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Stanza cxlvi. line 3. " Though plundered of all its brass, except the ring which was pecessary to preserve the aperture above; though exposed to repeated fires, though sometimes flooded by the river, and always open to the rain, no monument of equal antiquity is so well preserved as this rotundo. It passed with little alteration from the Pagan into the present worship; and so convenient were its niches for the Christian Altar, that Michael Angelo, ever studious of ancient beauty, introduced their design as a model in the Catholic church."
Forsyth's Remarks, &c. on Italy, p. 147. sec. edit.
Stanza cxlvii. lines 8 and 9. .The Pantheon has been made a receptacle for the busts of modern great, or, at least, distinguished, men. The flood of light which once fell through the large orb above on the whole circle of divinities, now shines on a numerous assemblage of mortals, some one or two of whom have been almost deified by the veneration of their countrymen.
Stanza cxlviii. line 1. This and the three next stanzas allude to the story of the Roman daughter, which is recalled to the traveller, by the site or pretended site of that adventure, now shown at the church of St. Nicholas in carcere. The difficulties attending the full belief of the tale are stated in Historical Illustrations, &c.
Stanza clii. line 1.
Stanza cliji. This ani the six best stanzas have a reference to the church of St. Peter's. Por a measurement of the comparative length of this basilica, and the other great churches of Europe, see tbe pavement of St. Peter's, and the Classical Tour through Italy, vol. ii. page 125. et. seq. chap. iv.
the strange fate Which tumbles mightiest sovereigns.
Stanza clxxi. lipes 6 and 7. Mary died on the scaffold; Elizabeth of a broken beart; Charles V. a hermit; Louis XIV. a bankrupt in means and glory; Cronwell of anxiety; and, " the greatest is behind," Napoleon lives a prisoner. To these sovereigns a long but superfluous list might be added of names equally illustrious and unbappy.
Lo, Nemi! navelld in the woody hills.
Stanza clxxiii. line 1. The village of Nemi was dear the Arician retreat of Egeria, and, from the shades which embosomed the temple of Diana, bas preserved to this day its distinctive appellation of The Grove. Nemi is but an evening's ride from the comfortable ion of Albano.
Stanza clxxiv. lines 2, 3, and 4. The whole declivity of the Alban hill is of unrivalled beauty, and from the convent on the highest point, which has succeeded to the temple of the Latian Jupiter, the prospect embraces all the objects alluded to in the cited stanza: the Mediterranean; the whole scene of the latter half of the Eneid, and the coast from beyond the mouth of the Tiber to the headland of Circæum and the Cape of Terracina.
The site of Cicero's villa may be supposed either at the Grotta Ferrata, or at the Tusculum of Prince Lucien Buonaparte.
The former was thought some years ago the actual site, as may be seen from Middleton's Life of Cicero. At present it bas lost something of its credit, except for the Domenichinos. Nine monks of the Greek order live there, and the adjoining villa is a cardinal's summer-house. The other villa, called Rufinella, is on the summit of the hill above Frascati, and many rich remains of Tusculum bave been found there, besides seventy two statues of different merit and preservation, and seven busts.
From the same eminence are seen the Sabine bills, embosomed in which lies the long valley of Rustica. There are several circumstanees which tend to establish the identity of this valley with the “ Ustica" of Horace; and it seems possible that the mosaic pavement which the peasants uncover by throwing up the earth of a vineyard, may belong to his villa. Rustica is pronounced short, not according to our stress upon-- Ustica cubantis." It is more rational to think that we are wrong than that the inhabitants of this secluded valley have changed their tone in this word. The addition of the consonant prefixed is nothing: yet it is necessary to be aware that Rustica may be a modern name which the peasants may have caught from the antiquaries.
The villa, or the mosaic, is in a vineyard on a knoll covered with chestnut trees. A stream runs down the valley, and although it is not true, as said in the guide books, that this stream is called Licenza, yet there is a village on a rock at the head of the valley which is so denominated, and which may have taken its name from the Digentia. Licenza contains 700 inhabitants. On a peak a little way beyond is Civitella, containing 300. On the banks of the Anio, a little before you turn up into Valle Rustica, to the left, about an hour from the villa, is a town called Vico-varo, another favourable coincidence with the Varia of the poet. At the end of the valley, towards the Anio, there is a bare hill, crowned with a little town called Bardela. At the foot of this hill the rivulet of Licenza flows, and is almost absorbed in a wide sandy bed before it reaches the Anio. Nothing can be more fortunate for the lines of the poet, whether in a metaphorical or direct sepse :
“Me quotiens reficit gelidus Digentia rivus.
Quem Mandela bibit rugosus frigore pagus." The stream is clear high up the valley, but before it reaches the hill of Bardela, looks green and yellow like a sulphur rivulet.
Rocca Giovane, a ruined village in the hills, half an hour's walk from the vineyard where the pavement is shown, does seem to be the site of the lane of Vacuna, and an inscription found there tells orange and lemon trees which throw such a bloom over his description of the royal gardens at Naples, upless they have been since displaced, were assuredly only acacias and other common garden shrubs.* The extreme disappointment experienced by choosing the Classical Tourist as a guide in Italy must be allowed to find vent in a few observations, which, it is asserted without fear of contradiction, will be confirmed by every one who has selected the same conducter through the same country. This author is in fact one of the most inaccurate, unsatisfactory writers that have in our times attained a temporary reputation, and is very seldom to be trusted even when he speaks of objects which he must be presumed to have seen. His errors, from the simple exaggeration to the downright misstatement, are so frequent as to induce a suspicion that he had either never visited the spots described, or had trusted to the fidelity of former writers. Indeed the Classical Tour has every characteristic of a mere compilation of former notices, strung together upon a very slender thread of personal observation, and swelled out by those decorations which are so easily supplied by a systematic adoption of all the common places of praise, applied to every thing, and therefore signifying nothing.
The style which one person thinks cloggy and cumbrous, and unsuitable, may be to the taste of others, and such may experience some salutary excitement in ploughing through the periods of the Classical Tour. It must be said, however, that polish and weight are too apt to beget an expectation of value. It is amongst the pains of the damned to toil up a climax with a huge round stone.
The tourist had the choice of his words, but there was no such latitude allowed to that of his sentiments. The love of virtue and of liberty, which must have distinguished the character, certainly adorns the pages of Mr. Eustace, and the gentlemanly spirit, so recommendatory either in an author or his productions, is very conspicuous throughout the Classical Tour. But these generous qualities are the foliage of such a performance, and may be spread about it so prominently and profusely, as to embarrass those who wish to see and find the fruit at hand. The unction of the divine, and the exhortations of the moralist, may have made this work something more and better than a book of travels, but they have not made it a book of travels; and this observation applies more especially to that enticing method of instruction conveyed by the perpetual introduc