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disappearing behind us. Lady Morgan speaks of having seen the lake from Perugia; a thing quite impossible, unless her vision is sufficiently acute to penetrate mountains, which rise to a considerable elevation, and effectually intercept the view. In descending from the heights of Magiona into the pretty vale which spreads at the base, an accident befel one of our coaches and compelled us to stop an hour or more at a dirty little village, furnishing neither refreshment nor amusement. On the score of the former item, a roll of coarse bread was all that could be obtained; and the fund of the latter was still more scanty. While the village Vulcan lighted up the sleepy fires of his forge, Tityrus like, I stretched myself beneath the shade of a tree by the way-side and beguiled the time in reading Virgil, gazing at the distant Apennines, and studying the natural history of the lizard, swarms of which gamboled at my feet:
Nunc virides etiam occultant spineta lacertos.
Countless numbers of this reptile are seen in all parts of Italy, upon the walls and about ruins. It is a brisk and pert little animal, four or five inches long, of a greenish colour, with a quick, keen eye. There is a superstition among the lower classes, that so far from being noxious in its habits, the lizard is a faithful friend to the peasantry, watching their noon-day slumbers in the field, and giving notice by tickling the car, if the scorpion or tarantula approaches.
Notwithstanding our delay, at 5 o'clock we ascended, with the aid of a fresh recruit of oxen, the lofty eminence on the very top of which is seated the ancient city of Perugia, whose ramparts and towers give it a very imposing appearance. From the time of its conquest by the Romans, (for it was founded in an age long anterior to the imperial city,) it has at intervals been a rebellious town-rebellious against tyrants and oppressors. Hannibal found it impregnable. It even dared to bar its gates against Augustus, whose intentions of manifesting his usual clemency were baffled by the spirit of one of its citizens, who set fire to his own house, whence the flames spread till the whole city was reduced to ashes. In the wars of the Goths, it signalized itself by its valour and love of independence; and at the commencement of the 14th century, the Perugians under Forte Braccio for a commander, so far from acting merely on the defensive, actually conquered Rome, and kept possession of the city for something more than a quarter of a century.
On the reduction of Perugia to the papal dominions, Pope Paul III. determined to keep such factious spirits in check, and to secure the future servitude of the citizens, by a stupendous castle erected under
the guise of a hospital. The traveller passes this enormous pile on his left, soon after entering the gate. It stands upon the summit of the hill, and effectually commands the town. In the hands of the French, it underwent some repairs, and was used as a fortress. At present it is dismantled, and in a state of dilapidation.
We took lodgings for the night in a hotel, which had once been the palace of a nobleman, and still exhibits some remains of its former splendour. Ragged tapestry covers the walls, and gods and heroes sprawl in fresco upon the ceiling. In the entrance, the name of nearly all the royal personages in Italy are posted up, with a record of the important fact, of precisely on what day, month and year, they lodged in this tavern. Perchance we were honoured by sleeping in the very beds, which kings, queens, princes and princesses, dukes and dutchesses, down to the humbler ranks of marquises and counts, had occupied. Caroline, the late queen of England, was among the number. I did not find Bergami's name in the list of counts.`
A young Irish ecclesiastic, in his friar's frock and three-cornered hat, introduced himself to us at the door of the hotel, taking our party for Englishmen. He gave us his "travels' history" with a good deal of volubility, concluding with his matriculation in the large theological institution at this place, whither many of his countrymen are sent to be educated in the Roman Catholic religion. He took occasion to mention the strangers of distinction with whom he had dined in our hotel, and indirectly intimated that a repetition of the favour, even with plain republicans, would not be disagreeable. But in truth he was very civil, offering to show us the curiosities of the ecclesiastical establishments; but for want of time, his attentions were politely declined.
While our classical fish from the waters of Thrasymenus, (which now made but a sorry figure,) were in the hands of the cook, we took a stroll over the town, and among other places visited the Cathedral. It is a misshapen Gothic edifice. The interior is filled with the paintings of Perugino, who was a native of this city, and hence derives his distinctive appellation. His fame arises more from the circumstance of his having been the master of Raphael, than from the intrinsic merits of his works. His style is stiff, dry, and hard; and his immortal pupil, who here commenced his professional studies at the age of seventeen, conferred a far greater favour than he received. It was not until he had shaken of the restraints of a particular school, that his genius shone forth in all its unrivalled splendour; and the developement of his native powers was probably retarded by the technicalities of his master, for whom he seems to have entertained a
high respect. All his early pictures are in exact imitation of the old Perugian.
At an early hour on the following morning we resumed our journey, and descended rapidly from the castellated heights of Perugia into the glorious vale, which spreads towards the south as far as the eye can reach, bounded by lofty ridges of the Apennines. The prospect, both in extent and variety, in the purity of the skies, and the spontaneous fertility of the earth, is one of the richest which our travels in any country have afforded. But the stream which waters this elysian vale gives it a still deeper interest. In an hour after leaving Perugia, we found ourselves on the banks of the TIBER, far indeed from Rome, but hurrying on with a strong and rapid current towards the Seven Hills. It is impossible to describe the sensations which the first glance at this river excited. It had the effect to strike us all dumb, and as we paused upon the bridge, each one gazed and thought for himself. Let the reader be assured, that there is no affectation in this, and that whoever pretends to survey the classic wave for the first time without emotion, must either counterfeit his feelings, or possess an extraordinary degree of stupidity. The notoriety of the Tiber is so universal, that the effect is of much the same nature, though differing in degree, on all minds. A postillion or peasant would linger the first time he crossed it. Unlike other streams, it appears to possess a sort of moral, sentient being, which exalts it above mere inanimate matter, and blends it inseparably with the grandeur and glory of Rome.
