Page images
PDF
EPUB

zon.

from Alexandria to Rome by his son. Statuary has drawn, and still draws Raised by him in the centre of the thence, her chefs-d'oeuvre; it was there Grand Circus, afterwards buried for that the Scipio of Belvidere was exhumed, centuries in the earth, it was exhumed as was also the Hercules of Glycon of by Sixtus the fifth, and planted there by Athens : the Farnesian Flora, and Bull, his architect, Fontana. Thus, brought inestimable treasures, that Rome now from Thebes to Rome, this monumental envies Naples; for the queen of the world needle is the motionless image of the mov- enriched other nations with her spoils, ing civilization of mankind. Both have after having enriched herself with theirs. travelled from the east to the west, and Hewn down and scattered by the axe have a common destiny. Standing in of the barbarians, the forest of oriental front of the church, the glance may take columns that ornamented the halls and in the vast solitude of the Latin fields. sustained porticos, now adorn and supSaint John-de-Latran may be called the port with their gorgeous ruins the balcony of the desert; it commands the churches of Rome. The last that was whole Campagna as far as the Alba carried away from the soil, was given nian hills, whose glittering cities and by the pope to Cosmo of Medici, and gloomy volcanic forests bound the hori- removed to Florence.

Crossed in every direction by the Although within the enclosure of the ancient ways, and aqueducts ruined or walls, and in the centre of ancient Rome, standing; strewed with crumbling tem- the Baths of Caracalla are now two ples and tombs, converted either into miles from the Rome of to-day, and resting-places or stables, the plain is seen distant from every habitation. This thence in all its grandeur and beauty. isolation stamps them with a peculiar The small stream of the Marana de- character of desolation and sadness. Bescending from the Marina across the reft of their marbles and paintings, but desert, flows at the base of the walls; it crowned with wall flowers and lentisks, enters Rome by the ancient valley of the high walls of red brick rise from the Egeria, and loses itself in the Tiber, be- dense and rank herbage that grows beneath the Aventine.

neath. The ivy tapestries them instead 4.--THE BATHS OF CARACALLA. of bronze and gold; the clematis, twines The vast ruins of the Baths of Caracalla, around its graceful wreaths; a ball forthe most picturesque of Rome, are of all merly redolent of perfumes and every the monuments of imperial magnificence delight corporeal and mental, now serves in the best preservation. The Thermæ as the unclean harbour for poultry ; and of the ancients were not merely baths, the solitary inhabitant of the desert, where the most refined luxury exhausted peasant, meagre, wan, and wasted by its delights; they were walks planted malaria, guards the ruins, like a phantom with trees; covered ways, where the in- seated on a sepulchre. dolent might enjoy the fresh air ; they 5.--THE SACRED MOUNT. were stadia, where the wrestlers might The sun had risen on the Sacred Mount : harden and train themselves by gymnas- coming down from the eastern heights tic exercises ; immense galleries, sumptu- of the Appenine, it already illuminated ous museums, where painters exposed the cupola of Michael Angelo. The their pictures to view, and sculptors their long chain of the Sabine hills that girdles statues ; libraries and studious retreats, the Campagna of Rome to the east, where the learned might come to read, beamed in the early light, and the highest philosophers to argue, poets and orators peaks here and there cast over the plain to recite their verse and prose. Such their gigantic shades. The risen sun were the Baths of Caracalla. Those of drew out in strong relief the picturesque Diocletian, on the Quirinal; of Titus varieties of these aboriginal mountains, on the Esquiline ; and those of Nero, silvered with cascades, and fraught with between the Agonal Circus, (now the remembrances; Tivoli, the residence of square of Naroneci), and the Pantheon, Horace and of Ariosto, shone white were all appropriated to the same pur- amongst the rocks on the woody declivity poses; but none of them surpassed these of Catillo. in grandeur or beauty. They had not The Albanian Mount, isolated like an less than sixteen hundred bath-rooms, enchanted isle in the midst of the barren all separated and ornamented by costly and naked desert, but shewed the more marbles : they were reached by magni. in the fiery glow. The humble convent ficent approaches, and porticos equally of the Passionists, glittering on the superb; the emperor hiinself had a summit, recalled by its splendour the palace and bath there.

