Press enter after choosing selection

Foreign Correspondence

Foreign Correspondence image Foreign Correspondence image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

EOMB, Jan. 2, 1873. Fbiend Pond: The topography of Romo is not what the traveler aud student anticipates. We have all our Uves raad and heard so muoh of the 8even-hillod oity and about oertain prominent buildings, tliat vre are generally expecting to ñnd everything still snugly compaoted abont these same oíd bilis as a center, and the Colisontu, the Pantheon, the Baths of Caraoulla, 8t. Peter's, the temple of Testa, palaoe of the Goostirs, Thermoo of Diocletian, and the Forum and Capítol and all elae th-at Í3 interesting, old and uew, pretty unifonnly distributod and . intermingled, whilo underneath all -was to sprsmd the vast network of the oatacombs. In point of fact, however, the seven hills foi-m only the eastern and southsrn bordera of the city, beginaing at the northeaat with the Callis ïlortorum, not one of the hills, the Quirinal, Viminal, Bsquiline, Oalian, and Aveatino follow in suocegsion about the etist and aouthern limits, the Palatino and Capitoline lying juat witiiin and north of the laat two. But tha larger portion of these hills ia ocoupied by Ttneyards, sparsely occupied, and thoss most inhabited being by the poorer olasses, while the large interval betweon ihe Tiber and this olevatad belt of hills is the Eome of, donsoly orowded with its active Ufe and aniinated -with all the real arteries of buainesa,thrift and euterprise. This real Rome of modern tiraea doea not aotually oover one-half the spaoe enoiosed within the aucient walls east of tho Tiber (for the Tibar meanders north and south through the oity.itarting westward only after leaving the walls). - That portion lying west of the river forma parhaps one-ilftk of the spaos and is divided into two portions, Hack enclosod by the wall - that more novtherly being the Buburb of St. Veterg and divided from the other, Trastevere, by a separate wall. Neither of the eeveu bilis is west of the Tiber, though Mount Janioulus is, and quito elavated, too. Thus it appears that old Rome must have covered that rogion within the walls not now so densely populated and whero the ruins are mostly to be found, while modern Romo has oonflned itself more to the plain and to the vioinity of the river, and by the various exigencies of improvements has quite extirpated all viaible remains of such portions of the older city as undoubtedly once also covered this same spaoe. As to the cataoomb8, tliey do not nnderlie the city at all. The Roman laws roquired these interuienta to be made outside the walla, and acoordingly all the aubterranean receptacles for the dead have been found extenrling in a wids circuit around the northeasterly and Southern limite of the oity. In general terms, a, line drawn from Porta Pi on the northeast to tho foot of the Capitoline and thenos oontinued in a straight direction northwest will divide the spaoe within the walla into two nearly equal portions, with all the seven hills except a part of the Quirinal, and all the principal ruina except bere and there a detaohed and moderüized relio of the past (the Pantheon and Hadrian's tomb being the most notablo exceptions), upon the easterly side, and much the most populoua and more modern part, together with St. Petera and all that lies west of the river on the other. It seemg difficnlt at first view of th8 city to believe all the wonderf ui statements of history as to the anoient iinmensity of its size and populati,on. The present population is probably about 223,000, and seems densely erowded bo far as the convenience of its dwellings extends, but the diffioulty is much lessened when wo start in any direction for one of the gates and iimi that long before wo reach them (except tho Porta Pópalo) we havo leffc the oity behind and are in a oomparatively untenanted región of vineyards, extensiva villas and dens, or waste grounds, all of which was i coyered by imperial Borne, while even the nove nearly desolate Campagna and : all the spacious amphithoater of the en oireling hills in their wide-spread ruins presenta uninistakablo evidenoo of tho former vast magnitude and wealth of this great central city of a boundless empire, and of its teetuing population. - About the begimiing of the second contnry it is said tohave had ono and a half uiillion inhabitants, whicli muy perhaps be regarded alsa as about the turniug point in its progrese. And iu Aurelian"s time, A. D. 270, tho city, whioh for some conturies had been unprotected, was onco more surrounded by a wall which for the most part is idontical with tlio present, that about the suburbsof tho Vatioan being of tho time of Leo IX., A. D. 847. - Notwithetanding