Press enter after choosing selection

Foreign Correspondence

Foreign Correspondence image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

Rome, Feb. 24, 1873. Phiend Pond: - In order to get a full or proper idea of tbis city we find ourselves compelled to see it and tako it as it is - partly ruina only, and belonging only to anoiont Rome ; partly ruins mixed with the structures of later times ; and a considerable portion modern entiroly - henee in writing about the city we have io take up these various aspects as they most convpniently present theniselves ; describing now eome relie of the Imperial or Republican times - now some structure or place whose interest is eombinedwith past and present, and at times sume villa orchurch or palace fresh with the life and historjr of our owa day. One of the places all stiangere most naturally desire to visit soon after having Been the more prominent ruius, and perhaps St. Poter's and the Vatican, is the Protestant cemetery, associated as it ever must be with our strongest Bympathies för those who uiay jave friends deposited there, instead of jeneath the dearer and more loved soil of native land. Going directly to the Forum Romanum we pass beyond into the Vi di S. Feodore, and at our left is the high terrace or plateau of the palace of the Caesars, forming the summit of the Palatina, oonsiderably over a hundred feet above us, and between us and it is the ancient ohurch of 8. Theodorei Oireular in form, lying about ten feet below the street, with the area about it oxcavated to the anoient level. lts history does not appear tó be ciearly understood. Some have even supposed it to have been t e Temple of Vesta. In a short distanoe further we descend somewhat to the right, to examine the roassive and somewhat singular struoture known as the Arch öf Jatlus or Jauus Quadrifruas. It is of a four-sided form, resting upon four great buttresses of masonry and blocks of marble which unite fibave in arches, and forru together two archcd passageR for two streets crossing at right angles. The pavemont beneath and the eituation do not uegative the idea that the streets may have actually passed'through this doublé aroh ; but it is generally supposed to have been a central point for traffio, and to have been iisi-'d as a placo of sale, this being a portion of tho eolebrated Boarillm or oattle markst of the ancient city. There is very little evidence of ornament in its construction, and no inseription preserves its true origin or history. The name oven grows out of its supposed reeeinblanco to the temple of Janus, once erected iu the Forum, tho open or closed doors of which betokened the existence of peace or war. It is believed to be of the Imperial age. Across the street is the small arch of the silveismith'a. It is quite an inoonsiderable structüre as to size and proportions, but is profusely ornamentad with reliëfs. The inscriptioti shows it to have been orected by the sil versmith's and cattle dealers to Septimus Severus a'nd his family. The reliëfs are soinewhat difficult to decipher. Thor,o on the interior seem to represent sacrificial scènes by the Emporor. Ou one of the piars is the figure of Hercules, to whom the place was consecrated, and 011 tho other 6ide is represonted a plowman nnd his oxen, supposed to refer to the mythical foundation of the city. The ebarob of St. Georgio in bro having built against one pier of the arch hides it from view on that side. - The church, fóiinded in the 4th century, has been several times reoonstruoted, has an opon pórtico erected ín the 16th century, supported by ancient columns, but nolhingof interest attaches to the interior, unloss we may except the fact that a piece of the banner of St. George, after whom it is nauied, is preserved beneath its altar, It is said that it was upon its long arcbitrave, not more than flfteen feet above the etreet, that Cola di Eienzi affixed bis proclamation, in 1347, of a free government by the people themselres, and for a Tery brief period gave hope of brighter days to the then endly reduced cily. One of the lato Lord Lytton'a works weaves the more salient features of that period into a romance of thrilliiig interest. Crossing the stroet in front of the arch of Janus we follow a well-beaten path beneath old ahd low brick arohos, and somewhat desoending till we reaoh as arched