magnificent temple of Jupiter Latial, of

one to

which it has usurped the place. Tuscu. THE RATIONAL LUNATIC OF lum, the resting place of a Stuart, dis

SALAMANCA. played its sumptuous marbles and patri- [From the untranslated works of Cervantes.] cian villas, the forests of Mount Algida,

( For the Parterre.) encircling with verdure its snowy brow, like a crown of misletoe round a Druid's

“Sounding in moral virtue was his speech." head.

CHAUCER. The Campagna weltered in flames.

CHAP. IV. Winding up from the city to the moun

Our licentiate's madness not only ren.. tains, six red aqueducts, ruined or stand- dered him insensible to the fear of exing, delineated in the distance, like aërial citing enmity by his strictures, but bridges, their light and fleeting arches, actually shielded him from the hostility imparting to the Roman plain a charac- which a satirist of perfectly sane mind is ter of grandeur and poetry peculiar to apt to awaken; so that all sorts of people itself. The pines of Italy languidly would follow him, to hear the remarks waved in the sun their graceful fans; which he made upon all trades and proand nearer to Rome, the grave fir of sessions, without doing him mischief, the villas, reared its brown and motion- and without suffering him to rest. Still less pyramid. On this side, and not far he would not have been able to keep off from the Sacred Mount, a villa, fresher the boys, but for the exertions of his and gayer than the rest, marked the keeper. boundary of the desert; the blue peak One asked him what he must do in of Soractes completed its limit, whilst order that he might have no the shadowy outlines of the Cimiro envy. floated far distant in the west. Some He answered" Sleep; for all the ravaged villages, feudal towers, and ruins time that thou sleepest thou wilt be of every kind and every age, strewed equal to him whom thou enviest.” the hills and valleys with which the Once, there was passing by the place moving plain is furrowed ; and in its where he stood, a judge who was going brilliancy, surmounting the cupolas of to try a criminal cause, and was taking the Holy City, the golden cross of the with him a number of people, and two Vatican, the star of the world, beamed alguazils or peace-officers. He asked in the azure heaven like the Labarum who that person was; and when he was of Constantine.

told, he said—“I'll engage that that The point of beauty of these stern and judge carries vipers in his breast, pistols sad perspectives, the Sacred Mount, was in his ink, and thunderbolts in his hands, yellow with grain. Rather a hill than to destroy all whom he is commissioned a mountain, the offspring of the extinct to try. I remember that a friend of volcanoes of Latium, its base is washed by mine, in a criminal commission which the Anio, whose green and rapid waters he held, once passed so severe a sentence blend lower down with those of the slow that it exceeded by many degrees the and yellow Tiber. A mile higher up are guilt of the delinquents. I asked him lost in it, like two threads of gold, the why he had passed so cruel a sentence, famous rivulets of the Allia from Numen- and done such manifest injustice; he tia, and the Cremere from the Veies, answered, that he meant to grant an both wealthier in glory than in water. appeal; and that he should thereby give

The sun inundated and tinged the the members of the Council an opporwhole expanse, but it gave not voice to tunity of shewing their clemency in those mute fields. The grave of Roman mitigating this his rigorous sentence, grandeur, their silence is eternal as the and reducing it to a measure proportioned silence of the tomb. A herd of white to the offence. To which I replied, that goats quenched their thirst in the Anio, it would have been better to have passed near the picturesque bridge of Numen- such a sentence as would have saved tia, whilst the shepherd on horseback, them that trouble, since they would then galloped, lance in hand, between two have considered him as an able and sepulchral ruins.

upright judge.” Bedford.

