transparent as truth itself.  It looked airier than nothing, because it
had not substance enough to brighten, and it was clearer than the
atmosphere.  I remember nothing else of the valley of Clitumnus, except
that the beggars in this region of proverbial fertility are wellnigh
profane in the urgency of their petitions; they absolutely fall down on
their knees as you approach, in the same attitude as if they were praying
to their Maker, and beseech you for alms with a fervency which I am
afraid they seldom use before an altar or shrine.  Being denied, they ran
hastily beside the carriage, but got nothing, and finally gave over.

I am so very tired and sleepy that I mean to mention nothing else
to-night, except the city of Trevi, which, on the approach from Spoleto,
seems completely to cover a high, peaked hill, from its pyramidal tip to
its base.  It was the strangest situation in which to build a town,
where, I should suppose, no horse can climb, and whence no inhabitant
would think of descending into the world, after the approach of age
should begin to stiffen his joints.  On looking back on this most
picturesque of towns (which the road, of course, did not enter, as
evidently no road could), I saw that the highest part of the hill was
quite covered with a crown of edifices, terminating in a church-tower;
while a part of the northern side was apparently too steep for building;
and a cataract of houses flowed down the western and southern slopes.
There seemed to be palaces, churches, everything that a city should have;
but my eyes are heavy, and I can write no more about them, only that I
suppose the summit of the hill was artificially tenured, so as to prevent
its crumbling down, and enable it to support the platform of edifices
which crowns it.


May 27th.--We reached Foligno in good season yesterday afternoon.  Our
inn seemed ancient; and, under the same roof, on one side of the
entrance, was the stable, and on the other the coach-house.  The house is
built round a narrow court, with a well of water at bottom, and an
opening in the roof at top, whence the staircases are lighted that wind
round the sides of the court, up to the highest story.  Our dining-room
and bedrooms were in the latter region, and were all paved with brick,
and without carpets; and the characteristic of the whole was all
exceeding plainness and antique clumsiness of fitting up.  We found
ourselves sufficiently comfortable, however; and, as has been the case
throughout our journey, had a very fair and well-cooked dinner.  It
shows, as perhaps I have already remarked, that it is still possible to
live well in Italy, at no great expense, and that the high prices charged
to the forestieri at Rome and elsewhere are artificial, and ought to be
abated. . . .

The day had darkened since morning, and was now ominous of rain; but as
soon as we were established, we sallied out to see whatever was worth
looking at.  A beggar-boy, with one leg, followed us, without asking for
anything, apparently only for the pleasure of our company, though he kept
at too great a distance for conversation, and indeed did not attempt to
speak.

We went first to the cathedral, which has a Gothic front, and a
modernized interior, stuccoed and whitewashed, looking as neat as a New
England meeting-house, and very mean, after our familiarity with the
gorgeous churches in other cities.  There were some pictures in the
chapels, but, I believe, all modern, and I do not remember a single one
of them.  Next we went, without any guide, to a church attached to a
convent of Dominican monks, with a Gothic exterior, and two hideous
pictures of Death,--the skeleton leaning on his scythe, one on each side
of the door.  This church, likewise, was whitewashed, but we understood
that it had been originally frescoed all over, and by famous hands; but
these pictures, having become much injured, they were all obliterated, as
we saw,--all, that is to say, except a few specimens of the best
preserved, which were spared to show the world what the whole had been.
I thanked my stars that the obliteration of the rest had taken place
before our visit; for if anything is dreary and calculated to make the
beholder utterly miserable, it is a faded fresco, with spots of the white
plaster dotted over it.

Our one-legged boy had followed us into the church and stood near the
door till he saw us ready to come out, when he hurried on before us, and
waited a little way off to see whither we should go.  We still went on at
random, taking the first turn that offered itself, and soon came to
another old church,--that of St. Mary within the Walls,--into which we
entered, and found it whitewashed, like the other two.  This was
especially fortunate, for the doorkeeper informed us that, two years ago,
the whole church (except, I suppose, the roof, which is of timber) had
been covered with frescos by Pinturicchio, all of which had been
ruthlessly obliterated, except a very few fragments.  These he proceeded
to show us; poor, dim ghosts of what may once have been beautiful,--now
so far gone towards nothingness that I was hardly sure whether I saw a
glimmering of the design or not.  By the by, it was not Pinturicchio, as
I have written above, but Giotto, assisted, I believe, by Cimabue, who
painted these frescos.  Our one-legged attendant had followed us also
into this church, and again hastened out of it before us; and still we
heard the dot of his crutch upon the pavement, as we passed from street
to street.  By and by a sickly looking man met us, and begged for
"qualche cosa"; but the boy shouted to him, "Niente!" whether intimating
that we would give him nothing, or that he himself had a prior claim to
all our charity, I cannot tell.  However, the beggar-man turned round,
and likewise followed our devious course.  Once or twice we missed him;
but it was only because he could not walk so fast as we; for he appeared
again as we emerged from the door of another church.  Our one-legged
friend we never missed for a moment; he kept pretty near us,--near enough
to be amused by our indecision whither to go; and he seemed much
delighted when it began to rain, and he saw us at a loss how to find our
way back to the hotel.  Nevertheless, he did not offer to guide us; but
stumped on behind with a faster or slower dot of his crutch, according to
our pace.  I began to think that he must have been engaged as a spy upon
our movements by the police who had taken away my passport at the city
gate.  In this way he attended us to the door of the hotel, where the
beggar had already arrived.  The latter again put in his doleful
petition; the one-legged boy said not a word, nor seemed to expect
anything, and both had to go away without so much as a mezzo baioccho out
of our pockets.  The multitude of beggars in Italy makes the heart as
obdurate as a paving-stone.

We left Foligno this morning, and, all ready for us at the door of the
hotel, as we got into the carriage, were our friends, the beggar-man and
the one-legged boy; the latter holding out his ragged hat, and smiling
with as confident an air as if he had done us some very particular
service, and were certain of being paid for it, as from contract.  It was
so very funny, so impudent, so utterly absurd, that I could not help
giving him a trifle; but the man got nothing,--a fact that gives me a
twinge or two, for he looked sickly and miserable.  But where everybody
begs, everybody, as a general rule, must be denied; and, besides, they
act their misery so well that you are never sure of the genuine article.



PERUGIA.


May 25th.--As I said last night, we left Foligno betimes in the morning,
which was bleak, chill, and very threatening, there being very little
blue sky anywhere, and the clouds lying heavily on some of the
mountain-ridges.  The wind blew sharply right in U----'s face and mine,
as we occupied the coupe, so that there must have been a great deal of
the north in it.  We drove through a wide plain--the Umbrian valley, I
suppose--and soon passed the old town of Spello, just touching its
skirts, and wondering how people, who had this rich and convenient plain
from which to choose a site, could think of covering a huge island of
rock with their dwellings,--for Spello tumbled its crooked and narrow
streets down a steep descent, and cannot well have a yard of even space
within its walls.  It is said to contain some rare treasures of ancient
pictorial art.

I do not remember much that we saw on our route.  The plains and the
lower hillsides seemed fruitful of everything that belongs to Italy,
especially the olive and the vine.  As usual, there were a great many
shrines, and frequently a cross by the wayside.  Hitherto it had been
merely a plain wooden cross; but now almost every cross was hung with
various instruments, represented in wood, apparently symbols of the
crucifixion of our Saviour,--the spear, the sponge, the crown of thorns,
the hammer, a pair of pincers, and always St. Peter's cock, made a
prominent figure, generally perched on the summit of the cross.

From our first start this morning we had seen mists in various quarters,
betokening that there was rain in those spots, and now it began to
spatter in our own faces, although within the wide extent of our prospect
we could see the sunshine falling on portions of the valley.  A rainbow,
too, shone out, and remained so long visible that it appeared to have
made a permanent stain in the sky.

By and by we reached Assisi, which is magnificently situated for
pictorial purposes, with a gray castle above it, and a gray wall around
it, itself on a mountain, and looking over the great plain which we had
been traversing, and through which lay our onward way.  We drove through
the Piazza Grande to an ancient house a little beyond, where a hospitable
old lady receives travellers for a consideration, without exactly keeping
an inn.

In the piazza we saw the beautiful front of a temple of Minerva,
consisting of several marble pillars, fluted, and with rich capitals
supporting a pediment.  It was as fine as anything I had seen at Rome,
and is now, of course, converted into a Catholic church.

