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is here much wider as well as more sluggish than at Ferrara, and is studded with numerous small islands, which add nothing to its grandeur or beauty. Fleets of boats cover its surface.
By way of putting the classical knowledge of a prating cicerone to the test, we asked him if it was into this part of the Po, that Phaeton was thrown by his unmanageable steeds. He was equally positive with his Veronese friend, though in a different way. Thinking himself called on to defend his native city from an imputation of insecurity to travellers, he was very certain that no such accident had happened in the vicinity of Cremona, or he should have heard of it: the disaster might have occurred, for aught he knew, at Pavia or Turin. But though ignorant of poetical fictions, he was familiar with the localities of the town, above which we were elevated. It is five or six miles in circumference, encircled by lofty walls, and containing a population of 23,000. The streets are wide, and diverge like radii from the centre, leading to the gates, beyond which straight avenues and vistas of poplar may be traced to the distance of ten or twelve miles. Numerous churches, palaces, hospitals, theatres, and convents heave their domes above brick walls, and render the battlements of the city far more stately, than the sub-structures on which they rest. Monasteries are frequent. Half of the inhabitants are ecclesiastics and soldiers. The schools of learning which were once so celebrated, and to which the name of Virgil gave eclat, have all vanished amidst the the superstition of monks.
The columns of
The front of the Campanile is furnished with a large clock, on the face of which the signs of the zodiac are delineated. In the Cathedral itself, we found few objects of much interest. the portico rest on the backs of colossal lions. On the inner wall over the entrance is a painting of the Crucifixion, which the French attempted to peal off, with the intention of removing it to Paris. But the experiment did not succeed. The baptistery is a separate building, and the other edifices bordering the spacious square give it an appearance of considerable magnificence.
St. Peter's church, in the outskirts of the city, has a splendid inteterior, and the walls are covered with good paintings. Among others, is a large picture of Henry II. and the Archbishop of Canterbury. In a stroll to the Milanese Gate, half a dozen palaces were observed, bearing a withered bush upon the basement, to indicate that the nobility deal in wine. The pavement of the Corso, composed of small stones, has lines of smooth flags, at suitable distances to accommodate the wheels of carriages, giving it the appearance of a rail-road. We called at the church of St. Andrew, to see the Madonna of Perugino.
An old lady was reading vespers aloud, to an audience composed of the lower classes, who responded to the services.
A spacious boulevard extends from the Milanese to the Mantuan gate. It was now covered with temporary shops, and filled with goods, brought hither for sale at the annual Fair, which had drawn together all the neighbouring country. The articles were brilliantly displayed, and made quite a show, including the groups of female purchasers, and the bands of music paraded at the doors to draw customers.
We called for a few minutes at an amphitheatre, where a strolling company of rope-dancers were amusing a large audience. One of the principal performers, announced by the clown, was "una certa Signorina Inglese," who exhibited her feats of agility to the admiration of the Italians. The greatest novelty in the show was a hornpipe danced upon a ladder, on the rounds of which the buffoon balanced himself, and hopped about the stage, as he would on stilts. We made an early retreat, and went thence to the opera. The theatre is a lofty and beautiful building, with an Ionic portico in front, finished in good taste. A genteel audience, comprising all the beauty of Cremona and its environs, assembled at the Fair, imparted additional splendour to the five tiers of boxes, richly gilt and curtained with crimson. The music of the orchestra was exqusite; but the actresses were ugly, in comparison with many of their auditors, and displayed much affectation in their style of singing. One note from the melodious warbler at Verona was worth more than the whole opera.
ROUTE TO LODI-BANKS OF THE ADDA-DESCRIPTION OF THE BRIDGE -ARRIVAL AT MILAN-ASPECT OF THE CITY-SKETCH OF THE CATHEDRAL-ARCHITECTURE-VIEW FROM THE CUPOLA-INTERIOR -TRADITION OF ST. AMBROSE-TOMB OF SAN CARLO BORROMEOCELEBRATION OF THE JUBILEE-PALACE OF THE VICEROY-REMINISCENCES OF NAPOLEON.
Ar 8 o'clock on the morning of the 29th, we set out for Milan, a distance of fifty-two miles. A severe battle was fought near the gate of Cremona, by the French under Napoleon. The walls, composed of pale brick, are fast reverting to their original elements. We entered upon a road so direct, that the eye could reach eight or ten miles ahead through rows of poplars, drawn up rank and file, with as much precision as an Austrian regiment. With all its fertility and exactness of tillage, Lombardy is a dull region to the traveller, in comparison with the romantic scenery in the south of Italy. The fields are intersected by ranges of willows, irrigated by canals, and appropriated to the culture of vines, Indian corn, wheat, rice, grass, and pasturage. Domestic animals are large and fat. Cows were frequently seen yoked in the teams.