B. E. M. In the numerous circle of people, who,

as has been said, were constantly listen

ing to him, he observed an acquaintance A correspondent in the October number of his in the habit of an advocate, whom of the Gentleman's Magazine, states his another addressed as Mr. Licentiate: and opinion that the author of the book of Vidriera, knowing that he was not even Enoch“ was a descendant of the ten so much as a bachelor, said to himtribes residing in Judea !!”

LOTS OF FATHERS AND MOTHERS.

"Take heed, my good friend, that your pearls and trinkets; and he said to the title does not come in the way of the mother, “ You have done well, to pave brethren of the redemption of captives, the way for her with abundance of stones; lest they should take possession of it as else she would have found it difficult to being astray."

pass." To which the friend answered" Let Against the titereros or puppetus not quarrel on that account, Mr. showers, he had a great deal to say; he Vidriera, for you know very well tha alled them a vagabond set; and said that I am a man of both high and deep they treated sacred things with indecency, learning."

for that, by the figures which they exhiVidriera replied “I know that thou bited, they turned devotion into ridicule; art a very Tantalus among the learning; that often, they stowed the whole, or the for what is high is just above thy reach, greater part of the personages of the Old and what is deep is just below it.” and New Testament into a bag, and sat

Coming one day to a tailor's shop, down upon them to eat and drink in the he saw the tailor with his arms across, taverns and eating-houses. In fine, he instead of his legs; and he said to him, said, he wondered that their exhibitions “ Without doubt, master, you are now in were not either entirely suppressed, or the way of salvation.”

banished from the kingdom. “Why do you think so ?” asked the One day, there happened to pass him tailor. “ Because,” answered Vidriera, in the street, a comedian dressed like a “since thou hast nothing to do, thou nobleman; and on seeing him, he said, hast no occasion to lie.”

" I remember to have seen that man He added“ Wo to the tailor that appear on the stage in a sheepskin does not lie every day of the week, and doublet turned inside out, and having his work on Sundays !".

face whitened with meal; and yet when Of shoemakers, he said that in their he is off the boards, he is constantly own opinion they never made an ill-fitting swearing on the word of an hidalgo.” shoe; because when it fitted their cus- “ No doubt he is one,” replied one of tomers too tight, they said that it must the bystanders, “ for many of the players be so, because tight shoes looked the most are persons of very good birth.” genteel, and that after an hour or two's “ That may be," returned Vidriera ; wearing they would be as easy as a slip- “nevertheless there is nothing which the per; and if they happened to be too stage has less need of, than persons of wide, then they would say, it was better good birth; of genteel figure I grant that they should be so, on account of they should be, and of ready elocution. the gout.

Moreover, it may be truly said of them, A sharp lad, who was a writer in a that they earn their bread in the sweat of provincial office, troubled him very much their brow, with incredible toil, having with questions; and told him the news constantly to get by rote their different of the town; as Vidriera descanted upon parts, and wandering continually from all topics, and answered all that was said place to place, ever exerting themselves to him. This youth once said, “ Vidriera, to give pleasure to others, since on last night there died in prison a man that pleasure depends their own profit. of the name of Banco ( Anglicè, Bench) Besides, in their trade they deceive no who was condemned to be hanged.” one, as they constantly produce their

He answered, “ Then, Mr. Banco did goods to public view, submitting them well, to make haste and die before the to the inspection and judgment of everyhangman came and sat upon him :" body. The labour and care of the maalluding, as the reader is probably aware, nagers is inconceivable ; and they should to the practice, at Spanish executions, of gain a good deal in the course of the the hangman's jumping upon the shoul. year, to save them from turning bankders of the criminals after they were rupt at the end of it; and yet their proturned off, in order, as was said, to fession is necessary in the commonwealth, dislocate the neck; a practice disgusting as are woods, groves, vistas, and other enough in appearance, but probably objects that afford harmless recreation.” humane in reality, as shortening the He said that it had been the opinion struggles of the sufferer, though surely of a friend of his, that the man who paid more decent means might have been em- court to an actress, did, in her single perployed to produce the same effect. son, do homage to a variety of mistresses,