the apparent causos for its subsequent decline and tho inliuenccs whicli co-oporated in the demolition of its heathen temples and a careless regard for the prpservation of iss inouuments, splendid buildings, and works of art, still we wandcr over these silent acres whoro comparatively so littlo remains of all thosejseemingly indestructible edificesan oannot but wonder at a destruction so morseless and so completo. About tho dato of the fourfh eenturv it is said thcre were in Bome ten Thormio, ninetoen aqueducts, 1352 foundations, nearly two thoasand palaces, four hundred and twenty-throe temples, aud thirty-sixftriumphal arohes. AVe stand amid tho ruins of the few of these which are yct remaining with an awe and adrniration we cannot suppress, such is the massiveness and grandeur which pervade thfm even yet ; but the many not seun - ■. whero are thoy ! And thi leads to the mention of the remarkable fact that over all tho surfaco of the city of that day, where excavatod ruins havo been brought to light or -whore sui-viving etmetures havo boon oxhuined, about thedr bases an aoeumnlated dèposit ha9 been fonad superimposed to a dopth varying froux fivo to twenty feet- whether in the piala' on the hill, or in som depression, no mattor whore. Thia aocumtt&tioa ia groat enough to hide oompletely ai structure that had beoome eoruewhikt completely levelod to tho surfaca. lleno discoveries aro constantly being made and will be for years to come. Sinoe oí arrival tho base of masoury for an equostrian stetuo has boen uncoTered ia the Roman Forum whioh is deemed of grt archceologiual yalue as finally ettling theonoo mooted question as to whethsi tha longeat direotion of the Formm lay toward the Tiber, Bonthwest, of at right angies'tn thia, and therefore naoxl east and west, esteudiDg toward the aich of Titas : the lutter is thought to bs deüj nitely established by thi diaoo-reiy of tt looation of tho equastrian status of Domitian, whioh the history of tha tima lid fixed as being in tho ontor of th Forum. On the Eaquiline, boyond tha walla, Very important dieooveriej have likewio been made where it was not suspested that any important building had ere been looated, though the reinains thu far exposed indícate tha site of some vry extensiva editioe, well gtored with the phanees of wealth. Bat it ia time to give some further account of wb$t w have sean, and ia the progresa of these notes we ehall gire out iniprsneions of Rome that was and Boise as it is withomt any pieoouoeÏTad theories to distoit the or any Triah to teil aught but " a plain, unvarniahed tale." The leoeiit holiday week belongs to modern Boine, and has for many yeaia obtained rank among iti most valued institutions in the cstiniation of strangerg, who resort hithsr with espeoial referenoa to thi3 se&son. But it is really moumful tohear thoae who have been heie in formur days pathetioally dep lore the absenoa of the grand scrvioo at the Siatine Chapal at midnight, the aplendid illuminations at San Luigi dei Franoiai, with its enshrined waxen bambiflo, of San Cario ia the Corso and the Oappuoihi; the failoie of all the gorgooua drapeiy of TelTl, orimson and gold, and of the Pope himaelf on hia earthly throne, enpported by the Boyal and ambaesadorial display al St. Peter's ; and they miss even the 'songs and bagpipas of the Pifferani from the mountaing, who íoimerly doled out their muaio at all the atreet shrines of the Madonna for days prior to Chriïttaas. To us, however, all was new, and so oor enjoyment was not darkeued by thtso gloomy coiuparisons, thongh we shonld greatly hare rejoioed in all the oldeu time additioBS. Tbere are ne doubt great ohangea observable this winter In tho whole maohinery of both Stats and Ohuroh. Thia is the eecond yeai tha Víctor Emmanuel bas sucoeded nis Holiness the Pope at the time-honored palaoe of the CJoirinal, and taken into his hands the exclusive control of that temporal sovereignty so dearly cheriahed by the euocessor of St. Poter. The Pope choosea to regard tkis aa au intrusión, calis hiinself a prisoner and will not be reoonoiledi Conaisteiitly with this view ha refuaea to roceive the annuity voted him, declining about one montb. sinoa a warrant for th aooumulated enrn of aboüt 1,250,000 franos. A few days ago when the Freaoh governnjent (M. Thiers) inatructed one of it3 naval officers to make hia official oalU not only at the Yatioan but at the Quir inal aa well, the offloer waa notified that if he callo d at the lattei palace he eould not be reoeived by hia Holmes. And when the Prince Royal and the Princesa Hargucretta, who are goüd Romanista, sent thoir complimoatB for the hoiid&y, wishing a long aud happy lite, h returned the same with the reply that their presenco in Borne did not conduce to his