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conquerors of poor old Rome; where, however, these Alphas and Omegas of life at Rome appear in a milder mood under the influence of their native tongue. The other night I went to see “La Dame aux Camelias," wondering, however, how so exceedingly immoral a drama was permitted in the same holy place which declines any connexion with that dear, naughty, abominable “ Lucrezia Borgia.” They say (that is, Mrs. Grundy says, a lady whose ubiquity leads her to Rome as well as all other places) that on the morning of the day for which it was announced a veto was issued against its performance; but that the French general, or the French prefect, or the French somebody, insisted on its production. Certain it is, the French ambassadress was present, and sat out the entire evening's amusement, including a farce about as grossier as the lowest French audience could have desired; including a number of double entendres, so barefaced one knew not where to look. Count - happening to be in our box, increased my confusion; but, with the tact of a high-bred Italian, he suddenly became bereft of all his five senses, and appeared impassively stupid, spite of the roars of the French Olympus in the upper boxes. The drama was well acted, the heroine looking her part so perfectly, one could but deem it quite natural. She died well, and looked particularly piquante and pretty in bed. Good Heavens, what strange times! when such sights are even tolerated in Rome—moral Rome! Not the most innocent girl could mistake the drift and meaning of this play!
The folly of endeavouring to form separate galleries of sculpture in the same city as the Vatican Museum is apparent. Even Rome, were all her subterranean treasures revealed, could never hope to form another such temple to sculpture. The overcrowded rooms of the Capitol Museum present an aspect of confusion proper only to a lumber loft, while the bare walls of the spacious halls at the Lateran are in the other extreme, and appear so nude and unfurnished it is quite desolating to look on them. Why should not the gems of both collections be placed in that boundless Vatican, whose countless galleries and corridors might yet receive thousands of fresh statues, and still have room, and to spare ? On the whole, I was more pleased with the Lateran collection than the Capitol, where, excepting the Dying Gladiator—if gladiator we are to call him, with that cord and horn--and the Flora and Faun, I never could see much to admire. At the Lateran I was enchanted with the Braschi Antinous—a colossal statue of miraculous beauty, second only to the Apollo Belvidere—if, indeed, second to that, which I am not prepared to assert it is. Antinous appears in the character of Osiris, crowned with ivy berries and leaves, a Lotos flower placed in the centre of the garland -a rich, varied, and classical head-gear of the utmost beauty. The hall appropriated to Augustus' family is wonderfully grand and interesting : ranged around the walls stand the solemn statues of the imperial house in calm majestic attitudes, monumental in character. The statue of Livia has a lovely face, and stands in an attitude full of grace and dignity, with one hand upraised ; the flowing robes and stately bearing breathing a very atmosphere of imperial majesty tempered by womanly sweetness. Augustus and Drusus wear the eternal togas—those classical bedgowns I so detest. Tiberius appears crowned with oak and acorns, a face full of youthful beauty and god-like repose, passionless as the calm surface of the summer heavens. Who could imagine such vices lay dormant under so winning an exterior? Agrippina bears her proud character and great beauty stamped on her lofty brow. Her attitude is less pleasing than that of Livia, masculine determination preponderating over more feminine charms. Two statues of Germanicus, habited in fuil armour, express an amiable, gentle character, appealing to our sympathies by its unassuming yet manly expression of perfect goodness. His head is unadorned, and both statues of high value, from the admirable likeness and perfect state of preservation in which they are come down to us.
Very interesting is the rough Dacian heart, mentioned by Murray, with the sculptor's points still visible. But most of all was I struck by an admirable basso-relievo on a marble tomb of Orestes pursued by the Furies—wildly horrible in their hideous aspect—his murder of Clytemnestra and her lover in the centre-and, in the other corner, the shade of Agamemnon, an old man, wrapt in a deep, mysterious cloak, with a hood over his face, inciting Orestes to revenge. This is one of the very finest basso-relievos in Rome. Opposite is an inferior work, the destruction of Niobe's children, on another tomb. Near by are two splendid marble pillars of Ravopazzetto, taken from the bed of the Tiber; whose beauty suggests the question: What must Rome have been, avenued with such colonnades?
