The Greville Memoirs

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The Greville Memoirs


Calais — Beau Brummell — Paris — The Polignac Ministry — Polignac and Charles X. — The Duke of Orleans — State of Parties — Talleyrand — Lyons — First Impressions of Mountain Scenery — Mont Cenis — Turin — Marengo — Genoa — Road to Florence — Pisa — Florence — Lord and Lady Burghersh — Thorwaldsen — Lord Cochrane — Rome — St. Peter's — Frascati — Grotta Ferrata — Queen Hortense and Louis Napoleon — Coliseum — Death of Lady Northampton — The Moses — Gardens — Palm Sunday — Sistine Chapel — The Cardinals — Popes — Cardinal Albani — The Farnese Palace — A Dead Cardinal — Pasquin — Statue of Pompey — Galleries and Catacombs — Bunsen — The Papal Benediction — Ceremonies of the Holy Week — The Grand Penitentiary — A Confession — Protestant Cemetery — Illumination of St. Peter's — Torlonia — Bunsen on the Forum.

[282] Paris, March 6th, 1830

I left London at three o'clock on Wednesday, the 3rd, and arrived at Dover between twelve and one. Went over in the packet at nine on Thursday, which was not to have sailed till twelve, but did go at nine, principally because they heard that I had got despatches, for I had armed myself with three passports couched in such terms as were most likely to be useful. A good but rather long passage — near four hours — and the day magnificent. Landed with difficulty in boats. Detained at Calais till seven. There I had a long conversation with Brummell about his Consulship, and was moved by his account of his own distresses to write to the Duke of Wellington and ask him to do what he could for him. I found him in his old lodging, dressing; some pretty pieces of old furniture in the room, an entire toilet of silver, and a large green macaw perched on the back of a tattered silk chair with faded gilding; full of gaiety, impudence, and misery.

Lord Tweeddale came over in the packet, and we dined [283] together. He was full of the Duke of Richmond's speech about the Duke of Wellington the other night, which he said had annoyed the Duke of Wellington more than anything that ever happened to him, and that the Duke of Richmond was now equally sorry for what he had said. He (Tweeddale) was employed to carry a message from the one Duke to the other, which, however, the Duke of Wellington did not take in good part, nor does it seem that he is at all disposed to lay aside his resentment. Tweeddale ranks Richmond's talents very highly, and says he was greatly esteemed in the army.

Left Calais at seven; travelled all night — the roads horrid in most parts — and arrived at Paris last night at half-past twelve. Found everything prepared — an excellent apartment, laquais de place, and courier. Called on Lady Stewart and old Madame Craufurd, and wandered about the whole day. Paris looking gay and brilliant in the finest weather I ever saw. I find the real business is not to begin in the Chambers till about the 10th, so I shall not wait for it. Polignac is said to be very stout, but the general opinion is that he will be in a minority in the Chambers; however, as yet I have seen nobody who can give good information about the state of parties. For the first time (between Calais and Paris) I saw some new houses and barns building near Abbeville and Beauvais, and the cottages near Monsieur de Clermont-Tonnerre's mansion had a very English look.

It is Lent, and very little going on here. During the Carnival they had a ball for the benefit of the poor, which was attended by 5,000 people, and produced 116,000 francs. Immense sums were given in charity, and well appropriated during the severe weather. There are also nuns ( soeurs de charite), who visit and tend the sick, whose institution is far more practically useful than anything of which our Protestant country can boast. I shall only stay here a very few days.

March 8th, 1830

It will be difficult to get away from this place if I don't go at once; the plot thickens, and I am in great danger of dawdling on, Yesterday morning I walked [284] about, visiting, and then went through the Tuileries and the Carrousel. The Gardens were full of well-dressed and good-looking people, and the day so fine that it was a glorious sight. The King is, after all, hardly master of his own palace, for the people may swarm like bees all around and through it, and he is the only man in Paris who cannot go into the Gardens. Dined with Standish, Brooke Greville, Madame Alfred de Noailles and her daughter, and then went to Madame de Flahault's to see the world and hear politics. After all, nobody has an idea how things will turn out, or what are Polignac's intentions or his resources. Lord Stuart [1] told me that he knew nothing, but that when he saw all the Ministers perfectly calm and satisfied, and heard them constantly say all would be well, although all France and a clear majority in both Chambers seemed to be against them, he could not help thinking they must have some reason for such confidence, and something in reserve, of which people were not aware. Lady Keith, [2] with whom I had a long talk, told me that she did not believe it possible they could stand, that there was no revolutionary spirit abroad, but a strong determination to provide for the stability of their institutions, a disgust at the obstinacy and pretensions of the King, and a desire to substitute the Orleans for the reigning branch, which was becoming very general; that Polignac is wholly ignorant of France, and will not listen to the opinions of those who could enlighten him. It is supposed that the King is determined to push matters to extremity, to try the Chambers, and if his Ministry are beaten to dissolve them and govern par ordonnance du Roi, then to try and influence the elections and obtain a Chamber more favourable than the present. Somebody told her the other day of a conversation which Polignac had recently had with the King, in which his Majesty said to him, 'Jules, est-ce que vous m'etes tres-devoue?' 'Mais oui, Sire; pouvez-vous en douter?' 'Jusqu'a aller sur l'echafaud?' 'Mais oui. Sire, s'il le faut.' 'Alors

[1] Lord Stuart de Rothesay was then British Ambassador in Paris.
[2] Married to Count de Flahault; in her own right Baroness Keith and Nairn. She died in 1867.

[285] tout ira bien.' It is thought that he has got into his head the old saying that if Louis XVI. had got upon horseback he could have arrested the progress of the Revolution — a piece of nonsense, fit only for a man 'qui n'a rien oublie ni rien appris.' It is supposed the Address will be carried against the Government by about 250 to 130. (It was 221 to 180. — — has a tabatiere Warin of that day, with the names of the 221 on the lid.) All the names presented to the King yesterday for the Presidency are obnoxious to him, but he named Royer Collard, who had twice as many votes as any of the others. It was remarked at the seance royale that the King dropped his hat, and that the Duke of Orleans picked it up, and they always make a great deal of these trifles. The Duke of Orleans is, however, very well with the Court, and will not stir, let what will happen, though he probably feels like Macbeth before the murder of Duncan —

If chance will have me King, why let chance crown me
Without my stir.

March 8th, 1830, at night

Walked about visiting, and heard all the gossip of Paris from little Madame Graham, who also invited me to Pozzo di Borgo's box at the Opera. I don't mean to record the gossip and scandal unless when I hear something out of the common way and amusing. Dined with Stuart; Tweeddale, Gurwood, Allen, and some heavy attaches; no French. He appears to live handsomely. Afterwards to the Opera to see Taglioni, who did not dance; then to Madame Appony's, to whom I was introduced, and we had plenty of bowing and smirking and civilities about my family. Rather bored at the party, and am come home quite resolved to be off on Thursday, but am greatly puzzled about my route, for everybody recommends a different one.

March 9th, 1830

Dined with M. de Flahault; met M. de Talleyrand, Madame de Dino, General Sebastiani, M. Bertin de Vaux, Duc de Broglie, and Montrond. Sebastiani and Bertin de Vaux are Deputies, and all violent Oppositionists. After dinner M. de Lescure, another man, and the young [286] Duc de Valencay, Madame de Dino's son, came in. They talked politics all the time, and it was curious enough to me. Bertin is the sort of man in appearance that Tierney was, and shrewd like him; he is brother to the editor, and principal manager himself, of the 'Journal des Debats.' Sebastiani is slow and pompous. The Duc de Broglie is one of the best men in France. They all agreed that the Government cannot stand. Talleyrand is as much against it as any of them. Sebastiani told me they should have 280 against 130. Talleyrand said that it was quite impossible to predict what might be the result of this contest (if the Court pushed matters to extremity) both to France and Europe, and that it was astonishing surrounding nations, and particularly England, did not see how deeply they were interested in the event. He said of us, 'Vous avez plus d'argent que de credit.' He looks horridly old, but seems vigorous enough and alive to everything. After dinner they all put their heads together and chattered politics as fast as they could. Madame de Flahault is more violent than her husband, and her house is the resort of all the Liberal party. Went afterwards to the Opera and saw Maret, the Duc de Bassano, a stupid elderly bourgeois-looking man, with two very pretty daughters. The battle is to begin in the Chamber on Saturday or Monday on the Address. Talleyrand told me that the next three weeks would be the most important of any period since the Restoration. It is in agitation to deprive him of his place of Grand Chambellan.

Susa, March 15th, 1830, 9 o'clock

Just arrived at this place at the foot of Mont Cenis. Left Paris on the 11th, at twelve o'clock at night. On the last day, Montrond made a dinner for me at a club to see M. des Chapelles play at whist. I saw it, but was no wiser; but I conclude he plays very well, for he always wins, is not suspected of cheating, and excels at all other games. At twelve I got into my carriage, and (only stopping an hour and a half for two breakfasts) got to Lyons in forty-eight hours and a half. Journey not disagreeable, and roads much better than [287] I expected, particularly after Macon, when they became as good as in England; but the country presents the same sterile, uninteresting appearance as that between Calais and Paris — no hedges, no trees, except tall, stupid-looking poplars, and no chateaux or farm-houses. I am at a loss to know why a country should look so ill which I do not believe is either barren or ill cultivated. Lyons is a magnificent town. It was dark when I arrived, or rather moonlight, but I could see that the quay we came along was fine, and yesterday morning I walked about for an hour and was struck with the grandeur of the place; it is like a great and magnificent Bath; but I had not time to see much of it, and, with beautiful weather, I set off at ten o'clock. The mountains (les Echelles de Savoie) appear almost directly in the distance, but it was long before I could make out whether they were clouds or mountains.

After crossing the Pont de Beauvoisin we began to mount the Echelles, which I did on foot, and I never shall forget the first impression made upon me by the mountain scenery. It first burst upon me at a turn of the road — one huge perpendicular rock above me, a deep ravine with a torrent rushing down and a mountain covered with pines and ilexes on the other side, and in front another vast rock which was shining in the reflected light of the setting sun. I never shall forget it. How I turned round and round, afraid to miss a particle of the glorious scene. It was the liveliest impression because it was the first. I walked nearly to the other post with the most exquisite pleasure, but it was dark by the time I got to La Grotta. I went on, however, all night, very unhappy at the idea of losing a great deal of this scenery, but consoled by the reflection that there was plenty left. As soon as it was light I found myself in the middle of the mountains (the Lower Alps), and from thence I proceeded across the Mont Cenis. Though not the finest pass, to me, who had never seen anything like it, it appeared perfectly beautiful, every turn in the road presenting a new combination of Alpine magnificence. Nothing is more striking than the patches of cultivation in the midst of the [288] tremendous rocks and precipices, and in one or two spots there were plots of grass and evergreens, like an English shrubbery, at the foot of enormous mountains covered with snow. There was not a breath of air in these valleys, and the sun was shining in unclouded brightness, so that there was all the atmosphere of summer below with all the livery of winter above.