Another time, he met a shopkeeper's as for instance, to a queen, a nymph, a wife, taking with her a daughter of hers, goddess, a waiting-maid, a shepherdess, who was very ugly, but loaded with and not unfrequently to a page or a lacquey ; as it often fell to the lot of one plained that they wanted to deceive her. of those ladies, to personate all, and more To this plea she clung so resolutely, that than all those different characters. the man of the renovated beard was put

When asked who had been the hap- quite out of countenance, and the match piest person in the world, he replied, was broken off.” “ Nemo, because nemo novit patrem, Duennas, or old maids, he likened to nemo sine crimine vivit, nemo sua sorte dried fish. He particularly remarked contentus, nemo ascendit in cælum." upon their primness, their shroud-looking

Of professed fencers he once observed, head-dress, their squeamishness, their that they were masters of an art, or scruples, and their extraordinary parscience, in which, when they had most simony; and ridiculed their qualms, occasion for it, they were least skilful; their meagrims, and their mode of talkand that they were somewhat presump- ing with more hems than there were tuous in striving to reduce to mathema- plaits in their head-gear; and finally, tical demonstration the motions and he vented his spleen against their inutipassionate impulses of their antagonists. lity, and their eyelet-holes.

Against men who dyed their beards, He was once asked, “How comes it, he had an especial hostility. There is a Mr. Licentiate, that although I have Spanish proverb, which they apply to heard you speak ill of many callings, any one who affirms a thing as beyond yet I have never heard you say anything all doubt of which at the same time gainst the scriveners,* much as there is he is not certain, that he lies by one to be said ?” half of the beard. So Vidriera once To which he answered—“ Although I said to an elderly man whose beard had am of glass, yet am I not so frail as to been dyed, but from neglect was now allow myself to be carried away by the half black and half white, that he would current of popular opinion, which geneby all means advise him to beware of rally sets in a wrong direction. It getting into a dispute with any one as seems to me, that the subject upon in his present condition, they would be which all novices in the art of detracvery apt to tell him that he lied by one tion first exercise their powers, is that of half of the beard.

the scriveners, alguazils, and other ofRespecting this trick of dying the ficers of the law; and yet the office of beard, he once related the following the scrivener is one absolutely necessary anecdote :

to the public security : so Ecclesiasticus “There was a certain young lady, pos. tells us, • In manu Dei potestas hominis sessed of a considerable share of wit, who est, et super faciem scribæ imponet honevertheless, in obedience to the will of norem. The scrivener, I say, is a her parents, consented to marry an old public officer, without whose ministraman, whose hair was perfectly grey, or tion the office of the judge cannot be rather white, who, on the night preced- appropriately discharged. Scriveners ing the wedding-day, went, not to the must, by the law, be free; neither slaves river Jordan, as the old women say, nor the sons of slaves, legitimate chilbut to the bottle of aquafortis and sil. dren, and not sprung from any bad race. ver, wherewith he renovated his beard They swear secresy, fidelity, and to so completely, that it went to bed of make no usury deed, and that no pri. snow, and rose the next morning of vate interest or partiality shall induce pitch. When the hour for the nuptial them to perform their office otherwise ceremony arrived, the young lady looked than conscientiously, as honest men and attentively in the face of the bridegroom; Christians. then turning to her parents, desired “But if this calling requires so many them to give her the same husband they good qualifications, wherefore should it had shewn her before, as she would not be thought that of upwards of twerty thouhave any other. They answered, that sand scriveners which there are in Spain, the person she saw before her was the the Devil sweeps off the whole as so same whom they had shewn her, and many plants in his vineyard?-I will chosen for her husband. The bride, not believe it, nor is it fit that any one however, persisted in declaring that it was not the same, and brought witnesses that the husband whom her pa- distinct from the procuradores or attorneys,

.* In Spanish, escribanos. A numerous class, rents had chosen, was a man of reverend their province extending not to the giving of aspect, covered with grey hairs, and that advice, but simply to the making out of legal as the gentleman present had none, he &c. They were literally, as their name imcould not be the same; and she com- ports, law-writers, and nothing more.

