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out as rapidly as it emerged, and the mournful note of its steam siren dies slowly down the wind. A faint gleam of watery sunshine glitters for an instant on the oily rollers ; the gloom and the mist settle down once more. Even the breeze fails; and the Beppi begins to sway uneasily from side to side. We commend ourselves to the powers of patience; while the sailors commence a long expostulation with the wind.

“Supia, boja !” says one, addressing the fog, throwing his words languidly overboard. “Fiol d'un can!” cries another. “Xè porca, xè stà bava," cries the steersman with a curious air of conviction ; and all the others answer in ghostly chorus from the bows, “Si, xè porca.” This commination service being ended with no good results, one old sailor suggests that they have been on the wrong tack, and naturally the wind does not like being sworn at; so he begins, “Ah ! he is a noble, is the Maestro" (the wind they wanted); "he is a count, and very noble indeed, if it would only please him to come ; and he will come if you give him time." And when once started, blessings flow as readily as curses. “Dai, dai cara bava, cara, cara.” But as little came of the one as of the other. The winds were deaf. And all day long there was nothing to be heard or seen but the long roll of the scirocco, the desolate chorus of the sailors, and the ceaseless patter of the reefs upon the empty sail.


Midnight brought a breeze, and by sunrise the Istrian coast was in sight. The fog had cleared away; the Beppi ploughed a noble furrow in the sea, dipping almost to the eyes in the sapphire flood. To the north the Alps were clear, from Antelao past Monte Cavallo to the peaks of Carniola beyond Trieste; rosy snow against a pale blue sky, a splendid close to the great water avenue of the Adriatic. In front lay the Istrian shore, cloven by the small gulf of Quieto whither we were making. The whole coast was visible from the point of Salvore, with its lighthouse column, to Rovigno ; line upon line of hills, each rising a little higher till they climbed to the crest of Monte Maggiore in the far background. The scene recalled the coast of Greece. There was the same beauty of long-drawn lines and delicate declensions-unobtrusive in curve, yet delicious to the eye that follows them. The prevailing tones along the coast were the grey green of the olive groves, the colder grey of the limestone rock, russet of the oak brakes that had not shed their last year's leaves, and every now and then a flood of clearer colour from a cluster of fruit trees that were coming into bloom. As the Beppi drew nearer, the little villages that cap each height grew more and more distinct, began to take shape, and their campaniles shot up from their midst. Highest and clearest of all stood Buje, called “the spy of Istria,” for it overlooks the whole land.

At Quieto the Beppi was to lie four days to ship her cargo of faggots, and this was the time at our disposal for seeing the Istrian coast. So, after packing a knapsack, and to a chorus of "buon divertimentos” from the crew, we set out to “contemplate the world." Parenzo is the nearest town to Quieto, and the walk there was most delicious in the spring. The way lies over rolling downs covered with brushwood almost as thick and as odoriferous as the Corsican macquis. A guide is absolutely necessary to avoid being lost in the bush. The whole of this limestone country was breathing after a bounteous rain. The flowers seemed to burst their buds as we looked at them-violet, crocus, hellebore, aromatic shrubs, and fruit-tree blossom-all the chorus of a southern spring. The air was laden with intoxicating perfume; the lizards rustled through the undergrowth. The olive trees, hoary and arrowy as always, waved and shimmered across a glittering sea. The climate of Istria is much warmer than that of the corresponding shores of Italy; and Cassiodorus made no mistake when he praised its voluptuous and delicious airs, and compared it to Baiæ with no Avernus near at hand. The laughing sea, the olives, the lentisk, and the limestone down recalled the setting of some Theocritean idyl. And most fittingly the ancient ensign of Istria is the goat. The country is Greek in character ; but the towns recall another and more recent master. At the entrance to Parenzo, Saint Mark's lion meets you face to face, grimly regardant from a round Venetian tower; and the narrow streets of the town are full of Venetian balconies and windows. The splendid basilica of Bishop Eufrasius is a monument of an earlier period still—the time of the Byzantine dominion ; while the ruins of the great temple to Neptune and Mars remind one that Parenzo was once the Roman "municipium," Parentium-chief city in the colony Julia. Very splendid this temple must have looked standing boldly on the promontory that overhangs the northern of the two bays on which the city is built, its columned portico a landmark to sailors out at sea. Nothing remains of it now but the stylobate and a ruined capital or two. The buildings of Parenzo recall its history step by step, and the history of Parenzo is that of most of the Istrian coast towns. They were Roman colonies first, then governed by the Emperors of the East. After the disturbances wrought by the Franks, Istria passed under the authority of elective governors who soon made themselves hereditary marquesses. From the marquesses it came to the hands of the Patriarch of Aquileia, and finally fell to the possession of Venice.


