The Project Gutenberg EBook of Passages From the French and Italian
Notebooks, Volume 2, by Nathaniel Hawthorne

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Title: Passages From the French and Italian Notebooks, Volume 2

Author: Nathaniel Hawthorne

Release Date: April, 2005 [EBook #7880]
This file was first posted on May 29, 2003
Last Updated: April 3, 2013

Language: English

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Produced by Tapio Riikonen and David Widger


By Nathaniel Hawthorbne

FLORENCE (Continued).

June 8th.—I went this morning to the Uffizi gallery. The entrance is from the great court of the palace, which communicates with Lung' Arno at one end, and with the Grand Ducal Piazza at the other. The gallery is in the upper story of the palace, and in the vestibule are some busts of the princes and cardinals of the Medici family,—none of them beautiful, one or two so ugly as to be ludicrous, especially one who is all but buried in his own wig. I at first travelled slowly through the whole extent of this long, long gallery, which occupies the entire length of the palace on both sides of the court, and is full of sculpture and pictures. The latter, being opposite to the light, are not seen to the best advantage; but it is the most perfect collection, in a chronological series, that I have seen, comprehending specimens of all the masters since painting began to be an art. Here are Giotto, and Cimabue, and Botticelli, and Fra Angelico, and Filippo Lippi, and a hundred others, who have haunted me in churches and galleries ever since I have been in Italy, and who ought to interest me a great deal more than they do. Occasionally to-day I was sensible of a certain degree of emotion in looking at an old picture; as, for example, by a large, dark, ugly picture of Christ hearing the cross and sinking beneath it, when, somehow or other, a sense of his agony, and the fearful wrong that mankind did (and does) its Redeemer, and the scorn of his enemies, and the sorrow of those who loved him, came knocking at any heart and got entrance there. Once more I deem it a pity that Protestantism should have entirely laid aside this mode of appealing to the religious sentiment.

I chiefly paid attention to the sculpture, and was interested in a long series of busts of the emperors and the members of their families, and some of the great men of Rome. There is a bust of Pompey the Great, bearing not the slightest resemblance to that vulgar and unintellectual one in the gallery of the Capitol, altogether a different cast of countenance. I could not judge whether it resembled the face of the statue, having seen the latter so imperfectly in the duskiness of the hall of the Spada Palace. These, I presume, are the busts which Mr. Powers condemns, from internal evidence, as unreliable and conventional. He may be right,—and is far more likely, of course, to be right than I am,—yet there certainly seems to be character in these marble faces, and they differ as much among themselves as the same number of living faces might. The bust of Caracalla, however, which Powers excepted from his censure, certainly does give stronger assurance of its being an individual and faithful portrait than any other in the series. All the busts of Caracalla—of which I have seen many—give the same evidence of their truth; and I should like to know what it was in this abominable emperor that made him insist upon having his actual likeness perpetuated, with all the ugliness of its animal and moral character. I rather respect him for it, and still more the sculptor, whose hand, methinks, must have trembled as he wrought the bust. Generally these wicked old fellows, and their wicked wives and daughters, are not so hideous as we might expect. Messalina, for instance, has small and pretty features, though with rather a sensual development of the lower part of the face. The busts, it seemed to me, are usually superior as works of art to those in the Capitol, and either better preserved or more thoroughly restored. The bust of Nero might almost be called handsome here, though bearing his likeness unmistakably.

I wish some competent person would undertake to analyze and develop his character, and how and by what necessity—with all his elegant tastes, his love of the beautiful, his artist nature—he grew to be such a monster. Nero has never yet had justice done him, nor have any of the wicked emperors; not that I suppose them to have been any less monstrous than history represents them; but there must surely have been something in their position and circumstances to render the terrible moral disease which seized upon them so generally almost inevitable. A wise and profound man, tender and reverent of the human soul, and capable of appreciating it in its height and depth, has a great field here for the exercise of his powers. It has struck me, in reading the history of the Italian republics, that many of the tyrants, who sprung up after the destruction of their liberties, resembled the worst of the Roman emperors. The subject of Nero and his brethren has often perplexed me with vain desires to come at the truth.

There were many beautiful specimens of antique, ideal sculpture all along the gallery,—Apollos, Bacchuses, Venuses, Mercurys, Fauns,—with the general character of all of which I was familiar enough to recognize them at a glance. The mystery and wonder of the gallery, however, the Venus de' Medici, I could nowhere see, and indeed was almost afraid to see it; for I somewhat apprehended the extinction of another of those lights that shine along a man's pathway, and go out in a snuff the instant he comes within eyeshot of the fulfilment of his hopes. My European experience has extinguished many such. I was pretty well contented, therefore, not to find the famous statue in the whole of my long journey from end to end of the gallery, which terminates on the opposite side of the court from that where it commences. The ceiling, by the by, through the entire length, is covered with frescos, and the floor paved with a composition of stone smooth and polished like marble. The final piece of sculpture, at the end of the gallery, is a copy of the Laocoon, considered very fine. I know not why, but it did not impress me with the sense of mighty and terrible repose—a repose growing out of the infinitude of trouble— that I had felt in the original.

Parallel with the gallery, on both sides of the palace-court, there runs a series of rooms devoted chiefly to pictures, although statues and bas-reliefs are likewise contained in some of them. I remember an unfinished bas-relief by Michael Angelo of a Holy Family, which I touched with my finger, because it seemed as if he might have been at work upon it only an hour ago. The pictures I did little more than glance at, till I had almost completed again the circuit of the gallery, through this series of parallel rooms, and then I came upon a collection of French and Dutch and Flemish masters, all of which interested me more than the Italian generally. There was a beautiful picture by Claude, almost as good as those in the British National Gallery, and very like in subject; the sun near the horizon, of course, and throwing its line of light over the ripple of water, with ships at the strand, and one or two palaces of stately architecture on the shore. Landscapes by Rembrandt; fat Graces and other plump nudities by Rubens; brass pans and earthen pots and herrings by Terriers and other Dutchmen; none by Gerard Douw, I think, but several by Mieris; all of which were like bread and beef and ale, after having been fed too long on made dishes. This is really a wonderful collection of pictures; and from first, to last—from Giotto to the men of yesterday—they are in admirable condition, and may be appreciated for all the merit that they ever possessed.

I could not quite believe that I was not to find the Venus de' Medici; and still, as I passed from one room to another, my breath rose and fell a little, with the half-hope, half-fear, that she might stand before me. Really, I did not know that I cared so much about Venus, or any possible woman of marble. At last, when I had come from among the Dutchmen, I believe, and was looking at some works of Italian artists, chiefly Florentines, I caught a glimpse of her through the door of the next room. It is the best room of the series, octagonal in shape, and hung with red damask, and the light comes down from a row of windows, passing quite round, beneath an octagonal dome. The Venus stands somewhat aside from the centre of the room, and is surrounded by an iron railing, a pace or two from her pedestal in front, and less behind. I think she might safely be left to the reverence her womanhood would win, without any other protection. She is very beautiful, very satisfactory; and has a fresh and new charm about her unreached by any cast or copy. The line of the marble is just so much mellowed by time, as to do for her all that Gibson tries, or ought to try to do for his statues by color, softening her, warming her almost imperceptibly, making her an inmate of the heart, as well as a spiritual existence. I felt a kind of tenderness for her; an affection, not as if she were one woman, but all womanhood in one. Her modest attitude, which, before I saw her I had not liked, deeming that it might be an artificial shame, is partly what unmakes her as the heathen goddess, and softens her into woman. There is a slight degree of alarm, too, in her face; not that she really thinks anybody is looking at her, yet the idea has flitted through her mind, and startled her a little. Her face is so beautiful and intellectual, that it is not dazzled out of sight by her form. Methinks this was a triumph for the sculptor to achieve. I may as well stop here. It is of no use to throw heaps of words upon her; for they all fall away, and leave her standing in chaste and naked grace, as untouched as when I began.

She has suffered terribly by the mishaps of her long existence in the marble. Each of her legs has been broken into two or three fragments, her arms have been severed, her body has been broken quite across at the waist, her head has been snapped off at the neck. Furthermore, there have been grievous wounds and losses of substance in various tender parts of her person. But on account of the skill with which the statue has been restored, and also because the idea is perfect and indestructible, all these injuries do not in the least impair the effect, even when you see where the dissevered fragments have been reunited. She is just as whole as when she left the hands of the sculptor. I am glad to have seen this Venus, and to have found her so tender and so chaste. On the wall of the room, and to be taken in at the same glance, is a painted Venus by Titian, reclining on a couch, naked and lustful.

The room of the Venus seems to be the treasure-place of the whole Uffizi Palace, containing more pictures by famous masters than are to be found in all the rest of the gallery. There were several by Raphael, and the room was crowded with the easels of artists. I did not look half enough at anything, but merely took a preliminary taste, as a prophecy of enjoyment to come.

As we were at dinner to-day, at half past three, there was a ring at the door, and a minute after our servant brought a card. It was Mr. Robert Browning's, and on it was written in pencil an invitation for us to go to see them this evening. He had left the card and gone away; but very soon the bell rang again, and he had come back, having forgotten to give his address. This time he came in; and he shook hands with all of us, children and grown people, and was very vivacious and agreeable. He looked younger and even handsomer than when I saw him in London, two years ago, and his gray hairs seemed fewer than those that had then strayed into his youthful head. He talked a wonderful quantity in a little time, and told us—among other things that we should never have dreamed of—that Italian people will not cheat you, if you construe them generously, and put them upon their honor.

Mr. Browning was very kind and warm in his expressions of pleasure at seeing us; and, on our part, we were all very glad to meet him. He must be an exceedingly likable man. . . . They are to leave Florence very soon, and are going to Normandy, I think he said, for the rest of the summer.

The Venus de' Medici has a dimple in her chin.

June 9th.—We went last evening, at eight o'clock, to see the Brownings; and, after some search and inquiry, we found the Casa Guidi, which is a palace in a street not very far from our own. It being dusk, I could not see the exterior, which, if I remember, Browning has celebrated in song; at all events, Mrs. Browning has called one of her poems "Casa Guidi Windows."

The street is a narrow one; but on entering the palace, we found a spacious staircase and ample accommodations of vestibule and hall, the latter opening on a balcony, where we could hear the chanting of priests in a church close by. Browning told us that this was the first church where an oratorio had ever been performed. He came into the anteroom to greet us, as did his little boy, Robert, whom they call Pennini for fondness. The latter cognomen is a diminutive of Apennino, which was bestowed upon him at his first advent into the world because he was so very small, there being a statue in Florence of colossal size called Apennino. I never saw such a boy as this before; so slender, fragile, and spirit-like,—not as if he were actually in ill health, but as if he had little or nothing to do with human flesh and blood. His face is very pretty and most intelligent, and exceedingly like his mother's. He is nine years old, and seems at once less childlike and less manly than would befit that age. I should not quite like to be the father of such a boy, and should fear to stake so much interest and affection on him as he cannot fail to inspire. I wonder what is to become of him,—whether he will ever grow to be a man,—whether it is desirable that he should. His parents ought to turn their whole attention to making him robust and earthly, and to giving him a thicker scabbard to sheathe his spirit in. He was born in Florence, and prides himself on being a Florentine, and is indeed as un-English a production as if he were native of another planet.

Mrs. Browning met us at the door of the drawing-room, and greeted us most kindly,—a pale, small person, scarcely embodied at all; at any rate, only substantial enough to put forth her slender fingers to be grasped, and to speak with a shrill, yet sweet, tenuity of voice. Really, I do not see how Mr. Browning can suppose that he has an earthly wife any more than an earthly child; both are of the elfin race, and will flit away from him some day when he least thinks of it. She is a good and kind fairy, however, and sweetly disposed towards the human race, although only remotely akin to it. It is wonderful to see how small she is, how pale her cheek, how bright and dark her eyes. There is not such another figure in the world; and her black ringlets cluster down into her neck, and make her face look the whiter by their sable profusion. I could not form any judgment about her age; it may range anywhere within the limits of human life or elfin life. When I met her in London at Lord Houghton's breakfast-table, she did not impress me so singularly; for the morning light is more prosaic than the dim illumination of their great tapestried drawing-room; and besides, sitting next to her, she did not have occasion to raise her voice in speaking, and I was not sensible what a slender voice she has. It is marvellous to me how so extraordinary, so acute, so sensitive a creature can impress us, as she does, with the certainty of her benevolence. It seems to me there were a million chances to one that she would have been a miracle of acidity and bitterness.

We were not the only guests. Mr. and Mrs. E———, Americans, recently from the East, and on intimate terms with the Brownings, arrived after us; also Miss F. H———, an English literary lady, whom I have met several times in Liverpool; and lastly came the white head and palmer-like beard of Mr. ——— with his daughter. Mr. Browning was very efficient in keeping up conversation with everybody, and seemed to be in all parts of the room and in every group at the same moment; a most vivid and quick-thoughted person, logical and common-sensible, as, I presume, poets generally are in their daily talk.

Mr. ———, as usual, was homely and plain of manner, with an old-fashioned dignity, nevertheless, and a remarkable deference and gentleness of tone in addressing Mrs. Browning. I doubt, however, whether he has any high appreciation either of her poetry or her husband's, and it is my impression that they care as little about his.

We had some tea and some strawberries, and passed a pleasant evening. There was no very noteworthy conversation; the most interesting topic being that disagreeable and now wearisome one of spiritual communications, as regards which Mrs. Browning is a believer, and her husband an infidel. Mr. ——— appeared not to have made up his mind on the matter, but told a story of a successful communication between Cooper the novelist and his sister, who had been dead fifty years. Browning and his wife had both been present at a spiritual session held by Mr. Hume, and had seen and felt the unearthly hands, one of which had placed a laurel wreath on Mrs. Browning's head. Browning, however, avowed his belief that these hands were affixed to the feet of Mr. Hume, who lay extended in his chair, with his legs stretched far under the table. The marvellousness of the fact, as I have read of it, and heard it from other eye-witnesses, melted strangely away in his hearty gripe, and at the sharp touch of his logic; while his wife, ever and anon, put in a little gentle word of expostulation.

I am rather surprised that Browning's conversation should be so clear, and so much to the purpose at the moment, since his poetry can seldom proceed far without running into the high grass of latent meanings and obscure allusions.

Mrs. Browning's health does not permit late hours, so we began to take heave at about ten o'clock. I heard her ask Mr. ——— if he did not mean to revisit Europe, and heard him answer, not uncheerfully, taking hold of his white hair, "It is getting rather too late in the evening now." If any old age can be cheerful, I should think his might be; so good a man, so cool, so calm, so bright, too, we may say. His life has been like the days that end in pleasant sunsets. He has a great loss, however, or what ought to be a great loss,—soon to be encountered in the death of his wife, who, I think, can hardly live to reach America. He is not eminently an affectionate man. I take him to be one who cannot get closely home to his sorrow, nor feel it so sensibly as he gladly would; and, in consequence of that deficiency, the world lacks substance to him. It is partly the result, perhaps, of his not having sufficiently cultivated his emotional nature. His poetry shows it, and his personal intercourse, though kindly, does not stir one's blood in the least.

Little Pennini, during the evening, sometimes helped the guests to cake and strawberries; joined in the conversation, when he had anything to say, or sat down upon a couch to enjoy his own meditations. He has long curling hair, and has not yet emerged from his frock and short hose. It is funny to think of putting him into trousers. His likeness to his mother is strange to behold.

June 10th.—My wife and I went to the Pitti Palace to-day; and first entered a court where, yesterday, she had seen a carpet of flowers, arranged for some great ceremony. It must have been a most beautiful sight, the pavement of the court being entirely covered by them, in a regular pattern of brilliant lines, so as really to be a living mosaic. This morning, however, the court had nothing but its usual stones, and the show of yesterday seemed so much the more inestimable as having been so evanescent. Around the walls of the court there were still some pieces of splendid tapestry which had made part of yesterday's magnificence. We went up the staircase, of regally broad and easy ascent, and made application to be admitted to see the grand-ducal apartments. An attendant accordingly took the keys, and ushered us first into a great hall with a vaulted ceiling, and then through a series of noble rooms, with rich frescos above and mosaic floors, hung with damask, adorned with gilded chandeliers, and glowing, in short, with more gorgeousness than I could have imagined beforehand, or can now remember. In many of the rooms were those superb antique cabinets which I admire more than any other furniture ever invented; only these were of unexampled art and glory, inlaid with precious stones, and with beautiful Florentine mosaics, both of flowers and landscapes,—each cabinet worth a lifetime's toil to make it, and the cost a whole palace to pay for it. Many of the rooms were covered with arras, of landscapes, hunting-scenes, mythological subjects, or historical scenes, equal to pictures in truth of representation, and possessing an indescribable richness that makes them preferable as a mere adornment of princely halls and chambers. Some of the rooms, as I have said, were laid in mosaic of stone and marble, otherwise in lovely patterns of various woods; others were covered with carpets, delightful to tread upon, and glowing like the living floor of flowers which my wife saw yesterday. There were tables, too, of Florentine mosaic, the mere materials of which—lapis lazuli, malachite, pearl, and a hundred other precious things—were worth a fortune, and made a thousand times more valuable by the artistic skill of the manufacturer. I toss together brilliant words by the handful, and make a rude sort of patchwork, but can record no adequate idea of what I saw in this suite of rooms; and the taste, the subdued splendor, so that it did not shine too high, but was all tempered into an effect at once grand and soft,—this was quite as remarkable as the gorgeous material. I have seen a very dazzling effect produced in the principal cabin of an American clipper-ship quite opposed to this in taste.

After making the circuit of the grand-ducal apartments, we went into a door in the left wing of the palace, and ascended a narrow flight of stairs,—several tortuous flights indeed,—to the picture-gallery. It fills a great many stately halls, which themselves are well worth a visit for the architecture and frescos; only these matters become commonplace after travelling through a mile or two of them. The collection of pictures—as well for their number as for the celebrity and excellence of many of them—is the most interesting that I have seen, and I do not yet feel in a condition, nor perhaps ever shall, to speak of a single one. It gladdened my very heart to find that they were not darkened out of sight, nor apparently at all injured by time, but were well kept and varnished, brilliantly framed, and, no doubt, restored by skilful touches if any of them needed it. The artists and amateurs may say what they like; for my part, I know no drearier feeling than that inspired by a ruined picture,—ruined, that is, by time, damp, or rough treatment,—and I would a thousand times rather an artist should do his best towards reviving it, than have it left in such a condition. I do not believe, however, that these pictures have been sacrilegiously interfered with; at all events, I saw in the masterpieces no touch but what seemed worthy of the master-hand.

The most beautiful picture in the world, I am convinced, is Raphael's "Madonna della Seggiola." I was familiar with it in a hundred engravings and copies, and therefore it shone upon one as with a familiar beauty, though infinitely more divine than I had ever seen it before. An artist was copying it, and producing certainly something very like a fac-simile, yet leaving out, as a matter of course, that mysterious something that renders the picture a miracle. It is my present opinion that the pictorial art is capable of something more like magic, more wonderful and inscrutable in its methods, than poetry or any other mode of developing the beautiful. But how does this accord with what I have been saying only a minute ago? How then can the decayed picture of a great master ever be restored by the touches of an inferior hand? Doubtless it never can be restored; but let some devoted worshipper do his utmost, and the whole inherent spirit of the divine picture may pervade his restorations likewise.

I saw the "Three Fates" of Michael Angelo, which were also being copied, as were many other of the best pictures. Miss Fanny Howorth, whom I met in the gallery, told me that to copy the "Madonna della Seggiola," application must be made five years beforehand, so many are the artists who aspire to copy it. Michael Angelo's Fates are three very grim and pitiless old women, who respectively spin, hold, and cut the thread of human destiny, all in a mood of sombre gloom, but with no more sympathy than if they had nothing to do with us. I remember seeing an etching of this when I was a child, and being struck, even then, with the terrible, stern, passionless severity, neither loving us nor hating us, that characterizes these ugly old women. If they were angry, or had the least spite against human kind, it would render them the more tolerable. They are a great work, containing and representing the very idea that makes a belief in fate such a cold torture to the human soul. God give me the sure belief in his Providence!

In a year's time, with the advantage of access to this magnificent gallery, I think I might come to have some little knowledge of pictures. At present I still know nothing; but am glad to find myself capable, at least, of loving one picture better than another. I cannot always "keep the heights I gain," however, and after admiring and being moved by a picture one day, it is within my experience to look at it the next as little moved as if it were a tavern-sign. It is pretty much the same with statuary; the same, too, with those pictured windows of the Duomo, which I described so rapturously a few days ago. I looked at them again the next morning, and thought they would have been hardly worthy of my eulogium, even had all the separate windows of the cathedral combined their narrow lights into one grand, resplendent, many-colored arch at the eastern end. It is a pity they are so narrow. England has many a great chancel-window that, though dimmer in its hues, dusty, and perhaps made up of heterogeneous fragments, eclipses these by its spacious breadth.

From the gallery, I went into the Boboli Gardens, which are contiguous to the palace; but found them too sunny for enjoyment. They seem to consist partly of a wilderness; but the portion into which I strayed was laid out with straight walks, lined with high box-hedges, along which there was only a narrow margin of shade. I saw an amphitheatre, with a wide sweep of marble seat around it, enclosing a grassy space, where, doubtless, the Medici may have witnessed splendid spectacles.

June 11th.—I paid another visit to the Uffizi gallery this morning, and found that the Venus is one of the things the charm of which does not diminish on better acquaintance. The world has not grown weary of her in all these ages; and mortal man may look on her with new delight from infancy to old age, and keep the memory of her, I should imagine, as one of the treasures of spiritual existence hereafter. Surely, it makes me more ready to believe in the high destinies of the human race, to think that this beautiful form is but nature's plan for all womankind, and that the nearer the actual woman approaches it, the more natural she is. I do not, and cannot think of her as a senseless image, but as a being that lives to gladden the world, incapable of decay and death; as young and fair to-day as she was three thousand years ago, and still to be young and fair as long as a beautiful thought shall require physical embodiment. I wonder how any sculptor has had the impertinence to aim at any other presentation of female beauty. I mean no disrespect to Gibson or Powers, or a hundred other men who people the world with nudities, all of which are abortions as compared with her; but I think the world would be all the richer if their Venuses, their Greek Slaves, their Eves, were burnt into quicklime, leaving us only this statue as our image of the beautiful. I observed to-day that the eyes of the statue are slightly hollowed out, in a peculiar way, so as to give them a look of depth and intelligence. She is a miracle. The sculptor must have wrought religiously, and have felt that something far beyond his own skill was working through his hands. I mean to leave off speaking of the Venus hereafter, in utter despair of saying what I wish; especially as the contemplation of the statue will refine and elevate my taste, and make it continually more difficult to express my sense of its excellence, as the perception of it grows upon one. If at any time I become less sensible of it, it will be my deterioration, not any defect in the statue.

I looked at many of the pictures, and found myself in a favorable mood for enjoying them. It seems to me that a work of art is entitled to credit for all that it makes us feel in our best moments; and we must judge of its merits by the impression it then makes, and not by the coldness and insensibility of our less genial moods.

After leaving the Uffizi Palace, . . . . I went into the Museum of Natural History, near the Pitti Palace. It is a very good collection of almost everything that Nature has made,—or exquisite copies of what she has made,—stones, shells, vegetables, insects, fishes, animals, man; the greatest wonders of the museum being some models in wax of all parts of the human frame. It is good to have the wholeness and summed-up beauty of woman in the memory, when looking at the details of her system as here displayed; for these last, to the natural eye, are by no means beautiful. But they are what belong only to our mortality. The beauty that makes them invisible is our immortal type, which we shall take away with us. Under glass cases, there were some singular and horribly truthful representations, in small wax figures, of a time of pestilence; the hasty burial, or tossing into one common sepulchre, of discolored corpses,—a very ugly piece of work, indeed. I think Murray says that these things were made for the Grand Duke Cosmo; and if so, they do him no credit, indicating something dark and morbid in his character.

June 13th.—We called at the Powers's yesterday morning to leave R——- there for an hour or two to play with the children; and it being not yet quite time for the Pitti Palace, we stopped into the studio. Soon Mr. Powers made his appearance, in his dressing-gown and slippers and sculptor's cap, smoking a cigar. . . . He was very cordial and pleasant, as I have always found him, and began immediately to be communicative about his own works, or any other subject that came up. There were two casts of the Venus de' Medici in the rooms, which he said were valuable in a commercial point of view, being genuine casts from the mould taken from the statue. He then gave us a quite unexpected but most interesting lecture on the Venus, demonstrating it, as he proceeded, by reference to the points which he criticised. The figure, he seemed to allow, was admirable, though I think he hardly classes it so high as his own Greek Slave or Eva; but the face, he began with saying, was that of an idiot. Then, leaning on the pedestal of the cast, he continued, "It is rather a bold thing to say, isn't it, that the sculptor of the Venus de' Medici did not know what he was about?"

Truly, it appeared to me so; but Powers went on remorselessly, and showed, in the first place, that the eye was not like any eye that Nature ever made; and, indeed, being examined closely, and abstracted from the rest of the face, it has a very queer look,—less like a human eye than a half-worn buttonhole! Then he attacked the ear, which, he affirmed and demonstrated, was placed a good deal too low on the head, thereby giving an artificial and monstrous height to the portion of the head above it. The forehead met with no better treatment in his hands, and as to the mouth, it was altogether wrong, as well in its general make as in such niceties as the junction of the skin of the lips to the common skin around them. In a word, the poor face was battered all to pieces and utterly demolished; nor was it possible to doubt or question that it fell by its own demerits. All that could be urged in its defence—and even that I did not urge—being that this very face had affected me, only the day before, with a sense of higher beauty and intelligence than I had ever then received from sculpture, and that its expression seemed to accord with that of the whole figure, as if it were the sweetest note of the same music. There must be something in this; the sculptor disregarded technicalities, and the imitation of actual nature, the better to produce the effect which he really does produce, in somewhat the same way as a painter works his magical illusions by touches that have no relation to the truth if looked at from the wrong point of view. But Powers considers it certain that the antique sculptor had bestowed all his care on the study of the human figure, and really did not know how to make a face. I myself used to think that the face was a much less important thing with the Greeks, among whom the entire beauty of the form was familiarly seen, than with ourselves, who allow no other nudity.

After annihilating the poor visage, Powers showed us his two busts of Proserpine and Psyche, and continued his lecture by showing the truth to nature with which these are modelled. I freely acknowledge the fact; there is no sort of comparison to be made between the beauty, intelligence, feeling, and accuracy of representation in these two faces and in that of the Venus de' Medici. A light—the light of a soul proper to each individual character—seems to shine from the interior of the marble, and beam forth from the features, chiefly from the eyes. Still insisting upon the eye, and hitting the poor Venus another and another and still another blow on that unhappy feature, Mr. Powers turned up and turned inward and turned outward his own Titanic orb,—the biggest, by far, that ever I saw in mortal head,—and made us see and confess that there was nothing right in the Venus and everything right in Psyche and Proserpine. To say the truth, their marble eyes have life, and, placing yourself in the proper position towards them, you can meet their glances, and feel them mingle with your own. Powers is a great man, and also a tender and delicate one, massive and rude of surface as he looks; and it is rather absurd to feel how he impressed his auditor, for the time being, with his own evident idea that nobody else is worthy to touch marble. Mr. B——— told me that Powers has had many difficulties on professional grounds, as I understood him, and with his brother artists. No wonder! He has said enough in my hearing to put him at swords' points with sculptors of every epoch and every degree between the two inclusive extremes of Phidias and Clark Mills.

He has a bust of the reigning Grand Duchess of Tuscany, who sat to him for it. The bust is that of a noble-looking lady; and Powers remarked that royal personages have a certain look that distinguishes them from other people, and is seen in individuals of no lower rank. They all have it; the Queen of England and Prince Albert have it; and so likewise has every other Royalty, although the possession of this kingly look implies nothing whatever as respects kingly and commanding qualities. He said that none of our public men, whatever authority they may have held, or for whatever length of time, possess this look, but he added afterwards that Washington had it. Commanders of armies sometimes have it, but not in the degree that royal personages do. It is, as well as I could make out Powers's idea, a certain coldness of demeanor, and especially of eye, that surrounds them with an atmosphere through which the electricity of human brotherhood cannot pass. From their youth upward they are taught to feel themselves apart from the rest of mankind, and this manner becomes a second nature to them in consequence, and as a safeguard to their conventional dignity. They put themselves under glass, as it were (the illustration is my own), so that, though you see them, and see them looking no more noble and dignified than other mortals, nor so much so as many, still they keep themselves within a sort of sanctity, and repel you by an invisible barrier. Even if they invite you with a show of warmth and hospitality, you cannot get through. I, too, recognize this look in the portraits of Washington; in him, a mild, benevolent coldness and apartness, but indicating that formality which seems to have been deeper in him than in any other mortal, and which built up an actual fortification between himself and human sympathy. I wish, for once, Washington could come out of his envelopment and show us what his real dimensions were.

Among other models of statues heretofore made, Powers showed us one of Melancholy, or rather of Contemplation, from Milton's "Penseroso"; a female figure with uplifted face and rapt look, "communing with the skies." It is very fine, and goes deeply into Milton's thought; but, as far as the outward form and action are concerned, I remember seeing a rude engraving in my childhood that probably suggested the idea. It was prefixed to a cheap American edition of Milton's poems, and was probably as familiar to Powers as to myself. It is very remarkable how difficult it seems to be to strike out a new attitude in sculpture; a new group, or a new single figure.

One piece of sculpture Powers exhibited, however, which was very exquisite, and such as I never saw before. Opening a desk, he took out something carefully enclosed between two layers of cotton-wool, on removing which there appeared a little baby's hand most delicately represented in the whitest marble; all the dimples where the knuckles were to be, all the creases in the plump flesh, every infantine wrinkle of the soft skin being lovingly recorded. "The critics condemn minute representation," said Powers; "but you may look at this through a microscope and see if it injures the general effect." Nature herself never made a prettier or truer little hand. It was the hand of his daughter,—"Luly's hand," Powers called it,—the same that gave my own such a frank and friendly grasp when I first met "Luly." The sculptor made it only for himself and his wife, but so many people, he said, had insisted on having a copy, that there are now forty scattered about the world. At sixty years, Luly ought to have her hand sculptured again, and give it to her grandchildren with the baby's hand of five months old. The baby-hand that had done nothing, and felt only its mother's kiss; the old lady's hand that had exchanged the love-pressure, worn the marriage-ring, closed dead eyes,—done a lifetime's work, in short. The sentiment is rather obvious, but true nevertheless.

Before we went away, Powers took us into a room apart—apparently the secretest room he had—and showed us some tools and machinery, all of his own contrivance and invention. "You see I am a bit of a Yankee," he observed.

This machinery is chiefly to facilitate the process of modelling his works, for—except in portrait-busts—he makes no clay model as other sculptors do, but models directly in the plaster; so that instead of being crumbled, like clay, the original model remains a permanent possession. He has also invented a certain open file, which is of great use in finishing the surface of the marble; and likewise a machine for making these files and for punching holes through iron, and he demonstrated its efficiency by punching a hole through an iron bar, with a force equivalent to ten thousand pounds, by the mere application of a part of his own weight. These inventions, he says, are his amusement, and the bent of his nature towards sculpture must indeed have been strong, to counteract, in an American, such a capacity for the contrivance of steam-engines. . . .

I had no idea of filling so many pages of this journal with the sayings and characteristics of Mr. Powers, but the man and his talk are fresh, original, and full of bone and muscle, and I enjoy him much.

We now proceeded to the Pitti Palace, and spent several hours pleasantly in its saloons of pictures. I never enjoyed pictures anywhere else as I do in Florence. There is an admirable Judith in this gallery by Allori; a face of great beauty and depth, and her hand clutches the head of Holofernes by the hair in a way that startles the spectator. There are two peasant Madonnas by Murillo; simple women, yet with a thoughtful sense of some high mystery connected with the baby in their arms.

Raphael grows upon me; several other famous painters—Guido, for instance—are fading out of my mind. Salvator Rosa has two really wonderful landscapes, looking from the shore seaward; and Rubens too, likewise on a large scale, of mountain and plain. It is very idle and foolish to talk of pictures; yet, after poring over them and into them, it seems a pity to let all the thought excited by them pass into nothingness.

The copyists of pictures are very numerous, both in the Pitti and Uffizi galleries; and, unlike sculptors, they appear to be on the best of terms with one another, chatting sociably, exchanging friendly criticism, and giving their opinions as to the best mode of attaining the desired effects. Perhaps, as mere copyists, they escape the jealousy that might spring up between rival painters attempting to develop original ideas. Miss Howorth says that the business of copying pictures, especially those of Raphael, is a regular profession, and she thinks it exceedingly obstructive to the progress or existence of a modern school of painting, there being a regular demand and sure sale for all copies of the old masters, at prices proportioned to their merit; whereas the effort to be original insures nothing, except long neglect, at the beginning of a career, and probably ultimate failure, and the necessity of becoming a copyist at last. Some artists employ themselves from youth to age in nothing else but the copying of one single and selfsame picture by Raphael, and grow at last to be perfectly mechanical, making, I suppose, the same identical stroke of the brush in fifty successive pictures.

The weather is very hot now,—hotter in the sunshine, I think, than a midsummer day usually is in America, but with rather a greater possibility of being comfortable in the shade. The nights, too, are warm, and the bats fly forth at dusk, and the fireflies quite light up the green depths of our little garden. The atmosphere, or something else, causes a sort of alacrity in my mind and an affluence of ideas, such as they are; but it does not thereby make me the happier. I feel an impulse to be at work, but am kept idle by the sense of being unsettled with removals to be gone through, over and over again, before I can shut myself into a quiet room of my own, and turn the key. I need monotony too, an eventless exterior life, before I can live in the world within.

June 15th.—Yesterday we went to the Uffizi gallery, and, of course, I took the opportunity to look again at the Venus de' Medici after Powers's attack upon her face. Some of the defects he attributed to her I could not see in the statue; for instance, the ear appeared to be in accordance with his own rule, the lowest part of it being about in a straight line with the upper lip. The eyes must be given up, as not, when closely viewed, having the shape, the curve outwards, the formation of the lids, that eyes ought to have; but still, at a proper distance, they seemed to have intelligence in them beneath the shadow cast by the brow. I cannot help thinking that the sculptor intentionally made every feature what it is, and calculated them all with a view to the desired effect. Whatever rules may be transgressed, it is a noble and beautiful face,—more so, perhaps, than if all rules had been obeyed. I wish Powers would do his best to fit the Venus's figure (which he does not deny to be admirable) with a face which he would deem equally admirable and in accordance with the sentiment of the form.

We looked pretty thoroughly through the gallery, and I saw many pictures that impressed me; but among such a multitude, with only one poor mind to take note of them, the stamp of each new impression helps to obliterate a former one. I am sensible, however, that a process is going on, and has been ever since I came to Italy, that puts me in a state to see pictures with less toil, and more pleasure, and makes me more fastidious, yet more sensible of beauty where I saw none before. It is the sign, I presume, of a taste still very defective, that I take singular pleasure in the elaborate imitations of Van Mieris, Gerard Douw, and other old Dutch wizards, who painted such brass pots that you can see your face in them, and such earthen pots that they will surely hold water; and who spent weeks and months in turning a foot or two of canvas into a perfect microscopic illusion of some homely scene. For my part, I wish Raphael had painted the "Transfiguration" in this style, at the same time preserving his breadth and grandeur of design; nor do I believe that there is any real impediment to the combination of the two styles, except that no possible space of human life could suffice to cover a quarter part of the canvas of the "Transfiguration" with such touches as Gerard Douw's. But one feels the vast scope of this wonderful art, when we think of two excellences so far apart as that of this last painter and Raphael. I pause a good while, too, before the Dutch paintings of fruit and flowers, where tulips and roses acquire an immortal bloom, and grapes have kept the freshest juice in them for two or three hundred years. Often, in these pictures, there is a bird's-nest, every straw perfectly represented, and the stray feather, or the down that the mother-bird plucked from her bosom, with the three or four small speckled eggs, that seem as if they might be yet warm. These pretty miracles have their use in assuring us that painters really can do something that takes hold of us in our most matter-of-fact moods; whereas, the merits of the grander style of art may be beyond our ordinary appreciation, and leave us in doubt whether we have not befooled ourselves with a false admiration.

Until we learn to appreciate the cherubs and angels that Raphael scatters through the blessed air, in a picture of the "Nativity," it is not amiss to look at, a Dutch fly settling on a peach, or a bumblebee burying himself in a flower.

It is another token of imperfect taste, no doubt, that queer pictures and absurd pictures remain in my memory, when better ones pass away by the score. There is a picture of Venus, combing her son Cupid's head with a small-tooth comb, and looking with maternal care among his curls; this I shall not forget. Likewise, a picture of a broad, rubicund Judith by Bardone,—a widow of fifty, of an easy, lymphatic, cheerful temperament, who has just killed Holofernes, and is as self-complacent as if she had been carving a goose. What could possibly have stirred up this pudding of a woman (unless it were a pudding-stick) to do such a deed! I looked with much pleasure at an ugly, old, fat, jolly Bacchus, astride on a barrel, by Rubens; the most natural and lifelike representation of a tipsy rotundity of flesh that it is possible to imagine. And sometimes, amid these sensual images, I caught the divine pensiveness of a Madonna's face, by Raphael, or the glory and majesty of the babe Jesus in her arm, with his Father shining through him. This is a sort of revelation, whenever it comes.

This morning, immediately after breakfast, I walked into the city, meaning to make myself better acquainted with its appearance, and to go into its various churches; but it soon grew so hot, that I turned homeward again. The interior of the Duomo was deliciously cool, to be sure,—cool and dim, after the white-hot sunshine; but an old woman began to persecute me, so that I came away. A male beggar drove me out of another church; and I took refuge in the street, where the beggar and I would have been two cinders together, if we had stood long enough on the sunny sidewalk. After my five summers' experience of England, I may have forgotten what hot weather is; but it does appear to me that an American summer is not so fervent as this. Besides the direct rays, the white pavement throws a furnace-heat up into one's face; the shady margin of the street is barely tolerable; but it is like going through the ordeal of fire to cross the broad bright glare of an open piazza. The narrow streets prove themselves a blessing at this season, except when the sun looks directly into them; the broad eaves of the houses, too, make a selvage of shade, almost always. I do not know what becomes of the street-merchants at the noontide of these hot days. They form a numerous class in Florence, displaying their wares—linen or cotton cloth, threads, combs, and all manner of haberdashery—on movable counters that are borne about on wheels. In the shady morning, you see a whole side of a street in a piazza occupied by them, all offering their merchandise at full cry. They dodge as they can from shade to shade; but at last the sunshine floods the whole space, and they seem to have melted away, leaving not a rag of themselves or what they dealt in.

Cherries are very abundant now, and have been so ever since we came here, in the markets and all about the streets. They are of various kinds, some exceedingly large, insomuch that it is almost necessary to disregard the old proverb about making two bites of a cherry. Fresh figs are already spoken of, though I have seen none; but I saw some peaches this morning, looking as if they might be ripe.

June 16th.—Mr. and Mrs. Powers called to see us last evening. Mr. Powers, as usual, was full of talk, and gave utterance to a good many instructive and entertaining ideas.

As one instance of the little influence the religion of the Italians has upon their morals, he told a story of one of his servants, who desired leave to set up a small shrine of the Virgin in their room—a cheap print, or bas-relief, or image, such as are sold everywhere at the shops —and to burn a lamp before it; she engaging, of course, to supply the oil at her own expense. By and by, her oil-flask appeared to possess a miraculous property of replenishing itself, and Mr. Powers took measures to ascertain where the oil came from. It turned out that the servant had all the time been stealing the oil from them, and keeping up her daily sacrifice and worship to the Virgin by this constant theft.

His talk soon turned upon sculpture, and he spoke once more of the difficulty imposed upon an artist by the necessity of clothing portrait statues in the modern costume. I find that he does not approve either of nudity or of the Roman toga for a modern statue; neither does he think it right to shirk the difficulty—as Chantrey did in the case of Washington —by enveloping him in a cloak; but acknowledges the propriety of taking the actual costume of the age and doing his best with it. He himself did so with his own Washington, and also with a statue that he made of Daniel Webster. I suggested that though this costume might not appear ridiculous to us now, yet, two or three centuries hence, it would create, to the people of that day, an impossibility of seeing the real man through the absurdity of his envelopment, after it shall have entirely grown out of fashion and remembrance; and Webster would seem as absurd to them then as he would to us now in the masquerade of some bygone day. It might be well, therefore, to adopt some conventional costume, never actual, but always graceful and noble. Besides, Webster, for example, had other costumes than that which he wore in public, and perhaps it was in those that he lived his most real life; his dressing-gown, his drapery of the night, the dress that he wore on his fishing-excursions; in these other costumes he spent three fourths of his time, and most probably was thus arrayed when he conceived the great thoughts that afterwards, in some formal and outside mood, he gave forth to the public. I scarcely think I was right, but am not sure of the contrary. At any rate, I know that I should have felt much more sure that I knew the real Webster, if I had seen him in any of the above-mentioned dresses, than either in his swallow-tailed coat or frock.

Talking of a taste for painting and sculpture, Powers observed that it was something very different and quite apart from the moral sense, and that it was often, perhaps generally, possessed by unprincipled men of ability and cultivation. I have had this perception myself. A genuine love of painting and sculpture, and perhaps of music, seems often to have distinguished men capable of every social crime, and to have formed a fine and hard enamel over their characters. Perhaps it is because such tastes are artificial, the product of cultivation, and, when highly developed, imply a great remove from natural simplicity.

This morning I went with U—— to the Uffizi gallery, and again looked with more or less attention at almost every picture and statue. I saw a little picture of the golden age, by Zucchero, in which the charms of youths and virgins are depicted with a freedom that this iron age can hardly bear to look at. The cabinet of gems happened to be open for the admission of a privileged party, and we likewise went in and saw a brilliant collection of goldsmiths' work, among which, no doubt, were specimens from such hands as Benvenuto Cellini. Little busts with diamond eyes; boxes of gems; cups carved out of precious material; crystal vases, beautifully chased and engraved, and sparkling with jewels; great pearls, in the midst of rubies; opals, rich with all manner of lovely lights. I remember Benvenuto Cellini, in his memoirs, speaks of manufacturing such playthings as these.

I observed another characteristic of the summer streets of Florence to-day; tables, movable to and fro, on wheels, and set out with cool iced drinks and cordials.

June 17th.—My wife and I went, this morning, to the Academy of Fine Arts, and, on our way thither, went into the Duomo, where we found a deliciously cool twilight, through which shone the mild gleam of the painted windows. I cannot but think it a pity that St. Peter's is not lighted by such windows as these, although I by no means saw the glory in them now that I have spoken of in a record of my former visit. We found out the monument of Giotto, a tablet, and portrait in bas-relief, on the wall, near the entrance of the cathedral, on the right hand; also a representation, in fresco, of a knight on horseback, the memorial of one John Rawkwood, close by the door, to the left. The priests were chanting a service of some kind or other in the choir, terribly inharmonious, and out of tune. . . .

On reaching the Academy, the soldier or policeman at the entrance directed us into the large hall, the walls of which were covered on both sides with pictures, arranged as nearly as possible in a progressive series, with reference to the date of the painters; so that here the origin and procession of the art may be traced through the course of, at least, two hundred years. Giotto, Cimabue, and others of unfamiliar names to me, are among the earliest; and, except as curiosities, I should never desire to look once at them, nor think of looking twice. They seem to have been executed with great care and conscientiousness, and the heads are often wrought out with minuteness and fidelity, and have so much expression that they tell their own story clearly enough; but it seems not to have been the painter's aim to effect a lifelike illusion, the background and accessories being conventional. The trees are no more like real trees than the feather of a pen, and there is no perspective, the figure of the picture being shadowed forth on a surface of burnished gold. The effect, when these pictures, some of them very large, were new and freshly gilded, must have been exceedingly brilliant, and much resembling, on an immensely larger scale, the rich illuminations in an old monkish missal. In fact, we have not now, in pictorial ornament, anything at all comparable to what their splendor must have been. I was most struck with a picture, by Fabriana Gentile, of the Adoration of the Magi, where the faces and figures have a great deal of life and action, and even grace, and where the jewelled crowns, the rich embroidered robes, and cloth of gold, and all the magnificence of the three kings, are represented with the vividness of the real thing: a gold sword-hilt, for instance, or a pair of gold spurs, being actually embossed on the picture. The effect is very powerful, and though produced in what modern painters would pronounce an unjustifiable way, there is yet pictorial art enough to reconcile it to the spectator's mind. Certainly, the people of the Middle Ages knew better than ourselves what is magnificence, and how to produce it; and what a glorious work must that have been, both in its mere sheen of burnished gold, and in its illuminating art, which shines thus through the gloom of perhaps four centuries.

Fra Angelico is a man much admired by those who have a taste for Pre-Raphaelite painters; and, though I take little or no pleasure in his works, I can see that there is great delicacy of execution in his heads, and that generally he produces such a Christ, and such a Virgin, and such saints, as he could not have foreseen, except in a pure and holy imagination, nor have wrought out without saying a prayer between every two touches of his brush. I might come to like him, in time, if I thought it worth while; but it is enough to have an outside perception of his kind and degree of merit, and so to let him pass into the garret of oblivion, where many things as good, or better, are piled away, that our own age may not stumble over them. Perugino is the first painter whose works seem really worth preserving for the genuine merit that is in them, apart from any quaintness and curiosity of an ancient and new-born art. Probably his religion was more genuine than Raphael's, and therefore the Virgin often revealed herself to him in a loftier and sweeter face of divine womanhood than all the genius of Raphael could produce. There is a Crucifixion by him in this gallery, which made me partly feel as if I were a far-off spectator,—no, I did not mean a Crucifixion, but a picture of Christ dead, lying, with a calm, sweet face, on his mother's knees ["a Pieta"].

The most inadequate and utterly absurd picture here, or in any other gallery, is a head of the Eternal Father, by Carlo Dolce; it looks like a feeble saint, on the eve of martyrdom, and very doubtful how he shall be able to bear it; very finely and prettily painted, nevertheless.

