I had an opportunity of being presented to Lucian, who bears the title of Prince of Canino, before I left Rome for Naples, as on leaving the Pays de Vaud I was charged by a Swiss gentleman to deliver a letter to him, the purport of which was to state that he had rendered services to Joseph Napoleon, when he was resident in that Canton, in consequence of which he had been persecuted and deprived of his employment at Lausanne, which was that of Captain of the Gendarmerie; and in the letter he sollicited pecuniary assistance from the Prince of Canino. I rode out one morning to the Villa of Ruffinella where the Prince resides and was very politely received; it appeared however that the Prince was totally unacquainted with the person who wrote the letter, nor was he at all aware of the circumstances therein mentioned. I told him that I was but little acquainted with the writer of the letter, but that he, on hearing of my intention of going to Rome, asked me to deliver it personally. The Prince told me he would write himself to the applicant on the subject. Here the negotiation ended; but on my taking leave the Prince said he should be happy to see me whenever I chose to call. The Prince has the character of being an excellent father and husband, and seems entirely and almost exclusively devoted to his family. He has a remarkably fine collection of pictures and statues in his house at Rome.
I had an opportunity likewise of seeing the ex-King of Holland, Louis Napoleon, who seems to be a most excellent and amiable man, and in fact everybody agrees in speaking of him with eulogy.
With regard to the present Pontiff Pius VII, from the excellence of his private character and virtues, and from his unassuming manners and goodness of heart, there is but one opinion respecting him. Even those who do not like the ecclesiastical Government, and behold in it the degradation of Italy, render justice to the good qualities of Pius VII. He always displayed the greatest moderation and humanity in prosperity, and in adversity he was firm and dignified. In his morals and habits he is quite a primitive Christian, and if he does not possess that great political talent which has distinguished some of his predecessors, he has been particularly fortunate and discriminating in the choice of his minister, in whom are united ability, firmness, suavity of manner and unimpeachable character. I think I have thus given a faithful delineation of Cardinal Consalvi.
ROME, March 12th.
I have made a very valuable acquaintance in M. K[oelle] the envoy of the King of Wuertemberg, to the Holy See. He is an enthusiastic admirer of his countryman the poet Schiller, and thro' his means of procuring German books, I am enabled to prosecute my studies in that noble language. An Italian lady there having heard much of Schiller and Buerger, and not being acquainted with the German language, requested me to make an Italian translation of some of the pieces of those poets; chusing the Leonora of Buerger as one, and leaving to myself the choice of one from Schiller, I represented the extreme difficulty of the task, but as she had read a sonnet of mine on Lord Guildford's project of establishing an University in the Italian language, she would not hear of any excuse. To work then I set, and completed the translation of Leonora, together with one of Schiller's Feast of Eleusis. These and my sonnet were the cause of my being recommended for admission as a member of the Academy degli Arcadi in Rome and I received the pastoral name of Galeso Itaoense.
The Carnaval is now over and the ladies are all at their Livres d'Heures, posting masses and prayers to the credit side, to counterbalance the sins and frailties committed during the carnaval in the account which they keep in the Ledger of Heaven. Dancing and masquerading are now over and Requiems and the Miserere the order of the day at the conversazioni.
At Mr K[oelle]'s house I have become acquainted with Thorwaldsen, the famous Danish sculptor, who is by many considered as the successful rival of Canova; but their respective styles are so different, that a comparison can scarce be made between them. Canova excels in the soft and graceful, in the figures of youthful females and young men; Thorwaldsen in the grave, stern and terrible. In a word, did I wish to have made a Hebe, a Venus, an Antinoues, an Apollo, I should charge Canova with their execution. Did I wish for an Ajax, an Hercules, a Neptune, a Jupiter, I should give the preference to Thorwaldsen.
In their private characters they much resemble each other, being both honorable, generous, unassuming, and enthusiastic lovers of their profession and of the fine arts hi general.
I have been to see a remarkably fine picture, by a modern French artist, of the name of Granet. It may be considered as the chef d'oeuvre of the perspective or dioramic art. This picture represents the ulterior of the convent of the Capuchins, near the Barberini Palace. The picture is by no means a very large one; but the optical deception is astonishing. You fancy you are standing at the entrance of a long hall and ready to enter it; on looking at it, thro' a piece of paper rolled hi form of a speaking trumpet—which by hiding from the sight the frame of the picture, prevents the illusion from being dissipated—you suppose you could walk into the hall; and each figure of a monk therein appears a real human creature, seen from a long distance, so skilfully has the artist disposed his light and shade. This picture has excited the admiration of connoisseurs, as well as others, and it is universally proclaimed a masterpiece. M. Granet's house is filled every day with persons coming to see this picture, and many repeat their visits several tunes in the week. He has received several orders for copies of this picture, and I fancy he begins to be tired of eternally copying the same thing; for he told me that he wished that the gentlemen who employed him would vary their subjects, and either chuse some other themselves, or let him chuse for them. But no! such is the effect of vogue and fashion, and such the despotic influence they exercise even over the polite arts, that everybody must have a copy of Granet's picture of the interior of the Convent of Capuchins coute que coute; so that poor Granet seems bound to this Convent for life; except in the intervals of his labours, he should hit off another subject, with equal felicity, and this alone may perhaps serve to diminish the universal desire of possessing a copy of the Convent. The original picture is destined for the King of France.
I remarked, in the collection of the works of this artist, a small picture representing Galileo in prison, and a monk descending the steps of the dungeon bringing him his scanty meal. A lamp hangs suspended from the roof, in the centre of the dungeon, and the artist has made a very happy hit in throwing the whole glare of the lamp on the countenance of Galileo, who is seated reading a book, while the gaoler monk is left completely in the shade. On seeing this I exclaimed: Veramente, Signor Granet, e buonissimo quel vostro concetto!
I have at length seen all the fine sights that Rome affords during the Holy Week, and have witnessed most of the religious ceremonies, viz., the illuminated cross hi St Peter's on Good Friday; the high mass celebrated by the Pope in person on Easter Sunday; the Papal benediction from a window of the church above the facade on the same day; the illumination of the facade of St Peter's on Easter Monday, and the Girandola or grand firework at the Castle of St Angelo on the same evening. The ceremony of the Pope washing the feet of twelve poor men I did not see, for I could not get into the Sistine Chapel, where the ceremony was performed: and at the mass performed by the Pope in the Sistine Chapel I did contrive to enter, but was so oppressed by the crowd and heat, that I almost fainted away, and was very glad to get out of the Chapel again, before the ceremony commenced. Why in the name of commonsense do they perform these ceremonies in the Sistine Chapel which is small, instead of doing them in the church of St Peter's, which would contain so many people and produce a much grander effect?
A great many people are deprived of seeing the ceremonies in the Sistine Chapel from the difficulty of getting in. The Pope's Swiss Guard attend on that day in their ancient costume, with helmets, cuirasses and halberds; these guard the entrance of the staircase leading to the Chapel, and they have no small trouble and difficulty in maintaining order, as there is always a great scuffle to get in, and they are particularly importuned by German visitors, who thinking to be favored by them, in speaking to them in their own language, vociferate; Ich bin Ihr Landsmann! and hope by this to obtain a preference.
On Friday evening a large Cross is erected before the grand altar; every part of this Cross is filled with lamps, and at seven in the evening the whole is illuminated. It has a most brilliant appearance and gives the happiest chiaro-oscuro effect to the statues, columns and pilasters which abound in this vast temple. There is no other light on this occasion than that reflected from the Cross. On Easter Sunday, when the Pope celebrates high mass in the church of St Peter's, the Papal noble Guard, composed of young men from the principal families in Rome, form a hedge on each side of the nave of the church, from the entrance of the facade to the grand altar. The street or interval formed between this double line may be about thirty feet broad, and behind this guard or in any other part of the church, the spectators may stand; but as these guards wear very large feathers in their hats, they intercept very much the sight of those who stand behind them. The uniform of the Papal Noble Guard is very splendid, being a scarlet coat, covered with gold lace, white feathers, white breeches and long military boots. The approach of the Pope is announced by the thunder of cannon, and he is brought into the Church dressed in full pontificals, with the triple Crown on his head, on a chair borne by men, palanquin fashion; he is conducted thro' the lane formed by the Papal Guard, and as he passes he makes the sign of the cross several times with his finger, repeating the words: Urbi et Orbi. He is then set down, with his face fronting the baldachin, when he immediately takes off the tiara, and begins the ceremony. That ended, he leaves the church in the same state, and then ascends the staircase, in order to prepare to give the benediction, which is usually given from a window above the facade of the church. The Pope is there seated on a chair with the triple Crown on his head. Troops of cavalry and infantry are drawn up in a semi-circle before the facade of the church, and the whole vast arena of the Piazza di San Pietro is covered with spectators. On a sudden his Holiness rises, extends his hands towards heaven, then spreads them open, and seems as if he scattered something he held in them on the crowd below; a silly young Frenchman who was standing next to me said: Le voila! Le voila qui arrache la benediction au ciel, et qui la repand sur tout le monde! I could not refrain from laughing at this sally, tho' I was much impressed with the solemnity of the scene, which I think one of the grandest and most sublime I ever beheld. This ceremony concluded, salves of ordnance were fired. The Pope retires amidst clouds of smoke, and seems to vanish from the Earth. The troops then fire a feu de joie and move off, playing a march in quick time, and the company disperse.
