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more. .... One of the most remarkable features of modern Rome (as of the ancient) is its multitude of fountains, not dribbling, but gushing in all directions. The water is still brought by aqueducts from Lago Bracciano and I am afraid my letter is a jumble ; but so is Rome. It will take some time to digest all I have taken in, especially with Naples and Vesuvius on the top of it.”
Extract from Note-book : “ Rome, Jan. 9th, 1856.--Spent the morning in making calls, packing and preparing for my journey to Naples. Takengite leave of my kind, good friends and Rome at 1} P.M. Had a last look at the Capitol, Forum of Trajan, the Coliseum, &c., and passed out of the gate of S. Giovanni di Lat., with much regret at having so little time in this ancient city of buried centuries and nations. The weather lately wet and a scirocco wind—better this afternoon, but thick in the distance -the Sabine hills invisible, the Alban looming darkly. Enter the Campagna by the new Via Appia, a well-paved road all the way to Albano. Immediately on passing the old gateway, the aqueducts appear and stretch away over the plain to the surrounding mountains wonderful structures, in all stages of decay and ruin, but very picturesque ; these are mainly on the left. On the right is the old Via Appia, with its tombs, &c. The two roads run parallel for some distance, and then diverge to the extent of a mile or a mile and a half. The scene to-day was wild and impressive,-many clouds driving across the sky from the W.N.W., with a bright horizon to the S. W., and bright openings in the clouds here and there. At three miles from Rome the ruins thickenmost picturesque and grand—where two or three viaducts seem to have met and crossed ; in one place a tall mediæval tower, probably a watchtower, is built into the aqueduct—long gaps, and then stretch away with little interruption. All the while the range of tombs, &c., with the grand tumulus of Cæcilia Metella, along the Appian Way, are seen standing up over the Campagna. The Alban hills become more distinct as we approach, being veiled in a thin purplish mist, with many-coloured clouds overhanging and resting on the head of the Alban Mount. Looking back, a long gleam of light shows Rome, with St. Peter's towering above it, and shoots away and lights up, partially, the Sabine hills and the snowy Appennines beyond.
“ The day and the temperature is that of October or April in England. There is a wild and awful look about everything—the buffaloes, and the black and rich brown sheep, and the bandit-looking herdsmen—and the deep gullies—and rushing streams—and mouths of excavations in the face of the rock every now and then—a few broken arches—a lump of misshapen ruin—the remains of rank vegetation—the solitude and silence, except of the moaning wind ;-all make up a unique picture, when it is remembered how full of old-world memories this plain is. How different from Latium, with its thirty towns !
“ After the tenth milestone we are on the skirts of the Alban hills. The Campagna may be considered as nearly crossed. Olive-trees, with their pale-green foliage, and trees of darker green, are seen clothing the sides of the hills, alternating with vineyard and pasture-a grateful contrast to the waste wilderness we have passed. Ruins, which, in one shape or other, have been within eyesight all the way from Rome, are seen also as we gradually ascend the long paved road to Albano. Got out, to walk up the hill and enjoy the prospect, looking towards Rome
and Ostia-bright, but misty and indistinct-a splendid sweep of horizon, showing the extent of the Campagna.
“ Castel Gandolfo rises nobly on the left-a mass of conventual buildings, with a (church) cupola, which would be grand if seen before St. Peter's-olives and vines clothing the hills, and descending to the west, and lost in a food of light. A huge ruin on the right. Here were the villas of Clodius and Pompey, both of which were included in that of Domitian-amphitheatre of Domitian, the scene of the tyranny of the last of the twelve Cæsars—camp of the Prætorian Guard supposed temple of Minerva-remains of baths-Oscan remains.
“ Arriving at the hotel, the sun was descending gorgeously-was ushered into a room commanding a most lovely view to the westwarda pine or ilex grove, to the right a hill, olive-groves on the slopes ground undulating finely, and then, beyond, the level plain seawardand such a gush of golden light. Rushed out of the house to get a view from the new viaduct-up in hot haste through the dark wet street, which I thought had no end! Every now and then the rich light breaking through an opening or a gateway, as of some mighty conflagration, the view upwards towards the Alban Mount being dark as night. At length I cleared the town, and for a few moments enjoyed a sight which one can see only now and then—a body of thick, palpable, dazzling light, reached from the eye to the sun, and filled the whole western horizon with intense and awful splendour. Anon it faded; and after looking at the tomb of the Horatii and Curii, which I found, and attempted to sketch-thought to be the tomb of Aruns, son of Porsennawalked slowly back to the inn to cool and dine. . . Got up a good fire, ligna super foco largè reponens.' . . A flask of Alban wine-ay, the very wine Horace drank :
Est mihi nonum superantis annum
Plenus Albani cadus,' &c.