I ought to have said that, instead of driving straight to the old lady's,
we alighted at the door of a church near the city gate, and went in to
inspect some melancholy frescos, and thence clambered up a narrow street
to the cathedral, which has a Gothic front, old enough, but not very
impressive.  I really remember not a single object that we saw within,
but am pretty certain that the interior had been stuccoed and
whitewashed.  The ecclesiastics of old time did an excellent thing in
covering the interiors of their churches with brilliant frescos, thus
filling the holy places with saints and angels, and almost with the
presence of the Divinity.  The modern ecclesiastics do the next best
thing in obliterating the wretched remnants of what has had its day and
done its office.  These frescos might be looked upon as the symbol of the
living spirit that made Catholicism a true religion, and glorified it as
long as it did live; now the glory and beauty have departed from one and
the other.

My wife, U----, and Miss Shepard now set out with a cicerone to visit the
great Franciscan convent, in the church of which are preserved some
miraculous specimens, in fresco and in oils, of early Italian art; but as
I had no mind to suffer any further in this way, I stayed behind with
J----- and R-----, who we're equally weary of these things.

After they were gone we took a ramble through the city, but were almost
swept away by the violence of the wind, which struggled with me for my
hat, and whirled R----- before it like a feather.  The people in the
public square seemed much diverted at our predicament, being, I suppose,
accustomed to these rude blasts in their mountain-home.  However, the
wind blew in momentary gusts, and then became more placable till another
fit of fury came, and passed as suddenly as before.  We walked out of the
same gate through which we had entered,--an ancient gate, but recently
stuccoed and whitewashed, in wretched contrast to the gray, venerable
wall through which it affords ingress,--and I stood gazing at the
magnificent prospect of the wide valley beneath.  It was so vast that
there appeared to be all varieties of weather in it at the same instant;
fields of sunshine, tracts of storm,--here the coming tempest, there the
departing one.  It was a picture of the world on a vast canvas, for there
was rural life and city life within the great expanse, and the whole set
in a frame of mountains,--the nearest bold and dust-net, with the rocky
ledges showing through their sides, the distant ones blue and dim,--so
far stretched this broad valley.

When I had looked long enough,--no, not long enough, for it would take a
great while to read that page,--we returned within the gate, and we
clambered up, past the cathedral and into the narrow streets above it.
The aspect of everything was immeasurably old; a thousand years would be
but a middle age for one of those houses, built so massively with huge
stones and solid arches, that I do not see how they are ever to tumble
down, or to be less fit for human habitation than they are now.  The
streets crept between them, and beneath arched passages, and up and down
steps of stone or ancient brick, for it would be altogether impossible
for a carriage to ascend above the Grand Piazza, though possibly a donkey
or a chairman's mule might find foothold.  The city seems like a stony
growth out of the hillside, or a fossilized city,--so old and singular it
is, without enough life and juiciness in it to be susceptible of decay.
An earthquake is the only chance of its ever being ruined, beyond its
present ruin.  Nothing is more strange than to think that this now dead
city--dead, as regards the purposes for which men live nowadays--was,
centuries ago, the seat and birthplace almost of art, the only art in
which the beautiful part of the human mind then developed itself.  How
came that flower to grow among these wild mountains?  I do not conceive,
however, that the people of Assisi were ever much more enlightened or
cultivated on the side of art than they are at present.  The
ecclesiastics were then the only patrons; and the flower grew here
because there was a great ecclesiastical garden in which it was sheltered
and fostered.  But it is very curious to think of Assisi, a school of art
within, and mountain and wilderness without.

My wife and the rest of the party returned from the convent before noon,
delighted with what they had seen, as I was delighted not to have seen
it.  We ate our dejeuner, and resumed our journey, passing beneath the
great convent, after emerging from the gate opposite to that of our
entrance.  The edifice made a very good spectacle, being of great extent,
and standing on a double row of high and narrow arches, on which it is
built up from the declivity of the hill.

We soon reached the Church of St. Mary of the Angels, which is a modern
structure, and very spacious, built in place of one destroyed by an
earthquake.  It is a fine church, opening out a magnificent space in its
nave and aisles; and beneath the great dome stands the small old chapel,
with its rude stone walls, in which St. Francis founded his order.  This
chapel and the dome appear to have been the only portions of the ancient
church that were not destroyed by the earthquake.  The dwelling of St.
Francis is said to be also preserved within the church; but we did not
see it, unless it were a little dark closet into which we squeezed to see
some frescos by La Spagna.  It had an old wooden door, of which U----
picked off a little bit of a chip, to serve as a relic.  There is a
fresco in the church, on the pediment of the chapel, by Overbeck,
representing the Assumption of the Virgin.  It did not strike me as
wonderfully fine.  The other pictures, of which there were many, were
modern, and of no great merit.

We pursued our way, and came, by and by, to the foot of the high hill on
which stands Perugia, and which is so long and steep that Gaetano took a
yoke of oxen to aid his horses in the ascent.  We all, except my wife,
walked a part of the way up, and I myself, with J----- for my companion,
kept on even to the city gate,--a distance, I should think, of two or
three miles, at least.  The lower part of the road was on the edge of the
hill, with a narrow valley on our left; and as the sun had now broken
out, its verdure and fertility, its foliage and cultivation, shone forth
in miraculous beauty, as green as England, as bright as only Italy.
Perugia appeared above us, crowning a mighty hill, the most picturesque
of cities; and the higher we ascended, the more the view opened before
us, as we looked back on the course that we had traversed, and saw the
wide valley, sweeping down and spreading out, bounded afar by mountains,
and sleeping in sun and shadow.  No language nor any art of the pencil
can give an idea of the scene.  When God expressed himself in the
landscape to mankind, he did not intend that it should be translated into
any tongue save his own immediate one.  J----- meanwhile, whose heart is
now wholly in snail-shells, was rummaging for them among the stones and
hedges by the roadside; yet, doubtless, enjoyed the prospect more than he
knew.  The coach lagged far behind us, and when it came up, we entered
the gate, where a soldier appeared, and demanded my passport.  We drove
to the Grand Hotel de France, which is near the gate, and two fine little
boys ran beside the carriage, well dressed and well looking enough to
have been a gentleman's sons, but claiming Gaetano for their father.  He
is an inhabitant of Perugia, and has therefore reached his own home,
though we are still little more than midway to our journey's end.

Our hotel proves, thus far, to be the best that we have yet met with.  We
are only in the outskirts of Perugia; the bulk of the city, where the
most interesting churches and the public edifices are situated, being far
above us on the hill.  My wife, U----, Miss Shepard, and R----- streamed
forth immediately, and saw a church; but J-----, who hates them, and I
remained behind; and, for my part, I added several pages to this volume
of scribble.

This morning was as bright as morning could be, even in Italy, and in
this transparent mountain atmosphere.  We at first declined the services
of a cicerone, and went out in the hopes of finding our way to whatever
we wished to see, by our own instincts.  This proved to be a mistaken
hope, however; and we wandered about the upper city, much persecuted by a
shabby old man who wished to guide us; so, at last, Miss Shepard went
back in quest of the cicerone at the hotel, and, meanwhile, we climbed to
the summit of the hill of Perugia, and, leaning over a wall, looked forth
upon a most magnificent view of mountain and valley, terminating in some
peaks, lofty and dim, which surely must be the Apennines.  There again a
young man accosted us, offering to guide us to the Cambio or Exchange;
and as this was one of the places which we especially wished to see, we
accepted his services.  By the by, I ought to have mentioned that we had
already entered a church (San Luigi, I believe), the interior of which we
found very impressive, dim with the light of stained and painted windows,
insomuch that it at first seemed almost dark, and we could only see the
bright twinkling of the tapers at the shrines; but, after a few minutes,
we discerned the tall octagonal pillars of the nave, marble, and
supporting a beautiful roof of crossed arches.  The church was neither
Gothic nor classic, but a mixture of both, and most likely barbarous; yet
it had a grand effect in its tinted twilight, and convinced me more than
ever how desirable it is that religious edifices should have painted
windows.

The door of the Cambio proved to be one that we had passed several times,
while seeking for it, and was very near the church just mentioned, which
fronts on one side of the same piazza.  We were received by an old
gentleman, who appeared to be a public officer, and found ourselves in a
small room, wainscoted with beautifully carved oak, roofed with a coved
ceiling, painted with symbols of the planets, and arabesqued in rich
designs by Raphael, and lined with splendid frescos of subjects,
scriptural and historical, by Perugino.  When the room was in its first
glory, I can conceive that the world had not elsewhere to show, within so
small a space, such magnificence and beauty as were then displayed here.
Even now, I enjoyed (to the best of my belief, for we can never feel sure
that we are not bamboozling ourselves in such matters) some real pleasure
in what I saw; and especially seemed to feel, after all these ages, the
old painter's devout sentiment still breathing forth from the religious
pictures, the work of a hand that had so long been dust.

