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From The New Review.
NEW Rome is not the saddening sight one expected to see. In spite of hideous modern buildings, reckless destruction of beautiful things, and all the vulgarities of hasty civilization, it is a grand city, the worthy city of young Italy. Progress may be crude, is often uncomfortable, generally ugly; but it has certain undeniable advantages.
at the bottom. The ministerial bench is backed by a tall stand supporting the voting urns, and this is parted by a narrow passage from the lofty platform where the president of the Chamber sits enthroned with the officials of the House on either side, and long tables heaped with documents and stationery.
Italian members are better off than their English brethren as regards material appliances. They have comfortable seats,
tum with wine, sugar, and water. Many write letters and articles during the debates; and one very active politician, seldom seen without a stout portfolio crammed with "copy," is said to accomplish most of his literary work in the House, undisturbed by the clamor about him.
In the days of my youth midnight capacious desks, and are supplied ad libiRome was a place of darkness; occasional oil-lamps only intensified the gloom, or feebly revealed gruesome dust-heaps in the dim, empty streets. To return on foot from a tea-party to one's hotel inspired a sense of perilous adventure. One hurried over the nubbly stones, clinging to the walls, casting timid glances this way and that, as though expecting an ambush at every corner, or lurking daggers under every arch. It was almost a relief to hear the tramp of soldiers' feet, the "Qui va là?" of a French patrol in crossing some
Ladies are accommodated in the gal leries above the president's chair; and no grating impedes their view of the Assembly, though, of course, they can see only the shoulders and back hair of the advis
but it is the same
shadowy square. Now, electric lighters of the crown. One does not hear well; in the men's galleries, owing to some defect in the building. Imbriani's voice seems the only one able to fill the House; but whenever he turns towards the centre, his resonant tones are noisily echoed from above.
chases all mystery away; the streets are full of carriages and pedestrians, of blazing cafés and shop-fronts; fountains sparkle in the artificial moon-rays; all is bustle, and gaiety, and life.
Presently the Monte Citorio clock disturbs our sleep with its quarterly declara- At the signal for a division, a pair of tion of the hour. At first one endures this voting urns for each bill discussed is cheerfully enough, knowing that its pen- placed on the stand behind the ministedulum swings over the Parliament of rial bench. Black balls in the "white" United Italy; but when you remember urn are noes; white in the "black" urn that there are no night sittings it becomes ayes. As the members file past, dropping a nuisance. By day-well: better if it in their votes, they are careful to show struck within the House to remind garru-only closed fingers to the House; but from lous legislators of the flight of time.
the ladies' gallery it can generally be detected whether whites or blacks have it.
Just now, in June, even with the budget still under discussion, many deputies have Among the novelties of Rome is the flown. But despite scanty numbers, little Museum of Ancient Art, just arranged in more than a quorum, there is a vast the Baths of Diocletian. Here are the amount of noise. What a pandemonium marvellous frescoes disinterred from the it must be when all seats are filled! For ancient villa discovered beneath the Farthe benefit of readers unacquainted with❘ nesina Palace. They represent sacrifices, Rome, I may say that the House is a lofty, festivals, and varied scenes of domestic circular hall, with wide, open galleries at the top for visitors and the press. amphitheatre, split in sections by gangways, resembles a huge cake ready sliced, with all the plums-i.e., the ministers
life with architectural or landscape backgrounds. The groups are so daintily drawn, all the accessories so skilfully planned, that the unnatural length of the graceful little figures never offends the
eye. Yet every one must be at least eight | upholstery; and everywhere masterpieces heads high. The coloring is exquisite, of classic statuary met the eye. Ammathe scenery charming; we see the world in which gods walked with men!
Up-stairs, beyond the wing devoted to the Blind Asylum, are treasures of still greater value; statues raised from the bed of the Tiber, and stained with the tint of its flood. One headless male figure, bending apparently in mortal struggle, is a triumph of sculpture; and its warm, brownish color gives it the effect of being real flesh and blood suddenly turned to stone, rather than an artistic presentment of the human form. Other marvels, too, are there; but the collection is opened by now to the public, and has been described by experts. The great cloistered court that once rang with the strokes of Michel Angelo's chisel is now filled with fragments of classic work. The cypresses he loved so well rear their gnarled trunks and ragged boughs above a garden of marble; huge bulls' heads, broken shafts, exquisite traceries and bas-reliefs. Flowers too are there, vines, grass, and pomegranates. There is a picturesque huddle of terraced roofs and trees beyond, a brilliant summer sky overhead, a cry of swallows in the air; and as one turns away through the mighty Roman arch one feels that here, at least, the old world and the new have joined in perfect harmony.