After getting through the principal gallery we went into a smaller room, in which are contained a great many small specimens of the old Tuscan artists, among whom Fra Angelico makes the principal figure. These pictures are all on wood, and seem to have been taken from the shrines and altars of ancient churches; they are predellas and triptychs, or pictures on three folding tablets, shaped quaintly, in Gothic peaks or arches, and still gleaming with backgrounds of antique gold. The wood is much worm-eaten, and the colors have often faded or changed from what the old artists meant then to be; a bright angel darkening into what looks quite as much like the Devil. In one of Fra Angelico's pictures,—a representation of the Last Judgment,—he has tried his saintly hand at making devils indeed, and showing them busily at work, tormenting the poor, damned souls in fifty ghastly ways. Above sits Jesus, with the throng of blessed saints around him, and a flow of tender and powerful love in his own face, that ought to suffice to redeem all the damned, and convert the very fiends, and quench the fires of hell. At any rate, Fra Angelico had a higher conception of his Saviour than Michael Angelo.

June 19th.—This forenoon we have been to the Church of St. Lorenzo, which stands on the site of an ancient basilica, and was itself built more than four centuries ago. The facade is still an ugly height of rough brickwork, as is the case with the Duomo, and, I think, some other churches in Florence; the design of giving them an elaborate and beautiful finish having been delayed from cycle to cycle, till at length the day for spending mines of wealth on churches is gone by. The interior had a nave with a flat roof, divided from the side aisles by Corinthian pillars, and, at the farther end, a raised space around the high altar. The pavement is a mosaic of squares of black and white marble, the squares meeting one another cornerwise; the pillars, pilasters, and other architectural material is dark brown or grayish stone; and the general effect is very sombre, especially as the church is somewhat dimly lighted, and as the shrines along the aisles, and the statues, and the monuments of whatever kind, look dingy with time and neglect. The nave is thickly set with wooden seats, brown and worn. What pictures there are, in the shrines and chapels, are dark and faded. On the whole, the edifice has a shabby aspect. On each side of the high altar, elevated on four pillars of beautiful marble, is what looks like a great sarcophagus of bronze. They are, in fact, pulpits, and are ornamented with mediaeval bas-reliefs, representing scenes in the life of our Saviour. Murray says that the resting-place of the first Cosmo de' Medici, the old banker, who so managed his wealth as to get the posthumous title of "father of his country," and to make his posterity its reigning princes,—is in front of the high altar, marked by red and green porphyry and marble, inlaid into the pavement. We looked, but could not see it there.

There were worshippers at some of the shrines, and persons sitting here and there along the nave, and in the aisles, rapt in devotional thought, doubtless, and sheltering themselves here from the white sunshine of the piazzas. In the vicinity of the choir and the high altar, workmen were busy repairing the church, or perhaps only making arrangements for celebrating the great festival of St. John.

On the left hand of the choir is what is called the old sacristy, with the peculiarities or notabilities of which I am not acquainted. On the right hand is the new sacristy, otherwise called the Capella dei Depositi, or Chapel of the Buried, built by Michael Angelo, to contain two monuments of the Medici family. The interior is of somewhat severe and classic architecture, the walls and pilasters being of dark stone, and surmounted by a dome, beneath which is a row of windows, quite round the building, throwing their light down far beneath, upon niches of white marble. These niches are ranged entirely around the chapel, and might have sufficed to contain more than all the Medici monuments that the world would ever care to have. Only two of these niches are filled, however. In one of them sits Giuliano de' Medici, sculptured by Michael Angelo,—a figure of dignity, which would perhaps be very striking in any other presence than that of the statue which occupies the corresponding niche. At the feet of Giuliano recline two allegorical statues, Day and Night, whose meaning there I do not know, and perhaps Michael Angelo knew as little. As the great sculptor's statues are apt to do, they fling their limbs abroad with adventurous freedom. Below the corresponding niche, on the opposite side of the chapel, recline two similar statues, representing Morning and Evening, sufficiently like Day and Night to be their brother and sister; all, in truth, having sprung from the same father. . . .

But the statue that sits above these two latter allegories, Morning and Evening, is like no other that ever came from a sculptor's hand. It is the one work worthy of Michael Angelo's reputation, and grand enough to vindicate for him all the genius that the world gave him credit for. And yet it seems a simple thing enough to think of or to execute; merely a sitting figure, the face partly overshadowed by a helmet, one hand supporting the chin, the other resting on the thigh. But after looking at it a little while the spectator ceases to think of it as a marble statue; it comes to life, and you see that the princely figure is brooding over some great design, which, when he has arranged in his own mind, the world will be fain to execute for him. No such grandeur and majesty has elsewhere been put into human shape. It is all a miracle; the deep repose, and the deep life within it. It is as much a miracle to have achieved this as to make a statue that would rise up and walk. The face, when one gazes earnestly into it, beneath the shadow of its helmet, is seen to be calmly sombre; a mood which, I think, is generally that of the rulers of mankind, except in moments of vivid action. This statue is one of the things which I look at with highest enjoyment, but also with grief and impatience, because I feel that I do not come at all which it involves, and that by and by I must go away and leave it forever. How wonderful! To take a block of marble, and convert it wholly into thought, and to do it through all the obstructions and impediments of drapery; for there is nothing nude in this statue but the face and hands. The vest is the costume of Michael Angelo's century. This is what I always thought a sculptor of true genius should be able to do,—to show the man of whatever epoch, nobly and heroically, through the costume which he might actually have worn.

The statue sits within a square niche of white marble, and completely fills it. It seems to me a pity that it should be thus confined. At the Crystal Palace, if I remember, the effect is improved by a free surrounding space. Its naturalness is as if it came out of the marble of its own accord, with all its grandeur hanging heavily about it, and sat down there beneath its weight. I cannot describe it. It is like trying to stop the ghost of Hamlet's father, by crossing spears before it.

Communicating with the sacristy is the Medicean Chapel, which was built more than two centuries ago, for the reception of the Holy Sepulchre; arrangements having been made about that time to steal this most sacred relic from the Turks. The design failing, the chapel was converted by Cosmo II. into a place of sepulture for the princes of his family. It is a very grand and solemn edifice, octagonal in shape, with a lofty dome, within which is a series of brilliant frescos, painted not more than thirty years ago. These pictures are the only portion of the adornment of the chapel which interferes with the sombre beauty of the general effect; for though the walls are incrusted, from pavement to dome, with marbles of inestimable cost, and it is a Florentine mosaic on a grander scale than was ever executed elsewhere, the result is not gaudy, as in many of the Roman chapels, but a dark and melancholy richness. The architecture strikes me as extremely fine; each alternate side of the octagon being an arch, rising as high as the cornice of the lofty dome, and forming the frame of a vast niche. All the dead princes, no doubt, according to the general design, were to have been honored with statues within this stately mausoleum; but only two—those of Ferdinand I. and Cosmo II.—seem to have been placed here. They were a bad breed, and few of them deserved any better monument than a dunghill; and yet they have this grand chapel for the family at large, and yonder grand statue for one of its most worthless members. I am glad of it; and as for the statue, Michael Angelo wrought it through the efficacy of a kingly idea, which had no reference to the individual whose name it bears.

In the piazza adjoining the church is a statue of the first Cosmo, the old banker, in Roman costume, seated, and looking like a man fit to hold authority. No, I mistake; the statue is of John de' Medici, the father of Cosmo, and himself no banker, but a soldier.

June 21st.—Yesterday, after dinner, we went, with the two eldest children, to the Boboli Gardens. . . . We entered by a gate, nearer to our house than that by the Pitti Palace, and found ourselves almost immediately among embowered walks of box and shrubbery, and little wildernesses of trees, with here and there a seat under an arbor, and a marble statue, gray with ancient weather-stains. The site of the garden is a very uneven surface, and the paths go upward and downward, and ascend, at their ultimate point, to a base of what appears to be a fortress, commanding the city. A good many of the Florentines were rambling about the gardens, like ourselves: little parties of school-boys; fathers and mothers, with their youthful progeny; young men in couples, looking closely into every female face; lovers, with a maid or two attendant on the young lady. All appeared to enjoy themselves, especially the children, dancing on the esplanades, or rolling down the slopes of the hills; and the loving pairs, whom it was rather embarrassing to come upon unexpectedly, sitting together on the stone seat of an arbor, with clasped hands, a passionate solemnity in the young man's face, and a downcast pleasure in the lady's. Policemen, in cocked hats and epaulets, cross-belts, and swords, were scattered about the grounds, but interfered with nobody, though they seemed to keep an eye on all. A sentinel stood in the hot sunshine, looking down over the garden from the ramparts of the fortress.

For my part, in this foreign country, I have no objection to policemen or any other minister of authority; though I remember, in America, I had an innate antipathy to constables, and always sided with the mob against law. This was very wrong and foolish, considering that I was one of the sovereigns; but a sovereign, or any number of sovereigns, or the twenty-millionth part of a sovereign, does not love to find himself, as an American must, included within the delegated authority of his own servants.

There is a sheet of water somewhere in the Boboli Gardens, inhabited by swans; but this we did not see. We found a smaller pond, however, set in marble, and surrounded by a parapet, and alive with a multitude of fish. There were minnows by the thousand, and a good many gold-fish; and J——-, who had brought some bread to feed the swans, threw in handfuls of crumbs for the benefit of these finny people. They seemed to be accustomed to such courtesies on the part of visitors; and immediately the surface of the water was blackened, at the spot where each crumb fell, with shoals of minnows, thrusting one another even above the surface in their eagerness to snatch it. Within the depths of the pond, the yellowish-green water—its hue being precisely that of the Arno— would be reddened duskily with the larger bulk of two or three gold-fishes, who finally poked their great snouts up among the minnows, but generally missed the crumb. Beneath the circular margin of the pond, there are little arches, into the shelter of which the fish retire, when the noonday sun burns straight down into their dark waters. We went on through the garden-paths, shadowed quite across by the high walls of box, and reached an esplanade, whence we had a good view of Florence, with the bare brown ridges on the northern side of the Arno, and glimpses of the river itself, flowing like a street, between two rows of palaces. A great way off, too, we saw some of the cloud-like peaks of the Apennines, and, above them, the clouds into which the sun was descending, looking quite as substantial as the distant mountains. The city did not present a particularly splendid aspect, though its great Duomo was seen in the middle distance, sitting in its circle of little domes, with the tall campanile close by, and within one or two hundred yards of it, the high, cumbrous bulk of the Palazzo Vecchio, with its lofty, machicolated, and battlemented tower, very picturesque, yet looking exceedingly like a martin-box, on a pole. There were other domes and towers and spires, and here and there the distinct shape of an edifice; but the general picture was of a contiguity of red earthen roofs, filling a not very broad or extensive valley, among dry and ridgy hills, with a river-gleam lightening up the landscape a little. U—— took out her pencil and tablets, and began to sketch the tower of the Palazzo Vecchio; in doing which, she immediately became an object of curiosity to some little boys and larger people, who failed not, under such pretences as taking a grasshopper off her dress, or no pretence at all, to come and look over her shoulder. There is a kind of familiarity among these Florentines, which is not meant to be discourteous, and ought to be taken in good part.

We continued to ramble through the gardens, in quest of a good spot from which to see the sunset, and at length found a stone bench, on the slope of a hill, whence the entire cloud and sun scenery was fully presented to us. At the foot of the hill were statues, and among them a Pegasus, with wings outspread; and, a little beyond, the garden-front of the Pitti Palace, which looks a little less like a state-prison here, than as it fronts the street. Girls and children, and young men and old, were taking their pleasure in our neighborhood; and, just before us, a lady stood talking with her maid. By and by, we discovered her to be Miss Howorth. There was a misty light, streaming down on the hither side of the ridge of hills, that was rather peculiar; but the most remarkable thing was the shape into which the clouds gathered themselves, after the disappearance of the sun. It was like a tree, with a broad and heavy mass of foliage, spreading high upward on the sky, and a dark and well-defined trunk, which rooted itself on the verge of the horizon.

This morning we went to the Pitti Palace. The air was very sultry, and the pavements, already heated with the sun, made the space between the buildings seem like a close room. The earth, I think, is too much stoned out of the streets of an Italian city,—paved, like those of Florence, quite across, with broad flagstones, to the line where the stones of the houses on each side are piled up. Thunder rumbled over our heads, however, and the clouds were so dark that we scarcely hoped to reach the palace without feeling the first drops of the shower. The air still darkened and darkened, so that by the time we arrived at the suite of picture-rooms the pictures seemed all to be changed to Rembrandts; the shadows as black as midnight, with only some highly illuminated portions gleaming out. The obscurity of the atmosphere made us sensible how splendid is the adornment of these saloons. For the gilded cornices shone out, as did the gilding of the arches and wreathed circles that divide the ceiling into compartments, within which the frescos are painted, and whence the figures looked dimly down, like gods out of a mysterious sky. The white marble sculptures also gleamed from their height, where winged cupids or cherubs gambolled aloft in bas-reliefs; or allegoric shapes reclined along the cornices, hardly noticed, when the daylight comes brightly into the window. On the walls, all the rich picture-frames glimmered in gold, as did the framework of the chairs, and the heavy gilded pedestals of the marble, alabaster, and mosaic tables. These are very magnificent saloons; and since I have begun to speak of their splendor, I may as well add that the doors are framed in polished, richly veined marble, and the walls hung with scarlet damask.

It was useless to try to see the pictures. All the artists engaged in copying laid aside their brushes; and we looked out into the square before the palace, where a mighty wind sprang up, and quickly raised a prodigious cloud of dust. It hid the opposite side of the street, and was carried, in a great dusky whirl, higher than the roofs of the houses, higher than the top of the Pitti Palace itself. The thunder muttered and grumbled, the lightning now and then flashed, and a few rain-drops pattered against the windows; but, for a long time, the shower held off. At last it came down in a stream, and lightened the air to such a degree that we could see some of the pictures, especially those of Rubens, and the illuminated parts of Salvator Rosa's, and, best of all, Titian's "Magdalen," the one with golden hair clustering round her naked body. The golden hair, indeed, seemed to throw out a glory of its own. This Magdalen is very coarse and sensual, with only an impudent assumption of penitence and religious sentiment, scarcely so deep as the eyelids; but it is a splendid picture, nevertheless, with those naked, lifelike arms, and the hands that press the rich locks about her, and so carefully permit those voluptuous breasts to be seen. She a penitent! She would shake off all pretence to it as easily as she would shake aside that clustering hair. . . . Titian must have been a very good-for-nothing old man.

I looked again at Michael Angelo's Fates to-day; but cannot satisfactorily make out what he meant by them. One of them—she who holds the distaff—has her mouth open, as if uttering a cry, and might be fancied to look somewhat irate. The second, who holds the thread, has a pensive air, but is still, I think, pitiless at heart. The third sister looks closely and coldly into the eyes of the second, meanwhile cutting the thread with a pair of shears. Michael Angelo, if I may presume to say so, wished to vary the expression of these three sisters, and give each a different one, but did not see precisely how, inasmuch as all the fatal Three are united, heart and soul, in one purpose. It is a very impressive group. But, as regards the interpretation of this, or of any other profound picture, there are likely to be as many interpretations as there are spectators. It is very curious to read criticisms upon pictures, and upon the same face in a picture, and by men of taste and feeling, and to find what different conclusions they arrive at. Each man interprets the hieroglyphic in his own way; and the painter, perhaps, had a meaning which none of them have reached; or possibly he put forth a riddle, without himself knowing the solution. There is such a necessity, at all events, of helping the painter out with the spectator's own resources of feeling and imagination, that you can never be sure how much of the picture you have yourself made. There is no doubt that the public is, to a certain extent, right and sure of its ground, when it declares, through a series of ages, that a certain picture is a great work. It is so; a great symbol, proceeding out of a great mind; but if it means one thing, it seems to mean a thousand, and, often, opposite things.

June 27th.—I have had a heavy cold and fever almost throughout the past week, and have thereby lost the great Florentine festivity, the Feast of St. John, which took place on Thursday last, with the fireworks and illuminations the evening before, and the races and court ceremonies on the day itself. However, unless it were more characteristic and peculiar than the Carnival, I have not missed anything very valuable.

Mr. Powers called to see me one evening, and poured out, as usual, a stream of talk, both racy and oracular in its character. Speaking of human eyes, he observed that they did not depend for their expression upon color, nor upon any light of the soul beaming through them, nor any glow of the eyeball, nor upon anything but the form and action of the surrounding muscles. He illustrates it by saying, that if the eye of a wolf, or of whatever fiercest animal, could be placed in another setting, it would be found capable of the utmost gentleness of expression. "You yourself," said he, "have a very bright and sharp look sometimes; but it is not in the eye itself." His own eyes, as I could have sworn, were glowing all the time he spoke; and, remembering how many times I have seemed to see eyes glow, and blaze, and flash, and sparkle, and melt, and soften; and how all poetry is illuminated with the light of ladies' eyes; and how many people have been smitten by the lightning of an eye, whether in love or anger, it was difficult to allow that all this subtlest and keenest fire is illusive, not even phosphorescent, and that any other jelly in the same socket would serve as well as the brightest eye. Nevertheless, he must be right; of course he must, and I am rather ashamed ever to have thought otherwise. Where should the light come from? Has a man a flame inside of his head? Does his spirit manifest itself in the semblance of flame? The moment we think of it, the absurdity becomes evident. I am not quite sure, however, that the outer surface of the eye may not reflect more light in some states of feeling than in others; the state of the health, certainly, has an influence of this kind.

I asked Powers what he thought of Michael Angelo's statue of Lorenzo de' Medici. He allowed that its effect was very grand and mysterious; but added that it owed this to a trick,—the effect being produced by the arrangement of the hood, as he called it, or helmet, which throws the upper part of the face into shadow. The niche in which it sits has, I suppose, its part to perform in throwing a still deeper shadow. It is very possible that Michael Angelo may have calculated upon this effect of sombre shadow, and legitimately, I think; but it really is not worthy of Mr. Powers to say that the whole effect of this mighty statue depends, not on the positive efforts of Michael Angelo's chisel, but on the absence of light in a space of a few inches. He wrought the whole statue in harmony with that small part of it which he leaves to the spectator's imagination, and if he had erred at any point, the miracle would have been a failure; so that, working in marble, he has positively reached a degree of excellence above the capability of marble, sculpturing his highest touches upon air and duskiness.

Mr. Powers gave some amusing anecdotes of his early life, when he was a clerk in a store in Cincinnati. There was a museum opposite, the proprietor of which had a peculiar physiognomy that struck Powers, insomuch that he felt impelled to make continual caricatures of it. He used to draw them upon the door of the museum, and became so familiar with the face, that he could draw them in the dark; so that, every morning, here was this absurd profile of himself, greeting the museum-man when he came to open his establishment. Often, too, it would reappear within an hour after it was rubbed out. The man was infinitely annoyed, and made all possible efforts to discover the unknown artist, but in vain; and finally concluded, I suppose, that the likeness broke out upon the door of its own accord, like the nettle-rash. Some years afterwards, the proprietor of the museum engaged Powers himself as an assistant; and one day Powers asked him if he remembered this mysterious profile. "Yes," said he, "did you know who drew them?" Powers took a piece of chalk, and touched off the very profile again, before the man's eyes. "Ah," said he, "if I had known it at the time, I would have broken every bone in your body!"

Before he began to work in marble, Powers had greater practice and success in making wax figures, and he produced a work of this kind called "The Infernal Regions," which he seemed to imply had been very famous. He said he once wrought a face in wax which was life itself, having made the eyes on purpose for it, and put in every hair in the eyebrows individually, and finished the whole with similar minuteness; so that, within the distance of a foot or two, it was impossible to tell that the face did not live.

I have hardly ever before felt an impulse to write down a man's conversation as I do that of Mr. Powers. The chief reason is, probably, that it is so possible to do it, his ideas being square, solid, and tangible, and therefore readily grasped and retained. He is a very instructive man, and sweeps one's empty and dead notions out of the way with exceeding vigor; but when you have his ultimate thought and perception, you feel inclined to think and see a little further for yourself. He sees too clearly what is within his range to be aware of any region of mystery beyond. Probably, however, this latter remark does him injustice. I like the man, and am always glad to encounter the mill-stream of his talk. . . . Yesterday he met me in the street (dressed in his linen blouse and slippers, with a little bit of a sculptor's cap on the side of his head), and gave utterance to a theory of colds, and a dissertation on the bad effects of draughts, whether of cold air or hot, and the dangers of transfusing blood from the veins of one living subject to those of another. On the last topic, he remarked that, if a single particle of air found its way into the veins, along with the transfused blood, it caused convulsions and inevitable death; otherwise the process might be of excellent effect.

Last evening, we went to pass the evening with Miss Blagden, who inhabits a villa at Bellosguardo, about a mile outside of the walls. The situation is very lofty, and there are good views from every window of the house, and an especially fine one of Florence and the hills beyond, from the balcony of the drawing-room. By and by came Mr. Browning, Mr. Trollope, Mr. Boott and his young daughter, and two or three other gentlemen. . . .

Browning was very genial and full of life, as usual, but his conversation has the effervescent aroma which you cannot catch, even if you get the very words that seem to be imbued with it. He spoke most rapturously of a portrait of Mrs. Browning, which an Italian artist is painting for the wife of an American gentleman, as a present from her husband. The success was already perfect, although there had been only two sittings as yet, and both on the same day; and in this relation, Mr. Browning remarked that P———, the American artist, had had no less than seventy-three sittings of him for a portrait. In the result, every hair and speck of him was represented; yet, as I inferred from what he did not say, this accumulation of minute truths did not, after all, amount to the true whole.

I do not remember much else that Browning said, except a playful abuse of a little King Charles spaniel, named Frolic, Miss Blagden's lap-dog, whose venerable age (he is eleven years old) ought to have pleaded in his behalf. Browning's nonsense is of very genuine and excellent quality, the true babble and effervescence of a bright and powerful mind; and he lets it play among his friends with the faith and simplicity of a child. He must be an amiable man. I should like him much, and should make him like me, if opportunities were favorable.

I conversed principally with Mr. Trollope, the son, I believe, of the Mrs. Trollope to whom America owes more for her shrewd criticisms than we are ever likely to repay. Mr. Trollope is a very sensible and cultivated man, and, I suspect, an author: at least, there is a literary man of repute of this name, though I have never read his works. He has resided in Italy eighteen years. It seems a pity to do this. It needs the native air to give life a reality; a truth which I do not fail to take home regretfully to myself, though without feeling much inclination to go back to the realities of my own.

We had a pleasant cup of tea, and took a moonlight view of Florence from the balcony. . . .

June 28th.—Yesterday afternoon, J——- and I went to a horse-race, which took place in the Corso and contiguous line of streets, in further celebration of the Feast of St. John. A crowd of people was already collected, all along the line of the proposed race, as early as six o'clock; and there were a great many carriages driving amid the throng, open barouches mostly, in which the beauty and gentility of Florence were freely displayed. It was a repetition of the scene in the Corso at Rome, at Carnival time, without the masks, the fun, and the confetti. The Grand Duke and Duchess and the Court likewise made their appearance in as many as seven or eight coaches-and-six, each with a coachman, three footmen, and a postilion in the royal livery, and attended by a troop of horsemen in scarlet coats and cocked hats. I did not particularly notice the Grand Duke himself; but, in the carriage behind him, there sat only a lady, who favored the people along the street with a constant succession of bows, repeated at such short intervals, and so quickly, as to be little more than nods; therefore not particularly graceful or majestic. Having the good fortune, to be favored with one of these nods, I lifted my hat in response, and may therefore claim a bowing acquaintance with the Grand Duchess. She is a Bourbon of the Naples family, and was a pale, handsome woman, of princely aspect enough. The crowd evinced no enthusiasm, nor the slightest feeling of any kind, in acknowledgment of the presence of their rulers; and, indeed, I think I never saw a crowd so well behaved; that is, with so few salient points, so little ebullition, so absolutely tame, as the Florentine one. After all, and much contrary to my expectations, an American crowd has incomparably more life than any other; and, meeting on any casual occasion, it will talk, laugh, roar, and be diversified with a thousand characteristic incidents and gleams and shadows, that you see nothing of here. The people seems to have no part even in its own gatherings. It comes together merely as a mass of spectators, and must not so much as amuse itself by any activity of mind.

The race, which was the attraction that drew us all together, turned out a very pitiful affair. When we had waited till nearly dusk, the street being thronged quite across, insomuch that it seemed impossible that it should be cleared as a race-course, there came suddenly from every throat a quick, sharp exclamation, combining into a general shout. Immediately the crowd pressed back on each side of the street; a moment afterwards, there was a rapid pattering of hoofs over the earth with which the pavement was strewn, and I saw the head and back of a horse rushing past. A few seconds more, and another horse followed; and at another little interval, a third. This was all that we had waited for; all that I saw, or anybody else, except those who stood on the utmost verge of the course, at the risk of being trampled down and killed. Two men were killed in this way on Thursday, and certainly human life was never spent for a poorer object. The spectators at the windows, to be sure, having the horses in sight for a longer time, might get a little more enjoyment out of the affair. By the by, the most picturesque aspect of the scene was the life given to it by the many faces, some of them fair ones, that looked out from window and balcony, all along the curving line of lofty palaces and edifices, between which the race-course lay; and from nearly every window, and over every balcony, was flung a silken texture, or cloth of brilliant line, or piece of tapestry or carpet, or whatever adornment of the kind could be had, so as to dress up the street in gala attire. But, the Feast of St. John, like the Carnival, is but a meagre semblance of festivity, kept alive factitiously, and dying a lingering death of centuries. It takes the exuberant mind and heart of a people to keep its holidays alive.

I do not know whether there be any populace in Florence, but I saw none that I recognized as such, on this occasion. All the people were respectably dressed and perfectly well behaved; and soldiers and priests were scattered abundantly among the throng. On my way home, I saw the Teatro Goldoni, which is in our own street, lighted up for a representation this Sunday evening. It shocked my New England prejudices a little.

Thus forenoon, my wife and I went to the Church of Santa Croce, the great monumental deposit of Florentine worthies. The piazza before it is a wide, gravelled square, where the liberty of Florence, if it really ever had any genuine liberty, came into existence some hundreds of years ago, by the people's taking its own rights into its hands, and putting its own immediate will in execution. The piazza has not much appearance of antiquity, except that the facade of one of the houses is quite covered with ancient frescos, a good deal faded and obliterated, yet with traces enough of old glory to show that the colors must have been well laid on.

The front of the church, the foundation of which was laid six centuries ago, is still waiting for its casing of marbles, and I suppose will wait forever, though a carpenter's staging is now erected before it, as if with the purpose of doing something.

The interior is spacious, the length of the church being between four and five hundred feet. There is a nave, roofed with wooden cross-beams, lighted by a clere-story and supported on each side by seven great pointed arches, which rest upon octagonal pillars. The octagon seems to be a favorite shape in Florence. These pillars were clad in yellow and scarlet damask, in honor of the Feast of St. John. The aisles, on each side of the nave, are lighted with high and somewhat narrow windows of painted glass, the effect of which, however, is much diminished by the flood of common daylight that comes in through the windows of the clere-story. It is like admitting too much of the light of reason and worldly intelligence into the mind, instead of illuminating it wholly through a religious medium. The many-hued saints and angels lose their mysterious effulgence, when we get white light enough, and find we see all the better without their help.

The main pavement of the church is brickwork; but it is inlaid with many sepulchral slabs of marble, on some of which knightly or priestly figures are sculptured in bas-relief. In both of the side aisles there are saintly shrines, alternating with mural monuments, some of which record names as illustrious as any in the world. As you enter, the first monument, on your right is that of Michael Angelo, occupying the ancient burial-site of his family. The general design is a heavy sarcophagus of colored marble, with the figures of Sculpture, Painting, and Architecture as mourners, and Michael Angelo's bust above, the whole assuming a pyramidal form. You pass a shrine, within its framework of marble pillars and a pediment, and come next to Dante's monument, a modern work, with likewise its sarcophagus, and some huge, cold images weeping and sprawling over it, and an unimpressive statue of Dante sitting above.

Another shrine intervenes, and next you see the tomb of Alfieri, erected to his memory by the Countess of Albany, who pays, out of a woman's love, the honor which his country owed him. Her own monument is in one of the chapels of the transept.

Passing the next shrine you see the tomb of Macchiavelli, which, I think, was constructed not many years after his death. The rest of the monuments, on this side of the church, commemorate people of less than world-wide fame; and though the opposite side has likewise a monument alternating with each shrine, I remember only the names of Raphael Morghen and of Galileo. The tomb of the latter is over against that of Michael Angelo, being the first large tomb on the left-hand wall as you enter the church. It has the usual heavy sarcophagus, surmounted by a bust of Galileo, in the habit of his time, and is, of course, duly provided with mourners in the shape of Science or Astronomy, or some such cold-hearted people. I wish every sculptor might be at once imprisoned for life who shall hereafter chisel an allegoric figure; and as for those who have sculptured them heretofore, let them be kept in purgatory till the marble shall have crumbled away. It is especially absurd to assign to this frozen sisterhood of the allegoric family the office of weeping for the dead, inasmuch as they have incomparably less feeling than a lump of ice, which might contrive to shed a tear if the sun shone on it. But they seem to let themselves out, like the hired mourners of an English funeral, for the very reason that, having no interest in the dead person, nor any affections or emotions whatever, it costs them no wear and tear of heart.

All round both transepts of the church there is a series of chapels, into most of which we went, and generally found an inscrutably dark picture over the altar, and often a marble bust or two, or perhaps a mediaeval statue of a saint or a modern monumental bas-relief in marble, as white as new-fallen snow. A chapel of the Bonapartes is here, containing memorials of two female members of the family. In several chapels, moreover, there were some of those distressing frescos, by Giotto, Cimabue, or their compeers, which, whenever I see them,—poor, faded relics, looking as if the Devil had been rubbing and scrubbing them for centuries, in spite against the saints,—my heart sinks and my stomach sickens. There is no other despondency like this; it is a new shade of human misery, akin to the physical disease that comes from dryrot in a wall. These frescos are to a church what dreary, old remembrances are to a mind; the drearier because they were once bright: Hope fading into Disappointment, Joy into Grief, and festal splendor passing into funereal duskiness, and saddening you all the more by the grim identity that you find to exist between gay things and sorrowful ones. Only wait long enough, and they turn out to be the very same.

All the time we were in the church some great religious ceremony had been going forward; the organ playing and the white-robed priests bowing, gesticulating, and making Latin prayers at the high altar, where at least a hundred wax tapers were burning in constellations. Everybody knelt, except ourselves, yet seemed not to be troubled by the echoes of our passing footsteps, nor to require that we should pray along with them. They consider us already lost irrevocably, no doubt, and therefore right enough in taking no heed of their devotions; not but what we took so much heed, however, as to give the smallest possible disturbance. By and by we sat down in the nave of the church till the ceremony should be concluded; and then my wife left me to go in quest of yet another chapel, where either Cimabue or Giotto, or both, have left some of their now ghastly decorations. While she was gone I threw my eyes about the church, and came to the conclusion that, in spite of its antiquity, its size, its architecture, its painted windows, its tombs of great men, and all the reverence and interest that broods over them, it is not an impressive edifice. Any little Norman church in England would impress me as much, and more. There is something, I do not know what, but it is in the region of the heart, rather than in the intellect, that Italian architecture, of whatever age or style, never seems to reach.

Leaving the Santa Croce, we went next in quest of the Riccardi Palace. On our way, in the rear of the Grand Ducal Piazza, we passed by the Bargello, formerly the palace of the Podesta of Florence, and now converted into a prison. It is an immense square edifice of dark stone, with a tall, lank tower rising high above it at one corner. Two stone lions, symbols of the city, lash their tails and glare at the passers-by; and all over the front of the building windows are scattered irregularly, and grated with rusty iron bars; also there are many square holes, which probably admit a little light and a breath or two of air into prisoners' cells. It is a very ugly edifice, but looks antique, and as if a vast deal of history might have been transacted within it, or have beaten, like fierce blasts, against its dark, massive walls, since the thirteenth century. When I first saw the city it struck me that there were few marks of antiquity in Florence; but I am now inclined to think otherwise, although the bright Italian atmosphere, and the general squareness and monotony of the Italian architecture, have their effect in apparently modernizing everything. But everywhere we see the ponderous Tuscan basements that never can decay, and which will look, five hundred years hence, as they look now; and one often passes beneath an abbreviated remnant of what was once a lofty tower, perhaps three hundred feet high, such as used to be numerous in Florence when each noble of the city had his own warfare to wage; and there are patches of sculpture that look old on houses, the modern stucco of which causes them to look almost new. Here and there an unmistakable antiquity stands in its own impressive shadow; the Church of Or San Michele, for instance, once a market, but which grew to be a church by some inherent fitness and inevitable consecration. It has not the least the aspect of a church, being high and square, like a mediaeval palace; but deep and high niches are let into its walls, within which stand great statues of saints, masterpieces of Donatello, and other sculptors of that age, before sculpture began to be congealed by the influence of Greek art.

The Riccardi Palace is at the corner of the Via Larga. It was built by the first Cosmo de' Medici, the old banker, more than four centuries ago, and was long the home of the ignoble race of princes which he left behind him. It looks fit to be still the home of a princely race, being nowise dilapidated nor decayed externally, nor likely to be so, its high Tuscan basement being as solid as a ledge of rock, and its upper portion not much less so, though smoothed into another order of stately architecture. Entering its court from the Via Larga, we found ourselves beneath a pillared arcade, passing round the court like a cloister; and on the walls of the palace, under this succession of arches, were statues, bas-reliefs, and sarcophagi, in which, first, dead Pagans had slept, and then dead Christians, before the sculptured coffins were brought hither to adorn the palace of the Medici. In the most prominent place was a Latin inscription of great length and breadth, chiefly in praise of old Cosino and his deeds and wisdom. This mansion gives the visitor a stately notion of the life of a commercial man in the days when merchants were princes; not that it seems to be so wonderfully extensive, nor so very grand, for I suppose there are a dozen Roman palaces that excel it in both these particulars. Still, we cannot but be conscious that it must have been, in some sense, a great man who thought of founding a homestead like this, and was capable of filling it with his personality, as the hand fills a glove. It has been found spacious enough, since Cosmo's time, for an emperor and a pope and a king, all of whom have been guests in this house. After being the family mansion of the Medici for nearly two centuries, it was sold to the Riccardis, but was subsequently bought of then by the government, and it is now occupied by public offices and societies.

After sufficiently examining the court and its antiquities, we ascended a noble staircase that passes, by broad flights and square turns, to the region above the basement. Here the palace is cut up and portioned off into little rooms and passages, and everywhere there were desks, inkstands, and men, with pens in their fingers or behind their ears. We were shown into a little antique chapel, quite covered with frescos in the Giotto style, but painted by a certain Gozzoli. They were in pretty good preservation, and, in fact, I am wrong in comparing them to Giotto's works, inasmuch as there must have been nearly two hundred years between the two artists. The chapel was furnished with curiously carved old chairs, and looked surprisingly venerable within its little precinct.

We were next guided into the grand gallery, a hall of respectable size, with a frescoed ceiling, on which is represented the blue sky, and various members of the Medici family ascending through it by the help of angelic personages, who seem only to have waited for their society to be perfectly happy. At least, this was the meaning, so far as I could make it out. Along one side of the gallery were oil-pictures on looking-glasses, rather good than otherwise; but Rome, with her palaces and villas, takes the splendor out of all this sort of thing elsewhere.

On our way home, and on our own side of the Ponte Vecchio, we passed the Palazzo Guicciardini, the ancient residence of the historian of Italy, who was a politic statesman of his day, and probably as cruel and unprincipled as any of those whose deeds he has recorded. Opposite, across the narrow way, stands the house of Macchiavelli, who was his friend, and, I should judge, an honester man than he. The house is distinguished by a marble tablet, let into the wall, commemorative of Macchiavelli, but has nothing antique or picturesque about it, being in a continuous line with other smooth-faced and stuccoed edifices.

June 30th.—Yesterday, at three o'clock P. M., I went to see the final horse-race of the Feast of St. John, or rather to see the concourse of people and grandees whom it brought together. I took my stand in the vicinity of the spot whence the Grand Duke and his courtiers view the race, and from this point the scene was rather better worth looking at than from the street-corners whence I saw it before. The vista of the street, stretching far adown between two rows of lofty edifices, was really gay and gorgeous with the silks, damasks, and tapestries of all bright hues, that flaunted from windows and balconies, whence ladies looked forth and looked down, themselves making the liveliest part of the show. The whole capacity of the street swarmed with moving heads, leaving scarce room enough for the carriages, which, as on Sunday, passed up and down, until the signal for the race was given. Equipages, too, were constantly arriving at the door of the building which communicates with the open loggia, where the Grand Ducal party sit to see and to be seen. Two sentinels were standing at the door, and presented arms as each courtier or ambassador, or whatever dignity it might be, alighted. Most of them had on gold-embroidered court-dresses; some of them had military uniforms, and medals in abundance at the breast; and ladies also came, looking like heaps of lace and gauze in the carriages, but lightly shaking themselves into shape as they went up the steps. By and by a trumpet sounded, a drum beat, and again appeared a succession of half a dozen royal equipages, each with its six horses, its postilion, coachman, and three footmen, grand with cocked hats and embroidery; and the gray-headed, bowing Grand Duke and his nodding Grand Duchess as before. The Noble Guard ranged themselves on horseback opposite the loggia; but there was no irksome and impertinent show of ceremony and restraint upon the people. The play-guard of volunteer soldiers, who escort the President of the United States in his Northern progresses, keep back their fellow-citizens much more sternly and immitigably than the Florentine guard kept back the populace from its despotic sovereign.

This morning J——- and I have been to the Uffizi gallery. It was his first visit there, and he passed a sweeping condemnation upon everything he saw, except a fly, a snail-shell, a caterpillar, a lemon, a piece of bread, and a wineglass, in some of the Dutch pictures. The Venus de' Medici met with no sort of favor. His feeling of utter distaste reacted upon me, and I was sensible of the same weary lack of appreciation that used to chill me through, in my earlier visits to picture-galleries; the same doubt, moreover, whether we do not bamboozle ourselves in the greater part of the admiration which we learn to bestow. I looked with some pleasure at one of Correggio's Madonnas in the Tribune,—no divine and deep-thoughted mother of the Saviour, but a young woman playing with her first child, as gay and thoughtless as itself. I looked at Michael Angelo's Madonna, in which William Ware saw such prophetic depth of feeling; but I suspect it was one of the many instances in which the spectator sees more than the painter ever dreamed of.

Straying through the city, after leaving the gallery, we went into the Church of Or San Michele, and saw in its architecture the traces of its transformation from a market into a church. In its pristine state it consisted of a double row of three great open arches, with the wind blowing through them, and the sunshine falling aslantwise into them, while the bustle of the market, the sale of fish, flesh, or fruit went on within, or brimmed over into the streets that enclosed them on every side. But, four or five hundred years ago, the broad arches were built up with stone-work; windows were pierced through and filled with painted glass; a high altar, in a rich style of pointed Gothic, was raised; shrines and confessionals were set up; and here it is, a solemn and antique church, where a man may buy his salvation instead of his dinner. At any rate, the Catholic priests will insure it to him, and take the price. The sculpture within the beautifully decorated niches, on the outside of the church, is very curious and interesting. The statues of those old saints seem to have that charm of earnestness which so attracts the admirers of the Pre-Raphaelite painters.

It appears that a picture of the Virgin used to hang against one of the pillars of the market-place while it was still a market, and in the year 1291 several miracles were wrought by it, insomuch that a chapel was consecrated for it. So many worshippers came to the shrine that the business of the market was impeded, and ultimately the Virgin and St. Michael won the whole space for themselves. The upper part of the edifice was at that time a granary, and is still used for other than religious purposes. This church was one spot to which the inhabitants betook themselves much for refuge and divine assistance during the great plague described by Boccaccio.

July 2d.—We set out yesterday morning to visit the Palazzo Buonarotti, Michael Angelo's ancestral home. . . . It is in the Via Ghibellina, an ordinary-looking, three-story house, with broad-brimmed eaves, a stuccoed front, and two or three windows painted in fresco, besides the real ones. Adown the street, there is a glimpse of the hills outside of Florence. The sun shining heavily directly upon the front, we rang the door-bell, and then drew back into the shadow that fell from the opposite side of the street. After we had waited some time a man looked out from an upper window, and a woman from a lower one, and informed us that we could not be admitted now, nor for two or three months to come, the house being under repairs. It is a pity, for I wished to see Michael Angelo's sword and walking-stick and old slippers, and whatever other of his closest personalities are to be shown. . . .

We passed into the Piazza of the Grand Duke, and looked into the court of the Palazzo Vecchio, with its beautifully embossed pillars; and, seeing just beyond the court a staircase of broad and easy steps, we ascended it at a venture. Upward and upward we went, flight after flight of stairs, and through passages, till at last we found an official who ushered us into a large saloon. It was the Hall of Audience. Its heavily embossed ceiling, rich with tarnished gold, was a feature of antique magnificence, and the only one that it retained, the floor being paved with tiles and the furniture scanty or none. There were, however, three cabinets standing against the walls, two of which contained very curious and exquisite carvings and cuttings in ivory; some of them in the Chinese style of hollow, concentric balls; others, really beautiful works of art: little crucifixes, statues, saintly and knightly, and cups enriched with delicate bas-reliefs. The custode pointed to a small figure of St. Sebastian, and also to a vase around which the reliefs seemed to assume life. Both these specimens, he said, were by Benvenuto Cellini, and there were many others that might well have been wrought by his famous hand. The third cabinet contained a great number and variety of crucifixes, chalices, and whatever other vessels are needed in altar service, exquisitely carved out of amber. They belong to the chapel of the palace, and into this holy closet we were now conducted. It is large enough to accommodate comfortably perhaps thirty worshippers, and is quite covered with frescos by Ghirlandaio in good preservation, and with remnants enough of gilding and bright color to show how splendid the chapel must have been when the Medicean Grand Dukes used to pray here. The altar is still ready for service, and I am not sure that some of the wax tapers were not burning; but Lorenzo the Magnificent was nowhere to be seen.

The custode now led us back through the Hall of Audience into a smaller room, hung with pictures chiefly of the Medici and their connections, among whom was one Carolina, an intelligent and pretty child, and Bianca Capella.

There was nothing else to show us, except a very noble and most spacious saloon, lighted by two large windows at each end, coming down level with the floor, and by a row of windows on one side just beneath the cornice. A gilded framework divides the ceiling into squares, circles, and octagons, the compartments of which are filled with pictures in oil; and the walls are covered with immense frescos, representing various battles and triumphs of the Florentines. Statues by Michael Angelo, John of Bologna, and Bandinello, as well historic as ideal, stand round the hall, and it is really a fit theatre for the historic scenes of a country to be acted in. It was built, moreover, with the idea of its being the council-hall of a free people; but our own little Faneuil, which was meant, in all simplicity, to be merely a spot where the townspeople should meet to choose their selectmen, has served the world better in that respect. I wish I had more room to speak of this vast, dusky, historic hall. [This volume of journal closes here.]

July 4th 1858.—Yesterday forenoon we went to see the Church of Santa Maria Novella. We found the piazza, on one side of which the church stands, encumbered with the amphitheatrical ranges of wooden seats that had been erected to accommodate the spectators of the chariot-races, at the recent Feast of St. John. The front of the church is composed of black and white marble, which, in the course of the five centuries that it has been built, has turned brown and yellow. On the right hand, as you approach, is a long colonnade of arches, extending on a line with the facade, and having a tomb beneath every arch. This colonnade forms one of the enclosing walls of a cloister. We found none of the front entrances open, but on our left, in a wall at right angles with the church, there was an open gateway, approaching which, we saw, within the four-sided colonnade, an enclosed green space of a cloister. This is what is called the Chiostro Verde, so named from the prevailing color of the frescos with which the walls beneath the arches are adorned.

This cloister is the reality of what I used to imagine when I saw the half-ruinous colonnades connected with English cathedrals, or endeavored to trace out the lines along the broken wall of some old abbey. Not that this extant cloister, still perfect and in daily use for its original purposes, is nearly so beautiful as the crumbling ruin which has ceased to be trodden by monkish feet for more than three centuries. The cloister of Santa Maria has not the seclusion that is desirable, being open, by its gateway, to the public square; and several of the neighbors, women as well as men, were loitering within its precincts. The convent, however, has another and larger cloister, which I suppose is kept free from interlopers. The Chiostro Verde is a walk round the four sides of a square, beneath an arched and groined roof. One side of the walk looks upon an enclosed green space with a fountain or a tomb (I forget which) in the centre; the other side is ornamented all along with a succession of ancient frescos, representing subjects of Scripture history. In the days when the designs were more distinct than now, it must have been a very effective way for a monk to read Bible history, to see its personages and events thus passing visibly beside him in his morning and evening walks. Beneath the frescos on one side of the cloistered walk, and along the low stone parapet that separates it from the grass-plat on the other, are inscriptions to the memory of the dead who are buried underneath the pavement. The most of these were modern, and recorded the names of persons of no particular note. Other monumental slabs were inlaid with the pavement itself. Two or three Dominican monks, belonging to the convent, passed in and out, while we were there, in their white habits.

After going round three sides, we came to the fourth, formed by the wall of the church, and heard the voice of a priest behind a curtain that fell down before a door. Lifting it aside, we went in, and found ourselves in the ancient chapter-house, a large interior formed by two great pointed arches crossing one another in a groined roof. The broad spaces of the walls were entirely covered with frescos that are rich even now, and must have glowed with an inexpressible splendor, when fresh from the artists' hands, five hundred years ago. There is a long period, during which frescos illuminate a church or a hall in a way that no other adornment can; when this epoch of brightness is past, they become the dreariest ghosts of perished magnificence. . . . This chapter-house is the only part of the church that is now used for the purposes of public worship. There are several confessionals, and two chapels or shrines, each with its lighted tapers. A priest performed mass while we were there, and several persons, as usual, stepped in to do a little devotion, either praying on their own account, or uniting with the ceremony that was going forward. One man was followed by two little dogs, and in the midst of his prayers, as one of the dogs was inclined to stray about the church, he kept snapping his fingers to call him back. The cool, dusky refreshment of these holy places, affording such a refuge from the hot noon of the streets and piazzas, probably suggests devotional ideas to the people, and it may be, when they are praying, they feel a breath of Paradise fanning them. If we could only see any good effects in their daily life, we might deem it an excellent thing to be able to find incense and a prayer always ascending, to which every individual may join his own. I really wonder that the Catholics are not better men and women.