When we had looked long at these, the old gentleman led us into a chapel,
of the same size as the former room, and built in the same fashion,
wainscoted likewise with old oak.  The walls were also frescoed, entirely
frescoed, and retained more of their original brightness than those we
had already seen, although the pictures were the production of a somewhat
inferior hand, a pupil of Perugino.  They seemed to be very striking,
however, not the less so, that one of them provoked an unseasonable
smile.  It was the decapitation of John the Baptist; and this holy
personage was represented as still on his knees, with his hands clasped
in prayer, although the executioner was already depositing the head in a
charger, and the blood was spouting from the headless trunk, directly, as
it were, into the face of the spectator.

While we were in the outer room, the cicerone who first offered his
services at the hotel had come in; so we paid our chance guide, and
expected him to take his leave.  It is characteristic of this idle
country, however, that if you once speak to a person, or connect yourself
with him by the slightest possible tie, you will hardly get rid of him by
anything short of main force.  He still lingered in the room, and was
still there when I came away; for, having had as many pictures as I could
digest, I left my wife and U---- with the cicerone, and set out on a
ramble with J-----.  We plunged from the upper city down through some of
the strangest passages that ever were called streets; some of them,
indeed, being arched all over, and, going down into the unknown darkness,
looked like caverns; and we followed one of them doubtfully, till it
opened out upon the light.  The houses on each side were divided only by
a pace or two, and communicated with one another, here and there, by
arched passages.  They looked very ancient, and may have been inhabited
by Etruscan princes, judging from the massiveness of some of the
foundation stones.  The present inhabitants, nevertheless, are by no
means princely,--shabby men, and the careworn wives and mothers of the
people,--one of whom was guiding a child in leading-strings through these
antique alleys, where hundreds of generations have trod before those
little feet.  Finally we came out through a gateway, the same gateway at
which we entered last night.

I ought to have mentioned, in the narrative of yesterday, that we crossed
the Tiber shortly before reaching Perugia, already a broad and rapid
stream, and already distinguished by the same turbid and mud-puddly
quality of water that we see in it at Rome.  I think it will never be so
disagreeable to me hereafter, now that I find this turbidness to be its
native color, and not (like that of the Thames) accruing from city sewers
or any impurities of the lowlands.

As I now remember, the small Chapel of Santa Maria degl' Angeli seems to
have been originally the house of St. Francis.


May 29th.--This morning we visited the Church of the Dominicans, where we
saw some quaint pictures by Fra Angelico, with a good deal of religious
sincerity in them; also a picture of St. Columba by Perugino, which
unquestionably is very good.  To confess the truth, I took more interest
in a fair Gothic monument, in white marble, of Pope Benedict XII.,
representing him reclining under a canopy, while two angels draw aside
the curtain, the canopy being supported by twisted columns, richly
ornamented.  I like this overflow and gratuity of device with which
Gothic sculpture works out its designs, after seeing so much of the
simplicity of classic art in marble.

We then tried to find the Church of San Pietro in Martire, but without
success, although every person of whom we inquired immediately attached
himself or herself to us, and could hardly be got rid of by any efforts
on our part.  Nobody seemed to know the church we wished for, but all
directed us to another Church of San Pietro, which contains nothing of
interest; whereas the right church is supposed to contain a celebrated
picture by Perugino.

Finally, we ascended the hill and the city proper of Perugia (for our
hotel is in one of the suburbs), and J----- and I set out on a ramble
about the city.  It was market-day, and the principal piazza, with the
neighboring streets, was crowded with people. . . .

The best part of Perugia, that in which the grand piazzas and the
principal public edifices stand, seems to be a nearly level plateau on
the summit of the hill; but it is of no very great extent, and the
streets rapidly run downward on either side.  J----- and I followed one
of these descending streets, and were led a long way by it, till we at
last emerged from one of the gates of the city, and had another view of
the mountains and valleys, the fertile and sunny wilderness in which this
ancient civilization stands.

On the right of the gate there was a rude country-path, partly overgrown
with grass, bordered by a hedge on one side, and on the other by the gray
city wall, at the base of which the track kept onward.  We followed it,
hoping that it would lead us to some other gate by which we might
re-enter the city; but it soon grew so indistinct and broken, that it
was evidently on the point of melting into somebody's olive-orchard or
wheat-fields or vineyards, all of which lay on the other side of the
hedge; and a kindly old woman of whom I inquired told me (if I rightly
understood her Italian) that I should find no further passage in that
direction.  So we turned back, much broiled in the hot sun, and only now
and then relieved by the shadow of an angle or a tower.

A lame beggar-man sat by the gate, and as we passed him J----- gave him
two baiocchi (which he himself had begged of me to buy an orange with),
and was loaded with the pauper's prayers and benedictions as we entered
the city.  A great many blessings can be bought for very little money
anywhere in Italy; and whether they avail anything or no, it is pleasant
to see that the beggars have gratitude enough to bestow them in such
abundance.

Of all beggars I think a little fellow, who rode beside our carriage on a
stick, his bare feet scampering merrily, while he managed his steed with
one hand, and held out the other for charity, howling piteously the
while, amused me most.



PASSIGNANO.


May 29th.--We left Perugia at about three o'clock to-day, and went down a
pretty steep descent; but I have no particular recollection of the road
till it again began to descend, before reaching the village of Magione.
We all, except my wife, walked up the long hill, while the vettura was
dragged after us with the aid of a yoke of oxen.  Arriving first at the
village, I leaned over the wall to admire the beautiful paese ("le bel
piano," as a peasant called it, who made acquaintance with me) that lay
at the foot of the hill, so level, so bounded within moderate limits by a
frame of hills and ridges, that it looked like a green lake.  In fact, I
think it was once a real lake, which made its escape from its bed, as I
have known some lakes to have done in America.

Passing through and beyond the village, I saw, on a height above the
road, a half-ruinous tower, with great cracks running down its walls,
half-way from top to bottom.  Some little children had mounted the hill
with us, begging all the way; they were recruited with additional members
in the village; and here, beneath the ruinous tower, a madman, as it
seemed, assaulted us, and ran almost under the carriage-wheels, in his
earnestness to get a baioccho.  Ridding ourselves of these annoyances, we
drove on, and, between five and six o'clock, came in sight of the Lake of
Thrasymene, obtaining our first view of it, I think, in its longest
extent.  There were high hills, and one mountain with its head in the
clouds, visible on the farther shore, and on the horizon beyond it; but
the nearer banks were long ridges, and hills of only moderate height.
The declining sun threw a broad sheen of brightness over the surface of
the lake, so that we could not well see it for excess of light; but had a
vision of headlands and islands floating about in a flood of gold, and
blue, airy heights bounding it afar.  When we first drew near the lake,
there was but a narrow tract, covered with vines and olives, between it
and the hill that rose on the other side.  As we advanced, the tract grew
wider, and was very fertile, as was the hillside, with wheat-fields, and
vines, and olives, especially the latter, which, symbol of peace as it
is, seemed to find something congenial to it in the soil stained long ago
with blood.  Farther onward, the space between the lake and hill grew
still narrower, the road skirting along almost close to the water-side;
and when we reached the town of Passignano there was but room enough for
its dirty and ugly street to stretch along the shore.  I have seldom
beheld a lovelier scene than that of the lake and the landscape around
it; never an uglier one than that of this idle and decaying village,
where we were immediately surrounded by beggars of all ages, and by men
vociferously proposing to row us out upon the lake.  We declined their
offers of a boat, for the evening was very fresh and cool, insomuch that
I should have liked an outside garment,--a temperature that I had not
anticipated, so near the beginning of June, in sunny Italy.  Instead
of a row, we took a walk through the village, hoping to come upon the
shore of the lake, in some secluded spot; but an incredible number of
beggar-children, both boys and girls, but more of the latter, rushed out
of every door, and went along with us, all howling their miserable
petitions at the same moment.

