.—This morning we left Vienna
. . . . In the latter part of the forenoon we had fine views of the Danube
, and the country beyond it. It is a grand river, rising in the square of the city of Donauschingen, in the Grand Duchy
, entering Austria
, and leaving it near Orsova, but not finally discharging itself into the Black Sea
until it has had a course of fully 1,550 English miles.
it is of vast consequence, and, with the progress of the arts and improvements of peace, will become every day of more consequence; for, by itself and its large tributaries, such as the Inn
, the Traun, and the Enns, it embraces and binds together two thirds of the monarchy. . . .
We stopped for the night at St. Polten,1
. . . . a city of 4,000 inhabitants, well situated in the plain, and commanding fine views of the mountains of Styria
, which we enjoyed from the public walk just outside the gate.
While we were there, a procession of two hundred men, women, and children passed into the city, chanting hymns as they followed the banner of St. Hippolytus, the patron saint of their city.
They were returning from the great monastery of Molk
, fourteen English miles off, to which they had yesterday gone on a pilgrimage, to fulfil the vows of the city, made two hundred years ago, to avert a plague then raging among them, and which they fear may return if the vows be not annually accomplished.
They had a picturesque look, and, as they passed bareheaded themselves, everybody took off their hats. . . . .
.—We had another fine drive this morning, but a short one, of only about fourteen or fifteen English miles, through a rich and flourishing country, with the Styrian Mountains
, still snow-clad, on
our left, until at last we came very abruptly upon the magnificent monastery of Molk
, with the village of the same name below it.
The monastery itself stands upon an abrupt rock, above an hundred feet high, rising perpendicularly from the Danube
, and is one of those enormous structures whose foundation belongs to another period of the world's history.
It goes back, in fact, to the tenth century (984), by authentic documents, though the present regular and imposing building was erected between 1701 and 1736, and bears the date of 1718 on its fine and massive portal.
We wished to see it, and had, therefore, brought letters which insured us the hospitality and civility of the monks; a hospitality and civility, however, I ought to add, which is most freely granted to all who have any pretensions to ask them.2
We drove directly through the two spacious courts, round which their monastery is built, and, passing under a noble archway, stopped at the bottom of a flight of marble stairs, which would have done honor to a palace.
A servant appeared instantly and showed us to a suite of very large, richly furnished rooms, where the old ‘guest-master’ appeared immediately afterwards,—a venerable, gentle old man of seventy-six,—and begged us to make ourselves entirely comfortable, and to command whatever we wanted.
Our letter of introduction was sent to the librarian, who expressed his regret that he could not leave the library until after twelve o'clock, but hoped to see us there at any time that would suit our convenience.
When we had refreshed ourselves, the guest-master carried us to see the monastery.
First he showed us the apartments of the Prelate, now absent.
There were thirty fine rooms, with a chapel, where he says his private masses daily, a concert-room, etc., all richly furnished, and in the nicest order.
Then we went through the guest-chambers, or a part of them, for there were no less than sixty in all; many of them, like those we occupied, opening into a beautiful cloister, paved with marble, and nine hundred feet long, and all of them comfortably furnished.
We went to the library, a grand room almost entirely of marble, about sixty feet high, with 20,000 volumes, where the librarian was ready to receive us most civilly; and to the church, a fine piece of architecture entirely of marble, and capable of holding five or six thousand persons.
It was now nearly dinner-time, and we returned to our rooms to rest . . . . At twelve o'clock the kind old guest-master and the librarian came for us, and we went with them to the refectory of the dignitaries of the monastery, another enormous room, fifty or sixty feet high, and of marble, where about a dozen persons dined.
The order is Benedictine, and there was no ceremony.
As we approached the table, all stopped to ask silently a blessing, each for himself.
We then sat down to a simple, good dinner of five or six courses, with a bottle of wine for each person.
After it was over and we rose, all paused an instant to return thanks, the monks crossed themselves, and we bowed and courtesied all round.
The monks were pleasant at dinner, and intelligent.
Keiblinger, the librarian, a young man of thirty-five, and professor in the Theological Institution
connected with the monastery, seemed to have a good deal of acuteness and learning; but in general they did not appear to me like scholars.
There are eighty-four of them in all. Forty priests dine in a hall by themselves: the twelve who hold office dine where we were today; the rest are employed as priests, in parishes connected with the monastery.
They have a gymnasium, where a considerable number of young men are instructed without pay, and forty-eight are supported entirely.
About three hundred persons sleep and are nourished under their roof, and in the autumn their sixty guest-chambers are often filled.
The whole establishment, therefore, belongs to that magnificent class of which few now remain in any country.
After dinner I went again to the library, and saw many rich and curious manuscripts, and books of the first age of printing.
There was no want, either, of modern works nor of Protestant books; and yet the library was not like the library of a living, active, efficient institution, but seemed, like the monastery itself, to belong to another state of society.
We went, too, to see their pictures, which were little worth the trouble, and their collections in natural history, which were small; but their garden is fine, and, like the front of the monastery, commands grand views up and down the Danube
, which spreads out beneath in all its beauty and power, and over to the other shore, where are the picturesque ruins of the old castle of Waideneck, churches, villages, and monasteries, scattered frequent through a fertile land, the castles of Lubereck and Schonbichl still proudly preserved, and a range of solemn mountains swelling up to the horizon and bounding the whole.
But the monks of old always chose well the sites for their
monasteries, and the preservation of an establishment of this sort in all its stateliness and wealth shows how little their power is broken down as yet in ‘old Austria
,’ as Prince Metternich calls it. It was a very interesting and a very strange sight to us, Protestants and Puritans.
.—. . . . Our next purpose was to pass the night at the monastery of St. Florian, another of the vast Benedictine establishments, which has existed here certainly since 1071, and which still remains in undiminished splendor.
They have documents that go back to 819, and claim to have been founded in 455.
At any rate, like all the other large and old monasteries in this part of Europe
, it goes back to a period earlier than the building of the cities, which cannot be put farther back than the middle of the tenth century.
