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Foot-prints of Travel - or, Journeyings in Many Lands
by Maturin M. Ballou
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The whole valley which Toledo overlooks, now lying so dead and silent, once teemed with a dense population, and sent forth armies, and fought great battles, in the days of the Goths. The cathedral of this old city is visited by architects from all parts of Europe and America, solely for the purpose of professional study, it being one of the finest examples of the Gothic order in existence, while the richness of its ornamentation and its artistic wealth, not to mention in detail its gold and silver plate, make it the rival of most cathedrals in the world, with the possible exception of that at Burgos. Its size is vast, with a tower reaching three hundred feet heavenward, the interior having five great aisles, divided by over eighty aspiring columns. It is said to contain more stained-glass windows than any other cathedral that was ever built. The high altar, a marvel of splendid workmanship and minute detail, is yet a little confusing from the myriads of single statues, groups, columns, and ornaments generally.

Toledo stands upon the boldest promontory of the Tagus, a dead and virtually deserted city. Coveted by various conquerors, she has been besieged more than twenty times; so that the river beneath her walls has often flowed red with human gore where it is spanned by the graceful bridge of Alcantara. Phoenicians, Romans, Goths, Moors, and Christians have all fought for, and at different times have possessed the place. Only the skeleton of a once great and thriving capital remains. It has no commerce, and but one industry, the manufacture of arms and sword-blades, which gives occupation to a couple of hundred souls—hardly more. The coming and going of visitors from other lands gives it a little flutter of daily life,—like a fitful candle, blazing up for a moment, and then dying down in the socket, making darkness only the more intense by the contrast. The one sword factory is found to be of little interest, though we are told that better blades are manufactured here to-day than of old.

In looking at the present condition of this once famous seat of industry and power, recalling her arts, manufactures, and commerce, it must be remembered that outside of the immediate walls, which formed the citadel of a large and extended population, were over forty thriving towns and villages in the valley of the Tagus, under the shadow of her wing. These communities and their homes have all disappeared, pastures and fields of grain covering their dust from the eyes of the curious traveller. The narrow, silent, doleful streets of the old city, with its overhanging roofs and yawning arches, leave a sad memory on the brain as we turn thoughtfully away from its crumbling walls and picturesque, antique Moorish gates.

Thirty-five miles from Madrid by rail will bring us to the Escurial, which the Spaniards call the eighth wonder of the world. This vast pile of stone buildings is more than three hundred years in age, and nearly a mile in circumference,—tomb, palace, cathedral, monastery, all in one. It was the royal home of that bigoted monarch Philip II., but is now only a show place, so to speak, of no present use except as an historical link and a royal tomb. One hall, over two hundred feet long and sixty wide, contains nearly seventy thousand bound volumes, all arranged with their backs to the wall so that the titles cannot be read, a plan which one would say was the device of some madman. The shelves, divided into sections and ornamental cases, are made of ebony, cedar, orange, and other choice woods. What possible historic wealth may here lie concealed, what noble thoughts and minds embalmed! In the domestic or dwelling portion of the Escurial, the apartments are very finely inlaid with various woods, besides containing some delicate and antique furniture of great beauty. A few cabinet pictures are seen upon the walls, and one or two large apartments are hung with tapestry, which, though centuries old, is as fresh as when it was first made. It might have come from the manufactory during this present year; for it certainly could not look brighter or more perfect.

The grounds surrounding the structure are laid out in pleasant gardens, where fountains, flowers, and a few inferior marble statues serve for external finish. On the outside, high up above the broadest portion of the dome, was placed the famous plate of gold, an inch thick and containing some ten square feet of surface, forming a monument of the bravado and extravagance of Philip II., who put it there in reply to the assertion of his enemies that he had financially ruined himself in building so costly a palace as the Escurial.

Burgos is situated about two hundred miles north of Madrid, and is reached by railway. Here the first impression upon the stranger is that of quaintness. It is a damp, cold, dead-and-alive place, with but three monuments worthy of our attention. These are its unrivalled cathedral, its Carthusian monastery, and its convent of Huelgas; and yet there is a tinge of the romantic Castilian period about its musty old streets and archways scarcely equalled elsewhere in Spain, and which one would not like to miss. It is very amusing, on arriving in such a place, to start off in the early morning without any fixed purpose as to destination, and wander through unknown streets, lanes, and archways, coming out upon a broad square,—the Plaza Mayor, for instance, which contains a bronze statue of Charles III.; thence to another with a tall stone fountain in its centre, where a motley group of women and young girls are filling their jars with water; and again, through a dull dark lane, coming upon the lofty gate of Santa Maria, erected by Charles V., and ornamented with statues of the Cid (a noted knight and warrior), Fernando Gonzales (famous Spanish general), and the emperor. Strolling on, we presently come to another open square, full of busy groups of women and donkeys, gathered about piles of produce. It is the vegetable market, always a favorite morning resort in every new locality. How animated are the eager sellers and buyers! What a study is afforded by their bright, expressive faces; how gay the varied colors of dress and of vegetables; how ringing the Babel of tongues and the braying of donkeys!

The cathedral, which the Emperor Charles V. said ought to be placed under glass, renders the town a famous resort of travellers, being one of the largest, finest, and most richly endowed of all the Spanish churches. This lofty structure, like that at Antwerp, is situated behind a cluster of inferior buildings, so as greatly to detract from its external effect, though from the opposite side of the river Arlanzon a favorable view is obtained of its open-work spires and its tall corrugated roof. The columns and high arches of the interior are a maze of architectural beauty in pure Gothic. In all these Spanish churches the choir completely blocks up the centre of the interior, so that no comprehensive view can be had. Above the space between the altar and the choir rises a cupola, which, in elaborate ornamentation of bas-reliefs, statues, small columns, arches, and sculptured figures, exceeds anything of the sort in this country so famous for its cathedrals. The hundred and more carved seats of the choir are in choice walnut, and form a great curiosity as an example of artistic wood-carving, presenting human figures, vines, fantastic animals, and foliage. The several chapels are as large as ordinary churches, while in the centre of each lies buried a bishop or a prince. The great number of statues and paintings scattered through the interior of the cathedral are almost as confusing as the pinnacled and statue-covered roof of the Milan cathedral, whose beauty disappears amid accumulation. In a side apartment the attendant will show us many curious relics, among them the well-known effigy of Christ on the Cross, which devout believers say was carved by Nicodemus just after he had buried the Saviour.

Our course is still northward. From Burgos to San Sebastian by rail is a hundred and fifty miles. As we leave the ancient town, memory is busy for a moment recalling its legends and history. We remember that centuries ago a knight of Castile, Diego Porcelos, had a lovely daughter named Sulla Bella, whom he gave as a bride to a German cavalier, and together they founded this place and fortified it. They called it Burg, a fortified place, hence Burgos. We recall the Cid and his gallant war-horse, Baveica, we think of the richly endowed cathedral, and the old monastery, where rest Juan II. and Isabella of Portugal in their elaborately carved alabaster tomb. But gradually these memories fade away as we awaken to new and present surroundings while rushing along at railway speed. Sparkling watercourses, with here and there a fall, give power to some rickety old stone mill and add variety to the scene. On the not far-off hills are castles, border fortresses in ruins, whose gray towers have borne witness to the conflicts of armor-clad warriors in the days of Castilian knighthood and glory. What interest hangs about these rude battlements! In looking back upon the ancient days it is fortunate that the mellowing influence of time dims the vision, and we see as through a softening twilight; otherwise we should behold such harshness as would embitter all. The olden time, like the landscape, appears best in the purple distance.

The general aspect of the country since we left Malaga in the south has been rather disappointing, and the rural appearance on this beautiful trip from Burgos to San Sebastian is therefore the more heartily appreciated. It should be called the garden of Spain, the well-watered valleys and plains being spread with a carpet of exquisite verdure. In the far distance one detects snow-clad mountains, which in fact are not out of sight during the entire journey. Thousands of acres are covered by the vine from the product of which comes our sherry wine. It is impossible not to feel a sense of elation amid the delightful scenery and while breathing the genial air. Nature seems to be in her merriest mood, clothing everything in poetic attire, rendering more than beautiful the gray hamlets on the hillsides, over which rise square bell-towers, about which the red-tiled cottages cluster. Outside of these are seen family groups, some sewing, some spinning, while children gleefully tumble about and play in the inviting grass.

San Sebastian is a somewhat famous watering-place, situated on the boisterous Bay of Biscay, and drawing its patronage largely from Madrid, though of late many English people have resorted thither. It is a small city, but the thriftiest and most business-like, when its size is considered, to be found in the borders of Spain. The place was entirely destroyed by fire when captured from the French by the English, a piece of sanguinary work which cost the latter five thousand lives! It was on this occasion that Wellington is reported to have said, "The next most dreadful thing to a battle lost is a battle won."