The village street is long, and our escort waxed more numerous at every
step, till Miss Shepard actually counted forty of these little
reprobates, and more were doubtless added afterwards.  At first, no
doubt, they begged in earnest hope of getting some baiocchi; but, by and
by, perceiving that we had determined not to give them anything, they
made a joke of the matter, and began to laugh and to babble, and turn
heels over head, still keeping about us, like a swarm of flies, and now
and then begging again with all their might.  There were as few pretty
faces as I ever saw among the same number of children; and they were as
ragged and dirty little imps as any in the world, and, moreover, tainted
the air with a very disagreeable odor from their rags and dirt; rugged
and healthy enough, nevertheless, and sufficiently intelligent; certainly
bold and persevering too; so that it is hard to say what they needed to
fit them for success in life.  Yet they begin as beggars, and no doubt
will end so, as all their parents and grandparents do; for in our walk
through the village, every old woman and many younger ones held out their
hands for alms, as if they had all been famished.  Yet these people kept
their houses over their heads; had firesides in winter, I suppose, and
food out of their little gardens every day; pigs to kill, chickens,
olives, wine, and a great many things to make life comfortable.  The
children, desperately as they begged, looked in good bodily ease, and
happy enough; but, certainly, there was a look of earnest misery in the
faces of some of the old women, either genuine or exceedingly well acted.

I could not bear the persecution, and went into our hotel, determining
not to venture out again till our departure; at least not in the
daylight.  My wife and the rest of the family, however, continued their
walk, and at length were relieved from their little pests by three
policemen (the very images of those in Rome, in their blue, long-skirted
coats, cocked chapeaux-bras, white shoulder-belts, and swords), who boxed
their ears, and dispersed them.  Meanwhile, they had quite driven away
all sentimental effusion (of which I felt more, really, than I expected)
about the Lake of Thrasymene.

The inn of Passignano promised little from its outward appearance; a
tall, dark old house, with a stone staircase leading us up from one
sombre story to another, into a brick-paved dining-room, with our
sleeping-chambers on each side.  There was a fireplace of tremendous
depth and height, fit to receive big forest-logs, and with a queer,
double pair of ancient andirons, capable of sustaining them; and in a
handful of ashes lay a small stick of olive-wood,--a specimen, I suppose,
of the sort of fuel which had made the chimney black, in the course of a
good many years.  There must have been much shivering and misery of cold
around this fireplace.  However, we needed no fire now, and there was
promise of good cheer in the spectacle of a man cleaning some lake-fish
for our dinner, while the poor things flounced and wriggled under the
knife.

The dinner made its appearance, after a long while, and was most
plentiful, . . . . so that, having measured our appetite in anticipation
of a paucity of food, we had to make more room for such overflowing
abundance.

When dinner was over, it was already dusk, and before retiring I opened
the window, and looked out on Lake Thrasymene, the margin of which lies
just on the other side of the narrow village street.  The moon was a day
or two past the full, just a little clipped on the edge, but gave light
enough to show the lake and its nearer shores almost as distinctly as by
day; and there being a ripple on the surface of the water, it made a
sheen of silver over a wide space.



AREZZO.


May 30th.--We started at six o'clock, and left the one ugly street of
Passignano, before many of the beggars were awake.  Immediately in the
vicinity of the village there is very little space between the lake in
front and the ridge of hills in the rear; but the plain widened as we
drove onward, so that the lake was scarcely to be seen, or often quite
hidden among the intervening trees, although we could still discern the
summits of the mountains that rise far beyond its shores.  The country
was fertile, presenting, on each side of the road, vines trained on
fig-trees; wheat-fields and olives, in greater abundance than any other
product.  On our right, with a considerable width of plain between, was
the bending ridge of hills that shut in the Roman army, by its close
approach to the lake at Passignano.  In perhaps half all hour's drive, we
reached the little bridge that throws its arch over the Sanguinetto, and
alighted there.  The stream has but about a yard's width of water; and
its whole course, between the hills and the lake, might well have been
reddened and swollen with the blood of the multitude of slain Romans.
Its name put me in mind of the Bloody Brook at Deerfield, where a company
of Massachusetts men were massacred by the Indians.

The Sanguinetto flows over a bed of pebbles; and J----- crept under the
bridge, and got one of them for a memorial, while U----, Miss Shepard,
and R----- plucked some olive twigs and oak leaves, and made them into
wreaths together,--symbols of victory and peace.  The tower, which is
traditionally named after Hannibal, is seen on a height that makes part
of the line of enclosing hills.  It is a large, old castle, apparently of
the Middle Ages, with a square front, and a battlemented sweep of wall.
The town of Torres (its name, I think), where Hannibal's main army is
supposed to have lain while the Romans came through the pass, was in full
view; and I could understand the plan of the battle better than any
system of military operations which I have hitherto tried to fathom.
Both last night and to-day, I found myself stirred more sensibly than I
expected by the influences of this scene.  The old battle-field is still
fertile in thoughts and emotions, though it is so many ages since the
blood spilt there has ceased to make the grass and flowers grow more
luxuriantly.  I doubt whether I should feel so much on the field of
Saratoga or Monmouth; but these old classic battle-fields belong to the
whole world, and each man feels as if his own forefathers fought them.
Mine, by the by, if they fought them at all, must have been on the side
of Hannibal; for, certainly, I sympathized with him, and exulted in the
defeat of the Romans on their own soil.  They excite much the same
emotion of general hostility that the English do.  Byron has written some
very fine stanzas on the battle-field,--not so good as others that he has
written on classical scenes and subjects, yet wonderfully impressing his
own perception of the subject on the reader.  Whenever he has to deal
with a statue, a ruin, a battle-field, he pounces upon the topic like a
vulture, and tears out its heart in a twinkling, so that there is nothing
more to be said.

If I mistake not, our passport was examined by the papal officers at the
last custom-house in the pontifical territory, before we traversed the
path through which the Roman army marched to its destruction.  Lake
Thrasymene, of which we took our last view, is not deep set among the
hills, but is bordered by long ridges, with loftier mountains receding
into the distance.  It is not to be compared to Windermere or Loch Lomond
for beauty, nor with Lake Champlain and many a smaller lake in my own
country, none of which, I hope, will ever become so historically
interesting as this famous spot.  A few miles onward our passport was
countersigned at the Tuscan custom-house, and our luggage permitted to
pass without examination on payment of a fee of nine or ten pauls,
besides two pauls to the porters.  There appears to be no concealment on
the part of the officials in thus waiving the exercise of their duty, and
I rather imagine that the thing is recognized and permitted by their
superiors.  At all events, it is very convenient for the traveller.

We saw Cortona, sitting, like so many other cities in this region, on its
hill, and arrived about noon at Arezzo, which also stretches up a high
hillside, and is surrounded, as they all are, by its walls or the remains
of one, with a fortified gate across every entrance.

I remember one little village, somewhere in the neighborhood of the
Clitumnus, which we entered by one gateway, and, in the course of two
minutes at the utmost, left by the opposite one, so diminutive was this
walled town.  Everything hereabouts bears traces of times when war was
the prevalent condition, and peace only a rare gleam of sunshine.

At Arezzo we have put up at the Hotel Royal, which has the appearance of
a grand old house, and proves to be a tolerable inn enough.  After lunch,
we wandered forth to see the town, which did not greatly interest me
after Perugia, being much more modern and less picturesque in its aspect.
We went to the cathedral,--a Gothic edifice, but not of striking
exterior.  As the doors were closed, and not to be opened till three
o'clock, we seated ourselves under the trees, on a high, grassy space
surrounded and intersected with gravel-walks,--a public promenade, in
short, near the cathedral; and after resting ourselves here we went in
search of Petrarch's house, which Murray mentions as being in this
neighborhood.  We inquired of several people, who knew nothing about the
matter; one woman misdirected us, out of mere fun, I believe, for she
afterwards met us and asked how we had succeeded.  But finally, through
------'s enterprise and perseverance, we found the spot, not a
stone's-throw from where we had been sitting.

Petrarch's house stands below the promenade which I have just mentioned,
and within hearing of the reverberations between the strokes of the
cathedral bell.  It is two stories high, covered with a light-colored
stucco, and has not the slightest appearance of antiquity, no more than
many a modern and modest dwelling-house in an American city.  Its only
remarkable feature is a pointed arch of stone, let into the plastered
wall, and forming a framework for the doorway.  I set my foot on the
doorsteps, ascended them, and Miss Shepard and J----- gathered some weeds
or blades of grass that grew in the chinks between the steps.  There is a
long inscription on a slab of marble set in the front of the house, as is
the fashion in Arezzo when a house has been the birthplace or residence
of a distinguished man.

Right opposite Petrarch's birth-house--and it must have been the well
whence the water was drawn that first bathed him--is a well which
Boccaccio has introduced into one of his stories.  It is surrounded with
a stone curb, octagonal in shape, and evidently as ancient as Boccaccio's
time.  It has a wooden cover, through which is a square opening, and
looking down I saw my own face in the water far beneath.

