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sprung up, in which the embellishments wrought by the French are deposited, to be used in the decorations of the structure. The sculpture is beautiful; chaste in design, and as polished, as if intended for close inspection, in private saloons. Many of the bass-reliefs would not do discredit to the chisel of Thorwaldsen. The span of the central arch is sufficiently wide, to admit two or three carriages abreast, flanked by minor passages for pedestrians. Each face is to be enriched by eight Corinthian pillars of white marble, colossal in their dimensions, and of exquisite workmanship. It would be an endless task to enumerate ornaments, now in a state of forwardness. Among the number are likenesses of the Conqueror and his Empress, Maria Louise-an instance of liberality on the part of the Austrian government, which created not a little surprise. The vanity of the Archdutchess has probably been consulted.
It is impossible to move a foot at Milan, without meeting, not merely with obscure traces, but with conspicuous monuments of Napoleon. He intended it as the capital of his Italian dominions, and apparently bestowed as much attention, and incurred as much expense, in contributing to its splendour, as he did in aggrandizing Paris itself. The Gate erected in commemoration of the battle of Marengo, and which bears the name of the well-fought field, is second only to the arch of the Simplon in grandeur. It is supported by four massive granite columns, of the Ionic order, and the structure is as substantial as it is lofty and elegant.
In the vicinity of the Porta Orientale, we found another cluster of interesting objects. The Corso extends in this direction, through the most fashionable part of the city. It is one of the broadest and finest avenues I have seen in Italy, bordered by ranges of palaces, which display no common degree of taste and architectural magnificence. Much to the credit of Milan, the Doric is the prevailing order, which in my view is worth all the others, uniting as it does simplicity with substantial grandeur. On one side of the Corso is the Public Garden, which is scarcely surpassed by that of the Tuilleries or the Champs Elysees in extent, in the beauty of its walks and groves, or in its artificial embellishments. Near the eastern gate is a Lazaretto, which was founded by one of the Dukes of Milan, as a refuge for the poor in cases of pestilence. Ranges of buildings, with arcades in front, extend round a green field a mile and a half in circuit, in the centre of which rises a chapel.
The useful institutions of the city are upon a scale as extensive as those for public amusement. We visited several of the former. The Military Academy, founded some twenty-five years since by the French,
is a noble establishment, though not comparable with our own at West Point. It has three hundred cadets, between the ages of ten and eighteen, all sons of officers and soldiers. Two hundred and fifty of the number are supported and educated free of expense: the residue pay each forty francs a month. They are instructed in the Italian and German languages; in the ordinary branches of education; and in military tactics. After completing their course of studies, they are obliged to serve eight years in the army.
He joined us
An Austrian officer treated us with much politeness. voluntarily, went the rounds of the institution, and designated the objects most worthy of attention in the lecture rooms, chapel, refectory, kitchen, and dormitories. We saw the whole three hundred at the table partaking of a dejeuné. It was an interesting spectacle. The boys had good countenances, were sprightly and animated, but not rude in their manners. They were in a neat uniform. The fare was simple, but wholesome. Spacious grounds for parade and recreation are attached to the buildings. Six hours and a half are daily devoted to study, and the rest of the day is occupied in military exercises. The walls of the Academy are covered with the heads of distinguished personages and inscriptions. Flattery the most gross and servile is lavished upon the Emperor of Austria, whose brow is every where seen wearing the iron crown and wreaths of laurel, as if he had ever done aught to merit these honours. The lessons inculcated upon young minds, by such base adulation, must have the worst possible tendency.
Its central court is spa
A brief call was made at the Hospital Maggiore, which is one of the most extensive works of the kind I have ever examined. Its wards will accommodate three thousand inmates. It is built of ornamental brick and terra cotta, in the arabesque style. cious and stately. We entered the apartments and saw long ranges of the sick. The bedsteads are of wood, much less convenient, as well as less conducive to cleanliness and comfort, than those of iron. Most of the patients were labouring under fevers, which are the prevailing diseases at Milan, in the autumnal months, owing to the low grounds, stagnant waters, and the decomposition of vegetable matter, in the environs. The city is girt with rice lands, and the marshes reach to the very walls. In the chapel for the accommodation of invalids, is a celebrated picture of the Annunciation, by Guercino. Adjoining the great Hospital is another for foundlings, two thousand of whom are annually received-a fact which does not argue much in favour of the moral condition of the Milanese.
Our visit to the Ambrosian Library was full of interest. It is pe
culiarly rich in manuscripts and a choice selection of books, amounting to about 80,000 volumes, neatly arranged, and kept with the utmost care. There is more literary activity at Milan, than in any other Italian city. I observed in the bookseller's shops most of the Greek, Latin, French, and English classics. The custode of this Library is an intelligent, gentlemanly, and obliging man, who gave as all the information required, and showed us some of the rarer manuscripts. Of these the most curious is a copy of Josephus, made in the 4th century, on papyrus. The fragile material is preserved between blank leaves of parchment. It is difficult to read the antiquated character, though the penmanship is remarkably neat. We saw Petrarch's Virgil, with his own commentaries, in his own hand-writing. It is a splendid folio, religiously guarded in a case, under lock and key, and is likely to survive for hundreds of years. The sacred manuscripts are extremely valuable, and a becoming spirit of liberality is manifested, in granting free access and in permitting scholars to peruse them at their leisure.