One of the finest statues here is that of Sophocles, bearing the name of the Antonelli family inscribed on the pedestal. It was discovered by a curious accident. A poor man, working in his vineyard, near the campagna of Conte Antonelli, brother of the cardinal, came upon a block of stone that resisted all his blows. He dug, and dug, until he discovered a statue, which he threw upon terra firma. Off he goes to his patrone, the conte, to relate to him the occurrence. But, says he, "cosa importa a me? I have neither a cart to carry it, or horses or oxen to drag the cart; via, there it must lie. Perhaps, however, sua excellenza the conte would give him something for it ?" The conte returned his query like a Quaker, by asking another—" What did he want for the thing ?” At last, after a great deal of discorrera, fifteen scudi was agreed on (three pounds), and the contadino went away gloriously contented. The statue was dragged to the cortile of the count's casino, and lay forgotten in a corner until Gregory, the late Pope, during one of his provincial progresses, passed by Terracina, and breakfasted with Count Antonelli. Passing through the cortile, the saintly eyes turned on the recumbent statue. “Ma-che cosa abbianio qui? What is this? Qualche cosa di bello mi pare.” So the statue was raised and examined, and pronounced entirely excellent. The count begged to present the fifteen scudi worth to his holiness, who gladly accepted the offer, and ordered the statue to be packed off to Rome, where it was cleaned and repaired by benevolent antiquarians, who, acting as sponsors, named it Sophocles, under which title it now appears, the principal attraction of the third best gallery in Rome, and all for fifteen scudi! The thing now is priceless. The interior court of the Lateran Palace is surrounded above and below with an arched colonnade, richly painted in fresco, which produces a very noble effect. Indeed, the whole building is grand and palatial in the extreme, forming as it does a kind of wing or addenda to the most chastely elegant and classically imposing church in Rome, far more perfect
exteriorily than St. Peter's, however inferior to the great leviathan in size. I ascended the stairs, and found the upper suite of apartments of fine proportions and decorated with much splendour, but desolate, damp, and forlorn. They are now the cradle of an infant picture-gallery, but as yet in a hopelessly infantine state indeed. I remarked one picture by Caravaggio, that Molière of painting, “ The Tribute-money," as fine as anything I ever remember seeing of his; and how well he could paint, when he allows one to distinguish the vivid lights and bright colouring, joined to breadth of style and earnest pathetic expression he was capable of producing. His paintings are generally such a murky mass, one sees nothing but shadows black as darkness visible. There is, too, a sweet 66 Annunciation,” by the Cavaliere Arpino, where Mary is represented the simple gentle maiden one loves to picture her, not the made-up simpering beauty to which she is too often degraded by even the first masters. The youthfulness and freshness here are most engaging, and quite relieved my eyes, accustomed to the glare and grandeur of Parmegiano and Domenichino, who never dream but of the Queen of Heaven. The picture of “George IV.,” in full “ tog," is a tremendous affair. I never saw an individual so overladen with orders, chains, ribbon, and velvet, even at the carnival. Indeed, he would make a capital figurante for that season. Certainly the air of Rome, and the stern classical halls of the Lateran, are by no means advantageous “to the first gentleman in Europe." Poor man! how the mighty are fallen!
During Lent there are what are called Staziones for prayers at all the old out-of-the-way churches; and if they possess miraculous treasures they are displayed for reverence on these occasions. I have been to-day to San Pietro in Vincolo, where the Stazione was held, and the church open all day. The road to this church is the identical Via Scelerata, so named because here the wicked Tullia, daughter of King Servius, drove over the body of her aged father, murdered by Lucius, her husband, son of the banished Tarquinius, in order to usurp his throne. Servius was slain on this very road, situated on the Esquiline, which when Tullia heard she mounted her chariot and drove to the forum, where, unabashed and untouched by her father's bloody death, she hailed her husband king! As she returned home the body of her father lay in the way. The driver of her chariot (says Arnold) stopped short, and showed Tullia where her father lay in his blood, but she bade him drive on, and the chariot rolled over the body, and she went to her home with her father's blood on the wheels of her chariot.
Flocks of pedestrians and numbers of carriages made the dust fly in perfect clouds about the solitary lanes and walled-in alleys in the vicinity. All the neighbourhood was up and alive. Droves of beggars sit or stand grouped on the steps mounting to the gates, and clink their boxes and ask for alms for the sake of the Madonna, and for the love of heaven, with an energy reminding one of their brigand associates, whose prayer becomes a command, and the command death if not promptly obeyed. Some French soldiers were keeping watch and ward outside the building, by no means remarkable on the exterior. Priests, nuns, fine ladies, contadine, perfumed beaux of the “ very sopht" pattern, and liveried servants, cardinals, and monsignores were streaming in and out of the doors ; some kneeling at an altar, others prostrate before a favourite saint, ornamented for the occasion with new artificial flowers. The fine proportions of this elegant church told well as a background to the moving, animated scene, the graceful marble pillars (pilfered from some ancient temple) springing airily to the roof. On the grand altar were displayed the chains which, tradition says, bound St. Peter in prison; hence the name of the church “in Vincolo.” They lay exposed to the veneration of all true Catholics in a small box lined with crimson silk. Wrapt in deep meditation and prayer numbers knelt on the steps, and so would I have knelt also, if I could have believed the tale, but, alas!—“Mi manca la fede !"- I thought the chains looked particularly modern and very weak and feeble in the links, fancy sort of chains, not at all the kind of articles wherewith to bind a man who had a mind to break them. I gazed with the crowd, but did not believe.