It is the etiquette on these occasions that no person be admitted either into the church of St Peter or into the Sistine Chapel except in full toilette. The ladies dress generally in black with caps and feathers; the gentlemen either in black full dress or in military uniform. From the variety of foreigners of all nations that are here, most of whom are military men, or intitled to wear military uniforms, much is added to the splendour of the spectacle.
On the evening of Easter Monday, I was present at the illumination of the facade of St Peter's. Rows of lamps are suspended the whole length of the columns and pilasters and all over the cupola, so that, when illuminated, the style of the architecture is perceptible. The illumination takes place almost at once. How it is managed I cannot say; but a splendid illuminated temple seems at once to drop from the clouds, like the work of an enchanter; I say drop from the clouds, because the illumination begins from the cross and cupola and is communicated with the rapidity of lightning to every other part of the edifice. About ten o'clock the same evening the most magnificent firework perhaps in the world begins to play from the castle of St Angelo. All kinds of shapes are assumed by these fireworks: here are castles, pagodas, dragons, griffins, etc. These last about an hour and then conclude, and with them conclude all the ceremonies used in commemoration of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Among the sights of Rome I must not omit that of a famous robber of the name of Barbone, who was the terror of the whole surrounding country from the depredations he committed. Having capitulated, and surrendered himself to the Papal Government, he is now confined in the Castle of St Angelo as a state prisoner. His wife, or a woman calling herself so, is confined there with him, and she is said to be a woman of uncommon beauty. It is quite the rage among the English here to go to see these illustrious captives, and Madame Barbone, superbly dressed, receives the hommage of the visitors. The Duchess of D[evonshire] is said to have visited her, and made her a present of a pearl necklace. I hope this is not true. Surely the Duchess, who is a woman of talent and an encourager of the fine arts, might have found some other object worthier of her munificence. What claims the mistress, or even the wife, of a public robber can have on the generosity of travellers, I am at a loss to conceive; but such is the bizarrerie and inconsequence of the English, and no doubt, be this story of her Grace of D[evonshire] having given a present true or not, it will occasion many other presents being made to the captive Princess by a host of silly lord-aping English men and women. Barbone has, it is said, made an excellent capitulation. He has stipulated to be released from prison after a year and a day's confinement, and no doubt he will then resume his old trade of brigandage. In the meantime he has disbanded his troops, as he calls them; but will his troops obey him, now that he is a captive? will they not rather chuse another leader?
In the time of the French occupation, nothing of this kind took place; but the present Government is weak and timid. I have not been myself to see either Barbone or his wife, but I have heard quite enough about them; they form one of the principal sights in Rome, and I am quite unfashionable in not having gone to visit them; for according to the opinion of my English acquaintance, he who has not seen Barbone and his wife has seen nothing.
* * * * *
I started from Rome on the second of April with a vetturino, and on arrival at Baccano, we struck off into a road on the right hand, and arrived at Civita Castellana at a late hour. Civita Castellana merits no further attention, except that it is supposed to stand on the site of the ancient city of Veii. The following day at ten o'clock we reached the small town of Narni. Here are the remains of a beautiful bridge, constructed over the ravine, thro' which flows the river Nera, and which was built in the time of Augustus. It affords a very favorable specimen of the Roman bridge architecture. There is a small chapel here, and it contains, engraved on a stone, a description of a miracle wrought here about four years ago by the Virgin Mary, who saved the life of a postillion. He went into the river to water his horses, when he was carried off by the torrent and would have been drowned, had not the Virgin, on her aid being invoked, dashed into the river and haled him out by the hair of his head. Of this story, to use a phrase of old Josephus, every one may believe as much as he thinks proper; but certain it is that the postillion made oath (which oath is registered) that his life was saved by the Virgin Mary in this manner, and he has put up a votive tablet at her shrine, which remains to this day, commemorative of the event. There is also a Roman aqueduct in the neighbourhood, eleven Italian miles in length.
We arrived at Terni at three o'clock and immediately hired a caleche (the other travellers and myself) to visit the famous cascade of the Velino, about three miles distant from the town of Terni. The road thither is very rugged, and is a continual ascent on the flank of a ravine. For a long time before you arrive on the brink of the cascade, you hear the roaring of the waters; and it certainly is the most magnificent and awe-inspiring sight of the kind I ever beheld. It is far more stupendous than any cascade in Switzerland. That of Tivoli compared to it is as an infant six months old to a Goliath. The Velino forms three successive falls, and the last is tremendous, since it falls from a height of 1,068 feet into the abyss below. The foam and the froth it occasions is terrific; and the spray ascends so high that in standing at the distance of fifty yards from the fall you become as wet as if you had been standing in a shower of rain. The first fall it forms is of 800 feet; the second little less; the third I have stated already. No painting can possibly give a faithful delineation of this, and very possibly no poetic description can give an adequate idea thereof. We passed the whole night at Terni and the next morning we stopped to dine at Spoleto. The same evening we arrived at Foligno. Spoleto is a neat town and well paved. Several ruins of ancient buildings are in its vicinity. Before you arrive there, on the left of the road, is an immensely high two-arched bridge. There is an aqueduct likewise just outside the town. We did not omit to read the inscription on the gate of the town, in commemoration of the repulse of Hannibal, who failed in his attempt to make himself master of this city, after having beat the Romans near the lake Trasymene. The gate is called in consequence Porta Fugae, and this gate constitutes the principal glory of Spoleto. We were shown the rums of a Palace built by Theodoric. On leaving the town, just outside the gate, we were shewn a bridge which had laid underground for many centuries and had been lately discovered. A bridge was known to have been built here in the time of Augustus, and it is very probably the identical one; we could only see the top and part of the parapet.
Foligno is a large, well built city, neatly paved, populous and commercial, renowned for manufactories of paper, wax, and confectionary.
The whole road between Spoleto and Foligno is thro' a beautiful valley in high cultivation. There is a good deal of rich pasture ground, and it is watered by the river called in ancient tunes Clitumnus. Here are to be seen a fine breed of white cattle for which this part of the country has been long renowned, which cattle were used, in preference, for sacrifices (Albi, Clitumne, greges). A similar breed is to be found in India and Egypt.
The streets in Foligno are broad. I remarked the Palazzo Pubblico and Cathedral as very fine buildings. Our next day's journey brought us to Perugia, after passing by Assisi, the birth place of the famous St Francis, founder of the order of Franciscans. It is situated on an eminence: convents and churches abound therein.
Perugia is a large and opulent city, standing like a fortress on a mountain, and towering over the plain below. It is of steep ascent from the plain, and there are various terraces along the ramparts, commanding several fine points of view of the rich and fertile plains all round. These terraces are planted with trees and form the promenades appertaining to the city. The architecture of the various churches and Palaces is very superior. The streets are broad and every building has an air of magnificence. The Cathedral, dedicated to St Laurence, is well worth visiting; it stands on the Piazza del Duomo, where there is a fine fountain ornamented with statues. In the church of St Peter's there are some fine columns of marble and some pictures of Perugino and Raffaello.
 Virgil, Aen., VI, 886.—ED.
 Of the two persons here mentioned, by their initials only, the first, Luigi de' Medici, was chosen as Chancellor of the Exchequer by King Ferdinando in June, 1815. The second was Nugent, an Austrian marescallo, who became capitano generale of the Neapolitan army, August, 1816, and capo del supremo comando, February, 1817.—ED.
 This most distinguished lady, Marianna Candidi, was born in Rome in 1756; her mother, Magdalena Scilla, was the daughter of a well known antiquary of Messina, Agostino Scilla. Marianna learned Latin, drawing and music; she achieved a reputation as landscape painter, and was elected a member of the Academies of St Luke in Rome, of Bologna, Pisa and Philadelphia. She married the lawyer Domenico Dionigi, and gave him seven children, one of whom, Henrietta, became Madame Orfei, and was much esteemed as "improvisatrice." Madame Dionigi herself published several works, among which a Storia de' tempi presenti, written in view of the education of her children. Her salon in Rome was frequented by many men of distinction, such as Visconti, d'Agincourt, Erskine, etc. She died on the 10th June, 1826, at the age of seventy. —ED.