There is no familiar object connected with daily life so interesting as a
well; and this well or old Arezzo, whence Petrarch had drunk, around
which he had played in his boyhood, and which Boccaccio has made famous,
really interested me more than the cathedral.  It lies right under the
pavement of the street, under the sunshine, without any shade of trees
about it, or any grass, except a little that grows in the crevices of its
stones; but the shape of its stone-work would make it a pretty object in
an engraving.  As I lingered round it I thought of my own town-pump in
old Salem, and wondered whether my townspeople would ever point it out to
strangers, and whether the stranger would gaze at it with any degree of
such interest as I felt in Boccaccio's well.  O, certainly not; but yet I
made that humble town-pump the most celebrated structure in the good
town.  A thousand and a thousand people had pumped there, merely to water
oxen or fill their teakettles; but when once I grasped the handle, a rill
gushed forth that meandered as far as England, as far as India, besides
tasting pleasantly in every town and village of our own country.  I like
to think of this, so long after I did it, and so far from home, and am
not without hopes of some kindly local remembrance on this score.

Petrarch's house is not a separate and insulated building, but stands in
contiguity and connection with other houses on each side; and all, when I
saw them, as well as the whole street, extending down the slope of the
hill, had the bright and sunny aspect of a modern town.

As the cathedral was not yet open, and as J----- and I had not so much
patience as my wife, we left her and Miss Shepard, and set out to return
to the hotel.  We lost our way, however, and finally had to return to the
cathedral, to take a fresh start; and as the door was now open we went
in.  We found the cathedral very stately with its great arches, and
darkly magnificent with the dim rich light coming through its painted
windows, some of which are reckoned the most beautiful that the whole
world has to show.  The hues are far more brilliant than those of any
painted glass I saw in England, and a great wheel window looks like a
constellation of many-colored gems.  The old English glass gets so smoky
and dull with dust, that its pristine beauty cannot any longer be even
imagined; nor did I imagine it till I saw these Italian windows.  We saw
nothing of my wife and Miss Shepard; but found afterwards that they had
been much annoyed by the attentions of a priest who wished to show them
the cathedral, till they finally told him that they had no money with
them, when he left them without another word.  The attendants in churches
seem to be quite as venal as most other Italians, and, for the sake of
their little profit, they do not hesitate to interfere with the great
purposes for which their churches were built and decorated; hanging
curtains, for instance, before all the celebrated pictures, or hiding
them away in the sacristy, so that they cannot be seen without a fee.

Returning to the hotel, we looked out of the window, and, in the street
beneath, there was a very busy scene, it being Sunday, and the whole
population, apparently, being astir, promenading up and down the smooth
flag-stones, which made the breadth of the street one sidewalk, or at
their windows, or sitting before their doors.

The vivacity of the population in these parts is very striking, after the
gravity and lassitude of Rome; and the air was made cheerful with the
talk and laughter of hundreds of voices.  I think the women are prettier
than the Roman maids and matrons, who, as I think I have said before,
have chosen to be very uncomely since the rape of their ancestresses, by
way of wreaking a terrible spite and revenge.

I have nothing more to say of Arezzo, except that, finding the ordinary
wine very bad, as black as ink, and tasting as if it had tar and vinegar
in it, we called for a bottle of Monte Pulciano, and were exceedingly
gladdened and mollified thereby.



INCISA.


We left Arezzo early on Monday morning, the sun throwing the long shadows
of the trees across the road, which at first, after we had descended the
hill, lay over a plain.  As the morning advanced, or as we advanced, the
country grew more hilly.  We saw many bits of rustic life,--such as old
women tending pigs or sheep by the roadside, and spinning with a distaff;
women sewing under trees, or at their own doors; children leading goats,
tied by the horns, while they browse; sturdy, sunburnt creatures, in
petticoats, but otherwise manlike, at work side by side with male
laborers in the fields.  The broad-brimmed, high-crowned hat of Tuscan
straw is the customary female head-dress, and is as unbecoming as can
possibly be imagined, and of little use, one would suppose, as a shelter
from the sun, the brim continually blowing upward from the face.  Some of
the elder women wore black felt hats, likewise broad-brimmed; and the men
wore felt hats also, shaped a good deal like a mushroom, with hardly any
brim at all.  The scenes in the villages through which we passed were
very lively and characteristic, all the population seeming to be out of
doors: some at the butcher's shop, others at the well; a tailor sewing in
the open air, with a young priest sitting sociably beside him; children
at play; women mending clothes, embroidering, spinning with the distaff
at their own doorsteps; many idlers, letting the pleasant morning pass in
the sweet-do-nothing; all assembling in the street, as in the common room
of one large household, and thus brought close together, and made
familiar with one another, as they can never be in a different system
of society.  As usual along the road we passed multitudes of shrines,
where the Virgin was painted in fresco, or sometimes represented in
bas-reliefs, within niches, or under more spacious arches.  It would be a
good idea to place a comfortable and shady seat beneath all these wayside
shrines, where the wayfarer might rest himself, and thank the Virgin for
her hospitality; nor can I believe that it would offend her, any more
than other incense, if he were to regale himself, even in such
consecrated spots, with the fragrance of a pipe or cigar.

In the wire-work screen, before many of the shrines, hung offerings of
roses and other flowers, some wilted and withered, some fresh with that
morning's dew, some that never bloomed and never faded,--being
artificial.  I wonder that they do not plant rose-trees and all kinds of
fragrant and flowering shrubs under the shrines, and twine and wreathe
them all around, so that the Virgin may dwell within a bower of perpetual
freshness; at least put flower-pots, with living plants, into the niche.
There are many things in the customs of these people that might be made
very beautiful, if the sense of beauty were as much alive now as it must
have been when these customs were first imagined and adopted.

I must not forget, among these little descriptive items, the spectacle of
women and girls bearing huge bundles of twigs and shrubs, or grass, with
scarlet poppies and blue flowers intermixed; the bundles sometimes so
huge as almost to hide the woman's figure from head to heel, so that she
looked like a locomotive mass of verdure and flowers; sometimes reaching
only half-way down her back, so as to show the crooked knife slung
behind, with which she had been reaping this strange harvest-sheaf.  A
Pre-Raphaelite painter--the one, for instance, who painted the heap of
autumnal leaves, which we saw at the Manchester Exhibition--would find an
admirable subject in one of these girls, stepping with a free, erect, and
graceful carriage, her burden on her head; and the miscellaneous herbage
and flowers would give him all the scope he could desire for minute and
various delineation of nature.

The country houses which we passed had sometimes open galleries or
arcades on the second story and above, where the inhabitants might
perform their domestic labor in the shade and in the air.  The houses
were often ancient, and most picturesquely time-stained, the plaster
dropping in spots from the old brickwork; others were tinted of pleasant
and cheerful lines; some were frescoed with designs in arabesques, or
with imaginary windows; some had escutcheons of arms painted on the
front.  Wherever there was a pigeon-house, a flight of doves were
represented as flying into the holes, doubtless for the invitation and
encouragement of the real birds.

Once or twice I saw a bush stuck up before the door of what seemed to be
a wine-shop.  If so, it is the ancient custom, so long disused in
England, and alluded to in the proverb, "Good wine needs no bush."
Several times we saw grass spread to dry on the road, covering half the
track, and concluded it to have been cut by the roadside for the winter
forage of his ass by some poor peasant, or peasant's wife, who had no
grass land, except the margin of the public way.

A beautiful feature of the scene to-day, as the preceding day, were the
vines growing on fig-trees (?) [This interrogation-mark must mean that
Mr. Hawthorne was not sure they were fig-trees.--ED.], and often wreathed
in rich festoons from one tree to another, by and by to be hung with
clusters of purple grapes.  I suspect the vine is a pleasanter object of
sight under this mode of culture than it can be in countries where it
produces a more precious wine, and therefore is trained more
artificially.  Nothing can be more picturesque than the spectacle of an
old grapevine, with almost a trunk of its own, clinging round its tree,
imprisoning within its strong embrace the friend that supported its
tender infancy, converting the tree wholly to its own selfish ends, as
seemingly flexible natures are apt to do, stretching out its innumerable
arms on every bough, and allowing hardly a leaf to sprout except its own.
I must not yet quit this hasty sketch, without throwing in, both in the
early morning, and later in the forenoon, the mist that dreamed among the
hills, and which, now that I have called it mist, I feel almost more
inclined to call light, being so quietly cheerful with the sunshine
through it.  Put in, now and then, a castle on a hilltop; a rough ravine,
a smiling valley; a mountain stream, with a far wider bed than it at
present needs, and a stone bridge across it, with ancient and massive
arches;--and I shall say no more, except that all these particulars, and
many better ones which escape me, made up a very pleasant whole.