It is to this period, when the influence of the monks was so valuable and beneficent, when they protected the poor peasantry from the lords of the numberless castles and robber's-nests,—whose picturesque ruins we find everywhere,—and when they introduced agriculture and the arts of civilized life, that they trace their great possessions and the main elements of the influence they have ever since exercised.
I speak exclusively of South Germany
It is less than an hour's drive to the westward of Enns, and the beautiful cultivation through which we passed spoke well both of the influence and the example of the monks as agriculturists.
We saw, too, an imposing castle with four massive towers, which we afterwards learnt had been built by the nephew of Tilly
, the great general of the Thirty Years War; but which, since 1763, has been owned by the monks, who obtained it by purchase.
The monastery itself is larger even than the one at Molk
, and more regularly built by the same architect, having been finished in 1745.
It stands on a hillside with a village below it, and commands a view of one of the most fertile and beautiful valleys I ever beheld, closed up by mountains beyond; itself a most grand and imposing pile of architecture in the Italian
style of the eighteenth century, which makes the neighboring castle look like a structure of very moderate size.
We were received, as we were at Molk
, at the bottom of the grand marble staircase,—to the foot of which we drove under a massive portal,—by a servant who showed us at once to a suite of four rooms, which we were desired to regard as our own, and to order such refreshments as we might need.
The Prelate, Arneth
, to whom we had letters, was absent, . . . . but would be back in the evening.
Meanwhile, the next in office, the Abbot,—a round easy person, nearly seventy years old, who seemed to think everything in his monastery admirable and wonderful,—with another monk about forty,—who seemed to be the wit of the brotherhood, and to be willing to make us merry even with the Abbot and his excessive fancy for all that belonged to them,—made their appearance and offered to do the honors of the establishment to us.
We went first to their collection of pictures, which filled five or six rooms, but where only a few had any merit at all, and then to a collection of engravings hung round the walls of several more rooms, which were very good, and among which I noticed an engraving of the battle of Bunker Hill
, where, to the great astonishment of the monks, I pointed out the commander on our side dressed like a farmer.
But the distances are so great in these enormous convents, and the walks through their unending cloisters, over polished marble, so hard, that we were glad to retire to our rooms and rest.
Supper, I found, had been ordered for us in the Prelate
's apartments, . . . . but I begged the Abbot to let Mr. Sparmann
and myself join them in convent
, to which he readily agreed, the witty brother adding that it would be merrier there.
So in a few moments we went to supper.
I thought we should never get there.
We passed from one grand arched cloister to another, until, notwithstanding interruptions from talking with the monks, I counted above eleven hundred steps.
I suppose, in fact, we went half a mile, at least.
At last we found a lofty marble hall, at the upper end of which was a billiard-table
, where Mr. Sparmann
was playing with one of the monks, while down the middle was the supper-table.
Eighteen monks were soon gathered round it, the whole number that inhabits this wide pile.
There are eighty-nine in all, but many serve in parishes, and the rest are employed as teachers in a large gymnasium, which is supported by the monastery, in Linz.
Two of the monks I saw to-night are interesting men,—Stiltz, the librarian, a young man who seems full of zeal for knowledge; and Kurtz
, an old, very modest man, whose works on the history of Austria
, amounting to sixteen or eighteen octavos, are valued throughout Germany
as the best on the subject.
I talked a good deal with him, . . . . walked with him in the garden, and went with him to his room, which was large, every way comfortable, rather nicely furnished, and hung round with good engravings . . . . . They have about an hundred rooms for guests.
.—We breakfasted in our own rooms. . . . . As the monks are priests, who must say their masses every morning, . . . . they all breakfast separately.
When it was over with us, Kurtz
, Stiltz, and one or two other monks came and showed us the library.
It consists of about fifty thousand volumes, and is very respectable from its composition.
In literary history it is quite remarkable, and there is an admirable room full of incunabula
. I saw, too, a great deal, both of elegant literature and of Protestant learning, which could hardly be expected in a convent; and there was a tone in the conversation of the monks much freer than would seem to be appropriate to their condition.
The political atmosphere, both here and at Molk
, was quite liberal, at least round some of the monks.
We saw their collections in natural history, mineralogy, etc., which were of moderate value, but two parts of the establishment surprised me very much.
One was a suite of rooms, about twenty or twenty-five in number, called the Kaiser-Zimmer
,—Imperial Rooms,—which were prepared for the Emperor
, Charles VI., who sent the monks word, when their convent was building, a century ago, that he would come and see them every year, and hunt in their woods, if they would fit up apartments worthy of him. They did so, of course; for, as one of the monks said, such imperial hints were like ‘requests in full armor,’ and the Emperor
and Prince Eugene used to come, and live upon the monks several weeks every autumn, which they found a very burdensome honor for their revenues.
The rooms are now, of course, neglected, but they are still princely and grand; and the convent might, in all respects, easily be put in order to receive an emperor and his court, as in a vast palace.
The other part of the monastery that surprised me was the church.
Its size, its marbles, its rich but not overburdened ornaments, and its free, unincumbered architecture, reminded me of the magnificent churches at Venice
It will hold eight thousand people, and the whole country round so throng here, at the feast of St. Florian and several other great festivals, that it is filled.
As we came back from the church I met a messenger from the Prelate, who sent his compliments, to say he would make me a visit, if I were disengaged.
It seemed more suitable for me to go to him, and I went at once.
I found him living in a suite of twenty or thirty rooms . . . . There was some state about him, a doorkeeper and two or three monks in attendance, the rooms very noble.
He himself seemed about fifty, with the air and manners of the world, and agreeable and rather courtly conversation.
He regretted that he was
not at home last evening to receive us, hoped we had been comfortable, and so on; and it was plain he did not wish to be thought a mere monk.
When I left him, the carriage was already announced.
We went down the magnificent marble staircase; . . . . the venerable Kurtz
, Stiltz, and two or three other monks followed us to the bottom; we found several more waiting, who had brought flowers for Mrs.
T. and the children; and we drove away with their hearty good wishes following us.
Our journey during the forenoon was only twelve or fourteen miles, to Steyer, through most agreeable by-roads and a country not only much broken and diversified, but with extensive prospects, closed up by the Styrian Mountains
. . . . . We remained there only long enough to dine, and then, through an uncommonly rich, well-cultivated country, we came to Kremsmunster, another grand Benedictine monastery, larger even than either of the others we had seen.
