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Foreign Correspondence

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Eome, Jan. 27, 1873. Friend Pond: Such is the mildness of the weather bere tbat it scaroely seems possiblo the winter is more than half gone. The thermometer oscilaies bctween about i5 and G5 degrees, and leaVes us often in doubt whether we need a firo or not. In order to err on tbo right side we have generally built a mero apology lor a firu since the holidays, buying woud by tbo basket full, less than a bushei, for which we pay from 1 1-2 to 2 1-2 francs; but then it lasts four or five days. Florence has averaged ti temperature about O degrees lower than Rome, and Naples ubout 5 dogrees higher. The great ditiionlty W8 fiud is the huinidity of the air, especiaüy tuward uightfall. The pavemeut in soine of che streets is scaroely ever dry, and as the city is none of the cleanest it becoines a question of skiü often times whether pedestrianating aeross them will be a suceess or not. But nothing short of rain keeps the crowd off the Corso, the great carotid artery of the city. In the rush of vehicles and persons on foot it often rivals Broadway, but iu nothing else, for this celebrated street is very narrow, perhaps 25 feet wide, unless passing some piazza when of course it expands. In such a street, obviously, sidewalks can not be very atnple, and there are several placea wheie they run to a narrowness not exceeding a foot in width. The European habit of walking as much upon the paveinent of the street as upon the proper sidewalk is very convenient in these Continental cities. It is one of the great atnbitions of all who boast a carriage, doublé or single, to be out on the Corso about 4 P. M., to take a turn in the Borghese Villa, a delightful bit of country rustioity, go up to the Pincio and join tlie solemn or rather slow procession about the restrictud grounds for a hall hour, and then Hgaiu upon the Corso for a few trips, and when the chilly air of evuning begins to prevail, off for homo. Mingle with these a good sprinkling of strangers in their hired hacks and liveries; and it will be easy to fancy what a lively scène is there presen ted every fair afternoon. Upon a pleasant Sunday, with inusic on the Pincio, it is really a sight of unusual interest to see what a vast raulütude are frequenting this place. The gx-ounds are boautifully laid out in walks and drives, with line shrubbory somo of the palms being over 20 feet in height and c tcti nearly as large. The terrace, nearly 200 feet above the Piazza P.tpolo below, affords a splendid prospect of the city itself and of the campagna beyond the Tiber. At least 50 per ecnt. of the carriages have two attendauts, the coachman proper and the foot man, both in livery of long, very long coats with bright buttons, glossy hat with silvered band and bl iele rosette at the top, short kneo breeches and either long top boots or fine stoakings. Occusionally tho King's carriago is seon, with crimson ; liveried coachman and two footmen with flaming red coats, b'ack velvat breuohe.s, white stockings, and great deal of tinsel tnmming over all, and tho large cockades of a brigadier; but the princoss llarghuritta is really vcry pretty and modest looking in spite oí' all the finery that surrounds her when driving out. AVe havo not yet seen the King himself. Prince Ilumbert is often out on horgeback or driving and is willing to beoomo popular with the Romans it' be can accomplish it by affabilHy. But it is time to resume our ramblings among the ruins. Just outsido the Colosseum, in the open ipace at the foat of the desoent from tl. e Arob of Titus, is a singular looking ruin calleij the " Meta Sudaiis." It was once a fountaift íípon a largo scale, construct ed of brick and encased in inarblu originally. It is now about twenty teet hig'u, of a circular f orín, and the outcr margin of the basin is stíll indicateii by tho rema ns of masonry, and inüst have been 75 feet in diameter. Tho fountain was built by Domitian and was doubtless intended to correspond with the magnitude of the aiuphitheater. The ancient Via Appia stafta from this point, uniting with Via Lmcra herff, and passed at onco beneath tho noble arch of Constantino. It is called also Via Triumphalis as far a? it skirts along the easterly end of the Palatine - the modern name being Via S. Gregorio. Tkö Arch of Constantine is not only one of the best preserved, but is also one öf tbe fines of this kind of monuments that remains from ancient Rome. It was erected A. D. 311 after he had defeated hisrival Ma'üentius near the city. The Ewmewhats nieiöorable event which has been related coucerning the mii-aculous appearauoe of a cross in the sky with the inscription " In. hoc