At about noon we drove into the village of Incisa, and alighted at the
albergo where we were to lunch.  It was a gloomy old house, as much like
my idea of an Etruscan tomb as anything else that I can compare it to.
We passed into a wide and lofty entrance-hall, paved with stone, and
vaulted with a roof of intersecting arches, supported by heavy columns of
stuccoed-brick, the whole as sombre and dingy as can well be.  This
entrance-hall is not merely the passageway into the inn, but is likewise
the carriage-house, into which our vettura is wheeled; and it has, on one
side, the stable, odorous with the litter of horses and cattle, and on
the other the kitchen, and a common sitting-room.  A narrow stone
staircase leads from it to the dining-room, and chambers above,
which are paved with brick, and adorned with rude frescos instead of
paper-hangings.  We look out of the windows, and step into a little
iron-railed balcony, before the principal window, and observe the scene
in the village street.  The street is narrow, and nothing can exceed the
tall, grim ugliness of the village houses, many of them four stories
high, contiguous all along, and paved quite across; so that nature is as
completely shut out from the precincts of this little town as from the
heart of the widest city.  The walls of the houses are plastered, gray,
dilapidated; the windows small, some of them drearily closed with wooden
shutters, others flung wide open, and with women's heads protruding,
others merely frescoed, for a show of light and air.  It would be a
hideous street to look at in a rainy day, or when no human life pervaded
it.  Now it has vivacity enough to keep it cheerful.  People lounge round
the door of the albergo, and watch the horses as they drink from a stone
trough, which is built against the wall of the house, and filled with the
unseen gush of a spring.

At first there is a shade entirely across the street, and all the
within-doors of the village empties itself there, and keeps up a
babblement that seems quite disproportioned even to the multitude of
tongues that make it.  So many words are not spoken in a New England
village in a whole year as here in this single day.  People talk about
nothing as if they were terribly in earnest, and laugh at nothing as if
it were all excellent joke.

As the hot noon sunshine encroaches on our side of the street, it grows a
little more quiet.  The loungers now confine themselves to the shady
margin (growing narrower and narrower) of the other side, where, directly
opposite the albergo, there are two cafes and a wine-shop, "vendita di
pane, vino, ed altri generi," all in a row with benches before them.  The
benchers joke with the women passing by, and are joked with back again.
The sun still eats away the shadow inch by inch, beating down with such
intensity that finally everybody disappears except a few passers-by.

Doubtless the village snatches this half-hour for its siesta.  There is a
song, however, inside one of the cafes, with a burden in which several
voices join.  A girl goes through the street, sheltered under her great
bundle of freshly cut grass.  By and by the song ceases, and two young
peasants come out of the cafe, a little affected by liquor, in their
shirt-sleeves and bare feet, with their trousers tucked up.  They resume
their song in the street, and dance along, one's arm around his fellow's
neck, his own waist grasped by the other's arm.  They whirl one another
quite round about, and come down upon their feet.  Meeting a village maid
coming quietly along, they dance up and intercept her for a moment, but
give way to her sobriety of aspect.  They pass on, and the shadow soon
begins to spread from one side of the street, which presently fills
again, and becomes once more, for its size, the noisiest place I ever
knew.

We had quite a tolerable dinner at this ugly inn, where many preceding
travellers had written their condemnatory judgments, as well as a few
their favorable ones, in pencil on the walls of the dining-room.



TO FLORENCE.


At setting off [from Incisa], we were surrounded by beggars as usual, the
most interesting of whom were a little blind boy and his mother, who had
besieged us with gentle pertinacity during our whole stay there.  There
was likewise a man with a maimed hand, and other hurts or deformities;
also, an old woman who, I suspect, only pretended to be blind, keeping
her eyes tightly squeezed together, but directing her hand very
accurately where the copper shower was expected to fall.  Besides these,
there were a good many sturdy little rascals, vociferating in proportion
as they needed nothing.  It was touching, however, to see several
persons--themselves beggars for aught I know--assisting to hold up the
little blind boy's tremulous hand, so that he, at all events, might not
lack the pittance which we had to give.  Our dole was but a poor one,
after all, consisting of what Roman coppers we had brought into Tuscany
with us; and as we drove off, some of the boys ran shouting and whining
after us in the hot sunshine, nor stopped till we reached the summit of
the hill, which rises immediately from the village street.  We heard
Gaetano once say a good thing to a swarm of beggar-children, who were
infesting us, "Are your fathers all dead?"--a proverbial expression, I
suppose.  The pertinacity of beggars does not, I think, excite the
indignation of an Italian, as it is apt to do that of Englishmen or
Americans.  The Italians probably sympathize more, though they give less.
Gaetano is very gentle in his modes of repelling them, and, indeed, never
interferes at all, as long as there is a prospect of their getting
anything.

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

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

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

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

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


June 4th.--At our visit to Powers's studio on Tuesday, we saw a marble
copy of the fisher-boy holding a shell to his ear, and the bust of
Proserpine, and two or three other ideal busts; various casts of most of
the ideal statues and portrait busts which he has executed.  He talks
very freely about his works, and is no exception to the rule that an
artist is not apt to speak in a very laudatory style of a brother artist.
He showed us a bust of Mr. Sparks by Persico,--a lifeless and thoughtless
thing enough, to be sure,--and compared it with a very good one of the
same gentleman by himself; but his chiefest scorn was bestowed on a
wretched and ridiculous image of Mr. King, of Alabama, by Clark Mills, of
which he said he had been employed to make several copies for Southern
gentlemen.  The consciousness of power is plainly to be seen, and the
assertion of it by no means withheld, in his simple and natural
character; nor does it give me an idea of vanity on his part to see and
hear it.  He appears to consider himself neglected by his country,--by
the government of it, at least,--and talks with indignation of the byways
and political intrigue which, he thinks, win the rewards that ought to be
bestowed exclusively on merit.  An appropriation of twenty-five thousand
dollars was made, some years ago, for a work of sculpture by him, to be
placed in the Capitol; but the intermediate measures necessary to render
it effective have been delayed; while the above-mentioned Clark Mills--
certainly the greatest bungler that ever botched a block of marble--has
received an order for an equestrian statue of Washington.  Not that Mr.
Powers is made bitter or sour by these wrongs, as he considers them; he
talks of them with the frankness of his disposition when the topic comes
in his way, and is pleasant, kindly, and sunny when he has done with it.

His long absence from our country has made him think worse of us than we
deserve; and it is an effect of what I myself am sensible, in my shorter
exile: the most piercing shriek, the wildest yell, and all the ugly
sounds of popular turmoil, inseparable from the life of a republic, being
a million times more audible than the peaceful hum of prosperity and
content which is going on all the while.

He talks of going home, but says that he has been talking of it every
year since he first came to Italy; and between his pleasant life of
congenial labor, and his idea of moral deterioration in America, I think
it doubtful whether he ever crosses the sea again.  Like most exiles of
twenty years, he has lost his native country without finding another; but
then it is as well to recognize the truth,--that an individual country is
by no means essential to one's comfort.

Powers took us into the farthest room, I believe, of his very extensive
studio, and showed us a statue of Washington that has much dignity and
stateliness.  He expressed, however, great contempt for the coat and
breeches, and masonic emblems, in which he had been required to drape the
figure.  What would he do with Washington, the most decorous and
respectable personage that ever went ceremoniously through the realities
of life?  Did anybody ever see Washington nude?  It is inconceivable.  He
had no nakedness, but I imagine he was born with his clothes on, and his
hair powdered, and made a stately bow on his first appearance in the
world.  His costume, at all events, was a part of his character, and must
be dealt with by whatever sculptor undertakes to represent him.  I wonder
that so very sensible a man as Powers should not see the necessity of
accepting drapery, and the very drapery of the day, if he will keep his
art alive.  It is his business to idealize the tailor's actual work.  But
he seems to be especially fond of nudity, none of his ideal statues, so
far as I know them, having so much as a rag of clothes.  His statue of
California, lately finished, and as naked as Venus, seemed to me a very
good work; not an actual woman, capable of exciting passion, but
evidently a little out of the category of human nature.  In one hand she
holds a divining-rod.  "She says to the emigrants," observed Powers,
"'Here is the gold, if you choose to take it.'"  But in her face, and in
her eyes, very finely expressed, there is a look of latent mischief,
rather grave than playful, yet somewhat impish or sprite-like; and, in
the other hand, behind her back, she holds a bunch of thorns.  Powers
calls her eyes Indian.  The statue is true to the present fact and
history of California, and includes the age-long truth as respects the
"auri sacra fames." . . . .