After leaving San Sebastian our first stopping-place is Bayonne; that is, "Good Port." It is a city of some thirty thousand inhabitants, situated at the junction of the Adour and Nive rivers, in the Lower Pyrenees. Here again the cathedral forms the principal attraction to travellers. Though very plain and with little architectural merit, still it is very old, gray and crumbling, plainly telling the story of its age. The city has considerable commerce by the river, both in steam and sailing vessels, and exports a very respectable amount of domestic produce. Here we see the palace where Catharine de Medici and the Duke of Alva planned the terrible massacre of the Huguenots of France. A large, well-arranged public garden begins just at the city gate and extends along the left bank of the Adour, and there are many pleasant drives in the environs.

From here we take the cars for Bordeaux, France, a distance of over a hundred miles, the road running mostly through what seems to be an interminable pine forest.

In leaving Spain we pause for a moment to contrast her past and her present. In the sixteenth century she was the most powerful nation in the world. In art she held the foremost position. Murillo, Velasquez, and Ribiera were her honored sons; in literature she was represented by Cervantes, Lope de Vega, and Calderon; while of discoverers and conquerors she sent forth Columbus, Cortez, and Pizarro. The banners of Castile and Aragon floated alike on the Pacific and the Indian oceans. Her warriors were brave and adventurous, her soldiers inherited the gallantry of the followers of Charles V. She was the court of Europe, the acknowledged leader of chivalry. How rapid has been her decadence! As in the plenitude of her power she was ambitious, cruel, and perfidious, so has the measure which she meted to others been in turn accorded to herself, until to-day there are none so lowly as to do her homage.

Bordeaux is reckoned the third city in France as to its commercial importance. The form of the town is that of a crescent extending along the shore of the Garonne, which here forms a broad and navigable harbor, always well filled with foreign and domestic shipping, though it is sixty miles from the sea. There are many interesting Roman antiquities and monuments to be seen in and about the city, venerable with the wear and tear of eighteen centuries. The public buildings are commanding in their architectural effect, and are many of them adorned with sculpture. The most ancient part of the town, like nearly all others we visit in Europe, has narrow and crooked streets, but the modern portion is open, airy, and well arranged for business and domestic comfort. The Grand Theatre is a remarkable piece of effective architecture, with its noble Ionic columns, and was built a little more than a century since by Louis XVI.

The distance from Bordeaux to Paris is about four hundred miles. The route passes all the way through a charming and highly cultivated country. The well-prepared fields are green with varied crops, showing a high state of cultivation. Flocks of sheep, tended by shepherdesses with tall Norman caps of white linen and picturesque bright colored dresses, enliven the landscape. These industrious women are seen knitting as they watch their charge. Others are driving oxen while men hold the plow. Gangs of men and women together in long rows are preparing the ground for the seed, and all seem cheerful and happy. The small railroad stations recall those of India between Tuticorin and Madras, where the surroundings are beautified by fragrant flower-gardens, their bland, odorous breath acting like a charm upon the senses amid the noise and bustle of arrival and departure. Now and again as we progress the pointed architecture of some picturesque chateau presents itself among the clustering trees, with its bright verdant lawn and neat outlying buildings, and so we speed swiftly on until by and by we glide into the large station at Paris.



CHAPTER XI.

In passing through Paris we shall pause to present a few sketches representative of the great French capital. It is the gayest metropolis of Europe, the spot where the traveller is most inclined to linger, and whose siren voice is most dangerous to the inexperienced. Its attractions are innumerable, combining unequalled educational advantages in art, literature, and the learned professions, together with unlimited temptations to frivolity. Here are offered daily, without money and without price, lectures upon all themes known to science, free schools in all departments of learning, free art museums and free art galleries, such as can hardly be excelled in the world.

The finest view to be had in the city may be enjoyed by taking one's stand in the Tuileries Garden and looking straight across the Place de la Concorde to the far-away Arc de Triomphe. Here is a clear view, in the very heart of Paris, two miles long, over the entire length of the Champs Elysees. The only thing to impede the sight in the least degree is the grand old column of Luxor, which stands in the middle of the Place de la Concorde, but which is of only needle-like proportions in so comprehensive a view as we speak of. This is the finest square of the city, and indeed we may go further and say the finest in all Europe. It is bounded on the north by the spacious buildings occupied by the Ministry of the Marine, on the south by the Seine, here crossed by the Pont des Invalides, and having the Tuileries on the east and the Champs Elysees on the west. As this is the first square in Europe, so is the Champs Elysees, which opens out of it, the grandest boulevard in the world. It is divided into three alleys, liberally planted with trees, the principal entrance being marked by the celebrated sculptures known as the "Horses of Marly," standing like sentinels, one on each side of the broad carriage-way. This is the road leading to the Bois de Boulogne, the favorite pleasure-drive of the Parisians, where also may be found the fine race-grounds and the Jardin d'Acclimation, with its superb and unrivalled collection of wild animals and rare birds.

Sunday is a weekly recurring carnival here, on which occasions the races and the military reviews take place, and all Paris seeks to amuse itself by open air pleasures. Fifty thousand people and more throng the Champs Elysees; the toy and refreshment booths drive a lucrative business; the numerous goat and pony wagons for children are in constant use. One little turn-out is particularly noticeable, consisting of four well-trained Newfoundland dogs, elegantly harnessed and attended by a couple of servants in livery, a boy of ten or twelve years holding the lines from his seat in the light and graceful little vehicle. Merry young misses drive their ribbon-decked hoops with special relish, and roguish boys spin their tops with equal zeal. Clouds of toy-balloons, of various colors and sizes, flash high above the heads of itinerant vendors, while the sparkling fountains throw up softly musical jets everywhere. Soldiers off duty, strolling idly about, dot the scene with their various uniforms, their shining helmets, and elaborate gold lace. The busy road-way is crowded by a thousand turnouts, drawn by high-stepping horses. Delighted youths, of both sexes, mount wooden horses in the merry-go-rounds and enjoy their ride at a cost of a couple of cents. Lofty aerial cars, upon huge revolving wheels, afford as much delight and more risk to other youths. Punch and Judy, and the man with the air-gun and conspicuous mark, are also present. A performing monkey divides the honors and pennies with the rest of the entertainers. Not far away an acrobat, in flesh-colored tights, lies upon the carpeted ground and tosses a lad, dressed in spangled thin clothes, into the air, catching him upon his foot again as he comes down, and twirling him so rapidly that the boy becomes invisible. Such is a glimpse of the Champs Elysees on Sunday.

Strangers in Paris do not forget to visit the Expiatory Chapel, erected by Louis the Eighteenth to the memory of Louis the Sixteenth, Marie Antoinette, and other victims of the Revolution, which took place about a century since. Historic recollections crowd upon us as we stand within this small but beautiful chapel. Time has softened the sternness of judgment relating to the king and queen; and we all pause to admire their bearing in adversity, but are forced to the conclusion "that nothing in their life so well became them as the manner of their leaving it." The queen was remarkable for her dignity of person, which she loved to increase by the accessories of ornament, until, as a writer of that period tells us, covered with diamonds and precious stones, she was literally a thing of light. But Marie Antoinette, in the dungeons of the Conciergerie, in her widow's cap and patched black dress, was worthier of love and veneration than when she blazed as the royal star of Versailles.

The flower market of this large capital is ever suggestive and interesting. The women, of all ages, who bring these floral gems to the city, exhibit a taste in their arrangement which would be of value to a professional artist. One may detect a living poem in each little department. The principal square devoted to this purpose is situated just over the Pont Neuf and borders the Seine. The market is changed so as to be held for two days of each week under the shadow of the Madeleine, in the Place de la Madeleine, the noblest of modern Christian temples in its chaste architecture. As we come down from the Rue Scribe, in the early part of the day, we see vehicles, with liveried attendants, pause while the fair occupants purchase a cluster of favorite flowers; dainty beauties on foot come hither to go away laden with fragrant gems, while well-dressed men deck their buttonholes with a bit of color and fragrance combined. Here is a white-frocked butcher selecting a full-blown pot of pansies, and here a sad-faced woman, in widow's weeds, takes away a wreath of immortelles—to-night it will deck a tomb in the cemetery of Pere la Chaise. This giddy and nervous fellow, who is full of smiles, takes away a wedding wreath—price is no object to him. Yonder is a pale-faced shop-girl—what sunny yet half-sad features she has! She must perhaps forego her dinner in order to possess that pot of mignonette, but she trips lightly away with it in a happy mood.