The altitude of some tall crag
That is the eagle's birthplace, or some peak
Familiar with forgotten years, that shows,
Inscribed as with the silence of the thought
Upon its bleak and visionary sides,
The history of many a winter storm
Or obscure record of the path of fire.

There the sun himself
At the calm close of Summer's longest day
Rests his substantial orb; between those heights,
And on the top of either pinnacle,
More keenly than elsewhere in night's blue vault
Sparkle the stars, as of their station proud:
Thoughts are not busier in the mind of man
Than the mute agents stirring there, — alone
Here do I sit and watch.

In one place, too, I remarked high up on the side of the rugged and barren mountain two or three cottages, to arrive at which steps had been cut in the rock. No sign of vegetation was near, so exactly the description of Goldsmith: —

Dear is that shed to which their souls conform,
And dear that hill that lifts them to the storm;

In another place there was a cluster of houses and a church newly built. Not far from Lans-le-Bourg (at the foot of Mont Cenis) is a very strong fort, built by the King of Sardinia, which commands the road. It has a fine effect perched upon a rock, and apparently unapproachable. A soldier was pacing the battlement, and his figure gave life to the scene and exhibited the immensity of the surrounding objects, so minute did he appear. At Lans-le-Bourg they put four horses and two mules to my carriage, but I took my courier's horse and set off to ride up the mountain with a [289] guide who would insist upon going with me, and who proposed to take me up a much shorter way by the old road, which, however, I declined; he was on foot, and made a short cut up the hill while I rode by the road, which winds in several turns up the mountain. Fired with mountainous zeal, I had a mind to try one of these short cuts, and giving my horse to Paolo (my valet de chambre) set off with my guide to climb the next intervening ascent; but I soon found that I had better have stuck to my horse, for the immensity of the surrounding objects had deceived me as to the distance, and the ground was so steep and slippery that, unprepared as I was for such an attempt, I could not keep my footing. When about half-way up, I looked ruefully round and saw steeps above and below covered with ice and snow and loose earth. I could not get back, and did not know how to get on. I felt like the man who went up in a balloon, and when a mile in the air wanted to be let out. My feelings were very like what Johnson describes at Hawkestone in his tour in Wales. 'He that mounts the precipices at — — wonders how he came thither, and doubts how he shall return; his walk is an adventure and his departure an escape. He has not the tranquillity but the horrors of solitude — a kind of turbulent pleasure between fright and admiration.' My guide, fortunately, was active and strong, and properly shod so he went first, making steps for me in the snow, into which I put my feet after his, while with one hand I grasped the tail of his blue frock and with the other seized bits of twig or anything I could lay hold of; and in this ludicrous way, scrambling and clambering, hot and out of breath, to my great joy I at last got to the road, and for the rest of the ascent contented myself with my post-horse, who had a set of bells jingling at his head and was a sorry beast enough. I was never weary, however, of admiring the scenery. The guide told me he had often seen Napoleon when he was crossing the mountain, and that he remembered his being caught in a tormento,[3] when his life was saved by two young

[3] A tormento (most appropriate name) is a tempest of wind, and sleet, and snow, exceedingly dangerous to those who are met by it.

[290] Savoyards, who took him on their backs and carried him to a rifugio.[4] He asked them if they were married, and, finding they were not, enquired how much was enough to marry upon in that country, and then gave them the requisite sum, and settled pensions of 600 francs on each of them. One is dead, the other still receives it. As I got near the top of the mountain the road, which had hitherto been excellent, became execrable and the cold intense. I had left summer below and found winter above. I looked in vain for the chamois, hares, wolves, and bears, all of which I was told are found there. At last I arrived at the summit, and found at the inn a friar, the only inhabitant of the Hospice, who, hearing me say I would go there (as my carriage was not yet come), offered to go with me; he was young, fat, rosy, jolly, and dirty, dressed in a black robe with a travelling-cap on his head, appeared quick and intelligent, and spoke French and Italian. He took me over the Hospice, which is now quite empty, and showed me two very decently furnished rooms which the Emperor Napoleon used to occupy, and two inferior apartments which had been appropriated to the Empress Maria Louisa. The N.'s on the grille of the door had been changed for V.E.'s (Victor Emmanuel) and M.T.'s (Maria Theresa), and frightful pictures of the Sardinian King and Queen have replaced the Imperial portraits. All sorts of distinguished people have slept there en passant, and do still when compelled to spend the night on Mont Cenis. He offered to lodge and feed me, but I declined. I told him I was glad to see Napoleon's bedroom, as I took an interest in everything which related to that great man, at which he seemed extremely pleased, and said, 'Ah, monsieur, vous etes donc comme moi.' I dined at the inn (a very bad one) on some trout which they got for me from the Hospice — very fine fish, but very ill dressed. The sun was setting by the time I set off, it was dusk when I had got half-way down the descent, and dark before I had reached the first stage. When half-way down the descent, the last rays of the sun were still

[4] A rifugio is a sort of cabin, of which there are several built at certain distances all the way up the mountain, where travellers may take shelter.

[291] gilding the tops of the crags above, and the contrast between that light above and the darkness below was very fine. From what I saw of it, and from what I guess, straining my eyes into the darkness to catch the dim and indistinct shapes of the mountains, the Italian side is the finest — the most wild and savage and with more variety. On the French side you are always on the breast of the same mountain, but on the Italian side you wind along different rocks always hanging over a precipice with huge black, snow-topped crags frowning from the other ridge. I was quite unhappy not to see it. Altogether I never shall forget the pleasure of the two days' journey and the first sight of the Alps, exceeding the expectations I had formed, and for years I have enjoyed nothing so much. The descent (at the beginning of which, by-the-bye, I was very nearly overturned) only ends at this place, where I found a tolerable room and a good fire, but the cameriere stinking so abominably of garlic that he impregnated the whole apartment.

Turin, March 16th, 1830

Got here early and meant to sleep, but have changed my mind and am going on. A fine but dull-looking town. Found the two Forsters, who pressed me to stay. Made an ineffectual attempt to get into the Egyptian Museum, said to be the finest in the world. It was collected by Drovetti, the French Consul, and offered to us for £16,000, which we declined to give, and the King of Sardinia bought it. Forster told me that this country is rich, not ill governed, but plunged in bigotry. There are near 400 convents in the King's dominions. It is the dullest town in Europe, and it is because it looks so dull that I am in a hurry to get out of it. This morning was cloudy, and presented fresh combinations of beauty in the mountains when the clouds rolled round their great white peaks, sometimes blending them in the murky vapour, and sometimes exhibiting their sharp outlines above the wreath of mist. I did not part from the Alps without casting many a lingering look behind.

Genoa, March 18th, 1830

Got on so quick from Turin that I went to Alessandria that night, and set off at half-past six [292] yesterday morning. Crossed the field of battle of Marengo, a boundless plain (now thickly studded with trees and houses), and saw the spot where Desaix was killed. The bridge over the Bormida which Melas crossed to attack the French army is gone, but another has been built near it. The Austrians or Sardinians have taken down the column which was erected to the memory of Desaix on the spot where he fell; they might as well have left it, for the place will always be celebrated, though they only did as the French had done before. After the battle of Jena they took down the Column of Rossbach, [5] but that was erected to commemorate the victory, and this the death of the hero. I feel like Johnson — 'far far from me and my friends be that frigid philosophy which can make us pass unmoved over any scenes which have been consecrated by virtue, by valour, or by wisdom' — and I strained the eyes of my imagination to see all the tumult of this famous battle, in which Bonaparte had been actually defeated, yet (one can hardly now tell how) was in the end completely victorious. This pillar might have been left, too, as a striking memorial of the rapid vicissitudes of fortune: the removal of it has been here so quick, and at Rossbach so tardy, a reparation of national honour.

[5] The battle of Rossbach was gained by Frederick the Great over the French and Austrians in 1757.

The Apennines are nothing after the Alps, but the descent to Genoa is very pretty, and Genoa itself exceeds everything I ever saw in point of beauty and magnificence.

How boldly doth it front us, how majestically —
Like a luxurious vineyard: the hill-side
Is hung with marble fabrics, line o'er line,
Terrace o'er terrace, nearer still and nearer
To the blue heavens, here bright and sumptuous palaces
With cool and verdant garden interspersed.
* * * * * *
While over all hangs the rich purple eve.
MILMAN's Fall of Jerusalem.

I passed the whole day after I got here in looking into the palaces and gardens and admiring the prospect on every [293] side. You are met at every turn by vestiges of the old Republic; in fact, the town has undergone very little alteration for hundreds of years, and there is an air of gaiety and bustling activity which, with the graceful costume of the men and women, make it a most delightful picture. Genoa appears to be a city of palaces, and although many of the largest are now converted to humbler uses, and many fallen to decay, there are ample remains to show the former grandeur of the princely merchants who were once the lords of the ocean. Everything bespeaks solidity, durability, and magnificence. There are stupendous works which were done at the expense of individuals. In every part of the town are paintings and frescoes, which, in spite of constant exposure to the atmosphere, have retained much of their brilliancy and freshness. The palaces of Doria are the most interesting; but why the Senate gave him that which bears still the inscription denoting its being their gift it is difficult to say, when his own is so superior and in a more agreeable situation. The old palace of Andrew is now let for lodgings, and the Pamfili Doria live at Rome. The walls are covered with inscriptions, and I stopped to read two on stone slabs on the spot where the houses of malefactors had formerly stood, monuments of the vindictive laws of the Republic, which not only punished the criminal himself, but consigned his children to infamy and his habitation to destruction; though they stand together they are not of the same date. There is no temptation to violate the decree by building again on the spot, for they are in a narrow, dirty court, to which light can scarcely find access. The Ducal Palace now belongs to the Governor. It has been modernised, but in the dark alleys adjoining there are remains demonstrative of its former extent — pictures of the different Doges in fresco on the walls half erased, and little bridges extending from the windows (or doors) of the palace to the public prisons and other adjoining buildings. The view from my albergo ( della villa) is the gayest imaginable, looking over the harbour, which is crowded with sailors and boats full of animation.