In the court-yard of the Library is a curious metallic tree, with its foliage painted green. It is so good an imitation of nature, that the French tourist Lelande mistook it for a living plant, and cited its verdure, as a proof of the mildness of a Milanese winter! Happy is the traveller, who amidst an infinity of objects, falls into no worse blunders than this. From a cursory glance, the mistake might very readily
Connected with the Library, is a Gallery of Fine Arts, which the custode with an overweening partiality pronounced the first in the north of Italy. He must be very slightly acquainted with even his own city, to justify him in such an opinion. It nevertheless contains some very interesting works of art. Of these are a fine portrait of Leonardo da Vinci; a Crucifixion, by Guido; several Titians; and above all, the original cartoon of the School of Athens, by Raphael. This work has been to Paris; and our guide would not listen to a doubt of its genuineness. It is certain, that something like a dozen of the sketches of this great artist are missing, of which no traces can be found; and some of the subjects were never transferred to the canvass. In the ante-room are numerous pieces of excellent sculpture, and several monuments in memory of the great men of Milan. Among the latter, is one in honour of Leonardo da Vinci, erected many years since. An inscription states, that in the Ambrosian Library are nine volumes of his manuscripts and sketches, for which a King of England offered three thousand Spanish doubloons. The French government did not ask the price; and the interesting memo
rials of this great man, not less renowned as a scholar, than as an artist, are now in possession of the Bourbons, who will doubtless make a good use of them!
An early call was made at the old convent, standing near the Turin Gate, to see Leonardo da Vinci's far-famed fresco of the Last Supper, of which so many copies have been taken. It was painted in 1497, and is still regarded with intense interest, as the great original of all the pictures on the same subject. It extends quite across the eastern end of the Refectory, fifteen or twenty feet in width. The plastering of the wall has pealed off, and greatly impaired some of the figures, consisting of the Saviour and his twelve Disciples, seated at the table. Their attitudes as well as their faces are admirably varied. The original must soon perish; but accurate transcripts are so infinitely multiplied, that its shattered remains will be no great loss to the world, except as a mere object of curiosity. A scaffolding is now erected before it, for the purpose of making some repairs. But who will look at it, after it has been botched up by other hands? It is questionable even now, whether the visitant sees many of the touches of old Leonardo's pencil, though the design and expression are without doubt correctly preserved.
Inquiry was made of the woman in attendance, whether there was any truth in the imputations, that the fresco was mutilated by the French soldiers, and whether, as Eustace affirms, they made targets of the heads of the Saviour and his Apostles. She replied, that the story was wholly unfounded; and that, on the contrary, the conquerors of Italy spared no pains to guard and preserve this celebrated work. In such a case, the testimony of a respectable portress is worth more than the word of a prejudiced tourist. If such an outrage upon piety, as well as upon taste, had ever been perpetrated at Milan, the fact would be notorious. No marks of shot are visible in any part of the building; and over the entrance is an inscription by Beauharnois, alluding to the means which had been taken to perpetuate the fame of the immortal artist. Lelande's mistake in the metallic tree was nothing to this wilful fabrication.
Leonardo's fresco of the Crucifixion occupies the other end of the Refectory. By one of those anachronisms, which the painters of this age leaped without difficulty, the Grand Duke and Dutchess, of the House of Este, are introduced as spectators of the scene upon Calvary. The walls of the cloisters are covered with delineations of miracles, wrought by the monks, who were once the inmates of the Convent.
In the Lita Palace we found a respectable gallery of pictures, embracing some of the rarest of Corregio, Titian, and other great mas
ters; but none sufficiently prominent to justify me in entering into detail. The edifice itself is lofty and rich, though the front is too much loaded with ornament. Its court presents beautiful façades of the Doric and Ionic orders, and its stairs brought. to mind those of Caserta. The apartments are elegantly finished and furnished, occupied by the noble family of Lita, said to be among the most opulent, as well as the most hospitable, at Milan. An income of 600,000 francs per annum is expended in a round of entertainments. Our valet stated, that a dinner is seldom given without losing pieces of plate, stolen by the guests! Resort should be had to Demidoff's expedient of using gilt wares, instead of gold and silver. The nobility of Italy are generally poor; and in their estimation, penury is more disgraceful than crime.
Near the church of the Jesuits, a sumptuous palace was pointed out to us, which was built by a Milanese adventurer, who emigrated to South America, and after an absence of many years, returned laden with no small portion of the mines of Peru. His proud pile attracted less attention, than the more modest mansion of Beccaria, author of the standard work on Crimes and Punishments. Its front is neat and classical, bearing medallions of the distinguished men of modern Italy. The palace is at present inhabited by his two sons, who are in moderate circumstances, but eminent for their scientific and literary attain
The Brera Palace is the great school and centre of the Fine Arts at Milan. It is a noble establishment, in point of architecture, extent, and the treasures of its splendid halls. It was formerly a college of the Jesuits. Napoleon converted it into a National Academy of the Arts. The edifice stands round a quadrangular court, presenting double ranges of corridors and colonnades of Grecian pillars. A beautiful simplicity prevails in the arrangement of the orders, and the style of the ornaments. The Doric basement appeared to me a perfect model. Both the Gallery and the Academy are in the second story. The former comprises eight apartments, four of which are spacious saloons, and the remaining four, smaller chambers, all contiguous and opening into one another. Corinthian columns of the utmost magnificence separate the different sections of the grand hall, through which the eye looks for its whole extent, and surveys its walls lined with the rare productions of the great Italian masters.
Supereminent in merit as well as in fame, is the Parting of the two Apostles, Peter and Paul, by Guido. It is justly deemed the sublimest work, that his prolific pencil ever produced. In moral grandeur, in dignity of attitude, in force of expression, the figure of Peter is one of