The most interesting church here is that of Notre Dame, whose massive towers greet the eye in every comprehensive view of the city. The present structure is probably not over seven hundred years old, but it stands upon a site successively occupied by a Pagan temple and a Christian church of the time of the early kings. The present building presents one of the most perfect examples of Gothic architecture extant. It contains about forty separate chapels. Here the late Emperor and Empress were married, in January, 1853, just fifty-two years after the coronation of the first Napoleon in the same place.

A little way from Notre Dame, upon a street situated behind it and near the Pont St. Louis, is the Morgue, or dead-house of Paris, at all times open to the public, where are exposed the corpses of unknown persons who have met their death in the streets or the Seine by violence or drowning. These bodies remain here three days for the purpose of identification. If not recognized and claimed by friends, they are then buried at the expense of the city, or consigned to the dissecting-tables. There are brought here during the year, the officer in charge will tell us, over three hundred bodies, two-thirds of whom are men, and about one-third women. A large number of the latter are known to be suicides, and are recovered from the waters of the Seine, close at hand.

The daily scenes occurring in the gardens of the Tuileries, which open from the Place de la Concorde, are characteristic. The spacious grounds, adorned with stately trees, fountains, tiny lakes, statues, and flowers, the latter kept fresh and green by artificial means nearly all the year round, form an ever-varying attraction. Hundreds of merry children enliven every nook and corner by their careless, happy voices. The gayest of promenaders of both sexes throng the broad, smooth paths in the after part of the day. Round the fountains the sparrows, as tame as the pigeons of St. Mark at Venice, light upon one's arms and shoulders, convinced that the only legitimate business of the world is to supply them with cake and biscuit. Now there break upon the ear the strains of a full military band posted among the trees, and brilliant music adds its charm to the attractive scene. This is one side of the picture; we may perhaps with profit to ourselves turn to the other. The same bell that rings out the marriage peal, tolls forth the funeral knell; sweet flowers that deck the bridal altar, are also brought to lay upon the tomb. We have not far to go in seeking for the shadow of the Tuileries gardens. Misery in all its varied forms is to be found in the Faubourg St. Antoine, partially hidden by almost transparent screens from the naked eye. Crime, sickness, starvation, death, all are within no great distance of these beautiful resorts. Dark streets where thieves and outcasts slink away from the light of day like hunted animals; where one reads hunger and want in silent human faces; where men are met whose villanous expression only too plainly betrays their criminal nature.

All strangers make a visit to Pere la Chaise, the historic burial-ground of the French capital. Its two hundred acres of monuments, tombs, and costly sepulchres present only a sad and sombre aspect to the eye, as unlike to Greenwood, Mount Auburn, or Forest Hills, as narrow streets and brick houses are unlike the green and open fields of the country. One reads upon the tombs, however, the familiar historic names with vivid interest, such as Rossini, Moliere, Scribe, Alfred de Musset, Talma, Arago, and others. One remarkable tomb attracts us; it is that of Abelard and Heloise, upon which some hand has just placed fresh flowers. One cannot but respect the sentiment which would perpetuate the memory of this hero and heroine of seven hundred years ago. There are sixty thousand tombs, mausoleums, and memorial stones within these grounds, but none equal this one tomb for interest.

We must not forget to visit the Cluny Museum, situated on the Rue des Mathurins, near the Boulevard St. Michel. The remarkable collection of historic relics of the Middle Ages and subsequent period, consisting of glass, porcelain, tapestry, carvings, weapons, and domestic utensils, are tangible history of great interest. The building itself in which these treasures are exhibited is a curiosity five or six hundred years in age, near the very extensive remains of Julian's palace. With one exception this is the only visible structure of the Roman period that still exists in the city of Paris. The other is the Roman Amphitheatre, situated in the Rue Monge. Here, not long since, coins were found, bearing the date of the time of Adrian.

On the Rue Rivoli, opposite the Tuileries gardens, stands a bronze equestrian statue, erected within the last few years, representing Joan of Arc. As we look upon it, the mind reverts to the romantic story of the maid of Domremy, which this tardy act of justice commemorates. A conclave of bishops sent her to the stake at Rouen—an act as unwarrantable as the hanging of innocent women for witches in the early days of New England. History repeats itself, and the victims of one generation become the idols of the next. We like best to believe that this simple maid was inspired to do the work which she so well performed. At the age of thirteen she began to devote herself to liberate her country from the English invaders, selling the very bed she slept upon to aid in the equipment of soldiers for the field. Joan was but eighteen years old when she appeared before Charles VII. and told him that she was impelled by Heaven to raise the siege of Orleans, and to conduct him to Rheims to be crowned. She was young and beautiful; the king believed in her; the soldiers thought she was inspired, and so followed her to victory. City after city surrendered to her, battle after battle was won under her leadership, until Charles was indeed crowned at Rheims; but, through the influence of her English enemies, the brave and modest maid was condemned as a sorceress and burned at the stake!

It is foreigners, not Parisians, who support the splendid jewelry and other fancy stores of the boulevards, as well as the thousand extravagant hotels of the metropolis. Paris is the mart of the world for fancy goods. It is the policy of the government to establish and freely maintain such attractions as shall draw to the city strangers from all parts of the world, who come and empty their well-filled purses into the pockets of French merchants. But let us not forget that the best means of education are free to all, the poorest scholar being welcome to the unrivalled libraries and archives, as well as to the splendid advantages of the art galleries. Scientific lectures and the rarest books upon special themes are free to him, while every facility which the government can control is liberally offered to the humble but ambitious student of science and of art.

We start for Lyons by the way of Fontainebleau, which is situated about forty miles from Paris. The Palace was founded over seven hundred years ago, and has been kept during all these years in perfect condition, each new monarch adding to its embellishments, until it forms to-day a magnificent museum of art. There are over eight hundred apartments, all of which are sumptuously decorated and furnished. Here was signed the revocation Edict of Nantes; from here was announced the divorce of Josephine; and here Napoleon the First signed his abdication. The Palace is surrounded by beautiful and extensive gardens, small lakes, and fountains. The famous forest of Fontainebleau is of more than passing interest; there is no such wooded and shady drive elsewhere in the world as is afforded by the admirably kept roads that intersect the sixty-four square miles covered by this forest, and in the midst of which is the town. The inhabitants number twelve thousand, added to which there is here a military station with barracks for about a thousand men. Until within a few years the forest was the resort of persons from the capital who had affairs to settle with sword or pistol, but police arrangements have put an end to this business.

Lyons has a population of half a million, and ranks as the second city of France in that respect. The manufacture of silk is the great industry here, and everybody seems to be in some way interested in forwarding this business. There are between forty and fifty thousand silk-looms actively employed. In the extent of its silk trade it is the first city in the world. Being located at the confluence of two important rivers, the Rhone and the Saone, the city has almost the advantage of a maritime port, besides which it has ample railroad connections. After a day's rest at Lyons, we will proceed on our journey by rail to the city of Marseilles, the first commercial port of the Mediterranean.

The importance of Marseilles as a business centre can hardly be overestimated, its harbor having safe accommodations for over a thousand ships at the same time. The flags of Italy, Portugal, England, and America mingle with those of the far East at her quays. In the breezy streets of the town surrounding the harbor, we meet Turks, Italians, Spaniards, British tars, and the queerly dressed sailors of the Grecian Archipelago, while a Babel of tongues rings upon the ear. This is the principal port for embarkation to reach Corsica, Genoa, Leghorn, Constantinople, and Smyrna, the harbor being the finest in France, and it has been prominent in its commercial connections for fully two thousand years. Marseilles, with a population of four hundred thousand, is remarkable for the number and excellence of its public institutions, among which is a royal exchange, a national observatory, an academy of sciences, a public library, a school of design, a deaf and dumb institute, a museum of paintings and antiquities, etc. The Palace of Longchamps, standing upon one of the most prominent spots in the city, is a museum, geological school, library, and picture gallery combined. It is a superb structure architecturally, and cost over seven millions of dollars.

Overlooking the city of Marseilles is the hill of Notre Dame de la Garde, a lofty eminence, which seen from the town appears to be hung in the very clouds. Skilful engineering has made a winding road to the apex accessible for vehicles. Once reached, this lofty spot affords one of the most delightful and comprehensive views on the continent, embracing a wide extent of sea and land. Immediately beneath the visitor's feet lies the city, nearly encircled by vine-clad hills, interspersed by chateaux, Swiss and English cottages, all assuming Lilliputian proportions. The winding cliff-road looks like a silver thread, and the blue Mediterranean, dotted here and there with sails and steamships, glistens in the warm, soft sunshine. But the bird's-eye view of the city is a marvel in its perfection and comprehensiveness. This hill is named after the singular Roman Catholic chapel upon its cloud-capped summit. It is visible for many leagues at sea, and is the subject of mysterious veneration to sailors who navigate these inland waters. A large number of curious articles from all parts of the world contributed by believing sailors are to be seen within its walls, in the form of rich samples of ores, shells, corals, and savage weapons from the far-away South Sea Islands, forming a kind of religious museum.

