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that point an uncontrollable wish seized me not to return to Rome that night. My companion in the most obliging manner in the world declared that he cherished precisely the same wish. Should we push on, he asked, and sleep at Frascati ? He is a poor traveller who does not rise superior, on an emergency, to the supposed necessity of having a “change,” and we never hesitated in our sudden determination. It was the vernal equinox, and we were well content to reach Frascati by sundown. We were already passing the sign-post of the Osteria di Mezza Via, or half-way house, and it was only yet a quarter past four. The whole distance from Rome is about a dozen miles, and but six therefore were yet ahead of us. Presently we passed the stone-pines, shaggy landmarks, that mark the farmstead of Torre Nuova ; and before very long we began the ascent to Frascati. We had both been in Rome since the beginning of December, but never had we seemed to ride into a genuine territory of man's cultivation. But here the Campagna seemed to retire from us, and we were awhile almost shut in by vineyards, now getting their first bright greenery, and thriving olive orchards, dotted with occasional habitations actually not made out of ruins nor hollowed out of tombs. We had ridden rather hard the last three miles, but we slackened pace here, and let our steeds walk leisurely up the pleasant, fresh-smelling ascent, feeling how sweet it was for once to exchange the savage crook of the shepherd for the plough and furrow of the husbandman. Thus we reached Frascati as the Ave Maria bells began to peal in the square where stands the cathedral, flanked by the Albergo di Londra. We stabled our horses, saw our double-bedded sleeping chamber, ordered dinner, and then just had time, before sitting down to it, to gaze across the melancholy but beautiful Campagna we had traversed, before the mantle of night was thrown across it. Even then the dome of St. Peter's towered significantly clear in the upper twilight, asserting itself above lower darkness. The dinner of the Londra was not all our expectations had painted it; and had it not been for an incursion of Papal Zouaves, some of whom we had met in Rome, and with the rest of whom we were very quickly made acquainted, we might possibly have repented us of the hasty resolution taken in the afternoon. But we now were a goodly company, and these defenders of the Pope, mostly French and Irish, made the night less long with their happy laughter, and the fumes of the baioccho-e-mezzo cigars which his Holiness used to dispense at the Palazzo Mignanelli in the days before “Cavours” were smoked in the Sacred City. Discipline, however, exacted that our companions should leave us early; and, with the intention of paying a visit the next morning to Tusculum, we composed ourselves to sleep. The clangour of the six o'clock Angelus bells woke us betimes, and before a couple of hours had gone we were bestriding donkeys, and in this truly philosophical attitude went on our way to the scene of Cicero's Tusculan Questions, the birthplace of Cato, and the dim traces of a city that successfully resisted Hannibal, and which as late as the twelfth century, under the command of its titular count, assisted by a Ghibelline army under the Archbishop of Cologne and Mayence, inflicted such a defeat on the Romans that contemporary chroniclers speak of the engagement as the Cannae of the middle ages, and Machiavelli declares that Rome never recovered from it, nor was ever again thriving or populous. When the vanquished craved permission to bury their dead, the answer was, “Yes! but count them first.” Twenty-four years later Rome had its revenge. In I I 91 the Romans obtained possession of Tusculum, and sowed it with salt. There has been no Tusculum since, save ruins which barely rise above the ground, or push themselves through long grass. But what a prospect Who could potter among bits of pavement, or pry into the distinctions of baked earth which help to assign the precise century of this or that lump of masonry, whilst the eye could rest upon the whole of classic Latium ? There lay the sites of Gabii and Collatia, and, beyond these, yet further north, Tivoli, Montecelli, Soracte, and all the Sabine Apennines. To the east were the Volscian Mountains, with Monte Pila, Rocca di Papa, Hannibal's Camp, Alba Longa, and the more modern Castel Gondolfo and Marino, full in view. It was whilst looking upon this extensive scene of supreme beauty and surpassing interest that a fresh temptation invaded us. Why go back to Rome to-day, to-morrow, or even the day after The early Roman spring, when auspicious, is the most delightful season of the year; and, repeating to ourselves the Diffugere nives, redeunt jam gramina campis, we resolved to saunter over hill and plain in the saddle, as fancy moved us. The question, “what will Jarrett think f" was answered by the conclusive rejoinder that Jarrett might go to the Stygian pool, and that a little change of scene and food at our expense would do his horses all the good in the world. Nor was the somewhat more weighty matter of a “change of things,” without a solution. One does not pass through a Roman winter without forming familiar acquaintances ; and we remembered that a party of these were to be at Tivoli on the morrow for a day and a night. Between Frascati and Rome there already existed a railway, the only one beside that between Rome and Civita Vecchia in the dominions of his Holiness ; and we should be able to send a message thereby to our friends to bring what we needed to Tivoli. So resolved, we turned away, not without such regret as one always feels in quitting sacred ground, from philosophical Tusculum, bestrode our donkeys, and made for Frascati once more. One of the most beautiful of shepherd lads, whose eyes would have resembled burning coals, could coals retain their blackness when they burn, and whose long ebon hair hung from under a hat like Mercury's in long careless curls over his young shoulders, came slowly down one of the enclosed pastures, where, with crook twice as long as himself, he was tending his flock in solitude, and opened for us a gate before our guide could anticipate him. I dropped a five baioccho piece into his palm. He had been singing to his sheep a homely roundelay of the hills. When he looked upon the coin he gave me gracious thanks, but, alas ! he sang no more. Whereupon I rode along, inly meditating a Tusculan question of very old import. The rest of the morning was spent in a desultory visit to the Villa Aldobrandini, better known as the Villa Belvidere, Giacomo della Porta's last work, which had