sigt'o vince' is stïid to have ocuiirred as the Einperor was marcbing to uToeï Maxentius in tho battle above ref.;rrcd to. from that date at least Constantino was a leclayed eorsvert tv Christianity, a very desirable change from the recent order of things under Diocletian, and the cross becarae bis tawlard, at least, from thut periocL The arch appears to be aiboufc 75 feet high and abcmt the sanie in width, fias a wide central passage for the road and too smaller side passages. But tbis strangë to ay, deriVed! its histoiical erabellïshinents and reliëfs almost wbolly frora the similar Arch of Triumph to Trajan, ereeted abowt two hundred years eai'Her, aüá no' part of which now rernaiïia except those here seen. The work lipon tbo reliëfs indicafts au enlirely differeiit conditioH of art in Trajanus time frorn that of Septimüs Severus, wboso arcb ig similarl ornamented, of still later, in the tim'e of Coiïstantin'e, as shown in tho medallion reliëfs on the arch we are describing. lts excellent prcservatiou justiües the belief thi it may stand yet longer ibr several centurias. If we proeeed now beyond this arch, along tho Via Triumphalis, or, which is jreferable, if we step inside tho low inclosure at tho left, vvo have a delightful walk aloug the eastern slopo óf the Cceim hill, through the white mulberry jrovo to the churoh of S. Gregorio, erected on the site of the house of Gregory the Grcat's i'ather. The chur.h is not particularly interesting except for its very fine pavement of various colored marbles, set set ia beuutiful designs; the room f rom tho house of St. Gregory, whicb is taken into the cburoh and coutains various personal relies ot the saiut; and alsoainuchprized Madonna in one of the chapul?, which once addressed the tuint (it issaid). The sacristán, however, at our requust, took U8 across a considerable intorvening ■ipaca to threo chapéis belonging to the chureh and adjoiniug each other. In the first is a statuc of St. Silvia, niother of St. Gregory, and in the vaulting bctiiud is a íiue fresco by Guido lïjiii, representing a choir of augeU with books and musical instrumeuts, whiuh extends quite around the semicirole. In the second, the chapel of St. Androw, one side wall is covered with tho beau ti ful fresco ot Djmenichino reproseutiag the martyrdom of St. Andrew ; and the other side oppusite boars another even inora excellent fresco by Guido Reni, reprtsenting St. Andrew on the way to the place of execution. This small, unusod chapel was a strange place in which to flnd two of the most celebrated paiutings of their time, by one of the most noted artists. In faot these two pictures vrere once regardod as among the very best in Home, if not even entitled to the first place. - In the third, or chapel of St. Barbary, is a sitting statue of St. Gregory, begun by M. Angelo and completcd by Cordieri, and in the center, surrounded by a railing, is a marble table resting on ancient feet, at which according to the inscription St. Gregory daily entertained t wel ve poor persons, and at which upon one occasion an angel appeared, niakhig thirleeu at tho table. This incident is also represented in a painting upon the wall. Burely here wero threo quite interesting chapéis, yt as they are soinewhat aside froui the beaten road or more popular quarters the few remaining niouks are scarcely able to keep up the regular services in the ehureh, and grass is growing in tho path that leads to the small, unused chapéis. It is but a short distance beyond the Palatine, just outside tho old Servian wall, to tho extensive ruins of tbe baths of Carracalla. The high walls of these once magnificent theriuss are many of thein standing-, and cover an an;a of 140,0;)0 square yards ; but esternaliy there is no appearance of any special beauty of architecture. The greaiest expense and extravagance of decoration werp, however, lavished upon the interior. Thore are no ruins of Rome, not excepting the Co!osseu;u itself, whieh excite moro surprise at their vast extent as a whole, and for tho amplitude of their arrangemsnts and for general míignificency, than these ruins of the various b iths. Of them all, those of Carracalla, or, as they are sometimes called, of the Autonines.arebest preserved. They wan commenced A. D 212, and coinpleted by AlexanJer Severus, and would accommodate 1,603 bathers at tb.e same timo : this probably was ivhon promiscaous bathing by tho sexes ;ogether was allowed - a custotn which rus afterwardsabolished. The spaoe deiroted to tUo baths was abo'.it 720 foet long by 373 wide, and though the particular purpose for which each room was used is a matter of eonjecture, tho arr tngement does not uppear to have been tiry complex. A vcry spacious oblong roem is first entored, which appears