We found it standing on a hillside, with its little village, as usual, gathered under its protection, the pretty, rapid stream of the Krems brawling below, and a wide, rich valley running up beyond, until it is grandly closed up by snow-clad mountains, grouped together in very picturesque forms.
We drove through a part of the irregular buildings that compose the wide extent of the monastery, and crossing two large courts,— where we found on all sides proofs that it was a gymnasium as well as a convent,—were brought to the part inhabited by the Prelate.
We were carried at once to his apartments, and found him an old man, nearly seventy, or quite seventy years old, broken with age, and talking so imperfectly, from want of teeth, that he could not be readily understood.
He received us very kindly, and the proper officer having made his appearance, we were asked how many rooms we needed, and were immediately shown to a suite of five excellent ones, large enough to make a dozen such as are used and built nowadays.
After we had refreshed ourselves, we were invited to see the establishment.
It dates from 770, but the buildings have been erected at different times, chiefly between 1300 and 1690, and are spread very irregularly over a wide space of ground.
The number of monks is eighty-four, forty of whom reside in the house, and the rest are priests in parishes.
The monastery has, besides, a gymnasium, where above two hundred and fifty young men are in a constant course of education, gratis, fifty of whom are entirely supported by the Emperor
, and a part of the rest by the funds of the institution.
We went first to the church.
It was originally of Gothic architecture, as its proportions still show,
but about one hundred and thirty or one hundred and forty years ago it was changed, according to the perverse fashion of the times, into an Italian-looking structure, and nearly spoilt.
It will hold about two thousand persons.
From the church we were carried to see a large court, in which were five enormous stone reservoirs of water, supplied by living fountains and filled with some thousands of fish,—trout, and all sorts of fresh-water fish,—who were disporting themselves there, and fed for the table of the monastery.
It was a pretty sight, and a very extraordinary one, considering the amount of ground covered by this truly monastic luxury, and the number of fish it contained.
From this court we passed into the garden, whose formal walks often gave us fine views of the picturesque country about us, and of the Styrian Mountains
. . . . . Their greenhouses were very good, and the conservatory for fig-trees very ample.
But it was now supper-time, and we were led to the Prelate
's apartments, where we found Professor Heinrich
, to whom we had brought letters, and who, as the head of the part devoted to education, and having the especial oversight of the Emperor
's scholars, is a very efficient person in the monastery.
He is about forty years old, and evidently a man of an active, vigilant mind.
Immediately after we arrived in the Prelate
's parlor, ‘the Master
of the Kitchen,’ a round, fat, burly old monk, came in, and very ceremoniously announced that supper was ready.
The Prelate desired Mrs
. T. to follow the rubicund official, and then, preceding the rest of us, we all rather solemnly marched to the supper, which we found served in an enormous hall of marble, about sixty feet high and wide, and long in proportion.
As we entered it, I perceived the other officials of the monastery standing together on the opposite side of the hall.
The Prelate and our party bowed to them, and the two parties advanced, in parallel lines, up the different sides of the hall, till we had traversed about one half of it. There we all stopped, and each asked a silent blessing, the monks crossed themselves, we bowed all round, and then traversing the rest of the hall were arranged at table, on each side of the Prelate, rather ceremoniously.
We were twelve in all, and seemed lost in the vast and splendid hall.
The monks were of course among the elders, for they hold the offices of the monastery, but they were ordinary, dull-looking persons in general.
The supper consisted of five courses, including soup, and was only moderately good; but there was a bottle of good wine for each, which the monks in general finished.
There was a beautiful ornament to the table, a silver-gilt oval
vase, about two feet and a half long [sunk in the table], with two graceful dolphins rising in the middle of it, who spouted water into the vase, where some goldfish seemed to make themselves very happy.
It was the prettiest centre-ornament to a table that I ever saw, and it occupied not a little of our attention, for the monks liked to have it noticed.
An abundance of pure, delicious water is one of the luxuries and beauties of this grand monastery, in different parts of which they have forty fountains, running to waste.
When supper was over . . . . we left the hall with ceremonies similar to those by which we entered it. I finished the evening by enjoying the sunset and twilight views of the valley and the mountains, in a long walk with Professor Heinrich
, on the hill overlooking the monastery. . . . . Everybody who has once seen them knows how beautiful are such mountains in the receding twilight, reflecting it back with ever-varying tints from the purple rocks and glittering snows, while the rich valleys below are already grown dim or become entirely lost in the gray darkness.
.—We are so comfortably off and so kindly treated that we have determined to stay till to-morrow . . . . Two young monks, one of them a rather smart, jaunty young man of twenty-seven, were deputed by the prior to show me whatever I desired to see. I went with them, therefore, to the library, which contains about thirty thousand volumes, but has a very antiquated and monastic look; there are also fifteen hundred manuscripts, incunabula
, etc. In the farming establishment I saw forty cows, who are never allowed to leave their stalls, eating grass out of marble mangers; . . . . a neat, dark dairy, with running water; . . . . another large reservoir full of a sort of large salmon and fresh-water lobsters; in short, whatever should belong to the luxury or comfort of such an establishment, when arranged on the grandest scale.
We dined with the Prelate, and after dinner were carried through a long series of rooms—covered with pictures, generally poor, and engravings, some of which, by Albert Durer
, were very curious—to his saloon, where we had coffee.
. . . . When this was over, we were carried to the observatory, a heavy, imposing building, erected on the solid rock, nine stories, and nearly two hundred feet high; . . . . the upper part is filled with astronomical instruments, some of which, by Frauenhofer, are probably good . . . . The rest of the afternoon I passed in talking with the monks, and in visiting that part of the establishment devoted to education, which seemed very well managed, and has its refectory, kitchens, church, etc., apart.
I supped with the Prelate, and went to
bed early, quite fatigued with walking over this wilderness of irregular buildings, which, if not in as good taste as those of Molk
or St. Florian, have a massive grandeur about them greater than that of either of those establishments, large as they are.
is altogether the most acute, intelligent, and learned person I found among the monks here.