From Marseilles we take the railway route to Nice, a distance of one hundred and forty miles. This world-renowned sanitary resort is most delightfully situated at the base of an amphitheatre of hills, which are decked with villas, gardens, orange and olive groves. Roses bloom out of doors all the year round, and fruit ripens on the trees in January. Nice has a population of about sixty-five thousand. The foot-hills of the Alpine range come so close to the town as to cut off all the view inland, but the opposite side is open to the far-reaching Mediterranean, which curves gracefully in crescent form to make the beautiful bay of Nice. Lying so very close to the Italian frontier, the people are as much of that nationality as of France, and both languages are spoken. The old portion of the town is Roman in many of its characteristics, and here those former masters of the world had an important naval station in the days of Augustus. Dirty as this portion of Nice is, one lingers here a little to study the quaint architecture, and the aspects of humble life. The peculiarities of dress, habits, and general appearance of the people differ materially from other continental towns. Half-clad, bare-footed boys and girls of twelve or fourteen years of age abound, many of them with such beauty of face and form as to make us sigh for the possibilities of their young lives probably never to be fulfilled. Under favorable auspices what a happy future might fall to their share! A year or two more of wretched associations, idle habits, and want of proper food and clothing will age them terribly. What a serious social problem is presented by such lives!

All strangers who come hither visit Cimies, about three miles from Nice, upon a lofty hillside, where there are some remarkable Roman ruins, among which is a spacious amphitheatre, once capable of seating eight or ten thousand spectators. This place, like the neighboring Convent of Cinieres, is more than a thousand years old, and so well built that the intervening centuries have not been able to disintegrate its masonry to any great extent. It is upon a Sunday afternoon that we visit the amphitheatre and convent. The Franciscan monks, who alone inhabit the terrace, seem to be rather a jolly set of men, notwithstanding their coarse dress, shaven heads, and bare feet. The Sabbath does not interfere with their game of tennis, which a group of them pursue with great earnestness in the pleasant old garden of the monastery, now and then disputing a little rudely as to the conduct of the game. One of the brethren is our guide; he explains intelligently what we desire to understand, and gives us a drink of water out of the old well from which the Romans drank so many hundred years ago, and which he assures us has never been known to fail of yielding pure water.

Mentone, the border town between France and Italy, is situated fifteen miles from Nice. We pass through it on the route to Genoa. A deep ravine forms the dividing line between the two countries, spanned by the bridge of St. Louis. Mentone is a favorite resort for persons suffering with pulmonary affections, and has about ten thousand inhabitants. It is characterized by very beautiful scenery bordering the great classic sea, and lying at the base of the Maritime Alps. Adjoining the town is the principality of Monaco, an independent state covering an area of less than fifty square miles. It is a curious fact that the independence of this spot has been respected by Europe for so many years, and that it is to-day ruled over by a descendant of the house of Grimaldi, by whom the principality was founded in the tenth century. The castle, which forms also the palace of the Prince of Monaco, is situated on a rocky promontory overlooking the sea and the wonderful coast scenery between Nice and Mentone. Here the prince maintains a battalion of soldiers who perform guard duty and keep up the semblance of military authority. His subjects are supposed to number about three thousand. To sustain his princely state he must have a revenue other than could be derived from taxation of so small a population, and the main source of his income is very well known. The dominion of the prince is now the only legalized gambling spot in Europe, and from the permit thus granted he receives an annual payment of half a million dollars.

Monte Carlo, the headquarters of the gambling fraternity, lies within a mile of the palace on the shore line. The beautiful spot where the "Casino" (gambling saloon) is situated is one of the most picturesque which can be conceived of, overlooking from a considerable height the Mediterranean Sea. To the extraordinary beauties accorded by nature man has added his best efforts, lavishing money to produce unequalled attractions. There is here an elegant hotel, brilliant cafe, attractive saloons, delightful gardens, floral bowers, shooting-galleries, in short, nearly every possible device to fascinate and occupy the visitor. The roads over which we drive in this vicinity are full of interest, besides the delightful views which greet us on every hand. Wayside shrines to the Virgin are seen at every cross-road, and upon every hillside we meet scores of priests; the little church-bells are ringing incessantly; the roads are thronged with beggars; the beautiful-faced but ragged children attract us by their bright eyes and dark complexions, just touched with a soft rose-tint. We are surprised at the multiplicity of donkeys, their bodies hidden by big loads of merchandise; we observe with interest those handsome milk-white oxen, with wide-spreading horns; we inhale the fragrance of the orange groves, and remember that we are in Italy.

About a hundred miles from St. Mauro, the border town after crossing the bridge of St. Louis, will take us by the Corniche road to Genoa. This ancient capital rises in terrace form, presenting the aspect of an amphitheatre whose base is the water's edge, while the city is situated between the two lofty hills of Carignano on the east and St. Benigno on the west. The harbor of Genoa is semicircular in form, nearly a mile across, and is protected by two substantial piers, on one of which is a lighthouse three hundred feet in height. From the seaward end of the lighthouse pier we have a fine view of the town, the slope being covered with palaces, churches, hotels, gardens, forts, and public buildings. The arsenal, the prison, the custom-house, and government warehouses all cluster about the wharves, where great business activity centres at all times. The older part of the city consists of narrow and confusing lanes, accessible only to foot-passengers. In the olden days, when this city was first laid out after the fashion of the times, it was crowded with fortified lines, and perched upon elevations to aid in resisting the attack of an invading enemy. The newer portions present broad, accessible thoroughfares, with one or two elegant boulevards.

The number of marble palaces in Genoa is really surprising, but they are built in streets so narrow that their elaborate fronts lose architectural effect. These were not all occupied by the class termed the nobility, but were often the homes of merchant princes. Many of these structures are now vacant or occupied for business purposes. Splendid marble corridors and mosaic floors, with halls opening from grand marble staircases, seem ill-adapted to the purposes of common trade. A few of these structures belong to people whose condition enables them to retain them as dwellings; others have been purchased by the government and are occupied as public offices; and still others are hotels. This city was the birthplace of Columbus, the "Great Genoese Pilot," who first showed the way across the then trackless ocean to a western world. Almost the first object to attract the attention of the traveller on emerging from the railroad depot is the statue of Columbus in a broad open space. It was erected so late as 1862, and stands upon a pedestal ornamented with ships' prows. At the feet of the statue kneels the figure of America, the whole monument being of white marble, and surrounded by allegorical figures in a sitting posture, representing Religion, Geography, Force, and Wisdom.

There are many noble public institutions in Genoa, noticeable among which is the general hospital and the asylum for the poor, as it is called, capable of sheltering sixteen hundred people. The Deaf and Dumb Asylum and the Hospital for the Insane are the best organized in Italy. The Public Library contains some hundred and twenty thousand bound volumes, and is open for free use at all suitable hours. There is also an Academy of Fine Arts, with an admirable collection of paintings and sculpture: many of the examples are from the hands of the old masters.

The Cathedral of St. Lorenzo is richly worthy of our attention. Among the curiosities to be seen within its walls are the two urns said to contain the ashes of St. John the Baptist, which are paraded with religious pomp through the streets of the city once a year. They are said to have been brought from the city of Myrrha in Lycia, in the year 1097. There is also exhibited here an emerald dish, which is an object of great veneration with the Genoese, and which is said to have held the Paschal Lamb at the Last Supper. It was captured from the Saracens, in the year 1101, at the storming of Cesarea.

From elevated points in and about Genoa most charming and extended views of the Mediterranean are enjoyed. It is not the tranquil and lake-like expanse which inexperience would believe it to be, but is capable of nearly as fierce commotion as the angry waves of the Atlantic itself. It is still navigated very much as it was of old by the Greeks, the Phoenicians, and the Romans. The mariners still hug the shore, and at every unfavorable change of weather run into the nearest safe anchorage. Thus most of the coasting-vessels are under one hundred tons' measurement, and are of a model which will permit of their being beached upon the shelving shore in an emergency. It seems to be generally believed that this sea is tideless, but it is not the case; it feels the same lunar influence which affects the ocean, though in a less degree. These waters are warmer than the Atlantic, owing probably to the absence of polar currents. The Mediterranean is almost entirely enclosed by the continents of Europe, Asia, and Africa, and covers a space of a million of square miles, being over two thousand miles long and, in one place, more than a thousand wide. The tide is most noticeable in the Gulf of Venice, where the rise and fall is from three to four feet.