to hava been ornamented with a colonnade md fine mosaicsi in which the figuies of gladiators, animal?, and (ïther objects are ropresenk'd of ncarly life-sizo. At the left of this a room not so largo, but with the floor on a lower level, is supposed to have been a capacious swimming bath. Adjoining this we asourfd to a more ele-vated jiortior), the beautiful mosaic floor of which is nearly complete though quite uneven : this would seem to have been a platform at the end of the swimming apartmefit. We next cross this mosaic fioor throngh a paraage or door" way to tho adjoining room, which is quite spacious, and over this ampie room onco spread another floor of most beautiful mosaic, in regular designs, with a marginal border, Fully one-half of this splejidid pavement is yet lying in its original place, with the exception of the great depressions at various parts which rendered care uecessarj irï walking upon it. This has been supposed to have been a Tepidarium or Warin bath. From these rooms we pasSed into others of equally magnificent provisión for all that taste and liixury could ask. Niches for statuary, ceilings of stucco and painted decorations, marble facings to the side walls everywhere are yet to be traced, and tho frasjments of every kind set up ari3 laid aside in these ipartments, all corrobórate the reprt-seötatioiis given of the almost fabulous extravagance with which the various emperors sought to flinbellish these fattori te tesoits ai the Eornau people. In one apurtment is yet reuiaining a capaeious marble tank, perhaps thirty feet'long and four in depth, of a'n oblong ovul shape, with a step surrounding it on the inner side, which is presumed to have been a hot bath. Tbo (íebris aocumulatefl in 11 these rooms was not much less than ten fest in depth, and though bo much has baen done there are still inany portions still filled and oly the walls-c'an be traced as they rise aboe this amazing accumulation. The excavation of this grand receptaele has not been withjntits reward . tbr, besides the splendid rums of the building itself thns brought to light, somt! of the grandest marble monuments of ancient art havo been found. The Fitrnese Herculns, the colossal Flora, tho 1 two Gladiators, Atrius and Thyrstes, ' ñus Callipygtc, FarneseBull, and bronzes, crimeos, bas reliëfs, and modils able, now in the Vatican and .at Naples. I Leavnig tho baths, once so gay with ] blithesome jest and reparteo and the ling crowd of merry bathera - now so I desoíate and empty of all Iife except the ] curious strangers from distant lands, who 1 wander about in abstraction and ment - wo follow on toward tho gato twoen liigh walla whichcompletely hedge i out uil prospect of the couutry near. - i Just before renching the gato, indeed : ly a few feet distant, is au aroh baliovod to have been the one awardcd to Drusus by the Senate, nbout the beginning of the present era, and ij known to have been erected over the Appian Way. It is very substanUally built of large blocks of Travertihe, and has a pillar upon Oach side adjaoent to tho gate, and appears also to have been once adorned with whitu niarble, possibly entirely covored with it as there is no erabell'.shment or inscription sculptured in the stone as it now stands. When Caracalla constructed the aqueduct to supply his baths with water from the Claudian aqueduct, it was niale to cross direotly ov-r Jand to rest upon this arch, and th ruins of this subsequent and iiiharuionious structuro detract much from the proper effect of the arch. Going under it wo come to the Porta Sebastiano, the finest in the Aurelian Wall, as the road itself was one of the inost important. What with towers and other decorations united to its great height we are impvessed with its resemblance to some giand feudal castle rather than to a mere entrance to the city. At flrst there is a gradual descent as far as the small stream Almo : in tho distance, some fifteen miles off, are the blue Albanian hills, and scattered uver the campagna interveuing are the piotu'esque ruins of the Aqua Claudia, the arches of whieh sometimes stretch along í'oc sever) rods and then disappear whare prosrated to the ground, to appear again 'ürther on, while along tho road are hose singular struc tures, the tombs, often aite large but seldom possessmg any atr.ictivcness aside from their circular, one-like, polygonal, or irregular shapes nd considerable hoight. We weresouievhat gratifieá at stepping into tho unirotending roadsido churoh with that trange cognomen "Domine, quo Vadis," to .nd the iinprint of the two feet of Chris!' s it is claimed, preserved in the nave. According to the logend, St. Poter, in his human wuakness fearing the death of a inartyr, was fleeiif; from tho city and upon the