“Jan. 10th.—At 10 the weather brightens, and the very civil padrone has the cicerone waiting—a rather ragged specimen of his class, but an intelligent fellow. Off we start up hill, as if about to scale Monte Cavi (Jupiter Latiaris), hid in the clouds ; twenty minutes' walk along the road, and then turning off to the left over bare peperino, brings us to the lake. The sudden burst as you scale the margin of the crater, is very fine ; its sides rising rather abruptly, and covered with shrubs of various hues of green and brown,-Monte Cavi, Tusculum, Rocca di Papa, the site of Alba Longa faintly visible through the driving scud, with a bold steep spur at the head of the lake, and Castel Gandolfo overhanging at the opposite end, 450 feet above its surface, and the deep dark water rolling before a regular gale of wind. Made a hasty outline, and then struck off, under one of the lips of the crater, to Aricia-inspected the grand viaduct to connect Albano and Aricia by the Nuova Appia Via, thrown over the deep dell which separated them,-a noble modern work. The old Appian winds downward by the tomb of Aruns, and then up to Aricia by a circuit. A rough path down a steep descent to reach it ... returned to Albano by the road, getting some fine views towards Anxur and Terracina, Monte Giove, &c., and inspecting the volcanic products by the way—peperino and basalt ... through the gardens of the Villa Doria, past the tomb of Pompey, to my hotel.
“ Naples, Jan. 12th, 1856.—I arrived here last evening, safe and well, from Rome, after a thirty hours' journey, and was off this morning again to Pompeii, whence I have just returned. The last three days bave been hard, but very, very interesting-exploring Lake Albano, Aricia, &c., on Thursday morning ; through the Pontine Marshes at dead of night; at Terracina about one, and through the Volscian Mountains, lighted by the stars and glow-worms, and towards dawn by peasants going up the mountains and into the woods by torchlight-all very wild and grand—saw a large group of women washing by lamp-light at a large bath in the marketplace at Itri-arrived at Mola di Gaeta when morning was faintly breaking, and found all the people astir, and the sea dashing over the sea-wall into the principal street-a very queer scene, which I will describe viva voce if I ever get to - again. Grand mountains till we arrive at the great plain of the Garigliano—had a good look at the • taciturnus amnis'-drank real Falernian at Santa Agata, with Sinuessa, about a mile off, full in view-crossed the Vulturnus, and ate oranges at Capua—and dozed, for very weariness, across the vineyards that extend all the way thence to Naples. Got a capital room, up three pairs, but commanding the N.W. horn of the bay, over which such a gem of a moon was shining. After a deep sleep of some eight hours, I looked upon Naples by daylight, and after a very rapid breakfast, drove off in a light calèche (for due carlini = 8d.) to the Strada ferrata, for the city of the dead. Such a morning one can hardly hope to see again—a glorious sun and sky,—and the air—it was a luxury to breathe it. It was too gorgeous for the object I had in view, and it was hard to believe that I was walking in temples and theatres, villas and houses, that had been entombed nearly 2,000 years. It is not till you have been wandering in those deserted streets, sat on the empty benches of the theatre, walked round the arena, and peeped into the vivarium, visited the shop of the apothecary, the shoemaker, and the barber, seen the oven of the baker, the millstones of the miller, the oil-jars, and the amphoræ of the gentlemen 'well-to-do,' just where their masters left them—it is not till you have read the inscriptions on the walls, and seen the decorations of the houses, and the ruts in the streets, and steps worn by many feet, and especially a statue, one side of whose face has been kissed away, like St. Peter's great toe at Rome—that you feel yourself thoroughly under the influence of the genius loci. Having wandered over it for about two hours, my fingers itching to pick up fragments of marble scattered here and there as a souvenir of the spot, but in vain, I booked myself for Castelamare ; and, with my head full of what I had seen, I found myself careering back to Naples when it was too late to return. .....
- Hanc etiam vix, Tityre, duco : Hic inter densas corylos modo namque gemellos,
Spem gregis, ah ! silice in nudâ connixa reliquit.' “ Tell I saw just such a scene yesterday : the flock before, the vir gregis leading, an impudent-looking fellow, and one left behind with her little kid, and two shepherds standing by as if waiting for another.”
But before concluding one notice of travel, we must not omit to speak of home travel. It is not necessary for a man to leave the British Isles in order to enjoy very many of the advantages of travel. Nay, there are those who contend that it is a very foolish thing to go abroad before we have exhausted the treasures of our own country. However this may be, there are doubtless many objects of travel which can be secured within the compass of Great Britain and Ireland.