He is liberal in his politics, and knows a good deal about England
I was quite surprised, for instance, to find that he understood very well the whole question of the United
States Bank. . . . . The young monk Raslhuber, who has lately passed a couple of years in Vienna
, at the observatory there, . . . . is quite fire-new in all his notions. . . . . In all three of these monasteries, as well as in the two or three monks I saw at Heiligenkreuz
, I have found a liberal and even republican tone the prevalent one; great admiration of America
.—After breakfast this morning we took leave of the kind, but rather dull old Prelate, and were followed to our carriage by the monks with all sorts of good wishes.
The boys of the gymnasium, too, were out in great numbers to see off the strangers who had come from so far, and, by the time we had passed the outer court, we had been saluted by nearly the whole rank and file of the establishment.
Until I visited these three great monasteries, I did not suppose that any so large, so rich, and so stately could be found still remaining in Christendom.
But the Benedictines are yet strong in their original resources and influence throughout Austria
; and these, with the Convent of Admont, constitute the hiding
of their power. . . . . The Benedictines
have always been the most respectable, the most learned, the most beneficent, of all the orders of monks; and it was for this reason that they escaped almost entirely when Joseph II.
laid so heavy a hand on the monasteries of Austria
generally, in the latter part of the last century.
What is to become of them hereafter, it is difficult to tell.
They do not belong to the present state of things anywhere, not even in ‘old Austria
The next four weeks were occupied by a very interesting journey through the valleys of Upper Austria
, which is described with great animation in the Journal.
After passing two days on the beautiful Gmunden See, the party arrived at Ischl on the 10th of July, and made their headquarters there until the 16th.
Ischl was not the fashionable watering-place it has since become, and this whole journey from Vienna
was then so rarely made, that its beauties were almost unknown, except to Germans.
The facilities and comforts of travelling were proportionately small, but there was compensation, not only in the wonderful scenery, but in the freedom from the presence of tourists.
July 12.—It has been a perfectly clear and beautiful day, and we have used it to make an excursion of about fifteen miles into the mountains, to see the valley and lake of Gosau, and the Dachstein or Thorstein Mountain, with its glacier. . . . . At first we followed the Traun to the point where it comes out of the beautiful lake of Hall-stadt, along which we drove for a mile, and then turned into the wild valley of the Gosau, a small mountain stream which came rushing down between opposing rocks that rose, generally, on each side some hundred feet, and sometimes one or two thousand feet above our heads.
Through this narrow pass we continued to ascend for about an hour, with the Gosau tumbling and foaming by our side, until at last the whole spread out into a rich and beautiful valley, containing thirteen hundred inhabitants, nearly all Protestants . . . . . We stopped at a sort of rude inn, kept by an old woman who reminded us of Meg Merrilies, . . . . and then traversing the whole of this fertile valley, came to where it is closed up by the mountain, and where the road finally ceases.
Here we left our caleche, and, taking a couple of chairs with eight men to carry us, began to ascend the mountain.
The views were very grand.
As we rose we passed round a sort of promontory in the hills, and then into a gorge where the Donner Kegel, or Thunderpeaks, seemed absolutely to overhang our heads at the height of two or three thousand feet; and still clinging to the wild torrent of the Gosau, at the end of an hour we reached the lake from which it flows.
It is about a mile long, and a quarter of a mile wide, shut in by mountains on all sides, of which the Dachstein rose directly in front of us, 9,448 feet above the ocean, with a glacier about three miles long distinctly before us, and so near that its waters keep the lake almost down to the freezing-point.
It is a very grand and very picturesque view. . . . .
In the evening I went to the Ischl theatre, . . . . where the acting was quite as bad as I expected to find it; but I went merely because I saw a piece translated from the Spanish announced, More-to's Desden con el Deaden, under the name of Die Prinzessin Diana,
and I enjoyed it a good deal, because the original was quite familiar to me.
July 14.—. . . . We had another beautiful day to-day, which we used for another excursion into the mountains, visiting the lake and town of Hallstadt, and the waterfall of Waldbach-Strupp. . . . . It is a more picturesque lake than Gmunden, about four and a half English miles long and one mile wide, surrounded by mountains that are as admirably grouped for effect as can well be imagined, and in which it lies so deeply imbedded that during four months in the year not a ray of the sun falls upon the greater part of it, or upon the village on its border. . . . . We did not stop at the village, except to order a cold dinner to be sent up the mountain, and then followed the course of the mountain torrent as our only guide.
It is hardly possible that a stream can be more beautiful than it is, as it comes rushing and leaping down in every form of torrent and cascade, over rocks covered with the richest moss, and under the shade of venerable beeches and oaks; now of the deep, emerald green, given to it by the glacier from which it springs, and now as white as foam and sunshine can make it. We lounged by its banks for an hour, refreshed in the heat of the day by its cool waters, whose temperature is so low that no fishes can live in them, and then toiled for another half-hour up the precipitous sides of the mountain, until, coming suddenly upon the verge of a gulf, we saw the torrent, fresh from its icy source, bursting its way through the mountain-wall opposite, and falling with tremendous uproar into the abyss nearly a hundred feet below.
It was a grand spectacle, and deserves as truly to be called picturesque as anything of the sort I have ever seen.
We sat down and enjoyed it at our leisure . . . . . In about two hours our dinner was brought.
A kind old woodcutter went down to the torrent and fetched us up some water, which effectually cooled our wine, and we enjoyed a delicious meal, resting on the bank of grass under the shadowing trees, and directly in front of the waterfall. . . . .
At St. Wolfgang, Mr. Ticknor
says, ‘In the court of the church we saw something really interesting, a very beautiful and graceful fountain, cast in lead, with admirable designs by Albert Durer
, of whose authenticity I did not doubt, both on account of their beauty, and because his initials and the date, 1515, were cast with the work.’