When we had looked at the old frescos, . . . . we emerged into the cloister again, and thence ventured into a passage which would have led us to the Chiostro Grande, where strangers, and especially ladies, have no right to go. It was a secluded corridor, very neatly kept, bordered with sepulchral monuments, and at the end appeared a vista of cypress-trees, which indeed were but an illusory perspective, being painted in fresco. While we loitered along the sacristan appeared and offered to show us the church, and led us into the transept on the right of the high altar, and ushered us into the sacristy, where we found two artists copying some of Fra Angelico's pictures. These were painted on the three wooden leaves of a triptych, and, as usual, were glorified with a great deal of gilding, so that they seemed to float in the brightness of a heavenly element. Solomon speaks of "apples of gold in pictures of silver." The pictures of Fra Angelico, and other artists of that age, are really pictures of gold; and it is wonderful to see how rich the effect, and how much delicate beauty is attained (by Fra Angelico at least) along with it. His miniature-heads appear to me much more successful than his larger ones. In a monkish point of view, however, the chief value of the triptych of which I am speaking does not lie in the pictures, for they merely serve as the framework of some relics, which are set all round the edges of the three leaves. They consist of little bits and fragments of bones, and of packages carefully tied up in silk, the contents of which are signified in Gothic letters appended to each parcel. The sacred vessels of the church are likewise kept in the sacristy. . . .

Re-entering the transept, our guide showed us the chapel of the Strozzi family, which is accessible by a flight of steps from the floor of the church. The walls of this chapel are covered with frescos by Orcagna, representing around the altar the Last Judgment, and on one of the walls heaven and the assembly of the blessed, and on the other, of course, hell. I cannot speak as to the truth of the representation; but, at all events, it was purgatory to look at it. . . .

We next passed into the choir, which occupies the extreme end of the church behind the great square mass of the high altar, and is surrounded with a double row of ancient oaken seats of venerable shape and carving. The choir is illuminated by a threefold Gothic window, full of richly painted glass, worth all the frescos that ever stained a wall or ceiling; but these walls, nevertheless, are adorned with frescos by Ghirlandaio, and it is easy to see must once have made a magnificent appearance. I really was sensible of a sad and ghostly beauty in many of the figures; but all the bloom, the magic of the painter's touch, his topmost art, have long ago been rubbed off, the white plaster showing through the colors in spots, and even in large spaces. Any other sort of ruin acquires a beauty proper to its decay, and often superior to that of its pristine state; but the ruin of a picture, especially of a fresco, is wholly unredeemed; and, moreover, it dies so slowly that many generations are likely to be saddened by it.

We next saw the famous picture of the Virgin by Cimabue, which was deemed a miracle in its day, . . . . and still brightens the sombre walls with the lustre of its gold ground. As to its artistic merits, it seems to me that the babe Jesus has a certain air of state and dignity; but I could see no charm whatever in the broad-faced Virgin, and it would relieve my mind and rejoice my spirit if the picture were borne out of the church in another triumphal procession (like the one which brought it there), and reverently burnt. This should be the final honor paid to all human works that have served a good office in their day, for when their day is over, if still galvanized into false life, they do harm instead of good. . . . . The interior of Santa Maria Novella is spacious and in the Gothic style, though differing from English churches of that order of architecture. It is not now kept open to the public, nor were any of the shrines and chapels, nor even the high altar itself, adorned and lighted for worship. The pictures that decorated the shrines along the side aisles have been removed, leaving bare, blank spaces of brickwork, very dreary and desolate to behold. This is almost worse than a black oil-painting or a faded fresco. The church was much injured by the French, and afterwards by the Austrians, both powers having quartered their troops within the holy precincts. Its old walls, however, are yet stalwart enough to outlast another set of frescos, and to see the beginning and the end of a new school of painting as long-lived as Cimabue's. I should be sorry to have the church go to decay, because it was here that Boccaccio's dames and cavaliers encountered one another, and formed their plan of retreating into the country during the plague. . . .

At the door we bought a string of beads, with a small crucifix appended, in memory of the place. The beads seem to be of a grayish, pear-shaped seed, and the seller assured us that they were the tears of St. Job. They were cheap, probably because Job shed so many tears in his lifetime.

It being still early in the day, we went to the Uffizi gallery, and after loitering a good while among the pictures, were so fortunate as to find the room of the bronzes open. The first object that attracted us was John of Bologna's Mercury, poising himself on tiptoe, and looking not merely buoyant enough to float, but as if he possessed more than the eagle's power of lofty flight. It seems a wonder that he did not absolutely fling himself into the air when the artist gave him the last touch. No bolder work was ever achieved; nothing so full of life has been done since. I was much interested, too, in the original little wax model, two feet high, of Benvenuto Cellini's Perseus. The wax seems to be laid over a wooden framework, and is but roughly finished off. . . .

In an adjoining room are innumerable specimens of Roman and Etruscan bronzes, great and small. A bronze Chimera did not strike me as very ingeniously conceived, the goat's head being merely an adjunct, growing out of the back of the monster, without possessing any original and substantive share in its nature. The snake's head is at the end of the tail. The object most really interesting was a Roman eagle, the standard of the Twenty-fourth Legion, about the size of a blackbird.

July 8th.—On the 6th we went to the Church of the Annunziata, which stands in the piazza of the same name. On the corner of the Via dei Servi is the palace which I suppose to be the one that Browning makes the scene of his poem, "The Statue and the Bust," and the statue of Duke Ferdinand sits stately on horseback, with his face turned towards the window, where the lady ought to appear. Neither she nor the bust, however, was visible, at least not to my eyes. The church occupies one side of the piazza, and in front of it, as likewise on the two adjoining sides of the square, there are pillared arcades, constructed by Brunelleschi or his scholars. After passing through these arches, and still before entering the church itself, you come to an ancient cloister, which is now quite enclosed in glass as a means of preserving some frescos of Andrea del Sarto and others, which are considered valuable.

Passing the threshold of the church, we were quite dazzled by the splendor that shone upon us from the ceiling of the nave, the great parallelograms of which, viewed from one end, look as if richly embossed all over with gold. The whole interior, indeed, has an effect of brightness and magnificence, the walls being covered mostly with light-colored marble, into which are inlaid compartments of rarer and richer marbles. The pillars and pilasters, too, are of variegated marbles, with Corinthian capitals, that shine just as brightly as if they were of solid gold, so faithfully have they been gilded and burnished. The pavement is formed of squares of black and white marble. There are no side aisles, but ranges of chapels, with communication from one to another, stand round the whole extent of the nave and choir; all of marble, all decorated with pictures, statues, busts, and mural monuments; all worth, separately, a day's inspection. The high altar is of great beauty and richness, . . . . and also the tomb of John of Bologna in a chapel at the remotest extremity of the church. In this chapel there are some bas-reliefs by him, and also a large crucifix, with a marble Christ upon it. I think there has been no better sculptor since the days of Phidias. . . .

The church was founded by seven gentlemen of Florence, who formed themselves into a religious order called "Servants of Mary." Many miraculous cures were wrought here; and the church, in consequence, was so thickly hung with votive offerings of legs, arms, and other things in wax, that they used to tumble upon people's heads, so that finally they were all cleared out as rubbish. The church is still, I should imagine, looked upon as a place of peculiar sanctity; for while we were there it had an unusual number of kneeling worshippers, and persons were passing from shrine to shrine all round the nave and choir, praying awhile at each, and thus performing a pilgrimage at little cost of time and labor. One old gentleman, I observed, carried a cushion or pad, just big enough for one knee, on which he carefully adjusted his genuflexions before each altar. An old woman in the choir prayed alternately to us and to the saints, with most success, I hope, in her petitions to the latter, though certainly her prayers to ourselves seemed the more fervent of the two.

When we had gone entirely round the church, we came at last to the chapel of the Annunziata, which stands on the floor of the nave, on the left hand as we enter. It is a very beautiful piece of architecture,—a sort of canopy of marble, supported upon pillars; and its magnificence within, in marble and silver, and all manner of holy decoration, is quite indescribable. It was built four hundred years ago, by Pietro de' Medici, and has probably been growing richer ever since. The altar is entirely of silver, richly embossed. As many people were kneeling on the steps before it as could find room, and most of them, when they finished their prayers, ascended the steps, kissed over and over again the margin of the silver altar, laid their foreheads upon it, and then deposited an offering in a box placed upon the altar's top. From the dulness of the chink in the only case when I heard it, I judged it to be a small copper coin.

In the inner part of this chapel is preserved a miraculous picture of the "Santissima Annunziata," painted by angels, and held in such holy repute that forty thousand dollars have lately been expended in providing a new crown for the sacred personage represented. The picture is now veiled behind a curtain; and as it is a fresco, and is not considered to do much credit to the angelic artists, I was well contented not to see it.

We found a side door of the church admitting us into the great cloister, which has a walk of intersecting arches round its four sides, paved with flat tombstones, and broad enough for six people to walk abreast. On the walls, in the semicircles of each successive arch, are frescos representing incidents in the lives of the seven founders of the church, and all the lower part of the wall is incrusted with marble inscriptions to the memory of the dead, and mostly of persons who have died not very long ago. The space enclosed by the cloistered walk, usually made cheerful by green grass, has a pavement of tombstones laid in regular ranges. In the centre is a stone octagonal structure, which at first I supposed to be the tomb of some deceased mediaeval personage; but, on approaching, I found it a well, with its bucket hanging within the curb, and looking as if it were in constant use. The surface of the water lay deep beneath the deepest dust of the dead people, and thence threw up its picture of the sky; but I think it would not be a moderate thirst that would induce me to drink of that well.

On leaving the church we bought a little gilt crucifix. . . .

On Sunday evening I paid a short visit to Mr. Powers, and, as usual, was entertained and instructed with his conversation. It did not, indeed, turn upon artistical subjects; but the artistic is only one side of his character, and, I think, not the principal side. He might have achieved valuable success as an engineer and mechanician. He gave a dissertation on flying-machines, evidently from his own experience, and came to the conclusion that it is impossible to fly by means of steam or any other motive-power now known to man. No force hitherto attained would suffice to lift the engine which generated it. He appeared to anticipate that flying will be a future mode of locomotion, but not till the moral condition of mankind is so improved as to obviate the bad uses to which the power might be applied. Another topic discussed was a cure for complaints of the chest by the inhalation of nitric acid; and he produced his own apparatus for that purpose, being merely a tube inserted into a bottle containing a small quantity of the acid, just enough to produce the gas for inhalation. He told me, too, a remedy for burns accidentally discovered by himself; viz., to wear wash-leather, or something equivalent, over the burn, and keep it constantly wet. It prevents all pain, and cures by the exclusion of the air. He evidently has a great tendency to empirical remedies, and would have made a natural doctor of mighty potency, possessing the shrewd sense, inventive faculty, and self-reliance that such persons require. It is very singular that there should be an ideal vein in a man of this character.

This morning he called to see me, with intelligence of the failure of the new attempt to lay the electric cable between England and America; and here, too, it appears the misfortune might have been avoided if a plan of his own for laying the cable had been adopted. He explained his process, and made it seem as practicable as to put up a bell-wire. I do not remember how or why (but appositely) he repeated some verses, from a pretty little ballad about fairies, that had struck his fancy, and he wound up his talk with some acute observations on the characters of General Jackson and other public men. He told an anecdote, illustrating the old general's small acquaintance with astronomical science, and his force of will in compelling a whole dinner-party of better instructed people than himself to succumb to him in an argument about eclipses and the planetary system generally. Powers witnessed the scene himself. He thinks that General Jackson was a man of the keenest and surest intuitions, in respect to men and measures, but with no power of reasoning out his own conclusions, or of imparting them intellectually to other persons. Men who have known Jackson intimately, and in great affairs, would not agree as to this intellectual and argumentative deficiency, though they would fully allow the intuitive faculty. I have heard General Pierce tell a striking instance of Jackson's power of presenting his own view of a subject with irresistible force to the mind of the auditor. President Buchanan has likewise expressed to me as high admiration of Jackson as I ever heard one man award to another. Surely he was a great man, and his native strength, as well of intellect as character, compelled every man to be his tool that came within his reach; and the more cunning the individual might be, it served only to make him the sharper tool.

Speaking of Jackson, and remembering Raphael's picture of Pope Julius II., the best portrait in the whole world, and excellent in all its repetitions, I wish it had been possible for Raphael to paint General Jackson!

Referring again to General Jackson's intuitions, and to Powers's idea that he was unable to render a reason to himself or others for what he chose to do, I should have thought that this very probably might have been the case, were there not such strong evidence to the contrary. The highest, or perhaps any high administrative ability is intuitive, and precedes argument, and rises above it. It is a revelation of the very thing to be done, and its propriety and necessity are felt so strongly that very likely it cannot be talked about; if the doer can likewise talk, it is an additional and gratuitous faculty, as little to be expected as that a poet should be able to write an explanatory criticism on his own poem. The English overlook this in their scheme of government, which requires that the members of the national executive should be orators, and the readiest and most fluent orators that can be found. The very fact (on which they are selected) that they are men of words makes it improbable that they are likewise men of deeds. And it is only tradition and old custom, founded on an obsolete state of things, that assigns any value to parliamentary oratory. The world has done with it, except as an intellectual pastime. The speeches have no effect till they are converted into newspaper paragraphs; and they had better be composed as such, in the first place, and oratory reserved for churches, courts of law, and public dinner-tables.

July 10th.—My wife and I went yesterday forenoon to see the Church of San Marco, with which is connected a convent of Dominicans. . . . The interior is not less than three or four hundred years old, and is in the classic style, with a flat ceiling, gilded, and a lofty arch, supported by pillars, between the nave and choir. There are no side aisles, but ranges of shrines on both sides of the nave, each beneath its own pair of pillars and pediments. The pavement is of brick, with here and there a marble tombstone inlaid. It is not a magnificent church; but looks dingy with time and apparent neglect, though rendered sufficiently interesting by statues of mediaeval date by John of Bologna and other old sculptors, and by monumental busts and bas-reliefs: also, there is a wooden crucifix by Giotto, with ancient gilding on it; and a painting of Christ, which was considered a wonderful work in its day. Each shrine, or most of them, at any rate, had its dark old picture, and there is a very old and hideous mosaic of the Virgin and two saints, which I looked at very slightly, with the purpose of immediately forgetting it. Savonarola, the reforming monk, was a brother of this convent, and was torn from its shelter, to be subsequently hanged and burnt in the Grand Ducal Piazza. A large chapel in the left transept is of the Salviati family, dedicated to St. Anthony, and decorated with several statues of saints, and with some old frescos. When we had more than sufficiently examined these, the custode proposed to show us some frescos of Fra Angelico, and conducted us into a large cloister, under the arches of which, and beneath a covering of glass, he pointed to a picture of St. Dominic kneeling at the Cross. There are two or three others by the angelic friar in different parts of the cloister, and a regular series, filling up all the arches, by various artists. Its four-sided, cloistered walk surrounds a square, open to the sky as usual, and paved with gray stones that have no inscriptions, but probably are laid over graves. Its walls, however, are incrusted, and the walk itself is paved with monumental inscriptions on marble, none of which, so far as I observed, were of ancient date. Either the fashion of thus commemorating the dead is not ancient in Florence, or the old tombstones have been removed to make room for new ones. I do not know where the monks themselves have their burial-place; perhaps in an inner cloister, which we did not see. All the inscriptions here, I believe, were in memory of persons not connected with the convent.

A door in the wall of the cloister admitted us into the chapter-house, its interior moderately spacious, with a roof formed by intersecting arches. Three sides of the walls were covered with blessed whitewash; but on the fourth side, opposite to the entrance, was a great fresco of the Crucifixion, by Fra Angelico, surrounded with a border or pictured framework, in which are represented the heads of saints, prophets, and sibyls, as large as life. The cross of the Saviour and those of the thieves were painted against a dark red sky; the figures upon them were lean and attenuated, evidently the vague conceptions of a man who had never seen a naked figure. Beneath, was a multitude of people, most of whom were saints who had lived and been martyred long after the Crucifixion; and some of these had wounds from which gilded rays shone forth, as if the inner glory and blessedness of the holy men blazed through them. It is a very ugly picture, and its ugliness is not that of strength and vigor, but of weakness and incompetency. Fra Angelico should have confined himself to miniature heads, in which his delicacy of touch and minute labor often produce an excellent effect. The custode informed us that there were more frescos of this pious artist in the interior of the convent, into which I might be allowed admittance, but not my wife. I declined seeing them, and heartily thanked heaven for my escape.

Returning through the church, we stopped to look at a shrine on the right of the entrance, where several wax candles were lighted, and the steps of which were crowded with worshippers. It was evidently a spot of special sanctity, and, approaching the steps, we saw, behind a gilded framework of stars and protected by glass, a wooden image of the Saviour, naked, covered with spots of blood, crowned with thorns, and expressing all the human wretchedness that the carver's skill could represent. The whole shrine, within the glass, was hung with offerings, as well of silver and gold as of tinsel and trumpery, and the body of Christ glistened with gold chains and ornaments, and with watches of silver and gold, some of which appeared to be of very old manufacture, and others might be new. Amid all this glitter the face of pain and grief looked forth, not a whit comforted. While we stood there, a woman, who had been praying, arose from her knees and laid an offering of a single flower upon the shrine.

The corresponding arch, on the opposite side of the entrance, contained a wax-work within a large glass case, representing the Nativity. I do not remember how the Blessed Infant looked, but the Virgin was gorgeously dressed in silks, satins, and gauzes, with spangles and ornaments of all kinds, and, I believe, brooches of real diamonds on her bosom. Her attire, judging from its freshness and newness of glitter, might have been put on that very morning.

July 13th.—We went for the second time, this morning, to the Academy of Fine Arts, and I looked pretty thoroughly at the Pre-Raphaelite pictures, few of which are really worth looking at nowadays. Cimabue and Giotto might certainly be dismissed, henceforth and forever, without any detriment to the cause of good art. There is what seems to me a better picture than either of these has produced, by Bonamico Buffalmacco, an artist of about their date or not long after. The first real picture in the series is the "Adoration of the Magi," by Gentile da Fabriano, a really splendid work in all senses, with noble and beautiful figures in it, and a crowd of personages, managed with great skill. Three pictures by Perugino are the only other ones I cared to look at. In one of these, the face of the Virgin who holds the dead Christ on her knees has a deeper expression of woe than can ever have been painted since. After Perugino the pictures cease to be interesting; the art came forward with rapid strides, but the painters and their productions do not take nearly so much hold of the spectator as before. They all paint better than Giotto and Cimabue,—in some respects better than Perugino; but they paint in vain, probably because they were not nearly so much in earnest, and meant far less, though possessing the dexterity to express far more. Andrea del Sarto appears to have been a good painter, yet I always turn away readily from his pictures. I looked again, and for a good while, at Carlo Dolce's portrait of the Eternal Father, for it is a miracle and masterpiece of absurdity, and almost equally a miracle of pictorial art. It is the All-powerless, a fair-haired, soft, consumptive deity, with a mouth that has fallen open through very weakness. He holds one hand on his stomach, as if the wickedness and wretchedness of mankind made him qualmish; and he is looking down out of Heaven with an expression of pitiable appeal, or as if seeking somewhere for assistance in his heavy task of ruling the universe. You might fancy such a being falling on his knees before a strong-willed man, and beseeching him to take the reins of omnipotence out of his hands. No wonder that wrong gets the better of right, and that good and ill are confounded, if the Supreme Head were as here depicted; for I never saw, and nobody else ever saw, so perfect a representation of a person burdened with a task infinitely above his strength. If Carlo Dolce had been wicked enough to know what he was doing, the picture would have been most blasphemous,—a satire, in the very person of the Almighty, against all incompetent rulers, and against the rickety machine and crazy action of the universe. Heaven forgive me for such thoughts as this picture has suggested! It must be added that the great original defect in the character as here represented is an easy good-nature. I wonder what Michael Angelo would have said to this painting.

In the large, enclosed court connected with the Academy there are a number of statues, bas-reliefs, and casts, and what was especially interesting, the vague and rude commencement of a statue of St. Matthew by Michael Angelo. The conceptions of this great sculptor were so godlike that he seems to have been discontented at not likewise possessing the godlike attribute of creating and embodying them with an instantaneous thought, and therefore we often find sculptures from his hand left at the critical point of their struggle to get out of the marble. The statue of St. Matthew looks like the antediluvian fossil of a human being of an epoch when humanity was mightier and more majestic than now, long ago imprisoned in stone, and half uncovered again.

July 16th.—We went yesterday forenoon to see the Bargello. I do not know anything more picturesque in Florence than the great interior court of this ancient Palace of the Podesta, with the lofty height of the edifice looking down into the enclosed space, dark and stern, and the armorial bearings of a long succession of magistrates carved in stone upon the walls, a garland, as it were, of these Gothic devices extending quite round the court. The best feature of the whole is the broad stone staircase, with its heavy balustrade, ascending externally from the court to the iron-grated door in the second story. We passed the sentinels under the lofty archway that communicates with the street, and went up the stairs without being questioned or impeded. At the iron-grated door, however, we were met by two officials in uniform, who courteously informed us that there was nothing to be exhibited in the Bargello except an old chapel containing some frescos by Giotto, and that these could only be seen by making a previous appointment with the custode, he not being constantly on hand. I was not sorry to escape the frescos, though one of them is a portrait of Dante.

We next went to the Church of the Badia, which is built in the form of a Greek cross, with a flat roof embossed and once splendid with now tarnished gold. The pavement is of brick, and the walls of dark stone, similar to that of the interior of the cathedral (pietra serena), and there being, according to Florentine custom, but little light, the effect was sombre, though the cool gloomy dusk was refreshing after the hot turmoil and dazzle of the adjacent street. Here we found three or four Gothic tombs, with figures of the deceased persons stretched in marble slumber upon them. There were likewise a picture or two, which it was impossible to see; indeed, I have hardly ever met with a picture in a church that was not utterly wasted and thrown away in the deep shadows of the chapel it was meant to adorn. If there is the remotest chance of its being seen, the sacristan hangs a curtain before it for the sake of his fee for withdrawing it. In the chapel of the Bianco family we saw (if it could be called seeing) what is considered the finest oil-painting of Fra Filippo Lippi. It was evidently hung with reference to a lofty window on the other side of the church, whence sufficient light might fall upon it to show a picture so vividly painted as this is, and as most of Fra Filippo Lippi's are. The window was curtained, however, and the chapel so dusky that I could make out nothing.

Several persons came in to say their prayers during the little time that we remained in the church, and as we came out we passed a good woman who sat knitting in the coolness of the vestibule, which was lined with mural tombstones. Probably she spends the day thus, keeping up the little industry of her fingers, slipping into the church to pray whenever a devotional impulse swells into her heart, and asking an alms as often as she sees a person of charitable aspect.

From the church we went to the Uffizi gallery, and reinspected the greater part of it pretty faithfully. We had the good fortune, too, again to get admittance into the cabinet of bronzes, where we admired anew the wonderful airiness of John of Bologna's Mercury, which, as I now observed, rests on nothing substantial, but on the breath of a zephyr beneath him. We also saw a bronze bust of one of the Medici by Benvenuto Cellini, and a thousand other things the curiosity of which is overlaid by their multitude. The Roman eagle, which I have recorded to be about the size of a blackbird, I now saw to be as large as a pigeon.

On our way towards the door of the gallery, at our departure, we saw the cabinet of gems open, and again feasted our eyes with its concentrated brilliancies and magnificences. Among them were two crystal cups, with engraved devices, and covers of enamelled gold, wrought by Benvenuto Cellini, and wonderfully beautiful. But it is idle to mention one or two things, when all are so beautiful and curious; idle, too, because language is not burnished gold, with here and there a brighter word flashing like a diamond; and therefore no amount of talk will give the slightest idea of one of these elaborate handiworks.

July 27th.—I seldom go out nowadays, having already seen Florence tolerably well, and the streets being very hot, and myself having been engaged in sketching out a romance [The Marble Faun.—ED.], which whether it will ever come to anything is a point yet to be decided. At any rate, it leaves me little heart for journalizing and describing new things; and six months of uninterrupted monotony would be more valuable to me just now, than the most brilliant succession of novelties.

Yesterday I spent a good deal of time in watching the setting out of a wedding party from our door; the bride being the daughter of an English lady, the Countess of ———. After all, there was nothing very characteristic. The bridegroom is a young man of English birth, son of the Countess of St. G———, who inhabits the third piano of this Casa del Bello. The very curious part of the spectacle was the swarm of beggars who haunted the street all day; the most wretched mob conceivable, chiefly women, with a few blind people, and some old men and boys. Among these the bridal party distributed their beneficence in the shape of some handfuls of copper, with here and there a half-paul intermixed; whereupon the whole wretched mob flung themselves in a heap upon the pavement, struggling, lighting, tumbling one over another, and then looking up to the windows with petitionary gestures for more and more, and still for more. Doubtless, they had need enough, for they looked thin, sickly, ill-fed, and the women ugly to the last degree. The wedding party had a breakfast above stairs, which lasted till four o'clock, and then the bridegroom took his bride in a barouche and pair, which was already crammed with his own luggage and hers. . . . He was a well-looking young man enough, in a uniform of French gray with silver epaulets; more agreeable in aspect than his bride, who, I think, will have the upper hand in their domestic life. I observed that, on getting into the barouche, he sat down on her dress, as he could not well help doing, and received a slight reprimand in consequence. After their departure, the wedding guests took their leave; the most noteworthy person being the Pope's Nuncio (the young man being son of the Pope's Chamberlain, and one of the Grand Duke's Noble Guard), an ecclesiastical personage in purple stockings, attended by two priests, all of whom got into a coach, the driver and footmen of which wore gold-laced cocked hats and other splendors.

To-day I paid a short visit to the gallery of the Pitti Palace. I looked long at a Madonna of Raphael's, the one which is usually kept in the Grand Duke's private apartments, only brought into the public gallery for the purpose of being copied. It is the holiest of all Raphael's Madonnas, with a great reserve in the expression, a sense of being apart, and yet with the utmost tenderness and sweetness; although she drops her eyelids before her like a veil, as it were, and has a primness of eternal virginity about the mouth. It is one of Raphael's earlier works, when he mixed more religious sentiment with his paint than afterwards. Perugino's pictures give the impression of greater sincerity and earnestness than Raphael's, though the genius of Raphael often gave him miraculous vision.

July 28th.—Last evening we went to the Powers's, and sat with them on the terrace, at the top of the house, till nearly ten o'clock. It was a delightful, calm, summer evening, and we were elevated far above all the adjacent roofs, and had a prospect of the greater part of Florence and its towers, and the surrounding hills, while directly beneath us rose the trees of a garden, and they hardly sent their summits higher than we sat. At a little distance, with only a house or two between, was a theatre in full action, the Teatro Goldoni, which is an open amphitheatre, in the ancient fashion, without any roof. We could see the upper part of the proscenium, and, had we been a little nearer, might have seen the whole performance, as did several boys who crept along the tops of the surrounding houses. As it was, we heard the music and the applause, and now and then an actor's stentorian tones, when we chose to listen. Mrs. P——— and my wife, U—— and Master Bob, sat in a group together, and chatted in one corner of our aerial drawing-room, while Mr. Powers and myself leaned against the parapet, and talked of innumerable things. When the clocks struck the hour, or the bells rang from the steeples, as they are continually doing, I spoke of the sweetness of the Florence bells, the tones of some of them being as if the bell were full of liquid melody, and shed it through the air on being upturned. I had supposed, in my lack of musical ear, that the bells of the Campanile were the sweetest; but Mr. Powers says that there is a defect in their tone, and that the bell of the Palazzo Vecchio is the most melodious he ever heard. Then he spoke of his having been a manufacturer of organs, or, at least, of reeds for organs, at one period of his life. I wonder what he has not been! He told me of an invention of his in the musical line, a jewsharp with two tongues; and by and by he produced it for my inspection. It was carefully kept in a little wooden case, and was very neatly and elaborately constructed, with screws to tighten it, and a silver centre-piece between the two tongues. Evidently a great deal of thought had been bestowed on this little harp; but Mr. Powers told me that it was an utter failure, because the tongues were apt to interfere and jar with one another, although the strain of music was very sweet and melodious— as he proved, by playing on it a little—when everything went right. It was a youthful production, and he said that its failure had been a great disappointment to him at the time; whereupon I congratulated him that his failures had been in small matters, and his successes in great ones.

We talked, furthermore, about instinct and reason, and whether the brute creation have souls, and, if they have none, how justice is to be done them for their sufferings here; and Mr. Powers came finally to the conclusion that brutes suffer only in appearance, and that God enjoys for them all that they seem to enjoy, and that man is the only intelligent and sentient being. We reasoned high about other states of being; and I suggested the possibility that there might be beings inhabiting this earth, contemporaneously with us, and close beside us, but of whose existence and whereabout we could have no perception, nor they of ours, because we are endowed with different sets of senses; for certainly it was in God's power to create beings who should communicate with nature by innumerable other senses than those few which we possess. Mr. Powers gave hospitable reception to this idea, and said that it had occurred to himself; and he has evidently thought much and earnestly about such matters; but is apt to let his idea crystallize into a theory, before he can have sufficient data for it. He is a Swedenborgian in faith.

The moon had risen behind the trees, while we were talking, and Powers intimated his idea that beings analogous to men—men in everything except the modifications necessary to adapt them to their physical circumstances—inhabited the planets, and peopled them with beautiful shapes. Each planet, however, must have its own standard of the beautiful, I suppose; and probably his sculptor's eye would not see much to admire in the proportions of an inhabitant of Saturn.

The atmosphere of Florence, at least when we ascend a little way into it, suggests planetary speculations. Galileo found it so, and Mr. Powers and I pervaded the whole universe; but finally crept down his garret-stairs, and parted, with a friendly pressure of the hand.


August 2d.—We had grown weary of the heat of Florence within the walls, . . . . there being little opportunity for air and exercise except within the precincts of our little garden, which, also, we feared might breed malaria, or something akin to it. We have therefore taken this suburban villa for the two next months, and, yesterday morning, we all came out hither. J——- had preceded us with B. P———. The villa is on a hill called Bellosguardo, about a mile beyond the Porta Romana. Less than half an hour's walk brought us, who were on foot, to the iron gate of our villa, which we found shut and locked. We shouted to be let in, and while waiting for somebody to appear, there was a good opportunity to contemplate the external aspect of the villa. After we had waited a few minutes, J——- came racing down to the gate, laughing heartily, and said that Bob and he had been in the house, but had come out, shutting the door behind them; and as the door closed with a springlock, they could not get in again. Now as the key of the outer gate as well as that of the house itself was in the pocket of J——-'s coat, left inside, we were shut out of our own castle, and compelled to carry on a siege against it, without much likelihood of taking it, although the garrison was willing to surrender. But B. P——— called in the assistance of the contadini who cultivate the ground, and live in the farm-house close by; and one of them got into a window by means of a ladder, so that the keys were got, the gates opened, and we finally admitted. Before examining any other part of the house, we climbed to the top of the tower, which, indeed, is not very high, in proportion to its massive square. Very probably, its original height was abbreviated, in compliance with the law that lowered so many of the fortified towers of noblemen within the walls of Florence. . . . The stairs were not of stone, built in with the original mass of the tower, as in English castles, but of now decayed wood, which shook beneath us, and grew more and more crazy as we ascended. It will not be many years before the height of the tower becomes unattainable. . . . Near at hand, in the vicinity of the city, we saw the convent of Monte Olivetto, and other structures that looked like convents, being built round an enclosed square; also numerous white villas, many of which had towers, like that we were standing upon, square and massive, some of them battlemented on the summit, and others apparently modernized for domestic purposes. Among them U—— pointed out Galileo's tower, whither she made an excursion the other day. It looked lower than our own, but seemed to stand on a higher elevation. We also saw the duke's villa, the Poggio, with a long avenue of cypresses leading from it, as if a funeral were going forth. And having wasted thus much of description on the landscape, I will finish with saying that it lacked only water to be a very fine one. It is strange what a difference the gleam of water makes, and how a scene awakens and comes to life wherever it is visible. The landscape, moreover, gives the beholder (at least, this beholder) a sense of oppressive sunshine and scanty shade, and does not incite a longing to wander through it on foot, as a really delightful landscape should. The vine, too, being cultivated in so trim a manner, does not suggest that idea of luxuriant fertility, which is the poetical notion of a vineyard. The olive-orchards have a pale and unlovely hue. An English view would have been incomparably richer in its never-fading green; and in my own country, the wooded hills would have been more delightful than these peaks and ridges of dreary and barren sunshine; and there would have been the bright eyes of half a dozen little lakes, looking heavenward, within an extent like that of the Val d' Arno.

By and by mamma's carriage came along the dusty road, and passed through the iron gateway, which we had left open for her reception. We shouted down to her and R——-, and they waved their handkerchiefs upward to us; and, on my way down, I met R——- and the servant coming up through the ghostly rooms.

The rest of the day we spent mostly in exploring the premises. The house itself is of almost bewildering extent, insomuch that we might each of us have a suite of rooms individually. I have established myself on the ground-floor, where I have a dressing-room, a large vaulted saloon, hung with yellow damask, and a square writing-study, the walls and ceilings of the two latter apartments being ornamented with angels and cherubs aloft in fresco, and with temples, statues, vases, broken columns, peacocks, parrots, vines, and sunflowers below. I know not how many more saloons, anterooms, and sleeping-chambers there are on this same basement story, besides an equal number over them, and a great subterranean establishment. I saw some immense jars there, which I suppose were intended to hold oil; and iron kettles, for what purpose I cannot tell. There is also a chapel in the house, but it is locked up, and we cannot yet with certainty find the door of it, nor even, in this great wilderness of a house, decide absolutely what space the holy precincts occupy. Adjoining U——'s chamber, which is in the tower, there is a little oratory, hung round with sacred prints of very ancient date, and with crucifixes, holy-water vases, and other consecrated things; and here, within a glass case, there is the representation of an undraped little boy in wax, very prettily modelled, and holding up a heart that looks like a bit of red sealing-wax. If I had found him anywhere else I should have taken him for Cupid; but, being in an oratory, I presume him to have some religious signification. In the servants' room a crucifix hung on one side of the bed, and a little vase for holy water, now overgrown with a cobweb, on the other; and, no doubt, all the other sleeping-apartments would have been equally well provided, only that their occupants were to be heretics.

The lower floor of the house is tolerably furnished, and looks cheerful with its frescos, although the bare pavements in every room give an impression of discomfort. But carpets are universally taken up in Italy during summer-time. It must have been an immense family that could have ever filled such a house with life. We go on voyages of discovery, and when in quest of any particular point, are likely enough to fetch up at some other. This morning I had difficulty in finding my way again to the top of the tower. One of the most peculiar rooms is constructed close to the tower, under the roof of the main building, but with no external walls on two sides! It is thus left open to the air, I presume for the sake of coolness. A parapet runs round the exposed sides for the sake of security. Some of the palaces in Florence have such open loggias in their upper stories, and I saw others on our journey hither, after arriving in Tuscany.

The grounds immediately around the house are laid out in gravel-walks, and ornamented with shrubbery, and with what ought to be a grassy lawn; but the Italian sun is quite as little favorable to beauty of that kind as our own. I have enjoyed the luxury, however, almost for the first time since I left my hill-top at the Wayside, of flinging myself at full length on the ground without any fear of catching cold. Moist England would punish a man soundly for taking such liberties with her greensward. A podere, or cultivated tract, comprising several acres, belongs to the villa, and seems to be fertile, like all the surrounding country. The possessions of different proprietors are not separated by fences, but only marked out by ditches; and it seems possible to walk miles and miles, along the intersecting paths, without obstruction. The rural laborers, so far as I have observed, go about in their shirt-sleeves, and look very much like tanned and sunburnt Yankees.

Last night it was really a work of time and toil to go about making our defensive preparations for the night; first closing the iron gate, then the ponderous and complicated fastenings of the house door, then the separate barricadoes of each iron-barred window on the lower floor, with a somewhat slighter arrangement above. There are bolts and shutters, however, for every window in the house, and I suppose it would not be amiss to put them all in use. Our garrison is so small that we must depend more upon the strength of our fortifications than upon our own active efforts in case of an attack. In England, in an insulated country house, we should need all these bolts and bars, and Italy is not thought to be the safer country of the two.

It deserves to be recorded that the Count Montanto, a nobleman, and seemingly a man of property, should deem it worth while to let his country seat, and reside during the hot months in his palace in the city, for the consideration of a comparatively small sum a month. He seems to contemplate returning hither for the autumn and winter, when the situation must be very windy and bleak, and the cold death-like in these great halls; and then, it is to be supposed, he will let his palace in town. The Count, through the agency of his son, bargained very stiffly for, and finally obtained, three dollars in addition to the sum which we at first offered him. This indicates that even a little money is still a matter of great moment in Italy. Signor del Bello, who, I believe, is also a nobleman, haggled with us about some cracked crockery at our late residence, and finally demanded and received fifty cents in compensation. But this poor gentleman has been a spendthrift, and now acts as the agent of another.

August 3d.—Yesterday afternoon William Story called on me, he being on a day or two's excursion from Siena, where he is spending the summer with his family. He was very entertaining and conversative, as usual, and said, in reply to my question whether he were not anxious to return to Cleopatra, that he had already sketched out another subject for sculpture, which would employ him during next winter. He told me, what I was glad to hear, that his sketches of Italian life, intended for the "Atlantic Monthly," and supposed to be lost, have been recovered. Speaking of the superstitiousness of the Italians, he said that they universally believe in the influence of the evil eye. The evil influence is supposed not to be dependent on the will of the possessor of the evil eye; on the contrary, the persons to whom he wishes well are the very ones to suffer by it. It is oftener found in monks than in any other class of people; and on meeting a monk, and encountering his eye, an Italian usually makes a defensive sign by putting both hands behind him, with the forefingers and little fingers extended, although it is a controverted point whether it be not more efficacious to extend the hand with its outspread fingers towards the suspected person. It is considered an evil omen to meet a monk on first going out for the day. The evil eye may be classified with the phenomena of mesmerism. The Italians, especially the Neapolitans, very generally wear amulets. Pio Nono, perhaps as being the chief of all monks and other religious people, is supposed to have an evil eye of tenfold malignancy; and its effect has been seen in the ruin of all schemes for the public good so soon as they are favored by him. When the pillar in the Piazza de' Spagna, commemorative of his dogma of the Immaculate Conception, was to be erected, the people of Rome refused to be present, or to have anything to do with it, unless the pope promised to abstain from interference. His Holiness did promise, but so far broke his word as to be present one day while it was being erected, and on that day a man was killed. A little while ago there was a Lord Clifford, an English Catholic nobleman, residing in Italy, and, happening to come to Rome, he sent his compliments to Pio Nono, and requested the favor of an interview. The pope, as it happened, was indisposed, or for some reason could not see his lordship, but very kindly sent him his blessing. Those who knew of it shook their heads, and intimated that it would go ill with his lordship now that he had been blessed by Pio Nono, and the very next day poor Lord Clifford was dead! His Holiness had better construe the scriptural injunction literally, and take to blessing his enemies.

I walked into town with J——— this morning, and, meeting a monk in the Via Furnace, I thought it no more than reasonable, as the good father fixed his eyes on me, to provide against the worst by putting both hands behind me, with the forefingers and little fingers stuck out.

In speaking of the little oratory connected with U——'s chamber, I forgot to mention the most remarkable object in it. It is a skull, the size of life (or death). . . . This part of the house must be very old, probably coeval with the tower. The ceiling of U——'s apartment is vaulted with intersecting arches; and adjoining it is a very large saloon, likewise with a vaulted and groined ceiling, and having a cushioned divan running all round the walls. The windows of these rooms look out on the Val d' Arno.

The apartment above this saloon is of the same size, and hung with engraved portraits, printed on large sheets by the score and hundred together, and enclosed in wooden frames. They comprise the whole series of Roman emperors, the succession of popes, the kings of Europe, the doges of Venice, and the sultans of Turkey. The engravings bear different dates between 1685 and thirty years later, and were executed at Rome.

August 4th.—We ascended our tower yesterday afternoon to see the sunset. In my first sketch of the Val d' Arno I said that the Arno seemed to hold its course near the bases of the hills. I now observe that the line of trees which marks its current divides the valley into two pretty equal parts, and the river runs nearly east and west. . . . At last, when it was growing dark, we went down, groping our way over the shaky staircases, and peeping into each dark chamber as we passed. I gratified J——- exceedingly by hitting my nose against the wall. Reaching the bottom, I went into the great saloon, and stood at a window watching the lights twinkle forth, near and far, in the valley, and listening to the convent bells that sounded from Monte Olivetto, and more remotely still. The stars came out, and the constellation of the Dipper hung exactly over the Val d' Arno, pointing to the North Star above the hills on my right.

August 12th.—We drove into town yesterday afternoon, with Miss Blagden, to call on Mr. Kirkup, an old Englishman who has resided a great many years in Florence. He is noted as an antiquarian, and has the reputation of being a necromancer, not undeservedly, as he is deeply interested in spirit-rappings, and holds converse, through a medium, with dead poets and emperors. He lives in an old house, formerly a residence of the Knights Templars, hanging over the Arno, just as you come upon the Ponte Vecchio; and, going up a dark staircase and knocking at a door on one side of the landing-place, we were received by Mr. Kirkup. He had had notice of our visit, and was prepared for it, being dressed in a blue frock-coat of rather an old fashion, with a velvet collar, and in a thin waistcoat and pantaloons fresh from the drawer; looking very sprucely, in short, and unlike his customary guise, for Miss Blagden hinted to us that the poor gentleman is generally so untidy that it is not quite pleasant to take him by the hand. He is rather low of stature, with a pale, shrivelled face, and hair and beard perfectly white, and the hair of a particularly soft and silken texture. He has a high, thin nose, of the English aristocratic type; his eyes have a queer, rather wild look, and the eyebrows are arched above them, so that he seems all the time to be seeing something that strikes him with surprise. I judged him to be a little crack-brained, chiefly on the strength of this expression. His whole make is delicate, his hands white and small, and his appearance and manners those of a gentleman, with rather more embroidery of courtesy than belongs to an Englishman. He appeared to be very nervous, tremulous, indeed, to his fingers' ends, without being in any degree disturbed or embarrassed by our presence. Finally, he is very deaf; an infirmity that quite took away my pleasure in the interview, because it is impossible to say anything worth while when one is compelled to raise one's voice above its ordinary level.

He ushered us through two or three large rooms, dark, dusty, hung with antique-looking pictures, and lined with bookcases containing, I doubt not, a very curious library. Indeed, he directed my attention to one case, and said that he had collected those works, in former days, merely for the sake of laughing at them. They were books of magic and occult sciences. What he seemed really to value, however, were some manuscript copies of Dante, of which he showed us two: one, a folio on parchment, beautifully written in German text, the letters as clear and accurately cut as printed type; the other a small volume, fit, as Mr. Kirkup said, to be carried in a capacious mediaeval sleeve. This also was on vellum, and as elegantly executed as the larger one; but the larger had beautiful illuminations, the vermilion and gold of which looked as brilliant now as they did five centuries ago. Both of these books were written early in the fourteenth century. Mr. Kirkup has also a plaster cast of Dante's face, which he believes to be the original one taken from his face after death; and he has likewise his own accurate tracing from Giotto's fresco of Dante in the chapel of the Bargello. This fresco was discovered through Mr. Kirkup's means, and the tracing is particularly valuable, because the original has been almost destroyed by rough usage in drawing out a nail that had been driven into the eye. It represents the profile of a youthful but melancholy face, and has the general outline of Dante's features in other portraits.

Dante has held frequent communications with Mr. Kirkup through a medium, the poet being described by the medium as wearing the same dress seen in the youthful portrait, but as hearing more resemblance to the cast taken from his dead face than to the picture from his youthful one.

There was a very good picture of Savonarola in one of the rooms, and many other portraits, paintings, and drawings, some of them ancient, and others the work of Mr. Kirkup himself. He has the torn fragment of an exquisite drawing of a nude figure by Rubens, and a portfolio of other curious drawings. And besides books and works of art, he has no end of antique knick-knackeries, none of which we had any time to look at; among others some instruments with which nuns used to torture themselves in their convents by way of penance. But the greatest curiosity of all, and no antiquity, was a pale, large-eyed little girl, about four years old, who followed the conjurer's footsteps wherever he went. She was the brightest and merriest little thing in the world, and frisked through those shadowy old chambers, among the dead people's trumpery, as gayly as a butterfly flits among flowers and sunshine.

The child's mother was a beautiful girl named Regina, whose portrait Mr. Kirkup showed us on the wall. I never saw a more beautiful and striking face claiming to be a real one. She was a Florentine, of low birth, and she lived with the old necromancer as his spiritual medium. He showed us a journal, kept during her lifetime, and read from it his notes of an interview with the Czar Alexander, when that potentate communicated to Mr. Kirkup that he had been poisoned. The necromancer set a great value upon Regina, . . . . and when she died he received her poor baby into his heart, and now considers it absolutely his own. At any rate, it is a happy belief for him, since he has nothing else in the world to love, and loves the child entirely, and enjoys all the bliss of fatherhood, though he must have lived as much as seventy years before he began to taste it.