[294] Evening. — Passed the whole day seeing sights. Called on Madame Durazzo, and went with her and her niece, Madame Ferrari, to the King's palace, formerly a Durazzo palace. Like the others, a fine house, full of painting and gilding, and with a terrace of black and white marble commanding a view of the sea. The finest picture is a Paul Veronese of a Magdalen with our Saviour. The King and Queen sleep together, and on each side of the royal bed there is an assortment of ivory palms, crucifixes, boxes for holy water, and other spiritual guards for their souls. For the comfort of their bodies he has had a machine made like a car, which is drawn up by a chain from the bottom to the top of the house; it holds about six people, who can be at pleasure elevated to any storey, and at each landing-place there is a contrivance to let them in and out. From thence to the Brignole Palace (called the Palazzo Rosso), where I met M. and Madame de Brignole, who were very civil and ordered a scientific footman to show us the pictures. They are numerous and excellent, but we could only take a cursory look at them; the best are the Vandykes, particularly a Christ and a portrait of one of the Brignoles on horseback, and a beautiful Carlo Dolce, a small bleeding Christ. I saw the churches — San Stefano, Annunziata, the Duomo, San Ambrosio, San Cyro. There are two splendid pictures in the Ambrosio, a Guido and a Rubens; the Martyrdom in the San Stefano, by Julio Romano and Raphael, went to Paris and was brought back in 1814. The churches have a profusion of marble, and gilding, and frescoes; the Duomo is of black and white marble, of mixed architecture, and highly ornamented — all stinking to a degree that was perfectly intolerable, and the same thing whether empty or full; it is the smell of stale incense mixed with garlic and human odour, horrible combination of poisonous exhalations. I must say, as everybody has before remarked, that there is something highly edifying in the appearance of devotion which belongs to the Catholic religion; the churches are always open, and, go into them when you will, you see men and women kneeling and praying before this or that altar, [295] absorbed in their occupation, and who must have been led there by some devotional feeling. This seems more accordant with the spirit and essence of religion than to have the churches, as ours are, opened like theatres at stated hours and days for the performance of a long service, at the end of which the audience is turned out and the doors are locked till the next representation. Then the Catholic religion makes no distinctions between poverty and wealth — no pews for the aristocracy well warmed and furnished, or seats set apart for the rich and well dressed; here the church is open to all, and the beggar in rags comes and takes his place by the side of the lady in silks, and both, kneel on the same pavement, for the moment at least and in that place reduced to the same level.

I saw the Ducal Palace, where there are two very fine halls, [6] the old Hall of Audience and the Hall of Council, the latter 150 by 57 feet; and the Doria Palace, delightfully situated with a garden and fine fountain, and a curious old gallery opening upon a marble terrace, richly painted, gilt and carved, though, now decayed. Here the Emperor Napoleon lived when he was at Genoa, preferring Andrew Doria's palace to a better lodging: he had some poetry in his ambition after all. Lastly to the Albergo dei Poveri, [7] a noble institution, built by a Brignole and

[6] They are left just in the state in which they were in the time of the Republic; the balustrade still surrounds the elevated platform on which the throne of the Doge was placed.
[7] The Albergo dei Poveri and the Scoghetti Gardens pleased me more than anything I saw in Genoa. I am sorry I did not see the Sordi e Muti, which is admirably conducted, and where the pupils by all accounts perform wonders. The Albergo is managed by a committee consisting of the principal nobles in the town. The Scoghetti Gardens are delightfully laid out; there is a shrubbery of evergreens with a cascade, and a summer-house paved with tiles — two or three rooms in it, and a hot and cold bath. It is astonishing how they cherish the memory of 'Lord Bentinck.'[*] I heard of him in various parts of the town, particularly here, as he lived in the house when first he came to Genoa. The Gardens command a fine view of the city, the sea, and the mountains. The saloon in the Serra is only a very splendid room, glittering with glass, and gold, and lapis lazuli; by no means deserves to be called, as it is by Forsyth, the finest saloon in Europe. It is not very large, and not much more gilt than Crockford's drawing-room, but looks cleaner, though it has been done these seventy years or more.
[*] [Lord William Bentinck was Mr. Greville's uncle.]

[296] enriched by repeated benefactions; like all the edifices of the old Genoese, vast and of fine proportions. The great staircase and hall are adorned with colossal statues of its benefactors (among whom are many Durazzos), and the sums that they gave or bequeathed are commemorated on the pedestals. In the chapel is a piece of sculpture by Michael Angelo, a dead Christ and Virgin (only heads), and an altarpiece by Puget. Branching out from the chapel are two vast chambers, lofty, airy, and light, one for the men, the other for the women. About 800 men and 1,200 or 1,300 women are supported here. Many of the nobles are said to be rich — Ferrari, Brignole, Durazzo, and Pallavicini particularly. I forgot to mention the chapel and tomb of Andrew Doria; the chapel he built himself; his body, arrayed in princely robes, lies in the vault. There is a Latin inscription on the chapel, signifying that he stood by the country in the days of her affliction. It is a pretty little chapel full of painting and gilding. In the early part of the Revolution the tomb narrowly escaped destruction, but it was saved by the solidity of its materials. I gave the man who showed me this tomb a franc, and he kissed my hand in a transport of gratitude.

Florence, March 21st, 1830

Arrived here at seven o'clock. Left Genoa on the 19th (having previously gone to see the Scoghetti Gardens and the Serra Palace), and went to Sestri to pass that evening and the next morning with William Ponsonby, who was staying there. The road from Genoa to Chiavari is one continual course of magnificent scenery, winding along the side of the mountains and hanging over the sea, the mountains studded with villages, villas, and cottages which appear like white specks at a distance, till on near approach they swell into life and activity. The villas are generally painted as at Genoa; the orange trees were in full bloom, and the gardens often slope down to the very margin of the sea. Every turn in the road and [297] each fresh ascent supplies a new prospect, and the parting view of Genoa, with the ocean before and the Apennines behind, cannot be imagined by those who have not seen it. 'Si quod vere natura nobis dedit spectaculum in hac tellure vere gratum et philosopho dignum, id semel, mihi contigisse arbitror, cum ex celsissima rupe speculabundus ad oram maris mediterranei, hinc aequor caeruleum, illinc tractus Alpinos prospexi, nihil quidem magis dispar aut dissimile nec in suo genere magis egregium et singulare.' [8]

[8] Burnet's 'Theory of the Earth.'

Chiavari and Sestri are both beautiful, especially the latter, in a little bay with a jutting promontory, a rocky hill covered with evergreens, and shrubs, and heather, and affording grand and various prospects of the still blue sea and the white and shining coast with the dark mountains behind —

A sunny bay
Where the salt sea innocuously breaks
And the sea breeze as innocently breathes
On Sestri's leafy shores — a sheltered hold
In a soft clime encouraging the soil
To a luxuriant beauty.

The mountain road from Chiavari to La Spezzia presents the same scenery as far as Massa and Carrara, which I unfortunately lost by travelling in the night. I crossed the river in the boat by candle-light, which was picturesque enough, the scanty light gleaming upon the rough figures who escorted me and plied the enormous poles by which they move the ferry-boat. Got to Pisa to breakfast (without stopping at Lucca), and passed three hours looking at the Cathedral, Leaning Tower, Baptistry, and Campo Santo, the last of which alone would take up the whole day to be seen as it ought. The Cathedral is under repair; the pictures have been covered up or taken down, and the whole church was full of rubbish and scaffolding; but in this state I could see how fine it is, and admire the columns which Forsyth praises, and the roof and many of the marbles. The Grand Duke has ordered it all to be [298] cleaned, and very little of it to be altered. One alteration, however, is in very bad taste; he has taken away the old confessionals of carved wood, and substituted others of marble, fixed in the wall, which are exactly like modern chimney-pieces, and have the worst effect amidst the surrounding antiquities. The exterior is rather fantastic, but the columns are beautiful, and John of Bologna's bronze doors admirable. The Campo Santo is full of ancient tombs, frescoes, modern busts, and morsels of sculpture of all ages and descriptions. The Leaning Tower [9] is 190 feet high, and there are 293 steps to the top of it, which I climbed up to view the surrounding country, but it was not clear enough to see the sea and Elba. Here is the finest aqueduct I have seen, which continues to pour water into the town. Part of the old wall [10] with its towers is still standing. These pugnacious republics, who were always squabbling with each other and wasting their strength in civil broils, erected very massive defences. The Pisans are proud of their ancient exploits. The San Stefano or Chiesa dei Cavalieri is full of standards taken from the Turks, and the man who showed me the Campo Santo said that a magnificent Grecian vase which is there had been brought from Genoa by the Pisans before the foundation of Rome. There are Egyptian, Etruscan, Roman, and Grecian remains, which have been plundered, or conquered, or purchased by patriotic Pisans to enrich their native city. The frescoes are greatly damaged. I went to look at the celebrated house 'Alla Giornata,' a white marble palace on the Arno; the chains still hang over the door, and there is an inscription above them which looks modern. My laquais de place told me what I suppose is the tradition of the place — that the son of the family was taken by the Turks, and that they had captured a Turk, who was put in chains; that an exchange was agreed upon, and the prisoners on either side released, and that the chains were

[9] There was another leaning edifice, but the Grand Duke had it pulled down; it was thought dangerous.
[10] It had been destroyed, but was restored by the Medici or the present family.

[299] hung up and the inscription added, signifying that the Turk was at liberty to go again into the light of day. But it was a lame and improbable story, and I prefer the mystery to the explanation.

Much as I was charmed with the mountains, I was not sorry, for a change, to get into the rich, broad plain of Tuscany, full of vineyards and habitations along the banks of the Arno. The voice and aspect of cheerfulness is refreshing after a course of rugged and barren grandeur; the road is excellent and the travelling rapid. Yesterday being a holiday, and to-day Sunday, the whole population in their best dresses have been out on the road, and very good-looking they generally are. There are not more beggars than in France, and certainly a far greater appearance of prosperity throughout the north of Italy than in any part of France I have seen, although there are the same complaints of distress and poverty here that are heard both there and in England. Thorwaldsen, the sculptor, is in this inn, and the King of Bavaria left it this morning. The book of strangers is rather amusing; the entries are sometimes remarkable or ridiculous. I found 'La Duchesse de Saint-Leu et le Prince Louis-Napoleon; Lord and Lady Shrewsbury and family; Miss Caroline Grinwell, of New York; the King of Bavaria (not down in the book though); Thorwaldsen'. Tuscany seems to be flourishing and contented; the Government is absolute but mild, the Grand Duke enormously rich.

March 23rd, 1830

Yesterday morning breakfasted with Lord Normanby, who has got a house extending 200 feet in front, court, garden, and stables for about £280 a year, everything else cheap in proportion, and upon £2,000 a year a man may live luxuriously. His house was originally fitted up for the Pretender, and C. R.'s are still to be seen all over the place. Called on Lord Burghersh, [11] who was at breakfast — the table covered with manuscript music, a pianoforte, two fiddles, and a fiddler in the room. He was full of composition and getting up his opera of 'Phaedra' for to-morrow night. The Embassy

[11] Lord Burghersh, afterwards Earl of Westmoreland, was then British Minister at Florence.