After three days at Salzburg
, on whose various beauties, interests, and antiquities Mr. Ticknor
dwells at length, we find the
following description of an excursion from Berchtesgarden to Konigsee and Obersee:—
July 20.—The lake [Konigsee] was as smooth as glass; the mountains — which on one side do not leave a foothold for the chamois, and on the other only an obscure hunter's path, but no habitation for man—rose in grand and picturesque forms around us; now and then a cascade came rushing down the rock to join the still waters below; and twice, graceful islands broke their pure, smooth expanse.
After rowing an hour and a quarter we came to a hunting-lodge of the King of Bavaria,4 built on a narrow strip of alluvial earth, which here stretches out into the lake.
We landed and had some delicious fish for dinner, called saiblinge, much like our trout.
The row back in the shadows of the afternoon, with the music of the Hallein miners before us,5 was delightful, and the approach to the gentle, cultivated valley beyond, dressed in the most brilliant green and lighted by the descending sun, was as beautiful as anything of the sort well can be.
July 22.—. . . . After passing Lend we left the Salzach, and, joining the Ache, plunged deeper and deeper into the dark recesses of the mountains.
As we rose we came to the Klam-Strasse, a gorge about two miles long, where the Ache has forced for itself so narrow a passage that while it boils and foams two or three hundred feet below, the perpendicular rocks above afford no shelf for the road in many places, except such as is cut into their sides or carried on stone arches and long wooden bridges from one cliff to another.
It is said to be the most fearful of all the mountain passes in Central Europe, and I can readily believe it; for, though it is perfectly safe, it is not possible, I apprehend, to go through it without some sensation of insecurity.
Until the first of August the travellers lingered in this beautiful country, including the remote valley of Gastein, closing their excursions with a few days at Munich
, amidst the results of the
recent patronage of art, by the reigning King
, Ludwig I., whom Mr. Ticknor
had seen as Crown Prince
in earlier days in Rome
A letter to Mr. Daveis
, written some weeks afterwards, gives a concise summary of this part of the summer's travels.
. . . . From Vienna we went up the Danube into Upper Austria, Salzburg, etc., on the whole the loveliest and most picturesque, though not the grandest country I have yet seen. . . . . At length, after a month spent so delightfully among the valleys and lakes, and surrounded with the snow-clad mountains of Upper Austria, we turned to Munich.
There we passed a week, which was quite filled with visits to the many fine buildings erected by the present King of Bavaria, and to the numberless fresco-paintings with which he has covered their walls.
The Glyptothek——an affected name for a statuegallery—is, on the whole, the most beautiful, merely beautiful building I ever saw; and there is a school of painting there, which, for the wideness and boldness of its range, and the number of artists attached to it, is a phenomenon the world has not seen since the days of Raffaelle and Michael Angelo.
It has already done a great deal, and if it continues to thrive for forty or fifty years more, as it has for the last twenty, so that there will be time for it to settle and ripen, to assume its proper character and reach its appropriate finish, it will produce works that will revive the great period of the art. But it seems to me as if the spirit of the times were against it, and as if ‘an age too late,’ of which Milton fancied he felt the influences, were indeed to prevent the ripening of these magnificent attempts.
And perhaps it is better it should be so; perhaps the world is grown so old and so wise, perhaps moral culture is so far advanced, that more can be done for human nature than by such costly patronage of the arts.
At least, in Bavaria it is obtained at much too dear a cost. . . . .
From Munich we intended to have plunged at once into the mountains of the Tyrol, but that was precisely the country that was most infected with the cholera, and a system of cordons was at once established, that made it out of the question to think of penetrating into the Peninsula on that side.
This sent us into Switzerland, where we intended to have gone next year, on leaving Italy . . . . . I think the Jungfrau, as seen from the high pass of the Wengern Alp,—where, in the solitudes of nature, you stand, as it were, in the immediate presence of one of the grandest and most glorious works of God,—produces more religious feelings and associations than anything I ever witnessed, which belonged to merely physical existence. . . . .
Three days at Berne
gave Mr. Ticknor
opportunity to see Count Bombelles
, Austrian Minister at Berne
, and the Duke
, who had received civilities in Boston
‘His wife,’ he writes, ‘a niece, I believe, of the late Lord Liverpool, is one of the most beautiful creatures I ever beheld, and there was a pleasant party of diplomats and foreigners collected at his house, from eight to eleven.’
also gave a day to a visit to Hofwyl, the school of Mr. Fellenberg
, which interested him much.
On the 2d of September he writes at Lausanne
.—. . . .It was late before we were established in comfortable quarters,. . . . but I was desirous to see old General Laharpe
, the governor and tutor of the late Emperor Alexander, and the person to whom that monarch owed, probably, most of the good qualities, and more particularly most of the liberal opinions, for which he was at one period of his life somewhat remarkable; and I therefore sent him my letter of introduction, and received an invitation to visit him. I found him eighty-four years old, with beautifully white hair, and the marks of a fresh and well-preserved, though truly venerable old age. His wife, who is a Russian, seemed younger, and his niece, the daughter of a brother, lives with them.
His establishment is such as suits his age and character; not showy, but every way as large, comfortable, and elegant as he can desire.
He received me in a suite of rooms forming his library; tea was served, and I talked with him about an hour.
He is, and always has been, a consistent republican, and for the last nineteen years—or since 1817— has lived quite retired in his native canton; for which, in the midst of the great changes of 1814-15, he did so much by means of his personal influence with the Russian Emperor
, and in whose political affairs and moral improvement he has ever since taken the liveliest interest.
His talk was of past times.
He remembered the course of our Revolution in America
with great distinctness, and told me that he personally knew it to be a fact, that Burr
made offers to the French
government to divide the United States
, and bring the Valley of the Mississippi
under French control.
told me, in 1818, that the offer was made to himself; and Laharpe
was in Paris
, and used to see Burr
occasionally at the time he was there, but says he was never looked upon with favor or respect.
He told me, too,
that, being at the headquarters of the allies as they were advancing upon Paris
, in 1814, Lord Castlereagh, after hearing of the occupation of Eastport
and the lower part of Maine
, said, one day, rubbing his hands with some satisfaction, ‘We shall take two or three of the United States
now, and I think we shall be able to keep them, too.’
When, however, peace was made, in 1815, and he congratulated his lordship upon it, he seemed uncommonly well pleased.