chaiuber beneath which is gener ally to bo found solno half dozen -vrasherwomen, busy at the clear stream of water which in here exposed in one of tho ancient drains from the spnngs 111 the Pulatine, before it mingles with the turbid content of tíie C'loacaMaxima, which lattcr is visible a few steps further down, and is the most anoient structure remaining from ancient liorna. It was built 530 years before Christ, bf Tarquín tho Proud, of lafge blöoks of tufa, vjtlJ with a circular headed, vaulte arch, being the first known application of the arch-principle in the city. It is much filled up, and therefore does öot show1 it proper dimensions, but does not seem to havo been more than ten feet wide, and runa with a sluggish current, owing to tho slight descent to the lovel of the Tiber. We wero rauch pleased by the sigat of an original and rather antediluvian mili wbioh is run by the stream of the Cloaca. It consisted of an Bprigtl ghaft, to which was attacbred a heavy millstone, set upon its edge, resting upon another lying flat. When set iu raotion the up-' per stone was slowly revolved lik a cart wheel, around the upright shaft, crushing the srain into flouer. Tho wbole is ciposeu without any cvfrbing or hopper, the attendant pushes the partióles unground into tho track of the rolling stone, and all occupios a spaoe not orer three or four feet in diameter. Continuing our way we ascended tha Aventine, passing by the tbe three churches which are perched upon its preoipitcus end fíicing the river, whiob with the vineyards constitute the only occupants of the once populous hill. It was ou the Aventine tliat the oommon peoplo - the Plebs - were crowded together, as on the l'alatine opposito the palacfis wero clusterad. ïhere ialiterally nothing now to remind the travelor cf the ancient occupants, their buildings not being of a oharacter to withstand thé attacks of time and decay. The three churchos are supposed to be quite oíd - that of S. Jabina haviug been ereoted first in 42ü, and several times restored in later tiuaes. lts exterior is unattractive-, but its interior is adorned with the Madonna del Itozarïo, by Sassoferato, his masterpiece, 24 coluruns'of Parian inarble support the aisles, and in the nave ia tho tomb of Zamora, Prinuipal of the Dominican Order of monks, A. D. 1300. A fine view is openod by tho elevation of this point, but is much impaired by the high walls which surrouud the vineyards. Descending upon the other side we are opposite the entrauoo to tho public gruunds or open field on one Bido of which we see the dark cypresses of the cemetery, and just beforo us is that singular mountain of enigmatical origin, Mois Testacio. This hill is really but a rast pile of broken pottefy, chiefly frag ments of Amp horse, interniingled with stlfilcient earth to give it permanence and to allow the growth of a good sward of grasa; but how came it there in such prodigious quantity as to make a rounded hill over 150 feet in height and eereral' hundred long ' It 13 held to be comparatively modern by some, - by others to antedate the Christian era. Some think this was the common deposit nf all the broken earthenware of soms extensivo inanufaetory located near, or of the earhen residió bfoken in landing froni an extensive commerce in such things, and which oould not be thrown into the Tibor, and other suggestions are equally based upon mere oonjectare. The fact reinains, höwever, und here to-day is an artificial hill upou the level plain, entireiy tbrmed of these singular materials and eonstitutlng a monument to the prodi gious extent of this branch of industry, more viTSt than any other structure of ancient or modern times, and from whose ;op a splendid panorama is exhibited of Rome and the Wliole sürrounding country back to they niouutains. Upon its Bummit a tall cross is ereoted and all iround it3 base are excavated wine celars and a few tumble-down tenements of ;he poor. Crossing the open space of this Prati del popoio ftoruattdj we ring for admission to the new Protestant cometery, for ;here are two, the older not having been used for about flfty years. That person must have but a low estímate of tasteful culture and natural beauties who fails to te deeply gratifisd with this lovely spot[t lies upon the gentle slope of a email eleration near the Porto S. Paolo, and the ancient city wall