[300] is the seat of the Arts, for Lady Burghersh has received the gift of painting as if by inspiration, and she was in a brown robe in the midst of oils, and brushes, and canvas; and a model was in attendance, some part of whose person was to be introduced into a fancy piece. She copies pictures in the Gallery, and really extraordinarily well if it be true that till a year ago she had never had a brush in her hand, and that she is still quite ignorant of drawing.

Went into two or three of the churches, then to the Gallery, and sat for half an hour in the Tribune, but could not work myself into a proper enthusiasm for the 'Venus,' whose head is too small and ankles too thick, but they say the more I see her the more I shall like her. I prefer the 'Wrestlers,' and the head of the 'Remontleur' is the only good head I have seen, the only one with expression. 'Niobe' is fine, but I can't bear her children, except one. Then to the Casine on horseback to see the town and the world: it seems a very enjoyable place. This morning again dropped into some of the churches, after which I have always a hankering, though there is great sameness in them, but I have a childish liking for Catholic pomp. The fine things are lost amidst a heap of rubbish, but there is no lack of marble, and painting, and gilding in most of them. They are going on with the Medici Chapel, on which millions have been wasted and more is going after, for the Grand Duke is gradually finishing the work. The profusion of marble is immense, and very fine and curious if examined in detail; the precious stones are hardly seen, and when they are, not to be recognised as such. To the Pitti Palace, of which one part is under repair and not visible, but I saw most of the best pictures. I like pictures better than statues. It is a beautiful palace, and well furnished for show. Nobody knows what Vandyke was without coming here. To the Gabinetto Fisico, and saw all the wax-works, the progress of gestation, and the representation of the plague, incomparably clever and well executed. I saw nothing disgusting in the wax-works in the museum, which many people are so squeamish about.

Before dinner yesterday called upon Thorwaldsen, who [301] was in the inn, to tell him Lord Gower likes his 'Ganymede.' He was mighty polite, squeezed my hand, and reconducted me to my own door. At night went to the Opera and heard David and Grisi in 'Ricciardo e Zoraida.' She is like Pasta in face and figure, but much handsomer, though with less expression. She is only eighteen. He has lost much of his voice, and embroiders to make up for it, but every now and then he appears to find it again, and his taste and expression are exquisite. To-night at a child's ball at Lady Williamson's, where I was introduced to Lord Cochrane, and had a great deal of talk with him; told him I thought things would explode at last in England, which he concurred in, and seemed to like the idea of it, in which we differ, owing probably to the difference of our positions; he has nothing, and I everything, to lose by such an event.

March 25th, 1830

Went yesterday morning to Santa Croce to hear a Mass on the completion of a monument which has been erected to Dante; very crowded and the music indifferent. Afterwards to the Gallery and saw all the cabinets, but we were hurried through them too rapidly. I began to like the 'Venus' better, best of all the statues. The 'Niobe' [12] cannot have been a group, nor the children have belonged to the mother. Rode to Normanby's villa at Sesto, five miles from Florence; a large and agreeable house, gardens full of fountains, statues, busts, orange and lemon trees, shrubs and flowers. He pays 600 dollars a year for it, exclusive of the race-ground. In the evening to Burghersh's opera, which was very well performed; pretty theatre, crowded to suffocation. All the actors amateurs; [13] chorus

[12] The 'Niobe' is supposed to have been a group upon some temple so, of which the mother was the centre figure; this makes it more probable, but the difficulty to this hypothesis is, that there do not appear to be the necessary gradations in the size or altitude of the other figures; the sons in the 'Laocoon' are certainly little men.
[13] Phaedra Miss Williams Soprano.
  Hippolytus Madame Vigano Contralto
  The Girl Madame de Bombelles Soprano.
  Theseus Goretti Tenor.
  Attendant Franceschini Bass.

[302] composed of divers ladies and gentlemen of Florence, principally English. Here all the society of Florence was assembled in nearly equal proportions of Italians, English, and other foreigners. Nothing can be worse than it is, for there is no foundation of natives, and the rest are generally the refuse of Europe, people who come here from want of money or want of character. Everybody is received without reference to their conduct, past or present, with the exception, perhaps, of Englishwomen who have been divorced, whose case is too notorious to allow the English Minister's wife to present them at Court.

March 26th, 1830

Yesterday morning to a Mass at the Annunziata, to which the Grand Duke came in state, with his family and Court. The piazza was lined with guards; seven coaches-and-six with his guardia nobile and running footmen; the Mass beautifully performed by his band, Tacchinardi (father of Madame Persiani, I believe) singing and Manielli directing. Then rode to Lord Cochrane's villa, where we found them under a matted tent in the garden, going to dinner. He talks of going to Algiers to see the French attack it. He has made £100,000 by the Greek bonds. It is a pity he ever got into a scrape; he is such a fine fellow, and so shrewd and good-humoured. To the Certosa, on a hill two miles from Florence; very large convent, formerly very rich, and had near forty monks, now reduced to seven residents, though there are a few more who belong to it, but who are absent. It is in good repair, but looks desolate. There is an old monk, Don Fortunatus by name, who understands English and speaks it tolerably, delights in English people and books, received us in his cell, which consists of two or three little apartments, not uncomfortable and commanding a beautiful view; talked with great pleasure of his English acquaintance, and showed all their cards, which he treasured up. A very lively, good-humoured old friar. Returned to ride in the Corso, which is a narrow street going from the Duomo to the Annunziata, to drive up and down which is one of the ceremonies of the day (Lady Day), as the people are supposed to go and pay their respects to the Virgin. In the evening to the Opera and heard David again.

[303] Rome, March 29th, 1830

Set off yesterday morning at half-past seven from Florence, and arrived here at six this evening in a fine glowing sunset, straining my eyes to catch interesting objects, and trying in vain to make out the different hills. The last two days at Florence I went to the Gallery and Pitti Palace again with the Copleys. Half the rooms were shut up when I was at the Pitti before, but we now saw them all, and probably the finest collection of pictures in the world. The Raphaels, Rubens, Andrea del Sartos, and Salvators I liked the best. On Saturday evening went to Court and was presented to the Grand Duke, who is vulgar-looking and has bad manners; but the whole thing is rather handsome. Stopped at Siena to see the cathedral; very fine, the ancient fount beautiful. The mutilated Graces I am not connoisseur enough to appreciate, but the illuminated Missals of the thirteenth century I thought admirable, both for the colouring and the drawing, and as exquisitely finished as any miniature. The entrance to Rome through the Porta del Popolo appeared very fine, but I was disappointed in the first distant view of the city from the hill above Viterbo. I passed Radicofani in the dark, and saw little to admire in the Lake of Bolsena or the surrounding country. The women throughout Italy appeared very handsome, one quite beautiful at Siena.

March 30th, 1830

This morning I awoke very early, and could not rest till I had seen St. Peter's; so set off in a hackney coach, drove by the Piazza della Colonna and the Castle of St. Angelo (which burst upon me unexpectedly as I turned on the bridge), and got out as soon as St. Peter's was in sight. My first feeling was disappointment, but as I advanced towards the obelisk, with the fountains on each side, and found myself in that ocean of space with all the grand objects around, delight and admiration succeeded. As I walked along the piazza and then entered the church, I felt that sort of breathless bewilderment which was produced in some degree by the first sight of the Alps. Much as I expected I was not disappointed. St. Peter's sets criticism at defiance; nor can I conceive how anybody can do anything but admire [304] and wonder there, till time and familiarity with its glories shall have subjected the imagination to the judgment. I then came home and went with Morier to take a cursory view of the city and blunt the edge of curiosity. In about five hours I galloped over the Forum, Coliseum, Pantheon, St. John Lateran, Santa Maria Maggiore, the Vatican, and several arches and obelisks. I cannot tell which produced the greatest impression, St. Peter's or the Coliseum; but if I might only have seen one it should be the Coliseum, for there can be nothing of the same kind besides.[14]

They only who have seen Rome can have an idea of the grandeur of it and of the wonders it contains, the treasures of art and the records of antiquity. Of course I had the same general idea of there being much to see that others have, but was far from being prepared for the reality, which exceeds my most sanguine expectations. The Vatican alone would require years to be examined as it deserves. It is remarkable, however, how the pleasure of the imagination arising from antiquities depends upon their accidents. The busts, statues, columns, tombs, and fragments of all sorts are heaped together in such profusion at the Vatican that the eyes ache at them, the senses are bewildered, and we regard them (with some exceptions) almost exclusively as objects of art, and do not feel the interest which, separately, they might inspire by their connection with remote ages, whereas there is scarcely one of those, if it were now to be discovered, that would not excite the greatest curiosity, and be, in the midst of the ruins to which it belongs, an object of far greater interest than a finer production which had taken its splendid but frigid position in this collection. We went to the Sistine Chapel, and saw Michael Angelo's frescoes, which Sir Joshua Reynolds says are the finest paintings in the world, and which the unlearned call great rude daubs. I do not pretend to the capacity of appreciating their merits, but was very much struck with the ease, and

[14] Of the same kind there is, at Pompeii, but not near so fine; more perfect as a specimen, far less beautiful as an object. And the amphitheatre at Verona, but that is very inferior.

[305] grace, and majesty of some of the figures; it was, however, too dark to see the 'Last Judgment.' I ended by St. Peter's again, where there were many devout Catholics praying round the illuminated tomb of the Apostle, and many foolish English poking into it to stare and ask questions, the answers to which they did not understand. I have but one fault to find, and that is with the Glory, a miserable transparency in the great window opposite the entrance, throwing a yellow light upon the Dove, which has the most paltry effect, and is utterly unworthy of the grandeur of such a place.

April 1st, 1830

Yesterday morning at nine o'clock went with Edward Cheney and George Hamilton to Frascati to dine with Henry Fox, who has got a villa there. As soon as we arrived Cheney and I walked over to Grotta Ferrata to see Domenichino's frescoes. The convent is about a mile and a half off, large, formerly rich, full of monks, and a fortress; also the scene of various miracles performed by St. Nilo, the founder and patron saint; now tenanted by a few beggarly friars, and part of it let to Prince Gagarin, the Russian Minister, as a villa. Domenichino sought and found an asylum there in consequence of some crime he had committed or debt he had incurred; he stayed there two years, and in return for the hospitality of the monks adorned their chapel with (some think) the finest frescoes in the world. They are splendid pictures, and all painted by his own hand.

At dinner we had Hortense, the ex-Queen of Holland, her son, Prince Louis Napoleon, her lady in waiting, Lady Sandwich and her daughter, Cheney, Hamilton, Lord Lovaine, and Fordwich. We dined in the garden, but there was too much wind for a fete champetre. Hortense is not near so ugly as I expected, very unaffected and gay, and gives herself no royal airs. The only difference between her and anybody else was that, after dinner, when she rose from table, her own servant presented her with a finger-glass and water, which nobody else had. She is called Madame.

