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pretty women. But the orchestra and dramatic corps united, can af ford more amusement, than the fiddlers and ballad-mongers of St. Mark's. Austrian troops, under arms, are stationed in the pit to keep the audience in order. Most of the plays are translations from the French and German, even in the native city of Goldoni.
We saw the sacred drama of Joseph in Egypt. As it is played here, it becomes the greatest of all farces. The play opens with the entrance of a caravan of Ishmaelites, who are represented by files of soldiers from the Danube, in green uniforms. Joseph, the hero, appears in his "coat of many colours," as an effeminate stripling, with his glossy curls hanging about his womanish neck. His character is entirely misconceived. Such voluptuous softness would have yielded without importunity to the allurements of Potiphar's wife. Old Jacob comes tottering upon the stage, blind and palsied, supported by little Benjamin, in a green short. His character was personated by a pretty donna, who lisped out sentiments of filial piety, in all the tenderness of a sonnet, and received the snivelling caresses of the patriarch, with the same smirking face she has probably worn, in responding to the blandishments of less decrepitude. Yet the roof of St. Benedict rang with reiterated shouts of applause, and with the peculiar Italian groan, consisting of the prolonged sound of Oh! followed by a bravo!— Simeon, brother Simeon, was clad in the brown frock of a Franciscan monk, with his arms naked to the elbows. He raved like a madman : so did Jacob, who at times was most tragical, seizing Simeon by the hair, and making him bawl lustily. Reuben and Naphtali were in flaming red robes. The piece, though intended to be serious, is broad burlesque; and none other than a nation accustomed to treat the most sacred subjects in a familiar manner, would tolerate it upon the stage.
The pleasures of the last three or four days of our visit to Venice were greatly augmented, by the arrival of the American Charge from Naples, on his way to the North of Europe. The incidents of our delightful excursions to Pæstum, Capo di Monte, and Caserta were freshly remembered; and new scenes for recollection were found, in our rambles over the romantic islands of the Adriatic. But Venice has its Bridge of Sighs, as well as its sources of enjoyment; and it was painful to part for years, perhaps forever, with one who had become so endeared to us, by his social virtues, and his acts of kindness and friendship. We took our departure on the same day, but in different directions, one party being bound to Trieste and the other to Verona.
RETURN TO PADUA-RIDE TO VICENZA-SKETCH OF THE TOWN-ARRIVAL AT VERONA-OPERA-EXCURSION TO LAGO DI GARDA-PESCHIERA-THE MINCIO-VIEW OF THE LAKE-SERMIONE-RELIGIOUS FESTIVAL-DESCRIPTION OF THE PENINSULA-CATULLUS-BANDITTISKETCH OF VERONA-AMPHITHEATRE-PUBLIC PALACE-PHILHARMONIC ACADEMY-HOLY ALLIANCE--ARCH OF VITRUVIUS-SARCOPHAGUS OF JULIET-TOMBS OF THE SCALIGERS—CHURCHES-GREAT MEN.
On the 22d we returned to Padua. In a dull city, the grass-grown streets of which had already been scoured in search of antiquities, and to which a second visit could not be avoided, my evening was divided between another pilgrimage to the shrine of St. Anthony, and a perusal of Livy's numerous accounts of prodigies, scattered through his pages. Padua seems to have been the seat of superstition, from the earliest ages to the present day, and even the mind of the great historian was not free from its influence. His miracles were scarcely less gross, than those of the modern saint, to whom new votive tablets have been erected the present year. At the hotel of the Golden Eagle, I found an album almost as old as Livy. It was begun in 1771, and is full of great names. The master of the house gave us the comfortable information, that the road about to be traversed is unsafe after night, on account of banditti.
We took a dish of tea next morning by candle-light, and about four o'clock set out for Verona. Without the gate of Padua, a caravan of market-men had encamped for the night, and were waiting for the dawn of day, to enter the city. The repose of the scene would be a good subject for the pencil. We had the most novel, if not the most splendid sunrise, I have ever witnessed. The orient was in a blaze, and for some minutes the trees appeared, as if their foliage had been dipped in liquid gold of a pale yellow. There seemed to be an absolute materiality, and almost a tangibility in the light, resembling a substantial coat of gilding. The phenomenon must have been owing to a peculiar state of the atmosphere, filled with dense vapour; as the sun was soon lost in clouds.
The road from Padua is level and uniform, bordered all the way with poplars, mulberries, and vineyards. We reached Vicenza at 8 o'clock, and obtained a good breakfast, at the sign of the Red Hat. Two hours were busily occupied in looking at the native city and the archi.
tecture of Palladio, in which little was found to call forth our admiration. The city is three miles in circuit, and has a population of 30,000. A visit was paid to the modest mansion of the old architect. It is of the Ionic order, which seems to indicate his professional preference. His own statue guards the entrance, holding a tablet inscribed with the models of his art. On the opposite side is a full length figure, representing his favourite science, bearing the square and other appropriate emblems. The Olympic Theatre was built by Palladio, upon classic models, resembling those found at Pompeii. As the originals had been seen, less pleasure was derived from examining this imitation of the ancients. The valet de place took us to the Palazzo Pubblico, and to a dozen of the dilapidated buildings erected by Palladio. At length becoming fatigued with a succession of stucco fronts, shattered and pealed by the weather, we said to the guide, call you these palaces? and begged him to cut short his usual circuit. The high altar of the Cathedral is approached by a flight of thirty steps of Verona marble. A triumphal arch leads to the Campus Martius, a beautiful green, irrigated by the head-waters of the Brenta. The view of a castle and of the church of Magdalen, seated on the neighbouring hills, was worth all the rest to be found at Vicenza. Stones containing the water of crystallization were offered for sale ; but the price was too extravagant.