The water descending in unsullied purity from its source in the depth of the Apennines, to the east of lake Thrasymenus, thus far preserves a light green complexion, differing but a shade or two from our own Niagara. Its fountains issue from unbroken solitudes, and such is the formation of its bed above this point, as to impart no stain ; an emblem of the young republic that once rose uncontaminated upon its borders, till impure tributaries poured in the tide of corruption. The breadth of the channel does not here exceed a hundred and fifty or two hundred feet, and unlike the Arno, the current covers the whole bed, bathing the well defined and rural banks. Near the bridge it breaks in foam over several ledges of rocks, forming musical and pretty cascades.
At the post and little village of Madonna degli Angeli, (our Lady of the Angels,) we paused long enough to change horses, and to visit the stupendous church, which rises in the midst of tattered poverty. There are scarcely inhabitants enough in the whole region to fill its magnificent aisles. It was designed by the celebrated architect Vignola, and is reckoned one of his finest models. The altars lining the
walls are extremely splendid. In the centre of the nave stands a curious little antique fabric, which may be termed the nucleus of the church, possessing extraordinary sanctity, and explaining the reason why so noble an edifice has been erected for the accommodation of such a handful of inhabitants. This holy shrine is nothing less than the oratory of St. Francis, who was a native of the old town of Assisium, seated on the brow of the mountains, in full view of the church of our Lady. It is another casa santissima, scarcely inferior to that of Loretto in reputation. Its dimensions are perhaps fifteen feet by ten, ornamented with a profusion of tiny pinnacles, and filled with sacred relics. The walls of the interior are covered with votive tablets and the offerings of devotees. It has an altar before which a throng of ragged peasants were kneeling, while an image of the Saint himself held a lamp, to light though not to enlighten their devotions. There is a large convent adjoining the church; but the crack of the postillion's whip gave notice, that no time remained for visiting cloisters.
After crossing a ridge of hills, which projects like a promontory into the plain, we entered the vale of the Clitumnus, and soon arrived at the large old town of Foligno. Under its antique walls flows a copious stream, which is tributary to the Tiber, and the beautiful environs are in direct contrast with the penury and filth of the decaying city. The principal street runs in nearly a direct line from gate to gate. It was absolutely thronged with beggars, who importunately beset us at every step. There was a very perceptible change in the character of the people the moment we entered the papal dominions, upon the shores of Thrasymenus, and the shades of degradation become deeper and deeper, in proportion as you penetrate the heart of the Roman State. The inhabitants of Tuscany, during the happy age of republican freedom, formed habits of activity and industry, traces of which are still found among the peasantry. They acquired an impulse, which notwithstanding all subsequent oppression, has not yet wholly ceased. But the subjects of his Holiness have been slaves almost from time immemorial; and the effects are palpable at every step, as the traveller advances. Under a clime less temperate, and with a soil less spontaneously productive, the people would apparently all freeze and starve; unless indeed these very bounties of nature may have co-operated with the moral and religious institutions of the country, in augmenting the wretchedness of the population.
We paused at Foligno only long enough to change horses, and were happy to leave at its gates the clamorous cries for charity, as well as to escape the stench of confined streets, to the breathing fragrance of the
environs. The vale of the Clitumnus is worthy of all the panegyrics, which have been lavished on its rural beauties by poets and tourists, from Virgil to Byron. Nature here wantons in luxuriance, while the indolence of the inhabitants has left her to fling over the landscape many of her wild and negligent graces. This district from the earliest times seems to have been appropriated in considerable part to grazing; and descendants of the snow-white victims, which once graced the triumphs and sacrifices of Rome, are still found straying in the rich pastures, beautifully enamelled with the species of red clover alluded to in a paragraph above. If the cattle, like the inhabitants themselves, have degenerated, some of them are still large and handsome, of a fine colour, with wide branching horns, frequently wreathed with garlands. Intermingled with the pastures, are rich fields of grain, vineyards, and plantations of fruit trees.
Half a mile from the post of Venne, (the first after passing Foligno,) we reached the banks of the Clitumnus, and immediately left our coaches, to linger by the classic stream as long as our stay would possibly permit. Next to the waters of the Sorgia at Vaucluse, these fountains are the most pellucid I have ever seen. They possess indeed almost the transparency of the atmosphere itself, and the eye can scarcely distinguish, where the two fluids come in contact. Every pebble and aquatic plant upon the bottom is as clearly seen through one medium as the other. In copiousness as well as in purity, the Clitumnus rivals if it does not surpass the Sorgia. It bursts forth all at once a river. Pliny and a party of his friends from Rome, (whose description we read upon the bank,) came up to the very source in a boat. The fountains, four or five in number, gush from beneath a ledge of rocks, at the base of the Apennines, and by the side of a terrace in the road. They are forced up with great violence, and uniting with many smaller ones in the vicinity, meander sweetly through a rich meadow covered with matted grass. As the quantity of water is equable, the channel is always filled to the brim, but never overflows. A serious innovation has been made upon the natural beauty of the stream by diverting a part of it through a canal, to be used for mechanical purposes.
The little temple which is said to have been erected to Jupiter Clitumnus, and to have contained a statue of the god, stands by the side of the road, and close upon the brink of the stream, something more than half a mile from its highest source. Its construction is entirely unique, growing in part out of its position upon a steep declivity. The lower story, called the crypt, is subterranean on one side, and with a slight opening through the wall in front. Its ceiling forms the