Another fresh delight is the Papa Giulio Museum, on the Via Flaminia, beyond the Borghese woods. It occupies part of the once sumptuous palace erected by Pope Julius III. as a summer abode, in the midst of lovely gardens and vineyards. Here the pleasure-loving pontiff held his court, feasted princes and potentates, and showered marks of favor on Michel Angelo. Throughout his five years' reign he thought of nothing but his villa, lavishing untold sums upon it, and neglecting the gravest affairs of Church and State to superintend the details of its decoration. Vignola had designed it; Ammanati and other famous sculptors enriched it with their works; Zuccari and a band of fellow-painters covered its walls with frescoes. Its domestic furniture was daintily carved and inlaid; the richest brocades and gilt leathers were employed for its
nati has left us a minute description of all this luxury, and some of the villa's scattered treasures are to be found enshrined in public collections.
How great would be the horror of the jovial Renaissance pope, so ardently devoted to the joys of life, could he now return to his favorite retreat and behold it stripped of its splendors, with smoking workshops at its gates, and its chambers lined with memorials of the dead!
For here are gathered the results of excavations at Falleri and other Etruscan sites; stores of sepulchral vases and adornments, tombs of every period of that ancient race. There are even two specimens of the rare mode of sepulture that must have been, surely, reserved for heroes, -i.e., huge tree-trunks split apart and hollowed out sufficiently to admit the honored dead. In one of these the skeleton remains intact; a colossal form, who may have played a great part in his day.
The collection is well arranged in chronological order, a central case in each room displaying the finest specimens of pottery, bronze, gold work, etc., belonging to the period.
In a grass-grown court beneath, enterprising archæologists have set up the facsimile of an ancient temple. The measurement of its site at Alatri, a sacrificial altar, and a few fragments of its façade were their only guides to the task; and the whole is a marvel of reconstructive ability and patience, yet it is not altogether satisfactory, has a crude, irritatingly modern air, and stirs the imagi nation far less than the broken sherds and stones from the original building.
Apart from the Museum, Papa Giulio's villa is worth a visit, were it only for the fascinating sixteenth-century fountain and fish-pond in the entrance court. This is a large, sunken basin, encircled by marble balustrades, and approached by two graceful flights of steps, under which are carved niches by the water's edge. At the back is a recessed inner fountain, draped with fronds of maiden-hair fern, and guarded by charming female cariatidæ. Pope Julius is said to have enjoyed angling in this cool
retreat; and perhaps, when tired with the | di Castello, with its acres of yellow barexertion of landing fish, he may have racks, dusty streets, and forlornly flaunting called for his mule, and mounted to his cafés. Yonder seam on Monte Mario is banqueting hall above, by the sloping as- where its olives are torn apart by a funiccent contrived in a tower, probably as ular tram; on every side, monstrous new much to spare him the fatigue of stairs as erections have started up to block out the to facilitate the carriage of supplies in familiar landmarks of ancient Rome. times when "lifts" were unknown. Even in the beautiful garden behind the Vatican, where the pope takes the air, a modern châlet, built for his use, raises its incongruous walls against a background of ilex groves and pines.
The Cesar Borgia apartments in the Vatican are one of the novel sights of Rome, after remaining shut up and almost unheeded for centuries. Unfortunately, the books contained in them were being After the hurly-burly of the Corso with removed during our stay, and so, special its turmoil of traffic and improvements, its permit notwithstanding, the Pinturicchio endless crowd and innumerable milliners' frescoes could only be enjoyed by hear-shops, it is pleasant to turn into Via Mar
But there are other sights to be seen at the Vatican a few famous statues, for example. The library, too, was open, with its precious books and illuminations; but, owing to its light scheme of decoration, this hall resembles nothing so much as a glorified "housekeeper's room," and it is a positive shock to find treasures of learning stowed away in gaily painted presses better suited to contain china, confections, cates, and conserves. The great explosion of the powder-magazine at the Vigna Pia did much damage to the Vatican, and all traces of it have not yet been cleared away. One is tempted to regret that the hideous splendors sent to the pope, from all parts of the world, should have escaped so lightly. Pius IX. has lost a foot in his gaudy glass presentment; but the huge malachite vases, and other painful objects, are unhappily intact.