 She was no more than sixty-two at that time.—ED.
 To present the calumet is an offer of peace and amity among the aborigines of North America and to refuse it is regarded as the greatest insult.
 Frye gives only the initial of the name, which I have completed from the Almanach de Gotha, 1818.—ED.
 The Interior of the Convent of the Capucini was first painted by Granet in the year 1811. None of the numerous replicas are in the Louvre, but there is one in London (Buckingham Palace) and one at Chatsworth.—ED.
 The author may have meant "old Herodotus."—ED.
 Virgil, Georg., II, 146.—ED.
Journey from Florence to Pisa and from thence by the Appennines to Genoa—Massa-Carrara—Genoa—Monuments and works of art—The Genoese—Return to Florence—Journey from Florence through Bologna and Ferrara to Venice—Monument to Ariosto in Ferrara—A description of Venice—Padua—Vicenza—Verona—Cremona—Return to Milan—The Scala theatre—Verona again—From Verona to Innspruck.
It is the custom for most travellers going to Genoa to embark on board of a felucca at Spezia, which lies on the sea coast, not far from Sarzana: but I preferred to go by land, and I cannot conceive why anyone should expose himself to the risks, inconveniences and delays of a sea passage, when it is so easy to go by land thro' the Appennines. I started accordingly the following morning, mounted on a mule, and attended by a muleteer with another mule to convey my portmanteau. I found this journey neither dangerous nor difficult, but on the contrary agreeable and romantic. The road is only a bridle road. I paid forty-eight franks for my two mules and driver, and started at seven in the morning from Sarzana. The wild appearance of the Appennines, the aweful solitudes and the highly picturesque points of view that present themselves at the various sinuosities of the mountains and valleys; the view of the sea from the heights that tower above the towns of Oneglia and Sestri Levante, rendered this journey one of the most interesting I have ever made. I stopped to dine at Borghetto and brought to the night at Sestri Levante, breakfasted the next morning at Rapallo, and arrived the same evening at four o'clock in Genoa. Borghetto is a little insignificant town situate in a narrow valley surrounded on all sides by the lofty crags of the Appennines. Sestri Levante is a long and very straggling town, part of it being situated on the sea shore, and the other part on the gorge of the mountain descending towards the sea beach; so that the former part of the town lies nearly at right angles with the latter, with a considerable space intervening. The road for the last four miles between Borghetto and Sestri Levante is a continual descent. The inn was very comfortable and good at Sestri Levante. The beginning of the road between Sestri and Rapallo is on the beach till near Rapallo, when it strikes again into the mountains and is of considerable ascent. Rapallo is a very neat pretty place, situate on an eminence commanding a fine view of the sea. The greater part of the road between Rapallo and Genoa is on the sea-coast, but cut along the mountains which here form a bluff with the sea. Villas, gardens and vineyards line the whole of this route and nothing can be more beautiful. The neatness of the villas and the abundance of the population form a striking contrast to the wild solitudes between Sarzana and Sesto, where (except at Borghetto) there is not a house to be seen and scarce a human creature to be met, and where the eagle seems to reign alone the uncontrolled lord of the creation.
GENOA, 23rd April.
The view of Genoa from the sea is indisputably the best; for on entering by land from the eastern side, the ramparts are so lofty as to intercept the fine view the city would otherwise afford. From the sea side it rises in the shape of an amphitheatre; a view therefore taken from the sea gives the best idea of its grandeur and of the magnificence of its buildings, for everybody on beholding this grand spectacle must allow that this city well deserves its epithet of Superba.
I observe in my daily walks on the Esplanade a number of beautiful women. The Genoese women are remarkable for their beauty and fine complexions. They dress generally in white, and their style of dress is Spanish; they wear the mezzara or veil, in the management of which they display much grace and not a little coquetry. Instead of the fan exercise recommended to women by the Spectator, the art of handling the mezzara might be reduced to a manual and taught to the ladies by word of command.
I put up at the house of a Spanish lady on the Piazza St Siro, and here for four livres a day I am sumptuously boarded and lodged. There are three principal streets in Genoa, viz., Strada Nuova, Balbi, and Nuovissima. Yet these three streets may be properly said to form but one, inasmuch as they lie very nearly in a right line. These streets are broad and aligned with the finest buildings in Genoa. This street or streets are the only ones that can be properly called so, according to the idea we usually attach to the word. The others deserve rather the names of lanes and alleys, tho' exceedingly well paved and aligned with excellent houses and shops. In fact the streets Nuova, Nuovissima and Balbi are the only ones thro' which carriages can pass. The others are far too narrow to admit of the passage of carriages. The houses on each side of them are of immense height, being of six or seven stories, which form such a shade as effectually to protect those who walk thro' these alleys from the rays of the sun. The houses diminish in height in proportion as they are built on the slant of the mountain from the bottom to the top, those at the bottom being the loftiest. Carriages are scarcely of any use in the city of Genoa, except to drive from one end of the town to another thro' the streets Nuova, Balbi and Nuovissima; and accordingly a carriage with four wheels, or even with two, is a rare conveyance in Genoa. The general mode of conveyance is on a sedan chair, carried by porters, or on the backs of mules or asses. Genoa is distinguished by the beauty of the Palaces of its patricians, which are more numerous and more magnificent than those of any other city, probably, in the world.
The Ducal Palace or Palace of Government, where the Doge used to reside, claimed my first attention; yet, tho' much larger, it is far less splendid than many of the Palaces of individual patricians. In fact, the Ducal Palace is built in the Gothic taste and resembles a Gothic fortress, having round towers at each angle. The Hall, where the Grand Council used to sit, is superb, and is adorned with columns of jaune antique. On the plafond is a painting representing the discovery of America by Columbus; for the Genoese duly appreciate, and never can forget their illustrious countryman. The lines of Tasso, "Un uom della Liguria avra ardimento," etc., and the following stanza, Tu spiegherai Colombo a urn nuovo polo, etc. are in the mouth of everyone. The Hall of the Petty Council is neat, but it is the recollection of the history of this once famous Republic that renders the examination of this Palace so interesting. But now Genoa's glory is gone; she has been basely betrayed into the hands of a Government she most detested. The King of Sardinia is nowhere; and he is not a little proud of being the possessor of such a noble sea port, which enables him to rank as a maritime power.
The Genoese are laborious and make excellent sailors; but now there is nothing to animate them; and they will never exert themselves in the service of a domination which is so little congenial to them. They sigh for their ancient Government, of whose glories they had so often heard and whose brilliant exploits have been handed down to the present day not merely by historical writers and poets, but by improvisatori from mouth to mouth. The Genoese nobles, those merchant Kings, whose riches exceeded at one time those of the most powerful monarchs of Europe, who were the pawn-brokers to those Sovereigns, are now in a state of decay. Commerce can only flourish on the soil of liberty, and takes wing at the sight of military and sacerdotal chains; and tho' the present Sovereign affects to caress the Genoese noblesse, they return his civilities with sullen indifference, and half concealed contempt and aversion. The commerce of Genoa is transferred to Leghorn, which increases in prosperity as the former decays.
The climate of Genoa is said to be exceedingly mild during the winter, being protected on the north by the Appennines, which tower above it to an immense height. Beautiful villas and grounds tastefully laid out in plantations of orange trees, pomegranates, etc., abound in the environs of this city, and everything announces the extreme industry of the inhabitants, for the soil is proverbially barren. This shews what they have done and what they could still do were they free; but now they have nothing to animate their exertions. The public promenades are on the bastions and curtains of the fortifications, on the Esplanade and in the streets Balbi, Nuova and Nuovissima. There is also another very delightful promenade, tho' not much used by the ladies, viz., on the Mola or Pier enveloping the harbour.
One of the most remarkable constructions in Genoa is the bridge of Carignano, which is built over an immense ravine and unites the hills Fengano and Carignano. It is so high that houses of six stories stand under its arches in the valley below. No water except in times of flood runs under this bridge and it much resembles, tho' somewhat larger, the bridge at Edinburgh which unites the old and new towns. The principal churches are: first, the Cathedral, which is not far from the Ducal Palace; it is richly ornamented and incrusted with black marble; the church of the Annunziata and that of St Sire. They are all in the Gothic style of architecture and loaded with that variety of ornament and diversity of beautiful marbles which distinguish the churches of Italy from those of any other country. Near the bridge of Carignano is a church of the same name, wherein are four marble colossal statues.
On the west of the city and running two miles along the sea-beach is the faubourg of St Pietro d'Arena, which presents a front of well built houses the whole way; these houses are principally used as magazines and store houses.
FLORENCE, 5 May.