Before leaving Genoa we will drive out to the Campo Santo, or public burial ground. It is a remarkable place laid out in terraces, containing many monuments, and having in its centre a large circular chapel with Doric columns, the vestibule walls also containing tombs, bearing an inscription on the face of each. Seeing in many instances small baskets partially wrapped in paper or linen laid beside or on the graves about the Campo Santo, one is apt to inquire what their significance can be, and he will be told that food is thus placed from time to time, for the sustenance of the departed!



CHAPTER XII.

We embark at Genoa for Leghorn by a coasting-steamer. On arriving at the latter port the first thing which strikes the traveller is the mixed character of the population, composed of Greeks, Armenians, Turks, Moors, and Italians, whose strongly individualized costumes give picturesqueness and color to the public ways. Until within the last two centuries Leghorn was a very small village, and therefore presents comparatively a modern aspect, with its present population of about a hundred and twenty thousand. The streets are wide, well laid out, and regularly paved, the northern section of the city being intersected by canals, enabling the merchants to float their goods to the doors of their warehouses. Its fine situation upon the Mediterranean shore is its one recommendation, forming an entry port connected with Rome, Pisa, and other inland cities of Italy. There are pointed out to us here three special hospitals, an observatory, a poorhouse and a public library, but there is not much of local interest.

An excursion of fifteen miles by railway will take us to Pisa, one of the oldest cities of Italy, and formerly the capital of the grand duchy of Tuscany, being finely situated on the banks of the Arno, which divides the city into two parts, and is crossed by three noble bridges. The population is about fifty thousand, and it has broad, handsome streets, with a number of spacious squares, fine churches, and public edifices. The most attractive part of the city is that lining the Arno, where there are several palaces of some architectural pretensions. The great attraction of Pisa lies just outside of the city proper, consisting of a group of edifices which are celebrated all over the world. These are the Cathedral, the Baptistery, and the Belfry, or, as it is more generally known, the Leaning Tower. Each of these is separated from the others by several rods. The Cathedral is the oldest structure, and has an existence covering a thousand years. The isolation of these buildings from the town, and their complete separation from each other, add very much to their general effect. The Cathedral, built entirely of white marble, is crowned by a noble dome, which is supported by over seventy pillars, while it is gorgeously furnished with almost innumerable art treasures, paintings, variegated marbles, panels, superb colored glass windows, and statues. The altar and the pulpit rest upon pillars of porphyry. The roof is not arched, but is of wood, divided into sections and elaborately gilded,—a very ancient style of finish found only in the oldest churches upon the continent. The doors are of bronze finely sculptured. In the nave the guide will call our attention to a large bronze hanging-lamp, the oscillations of which are said to have suggested to Galileo the theory of the pendulum. The Baptistery, or Church of St. John, is situated nearly opposite the Cathedral, a most beautifully shaped church, which is noted for a marvellous echo.



The Leaning Tower of Pisa is one of the famous structures of the world. It is seven stories high, the summit measuring one hundred and eight feet from the ground. Each story is divided by rows of columns, so that architecturally it has a resemblance to the other buildings near at hand. There are many theories as to the leaning position of this tower, but no two persons seem to quite agree upon the matter. A plummet and line depending from the top would strike the ground some ten feet from the base of the structure. It has stood here for more than six hundred years, and does not appear to be in any danger of falling. A view from the upper gallery, over which hangs a chime of heavy bells, is very fine, embracing the fertile plains of Tuscany.

Near at hand is the Campo Santo, a cloistered cemetery constructed many centuries ago. It is a large rectangular enclosure surrounded by arcades. After the loss of the Holy Land the Pisans caused some fifty shiploads of soil to be brought hither from Mt. Calvary, in order that the dead might rest in what was conceived to be holy ground. It was in this Campo Santo that the earliest Tuscan artists were taught to emulate each other, and here the walls are covered with remarkable representations of Scriptural and historical subjects. The originals of many pictures made familiar to us by engravings, are still to be found here, such as "Noah Inebriated," "Building of the Tower of Babel," "The Last Judgment," etc. The tombstones of those whose remains rest here, form the pavement of the arcades. The sculptures, monuments, and bas-reliefs in the Campo Santo are almost innumerable, forming a strange and varied collection.

The history of Pisa is of great antiquity, having been one of the famous twelve towns of Etruria. It maintained its municipal government and almost unlimited freedom while nominally under Roman protection, but on the decline of the imperial power it was compelled to submit in turn to the various transalpine nations who overran Northern Italy. Early in the eleventh century it had risen to the rank of a powerful republic and to this period belong most of the splendid monuments on which it now justly prides itself. Its soldiers were conspicuous in the crusades, and at that time its fleets were the most powerful that navigated the Mediterranean Sea.

Returning to Leghorn we embark for Naples by steamer. As we glide slowly into the lovely bay just as the morning light is breaking in the east, we feel that no more propitious hour for arrival could be devised, and are glad that the view of the city is presented to us for the first time from the sea rather than from the shore. How impressive is the historic scene which gradually spreads out before us as we steam slowly in by the islands of Procida and Cape Miseno, while we behold what an imaginative writer has termed "a fragment of heaven to earth vouchsafed"; it certainly seems more like a picture than like reality. Few cities on the globe are so famous for their advantageous site as is Naples. It lies in amphitheatre form on the shore of the classic bay, which is shut in from the sea by the island of Capri, extending in part across its entrance to the southeast, while to the northwest loom up the beautiful islands of Procida and Ischia, so full of sad and historic associations. It will be remembered that many of the population were engulfed at Ischia by an earthquake within a few years past. On the eastern side of this panoramic view rises Vesuvius, with its bold and isolated pinnacle, while its dusky sides are dotted up to within half the distance of the summit by villages, hamlets, villas, and vineyards, awaiting the destruction which it would seem must come sooner or later. Along the base of the volcano lie the towns of Portici, Annunziata, and Torre del Greco, everything glittering in the light of the rising sun. The eyes cannot rest upon a spot which has not its classic association, turn which way we will. In the distance eastward is seen Castellamare and Sorrento on the right curve of the crescent-shaped shore, while on the left lie Solfatara and Pozzuoli. What a shore to look upon, where Cicero, Horace, Virgil, Tasso, Pliny, and Macaenas lived! How thrillingly beautiful it is, as we creep slowly up to our moorings in the soft, dewy freshness of the morning!

In direct contrast to all this beauty of nature and picturesqueness of scenery, as soon as we land there comes before our eyes so much of dirt, poverty, and beggary, as to cause us to shudder. How humanity outrages the loveliness of nature! Begging is reduced to a profession here; thousands of both sexes and of all ages have no other employment or seeming ambition than to beg at every opportunity, to fill their stomachs with food, and then, like the inferior animals, to stretch themselves in the sun until again aroused by hunger. There is no quarter of the city exempt from this pest of beggary. The palace and the hovel join each other in strange incongruity; starvation and abundance are close together; elegance and rags are in juxtaposition; the city has nearly half a million population, and this condition applies to all its streets. There are many fine public buildings, and yet they can lay no special claim to architectural excellence. The old streets are narrow, crooked, and in some places ascended by steps, on an angle of forty-five degrees; but the modern part of the city is well laid out. The Strada di Roma is the Broadway of Naples, a fine, busy street, more than a mile in length and lined with elegant business stores, cafes, hotels, and public offices. The famous Riviera di Chiaja, or Quay, is also a noble street running along the shore of the bay, lined on one side by an almost endless array of palaces, and on the other by the long park separating it from the sea.

This Chiaja is the famous drive-way of Naples, and is a broad and beautiful street by which we enter the city from the west. Just about sunset this thoroughfare presents daily a scene more peculiar and quite as gay as the Bois de Boulogne, or the Prater of Vienna, being crowded at that hour by the beauty and fashion of the town enjoying an afternoon drive or horseback ride. Here may be seen gigs driven by young Neapolitans in dashing style, and some smart brushes in the way of racing take place. The small Italian horses are real flyers, and are driven only too recklessly over the crowded course. Mingling with the throng are long lines of donkeys laden with merchandise, keeping close to the side of the way in order to avoid the fast drivers; pedestrians of both sexes dodging out and in among the vehicles; cavalry officers cantering on showy horses; and the inevitable army of beggars with outstretched hands pleading for alms, among whom is an occasional mendicant friar also soliciting a few pennies.

It is not alone the common classes who live so much in the streets. It is not alone the palace windows that are filled with spectators all along the drive-way of the Chiaja during the carnival hour of the day, but before each residence are gathered a domestic group sitting contentedly in the open air, bareheaded and in gauze-like costume. Some of the ladies employ their hands with dainty needlework, some are crocheting, others are engaged in simple domestic games, and all are chatting, laughing, and enjoying themselves heartily. The ladies wear the gayest colors, these adding vividness to the whole picture. To complete the strongly individualized scene, there are the graceful palms, orange-trees, and fountains of the park, amid abundant marble statuary, and flowering shrubs, with the sea, Capri, and Vesuvius for a background, which together make up the view of the Chiaja at twilight.