The child inherits her mother's gift of communication with the spiritual world, so that the conjurer can still talk with Regina through the baby which she left, and not only with her, but with Dante, and any other great spirit that may choose to visit him. It is a very strange story, and this child might be put at once into a romance, with all her history and environment; the ancient Knight Templar palace, with the Arno flowing under the iron-barred windows, and the Ponte Vecchio, covered with its jewellers' shops, close at hand; the dark, lofty chambers with faded frescos on the ceilings, black pictures hanging on the walls, old books on the shelves, and hundreds of musty antiquities, emitting an odor of past centuries; the shrivelled, white-bearded old man, thinking all the time of ghosts, and looking into the child's eyes to seek them; and the child herself, springing so freshly out of the soil, so pretty, so intelligent, so playful, with never a playmate save the conjurer and a kitten. It is a Persian kitten, and lay asleep in a window; but when I touched it, it started up at once in as gamesome a mood as the child herself.

The child looks pale, and no wonder, seldom or never stirring out of that old palace, or away from the river atmosphere. Miss Blagden advised Mr. Kirkup to go with her to the seaside or into the country, and he did not deny that it might do her good, but seemed to be hampered by an old man's sluggishness and dislike of change. I think he will not live a great while, for he seems very frail. When he dies the little girl will inherit what property he may leave. A lady, Catharine Fleeting, an Englishwoman, and a friend of Mr. Kirkup, has engaged to take her in charge. She followed us merrily to the door, and so did the Persian kitten, and Mr. Kirkup shook hands with us, over and over again, with vivacious courtesy, his manner having been characterized by a great deal of briskness throughout the interview. He expressed himself delighted to have met one (whose books he had read), and said that the day would be a memorable one to him,—which I did not in the least believe.

Mr. Kirkup is an intimate friend of Trelawny, author of "Adventures of a Younger Son," and, long ago, the latter promised him that, if he ever came into possession of the family estate, he would divide it with him. Trelawny did really succeed to the estate, and lost no time in forwarding to his friend the legal documents, entitling him to half of the property. But Mr. Kirkup declined the gift, as he himself was not destitute, and Trelawny had a brother. There were two pictures of Trelawny in the saloons, one a slight sketch on the wall, the other a half-length portrait in a Turkish dress; both handsome, but indicating no very amiable character. It is not easy to forgive Trelawny for uncovering dead Byron's limbs, and telling that terrible story about them,—equally disgraceful to himself, be it truth or a lie.

It seems that Regina had a lover, and a sister who was very disreputable It rather adds than otherwise to the romance of the affair,—the idea that this pretty little elf has no right whatever to the asylum which she has found. Her name is Imogen.

The small manuscript copy of Dante which he showed me was written by a Florentine gentleman of the fourteenth century, one of whose ancestors the poet had met and talked with in Paradise.

August 19th.—Here is a good Italian incident, which I find in Valery. Andrea del Castagno was a painter in Florence in the fifteenth century; and he had a friend, likewise a painter, Domenico of Venice. The latter had the secret of painting in oils, and yielded to Castagno's entreaties to impart it to him. Desirous of being the sole possessor of this great secret, Castagno waited only the night to assassinate Domenico, who so little suspected his treachery, that he besought those who found him bleeding and dying to take him to his friend Castagno, that he might die in his arms. The murderer lived to be seventy-four years old, and his crime was never suspected till he himself revealed it on his death-bed. Domenico did actually die in Castagno's arms. The death scene would have been a good one for the latter to paint in oils.

September 1st.—Few things journalizable have happened during the last month, because Florence and the neighborhood have lost their novelty; and furthermore, I usually spend the whole day at home, having been engaged in planning and sketching out a romance. I have now done with this for the present, and mean to employ the rest of the time we stay here chiefly in revisiting the galleries, and seeing what remains to be seen in Florence.

Last Saturday, August 28th, we went to take tea at Miss Blagden's, who has a weekly reception on that evening. We found Mr. Powers there, and by and by Mr. Boott and Mr. Trollope came in. Miss ——— has lately been exercising her faculties as a spiritual writing-medium; and, the conversation turning on that subject, Mr. Powers related some things that he had witnessed through the agency of Mr. Home, who had held a session or two at his house. He described the apparition of two mysterious hands from beneath a table round which the party were seated. These hands purported to belong to the aunt of the Countess Cotterel, who was present, and were a pair of thin, delicate, aged, lady-like hands and arms, appearing at the edge of the table, and terminating at the elbow in a sort of white mist. One of the hands took up a fan and began to use it. The countess then said, "Fan yourself as you used to do, dear aunt"; and forthwith the hands waved the fan back and forth in a peculiar manner, which the countess recognized as the manner of her dead aunt. The spirit was then requested to fan each member of the party; and accordingly, each separate individual round the table was fanned in turn, and felt the breeze sensibly upon his face. Finally, the hands sank beneath the table, I believe Mr. Powers said; but I am not quite sure that they did not melt into the air. During this apparition, Mr. Home sat at the table, but not in such a position or within such distance that he could have put out or managed the spectral hands; and of this Mr. Powers satisfied himself by taking precisely the same position after the party had retired. Mr. Powers did not feel the hands at this time, but he afterwards felt the touch of infant hands, which were at the time invisible. He told of many of the wonders, which seem to have as much right to be set down as facts as anything else that depends on human testimony. For example, Mr. K———, one of the party, gave a sudden start and exclamation. He had felt on his knee a certain token, which could have been given him only by a friend, long ago in his grave. Mr. Powers inquired what was the last thing that had been given as a present to a deceased child; and suddenly both he and his wife felt a prick as of some sharp instrument, on their knees. The present had been a penknife. I have forgotten other incidents quite as striking as these; but, with the exception of the spirit-hands, they seemed to be akin to those that have been produced by mesmerism, returning the inquirer's thoughts and veiled recollections to himself, as answers to his queries. The hands are certainly an inexplicable phenomenon. Of course, they are not portions of a dead body, nor any other kind of substance; they are impressions on the two senses, sight and touch, but how produced I cannot tell. Even admitting their appearance,—and certainly I do admit it as freely and fully as if I had seen them myself,—there is no need of supposing them to come from the world of departed spirits.

Powers seems to put entire faith in the verity of spiritual communications, while acknowledging the difficulty of identifying spirits as being what they pretend to be. He is a Swedenborgian, and so far prepared to put faith in many of these phenomena. As for Home, Powers gives a decided opinion that he is a knave, but thinks him so organized, nevertheless, as to be a particularly good medium for spiritual communications. Spirits, I suppose, like earthly people, are obliged to use such instruments as will answer their purposes; but rather than receive a message from a dead friend through the organism of a rogue or charlatan, methinks I would choose to wait till we meet. But what most astonishes me is the indifference with which I listen to these marvels. They throw old ghost stories quite into the shade; they bring the whole world of spirits down amongst us, visibly and audibly; they are absolutely proved to be sober facts by evidence that would satisfy us of any other alleged realities; and yet I cannot force my mind to interest myself in them. They are facts to my understanding, which, it might have been anticipated, would have been the last to acknowledge them; but they seem not to be facts to my intuitions and deeper perceptions. My inner soul does not in the least admit them; there is a mistake somewhere. So idle and empty do I feel these stories to be, that I hesitated long whether or no to give up a few pages of this not very important journal to the record of them.

We have had written communications through Miss ——— with several spirits; my wife's father, mother, two brothers, and a sister, who died long ago, in infancy; a certain Mary Hall, who announces herself as the guardian spirit of Miss ———; and, queerest of all, a Mary Runnel, who seems to be a wandering spirit, having relations with nobody, but thrusts her finger into everybody's affairs. My wife's mother is the principal communicant; she expresses strong affection, and rejoices at the opportunity of conversing with her daughter. She often says very pretty things; for instance, in a dissertation upon heavenly music; but there is a lack of substance in her talk, a want of gripe, a delusive show, a sentimental surface, with no bottom beneath it. The same sort of thing has struck me in all the poetry and prose that I have read from spiritual sources. I should judge that these effusions emanated from earthly minds, but had undergone some process that had deprived them of solidity and warmth. In the communications between my wife and her mother, I cannot help thinking that (Miss ——— being unconsciously in a mesmeric state) all the responses are conveyed to her fingers from my wife's mind. . . .

We have tried the spirits by various test questions, on every one of which they have failed egregiously. Here, however, the aforesaid Mary Runnel comes into play. The other spirits have told us that the veracity of this spirit is not to be depended upon; and so, whenever it is possible, poor Mary Runnel is thrust forward to bear the odium of every mistake or falsehood. They have avowed themselves responsible for all statements signed by themselves, and have thereby brought themselves into more than one inextricable dilemma; but it is very funny, where a response or a matter of fact has not been thus certified, how invariably Mary Runnel is made to assume the discredit of it, on its turning out to be false. It is the most ingenious arrangement that could possibly have been contrived; and somehow or other, the pranks of this lying spirit give a reality to the conversations which the more respectable ghosts quite fail in imparting.

The whole matter seems to me a sort of dreaming awake. It resembles a dream, in that the whole material is, from the first, in the dreamer's mind, though concealed at various depths below the surface; the dead appear alive, as they always do in dreams; unexpected combinations occur, as continually in dreams; the mind speaks through the various persons of the drama, and sometimes astonishes itself with its own wit, wisdom, and eloquence, as often in dreams; but, in both cases, the intellectual manifestations are really of a very flimsy texture. Mary Runnel is the only personage who does not come evidently from dream-land; and she, I think, represents that lurking scepticism, that sense of unreality, of which we are often conscious, amid the most vivid phantasmagoria of a dream. I should be glad to believe in the genuineness of these spirits, if I could; but the above is the conclusion to which my soberest thoughts tend. There remains, of course, a great deal for which I cannot account, and I cannot sufficiently wonder at the pigheadedness both of metaphysicians and physiologists, in not accepting the phenomena, so far as to make them the subject of investigation.

In writing the communications, Miss ——— holds the pencil rather loosely between her fingers; it moves rapidly, and with equal facility whether she fixes her eyes on the paper or not. The handwriting has far more freedom than her own. At the conclusion of a sentence, the pencil lays itself down. She sometimes has a perception of each word before it is written; at other times, she is quite unconscious what is to come next. Her integrity is absolutely indubitable, and she herself totally disbelieves in the spiritual authenticity of what is communicated through her medium.

September 3d.—We walked into Florence yesterday, betimes after breakfast, it being comfortably cool, and a gray, English sky; though, indeed, the clouds had a tendency to mass themselves more than they do on an overcast English day. We found it warmer in Florence, but, not inconveniently so, even in the sunniest streets and squares.

We went to the Uffizi gallery, the whole of which with its contents is now familiar to us, except the room containing drawings; and our to-day's visit was especially to them. The door giving admittance to them is the very last in the gallery; and the rooms, three in number, are, I should judge, over the Loggia de' Lanzi, looking on the Grand Ducal Piazza. The drawings hang on the walls, framed and glazed; and number, perhaps, from one to two hundred in each room; but this is only a small portion of the collection, which amounts, it is said, to twenty thousand, and is reposited in portfolios. The sketches on the walls are changed, from time to time, so as to exhibit all the most interesting ones in turn. Their whole charm is artistic, imaginative, and intellectual, and in no degree of the upholstery kind; their outward presentment being, in general, a design hastily shadowed out, by means of colored crayons, on tinted paper, or perhaps scratched rudely in pen and ink; or drawn in pencil or charcoal, and half rubbed out; very rough things, indeed, in many instances, and the more interesting on that account, because it seems as if the artist had bestirred himself to catch the first glimpse of an image that did but reveal itself and vanish. The sheets, or sometimes scraps of paper, on which they are drawn, are discolored with age, creased, soiled; but yet you are magnetized by the hand of Raphael, Michael Angelo, Leonardo, or whoever may have jotted down those rough-looking master-touches. They certainly possess a charm that is lost in the finished picture; and I was more sensible of forecasting thought, skill, and prophetic design, in these sketches than in the most consummate works that have been elaborated from them. There is something more divine in these; for I suppose the first idea of a picture is real inspiration, and all the subsequent elaboration of the master serves but to cover up the celestial germ with something that belongs to himself. At any rate, the first sketch is the more suggestive, and sets the spectator's imagination at work; whereas the picture, if a good one, leaves him nothing to do; if bad, it confuses, stupefies, disenchants, and disheartens him. First thoughts have an aroma and fragrance in them, that they do not lose in three hundred years; for so old, and a good deal more, are some of these sketches.

None interested me more than some drawings, on separate pieces of paper, by Perugino, for his picture of the mother and friends of Jesus round his dead body, now at the Pitti Palace. The attendant figures are distinctly made out, as if the Virgin, and John, and Mary Magdalen had each favored the painter with a sitting; but the body of Jesus lies in the midst, dimly hinted with a few pencil-marks.

There were several designs by Michael Angelo, none of which made much impression on me; the most striking was a very ugly demon, afterwards painted in the Sistine Chapel. Raphael shows several sketches of Madonnas,—one of which has flowered into the Grand Duke's especial Madonna at the Pitti Palace, but with a different face. His sketches were mostly very rough in execution; but there were two or three designs for frescos, I think, in the Vatican, very carefully executed; perhaps because these works were mainly to be done by other hands than his own. It seems to one that the Pre-Raphaelite artists made more careful drawings than the later ones; and it rather surprised me to see how much science they possessed.

We looked at few other things in the gallery; and, indeed, it was not one of the days when works of art find me impressible. We stopped a little while in the Tribune, but the Venus de' Medici seemed to me to-day little more than any other piece of yellowish white marble. How strange that a goddess should stand before us absolutely unrecognized, even when we know by previous revelations that she is nothing short of divine! It is also strange that, unless when one feels the ideal charm of a statue, it becomes one of the most tedious and irksome things in the world. Either it must be a celestial thing or an old lump of stone, dusty and time-soiled, and tiring out your patience with eternally looking just the same. Once in a while you penetrate through the crust of the old sameness, and see the statue forever new and immortally young.

Leaving the gallery we walked towards the Duomo, and on our way stopped to look at the beautiful Gothic niches hollowed into the exterior walls of the Church of San Michele. They are now in the process of being cleaned, and each niche is elaborately inlaid with precious marbles, and some of them magnificently gilded; and they are all surmounted with marble canopies as light and graceful as frost-work. Within stand statues, St. George, and many other saints, by Donatello and others, and all taking a hold upon one's sympathies, even if they be not beautiful. Classic statues escape you with their slippery beauty, as if they were made of ice. Rough and ugly things can be clutched. This is nonsense, and yet it means something. . . . The streets were thronged and vociferative with more life and outcry than usual. It must have been market-day in Florence, for the commerce of the streets was in great vigor, narrow tables being set out in them, and in the squares, burdened with all kinds of small merchandise, such as cheap jewelry, glistening as brightly as what we had just seen in the gem-room of the Uffizi; crockery ware; toys, books, Italian and French; silks; slippers; old iron; all advertised by the dealers with terribly loud and high voices, that reverberated harshly from side to side of the narrow streets. Italian street-cries go through the head; not that they are so very sharp, but exceedingly hard, like a blunt iron bar.

We stood at the base of the Campanile, and looked at the bas-reliefs which wreathe it round; and, above them, a row of statues; and from bottom to top a marvellous minuteness of inlaid marbles, filling up the vast and beautiful design of this heaven-aspiring tower. Looking upward to its lofty summit,—where angels might alight, lapsing downward from heaven, and gaze curiously at the bustle of men below,—I could not but feel that there is a moral charm in this faithful minuteness of Gothic architecture, filling up its outline with a million of beauties that perhaps may never be studied out by a single spectator. It is the very process of nature, and no doubt produces an effect that we know not of. Classic architecture is nothing but an outline, and affords no little points, no interstices where human feelings may cling and overgrow it like ivy. The charm, as I said, seems to be moral rather than intellectual; for in the gem-room of the Uffizi you may see fifty designs, elaborated on a small scale, that have just as much merit as the design of the Campanile. If it were only five inches long, it might be a case for some article of toilet; being two hundred feet high, its prettiness develops into grandeur as well as beauty, and it becomes really one of the wonders of the world. The design of the Pantheon, on the contrary, would retain its sublimity on whatever scale it might be represented.

Returning homewards, we crossed the Ponte Vecchio, and went to the Museum of Natural History, where we gained admittance into the rooms dedicated to Galileo. They consist of a vestibule, a saloon, and a semicircular tribune, covered with a frescoed dome, beneath which stands a colossal statue of Galileo, long-bearded, and clad in a student's gown, or some voluminous garb of that kind. Around the tribune, beside and behind the statue, are six niches,—in one of which is preserved a forefinger of Galileo, fixed on a little gilt pedestal, and pointing upward, under a glass cover. It is very much shrivelled and mummy-like, of the color of parchment, and is little more than a finger-bone, with the dry skin or flesh flaking away from it; on the whole, not a very delightful relic; but Galileo used to point heavenward with this finger, and I hope has gone whither he pointed.

Another niche contains two telescopes, wherewith he made some of his discoveries; they are perhaps a yard long, and of very small calibre. Other astronomical instruments are displayed in the glass cases that line the rooms; but I did not understand their use any better than the monks, who wished to burn Galileo for his heterodoxy about the planetary system. . . .

After dinner I climbed the tower. . . . Florence lay in the sunshine, level, compact, and small of compass. Above the tiled roofs rose the tower of the Palazzo Vecchio, the loftiest and the most picturesque, though built, I suppose, with no idea of making it so. But it attains, in a singular degree, the end of causing the imagination to fly upward and alight on its airy battlements. Near it I beheld the square mass of Or San Michele, and farther to the left the bulky Duomo and the Campanile close beside it, like a slender bride or daughter; the dome of San Lorenzo too. The Arno is nowhere visible. Beyond, and on all sides of the city, the hills pile themselves lazily upward in ridges, here and there developing into a peak; towards their bases white villas were strewn numerously, but the upper region was lonely and bare.

As we passed under the arch of the Porta Romana this morning, on our way into the city, we saw a queer object. It was what we at first took for a living man, in a garb of light reddish or yellowish red color, of antique or priestly fashion, and with a cowl falling behind. His face was of the same hue, and seemed to have been powdered, as the faces of maskers sometimes are. He sat in a cart, which he seemed to be driving into the Deity with a load of earthen jars and pipkins, the color of which was precisely like his own. On closer inspection, this priestly figure proved to be likewise an image of earthenware, but his lifelikeness had a very strange and rather ghastly effect. Adam, perhaps, was made of just such red earth, and had the complexion of this figure.

September 7th.—I walked into town yesterday morning, by way of the Porta San Frediano. The gate of a city might be a good locality for a chapter in a novel, or for a little sketch by itself, whether by painter or writer. The great arch of the gateway, piercing through the depth and height of the massive masonry beneath the battlemented summit; the shadow brooding below, in the immense thickness of the wall and beyond it, the vista of the street, sunny and swarming with life; outside of the gate, a throng of carts, laden with fruits, vegetables, small flat barrels of wine, waiting to be examined by the custom-house officers; carriages too, and foot-passengers entering, and others swarming outward. Under the shadowy arch are the offices of the police and customs, and probably the guard-room of the soldiers, all hollowed out in the mass of the gateway. Civil officers loll on chairs in the shade, perhaps with an awning over their heads. Where the sun falls aslantwise under the arch a sentinel, with musket and bayonet, paces to and fro in the entrance, and other soldiers lounge close by. The life of the city seems to be compressed and made more intense by this barrier; and on passing within it you do not breathe quite so freely, yet are sensible of an enjoyment in the close elbowing throng, the clamor of high voices from side to side of the street, and the million of petty sights, actions, traffics, and personalities, all so squeezed together as to become a great whole.

The street by which I entered led me to the Carraja Bridge; crossing which, I kept straight onward till I came to the Church of Santa Maria Novella. Doubtless, it looks just the same as when Boccaccio's party stood in a cluster on its broad steps arranging their excursion to the villa. Thence I went to the Church of St. Lorenzo, which I entered by the side door, and found the organ sounding and a religious ceremony going forward. It is a church of sombre aspect, with its gray walls and pillars, but was decked out for some festivity with hangings of scarlet damask and gold. I sat awhile to rest myself, and then pursued my way to the Duomo. I entered, and looked at Sir John Hawkwood's painted effigy, and at several busts and statues, and at the windows of the chapel surrounding the dome, through which the sunshine glowed, white in the outer air, but a hundred-hued splendor within. I tried to bring up the scene of Lorenzo de' Medici's attempted assassination, but with no great success; and after listening a little while to the chanting of the priests and acolytes, I went to the Bank. It is in a palace of which Raphael was the architect, in the Piazza Gran Duca.

I next went, as a matter of course, to the Uffizi gallery, and, in the first place, to the Tribune, where the Venus de' Medici deigned to reveal herself rather more satisfactorily than at my last visit. . . . I looked into all the rooms, bronzes, drawings, and gem-room; a volume might easily be written upon either subject. The contents of the gem-room especially require to be looked at separately in order to convince one's self of their minute magnificences; for, among so many, the eye slips from one to another with only a vague outward sense that here are whole shelves full of little miracles, both of nature's material and man's workmanship. Greater [larger] things can be reasonably well appreciated with a less scrupulous though broader attention; but in order to estimate the brilliancy of the diamond eyes of a little agate bust, for instance, you have to screw your mind down to them and nothing else. You must sharpen your faculties of observation to a point, and touch the object exactly on the right spot, or you do not appreciate it at all. It is a troublesome process when there are a thousand such objects to be seen.

I stood at an open window in the transverse corridor, and looked down upon the Arno, and across at the range of edifices that impend over it on the opposite side. The river, I should judge, may be a hundred or a hundred and fifty yards wide in its course between the Ponte alle Grazie and the Ponte Vecchio; that is, the width between strand and strand is at least so much. The river, however, leaves a broad margin of mud and gravel on its right bank, on which water-weeds grow pretty abundantly, and creep even into the stream. On my first arrival in Florence I thought the goose-pond green of the water rather agreeable than otherwise; but its hue is now that of unadulterated mud, as yellow as the Tiber itself, yet not impressing me as being enriched with city sewerage like that other famous river. From the Ponte alle Grazie downward, half-way towards the Ponte Vecchio, there is an island of gravel, and the channel on each side is so shallow as to allow the passage of men and horses wading not overleg. I have seen fishermen wading the main channel from side to side, their feet sinking into the dark mud, and thus discoloring the yellow water with a black track visible, step by step, through its shallowness. But still the Arno is a mountain stream, and liable to be tetchy and turbulent like all its kindred, and no doubt it often finds its borders of hewn stone not too far apart for its convenience.

Along the right shore, beneath the Uffizi and the adjacent buildings, there is a broad paved way, with a parapet; on the opposite shore the edifices are built directly upon the river's edge, and impend over the water, supported upon arches and machicolations, as I think that peculiar arrangement of buttressing arcades is called. The houses are picturesquely various in height, from two or three stories to seven; picturesque in hue likewise,—pea-green, yellow, white, and of aged discoloration,—but all with green blinds; picturesque also in the courts and galleries that look upon the river, and in the wide arches that open beneath, intended perhaps to afford a haven for the household boat. Nets were suspended before one or two of the houses, as if the inhabitants were in the habit of fishing out of window. As a general effect, the houses, though often palatial in size and height, have a shabby, neglected aspect, and are jumbled too closely together. Behind their range the city swells upward in a hillside, which rises to a great height above, forming, I believe, a part of the Boboli Gardens.

I returned homewards over the Ponte Vecchio, which is a continuous street of ancient houses, except over the central arch, so that a stranger might easily cross the river without knowing it. In these small, old houses there is a community of goldsmiths, who set out their glass cases, and hang their windows with rings, bracelets, necklaces, strings of pearl, ornaments of malachite and coral, and especially with Florentine mosaics; watches, too, and snuff-boxes of old fashion or new; offerings for shrines also, such as silver hearts pierced with swords; an infinity of pretty things, the manufacture of which is continually going on in the little back-room of each little shop. This gewgaw business has been established on the Ponte Vecchio for centuries, although, long since, it was an art of far higher pretensions than now. Benvenuto Cellini had his workshop here, probably in one of these selfsame little nooks. It would have been a ticklish affair to be Benvenuto's fellow-workman within such narrow limits.

Going out of the Porta Romana, I walked for some distance along the city wall, and then, turning to the left, toiled up the hill of Bellosguardo, through narrow zigzag lanes between high walls of stone or plastered brick, where the sun had the fairest chance to frizzle me. There were scattered villas and houses, here and there concentrating into a little bit of a street, paved with flag-stones from side to side, as in the city, and shadowed quite across its narrowness by the height of the houses. Mostly, however, the way was inhospitably sunny, and shut out by the high wall from every glimpse of a view, except in one spot, where Florence spread itself before my eyes, with every tower, dome, and spire which it contains. A little way farther on my own gray tower rose before me, the most welcome object that I had seen in the course of the day.

September 10th.—I went into town again yesterday, by way of the Porta San Frediano, and observed that this gate (like the other gates of Florence, as far as I have observed) is a tall, square structure of stone or brick, or both, rising high above the adjacent wall, and having a range of open loggie in the upper story. The arch externally is about half the height of the structure. Inside, towards the town, it rises nearly to the roof. On each side of the arch there is much room for offices, apartments, storehouses, or whatever else. On the outside of the gate, along the base, are those iron rings and sockets for torches, which are said to be the distinguishing symbol of illustrious houses. As contrasted with the vista of the narrow, swarming street through the arch from without, the view from the inside might be presented with a glimpse of the free blue sky.

I strolled a little about Florence, and went into two or three churches; into that of the Annunziata for one. I have already described this church, with its general magnificence, and it was more magnificent than ever to-day, being hung with scarlet silk and gold-embroidery. A great many people were at their devotions, thronging principally around the Virgin's shrine. I was struck now with the many bas-reliefs and busts in the costume of their respective ages, and seemingly with great accuracy of portraiture, in the passage leading from the front of the church into the cloisters. The marble was not at all abashed nor degraded by being made to assume the guise of the mediaeval furred robe, or the close-fitting tunic with elaborate ruff, or the breastplate and gorget, or the flowing wig, or whatever the actual costume might be; and one is sensible of a rectitude and reality in the affair, and respects the dead people for not putting themselves into an eternal masquerade. The dress of the present day will look equally respectable in one or two hundred years.

The Fair is still going on, and one of its principal centres is before this church, in the Piazza of the Annunziata. Cloth is the chief commodity offered for sale, and none of the finest; coarse, unbleached linen and cotton prints for country-people's wear, together with yarn, stockings, and here and there an assortment of bright-colored ribbons. Playthings, of a very rude fashion, were also displayed; likewise books in Italian and French; and a great deal of iron-work. Both here and in Rome they have this odd custom of offering rusty iron implements for sale, spread out on the pavements. There was a good deal of tinware, too, glittering in the sunshine, especially around the pedestal of the bronze statue of Duke Ferdinand, who curbs his horse and looks down upon the bustling piazza in a very stately way. . . . The people attending the fair had mostly a rustic appearance; sunburnt faces, thin frames; no beauty, no bloom, no joyousness of young or old; an anxious aspect, as if life were no easy or holiday matter with them; but I should take them to be of a kindly nature, and reasonably honest. Except the broad-brimmed Tuscan hats of the women, there was no peculiarity of costume. At a careless glance I could very well have mistaken most of the men for Yankees; as for the women, there is very little resemblance between them and ours,—the old being absolutely hideous, and the young ones very seldom pretty. It was a very dull crowd. They do not generate any warmth among themselves by contiguity; they have no pervading sentiment, such as is continually breaking out in rough merriment from an American crowd; they have nothing to do with one another; they are not a crowd, considered as one mass, but a collection of individuals. A despotic government has perhaps destroyed their principle of cohesion, and crumbled them to atoms. Italian crowds are noted for their civility; possibly they deserve credit for native courtesy and gentleness; possibly, on the other hand, the crowd has not spirit and self-consciousness enough to be rampant. I wonder whether they will ever hold another parliament in the Piazza of Santa Croce!

I paid a visit to the gallery of the Pitti Palace. There is too large an intermixture of Andrea del Sarto's pictures in this gallery; everywhere you see them, cold, proper, and uncriticisable, looking so much like first-rate excellence, that you inevitably quarrel with your own taste for not admiring them. . . .

It was one of the days when my mind misgives me whether the pictorial art be not a humbug, and when the minute accuracy of a fly in a Dutch picture of fruit and flowers seems to me something more reliable than the master-touches of Raphael. The gallery was considerably thronged, and many of the visitors appeared to be from the country, and of a class intermediate between gentility and labor. Is there such a rural class in Italy? I saw a respectable-looking man feeling awkward and uncomfortable in a new and glossy pair of pantaloons not yet bent and creased to his natural movement.

Nothing pleased me better to-day than some amber cups, in one of the cabinets of curiosities. They are richly wrought, and the material is as if the artist had compressed a great deal of sunshine together, and when sufficiently solidified had moulded these cups out of it and let them harden. This simile was suggested by ———.

Leaving the palace, I entered the Boboli Gardens, and wandered up and down a good deal of its uneven surface, through broad, well-kept edges of box, sprouting loftily, trimmed smoothly, and strewn between with cleanly gravel; skirting along plantations of aged trees, throwing a deep shadow within their precincts; passing many statues, not of the finest art, yet approaching so near it, as to serve just as good a purpose for garden ornament; coming now and then to the borders of a fishpool, or a pond, where stately swans circumnavigated an island of flowers;—all very fine and very wearisome. I have never enjoyed this garden; perhaps because it suggests dress-coats, and such elegant formalities.

September 11th.—We have heard a good deal of spirit matters of late, especially of wonderful incidents that attended Mr. Home's visit to Florence, two or three years ago. Mrs. Powers told a very marvellous thing; how that when Mr. Home was holding a seance in her house, and several persons present, a great scratching was heard in a neighboring closet. She addressed the spirit, and requested it not to disturb the company then, as they were busy with other affairs, promising to converse with it on a future occasion. On a subsequent night, accordingly, the scratching was renewed, with the utmost violence; and in reply to Mrs. Powers's questions, the spirit assured her that it was not one, but legion, being the ghosts of twenty-seven monks, who were miserable and without hope! The house now occupied by Powers was formerly a convent, and I suppose these were the spirits of all the wicked monks that had ever inhabited it; at least, I hope that there were not such a number of damnable sinners extant at any one time. These ghostly fathers must have been very improper persons in their lifetime, judging by the indecorousness of their behavior even after death, and in such dreadful circumstances; for they pulled Mrs. Powers's skirts so hard as to break the gathers. . . . It was not ascertained that they desired to have anything done for their eternal welfare, or that their situation was capable of amendment anyhow; but, being exhorted to refrain from further disturbance, they took their departure, after making the sign of the cross on the breast of each person present. This was very singular in such reprobates, who, by their own confession, had forfeited all claim to be benefited by that holy symbol: it curiously suggests that the forms of religion may still be kept up in purgatory and hell itself. The sign was made in a way that conveyed the sense of something devilish and spiteful; the perpendicular line of the cross being drawn gently enough, but the transverse one sharply and violently, so as to leave a painful impression. Perhaps the monks meant this to express their contempt and hatred for heretics; and how queer, that this antipathy should survive their own damnation! But I cannot help hoping that the case of these poor devils may not be so desperate as they think. They cannot be wholly lost, because their desire for communication with mortals shows that they need sympathy, therefore are not altogether hardened, therefore, with loving treatment, may be restored.

A great many other wonders took place within the knowledge and experience of Mrs. P———. She saw, not one pair of hands only, but many. The head of one of her dead children, a little boy, was laid in her lap, not in ghastly fashion, as a head out of the coffin and the grave, but just as the living child might have laid it on his mother's knees. It was invisible, by the by, and she recognized it by the features and the character of the hair, through the sense of touch. Little hands grasped hers. In short, these soberly attested incredibilities are so numerous that I forget nine tenths of them, and judge the others too cheap to be written down. Christ spoke the truth surely, in saying that men would not believe, "though one rose from the dead." In my own case, the fact makes absolutely no impression. I regret such confirmation of truth as this.

Within a mile of our villa stands the Villa Columbaria, a large house, built round a square court. Like Mr. Powers's residence, it was formerly a convent. It is inhabited by Major Gregorie, an old soldier of Waterloo and various other fights, and his family consists of Mrs. ———, the widow of one of the Major's friends, and her two daughters. We have become acquainted with the family, and Mrs. ———, the married daughter, has lent us a written statement of her experiences with a ghost, who has haunted the Villa Columbaria for many years back.

He had made Mrs. ——— aware of his presence in her room by a sensation of extreme cold, as if a wintry breeze were blowing over her; also by a rustling of the bed-curtains; and, at such times, she had a certain consciousness, as she says, that she was not ALONE. Through Mr. Home's agency, the ghost was enabled to explain himself, and declared that he was a monk, named Giannane, who died a very long time ago in Mrs. ———'s present bedchamber. He was a murderer, and had been in a restless and miserable state ever since his death, wandering up and down the house, but especially haunting his own death-chamber and a staircase that communicated with the chapel of the villa. All the interviews with this lost spirit were attended with a sensation of severe cold, which was felt by every one present. He made his communications by means of table-rapping, and by the movements of chairs and other articles, which often assumed an angry character. The poor old fellow does not seem to have known exactly what he wanted with Mrs. ———, but promised to refrain from disturbing her any more, on condition that she would pray that he might find some repose. He had previously declined having any masses said for his soul. Rest, rest, rest, appears to be the continual craving of unhappy spirits; they do not venture to ask for positive bliss: perhaps, in their utter weariness, would rather forego the trouble of active enjoyment, but pray only for rest. The cold atmosphere around this monk suggests new ideas as to the climate of Hades. If all the afore-mentioned twenty-seven monks had a similar one, the combined temperature must have been that of a polar winter.

Mrs. ——— saw, at one time, the fingers of her monk, long, yellow, and skinny; these fingers grasped the hands of individuals of the party, with a cold, clammy, and horrible touch.

After the departure of this ghost other seances were held in her bedchamber, at which good and holy spirits manifested themselves, and behaved in a very comfortable and encouraging way. It was their benevolent purpose, apparently, to purify her apartments from all traces of the evil spirit, and to reconcile her to what had been so long the haunt of this miserable monk, by filling it with happy and sacred associations, in which, as Mrs. ——— intimates, they entirely succeeded.

These stories remind me of an incident that took place at the old manse, in the first summer of our marriage. . . .

September 17th.—We walked yesterday to Florence, and visited the church of St. Lorenzo, where we saw, for the second time, the famous Medici statues of Michael Angelo. I found myself not in a very appreciative state, and, being a stone myself, the statue of Lorenzo was at first little more to me than another stone; but it was beginning to assume life, and would have impressed me as it did before if I had gazed long enough. There was a better light upon the face, under the helmet, than at my former visit, although still the features were enough overshadowed to produce that mystery on which, according to Mr. Powers, the effect of the statue depends. I observe that the costume of the figure, instead of being mediaeval, as I believe I have stated, is Roman; but, be it what it may, the grand and simple character of the figure imbues the robes with its individual propriety. I still think it the greatest miracle ever wrought in marble.

We crossed the church and entered a cloister on the opposite side, in quest of the Laurentian Library. Ascending a staircase we found an old man blowing the bellows of the organ, which was in full blast in the church; nevertheless he found time to direct us to the library door. We entered a lofty vestibule, of ancient aspect and stately architecture, and thence were admitted into the library itself; a long and wide gallery or hall, lighted by a row of windows on which were painted the arms of the Medici. The ceiling was inlaid with dark wood, in an elaborate pattern, which was exactly repeated in terra-cotta on the pavement beneath our feet. Long desks, much like the old-fashioned ones in schools, were ranged on each side of the mid aisle, in a series from end to end, with seats for the convenience of students; and on these desks were rare manuscripts, carefully preserved under glass; and books, fastened to the desks by iron chains, as the custom of studious antiquity used to be. Along the centre of the hall, between the two ranges of desks, were tables and chairs, at which two or three scholarly persons were seated, diligently consulting volumes in manuscript or old type. It was a very quiet place, imbued with a cloistered sanctity, and remote from all street-cries and rumble of the city,—odorous of old literature,—a spot where the commonest ideas ought not to be expressed in less than Latin.

The librarian—or custode he ought rather to be termed, for he was a man not above the fee of a paul—now presented himself, and showed us some of the literary curiosities; a vellum manuscript of the Bible, with a splendid illumination by Ghirlandaio, covering two folio pages, and just as brilliant in its color as if finished yesterday. Other illuminated manuscripts—or at least separate pages of them, for the volumes were kept under glass, and not to be turned over—were shown us, very magnificent, but not to be compared with this of Ghirlandaio. Looking at such treasures I could almost say that we have left behind us more splendor than we have kept alive to our own age. We publish beautiful editions of books, to be sure, and thousands of people enjoy them; but in ancient times the expense that we spread thinly over a thousand volumes was all compressed into one, and it became a great jewel of a book, a heavy folio, worth its weight in gold. Then, what a spiritual charm it gives to a book to feel that every letter has been individually wrought, and the pictures glow for that individual page alone! Certainly the ancient reader had a luxury which the modern one lacks. I was surprised, moreover, to see the clearness and accuracy of the chirography. Print does not surpass it in these respects.

The custode showed us an ancient manuscript of the Decameron; likewise, a volume containing the portraits of Petrarch and of Laura, each covering the whole of a vellum page, and very finely done. They are authentic portraits, no doubt, and Laura is depicted as a fair-haired beauty, with a very satisfactory amount of loveliness. We saw some choice old editions of books in a small separate room; but as these were all ranged in shut bookcases, and as each volume, moreover, was in a separate cover or modern binding, this exhibition did us very little good. By the by, there is a conceit struggling blindly in my mind about Petrarch and Laura, suggested by those two lifelike portraits, which have been sleeping cheek to cheek through all these centuries. But I cannot lay hold of it.

September 21st.—Yesterday morning the Val d' Arno was entirely filled with a thick fog, which extended even up to our windows, and concealed objects within a very short distance. It began to dissipate itself betimes, however, and was the forerunner of an unusually bright and warm day. We set out after breakfast and walked into town, where we looked at mosaic brooches. These are very pretty little bits of manufacture; but there seems to have been no infusion of fresh fancy into the work, and the specimens present little variety. It is the characteristic commodity of the place; the central mart and manufacturing locality being on the Ponte Vecchio, from end to end of which they are displayed in cases; but there are other mosaic shops scattered about the town. The principal devices are roses,—pink, yellow, or white,—jasmines, lilies of the valley, forget-me-nots, orange blossoms, and others, single or in sprigs, or twined into wreaths; parrots, too, and other birds of gay plumage,— often exquisitely done, and sometimes with precious materials, such as lapis lazuli, malachite, and still rarer gems. Bracelets, with several different, yet relative designs, are often very beautiful. We find, at different shops, a great inequality of prices for mosaics that seemed to be of much the same quality.

We went to the Uffizi gallery, and found it much thronged with the middle and lower classes of Italians; and the English, too, seemed more numerous than I have lately seen them. Perhaps the tourists have just arrived here, starting at the close of the London season. We were amused with a pair of Englishmen who went through the gallery; one of them criticising the pictures and statues audibly, for the benefit of his companion. The critic I should take to be a country squire, and wholly untravelled; a tall, well-built, rather rough, but gentlemanly man enough; his friend, a small personage, exquisitely neat in dress, and of artificial deportment, every attitude and gesture appearing to have been practised before a glass. Being but a small pattern of a man, physically and intellectually, he had thought it worth while to finish himself off with the elaborateness of a Florentine mosaic; and the result was something like a dancing-master, though without the exuberant embroidery of such persons. Indeed, he was a very quiet little man, and, though so thoroughly made up, there was something particularly green, fresh, and simple in him. Both these Englishmen were elderly, and the smaller one had perfectly white hair, glossy and silken. It did not make him in the least venerable, however, but took his own character of neatness and prettiness. He carried his well-brushed and glossy hat in his hand in such a way as not to ruffle its surface; and I wish I could put into one word or one sentence the pettiness, the minikinfinical effect of this little man; his self-consciousness so lifelong, that, in some sort, he forgot himself even in the midst of it; his propriety, his cleanliness and unruffledness; his prettiness and nicety of manifestation, like a bird hopping daintily about.

His companion, as I said, was of a completely different type; a tall, gray-haired man, with the rough English face, a little tinted with port wine; careless, natural manner, betokening a man of position in his own neighborhood; a loud voice, not vulgar, nor outraging the rules of society, but betraying a character incapable of much refinement. He talked continually in his progress through the gallery, and audibly enough for us to catch almost everything he said, at many yards' distance. His remarks and criticisms, addressed to his small friend, were so entertaining, that we strolled behind him for the sake of being benefited by them; and I think he soon became aware of this, and addressed himself to us as well as to his more immediate friend. Nobody but an Englishman, it seems to me, has just this kind of vanity,—a feeling mixed up with scorn and good-nature; self-complacency on his own merits, and as an Englishman; pride at being in foreign parts; contempt for everybody around him; a rough kindliness towards people in general. I liked the man, and should be glad to know him better. As for his criticism, I am sorry to remember only one. It was upon the picture of the Nativity, by Correggio, in the Tribune, where the mother is kneeling before the Child, and adoring it in an awful rapture, because she sees the eternal God in its baby face and figure. The Englishman was highly delighted with this picture, and began to gesticulate, as if dandling a baby, and to make a chirruping sound. It was to him merely a representation of a mother fondling her infant. He then said, "If I could have my choice of the pictures and statues in the Tribune, I would take this picture, and that one yonder" (it was a good enough Enthronement of the Virgin by Andrea del Sarto) "and the Dancing Faun, and let the rest go." A delightful man; I love that wholesome coarseness of mind and heart, which no education nor opportunity can polish out of the genuine Englishman; a coarseness without vulgarity. When a Yankee is coarse, he is pretty sure to be vulgar too.

The two critics seemed to be considering whether it were practicable to go from the Uffizi to the Pitti gallery; but "it confuses one," remarked the little man, "to see more than one gallery in a day." (I should think so,—the Pitti Palace tumbling into his small receptacle on the top of the Uffizi.) "It does so," responded the big man, with heavy emphasis.

September 23d.—The vintage has been going on in our podere for about a week, and I saw a part of the process of making wine, under one of our back windows. It was on a very small scale, the grapes being thrown into a barrel, and crushed with a sort of pestle; and as each estate seems to make its own wine, there are probably no very extensive and elaborate appliances in general use for the manufacture. The cider-making of New England is far more picturesque; the great heap of golden or rosy apples under the trees, and the cider-mill worked by a circumgyratory horse, and all agush with sweet juice. Indeed, nothing connected with the grape-culture and the vintage here has been picturesque, except the large inverted pyramids in which the clusters hang; those great bunches, white or purple, really satisfy my idea both as to aspect and taste. We can buy a large basketful for less than a paul; and they are the only things that one can never devour too much of—and there is no enough short of a little too much without subsequent repentance. It is a shame to turn such delicious juice into such sour wine as they make in Tuscany. I tasted a sip or two of a flask which the contadini sent us for trial,— the rich result of the process I had witnessed in the barrel. It took me altogether by surprise; for I remembered the nectareousness of the new cider which I used to sip through a straw in my boyhood, and I never doubted that this would be as dulcet, but finer and more ethereal; as much more delectable, in short, as these grapes are better than puckery cider apples. Positively, I never tasted anything so detestable, such a sour and bitter juice, still lukewarm with fermentation; it was a wail of woe, squeezed out of the wine-press of tribulation, and the more a man drinks of such, the sorrier he will be.

Besides grapes, we have had figs, and I have now learned to be very fond of them. When they first began to appear, two months ago, they had scarcely any sweetness, and tasted very like a decaying squash: this was an early variety, with purple skins. There are many kinds of figs, the best being green-skinned, growing yellower as they ripen; and the riper they are, the more the sweetness within them intensifies, till they resemble dried figs in everything, except that they retain the fresh fruit-flavor; rich, luscious, yet not palling. We have had pears, too, some of them very tolerable; and peaches, which look magnificently, as regards size and downy blush, but, have seldom much more taste than a cucumber. A succession of fruits has followed us, ever since our arrival in Florence:—first, and for a long time, abundance of cherries; then apricots, which lasted many weeks, till we were weary of them; then plums, pears, and finally figs, peaches, and grapes. Except the figs and grapes, a New England summer and autumn would give us better fruit than any we have found in Italy.

Italy beats us I think in mosquitoes; they are horribly pungent little satanic particles. They possess strange intelligence, and exquisite acuteness of sight and smell,—prodigious audacity and courage to match it, insomuch that they venture on the most hazardous attacks, and get safe off. One of them flew into my mouth, the other night, and sting me far down in my throat; but luckily I coughed him up in halves. They are bigger than American mosquitoes; and if you crush them, after one of their feasts, it makes a terrific bloodspot. It is a sort of suicide—at least, a shedding of one's own blood—to kill them; but it gratifies the old Adam to do it. It shocks me to feel how revengeful I am; but it is impossible not to impute a certain malice and intellectual venom to these diabolical insects. I wonder whether our health, at this season of the year, requires that we should be kept in a state of irritation, and so the mosquitoes are Nature's prophetic remedy for some disease; or whether we are made for the mosquitoes, not they for us. It is possible, just possible, that the infinitesimal doses of poison which they infuse into us are a homoeopathic safeguard against pestilence; but medicine never was administered in a more disagreeable way.

The moist atmosphere about the Arno, I suppose, produces these insects, and fills the broad, ten-mile valley with them; and as we are just on the brim of the basin, they overflow into our windows.

September 25th.—U—— and I walked to town yesterday morning, and went to the Uffizi gallery. It is not a pleasant thought that we are so soon to give up this gallery, with little prospect (none, or hardly any, on my part) of ever seeing it again. It interests me and all of us far more than the gallery of the Pitti Palace, wherefore I know not, for the latter is the richer of the two in admirable pictures. Perhaps it is the picturesque variety of the Uffizi—the combination of painting, sculpture, gems, and bronzes—that makes the charm. The Tribune, too, is the richest room in all the world; a heart that draws all hearts to it. The Dutch pictures, moreover, give a homely, human interest to the Uffizi; and I really think that the frequency of Andrea del Santo's productions at the Pitti Palace—looking so very like masterpieces, yet lacking the soul of art and nature—have much to do with the weariness that comes from better acquaintance with the latter gallery. The splendor of the gilded and frescoed saloons is perhaps another bore; but, after all, my memory will often tread there as long as I live. What shall we do in America?