I left Genoa on the 30th April, returned on mule-back from Genoa to Sarzana, stopping the first night at Sestri. The second evening when near Sarzana, it being very dark, I somehow or other got out of the road and my mule fell with me into a very deep ditch; but I was only slightly bruised by the fall; my clothes however were covered with dirt and wet. The road from Genoa to Sarzana might with very little expense be made fit for carriages by widening it. At present it is only a bridle road, and on some parts of it, on the sides of ravines, it is I think a little ticklish to trust entirely to the discretion of one's monture; at least I thought so and dismounted twice to pass such places on foot. A winding stream is to be forded in two or three places, but it is not deep except after rains; and then I think it must be sometimes dangerous to pass, till the waters run off. Those, who are fond of mountain scenery will, like myself, be highly gratified in making this journey; for it is thro' the loftiest, wildest and most romantic part of the Appennines. From Sarzana I hired a cabriolet to return to Pisa and from thence I took the diligence to Florence.
On the 9th of May I set out from Florence on my journey hither. Two days' journey brought me to Bologna where I stopped one day; and the following day I reached this place (Ferrara), six miles distant from Bologna. The country between these two cities is a perfect plain and very fertile. At Malalbergo (half-way) We crossed the Reno in a boat. I put up at the Tre Mori in Ferrara. Having remained two and half days here I have had time to inspect and examine almost everything of consequence that the city affords. The city itself has an imposing, venerable appearance and can boast of some fine buildings; yet with all this there is an air of melancholy about it. It is not peopled in proportion to its size and grass is seen growing in several of the streets. I believe the unhealthiness of the environing country is the cause of the decrease of population, for Ferrara lies on a marshy plain, very liable to inundation In the centre of the city stands the ancient Palace of the Dukes of Ferrara, a vast Gothic edifice, square, and flanked with round towers, and a large court-yard in the centre. It was in this court-yard that Hugo and Parisina were decapitated. From the top of this palace a noble view of the plain of the Po represents itself, and you see the meanderings of that King of Rivers, as the Italian poets term it. As the Po runs thro' a perfectly flat country, and is encreased and swollen by the torrents from the Alps and Appennines that fall into the smaller rivers, which unite their tributary streams with the Po and accompany him as his seguaci to the Adriatic, this country is liable to the most dreadful inundations: flocks and herds, farm-houses and sometimes whole villages are swept away. Dykes, dams and canals innumerable are in consequence constructed throughout this part of the country, to preserve it as much as possible from such calamities. Ariosto's description of an over-flowing of this river is very striking, and I here transcribe it:
Con quel furor che il Re de' fiumi altero, Quando rompe tal volta argine e sponda, E che ne' campi Ocnei si apre il sentiero, E i grassi solchi e le biade feconde, E con le sue capanne il gregge intero, E co' cani i pastor porta neil' onde, etc.
Even with that rage wherewith the stream that reigns, The king of rivers—when he breaks his mound. And makes himself a way through Mantuan plains— The greasy furrows and glad harvests, round, And, with the sheepcotes, nock, and dogs and swains Bears off, in his o'erwhelming waters drowned.
—Trans. W.S. ROSE.
The next place I went to see was the Lyceum or University, where there is a very fair cabinet of natural history in all its branches. The Library is very remarkable, and possesses a great number of valuable manuscripts. But my principal object in visiting this Museum was to see the monument erected in honour of Ariosto, which has been transferred here from the Benedictine church. The inkstand and chair of this illustrious bard are carefully preserved and exhibited. They exactly resemble the print of them that accompanies the first edition of Hoole's translation of the Orlando Furioso. Among the manuscripts what gratified me most was the manuscript of the Gerusalemme liberata of Tasso. But few corrections appear in this manuscript; tho from the extreme polish and harmony of the versification one would expect a great many. It is written in an extremely legible hand.
I also inspected the original manuscripts of the Pastor Fido of Guarini and of the Suppositi of Ariosto.
I then went to visit the Hospital of St Anna, for the sake of seeing the dungeon where poor Tasso was confined and treated as mad for several years. When one beholds this wretched place, where a man can scarce stand upright, one only wonders how he could survive such treatment; or how he could escape becoming insane altogether. The old wooden door of this cell will soon be entirely cut away by amateurs, as almost everyone who visits the dungeon chops off a piece of wood from the door to keep as a relic. The door is in consequence pieced and repaired with new wood, and in a short time will be in the state of Sir John Cutter's worsted stockings which were darned so often with silk that they became finally all silk.
Ferrara has a strong citadel which is still garrisoned by Austrian troops; and they will probably not easily be induced to evacuate it. The Austrian Eagle seldom looses his hold.
VENICE, 18th May.
On the 16th May at six o'clock in the morning I left Ferrara in a cabriolet to go to the Ponte di Lago oscuro, which is a large village on the south bank of the Po, three miles distant from Ferrara. A flying bridge wafted me across the river, which is exceedingly broad and rapid to the north bank, where a barge was in waiting to receive passengers for Venice. This barge is well fitted up and supplied with comestibles of all sorts and couches to recline on. The price is twelve francs for the passage, and you pay extra for refreshments. The bark got under weigh at seven o'clock and descended rapidly this majestic river, which however, from its great breadth, and from the country on each side of it being perfectly flat, did not offer any interesting points of view. Plains and cattle grazing thereon were the only objects, for they take care to build the farms and houses at a considerable distance from the banks, on account of the inundations. After having descended the Po for a considerable distance, we entered a canal which unites the Po with the Adige. We then descended the Adige for a short distance, and entered another canal which unites the Adige with the Brenta. Here we stopped to change barges, and it required an hour and half to unload and reload the baggage. We then entered the Brenta and from thence into the Lagoons, and passing by the islands of Malamocco and Chiozzo entered Venice by the Canale grande at three o'clock in the morning. The whole night was so dark as totally to deprive us of the view of the approach of Venice. The barge anchored near the Post office and I hired a gondola to convey me to the inn called Le Regina d'Ungheria.
VENICE, 26th May.
I was much struck, as everyone must be who sees it for the first time, at the singular appearance of Venice. An immense city in the midst of the Ocean, five miles distant from any land; canals instead of streets; gondolas in lieu of carriages and horses! Yet it must not be inferred from this that you are necessarily obliged to use a gondola in order to visit the various parts of the city; for its structure is as follows. It is built in compartments on piles on various mud banks, always covered indeed by water, but very shallow and separated from each other (the mud banks I mean) by deep water. On each of these compartments are built rows of houses, each row giving front to a canal. The space between the backs of the rows of houses forms a narrow street or alley paved with flag stones, very like Cranborn Alley for instance; and these compartments are united to each other (at the crossings as we should say) by means of stone bridges; so that there is a series of alleys connected by a series of bridges which form the tout ensemble of this city; and you may thus go on foot thro' every part of it. To go on horseback would be dangerous and almost impracticable, for each bridge has a flight of steps for ascent and descent. All this forms such a perfect labyrinth from the multiplicity and similarity of the alleys and bridges, that it is impossible for any stranger to find his way without a guide. I lost my way regularly every time that I went from my inn to the Piazza di San Marco, which forms the general rendezvous of the promenaders and is the fashionable lounge of Venice; and every time I was obliged to hire a boy to reconduct me to my inn. On this account, in order to avoid this perplexity and the expence of hiring a gondola every time I wished to go to the Piazza di San Marco I removed to another inn, close to it, called L'Osteria della Luna, which stands on the banks of the Canale grande and is not twenty yards from the Piazza.
I then hired a gondola for four days successively and visited every canal and every part of the city. Almost every family of respectability keeps a gondola, which is anchored at the steps of the front door of the house. After the Piazza di San Marco, of which I shall speak presently, the finest buildings and Palaces of the nobility are on the banks of the Canale grande, which, from its winding in the shape of an S, has all the appearance of a river. The Rialto is the only bridge which connects the opposite banks of the Canale grande; but there are four hundred smaller bridges in Venice to connect the other canals.
The Rialto, the resort of the money changers and Jews, is a very singular and picturesque construction, being of one arch, a very bold one. On each side of this bridge is a range of jewellers' shops. A narrow Quai runs along the banks of the Canale grande.
I have visited several of the Palazzi, particularly those of the families Morosini, Cornaro, Pisani, Grimani, which are very rich in marbles of vert and jaune antique; but they are now nearly stripped of all their furniture, uninhabited by their owners, or let to individuals, mostly shopkeepers; for since the extinction of the Venetian Republic almost all the nobility have retired to their estates on the terra firma, or to their villas on the banks of the Brenta; so that Venice is now inhabited chiefly by merchants, shopkeepers, chiefly jewellers and silk mercers, seafaring people, the constituted authorities, and the garrison of the place.