.—I spent the evening, until quite late, with old General Laharpe
, who had invited a few people to meet us; . . . . but I cared about nobody there except our host and hostess, who received us in a fine suite of rooms over the library suite, in the principal of which was a portrait of Alexander
, ‘given to his friend and instructor in 1814,’ as the inscription set forth.
When the company was gone, the old gentleman, who had told me about the beginning of the correspondence and diplomatic intercourse between Russia
and the United States
, showed me a letter of the Emperor
to him. It was dated July 7, 1803, consisted of three sheets, and was very kind and affectionate.
had sent him, just before, one of Jefferson
's messages to Congress, which had been furnished him by Joel Barlow
To this the Emperor
‘I should be extremely happy’—I believe I remember the words, and that my translation is literal—‘if you could put me in more direct relations with Erskine
I should feel myself greatly honored by it.’
showed to Barlow
, and thereupon Jefferson
wrote to the Emperor
A correspondence followed, and finally diplomatic relations.
Why are none of the letters given in the published works of Jefferson
Such talk of the old gentleman made my evening interesting, and I parted from him, after eleven o'clock, with a good deal of regret.
He is a truly venerable person, upon whom old age sits with a gracefulness that is very rare.
.—We drove to-day on the beautiful banks of this beautiful lake, through the rich fields and vineyards of the Pays de Vaud
, and in sight always of the mountains of Savoy
, from Lausanne
. . . . We stopped to see the Chateau at Coppet
, which we found a very comfortable and even luxurious establishment on the inside, though of slight pretensions outside.
The room—a long hall — that Mad. de Stael
used for private theatricals was fitted up by Auguste for a library, in which he placed the books both of his mother and his grandfather, and at one end of it a fine statue of
Necker, by Tieck
The family portraits, Necker and Mad. Necker, the Baron
and Mad. de Stael
, Auguste, and a bust of Mad. de Broglie
, made in 1815, are in another room, and Auguste's cabinet is just as he left it. The whole was very sad to me, the more so, perhaps, because the concierge
recollected me, and showed the desolation of the place, and its melancholy memorials, with a good deal of feeling.
The door of the monument in which rest the remains of Necker and his wife, with Mad. de Stael
at their feet, has been walled up. Auguste is buried on the outside, and round the whole is a high wall, the gate to which is not opened at all, as both Necker and Mad. de Stael
desired their cemetery might never be made a show.
Whenever she herself arrived at Coppet
she took the key and visited it quite alone, but otherwise the enclosure was never opened.
, September 6
.—. . . . Geneva
is extremely changed in all respects, and bears everywhere the marks of its increased wealth. . . . . Society is no less changed.
is in Italy
. . . . . Bonstetten
, the head of all that was literary and agreeable, died two years ago, about ninety years old. Prevost
, one of the coterie of Frederic the Great
; both the Pictets; Simond
, the traveller; the President de la Rive
, etc., etc., are all gone. . . . . Indeed, it is apparent that Geneva
is becoming almost entirely a place of commerce, and its prosperity will every day increase its commercial tendencies.
.—I have renewed my acquaintance with Mad. Rilliet
, and M. Hess
, the first of whom is the most intimate friend of the De Staels
remaining in Geneva
, and the last, a man of letters attached to her household.
They are all that survive of the delightful circle in which I passed some time, most happily, nineteen years ago.
, having met Mr. Horace Binney
, travelling with a daughter and niece, the two parties crossed the Simplon in company, and agreed to proceed southward, and to undergo, together, the quarantine that had now been made inevitable for all persons wishing to reach Rome
from the north.
, September 29
.—We have not been out to-day, except just to look about a little; but the square before our windows, with the royal guards constantly called out to salute some personage of consequence coming from the palace, the fine military music at noon, the show of military in some form or other passing in all directions, and the necessary thronging and bustling of the passengers, has amused
us very much.
It is one of those picturesque scenes which can be found only on the Continent, and even there only in a few cities where, as here, the sovereign has a great passion for whatever is military.
In the evening I went to see my old acquaintance, Count Brunetti
, whom I had known as Austrian Charge d'affaires at Madrid
, and who is now Austrian Minister here, married, and with three or four children.
He is much changed in his personal appearance by sickness, but is still the same manly, intellectual person I formerly knew.
He is just in the horrors of moving his establishment to a larger house, so that I shall hardly see much of him.
.—This forenoon I had a long and very agreeable visit from Count Cesare Balbo
, whom I knew very well in 1818 at Madrid
, where his father was Sardinian Minister.
He has had very various fortunes since I saw him last,—was exiled in 1821, for some part he took in the affairs for which Pellico
suffered; passed two years in Paris
, where he married a granddaughter of Count Segur
; came back, and was still not permitted to enter Turin
, but passed two years more in the country; became an author, to amuse and fill his time, wrote a ‘History of the Lombards in Italy
,’ a translation of the ‘Annals of Tacitus
,’ four Novelle
, which are very beautiful, some literary discussions, an edition of his friend Count Vidua
's ‘Letters,’ etc. He lived there most happily, and continued happy in Turin
after his return, till the death of his wife, about three years ago, who left him with eight young children and his aged father.
He felt himself quite overcome by his position for a long time, and especially after the death of his mother-in-law, about a year since, which finally determined him to marry again; so about two months ago he married a daughter of the late Count Napione
His family being rich, and he an only son, his position is very agreeable; but I think he finds his chief resources in his family and his books, and is, as I believe he always has been, a truly estimable and excellent, as well as learned and able man. In the affairs of the kingdom he, of course, takes no share, from his liberal politics; but his aged father, who has filled nearly all the first offices of the state at different times, is still held in great consideration, though there is no difference in their politics.
.—. . . . When Count Balbo
was with me yesterday, I happened to ask him how I could get a parcel and some letters to Pellico
, whom I had ascertained to be out of town.
