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tity of the scene, and even the fact of an interview, rests on a vague tradition. St. Paul's without the walls, once second only to St. Peter's in its dimensions and magnificence, is now a mass of bleak ruins, having been a few years since destroyed by fire. Useless as was this splendid temple, in the deserts of the Campagna, where there are no inhabitants within miles of its doors, it is painful to behold such a wreck of the arts. Massive and beautiful fluted pillars of the Corinthian order, shivered and calcined by the flames, strew a mosaic pavement about 250 feet in length, and half that distance in breadth. The whole area is covered with the stumps, shafts, and fragments of capitals and friezes. No less than one hundred and twenty of these immense columns, many of which were from the tomb of Adrian, rose along the nave and aisles of this proud temple, forming colonnades and vistas of unequalled splendour. A monk from a neighbouring convent, the few inmates of which are pallid with sickness, and starving amidst the waste by which they are surrounded, conducted us through his own cloisters, and over the sad remains of the church, prolonging his services as much as possible, with the hope of augmenting his fee. Behind the place where the high altar once stood, now strewed with the molten scoria of its precious gems, he showed the reputed tomb of St. Paul, in the form of a subterranean vault, with a small altar, before which a taper is still kept burning, and flings its dim rays upon the surrounding ruins. Mad as the project may seem, the Pope is engaged in restoring this costly structure; and scaffoldings have been erected, on which men were at work, in pealing off seared frescos from the shell, preparatory to the contemplated repairs. Such is the folly and fanaticism of the papal government, in erecting temples where there are no worshippers, and in a region so pestilential, that for a considerable part of the year, the most enthusiastic pilgrim would not venture to approach the shrine. Even the monks are driven from their rookery by the mal'aria, and compelled during the sickly months to seek refuge within the walls of Rome.

In a second visit to St. Paul's, we extended our ride two miles farther on towards Ostia, to a place where it is said the great Apostle of the Gentiles and many of his proselytes suffered martyrdom. To whatever degree of credibility the legend may be entitled, it has been sufficient in the eyes of the faithful to impart peculiar sanctity to the scene of suffering; and here three other churches have been erected, in the very depths of the Campagna, forming the remotest outposts in the chain of ecclesiastical fortresses encircling Rome. The solitudes in this region are absolutely appalling. There is not to my recollection a single dwelling on the road, in the whole distance of four or five miles

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from the gates of the city. Glimpses of the Tiber, rolling through such a perfect desert, in silent and sullen grandeur, only serve to deepen the picture of desolation. Deep excavations have been made in the undulating surface, for obtaining tufo. We saw here and there a shepherd tending his flock of sheep and goats on the green but lonely waste. The most interesting of the group of churches, standing within a few rods of one another, is St. Paul's of the Three Fountains. It is intrinsically a pretty temple, rich in its decorations, among which are two columns of green porphyry, extremely beautiful. But this chapel relies chiefly on its associations, for its attractions both to pilgrims and travellers. In one corner stands a white marble pillar, protected by an iron grate, and a Latin inscription states that it is the identical block, on which St. Paul was beheaded. One of the two monks, who seem to be the sole residents in the vicinity of these three churches, confirmed the authenticity of the tradition, and was very loquacious in citing authorities. But the marble block, (an odd material for the purposes of decapitation,) is not the greatest wonder in this marvellous shrine. Along the walls are three fountains, which, according to the same legendary tales, burst forth all at once in a miraculous manner. friar scooped up a ladle full of the water and gave us to drink. It was found to be pure and refreshing. Two or three squalid peasants, who were journeying from the mouth of the Tiber to Rome, and who here halted to kneel at the holy altar, also drank at the fountains, as if there was some peculiar virtue in the draught.

The

LETTER LXXV.

ROME CONTINUED-TOMB OF TASSO-CORSINI PALACE-MOUNT JANICULUM-FOUNTAIN OF PAUL V.-VILLA DORIA PAMFILI-DORIA PALACE --SCENE UPON THE CORSO-PALAZZO ROSPIGLIOSI-GUIDO'S AURORA -GALLERY.

June, 1826.

A SOLITARY pilgrimage to the tomb of Tasso afforded me great pleasure. It is in the church of St. Onofrio, situated on the brow of the Janiculum, overhanging the ancient gardens of Cæsar, and commanding a charming view of Rome. A small terrace in front is beautifully shaded with elms, and the cloisters of the Convent, in which the great epic poet of modern Italy died in penury, exhibit an air of deep seclusion. My visit was at evening. Finding no one in the vicinity, I entered the church alone to look for the tomb. A young friar, the only person in the chapel, happened to be kneeling at his vespers on the very slab in the pavement, which covers the dust, and is inscribed with the name of the divine poet. The kind-hearted ecclesiastic, guessing my errand, rose and after pointing to the spot without uttering a word, knelt at a little distance to finish his evening devotions. I followed his example in kneeling, for the less pious purpose of enabling me in the obscurity of twilight to read the inscription, which was found to be as follows:-"Torquati Tassi ossa hic jacent"--here rest the remains of Torquato Tasso. He died in 1644, at the age of 51, after a series of persecutions and misfortunes, such as Italian genius seems to have been destined in all cases to experience, amidst the collision of parties, the intolerance of the church, the tyranny of petty sovereignties, and the jealousies of individuals. On the wall opposite the slab covering his ashes, is a handsome monument to his memory, consisting of a marble tablet, bearing a long Latin epitaph; a beautiful medallion of the poet, with other decorations in good taste, the whole surmounted by a cross. The glimmer of a solitary lamp at one of the altars enabled me to read the recorded honours, and enter a memorandum in my pocket-book, after daylight had vanished. I lingered long at the tomb, partly to enjoy the quiet of the scene, and partly with the hope of having an opportunity to thank the monk for his politeness. But his devotions were protracted to such lengths, that I was obliged to leave before he had finished his vespers. Mingled with a great deal of gross superstition, there is much genuine piety in the religion of Italy. It is impossible that this ecclesiastic could have been insincere, as no eye but that