Tho' Venice has fallen very much into decay, since the subversion of the Republic, as might naturally be expected, and still more so since it has been under the Austrian domination, yet it is still a place of great wealth, particularly in jewellery, silks and all articles of dress and luxury. In the Merceria you may see as much wealth displayed as in Cheapside or in the Rue St Honore.
I have had the pleasure of witnessing a superb regatta or water fete, given in honour of the visit of the Archduke Rainier to this city, in his quality of Viceroy of the Lombardo-Venetian kingdom. There were about one hundred and fifty barges, each fitted up by some department of trade and commerce, with allegorical devices and statues richly ornamented, emblematical of the trade or professions to which the barge belonged. Each barge bore an appropriate ensign, and the dresses of the crew were all tasteful, and thoroughly analogous to the profession they represented. These barges are richly gilded, and from the variety of the costumes and streamers, I thought it one of the most beautiful sights I ever beheld. Here were the bankers' barge, the jewellers', the mercers', the tailors', the shoe-makers', and, to crown all, the printers' barge, which showered down from the masthead sonnets in honor of the fete, printed on board of the barge itself. Every trade or profession, in short, had a barge and appropriate flag and costumes. A quantity of private barges and gondolas followed this procession. The Archduke and his staff occupied the Government barge, which is very magnificent and made in imitation of the Bucentaur. Musicians were on board of many of the barges, and the houses on both banks of the Canale Grande were filled with beautiful women and other spectators waving their handkerchiefs. Guns were fired on the embarkation of the Viceroy from the Piazzetta di San Marco, and on his return. The Piazza itself was splendidly illuminated, and the cafes which abound there, and which constitute one half of the whole quadrangle, were superbly and tastefully decorated.
The Piazza di San Marco is certainly the most beautiful thing of the kind in the world. It is a good deal in the style of the Palais Royal at Paris, and tho' not so large, is far more striking, from the very tasteful and even sumptuous manner in which the cafes are fitted up, both internally and externally; they have spacious rooms with mirrors on all sides, some in the shape of Turkish tents, others in that of Egyptian temples. The Piazza, forming an oblong rectangle, is arcaded on the two long sides, and of the two short ones, one presents a superb modern palace built by Napoleon, and richly adorned with the statues of all the heathen Gods on the top, which Palace was usually occupied by Eugene Napoleon; the other presents the church of St Marco and the old palace of Government, where in the time of the Republic the Doge used to reside. The church of St Mark is unique as a temple in Europe, for it is neither Grecian nor Gothic, but in a style completely Oriental, from the singularity of its structure, its many gilded cupolas and the variety of its exterior ornaments. At first sight it appears a more striking object than either St Peter's in Rome or St Paul's in London. On the top of the facade, which is singularly picturesque, stand the four bronze horses which have been brought back from Paris to their old residence.
I ascended the top of the facade in order to examine them. They are beautifully formed, in very good cast and have not at all been damaged by the journey. The Piazza is paved with broad flagged stones. The Doge's palace is a vast building, very picturesque withal, and seems a melange of Gothic and Moorish architecture. At right angles to it and facing the Piazzetta, which issues from the Piazza and forms a quai to the Canale Grande, stands the famous state prison and Ponte de 'Sospiri. On the Piazzetta and fronting the landing place stand two columns of white marble, on one of which stands the winged Lion of St Marco and on the other a crocodile, emblematical of the foreign commerce and possessions of the Republic. The space between these two columns was allotted for the execution of State criminals. Not far from the church of St Marco, and near to that angle of the Piazza which connects it with the Piazzetta, stands the famous Campanile or Steeple of San Marco. It is a square building 800 feet in height, from the top of which one has the best view of Venice and its adjacent isles, the distant Alps and the marina dove il Po discende. A Quai, if Quai it may be called, which has a row of houses on each side, one row of which is on the water's edge, leads from the Piazzetta to some gardens, which terminate on a point of land. This Quai is very broad and well paved, and is the only thing that can be called a street in all Venice. The Piazza di San Marco, therefore, this Quai and the garden before mentioned form the only promenades in Venice. This garden moreover has trees, and these are the only trees that are to be met with in this city. In this garden are two Cafes.
The variety of costume is another very agreeable spectacle at Venice. Here you meet with Albanians, Greeks, Turks, Moors, Sclavonians and Armenians, all in their respective national costumes. The first Armenian I met with here was sitting on a stone bench on the Piazza di San Marco, and this brought forcibly to my recollection the Armenian in Schiller's Ghost-seer.
These Cafes and Casinos on the Piazza are open day and night. Ices and coffee superiorly made and other refreshments of all kinds at very low prices are to be had. Some of these casinos are devoted to gaming. The first families in Venice repair to the Piazza in the evening after the Opera, female as well as male. They promenade up and down the Piazza or sit down and converse in the Cafes and Casinos till a late hour. Few go to bed in Venice in the summer time before six In the morning, so that sleep seems for ever banished from the Piazza. Music and singing goes forward in these casinos, and the ear is often charmed with the sound of those delightful Venetian airs, whose simple melody ravishes the soul. The Venetian dialect is very pleasing, and scarcely yields in harmony to the Tuscan. It contains a great many Sclavonic words. It is the only dialect of Italy that is at all pleasing to my ear, for I do not at all relish the nasal twang and truncated terminations of the Piedmontese and Lombard dialects, nor the semi-barbarous jargon of the Genoese and the Neapolitan and, least of all, the execrable cacophony of the Bolognese.
I visited of course the Arsenal and the Doge's Palace. The apartments in the latter are very spacious and ornamented in the Gothic taste of grandeur. The chamber of the Council is peculiarly magnificent. There is a good deal of tapestry and some fine paintings and statues: among the former I particularly noticed an allegorical picture, representing the triumph of Venice over the league of Cambray. Venice is represented by the winged Lion, and the powers of the Coalition are pourtrayed by various other beasts. Among the latter is a beautiful group in marble representing Ganymede and the Eagle. The terror depicted in the countenance of the beautiful boy, and the passion that seems to agitate the Eagle, are surprizingly well pourtrayed.
The principal theatre at Venice, the Teatro Fenice, is not open; but I have visited the other theatres, and among other things witnessed the representation of a new opera, call'd Il Lupo d'Ostende. The piece itself was rather interesting; but the music was feeble and did not seem to give general satisfaction. The singing is in general very good at Venice, but in scenery, dresses and decorations the theatres here are far inferior to those of Milan and Naples.
I find the air of Venice very hot and unpleasant, arising from the exhalation from the canals; and it appears to me as if I were on board of an enormous ship. I begin to pant for terra firma and green fields.
I have visited in a gondola some of the islands, viz., Malamocco and St Lazare, where there is a convent of Armenian monks.
Why are the gondolas hung with black? it gives to them such a dismal funereal appearance. They always resemble the bodies of hearses placed on boats. I am not fond of gaudy colours in general, yet I do think a gondola should have a somewhat livelier color than black.
PADUA, 8th June.
Padua is not above ten miles distant from Fusina. As I started from Venice at six in the morning I had a fine receding view of the Ocean Queen, with her steeples and turrets rising from the sea. Venice has no fortifications and needs them not. Her insular position protects her from land attacks, and the shoals prevent the approach of ships of war. Floating batteries therefore and gunboats are her best defence. The road from Fusina to Padua is on the banks of the Brenta the whole way, and is lined with trees. There are a great number of villas on the banks of the Brenta, well built in the best style of architecture, the most of them after the designs of Palladio, the Prince of modern architects.
Padua is an exceedingly large city: but its arcades and the narrowness of the streets give it a gloomy appearance. There are however some beautiful promenades in the suburbs. There are also the remains of an ancient Arena. Padua is famous for its Seminario or University, which is a superb edifice. The Church of St Anthony of Padua is of vast size, having six cupolas. There are four organs in this church. In the chapel of the Saint himself are a great many ornaments, among which are a crucifix in bronze and fresques representing the different actions and miracles of this patron Saint of the Padovani. Probably as this city was founded by the Trojan Antenor they have transformed his name into that of a Christian Saint and called him St Anthony, just as Virgil has been transformed into a magician at Naples. There is a fine view from the steeple of this immense edifice. There is another magnificent church also in this city, that of St Justine, built after the designs of Palladio, the principal ornament of which is a painting of the martyrdom of the Saint by Paul Veronese. But one of the greatest curiosities in this ancient city is the immense Saloon in the Palazzo della Giustizia. It is, I presume, the loftiest and largest hall in the world that is supported by nothing but its walls, it being three hundred feet long, one hundred feet broad and one hundred feet high. In the Saloon is the tomb of Livy, the Historian, who was a native of Padua. The inhabitants of Padua dress much in black, seem a quiet, staid sort of people, and are very industrious. I put up at the Stella d'Oro, a good inn.
