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sunning themselves outside their monastery at Palazzuola, and not caring one baiocco piece about all the antiquities in the world. There is a consular tomb in the garden of their monastery about which there has been no end of learned wrangling. The good friars neither knew nor cared anything about it, and, when interrogated on the subject, observed that it was “un sepolcro de' tempi antichi.” That was quite enough for them ; and what is the use of bothering yourself when there are so many such, and you tread upon the dust of Etruscan or Latin heroes at every step f There is a good deal to be said for this view. A little knowledge is said to be a dangerous thing, but it is not dangerous to the imagination. Knowledge is to the imagination what fuel is to flame. A little feeds it ; a great deal extinguishes it. Not that one's bare-footed friends in their brown serge habits, girded with huge rosaries, possessed either that which feeds or that which extinguishes. They and their predecessors had gazed out from their vantage ground for many centuries over the Alban Lake, and across it at the Campagna, ending in one direction at Rome, in the other with the Mediterranean. They go a-begging round Italy, and then they come back, and pray, and contemplate. A wonderful thing that contemplation 1 Like the Roman Catholic Religious Orders themselves, it divides itself into two categories. There is active contemplation and contemplative contemplation. The latter is deemed the higher since the less remunerative occupation, and approaches nearest to the Oriental Mirvana or annihilation. A Franciscan says little, but he “thinks a lot.” These of Palazzuola were very gracious, and offered us bread and wine. But we wanted neither, and left them to their—contempla– tions. I doubt if there be anything in the world, if scenery and association be taken together, more beautiful than the ride from the shores of the Alban Lake, at Palazzuola, to Monte Cavo, the more so if one prolongs the brief journey by going round through Rocca di Papa. No minuteness of description, nowadays so much in fashion, no accumulation of details, however faithfully rendered, can do justice to a succession of prospects abounding not only in natural loveliness, but in centuries of story. There are woods as leafy and as sweet, no doubt, as the groves, all of them once sacred to Diana, that stretch behind Palazzuola; there are elevations as cool and commanding as that of Rocca di Papa, for it is only 2500 feet above the sea; there are hollows as smooth and undulating, in all likelihood, as Hannibal's Camp ; there are views, though not many, as extensive as that obtained from the wall of the garden of Monte Cavo's Monastery. But at the foot of the leafy mountain we had just ascended there lay the lakes of Nemi and Albano, and the villages of Albano, Lariccia, Castel Gondolfo, and Genzano. Beyond was the great plain of Latium, the scene of one half of a great epic poem. It was all spread out before me, on a map not of an inch to a mile, but league for league, tale quale, as the Italians say, precisely just as AEneas saw it, and Turnus, and their poet-historian. Monte Artemisio thrusts up an untimely shoulder to hide the Pontine Marshes; but you can follow the whole classic sea-line from Antium to modern Civita Vecchia, along a darkly wooded coast sixty miles long. Lavinium, Ardea, Ostia, Caere, Laurentum, there they all are, or were, the shadows of great names. The Sabine Hills, forming themselves into the neatest of natural amphitheatres, hem in Tusculum, Tibur, our modern Tivoli,-and Gabii. There soars Soracte, there stands gelidus Algidus. It is not often one is repaid for climbing, but nothing save foul weather can disappoint the wayfarer who ascends Monte Cavo. And is it nothing to ascend a Hill of Triumph, even if secondary, but only secondary, to that of the Capitol, which was once trodden by the great Caesar himself f Once there arose upon this very spot the Temple of Jupiter Latialis ; and its ruins survived till nearly the date of the French Revolution, when Cardinal York, the brother of Prince Charlie, appropriated them and with them rebuilt the Church of the Passionist Monastery that has dispossessed Jove. The day was favourable to our desires, and we gazed long and silently upon the matchless panorama. The sun shone brightly and even hotly, though in passing through Rocca di Papa we had to dismount and lead our horses, owing to the slippery condition of the steep ascent, induced by a sharp night's frost. Between Rocca di Papa and Monte Cavo, and beyond Hannibal's Camp, the woods swarmed with snowdrops, the largest and whitest I ever saw, though the chestnut woods were in places fast coming into leaf. Our business was now to descend to Albano by a different and shorter route, and thence make the best of our way, after luncheon, back to Frascati. Our path lay through woodlands, which we determined to penetrate, if only because a celebrated instructor says no one ought to do so unaccompanied by a guide. The Priore of the Monastery of Monte Cavo sent a lay brother with us for a portion of the way; but, partly on account of our extreme confidence, and partly because he did not much relish having to climb the hill again, he soon agreed with us that it was quite impossible for us to go wrong, and bade us farewell. For a time we seemed to