We returned by moonlight, and though I did not go into the Coliseum, because the moon was not full enough, it looked fine, and the light shining through the lower arches had a [306] beautiful effect. This morning went a long round of sights — Caesar's Palace, of which there are no remains but fragments of walls; it really does 'grovel on earth in indistinct decay.' Caracalla's Baths, which are stupendous; the custode showed us a room in which were heaped up bits of marble of all sorts and sizes, fragments of columns and friezes; and he told us that they never excavated without finding something. And Titus's Baths, less magnificent but equally curious, because they contain the remains of the Golden House of Nero, on which Titus built his Thermae. The ruins are, in fact, part of the Golden House, for the Thermae have been altogether destroyed. Then to the Capitol, Forum, Temple of Vesta, Fortuna Virilis, and other places with Morier. The Capitol contains an interesting collection of busts and statues of all the Emperors, most famous characters of ancient Rome and Greece together, with various magnificent objects of art. By dint of repeatedly seeing their effigies, one becomes acquainted with the faces of these worthies. These tastes grow upon one strangely at Rome, and there is a sort of elevation arising from this silent intercourse with the 'great of old.'

Proud names, who once the reins of empire held,
In arms who triumphed, or in arts excell'd,
Chiefs graced with scars, and prodigal of blood,
Stern patriots who for sacred freedom stood,
Just men by whom impartial laws were given,
And saints who taught, and led the way to heaven.

There has been a wrangle about the Borghese Gardens which the Prince ordered to be shut up; the Government remonstrated, and a correspondence ensued which ended in their being reopened to the public, whom he has no right to exclude. Paul V. gave the Borghese Gardens to his nephew (Aldobrandini) with a condition that they should always be open to the public, which they have been from then till now. They were a part of the Cenci property, which was immense, and confiscated by an enormous piece of injustice.

[307] April 3rd, 1830

Went on Thursday to Lady Mary Deerhurst's and the Duchess Torlonia's, where all the English in Rome (or rather all the most vulgar) were assembled. Yesterday morning to the Colonna Palace, Museum of the Capitol, Baths of Diocletian, now Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli, which are very remarkable because built on the baths, of which it has preserved the form; San Pietro in Vincoli, San Bernardo, all built on the site and amidst the ruins of Titus's and Vespasian's Baths; in various parts the old pavement is preserved, which shows how magnificent they must have been, for it is all of giallo, verd antique, porphyry, &c. To the garden of the Maronite Convent to see the Coliseum, whence there is the finest view of it in Rome. Then to the Coliseum, and walked all over the ruins while a parcel of friars with covered faces were chanting and praying at each of the altars in succession round the circle below (called the Via Crucis).

I called yesterday morning on M. de la Ferronays, the French Ambassador, who was very civil and obliging. Dined in the evening with Lord Haddington, Lovaine, Morier, Prince Gagarin the Russian Minister, Cheney, and M. Dedel. After dinner George Hamilton came in and said that Lady Northampton had died suddenly at five o'clock. I never saw her, but they say she was a very good sort of woman, and remarkably clever, which good sort of women seldom are. She had written a poem full of genius and imagination. Lord Northampton was absent at a scavo he has forty miles off.

There has been no rain here for two months, and the clouds of dust are insupportable; as it is the town in Europe best supplied with water (there are three aqueducts; the ancients had sixteen) so it is the worst watered. The excavations which are going on (though languidly) are always producing something. Two busts, said to be fine, were found the day before yesterday at the Borghese Villa at Frascati.

I saw yesterday at San Pietro in Vincoli Michael Angelo's famous Moses. It may be very fine, but to my eye is merely a colossal statue; the two horns are meant to represent rays of light; but how can rays of light be represented in marble, [308] any more than the breath? It is impossible to make marble imitate that which is impalpable. The beard is ropy and unnatural; it is, however, an imposing sort of figure. But I am more sensible to painting than to sculpture. I delight in almost everything of Domenichino's, who is only inferior (if inferior) to Raphael. As to Michael Angelo, he speaks a language the unlearned do not understand; his merit, acknowledged to be transcendent as it is by all artists, cannot be questioned; but he must serve as a model to form future excellence, and not be expected to produce present delight, except to those who, by long study, have learnt to comprehend and appreciate him.

Evening — This morning to the tomb of the Scipios, Catacombs, Cecilia Metella (from which I wonder they don't take the battlements), the Circus of Maxentius, Temple of Bacchus, the Fountain of Egeria, San Stefano Rotondo, Temple of Pallas, Arches of Drusus and Dollabella, and the Borghese Villa and Gardens. The ruins of the Gaetani Castle are rather picturesque, but they spoil the tomb, which would be far finer without its turrets. The Circus is as curious as anything I have seen, for it looks like a fresh ruin. Old Torlonia furbished it up at his own expense, and brought to light the inscription which proved it to be Maxentius's instead of Caracalla's Circus. The remains are so perfect that it is easy to trace the whole arrangement of the ancient games. Forsyth says very truly that the Fountain of Egeria is a mere trough; but everybody praises the water, which is delicious, and it falls with a murmur which invites to idleness and contemplation. This fountain has been beautifully sung, but it is a miserable ruin, ill deserving of such strains.

In vallum Egeriae descendimus et speluncas
Dissimiles veris — quanto praestantius esset
Numen aquae, viridi si margine clauderet undas
Herba, nec ingenuum violarent marmora tophum.

A little wood of firs, and pines, and ilexes about thirty or forty years old is pointed out as the grove in which Numa [309] used to meet the nymph. In all the views on one side Soracte is a striking object, as it

From out the plain
Heaves like a long-swept wave about to break
And on the curl hangs pausing.

I like this side of Rome, where the aqueducts stride over the Campagna, and the ruins of the mighty Claudian tower over the pigmy arches of the Pope, like the genius of ancient over that of modern Rome. The Borghese is the beau ideal of a villa; lofty, spacious apartments, adorned with statues, busts, and marbles, painting and gilding, and magnificent gardens; but deserted by its owner, who has only been there once in the last thirty years, and untenable in the summer from malaria, which is very unaccountable, for it is close to Rome, high, and full of trees; but nobody knows anything about the malaria. The Gardens are the fashionable lounge, but after June nobody can walk there. Though the Prince never comes here he has just bought a large piece of ground between the Porta del Popolo and the Gardens, and is making a handsome entrance, has already built gates and some ugly Egyptian imitations, and is making a waterfall. I dined with Lady William Russell, and set off to go to Queen Hortense in the evening, but found so few carriages in the court that we would not go in.

April 4th, 1830

To the Sistine Chapel for the ceremonies of Palm Sunday; we got into the body of the chapel, not without difficulty; but we saw M. de la Ferronays in his box, and he let us in (Morier and me). It was only on a third attempt I could get there, for twice the Papal halberdiers thrust me back, and I find since it is lucky they did not do worse; for upon some occasion one of them knocked a cardinal's eye out, and when he found who he was, begged his pardon, and said he had taken him for a bishop. Here I had a fine opportunity of seeing the frescoes, but they are covered with dirt, the 'Last Judgment' neither distinguishable nor intelligible to me. The figures on the ceiling and walls are very grand even to my ignorance. The music (all vocal) [310] beautiful, the service harmoniously chanted, and the responsive bursts of the chorus sublime. The cardinals appeared a wretched set of old twaddlers, all but about three in extreme decrepitude — Odescalchi, who is young and a good preacher, Gregorio, Capellari [afterwards Pope Gregory XVI.]. On seeing them, and knowing that the sovereign is elected by and from them, nobody can wonder that the country is so miserably governed. These old creatures, on the demise of a Pope, are as full of ambition and intrigue as in the high and palmy days of the Papal power. Rome and its territory are certainly worth possessing, though the Pontifical authority is so shorn of its beams; but the fact is that the man who is elected does not always govern the country, [15] and he is condemned to a life of privation and seclusion. An able or influential cardinal is seldom elected. The parties in the Conclave usually end by a compromise, and agree to elect some cardinal without weight or influence, and there are not now any Sixtus the Fifths to make such an arrangement hazardous. Austria, Spain, and France have all vetos, and Portugal claims and exercises one when she can. To this degradation Rome is now obliged to submit. The most influential of the cardinals is Albani. [16] At the last election the Papal crown was offered to Cardinal Caprara, but Albani stipulated that he should make him Secretary of State; Caprara refused to promise, and Albani procured the election of the present Pope (who did not desire or expect the elevation), became Secretary of State

[15] This, from what I have heard since, was not true of the last Pope, Leo XII., who was an odious, tyrannical bigot, but a man of activity, talent, and strength of mind, a good man of business, and his own Minister. He was detested here, and there are many stories of his violent exertions of authority. He was a sort of bastard Sixtus V., but at an immense distance from that great man, 'following him of old, with steps unequal.' He used, however, to interfere with the private transactions of society, and banish and imprison people, even of high rank, for immorality.

[16] Albani holds the Austrian veto, and is supported by her authority. But I have heard that since Clement XI., who was an Albani, there has always been a powerful Albani faction in the Conclave. This cardinal is enormously rich and the head of his house. The Duke of Modena is his nephew, and it is generally thought will be his heir.

[311] (being eighty), and governs the country. He is rich and stingy. The great Powers still watch the proceedings of the Conclave with jealousy; and though it is difficult to conceive how the Pope can assist any one of them to the detriment of another, an Ambassador will put his veto upon any cardinal whom he thinks unfavourable to his nation; this produces all sorts of trickery, for when the Conclave want to elect a man who is obnoxious to Austria, for example, they choose another whom they think is equally so (but whom they do not really wish to elect), that the veto may be expended upon him, for each Government has one veto only. The last veto absolutely put was on Cardinal — — , who was elected on the death of Pius VII. He had behaved very rudely to the Empress Maria Louisa when she took refuge in the north of Italy after the downfall of Napoleon, thinking it was a good moment to bully the abdicated Emperor's wife. She complained to her father, who promised her the Cardinal never should be Pope. He was a young and ambitious man, and the veto killed him with vexation and disappointment.

Went and walked about St. Peter's, and was surprised to find how very little longer it is than St. Paul's. To the Farnese Palace, built by Paul III. out of the ruins of the Coliseum, which now, with all the Farnese property, belongs to the King of Naples, and is consequently going to decay. It got into his hands by the marriage of a King of Naples with the last heiress of the house of Farnese. The Neapolitan property here consists of the Farnese and Farnesina Palaces, the Orti Farnesiani, and the Villa Madama, all in a wretched state; and the Orti, in which there are probably great remains, they will not allow to be excavated. Many of the fine things are gone to Naples, but a few remain, most of which came out of the Thermae of Caracalla, and originally from the Villa of Adrian. These two, principally the one through the other, have been the great mines from which the existing treasures of art were drawn. The frescoes in this palace are beautiful — a gallery by Annibal and Agostino Caracci, with a few pictures by Domenichino, Guido, and Lanfranco. Annibal Caracci's are as fine as any [312] I have seen; also a little cabinet picture painted entirely by Annibal, which is exquisite.