VICENZA, 10th June.
I arrived at this beautiful bijou of a town on the morning of the 9th June at eight o'clock. I call it a bijou from its exceeding neatness, and the extreme beauty of the architecture of its edifices, which are almost all after the designs of Palladio, of white stone and in the Greek taste. Palladio was a native of Vicenza. The Piazza and Palazzo Pubblico perfectly correspond with the beauty of the rest of the city, and the promenades about it are tastefully laid out. But the two most striking objects in point of edifices in Vicenza and both constructed by Palladio are the covered portico and the Teatro Olimpico. The covered portico is two miles in length and leads to the chapel of the Madonna del Monte, situated on an eminence, at that distance from the city. A magnificent triumphal arch stands before it, and there is an extensive view of the surrounding country. The Teatro Olimpico is a small, but beautiful theatre, built strictly after the model of the ancient Greek theatres. It is peculiarly precious as being the only one of the kind in Europe. How admirably adapted both for seeing and hearing are such theatres! It has, for scenery, the model of a Palace, curiously carved in wood, which represents a Royal Palace, for the ancients never shifted their scenes, and this may account for their adhering so strictly to the unities. Statues and bas-reliefs adorn this beautiful little theatre. Many years ago, on particular occasions, it was the custom to act plays here, either translated from the Greek, or taken strictly from the Greek model. This theatre is esteemed Palladio's chef d'oeuvre.
The Campo di Marie is a vast Place outside the town. The Place and its gate are well worth inspecting, so is the famous villa with the Rotonda, belonging to the Marchese di Capra, the original after which the villa belonging to the Duke of Devonshire at Chiswick is built. The environs of this interesting city are very beautiful and present an exceeding rich soil, highly cultivated in corn, mulberry trees and vines hanging from them in festoons.
VERONA, 12th June.
I started yesterday morning from Vicenza and arrived here in about three hours, the distance being nearly the same as between Vicenza and Padua. We crossed the Adige which divides the city into two unequal parts and drove to the Due Torri, a large and comfortable inn with excellent rooms and accommodations. Verona is a very handsome city, for here also Palladio was the designer or builder of many edifices. It has a very cheerful and gay appearance, tho' not quite so much so as Vicenza. The reason of this difference is that in Verona the greater part of the buildings are in the Gothic style, which always appears heavy and melancholy, whereas in Vicenza all is Grecian. The Amphitheatre of course claimed my first notice. It yields only to the Coliseum in size and grandeur and is in much better preservation, the whole of the ellipse and its walls being entire, whereas in the Coliseum part of the walls have been pulled down. Indeed the Amphitheatre of Verona may be said to be almost perfectly entire. Tempus edax rerum has been its only enemy; whereas avarice and religious fanaticism have contributed, much more than time, to the dilapidation of the Coliseum. The Amphitheatre of Verona can contain 24,000 persons. In it is constructed a temporary theatre of wood, where they perform plays and farces in the open air. Verona is much embellished by several Palazzi built by Palladio, which form a curious contrast with the other buildings and churches which are in the Gothic style. Verona can boast among its antiquities of three triumphal arches, the first, Porta de' Bursari, erected in the year 252 in the reign of the Emperor Gallienus; the second, called Porta del Foro; and the third, built by Vitruvius himself, in honour of the family Gavia.
The churches here are richly ornamented and the Palazzo del Consiglio has many fine marble and bronze statues. In this city also are the tombs and monuments of the Scala family, who were at one time Sovereigns of Verona. They are in the Gothic style and of curious execution. The Cathedral has an immense campanile (steeple), from which is a fine view of the surrounding country, and the progressive risings of the Alps, the lower parts of which lie close upon Verona. Beautiful villas and farmhouses abound in the neighbourhood of this city. The favourite promenades are the Corso and the Bra. On the Bra I saw a very brilliant display of carriages, and some very pretty women in them. The theatre is by Palladio, is exquisitely beautiful, and very tastefully fitted up. I assisted at the representation of La Gazza Ladra, one of Rossini's best operas.
I should think Verona would be a very delightful sejour; everything is very cheap; a fine country highly cultivated; a remarkably healthy climate; a society which unites much urbanity and a love of amusement with a taste for the fine arts and for the graver sciences, and a general appearance of opulence and comfort. The shops in Verona appear very splendid, and the Bra, when lighted up in the evening, is a very lively and animating scene.
MANTUA, 15 June.
I could not go to Milan without stepping a little out of my road to visit this ancient and redoubtable fortress, so celebrated in the early campaigns of Buonaparte, besides the other claims it has on the traveller's attention as the birth place of Virgil. This place is of immense strength, as a military post; being situated on a small isthmus of land, separating two lakes, and communicating with the rest of the country by an exceeding narrow causeway. This position, added to the strength of the fortifications, render the fortress impregnable, if well garrisoned and provisioned. The city is, however, unhealthy from the lake and marshy land about it, and there is but a scanty population. Grass grows in the streets and it is the dullest and indeed the only dull town in all Italy. Everything in this city announces decay and melancholy, and I met with several men looking full as halfstarved and deplorable as Shakespeare's Apothecary in Romeo and Juliet. Yet the city is by no means an ugly one. The buildings are imposing, the streets broad and well paved, and there is a fine circular promenade in the centre of which is a Monument erected in honor of Virgil by the French general Miollis, who had a great veneration for all poets. The Palazzo pubblico and the Cathedral are the most striking buildings. The latter contains the tombs and monuments of the Gonzaga family, the whilom Sovereigns of Mantua. There are also several monuments in honor of some French officers, who were killed in the campaigns of Italy under Buonaparte and erected to their memory by his direction.
Outside the town, at a short distance from the causeway and tete de pont, is the celebrated palace called the T, from its being in the form of that letter, which was the usual residence of the Dukes of Mantua. It is a noble edifice and its gardens are well laid out. These gardens have this peculiarity, that at the entrance of each of the grand avenues is a figure of a man on horseback caparizoned in armour, like the Knights of old. This is all I have to say about Mantua. The Mincio beset with "osiers dank" flows into the lake.
CREMONA, 16th June.
From Mantua I directed my course to this city, which is large and fortified, situated on the Po which forms many little islands in the environs. This city is of great antiquity, and has a number of Gothic buildings. You do not find here the specimens and imitations of Grecian architecture as at Vicenza and Verona. The campanile of the Cathedral is of immense height, but one is repaid for the fatigue of ascending by the extensive view from its summit. There are 498 steps. I put up at the Colombina, a very good inn. The Cremonese seem to be an industrious people. There is a great deal of pasture land in the environs of this city and much cheese is made here and in the Lodesan. Several ricefields are also to be met with between this place and Lodi.
MILAN, 25 June.
I have been on a visit to the ancient and venerable city of Pavia, which is about eighteen miles distant from Milan, thro' a rich highly cultivated plain. The road lies in a right line the whole way. About three miles distant from Pavia on the Milan side stands the celebrated Certosa, which we stopped to visit. The church of the Certosa contains the greatest quantity of riches in marbles, and precious stones, of any building in the world, probably. The architecture is Gothic, and the workmanship of the exterior exquisite; but the ulterior is most dazzling; and at the sight of the rich marbles and innumerable precious stones of all kinds with which it abounds, I was reminded of Aladdin and began to fancy myself in the cavern of the Wonderful Lamp. This church was built by Galeazzo Visconti, whose coffin is here, and his statue also, in white marble. There are several bas-reliefs of exquisite workmanship. There are no fewer than seventeen altars here and of the most beautiful structure you can conceive, being inlaid in mosaic with jasper, onyx and lapis-lazuli. Besides these precious marbles of every colour and quantity under heaven, here are abundance of rubies, emeralds, amethysts, aquamarines and topazes, incrusted in the different chapels and altars. Here again is a proof of the falsehood and injustice of the aspersions cast on the French army, as being the plunderers of churches; for if they were so, how comes it that the Certosa the richest of all, was spared? Mr Eustace in his admiration of Church splendour, should at least have given the French no small degree of credit for their abstinence from so rich a prize. A canal runs parallel to the road the whole way from Milan to Pavia, where it joins the Tessino. The banks of the Canal and each side of the road are lined with poplars. Pavia is one of the most ancient cities in Italy and has something very antique and solemn in its appearance. It is quite Gothic and was the capital city of the Lombard Kings. The streets are broad and the Piazza is large. I could not find any traces of the ancient palace of the Lombard Kings, which I should like much to have done; for then I should have endeavoured to make out the chamber into which Jocondo peeped and discovered what cured him of his melancholy, and where the impatient Queen received the petulant answer from her beloved Nano, conveyed by one of her waiting maids who told her:
E per non stare in perdita d'un soldo, A voi nega venire fl manigoldo.