extending over this hill forms, with its half f üined turrets and towers, a fitting back-ground to this city of the dead. A beautifui grove ot' flne cypressos is scattered over the place, iinparting their own dark hue to the sad thoughts ever associated with the place, while beautiful flowers and flowering shrubbery of great luxuriance duly cheers the heart that only sees in death aot the last end but rather the beginning of a life bfight with the hopes of a blessed immortality. There are about fifteen acres inclosed in the new grounds, all most judiciously laid out and all of nearly equal attraotiveness ; and what is of great value in our estímate of a placo so dear to many rrho hare here left the " loved and lost," and where strangors in a strange lnd may naturally feel that in a certain sense they have a pafsonal interest, it appears to be well cared for. - There is something deeper than an ordinary curiosity feit when we visit in Florence and Eome these beautiful retreats where only those are laid at rest who, like ourselves carne from their distant homes in other lands, expecting to return. Then, too, there is a sad pleasure in carefully ecfutinizing the inscriptions moeting eyer and anón the brief record of some one from our own dear land, or some one whose name has been made familiar in the field of art or letters, or some touchirig tale of especial sadnc3S Of course wo sought out as one of the interesting spots the gravo wherein is interred the heartof Sbelley. Without the aid of a guide, we did not at once find it. At last, however, we stood before the lov?, horiBontal elab beafíng that singular and well-known inscription "P. B. 8. - Cor cordium. Born August 4th, 1792; died July, 1822. Nothing of hin that cM;h fade, Xit cíoth sxiffer a sea change Into something new and strauge." This was the spot unmistakably. No grave bears that epitaph but liia. Beautifiil foses Were blooming at its head, and creeping oloso around its margin ? ths ever graceful ivy. The element of popiílarity is wantiííg in the personal and literary tfaits of Shelley, but there is a profound sincerity in all he wrote( afld a intellectual vigor is displayffd in his effusions not generollj' characteristic of pcosy ao imaginative. As the friend of Byron, by his sad fate rnd tho strange spectacle of his subseauent ietffeffiation by the sea side at Lerici by his brother bard, their names will be forever associated, and in both the world will ever find ny things to ccmdemn. The names we see here are are from every land, and the brief insoriptions, peuned by loving hards, teil rrrsny a ttue of bereayement espeoially sad. One. whose early promise had made him the friend1 of Pitt and Poroival, here died in tha very prime of his opening career. Oae, buoyant witb. the enjoy ments of travel, is suddenly snatohed away from all by tne acoidont of drowriing when oagagud witU other young frionds in pleasure excursión at Tivoli. ïwo sistors from Boston, ons only nine aad the othar but ! twenty years of age, here ly side by side, 1 I dying within loss tban ten days of each ' other. Another young man with fivo ( companions all pcriali together by ilio swarnping of their boat on the Tiber. 1 One of tho most befutiful monumenta in ' tlie cometery, both in design and ' tion, is a sarcophagus elevatcd npon a , I base abont four füot high, upon which is l tho portrait statuo of a young man in ' liia ordinary ccstume, reclining in an j j easy attitudo, the head resting upon tho j raised hand and with his other holding a l book, with ono fingcr inserted bctween ' its pages, as if just cngaged in teadiag ' I and musing upon his favorite autlior, j very real and life-like indeed. The i I taph scema a little toó labored, but tells a i very sad tale when the eminent social ' ! and political positioñ of tb e father, Sir , W. S. Cockburu, Bart, is considerad in . reforence to the future of hia eldest son. ' A plain tablet and inscription recites that another spot is sacred to the memory of ■ the only son of James Russell Lowoll, i January, 1853, an infant. And here, too ! early went to rest the young wife of Lewis Cass, Jr. The inscription on a neat iuarble headstonn reads : "A parerital ] memorial to our dearly loved and early lost, Mary, daughter of Nicholas Ludlow, wife of Lewis Cass, IJ. S. Minister , at Eome. Bom, Xew York, July 23, ] 