Naples is very peculiar in the aspect of its out-of-door life; we see the public letter-writer at his post in the open square; the common people are conducting most of their domestic affairs outside of their dwellings. Sellers of macaroni, oranges, grapes, fish, vegetables, flowers, and hawkers of every sort fill the air with their shrill cries. Common-looking men fling thin, greasy, tattered cloaks over their shoulders, with a proud air and inimitable grace; groups of half-clad children play in the dirt; whole families cook and eat in the street; while liveried turn-outs are dashing hither and thither. No matter in which direction one may go in or around the city, there looms up heavenward the sky-piercing summit of Vesuvius, shrouding the blue ether all day long with its slowly-rising column of smoke, and the sulphuric breathing of its unknown depths. The burning mountain is about three leagues from the city, but is so lofty as to seem closer at hand. It is quite solitary, rising in a majestic manner from the plain, but having a base thirty miles in circumference and a height of about four thousand feet. When emitting fire as well as smoke, the scene is brilliant indeed as a night picture, mirrored in the clear surface of the beautiful bay.

We find ourselves asking, What is the real life of Italy to-day? The sceptre of Commerce has passed from her; Venice is no longer the abode of merchant princes; Genoa is but the shadow of what she once was. What causes a foreign population to circulate through its cities, constantly on the wing, scattering gold right and left among her needy population? It is the rich, unique possession which she enjoys in her monuments of art, her museums, her libraries, her glorious picture-galleries, public and private, but all of which are freely thrown open to the traveller, and to all comers. The liberality of her nobles and merchant princes in the days of her great prosperity has left her now a resource which nothing can rob her of. Where could money purchase such attractions as crowd the museum of Naples? The marble groups and statues, mostly originals, number more than a thousand, including the Dying Gladiator, the famous group of Ganymede and the Eagle, and that of Bacchus and the Laocooen. Here also we have Psyche, Venus Callipyge,—this last dug up from Nero's golden home at Rome,—and hundreds of others of world-wide fame, and of which we have so many fine copies in America. Rome lies but a hundred and sixty miles north of Naples, and the "Eternal City" has largely contributed to the art treasures of the institution of which we are now speaking, and which secures to the city a floating population annually of several thousands.



One of the greatest attractions of Naples is the partially exhumed city of Pompeii, three leagues more or less away. The drive thither skirts the Mediterranean shore, with its beautiful villas, private residences, convents, and churches, while the destructive mountain is always close at hand. The place in its present aspect is simply that of the remains of an entire city, destroyed and buried by volcanic action nearly two thousand years ago. The movable objects found here from time to time, as the slow work of excavation has progressed, have been removed to the museum at Naples. Quite enough, however, is left upon the spot to form tangible history, and to help the antiquarian to read the story of Pompeii, which was a populous city four or five centuries before the coming of Christ, and which lay entirely buried for some seventeen hundred years. It is about a century since the first effort was made towards uncovering the dwelling-houses, streets, and public edifices, but the progress which has been made clearly proves that the inhabitants were suffocated by a shower of hot ashes, and not destroyed by a sudden avalanche of lava and stones. The dwelling of Diomedes, who was the Croesus of Pompeii, was the first house disentombed. Its owner was found with a key in one hand and a bag of gold in the other. Behind him was a slave with his arms full of silver vessels, evidently trying to escape from the coming devastation when they were suddenly overwhelmed, and must have been instantly suffocated.

In the house of Diomedes, glass windows, six or eight inches square, are found; showing that this article is not of such modern invention as had previously been supposed. The luxurious public baths are yet perfect; while the house where Cicero lived and wrote his speeches, besides a hundred other well-preserved historic objects, are pointed out by the guides. We are shown the Temple of Hercules, the theatres, the open courts, etc. The excavated portion represents about one-third of the whole city; but enough is clearly discovered to show that between thirty-five and forty thousand people here made their homes, and that the place contained all the fine public monuments and resorts that indicate a refined and luxurious community.

An excursion of ten miles along the coast to the eastward will take us to Baiae, where the luxurious Romans were wont to resort for their summer seasons. Here are still to be seen the remains of the villas where once dwelt Julius Caesar, Pompey, Marius, and such other notables as they would naturally draw about them. The eyes can be turned in no direction without our being charmed by a view of exceptional beauty, to say nothing of the unequalled historic interest that attaches to every square mile of territory and to the broad bay close at hand. Horace declared it to be the loveliest spot on earth, and Seneca warned every one who desired to maintain dominion over himself to avoid this fascinating watering-place. It is here that Virgil laid many of his poetic scenes.

A day's journey by railway takes us to Rome, the "Eternal City," which is built on both sides of the Tiber, three or four leagues from its influx to the Mediterranean. We know that this city must at one time have been nearly as populous as London is to-day, but the present number cannot much exceed four hundred thousand. The ruins of Rome—for it is a city of ruins, notwithstanding its many fine modern structures—can give but a faint idea of what the great capital was in the days of its glory. At the zenith of her fame the city was filled with grand squares, temples, amphitheatres, circuses, baths, and public and private palaces, scarcely more than the ruins of which now remain—eloquent, however, in their grim silence. In the days of the Caesars, fourteen grand aqueducts, supported by immense arches, hundreds of which still remain, conducted whole rivers into Rome from a distance of many leagues, supplying one hundred and fifty public fountains, with over a hundred public baths. In those marvellous days, over a hundred thousand marble and bronze statues ornamented the public squares, streets, and fountains, together with ninety colossal statues on lofty pedestals, and over forty Egyptian obelisks were in place. What an enumeration! Yet it falls far short of the facts as illustrated in the text of history and proven by the tangible evidence of numberless ruins.

The Piazza, del Popolo is a famous square in Roman history, in the centre of which is one of those curious obelisks transported from Egypt eighteen centuries ago, where it stood before the Temple of the Sun, at Heliopolis, thousands of years since. On one side of the square there are twin churches, far enough apart to permit the Corso, or Broadway of Rome, to enter the square between them. The Corso has an average width of fifty feet, and is a mile long. It is on this central street that the horse-races take place during the Carnival; and it is here that the finest shops, cafes, and palaces are to be found.

The Piazza di Spagna is another interesting square, about a quarter of a mile from that just described. It covers five or six acres of land, and has a curious old fountain in its centre. From one side of the square a grand, broad flight of stone steps leads up to the elevated ground where stands the church of Trinita de Monti. Lingering on and about these steps the artists' models are seen at all hours of the day, both sexes and all ages being represented among them. Old men of seventy years, with noble heads and flowing snowy beards, bent forms and tattered garments, sit patiently awaiting a demand upon them. Perhaps they could afford better clothing; but they have an eye for artistic effect, and a true sense of the fitness of things. The children, waiting here for the same purpose, captivate our attention by their large black eyes and gypsy complexions. How graceful and kitten-like they are, in their lazy, lolling motions! The young girls are such as are not seen out of Italy, with large, beautifully expressive eyes, gypsy complexions touched with the rose color of health, and forms which would establish a sculptor's reputation could he reproduce them. All of these persons are here for a legitimate purpose; that is, to sit as models, for a given sum per hour, and to this object they honestly adhere.

The favorite promenade of the Romans of to-day is the Pincio ("the hill of gardens"), situated near and overlooking the Piazza del Popolo. It probably derives its name from the Pincii family, whose estate it belonged to in the period of the Empire. Hereabouts, of old, were the celebrated gardens of Lucullus; and here Messalina, wife of Claudius, indulged in revelries. Two afternoons of each week, as well as on all holidays, the king's military band gives a public concert in the Pincio gardens. The walks are kept in scrupulous neatness and order, shaded by groups of trees, and adorned by beautiful beds of flowers. At prominent points, fine marble statues of ancient Romans are conspicuously placed. The paths and drives about these gardens present a gay picture at the closing hours of each day, being the assembling-point of the social life of modern Rome.

