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stevere, at Rome, attending in the crowd to witness some solemn service performed by the Pope in St. Peter's church, was repeatedly pushed back by one of the Swiss guards who kept the ground clear near the altar. The Transteverino, incensed at the rudeness of the Swiss, exclaimed: "Know, thou barbarian, that I am of Roman, nay, of Trojan blood." A Roman girl, seeing a handsome young man pass, observed that he was "a consul of beauty." The names of Via Appia, Via Flaminia, of Hannibal and Scipio, of Csesar and Augustus, of Marius and Cicero, are common in the mouths of the country people. We say " the names," for they know little indeed of their history. We once heard a Neapolitan, in the passage-boat which every day crosses the bay to Sorrento, lecturing his auditors on the delights of a country life, and quoting for the purpose the authority of Mago, "a celebrated Carthaginian philosopher," as he called him.
XXXVI. ST. JEROME OP CORREGGIO.
The fine St. Jerome, by Correggio, in the gallery of the ducal palace of Parma, was bespoken by a lady with the Homeric name of Briseide, the widow of a gentleman of Parma, called Costa.' She paid the artist forty-seven sequins (about twenty-three pounds sterling), besides his board for six months he worked at it; "to which she generously added two cart-loads of wood for fuel, for the poor painter to warm himself during winter, a few bushels of wheat, and a fat pig." This painting, so liberally paid for in.1524, became in course of time the property of the Convent of St. Anthony, and in the last century the King of Portugal offered the abbot forty thousand sequins for it; but the Infante Duke of Parma would not allow it to go out of his state, and, to avoid temptations, he had it placed in the cathedral. It was afterwards transferred to the Academy of Painting. When the French invaded Italy in 1796, the St. Jerome was one of the paintings designated to Bonaparte, by the Republican amateurs, as an acceptable prize for the Museum at Paris. The Duke of Parma offered one million of livres (about forty thousand pounds sterling) instead of it; but the Commissaries of the Directory, Monge and Berthollet, who presided, as the honest Courier expresses it, at "the illustrious pillage" of that time, were inexorable; and the fiat of a mathematician and a chemist sent the St. Jerome on his travels to the banks of the Seine. In 1815, the Allies, having entered Paris for the second time, thought it a fit opportunity to give future conquerors a lesson on the rights of nations to their public property, and the St. Jerome was taken down from the walls of the Louvre, packed up, and returned to Parma, where it is now to be seen.
XXXVII. ORIGIN OF HACKNEY COACHSTANDS, 1634.
"I Cannot omit to mention any new thing that comes up amongst us, tho' never so trivial: Here is one Captain Baily, he hath been a sea captain, but now lives upon the land, about this city, where he tries experiments. He hath erected according to his ability some four hackney-coaches, put his men in a livery, and appointed them to stand at the May-Pole in the Strand, giving them instructions at what rates to carry men into several parts of the town, where all day they may be had. Other hackney-men seeing this way, they flocked to the same place, and perform their journeys at the same rate; so that sometimes there is twenty of them together, which disperse up and down, that they and others are to be had every where as watermen are to be had by the waterside. Everybody is much pleased with it, for, whereas before, coaches could not be had but at great rates, now a man may have one much cheaper." —Strafford'a Letters and Dispatches, vol. i. p. 227.
The letter from which the above extract is made, is dated April 1st, 1634.
XXXVIII. HATS OFF!
OR REVERENCE TO ROYAL STATUES.
The Lord Viscount Wimbledon to the Mayor of Portsmouth, &c.
Mr. Mayor, and the rest of your Brethren,
Whereas at my last being at Portsmouth I did recommend the beautifying of your streets by setting in the signs of your inns to the houses, as they are in all civil towns, so now I must recommend it to you most earnestly in regard of his Majesty's figure or statue, that it hath pleased his Majesty to honour your town with more than any other: so that these signs of your inns do not only obscure his Majesty's figure, but outface it, as you yourselves may well perceive. Therefore, I desire you all, that you will see that such an incoriveniency be not suffered; but that you will cause, against the next spring, that it be redressed, for that any disgrace offered his Majesty's figure is as much as to himself. To which end, I will and command all the officers and soldiers not to pass by it without putting off their hats. I hope I shall need to use no other authority to make you do it; for that, it concerneth your obedience to have it done, espeeially now you are told of it by myself. Therefore I will say no more, but wish health to you all, and so rest, Your assured loving friend,
Oct. 22, 1635. Wimbledon." *
This Lord Viscount Wimbledon was a general in Charles's army, and a very bad one. He would have made a better master of the ceremonies. In what capacity he sent the above rating to the Worshipful the Mayor and the Aldermen of Portsmouth we are not aware; but he probably had the military command of that town. The officers and courtiers of Charles the First were not very nice in keeping within the jurisdiction of their offices.
The old signs, swinging on enormous posts, stuck out in the middle of the streets, as they once were all over England, were decided nuisances very proper to be removed; but the notion of making the disregard of the King's statue almost equivalent to treason, seems very preposterous. Such notions, however, still obtain in certain countries. In 1821, old King Ferdinand, of Naples, stuck up a colossal statue of himself on the grand staircase of the National Museum. It was a work of
* Strafford's Letters and Dispatches, vol. i. p. 491.
Canova's, but the genius of that great artist had failed before such a subject; and though poor Ferdinand was costumed all' antica, with the Roman toga round his body, and the Roman helmet on his head, he only looked like an overgrown lazzarone masquerading on a day of Carnival. Orders, however, were given that every person passing this big stone man should take off his hat, and a sentinel was placed hard by, to see these duties performed. This regulation led to some ludicrous scenes. One day some poor students, just arrived from the wilds of Calabria, were challenged because they had not doffed their beavers. "Ma, infine," said they in excuse, "il Re non e il santisaimo, ne neppure santo, e non ci tocca di cavar il capello."* "Ma in somma," replied the sentryj "il Re h Re, e la statua sua i statua sua!" And then he knocked off their hats with the butt-end of his musket. After a very short time, these orders, which originated, we believe, in the Prince of Canosa, a fanatic royalist and a madman, were dropped altogether. They would not go down even at Naples; and it was quite certain the old King, who had rather a lively sense of the ridiculous, had never prescribed them. Bating a trifling damage to hats, this business ended in fun; but the case was very different with the statue of Ferdinand's father, Charles III. of Naples and of Spain. This latter figure stood in the Largo, or square del Mercatello, at Naples.
* " But, after all, the King is not the Host, nor is he even a saint; and we are not bound to take off our hats to his image." The soldier's words are, " But, in short, the King is King, and his statue is his statue." The poor maccaroni-eater's ratiocination was really worthy of my Lord Wimbledon.