Pola, at the extreme end of the peninsula, has always been the chief town of Istria. Its position secures it this pre-eminence; it lies in the recess of a deep gulf—a land-locked sea, secure from storms—while behind, the country is barren and broken into gorges, with abrupt sides, cloven through the limestone rock. Tradition says that in this bay the people of the Colchian King found a restingplace after their wanderings, when the pursuit of Jason and his golden fleece had grown a hopeless quest. But the real history of Pola begins when it became a Roman colony in 181 B.C., and its connection with Rome is the feature most clearly stamped upon the town, even to this day, in spite of Austrian barracks and arsenal, and “ Franz Josef” in gold letters everywhere. Augustus dismantled the town for taking the Republican side in the wars that followed on the death of Julius Cæsar. But he rebuilt it again under the name of Pietas Julia, and dedicated to Rome and to Augustus the exquisite little temple which still stands perfect upon the Piazza. The most curious fact in Polan history is that this place witnessed the close of so many tragedies. Here Constantine the Great ordered the execution of his own son Crispus—that “chaste, too chaste Bellerophon" of Roman story, on the false accusation of the Empress Fausta ; and here, too, Gallus, the brother of Julian, died at the bidding of Constantius. Under Justinian Pola was the capital of Istria and the seat of the governor, the master of the soldiery ; and Belisarius used its harbour as a roadstead for his fleet. Later stillin 932 A.D.-when Istria made a temporary submission to Venice, the Bishop of Pola signed the treaty after the Marquess of Istria, proving that Pola still ranked highest among Istrian sees. This early treaty was a warning of the fate which lay in store for Pola. Her great rival on the other side of the Adriatic awakened her jealousy, and in the wars between Genoa and Venice Pola sided with the Genoese. This brought upon her the vengeance of the Venetians, and she passed into their power in 1331.

Few approaches are finer than the sea approach to Pola. The mouth of the bay is hidden by a promontory, crowned, as are all the neighbouring heights, by Austrian forts; and it is only as the vessel

rounds the point that the bay opens out, with Pola lying at its farther end. The attention is instantly caught by the great amphitheatre which stands at one side of the town ; its arches, tier

upon tier, spring up in perfect symmetry from the level of the shore. No monument of ancient Rome conveys a more impressive sense of the solid splendour of Roman architecture than this arena at Polanot the aqueducts of the Campagna nor the baths of Caracalla. Beside it the amphitheatre of Verona seems a dwarf; the Colosseum is broken and ruined; but here the whole outer wall is complete, and the Istrian stone looks as clean as the day it was cut. Inside, it is true, the galleries have all disappeared ; but one does not feel their absence on first seeing the arena from the water. With the evening sunlight glowing over the creamy whiteness of the stone, the whole pile looked like the work of some magician, not fashioned by the hand of man ; and it is easy to sympathise with the pride which the people of Pola feel in their treasure, and with their legend that it was built by the Fates in a single night. The Venetians at one time proposed to remove the amphitheatre bodily to the Lido at Venice; but the undertaking proved too costly, and both Pola and the Lido were spared the misfortime.

Pola is rich in Roman remains; but after the Temple of Augustus and the arena, only one other is worthy of being named. That is the little arch, miscalled the Porta Aurata. It was raised by the great Polan family of Sergii, in 99 A.D., and is an excellent piece of Roman work, with delicate traceries finely cut and keen, thanks to the qualities of the Istrian stone. Indeed, at Pola the traveller finds two things in which the country excels—the creamy Istrian stone and the ruby Istrian wine. Francesco Redi sent his Bacchus wandering through Tuscany ; but had he been a Venetian instead of a Tuscan, he would have changed the scene to the Istrian coast ; and there, rioting along the olive-shaded shores of some Istrian bay, the god of wine might well have found another Ariadne to translate to heaven.

After dinner, and a due tribute to the Istrian wine, it is pleasant to stroll along the quay and look down the long and winding estuary, ruffled into tiny waves by the land breeze. The Austrian navy lies drawn up in one long line of ships, their sterns close against the quay. At this time there chanced to be considerable stir, reminding us of the revolution that was going on at so short a distance from Pola. There were troop ships coming and going, and the song of the soldiers, borne over the water, sent us to sleep that night.


In Istria nothing is worse than the railway-the solitary railway which it possesses. It was built for the convenience of the arsenal at Pola ; and some doubt hangs over the hour at which a train will start, while no one knows at what hour it may arrive. One fact alone is certain, that the journey from Pola to Trieste by rail will not take less than thirteen hours. The traveller will probably choose to give up the railway for the little steamer, which performs the journey to Trieste in eight hours; and the coast is so interesting that he will not regret his choice. Each of the little Istrian towns has a character of its own, and a history, if one cares to study it. But one feature they all have in common : they are built upon promontories boldly looking out to sea; their campaniles serve as land-marks for miles around. Immediately after leaving the harbour of Pola the steamer passes the Brionian Islands, where Genoa defeated Venice at the opening of the war of Chioggia ; then on to Rovigno, a flourishing and active little place, with a tobacco factory and a good trade in wine. It sends both cigars and wine to Manchester, where they find a ready market, but, we may be sure, under other names than that of Rovigno. After Rovigno comes the little hill city of Orsera with its square castle, once the palace of the Bishop of Parenzo, in the days when he rivalled his brother of Pola in power. Then Città nuova stands out on its headland, a picturesque town with its old Venetian battlements and ivy-draped walls. The women of Città nuova wear a striking costume : quantities of pure white linen are wrapped about the breast and throat, and the same is thrown over the head; but there it is starched, and stands out stiff like an exaggerated Normandy cap. For the antiquary there are the Roman inscriptions built into the walls of the basilica of Città nuova, and for the architect there is the basilica itself. After Città nuova the coast is flatter; and there are only two small villages, Daila and Umago, to be seen. But in the spring the monotony of line and of colour is relieved by perfect fountains of living pink and white, thrown up by the orchard trees. When once the headland of Salvore is reached and the prow turned towards Trieste, the character of the coast changes. The bays become deeper and wider, the shores more precipitous; the hills behind rise higher and more abruptly. There is Pirano, with its ancient walls perched high above the sea upon a tongue of land so thin that it must some day be eaten away by the waves that wash it on either side. Then comes Capo d'Istria, once Justinopolis, the See of Peter Paul

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