of Omniscience was upon him, and no motives but those of duty could have influenced his heart. A thousand instances of the same kind have been witnessed in the course of my tour, in entering churches at night and finding persons kneeling in obscure corners, unobserved by the world.

To avoid a monotonous description of a long list of other churches and palaces which were visited, and for the purpose of giving as much variety as possible to the residue of my sketch of Rome, I will endeavour to vary the manner as well as the matter, by giving a few extracts from my diary, comprising notices of objects in the order they were examined from day to day, without arranging my remarks under par ticular heads, or grouping such topics as are analogous. Kindred subjects in a city, which on more accounts than one is entitled to the epithet "eternal," are so numerous, that the reader as well as the tourist, who attempts to despatch them in lots, assorted according to their affinities, will be weary of the uniformity of his task, long before the number in each class of objects has been exhausted. The congregation of churches and palaces in particular is endless; and a for mal enumeration of either would exhaust the patience of others as well as my own. Let us therefore ramble at our leisure from hill to hill, from villa to villa, and from gallery to gallery, without regard to systematic sight-seeing, calling at such places and noting such works of art as are most attractive.

On the 14th, all our party went to the Corsini Palace, situated be yond the Tiber, at the foot of the Janiculum. The edifice is spacious, and its proportions fine, though it is inferior in architecture to several buildings of the same description at Rome and in other cities. The double flight of steps, leading to the halls, borders on grandeur. In the rear spreads a large garden, quite too artificial to be in good taste. Walls of verdure, shorn into unnatural forms, separate the straight walks and alleys. The principal object of our visit was to look at the gallery of statues and paintings. Of the former the number is small and uninteresting, in comparison with the museums at the Ca. pitol and Vatican; but the collection of pictures contains some of the choicest specimens we have found in Italy. The walls of several apartments are covered with the productions of the first artists, and there is scarcely a mean work in the gallery. Before all others, I had almost said here or elsewhere, is an Ecce Homo, the head of the Saviour, by Guercino. It is a sublime effort of the mighty master, and will produce an emotion in every mind, however unschooled in the arts. Every lineament in the face is divine, and cannot fail to move the spectator to admiration, to compassion, and devotion. The utmost degree

of agony, united with resignation and fortitude, is depicted in the countenance and the bleeding brow, girt with a crown of thorns. Large drops of blood steal down the cheeks and fall upon the bosom. It is difficult to divest such a subject of horror; but the artist has conquered all the difficulties he had to encounter, and this one work is sufficient to immortalize his name. There was something so fascinating in this single head, as to chain us to the spot for half an hour, and induce us often to return to take a last look. Two paintings of the same subject, one by Guido and the other by Carlo Dolci, are both first rate productions, but will sustain no comparison with that of Guercino. The decapitation of St. John, by Guido, is in his best style, which is not an ordinary compliment; for no artist was so unequal in his manner. Here is a head of one of the Popes, ascribed to the pencil of Raphael. It is a finished production whoever may be the author. In one of the halls is an ancient consular chair of Parian marble. It is somewhat in the shape of a wheaten sheaf or the section of a vase, with one half of the top open, and the other forming the back. It is enriched with elegant bass-relief. Among the other pictures, which particularly attracted our attention, were a portrait of a Vestal, by Carlo Maratta; the woman taken in adultery by Titian; and a holy family, by Murillo, a Spanish artist of extraordinary merit. In the last room, is the Prometheus of Salvator Rosa, which is reckoned one of his greatest works. It is quite too terrific to be agreeable. Probably to make it harmonize with the subject, it has been placed in a dark corner of the apartment. The giant is chained to the rock, and the vulture is in the act of pouncing upon his vitals. Extreme agony, bordering almost upon caricature, is depicted in the face of the immortal convict: his mouth is stretched and distorted, his eyes are closed in his writhings, and every muscle has the utmost degree of tension. The delineation of his trunk is still more extravagant: his vitals are torn out, and the mangled interior of the chest is disclosed. Such a bloody spectacle excites no other emotion than that of horror; and while this celebrated picture evinces much talent, and great skill in the execution, it appeared to me wanting in chasteness of design and delicacy of taste. Lady Morgan is guilty of some strange blunders, in speaking of the Prometheus, in her life of Salvator Rosa. So gross are her errors, that we came to the conclusion she had never examined the painting, which she attempts to describe. She says the hole in the breast, where the vulture is knawing, is small; whereas the whole region of the diaphragm and its contents are laid bare:-and again, that "the mouth, resembling that of the Apollo Belvidere, is moderately open, expressing patient endurance;" while in fact, it is stretched from ear to ear!

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