Even this last stronghold of Papal Rome cannot keep quite aloof from the world of to-day. Driving up the picturesque sunken way behind St. Peter's, one sees this huge monument of pontifical pride faced by the realism of roses and artichokes in the homely garden sloping upwards from the opposite wall, and, on coming in sight of the traditional red and yellow guards at the gate one also beholds a modern Italian sentry pacing a parapet close by. Stepping forth on the terrace of the Sculpture Gallery, still dazed by visions of the things of beauty within, one looks down on the vulgar ugliness of Prà
gutta and find that haunt of art-students almost unchanged. It is cleaner than of old; the street corners are no longer grievous to eye and nose, the antiquity dealers have smartened up their dens ; but well-known groups at every door still furnish studies of "models at home. There are the traditional Roman matrons with their arms akimbo, with flashing eyes and mountainous busts, the sandalled, beribboned peasants, the pretty girls with embroidered Abruzzi aprons, and the impish little boys, who have filled so many miles of paper and canvas! There is the well-known entrance, dusty and dingy as of yore, with scraps of broken sculpture flanking its stairs, leading to the terraced garden, with roses streaming everywhere over tangles of greenery in the midst of a rabbit warren of studios. Turning through a dim archway where girls are stitching tarnished gold lace on costumes, and up a flight of outer steps, we reach Costa's door.
Little need to chaunt the praise of Giovanni Costa to English ears! His contributions to London galleries have long taught us that new Italy can achieve some work worthy to rank with that of her masters of old. No show-studio this, no striving after effect, no clap-trap accessories to catch the public taste. It is a workroom, a grave, harmonious interior with only the adornments and artistic litter required for daily use. But every easel holds a masterpiece, and other treasures are stacked carelessly against the walls. Its southern owner, with his strong
Roman face, thought-lined, ironic, and kindly, has a northern appreciation of nature, and delights in the poetry of lonely wastes. Rendered by his brush, a few bushes, spikes of yellow broom, a patch of broken ground, and a shadowy mountaintop, express the mystery of the Campagna. We turn from one scene to another with ever increasing admiration; each seems more exquisite than the last, perfect in technique as in feeling. Richest of all, perhaps, in suggestive charm, is the view of Monte Circeo with a stretch of shining sea beyond a red-brown desolate foreground. But the artist does not confine himself to landscape alone. Here is a portrait of his daughter, a winsome little child clad in dull, soft, Oriental blue, a marvellous triumph of color. Then an oblong closed frame on a tall easel is opened to our gaze, and we see the famous "Cariatide Ligure." It is a watercolor drawing representing a peasant girl of the Riviera descending steps between narrow, white walls, with a bronze pail poised on her head. The tint of the cloudless sky, seen through a fringe of olive boughs, is repeated in the ribbon adorning the maiden's strong young throat. She faces the spectator with a carelessly radiant smile, unconscious of her lightly borne burden, full of the joy of life, the incarnation of southern spring-tide, and equally heedless of storms to come. It is a masterpiece of poetic realism, and its high finish for Costa is not of the impressionist school -in no way diminishes its vigor.
Most travellers are familiar with the sights of Tivoli, its cascades and temples, its glens and olive woods; but for some years past few have been allowed to penetrate the enchanted precincts of Villa d'Este, to enjoy its wondrous outlook over mountain and plain, or listen to the voice of its many waters in its bird-haunted groves. So we eagerly accepted the invitation of its present owner, Prince Cardinal H-, to visit his beautiful home. Discretion forbids details of private hospitality and kindness; but we may say that from the moment of entering the gate by the cathedral, where a row of peasants leant resting in the shade, a glamour of sixteenthcentury Italy was about us, the work-a-day world banished, forgotten! One modern association, however, joined in the charm; for in these halls the Abbé Listz had lived and made music, and it seemed as though an echo of his mighty chords might still be lingering among the frescoed forms overhead. The endless rooms and fascinating little oratory niched among them
are all decorated by Zuccaro's brush, and in their cool, dim space we forgot the heat without; so that it was a surprise to issue forth on terrace and loggia, and find the green world of Latium still bathed in a glory of light.
The spell lasted even when rushing Romewards through the olives and across the Campagna in a smoky tramcar. Then, most piquant of contrasts, the evening was spent in a literary house, discussing modern problems with noted politicians and wits.
Another memorable day took us to Rocca di Papa. Again we steam across the flowery wastes of the Campagna, between regiments of scarlet poppies and yellow marigolds. Fields of corn, swept by the strong wind from the hills, are swaying, heaving, shimmering, a sea of greenish silver. The air is scented with new-mown hay, where workers are busy with scythe and rake-all is brightness and movement. Even grey towers, broken arches, and castellated farms have lost their solemnity this jocund, breezy day. The train halts among the olive-yards at Frascuti, now modernized into a fashionable resort. We pass the trimmest of public parks, and are soon bowling past cypress-guarded Edens, and winding up a rustic road hedged with honeysuckle and eglantine. Then, through ranks of chestnuts and clumps of oak, lit up here and there by streaks of golden broom, we see new hills at every turn, new glimpses of the waving Campagna.
