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with graves and sepulchral monuments, many of which are stately piles of marble in the first style of elegance. We could not find many distinguished tombs, prolific as Bologna has been in men of genius. It was not, however, opened till 1801, and in a period of twenty-five years, seventy-five thousand persons have been here deposited; a number equal to the whole population of the city. From this fact it may be inferred, that a generation at Bologna lasts a quarter of a century, five or six years less than the ordinary estimate in England.
A striking peculiarity was observed in the disposition of the graves. The dead are assorted according to their ages. There is one compartment for children; another for female adults; a third for male adults; and a fourth for persons beyond a certain age. Prices of sepulture vary as in Pere la Chaise. The grounds are a mile and a half in circuit, substantially enclosed, and prettily shaded with pyramids of cypress. Several grave-diggers were at work in opening tombs and vaults, whose voices alone broke the profound quiet, which reigns through the cemetery. The church is still kept up, in which the last sad offices are performed. About the walls are suspended many spoils and trophies, taken from the Turks at Constantinople, Tunis, and Algiers. Among the rest are chains, in which captives are bound. They are about four feet in length, with a fetlock at one end, and a ring at the other. In the cells of the church is an extensive assortment of rude but rare Madonnas, exhibiting the miraculous forms in which the Virgin appeared at different and remote places, in France, Spain, Italy and the East.
At evening we visited the Chiesa del Servi, which is the popular church at Bologna, and the scene of half of the intrigues in the city. Preparations were making for the last and great day of the Feast of the Madonna, to take place on the morrow.
It is a long low edifice,
with the high altar nearly in the centre. The air was suffocating from the smoke of censers and tapers, as well as from the garlic of the crowd, which thronged the aisles. Our attention was arrested by a group, bending at a shrine of peculiar sanctity, on one side of the church. The faces of the Virgin and her child were of a black glossy colour, besmeared with grease. To prevent any farther deformities of the frightful images, they had been encased in glass, so as to be seen but not caressed. Three lamps were burning in front. The central one was open, into which the devotees dipped their fingers, and daubed their foreheads with the holy unction. Sometimes little flowers or sprigs were substituted, immersed in oil, rubbed as near the faces of the idols as possible, and then kissed with fervour by the prostrate votaries. Armed soldiers were stationed before the altars
to keep the peace in the general rush to the shrines. At 8 o'clock, an officer of the guard, wearing his sword, cocked hat, and cane, bustled through the aisles, driving the multitude from their prayers and from the church, while they were in the very act of kneeling. This scene was one of the most singular, as well as the most strongly marked by abject superstition and unresisted tyranny, that I witnessed in the whole course of my tour through Italy, not excepting the idolatrous worship in St. Peter's.
After the show was over at the church, we went to a more dignified spectacle at the Teatro del Corso. On our way thither, fifteen barbers' shops, with the sign of the pewter basin, were counted by way of curiosity. They were all lighted up, and filled with persons under the razor; an indication that the Bolognese are a cleanly people. The theatre is spacious and neat; and the boxes exhibited a splendid circle of beauty, whose white head-dresses gave to their complexions the delicacy of nuns; though they are said in other respects not to bear a striking resemblance to the holy sisterhood. We saw the dramatic corps belonging to Maria Louisa, Archduchess of Parma, and late Empress of France, who were here on a visit for a few days, from the neighbouring city. They are highly respectable, and the entertainment of the evening was far from being dull. The music was excellent, worthy of the native city of Rossini.
DEPARTURE FROM BOLOGNA-RIDE TO FERRARA-ENVIRONS-SKETCH OF THE CITY-LIBRARY-TOMB OF ARIOSTO--MANUSCRIPTS HOSPITAL OF ST. ANNA-PRISON OF TASSO-DUCAL PALACE-HOUSE OF ARIOSTO CHAPEL OF BENEDICTINES-CERTOSA SANTA MARIA IN VADO-CATHEDRAL-DEPARTURE FROM FERRARA-PASSAGE OF THE PO-SCENERY OF ITS BANKS-AUSTRIAN CUSTOM-HOUSES-ROVIGO— THE ADIGE-MONSELICE ARRIVAL AT PADUA.
AT 6 o'clock on the morning of the 10th, we left Bologna for Ferrara. A ride of thirty miles presented very little variety of scenery, and few objects worthy of attention. The route extends over a flat country, covered with poplars and vines. It is bordered by much stagnant water, in the form of pits for rotting hemp. They are mantled with corruption, and emit a horrible stench. The inhabitants have sallow bilious countenances, and the region is extremely insalubrious. Hemp is one of the staple commodities. The peasantry were engaged in dressing it. Large quantities of it are taken across the mountains to Leghorn and thence exported. It bears a higher price in market, than the same article from any other part of Italy. A canal connects Bologna with Ferrara. We saw a few boats navigating its sluggish channel, which does not appear to be much used for transportation. On the very banks of it, many teams were met, laden with heavy articles. Half way between the two cities, we crossed the Reno in a boat of singular construction. The river has a wide bed; but the quantity of water at this season is small. High artificial embankments have been thrown up, to guard against the floods, which sometimes descend from the Apennines. The whole district is marshy, covered with
pools, reeds, and water-lilies.