Speaking of Dutch pictures, I was much struck yesterday, as frequently before, with a small picture by Teniers the elder. It seems to be a pawnbroker in the midst of his pledges; old earthen jugs, flasks, a brass kettle, old books, and a huge pile of worn-out and broken rubbish, which he is examining. These things are represented with vast fidelity, yet with bold and free touches, unlike the minute, microscopic work of other Dutch masters; and a wonderful picturesqueness is wrought out of these humble materials, and even the figure and head of the pawnbroker have a strange grandeur.

We spent no very long time at the Uffizi, and afterwards crossed the Ponte alle Grazie, and went to the convent of San Miniato, which stands on a hill outside of the Porta San Gallo. A paved pathway, along which stand crosses marking stations at which pilgrims are to kneel and pray, goes steeply to the hill-top, where, in the first place, is a smaller church and convent than those of San Miniato. The latter are seen at a short distance to the right, the convent being a large, square battlemented mass, adjoining which is the church, showing a front of aged white marble, streaked with black, and having an old stone tower behind. I have seen no other convent or monastery that so well corresponds with my idea of what such structures were. The sacred precincts are enclosed by a high wall, gray, ancient, and luxuriously ivy-grown, and lofty and strong enough for the rampart of a fortress. We went through the gateway and entered the church, which we found in much disarray, and masons at work upon the pavement. The tribune is elevated considerably above the nave, and accessible by marble staircases; there are great arches and a chapel, with curious monuments in the Gothic style, and ancient carvings and mosaic works, and, in short, a dim, dusty, and venerable interior, well worth studying in detail. . . . The view of Florence from the church door is very fine, and seems to include every tower, dome, or whatever object emerges out of the general mass.

September 28th.—I went to the Pitti Palace yesterday, and to the Uffizi to-day, paying them probably my last visit, yet cherishing an unreasonable doubt whether I may not see them again. At all events, I have seen them enough for the present, even what is best of them; and, at the same time, with a sad reluctance to bid them farewell forever, I experience an utter weariness of Raphael's old canvas, and of the time-yellowed marble of the Venus de' Medici. When the material embodiment presents itself outermost, and we perceive them only by the grosser sense, missing their ethereal spirit, there is nothing so heavily burdensome as masterpieces of painting and sculpture. I threw my farewell glance at the Venus de' Medici to-day with strange insensibility.

The nights are wonderfully beautiful now. When the moon was at the full, a few nights ago, its light was an absolute glory, such as I seem only to have dreamed of heretofore, and that only in my younger days. At its rising I have fancied that the orb of the moon has a kind of purple brightness, and that this tinge is communicated to its radiance until it has climbed high aloft and sheds a flood of white over hill and valley. Now that the moon is on the wane, there is a gentler lustre, but still bright; and it makes the Val d' Arno with its surrounding hills, and its soft mist in the distance, as beautiful a scene as exists anywhere out of heaven. And the morning is quite as beautiful in its own way. This mist, of which I have so often spoken, sets it beyond the limits of actual sense and makes it ideal; it is as if you were dreaming about the valley,—as if the valley itself were dreaming, and met you half-way in your own dream. If the mist were to be withdrawn, I believe the whole beauty of the valley would go with it.

Until pretty late in the morning, we have the comet streaming through the sky, and dragging its interminable tail among the stars. It keeps brightening from night to night, and I should think must blaze fiercely enough to cast a shadow by and by. I know not whether it be in the vicinity of Galileo's tower, and in the influence of his spirit, but I have hardly ever watched the stars with such interest as now.

September 29th.—Last evening I met Mr. Powers at Miss Blagden's, and he talked about his treatment, by our government in reference, to an appropriation of twenty-five thousand dollars made by Congress for a statue by him. Its payment and the purchase of the statue were left at the option of the President, and he conceived himself wronged because the affair was never concluded. . . . As for the President, he knows nothing of art, and probably acted in the matter by the advice of the director of public works. No doubt a sculptor gets commissions as everybody gets public employment and emolument of whatever kind from our government, not by merit or fitness, but by political influence skilfully applied. As Powers himself observed, the ruins of our Capitol are not likely to afford sculptures equal to those which Lord Elgin took from the Parthenon, if this be the system under which they are produced. . . . I wish our great Republic had the spirit to do as much, according to its vast means, as Florence did for sculpture and architecture when it was a republic; but we have the meanest government and the shabbiest, and—if truly represented by it—we are the meanest and shabbiest people known in history. And yet the less we attempt to do for art the better, if our future attempts are to have no better result than such brazen troopers as the equestrian statue of General Jackson, or even such naked respectabilities as Greenough's Washington. There is something false and affected in our highest taste for art; and I suppose, furthermore, we are the only people who seek to decorate their public institutions, not by the highest taste among them, but by the average at best.

There was also at Miss Blagden's, among other company, Mr. ———, an artist in Florence, and a sensible man. I talked with him about Home, the medium, whom he had many opportunities of observing when the latter was in these parts. Mr. ——— says that Home is unquestionably a knave, but that he himself is as much perplexed at his own preternatural performances as any other person; he is startled and affrighted at the phenomena which he produces. Nevertheless, when his spiritual powers fall short, he does his best to eke them out with imposture. This moral infirmity is a part of his nature, and I suggested that perhaps if he were of a firmer and healthier moral make, if his character were sufficiently sound and dense to be capable of steadfast principle, he would not have possessed the impressibility that fits him for the so-called spiritual influences. Mr. ——— says that Louis Napoleon is literally one of the most skilful jugglers in the world, and that probably the interest he has taken in Mr. Home was caused partly by a wish to acquire his art.

This morning Mr. Powers invited me to go with him to the Grand Duke's new foundry, to see the bronze statue of Webster which has just been cast from his model. It is the second cast of the statue, the first having been shipped some months ago on board of a vessel which was lost; and, as Powers observed, the statue now lies at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean somewhere in the vicinity of the telegraphic cable.

We were received with much courtesy and emphasis by the director of the foundry, and conducted into a large room walled with bare, new brick, where the statue was standing in front of the extinct furnace: a majestic Webster indeed, eight feet high, and looking even more colossal than that. The likeness seemed to me perfect, and, like a sensible man, Powers' has dressed him in his natural costume, such as I have seen Webster have on while making a speech in the open air at a mass meeting in Concord,—dress-coat buttoned pretty closely across the breast, pantaloons and boots,—everything finished even to a seam and a stitch. Not an inch of the statue but is Webster; even his coat-tails are imbued with the man, and this true artist has succeeded in showing him through the broadcloth as nature showed him. He has felt that a man's actual clothes are as much a part of him as his flesh, and I respect him for disdaining to shirk the difficulty by throwing the meanness of a cloak over it, and for recognizing the folly of masquerading our Yankee statesman in a Roman toga, and the indecorousness of presenting him as a brassy nudity. It would have been quite as unjustifiable to strip him to his skeleton as to his flesh. Webster is represented as holding in his right hand the written roll of the Constitution, with which he points to a bundle of fasces, which he keeps from falling by the grasp of his left, thus symbolizing him as the preserver of the Union. There is an expression of quiet, solid, massive strength in the whole figure; a deep, pervading energy, in which any exaggeration of gesture would lessen and lower the effect. He looks really like a pillar of the state. The face is very grand, very Webster stern and awful, because he is in the act of meeting a great crisis, and yet with the warmth of a great heart glowing through it. Happy is Webster to have been so truly and adequately sculptured; happy the sculptor in such a subject, which no idealization of a demigod could have supplied him with. Perhaps the statue at the bottom of the sea will be cast up in some future age, when the present race of man is forgotten, and if so, that far posterity will look up to us as a grander race than we find ourselves to be. Neither was Webster altogether the man he looked. His physique helped him out, even when he fell somewhat short of its promise; and if his eyes had not been in such deep caverns their fire would not have looked so bright.

Powers made me observe how the surface of the statue was wrought to a sort of roughness instead of being smoothed, as is the practice of other artists. He said that this had cost him great pains, and certainly it has an excellent effect. The statue is to go to Boston, and I hope will be placed in the open air, for it is too mighty to be kept under any roof that now exists in America. . . .

After seeing this, the director showed us some very curious and exquisite specimens of castings, such as baskets of flowers, in which the most delicate and fragile blossoms, the curl of a petal, the finest veins in a leaf, the lightest flower-spray that ever quivered in a breeze, were perfectly preserved; and the basket contained an abundant heap of such sprays. There were likewise a pair of hands, taken actually from life, clasped together as they were, and they looked like parts of a man who had been changed suddenly from flesh to brass. They were worn and rough and unhandsome hands, and so very real, with all their veins and the pores of the skin, that it was shocking to look at them. A bronze leaf, cast also from the life, was as curious and more beautiful.

Taking leave of Powers, I went hither and thither about Florence, seeing for the last time things that I have seen many times before: the market, for instance, blocking up a line of narrow streets with fruit-stalls, and obstreperous dealers crying their peaches, their green lemons, their figs, their delicious grapes, their mushrooms, their pomegranates, their radishes, their lettuces. They use one vegetable here which I have not known so used elsewhere; that is, very young pumpkins or squashes, of the size of apples, and to be cooked by boiling. They are not to my taste, but the people here like unripe things,—unripe fruit, unripe chickens, unripe lamb. This market is the noisiest and swarmiest centre of noisy and swarming Florence, and I always like to pass through it on that account.

I went also to Santa Croce, and it seemed to me to present a longer vista and broader space than almost any other church, perhaps because the pillars between the nave and aisles are not so massive as to obstruct the view. I looked into the Duomo, too, and was pretty well content to leave it. Then I came homeward, and lost my way, and wandered far off through the white sunshine, and the scanty shade of the vineyard walls, and the olive-trees that here and there branched over them. At last I saw our own gray battlements at a distance, on one side, quite out of the direction in which I was travelling, so was compelled to the grievous mortification of retracing a great many of my weary footsteps. It was a very hot day. This evening I have been on the towertop star-gazing, and looking at the comet, which waves along the sky like an immense feather of flame. Over Florence there was an illuminated atmosphere, caused by the lights of the city gleaming upward into the mists which sleep and dream above that portion of the valley, as well as the rest of it. I saw dimly, or fancied I saw, the hill of Fiesole on the other side of Florence, and remembered how ghostly lights were seen passing thence to the Duomo on the night when Lorenzo the Magnificent died. From time to time the sweet bells of Florence rang out, and I was loath to come down into the lower world, knowing that I shall never again look heavenward from an old tower-top in such a soft calm evening as this. Yet I am not loath to go away; impatient rather; for, taking no root, I soon weary of any soil in which I may be temporarily deposited. The same impatience I sometimes feel or conceive of as regards this earthly life. . . .

I forgot to mention that Powers showed me, in his studio, the model of the statue of America, which he wished the government to buy. It has great merit, and embodies the ideal of youth, freedom, progress, and whatever we consider as distinctive of our country's character and destiny. It is a female figure, vigorous, beautiful, planting its foot lightly on a broken chain, and pointing upward. The face has a high look of intelligence and lofty feeling; the form, nude to the middle, has all the charms of womanhood, and is thus warmed and redeemed out of the cold allegoric sisterhood who have generally no merit in chastity, being really without sex. I somewhat question whether it is quite the thing, however, to make a genuine woman out of an allegory we ask, Who is to wed this lovely virgin? and we are not satisfied to banish her into the realm of chilly thought. But I liked the statue, and all the better for what I criticise, and was sorry to see the huge package in which the finished marble lies bundled up, ready to be sent to our country,—which does not call for it.

Mr. Powers and his two daughters called to take leave of us, and at parting I expressed a hope of seeing him in America. He said that it would make him very unhappy to believe that he should never return thither; but it seems to me that he has no such definite purpose of return as would be certain to bring itself to pass. It makes a very unsatisfactory life, thus to spend the greater part of it in exile. In such a case we are always deferring the reality of life till a future moment, and, by and by, we have deferred it till there are no future moments; or, if we do go back, we find that life has shifted whatever of reality it had to the country where we deemed ourselves only living temporarily; and so between two stools we come to the ground, and make ourselves a part of one or the other country only by laying our bones in its soil. It is particularly a pity in Powers's case, because he is so very American in character, and the only convenience for him of his Italian residence is, that here he can supply himself with marble, and with workmen to chisel it according to his designs.


October 2d.—Yesterday morning, at six o'clock, we left our ancient tower, and threw a parting glance—and a rather sad one—over the misty Val d' Arno. This summer will look like a happy one in our children's retrospect, and also, no doubt, in the years that remain to ourselves; and, in truth, I have found it a peaceful and not uncheerful one.

It was not a pleasant morning, and Monte Morello, looking down on Florence, had on its cap, betokening foul weather, according to the proverb. Crossing the suspension-bridge, we reached the Leopoldo railway without entering the city. By some mistake,—or perhaps because nobody ever travels by first-class carriages in Tuscany,—we found we had received second-class tickets, and were put into a long, crowded carriage, full of priests, military men, commercial travellers, and other respectable people, facing one another lengthwise along the carriage, and many of them smoking cigars. They were all perfectly civil, and I think I must own that the manners of this second-class would compare favorably with those of an American first-class one.

At Empoli, about an hour after we started, we had to change carriages, the main train proceeding to Leghorn. . . . My observations along the road were very scanty: a hilly country, with several old towns seated on the most elevated hill-tops, as is common throughout Tuscany, or sometimes a fortress with a town on the plain at its base; or, once or twice, the towers and battlements of a mediaeval castle, commanding the pass below it. Near Florence the country was fertile in the vine and olive, and looked as unpicturesque as that sort of fertility usually makes it; not but what I have come to think better of the tint of the olive-leaf than when I first saw it. In the latter part of our journey I remember a wild stream, of a greenish hue, but transparent, rushing along over a rough bed, and before reaching Siena we rumbled into a long tunnel, and emerged from it near the city. . . .

We drove up hill and down (for the surface of Siena seems to be nothing but an irregularity) through narrow old streets, and were set down at the Aquila Nera, a grim-looking albergo near the centre of the town. Mrs. S——— had already taken rooms for us there, and to these we were now ushered up the highway of a dingy stone staircase, and into a small, brick-paved parlor. The house seemed endlessly old, and all the glimpses that we caught of Siena out of window seemed more ancient still. Almost within arm's reach, across a narrow street, a tall palace of gray, time-worn stone clambered skyward, with arched windows, and square windows, and large windows and small, scattered up and down its side. It is the Palazzo Tolomei, and looks immensely venerable. From the windows of our bedrooms we looked into a broader street, though still not very wide, and into a small piazza, the most conspicuous object in which was a column, hearing on its top a bronze wolf suckling Romulus and Remus. This symbol is repeated in other parts of the city, and scours to indicate that the Sienese people pride themselves in a Roman origin. In another direction, over the tops of the houses, we saw a very high tower, with battlements projecting around its summit, so that it was a fortress in the air; and this I have since found to be the Palazzo Publico. It was pleasant, looking downward into the little old piazza and narrow streets, to see the swarm of life on the pavement, the life of to-day just as new as if it had never been lived before; the citizens, the priests, the soldiers, the mules and asses with their panniers, the diligence lumbering along, with a postilion in a faded crimson coat bobbing up and down on the off-horse. Such a bustling scene, vociferous, too, with various street-cries, is wonderfully set off by the gray antiquity of the town, and makes the town look older than if it were a solitude.

Soon Mr. and Mrs. Story came, and accompanied us to look for lodgings. They also drove us about the city in their carriage, and showed us the outside of the Palazzo Publico, and of the cathedral and other remarkable edifices. The aspect of Siena is far more picturesque than that of any other town in Italy, so far as I know Italian towns; and yet, now that I have written it, I remember Perugia, and feel that the observation is a mistake. But at any rate Siena is remarkably picturesque, standing on such a site, on the verge and within the crater of an extinct volcano, and therefore being as uneven as the sea in a tempest; the streets so narrow, ascending between tall, ancient palaces, while the side streets rush headlong down, only to be threaded by sure-footed mules, such as climb Alpine heights; old stone balconies on the palace fronts; old arched doorways, and windows set in frames of Gothic architecture; arcades, resembling canopies of stone, with quaintly sculptured statues in the richly wrought Gothic niches of each pillar;—everything massive and lofty, yet minutely interesting when you look at it stone by stone. The Florentines, and the Romans too, have obliterated, as far as they could, all the interest of their mediaeval structures by covering them with stucco, so that they have quite lost their character, and affect the spectator with no reverential idea of age. Here the city is all overwritten with black-letter, and the glad Italian sun makes the effect so much the stronger.

We took a lodging, and afterwards J——- and I rambled about, and went into the cathedral for a moment, and strayed also into the Piazza del Campo, the great public square of Siena. I am not in the mood for further description of public places now, so shall say a word or two about the old palace in which we have established ourselves. We have the second piano, and dwell amid faded grandeur, having for our saloon what seems to have been a ball-room. It is ornamented with a great fresco in the centre of the vaulted ceiling, and others covering the sides of the apartment, and surrounded with arabesque frameworks, where Cupids gambol and chase one another. The subjects of the frescos I cannot make out, not that they are faded like Giotto's, for they are as fresh as roses, and are done in an exceedingly workmanlike style; but they are allegories of Fame and Plenty and other matters, such as I could never understand. Our whole accommodation is in similar style,—spacious, magnificent, and mouldy.

In the evening Miss S——— and I drove to the railway, and on the arrival of the train from Florence we watched with much eagerness the unlading of the luggage-van. At last the whole of our ten trunks and tin bandbox were produced, and finally my leather bag, in which was my journal and a manuscript book containing my sketch of a romance. It gladdened my very heart to see it, and I shall think the better of Tuscan promptitude and accuracy for so quickly bringing it back to me. (It was left behind, under one of the rail-carriage seats.) We find all the public officials, whether of railway, police, or custom-house, extremely courteous and pleasant to encounter; they seem willing to take trouble and reluctant to give it, and it is really a gratification to find that such civil people will sometimes oblige you by taking a paul or two aside.

October 3d.—I took several strolls about the city yesterday, and find it scarcely extensive enough to get lost in; and if we go far from the centre we soon come to silent streets, with only here and there an individual; and the inhabitants stare from their doors and windows at the stranger, and turn round to look at him after he has passed. The interest of the old town would soon be exhausted for the traveller, but I can conceive that a thoughtful and shy man might settle down here with the view of making the place a home, and spend many years in a sombre kind of happiness. I should prefer it to Florence as a residence, but it would be terrible without an independent life in one's own mind.

U—— and I walked out in the afternoon, and went into the Piazza del Campo, the principal place of the city, and a very noble and peculiar one. It is much in the form of an amphitheatre, and the surface of the ground seems to be slightly scooped out, so that it resembles the shallow basin of a shell. It is thus a much better site for an assemblage of the populace than if it were a perfect level. A semicircle or truncated ellipse of stately and ancient edifices surround the piazza, with arches opening beneath them, through which streets converge hitherward. One side of the piazza is a straight line, and is occupied by the Palazzo Publico, which is a most noble and impressive Gothic structure. It has not the mass of the Palazzo Vecchio at Florence, but is more striking. It has a long battlemented front, the central part of which rises eminent above the rest, in a great square bulk, which is likewise crowned with battlements. This is much more picturesque than the one great block of stone into which the Palazzo Vecchio is consolidated. At one extremity of this long front of the Palazzo Publico rises a tower, shooting up its shaft high, high into the air, and bulging out there into a battlemented fortress, within which the tower, slenderer than before, climbs to a still higher region. I do not know whether the summit of the tower is higher or so high as that of the Palazzo Vecchio; but the length of the shaft, free of the edifice, is much greater, and so produces the more elevating effect. The whole front of the Palazzo Publico is exceedingly venerable, with arched windows, Gothic carvings, and all the old-time ornaments that betoken it to have stood a great while, and the gray strength that will hold it up at least as much longer. At one end of the facade, beneath the shadow of the tower, is a grand and beautiful porch, supported on square pillars, within each of which is a niche containing a statue of mediaeval sculpture.

The great Piazza del Campo is the market-place of Siena. In the morning it was thronged with booths and stalls, especially of fruit and vegetable dealers; but as in Florence, they melted away in the sunshine, gradually withdrawing themselves into the shadow thrown from the Palazzo Publico.

On the side opposite the palace is an antique fountain of marble, ornamented with two statues and a series of bas-reliefs; and it was so much admired in its day that its sculptor received the name "Del Fonte." I am loath to leave the piazza and palace without finding some word or two to suggest their antique majesty, in the sunshine and the shadow; and how fit it seemed, notwithstanding their venerableness, that there should be a busy crowd filling up the great, hollow amphitheatre, and crying their fruit and little merchandises, so that all the curved line of stately old edifices helped to reverberate the noise. The life of to-day, within the shell of a time past, is wonderfully fascinating.

Another point to which a stranger's footsteps are drawn by a kind of magnetism, so that he will be apt to find himself there as often as he strolls out of his hotel, is the cathedral. It stands in the highest part of the city, and almost every street runs into some other street which meanders hitherward. On our way thither, U—— and I came to a beautiful front of black and white marble, in somewhat the same style as the cathedral; in fact, it was the baptistery, and should have made a part of it, according to the original design, which contemplated a structure of vastly greater extent than this actual one. We entered the baptistery, and found the interior small, but very rich in its clustered columns and intersecting arches, and its frescos, pictures, statues, and ornaments. Moreover, a father and mother had brought their baby to be baptized, and the poor little thing, in its gay swaddling-clothes, looked just like what I have seen in old pictures, and a good deal like an Indian pappoose. It gave one little slender squeak when the priest put the water on its forehead, and then was quiet again.

We now went round to the facade of the cathedral. . . . It is of black and white marble, with, I believe, an intermixture of red and other colors; but time has toned them down, so that white, black, and red do not contrast so strongly with one another as they may have done five hundred years ago. The architecture is generally of the pointed Gothic style, but there are likewise carved arches over the doors and windows, and a variety which does not produce the effect of confusion,—a magnificent eccentricity, an exuberant imagination flowering out in stone. On high, in the great peak of the front, and throwing its colored radiance into the nave within, there is a round window of immense circumference, the painted figures in which we can see dimly from the outside. But what I wish to express, and never can, is the multitudinous richness of the ornamentation of the front: the arches within arches, sculptured inch by inch, of the deep doorways; the statues of saints, some making a hermitage of a niche, others standing forth; the scores of busts, that look like faces of ancient people gazing down out of the cathedral; the projecting shapes of stone lions,—the thousand forms of Gothic fancy, which seemed to soften the marble and express whatever it liked, and allow it to harden again to last forever. But my description seems like knocking off the noses of some of the busts, the fingers and toes of the statues, the projecting points of the architecture, jumbling them all up together, and flinging them down upon the page. This gives no idea of the truth, nor, least of all, can it shadow forth that solemn whole, mightily combined out of all these minute particulars, and sanctifying the entire space of ground over which this cathedral-front flings its shadow, or on which it reflects the sun. A majesty and a minuteness, neither interfering with the other, each assisting the other; this is what I love in Gothic architecture. We went in and walked about; but I mean to go again before sketching the interior in my poor water-colors.

October 4th.—On looking again at the Palazzo Publico, I see that the pillared portal which I have spoken of does not cover an entrance to the palace, but is a chapel, with an altar, and frescos above it. Bouquets of fresh flowers are on the altar, and a lamp burns, in all the daylight, before the crucifix. The chapel is quite unenclosed, except by an openwork balustrade of marble, on which the carving looks very ancient. Nothing could be more convenient for the devotions of the crowd in the piazza, and no doubt the daily prayers offered at the shrine might be numbered by the thousand,—brief, but I hope earnest,—like those glimpses I used to catch at the blue sky, revealing so much in an instant, while I was toiling at Brook Farm. Another picturesque thing about the Palazzo Publico is a great stone balcony quaintly wrought, about midway in the front and high aloft, with two arched windows opening into it.

After another glimpse at the cathedral, too, I realize how utterly I have failed in conveying the idea of its elaborate ornament, its twisted and clustered pillars, and numberless devices of sculpture; nor did I mention the venerable statues that stand all round the summit of the edifice, relieved against the sky,—the highest of all being one of the Saviour, on the topmost peak of the front; nor the tall tower that ascends from one side of the building, and is built of layers of black and white marble piled one upon another in regular succession; nor the dome that swells upward close beside this tower.

Had the cathedral been constructed on the plan and dimensions at first contemplated, it would have been incomparably majestic; the finished portion, grand as it is, being only what was intended for a transept. One of the walls of what was to have been the nave is still standing, and looks like a ruin, though, I believe, it has been turned to account as the wall of a palace, the space of the never-completed nave being now a court or street.

The whole family of us were kindly taken out yesterday, to dine and spend the day at the Villa Belvedere with our friends Mr. and Mrs. Story. The vicinity of Siena is much more agreeable than that of Florence, being cooler, breezier, with more foliage and shrubbery both near at hand and in the distance; and the prospect, Mr. Story told us, embraces a diameter of about a hundred miles between hills north and south. The Villa Belvedere was built and owned by an Englishman now deceased, who has left it to his butler, and its lawns and shrubbery have something English in their character, and there was almost a dampness in the grass, which really pleased me in this parched Italy. Within the house the walls are hung with fine old-fashioned engravings from the pictures of Gainsborough, West, and other English painters. The Englishman, though he had chosen to live and die in Italy, had evidently brought his native tastes and peculiarities along with him. Mr. Story thinks of buying this villa: I do not know but I might be tempted to buy it myself if Siena were a practicable residence for the entire year; but the winter here, with the bleak mountain-winds of a hundred miles round about blustering against it, must be terribly disagreeable.

We spent a very pleasant day, turning over books or talking on the lawn, whence we could behold scenes picturesque afar, and rich vineyard glimpses near at hand. Mr. Story is the most variously accomplished and brilliant person, the fullest of social life and fire, whom I ever met; and without seeming to make an effort, he kept us amused and entertained the whole day long; not wearisomely entertained neither, as we should have been if he had not let his fountain play naturally. Still, though he bubbled and brimmed over with fun, he left the impression on me that . . . . there is a pain and care, bred, it may be, out of the very richness of his gifts and abundance of his outward prosperity. Rich, in the prime of life, . . . . and children budding and blossoming around him as fairly as his heart could wish, with sparkling talents,—so many, that if he choose to neglect or fling away one, or two, or three, he would still have enough left to shine with,—who should be happy if not he? . . . .

Towards sunset we all walked out into the podere, pausing a little while to look down into a well that stands on the verge of the lawn. Within the spacious circle of its stone curb was an abundant growth of maidenhair, forming a perfect wreath of thickly clustering leaves quite round, and trailing its tendrils downward to the water which gleamed beneath. It was a very pretty sight. Mr. Story bent over the well and uttered deep, musical tones, which were reverberated from the hollow depths with wonderful effect, as if a spirit dwelt within there, and (unlike the spirits that speak through mediums) sent him back responses even profounder and more melodious than the tones that awakened them. Such a responsive well as this might have been taken for an oracle in old days.

We went along paths that led from one vineyard to another, and which might have led us for miles across the country. The grapes had been partly gathered, but still there were many purple or white clusters hanging heavily on the vines. We passed cottage doors, and saw groups of contadini and contadine in their festal attire, and they saluted us graciously; but it was observable that one of the men generally lingered on our track to see that no grapes were stolen, for there were a good many young people and children in our train, not only our own, but some from a neighboring villa. These Italian peasants are a kindly race, but, I doubt, not very hospitable of grape or fig.

There was a beautiful sunset, and by the time we reached the house again the comet was already visible amid the unextinguished glow of daylight. A Mr. and Mrs. B———, Scotch people from the next villa, had come to see the Storys, and we sat till tea-time reading, talking, William Story drawing caricatures for his children's amusement and ours, and all of us sometimes getting up to look at the comet, which blazed brighter and brighter till it went down into the mists of the horizon. Among the caricatures was one of a Presidential candidate, evidently a man of very malleable principles, and likely to succeed.

Late in the evening (too late for little Rosebud) we drove homeward. The streets of old Siena looked very grim at night, and it seemed like gazing into caverns to glimpse down some of the side streets as we passed, with a light burning dimly at the end of them. It was after ten when we reached home, and climbed up our gloomy staircase, lighted by the glimmer of some wax moccoli which I had in my pocket.

October 5th.—I have been two or three times into the cathedral; . . . . the whole interior is of marble, in alternate lines of black and white, each layer being about eight inches in width and extending horizontally. It looks very curiously, and might remind the spectator of a stuff with horizontal stripes. Nevertheless, the effect is exceedingly rich, these alternate lines stretching away along the walls and round the clustered pillars, seen aloft, and through the arches; everywhere, this inlay of black and white. Every sort of ornament that could be thought of seems to have been crammed into the cathedral in one place or another: gilding, frescos, pictures; a roof of blue, spangled with golden stars; a magnificent wheel-window of old painted glass over the entrance, and another at the opposite end of the cathedral; statues, some of marble, others of gilded bronze; pulpits of carved marble; a gilded organ; a cornice of marble busts of the popes, extending round the entire church; a pavement, covered all over with a strange kind of mosaic work in various marbles, wrought into marble pictures of sacred subjects; immense clustered pillars supporting the round arches that divide the nave from the side aisles; a clere-story of windows within pointed arches;—it seemed as if the spectator were reading an antique volume written in black-letter of a small character, but conveying a high and solemn meaning. I can find no way of expressing its effect on me, so quaint and venerable as I feel this cathedral to be in its immensity of striped waistcoat, now dingy with five centuries of wear. I ought not to say anything that might detract from the grandeur and sanctity of the blessed edifice, for these attributes are really uninjured by any of the Gothic oddities which I have hinted at.

We went this morning to the Institute of the Fine Arts, which is interesting as containing a series of the works of the Sienese painters from a date earlier than that of Cimabue. There is a dispute, I believe, between Florence and Siena as to which city may claim the credit of having originated the modern art of painting. The Florentines put forward Cimabue as the first artist, but as the Sienese produce a picture, by Guido da Siena, dated before the birth of Cimabue, the victory is decidedly with them. As to pictorial merit, to my taste there is none in either of these old painters, nor in any of their successors for a long time afterwards. At the Institute there are several rooms hung with early productions of the Sienese school, painted before the invention of oil-colors, on wood shaped into Gothic altar-pieces. The backgrounds still retain a bedimmed splendor of gilding. There is a plentiful use of red, and I can conceive that the pictures must have shed an illumination through the churches where they were displayed. There is often, too, a minute care bestowed on the faces in the pictures, and sometimes a very strong expression, stronger than modern artists get, and it is very strange how they attained this merit while they were so inconceivably rude in other respects. It is remarkable that all the early faces of the Madonna are especially stupid, and all of the same type, a sort of face such as one might carve on a pumpkin, representing a heavy, sulky, phlegmatic woman, with a long and low arch of the nose. This same dull face continues to be assigned to the Madonna, even when the countenances of the surrounding saints and angels are characterized with power and beauty, so that I think there must have been some portrait of this sacred personage reckoned authentic, which the early painters followed and religiously repeated.

At last we came to a picture by Sodoma, the most illustrious representative of the Sienese school. It was a fresco; Christ bound to the pillar, after having been scourged. I do believe that painting has never done anything better, so far as expression is concerned, than this figure. In all these generations since it was painted it must have softened thousands of hearts, drawn down rivers of tears, been more effectual than a million of sermons. Really, it is a thing to stand and weep at. No other painter has done anything that can deserve to be compared to this.

There are some other pictures by Sodoma, among them a Judith, very noble and admirable, and full of a profound sorrow for the deed which she has felt it her mission to do.

Aquila Nera, October 7th.—Our lodgings in Siena had been taken only for five days, as they were already engaged after that period; so yesterday we returned to our old quarters at the Black Eagle.

In the forenoon J——- and I went out of one of the gates (the road from it leads to Florence) and had a pleasant country walk. Our way wound downward, round the hill on which Siena stands, and gave us views of the Duomo and its campanile, seemingly pretty near, after we had walked long enough to be quite remote from them. Sitting awhile on the parapet of a bridge, I saw a laborer chopping the branches off a poplar-tree which he had felled; and, when it was trimmed, he took up the large trunk on one of his shoulders and carried it off, seemingly with ease. He did not look like a particularly robust man; but I have never seen such an herculean feat attempted by an Englishman or American. It has frequently struck me that the Italians are able to put forth a great deal of strength in such insulated efforts as this; but I have been told that they are less capable of continued endurance and hardship than our own race. I do not know why it should be so, except that I presume their food is less strong than ours. There was no other remarkable incident in our walk, which lay chiefly through gorges of the hills, winding beneath high cliffs of the brown Siena earth, with many pretty scenes of rural landscape; vineyards everywhere, and olive-trees; a mill on its little stream, over which there was an old stone bridge, with a graceful arch; farm-houses; a villa or two; subterranean passages, passing from the roadside through the high banks into the vineyards. At last we turned aside into a road which led us pretty directly to another gate of the city, and climbed steeply upward among tanneries, where the young men went about with their well-shaped legs bare, their trousers being tucked up till they were strictly breeches and nothing else. The campanile stood high above us; and by and by, and very soon, indeed, the steep ascent of the street brought us into the neighborhood of the Piazza del Campo, and of our own hotel. . . . From about twelve o'clock till one, I sat at my chamber window watching the specimens of human life as displayed in the Piazza Tolomei. [Here follow several pages of moving objects.] . . . . Of course, a multitude of other people passed by, but the curiousness of the catalogue is the prevalence of the martial and religious elements. The general costume of the inhabitants is frocks or sacks, loosely made, and rather shabby; often, shirt-sleeves; or the coat hung over one shoulder. They wear felt hats and straw. People of respectability seem to prefer cylinder hats, either black or drab, and broadcloth frock-coats in the French fashion; but, like the rest, they look a little shabby. Almost all the women wear shawls. Ladies in swelling petticoats, and with fans, some of which are highly gilded, appear. The people generally are not tall, but have a sufficient breadth of shoulder; in complexion, similar to Americans; bearded, universally. The vehicle used for driving is a little gig without a top; but these are seldom seen, and still less frequently a cab or other carriages. The gait of the people has not the energy of business or decided purpose. Everybody appears to lounge, and to have time for a moment's chat, and a disposition to rest, reason or none.

After dinner I walked out of another gate of the city, and wandered among some pleasant country lanes, bordered with hedges, and wearing an English aspect; at least, I could fancy so. The vicinity of Siena is delightful to walk about in; there being a verdant outlook, a wide prospect of purple mountains, though no such level valley as the Val d' Arno; and the city stands so high that its towers and domes are seen more picturesquely from many points than those of Florence can be. Neither is the pedestrian so cruelly shut into narrow lanes, between high stone-walls, over which he cannot get a glimpse of landscape. As I walked by the hedges yesterday I could have fancied that the olive-trunks were those of apple-trees, and that I was in one or other of the two lands that I love better than Italy. But the great white villas and the farm-houses were unlike anything I have seen elsewhere, or that I should wish to see again, though proper enough to Italy.

October 9th.—Thursday forenoon, 8th, we went to see the Palazzo Publico. There are some fine old halls and chapels, adorned with ancient frescos and pictures, of which I remember a picture of the Virgin by Sodoma, very beautiful, and other fine pictures by the same master. The architecture of these old rooms is grand, the roofs being supported by ponderous arches, which are covered with frescos, still magnificent, though faded, darkened, and defaced. We likewise saw an antique casket of wood, enriched with gilding, which had once contained an arm of John the Baptist,—so the custode told us. One of the halls was hung with the portraits of eight popes and nearly forty cardinals, who were natives of Siena. I have done hardly any other sight-seeing except a daily visit to the cathedral, which I admire and love the more the oftener I go thither. Its striped peculiarity ceases entirely to interfere with the grandeur and venerable beauty of its impression; and I am never weary of gazing through the vista of its arches, and noting continually something that I had not seen before in its exuberant adornment. The pavement alone is inexhaustible, being covered all over with figures of life-size or larger, which look like immense engravings of Gothic or Scriptural scenes. There is Absalom hanging by his hair, and Joab slaying him with a spear. There is Samson belaboring the Philistines with the jawbone of an ass. There are armed knights in the tumult of battle, all wrought with wonderful expression. The figures are in white marble, inlaid with darker stone, and the shading is effected by means of engraved lines in the marble, filled in with black. It would be possible, perhaps, to print impressions from some of these vast plates, for the process of cutting the lines was an exact anticipation of the modern art of engraving. However, the same thing was done—and I suppose at about the same period—on monumental brasses, and I have seen impressions or rubbings from those for sale in the old English churches.

Yesterday morning, in the cathedral, I watched a woman at confession, being curious to see how long it would take her to tell her sins, the growth of a week perhaps. I know not how long she had been confessing when I first observed her, but nearly an hour passed before the priest came suddenly from the confessional, looking weary and moist with perspiration, and took his way out of the cathedral. The woman was left on her knees. This morning I watched another woman, and she too was very long about it, and I could see the face of the priest behind the curtain of the confessional, scarcely inclining his ear to the perforated tin through which the penitent communicated her outpourings. It must be very tedious to listen, day after day, to the minute and commonplace iniquities of the multitude of penitents, and it cannot be often that these are redeemed by the treasure-trove of a great sin. When her confession was over the woman came and sat down on the same bench with me, where her broad-brimmed straw hat was lying. She seemed to be a country woman, with a simple, matronly face, which was solemnized and softened with the comfort that she had obtained by disburdening herself of the soil of worldly frailties and receiving absolution. An old woman, who haunts the cathedral, whispered to her, and she went and knelt down where a procession of priests were to pass, and then the old lady begged a cruzia of me, and got a half-paul. It almost invariably happens, in church or cathedral, that beggars address their prayers to the heretic visitor, and probably with more unction than to the Virgin or saints. However, I have nothing to say against the sincerity of this people's devotion. They give all the proof of it that a mere spectator can estimate.

Last evening we all went out to see the comet, which then reached its climax of lustre. It was like a lofty plume of fire, and grew very brilliant as the night darkened.

October 10th.—This morning, too, we went to the cathedral, and sat long listening to the music of the organ and voices, and witnessing rites and ceremonies which are far older than even the ancient edifice where they were exhibited. A good many people were present, sitting, kneeling, or walking about,—a freedom that contrasts very agreeably with the grim formalities of English churches and our own meeting-houses. Many persons were in their best attire; but others came in, with unabashed simplicity, in their old garments of labor, sunburnt women from their toil among the vines and olives. One old peasant I noticed with his withered shanks in breeches and blue yarn stockings. The people of whatever class are wonderfully tolerant of heretics, never manifesting any displeasure or annoyance, though they must see that we are drawn thither by curiosity alone, and merely pry while they pray. I heartily wish the priests were better men, and that human nature, divinely influenced, could be depended upon for a constant supply and succession of good and pure ministers, their religion has so many admirable points. And then it is a sad pity that this noble and beautiful cathedral should be a mere fossil shell, out of which the life has died long ago. But for many a year yet to come the tapers will burn before the high altar, the Host will be elevated, the incense diffuse its fragrance, the confessionals be open to receive the penitents. I saw a father entering with two little bits of boys, just big enough to toddle along, holding his hand on either side. The father dipped his fingers into the marble font of holy water,—which, on its pedestals, was two or three times as high as those small Christians, —and wetted a hand of each, and taught them how to cross themselves. When they come to be men it will be impossible to convince those children that there is no efficacy in holy water, without plucking up all religious faith and sentiment by the roots. Generally, I suspect, when people throw off the faith they were born in, the best soil of their hearts is apt to cling to its roots.

Raised several feet above the pavement, against every clustered pillar along the nave of the cathedral, is placed a statue of Gothic sculpture. In various places are sitting statues of popes of Sienese nativity, all of whom, I believe, have a hand raised in the act of blessing. Shrines and chapels, set in grand, heavy frames of pillared architecture, stand all along the aisles and transepts, and these seem in many instances to have been built and enriched by noble families, whose arms are sculptured on the pedestals of the pillars, sometimes with a cardinal's hat above to denote the rank of one of its members. How much pride, love, and reverence in the lapse of ages must have clung to the sharp points of all this sculpture and architecture! The cathedral is a religion in itself, —something worth dying for to those who have an hereditary interest in it. In the pavement, yesterday, I noticed the gravestone of a person who fell six centuries ago in the battle of Monte Aperto, and was buried here by public decree as a meed of valor.

This afternoon I took a walk out of one of the city gates, and found the country about Siena as beautiful in this direction as in all others. I came to a little stream flowing over into a pebbly bed, and collecting itself into pools, with a scanty rivulet between. Its glen was deep, and was crossed by a bridge of several lofty and narrow arches like those of a Roman aqueduct. It is a modern structure, however. Farther on, as I wound round along the base of a hill which fell down upon the road by precipitous cliffs of brown earth, I saw a gray, ruined wall on the summit, surrounded with cypress-trees. This tree is very frequent about Siena, and the scenery is made soft and beautiful by a variety of other trees and shrubbery, without which these hills and gorges would have scarcely a charm. The road was thronged with country people, mostly women and children, who had been spending the feast-day in Siena; and parties of boys were chasing one another through the fields, pretty much as boys do in New England of a Sunday, but the Sienese lads had not the sense of Sabbath-breaking like our boys. Sunday with these people is like any other feast-day, and consecrated cheerful enjoyment. So much religious observance, as regards outward forms, is diffused through the whole week that they have no need to intensify the Sabbath except by making it gladden the other days.

Returning through the same gate by which I had come out, I ascended into the city by a long and steep street, which was paved with bricks set edgewise. This pavement is common in many of the streets, which, being too steep for horses and carriages, are meant only to sustain the lighter tread of mules and asses. The more level streets are paved with broad, smooth flag-stones, like those of Florence,—a fashion which I heartily regret to change for the little penitential blocks of Rome. The walls of Siena in their present state, and so far as I have seen them, are chiefly brick; but there are intermingled fragments of ancient stone-work, and I wonder why the latter does not prevail more largely. The Romans, however,—and Siena had Roman characteristics,—always liked to build of brick, a taste that has made their ruins (now that the marble slabs are torn off) much less grand than they ought to have been. I am grateful to the old Sienese for having used stone so largely in their domestic architecture, and thereby rendered their city so grimly picturesque, with its black palaces frowning upon one another from arched windows, across narrow streets, to the height of six stories, like opposite ranks of tall men looking sternly into one another's eyes.

October 11th.—Again I went to the cathedral this morning, and spent an hour listening to the music and looking through the orderly intricacies of the arches, where many vistas open away among the columns of the choir. There are five clustered columns on each side of the nave; then under the dome there are two more arches, not in a straight line, but forming the segment of a circle; and beyond the circle of the dome there are four more arches, extending to the extremity of the chancel. I should have said, instead of "clustered columns" as above, that there are five arches along the nave supported by columns. This cathedral has certainly bewitched me, to write about it so much, effecting nothing with my pains. I should judge the width of each arch to be about twenty feet, and the thickness of each clustered pillar is eight; or ten more, and the length of the entire building may be between two and three hundred feet; not very large, certainly, but it makes an impression of grandeur independent of size. . . .

I never shall succeed even in reminding myself of the venerable magnificence of this minster, with its arches, its columns, its cornice of popes' heads, its great wheel windows, its manifold ornament, all combining in one vast effect, though many men have labored individually, and through a long course of time, to produce this multifarious handiwork and headwork.

I now took a walk out of the city. A road turned immediately to the left as I emerged from the city, and soon proved to be a rustic lane leading past several villas and farm-houses. It was a very pleasant walk, with vineyards and olive-orchards on each side, and now and then glimpses of the towers and sombre heaped-up palaces of Siena, and now a rural seclusion again; for the hills rise and the valleys fall like the swell and subsidence of the sea after a gale, so that Siena may be quite hidden within a quarter of a mile of its wall, or may be visible, I doubt not, twenty miles away. It is a fine old town, with every promise of health and vigor in its atmosphere, and really, if I could take root anywhere, I know not but it could as well be here as in another place. It would only be a kind of despair, however, that would ever make me dream of finding a home in Italy; a sense that I had lost my country through absence or incongruity, and that earth is not an abiding-place. I wonder that we Americans love our country at all, it having no limits and no oneness; and when you try to make it a matter of the heart, everything falls away except one's native State; neither can you seize hold of that unless you tear it out of the Union, bleeding and quivering. Yet unquestionably, we do stand by our national flag as stoutly as any people in the world, and I myself have felt the heart throb at sight of it as sensibly as other men. I think the singularity of our form of government contributes to give us a kind of patriotism, by separating us from other nations more entirely. If other nations had similar institutions,—if England, especially, were a democracy,—we should as readily make ourselves at home in another country as now in a new State.

October 12th.—And again we went to the cathedral this forenoon, and the whole family, except myself, sketched portions of it. Even Rosebud stood gravely sketching some of the inlaid figures of the pavement. As for me, I can but try to preserve some memorial of this beautiful edifice in ill-fitting words that never hit the mark. This morning visit was not my final one, for I went again after dinner and walked quite round the whole interior. I think I have not yet mentioned the rich carvings of the old oaken seats round the choir, and the curious mosaic of lighter and darker woods, by which figures and landscapes are skilfully represented on the backs of some of the stalls. The process seems to be the same as the inlaying and engraving of the pavement, the material in one case being marble, in the other wood. The only other thing that I particularly noticed was, that in the fonts of holy water at the front entrance, marble fish are sculptured in the depths of the basin, and eels and shellfish crawling round the brim. Have I spoken of the sumptuous carving of the capitals of the columns? At any rate I have left a thousand beauties without a word. Here I drop the subject. As I took my parting glance the cathedral had a gleam of golden sunshine in its far depths, and it seemed to widen and deepen itself, as if to convince me of my error in saying, yesterday, that it is not very large. I wonder how I could say it.