1834; died in Rome March lilh, 1853." ' Surely their have been aad heatts, ere ' this, in Rome, and so wherever death ( lects the young and fair, at home or : abroad, it must ever bring a doublo ' row. We now got the sexton to go with us i to the old cetnetery and unlock the gate which opened to a bridge over the open ' ditch with whioh it is surrounded. The ■ grounds are level and unshaded by i berry and trees, and no care is taken to i malte it attractive, since it is not now used. "We sought out the grave of Keats, known also as soon as found, thouch the i small, low slab of marble bears no name, but only the sorrowful wail of a broken heart : " This grave contains all that is . mortal of a young English poet, who on his death-bed, in the bitteruess of bis ' heart at the inalicious power of his ' mies, desirod these worda to be engraven on his tombstone : ' Here lies one wbose namo was writ in water.' Feb. 24, 1S21." A lyre is traced on the stone interlocked with a heart in outline. It has alvvays been a question vhether one Bosensitively organized oould have suecessfully endured " the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune " even had his Muae been - less uukindly treated at the time ; but ono's sympathies for ene so bright and full of promise and so cruelly dealt with are invoïuntary and a few moments by the grave of such an one as Keats, humble as it is, will Gtir the fountains of feeling more profoundly far than the splendid mausoleums of all the Scaligers. It brings one into very close coniïnunion with Keats to find in this city where he died, still living, his early and constant friend, Mr. Severn, who accompanied him to Rome and in whosc arms he breathod hia last. The one was taken and the other left, ond so it over will be. It has been said that some of the poet's descendants contémplate the erection of some better monument, but af ter all can j any other now fully take the of that small headstone and its solemn protest against the wrongs ho had endured. But it might be enclosed very properly with a rich railing, and be kept in a condition more attractive. A small hodgo and a few fine rosebushes are its only no ticeable ovidenco of present supervisión. The grass was so doop and wet that we could not prosecute our examination of this first Protestant ceraetery very thoroughly, thougb. there seemed but comnaratively few monuments in the grounds. When tho new ground was acquired a dituh about five feet deep and as many wide was cut around the old just outside the low wall of masonry which effectually prevents its desecraticn. It seenied singular enough that the most conspicuous monument and oldest tomb in the old Protestant cemetery is that kuown as the Pyramid of Cestius. This is the only tomb of this particular form remainiug from ancient Rome, and is quite imposing in appearance to those who have never had the plcasuro of standing in the presence of the Egyptian pyramids. It is 117 feet in height and completely faced with heavy slabs of marble, nowblackened with age. It was erected as the tomb of Caius Cestius about thirty years bui'ore the Christian ! era. We returned from this interesting placo by a by street along the Tiber. We diverged a littlo as we reaehed the river bank and foUof ed it down a few roda to the Iimporium of Augustus, as it is called, dating from the time jf tlie Kepublic and once the greït commercial warehouse and depot for the vast quantities of merchandise unloaded from the vessels coming up the Tiber from the Mediterránea:, It is nlso called the nt the lower cild of tho ancient port, because of its use as a landingplace for the marble brought from Carrara. The excavations made here in 1867 indicato the remains of an immense building or series of buildings extonding about the three sides of a square space open on the river, and several iiu-ge blocks of marble eos9 cf them partly wrought, were +'omd wsth raarks and numbers, as wWefl shipped to thoir proper consigKees perhaps 2,000 years ago.