When we had looked sufficiently at the sculpture, Powers proposed that we
should now go across the street and see the Casa del Bello.  We did so in
a body, Powers in his dressing-gown and slippers, and his wife and
daughters without assuming any street costume.

The Casa del Bello is a palace of three pianos, the topmost of which is
occupied by the Countess of St. George, an English lady, and two lower
pianos are to be let, and we looked at both.  The upper one would have
suited me well enough; but the lower has a terrace, with a rustic
summer-house over it, and is connected with a garden, where there are
arbors and a willow-tree, and a little wilderness of shrubbery and roses,
with a fountain in the midst.  It has likewise an immense suite of rooms,
round the four sides of a small court, spacious, lofty, with frescoed
ceilings and rich hangings, and abundantly furnished with arm-chairs,
sofas, marble tables, and great looking-glasses.  Not that these last are
a great temptation, but in our wandering life I wished to be perfectly
comfortable myself, and to make my family so, for just this summer, and
so I have taken the lower piano, the price being only fifty dollars per
month (entirely furnished, even to silver and linen).  Certainly this is
something like the paradise of cheapness we were told of, and which we
vainly sought in Rome. . . .

To me has been assigned the pleasantest room for my study; and when I
like I can overflow into the summer-house or an arbor, and sit there
dreaming of a story.  The weather is delightful, too warm to walk, but
perfectly fit to do nothing in, in the coolness of these great rooms.
Every day I shall write a little, perhaps,--and probably take a brief nap
somewhere between breakfast and tea,--but go to see pictures and statues
occasionally, and so assuage and mollify myself a little after that
uncongenial life of the consulate, and before going back to my own hard
and dusty New England.

After concluding the arrangement for the Casa del Bello, we stood talking
a little while with Powers and his wife and daughter before the door of
the house, for they seem so far to have adopted the habits of the
Florentines as to feel themselves at home on the shady side of the
street.  The out-of-door life and free communication with the pavement,
habitual apparently among the middle classes, reminds me of the plays of
Moliere and other old dramatists, in which the street or the square
becomes a sort of common parlor, where most of the talk and scenic
business of the people is carried on.


June 5th.--For two or three mornings after breakfast I have rambled a
little about the city till the shade grew narrow beneath the walls of the
houses, and the heat made it uncomfortable to be in motion.  To-day I
went over the Ponte Carraja, and thence into and through the heart of the
city, looking into several churches, in all of which I found people
taking advantage of the cool breadth of these sacred interiors to refresh
themselves and say their prayers.  Florence at first struck me as having
the aspect of a very new city in comparison with Rome; but, on closer
acquaintance, I find that many of the buildings are antique and massive,
though still the clear atmosphere, the bright sunshine, the light,
cheerful hues of the stucco, and--as much as anything else, perhaps--the
vivacious character of the human life in the streets, take away the sense
of its being an ancient city.  The streets are delightful to walk in
after so many penitential pilgrimages as I have made over those little
square, uneven blocks of the Roman pavement, which wear out the boots and
torment the soul.  I absolutely walk on the smooth flags of Florence for
the mere pleasure of walking, and live in its atmosphere for the mere
pleasure of living; and, warm as the weather is getting to be, I never
feel that inclination to sink down in a heap and never stir again, which
was my dull torment and misery as long as I stayed in Rome.  I hardly
think there can be a place in the world where life is more delicious for
its own simple sake than here.

I went to-day into the Baptistery, which stands near the Duomo, and, like
that, is covered externally with slabs of black and white marble, now
grown brown and yellow with age.  The edifice is octagonal, and on
entering, one immediately thinks of the Pantheon,--the whole space within
being free from side to side, with a dome above; but it differs from the
severe simplicity of the former edifice, being elaborately ornamented
with marble and frescos, and lacking that great eye in the roof that
looks so nobly and reverently heavenward from the Pantheon.  I did little
more than pass through the Baptistery, glancing at the famous bronze
doors, some perfect and admirable casts of which I had already seen at
the Crystal Palace.

The entrance of the Duomo being just across the piazza, I went in there
after leaving the Baptistery, and was struck anew--for this is the third
or fourth visit--with the dim grandeur of the interior, lighted as it is
almost exclusively by painted windows, which seem to me worth all the
variegated marbles and rich cabinet-work of St. Peter's.  The Florentine
Cathedral has a spacious and lofty nave, and side aisles divided from it
by pillars; but there are no chapels along the aisles, so that there is
far more breadth and freedom of interior, in proportion to the actual
space, than is usual in churches.  It is woful to think how the vast
capaciousness within St. Peter's is thrown away, and made to seem smaller
than it is by every possible device, as if on purpose.  The pillars and
walls of this Duomo are of a uniform brownish, neutral tint; the
pavement, a mosaic work of marble; the ceiling of the dome itself is
covered with frescos, which, being very imperfectly lighted, it is
impossible to trace out.  Indeed, it is but a twilight region that is
enclosed within the firmament of this great dome, which is actually
larger than that of St. Peter's, though not lifted so high from the
pavement.  But looking at the painted windows, I little cared what
dimness there might be elsewhere; for certainly the art of man has never
contrived any other beauty and glory at all to be compared to this.

The dome sits, as it were, upon three smaller domes,--smaller, but still
great,--beneath which are three vast niches, forming the transepts of the
cathedral and the tribune behind the high altar.  All round these hollow,
dome-covered arches or niches are high and narrow windows crowded with
saints, angels, and all manner of blessed shapes, that turn the common
daylight into a miracle of richness and splendor as it passes through
their heavenly substance.  And just beneath the swell of the great
central dome is a wreath of circular windows quite round it, as brilliant
as the tall and narrow ones below.  It is a pity anybody should die
without seeing an antique painted window, with the bright Italian
sunshine glowing through it.  This is "the dim, religious light" that
Milton speaks of; but I doubt whether he saw these windows when he was in
Italy, or any but those faded or dusty and dingy ones of the English
cathedrals, else he would have illuminated that word "dim" with some
epithet that should not chase away the dimness, yet should make it shine
like a million of rubies, sapphires, emeralds, and topazes,--bright in
themselves, but dim with tenderness and reverence because God himself was
shining through them.  I hate what I have said.

All the time that I was in the cathedral the space around the high altar,
which stands exactly under the dome, was occupied by priests or acolytes
in white garments, chanting a religious service.

After coming out, I took a view of the edifice from a corner of the
street nearest to the dome, where it and the smaller domes can be seen at
once.  It is greatly more satisfactory than St. Peter's in any view I
ever had of it,--striking in its outline, with a mystery, yet not a
bewilderment, in its masses and curves and angles, and wrought out with a
richness of detail that gives the eyes new arches, new galleries, new
niches, new pinnacles, new beauties, great and small, to play with when
wearied with the vast whole.  The hue, black and white marbles, like the
Baptistery, turned also yellow and brown, is greatly preferable to the
buff travertine of St. Peter's.

From the Duomo it is but a moderate street's length to the Piazza del
Gran Duca, the principal square of Florence.  It is a very interesting
place, and has on one side the old Governmental Palace,--the Palazzo
Vecchio,--where many scenes of historic interest have been enacted; for
example, conspirators have been hanged from its windows, or precipitated
from them upon the pavement of the square below.

It is a pity that we cannot take as much interest in the history of
these Italian Republics as in that of England, for the former is much the
more picturesque and fuller of curious incident.  The sobriety of the
Anglo-Saxon race--in connection, too, with their moral sense--keeps them
from doing a great many things that would enliven the page of history;
and their events seem to come in great masses, shoved along by the agency
of many persons, rather than to result from individual will and
character.  A hundred plots for a tragedy might be found in Florentine
history for one in English.

