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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. The castle of St. Angelo. See-Historical Illustrations.
Stanza cliii. This and the six next stanzas have a reference to the church of St. Peter's. For a measurement of the comparative length of this basilica, and the other great churches of Europe, see the pavement of St. Peter's, and the Classical Tour through Italy, vol. ii. pag. 125. et seq. chap. iv.
the strange fate Which tumbles mightiest sovereigns.
Stanza clxxi. lines 6 and 7. Mary died on the scaffold ; Elizabeth of a broken heart ; Charles V. a hermit; Louis XIV. a bankrupt in means and glory; Cromwell 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 unhappy.
Lo, Nemi! navelld in the woody hills.
Stanza clxxiii. line 1. The village of Nemi was near the Arician retreat of Ege
ria, and, from the shades which embosomed the temple of Diana, has preserved to this day its distinctive appellation of The Grove. Nemi is but an evening's ride from the comfortable inn of Albano.
The Tiber winds, and the broad ocean laves
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 einbraces all the objects alluded to in the cited stanza : the Mediterranean; the whole scene of the latter half of the Æneid, 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 has lost something of its credit, except for the Domeni. chinos. 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 have been found there, besides seventy-two statues of different merit and preservation, and seven busts.
From the same eminence are seen the Sabine hills, embosomed in which lies the long valley of Rustica. There are several circumstances 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 uponą“ Usticæ 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 sense :
“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 fạne of Vacuna, and an inscription found there tells that this temple of the Sabine victory was repaired by Vespasian.' With these helps, and a position corresponding exactly to every thing which the poet has told us of his retrent, we may feel tolerably secure of our site.
The hill which should be Lucretilis is called Campanile, and by following up the rivulet to the pretended Bandusia, you come to the roots of the higher mountain Gennaro. Singularly enough, the only spot of ploughed land in the whole valley is on the knoll where this Bandusia rises,
.... tu frigus amabile Fessis vomere tauris
Præbes, et pecori vago." The peasants show another spring near the mosaic pavement which they call “ Oradina,” and which flows down the hills into a tank, or mill-dam, and thence trickles over into the Digentia. But we must not hope
“ To trace the Muses upwards to their spring" by exploring the windings of the romantic valley in search of the Bandusian fountain. It seems strange that any one should have thought Bandusia a fountain of the Digentia Horace has not let drop a word of it; and this immortal
MP. CÆSAR VESPASIANVS
POTEST. CENSOR. ÆDEM
SVA. IMPENSA, RESTITVIT.
spring has in fact been discovered in possession of the holders, of many good things in Italy, the monks. It was attached to the church of St. Gervais and Protais near Venusia, where it was most likely to be found. We shall not be so lucky as a late traveller in finding the occasional pine still pendant on the poetic villa. There is not a pine in the whole valley, but there are two cypresses, which he evidently took, or mistook, for the tree in the ode. The truth is, that the pine is now, as it was in the days of Virgil, a garden tree, and it was not at all likely to be found in the craggy acclivities of the valley of Rustica. Horace probably had one of them in the orchard close above his farm, immediately overshadowing his villa, not on the rocky heights at some distance from his abode. The tourist may have easily supposed himself to have seen this pine figured in the above cypresses, for the orange and lemon trees which throw such a bloom over his description of the royal gardens at Naples, unless they have been since displaced, were assuredly only acacias and other common garden shrubs.3 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 conductor 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
i See-Historical Illustrations of the Fourth Canto, p. 43. ? See Classical Tour, &c. chap. vii. p. 250. vol. ii.
3“ Under our windows, and bordering on the beach, is the royal garden, laid out in parterres, and walks shaded by rows of orange trees.” Classical Tour, &c. chap, xi, vol. ii. Oct. 365.