Flowers (of cambric) ornamented the altar all about, while the grand old Moses frowned down from the corner where he is so barbarously wedged in, with a look of supreme contempt at the scene around. The more I look at that figure the more I dislike it, profane as it is not to rave about the so-called “capo d'opera” of Michel Angelo “ the divine." Nothing can be more placid than the statue, on a low seat nearly on a level with the spectator, the gigantic form squeezed between two columns, on a monument which all the while is not a monument. Certainly, this image does not impress one with a high idea of Moses. The grossly sensual expression tells of passions proper rather to a satyr than a lawgiver, and the oceans of woolly hair falling from the head and beard painfully remind one of a shaggy goat faults which are unrelieved by any nobler indications save an air of arrogant command. The drapery is much below the ancient statues, ill-folded, heavy, and bad, something after the fashion of a miller. Should a great lawgiver who speaks with the Almighty appear in such a guise, with such a look ? No, truly. Still, amid all its defects, this is a remarkable work of art-specially remarkable for a peculiar savage air of grandeur all its own, and not to be described. It has also great power, consisting in the “anima” which makes the cold marble palpitate with vivid expression. The action, too, of the figure is natural, the forms bold without being overcharged, like many of Michel Angelo's works. The modelling of the arms is particularly fine. But how wanting is the statue in all wherein the Greeks so excelled—the sedate, noble simplicity, the profound, contemplative look, communing as it were with eternity, which almost excuses the worship paid by an ignorant people to these sculptured gods. Above the Moses lies a recumbent statue of Julius II., so placed as to appear precisely like a sphinx. For this atrocity Michel Angelo is not responsible.
Over an altar there is a St. Margaret, by Guercino, rebuking a monster ready to devour her, with a cross, quite lovely—it positively riveted me. One may here admire his admirable colouring, compounded of the RomanVenetian and Bolognese schools, with that bold opposition of light and shade in which he so delighted. Who ever had a finer appreciation of female beauty than Guercino, of that glowing, warm, gorgeous type perfected under a southern sun, flourishing along with the luscious grapes, and often brown and sunburnt as they? St. Margaret is in white, with a purple drapery, her long hair falls dishevelled over her shoulders, and the almost saucy way, girlish yet commanding, with which she menaces
the creature (whose great jaws, well furnished with teeth, are opened to devour her) with the cross, her head a little turned upwards, is uncommonly charming. I feel I never shall forget that picture of “ Valiant Margaret,” as Wordsworth calls her.
In the sacristy hangs Guido's “Hope," a sweet pathetic head, fit to match with the Cenci. There is a picture, too, by Domenichino of “ Paul's deliverance in Prison" -maniéré, hard, and ill-coloured—the angel looks most positive and earthly in his stiff curls, such as one never saw except on a well-oiled wig. Certainly this “celestial visitant” brought with him “no airs from Paradise." "I have no notion of admiring a picture because it is celebrated and praised by “ Murray.”
As I left the church the sun was just setting with a golden haze over the spires, domes, and palaces below. A single palm-tree rose out of the opposite wall, its dark leaves, black with shadow, spreading in the glorious radiance beyond. Such are we, opaque, obscure, and dark when contrasted with the heavenly radiance of those realms of light on which we may never gaze but as an affrighted shade, blotting the brightness for an instant, then to disappear—who knows where—for ever.
THE SUN SHINES OVER ALL!
BY J. E. CARPENTER.
Go forth in the open day,
As the dark clouds roll away;
Each dark spot where they fall,
For the sun shines over all!
And each tender chord is stirred,
To the sweet song of the bird ;
As the leaves around hin fall,
For the sweet birds sing for all.
Has passed, like a dream, away;
The friendship known decay ;
They will all the past recal,
For the bright fowers bloom for all.