The suburbs of Ferrara at once reminded us of the Campagna di Roma. Immense solitudes extend to the very walls of the city. The ground is unfenced, untilled, and almost unpastured. A few cattle and sheep were seen sprinkled over the dreary waste. The faubourg, without the gate, presents a still stronger picture of desolation. Its houses are tenantless and ruinous; some with the roofs tumbled in, and others with shattered windows. Here and there a sickly, squalid inhabitant was crawling along the street, with a voice almost too feeble and sepulchral to beg. The city is girt with walls and moats. Above the dilapidated portals, the Pope's arms are conspicuously dis
played, and a regiment of guards, sufficient to reclaim the desert which spreads under the ramparts, is stationed at the entrance, to extort fees from travellers. Half an hour was occupied in the examination of our passports and luggage. Cardinal Arizzio, from Naples, is the vice-gerent of his Holiness, and no part of St. Peter's patrimony is more shamefully neglected, poverty-stricken, and wretched. We took lodgings at the Three Crowns, a large shell of a building. The arms of the Ex-Empress Maria Louisa, of the King of Prussia, of the Prince Michael of Russia, and the Grand Duke of Tuscany, were suspended in the court, with an inscription stating precisely the day when each of these royal personages ate his macaroni and omelet at the Tre Corone. A New-York gentleman had been less ostentatious in the display of the date of his visit, in crayon, upon the walls of our chamber.
After taking such refreshments as the house afforded, we commenced a ramble over the town, which is of formidable extent, and may be styled what a foreign minister denominated one of our own— "a city of respectable distances." The streets are wide, straight, and originally handsome, but now gone to decay, solitary, and in many instances grass-grown. Frequently you might walk half a mile without meeting an inhabitant. The ruins of the interior, as well as the solitudes beyond the walls, recall an image of Rome, and are in accordance with the feelings awakened by the Prison of Tasso and the Tomb of Ariosto.
Our first visit was to the Library. Collections of antiquities occupy the courts below. A custode received us at the door. He is an intelligent old man, who has held his office for twenty-seven years. He is precise and oratorical in his diction, has his story well conned by rote, and can repeat the contents of half the books he shows. The library is one of the richest and rarest in Italy, filling four or five different halls, and comprising 80,000 volumes, together with a great number of valuable manuscripts. In the first room, the portraits of all the Cardinals, good, bad, and indifferent, who were born at Ferrara, amounting to the formidable list of eighteen, are paraded round the walls aloft, with their heads bumping the gilded ceiling. The head of Benvenuto is the most interesting article.
At the end of the principal hall stands the splendid tomb of Ariosto, erected by order of General Miolis, after the conquest by the French. The dust of the poet was transferred from the church of Benedictines, and deposited with great funeral pomp. It was a tribute of false respect to disturb the ashes, and inurn them in a fresh cold sarcophagus, however proud it may be. The monument is in the shape of the
front of a Grecian temple, supported by four pillars of the composite order. A mixture of colours detracts from the taste of the pile, the basis of which is of red Verona marble, and the upper part of clouded African and black antique. A wreathed bust of the poet is placed aloft, against a black field. Beneath is an inscription, recording the date and circumstances of the removal, and styling Areosto (as the name is here written) the most celebrated of the Italian poets, placing him before Dante or Tasso. Lower down are the classical lines, originally inscribed on his tomb ;* and on the pedestal is yet another inscription, which is at least one too many. The bust is supported by a figure of Love on one side, and of Comedy on the other. On the whole, the tomb is very splendid and showy, though not in the best taste, as it appeared to me. The ceiling of the hall is embellished with frescos, and the walls are lined with the busts of eminent natives of Ferrara.
In an adjoining room, we examined some enormous folios, (four feet by three,) on parchment, containing a copy of the Pentateuch, the Psalms, and specimens of sacred music, all executed with a pen, in the 14th century. These ponderous tomes are ornamented with figures and illuminations, illustrative of scripture scenes, one of which is the Creation. Many rare books and manuscripts were shown to us, several of which related to the House of Este. On opening one of these volumes, a large scorpion was found coiled up in the leaves, which the librarian killed, and afterwards thumbed the pages with more caution. Among other curiosities, are works published at Venice with wooden types, soon after the invention of printing.
But the most interesting compartment of the library, is that which contains the manuscripts of Ariosto, comprising the original of his Orlando Furioso, and of his satirical attack upon the Pope. Alfieri's name, with the date of his visit to Ferrara, in 1786, is written on the margin, and carefully protected from injury, by being covered with silk paper. In the same collection are the original letters of Tasso, written during his imprisonment, copies of which are given in the Illustrations of Hobhouse. The old custode stated, that Lord Byron passed fifteen days in this library, and gave him a louis d'or a day, for
*Notus et Hesperiis jacet hic Areostus et Indis,