to be completed by Fontana. We troubled ourselves little about the Cavaliere d'Arpino's frescoes in the Casino, though it is generally understood that one is bound to admire them ; and to this day, if I were put through a competitive examination as to the villa and its grounds, I could only say that I found the latter surpassingly lovely, and that we spent in them three exquisitely lazy hours. But as the day wore on it must be confessed that my companion, like myself, was carnal enough to remember the exceedingly sorry fare of our Frascati osteria, to the prospect of a renewal of which not even a repetition of the joviality of Pio Nono's Zouaves could reconcile us. At parting with them last night we had sworn by all our gods to make another evening of it ; but we were as false as dicers' oaths, and crept away to Albano before once again the sun sank over the Campagna, and sat down to a capital little supper at the Albergo della Posta, The sun was just rising when we got into the saddle the next morning; and at the by no means early hour for Italy of six o'clock we were riding back to the Arician Viaduct. Our bourne was Lake Nemi, then Lake Albano, and finally Monte Cavo. But we could not resist turning aside to get no matter how passing a look at the Pope's country villa at Castel Gondolfo, though we had been told it was not worth a visit. My companion shared my curiosity; so, entering its courtyard unchallenged, dismounting, and fastening our bridles to iron rings, of which there was abundant choice, we walked straight through the first open door we came to. There was nothing to tell us that the place was inhabited, and the architecture manifested none of that splendour which most people associate with Papal dwellings. There was plenty of masonry, as there always is in Italy; and to English eyes no Italian villa can ever look diminutive. Castel Gondolfo-meaning thereby not the cluster of houses forming the village of that name, but the Pope's summer palace — is of goodly proportions, but in every way unpretending ; and we at first thought we must have made some mistake. Presently, however, a domestic wearing a certain self-evident air of the sacristy, attracted by the sound of our footsteps in the long, empty, echoing corridor, made his appearance, and greeted us with the customary urbanity of his race. Was this the summer residence of Pius IX., the spot where he usually spent his villeggiatura 2 “Sicuro,” was the answer. Yes; it was so. Might we see it f Certainly, if we wished ; though, he added, there was really nothing to see. But the Pope's apartments f Yes; that was all that anybody could even pretend there was to see, and he would show us them. Faccino loro comodo 1" a roundabout but extremely polite way of informing us that we were to put on our hats, for we might find the corridors cold, coming out of the sun as we had done, and were to make ourselves generally at home. He was quite right ; there was nothing to see, at least by the external eye. It was the absence of anything to see that was so suggestive. No poor parish priest could have humbler rooms than these, which formed the residence for four months in the year of a man who was then a King as well as a Pope, and whose spiritual subjects still form, after the Chinese, the most populous empire in the world. A bed, a chair, a prie-dieu, a crucifix, and a shabby bit of carpet, —behold the furniture and apparatus of the Pope's bedroom at Castel Gondolfo. Here was Republican simplicity for you in the Monarch who clings to Divine Right more than all other Sovereigns ! It may be doubted, however, if people really like Republican simplicity. It is a standing reproach to themselves, and the Caesars of this world act sagaciously, perhaps, in making as much of their purple as possible. The world is largely governed by tailors and upholsterers. As we rode out of the courtyard I suggested we should dash forward to Monte Giove, a short distance on the road to Porto d'Anzio. Why? asked my companion. My reply was that the situation seemed inviting, and that there once stood famous Corioli, where Coriolanus fluttered the Volscians. “You’re wrong there, I suspect,” he retorted, “though probably you can adduce quite an army of antiquaries in support of the theory. But remember what Pliny says, that “the city had not only perished but had left no trace; ’’’ and he quoted Pliny’s exact words, now no longer in my mind. “And, what is more, remember that we must sleep somewhere to-night, and that we have much to see without going out of our way to imaginary sites.” This was unanswerable, and we trotted on towards Nemi. What a fairy-like yet uncanny looking lake That Caesar should have thought of building a handsome villa above it I can readily understand ; and that, after a considerable outlay, he should have pulled what had been erected down again, is equally conceivable. For it is not a spot to live at. The wandering Childe Harold hit off its peculiarity with much precision. It does look as if its cold settled aspect cherished hate, and verily it sleeps like a snake, round and coiled into itself. If one could only get over this feeling, the summit of the wooded crater, whose watery bottom it is, would make a charming residence, and there are few old feudal castles that have a finer site than that of the Colonna in the little village of Nemi. One should see the Alban lake first, and that of Nemi afterwards, for Nemi is far the more beautiful of the two. Indeed, Lake Albano owes everything to association, which archaeologists have done their best to destroy with their dreary dry-as-dust disquisitions and disputations concerning its Emissarium. As in duty bound, we dismounted to see this wonderful historic outlet; but beyond the smell of smoky candles I remember nothing save, it need scarcely be said, the more than usually oracular character of the response from Delphi concerning it and the Siege of Veii, two things which were connected in much the same way as Tenterden Steeple and the Goodwin Sands. Perhaps one should not speak with levity of so celebrated a spot; but, unfortunately, celebrated spots have guides and ciceroni, a hateful race, and they grate upon one's nerves with their unending loguaciousness, their stories got by rote, their strange jumble of true and false, and cheap finery of erudition. We were plagued by them at the Emissarium, and just as one of them was in the middle of the opinion of Sir Guilglelmo Jelly (Anglice, Sir William Gell) upon this local subject of interest, we distributed our pauls and got into the saddle again. It was a pleasant relief to see the tranquil Franciscan monks

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