The Vatican, which is the Pope's palace, is one of the first and most remarkable attractions for the traveller. We say the palace, but it is actually a succession of palaces. This elegant stone structure, close to the Cathedral of St. Peter's, is three stories in height, and contains a vast number of saloons, galleries, chapels, and corridors, embracing a comprehensive library and a remarkable museum, the whole surrounded by spacious and elegantly kept gardens. Twenty courts, eight grand staircases, and two hundred ordinary ones, are all contained within its walls. It is connected by a covered gallery with the castle of St. Angelo, a quarter of a mile away, and with St. Peter's, which it nearly adjoins. Probably no other building, or series of buildings, in the world contains so much wealth of art and riches generally as does the Vatican at Rome. Its treasures in gold, silver, precious stones, books, priceless manuscripts, and relics, are almost beyond enumeration. All the world—ancient and modern, savage and Christian—has contributed to swell this remarkable accumulation. The two most celebrated paintings, and esteemed to be the two most valuable in existence, are to be seen here; namely, "The Transfiguration," by Raphael, and "The Communion of St. Jerome," by Domenichino. So incomparable are these works of art that no critic of note has ventured to say which deserves to be named first; but all agree that they are the two greatest paintings, as to real merit, in the world. They are colossal in size, and have both made the journey to Paris. Napoleon I. had them both transferred to the Louvre; but they are back again, forming the great attraction of the Vatican. The "Last Judgment," by Michael Angelo, covers one whole side of the Sistine Chapel, one of the very best of this great master's works, requiring hours of study to enable one to form a just conception of its design and merits. Raphael has a series of fifty other paintings within the walls of the Pope's palace.



The most notable ruin in this ancient city is the Coliseum, the largest amphitheatre, and still one of the most imposing structures, in the world; broken in every part, but still showing, by what remains of its massive walls, what it must once have been. History tells us, that, upon its completion, it was inaugurated by gladiatorial combats continued for one hundred days; during which time five thousand wild beasts were killed in contests with Christian slaves, who acted as gladiators. The Coliseum was begun by Vespasian, on his return from his war with the Jews, but was dedicated by his son Titus, and completed by Domitian over eighteen hundred years ago. Ten thousand captives are said to have been slain at the time of its dedication, and it was designed to accommodate one hundred thousand spectators. The present circumference of the structure is about one-third of a mile. From the arena rise the tiers of seats, one above another, indicated by partially preserved steps and passage-ways. In its prime it was doubtless elegantly ornamented; and some evidences of fine art still remain upon the crumbling and lofty walls. The material is a kind of freestone. The style of architecture embraces four orders, imposed one upon another: the lower one is Tuscan or Doric; the second, Roman-Ionic; and the third and fourth, Corinthian or Composite.

The Pantheon is the only entirely preserved edifice of Greek architecture in Rome. This grand and marvellous structure was originally dedicated to the Pagan gods, but is now a Christian church. It is the largest building of ancient times, and whose splendid Corinthian columns fill the eye with pleasure at the first glance. The diameter of the structure is one hundred and fifty feet, and the summit of the upper cornice over one hundred feet from the base, the entire height being one hundred and fifty feet. The interior effect is one of true majesty, and that of the combined whole is deemed the acme of architectural perfection of the ancient buildings of Rome. The plates of gilded bronze which once covered the roof, the bronze ornaments of the pediment, and the silver that adorned the interior of the dome, it is said, were carried off by Constans II. more than a thousand years ago.

St. Peter's is considered to be the most magnificent church of Italian or classical architecture in the world. Its extreme length within the walls is a trifle over six hundred feet, while its greatest width is about four hundred and fifty feet. The height, from the pavement to the cross at the apex, is four hundred and fifty-eight feet. By comparing these dimensions with familiar objects, we can gain some general idea of the immensity of this structure, the largest ever reared by Christians in honor of the Supreme Being; but only by frequent and long-continued visits do we finally come fully to realize its unequalled beauty and grandeur.

As Florence only dates from three or four hundred years before Christ, it is not considered very ancient in the Old World. It sprang, undoubtedly, from Fiesole, at the foot of which it now lies. The Fiesole of the ancients was perched upon an almost inaccessible height, in accordance with the style in which they used to build in those days of constant warfare; but as civilization advanced, the city of Florence began to grow up on the banks of the Arno and to cover the valley at the base of the paternal settlement, until, to-day, it has a population of about a hundred and fifty thousand. It did not assume any importance until the time of Charlemagne, from which period it grew rapidly in numbers and in prosperity of trade, its early and long-continued specialty being the manufacture of Etruscan jewelry and mosaics; the latter business, especially, having descended from father to son until it has reached the present time. One may now purchase in the Florentine shops the finest specimens of the art to be found in all Europe.

The square of St. Croce receives its name from the remarkable church of Santa Croce which is located here, and which is the Italian Pantheon or Westminster Abbey, where rest the ashes of Alfieri, Machiavelli, Galileo, and a score of equally historic names. What a galaxy of great poets, artists, statesmen, and philosophers are here sleeping in their winding-sheets. Another fine square is that of the Piazza della Annunziata, in which is situated the church of the same name, a foundling hospital, and an equestrian statue of Ferdinand I. by John of Bologna. The Piazza della Signoria is the busiest place in Florence, containing also some remarkable buildings, as well as statues, fountains, and colonnades. The fine tower of one of the Boston city churches is copied from the lofty campanile, or bell-tower, of the Vecchio Palace, now occupied as the city hall, and which forms the most striking object in this interesting centre.

The hills which overlook Florence are indeed classic ground. Here Catiline conspired, and Milton wrote; here Michael Angelo occupied his studio, and Galileo conducted his discoveries, while here, also, Boccaccio wrote his famous love tales. These hillsides are dotted with beautiful villas, mostly owned by foreigners drawn hither in search of health, or the study of art. No other city in the world, not excepting Rome, affords such extended facilities for the latter purpose. Those great depositories of art, the Uffizi Gallery and the Pitti Palace, are perhaps unequalled, having within their walls over a thousand paintings, each one of which is meritorious, and many of which are hardly surpassed, if they are equalled. Raphael, Murillo, Titian, Michael Angelo, Paul Veronese, Velasquez, and like masters of art are here fully represented. To stand before canvas which the world has crowned with undivided approval, to realize that the finest copies which we have seen are but faint shadows of the originals, is a privilege which makes us forget all petty annoyances, all cost of time and money in the accomplishment. One pauses with more than ordinary curiosity before the Madonna della Seggiola, one of the most famous pictures of Raphael, and indeed of all art. We fancy that we have seen it faithfully reproduced, but a glance at the original convinces us that, like the Beatrice Cenci, it cannot be copied, but only imitated.

The Uffizi and Pitti Palaces are connected, and really form but one great gallery of art. In the Uffizi division is what is known as the Tribune,—the throne room of art, where stands "the statue that enchants the world,"—the Venus de Medici,—dividing its homage with that equally exquisite painting, Titian's recumbent Venus, declared to be the masterpiece of color. These two works are surrounded by others almost as perfect, and which in the eyes of trained artists share their loyalty. No wonder the student of art selects Florence as a place of residence, where he can visit as often as he pleases such models, without cost, works which cannot fail to inspire artistic genius in whomsoever the germs exist. But not alone those who wield the pencil and the chisel come hither to seek a congenial home. The soft beauty of the scenery, the delightful climate, and the poetic associations have tempted artists and literary people in other lines to pitch their tents hereabouts. Mario, the great tenor, once lived yonder; in that villa on the sloping hillside, Taglioni once made her home; Walter Savage Landor sheltered his gray hairs in this cottage home overlooking the valley of the Arno, and died here. This old church not far away is that of St. Miniato al Monte, nearly ten centuries in age, famous for its carved work and paintings.

The common people of Florence seem actuated by a universal spirit of industry; and as to beggars, we see none upon its streets—a fact worthy of note in Italy. The women fruit-dealers on the corners of the streets are busy with their needles, while awaiting customers; the flower-girls are equally industrious, sitting beside their fragrant wares; the girl who opens the gate for us and guides us to the tombs of Mrs. Browning and Theodore Parker, in the city burial grounds, knits steadily as she walks. The public park is called the Cascine, and lies along the banks of the Arno; in some respects it is more attractive than most of such resorts in Europe, being finely wooded, and consequently presenting shady drives, and quiet rural retreats for pedestrians. It is the favorite resort of all classes who have leisure in the after part of the day, and is enlivened three or four times each week by the presence of a military band, which discourses the choicest music to ears ever ready for this sort of entertainment: no people are more fond of music than the Italians.

The Arno, which divides the city into two unequal parts, is only a very small stream during half the year; but when the snow melts upon the mountains, or the rainy season sets in, it then becomes a broad, swift river, conveying a great volume of water. It is crossed by six bridges, not far apart, besides two suspension bridges at the extremities of the city. The Ponte Vecchio is nearest the Pitti and Uffizi galleries, and is covered by curious little shops. We must not fail to visit the house where Dante was born, and also the house of Michael Angelo. In this latter are shown many of the personal belongings of the great artist and master, and the room where he studied and painted, containing numerous articles of which he made daily use. The last representative of his family bequeathed the whole priceless treasure to the city of Florence.