road in front of this. church was mut by the Siviour, and, saluting Hiin, inquired, " Djmiae, qno valia?" reoeived tho reply " Venio iterum crucijiyi" - " I come Hgain to be crueifled," which caused the Apostle to blush for his own weak" ness, and he returned to met his doom. The footprints are those where tbe Lard stood, it is said. A portion of th oíd lava blocks with which the Appian way vas pared bave been taken up and luid down across the nave of the church, ai.d centrally is set the square mnrhle upon vhioh are two very distinot impressions f every part of the bottom orsolo of the ïaked toot, ona of each. The length is ibout 9 1-2 inches, the width of heel ■ibout3 inuhes, the left being nearly one'ourth of au inch narrower than the ■ight. A piaster cast of Michael Angelo's statue of Clirist is placed in the nave near tho footprint3. We went on as far as the entranee to ,he catacombs of St. Calixtus, 114 miles 'rom Porta Sebastiano. The b.ppearance of the surface of tbo country all about :or hundreds of acre= iDdioates a caver'ious substratum whichhadbroken through ïero and there quite froqnently, niaking :hoso abrupt depressions which would ccarcely have oocurred in the smootu surface but for this l'act. And it is nearly ïtorully true that through a wido sweep [rom the wall outvvard a distanee of some three miles, the whole región lying at the northeast on the roads leading out of Porta Salaria and Porta Noiüentana, and the still moro extended circuit embracing the roads issuing f rom the Portoe Latina,Appia, Ardeatana, and Ostia on the south - east and south, has been excavated like a honeycomb for purposes of interment, and now constitute what are kuown as the catacombs. Of their real origin, whether first made as quarries for the tufa stone as building material or for Ib'urial places otlly, and of the qnestion aa to whether they were or were not a rofuge for the early Christians during tho rjersecutions of the emperors, we do not intend to stop' heTe for discussion. It is sufficient to know that in the main they did in fact become tho places of interment for hundre&s of thousunds of those early Christians, incldding fourteen popes; that a vast aruount oi' light has been thrown upon Christian Archcology by tbe discotreries made iü thoso cutaeombs; and that all the assoeiations are peouliarfy hallowod because 3ü exclnsivoly confined to that "newsect" whose subsequent career is idontified with the best interesta of the race. Having found tbf? guide, who was shooting small birds a littlo distance off, we descended 'witU him abont fifteen or twenty feet in a space ot opening of considerable size, tmtil the passage beoame narrow and dark. Here oach of us becama proprietor of a small fïecë of twisted wiek saturated with spermac'cti wm, a form of light nrnch u-sed horo for carrying about, i'or it can be unwound asit is consuiued and makes 110 troublo on account of drops of melted watf. With th?so Iight3, and such light as our Italian guide could throw upon the subjuct, ffo startfd forward, somulimes descending, sometimes on an upward grade, now going to the right, now to the left, leaving hitndreds of unexplorel passages, oppiirently without any plan in oür underground rara'bles ; but finally, in about half an hour or more, reappearing at thejpoint of start' ing Jns' M out l'ghts were bcoaiing tber too short to hold. Short as tho limo was, it was long enough for oomfort and probably would give to the visitor a good an idea of their general construction, arrangement, uses, decoration, und history, as a whole weok would have done, siuco they uro all very similar in their lrïadiug details, and those of St. Caüxtus are conceded to ba a good type of the wholo. One thing became at onno apparent as we proceeded, that is, that a great majority of -the passages were executed only of suflicient height - not over eight feet and width not more than four feet - to allow of easy passing and repassing and of ready access to the ollong niches or shclves which woro cut iuto the rock along the sides on either hand for the receptiou of the sarcophagi or of the bodies alone. Nor did thora seem to be any great differnee in width, such as would serve readily to distinguish some is more public froin others moro narrow and less important. Everywhere, also, there had evide'itly been a liberal use of maVble for varioui purposes, of inscription, of decoration, of limng tho cells, probably according to the varying ability and taste of eaoh proprietor or fauiily. Thero wcre shown to us two or three places where a space of greater size was formed, and wbicli uijght be termed, as they are, chapela, but these mora ainrle excavations would seldoni contain more than two dozen persons. The Camera Pápale, or place where