Nor, lest he lose a doit, his paltry stake, Will that discourteous churl his game forsake
—Trans. W.S. ROSE.
MILAN, 28th June.
I have been to the Scala theatre, to see the Ballet of the Vestal, one of the most interesting Ballets I ever beheld. Oh! what a mighty magician is the ballet master Vigano, and as for the prima ballerina, Pallerini, what praises can equal her merit? then, the delightful soul soothing music, so harmonious, so pathetic, and the decorations so truly tasteful and classical! I can never forget the impression this fascinating Ballet made on me. It is called La Vestale. It opens with a view of the Circus in ancient Rome, and various gymnastic exercises, combats of gladiators, of athletes, and ends with a chariot race with real horses. The Roman Consuls are present in all their pomp, surrounded by Lictors with axes and fasces. The Vestal virgins assist at this spectacle, and from one of them the victor in the games receives a garland, as the recompense of his prowess. The victor is the son of one of the Consuls and the hero of the piece; the heroine is the Vestal Virgin who crowns him with the garland. The young victor becomes desperately enamored of the Vestale, and she appears also to feel an incipient flame. After the games are over, the victor returns to his father's house, and meeting there one of his friends, discloses to him his love for the Vestale and his idea of entering by stealth into the temple of Vesta, where his beloved was appointed to watch the sacred fire. His friend endeavors, but in vain, to dissuade him from so rash an attempt, which can only end in the destruction, both of his beloved and himself. All the remonstrances, however, of the friend are vain; and the hero fixed in his resolve watches for the opportunity, when it is the turn of his beloved to officiate in the temple of Vesta, and enters therein. The Vestale is terrified and supplicates him to retire: in vain; and after a long but ineffectual struggle she sinks into his arms at the foot of the altar. Suddenly the sacred flame becomes extinguished; a noise is heard; the Vestals enter; the unfortunate fair is roused from her stupor by the noise of footsteps and has just time to oblige her lover to retire, which he reluctantly does, but not unperceived by the Vestals. The Matron of the Vestals reproaches her with the crime she has committed and orders her to be placed in a dungeon. She is brought out to be examined by the High Priest, found guilty and condemned by him to the usual punishment of the Vestals for a breach of their vow, viz., the being buried alive outside the gates of Rome. The moment the sentence is pronounced a black veil is thrown over her. The scene then changes to the place of execution; the funeral procession takes place; the vault is dug and a man stands by with a pitcher of water and loaf of bread, to deliver to her when she should descend. The Consuls are present, attended by the Lictors and Aediles. All the other vestals are present, of whom the culprit takes an affectionate leave and is about to descend into the vault. Suddenly a noise of arms and shouts are heard. It is her lover who having collected a few followers come rushing forward with arms in their hands to arrest the execution. He forces his way into the presence of the Consuls, but the sight of his father inspires him with awe; he staggers back; at this moment a Lictor at the command of the other Consul plunges a spear into his breast. The Vestal is hurried to the brink of the vault, into which she is forced to descend to the accompaniment of mournful music, while her dying lover vainly endeavours to crawl towards her. The curtain falls.
The exquisite acting of La Pallerini drew tears from my eyes: it was indeed too horrible a subject for a Ballo, which in my opinion ought to end happily. The scenery was the finest of the kind I think I ever witnessed. The first scene represents the Circus maximus; the interior of the temple of Vesta and the place of execution outside the walls of Rome were most classically correct and appropriate: the music was beyond all praise and singularly affecting. This Ballet has excited such an enthusiastic approbation that Vigano the Ballet master, Pallerini who acts the Vestal and the young man who performs the hero of the piece were summoned every evening after the termination of the Ballet, to appear on the stage, and receive applauses, which seemed to increase at every representation. I have been to see this ballet six or seven times, and always with increased delight. I was there on the last night of its representation, when some amateurs and people connected with the theatre put in practice what appeared to mean ill-judged concetto, however well merited the compliment it meant to convey. When the Vestal was about to descend into the vault, a genius with wings rose from it and repeated a few lines beginning Tu non morrai and telling her that the suffrages of the Insubrian people had decreed to her immortality, and printed sonnets were showered down on the stage from all parts of the house. I think it would have been much better to let the piece finish in the usual way, and then at its termination call for La Pallerini to advance and receive the garlands and hommage so justly her due.
I was in the loge belonging to my friend Mme L——-; there were three or four litterati with her, and they were all unanimous that it was an absurd and pedantic concetto.
In a day or two I shall start from Milan for Munich thro' Brescia and Verona and the Tyrol.
Innspruck—Tyrol and the Tyrolese—From Innspruck to Munich—Monuments and churches—Theatricals—Journey from Munich to Vienna on a floss—Trouble with a passport—Complicated system of Austrian money—Description of Vienna—The Prater—The theatres—Schiller's Joan of Arc—A Kinderballet—The young Napoleon at Schoenbrunn—Journey from Vienna to Prague.
INNSPRUCK, 15th July.
I had engaged with a vetturino to convey me from Verona to Innspruck for four louis d'or and to be spesato. A Roman gentleman and his lady were my fellow travellers; they were going to pass the summer months at a small campagne they possess in the Tyrol. We stopped the first night at Roveredo. The road from Verona to Roveredo is on the banks of the Adige (called in German the Etsch) in a narrow and deep valley, shut up on both sides by mountains, almost immediately on leaving Verona. We found the weather extremely hot in this valley. Roveredo seems to be a very neat clean little city, and the Adige flows with astonishing rapidity along this narrow valley. The women of Roveredo have the reputation of being very beautiful; and I recollect having seen two Roveredo girls at Venice, who were models of female beauty. They have a happy mixture of German and Italian blood and manners, but Italian is the language of the country. The second morning of our journey we arrived and stopped to dinner at the venerable and celebrated city of Trent. The country we passed thro' is much the same as that between Verona and Roveredo, the Adige being on our left. Trent lies also in the valley of the Adige, shut up between the Alps. The whole valley appears in high cultivation. The streets of Trent are broad; the Cathedral is a remarkably fine Gothic building. In the church of Sta Maria Maggiore was held the famous council of Trent. There are a great many silk mills in Trent. German as well as Italian is spoken; indeed the two languages are equally familiar to most of the inhabitants. In the evening we arrived at Sabern after passing thro' Lavis. One description will serve for these towns and indeed for most of the towns in the Tyrol, viz., that of being neat, clean and solidly built. The inns are excellent and the inhabitants very civil. The Adige runs close to the road and parallel to it, nearly the whole way to Bolsano or Botzen, where Italian ceases to be spoken and German is the national tongue. Botzen is a large and flourishing place.
One general description will serve for the Tyrol, regarding the towns, adjacent country, customs, inns, inhabitants, dress and manners.
First the towns are fully as neat, clean and well built as those in Switzerland; the country too is very similar, tho' not quite on so grand a scale of sublimity; but you have fully as much variety in mountain and valley, glacier and cascade. The climate is exactly the same as that of Switzerland, being very hot in the valleys in summer. The inns are clean and good, the provisions excellent and well cooked, the wines much better than those of Switzerland; there is good attendance by females and all at a far cheaper rate than in Switzerland. The Tyroleans are much more courteous in their manners than the Swiss; they have not that boorishness and are of more elegant figure than their Helvetic neighbours. The women of the Tyrol are in general remarkably beautiful, exceedingly well shaped and of fine complexions.
In the towns the bourgeoises dress well, something in the French style, and it is their custom to salute travellers who pass by kissing their hands to them. The dress of the female peasantry, however, is unpleasing to the eye and so uncouth, that it would make the most beautiful women appear homely. In the first place I will speak of their head dress, of which there are three different kinds, two of which are as bizarre as can be imagined. The first sort is a cap of sheepskin, the fleece of which is as white as snow, and the cap is of conical shape, the base being exceeding large in proportion to its height, and resembles much the sugar loaves made in Egypt. The second is a black scull cap, with the three pieces of stiff black gaze, sticking out like the vanes of a windmill; so that when put on the head, one vane stands upright from the forehead and the other two from each ear. The third head dress is a broad straw hat, and I wish they would stick to this coiffure, and discard the two others. Then the waist of their dress is as long as
...du pole antarctique an detroit de Davis.
Their petticoats are exceedingly short, scarcely reaching the calf of the legs, which are enveloped in a pair of flaming red stockings. Who the devil could invent such an ungraceful dress for a female?
The costume of the men on the contrary is becoming and graceful. It resembles very much the costume of the Andalusians. The hat is exactly the same, the crown being small and the rim very broad.