He replied that the Marquis de Barolo
, with whom Pellico
has for some time lived,
was at his villa, which is next to Count Balbo
's villa, and that he would deliver the whole the same evening. . . . . To-day he brought Pellico
to make us a visit . . . .
is a small, commonplace-looking man, about fifty years old, gentle, modest, and quiet in his manners; his health still feeble, but not bad, from his long confinement; and with a subdued air, which shows that the spirit within him has been much bruised and crushed, and probably his very talent and mind reduced in its tone.
He spoke with great pleasure of the American
translation of his Prigioni
, which we brought him, and said that he is now quite happy in his position, that he had found kindness everywhere among his countrymen, and that his wants are very few, and that they are much more than supplied.
He is, I understand, extremely religious, perhaps somewhat bigoted. . . . . . After Balbo
was gone out he said,—with more fervor than he put into anything else,—that he was the first friend he found after he came out of prison,—‘the first, I mean,’ said he, ‘that I added to those I had before I was confined; and he has been an excellent and kind one to me ever since.
He is a good man; I owe him much.’
The facts of his history since his release, I learn, are as follows.
When he reached Turin
was full of trouble in consequence of the French
revolution of 1830, and all liberal men were suspected and watched; among the rest Count Balbo
, whose name was on a list of those to be sent to Alessandria, if he should express his opinions in favor of any change.
, therefore, remained most quietly with his family, going out hardly at all, and in every possible way avoiding suspicion.
sent him word, through Pellico
's brother, that he wished to know him, but it was best for both of them not to meet until the times were more settled, as an acquaintance between them now might injure both.
At the same time he advised him to live quite retired, at least for a few months.
In the spring things were more settled, and Pellico
was introduced by his brother to Count Balbo
, who at once became interested in him.
But it was not easy to interest others in him. Some were afraid of the consequences of intercourse with one who had been so obnoxious to the legitimacy of Europe
, and others were unwilling to receive into their society one who had worn the dress of a Galerien
, however, continued to walk with him in public, and otherwise make known his interest in him, and as the summer advanced, invited him to pass some time at a villa he had somewhat remote from Turin
He in fact spent several months there, and besides writing a good
deal of one of his tragedies, began to write his Prigioni
, which, however, he ventured upon with very great hesitation, and not till after Balbo
had encouraged and stimulated him not a little to undertake it.
When the Prigioni
were published, the minds of a good many persons were changed by it, but not the minds of all. Among those who now sought his acquaintance were the Marquis
and Marchioness Barolo
, persons of large fortune,—two hundred or three hundred thousand francs per annum,—of an old family, of intellectual tastes, and much devoted to doing good.
They were always intimate friends of the Balbo family, and Count Cesare
had made some movements earlier towards introducing Pellico
to them; but he had found in them a little repugnance to receiving him, and he did not press it. Now they asked him to bring Pellico
to their house, and the result has been, that they have become attached to him, have invited him to take the nominal place of librarian, with the salary of twelve hundred francs a year, and established him as their inmate completely, except that in winter, when they are in Turin
, he lodges with his father and mother.
It is a quiet situation, and he says he is very happy in it. I doubt not it is so. The Marquis
have no children, and spend a large part of their great income in works of benevolence.
When the cholera appeared at Turin
last year, they at once gave up a journey they had projected to Florence
, and moved into the city from their villa, devoting themselves to the means of preventing the progress of the disease, as well as to the hospitals, which the Marchioness, as well as her husband, visited regularly.
She has constantly, at Turin
, a House of Refuge for the most unhappy class of her own sex, and in her very palazzo she has established an infant school, where the poor can leave their children when they go to their daily work. . . . .
was still sitting with us . . . . Sir Augustus Foster
, the British Minister
, came in, and I was glad to find that he treated Pellico
with unaffected kindness and consideration, and invited him to dine. . . . . . Sir Augustus is the same person who was Minister in the United States
when war was declared with Great Britain
and has been Minister here eleven years, till he has grown quite a Piedmontese in his tastes. . . . .
.—. . . . We dined with the Marquis Barolo
, at his villa, . . . . about six or seven miles from Turin
. . . . . Our road was for some time on the banks of the Po
, through a rich and beautiful country,
with the snowy Alps
on our right hand and before us. . . . . We found a beautiful villa, in the Gothic taste, with a chapel and ornamental buildings attached to it, and a magnificent view of the rich plain below and the mighty Alps
we found a tall, plain person, with gentlemanlike manners, and evidently good sense and kind feelings.
Mad. de Barolo
, to our great surprise, is a Frenchwoman, who, notwithstanding her well-known religious character and habitual, active benevolence, has all a Frenchwoman's grace, vivacity, and esprit
. The appearance of things was everywhere elegant, tasteful, and intellectual.
So was the conversation.
Nobody was there but the family, consisting, besides the Barolos, of a person who seemed to be a secretary, and another who appeared to be a chaplain,—but neither of whom joined in any of the conversation,— Pellico
, and Count Balbo
About an hour after we arrived dinner was announced, which was served about six o'clock, by candlelight, in a beautiful room ornamented with a few pieces of sculpture.
The service was of silver.
was gentle and pleasant, but talked little, and I could not help marking the contrast between his conversation and the grave, strong, manly conversation of Count Balbo
, as well as the gay, lively commerage
of Mad. de Barolo
The dinner, which was entirely French
, was extremely agreeable, and when it was over we went to the saloon, had coffee and more pleasant talk, looked over autographs, etc., till about nine, when we returned to Turin
.—. . . . In the afternoon we drove down the Po
about as far as we drove up it yesterday, and dined with Sir Augustus Foster
, at his villa.
It is beautifully situated on the opposite declivity of the height on which stands the villa of the Barolos, and commands the other view of the Alps
, the plain, and the river. . . . . The party was large, consisting of Ramirez, the Neapolitan Minister
, whom I knew as a Secretary of Legation in Madrid
; Heldewier, the Dutch Minister
, whom I knew, also, as a Secretary at Madrid
; Truchsess, the Prussian Minister
; the Marquis
and Marchioness de Podenas
, the latter of whom played so great a part in the service of the Duchess de Berri
; and several other persons.