prosper. By degrees, however, the path, though it became broader, grew more rugged, and by-and-by assumed the aspect of a dry current. Finally it ceased to have any aspect at all, and was neither track nor empty stream, and we were in the middle of a wood of seemingly interminable extent. The obstinacy of man is proverbial; and therefore I need scarcely say we did not turn back. We had to dismount and lead our horses ; and shortly this simple operation was exchanged for the far more difficult and intricate one of forcing a way for them and ourselves. But they were docile and longsuffering ; and, after a monotonous but exciting fight with nature for about an hour and a half, we found ourselves once more in the open. We had had to push our way through the brushwood where it was least dense, and in the end all notion of direction had been abandoned for the one consuming idea of “getting out of this.” We were now at a considerable elevation, and on a sort of scrubby moorland, with ground rising on our left. We believed this to be Algidus, and were right in the surmise. Albano was nowhere in sight, or any town or village. There were no habitations, no human forms to be seen, even no sheep. But it was very beautiful, and we did not complain. Our only lament was that our flasks were empty, for we had counted upon being at Albano long before this. Path was there none ; but there was a mountain torrent bed, and this time a real not a sham one, but quite empty of water. It had the natural advantage of leading downward, so we trusted ourselves to it. For an hour this was our high road, and I can only attribute it to sound Roman legs, and, perhaps, careful handling, that neither of our horses came to grief. At the end of that time my companion exclaimed there was a town in sight. And there was, but it was not Albano, nor any town that either of us had seen before. But ahead of us were sheep, and by-andby there was a shepherd. The town was Velletri, about seven miles away. Such was his information. We laughed, as well we might, for we were altogether out of our bearings. We could see the high road plainly enough which leads from Albano to Velletri, and thence to Naples and Capua ; part, in fact, of the famous Via Appia. But the shepherd told us we could not hit the road with any certainty, save at a place about a mile this side of Velletri ; and it was clear enough that, if we attempted to join it at any point nearer to Albano, we should only expose ourselves to a repetition of the experience from which we had but recently, and so thankfully, emerged. There was nothing for it, therefore, but to push on to Velletri, bait there, then return to Albano by the high road, make no more plans, but WOL. XLIII 2 I

leave our future saddle-journeying through Latium to the benignant chapter of accidents. Rome, 190–.—Of the transformation, not for the better as it seems to me, Rome itself has undergone, I have said perhaps more than enough. But once get beyond its now vulgarised suburbs, and little would need to be changed in the foregoing description of the Roman Campagna and the Castelli Romani as they were forty years ago. The Terrace at Frascati, whence one looks across some twelve miles of kaleidoscopic loveliness to Rome, and after sundown still plainly sees the dome of Saint Peter's when all beside is curtained by drooping night, is perhaps somewhat more cared for than of old ; but the groups of young priests from the various Colleges thereabout, the picturesque nurses from the Sabine hills, and the lively children of all ages, that used to gather there of a sunny morning, still enliven the spot, and induce a delicious sense of doing-nothing in an agreeable manner even in folk of restless Northern blood. Veronica herself ceases, in such enchanting atmosphere, to do anything or think of anything, but willingly sits smiling at the children who, there as elsewhere, seem to be peculiarly attracted by her. Neither does she hesitate, if she wants some special information about the stately Villas and spacious gardens that overhang Frascati, to ask for it from one of the clerical groups. Delighted to hear a foreigner talk their tongue so impeccably, they vie with each other in telling her all she wants to know, and a good deal more, and we thus become friends with the people, both pagan and sacred, of the place. Lamia says she wishes she were a nursemaid from Sora or Norba, or, for that matter, even a young neophyte for Holy Orders, so that she might live never doing anything in this narcotic neighbourhood; overlooking the fact that all is not sunshine and loitering on drowsy terraces even for those she thus envics. We are still in the month of March ; withal, we have to resort to sunshades sometimes, or, better still, to the ilex groves of one of the Villas close at hand. They seem slowly mouldering away from generations of disuse, and the marble or travestine ruins of the plashing fountains, like the stone steps that lead up from cascade to cascade, are surrendered to the tender grace and greenery of moss and lichen. But the water foams and falls just as abundantly as when, in the days of Papal nepotism, wealthy, cultivated, semi-Pagan Cardinals, like the one who made a home for Winckelmann at the Villa Albani outside the Porta Salaria, came hither and passed lettered summers in the halls of their own building and gardens of their own design. Their scarlet hats still hang from the ceilings of vast halls; and their wise, graceful leisure still seems to haunt the rooms in which they once dwelt, prayed, and pored over newly disinterred gems and statues. He was not far wrong who said that, for choice, he would be a beautiful woman from seventeen to thirty, a successful General from thirty to fifty, and a Cardinal for the rest of his days. But of course he was thinking of Cardinals as they were in the days of Leo X., Julius II., and Sextus V., not as they are to-day, extremely pious and rather pinched for means. Were there ordinary creature comforts, or what spoilt sybaritic people from the North consider such, to be had at Frascati, it would be a much more agreeable Head Quarters than Rome, over and above its being far more healthy. But the “Hotel ” that has been built since olden days is as little attractive within as it looks inviting without ; and, though one can be at the Baths of Diocletian in fifty minutes by the railway that runs across the Campagna, the train service is as inconvenient and unserviceable as most things of the sort in modern megalomaniac Italy. It is a comfort to get beyond the reach of the attempt to rival England and France in material expedients, and to move among little towns and villages that have not yet been smitten with the ambition to imitate at a pitiable distance the material manifestations of wealthier lands. I was curious to see to what extent Tivoli had succumbed to the influence of what in popular parlance is called Progress; but though it too is now connected with Rome by what is to all intents and purposes a railway, it had suffered but small hurt, though there were indications that it would shortly do so. When I first slept at the little inn, in a brick-paved room immediately outside whose open window stood the lovely Temple of the Sibyl, its only visitors were artists from the Eternal City, and occasional travellers; and the walls of its one sitting-room told what manner of men were these fitfully coming guests. They were covered with the fancies of those who emptied their wine-flasks and smoked their pipes within them. Every haphazard whim that flits through the painter's brain was represented on some square inch or other of that diminutive rectangular room. Love, of course, was the protagonist ; love in raptures, love in despair, love sighing, kneeling, and embracing; love in every stage and attitude ; the ruling passion, in paint or pencil, in every conceivable phase. But fighting likewise was well represented, with pretorian guards, slaves, chains, servitude, and death. Merriment, too, was pictured lavishly, in jovial-looking fellows roaring with laughter, in huge

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