- Thefe are large stone corbels pierced with holes, still eStending over the wharf, to whioh vessels wero moored. The marblo of Carrara is still unladen near the same place, but no longer do the wharves of the Tiber echo tho busy cries of the sailor as in that olden time. The river afforde a very uncerlain navigatiou and the craft that ply to and from Ostia are oí the rudest and least attractive Stylfi of ship arshiteoture and their landing is now upon tbe opposite side of tlie " yel low-colored Tiber," now more tnrbid than eer. We were not a little pleased the other day to see ttis river described by some infatuated lettsr-writer as tlie "opal tinted stream." It was the mó3t decidedly poetical comparison oxtracted from mud that we had ever met will). It seems imponible to órake much attraotiVecess ont of this famous old stream. It has no shingled bed or beach of hard : sai and its banks are rugged and iini couth' even whera they havo been walled in by tho adjoining improvemeuts. - Thougb. geiieraiiy very sha,llow it varies , greatly in lieight, aa some of the j ra,blf: inundations tostify. During the last ten days the city haS boen wild with tho excitpment of the Carnival. Considerable ofibrt has been. made mado by the youug noblemen who took it in charge, nded by tha co-operation of the city authoritie?, to give it all possiblo eclat and at the samo timo to prevent all contingfiiicies that might mar the general pleasure, in consequenco of which it ia said to havo .boen more than usually gay and lively this' eeason. A volume would be required to describe its absurditifis and abandon. Did it oêsume to be anything but ihe merest folly and lightheartedness any attempt to epeak seriously of it by wuy of description would Ecaroely ropay the offort ; but it ia a period of folly wild, and as subh must be spoken of if at al!. For weoks the preliminaries were being arrangcd and details of the premiums and regulatlons tbr its progresa fixed- hand-bills postnd, and programmes duly announecd. On the 15th tho date of itd commenoement arrived, and the forenoon of that day was whojly given up to thu opening and. triraming of balconies, the liiying of a coating of carth üpon the ontiro length of tho Corso and the coinplttion of mask3 ninoe3 for protection as vreil aa disguise. About 2 v. M. a walk along the groat thoroughfare of Eniiic, the Coriso, presented a sceno of exceeding interest and Beauty. All tho baicohies had been faced wilh curtains of some kind, generally of whits, over the uppor portion of which, and overhanging ten or fifteen was extended anöther of crimson, and in addition, according to taste and purse of each, such deeoratious of gilt and festoons of rlowors and colored ribbons as eaoh preferred, while from Windows almost universally there were let f all gayly colored sproads often of great - richness and always showy. From tha Piazza del Popoio to the Palace Vonezia, over a mile in length, on both 6ides süch, was the gay appearanoe of the Corso. In front of these balconies aüd windos were fastened long boxes, about six inches by pix in width and depth, sometimes even more, in which the coriandola and bouquets were to bo placed con venieht fot throwing - and upon many of them (for this is harvest time as well as festival) placards were conspicuously displayed to the effect thit the balcony or window was to be let or places at the same to be renttd. Por sorae of these enorinous sutns are asked and paid, there buing no limit to the demand. For a singlo Window during the ten days 500 francs were often asked, and for balconies still more ; and for single places on bftlconies for ono day ten francs seemed to be the usual rato. At tho side streets and squares opening into the Corso were largo basket sof the coriandola or confetti of varïous colors, in quantitiesperfectly incredible until tho freedom with which it was thrown had been witnessed. Thousanda of bui-hels were disposed of during the ten days. As this coriandola is thrown into the faces and upon the cliStlling of all regardless of tender complexion3 and fino material, it is made after pie.scribed regulations and is duly inspected before it can be placed on tale. - Jt is about the size of small peas and quite heavy when in large baskets. At 3 1-2 P. M. all was ready, every placnfrom whioh the opening procession could bo seen was fllled and the Corso itself was so completely packed that there seeined but little chance for tho promised pageant. Masks bogan to be seen in all directions with all sorts öf outre and bizarre costumes and masks, full of j;9t and frolic. Prince Arthur and suite (of England) oecupied the grand balcony of the Hotel de Kome. The Corso was cleared through its