At one corner of the Palazzo Vecchio is a bronze equestrian statue of
Cosmo de' Medici, the first Grand Duke, very stately and majestic; there
are other marble statues--one of David, by Michael Angelo--at each side
of the palace door; and entering the court I found a rich antique arcade
within, surrounded by marble pillars, most elaborately carved, supporting
arches that were covered with faded frescos.  I went no farther, but
stepped across a little space of the square to the Loggia di Lanzi, which
is broad and noble, of three vast arches, at the end of which, I take it,
is a part of the Palazzo Uffizi fronting on the piazza.  I should call it
a portico if it stood before the palace door; but it seems to have been
constructed merely for itself, and as a shelter for the people from sun
and rain, and to contain some fine specimens of sculpture, as well
antique as of more modern times.  Benvenuto Cellini's Perseus stands
here; but it did not strike me so much as the cast of it in the Crystal
Palace.

A good many people were under these great arches; some of whom were
reclining, half or quite asleep, on the marble seats that are built
against the back of the loggia.  A group was reading an edict of the
Grand Duke, which appeared to have been just posted on a board, at the
farther end of it; and I was surprised at the interest which they
ventured to manifest, and the freedom with which they seemed to discuss
it.  A soldier was on guard, and doubtless there were spies enough to
carry every word that was said to the ear of absolute authority.
Glancing myself at the edict, however, I found it referred only to the
furtherance of a project, got up among the citizens themselves, for
bringing water into the city; and on such topics, I suppose there is
freedom of discussion.


June 7th.--Saturday evening we walked with U---- and J----- into the
city, and looked at the exterior of the Duomo with new admiration.  Since
my former view of it, I have noticed--which, strangely enough, did not
strike me before--that the facade is but a great, bare, ugly space,
roughly plastered over, with the brickwork peeping through it in spots,
and a faint, almost invisible fresco of colors upon it.  This front was
once nearly finished with an incrustation of black and white marble, like
the rest of the edifice; but one of the city magistrates, Benedetto
Uguccione, demolished it, three hundred years ago, with the idea of
building it again in better style.  He failed to do so, and, ever since,
the magnificence of the great church has been marred by this unsightly
roughness of what should have been its richest part; nor is there, I
suppose, any hope that it will ever be finished now.

The campanile, or bell-tower, stands within a few paces of the cathedral,
but entirely disconnected from it, rising to a height of nearly three
hundred feet, a square tower of light marbles, now discolored by time.
It is impossible to give an idea of the richness of effect produced by
its elaborate finish; the whole surface of the four sides, from top to
bottom, being decorated with all manner of statuesque and architectural
sculpture.  It is like a toy of ivory, which some ingenious and pious
monk might have spent his lifetime in adorning with scriptural designs
and figures of saints; and when it was finished, seeing it so beautiful,
he prayed that it might be miraculously magnified from the size of one
foot to that of three hundred.  This idea somewhat satisfies me, as
conveying an impression how gigantesque the campanile is in its mass and
height, and how minute and varied in its detail.  Surely these mediaeval
works have an advantage over the classic.  They combine the telescope and
the microscope.

The city was all alive in the summer evening, and the streets humming
with voices.  Before the doors of the cafes were tables, at which people
were taking refreshment, and it went to my heart to see a bottle of
English ale, some of which was poured foaming into a glass; at least, it
had exactly the amber hue and the foam of English bitter ale; but perhaps
it may have been merely a Florentine imitation.

As we returned home over the Arno, crossing the Ponte di Santa Trinita,
we were struck by the beautiful scene of the broad, calm river, with the
palaces along its shores repeated in it, on either side, and the
neighboring bridges, too, just as perfect in the tide beneath as in the
air above,--a city of dream and shadow so close to the actual one.  God
has a meaning, no doubt, in putting this spiritual symbol continually
beside us.

Along the river, on both sides, as far as we could see, there was a row
of brilliant lamps, which, in the far distance, looked like a cornice of
golden light; and this also shone as brightly in the river's depths.  The
lilies of the evening, in the quarter where the sun had gone down, were
very soft and beautiful, though not so gorgeous as thousands that I have
seen in America.  But I believe I must fairly confess that the Italian
sky, in the daytime, is bluer and brighter than our own, and that the
atmosphere has a quality of showing objects to better advantage.  It is
more than mere daylight; the magic of moonlight is somehow mixed up with
it, although it is so transparent a medium of light.

Last evening, Mr. Powers called to see us, and sat down to talk in a
friendly and familiar way.  I do not know a man of more facile
intercourse, nor with whom one so easily gets rid of ceremony.  His
conversation, too, is interesting.  He talked, to begin with, about
Italian food, as poultry, mutton, beef, and their lack of savoriness as
compared with our own; and mentioned an exquisite dish of vegetables
which they prepare from squash or pumpkin blossoms; likewise another
dish, which it will be well for us to remember when we get back to
the Wayside, where we are overrun with acacias.  It consists of the
acacia-blossoms in a certain stage of their development fried in
olive-oil.  I shall get the receipt from Mrs. Powers, and mean to deserve
well of my country by first trying it, and then making it known; only I
doubt whether American lard, or even butter, will produce the dish quite
so delicately as fresh Florence oil.

Meanwhile, I like Powers all the better, because he does not put his life
wholly into marble.  We had much talk, nevertheless, on matters of
sculpture, for he drank a cup of tea with us, and stayed a good while.

He passed a condemnatory sentence on classic busts in general, saying
that they were conventional, and not to be depended upon as trite
representations of the persons.  He particularly excepted none but the
bust of Caracalla; and, indeed, everybody that has seen this bust must
feel the justice of the exception, and so be the more inclined to accept
his opinion about the rest.  There are not more than half a dozen--that
of Cato the Censor among the others--in regard to which I should like to
ask his judgment individually.  He seems to think the faculty of making a
bust an extremely rare one.  Canova put his own likeness into all the
busts he made.  Greenough could not make a good one; nor Crawford, nor
Gibson.  Mr. Harte, he observed,--an American sculptor, now a resident in
Florence,--is the best man of the day for making busts.  Of course, it is
to be presumed that he excepts himself; but I would not do Powers the
great injustice to imply that there is the slightest professional
jealousy in his estimate of what others have done, or are now doing, in
his own art.  If he saw a better man than himself, he would recognize him
at once, and tell the world of him; but he knows well enough that, in
this line, there is no better, and probably none so good.  It would not
accord with the simplicity of his character to blink a fact that stands
so broadly before him.

We asked him what he thought, of Mr. Gibson's practice of coloring his
statues, and he quietly and slyly said that he himself had made wax
figures in his earlier days, but had left off making them now.  In short,
he objected to the practice wholly, and said that a letter of his on the
subject had been published in the London "Athenaeum," and had given great
offence to some of Mr. Gibson's friends.  It appeared to me, however,
that his arguments did not apply quite fairly to the case, for he seems
to think Gibson aims at producing an illusion of life in the statue,
whereas I think his object is merely to give warmth and softness to the
snowy marble, and so bring it a little nearer to our hearts and
sympathies.  Even so far, nevertheless, I doubt whether the practice is
defensible, and I was glad to see that Powers scorned, at all events, the
argument drawn from the use of color by the antique sculptors, on which
Gibson relies so much.  It might almost be implied, from the contemptuous
way in which Powers spoke of color, that he considers it an impertinence
on the face of visible nature, and would rather the world had been made
without it; for he said that everything in intellect or feeling can be
expressed as perfectly, or more so, by the sculptor in colorless marble,
as by the painter with all the resources of his palette.  I asked him
whether he could model the face of Beatrice Cenci from Guido's picture so
as to retain the subtle expression, and he said he could, for that the
expression depended entirely on the drawing, "the picture being a badly
colored thing."  I inquired whether he could model a blush, and he said
"Yes"; and that he had once proposed to an artist to express a blush in
marble, if he would express it in picture.  On consideration, I believe
one to be as impossible as the other; the life and reality of the blush
being in its tremulousness, coming and going.  It is lost in a settled
red just as much as in a settled paleness, and neither the sculptor nor
painter can do more than represent the circumstances of attitude and
expression that accompany the blush.  There was a great deal of truth in
what Powers said about this matter of color, and in one of our
interminable New England winters it ought to comfort us to think how
little necessity there is for any hue but that of the snow.

Mr. Powers, nevertheless, had brought us a bunch of beautiful roses, and
seemed as capable of appreciating their delicate blush as we were.  The
best thing he said against the use of color in marble was to the effect
that the whiteness removed the object represented into a sort of
spiritual region, and so gave chaste permission to those nudities which
would otherwise suggest immodesty.  I have myself felt the truth of this
in a certain sense of shame as I looked at Gibson's tinted Venus.

He took his leave at about eight o'clock, being to make a call on the
Bryants, who are at the Hotel de New York, and also on Mrs. Browning, at
Casa Guidi.


END OF VOL. I.





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