happiness or to prolong his days. These ara but a few of the oonstantly recurring incidents which illustrate the situatitn hore at thia time. Thcre are neoesBarily two parties, who, within the limita of diacretion, manifest their preferencos. This ia referred to now in order tö sho why muoh of the grand ceremonial of Christmas-tide has been omitted this season and why the Pope himself doos not personally oonduot any servioe ia publio, or even appear outside the Vatican. He would like to have it thought that th exchango of rulers is not likely to make Bome any more delightful to strangers than formerly, büt the oontrary, and to cause his sympathizers to thing he is nn der needless coerción. As no announcomentaweremade every body waa in doubt aa to what was to ooour. Ye had been assured throngh onï banker that there Tronld be no publio services at the Sistino, and were thns saved tho trouble of applying foi tiokets in vain, as many did. But thpro wa8 on ly one way of asoertaining about tho midnight mass whieh it waa expected would be celobrated at the patriarchal chnrchos, and though we had a pleasant walk in the streets at a late hour and saw many others on a similar errand, wa did not hear any masa that night. Hap' pily the weather was mild and save foï tho assurances of the calendar we wonld scaroely have realizad that it was mid" ■winter. In equl donbt we were ont early Christmas morning and started for th grand Pontificial niass at Bt. Peter's at 9 A. M. As soon as wa began to naar the Bridge of St. Angelo it was evident that something was to occur, for hundredg oa foot and in carriages wero hurrying in the sanie diroction, and by tho time wa ontei'ed the splendid piazza eneircled by those grandly sweeping colonnades, and saw its vast snrfaco sprinkled over with thousauds moving as if with a single impulse toward tho asconding steps of tho still distant Basilica, all suspense disappeared. We were just in timo and heard the grand mass, with the musio whioh is only to be listened to at St. Petera, bn truo to tho instinots of his ill-fooling, tht Vioar (so-oalled) of Christ on earth omitted to be present, contrary to the usage of conturies past. Most of the pubilo services in St. Peter'g ore held in the largo Chapol of the Choir, in the lefi hand aisle next to the transept. It is about as large as tho old St. Andrew'a church at A. A., and opona upon the side into the aisle. But as both ends ore fifcted up with stalls for th3 priestfi, obout 150 in oach end, and the altnr occnpiea the intormodiato wall spaoe before whioh room is neoessarily kept fortho officüitiníí priests, no larga aocoimuodation ia kept for other worsbippcrs or spectators. Yefc several hundreds of those most anxious to hear tboso choral servicea will stand (tUere aro no eeats excopt tho talli) Wedgnd closely together fbr m hour [s f ir iisijn is tht'y Ate allow; 1, vul on iuto tho aiL: a-i f v au the mu3io c:ni ! lieard sal si'iotoiüv'. Tho orgimn an Singers are in small gilkries at either eni of tho ohaptíl, the ohöftr bsing eomposoi vhoUyof uboiit ton gentlemen and a fan boys, na is of the ve ry vst Especial! fine aro thfi alto and soprano voiees, an if sfeenaé afmost iaeredfble thnt we ar ïistenitig bnlj'to gentteman singers wliei tlr'ir solo parta aro being sung. AV íortuuate in seöUring eligible posi HóTrs, atid'thowgll the Popo was absen anl Miercforc tho service was not at th Brand Alter in the nave ; though th upse u:i not gorgoausly drSped in orim BOB and gold and though tbera was n ■.Mi'i'io of royalty in person or by ropre Fpntiitivcs, we woro highly gratitíed so fn %%'ith oui' first Christmas at Borne. O oonrse thero woro other things cotnbiner with tlio services to enhanco our enjoy mont - not among tho least of which wa the fact of being in St. Peter's, -tho lar gost and most completo church in exis teuce. No mattev how often wc go ther it does not loso its interost, nor indeed it novelty. Ajid the there is the groa moltitude, citizensand strangors, faithfu and hcretio, wandering among thoso vas pillars, into chaprfs and transepts, upon tha polished sea of marble, as if on tht, pavo of some small city, gazing at pic tnros, examining monuments, admiring the cherubs and doves on tho columns oriticising the colossal fouuders of tho or dors, wondering at tho richness of the preciaos mataríais and niassivo propnr tions of everything, looking with Tip turnd faco into the profouud vaultiuj of tha marrelous domo, or perhaps Uias ing, wiíli an incomprehensible credulity, the brome toes of St. Peter's statue. It ■would be strange if ono could not enjoy ftn hour at St. Peter's on Christmas or any othor day of the year. Eoturning our rooms, after dining and a little rest we sallicd forth for the Fustornte at Sunta Marta