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the rich green and the deep shade of the shore: not a breeze ruffled its surface, or moved the foliage of the trees : it was a scene of utter repose, and the silence and stillness seemed to me a fitting requiem for the thousands who, ages before, had perished there.
Upon the plain, on the very battle-ground, is a small cluster of houses, one of which is an inn, where we passed the night. Rising early the next morning, we took our last look at the sweet lake, and then went on our way.
The same hills and mountains, clothed with the verdant oaks, and vallies rich with vines, formed the scenery around us. The hills reminded me of America ; and after so long a time in the midst of too much cultivation, it was refreshing to see again something of untouched nature. About noon, we came to a city built upon a lofty hill, and surrounded with a wall, above which arose tower and battlement, arch and colonade, in stately grandeur. There were no suburbs : outside of the walls the land was cultivated ; but the city had gathered all the houses into itself. Its appearance, as we approached, was very sublime — much like Martin's pictures of cities — and came nearer to the ideas I formed of a city in my boyhood, when I was reading of Roman exploits or the tales of chivalry, than any place I had yet seen. Attaching oxen to the carriage, we slowly toiled up the painful ascent, and entered the gate. The same day we saw two or three other towns, rising up in the midst of the country, without a house or anything outside of the walls to indicate that we were approaching a city. The fourth day, at three o'clock in the afternoon, we entered Terni, and immediately took a guide to visit the cascade, which is one of the finest in Europe. It is about four miles from the village. After walking along a hill-side, from which we had a delicious valley, through which the Nera flows, and the mountains beyond it and before us, we descended and entered a vale, which was anciently called the Italian Tempe.' No words can convey an idea of the richness of this delightful spot. The vine and the fig tree wantoned in their abundance ; rich clusters of grapes hung all along the pathway ; copious and clear blue rivulets chased through the vale, and their gurgling spoke of coolness and comfort. Oh! what a contrast to the dusty and parched plain we had traversed! We wound about the foot of a hill, which rises suddenly from the valley. The summit is covered with ruined walls and towers, which are overgrown with moss and ivy. A few inhabitants still live among the remains of the ancient town, and the vesper-bell sounded solemnly from the ruins. We passed under an arch, of Roman construction, built for an aqueduct, and clothed with vines, which hung in graceful festoons beneath, and continued our way through the valley for about a mile. Then ascending a steep hill for some distance, we came in sight of the
To all ap
cataract, which was pouring from the summit of the opposite mountain, and fell into the narrow vale. The elevation on which we stood, was separated by the valley from the cascade, and we stood perhaps at about midway of the height of the fall. The quantity of water is not great, but still the cataract is wonderfully fine. A dense mist arises and conceals forever the abyss into which it is at first precipitated; presently the water is seen pouring, in many a turbulent stream, over the rocks, and bounding toward the plain, through which it rushes with fearful rapidity, as if flying from the awful scene. I can convey no idea of the mingled loveliness and majesty of the scene : the richness of the valley, the verdure of its impassable wall of mountains, the distant roar of the cataract, the rushing of the many waters, and the sublime ruins on the hill-top.
On the evening of the fifth day of our journey, we approached Cività Castellana, supposed to be the same as the ancient Veii which sustained a siege of ten years against the Romans, and was at length taken by stratagem. I looked in vain, at first, to discover the cause of its strength, or the means of defence. pearance, the city stood in the midst of an extensive plain, on ground but very little elevated ; and it was not until the moment of arriving, that I perceived a vast ravine, at least two hundred feet deep and as many in breadth, by which the whole city is encompassed, and which, undoubtedly, whether made by nature or art, was a sufficient defence against the common engines of a Roman army. We crossed this by a fine bridge, and immediately found ourselves in the city, which is irregular, dirty and miserable, and only interesting for what it once was.
We now came to our last day's journey, the route lying principally on the Flaminian way. The nearer we came to Rome, the more desolate and dreary did the country appear: no tree was to be seen. A vast, open country, bounded only by the distant mountains, with hardly a human habitation in view, extended on every side about us : months of uninterrupted sunshine had parched the grouud, and the vegetation was withered by the heat. A more dismal scene I never witnessed : it seemed like the death-bed of nature, and a feeling of awe stole over me as I traversed it. Towards night, we came in sight of Rome, and gazed upon St. Peter's, and the mausoleum of Adrian, and the seven hills.' Passing the Æmilian bridge, where the associates of Catiline were taken prisoners, we entered the city by the Porta del Popolo. To me, the whole journey had been inost delightful. Among the most interesting objects upon the way, and which I omitted to mention above, were the river and temple of Clitumnus. I had remarked, for some time, a beautiful, clear stream, which flowed rapidly along the vale by the road-side, in its full channel. The sight was peculiarly refreshing, for the heat of the summer had dried up most of the rivers, and it was mouroful, as we passed
over bridge after bridge, to see the dry bed of the river, which, in many instances, the peasants had used as a road. But this little stream and its sweet valley seemed to have been spared. Luxuriant trees hung over and darkened the waters : the fig and the vine rejoiced by its margin ; and one might fancy the golden age was reigning there. On a steep bank, which rises from the water, stands a little classic temple, which assured me that the stream must be the Clitumnus, of which Virgil sings the praises. The temple is small, but very beautiful. Four Corinthian columns support the projecting roof, and the front is upon the river. Pliny speaks of this temple, and Byron, too ; so I need say no more about it.