Now straight ahead rises the Alban Mount, with the convent of the last of the Stuarts, a white spot among the trees on its crest. We talk of the togaed heroes that once climbed the stones of the Via Triumphalis, but only see a brown torrent of roofs tumbling headlong from the vul ture's nest of Rocca di Papa.
Soon we reach the foot of the town on the neck of a promontory commanding all Latium. The sea is a faint white line beyond the multi-colored plain. Distant mountains are veiled - even St. Peter's and the Lateran rise like pale ghosts above misty Rome, and a dull haze obscures the Sabine hills. We are on an irregular piazza, half surrounded by ruinous old houses and unfinished new ones. The fountain in the middle splashes spasmod ically as the wind drives its jets this way and that. A fringe of ragged stone pines skirts the wall of a graveyard at the edge of the cliff. We glance up the precipitous main street, apparently closed by a second fountain, but then splitting into a tangle
green basin resembles a pasture in the heart of the Alps. The sacred mount beckoned to us in vain; both time and energy failed for its steep ascent; we were content to stand on a lower ridge and contemplate the pages of the world's history unrolled at our feet. Then we drove down through the chestnuts, with ever and again fresh glimpses of lake, sea, and mountains. It was hard to realize that this sylvan solitude was little more than two hours from Rome. Now and then a
of more precipitous lanes ascending to the ruined Borgian fortress, now peacefully tenanted by watchers of the stars. Beyond the town stretches a range of hills densely covered with chestnuts and beeches-fold after fold of soft greenery, plunging into the greener depths. The corner house of the main street, fronting the piazza, has a tablet over its door to record the residence of Massimo d'Azeglio. That genial patriot and statesman had artistic as well as literary tastes, and passed one or two summers of his impe-pack-mule clattered past, and, at a meeting cunious youth dreaming of great pictures, producing bad ones, and revelling in a somewhat Bohemian freedom. His "Ricordi" gives a delightful account of these vagabond experiences and of Roman country life and manners in the "twenties." Such guitar-thrumming, such love-stories, such jinks, and, best of all, such a deliciously make-shift encampment among the rats and bats and family portraits of the Sforza Castle at Genzano!
of the ways, peasants resting on a bank
Rocca di Papa was almost deserted at the time of our visit. Summer visitors had not yet poured in; the natives, in spite of the brisk south-wester, were taking their daily snooze. Only two high-fragrant trails. The houses of L'Ariccia booted men were lounging half awake on the piazza; two peasants crumpled on pack-mules riding up the street; a few babies playing on doorsteps; and half-adozen fowls pecking tit-bits in the gutter.
After rest and tea in a house fronting D'Azeglio's garden — where our hostess, albeit a leader of Roman society, played the housewife to perfection, flitting to and fro over the bricks of her rustic quarters with dainty kilted skirts - we set off to the Madonna del Tufo, a miracle-working shrine at the edge of the woods, and gazed down on the cupolaed ridge of Castel Gandolfo, overhanging the lake of Albano. No need of description here; the names suffice to celebrate the oft-sung
A short climb through the trees brought us to the rear of the castle rock, little beneath the level of its ruined gate, and here | we were speedily surrounded by a swarm of small boys pouring forth from caves and crannies to demand soldi in a "money-oryour-life" tone which suited the descendants of a brigand line. A little more climbing, and we stood on the brink of the ancient crater, popularly known as Hannibal's Camp, at the foot of Monte Cavo. Here legend, if not history, says that the Carthaginian rested his troops before swooping down into the plain. Girt about by mountains and cliffs, this
close about us open out on a broad piazza overlooking the plain; one glimpse of the glowing landscape is ours, one glance at the twin fountains crowned with masses of yellow nasturtium, and then, palaces and hovels left behind, we enter that wonderful avenue of ancient trees known as the "Galleria di Sopra," and look between bossy ilex trunks to the olive slopes and vineyards below. Houses again, stately palaces, terraced gardens; and here is Albano. It is quite a town. There are many people, many cafés, and half the shops are devoted to yellow boots and shoes. Again the ilexes meet overhead; the scenery is more enchanting than before. Ah! there are the famous Barberini pines; there the lovely Torlonia grounds, the ideal of Italian landscape! One of its elements, however, defies analysis, for who can explain the magic of the Roman pine? Strictly speaking, it should be ugly; what is the charm of a tall, bare, grey trunk, topped by a ball of rough, dark green spikes? Yet these trees are strangely fascinating, especially when set in stiff rows, like pins. Why is this? Does the charm consist in their utter unlikeness to other trees, in the rugged energy and assertiveness of their mode of growth? Cedar, ilex, larch, beech, birch, almost any other tree, is more beautiful in itself than the umbrella pine; yet not one