Maggiore, quite at tho opposito sido ot' the city. - Thia is one of tho finost churohes, and Las been selected by the present Popo, Pius IX., as Lis Rojmlchre, tho place being tlre:vly tïtted upwith the richest marbles iii a spaco at the rear of the grand altar, iito which the descent is ciado by two easy stnircases, the whole resembling the arrangement in St l'oter's for the tomb of St. Peter, and for Pope Sixtus V. in the grand chapel named after hitn at 8 Haría Maggiore. This service is ren dcred particularly íuagnificont by all tho combinad offeots of cfíbisou drapeiics, gorgeous silver altur aervica surmounted by tlia largo sasktt cf nrystal and emboeeod silvcrsatting, containing (?) tho oradle of car Saviour, by riclily robed olergy and grand ceremonial, amid the radiante of a thousand waxen lights shúúa from tho dazzling cliandeliors of crystal. The efiFoct of fiio music under those surroundings osvbo imagined. A Tory large attemlanco had been attracted y the occasion, and the faces and voicos of tho English-speaking element were nuraerous. Nothing we have seen has exceeded tho beautiful illumination of tho Bplendid navo and aisles, 360 feet long by 150 wide, by the light from a hundred or more swinging chandcliers of cut glass. In the semi-circular cbc-ir end of the churoh, where the priesta sat, with tlie grand altar and its dazzling affulgnnce in the navo fronting thom, this brilliant lihtirsc brought into the most distinctness all thu splendid ceiling, tho bas reliëfs, tho fine porphyry columns and canopy oí tho high altar, and the highly polisbed" marble daoorations. The agency of the priesia in the sorviees was sniall, and consisted principally in a multiplicity of genuflexión?, diffusing incensé, putting on and removing from time to tune the iiamense tiara of tho Patriarch ; and finally about half tlie nuinber in a procession with the Pa riarcli, benpath a whito parasol and pre eded by lightg and the crucifix, went fira ioto the Sistine Chapel on tho left or a fuw mioutos,. tbenco cros&ing tho na o into the Borgheeo Chapol opposito, u.ud " back to places." Tho singing' was alinost continuous and very fino, suited to the oocasion, and embracing tho Song oi the Shopherds, as it is called. At the conclusión of tho regular eerTico tho joweled caskot of silver and orystal was taken down from its position on the high altar and placed upon a richïjr dfayud, open palanquín, and preceded li. numfrous lightod cantiles bcneath a silken c-iiiojiy ten feet eqcara was borno upon the sooalders of four priests down the nave with soleran. chant, and as it, inóves a'long hundreds of the vast throng revorently bow or knoei, lili at laat tUo Bcocession disappears in tho'&hapel ot' the cruciflion, and the proceedings ure at an end, tqbe renewed oneyear heneo. T-hls preoious and. costly casket contaius, it is gaid, fiveof tho boaniü which oncii forraed the inanger iiiwhioh the infant Christ was founr. II o w ltrge these; rare relies or what, ia thcir pnjsout akape or oondition w could not distingjiish through tUo Ürick glasa whiob enolosed theiü - though tho casket itself was about three feet long -aiitlperbapsone i'oot high, bting somewhat widcr at top than bolow.. lt is related of tho o.rigin of tbis church tbat it was erected in tha fourth oontury 'becauso of the Popo of thut time, Liborius, having dreamed, August Lth, that Bnow had tallen on that patt of the Esqnilincíiill and the next momAnft fictually fouad'that it had miraculou$ljr Sillón at the spot thus singularly doáiu,. Ih its psosnt form it was completad in K!''„', and gince ihen has been greatlj :,lïiched' by sucoeading Popos, several ai Tfbora aro there i&torred, as also four or( five Cardir.iils. The Sistino Chafxi, n.amed after Sixtus V,, whose tomb is benenth the altar, has recently re-decoratod in tiie niost sumjittious manuer, and upon. tho occasion of its illmnination when comploied we had Jthf-good fortuno to bu preseut. ïhc altar, a uiiriiatuye cburch in forra,, ia. borne upon the shouldors of four gilt bronao angels, and prosents an oxccedingly richj ajjpearance in the, center of tho chapul. U'ho coufessio in frout inc.losos au aiua atout six feet lower, entirely lined and decoratüd with the finest marbles, and ia th.statue of Saint Guutano, by Bernini. The iomb of Pius V., with statuo, is also in tuis thapel. Thu eíí'eot of a brilliiint illtuninivcion upon so muoh gilding and polVaiiJ. marblo and bas reliui's öud sculptures w really gorgoous. Tho Borghosa Ohupel oposite is less hv.wyla its siyie of adornuitut but still more expeneively linished with lupia lazuH, aguto, and fine oolored marbic. ïlie vt'Bcoes iii by Guido, Lautïanc(, and other eminent artista. ■ Large historica! r tpoB eitherside, an aonuments to Popo Paul V., who was out; of the ; farmly, and to Clement VIII, are placed in thLj ohapel. As the oye Boaos iheso cosMy attempts to ensbrino the memory of the depattod poss ossors of great wealth or position we ;:ms alinost föi ratification we recurve from the display of 80 muih beau!, also seo the profouudest porerfcy which all tliis no idlu wealth wauld haVe douo so raucli to relieve. Bcfore leaving the ehapi'l the faet should be noted tlmt over tho altar is a mueh rovercd Madonna, which truditioii aeeribea to St. Li There aro in ltoine not loss thaii ten or twulve of these pictnrea itnputed to the samo artist, ;i.ul they s(.'