The entry into Rome by the Porta del Popolo, is very superb. Passing the gate, we found ourselves at once in a magnificent square, in the centre of which rises a huge Egyptian obelisk: on either hand, are palaces with their lofty terraces - and in front, the way opened between two fine churches, built to correspond to each other. On the right hand of the square, is the colossal statue of Neptune, around which the gushing fountains were paying their homage ; while the haughty figure of Mars, on the opposite side, seemed to guard the entrance into this city of the ancient gods. We passed through long streets of palaces and glittering shops ; carriages and foot passengers thronged the way, and all seemed life and gaiety. This was modern Rome.
October 9. M***** and I took our supper, and then went out to look at the city. Observing a hill very near us, upon the summit of which is a church, we ascended by a long flight of broad stone steps. Here we had a fine view of the city, reposing in the soft light of the moon, which was now at her full. to our left, was the ancient part of the city - the forum, the capitol, and the coliseum. The nearest object of interest seemed to be St. Peter's, which arose up, like a giant before us, to the clouds. The way seemed plain before us, and the temple only about a mile distant; so thither we determined to go. Following the street for some distance, we came at once upon
the bridge which conducts across the Tiber to the castle of St. Angelo — origianlly the mausoleum of Adrian - which arose up before us in colossal grandeur. Whether it is the form or the actual size of the building, I know not -- but we were much impressed with the grandeur of the proportions, which seemed to dilate and increase as we gazed: perhaps the moonlight contributed to produce this effect. But we were now approaching the masterpiece of the whole earth, and we could not linger to look at anything else. Following a long, narrow street, we came into a square, and St. Peter's stood before us. I was much disappointed. I remarked that we had come the wrong way, and were now by the side of the building ; that I wished to find my way io the front, where
we could see the colonnade. The edifice seemed close by me, and I proposed going round to the front. But I was utterly deceived. We had come to the right spot, but were still afar off. My companion presently pointed out the obelisk, which, though rising to the height of a hundred and fifty feet before us, had been at first unnoticed in the vastness of the place and the surrounding objects. Advancing, we at length entered upon the place of St. Peter's, and then the whole view burst upon us with all its magnificence. We could not have chosen a better moment for our first impression. All was hushed to the profoundest repose, save the fountains, which threw up their sparkling waters to meet the moonlight : the vast colonnades stretched away on either hand, and seemed measuring the way to the still distant temple. As we wandered from each other, we seemed lost in the immensity, and the loneliness was painful. We approached the edifice; but the labor seemed vain : it was like attempting to ascend some mountain, which seems farther off the more you walk: the proportions appeared indefinite ; some would say the building appeared only like a large house — others, that it was like the side of a mountain. Yet it was difficult to conceive of their grandeur till we approached and touched the columns. All is colossal; all seems like the work of greater beings than ourselves ; the very indefiniteness of the edifice is imposing and awful. We could not enter, for it was late at night, and the temple was closed. We retreated from it slowly, constantly turning to look back on the wondrous work —
• Worthiest of God — the holy and the true.
October 10. We went in the morning to look at the Pantheon. It is more dilapidated than I expected — the capitals of the columns which support the portico, being much injured. The effect of the building, too, has been much diminished by the blocks of houses which have been erected against its walls, so that the circular part on one side of the portico is nearly concealed. The interior, however, is in very perfect preservation, such of it, at least, as has not been entirely carried away; and I was amazed at the beauty of the workmanship. Modern art can produce nothing superior to the exquisite Corinthian columns which surrounded the interior ; the walls, too, are covered with marble, polished to the highest degree. I need give no description of the edifice; it is known to all. Simple grandeur is its characteristic ; and the ages which have rolled over it seem to give it increased dignity.
In the afternoon, we went to St. Peter's, and entered. Irresistible curiosity hurried me along the church, without stopping to look at anything till I stood beneath the great dome. I found the same indefiniteness there ; it was like gazing at the sky; it might be seen nearer, or more distant than it really was: the eye had lost its judgment, and the work was ever swelling on my vision, till, weary with its vastness, 1 turned away. I cared not then to look at painting or statuary, though both were there. I retreated to the extremity of the choir, and there stood, meditating the proportions of the temple. Though crowded with ornament, still it looks simple, and even plain, so vast are the dimensions ; but the longer I looked, the more I was amazed at its magnificence. I wandered amidst the chapels and looked up at their lofty domes, and then, when my eye was filled with their dimensions, I came and stood under the great one, which seemed to stretch away, like the heavens above me. But night was coming on and we retired.
In the evening we went to the Coliseum, for we wished to see it first by moonlight. The sky bad become overspread with clouds before we reached the spot, and the dark mass rose up indistinctly as we approached — the light hardly penetrating the deep arches, and the shadowy outline but half traced against the sky. We answered the centinel's challenge, and entering, traversed the whole vast area towards a light which was burning on the opposite side. It proceeded from the cell of an anchoret, who has fixed his abode in one of the vast arches, and who shows the place to strangers. With this guide we wandered over the ruins, through long corridors, up and down the flights of stairs, which conducted the Romans to their proper places — at one time having a view of the country through the arches, and again looking down from the high walls into the arena. At length we came to the eastern side, upon the spot occupied by the emperor, at the games. The clouds had now passed away, and the rising moon was pouring her light through the arches behind us, and the whole opposite wall, with part of the arena, were bathed in her rays. A profound stillness prevailed — all the earth seemed to slumber; and, as I gazed on the immense ruin, I thought with sadness of the days when the proud Romans were gathered there in their strength —now all sleeping in the cold grave. Why have these fragments been preserved so beyond their time? It seemed almost an outrage to tread upon the ancient stones which tell of a race which has passed from the earth. Why have not their monuments perished with them? It is even painful to my mind to behold these colossal works, and stand among and touch them, and then connect them with their builders. Why do we thus cherish the memory and cling to the monuments of a people who