After taking leave of the cathedral, I found my way out of another of the city gates, and soon turned aside into a green lane. . . . Soon the lane passed through a hamlet consisting of a few farm-houses, the shabbiest and dreariest that can be conceived, ancient, and ugly, and dilapidated, with iron-grated windows below, and heavy wooden shutters on the windows above,—high, ruinous walls shutting in the courts, and ponderous gates, one of which was off its hinges. The farm-yards were perfect pictures of disarray and slovenly administration of home affairs. Only one of these houses had a door opening on the road, and that was the meanest in the hamlet. A flight of narrow stone stairs ascended from the threshold to the second story. All these houses were specimens of a rude antiquity, built of brick and stone, with the marks of arched doors and windows where a subsequent generation had shut up the lights, or the accesses which the original builders had opened. Humble as these dwellings are,—though large and high compared with rural residences in other countries,—they may very probably date back to the times when Siena was a warlike republic, and when every house in its neighborhood had need to be a fortress. I suppose, however, prowling banditti were the only enemies against whom a defence would be attempted. What lives must now be lived there,—in beastly ignorance, mental sluggishness, hard toil for little profit, filth, and a horrible discomfort of fleas; for if the palaces of Italy are overrun with these pests, what must the country hovels be! . . . .

We are now all ready for a start to-morrow.


October 13th.—We arranged to begin our journey at six. . . . It was a chill, lowering morning, and the rain blew a little in our faces before we had gone far, but did not continue long. The country soon lost the pleasant aspect which it wears immediately about Siena, and grew very barren and dreary. Then it changed again for the better, the road leading us through a fertility of vines and olives, after which the dreary and barren hills came back again, and formed our prospect throughout most of the day. We stopped for our dejeuner a la fourchette at a little old town called San Quirico, which we entered through a ruined gateway, the town being entirely surrounded by its ancient wall. This wall is far more picturesque than that of Siena, being lofty and built of stone, with a machicolation of arches running quite round its top, like a cornice. It has little more than a single street, perhaps a quarter of a mile long, narrow, paved with flag-stones in the Florentine fashion, and lined with two rows of tall, rusty stone houses, without a gap between them from end to end. The cafes were numerous in relation to the size of the town, and there were two taverns,—our own, the Eagle, being doubtless the best, and having three arched entrances in its front. Of these, the middle one led to the guests' apartments, the one on the right to the barn, and that on the left to the stable, so that, as is usual in Italian inns, the whole establishment was under one roof. We were shown into a brick-paved room on the first floor, adorned with a funny fresco of Aurora on the ceiling, and with some colored prints, both religious and profane. . . .

As we drove into the town we noticed a Gothic church with two doors of peculiar architecture, and while our dejeuner was being prepared we went to see it. The interior had little that was remarkable, for it had been repaired early in the last century, and spoilt of course; but an old triptych is still hanging in a chapel beside the high altar. It is painted on wood, and dates back beyond the invention of oil-painting, and represents the Virgin and some saints and angels. Neither is the exterior of the church particularly interesting, with the exception of the carving and ornaments of two of the doors. Both of them have round arches, deep and curiously wrought, and the pillars of one of the two are formed of a peculiar knot or twine in stone-work, such as I cannot well describe, but it is both ingenious and simple. These pillars rest on two nondescript animals, which look as much like walruses as anything else. The pillars of the other door consist of two figures supporting the capitals, and themselves standing on two handsomely carved lions. The work is curious, and evidently very ancient, and the material a red freestone.

After lunch, J——- and I took a walk out of the gate of the town opposite to that of our entrance. There were no soldiers on guard, as at city gates of more importance; nor do I think that there is really any gate to shut, but the massive stone gateway still stands entire over the empty arch. Looking back after we had passed through, I observed that the lofty upper story is converted into a dove-cot, and that pumpkins were put to ripen in some open chambers at one side. We passed near the base of a tall, square tower, which is said to be of Roman origin. The little town is in the midst of a barren region, but its immediate neighborhood is fertile, and an olive-orchard, venerable of aspect, lay on the other side of the pleasant lane with its English hedges, and olive-trees grew likewise along the base of the city wall. The arched machicolations, which I have before mentioned, were here and there interrupted by a house which was built upon the old wall or incorporated into it; and from the windows of one of then I saw ears of Indian corn hung out to ripen in the sun, and somebody was winnowing grain at a little door that opened through the wall. It was very pleasant to see the ancient warlike rampart thus overcome with rustic peace. The ruined gateway is partly overgrown with ivy.

Returning to our inn, along the street, we saw ——— sketching one of the doors of the Gothic church, in the midst of a crowd of the good people of San Quirico, who made no scruple to look over her shoulder, pressing so closely as hardly to allow her elbow-room. I must own that I was too cowardly to come forward and take my share of this public notice, so I turned away to the inn and there awaited her coming. Indeed, she has seldom attempted to sketch without finding herself the nucleus of a throng.


The Black Eagle, October 14th.—Perhaps I had something more to say of San Quirico, but I shall merely add that there is a stately old palace of the Piccolomini close to the church above described. It is built in the style of the Roman palaces, and looked almost large enough to be one of them. Nevertheless, the basement story, or part of it, seems to be used as a barn and stable, for I saw a yoke of oxen in the entrance. I cannot but mention a most wretched team of vettura-horses which stopped at the door of our albergo: poor, lean, downcast creatures, with deep furrows between their ribs; nothing but skin and bone, in short, and not even so much skin as they should have had, for it was partially worn off from their backs. The harness was fastened with ropes, the traces and reins were ropes; the carriage was old and shabby, and out of this miserable equipage there alighted an ancient gentleman and lady, whom our waiter affirmed to be the Prefect of Florence and his wife.

We left San Quirico at two o'clock, and followed an ascending road till we got into the region above the clouds; the landscape was very wide, but very dreary and barren, and grew more and more so till we began to climb the mountain of Radicofani, the peak of which had been blackening itself on the horizon almost the whole day. When we had come into a pretty high region we were assailed by a real mountain tempest of wind, rain, and hail, which pelted down upon us in good earnest, and cooled the air a little below comfort. As we toiled up the mountain its upper region presented a very striking aspect, looking as if a precipice had been smoothed and squared for the purpose of rendering the old castle on its summit more inaccessible than it was by nature. This is the castle of the robber-knight, Ghino di Tacco, whom Boccaccio introduces into the Decameron. A freebooter of those days must have set a higher value on such a rock as this than if it had been one mass of diamond, for no art of mediaeval warfare could endanger him in such a fortress. Drawing yet nearer, we found the hillside immediately above us strewn with thousands upon thousands of great fragments of stone. It looked as if some great ruin had taken place there, only it was too vast a ruin to have been the dismemberment and dissolution of anything made by man.

We could now see the castle on the height pretty distinctly. It seemed to impend over the precipice; and close to the base of the latter we saw the street of a town on as strange and inconvenient a foundation as ever one was built upon. I suppose the inhabitants of the village were dependants of the old knight of the castle; his brotherhood of robbers, as they married and had families, settled there under the shelter of the eagle's nest. But the singularity is, how a community of people have contrived to live and perpetuate themselves so far out of the reach of the world's help, and seemingly with no means of assisting in the world's labor. I cannot imagine how they employ themselves except in begging, and even that branch of industry appears to be left to the old women and the children. No house was ever built in this immediate neighborhood for any such natural purpose as induces people to build them on other sites. Even our hotel, at which we now arrived, could not be said to be a natural growth of the soil; it had originally been a whim of one of the Grand Dukes of Tuscany,—a hunting-palace,—intended for habitation only during a few weeks of the year. Of all dreary hotels I ever alighted at, methinks this is the most so; but on first arriving I merely followed the waiter to look at our rooms, across stone-paved basement-halls dismal as Etruscan tombs; up dim staircases, and along shivering corridors, all of stone, stone, stone, nothing but cold stone. After glancing at these pleasant accommodations, my wife and I, with J——-, set out to ascend the hill and visit the town of Radicofani.

It is not more than a quarter of a mile above our hotel, and is accessible by a good piece of road, though very steep. As we approached the town, we were assailed by some little beggars; but this is the case all through Italy, in city or solitude, and I think the mendicants of Radicofani are fewer than its proportion. We had not got far towards the village, when, looking back over the scene of many miles that lay stretched beneath us, we saw a heavy shower apparently travelling straight towards us over hill and dale. It seemed inevitable that it should soon be upon us, so I persuaded my wife to return to the hotel; but J——- and I kept onward, being determined to see Radicofani with or without a drenching. We soon entered the street; the blackest, ugliest, rudest old street, I do believe, that ever human life incrusted itself with. The first portion of it is the overbrimming of the town in generations subsequent to that in which it was surrounded by a wall; but after going a little way we came to a high, square tower planted right across the way, with an arched gateway in its basement story, so that it looked like a great short-legged giant striding over the street of Radicofani. Within the gateway is the proper and original town, though indeed the portion outside of the gate is as densely populated, as ugly, and as ancient, as that within.

The street was very narrow, and paved with flag-stones not quite so smooth as those of Florence; the houses are tall enough to be stately, if they were not so inconceivably dingy and shabby; but, with their half-dozen stories, they make only the impression of hovel piled upon hovel,—squalor immortalized in undecaying stone. It was now getting far into the twilight, and I could not distinguish the particularities of the little town, except that there were shops, a cafe or two, and as many churches, all dusky with age, crowded closely together, inconvenient stifled too in spite of the breadth and freedom of the mountain atmosphere outside the scanty precincts of the street. It was a death-in-life little place, a fossilized place, and yet the street was thronged, and had all the bustle of a city; even more noise than a city's street, because everybody in Radicofani knows everybody, and probably gossips with everybody, being everybody's blood relation, as they cannot fail to have become after they and their forefathers have been shut up together within the narrow walls for many hundred years. They looked round briskly at J——- and me, but were courteous, as Italians always are, and made way for us to pass through the throng, as we kept on still ascending the steep street. It took us but a few minutes to reach the still steeper and winding pathway which climbs towards the old castle.

After ascending above the village, the path, though still paved, becomes very rough, as if the hoofs of Ghino di Tacco's robber cavalry had displaced the stones and they had never been readjusted. On every side, too, except where the path just finds space enough, there is an enormous rubbish of huge stones, which seems to have fallen from the precipice above, or else to have rained down out of the sky. We kept on, and by and by reached what seemed to have been a lower outwork of the castle on the top; there was the massive old arch of a gateway, and a great deal of ruin of man's work, beside the large stones that here, as elsewhere, were scattered so abundantly. Within the wall and gateway just mentioned, however, there was a kind of farm-house, adapted, I suppose, out of the old ruin, and I noticed some ears of Indian corn hanging out of a window. There were also a few stacks of hay, but no signs of human or animal life; and it is utterly inexplicable to me, where these products of the soil could have come from, for certainly they never grew amid that barrenness.

We had not yet reached Ghino's castle, and, being now beneath it, we had to bend our heads far backward to see it rising up against the clear sky while we were now in twilight. The path upward looked terribly steep and rough, and if we had climbed it we should probably have broken our necks in descending again into the lower obscurity. We therefore stopped here, much against J——-'s will, and went back as we came, still wondering at the strange situation of Radicofani; for its aspect is as if it had stepped off the top of the cliff and lodged at its base, though still in danger of sliding farther down the hillside. Emerging from the compact, grimy life of its street, we saw that the shower had swept by, or probably had expended itself in a region beneath us, for we were above the scope of many of the showery clouds that haunt a hill-country. There was a very bright star visible, I remember, and we saw the new moon, now a third towards the full, for the first time this evening. The air was cold and bracing.

But I am excessively sleepy, so will not describe our great dreary hotel, where a blast howled in an interminable corridor all night. It did not seem to have anything to do with the wind out of doors, but to be a blast that had been casually shut in when the doors were closed behind the last Grand Duke who came hither and departed, and ever since it has been kept prisoner, and makes a melancholy wail along the corridor. The dreamy stupidity of this conceit proves how sleepy I am.


October 15th.—We left Radicofani long before sunrise, and I saw that ceremony take place from the coupe of the vettura for the first time in a long while. A sunset is the better sight of the two. I have always suspected it, and have been strengthened in the idea whenever I have had an opportunity of comparison. Our departure from Radicofani was most dreary, except that we were very glad to get away; but, the cold discomfort of dressing in a chill bedroom by candlelight, and our uncertain wandering through the immense hotel with a dim taper in search of the breakfast-room, and our poor breakfast of eggs, Italian bread, and coffee,—all these things made me wish that people were created with roots like trees, so they could not befool themselves with wandering about. However, we had not long been on our way before the morning air blew away all our troubles, and we rumbled cheerfully onward, ready to encounter even the papal custom-house officers at Ponte Centino. Our road thither was a pretty steep descent. I remember the barren landscape of hills, with here and there a lonely farm-house, which there seemed to be no occasion for, where nothing grew.

At Ponte Centino my passport was examined, and I was invited into an office where sat the papal custom-house officer, a thin, subtle-looking, keen-eyed, sallow personage, of aspect very suitable to be the agent of a government of priests. I communicated to him my wish to pass the custom-house without giving the officers the trouble of examining my luggage. He inquired whether I had any dutiable articles, and wrote for my signature a declaration in the negative; and then he lifted a sand-box, beneath which was a little heap of silver coins. On this delicate hint I asked what was the usual fee, and was told that fifteen pauls was the proper sum. I presume it was entirely an illegal charge, and that he had no right to pass any luggage without examination; but the thing is winked at by the authorities, and no money is better spent for the traveller's convenience than these fifteen pauls. There was a papal military officer in the room, and he, I believe, cheated me in the change of a Napoleon, as his share of the spoil. At the door a soldier met me with my passport, and looked as if he expected a fee for handing it to me; but in this he was disappointed. After I had resumed my seat in the coupe, the porter of the custom-house—a poor, sickly-looking creature, half dead with the malaria of the place—appeared, and demanded a fee for doing nothing to my luggage. He got three pauls, and looked but half contented. This whole set of men seem to be as corrupt as official people can possibly be; and yet I hardly know whether to stigmatize them as corrupt, because it is not their individual delinquency, but the operation of a regular system. Their superiors know what men they are, and calculate upon their getting a living by just these means. And, indeed, the custom-house and passport regulations, as they exist in Italy, would be intolerable if there were not this facility of evading them at little cost. Such laws are good for nothing but to be broken.

We now began to ascend again, and the country grew fertile and picturesque. We passed many mules and donkeys, laden with a sort of deep firkin on each side of the saddle, and these were heaped up with grapes, both purple and white. We bought some, and got what we should have thought an abundance at small price, only we used to get twice as many at Montanto for the same money. However, a Roman paul bought us three or four pounds even here. We still ascended, and came soon to the gateway of the town of Acquapendente, which stands on a height that seems to descend by natural terraces to the valley below. . . .

French soldiers, in their bluish-gray coats and scarlet trousers, were on duty at the gate, and one of them took my passport and the vetturino's, and we then drove into the town to wait till they should be vised. We saw but one street, narrow, with tall, rusty, aged houses, built of stone, evil smelling; in short, a kind of place that would be intolerably dismal in cloudy England, and cannot be called cheerful even under the sun of Italy. . . . Priests passed, and burly friars, one of whom was carrying a wine-barrel on his head. Little carts, laden with firkins of grapes, and donkeys with the same genial burden, brushed passed our vettura, finding scarce room enough in the narrow street. All the idlers of Acquapendente—and they were many—assembled to gaze at us, but not discourteously. Indeed, I never saw an idle curiosity exercised in such a pleasant way as by the country-people of Italy. It almost deserves to be called a kindly interest and sympathy, instead of a hard and cold curiosity, like that of our own people, and it is displayed with such simplicity that it is evident no offence is intended.

By and by the vetturino brought his passport and my own, with the official vise, and we kept on our way, still ascending, passing through vineyards and olives, and meeting grape-laden donkeys, till we came to the town of San Lorenzo Nuovo, a place built by Pius VI. as the refuge for the people of a lower town which had been made uninhabitable by malaria. The new town, which I suppose is hundreds of years old, with all its novelty shows strikingly the difference between places that grow up and shape out their streets of their own accord, as it were, and one that is built on a settled plan of malice aforethought. This little rural village has gates of classic architecture, a spacious piazza, and a great breadth of straight and rectangular streets, with houses of uniform style, airy and wholesome looking to a degree seldom seen on the Continent. Nevertheless, I must say that the town looked hatefully dull and ridiculously prim, and, of the two, I had rather spend my life in Radicofani. We drove through it, from gate to gate, without stopping, and soon came to the brow of a hill, whence we beheld, right beneath us, the beautiful lake of Bolsena; not exactly at our feet, however, for a portion of level ground lay between, haunted by the pestilence which has depopulated all these shores, and made the lake and its neighborhood a solitude. It looked very beautiful, nevertheless, with a sheen of a silver mid a gray like that of steel as the wind blew and the sun shone over it; and, judging by my own feelings, I should really have thought that the breeze from its surface was bracing and healthy.

Descending the hill, we passed the ruins of the old town of San Lorenzo, of which the prim village on the hill-top may be considered the daughter. There is certainly no resemblance between parent and child, the former being situated on a sort of precipitous bluff, where there could have been no room for piazzas and spacious streets, nor accessibility except by mules, donkeys, goats, and people of Alpine habits. There was an ivy-covered tower on the top of the bluff, and some arched cavern mouths that looked as if they opened into the great darkness. These were the entrances to Etruscan tombs, for the town on top had been originally Etruscan, and the inhabitants had buried themselves in the heart of the precipitous bluffs after spending their lives on its summit.

Reaching the plain, we drove several miles along the shore of the lake, and found the soil fertile and generally well cultivated, especially with the vine, though there were tracks apparently too marshy to be put to any agricultural purpose. We met now and then a flock of sheep, watched by sallow-looking and spiritless men and boys, who, we took it for granted, would soon perish of malaria, though, I presume, they never spend their nights in the immediate vicinity of the lake. I should like to inquire whether animals suffer from the bad qualities of the air. The lake is not nearly so beautiful on a nearer view as it is from the hill above, there being no rocky margin, nor bright, sandy beach, but everywhere this interval of level ground, and often swampy marsh, betwixt the water and the hill. At a considerable distance from the shore we saw two islands, one of which is memorable as having been the scene of an empress's murder, but I cannot stop to fill my journal with historical reminiscences.

We kept onward to the town of Bolsena, which stands nearly a mile from the lake, and on a site higher than the level margin, yet not so much so, I should apprehend, as to free it from danger of malaria. We stopped at an albergo outside of the wall of the town, and before dinner had time to see a good deal of the neighborhood. The first aspect of the town was very striking, with a vista into its street through the open gateway, and high above it an old, gray, square-built castle, with three towers visible at the angles, one of them battlemented, one taller than the rest, and one partially ruined. Outside of the town-gate there were some fragments of Etruscan ruin, capitals of pillars and altars with inscriptions; these we glanced at, and then made our entrance through the gate.

There it was again,—the same narrow, dirty, time-darkened street of piled-up houses which we have so often seen; the same swarm of ill-to-do people, grape-laden donkeys, little stands or shops of roasted chestnuts, peaches, tomatoes, white and purple figs; the same evidence of a fertile land, and grimy poverty in the midst of abundance which nature tries to heap into their hands. It seems strange that they can never grasp it.

We had gone but a little way along this street, when we saw a narrow lane that turned aside from it and went steeply upward. Its name was on the corner,—the Via di Castello,—and as the castle promised to be more interesting than anything else, we immediately began to ascend. The street—a strange name for such an avenue—clambered upward in the oddest fashion, passing under arches, scrambling up steps, so that it was more like a long irregular pair of stairs than anything that Christians call a street; and so large a part of it was under arches that we scarcely seemed to be out of doors. At last U——, who was in advance, emerged into the upper air, and cried out that we had ascended to an upper town, and a larger one than that beneath.

It really seemed like coming up out of the earth into the midst of the town, when we found ourselves so unexpectedly in upper Bolsena. We were in a little nook, surrounded by old edifices, and called the Piazza del Orologio, on account of a clock that was apparent somewhere. The castle was close by, and from its platform there was a splendid view of the lake and all the near hill-country. The castle itself is still in good condition, and apparently as strong as ever it was as respects the exterior walls; but within there seemed to be neither floor nor chamber, nothing but the empty shell of the dateless old fortress. The stones at the base and lower part of the building were so massive that I should think the Etrurians must have laid them; and then perhaps the Romans built a little higher, and the mediaeval people raised the battlements and towers. But we did not look long at the castle, our attention being drawn to the singular aspect of the town itself, which—to speak first of its most prominent characteristic—is the very filthiest place, I do believe, that was ever inhabited by man. Defilement was everywhere; in the piazza, in nooks and corners, strewing the miserable lanes from side to side, the refuse of every day, and of accumulated ages. I wonder whether the ancient Romans were as dirty a people as we everywhere find those who have succeeded them; for there seems to have been something in the places that have been inhabited by Romans, or made famous in their history, and in the monuments of every kind that they have raised, that puts people in mind of their very earthliness, and incites them to defile therewith whatever temple, column, ruined palace, or triumphal arch may fall in their way. I think it must be an hereditary trait, probably weakened and robbed of a little of its horror by the influence of milder ages; and I am much afraid that Caesar trod narrower and fouler ways in his path to power than those of modern Rome, or even of this disgusting town of Bolsena. I cannot imagine anything worse than these, however. Rotten vegetables thrown everywhere about, musty straw, standing puddles, running rivulets of dissolved nastiness,—these matters were a relief amid viler objects. The town was full of great black hogs wallowing before every door, and they grunted at us with a kind of courtesy and affability as if the town were theirs, and it was their part to be hospitable to strangers. Many donkeys likewise accosted us with braying; children, growing more uncleanly every day they lived, pestered us with begging; men stared askance at us as they lounged in corners, and women endangered us with slops which they were flinging from doorways into the street. No decent words can describe, no admissible image can give an idea of this noisome place. And yet, I remember, the donkeys came up the height loaded with fruit, and with little flat-sided barrels of wine; the people had a good atmosphere—except as they polluted it themselves—on their high site, and there seemed to be no reason why they should not live a beautiful and jolly life.

I did not mean to write such an ugly description as the above, but it is well, once for all, to have attempted conveying an idea of what disgusts the traveller, more or less, in all these Italian towns. Setting aside this grand characteristic, the upper town of Bolsena is a most curious and interesting place. It was originally an Etruscan city, the ancient Volsinii, and when taken and destroyed by the Romans was said to contain two thousand statues. Afterwards the Romans built a town upon the site, including, I suppose, the space occupied by the lower city, which looks as if it had brimmed over like Radicofani, and fallen from the precipitous height occupied by the upper. The latter is a strange confusion of black and ugly houses, piled massively out of the ruins of former ages, built rudely and without plan, as a pauper would build his hovel, and yet with here and there an arched gateway, a cornice, a pillar, that might have adorned a palace. . . . The streets are the narrowest I have seen anywhere,—of no more width, indeed, than may suffice for the passage of a donkey with his panniers. They wind in and out in strange confusion, and hardly look like streets at all, but, nevertheless, have names printed on the corners, just as if they were stately avenues. After looking about us awhile and drawing half-breaths so as to take in the less quantity of gaseous pollution, we went back to the castle, and descended by a path winding downward from it into the plain outside of the town-gate.

It was now dinner-time, . . . . and we had, in the first place, some fish from the pestiferous lake; not, I am sorry to say, the famous stewed eels which, Dante says, killed Pope Martin, but some trout. . . . By the by, the meal was not dinner, but our midday colazione. After despatching it, we again wandered forth and strolled round the outside of the lower town, which, with the upper one, made as picturesque a combination as could be desired. The old wall that surrounds the lower town has been appropriated, long since, as the back wall of a range of houses; windows have been pierced through it; upper chambers and loggie have been built upon it; so that it looks something like a long row of rural dwellings with one continuous front or back, constructed in a strange style of massive strength, contrasting with the vines that here and there are trained over it, and with the wreaths of yellow corn that hang from the windows. But portions of the old battlements are interspersed with the line of homely chambers and tiled house-tops. Within the wall the town is very compact, and above its roofs rises a rock, the sheer, precipitous bluff on which stands the upper town, whose foundations impend over the highest roof in the lower. At one end is the old castle, with its towers rising above the square battlemented mass of the main fortress; and if we had not seen the dirt and squalor that dwells within this venerable outside, we should have carried away a picture of gray, grim dignity, presented by a long past age to the present one, to put its mean ways and modes to shame. ——— sat diligently sketching, and children came about her, exceedingly unfragrant, but very courteous and gentle, looking over her shoulders, and expressing delight as they saw each familiar edifice take its place in the sketch. They are a lovable people, these Italians, as I find from almost all with whom we come in contact; they have great and little faults, and no great virtues that I know of; but still are sweet, amiable, pleasant to encounter, save when they beg, or when you have to bargain with them.

We left Bolsena and drove to Viterbo, passing the gate of the picturesque town of Montefiascone, over the wall of which I saw spires and towers, and the dome of a cathedral. I was sorry not to taste, in its own town, the celebrated est, which was the death-draught of the jolly prelate. At Viterbo, however, I called for some wine of Montefiascone, and had a little straw-covered flask, which the waiter assured us was the genuine est-wine. It was of golden color, and very delicate, somewhat resembling still champagne, but finer, and requiring a calmer pause to appreciate its subtle delight. Its good qualities, however, are so evanescent, that the finer flavor became almost imperceptible before we finished the flask.

Viterbo is a large, disagreeable town, built at the foot of a mountain, the peak of which is seen through the vista of some of the narrow streets.

There are more fountains in Viterbo than I have seen in any other city of its size, and many of them of very good design. Around most of them there were wine-hogsheads, waiting their turn to be cleansed and rinsed, before receiving the wine of the present vintage. Passing a doorway, J——- saw some men treading out the grapes in a great vat with their naked feet.

Among the beggars here, the loudest and most vociferous was a crippled postilion, wearing his uniform jacket, green, faced with red; and he seemed to consider himself entitled still to get his living from travellers, as having been disabled in the way of his profession. I recognized his claim, and was rewarded with a courteous and grateful bow at our departure. . . . To beggars—after my much experience both in England and Italy—I give very little, though I am not certain that it would not often be real beneficence in the latter country. There being little or no provision for poverty and age, the poor must often suffer. Nothing can be more earnest than their entreaties for aid; nothing seemingly more genuine than their gratitude when they receive it.

They return you the value of their alms in prayers, and say, "God will accompany you." Many of them have a professional whine, and a certain doleful twist of the neck and turn of the head, which hardens my heart against them at once. A painter might find numerous models among them, if canvas had not already been more than sufficiently covered with their style of the picturesque. There is a certain brick-dust colored cloak worn in Viterbo, not exclusively by beggars, which, when ragged enough, is exceedingly artistic.


68 Piazza Poli, October 17th.—We left Viterbo on the 15th, and proceeded, through Monterosi, to Sette Verse. There was nothing interesting at Sette Verse, except an old Roman bridge, of a single arch, which had kept its sweep, composed of one row of stones, unbroken for two or more thousand years, and looked just as strong as ever, though gray with age, and fringed with plants that found it hard to fix themselves in its close crevices.

The next day we drove along the Cassian Way towards Rome. It was a most delightful morning, a genial atmosphere; the more so, I suppose, because this was the Campagna, the region of pestilence and death. I had a quiet, gentle, comfortable pleasure, as if, after many wanderings, I was drawing near Rome, for, now that I have known it once, Rome certainly does draw into itself my heart, as I think even London, or even little Concord itself, or old sleepy Salem, never did and never will. Besides, we are to stay here six months, and we had now a house all prepared to receive us; so that this present approach, in the noontide of a genial day, was most unlike our first one, when we crept towards Rome through the wintry midnight, benumbed with cold, ill, weary, and not knowing whither to betake ourselves. Ah! that was a dismal tine! One thing, however, that disturbed even my present equanimity a little was the necessity of meeting the custom-house at the Porta del Popolo; but my past experience warranted me in believing that even these ogres might be mollified by the magic touch of a scudo; and so it proved. We should have escaped any examination at all, the officer whispered me, if his superior had not happened to be present; but, as the case stood, they took down only one trunk from the top of the vettura, just lifted the lid, closed it again, and gave us permission to proceed. So we came to 68 Piazza Poli, and found ourselves at once at home, in such a comfortable, cosey little house, as I did not think existed in Rome.

I ought to say a word about our vetturino, Constantino Bacci, an excellent and most favorable specimen of his class; for his magnificent conduct, his liberality, and all the good qualities that ought to be imperial, S——- called him the Emperor. He took us to good hotels, and feasted us with the best; he was kind to us all, and especially to little Rosebud, who used to run by his side, with her small white hand in his great brown one; he was cheerful in his deportment, and expressed his good spirits by the smack of his whip, which is the barometer of a vetturino's inward weather; he drove admirably, and would rumble up to the door of an albergo, and stop to a hair's-breadth just where it was most convenient for us to alight; he would hire postilions and horses, where other vetturini would take nothing better than sluggish oxen, to help us up the hilly roads, so that sometimes we had a team of seven; he did all that we could possibly require of him, and was content and more, with a buon mono of five scudi, in addition to the stipulated price. Finally, I think the tears had risen almost to his eyelids when we parted with him.

Our friends, the Thompsons, through whose kindness we procured this house, called to see us soon after our arrival. In the afternoon, I walked with Rosebud to the Medici Gardens, and on our way thither, we espied our former servant, Lalla, who flung so many and such bitter curses after us, on our departure from Rome, sitting at her father's fruit-stall. Thank God, they have not taken effect. After going to the Medici, we went to the Pincian Gardens, and looked over into the Borghese grounds, which, methought, were more beautiful than ever. The same was true of the sky, and of every object beneath it; and as we came homeward along the Corso, I wondered at the stateliness and palatial magnificence of that noble street. Once, I remember, I thought it narrow, and far unworthy of its fame.

In the way of costume, the men in goat-skin breeches, whom we met on the Campagna, were very striking, and looked like Satyrs.

October 21st.—. . . . I have been twice to St. Peter's, and was impressed more than at any former visit by a sense of breadth and loftiness, and, as it were, a visionary splendor and magnificence. I also went to the Museum of the Capitol; and the statues seemed to me more beautiful than formerly, and I was not sensible of the cold despondency with which I have so often viewed them. Yesterday we went to the Corsini Palace, which we had not visited before. It stands in the Trastevere, in the Longara, and is a stately palace, with a grand staircase, leading to the first floor, where is situated the range of picture-rooms. There were a good many fine pictures, but none of them have made a memorable impression on my mind, except a portrait by Vandyke, of a man in point-lace, very grand and very real. The room in which this picture hung had many other portraits by Holbein, Titian, Rembrandt, Rubens, and other famous painters, and was wonderfully rich in this department. In another, there was a portrait of Pope Julius II., by Raphael, somewhat differing from those at the Pitti and the Uffizi galleries in Florence, and those I have seen in England and Paris; thinner, paler, perhaps older, more severely intellectual, but at least, as high a work of art as those.

The palace has some handsome old furniture, and gilded chairs, covered with leather cases, possibly relics of Queen Christina's time, who died here. I know not but the most curious object was a curule chair of marble, sculptured all out of one piece, and adorned with bas-reliefs. It is supposed to be Etruscan. It has a circular back, sweeping round, so as to afford sufficient rests for the elbows; and, sitting down in it, I discovered that modern ingenuity has not made much real improvement on this chair of three or four thousand years ago. But some chairs are easier for the moment, yet soon betray you, and grow the more irksome.

We strolled along Longara, and found the piazza of St. Peter's full of French soldiers at their drill. . . . We went quite round the interior of the church, and perceiving the pavement loose and broken near the altar where Guido's Archangel is placed, we picked up some bits of rosso antico and gray marble, to be set in brooches, as relics.

We have the snuggest little set of apartments in Rome, seven rooms, including an antechamber; and though the stairs are exceedingly narrow, there is really a carpet on them,—a civilized comfort, of which the proudest palaces in the Eternal City cannot boast. The stairs are very steep, however, and I should not wonder if some of us broke our noses down them. Narrowness of space within doors strikes us all rather ludicrously, yet not unpleasantly, after being accustomed to the wastes and deserts of the Montanto Villa. It is well thus to be put in training for the over-snugness of our cottage in Concord. Our windows here look out on a small and rather quiet piazza, with an immense palace on the left hand, and a smaller yet statelier one on the right, and just round the corner of the street, leading out of our piazza, is the Fountain of Trevi, of which I can hear the plash in the evening, when other sounds are hushed.

Looking over what I have said of Sodoma's "Christ Bound," at Sierra, I see that I have omitted to notice what seems to me one of its most striking characteristics,—its loneliness. You feel as if the Saviour were deserted, both in heaven and earth; the despair is in him which made him say, "My God, why hast thou forsaken me?" Even in this extremity, however, he is still Divine, and Sodoma almost seems to have reconciled the impossibilities of combining an omnipresent divinity with a suffering and outraged humanity. But this is one of the cases in which the spectator's imagination completes what the artist merely hints at.

Mr. ———, the sculptor, called to see us, the other evening, and quite paid Powers off for all his trenchant criticisms on his brother artists. He will not allow Powers to be an artist at all, or to know anything of the laws of art, although acknowledging him to be a great bust-maker, and to have put together the Greek Slave and the Fisher-Boy very ingeniously. The latter, however (he says), is copied from the Apollino in the Tribune of the Uzi; and the former is made up of beauties that had no reference to one another; and he affirms that Powers is ready to sell, and has actually sold, the Greek Slave, limb by limb, dismembering it by reversing the process of putting it together,—a head to one purchaser, an arm or a foot to another, a hand to a third. Powers knows nothing scientifically of the human frame, and only succeeds in representing it as a natural bone-doctor succeeds in setting a dislocated limb by a happy accident or special providence. (The illustration was my own, and adopted by Mr. ———.) Yet Mr. ——— seems to acknowledge that he did succeed. I repeat these things only as another instance how invariably every sculptor uses his chisel and mallet to smash and deface the marble-work of every other. I never heard Powers speak of Mr. ———, but can partly imagine what he would have said.

Mr. ——— spoke of Powers's disappointment about the twenty-five-thousand-dollar appropriation from Congress, and said that he was altogether to blame, inasmuch as he attempted to sell to the nation for that sum a statue which, to Mr. ———'s certain knowledge, he had already offered to private persons for a fifth part of it. I have not implicit faith in Mr. ———'s veracity, and doubt not Powers acted fairly in his own eyes.

October 23d.—I am afraid I have caught one of the colds which the Roman air continually affected me with last winter; at any rate, a sirocco has taken the life out of me, and I have no spirit to do anything. This morning I took a walk, however, out of the Porta Maggiore, and looked at the tomb of the baker Eurysaces, just outside of the gate,—a very singular ruin covered with symbols of the man's trade in stone-work, and with bas-reliefs along the cornice, representing people at work, making bread. An inscription states that the ashes of his wife are likewise reposited there, in a bread-basket. The mausoleum is perhaps twenty feet long, in its largest extent, and of equal height; and if good bakers were as scarce in ancient Rome as in the modern city, I do not wonder that they were thought worthy of stately monuments. None of the modern ones deserve any better tomb than a pile of their own sour loaves.

I walked onward a good distance beyond the gate alongside of the arches of the Claudian aqueduct, which, in this portion of it, seems to have had little repair, and to have needed little, since it was built. It looks like a long procession, striding across the Campagna towards the city, and entering the gate, over one of its arches, within the gate, I saw two or three slender jets of water spurting from the crevices; this aqueduct being still in use to bring the Acqua Felice into Rome.

Returning within the walls, I walked along their inner base, to the Church of St. John Lateran, into which I went, and sat down to rest myself, being languid and weary, and hot with the sun, though afraid to trust the coolness of the shade. I hate the Roman atmosphere; indeed, all my pleasure in getting back—all my home-feeling—has already evaporated, and what now impresses me, as before, is the languor of Rome,—its weary pavements, its little life, pressed down by a weight of death.

Quitting St. John Lateran, I went astray, as I do nine times out of ten in these Roman intricacies, and at last, seeing the Coliseum in the vista of a street, I betook myself thither to get a fresh start. Its round of stones looked vast and dreary, but not particularly impressive. The interior was quite deserted; except that a Roman, of respectable appearance, was making a pilgrimage at the altars, kneeling and saying a prayer at each one.

Outside of the Coliseum, a neat-looking little boy came and begged of me; and I gave him a baiocco, rather because he seemed to need it so little than for any other reason. I observed that he immediately afterwards went and spoke to a well-dressed man, and supposed that the child was likewise begging of him. I watched the little boy, however, and saw that, in two or three other instances, after begging of other individuals, he still returned to this well-dressed man; the fact being, no doubt, that the latter was fishing for baiocci through the medium of his child,—throwing the poor little fellow out as a bait, while he himself retained his independent respectability. He had probably come out for a whole day's sport; for, by and by, he went between the arches of the Coliseum, followed by the child, and taking with him what looked like a bottle of wine, wrapped in a handkerchief.

November 2d.—The weather lately would have suited one's ideal of an English November, except that there have been no fogs; but of ugly, hopeless clouds, chill, shivering winds, drizzle, and now and then pouring rain, much more than enough. An English coal-fire, if we could see its honest face within doors, would compensate for all the unamiableness of the outside atmosphere; but we might ask for the sunshine of the New Jerusalem, with as much hope of getting it. It is extremely spirit-crushing, this remorseless gray, with its icy heart; and the more to depress the whole family, U—— has taken what seems to be the Roman fever, by sitting down in the Palace of the Caesars, while Mrs. S——- sketched the ruins. . . .

[During four months of the illness of his daughter, Mr. Hawthorne wrote no word of Journal.—ED.]

February 27th, 1859.—For many days past, there have been tokens of the coming Carnival in the Corso and the adjacent streets; for example, in the shops, by the display of masks of wire, pasteboard, silk, or cloth, some of beautiful features, others hideous, fantastic, currish, asinine, huge-nosed, or otherwise monstrous; some intended to cover the whole face, others concealing only the upper part, also white dominos, or robes bedizened with gold-lace and theatric splendors, displayed at the windows of mercers or flaunting before the doors. Yesterday, U—— and I came along the Corso, between one and two o'clock, after a walk, and found all these symptoms of impending merriment multiplied and intensified; . . . . rows of chairs, set out along the sidewalks, elevated a foot or two by means of planks; great baskets, full of confetti, for sale in the nooks and recesses of the streets; bouquets of all qualities and prices. The Corso was becoming pretty well thronged with people; but, until two o'clock, nobody dared to fling as much as a rosebud or a handful of sugar-plums. There was a sort of holiday expression, however, on almost everybody's face, such as I have not hitherto seen in Rome, or in any part of Italy; a smile gleaming out, an aurora of mirth, which probably will not be very exuberant in its noontide. The day was so sunny and bright that it made this opening scene far more cheerful than any day of the last year's carnival. As we threaded our way through the Corso, U—— kept wishing she could plunge into the fun and uproar as J——- would, and for my own part, though I pretended to take no interest in the matter, I could have bandied confetti and nosegays as readily and as riotously as any urchin there. But my black hat and grave talma would have been too good a mark for the combatants, . . . . so we went home before a shot was fired. . . .

March 7th.—I, as well as the rest of the family, have followed up the Carnival pretty faithfully, and enjoyed it as well, or rather better than could have been expected; principally in the street, as a more looker-on,—which does not let one into the mystery of the fun,—and twice from a balcony, where I threw confetti, and partly understood why the young people like it so much. Certainly, there cannot well be a more picturesque spectacle in human life, than that stately, palatial avenue of the Corso, the more picturesque because so narrow, all hung with carpets and Gobelin tapestry, and the whole palace-heights alive with faces; and all the capacity of the street thronged with the most fantastic figures that either the fancies of folks alive at this day are able to contrive, or that live traditionally from year to year. . . . The Prince of Wales has fought manfully through the Carnival with confetti and bouquets, and U—— received several bouquets from him, on Saturday, as her carriage moved along.

March 8th.—I went with U—— to Mr. Motley's balcony, in the Corso, and saw the Carnival from it yesterday afternoon; but the spectacle is strangely like a dream, in respect to the difficulty of retaining it in the mind and solidifying it into a description. I enjoyed it a good deal, and assisted in so far as to pelt all the people in cylinder hats with handfuls of confetti. The scene opens with a long array of cavalry, who ride through the Corso, preceded by a large band, playing loudly on their brazen instruments. . . . There were some splendid dresses, particularly contadina costumes of scarlet and gold, which seem to be actually the festal attire of that class of people, and must needs be so expensive that one must serve for a lifetime, if indeed it be not an inheritance. . . .

March 9th.—I was, yesterday, an hour or so among the people on the sidewalks of the Corso, just on the edges of the fun. They appeared to be in a decorous, good-natured mood, neither entering into the merriment, nor harshly repelling; and when groups of maskers overflowed among them, they received their jokes in good part. Many women of the lower class were in the crowd of bystanders; generally broad and sturdy figures, clad evidently in their best attire, and wearing a good many ornaments; such as gold or coral beads and necklaces, combs of silver or gold, heavy ear-rings, curiously wrought brooches, perhaps cameos or mosaics, though I think they prefer purely metallic work to these. One ornament very common among them is a large bodkin, which they stick through their hair. It is usually of silver, but sometimes it looks like steel, and is made in the shape of a sword,—a long Spanish thrusting sword, for example. Dr. Franco told us a story of a woman of Trastevere, who was addressed rudely at the Carnival by a gentleman; she warned him to desist, but as he still persisted, she drew the bodkin from her hair, and stabbed him to the heart.

By and by I went to Mr. Motley's balcony, and looked down on the closing scenes of the Carnival. Methought the merry-makers labored harder to be mirthful, and yet were somewhat tired of their eight play-days; and their dresses looked a little shabby, rumpled, and draggled; but the lack of sunshine—which we have had on all the preceding days—may have produced this effect. The wheels of some of the carriages were wreathed round and spoked with green foliage, making a very pretty and fanciful appearance, as did likewise the harnesses of the horses, which were trimmed with roses. The pervading noise and uproar of human voices is one of the most effective points of the matter; but the scene is quite indescribable, and its effect not to be conceived without both witnessing and taking part in it. If you merely look at it, it depresses you; if you take even the slightest share in it, you become aware that it has a fascination, and you no longer wonder that the young people, at least, take such delight in plunging into this mad river of fun that goes roaring between the narrow limits of the Corso.

As twilight came on, the moccoli commenced, and as it grew darker the whole street twinkled with lights, which would have been innumerable if every torch-bearer had not been surrounded by a host of enemies, who tried to extinguish his poor little twinkle. It was a pity to lose so much splendor as there might have been; but yet there was a kind of symbolism in the thought that every one of those thousands of twinkling lights was in charge of somebody, who was striving with all his might to keep it alive. Not merely the street-way, but all the balconies and hundreds of windows were lit up with these little torches; so that it seemed as if the stars had crumbled into glittering fragments, and rained down upon the Corso, some of them lodging upon the palace-fronts, some falling on the ground. Besides this, there were gas-lights burning with a white flame; but this illumination was not half so interesting as that of the torches, which indicated human struggle. All this time there were myriad voices shouting, "SENZA MOCCOLO!" and mingling into one long roar. We, in our balcony, carried on a civil war against one another's torches, as is the custom of human beings, within even the narrowest precincts; but after a while we grew tired, and so did the crowd, apparently; for the lights vanished, one after another, till the gas-lights—which at first were an unimportant part of the illumination—shone quietly out, overpowering the scattered twinkles of the moccoli. They were what the fixed stars are to the transitory splendors of human life.

Mr. Motley tells me, that it was formerly the custom to have a mock funeral of harlequin, who was supposed to die at the close of the Carnival, during which he had reigned supreme, and all the people, or as many as chose, bore torches at his burial. But this being considered an indecorous mockery of Popish funereal customs, the present frolic of the moccoli was instituted,—in some sort, growing out of it.

All last night, or as much of it as I was awake, there was a noise of song and of late revellers in the streets; but to-day we have waked up in the sad and sober season of Lent.

It is worthy of remark, that all the jollity of the Carnival is a genuine ebullition of spirit, without the aid of wine or strong drink.

March 11th.—Yesterday we went to the Catacomb of St. Calixtus, the entrance to which is alongside of the Appian Way, within sight of the tomb of Cecilia Metella. We descended not a very great way under ground, by a broad flight of stone steps, and, lighting some wax tapers, with which we had provided ourselves, we followed the guide through a great many intricate passages, which mostly were just wide enough for me to touch the wall on each side, while keeping my elbows close to my body; and as to height, they were from seven to ten feet, and sometimes a good deal higher It was rather picturesque, when we saw the long line of our tapers, for another large party had joined us, twinkling along the dark passage, and it was interesting to think of the former inhabitants of these caverns. . . . In one or two places there was the round mark in the stone or plaster, where a bottle had been deposited. This was said to have been the token of a martyr's burial-place, and to have contained his blood. After leaving the Catacomb, we drove onward to Cecilia Metella's tomb, which we entered and inspected. Within the immensely massive circular substance of the tomb was a round, vacant space, and this interior vacancy was open at the top, and had nothing but some fallen stones and a heap of earth at the bottom.

On our way home we entered the Church of "Domine, quo vadis," and looked at the old fragment of the Appian Way, where our Saviour met St. Peter, and left the impression of his feet in one of the Roman paving-stones. The stone has been removed, and there is now only a fac-simile engraved in a block of marble, occupying the place where Jesus stood. It is a great pity they had not left the original stone; for then all its brother-stones in the pavement would have seemed to confirm the truth of the legend.

While we were at dinner, a gentleman called and was shown into the parlor. We supposed it to be Mr. May; but soon his voice grew familiar, and my wife was sure it was General Pierce, so I left the table, and found it to be really he. I was rejoiced to see him, though a little saddened to see the marks of care and coming age, in many a whitening hair, and many a furrow, and, still more, in something that seemed to have passed away out of him, without leaving any trace. His voice, sometimes, sounded strange and old, though generally it was what it used to be. He was evidently glad to see me, glad to see my wife, glad to see the children, though there was something melancholy in his tone, when he remarked what a stout boy J——- had grown. Poor fellow! he has neither son nor daughter to keep his heart warm. This morning I have been with him to St. Peter's, and elsewhere about the city, and find him less changed than he seemed to be last night; not at all changed in heart and affections. We talked freely about all matters that came up; among the rest, about the project—recognizable by many tokens—for bringing him again forward as a candidate for the Presidency next year. He appears to be firmly resolved not again to present himself to the country, and is content to let his one administration stand, and to be judged by the public and posterity on the merits of that. No doubt he is perfectly sincere; no doubt, too, he would again be a candidate, if a pretty unanimous voice of the party should demand it. I retain all my faith in his administrative faculty, and should be glad, for his sake, to have it fully rccognized; but the probabilities, as far as I can see, do not indicate for him another Presidential term.