To the lover of grand and picturesque scenery, we would say, “Have you visited the lakes of Scotland and Ireland, or of Cumberland and Westmoreland ? Have you climbed Snowdon, or Ben Nevis, or Helvellyn ? No? Then you scarcely deserve to see Mont Blanc or the Alban Hills, or the blue waters of the Genevan Lake.” To the lover of architecture, we would appeal to the long list of our cathedrals, and parish churches, and conventual remains, our castles, and halls, and manorial buildings, as furnishing more perfect examples of the gradual development of the art than can be found in any other country. To the geologist—what a noble field of research is open to the student who is content to go no further than the limits of the British Isles ! Let him take up, for example, Phillips's “ Yorkshire,” and make it, as we have done, his travelling companion, and he will soon cease to dream of tufa or living sulphur, or the marble-quarries of Pentelicus, in the examination of the wonderful features of those scarred and rifted granitic regions to which a single day's railway-travelling will at any time bring bim. Or does our weary young man of business need relaxation after his first half-year's close session on the tall office-stool ? Let him put one of Mr. Gosse's sea-side books* into his portmanteau, and run down to the Devonshire coast; or, as our own fancy would prompt, run northward to the trout-streams and the mountain heather of Westmoreland and Cumberland-fly-rod and book, sketching-implements, and one or two needful volumes, with a strong plaid, strong shoes, and a stock of coarse worsted socks to match (linen and cloth clothes are always present in extravagant profusion), a pocket-compass, and a good map; these are all that he will need for a month's most excellent and entire enjoyment, in a country which, if he knows it not, we would recommend to him before the Rhine, having ourselves again and again returned to it with increasing zest and satisfaction. Or again, is not the naturalist and the botanist brought by an easy stage (happy man !) into a world of interest so absorbing, that he recks not of the fact that yonder spire on the horizon marks his village-home, or that yonder diffused atmosphere of distant smoke shrouds the manufacturing town, where he left the murky scene of his daily toil, by train, an hour ago ?
O travel-boon most of all to the wearied pedagogue ! thou canceller of bitter thoughts and disappointed calculations! most generous usurer of hard-won summer holidays !-how full art thou of bright associations to this dull February brain,-how big with July promises of freedom and of mountain air and—silence, which no petulant “ quarter-bell” can vex or startle!
Or does our reader think that there are no associations in these islands which will bear comparison for interest with those of other lands? Oh, reader, fie upon thee ! thou knowest not thine own heart, and the false films of fancy cloud thy clear eye, learn “ the art of seeing ” as thou wouldst any other art, and thy own village will be tenfold dearer to thee; dip for half an hour into the pages of “Our Village,” or of
* Mr. Kingsley's “ Glaucus ” is a delightful and alluring introduction to the works of the professed naturalist.
De Quincey's “Autobiographic Sketches,"* or “ The Doctor,” or of William Wordsworth, and thou shalt see what thou shalt see !
Amongst particulars of preparation for travel, we ought to reckon, if possible, a facility in the handling of pencil and brush, and a definite opinion (the result of much experiment, and subject of course to correction) as to the readiest mode of rendering the scenes or objects of interest which the traveller may wish to record. There is a short-hand in sketching, which may serve as a sufficient remembrancer to ourselves ; but it is a selfish proceeding, when a man has the time and the ability to make his notes in a language intelligible to his friends. The desideram tum is the happy combination of form and colour which one sees in the rapid sketches of some true lovers of nature ; but it takes much time even for an artist to acquire so much of fixed style (this does not imply mannerism) as shall enable him to render what he sees in tolerably plain characters, and most expeditiously, upon his paper or his canyass. As to the value of a well-stocked portfolio; as to the infinite pleasure there is in thereby recalling vivid impressions of happy scenes ; as to the faculty of keen and imaginative observation which is acquired by the painter, we need to say—just nothing.
But one word we will say on the facilities which the returned traveller may command for the elucidation of his route to himself, and for the making it plain to others. Besides maps, and plans, and sketches, and those descriptions which consist in an amplification of the few telling words jotted down “on the spot," we venture to recommend a plan which we have before broached in these pages (vol. vii. p. 470). It is this (we quote our own words) :-“ You know how hard it is to make boys understand a map or plan on paper, involving as it does a necessarily imperfect representation of varying altitudes of land and water. With a view to meeting this difficulty, I have adopted the following plan, which, I need scarcely say, is not altogether original. I take a tray, and sprinkling it with sand, lay thereon a sheet of common windowglass for my sea level. I then heap up sand (of different degrees of fineness it might be), and mould at will, leaving the glass bare to represent water at sea or lake level, or inserting a bit of glass in the sand for water at a higher elevation. . . . Clay, though more permanent, and with other manifest advantages over sand, is dirty, and becomes hard, and is therefore virtually insufficient for the purpose ; but a tray of sand might stand on the study-table in any house, and would be always at hand for the elucidation of plans, be the subject what it may -the bit of mountain and lake-country that we admired so mucli last summer, or the lie of the land about Sebastopol, or the battle of the Lake Thrasymene."
Visits to the Crystal Palace might be turned to good account with a view to projected travels. Careful study of the various models enables the student to become in a measure acquainted with some of the greater works of antiquity.
On the subject of diaries and note-books, listen to Lord Bacon :-"It
*“The very names of the ancient hills-Fairfield, Seat Sandal, Helvellyn, Blencathara, Glaramara ; the names of the sequestered glens such as Borrowdale, Martindale, Mardale, Wasdale, and Ennerdale ; but, above all, the shy pastoral recesses . .. -these were so many local spells upon me, equally poetic and elevating with the Miltonic names of Valdarno and Vallombrosa."--Vol. i. p. 228.