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nience of treading them in wet weather. Such an improvement is much more conducive to health than to correct taste. It destroys in a great measure the rusticity a d beauty of the garden.
As to the University itself, once so celebrated, and which still boasts of its scholars, I could not learn that it contains any thing worth seeing or hearing. It has declined with the other interests of the city, till it has become the shadow of what it once was, and the professors outnumber the students. The former are at present engaged in a high literary quarrel, respecting the construction of a line in Dante, whose obscurities, like those of Shakspeare, probably in both cases arising from blunders, open a glorious field for commentators. Several paper shots, in the form of pamphlets, have already been exchanged; and I am informed that one of the combatants has challenged his antagonist to meet him with less harmless weapons.
We attended the theatre one evening-the first that had been visited in Italy. The building is large and handsomely finished, in the style of an Opera House, with four tiers of boxes, each designed to accommodate three persons. Gilded galleries, frescos, and chandeliers rendered the coup d'oeil rather brilliant. The scenery, dresses, and decorations were respectable. Although the piece for the evening was comic and full of action, the slow, indolent movements of the performers, and the measured pomp of the language presented a striking contrast to the brisk, bustling, sprightly gesture and rapid articulation of the French. An excellent orchestra constituted the most agreeable part of the entertainment. The audience was not numerous, and by no means orderly. Even in the lowest theatres in France, every spectator is silent, and intent on the spectacle, whatever it may be. But here, a majority of the house did not seem to regard the play, and were engaged in loud conversation.
One day was occupied in an excursion to Leghorn, fourteen miles from Pisa, in a southerly direction. We left early on the morning of the twelfth, in company with our friends from New-York, and accomplished the ride in about two hours. The road runs nearly the whole way over a low, unbroken plain, of moderate fertility, sprinkled with a few mean villages and houses, sometimes skirted with a grove of pines, but generally devoid of interest, and leaving us to draw upon our classical resources for amusement. A canal connects Pisa with Leghorn, and most of the heavy goods from Florence and the Vale of the Arno pass through this channel. It was made at little expense and is of great practical utility.
Leghorn makes no show at a distance, and it may be added, that it does not appear to much advantage from any point of view. It stands
low, on ground in a great measure artificially made; and the first objects which strike the traveller on his approach to it, are the stagnant moats and canals surrounding the walls, and setting up into the heart of the town. Yet I could not learn that these sluggish waters, choked with every species of filth, and mantling with corruption, produce disease, or that the inhabitants even in the heats of summer are subject to epidemics. On the contrary, the Florentines and strangers from other parts of Italy resort hither in the hot months, to enjoy the luxury of sea-bathing, and for the benefit of their health.
Leghorn is in all respects the very reverse of Pisa, and in the sudden transition from the deserted, desolate, silent streets of the one, to the active, busy, bustling, noisy crowds of the other, the effect was peculiarly striking. The former is a modern and emphatically a commercial town, with no antiquities, little architectural beauty beyond that of utility, and few works of art. It has sprung up in modern times, and doubled its population since the commencement of the present century, amounting now to about 60,000, within a circuit of two miles! Pisa has been ruined, and Leghorn made by a subjugation to the Tuscan government. Anterior to this period, the latter was an insignificant, dirty village, sunk in the mud, and hidden among the weeds of the shore. The Medicean family laid the foundations of its prosperity, and its own innate vigour has continued the impulse, till it has become the only port of any importance in Tuscany, and the greatest mart in Italy.
The streets of Leghorn are generally regular and well paved, most of them wide and convenient, and a few of them handsome. They nearly all converge and open into a public square in the centre of the town, containing an area of perhaps five acres, lined with ranges of stately buildings on both sides, with a palace at one end and a showy church at the other. This is the fashionable promenade. It is surrounded with side-walks, but has no trees, no arcades-nothing save the wide awnings spread before the doors, to shield the passenger from the influence of the sun. The street leading from this area to the port is the centre of business and the thoroughfare of the town. It is lined with hotels, coffee-houses, and shops of all descriptions, at the doors and windows of which the wares are fancifully displayed. As Leghorn is a free port, foreign goods are here sold fifteen or twenty per cent. cheaper than in the interior of Italy. Immense quantities are purchased and smuggled by individuals for the annual consumption of their families, and sometimes for purposes of speculation. It is no uncommon thing for Florentine ladies to come hither (a distance of 60 miles) to do their shopping; and the carriage of one of
the nobility was not long since sent to the Dogana, (which may be literally translated to the dogs,) for being found filled with contraband articles. The market is flooded with French and English goods. Porcelain from Sevres, fancy articles from Paris, the wares of Birmingham, and the cutlery of Sheffield, attract your eye at every step. Even our own country contrives to do its share. No Italian thinks of coming to Leghorn, without returning home with his hat full of American cigars.
Soon after our arrival at the Royal Oak, the rendezvous of most of our countrymen who visit Leghorn, we made our way through the multitude to the Port, which is more interesting to the stranger than any other part of the town. A strong barrier surrounds the harbour, and the main street opens through a high, narrow arch, where the rush of the crowd, like a torrent contracted by lateral rocks, is incessant, and often dangerous. Carriages, hackney-coaches, carts, wheelbarrows, and all the apparatus of commerce, pour through this passage, and leave no protection to the pedestrian.