There is a lovely and celebrated park situated back of the Palazzo Pitti which is open to the public, and known as the Boboli Gardens. The grounds are quite spacious, being over a mile in circumference, divided into shady walks invitingly retired, shaded by thrifty laurels and cypresses, being also ornamented with some fine marble statues, and many gracefully carved vases. Among the statues are four by Michael Angelo, upon which he is said to have been at work when he died.



CHAPTER XIII.

Venice is a genuine surprise to the stranger. No matter what idea he may have formed concerning it, he can hardly have approximated to the truth. It is unique, mystical, poetic, constantly appealing in some new form to the imagination, and often more than fulfilling expectation. The people, institutions, buildings, history—all are peculiar. Her statesmen, artisans, merchants, and sailors have been the first in Europe, while for over twelve hundred years she has gone on creating a history as remarkable as is her physical formation. No city fills a more prominent page in the records of the Middle Ages, or is more enshrined in romance and poetry. It is a city of a hundred thousand inhabitants, and yet what comparative stillness reigns over all, solemn and strange especially to the newly arrived traveller. There is no rattling of wheels, no tramp of horses' feet upon the streets; wheels and horses are unknown; only the gondola serves as a mode of conveyance, and the noiseless canals take the place of streets. The gondola is nowhere else seen save on these canals and lagoons (shallow bays). It is of all modes of transportation the most luxurious. The soft cushions, the gliding motion, the graceful oarsmen, who row in a standing position, the marble palaces between which we float in a dreamy state, harmonize so admirably, that the sense of completeness is perfect. The Grand Canal, two hundred feet wide, is the Broadway, or popular boulevard, of Venice, and over this glide the innumerable gondolas and boats of light traffic, with a quiet panoramic effect, which we watch curiously from our overhanging balcony. This main artery of the city is lined with palaces and noble marble edifices nearly the whole of its length of two miles. Some of these, to be sure, are crumbling and deserted, with the word decay written in their aspect, but even in their moss-grown and neglected condition they are intensely interesting.



The city is built upon one hundred and seventeen islands, separated by a hundred and fifty canals, and as the local guides will tell us, has three hundred and sixty-five bridges, mostly of stone,—"that is; one for every day in the year;" but there are, in fact, twenty more bridges to add to this aggregate. Most of the dwellings rise immediately out of the water, and one passes out of the gondolas on to marble steps to enter them. Altogether Venice is a little over seven miles in circumference.

As we sit floating in our gondola just off the Piazzetta of St. Mark, the moon comes up above the waters of the Adriatic and hangs serenely over the lagoons. No pen can justly describe such a sight—only a Claude Lorraine could paint it. Glancing gondolas on their noiseless track cut the silvery ripples; a sweet contralto voice, with guitar accompaniment, salutes the ear; stately palaces cast long, mysterious shadows upon the water; the Bridge of Sighs arches the canal between the palace and prison close at hand; oddly-rigged craft from the far East float lazily at anchor in the open harbor; the domes of lofty churches are outlined against the dark blue sky; while the proud columns of St. Mark and St. Theodore stand like sentinels at the water's edge. It seems, altogether, like some well-prepared theatrical scene upon the stage, on which the curtain will presently fall, shutting out everything from view.

The broad outline of the history of this long-lived republic is familiar to most of us. Many of its details have been enshrined by Byron, who, without assuming the dignity of historical record, has taught us in poetic form. The names of Dandolo, Faliero, and the two Foscari are familiar to all cultured people. The close of the fifteenth century may be designated as the culminating point of the glory of Venice, it being then the grand focus of European commerce, and twice as populous as it is to-day. At that time it possessed three hundred sea-going vessels and forty-five naval galleys, with which it maintained sway over the Mediterranean Sea. With the commencement of the sixteenth century her glory began gradually to fade until she ceased to maintain a prominent position among the powers. In art, Venice always occupied a first position, and was celebrated for the brilliancy of the coloring which characterizes the Venetian school.

Though fallen in commercial glory, Venice still stands without a rival. Where else can be found a city composed of over seventy islands? Is there another city where architects, sculptors, painters, and workers in mosaic devoted their lives to the purpose of decorating and beautifying their native place? No capital, even in Italy, is richer in splendid and antique churches, in superbly decorated palaces, and with the exception of Rome and Florence, no city has more invaluable art treasures. Here the works of Guido, Paul Veronese, Titian, Bonifacio, Giordano, and Tintoretto especially abound. The Venetian school of painting maintains precedence even in our day. In the Doge's Palace, built many hundred years ago, the visitor will find paintings and sculpture which he can never forget, and among them Tintoretto's Paradise, said to be the largest oil painting extant by a great master. It contains an army of figures, and would seem to have required a lifetime to produce.

The Piazza of St. Mark is the centre of attraction. How strange, and yet how familiar everything seems to us here! We require no guide to point out the remarkable monuments. We do not fail to recognize at a glance the tall masts from which the banners of the republic floated in triumph, when the carrier pigeons brought news that "blind old Dandolo had captured Constantinople!" We recognize the lofty Campanile, the sumptuous palace of the Doges, and the gorgeous front of the Cathedral over-topped by its graceful domes, bristling with innumerable pinnacles. Above the portals of St. Mark we gaze upon the celebrated bronze horses which Napoleon I. stole and transported to Paris, but which the Emperor Francis restored to Venice. It is not the first time these historic horses of Lysippus have been stolen, these monuments of the departed glory of Chios and Constantinople—of Venice and Napoleon.

In many respects the Cathedral of San Marco is the most remarkable church in existence, while its ornamentation is rich to excess. For good architectural effect it stands too low, the present grade of the surrounding square being some fifteen inches or more above its mosaic pavement. The pillars and ornaments are too crowded; having been brought hither from other and historic lands, there is a want of harmony in the aggregation. Nearly a thousand years old, it has an indescribable aspect of faded and tarnished splendor, and yet it presents an attractive whole quite unequalled. It combines Saracenic profusion with Christian emblems, weaving in porphyries from Egypt, pillars from St. Sophia, altar pieces from Acre, and a forest of Grecian columns. Especially is this church rich in mosaics—those colors that never fade. There is a sense of solemn gloom pervading the place, the dim light struggling through the painted windows being only sufficient to give the whole a weird aspect, in its over-decorated aisles. Some idea may be formed of the elaborate ornamentation of the Cathedral from the fact that it contains over forty thousand square feet of mosaic work! The vaulting consists entirely of mosaic, representing scenes in the Old Testament, beginning with the story of the creation, and followed by scenes from the New Testament. As we walk about the church, the floor beneath our feet is found quite uneven from the slow settlement of ages. Inside and out the structure is ornamented by over five hundred columns of marble, the capitals of which present a fantastic variety of styles true to no country or order, but the whole is, nevertheless, a grand example of barbaric splendor.

Just opposite the entrance to the Church of San Marco stands the lofty Campanile, reaching to a height of three hundred feet, and which was over two hundred years in building. A view from its summit is one of the sights not to be missed in this city, as it affords not only a splendid picture of Venice itself, but the city and lagoons lie mapped out before the eye in perfection of detail, while in the distance are seen the Adriatic, the Alpine ranges, and the Istrian Mountains. The Campanile is ascended by a winding way in place of steps, and there is a legend that Napoleon rode his horse to the top, a feat which is certainly possible. In this lofty tower Galileo prosecuted his scientific experiments.

Petrarch wrote that Venice was the home of justice and equity, refuge of the good; rich in gold, but richer in renown; built on marble, but founded on the surer foundation of a city worthy of veneration and glory. But this is no longer the Venice he described; no longer the city of grasping and successful ambition, of proud and boastful princes. It has become what pride, ostentation, and luxury in time must always lead to. It presents to-day a fallen aspect—one of grandeur in rags. No argosies are bound to foreign ports, no princely merchants meet on the Rialto; that famous bridge is now occupied on either side by Jews' shops of a very humble character; and yet do not let us seem to detract from the great interest that overlies all drawbacks as regards the Venice even of the present hour.

The Academy of Fine Arts is reached by crossing the Grand Canal, over the modern iron bridge, which, with that of the Rialto, a noble span of a single arch, built of white marble, forms the only means of crossing the great water-way, except by gondola. This remarkable gallery contains almost exclusively works by Venetian artists. Here we find a remarkable representation of the "Supper of Cana," which is nearly as large as the "Paradise." It is considered by competent critics, to be one of the finest pieces of coloring in existence. Here we have some of Titian's best productions, and those of many Italian artists whose pictures are not to be found elsewhere. The gallery, like all of the famous ones of Europe, is free to every one, either for simple study, or for copying. This is the collection which Napoleon I. said he would give a nation's ransom to possess. On the way to the Academy the guide points out the Barberigo Palace, in which Titian lived and died.

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