March 15th.—This morning I went with my wife and Miss Hoar to Miss Hosmer's studio, to see her statue of Zenobia. We found her in her premises, springing about with a bird-like action. She has a lofty room, with a skylight window; it was pretty well warmed with a stove, and there was a small orange-tree in a pot, with the oranges growing on it, and two or three flower-shrubs in bloom. She herself looked prettily, with her jaunty little velvet cap on the side of her head, whence came clustering out, her short brown curls; her face full of pleasant life and quick expression; and though somewhat worn with thought and struggle, handsome and spirited. She told us that "her wig was growing as gray as a rat."

There were but very few things in the room; two or three plaster busts, a headless cast of a plaster statue, and a cast of the Minerva Medica, which perhaps she had been studying as a help towards the design of her Zenobia; for, at any rate, I seemed to discern a resemblance or analogy between the two. Zenobia stood in the centre of the room, as yet unfinished in the clay, but a very noble and remarkable statue indeed, full of dignity and beauty. It is wonderful that so brisk a woman could have achieved a work so quietly impressive; and there is something in Zenobia's air that conveys the idea of music, uproar, and a great throng all about her; whilst she walks in the midst of it, self-sustained, and kept in a sort of sanctity by her native pride. The idea of motion is attained with great success; you not only perceive that she is walking, but know at just what tranquil pace she steps, amid the music of the triumph. The drapery is very fine and full; she is decked with ornaments; but the chains of her captivity hang from wrist to wrist; and her deportment—indicating a soul so much above her misfortune, yet not insensible to the weight of it—makes these chains a richer decoration than all her other jewels. I know not whether there be some magic in the present imperfect finish of the statue, or in the material of clay, as being a better medium of expression than even marble; but certainly I have seldom been more impressed by a piece of modern sculpture. Miss Hosmer showed us photographs of her Puck—which I have seen in the marble—and likewise of the Will-o'-the-Wisp, both very pretty and fanciful. It indicates much variety of power, that Zenobia should be the sister of these, which would seem the more natural offspring of her quick and vivid character. But Zenobia is a high, heroic ode.

. . . . On my way up the Via Babuino, I met General Pierce. We have taken two or three walks together, and stray among the Roman ruins, and old scenes of history, talking of matters in which he is personally concerned, yet which are as historic as anything around us. He is singularly little changed; the more I see him, the more I get him back, just such as he was in our youth. This morning, his face, air, and smile were so wonderfully like himself of old, that at least thirty years are annihilated.

Zenobia's manacles serve as bracelets; a very ingenious and suggestive idea.

March 18th.—I went to the sculpture-gallery of the Capitol yesterday, and saw, among other things, the Venus in her secret cabinet. This was my second view of her: the first time, I greatly admired her; now, she made no very favorable impression. There are twenty Venuses whom I like as well, or better. On the whole, she is a heavy, clumsy, unintellectual, and commonplace figure; at all events, not in good looks to-day. Marble beauties seem to suffer the same occasional eclipses as those of flesh and blood. We looked at the Faun, the Dying Gladiator, and other famous sculptures; but nothing had a glory round it, perhaps because the sirocco was blowing. These halls of the Capitol have always had a dreary and depressing effect upon me, very different from those of the Vatican. I know not why, except that the rooms of the Capitol have a dingy, shabby, and neglected look, and that the statues are dusty, and all the arrangements less magnificent than at the Vatican. The corroded and discolored surfaces of the statues take away from the impression of immortal youth, and turn Apollo [The Lycian Apollo] himself into an old stone; unless at rare intervals, when he appears transfigured by a light gleaming from within.

March 23d.—I am wearing away listlessly these last precious days of my abode in Rome. U——'s illness is disheartening, and by confining ———, it takes away the energy and enterprise that were the spring of all our movements. I am weary of Rome, without having seen and known it as I ought, and I shall be glad to get away from it, though no doubt there will be many yearnings to return hereafter, and many regrets that I did not make better use of the opportunities within my grasp. Still, I have been in Rome long enough to be imbued with its atmosphere, and this is the essential condition of knowing a place; for such knowledge does not consist in having seen every particular object it contains. In the state of mind in which I now stand towards Rome, there is very little advantage to be gained by staying here longer.

And yet I had a pleasant stroll enough yesterday afternoon, all by myself, from the Corso down past the Church of St. Andrea della Valle,— the site where Caesar was murdered,—and thence to the Farnese Palace, the noble court of which I entered; thence to the Piazza Cenci, where I looked at one or two ugly old palaces, and fixed on one of them as the residence of Beatrice's father; then past the Temple of Vesta, and skirting along the Tiler, and beneath the Aventine, till I somewhat unexpectedly came in sight of the gray pyramid of Caius Cestius. I went out of the city gate, and leaned on the parapet that encloses the pyramid, advancing its high, unbroken slope and peak, where the great blocks of marble still fit almost as closely to one another as when they were first laid; though, indeed, there are crevices just large enough for plants to root themselves, and flaunt and trail over the face of this great tomb; only a little verdure, however, over a vast space of marble, still white in spots, but pervadingly turned gray by two thousand years' action of the atmosphere. Thence I came home by the Caelian, and sat down on an ancient flight of steps under one of the arches of the Coliseum, into which the sunshine fell sidelong. It was a delightful afternoon, not precisely like any weather that I have known elsewhere; certainly never in America, where it is always too cold or too hot. It, resembles summer more than anything which we New-Englanders recognize in our idea of spring, but there was an indescribable something, sweet, fresh, gentle, that does not belong to summer, and that thrilled and tickled my heart with a feeling partly sensuous, partly spiritual.

I go to the Bank and read Galignani and the American newspapers; thence I stroll to the Pincian or to the Medici Gardens; I see a good deal of General Pierce, and we talk over his Presidential life, which, I now really think, he has no latent desire nor purpose to renew. Yet he seems to have enjoyed it while it lasted, and certainly he was in his element as an administrative man; not far-seeing, not possessed of vast stores of political wisdom in advance of his occasions, but endowed with a miraculous intuition of what ought to be done just at the time for action. His judgment of things about him is wonderful, and his Cabinet recognized it as such; for though they were men of great ability, he was evidently the master-mind among them. None of them were particularly his personal friends when he selected them; they all loved him when they parted; and he showed me a letter, signed by all, in which they expressed their feelings of respect and attachment at the close of his administration. There was a noble frankness on his part, that kept the atmosphere always clear among them, and in reference to this characteristic Governor Marcy told him that the years during which he had been connected with his Cabinet had been the happiest of his life. Speaking of Caleb Cushing, he told me that the unreliability, the fickleness, which is usually attributed to him, is an actual characteristic, but that it is intellectual, not moral. He has such comprehensiveness, such mental variety and activity, that, if left to himself, he cannot keep fast hold of one view of things, and so cannot, without external help, be a consistent man. He needs the influence of a more single and stable judgment to keep him from divergency, and, on this condition, he is a most inestimable coadjutor. As regards learning and ability, he has no superior.

Pierce spoke the other day of the idea among some of his friends that his life had been planned, from a very early period, with a view to the station which he ultimately reached. He smiled at the notion, said that it was inconsistent with his natural character, and that it implied foresight and dexterity beyond what any mortal is endowed with. I think so too; but nevertheless, I was long and long ago aware that he cherished a very high ambition, and that, though he might not anticipate the highest things, he cared very little about inferior objects. Then as to plans, I do not think that he had any definite ones; but there was in him a subtle faculty, a real instinct, that taught him what was good for him,—that is to say, promotive of his political success,—and made him inevitably do it. He had a magic touch, that arranged matters with a delicate potency, which he himself hardly recognized; and he wrought through other minds so that neither he nor they always knew when and how far they were under his influence. Before his nomination for the Presidency I had a sense that it was coming, and it never seemed to me an accident. He is a most singular character; so frank, so true, so immediate, so subtle, so simple, so complicated.

I passed by the tower in the Via Portoghese to-day, and observed that the nearest shop appears to be for the sale of cotton or linen cloth. . . . The upper window of the tower was half open; of course, like all or almost all other Roman windows, it is divided vertically, and each half swings back on hinges. . . .

Last week a fritter-establishment was opened in our piazza. It was a wooden booth erected in the open square, and covered with canvas painted red, which looked as if it had withstood much rain and sunshine. In front were three great boughs of laurel, not so much for shade, I think, as ornament. There were two men, and their apparatus for business was a sort of stove, or charcoal furnace, and a frying-pan to place over it; they had an armful or two of dry sticks, some flour, and I suppose oil, and this seemed to be all. It was Friday, and Lent besides, and possibly there was some other peculiar propriety in the consumption of fritters just then. At all events, their fire burned merrily from morning till night, and pretty late into the evening, and they had a fine run of custom; the commodity being simply dough, cut into squares or rhomboids, and thrown into the boiling oil, which quickly turned them to a light brown color. I sent J——- to buy some, and, tasting one, it resembled an unspeakably bad doughnut, without any sweetening. In fact, it was sour, for the Romans like their bread, and all their preparations of flour, in a state of acetous fermentation, which serves them instead of salt or other condiment. This fritter-shop had grown up in a night, like Aladdin's palace, and vanished as suddenly; for after standing through Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, it was gone on Monday morning, and a charcoal-strewn place on the pavement where the furnace had been was the only memorial of it. It was curious to observe how immediately it became a lounging-place for idle people, who stood and talked all day with the fritter-friers, just as they might at any old shop in the basement, of a palace, or between the half-buried pillars of the Temple of Minerva, which had been familiar to them and their remote grandfathers.

April 14th.—Yesterday afternoon I drove with Mr. and Mrs. Story and Mr. Wilde to see a statue of Venus, which has just been discovered, outside of the Porta Portese, on the other side of the Tiber. A little distance beyond the gate we came to the entrance of a vineyard, with a wheel-track through the midst of it; and, following this, we soon came to a hillside, in which an excavation had been made with the purpose of building a grotto for keeping and storing wine. They had dug down into what seemed to be an ancient bathroom, or some structure of that kind, the excavation being square and cellar-like, and built round with old subterranean walls of brick and stone. Within this hollow space the statue had been found, and it was now standing against one of the walls, covered with a coarse cloth, or a canvas bag. This being removed, there appeared a headless marble figure, earth-stained, of course, and with a slightly corroded surface, but wonderfully delicate and beautiful, the shape, size, and attitude, apparently, of the Venus de' Medici, but, as we all thought, more beautiful than that. It is supposed to be the original, from which the Venus de' Medici was copied. Both arms were broken off, but the greater part of both, and nearly the whole of one hand, had been found, and these being adjusted to the figure, they took the well-known position before the bosom and the middle, as if the fragmentary woman retained her instinct of modesty to the last. There were the marks on the bosom and thigh where the fingers had touched; whereas in the Venus de' Medici, if I remember rightly, the fingers are sculptured quite free of the person. The man who showed the statue now lifted from a corner a round block of marble, which had been lying there among other fragments, and this he placed upon the shattered neck of the Venus; and behold, it was her head and face, perfect, all but the nose! Even in spite of this mutilation, it seemed immediately to light up and vivify the entire figure; and, whatever I may heretofore have written about the countenance of the Venus de' Medici, I here record my belief that that head has been wrongfully foisted upon the statue; at all events, it is unspeakably inferior to this newly discovered one. This face has a breadth and front which are strangely deficient in the other. The eyes are well opened, most unlike the buttonhole lids of the Venus de' Medici; the whole head is so much larger as to entirely obviate the criticism that has always been made on the diminutive head of the De' Medici statue. If it had but a nose! They ought to sift every handful of earth that has been thrown out of the excavation, for the nose and the missing hand and fingers must needs be there; and, if they were found, the effect would be like the reappearance of a divinity upon earth. Mutilated as we saw her, it was strangely interesting to be present at the moment, as it were, when she had just risen from her long burial, and was shedding the unquenchable lustre around her which no eye had seen for twenty or more centuries. The earth still clung about her; her beautiful lips were full of it, till Mr. Story took a thin chip of wood and cleared it away from between them.

The proprietor of the vineyard stood by; a man with the most purple face and hugest and reddest nose that I ever beheld in my life. It must have taken innumerable hogsheads of his thin vintage to empurple his face in this manner. He chuckled much over the statue, and, I suppose, counts upon making his fortune by it. He is now awaiting a bid from the Papal government, which, I believe, has the right of pre-emption whenever any relics of ancient art are discovered. If the statue could but be smuggled out of Italy, it might command almost any price. There is not, I think, any name of a sculptor on the pedestal, as on that of the Venus de' Medici. A dolphin is sculptured on the pillar against which she leans. The statue is of Greek marble. It was first found about eight days ago, but has been offered for inspection only a day or two, and already the visitors come in throngs, and the beggars gather about the entrance of the vineyard. A wine shop, too, seems to have been opened on the premises for the accommodation of this great concourse, and we saw a row of German artists sitting at a long table in the open air, each with a glass of thin wine and something to eat before him; for the Germans refresh nature ten times to other persons once.

How the whole world might be peopled with antique beauty if the Romans would only dig!

April 19th.—General Pierce leaves Rome this morning for Venice, by way of Ancona, and taking the steamer thence to Trieste. I had hoped to make the journey along with him; but U——'s terrible illness has made it necessary for us to continue here another mouth, and we are thankful that this seems now to be the extent of our misfortune. Never having had any trouble before that pierced into my very vitals, I did not know what comfort there might be in the manly sympathy of a friend; but Pierce has undergone so great a sorrow of his own, and has so large and kindly a heart, and is so tender and so strong, that he really did the good, and I shall always love him the better for the recollection of his ministrations in these dark days. Thank God, the thing we dreaded did not come to pass.

Pierce is wonderfully little changed. Indeed, now that he has won and enjoyed—if there were any enjoyment in it—the highest success that public life could give him, he seems more like what he was in his early youth than at any subsequent period. He is evidently happier than I have ever known him since our college days; satisfied with what he has been, and with the position in the country that remains to him, after filling such an office. Amid all his former successes,—early as they came, and great as they were,—I always perceived that something gnawed within him, and kept him forever restless and miserable. Nothing he won was worth the winning, except as a step gained toward the summit. I cannot tell how early he began to look towards the Presidency; but I believe he would have died an unhappy man without it. And yet what infinite chances there seemed to be against his attaining it! When I look at it in one way, it strikes me as absolutely miraculous; in another, it came like an event that I had all along expected. It was due to his wonderful tact, which is of so subtle a character that he himself is but partially sensible of it.

I have found in him, here in Rome, the whole of my early friend, and even better than I used to know him; a heart as true and affectionate, a mind much widened and deepened by his experience of life. We hold just the same relation to each other as of yore, and we have passed all the turning-off places, and may hope to go on together still the same dear friends as long as we live. I do not love him one whit the less for having been President, nor for having done me the greatest good in his power; a fact that speaks eloquently in his favor, and perhaps says a little for myself. If he had been merely a benefactor, perhaps I might not have borne it so well; but each did his best for the other as friend for friend.

May 15th.—Yesterday afternoon we went to the Barberini picture-gallery to take a farewell look at the Beatrice Cenci, which I have twice visited before since our return from Florence. I attempted a description of it at my first visit, more than a year ago, but the picture is quite indescribable and unaccountable in its effect, for if you attempt to analyze it you can never succeed in getting at the secret of its fascination. Its peculiar expression eludes a straightforward glance, and can only be caught by side glimpses, or when the eye falls upon it casually, as it were, and without thinking to discover anything, as if the picture had a life and consciousness of its own, and were resolved not to betray its secret of grief or guilt, though it wears the full expression of it when it imagines itself unseen. I think no other such magical effect can ever have been wrought by pencil. I looked close into its eyes, with a determination to see all that there was in them, and could see nothing that might not have been in any young girl's eyes; and yet, a moment afterwards, there was the expression—seen aside, and vanishing in a moment—of a being unhumanized by some terrible fate, and gazing at me out of a remote and inaccessible region, where she was frightened to be alone, but where no sympathy could reach her. The mouth is beyond measure touching; the lips apart, looking as innocent as a baby's after it has been crying. The picture never can be copied. Guido himself could not have done it over again. The copyists get all sorts of expression, gay, as well as grievous; some copies have a coquettish air, a half-backward glance, thrown alluring at the spectator, but nobody ever did catch, or ever will, the vanishing charm of that sorrow. I hated to leave the picture, and yet was glad when I had taken my last glimpse, because it so perplexed and troubled me not to be able to get hold of its secret.

Thence we went to the Church of the Capuchins, and saw Guido's Archangel. I have been several times to this church, but never saw the picture before, though I am familiar with the mosaic copy at St. Peter's, and had supposed the latter to be an equivalent representation of the original. It is nearly or quite so as respects the general effect; but there is a beauty in the archangel's face that immeasurably surpasses the copy,—the expression of heavenly severity, and a degree of pain, trouble, or disgust, at being brought in contact with sin, even for the purpose of quelling and punishing it. There is something finical in the copy, which I do not find in the original. The sandalled feet are here those of an angel; in the mosaic they are those of a celestial coxcomb, treading daintily, as if he were afraid they would be soiled by the touch of Lucifer.

After looking at the Archangel we went down under the church, guided by a fleshy monk, and saw the famous cemetery, where the dead monks of many centuries back have been laid to sleep in sacred earth from Jerusalem. . . .


Hotel des Colonies, Marseilles, May 29th, Saturday.—Wednesday was the day fixed for our departure from Rome, and after breakfast I walked to the Pincian, and saw the garden and the city, and the Borghese grounds, and St. Peter's in an earlier sunlight than ever before. Methought they never looked so beautiful, nor the sky so bright and blue. I saw Soracte on the horizon, and I looked at everything as if for the last time; nor do I wish ever to see any of these objects again, though no place ever took so strong a hold of my being as Rome, nor ever seemed so close to me and so strangely familiar. I seem to know it better than my birthplace, and to have known it longer; and though I have been very miserable there, and languid with the effects of the atmosphere, and disgusted with a thousand things in its daily life, still I cannot say I hate it, perhaps might fairly own a love for it. But life being too short for such questionable and troublesome enjoyments, I desire never to set eyes on it again. . . .

. . . . We traversed again that same weary and dreary tract of country which we passed over in a winter afternoon and night on our first arrival in Rome. It is as desolate a country as can well be imagined, but about midway of our journey we came to the sea-shore, and kept very near it during the rest of the way. The sight and fragrance of it were exceedingly refreshing after so long an interval, and U—— revived visibly as we rushed along, while J——- chuckled and contorted himself with ineffable delight.

We reached Civita Vecchia in three or four hours, and were there subjected to various troubles. . . . All the while Miss S——— and I were bothering about the passport, the rest of the family sat in the sun on the quay, with all kinds of bustle and confusion around them; a very trying experience to U—— after the long seclusion and quiet of her sick-chamber. But she did not seem to suffer from it, and we finally reached the steamer in good condition and spirits. . . .

I slept wretchedly in my short and narrow berth, more especially as there was an old gentleman who snored as if he were sounding a charge; it was terribly hot too, and I rose before four o'clock, and was on deck amply in time to watch the distant approach of sunrise. We arrived at Leghorn pretty early, and might have gone ashore and spent the day. Indeed, we had been recommended by Dr. Franco, and had fully purposed to spend a week or ten days there, in expectation of benefit to U——'s health from the sea air and sea bathing, because he thought her still too feeble to make the whole voyage to Marseilles at a stretch. But she showed herself so strong that we thought she would get as much good from our three days' voyage as from the days by the sea-shore. Moreover, . . . . we all of us still felt the languor of the Roman atmosphere, and dreaded the hubbub and crazy confusion of landing at an Italian port. . . . So we lay in the harbor all day without stirring from the steamer. . . . It would have been pleasant, however, to have gone to Pisa, fifteen miles off, and seen the leaning tower; but, for my part, I have arrived at that point where it is somewhat pleasanter to sit quietly in any spot whatever than to see whatever grandest or most beautiful thing. At least this was my mood in the harbor of Leghorn. From the deck of the steamer there were many things visible that might have been interesting to describe: the boats of peculiar rig, and covered with awning; the crowded shipping; the disembarkation of horses from the French cavalry, which were lowered from steamers into gondolas or lighters, and hung motionless, like the sign of the Golden Fleece, during the transit, only kicking a little when their feet happened to graze the vessel's side. One horse plunged overboard, and narrowly escaped drowning. There was likewise a disembarkation of French soldiers in a train of boats, which rowed shoreward with sound of trumpet. The French are concentrating a considerable number of troops at this point.

Our steamer was detained by order of the French government to take on board despatches; so that, instead of sailing at dusk, as is customary, we lay in the harbor till seven of the next morning. A number of young Sardinian officers, in green uniform, came on board, and a pale and picturesque-looking Italian, and other worthies of less note,—English, American, and of all races,—among them a Turk with a little boy in Christian dress; also a Greek gentleman with his young bride.

At the appointed time we weighed anchor for Genoa, and had a beautiful day on the Mediterranean, and for the first time in my life I saw the real dark blue of the sea. I do not remember noticing it on my outward voyage to Italy. It is the most beautiful hue that can be imagined, like a liquid sky; and it retains its lustrous blue directly under the side of the ship, where the water of the mid-Atlantic looks greenish. . . . We reached Genoa at seven in the afternoon. . . . Genoa looks most picturesquely from the sea, at the foot of a sheltering semicircle of lofty hills; and as we lay in the harbor we saw, among other interesting objects, the great Doria Palace, with its gardens, and the cathedral, and a heap and sweep of stately edifices, with the mountains looking down upon he city, and crowned with fortresses. The variety of hue in the houses, white, green, pink, and orange, was very remarkable. It would have been well to go ashore here for an hour or two and see the streets, —having already seen the palaces, churches, and public buildings at our former visit,—and buy a few specimens of Genoa goldsmiths' work; but I preferred the steamer's deck, so the evening passed pleasantly away; the two lighthouses at the entrance of the port kindled up their fires, and at nine o'clock the evening gun thundered from the fortress, and was reverberated from the heights. We sailed away at eleven, and I was roused from my first sleep by the snortings and hissings of the vessel as she got under way.

At Genoa we took on board some more passengers, an English nobleman with his lady being of the number. These were Lord and Lady J———, and before the end of our voyage his lordship talked to me of a translation of Tasso in which he is engaged, and a stanza or two of which he repeated to me. I really liked the lines, and liked too the simplicity and frankness with which he spoke of it to me a stranger, and the way be seemed to separate his egotism from the idea which he evidently had that he is going to make an excellent translation. I sincerely hope it may be so. He began it without any idea of publishing it, or of ever bringing it to a conclusion, but merely as a solace and occupation while in great trouble during an illness of his wife, but he has gradually come to find it the most absorbing occupation he ever undertook; and as Mr. Gladstone and other high authorities give him warm encouragement, he now means to translate the entire poem, and to publish it with beautiful illustrations, and two years hence the world may expect to see it. I do not quite perceive how such a man as this—a man of frank, warm, simple, kindly nature, but surely not of a poetical temperament, or very refined, or highly cultivated—should make a good version of Tasso's poems; but perhaps the dead poet's soul may take possession of this healthy organization, and wholly turn him to its own purposes.

The latter part of our voyage to-day lay close along the coast of France, which was hilly and picturesque, and as we approached Marseilles was very bold and striking. We steered among rocky islands, rising abruptly out of the sea, mere naked crags, without a trace of verdure upon them, and with the surf breaking at their feet. They were unusual specimens of what hills would look like without the soil, that is to them what flesh is to a skeleton. Their shapes were often wonderfully fine, and the great headlands thrust themselves out, and took such lines of light and shade that it seemed like sailing through a picture. In the course of the afternoon a squall came up and blackened the sky all over in a twinkling; our vessel pitched and tossed, and a brig a little way from us had her sails blown about in wild fashion. The blue of the sea turned as black as night, and soon the rain began to spatter down upon us, and continued to sprinkle and drizzle a considerable time after the wind had subsided. It was quite calm and pleasant when we entered the harbor of Marseilles, which lies at the foot of very fair hills, and is set among great cliffs of stone. I did not attend much to this, however, being in dread of the difficulty of landing and passing through the custom-house with our twelve or fourteen trunks and numberless carpet-bags. The trouble vanished into thin air, nevertheless, as we approached it, for not a single trunk or bag was opened, and, moreover, our luggage and ourselves were not only landed, but the greater part of it conveyed to the railway without any expense. Long live Louis Napoleon, say I. We established ourselves at the Hotel des Colonies, and then Mss S———, J——-, and I drove hither and thither about Marseilles, making arrangements for our journey to Avignon, where we mean to go to-day. We might have avoided a good deal of this annoyance; but travellers, like other people, are continually getting their experience just a little too late. It was after nine before we got back to the hotel and took our tea in peace.


Hotel de l'Europe, June 1st.—I remember nothing very special to record about Marseilles; though it was really like passing from death into life, to find ourselves in busy, cheerful, effervescing France, after living so long between asleep and awake in sluggish Italy. Marseilles is a very interesting and entertaining town, with its bold surrounding heights, its wide streets,—so they seemed to us after the Roman alleys,—its squares, shady with trees, its diversified population of sailors, citizens, Orientals, and what not; but I have no spirit for description any longer; being tired of seeing things, and still more of telling myself about them. Only a young traveller can have patience to write his travels. The newest things, nowadays, have a familiarity to my eyes; whereas in their lost sense of novelty lies the charm and power of description.

On Monday (30th May), though it began with heavy rain, we set early about our preparations for departure, . . . . and, at about three, we left the Hotel des Colonies. It is a very comfortable hotel, though expensive. The Restaurant connected with it occupies the enclosed court-yard and the arcades around it; and it was a good amusement to look down from the surrounding gallery, communicating with our apartments, and see the fashion and manner of French eating, all the time going forward. In sunny weather a great awning is spread over the whole court, across from the upper stories of the house. There is a grass-plat in the middle, and a very spacious and airy dining-saloon is thus formed.

Our railroad carriage was comfortable, and we found in it, besides two other Frenchwomen, two nuns. They were very devout, and sedulously read their little books of devotion, repeated prayers under their breath, kissed the crucifixes which hung at their girdles, and told a string of beads, which they passed from one to the other. So much were they occupied with these duties, that they scarcely looked at the scenery along the road, though, probably, it is very rare for them to see anything outside of their convent walls. They never failed to mutter a prayer and kiss the crucifix whenever we plunged into a tunnel. If they glanced at their fellow-passengers, it was shyly and askance, with their lips in motion all the time, like children afraid to let their eyes wander from their lesson-book. One of them, however, took occasion to pull down R——-'s dress, which, in her frisky movements about the carriage, had got out of place, too high for the nun's sense of decorum. Neither of them was at all pretty, nor was the black stuff dress and white muslin cap in the least becoming, neither were their features of an intelligent or high-bred stamp. Their manners, however, or such little glimpses as I could get of them, were unexceptionable; and when I drew a curtain to protect one of them from the sun, she made me a very courteous gesture of thanks.

We had some very good views both of sea and hills; and a part of our way lay along the banks of the Rhone. . . . By the by, at the station at Marseilles I bought the two volumes of the "Livre des Merveilles," by a certain author of my acquaintance, translated into French, and printed and illustrated in very pretty style. Miss S——— also bought them, and, in answer to her inquiry for other works by the same author, the bookseller observed that "she did not think Monsieur Nathaniel had published anything else." The Christian name deems to be the most important one in France, and still more especially in Italy.

We arrived at Avignon, Hotel de l'Europe, in the dusk of the evening. . . . The lassitude of Rome still clings to us, and I, at least, feel no spring of life or activity, whether at morn or eve. In the morning we found ourselves very pleasantly situated as regards lodgings. The gallery of our suite of rooms looks down as usual into an enclosed court, three sides of which are formed by the stone house and its two wings, and the third by a high wall, with a gateway of iron between two lofty stone pillars, which, for their capitals, have great stone vases, with grass growing in them, and hanging over the brim. There is a large plane-tree in one corner of the court, and creeping plants clamber up trellises; and there are pots of flowers and bird-cages, all of which give a very fresh and cheerful aspect to the enclosure. The court is paved with small round stones; the omnibus belonging to the hotel, and all the carriages of guests drive into it; and the wide arch of the stable-door opens under the central part of the house. Nevertheless, the scene is not in all respects that of a stable-yard; for gentlemen and ladies come from the salle a manger and other rooms, and stand talking in the court, or occupy chairs and seats there; children play about; the hostess or her daughter often appears and talks with her guests or servants; dogs lounge, and, in short, the court might well enough be taken for the one scene of a classic play. The hotel seems to be of the first class, though such would not be indicated, either in England or America, by thus mixing up the stable with the lodgings. I have taken two or three rambles about the town, and have climbed a high rock which dominates over it, and gives a most extensive view from the broad table-land of its summit. The old church of Avignon —as old as the times of its popes, and older—stands close beside this mighty and massive crag. We went into it, and found it a dark old place, with broad, interior arches, and a singularly shaped dome; a venerable Gothic and Grecian porch, with ancient frescos in its arched spaces; some dusky pictures within; an ancient chair of stone, formerly occupied by the popes, and much else that would have been exceedingly interesting before I went to Rome. But Rome takes the charm out of an inferior antiquity, as well as the life out of human beings.

This forenoon J——- and I have crossed the Rhone by a bridge, just the other side of one of the city gates, which is near our hotel. We walked along the riverside, and saw the ruins of an ancient bridge, which ends abruptly in the midst of the stream; two or three arches still making tremendous strides across, while the others have long ago been crumbled away by the rush of the rapid river. The bridge was originally founded by St. Benezet, who received a Divine order to undertake the work, while yet a shepherd-boy, with only three sous in his pocket; and he proved the authenticity of the mission by taking an immense stone on his shoulder, and laying it for the foundation. There is still an ancient chapel midway on the bridge, and I believe St. Benezet lies buried there, in the midst of his dilapidated work. The bridge now used is considerably lower down the stream. It is a wooden suspension-bridge, broader than the ancient one, and doubtless more than supplies its place; else, unquestionably, St. Benezet would think it necessary to repair his own. The view from the inner side of this ruined structure, grass-grown and weedy, and leading to such a precipitous plunge into the swift river, is very picturesque, in connection with the gray town and above it, the great, massive bulk of the cliff, the towers of the church, and of a vast old edifice, shapeless, ugly, and venerable, which the popes built and occupied as their palace, many centuries ago. . . .

After dinner we all set out on a walk, in the course of which we called at a bookseller's shop to show U—— an enormous cat, which I had already seen. It is of the Angora breed, of a mottled yellow color, and is really a wonder; as big and broad as a tolerably sized dog, very soft and silken, and apparently of the gentlest disposition. I never imagined the like, nor felt anything so deeply soft as this great beast. Its master seems very fond and proud of it; and, great favorite as the cat is, she does not take airs upon herself, but is gently shy and timid in her demonstrations.

We ascended the great Rocher above the palace of the popes, and on our way looked into the old church, which was so dim in the decline of day that we could not see within the dusky arches, through which the chapels communicated with the nave. Thence we pursued our way up the farther ascent, and, standing on the edge of the precipice,—protected by a parapet of stone, and in other places by an iron railing,—we could look down upon the road that winds its dusky track far below, and at the river Rhone, which eddies close beside it. This is indeed a massive and lofty cliff, and it tumbles down so precipitously that I could readily have flung myself from the bank, and alighted on my head in the middle of the river. The Rhone passes so near its base that I threw stones a good way into its current. We talked with a man of Avignon, who leaned over the parapet near by, and he was very kind in explaining the points of view, and told us that the river, which winds and doubles upon itself so as to look like at least two rivers, is really the Rhone alone. The Durance joins with it within a few miles below Avignon, but is here invisible.

Hotel de l'Europe, June 2d.—This morning we went again to the Duomo of the popes; and this time we allowed the custode, or sacristan, to show us the curiosities of it. He led us into a chapel apart, and showed us the old Gothic tomb of Pope John XXII., where the recumbent statue of the pope lies beneath one of those beautiful and venerable canopies of stone which look at once so light and so solemn. I know not how many hundred years old it is, but everything of Gothic origin has a faculty of conveying the idea of age; whereas classic forms seem to have nothing to do with time, and so lose the kind of impressiveness that arises from suggestions of decay and the past.

In the sacristy the guide opened a cupboard that contained the jewels and sacred treasures of the church, and showed a most exquisite figure of Christ in ivory, represented as on a cross of ebony; and it was executed with wonderful truth and force of expression, and with great beauty likewise. I do not see what a full-length marble statue could have had that was lacking in this little ivory figure of hardly more than a foot high. It is about two centuries old, by an unknown artist. There is another famous ivory statuette in Avignon which seems to be more celebrated than this, but can hardly be superior. I shall gladly look at it if it comes in my way.

Next to this, the prettiest thing the man showed us was a circle of emeralds, in one of the holy implements; and then he exhibited a little bit or a pope's skull; also a great old crozier, that looked as if made chiefly of silver, and partly gilt; but I saw where the plating of silver was worn away, and betrayed the copper of its actual substance. There were two or three pictures in the sacristy, by ancient and modern French artists, very unlike the productions of the Italian masters, but not without a beauty of their own.

Leaving the sacristy, we returned into the church, where U—— and J——- began to draw the pope's old stone chair. There is a beast, or perhaps more than one, grotesquely sculptured upon it; the seat is high and square, the back low and pointed, and it offers no enticing promise to a weary man.

The interior of the church is massively picturesque, with its vaulted roof, and a stone gallery, heavily ornamented, running along each side of the nave. Each arch of the nave gives admittance to a chapel, in all of which there are pictures, and sculptures in most of them. One of these chapels is of the time of Charlemagne, and has a vaulted roof of admirable architecture, covered with frescos of modern date and little merit. In an adjacent chapel is the stone monument of Pope Benedict, whose statue reposes on it, like many which I have seen in the cathedral of York and other old English churches. In another part we saw a monument, consisting of a plain slab supported on pillars; it is said to be of a Roman or very early Christian epoch. In another chapel was a figure of Christ in wax, I believe, and clothed in real drapery; a very ugly object. Also, a figure reposing under a slab, which strikes the spectator with the idea that it is really a dead person enveloped in a shroud. There are windows of painted glass in some of the chapels; and the gloom of the dimly lighted interior, especially beneath the broad, low arches, is very impressive.

While we were there some women assembled at one of the altars, and went through their acts of devotion without the help of a priest; one and another of them alternately repeating prayers, to which the rest responded. The murmur of their voices took a musical tone, which was reverberated by the vaulted arches.

U—— and I now came out; and, under the porch, we found an old woman selling rosaries, little religious books, and other holy things. We bought two little medals of the Immaculate Virgin, one purporting to be of silver, the other of gold; but as both together cost only two or three sous, the genuineness of the material may well be doubted. We sat down on the steps, of a crucifix which is placed in front of the church, and the children began to draw the porch, of which I hardly know whether to call the architecture classic or Gothic (as I said before); at all events it has a venerable aspect, and there are frescos within its arches by Simone Memmi. . . . The popes' palace is contiguous to the church, and just below it, on the hillside. It is now occupied as barracks by some regiments of soldiers, a number of whom were lounging before the entrance; but we passed the sentinel without being challenged, and addressed ourselves to the concierge, who readily assented to our request to be shown through the edifice. A French gentleman and lady, likewise, came with similar purpose, and went the rounds along with us. The palace is such a confused heap and conglomeration of buildings, that it is impossible to get within any sort of a regular description. It is a huge, shapeless mass of architecture; and if it ever had any pretence to a plan, it has lost it in the modern alterations. For instance, an immense and lofty chapel, or rather church, has had two floors, one above the other, laid at different stages of its height; and the upper one of these floors, which extends just where the arches of the vaulted root begin to spring from the pillars, is ranged round with the beds of one of the regiments of soldiers. They are small iron bedsteads, each with its narrow mattress, and covered with a dark blanket. On some of them lay or lounged a soldier; other soldiers were cleaning their accoutrements; elsewhere we saw parties of them playing cards. So it was wherever we went among those large, dingy, gloomy halls and chambers, which, no doubt, were once stately and sumptuous, with pictures, with tapestry, and all sorts of adornment that the Middle Ages knew how to use. The windows threw a sombre light through embrasures at least two feet thick. There were staircases of magnificent breadth. We were shown into two small chapels, in different parts of the building, both containing the remains of old frescos wofully defaced. In one of them was a light, spiral staircase of iron, built in the centre of the room as a means of contemplating the frescos, which were said to be the work of our old friend Giotto. . . . Finally, we climbed a long, long, narrow stair, built in the thickness of the wall, and thus gained access to the top of one of the towers, whence we saw the noblest landscapes, mountains, plains, and the Rhone, broad and bright, winding hither and thither, as if it had lost its way.

Beneath our feet was the gray, ugly old palace, and its many courts, just as void of system and as inconceivable as when we were burrowing through its bewildering passages. No end of historical romances might be made out of this castle of the popes; and there ought to be a ghost in every room, and droves of them in some of the rooms; for there have been murders here in the gross and in detail, as well hundreds of years ago, as no longer back than the French Revolution, when there was a great massacre in one of the courts. Traces of this bloody business were visible in actual stains on the wall only a few years ago.

Returning to the room of the concierge, who, being a little stiff with age, had sent an attendant round with us, instead of accompanying us in person, he showed us a picture of Rienzi, the last of the Roman tribunes, who was once a prisoner here. On a table, beneath the picture, stood a little vase of earthenware containing some silver coin. We took it as a hint, in the customary style of French elegance, that a fee should be deposited here, instead of being put into the hand of the concierge; so the French gentleman deposited half a franc, and I, in my magnificence, twice as much.

Hotel de l'Europe, June 6th.—We are still here. . . . I have been daily to the Rocher des Dons, and have grown familiar with the old church on its declivity. I think I might become attached to it by seeing it often. A sombre old interior, with its heavy arches, and its roof vaulted like the top of a trunk; its stone gallery, with ponderous adornments, running round three sides. I observe that it is a daily custom of the old women to say their prayers in concert, sometimes making a pilgrimage, as it were, from chapel to chapel. The voice of one of them is heard running through the series of petitions, and at intervals the voices of the others join and swell into a chorus, so that it is like a river connecting a series of lakes; or, not to use so gigantic a simile, the one voice is like a thread, on which the beads of a rosary are strung.

One day two priests came and sat down beside these prayerful women, and joined in their petitions. I am inclined to hope that there is something genuine in the devotion of these old women.

The view from the top of the Rocker des Dons (a contraction of Dominis) grows upon me, and is truly magnificent; a vast mountain-girdled plain, illuminated by the far windings and reaches of the Rhone. The river is here almost as turbid as the Tiber itself; but, I remember, in the upper part of its course the waters are beautifully transparent. A powerful rush is indicated by the swirls and eddies of its broad surface.

Yesterday was a race day at Avignon, and apparently almost the whole population and a great many strangers streamed out of the city gate nearest our hotel, on their way to the race-course. There were many noticeable figures that might come well into a French picture or description; but only one remains in my memory,—a young man with a wooden leg, setting off for the course—a walk of several miles, I believe—with prodigious courage and alacrity, flourishing his wooden leg with an air and grace that seemed to render it positively flexible. The crowd returned towards sunset, and almost all night long, the streets and the whole air of the old town were full of song and merriment. There was a ball in a temporary structure, covered with an awning, in the Place d'Horloge, and a showman has erected his tent and spread forth his great painted canvases, announcing an anaconda and a sea-tiger to be seen. J——- paid four sous for admittance, and found that the sea-tiger was nothing but a large seal, and the anaconda altogether a myth.

I have rambled a good deal about the town. Its streets are crooked and perplexing, and paved with round pebbles for the most part, which afford more uncomfortable pedestrianism than the pavement of Rome itself. It is an ancient-looking place, with some large old mansions, but few that are individually impressive; though here and there one sees an antique entrance, a corner tower, or other bit of antiquity, that throws a venerable effect over the gray commonplace of past centuries. The town is not overclean, and often there is a kennel of unhappy odor. There appear to have been many more churches and devotional establishments under the ancient dominion of the popes than have been kept intact in subsequent ages; the tower and facade of a church, for instance, form the front of a carpenter's shop, or some such plebeian place. The church where Laura lay has quite disappeared, and her tomb along with it. The town reminds me of Chester, though it does not in the least resemble it, and is not nearly so picturesque. Like Chester, it is entirely surrounded by a wall; and that of Avignon—though it has no delightful promenade on its top, as the wall of Chester has—is the more perfectly preserved in its mediaeval form, and the more picturesque of the two. J——- and I have once or twice walked nearly round it, commencing from the gate of Ouelle, which is very near our hotel. From this point it stretches for a considerable distance along by the river, and here there is a broad promenade, with trees, and blocks of stone for seats; on one side "the arrowy Rhone," generally carrying a cooling breeze along with it; on the other, the gray wall, with its battlements and machicolations, impending over what was once the moat, but which is now full of careless and untrained shrubbery. At intervals there are round towers swelling out from the wall, and rising a little above it. After about half a mile along the river-side the wall turns at nearly right angles, and still there is a wide road, a shaded walk, a boulevard; and at short distances are cafes, with their little round tables before the door, or small shady nooks of shrubbery. So numerous are these retreats and pleasaunces that I do not see how the little old town can support them all, especially as there are a great many cafes within the walls. I do not remember seeing any soldiers on guard at the numerous city gates, but there is an office in the side of each gate for levying the octroi, and old women are sometimes on guard there.

This morning, after breakfast, J——- and I crossed the suspension-bridge close by the gate nearest our hotel, and walked to the ancient town of Villeneuve, on the other side of the Rhone. The first bridge leads to an island, from the farther side of which another very long one, with a timber foundation, accomplishes the passage of the other branch of the Rhone. There was a good breeze on the river, but after crossing it we found the rest of the walk excessively hot. This town of Villeneuve is of very ancient origin, and owes its existence, it is said, to the famous holiness of a female saint, which gathered round her abode and burial-place a great many habitations of people who reverenced her. She was the daughter of the King of Saragossa, and I presume she chose this site because it was so rocky and desolate. Afterwards it had a long mediaeval history; and in the time of the Avignon popes, the cardinals, regretful of their abandoned Roman villas, built pleasure-houses here, so that the town was called Villa Nueva. After they had done their best, it must have seemed to these poor cardinals but a rude and sad exchange for the Borghese, the Albani, the Pamfili Doria, and those other perfectest results of man's luxurious art. And probably the tradition of the Roman villas had really been kept alive, and extant examples of them all the way downward from the times of the empire. But this Villeneuve is the stoniest, roughest town that can be imagined. There are a few large old houses, to be sure, but built on a line with shabby village dwellings and barns, and so presenting little but samples of magnificent shabbiness. Perhaps I might have found traces of old splendor if I had sought for them; but, not having the history of the place in my mind, I passed through its scrambling streets without imagining that Princes of the Church had once made their abode here. The inhabitants now are peasants, or chiefly such; though, for aught I know, some of the French noblesse may burrow in these palaces that look so like hovels.

A large church, with a massive tower, stands near the centre of the town; and, of course, I did not fail to enter its arched door,—a pointed arch, with many frames and mouldings, one within another. An old woman was at her devotions, and several others came in and knelt during my stay there. It was quite an interesting interior; a long nave, with six pointed arches on each side, beneath which were as many chapels. The walls were rich with pictures, not only in the chapels, but up and down the nave, above the arches. There were gilded virgins, too, and much other quaint device that produced an effect that I rather liked than otherwise. At the end of the church, farthest from the high altar, there were four columns of exceedingly rich marble, and a good deal more of such precious material was wrought into the chapels and altars. There was an old stone seat, also, of some former pope or prelate. The church was dim enough to cause the lamps in the shrines to become points of vivid light, and, looking from end to end, it was a long, venerable, tarnished, Old World vista, not at all tampered with by modern taste.

We now went on our way through the village, and, emerging from a gate, went clambering towards the castle of St. Andre, which stands, perhaps, a quarter of a mile beyond it. This castle was built by Philip le Bel, as a restraint to the people of Avignon in extending their power on this side of the Rhone. We happened not to take the most direct way, and so approached the castle on the farther side and were obliged to go nearly round the hill on which it stands, before striking into the path which leads to its gate. It crowns a very bold and difficult hill, directly above the Rhone, opposite to Avignon,—which is so far off that objects are not minutely distinguishable,—and looking down upon the long, straggling town of Villeneuve. It must have been a place of mighty strength, in its day. Its ramparts seem still almost entire, as looked upon from without, and when, at length, we climbed the rough, rocky pathway to the entrance, we found the two vast round towers, with their battlemented summits and arched gateway between them, just as perfect as they could have been five hundred or more years ago. Some external defences are now, however, in a state of ruin; and there are only the remains of a tower, that once arose between the two round towers, and was apparently much more elevated than they. A little in front of the gate was a monumental cross of stone; and in the arch, between the two round towers, were two little boys at play; and an old woman soon showed herself, but took no notice of us. Casting our eyes within the gateway, we saw what looked a rough village street, betwixt old houses built ponderously of stone, but having far more the aspect of huts than of castle-hails. They were evidently the dwellings of peasantry, and people engaged in rustic labor; and no doubt they have burrowed into the primitive structures of the castle, and, as they found convenient, have taken their crumbling materials to build barns and farm-houses. There was space and accommodation for a very considerable population; but the men were probably at work in the fields, and the only persons visible were the children aforesaid, and one or two old women bearing bundles of twigs on their backs. They showed no curiosity respecting us, and though the wide space included within the castle-rampart seemed almost full of habitations ruinous or otherwise, I never found such a solitude in any ruin before. It contrasts very favorably in this particular with English castles, where, though you do not find rustic villages within the warlike enclosure, there is always a padlocked gate, always a guide, and generally half a dozen idle tourists. But here was only antiquity, with merely the natural growth of fungous human life upon it.