The Tyroleans are a fine gallant race of men and are excellent marksmen. They were formerly much attached to the House of Austria; but that attachment is now entirely changed to dislike, from the ingratitude they have met with, since they have been replaced under that scepter.
The only fault I find in the Tyroleans, is that they are rather too devout and consequently too much under the influence of the clergy. Yet in their devotion there is not the smallest tinge of hypocrisy and they are esteemed a highly moral people.
If you arrive at an inn in the evening, while the family are at prayer, neither master nor servants will come to wait on you, till prayers are over; and then you will be served with sufficient alacrity; but the prayers are rather long.
I believe the priests extort a good deal of money from these good people. The road thro' the Tyrol was made by the Romans, in the time of Septimus Severus. An immense number of Crucifixes on the road attest and command the devotion of the people.
How Kotzebue can call Innspruck a dirty town I am at a loss to conceive. He must have visited it during very rainy weather; for to me it appears one of the cleanest and most chearful towns I have ever seen. There are several very fine buildings, for instance the Jesuits' College, and the Franciscan monastery; Nothing can be more picturesque than the situation of this city in the valley of the Inn and its romantic windings. The suburbs are very extensive and can boast several fine houses. The cupola of the Government House is gilded, which gives it a splendid appearance. In the Hofkirche or church of the court there are a number of statues, large as life, in bronze; among which my guide pointed out to me those of Clovis, Godfrey of Bouillon, Albert the Wise, Charles V, Philip II of Spain, Rudolph of Hapsburgh, and to my great astonishment the British King Arthur; there were twenty-eight statues altogether. But on my return to my inn, I found that my guide had made a great error respecting King Arthur, and that the said statue represented Prince Arthur, son of Henry VII, King of England, and not the old Hero of Romance; and my hostess' book further informed me that these statues were those of the Kings and Princes belonging to families connected by descent and blood with Maximilian I. In the same Hofkirche is a fine monument erected to Maximilian and a statue of bronze of this Emperor is figured kneeling between four bronze figures representing four Virtues. In the gardens of the Palace of the Archduke Ferdinand in this city is a fine equestrian statue which rests entirely on the hind feet of the horse. From Innspruck there is a water passage by the river Inn all the way to Vienna, as the Inn flows into the Danube at Passau. The banks of the Inn are so romantic and picturesque that I would willingly prolong my sejour at Innspruck, but as I mean to take the journey from Mittenwald to Munich by the river Isar, I must take advantage of the raft which starts from that place the day after to-morrow.
MUNICH, 20th July.
I left Innspruck in a chaise de poste on the 16th, and arrived the same evening at five o'clock at Mittenwald. At a short distance before I arrived at Mittenwald, I entered the Bavarian territory, which announces itself by a turnpike gate painted white and blue, the colours and Feldzeichen of Bavaria. In the Austrian territory the barriers are painted black and yellow, these being the characteristic colors of Austria.
Mittenwald is a small neat town, offering nothing remarkable but a church yard or Ruhe-garten (garden of repose) as it is called, where there are a number of quaint inscriptions on the tombstones. At Mittenwald I had some trouble about my passport, as it was not vise by a Bavarian authority; but I explained to the officer that I had never fallen in with any Bavarian authority since I left Rome, and that, while at Rome, I had no intention of going thro' Bavaria; that at Milan the Austrian authorities had vise my passport for Vienna and that I should only pass thro' Munich, without making a longer stay than one week. He acquiesced in my argument, but inserted my explanation on the passport. At half a quarter of a mile beyond Mittenwald I met the raft just about to get under weigh at eleven o'clock a.m. This raft is about as long as the length of a thirty-six gun frigate, and formed of spars fastened together; on this is a platform about one and a half feet high. The Isar begins its course close to Mittenwald, and the place on which the raft stood, previous to departure, was very shallow; but water was quickly let in from sluices to float the raft, and off we set with a cargo of peasants, male and female, and merchandise bound for Munich. As the river Isar rushes between immense mountains, and forms a continual descent until the plains of Bavaria open to view, you may conceive with what rapidity we went. We encountered several falls of water of two, three, four and sometimes five feet which we had to shoot, which no boat could possibly do without being upset. The lower part of the raft was frequently under water in making these shoots and we were obliged to hold on fast to our seats to prevent being jerked off. Nothing can be more romantic and picturesque than this journey, and there is something aweful in shooting these falls; these rafts are, however, so solidly constructed that there is no danger whatever. They can neither sink nor upset. We arrived and halted the evening at Toelz, a large village or town on the right bank of the Isar. What gives to Toelz a remarkably singular appearance is, that on a height at a short distance from the town, and hanging abruptly over the river, you perceive several figures in wood, larger than the life, which figures form groups, representing the whole history of the passion of Jesus Christ. At a short distance, if you are not prepared for this, you suppose that they are real men, and that a procession or execution is going forward. On landing I immediately ascended this hill in order to observe this curiosity, and there I beheld the following groups, first: Christ in the midst of his disciples preaching; secondly: the disciples asleep in a cave, and Christ watching and praying; next was Judas betraying Christ to the soldiery; then the judgment of Christ before Pilate; then Christ bearing his cross to the place of execution; and lastly the crucifixion on Mount Calvary. The ground is curiously laid out so as to represent, as much as possible, the ground in the environs of Jerusalem. Toelz is a pretty village, but contains nothing more remarkable than the above groups.
The next day at twelve o'clock we perceived the spires of Munich, and at two anchored close to one of the bridges from whence, having hired a wheelbarrow to trundle my portmanteau, I repaired to the inn called the Golden Cross—Zum goldenen Kreutz. At Toelz the Rhetian Alps recede from the view; the landscape then presents a sloping plain which is perfectly level within four miles of Munich. The river widens immediately on issuing from the gorges of the Tyrol and for the last five miles we were followed by boys on the banks of the river, begging for wood, with which our raft was laden, and we threw to them many a faggot. Wood is the great export from the Tyrol to Bavaria, as the latter is a flat country and has not much wood, with which on the contrary the Tyrol abounds. A sensible difference of climate is now felt and the air is keener than in the Tyrol. The price of a place on the raft from Mittenwald to Munich cost only one florin, and at Toelz an excellent supper, bed and coffee in the morning cost me only one florin.
MUNICH, 23rd July.
Munich, the capital of Bavaria, is an ancient Gothic city of venerable appearance. The houses are very solid in structure, and the streets sufficiently broad to give to the city a cheerful appearance. There are some suburbs added to it, built in the modern taste, which embellish it greatly. A large Place outside the old town, called the Carolinen-Platz, presents a number of villas disposed in the form of a circus. In these suburbs the people assemble on holidays and Sundays, to smoke and drink beer, of which a great quantity is consumed, it being the favorite and national beverage. From the lively scene of the lower class of the bourgeoisie, male and female, meeting here in the Biersschanks and Tanzsaale I was reminded of the lines in Faust:
Gewiss man findet hier Die schoensten Maedchen, und das beste Bier,
which may be thus rendered:
Here let us halt! 'tis here we're sure to find Beer of the best and maidens fair and kind!
There are other very agreeable promenades outside the town, laid out as jardins anglais, the garden of Ostenwald for instance; and should you wish to extend your walk further, there is Nymphenburg, a royal Palace and gardens, just one league distant from the city.
The Residenz-schloss or Palace of the King is a solid building. The interior is well worth seeing. There is a superb saloon with a vast number of valuable miniatures appended to the wainscoating. An enormously heavy bed, groaning with gold and silver embroidery and pearls and which is said to weigh a ton, is to be seen here. There is a very good collection of pictures, chiefly portraits, of the Electoral, now Royal family. There is a fine chapel too belonging to this palace; a superb staircase of marble, and some fine old tapestry representing the actions of Otto von Wittelsbach. There is likewise a curious miniature copy of Trajan's column in gold and incrusted with precious stones, besides a variety of other things of value.
There are two theatres in Munich; one called the Hof or Court theatre, where there is a company of comedians for tragedy and comedy, the expences of which are defrayed principally by the King. The boxes are generally let to the nobility and the parterre is open to every body on payment. I witnessed the representation of Mozart's Nozze di Figaro. The King was present and was greeted with much affection. He has a very benignant expression of countenance. He is much beloved by his subjects, for he has governed them paternally. He has given to them a constitution unasked; for they were so contented with the old Government, that they desired no change; but he, with his usual good sense, saw the propriety of consulting and complying with the spirit of the age. A German writer of some eminence at the time of the French Revolution, when the aristocrats and alarmists of all countries were crying out against it, and proposing harsh measures to arrest its progress, said: "Sovereigns of Europe, do you wish to set bounds to the progress of French principles? Nothing can be more simple; you have only to govern your people like Maximilian of Bavaria and Frederick of Saxony, and your subjects will never desire a change."