on one side the remains of sotne of the Popes wove discovered, and, connected by an arched opening on the other were four other persons probably of soine importance, while in the dividing wall was the tomb of Sixtus II., who is said to havo died a martyr here, A. T. 268. By throwing these two spaces together a room of some size was thus made, We were shown the long inscription made by Pope Damasus, in the 4th century, in commemoration of those who had boen interred there. This bas been very naturally supposed ,to be a chamber ia which the early Christians may havs held services, nnd in more recent times, on the 221 day óf November each year, St. Cecilia's day, a service is held here, when the catacombs are lighted and the occasion is made quite iinpressive. The tomb of St. Cecilia is near the chamber just referred to and is also somewhat more capacious than the ordinary passage, and this chamber is also so near the surface that it is lighted from ubove. A great variety of rude paintings and sculptures were pointed out as we passed along, bui all tho more interesting tablets, inscriptions and objects of intrinsio art or historical value have been removed to tho various museums of the city and elsewhere, and even the bones of a great proportion of thoso burie:l there have bjen apportioned among the Europenn churches as relies and possibly somo may even be preserved in foreign lands. In another of these chambers are exhibited two sarcophagi, in ono of which are the fl ishless bone3 of its ancient occupant and in tho other a tolerably well preserved mummy, a form of interment that loa ves the nioital remains as little recogaizable or agreeable to the eye as whore dust has been allovved to return to dust unimpcded. In another place the brolten fraguients of a marble slab five or six feet long by nearly two feet in width, on one side of which were inscribed sevoral sentences in recognition of a faith in God and in his promises ; on tho reverse was another inscription expressive of a pagan belief: in what age they were mado or which was the older in jciiption we cuuld not learn. The sl;.b vas hmig upon pivots and so supported ís to be oasily revolved. ïhe cliamber in vhioh Pope Boiebina was interred ar.d ts inscription, aseribed ta Dainasu, is jointed out. In short, 110 0110 can visit :hese or any other of the accessible cata;orabs without a profound iinprodsion of :heir deep interest as well as almost sa;rod character, connocted so intiujately ís they are conceded to be with those ivho in their earnost sincerity risked all uid often lost all for the sake of worshipmg God onlyf arid refusing to sacriflce to gods many. Such, however, has been the general reraoval of the inscriptions, etc., that much of the interest is lost or great[y lessened as compared to what it would be had this deseoration not taken place. The catacombs continued to be used until about the 5th century but were finally abandoned for purposes of interinentj alid nbout the tenth century had so far fallen into oblivion as to be quite forgotten - those of St. Sebastian, just beyond St. Cnlixtus, being alono kept open and accesaïblë. TTheir history is quite oonjpendious, and notwithstanding the diverse tlieories maintained the real disooveries and admitted faets will always surround the catacombs with a profound interest, and in the Lateran aa woll !s other museums of the city great cure has been taken to arrange mid preserve all that has been thought to have any important valne. But this sketch is perh'ipa already too lonir for a letter, though much too short for adequate description, and as on the occasion of this visit we did not go bevond to see the other attractions aloufr this greatest highway from the ancienf city, it forms a fitting placo to close this letter We never return froin these excursions about this grand work-house and play-groutid of the ages withoíit expressing a wish that söme of the relies uf those eaily times, which we see' lying bont quite Tiilueless hefe, were ns profu?ely ecattered within aceessible dist:mce from Ann Arbor: it would afford popilar foraging groirod for student and professor aliko. Yours over, JOHN M.WHËELEÏt. In one of thé prettiest villagfcs of Now Hainpshire, a wofnsii- a wife and mothpr - wns uñtil rocently tho organist of the villnare ohnrch. Slio had acquired an nppetito t'or strong drink - a passion sr stroiifï thnt ,'he woAld lóávó tlie ore;nn, retire, and drink. Of courso it soon beCamó necêssary to diöinifs her, when he was sent to an inebríate osylnm. Nobody cnn u"rlfrstand w'iy this poor wnraan should do meh a dicreputable thinc; - nohody except herself. Sho knowg ■well enough, in thö bitternoss and grief of hor heart.


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