center by the passing of a troop of mounted pólice and lstnccrs, who were followed by the herald, dressed in his appropriate eostuine of tiie sixteenth century, suunding from tinie to time the blapts which proolaimed the opening of the carnival of 1873. After him followed theesquires and knights of King Carnival, mounted upon their splendid horsea, caparisoned in armor and glittering with no Bbam display, for they were all young nobles, many of them the lineal descendants of thoso cavaliers of the middle ages whone presenco was equally noticeable whether in tournament or fray. Then cama the band, very showily dressedj in a carriage draped in fantastic style, the postillion wearing the bells and motley of a court jester. Tho muisic wag Pasquino' Triumphal Grand Mareh, composed for tho occasion. An egg Bet on end and about five feet high now followed, with four sibyls seated on the car ; next carne a carriage representing an artist'sfote, eaoh person being in characler - M. Angelo, iiaphael, Titian, Reynolds, Murillo, Vandyke or West ; then a model of the dome of St. Petor's, the upper or lantern portion being oecupied by a parrot, in eniblein, as the Pope has regarded it, of hiniself as a poor purrot shut up in the Vatican, and is mueh offended. The great Pusquino's car closed the formal part of tho precessiou. It bore upon a high pedestal a copy of the well-known statue of Pasquino, standing in a piazza of that name for many centuries and from which comes our term pasquinada. This celebrated character had as retainers and guards in proper costurno 'VPat'riors from all countrios - Gaul and Oreek and Indian, Persian and Germán and Koman, each bearing his appropriate arrns, and forming quite a study ia this line. As they proceeded the bouquets flew back and forth in showers and afterward began the rattling hail of the confetti upon the heads of the dense ïïias of pedestrians and into the carriages which now began to ply to and fro -all whicb. was returnod with interest, and in all cases the lucky hits exoitod the g;reatest display of good humor. Until 5 1-2 P. M. trom one end of the long street to the other there was this unintermitted fusilade of confetti, interspeí3ed with bouquets, from the thousands of occupanta in the balconies and windows and the thousands who marchad along thj Cor3o. In a warfare of this kind due preparaticftig are made beforehand, thoush the : proportion of those vv'ho -ttore HÍiískS fór the protection of their faces and dominóes for the safety of their clothes was much loss than we expeyted, certainly not inore than one-lialf, and every opportunity of bellowering and peltúJg :iny baveheaded fetnale or particularlj' #ell or tidily dressed person was eagerly erubraccd end none the less fully enjoyed, apparently, by the recipiënt. Indeed, to preserve their positions on the Corso and roturn in kind tho pellets örid flowers seemed to bu the vecslíaí pride of the Eorasu youih, litrgely intermixed with all ages, sexes rind conditions, and oarriages Joaded with maskers were scarcely less numerous and diligent, in pH'ing to and fro, and the contests sometiiwes waged botween these and tho .balco'iiies were sometimes quite excUing, usually terminating with a graceful intorchango of huge bouquets in recognition of the mutual valué of saeh. At the sound of a cannon a s.yce was cleared along the street ana Jwo thousand soldiers kopt the wíj open for the six horeea w!io now ran liderless in tlw .Oorsa, dei Barbari, tmd thy day closed with theaters and bal masqaes at night. Yours ever,JOHN M. WHEELEK Á bath in het sand is the latost dtseovery offared by a therapeutist of JL."iidon., as an"infalíible cure " for rheumatism. He olainffl that tha advantage of this mode cf treatment, consista especial I y, in the fict that it doos not suppres pere .iïation like tbe hot wnter bath, but rapier jucreases it; and another wl VantiwgO it. possesses is that it does aot, übjMflM wii the respiration of tho puSient, aa ' he eteam bath or Tinkïsb. AtJl uj? is asserted that the ciin endure (lm influeaioe of such a bath for a much W, iger tinae,and a muohhighor temperatura can also be apphed. ltcw be usod for U1!""f' fand l)ellt3 rf ,H7 pplieation to a part or to the w-bole body If tiii temedy shail prove eüicacious forso ser' l oup an ailaeat, it wi'l indsed be a hoo'„ 'toa1


Old News
Michigan Argus