[ocr errors]

sense.

should; for, I once more repeat it, there any unlawful game to be played in their is no set of men more necessary in a houses, but who nevertheless got more well-ordered commonwealth; and that in a quiet way, and without fear of if they take too many fees, it should at the informer, than those who allowed the same time be remembered that they the probibited games. are too often cheated.”

In fine, he made so many sagacious Of the alguazils he said, that it was observations, that had it not been for no wonder they found enemies, their the loud cries which he made when any office being to take a man's person or his one touched him or ran against him, the goods, or to keep him in custody in his peculiarity of his dress, the slenderness own house, and eat at his expense. He of his diet, his mode of drinking, and censured the negligence and ignorance his sleeping constantly in the open air of the attorneys and solicitors; com- in summer, and in the straw heap in paring them to the physicians, who take winter-all which clearly indicated the their fee whether the patient recovers or one strange idea, or mono-mania that not.

possessed him-he appeared in every One day, a wasp stung him on the other respect a man of the soundest back of his neck, and he was afraid to shake it off, lest he should shatter himself; but still he complained of the pain.

CHAP. V. A person who was by, asked him how he Our poor licentiate's infirmity continued could feel that sting, if his body was of for two years or a little more, until a glass? To which he answered, that the monk of the order of St. Jerome, who wasp was a backbiter, against whose was particularly skilful in making the sting not glass, nor even brass, was dumb understand, and, in a certain manproof.

ner, speak, and in curing the insane, A very corpulent monk happening to charitably undertook to cure Vidriera, pass by, one of Vidriera's listeners said, in which he succeeded, and recovered “The good father can hardly carry him- him entirely from his strange delusion. self along.'

As soon as he found him entirely sane, To which the licentiate angrily replied he dressed him as a doctor of laws, and -“Let no one forget the words of the sent him back to the capital, that, giving holy spirit-Nolite tangere Christos meos there as many proofs of his sanity as he -touch not my anointed;" and raising had formerly done of his madness, he his tone still higher, he desired them to might exercise and succeed in his proobserve, that of the many saints whom fession. within a few years the church had ca- He accordingly went, calling himself nonized and beatified in that part of the the licentiate Rueda, instead of Rodaja; world, not one of them had been called but he had scarcely entered the town, captain Don this, nor the secretary Don before he was recognized by the boys : that, nor the count, marquis, or duke however, seeing him in so different a of such or such a place, but brother dress from that which he had formerly Diego, brother Yacinto, brother Ray- worn, they dared not shout after him mundo, all holy monks and friars; for nor ask him questions, but they followed that the religious orders were the royal him and said one to another, “ Isn't this gardens of the king of heaven, whose the madman Vidriera? It must be he. fruits were served up to the table of God. He's dressed now like a man in his He said that the tongues of detractors senses; but after all, he may be mad in a were like the feathers of the eagle, which good dress as well as a bad one; let us eat into and destroy those of other birds ask him something, and then we shall which they happen to touch.

find out." All this was overheard by Of gamblers, and the keepers of gam

the licentiate, and made him feel more ing-houses, he had a good deal to say.

abashed and confused than he had ever He praised the patience of one game- been in the time of his infirmity. ster, who went on playing and losing a From the boys this recognition was whole night, and who, although he was soon communicated to the men; and of a fiery temper, yet for fear his anta- before the licentiate arrived at the patio gonist should rise and go away, did not de los consejos, or square of the courts let an angry word escape him, though of law, he had more than two hundred he was suffering the torments of the people following him, of all descriptions. damned. He also admired the con- With this attendance, which, says our sciences of some worthy gaming-house- author, was greater than that of a prokeepers, who would on no account suffer fessor, he arrived in the precincts of the

« PreviousContinue »