(!ui to be very highly priied by the worshrpers, tliongh in the History of Art tl-.cir Valuó has been quite overlooked whenover their authentieity has been undisputed. We wcre too tired to go to the Aracinli, on the Capitoline, whero tho rand services and display woro to havu eoimncuced on Christmaa atmidnigbt, as airead y stated ; but ts that church was to? continuo its attractions during the wook we choso Thursday for our visit. Via found tho long and very wide fligUt oí steps leading to this "Altar of Hen ven," as tho name indicatcs.crowded with multitudesof children, well sprinkied with older persons. Timing the lgnger but lesa stoep steps to tho Capital, and thence crossing tho piazza np a winding ilight to tho rear cntrance. llere, again, the largo mixturo of childreu wíis apparent - this was the hour at which their petitions aro offcred to tho cek'brated Bambino ot this cliurohWc found the particular chapel used to be very Buccossfully transi'ormed iuto a real or seeroing peispeetive, extendiug a long. üistaneo back iuto tho hills about Naaarstb, with aheep and eattle grazing and shepherds guarding theui standing beneath the palma, whilo in tiio foreijround was a life-rsizc representation of tho Nativity, gorgeous with brilliant drapery and jewels, with which tho child was enshrined, as it were. Around were grouped tho faniily, and at a few feet distant a dozen otbers were standing with expressions of adrniration and awe, whils abovo a host of innumerable angels playmg upon instruments asd in &11 possible attitudes nniosg the seeming clouds, mutely espressivo of their joy. The greatest interest was of courso concen:ratod about the Child. It was ed as half reclining upon a eradle very different from the biblieal niangor, and swiithod in winding garaients after the Italiaa style, erowned with a circlofc of jewels and precious stoncs, and gold glittered in tho rich apparel ; and to all a well niansgod light gavo the finest effect. It was a novel aad a strango spoctacle to see grovra pooplo as well as children kneeling about and offering petitions to this entlroiy artificial group. This richly decorated imago of tho infant Christ con constitutes ono oí' the greatest treasures of this church, and is belioved to be so eiücacious in all caspa of great danger that it is convoyed to houses where tho sick are lying, and its aid invoked. Outsido wero nuinerous beggars, as U3ua',aud hosts of vndcrs of pictures of tho lianibino, Ou Tuesday we attendcd tho grand Te Dcuiq at thü Uesu, tho most gorgeously decorated ohjjroh in tho city, and under tho infiuencG of tho illumination the effect was very brilliant. A dense crowd was in attendance and the services and uuisic very iuterosting, though tho singïg at St. Peter 's is tha beat we have ïeard. On New Yeaï's day wo went to vespers at .tít. Petcr's, and that we enjoyed the musio therc, whioh was oven botter than usuul, it is needless to say. All tho churches being open on (hat lay the at. tendance was lesa than we have generally found it, The King reoeived the fcreign repro sentatives on New Year'a day, and wo were on tho l'iazza Cavallo a few minutes - long enough to seo ono of these ambassadors loave - iu thrce grand earriages, witli two footmen in white glovea standing behind each, arrayed in regular militar? black eockade, flaming soarlet loose coat, bedeoked with gold braid, short yellow knee-bi-eoehos, white silkstockings, and low shoea. We did not kaow what poor State paid bis expenses. Our Minister, Mr. Marsh, addressed tlie King (us wo were informed noxt day) by virtuo of his governmont being the iirst to rceognize that oí' Yiutor Emuianuel. A grand displav caino off at tho Apollo Theater in the eveiiin ir, whioh of course wo did not seo. lioyalty and ambassadora anti wero thioro in gay attire. During tho nighfc tho musio on the street.-s was inces-. sant, It is wortli of remark that during the holidayd there vas no violenco or disturbance to mar tho genoral enjoyment Thus endcd onr first lioiiday week in Rome, asl as we filled all iuiurvala with the usurJ :;igbt-seeing, it did net aipear dull to US. Yours over,


Old News
Michigan Argus