At Pizziglione we passed a strong fortress, defended by moats, draw-bridges, and triple walls. A guard of Austrian soldiers sat smoking and playing cards at a table, placed in the open air near the gate. One of the party was obliged to fling up his hand long enough to examine our passports, and to drain our pockets instead of the purses of his comrades. A low wooden bridge is here thrown across the Adda, which is a large and beautiful stream, rolling down with a strong bold current. The complexion of the water is sea-green like the Mincio. On the right bank is a long range of barracks, for the accommodation of the garrison upon the opposite shore. We rode through a considerable village, in which the only inhabitants visible were three priests, a soldier, and an old woman. The Italians eat no meat on Fridays and Saturdays, and but little on other days. Tavernkeepers in the country sometimes carry their religious scruples so far, as to refuse to cook for travellers, and therefore neglect to go to market during the hebdomadal lent. Our fare to-day was according to the straitest sect, consisting merely of bread and grapes.
At 5 P. M. we reached Lodi, and after securing lodgings for the night, hurried off to the Bridge over the Adda, the scene of the celebrated conflict between the French and Austrians. It is in the eastern part of the town, approached through a handsome gate, which bears the name of the river. The structure is of wood, built on piles, eight or ten feet above the water. It is about seven hundred feet in length, and resembles a mole or cause-way. The Adda divides into three channels. That which washes the Lodi shore is tame and looks like a canal. A sandy island separates it from the central current, which sweeps down with grandeur, and roars among the timbers of the bridge. The cicerone informed us, that at the time of our visit it was "four men deep ;" though at certain seasons it is so shoal, as to be fordable at short distances above and below-a fact established by the incidents of the battle. A grassy alluvial ridge divides the main channel from another bathing the eastern shore. The river is broad and smooth above the bridge, and a finely wooded island rises in the midst of the current. A hamlet stands upon the left bank. The scenery, embracing the Adda and its rural borders, the old fantastic bridge, and the towers of Lodi, is picturesque and interesting, independent of its associations.
Here on the 8th of May, 1796, was fought one of Napoleon's great battles, in which he commanded in person. It continued from noon till 3 o'clock. He was in the town, at the head of 40,000 troops. The Austrian army was posted on the eastern end of the bridge, the passage of which was thrice disputed, and thrice heaped with the dead. In the third attempt, the French succeeded in effecting a passage, though the enemy had decidedly the advantage in position. It was necessary for the former to pass a narrow gate, exposed to the raking fire of the Austrian artillery. Napoleon did not take an active part in the commencement of the action; but he was foremost in crossing the bridge, followed by Massena, Bernadotte, and Bertholet.
A statue of St. John stands upon the western end, near the Porta di Adda. He has been a soldier as well as a saint, and went through the battle, though he was prostrated at the first shot. To the historian and biographer I leave the detail of military movements, which had an important influence in deciding the fate of Italy. We remained upon the bridge till twilight. The scene now presented a striking contrast to the confused din of arms. Austrian soldiers were taking their evening promenade, with pipes in their mouths, instead of matches in their hands, ogling "the maids of Lodi," who crossed in platoons, with more colours flying, than were displayed by the French battalions.
A peasant girl came along, driving home her herd from the pasture, with bells tinkling upon their necks.
The town of Lodi contains 20,000 inhabitants, and is beautifully situated on the right bank of the Adda. In one of the public squares formerly stood a statue of Napoleon, eight feet in height. After the pacification of Europe, it was dashed from its pedestal, and entirely demolished. Such are the mutations of popularity among a fickle people! The Italians now see to their sorrow, that the dethronement of the Emperor did not bring the promised return of the golden age, and that a change of foreign masters has only contributed still more to their oppression and degradation. Even strangers are subjected in some measure to a jealous, burdensome, and vexatious government. It was required of us at a petty hotel in this town, to make a particular registry of our names, country, occupation, whence arrived and whither going, with our objects in travelling; all to be reported and sanctioned by the police, before a bed could be obtained. Such petty acts of tyranny, with the extortion of fees into the bargain, detract much from the pleasures of the traveller.
On the 30th, we resumed our journey towards Milan, over an excellent road, but with no change of scenery. Ten miles on the plains of Lombardy will afford as perfect an idea of the country, as ten thousand. The effects of irrigation are every where visible in the verdure of lawns and the depth of foliage, presenting a freshness even at this season. In the course of the morning, we overtook the dramatic corps of Maria Louise, whom we had left at Bologna. They occupied five coaches, with four horses to each, forming quite a procession. A party of actors and actresses were playing cards in one of the carriages, while it was under way-an economy of time that had never before been witnessed.
At 12 o'clock we reached the Roman Gate of Milan, which possesses much architectural grandeur, being ornamented with double ranges of Grecian columns. The officers who guard the entrance were unusually polite, contenting themselves with a moderate fee, without taking the trouble to examine our baggage. A ride on a bright day, along the spacious avenue, leading from the southern gate to the centre of the city, lined with stately buildings, paved like the Corso of Cremona, with flags for the carriage wheels, furnished with broad sidewalks, and animated by a busy bustling crowd, gave us a favourable impression of the capital of Lombardy, the Paris of Italy. Excellent accommodations were obtained for a week at the Hotel de Grande Bretagne, one of the handsomest palaces in the city, and the great rendezvous of travellers. It was full of foreigners, and the style of the