We went to the end of the castle court and sat down, for lack of other shade, among some inhospitable nettles that grew close to the wall. Close by us was a great gap in the ramparts,—it may have been a breach which was once stormed through; and it now afforded us an airy and sunny glimpse of distant hills. . . . J——- sketched part of the broken wall, which, by the by, did not seem to me nearly so thick as the walls of English castles. Then we returned through the gate, and I stopped, rather impatiently, under the hot sun, while J——- drew the outline of the two round towers. This done, we resumed our way homeward, after drinking from a very deep well close by the square tower of Philip le Bel. Thence we went melting through the sunshine, which beat upward as pitilessly from the white road as it blazed downwards from the sky. . . .


Hotel d'Angleterre, June 11th.—We left Avignon on Tuesday, 7th, and took the rail to Valence, where we arrived between four and five, and put up at the Hotel de la Poste, an ancient house, with dirty floors and dirt generally, but otherwise comfortable enough. . . . Valence is a stately old town, full of tall houses and irregular streets. We found a cathedral there, not very large, but with a high and venerable interior, a nave supported by tall pillars, from the height of which spring arches. This loftiness is characteristic of French churches, as distinguished from those of Italy. . . . We likewise saw, close by the cathedral, a large monument with four arched entrances meeting beneath a vaulted roof; but, on inquiry of an old priest and other persons, we could get no account of it, except that it was a tomb, and of unknown antiquity. The architecture seemed classic, and yet it had some Gothic peculiarities, and it was a reverend and beautiful object. Had I written up my journal while the town was fresh in my remembrance, I might have found much to describe; but a succession of other objects have obliterated most of the impressions I have received here. Our railway ride to Valence was intolerably hot. I have felt nothing like it since leaving America, and that is so long ago that the terrible discomfort was just as good as new. . . .

We left Valence at four, and came that afternoon to Lyons, still along the Rhone. Either the waters of this river assume a transparency in winter which they lose in summer, or I was mistaken in thinking them transparent on our former journey. They are now turbid; but the hue does not suggest the idea of a running mud-puddle, as the water of the Tiber does. No streams, however, are so beautiful in the quality of their waters as the clear, brown rivers of New England. The scenery along this part of the Rhone, as we have found all the way from Marseilles, is very fine and impressive; old villages, rocky cliffs, castellated steeps, quaint chateaux, and a thousand other interesting objects.

We arrived at Lyons at five o'clock, and went to the Hotel de l'Univers, to which we had been recommended by our good hostess at Avignon. The day had become showery, but J——- and I strolled about a little before nightfall, and saw the general characteristics of the place. Lyons is a city of very stately aspect, hardly inferior to Paris; for it has regular streets of lofty houses, and immense squares planted with trees, and adorned with statues and fountains. New edifices of great splendor are in process of erection; and on the opposite side of the Rhone, where the site rises steep and high, there are structures of older date, that have an exceedingly picturesque effect, looking down upon the narrow town.

The next morning I went out with J——- in quest of my bankers, and of the American Consul; and as I had forgotten the directions of the waiter of the hotel, I of course went astray, and saw a good deal more of Lyons than I intended. In my wanderings I crossed the Rhone, and found myself in a portion of the city evidently much older than that with which I had previously made acquaintance; narrow, crooked, irregular, and rudely paved streets, full of dingy business and bustle,—the city, in short, as it existed a century ago, and how much earlier I know not. Above rises that lofty elevation of ground which I before noticed; and the glimpses of its stately old buildings through the openings of the street were very picturesque. Unless it be Edinburgh, I have not seen any other city that has such striking features. Altogether unawares, immediately after crossing the bridge, we came upon the cathedral; and the grand, time-blackened Gothic front, with its deeply arched entrances, seemed to me as good as anything I ever saw,—unexpectedly more impressive than all the ruins of Rome. I could but merely glance at its interior; so that its noble height and venerable space, filled with the dim, consecrated light of pictured windows, recur to me as a vision. And it did me good to enjoy the awfulness and sanctity of Gothic architecture again, after so long shivering in classic porticos. . . .

We now recrossed the river. . . . The Frank methods and arrangements in matters of business seem to be excellent, so far as effecting the proposed object is concerned; but there is such an inexorable succession of steel-wrought forms, that life is not long enough for so much accuracy. The stranger, too, goes blindfold through all these processes, not knowing what is to turn up next, till, when quite in despair, he suddenly finds his business mysteriously accomplished. . . .

We left Lyons at four o'clock, taking the railway for Geneva. The scenery was very striking throughout the journey; but I allowed the hills, deep valleys, high impending cliffs, and whatever else I saw along the road, to pass from me without an ink-blot. We reached Geneva at nearly ten o'clock. . . . It is situated partly on low, flat ground, bordering the lake, and behind this level space it rises by steep, painfully paved streets, some of which can hardly be accessible by wheeled carriages. The prosperity of the town is indicated by a good many new and splendid edifices, for commercial and other purposes, in the vicinity of the lake; but intermixed with these there are many quaint buildings of a stern gray color, and in a style of architecture that I prefer a thousand times to the monotony of Italian streets. Immensely high, red roofs, with windows in them, produce an effect that delights me. They are as ugly, perhaps, as can well be conceived, but very striking and individual. At each corner of these ancient houses frequently is a tower, the roof of which rises in a square pyramidal form, or, if the tower be round, in a round pyramidal form. Arched passages, gloomy and grimy, pass from one street to another. The lower town creeps with busy life, and swarms like an ant-hill; but if you climb the half-precipitous streets, you find yourself among ancient and stately mansions, high roofed, with a strange aspect of grandeur about them, looking as if they might still be tenanted by such old magnates as dwelt in them centuries ago. There is also a cathedral, the older portion exceedingly fine; but it has been adorned at some modern epoch with a Grecian portico,—good in itself, but absurdly out of keeping with the edifice which it prefaces. This being a Protestant country, the doors were all shut,—an inhospitality that made me half a Catholic. It is funny enough that a stranger generally profits by all that is worst for the inhabitants of the country where he himself is merely a visitor. Despotism makes things all the pleasanter for the stranger. Catholicism lends itself admirably to his purposes.

There are public gardens (one, at least) in Geneva. . . . Nothing struck me so much, I think, as the color of the Rhone, as it flows under the bridges in the lower town. It is absolutely miraculous, and, beautiful as it is, suggests the idea that the tubs of a thousand dyers have emptied their liquid indigo into the stream. When once you have conquered and thrust out this idea, it is an inexpressible delight to look down into this intense, brightly transparent blue, that hurries beneath you with the speed of a race-horse.

The shops of Geneva are very tempting to a traveller, being full of such little knick-knacks as he would be glad to carry away in memory of the place: wonderful carvings in wood and ivory, done with exquisite taste and skill; jewelry that seems very cheap, but is doubtless dear enough, if you estimate it by the solid gold that goes into its manufacture; watches, above all things else, for a third or a quarter of the price that one pays in England, looking just as well, too, and probably performing the whole of a watch's duty as uncriticisably. The Swiss people are frugal and inexpensive in their own habits, I believe, plain and simple, and careless of ornament; but they seem to reckon on other people's spending a great deal of money for gewgaws. We bought some of their wooden trumpery, and likewise a watch for U——. . . . Next to watches, jewelry, and wood-carving, I should say that cigars were one of the principal articles of commerce in Geneva. Cigar-shops present themselves at every step or two, and at a reasonable rate, there being no duties, I believe, on imported goods. There was no examination of our trunks on arrival, nor any questions asked on that score.


Hotel de Byron, June 12th.—Yesterday afternoon we left Geneva by a steamer, starting from the quay at only a short distance from our hotel. The forenoon had been showery; but the suit now came out very pleasantly, although there were still clouds and mist enough to give infinite variety to the mountain scenery. At the commencement of our voyage the scenery of the lake was not incomparably superior to that of other lakes on which I have sailed, as Lake Windermere, for instance, or Loch Lomond, or our own Lake Champlain. It certainly grew more grand and beautiful, however, till at length I felt that I had never seen anything worthy to be put beside it. The southern shore has the grandest scenery; the great hills on that side appearing close to the water's edge, and after descending, with headlong slope, directly from their rocky and snow-streaked summits down into the blue water. Our course lay nearer to the northern shore, and all our stopping-places were on that side. The first was Coppet, where Madame de Stael or her father, or both, were either born or resided or died, I know not which, and care very little. It is a picturesque village, with an old church, and old, high-roofed, red-tiled houses, the whole looking as if nothing in it had been changed for many, many years. All these villages, at several of which we stopped momentarily, look delightfully unmodified by recent fashions. There is the church, with its tower crowned by a pyramidal roof, like an extinguisher; then the chateau of the former lord, half castle and half dwelling-house, with a round tower at each corner, pyramid topped; then, perhaps, the ancient town-house or Hotel de Ville, in an open paved square; and perhaps the largest mansion in the whole village will have been turned into a modern inn, but retaining all its venerable characteristics of high, steep sloping roof, and antiquated windows. Scatter a delightful shade of trees among the houses, throw in a time-worn monument of one kind or another, swell out the delicious blue of the lake in front, and the delicious green of the sunny hillside sloping up and around this closely congregated neighborhood of old, comfortable houses, and I do not know what more I can add to this sketch. Often there was an insulated house or cottage, embowered in shade, and each seeming like the one only spot in the wide world where two people that had good consciences and loved each other could spend a happy life. Half-ruined towers, old historic castles, these, too, we saw. And all the while, on the other side of the lake, were the high hills, sometimes dim, sometimes black, sometimes green, with gray precipices of stone, and often snow-patches, right above the warm sunny lake whereon we were sailing.

We passed Lausanne, which stands upward, on the slope of the hill, the tower of its cathedral forming a conspicuous object. We mean to visit this to-morrow; so I may pretermit further mention of it here. We passed Vevay and Clarens, which, methought, was particularly picturesque; for now the hills had approached close to the water on the northern side also, and steep heights rose directly above the little gray church and village; and especially I remember a rocky cliff which ascends into a rounded pyramid, insulated from all other peaks and ridges. But if I could perform the absolute impossibility of getting one single outline of the scene into words, there would be all the color wanting, the light, the haze, which spiritualizes it, and moreover makes a thousand and a thousand scenes out of that single one. Clarens, however, has still another interest for me; for I found myself more affected by it, as the scene of the love of St. Preux and Julie, than I have often been by scenes of poetry and romance. I read Rousseau's romance with great sympathy, when I was hardly more than a boy; ten years ago, or thereabouts, I tried to read it again without success; but I think, from my feeling of yesterday, that it still retains its hold upon my imagination.

Farther onward, we saw a white, ancient-looking group of towers, beneath a mountain, which was so high, and rushed so precipitately down upon this pile of building as quite to dwarf it; besides which, its dingy whiteness had not a very picturesque effect. Nevertheless, this was the Castle of Chillon. It appears to sit right upon the water, and does not rise very loftily above it. I was disappointed in its aspect, having imagined this famous castle as situated upon a rock, a hundred, or, for aught I know, a thousand feet above the surface of the lake; but it is quite as impressive a fact—supposing it to be true—that the water is eight hundred feet deep at its base. By this time, the mountains had taken the beautiful lake into their deepest heart; they girdled it quite round with their grandeur and beauty, and, being able to do no more for it, they here withheld it from extending any farther; and here our voyage came to an end. I have never beheld any scene so exquisite; nor do I ask of heaven to show me any lovelier or nobler one, but only to give me such depth and breadth of sympathy with nature, that I may worthily enjoy this. It is beauty more than enough for poor, perishable mortals. If this be earth, what must heaven be!

It was nearly eight o'clock when we arrived; and then we had a walk of at least a mile to the Hotel Byron. . . . I forgot to mention that in the latter part of our voyage there was a shower in some part of the sky, and though none of it fell upon us, we had the benefit of those gentle tears in a rainbow, which arched itself across the lake from mountain to mountain, so that our track lay directly under this triumphal arch. We took it as a good omen, nor were we discouraged, though, after the rainbow had vanished, a few sprinkles of the shower came down.

We found the Hotel Byron very grand indeed, and a good one too. There was a beautiful moonlight on the lake and hills, but we contented ourselves with looking out of our lofty window, whence, likewise, we had a sidelong glance at the white battlements of Chillon, not more than a mile off, on the water's edge. The castle is wofully in need of a pedestal. If its site were elevated to a height equal to its own, it would make a far better appearance. As it now is, it looks, to speak profanely of what poetry has consecrated, when seen from the water, or along the shore of the lake, very like an old whitewashed factory or mill.

This morning I walked to the Castle of Chillon with J——-, who sketches everything he sees, from a wildflower or a carved chair to a castle or a range of mountains. The morning had sunshine thinly scattered through it; but, nevertheless, there was a continual sprinkle, sometimes scarcely perceptible, and then again amounting to a decided drizzle. The road, which is built along on a little elevation above the lake shore, led us past the Castle of Chillon; and we took a side-path, which passes still nearer the castle gate. The castle stands on an isthmus of gravel, permanently connecting it with the mainland. A wooden bridge, covered with a roof, passes from the shore to the arched entrance; and beneath this shelter, which has wooden walls as well as roof and floor, we saw a soldier or gendarme who seemed to act as warder. As it sprinkled rather more freely than at first, I thought of appealing to his hospitality for shelter from the rain, but concluded to pass on.

The castle makes a far better appearance on a nearer view, and from the land, than when seen at a distance, and from the water. It is built of stone, and seems to have been anciently covered with plaster, which imparts the whiteness to which Byron does much more than justice, when he speaks of "Chillon's snow-white battlements." There is a lofty external wall, with a cluster of round towers about it, each crowned with its pyramidal roof of tiles, and from the central portion of the castle rises a square tower, also crowned with its own pyramid to a considerably greater height than the circumjacent ones. The whole are in a close cluster, and make a fine picture of ancient strength when seen at a proper proximity; for I do not think that distance adds anything to the effect. There are hardly any windows, or few, and very small ones, except the loopholes for arrows and for the garrison of the castle to peep from on the sides towards the water; indeed, there are larger windows at least in the upper apartments; but in that direction, no doubt, the castle was considered impregnable. Trees here and there on the land side grow up against the castle wall, on one part of which, moreover, there was a green curtain of ivy spreading from base to battlement. The walls retain their machicolations, and I should judge that nothing had been [altered], nor any more work been done upon the old fortress than to keep it in singularly good repair. It was formerly a castle of the Duke of Savoy, and since his sway over the country ceased (three hundred years at least), it has been in the hands of the Swiss government, who still keep some arms and ammunition there.

We passed on, and found the view of it better, as we thought, from a farther point along the road. The raindrops began to spatter down faster, and we took shelter under an impending precipice, where the ledge of rock had been blasted and hewn away to form the road. Our refuge was not a very convenient and comfortable one, so we took advantage of the partial cessation of the shower to turn homeward, but had not gone far when we met mamma and all her train. As we were close by the castle entrance, we thought it advisable to seek admission, though rather doubtful whether the Swiss gendarme might not deem it a sin to let us into the castle on Sunday. But he very readily admitted us under his covered drawbridge, and called an old man from within the fortress to show us whatever was to be seen. This latter personage was a staid, rather grim, and Calvinistic-looking old worthy; but he received us without scruple, and forthwith proceeded to usher us into a range of most dismal dungeons, extending along the basement of the castle, on a level with the surface of the lake. First, if I remember aright, we came to what he said had been a chapel, and which, at all events, looked like an aisle of one, or rather such a crypt as I have seen beneath a cathedral, being a succession of massive pillars supporting groined arches,—a very admirable piece of gloomy Gothic architecture. Next, we came to a very dark compartment of the same dungeon range, where he pointed to a sort of bed, or what might serve for a bed, hewn in the solid rock, and this, our guide said, had been the last sleeping-place of condemned prisoners on the night before their execution. The next compartment was still duskier and dismaller than the last, and he bade us cast our eyes up into the obscurity and see a beam, where the condemned ones used to be hanged. I looked and looked, and closed my eyes so as to see the clearer in this horrible duskiness on opening them again. Finally, I thought I discerned the accursed beam, and the rest of the party were certain that they saw it. Next beyond this, I think, was a stone staircase, steep, rudely cut, and narrow, down which the condemned were brought to death; and beyond this, still on the same basement range of the castle, a low and narrow [corridor] through which we passed and saw a row of seven massive pillars, supporting two parallel series of groined arches, like those in the chapel which we first entered. This was Bonnivard's prison, and the scene of Byron's poem.

The arches are dimly lighted by narrow loopholes, pierced through the immensely thick wall, but at such a height above the floor that we could catch no glimpse of land or water, or scarcely of the sky. The prisoner of Chillon could not possibly have seen the island to which Byron alludes, and which is a little way from the shore, exactly opposite the town of Villeneuve. There was light enough in this long, gray, vaulted room, to show us that all the pillars were inscribed with the names of visitors, among which I saw no interesting one, except that of Byron himself, which is cut, in letters an inch long or more, into one of the pillars next to that to which Bonnivard was chained. The letters are deep enough to remain in the pillar as long as the castle stands. Byron seems to have had a fancy for recording his name in this and similar ways; as witness the record which I saw on a tree of Newstead Abbey. In Bonnivard's pillar there still remains an iron ring, at the height of perhaps three feet from the ground. His chain was fastened to this ring, and his only freedom was to walk round this pillar, about which he is said to have worn a path in the stone pavement of the dungeon; but as the floor is now covered with earth or gravel, I could not satisfy myself whether this be true. Certainly six years, with nothing else to do in them save to walk round the pillar, might well suffice to wear away the rock, even with naked feet. This column, and all the columns, were cut and hewn in a good style of architecture, and the dungeon arches are not without a certain gloomy beauty. On Bonnivard's pillar, as well as on all the rest, were many names inscribed; but I thought better of Byron's delicacy and sensitiveness for not cutting his name into that very pillar. Perhaps, knowing nothing of Bonnivard's story, he did not know to which column he was chained.

Emerging from the dungeon-vaults, our guide led us through other parts of the castle, showing us the Duke of Savoy's kitchen, with a fireplace at least twelve feet long; also the judgment-hall, or some such place, hung round with the coats of arms of some officers or other, and having at one end a wooden post, reaching from floor to ceiling, and having upon it the marks of fire. By means of this post, contumacious prisoners were put to a dreadful torture, being drawn up by cords and pulleys, while their limbs were scorched by a fire underneath. We also saw a chapel or two, one of which is still in good and sanctified condition, and was to be used this very day, our guide told us, for religious purposes. We saw, moreover, the Duke's private chamber, with a part of the bedstead on which he used to sleep, and be haunted with horrible dreams, no doubt, and the ghosts of wretches whom he had tortured and hanged; likewise the bedchamber of his duchess, that had in its window two stone seats, where, directly over the head of Bonnivard, the ducal pair might look out on the beautiful scene of lake and mountains, and feel the warmth of the blessed sun. Under this window, the guide said, the water of the lake is eight hundred feet in depth; an immense profundity, indeed, for an inland lake, but it is not very difficult to believe that the mountain at the foot of which Chillon stands may descend so far beneath the water. In other parts of the lake and not distant, more than nine hundred feet have been sounded. I looked out of the duchess's window, and could certainly see no appearance of a bottom in the light blue water.

The last thing that the guide showed us was a trapdoor, or opening, beneath a crazy old floor. Looking down into this aperture we saw three stone steps, which we should have taken to be the beginning of a flight of stairs that descended into a dungeon, or series of dungeons, such as we had already seen. But inspecting them more closely, we saw that the third step terminated the flight, and beyond was a dark vacancy. Three steps a person would grope down, planting his uncertain foot on a dimly seen stone; the fourth step would be in the empty air. The guide told us that it used to be the practice to bring prisoners hither, under pretence of committing them to a dungeon, and make them go down the three steps and that fourth fatal one, and they would never more be heard of; but at the bottom of the pit there would be a dead body, and in due time a mouldy skeleton, which would rattle beneath the body of the next prisoner that fell. I do not believe that it was anything more than a secret dungeon for state prisoners whom it was out of the question either to set at liberty or bring to public trial. The depth of the pit was about forty-five feet. Gazing intently down, I saw a faint gleam of light at the bottom, apparently coming from some other aperture than the trap-door over which we were bending, so that it must have been contemplated to supply it with light and air in such degree as to support human life. U—— declared she saw a skeleton at the bottom; Miss S——— thought she saw a hand, but I saw only the dim gleam of light.

There are two or three courts in the castle, but of no great size. We were now led across one of them, and dismissed out of the arched entrance by which we had come in. We found the gendarme still keeping watch on his roofed drawbridge, and as there was the same gentle shower that had been effusing itself all the morning, we availed ourselves of the shelter, more especially as there were some curiosities to examine. These consisted chiefly of wood-carvings,—such as little figures in the national costume, boxes with wreaths of foliage upon them, paper knives, the chamois goat, admirably well represented. We at first hesitated to make any advances towards trade with the gendarme because it was Sunday, and we fancied there might be a Calvinistic scruple on his part about turning a penny on the Sabbath; but from the little I know of the Swiss character, I suppose they would be as ready as any other men to sell, not only such matters, but even their own souls, or any smaller—or shall we say greater—thing on Sunday or at any other time. So we began to ask the prices of the articles, and met with no difficulty in purchasing a salad spoon and fork, with pretty bas-reliefs carved on the handles, and a napkin-ring. For Rosebud's and our amusement, the gendarme now set a musical-box a-going; and as it played a pasteboard figure of a dentist began to pull the tooth of a pasteboard patient, lifting the wretched simulacrum entirely from the ground, and keeping him in this horrible torture for half an hour. Meanwhile, mamma, Miss Shepard, U——, and J——- sat down all in a row on a bench and sketched the mountains; and as the shower did not cease, though the sun most of the time shone brightly, they were kept actual prisoners of Chillon much longer than we wished to stay.

We took advantage of the first cessation,—though still the drops came dimpling into the water that rippled against the pebbles beneath the bridge,—of the first partial cessation of the shower, to escape, and returned towards the hotel, with this kindliest of summer rains falling upon us most of the way In the afternoon the rain entirely ceased, and the weather grew delightfully radiant, and warmer than could well be borne in the sunshine. U—— and I walked to the village of Villeneuve, —a mile from the hotel,—and found a very commonplace little old town of one or two streets, standing on a level, and as uninteresting as if there were not a hill within a hundred miles. It is strange what prosaic lines men thrust in amid the poetry of nature. . . .

Hotel de l'Angleterre, Geneva, June 14th.—Yesterday morning was very fine, and we had a pretty early breakfast at Hotel Byron, preparatory to leaving it. This hotel is on a magnificent scale of height and breadth, its staircases and corridors being the most spacious I have seen; but there is a kind of meagreness in the life there, and a certain lack of heartiness, that prevented us from feeling at home. We were glad to get away, and took the steamer on our return voyage, in excellent spirits. Apparently it had been a cold night in the upper regions, for a great deal more snow was visible on some of the mountains than we had before observed; especially a mountain called "Diableries" presented a silver summit, and broad sheets and fields of snow. Nothing ever can have been more beautiful than those groups of mighty hills as we saw them then, with the gray rocks, the green slopes, the white snow-patches and crests, all to be seen at one glance, and the mists and fleecy clouds tumbling, rolling, hovering about their summits, filling their lofty valleys, and coming down far towards the lower world, making the skyey aspects so intimate with the earthly ones, that we hardly knew whether we were sojourning in the material or spiritual world. It was like sailing through the sky, moreover, to be borne along on such water as that of Lake Leman,—the bluest, brightest, and profoundest element, the most radiant eye that the dull earth ever opened to see heaven withal. I am writing nonsense, but it is because no sense within my mind will answer the purpose.

Some of these mountains, that looked at no such mighty distance, were at least forty or fifty miles off, and appeared as if they were near neighbors and friends of other mountains, from which they were really still farther removed. The relations into which distant points are brought, in a view of mountain scenery, symbolize the truth which we can never judge within our partial scope of vision, of the relations which we bear to our fellow-creatures and human circumstances. These mighty mountains think that they have nothing to do with one another, each seems itself its own centre, and existing for itself alone; and yet to an eye that can take them all in, they are evidently portions of one grand and beautiful idea, which could not be consummated without the lowest and the loftiest of them. I do not express this satisfactorily, but have a genuine meaning in it nevertheless.

We passed again by Chillon, and gazed at it as long as it was distinctly visible, though the water view does no justice to its real picturesqueness, there being no towers nor projections on the side towards the lake, nothing but a wall of dingy white, with an indentation that looks something like a gateway. About an hour and a half brought us to Ouchy, the point where passengers land to take the omnibus to Lausanne. The ascent from Ouchy to Lausanne is a mile and a half, which it took the omnibus nearly half an hour to accomplish. We left our shawls and carpet-bags in the salle a manger of the Hotel Faucon, and set forth to find the cathedral, the pinnacled tower of which is visible for a long distance up and down the lake. Prominent as it is, however, it is by no means very easy to find it while rambling through the intricate streets and declivities of the town itself, for Lausanne is the town, I should fancy, in all the world the most difficult to go directly from one point to another. It is built on the declivity of a hill, adown which run several valleys or ravines, and over these the contiguity of houses extends, so that the communication is kept up by means of steep streets and sometimes long weary stairs, which must be surmounted and descended again in accomplishing a very moderate distance. In some inscrutable way we at last arrived at the cathedral, which stands on a higher site than any other in Lausanne. It has a very venerable exterior, with all the Gothic grandeur which arched mullioned windows, deep portals, buttresses, towers, and pinnacles, gray with a thousand years, can give to architecture. After waiting awhile we obtained entrance by means of an old woman, who acted the part of sacristan, and was then showing the church to some other visitors.

The interior disappointed us; not but what it was very beautiful, but I think the excellent repair that it was in, and the Puritanic neatness with which it is kept, does much towards effacing the majesty and mystery that belong to an old church. Every inch of every wall and column, and all the mouldings and tracery, and every scrap of grotesque carving, had been washed with a drab mixture. There were likewise seats all up and down the nave, made of pine wood, and looking very new and neat, just such seats as I shall see in a hundred meeting-houses (if ever I go into so many) in America. Whatever might be the reason, the stately nave, with its high-groined roof, the clustered columns and lofty pillars, the intersecting arches of the side-aisles, the choir, the armorial and knightly tombs that surround what was once the high altar, all produced far less effect than I could have thought beforehand.

As it happened, we had more ample time and freedom to inspect this cathedral than any other that we have visited, for the old woman consented to go away and leave us there, locking the door behind her. The others, except Rosebud, sat down to sketch such portions as struck their fancy; and for myself, I looked at the monuments, of which some, being those of old knights, ladies, bishops, and a king, were curious from their antiquity; and others are interesting as bearing memorials of English people, who have died at Lausanne in comparatively recent years. Then I went up into the pulpit, and tried, without success, to get into the stone gallery that runs all round the nave; and I explored my way into various side apartments of the cathedral, which I found fitted up with seats for Sabbath schools, perhaps, or possibly for meetings of elders of the Church. I opened the great Bible of the church, and found it to be a French version, printed at Lille some fifty years ago. There was also a liturgy, adapted, probably, to the Lutheran form of worship. In one of the side apartments I found a strong box, heavily clamped with iron, and having a contrivance, like the hopper of a mill, by which money could be turned into the top, while a double lock prevented its being abstracted again. This was to receive the avails of contributions made in the church; and there were likewise boxes, stuck on the ends of long poles, wherewith the deacons could go round among the worshippers, conveniently extending the begging-box to the remotest curmudgeon among them all. From the arrangement of the seats in the nave, and the labels pasted or painted on them, I judged that the women sat on one side and the men on the other, and the seats for various orders of magistrates, and for ecclesiastical and collegiate people, were likewise marked out.

I soon grew weary of these investigations, and so did Rosebud and J——-, who essayed to amuse themselves with running races together over the horizontal tombstones in the pavement of the choir, treading remorselessly over the noseless effigies of old dignitaries, who never expected to be so irreverently treated. I put a stop to their sport, and banished them to different parts of the cathedral; and by and by, the old woman appeared again, and released us from durance. . . .

While waiting for our dejeuner, we saw the people dining at the regular table d'hote of the hotel, and the idea was strongly borne in upon me, that the professional mystery of a male waiter is a very unmanly one. It is so absurd to see the solemn attentiveness with which they stand behind the chairs, the earnestness of their watch for any crisis that may demand their interposition, the gravity of their manner in performing some little office that the guest might better do for himself, their decorous and soft steps; in short, as I sat and gazed at them, they seemed to me not real men, but creatures with a clerical aspect, engendered out of a very artificial state of society. When they are waiting on myself, they do not appear so absurd; it is necessary to stand apart in order to see them properly.

We left Lausanne—which was to us a tedious and weary place—before four o'clock. I should have liked well enough to see the house of Gibbon, and the garden in which he walked, after finishing "The Decline and Fall"; but it could not be done without some trouble and inquiry, and as the house did not come to see me, I determined not to go and see the house. There was, indeed, a mansion of somewhat antique respectability, near our hotel, having a garden and a shaded terrace behind it, which would have answered accurately enough to the idea of Gibbon's residence. Perhaps it was so; far more probably not.

Our former voyages had been taken in the Hirondelle; we now, after broiling for some time in the sunshine by the lakeside, got on board of the Aigle, No. 2. There were a good many passengers, the larger proportion of whom seemed to be English and American, and among the latter a large party of talkative ladies, old and young. The voyage was pleasant while we were protected from the sun by the awning overhead, but became scarcely agreeable when the sun had descended so low as to shine in our faces or on our backs. We looked earnestly for Mont Blanc, which ought to have been visible during a large part of our course; but the clouds gathered themselves hopelessly over the portion of the sky where the great mountain lifted his white peak; and we did not see it, and probably never shall. As to the meaner mountains, there were enough of them, and beautiful enough; but we were a little weary, and feverish with the heat. . . . I think I had a head-ache, though it is so unusual a complaint with me, that I hardly know it when it comes. We were none of us sorry, therefore, when the Eagle brought us to the quay of Geneva, only a short distance from our hotel. . . .

To-day I wrote to Mr. Wilding, requesting him to secure passages for us from Liverpool on the 15th of next month, or 1st of August. It makes my heart thrill, half pleasantly, half otherwise; so much nearer does this step seem to bring that home whence I have now been absent six years, and which, when I see it again, may turn out to be not my home any longer. I likewise wrote to Bennoch, though I know not his present address; but I should deeply grieve to leave England without seeing him. He and Henry Bright are the only two men in England to whom I shall be much grieved to bid farewell; but to the island itself I cannot bear to say that word as a finality. I shall dreamily hope to come back again at some indefinite time; rather foolishly perhaps, for it will tend to take the substance out of my life in my own land. But this, I suspect, is apt to be the penalty of those who stay abroad and stay too long.


Hotel Wheeler, June 22d.—We arrived at this hotel last evening from Paris, and find ourselves on the borders of the Petit Quay Notre Dame, with steamers and boats right under our windows, and all sorts of dock-business going on briskly. There are barrels, bales, and crates of goods; there are old iron cannon for posts; in short, all that belongs to the Wapping of a great seaport. . . . The American partialities of the guests [of this hotel] are consulted by the decorations of the parlor, in which hang two lithographs and colored views of New York, from Brooklyn and from Weehawken. The fashion of the house is a sort of nondescript mixture of Frank, English, and American, and is not disagreeable to us after our weary experience of Continental life. The abundance of the food is very acceptable in comparison with the meagreness of French and Italian meals; and last evening we supped nobly on cold roast beef and ham, set generously before us, in the mass, instead of being doled out in slices few and thin. The waiter has a kindly sort of manner, and resembles the steward of a vessel rather than a landsman; and, in short, everything here has undergone a change, which might admit of very effective description. I may now as well give up all attempts at journalizing. So I shall say nothing of our journey across France from Geneva. . . . To-night, we shall take our departure in a steamer for Southampton, whence we shall go to London; thence, in a week or two, to Liverpool; thence to Boston and Concord, there to enjoy—if enjoyment it prove—a little rest and a sense that we are at home.

[More than four months were now taken up in writing "The Marble Faun," in great part at the seaside town of Redcar, Yorkshire, Mr. Hawthorne having concluded to remain another year in England, chiefly to accomplish that romance. In Redcar, where he remained till September or October, he wrote no journal, but only the book. He then went to Leamington, where he finished "The Marble Faun" in March, and there is a little journalizing soon after leaving Redcar.—ED.]


Leamington, November 14th, 1859.—J—— and I walked to Lillington the other day. Its little church was undergoing renovation when we were here two years ago, and now seems to be quite renewed, with the exception of its square, gray, battlemented tower, which has still the aspect of unadulterated antiquity. On Saturday J——- and I walked to Warwick by the old road, passing over the bridge of the Avon, within view of the castle. It is as fine a piece of English scenery as exists anywhere,— the quiet little river, shadowed with drooping trees, and, in its vista, the gray towers and long line of windows of the lordly castle, with a picturesquely varied outline; ancient strength, a little softened by decay. . . .

The town of Warwick, I think, has been considerably modernized since I first saw it. The whole of the central portion of the principal street now looks modern, with its stuccoed or brick fronts of houses, and, in many cases, handsome shop windows. Leicester Hospital and its adjoining chapel still look venerably antique; and so does a gateway that half bestrides the street. Beyond these two points on either side it has a much older aspect. The modern signs heighten the antique impression.

February 5th, 1860.—Mr. and Mrs. Bennoch are staying for a little while at Mr. B———'s at Coventry, and Mr. B——— called upon us the other day, with Mr. Bennoch, and invited us to go and see the lions of Coventry; so yesterday U—— and I went. It was not my first visit, therefore I have little or nothing to record, unless it were to describe a ribbon-factory into which Mr. B——— took us. But I have no comprehension of machinery, and have only a confused recollection of an edifice of four or five stories, on each floor of which were rows of huge machines, all busy with their iron hands and joints in turning out delicate ribbons. It was very curious and unintelligible to me to observe how they caused different colored patterns to appear, and even flowers to blossom, on the plain surface of a ribbon. Some of the designs were pretty, and I was told that one manufacturer pays 500 pounds annually to French artists (or artisans, for I do not know whether they have a connection with higher art) merely for new patterns of ribbons. The English find it impossible to supply themselves with tasteful productions of this sort merely from the resources of English fancy. If an Englishman possessed the artistic faculty to the degree requisite to produce such things, he would doubtless think himself a great artist, and scorn to devote himself to these humble purposes. Every Frenchman is probably more of an artist than one Englishman in a thousand.

We ascended to the very roof of the factory, and gazed thence over smoky Coventry, which is now a town of very considerable size, and rapidly on the increase. The three famous spires rise out of the midst, that of St. Michael being the tallest and very beautiful. Had the day been clear, we should have had a wide view on all sides; for Warwickshire is well laid out for distant prospects, if you can only gain a little elevation from which to see them.

Descending from the roof, we next went to see Trinity Church, which has just come through an entire process of renovation, whereby much of its pristine beauty has doubtless been restored; but its venerable awfulness is greatly impaired. We went into three churches, and found that they had all been subjected to the same process. It would be nonsense to regret it, because the very existence of these old edifices is involved in their being renewed; but it certainly does deprive them of a great part of their charm, and puts one in mind of wigs, padding, and all such devices for giving decrepitude the aspect of youth. In the pavement of the nave and aisles there are worn tombstones, with defaced inscriptions, and discolored marbles affixed against the wall; monuments, too, where a mediaeval man and wife sleep side by side on a marble slab; and other tombs so old that the inscriptions are quite gone. Over an arch, in one of the churches, there was a fresco, so old, dark, faded, and blackened, that I found it impossible to make out a single figure or the slightest hint of the design. On the whole, after seeing the churches of Italy, I was not greatly impressed with these attempts to renew the ancient beauty of old English minsters; it would be better to preserve as sedulously as possible their aspect of decay, in which consists the principal charm. . . .

On our way to Mr. B———'s house, we looked into the quadrangle of a charity-school and old men's hospital, and afterwards stepped into a large Roman Catholic church, erected within these few years past, and closely imitating the mediaeval architecture and arrangements. It is strange what a plaything, a trifle, an unserious affair, this imitative spirit makes of a huge, ponderous edifice, which if it had really been built five hundred years ago would have been worthy of all respect. I think the time must soon come when this sort of thing will be held in utmost scorn, until the lapse of time shall give it a claim to respect. But, methinks, we had better strike out any kind of architecture, so it be our own, however wretched, than thus tread back upon the past.

Mr. B——— now conducted us to his residence, which stands a little beyond the outskirts of the city, on the declivity of a hill, and in so windy a spot that, as he assured me, the very plants are blown out of the ground. He pointed to two maimed trees whose tops were blown off by a gale two or three years since; but the foliage still covers their shortened summits in summer, so that he does not think it desirable to cut them down.

In America, a man of Mr. B———'s property would take upon himself the state and dignity of a millionaire. It is a blessed thing in England, that money gives a man no pretensions to rank, and does not bring the responsibilities of a great position.

We found three or four gentlemen to meet us at dinner,—a Mr. D——— and a Mr. B———, an author, having written a book called "The Philosophy of Necessity," and is acquainted with Emerson, who spent two or three days at his house when last in England. He was very kindly appreciative of my own productions, as was also his wife, next to whom I sat at dinner. She talked to me about the author of "Adam Bede," whom she has known intimately all her life. . . . Miss Evans (who wrote "Adam Bede") was the daughter of a steward, and gained her exact knowledge of English rural life by the connection with which this origin brought her with the farmers. She was entirely self-educated, and has made herself an admirable scholar in classical as well as in modern languages. Those who knew her had always recognized her wonderful endowments, and only watched to see in what way they would develop themselves. She is a person of the simplest manners and character, amiable and unpretending, and Mrs. B——— spoke of her with great affection and respect. . . . Mr. B———, our host, is an extremely sensible man; and it is remarkable how many sensible men there are in England,—men who have read and thought, and can develop very good ideas, not exactly original, yet so much the product of their own minds that they can fairly call them their own.

February 18th.—. . . . This present month has been somewhat less dismal than the preceding ones; there have been some sunny and breezy days when there was life in the air, affording something like enjoyment in a walk, especially when the ground was frozen. It is agreeable to see the fields still green through a partial covering of snow; the trunks and branches of the leafless trees, moreover, have a verdant aspect, very unlike that of American trees in winter, for they are covered with a delicate green moss, which is not so observable in summer. Often, too, there is a twine of green ivy up and down the trunk. The other day, as J——- and I were walking to Whitnash, an elm was felled right across our path, and I was much struck by this verdant coating of moss over all its surface,—the moss plants too minute to be seen individually, but making the whole tree green. It has a pleasant effect here, where it is the natural aspect of trees in general; but in America a mossy tree-trunk is not a pleasant object, because it is associated with damp, low, unwholesome situations. The lack of foliage gives many new peeps and vistas, hereabouts, which I never saw in summer.

March 17th.—J——- and I walked to Warwick yesterday forenoon, and went into St. Mary's Church, to see the Beauchamp chapel. . . . On one side of it were some worn steps ascending to a confessional, where the priest used to sit, while the penitent, in the body of the church, poured his sins through a perforated auricle into this unseen receptacle. The sexton showed us, too, a very old chest which had been found in the burial vault, with some ancient armor stored away in it. Three or four helmets of rusty iron, one of them barred, the last with visors, and all intolerably weighty, were ranged in a row. What heads those must have been that could bear such massiveness! On one of the helmets was a wooden crest—some bird or other—that of itself weighed several pounds. . . .

April 23d.—We have been here several weeks. . . . Had I seen Bath earlier in my English life, I might have written many pages about it, for it is really a picturesque and interesting city. It is completely sheltered in the lap of hills, the sides of the valley rising steep and high from the level spot on which it stands, and through which runs the muddy little stream of the Avon. The older part of the town is on the level, and the more modern growth—the growth of more than a hundred years—climbs higher and higher up the hillside, till the upper streets are very airy and lofty. The houses are built almost entirely of Bath stone, which in time loses its original buff color, and is darkened by age and coal-smoke into a dusky gray; but still the city looks clean and pure as compared with most other English towns. In its architecture, it has somewhat of a Parisian aspect, the houses having roofs rising steep from their high fronts, which are often adorned with pillars, pilasters, and other good devices, so that you see it to be a town built with some general idea of beauty, and not for business. There are Circuses, Crescents, Terraces, Parades, and all such fine names as we have become familiar with at Leamington, and other watering-places. The declivity of most of the streets keeps them remarkably clean, and they are paved in a very comfortable way, with large blocks of stone, so that the middle of the street is generally practicable to walk upon, although the sidewalks leave no temptation so to do, being of generous width. In many alleys, and round about the abbey and other edifices, the pavement is of square flags, like those of Florence, and as smooth as a palace floor. On the whole, I suppose there is no place in England where a retired man, with a moderate income, could live so tolerably as at Bath; it being almost a city in size and social advantages; quite so, indeed, if eighty thousand people make a city,—and yet having no annoyance of business nor spirit of worldly struggle. All modes of enjoyment that English people like may be had here; and even the climate is said to be milder than elsewhere in England. How this may be, I know not; but we have rain or passing showers almost every day since we arrived, and I suspect the surrounding hills are just about of that inconvenient height, that keeps catching clouds, and compelling them to squeeze out their moisture upon the included valley. The air, however, certainly is preferable to that of Leamington. . . .

There are no antiquities except the abbey, which has not the interest of many other English churches and cathedrals. In the midst of the old part of the town stands the house which was formerly Beau Nash's residence, but which is now part of the establishment of an ale-merchant. The edifice is a tall, but rather mean-looking, stone building, with the entrance from a little side court, which is so cumbered with empty beer-barrels as hardly to afford a passage. The doorway has some architectural pretensions, being pillared and with some sculptured devices—whether lions or winged heraldic monstrosities I forget—on the pediment. Within, there is a small entry, not large enough to be termed a hall, and a staircase, with carved balustrade, ascending by angular turns and square landing-places. For a long course of years, ending a little more than a century ago, princes, nobles, and all the great and beautiful people of old times, used to go up that staircase, to pay their respects to the King of Bath. On the side of the house there is a marble slab inserted, recording that here he resided, and that here he died in 1767, between eighty and ninety years of age. My first acquaintance with him was in Smollett's "Roderick Random," and I have met him in a hundred other novels.

His marble statue is in a niche at one end of the great pump-room, in wig, square-skirted coat, flapped waistcoat, and all the queer costume of the period, still looking ghost-like upon the scene where he used to be an autocrat. Marble is not a good material for Beau Nash, however; or, if so, it requires color to set him off adequately. . . .

It is usual in Bath to see the old sign of the checker-board on the doorposts of taverns. It was originally a token that the game might be played there, and is now merely a tavern-sign.


31 Hertford Street, Mayfair, May 16th, 1860.—I came hither from Bath on the 14th, and am staying with my friends, Mr. and Mrs. Motley. I would gladly journalize some of my proceedings, and describe things and people; but I find the same coldness and stiffness in my pen as always since our return to England. I dined with the Motleys at Lord Dufferin's, on Monday evening, and there met, among a few other notable people, the Honorable Mrs. Norton, a dark, comely woman, who doubtless was once most charming, and still has charms, at above fifty years of age. In fact, I should not have taken her to be greatly above thirty, though she seems to use no art to make herself look younger, and talks about her time of life, without any squeamishness. Her voice is very agreeable, having a sort of muffled quality, which is excellent in woman. She is of a very cheerful temperament, and so has borne a great many troubles without being destroyed by them. But I can get no color into my sketch, so shall leave it here.

London, May 17th. [From a letter.]—Affairs succeed each other so fast, that I have really forgotten what I did yesterday. I remember seeing my dear friend, Henry Bright, and listening to him, as we strolled in the Park, and along the Strand. To-day I met at breakfast Mr. Field Talfourd, who promises to send you the photograph of his portrait of Mr. Browning. He was very agreeable, and seemed delighted to see me again. At lunch, we had Lord Dufferin, the Honorable Mrs. Norton, and Mr. Sterling (author of the "Cloister Life of Charles V."), with whom we are to dine on Sunday.

You would be stricken dumb, to see how quietly I accept a whole string of invitations, and what is more, perform my engagements without a murmur.

A German artist has come to me with a letter of introduction, and a request that I will sit to him for a portrait in bas-relief. To this, likewise, I have assented! subject to the condition that I shall have my leisure.

The stir of this London life, somehow or other, has done me a wonderful deal of good, and I feel better than for months past. This is strange, for if I had my choice, I should leave undone almost all the things I do.

I have had time to see Bennoch only once.

[This closes the European Journal. After Mr. Hawthorne's return to America, he published "Our Old Home," and began a new romance, of which two chapters appeared in the Atlantic Monthly. But the breaking out of the war stopped all imaginative work with him, and all journalizing, until 1862, when he went to Maine for a little excursion, and began another journal, from which I take one paragraph, giving a slight note of his state of mind at an interesting period of his country's history. —ED.]

West Gouldsborough, August 15th, 1862.—It is a week ago, Saturday, since J——- and I reached this place, . . . . Mr. Barney S. Hill's.

At Hallowell, and subsequently all along the route, the country was astir with volunteers, and the war is all that seems to be alive, and even that doubtfully so. Nevertheless, the country certainly shows a good spirit, the towns offering everywhere most liberal bounties, and every able-bodied man feels an immense pull and pressure upon him to go to the war. I doubt whether any people was ever actuated by a more genuine and disinterested public spirit; though, of course, it is not unalloyed with baser motives and tendencies. We met a train of cars with a regiment or two just starting for the South, and apparently in high spirits. Everywhere some insignia of soldiership were to be seen,— bright buttons, a red stripe down the trousers, a military cap, and sometimes a round-shouldered bumpkin in the entire uniform. They require a great deal to give them the aspect of soldiers; indeed, it seems as if they needed to have a good deal taken away and added, like the rough clay of a sculptor as it grows to be a model. The whole talk of the bar-rooms and every other place of intercourse was about enlisting and the war, this being the very crisis of trial, when the voluntary system is drawing to an end, and the draft almost immediately to commence.


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