As we were going to this palace we drove by the Cancellaria (which was likewise built out of the Coliseum), and heard by accident that a dead cardinal (Somaglia) was lying in state there. Somaglia was Secretary of State in Leo's time. Having seen all the living cardinals, we thought we might as well complete our view of the Sacred College with the dead one, and went up. After a great deal of knocking we were admitted to a private view half an hour before the public was let in. He had been embalmed, and lay on a bed under a canopy on an inclined plane, full dressed in cardinal's robes, new shoes on, his face and hands uncovered, the former looking very fresh (I believe he was rouged), his fingers black, but on one of them was an emerald ring, candles burning before the bed, and the window curtains drawn. He was 87 years old, but did not look so much, and had a healthier appearance in death than half the old walking mummies we had seen with palms in their hands in the morning.

Took a look at Pasquin, who had nothing but advertisements pasted upon him. I had seen Marphorius in the Capitol; there has long been an end to the witty dialogues of the days of Sixtus V., so quaintly told by Leti; they are so little 'birds of a feather' (for Pasquin is a mutilated fragment, Marphorius a colossal statue of the ocean) that, residing as they did at different parts of the town, it is difficult to understand how they ever came to converse with each other at all. I remember one of the best of his stories. Sixtus V. made his sister a princess, and she had been a washerwoman. The next day Pasquin appeared with a dirty shirt on. Marphorius asks him 'why he wears such foul linen;' and he answers 'that his washerwoman has been made a princess, and he can't get it washed.'

To the Farnesina: Raphael's frescoes, the famous Galatea, and the great head which Michael Angelo painted on the wall, as it is said as a hint to Raphael that he was too minute. There it is just as he left it. Here Raphael painted the Transfiguration, and here the Fornarina was shut up with [313] him that he might not run away from his work. It might be thought that to shut up his mistress with him was not the way to keep him to his work. Be that as it may, the plan was a good one which produced these frescoes and the Transfiguration.

I very nearly forgot to mention the Palazzo Spada, where we went to see the famous statue of Pompey, which was found on the spot where the Senate House formerly stood, and which is (as certainly as these things can be certain) the identical statue at the foot of which Caesar fell.

Muffling his face within his robe
Ev'n at the base of Pompey's statue,
Which all the while ran blood, great Caesar fell.

People doubt this statue, because it is not like his busts. There is certainly no resemblance to the bust I have seen, which represents Pompey as a fat, vulgar-looking man with a great double chin. It is impossible for the coldest imagination to look at this statue without interest, for it calls up a host of recollections and associations, standing before you unchanged from the hour when Caesar folded his robe round him and 'consented to death' at its base. Those who cannot feel this had better not come to Rome. Cardinal Spada was Secretary of State when this statue was found, and Julius III. (Giocchi del Monti, 1550) made him a present of it.

The Temple of Bacchus is one of the most remarkable objects in Rome; it is not in the least altered, merely turned into a Christian church, and some saints, &c., painted on the walls. The mosaic ceiling and the pavement are just the same as when it was devoted to the worship of the jolly god. The mosaics are beautiful, and perfect models of that sort of ceiling. The pavement is covered with names and other scribblings cut out upon it, all ancient Roman. Not a column has been removed or mutilated. The fact is, Rome possesses several complete specimens of places of heathen worship; this temple, the Pantheon, and San Stefano Rotondo are perfect in the inside, the Pantheon within and without, Vesta and Fortuna Virilis perfect on the outside.

[314] In the Rospigliosi Palace is the famous Aurora of Guido. It is in excellent preservation, and three artists were copying it in oils. One copy was just finished, and admirably done, for which the painter asked forty louis. I begin to like frescoes better than oils; there is such a life and brilliancy about them. At the Quirinal, which was fitted up for the King of Rome and inhabited by the Emperor of Austria, we saw everything but the Pope's apartments. It is a delightful house, and commands a charming view of Rome. The Pope always goes there the last day of the Holy Week, and stays there all the summer. Nothing can be more melancholy than his life as described by the custode he gets up very early, lives entirely alone and with the greatest simplicity. In short, it shows what a strange thing ambition is, which will sacrifice the substantial pleasures of life for the miserable shadow of grandeur. Coming home we stopped by accident at the Capuchins, and looked in to see Guido's St. Michael, with which I was disappointed till I looked at it from a distance. We then went to their catacombs, the most curious place I ever saw. There are a series of chapels in the cloisters, or rather compartments of one chapel, entirely fitted up with human bones arranged symmetrically and with all sorts of devices. They are laid out in niches, and each niche is occupied by the skeleton of a friar in the robes of his order; a label is attached to it with the name of the skeleton and the date of his death. Beneath are mounds of earth, each tenanted by a dead friar with similar labels. When a friar dies, the oldest buried friar, or rather his skeleton, is taken up and promoted to a niche, and the newly defunct takes possession of his grave; and so they go on in succession. I was so struck by this strange sight that, when I came home at night, I ventured on the following description of it: —


In yonder chapel's melancholy shade,
Through which no wandering rays of daylight peep,
In strange and awful cemetery laid,
The ancient Fathers of the convent sleep.

No storied marble with monastic pride
Records the actions of their tranquil life,
Or tells how, fighting for their faith, they died
Unconquer'd martyrs of religious strife.

They are not laid in decent shroud and pall,
To wait, commingling with their kindred earth,
Th' Archangel's trumpet, whose dread blast shall call
The whole creation to a second birth.

But midst the mouldering relics of the dead
In shapes fantastic, which the brethren rear,
Profaned by heretic's unhallowed tread,
The monkish skeletons erect appear.

The cowl is drawn each ghastly skull around,
Each fleshless form's arrayed in sable vest,
About their hollow loins the cord is bound,
Like living Fathers of the Order drest.

And as the monk around this scene of gloom
The flick'ring lustre of his taper throws,
He says, 'Such, stranger, is my destined tomb;
Here, and with these, shall be my last repose.'

At night I went with a party of English to see the Coliseum, but the moon was as English as the party, and gave a faint and feeble light. Still, with this dim moon it was inconceivably grand. The exquisite symmetry of the building appears better, and its vast dimensions are more developed by night. I long to see it with an Italian sky and full moon; but not with a parcel of chattering girls, who only 'flout the ruins grey.'

April 9th, 1830

On Wednesday called on Bunsen, the Prussian Minister, who lives at the top of the Tarpeian Rock, in a house commanding one of the best views of Rome. He has devoted himself to the study of Roman history and antiquities, and has the whole subject at his fingers' ends. He is really luminous, and his conversation equally amusing and instructive. He is about to publish a book about ancient and modern Rome, which, from what I hear, will be too minute [316] and prolix. I then went to look at the Tarpeian Rock, but the accumulation of earth has diminished its height — there is the Rock, but in a very obscure hole. It was probably twice as high as it is now. I think it is now about forty feet. Bunsen says that though the antiquaries pretend to point out the course of the ancient triumphal way, he does not think it can ever be ascertained. The only remains (only bits of foundations) of the temple of the Capitoline Jupiter, to which the conquerors ascended, are in the garden under his windows. He thinks the population of ancient Rome may be taken at two millions at its most flourishing period. It is curious that there are hardly any houses on the hills on which ancient Rome was built, and that there were none formerly where modern Rome stands — no private houses, only public buildings and temples.

To the Mamertine Prisons, probably not a stone of which has been changed from the time that Jugurtha was starved in them. The tradition about St. Peter and the well of course is not to be believed; but it is very odd there should be a well there when there are so few in Rome. To the Sistine Chapel with M. de la Ferronays, and very much disappointed with the music, which was not so good as on Sunday; nor was the ceremony accompanying the Miserere at all imposing. Yesterday morning to the Sistine again; prodigious crowd, music moderate. As soon as it was over we set off to see the benediction; and, after fighting, jostling, and squeezing through an enormous crowd, we reached the loggia over one side of the colonnade. The Piazza of St. Peter's is so magnificent that the sight was of necessity fine, but not near so much so as I had fancied. The people below were not numerous or full of reverence. Till the Pope appears the bands play and the bells ring, when suddenly there is a profound silence; the feathers are seen waving in the balcony, and he is borne in on his throne; he rises, stretches out his hands, blesses the people — URBI ET ORBI — and is borne out again. A couple of indulgences were tossed out, for which there is a scramble, and so it ends. Off we scampered, and, by dint of tremendous exertions, [317] reached the hall in which the feet of the pilgrims are washed. The Pope could not attend, so the Cardinal Deacon officiated. No ceremony can be less imposing, but none more clean. Thirteen men are ranged on a bench — the thirteenth represents the angel who once joined the party — dressed in new white caps, gowns, and shoes; each holds out his foot in succession; an attendant pours a few drops of water on it from a golden jug which another receives in a golden basin; the cardinal wipes it with a towel, kisses the foot, and then gives the towel, a nosegay, and a piece of money to the pilgrim — the whole thing takes up about five minutes — certain prayers are said, and it is over. Then off we scampered again through the long galleries of the Vatican to another hall where the pilgrims dine. The arrangements for the accommodation of the Ambassadors and strangers were so bad that all these passages were successive scenes of uproar, scrambling, screaming, confusion, and danger, and, considering that the ceremonies were all religious, really disgraceful. We got with infinite difficulty to another box, raised aloft in the hall, and saw a long table at which the thirteen pilgrims seated themselves; a cardinal in the corner read some prayers, which nobody listened to, and another handed the dishes to the pilgrims, who looked neither to the right nor the left, but applied themselves with becoming gravity to the enjoyment of a very substantial dinner. The whole hall was filled with people, all with their hats on, chattering and jostling, and more like a ring of blacklegs and blackguards at Tattersall's than respectable company at a religious ceremony in the palace of the Pope. There remained the cardinals' dinner, but I had had more than enough, and came away hot, jaded, and disgusted with the whole affair.