At 11 o'clock we resumed our journey towards Verona. The country is rich, but wanting in variety of scenery. We crossed the Ponte Bello, the scene of one of Napoleon's great battles, in which some of his principal officers fell. The vetturino would not allow us time to reconnoitre, but hurried on to a wretched hotel, where he persisted in pausing an hour, notwithstanding our remonstrances. Finding the room in the basement little better than the stable, in another part of the same building, we went up stairs in pursuit of the salle-a-manger. IIere was an unoccupied apartment, with no other furniture than a numerous collection of pictures, forming a gallery, the whole contents of which probably did not cost a piaster. Contenting myself with a bunch of grapes and a glass of wine, I reclined upon the grass, in front of a small church, and read Catullus.
Just at evening we reached the banks of the Adige, which is here a large stream, winding through green and luxuriant borders. The show of carriages upon the Corso, extending beyond the gate, indicated our approach to Verona, the ramparts and domes of which presented a twilight view, by no means deficient in magnificence. Passing through that part of the town, which is called Veronetta, and crossing the bridge of the Adige, which unites it with the other section upon the
right bank, we obtained good accommodations at the hotel of the Two Towers.
The evening was passed at the Opera. Among the performers was a Miss Barca, a Veronese girl, whose melody of voice infinitely surpassed any thing of the kind I have witnessed in Italy. Her person is not good, nor her face pretty, nor her action graceful; but her vocal powers are unrivalled. She warbles without effort, in all the sweetness and plaintive tenderness of the nightingale. The tones appear to drop spontaneously from her lips, breathing the very soul of music, and possessing an innate pathos, beyond the reach of art. She has been upon the stage but a few months, and her style of singing is natural, easy, and unaffected. In Paris, London, or New-York, she would realize a I went a second time to hear her in the
fortune, in a few seasons. same part, and my first impressions were fully confirmed. In a coffeehouse near the theatre, two women were playing cards, in a room full of men, and had some dispute about the trump.
The day after our arrival was occupied in an excursion to Lago di Garda, or the ancient Lake of Benacus, the foot of which is eighteen miles from Verona, on the great road leading to Milan. The environs of the city are rural, and afford a noble view of the mountains towards the north. At noon we reached Peschiera, situated on the Mincio, at the outlet of the lake. It is a walled and strongly fortified town. The moats, passing under the lofty ramparts, are filled with the crystal waters of the river, flowing with a rapid current, and contributing to the cleanliness and health of the fortress. Sentinels were stationed upon the green mounds, rising like tumuli along the bank, and the town was thronged with soldiers, who are sent hither to prevent smuggling upon the frontiers of Switzerland. The range of barracks is several hundred feet in length, two stories high, painted, and the windows shaded by green blinds.
Passing the arched portals, we crossed the bridge of St. Mark, which is perhaps three hundred yards in length, thrown over the Mincio but a few rods from the lake, of which it presents a noble view, as also of the river, which whirls and hurries on with a broad, deep, and majestic current. The complexion of the water is a brilliant seagreen. It is a glorious stream, worthy of all Virgil's eulogies. A small boat, with two lads for oarsmen, was immediately chartered to take us to the peninsula of Sermione, seven miles from Peschiera. The outlet of the lake is so rapid and strong, that we found it difficult to stem the tide. An extensive and magnificent prospect opens on the spectator, as he emerges from amidst fortresses, which rise like an immense castle from the waves.
The Lago di Garda is thirty-seven miles in length from north to south, and fifteen in breadth in the widest part. One of the oarsmen stated, that it is a hundred men deep-" uno cento uomi profondo." The water is so perfectly pure, that we could see the white stony bottom, at the depth of thirty or forty feet. It is embosomed by mountains, rising on all sides, of modcrate elevation towards the outlet, but gradually becoming more lofty and rude, till they terminate towards the north in naked calcareous ridges of the Alps. Their summits are often cloud-capt, gloomy, and grand. The shores are deeply indented, and the bold rocky promontories, exhibiting here and there a solitary village, are extremely picturesque. Monte Baldo on the eastern side, and the peninsula of Sermione, on the western, projecting so far towards the centre of the lake, as to reduce it to less than half its ordinary width, form the most conspicuous features. To the latter point we directed our course, reading Virgil and Catullus, and looking at the mountains, as our boat bounded over the waves, which sometimes exhibit the grandeur of the ocean swell.
The report of cannon came from the distant hills, which at first puzzled us, to conjecture the cause, amidst these rural and peaceful scenes. It called up the image of those border wars, by which the pellucid waters have so often been crimsoned with blood. The mystery was soon solved. It was the last day of the Jubilee; and guns were fired as signals for the commencement of the sacred rites, as well as to give eclat to the celebration. By and by the village bell sent its peals across the water; and afterwards a religious procession, under the banners of the cross, and headed by priests in their white robes and red sashes, was seen slowly emerging from the gate of Sermione, and moving along the shore of the lake. The multitude proceeded to a green hillock, at a short distance from the little village, and there knelt upon the turf, to say the Ave Maria, and to join in other services. A confused sound of voices, in which the chant of "ora pro nobis" was alone distinguishable, met our ears, as we came to anchor in the miniature port, under the frowning battlements and nodding towers of an old Gothic Castle, the basement of which is now occupied by a bed of green rushes. In the successive struggles upon the frontier, it has witnessed less pacific scenes, than to-day were exhibited under its walls. The harbour where the Roman poet used to draw up his pleasure-boat, was now filled with the barges of fishermen, who had come from the neighbouring shores, to unite in the festival; and mooring our bark among the fleet, we hastened to witness the ceremonies. Prayers were chanted aloud, to which the whole congregation responded, beneath the open sky, which was more refulgent than even the gilded