The first object which arrested our attention on reaching the quay, was a conspicuous pile of monumental marble, consisting of a colossal statue of Ferdinand I. Grand Duke of Tuscany, and four bronze slaves in chains at his feet, surrounding the pedestal! The work is executed in a masterly style, but the design is absolutely repulsiveworse, if possible, than the monument to Nelson, in the Exchange at Liverpool, to which it bears a striking resemblance. Petty sovereignty is here clothed in its most revolting attributes. The expressive faces, the piteous, uplifted eyes, the manacled limbs of the captives, meet only with a frown from the unrelenting brow of the victor; and from almost the only specimen of the fine arts worth looking at in the town, the spectator turns away with disgust. Were I Governor of Leghorn, this monument should at least be deposited in some old museum, and removed from public view, in the first twentyfour hours after my accession. But perhaps it is intended to inculcate wholesome lessons of the relations which must exist between the Grand Duke and his subjects, or in other words, between the master and his slaves!
At the dock we took one of the hundred row-boats, furnished with carpets and awnings, always in readiness, with an importunate gang of watermen resting upon their oars, and made an aquatic excursion, occupying two or three hours. The inner harbour, or rather basin, is separated from the outer by a mole, covered with a block of warehouses, and surrounded on all sides by substantial quays. It is narrow and crowded with vessels. A bridge at one point, and a ferry
boat at another, connect the insulated buildings with the town. There are now lying at this basin two ships of war; one for the Greeks, and the other for the Turks, destined probably to meet hereafter in action upon the ocean. The latter is now upon the stocks, a monstrous half finished hulk. Trade is not always very scrupulous, as to what cause it may promote, so that it is lucrative; though the Florentine contractor for this ship with the Turkish government may perhaps assemble once a month with his countrymen to make speeches, and adopt resolutions in favour of the Greeks. Similar contracts have been entered into at Marseilles, under the sanction of the French government.
The port of Leghorn is connected with the basin by a narrow pass, just wide enough for one large vessel, and generally choked with boats. It is closed from sunset till sunrise, and no one is allowed to enter during the night. The object of such a vexatious regulation is scarcely discoverable, unless it has some connexion with the quarantine. Even boats that are out on commercial business with foreign vessels, must hurry home at night-fall, like a dissipated rake, lest the gates be barred against them.
The outer harbour is spacious, but neither deep nor safe. It is almost entirely artificial, encircled on all sides, save one, by moles and quays. Tremendous and rude ledges have been thrown together next to the sea, to break the violence of the winds and waves. Some of these masses of rock are so enormous, and have so much the appearance of being in situ, that we could hardly believe they had not been planted here by the hand of nature herself. The principal mole has a handsome superstructure, behind which the vessels ride at anchor. But all these defences against the elements are not sufficient to render the port secure, and ships are often dismasted by squalls, while moored under the lee of the mole. The quarantine ground is still worse, being in the open roads, exposed to all the storms, which at certain scasons lash the coast.
The quantity of shipping in the harbour did not equal my expectations, though allowance must be made for the stagnation of commerce during the last year, and perhaps for the time of our visit. Vessels, like birds of passage, are generally periodical in their migrations; and none of the Indiamen had yet arrived. British ships were numerous. In fact, the greater part of the business of Leghorn is done by English and Scotch merchants. They receive nearly all the consignments of our countrymen. Only one American could be found in port-a brig from Boston. Her crew seemed surprised to be hailed from a boat in the yankee dialect. The boatmen took us alongside the family yacht, belonging to Mr. Baring, the London banker. She is one of
the prettiest models I have ever seen; neat, tasty, and without any superfluity of ornament. Her form is light, and she sits like a duck upon the water. Once a year, the proprietor and his family make a trip along the classic shores of the Mediterranean, touching at Naples, Palermo, Malta, and other ports. Money made by banking might be expended in a much more irrational manner.
Having examined the harbour and shipping, we extended our excursion without the mole to the Light-House, standing upon a rocky islet, also artificially made. The lantern is poised upon a substantial tower, perhaps 150 feet above the waves. In our toilsome ascent, two or three families of females were observed, in apartments not uncomfortable, but at a fearful elevation. Some of them had pretty Italian faces, wreathed with smiles, and looked like imprisoned beauty. If a Sappho should chance to be of the number, she might find both the rock and the wave at her own window.
The lantern is furnished with a good telescope, and in clear weather, the island of Elba, as well as the mountains of Corsica, may be distinctly seen. But unfortunately the horizon was hazy, and these islands were not visible. We however had a charming view of the two small islands off the coast; of Monte Nero, and its white villages to the south; the long line of green shores to the north, with the Apennines beyond; and the harbour and town spreading beneath us. A distinct survey of these objects amply remunerated our toils, and consoled us under the disappointment of not catching a distant glance at the sea-girt birth-place and prison of Napoleon.
On our return from this excursion, we visited the Jews' Synagogue, which is said to be the most splendid building of the kind in Europe, or indeed in the world. About one third of the inhabitants of Leghorn are of the scattered tribes of Israel. They here enjoy more freedom, or in other words, experience less oppression, than in any other of the Italian cities. Many of them have accumulated fortunes, and liberally contributed to embellish their sanctuary, where they all worship the God of their Fathers. The edifice is two stories high, without much external show, and situated on one of the dirtiest streets in town. But the interior is both rich and splendid, with blind galleries for the accommodation of the female part of the audience, and a spacious area below for the men. The reading-desk rises in the centre, and the Holy of Holies, the depository of the book of the law and the sacred symbols, is a superb shrine, erected at one end against the wall. All the ornaments are of massive gold, silver, and precious stones. There are no less than three thousand lamps, and the flood of light, pouring upon so many brilliant decorations, is said to be on some of