In the evening I went to St. Peter's, when I was amply recompensed for the disappointment and bore of the morning. The church was crowded; there was a Miserere in the chapel, which was divine, far more beautiful than anything I have heard in the Sistine, and it was the more effective because at the close it really was night. The lamps [318] were extinguished at the shrine of the Apostle, but one altar — the altar of the Holy Sepulchre — was brilliantly illuminated. Presently the Grand Penitentiary, Cardinal Gregorio, with his train entered, went and paid his devotions at this shrine, and then seated himself on the chair of the Great Confessional, took a golden wand, and touched all those who knelt before him. Then came a procession of pilgrims bearing muffled crosses; penitents with faces covered, in white, with tapers and crosses; and one long procession of men headed by these muffled figures, and another of women accompanied by ladies, a lady walking between every two pilgrims. The cross in the procession of women was carried by the Princess Orsini, one of the greatest ladies in Rome. They attended them to the church (the Trinita delle Pellegrine) and washed their feet and fed them. A real washing of dirty feet. Both the men and the women seemed of the lowest class, but their appearance and dresses were very picturesque. These processions entered St. Peter's, walked all round the church, knelt at the altars, and retired in the same order, filing along the piazza till they were lost behind the arches of the colonnades. As the shades of night fell upon the vast expanse of this wonderful building it became really sublime; 'the dim religious light' glimmering from a distant altar, or cast by the passing torches of the procession, the voices of the choir as they sang the Miserere swelling from the chapel, which was veiled in dusk, and with no light but that of the high taper half hid behind the altar, with the crowds of figures assembled round the chapel moving about in the obscurity of the aisles and columns, produced the most striking effect I ever beheld. It was curious, interesting, and inspiring — little of mummery and much of solemnity. The night here brings out fresh beauties, but of the most majestic character. There is a colour in an Italian twilight that I have never seen in England, so soft, and beautiful, and grey, and the moon rises 'not as in northern climes obscurely bright,' but with far-spreading rays around her. The figures, costume, and attitudes that you see in the [319] churches are wonderfully picturesque. I went afterwards to the Jesu, where there was a tiresome service (the Tre Ore), and heard a Jesuit preaching with much passion and emphasis, but could not understand a word he said. So then I called on Cheney and saw his mother's illustrations of Milton, which are admirable, full of genius.

At night. — To St. Peter's, where the Miserere was not so good as last night. It was reported that the Pope was coming to St. Peter's, and the Swiss Guards lined the nave, but he did not arrive. Formerly, when the Cross was illuminated, he used to come with all the cardinals to adore it. Now the cardinals (or rather some of them) came and adored the Cross and the relics belonging to the church, which were exhibited in succession from one of the balconies — a bit of the true Cross, Santa Veronica's bloody handkerchief, and others. There were, as the night before, several fraternities of penitents, some in black, others in white or brown, all disguised by long hoods, but there was to-night one of the most striking and remarkable exhibitions I ever beheld.

The Grand Penitentiary, Cardinal Gregorio, again took his seat in the chair of the Great Confessional. All those who have been absolved after confession by their priest, and who present themselves before him, are touched with his golden wand, in token of confirmation of the absolution, and here again that quality which I have so often remarked as one of the peculiar characteristics of the Catholic religion is very striking. Men and women, beggars and princesses, present themselves indiscriminately; they all kneel in a row, and he touches them in succession. In the churches there seem to be no distinctions of rank; no one, however great or rich, is contaminated by the approximation of poverty and rags. But to return to the Confessional. There are some crimes of such enormity that absolution for them can only be granted by the Pope himself, who delegates his power to the Grand Penitentiary, and he receives such confessions in the chair in which he was seated to-day. They are, however, very rare; but this evening, after he had [320] finished touching the people, a man, dressed like a peasant in a loose brown frock, worsted stockings, and brogues, apparently of the lowest order, dark, ill-looking, and squalid, approached the Confessional to reveal some great crime. The confession was very long, so was the admonition of the Cardinal which followed it. The appearance of the Cardinal is particularly dignified and noble, and, as he bent down his head, joining it to that of this ruffian-like figure, listening with extreme patience and attention, and occasionally speaking to him with excessive earnestness, while the whole surrounding multitude stood silently gazing at the scene, all conscious that some great criminal was before them, but none knowing the nature of the crime, it was impossible not to be deeply interested and impressed with such a spectacle. Nothing could exceed the patience of the Cardinal and the intensity with which he seemed absorbed in the tale of the penitent. When it was over he wiped his face, as if he had been agitated by what he heard. It was impossible not to feel that be the balance for or against confession (which is a difficult question to decide, though I am inclined to think the balance is against) it is productive of some good effects, and, though susceptible of enormous abuses, is a powerful instrument of good when properly used. I have no doubt it is largely abused, but it is the most powerful weapon of the Romish Church, the one, I believe, by which it principally lives, moves, and has its being. That penitence must be real, and of a nature to be worked upon, which can induce a man to come forward in the face of multitudes and exhibit himself as the perpetrator of some atrocious though unknown crime.

At night I went to the Trinita dei Pellegrini to see the pilgrims at supper. The washing of the feet was over; a cardinal performs it with the men, and ladies with the women, but it is no mere ceremony as at the Vatican; they really do wash and scrub the dirty feet perhaps of about a dozen of them each night. I saw the room in which they were just clearing away the apparatus and collecting piles of dirty towels. The pilgrims sit on benches; under their feet [321] are a number of small wooden tubs, with cocks to turn the water into them, and there they are washed. Afterwards they go to supper, and then to bed. The men sup in a very long hall — most curious figures, and natives of half the world. The Cardinal Camerlengo [17] says grace and cuts the meat. They are waited upon by gentlemen and priests, and have a very substantial meal. The women are treated in the same way. [18] No men are admitted to their hall, but we contrived to get to the door and saw it all. The Princess Orsini and a number of Roman ladies were there (who had been washing feet) with aprons on, waiting upon them at supper. Their dormitories were spacious, clean, and sweet, though the beds were crowded together. The pilgrims are kept there from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday, when they are dismissed. Their numbers are generally about 250 or 300. The funds of the establishment are supplied by private subscriptions, legacies, and donations, the names of the benefactors, with the amount of their contributions, being recorded on boards hung up in the hall. There were a great many spectators, but the whole ceremony was ordered with regularity and decency, which is more than can be said for those of the Vatican. I walked to-night to St. Peter's, to look at it by moonlight. From every point of view it is magnificent; the stillness of the night is broken only by the waters of the

[17] Minister of the Interior and Chamberlain; but Gonsalvi deprived the Camerlengo of his Ministerial functions, and joined them to the Secretaryship of State, and so it has since remained.
[18] I met Lady — — , a very tiresome woman, a day or two after, who had been to see this ceremony, and was most devoutly edified by the humility and charity of the ladies. She told me a very old woman put out her foot to her, thinking she was one of them, and begged her to be very careful, as she had got some sores produced by the itch; but as it formed no part of her Protestant duty, she turned her over to the Princess Orsini, who handled this horrid old leg with great tenderness; and afterwards, when the same Princess was handed into the other apartment to see the male pilgrims at supper, by an attendant in the livery which they all wore, this attendant turned out to be Prince Corsini. It sounds very fine, but after all I don't think there is much in it. It is ostentatious charity and humility, and though rather disgusting and disagreeable, it is the fashion, and those who do it are set up in a capital stock of piety and virtue. It may be both cause and effect of great moral excellence, but I think it questionable.

[322] fountains, which glitter in the moonbeams like sheets of molten silver. The obelisk, the facade, the cupola, and the columns all contribute to the grandeur and harmony of the scene: but everything at Rome should be seen at night. The Castle of St. Angelo, the Tiber, and the Bridge are all wonderfully fine in these bright nights.

April 10th, 1830

In the morning to St. John Lateran, where, as my laquais de place said, 'converted Jews, or Turks, or Lutherans' were baptised; got too late for the baptism, which I believe is a farce regularly got up, but heard the High Mass. The churches were crowded all this week with pilgrims, whose appearance is always very picturesque. Went into the cloisters, and was shown by the monk or priest (whichever he was) some very remarkable articles that they possess — a bit of the column on which the cock stood when he crowed after Peter's three denials; a slab showing the exact height of Jesus Christ, as he could just stand under it,[19] and two halves which had once been a whole column, but which was broken when the veil of the Temple was rent on the death of Christ. The column is adorned with sculpture, which they say is Jewish, and was brought to Rome with the Holy Stairs. Then to Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, where they were performing High Mass, with many assistants and a full choir, but without a congregation; there were not six people in the church. To Minerva Medica, a questionable and uninteresting ruin, and besides falling to pieces. To the Barberini Palace, where there is little besides the Cenci, which is worth going any distance to see. To the Doria, a magnificent palace, with an immense number of pictures, and some very fine ones, which I was hurried through. To the Pyramid of Caius Cestius, which is in the middle of the wall of Aurelian, and forms the back of a very pretty Protestant burial ground, the greatest number of those who have been buried there being of course English. It is on the side of a hill with high, turreted walls behind it. There are two rows of white marble tombs, whose diminutive proportions form a contrast with the enormous sepulchre of

[19] He must have been just six feet high.

[323] the Roman. Round some of the tombstones rose-trees and other shrubs have been planted, and all but one adorned with epitaphs and inscriptions in Latin, English, German, and Italian. That one is the tomb of the pretty Miss Bathurst who was drowned in the Tiber. Her mother was to have returned to Rome and supply the epitaph, but she has never come, and it has not even her name inscribed upon it. I copied the following, which are apparently intended for Latin verses, from one of the tombs — of Frederica Ursulina Arabella de Montmorency, by her father, Colonel Raymond Henry de Montmorency, whose feelings set quantity at defiance: —

Frederica quae Claris fueram praelata puellis
Illa ego hoc brevi condita sum tumulo;
Cui formam pulcherrimam, charites tribuere decoram
Quam Deus cunctis artibus erudiit.

Clambered up Monte Testaccio, from which the view is beautiful, and then went on to the ruins of San Paolo fuori le Mure. The church, which was the finest in Rome except St. Peter's, was entirely destroyed by fire; but although it is near three miles from the gates, and not the least wanted, and that there are hundreds of churches, half of which seldom or never have congregations to fill them, they are already rebuilding this at an enormous cost, and the priest told me, to my great disgust, that they had got all the materials ready, and in ten years they expected the work to be finished. There are plenty of fools found to contribute to the expense, the greatest part of which, however, is supplied by the Government. It is to be built just as it was before, but they cannot replace the enormous marble columns which were its principal ornament. To a church to hear the Armenian Mass. The priests arrived in splendid oriental dresses, but I did not stay it out. Walked to the Borghese Gardens, the fine weather being something of which no description can convey an idea, and in it the beauty of Rome and its gardens and environs are equally indescribable. Groups of pilgrims in their odd dresses, with staves, and great bundles on their heads, were lounging about, or lying [324] under the trees. At night to the Coliseum (but the moon never will shine properly), and back by the Forum and the Capitol. The columns in the Forum look beautiful, but St. Peter's gains at least as much as the ancient ruins by the light of the moon. The views from different hills, and sunset from the Pincian in such weather as this, and with spring bursting in every direction, are things never to be forgotten.


High Mass in St. Peter's, which was crowded. I walked about the church to see the groups and the extraordinary and picturesque figures moving through the vast space. They are to the last degree interesting: in one place hundreds prostrate before an altar — pilgrims, soldiers, beggars, ladies, gentlemen, old and young in every variety of attitude, costume, and occupation. The benediction was much finer than on Thursday, the day magnificent, the whole piazza filled with a countless multitude, all in their holiday dresses, and carriages in the back-ground to the very end. The troops forming a brilliant square in the middle, the immense population and variety of costume, the weather, and the glorious locality certainly made as fine a spectacle as can possibly be seen. The Pope is dressed in white, with the triple crown on his head; two great fans of feathers, exactly like those of the Great Mogul, are carried on each side of him. He sits aloft on his throne, and is slowly borne to the front of the balcony. The moment he appears there is a dead silence, and every head is bared. When he rises, the soldiers all fall on their knees, and some, but only a few, of the spectators. The distance is so great that he looks like a puppet, and you just see him move his hands and make some signs. When he gives the blessing — the sign of the cross — the cannon fires. He blesses the people twice, remains perhaps five minutes in the balcony, and is carried out as he came in.

The numbers who come to the benediction are taken as a test of the popularity of the Pope, though I suppose the weather has a good deal to do with it. Leo XII. was very unpopular from his austerity, and particularly his shutting [325] up the wine shops. The first time he gave the benediction after that measure hardly anybody came to be blessed.

At night. — The illumination of St. Peter's is as fine as I was told it was, and that is saying everything. I saw it from the Pincian, from the windows of the French Academy and Horace Vernet's room. He is established in the Villa Medici; a very lively little fellow, and making a great deal of money as director of the Academy and by his paintings. His daughter is very pretty. Here I met Savary, the Duc de Rovigo, a tall, stout, vulgar-looking man. We were introduced and conversed on French politics. Afterwards drove down to the piazza and round it. The illumination is more effective at a distance, but I think it looks best from the entrance to the piazza and the Bridge of St. Angelo; the blaze of light, the crowd, and the fountains, covered with a red glare, made altogether the most splendid sight in the world. (One poor devil was killed, and there is almost always some accident.) Eight hundred men are employed in illuminating St. Peter's; the first pale and subdued light, which covers the whole church, is brought out by the darkness of night, the little lamps being lit in the day-time. The blazing lights which succeed are made by large pots of grease with wicks in them; there is one man to every two lamps. On a given signal, each man touches his two lamps as quick as possible, so that the whole building bursts into light at once by a process the effect of which is quite magical — literally, as the Rejected Addresses say, 'starts into light, and makes the lighter start.'

April 12th, 1830

At night at Torlonia's to see the girandola, which is as fine as fireworks can be, but nothing will do after the illumination of St. Peter's. All the world was there at an assembly after the ceremony, at which I was introduced to Don Michele Gaetani, said to be the cleverest man in Rome, and I had a long conversation with Monsignore Spada, who is a young layman with ecclesiastical rank and costume, and a judge. A Monsignore holds ecclesiastical rank at Rome, as a Lady of the Bedchamber at St. Petersburg holds military rank, where she is a major-general; there is no [326] other. He is free to marry, and I presume to do anything else, but he must preserve a certain orthodox gravity of dress and conduct; he is a curious nondescript, about an equal mixture of the cardinal and the dandy. This Monsignore is a very clever, agreeable man, and gave me some information about the administration of law in this country. There seems to be a good deal of laxity in it, for a man was condemned for stabbing another (with premeditation) a little while ago to six months' imprisonment, or more perhaps; and having been George Hamilton's laquais de place, his family came to him and begged him to try and get him off. He applied to Spada, and got the punishment commuted to some trifling imprisonment, and when he got out he came, with all his family, to kiss Hamilton's hand.

April 13th, 1830

Breakfasted with Bunsen at the Capitol; Lovaine, Morier, Haddington, Hamilton, Kestner, Falck, G. Fitzclarence, Sir W. Gell, a little Italian servant, and Mr. Hall, Bunsen's brother-in-law. Haddington told the story of Canning's sending to Bagot a despatch in cipher, containing these lines: —

In matters of commerce the fault of the Dutch
Is giving too little and asking too much;
With equal protection the French are content:
So we'll lay on Dutch bottoms just twenty per cent.
Chorus of Officers. — We'll lay, &c.
Chorus of Douaniers. — Nous frapperons Falck avec Twenty per cent.

He received the despatch at dinner, and sent it to be deciphered. After some hours they brought him word they did not know what to make of it, for it seemed to be in verse, when he at once saw there was a joke.

Went to see the excavations in the Via Triumphalis and the Temple of Concord, and heard Bunsen's theory of the Forum. Bunsen gives different names to the remains of the temples in the Forum from those which have been usually given, and by which they are known, and on very plausible grounds, drawn chiefly from accounts in different Roman authors and peculiarities in the buildings themselves. The [327] Temple of Fortune he thinks was the Basilica of Augustus, and the Temple of Jupiter Tonans the Temple of Saturn; but all his reasons I need not put down if I could remember them, for are they not written in the voluminous work he is going to publish in four or six volumes octavo?

Bunsen's history is rather curious. He was a poor German student destined for the Church; came to Rome, and got employed by Niebuhr, from whom he first got a taste for antiquities. The King of Prussia came to Rome and saw him; he was struck with his knowledge and the character he heard of him, and consulted him about a new Liturgy he wished to introduce into Prussia. Bunsen gave him so much satisfaction in that matter, as well as in some others which were entrusted to him, that on Niebuhr's return to Prussia he was appointed to succeed him, and has been at Rome ever since — thirteen years. Some say he is not a profound man, and that his speculations about the ruins are all wrong. He talks English, French, and Italian like his own language.

The part of the triumphal road was discovered by accident in digging for a drain; and an attempt is being made to procure the permission of the Government to excavate all that can be found of it, and ascertain its exact course. It was in the Temple of Concord that Cicero assembled the Senate and pronounced one of his orations against Catiline. The building must have been large and magnificent, from the remains now visible, which are of the finest marble. The pavement is in a state of considerable preservation. Then we went to the old Tabularium, standing on the Intermontium, an undoubted work of the Republic. This was the place where the records of the Senate were kept. It is very perfect. Nibby, the great authority here, differs, however, about this place; the antiquaries are at daggers drawn upon the subject of the ruins, remains, and discoveries. They have all different systems, which they support with great vehemence and obstinacy, and perhaps ingenuity, but the ignorant and curious traveller is only perplexed with their noisy and discordant assertions. They will insist upon knowing [328] everything, whereas there are many things here which are so doubtful, that they can only conjecture about them; but when once they have published a theory they will not hear of its being erroneous, and oppose any fresh discovery likely to throw discredit upon it. After his lecture in the Forum we went to San Nicolo in Cercera, an old church built on three old temples, or two and a prison, but not much to see. The prison of San Nicolo in Cercera is said to be the scene of the story of the Roman daughter, which it probably is not. Over the Bridge of Fabricius to the Basilica of Saint Bartholomew and Temple of Esculapius; small remains, but curious; and very pretty view of the Tiber and Temple of Vesta. To the Villa Lanti, a delicious villa belonging to Prince Borghese, who never goes there, and will neither let nor lend it. One of the finest views of Rome is from the terrace, and Julio Romano's frescoes adorn the ceilings. When Raphael was painting the Vatican, he and Julio Romano used to retire every night to the Villa Lanti, and the ceilings are covered with frescoes painted by both of them. Just below is a terrace, and on it a beautiful tree called Tasso's Oak, because under it he used to sit and compose when he lived in the Convent of San Onofrio, which is close by, and where he died. This convent is remarkably clean, airy, and spacious. In the library is a bust of Tasso, a mask taken from his face just after he died; in the chapel his tomb.

And Tasso is their glory —
Hark to his strain and then survey his cell.

In the cloister are some frescoes of the universal Domenichino. I like the Convent of San Onofrio. To Santa Maria in Trastevere, a very fine church; splendid ceiling with a Domenichino in the middle. Immense granite columns of various orders taken from God knows what temples, and mosaic floor rich to a degree. Large pieces of porphyry and verd antique eternally trodden by the Trasteverine mob, and never even cleaned. It is a basilica, and at the end is an [329] ancient stone chair, which, was evidently the old justice-seat, though they of the Church do not know it.

April 14th, 1830

Set off early to make up an arrear of churches. First to Santa Maria sopra Minerva, and lit upon the funeral of a cardinal (Bertazzoli), which I was obliged to see instead of Michael Angelo's Christ. All the cardinals attended; the church hung with black and gold; guards, tapers, mob, &c. Then to the SS. Apostoli, Araceli (built where the Citadel stood, and is a corruption of Arx, but with a legend); a curious church enough, with some fine frescoes of Pintoriccio, and the Chapel of the Virgin with hundreds of ex voto's hang round it, almost all wretched daubs of pictures, and principally representing accidents in gigs, carriages, or carts, broken heads or limbs. To Santa Anastasia, Santa Maria in Cosmedin, Santa Sabina. Santa Maria in Cosmedin, or the Bocca della Verita, built in and on the ruins of an old temple (di Pudicizia), is one of the best worth seeing in Rome; the columns, if freed from the modern church, would present as perfect a front as the temples in the Forum. To Monte Aventino to see the view of Rome and the Chapel of the Order of Malta, where Cardinal Zurla as Grand Prior has a most agreeable residence. The garden contains immense orange-trees and a very large palm. To San Gregorio to see the famous rival frescoes of Guido and Domenichino, which are much impaired. I began by liking Guido's and ended by liking the other best. The view of the Palatine from this convent is magnificent. To San Gregorio and San Paolo, and saw the ruins, which must have belonged to the Coliseum, for the architecture is exactly similar, and they have every appearance of having been the Vivarium from their shape. To the Corsini Palace, containing one of the best collections of pictures, of which the finest are two portraits of cardinals by Raphael and Domenichino. The palace is very fine, and the villa joins it on the opposite hill of the Janiculum, but both are affected by the malaria. Then to the Vatican and saw all the frescoes and pictures; the collection of pictures is very small, but they are all masterpieces. To the gallery [330] below to see the mosaics and the process of copying the great pictures. The coloured bits are numbered, and though there are not above six or seven colours, the sub-divisions of various shades amount to 18,000. This art is in a great degree mechanical, but requires ingenuity, attention, and some knowledge of painting. On the large pictures, such as those which are in St. Peter's, several men are employed at the same time, but on the lesser only one. It is very tedious, requiring years to copy one of the largest size. All the pictures in St. Peter's are in mosaic, except one, and they are at work on one which is to replace this single oil-piece. The studio appeared in good order, but there were only two men at work, as the Government spends very little money upon it at present. From one of the open galleries we (Morier and I) saw a thunderstorm, with gusts of wind, flashes of lightning, and rain. It was amazingly grand from that place as it swept over the city and made us 'sharers in its fierce delight.' Then to the Borghese Gardens, and back to one of those sunsets from the Pincian which will long be remembered among the smoke and fogs in which I am destined to live.

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