It was an elegant dinner, and so far as talking with Mad. de Podenas
and the good-natured Sir Augustus Foster
could make an agreeable one, I found it so. But there was nothing special about it, except that I was struck with meeting so many persons at Turin
whom I knew at Madrid
I can already count seven.
came to town this forenoon to see us, and
having spent a good deal of the day in excellent talk with him, I went to his father's palazzo in town, and dined with him, and with a small and very agreeable party he had invited to meet me. They were Sauli, who manages the affairs of the island of Sardinia
; the Abbe Gazzera
, a great bibliographer; Count Sclopis
who is engaged in a great work of codification for the whole kingdom; Boucheron, the author of a beautiful Latin life of the Abbe Caluso
; Count Cossi
, the archivist of the King
; and the Marquis Alfieri
, a connection of the poet.
It was an elegant dinner, in the genuinely Italian
style, and the conversation was very animated and various.
A part of it turned on the relative domestic character of the Italians and the French
, and there was a sharp battle well fought on both sides.
The old Count
did not dine with us, but he came into the saloon in the evening, bringing with him several original letters of Franklin
, one or two American pamphlets, and other things that he thought it would please me, as an American, to see. The letters of Franklin
he inherited with the papers of Beccaria,—the professor of philosophy, not the jurist,—whose favorite pupil the Count
was, and who corresponded with Franklin
about electricity, etc. The Count
is nearly eighty years old, and much broken in his physical strength, but his mind is as clear and active as when I knew him in 1818.
.—I went over the University
this morning with the Abbe Gazzera
, where I saw nothing worth recollecting, but a good library of 140,000 volumes, with a few curious and beautiful manuscripts.
Afterwards I passed a little time with Count Cossi
in the archives of the kingdom, but again saw little that was very interesting. . . . The rest of the forenoon we spent in a drive to Count Balbo
's villa, finely situated next to that of the Marquis de Barolo
; and saw his wife, who seems an agreeable and suitable person for his position and family.
I was sorry to part with them, for Count Balbo
has really shown himself an old friend ever since we have been in Turin
, October 7
.—The whole morning was spent in different inquiries about the state of the cholera, to all which I obtained most satisfactory answers, so far as the disease itself is concerned, which seems to be fast disappearing from all parts of Italy
. . . . . The afternoon I spent in the great cathedral, enjoying the mere general effect of its solemnity, for in this respect I know of no building in Europe
that surpasses it. As the twilight closed in, it was grand and impressive
indeed; the lights at two or three altars, and the humble worshippers before them, adding not a little to its power.
.—Again I passed the morning in inquiries about the cholera and cordons, . . . . with the general conclusion which I came to at Turin
, that Castel Franco, between Modena
, is the best place for us to undergo the quarantine, without which neither Florence
can be reached.
The governor of Lombardy
was very civil to me, and showed me all the documents relating to the subject, . . . . and from looking them over I have no doubt the cholera has nearly disappeared from every part of Italy
. . . . . The Roman Consul—a great name for a very small personage —was also very good-natured, and showed me whatever I wanted to see. But neither of them gave me any hope that the cordons will be removed at present, and the governor talked of the Duke
and of the Pope
in a way that hardly became either a good neighbor or a good Catholic, and with a freedom which no man in the United States
, holding a considerable office, would venture to use. But I have often had occasion to observe that opinions are more freely expressed in Europe
than they are with us; partly, I suppose, because opinion is so powerful in the United States
, and of so little comparative consequence here, where the governments are neither founded on opinion nor controlled by it.
,’ said the governor, ‘is a very absurd personage, who keeps up his cordons, in part, to show that he is not under Austrian
I asked him what might be expected from the Roman States
‘Nothing is to be expected,’ he replied, ‘from a government of priests but inconsequence and imbecility.’
His whole talk was in this tone. . . . .
In the evening we went to the Scala, the famous Scala
which has enjoyed such a reputation in Europe
ever since it was built in 1778, and which the Austrian government is obliged to keep up at such great cost.
Its size, indeed, which permits it to hold, with its six rows of boxes, above three thousand spectators; the splendor of the view on one side, which is all gold except the graceful blue silk drapery that shuts the fronts of the boxes, and on the other the vast stage, with sometimes nearly a thousand actors on it; the admirable scenery; . . . . the picturesque and even poetical ballet; and the opera itself,— make it, I dare say, what it chiefly claims to be, the most magnificent spectacle
of the sort in Europe
. . . . . There is at this moment no society in Milan
It is the season of the villeggiatura
, when it is unfashionable
always to be seen in the city, and this year the cholera has made it a desert, so that hardly one box in ten had anybody in it. . . . . Belisario
, by Donizetti, was pretty well performed by Tadolini as the prima donna, whom we had heard at Vienna
. . . . .
.—We spent a very agreeable day to-day with the Manzoni family, at their villa about five or six miles from Milan
, where they live half the year.
The family now consists of the elder Mad. Manzoni
, who is the daughter of the well-known Marquis Beccaria, and an interesting old lady; Manzoni
himself, who has been a widower these two years; and his five children, with an ecclesiastic, who is almost always found in respectable Italian
families, as a tutor and religious director.
To this party was added to-day, to meet us, Baron Trechi
, . . . . who some time since expiated the sin of having more than common talent and liberal views of politics, by a fifteen-months' confinement in an Austrian prison.
The whole was pleasant, but the person who most interested me was Manzoni
himself, who must, I suppose, be now admitted to be the most successful author Italy
has produced since the days of Alfieri
, and who has, besides, the merit of being a truly excellent and respectable man. He is now fifty-one years old, for, as he told me to-day, he was born in 1785, and he has been known as an author since he published his Inni sacri
, in 1816 . . . . . But no degree of success encourages him to write much.
He has a sensitive, retiring spirit, and what he has achieved amidst almost unbroken applause is said to be no compensation to himself for the occasional murmurs of critical censure that reach even those who least need or deserve them.
In conversation he showed some of this character.
He seemed, so to speak, to be strong through his fears; and talked with the most energy where he felt the most misgiving.
Thus, for instance, he was positively eloquent when he urged his fears that the attempts to introduce liberal institutions into Europe
would end in fastening the chains of a heavier despotism on the people, and that the irreligious tendencies of the age would but arm the priesthood with new and more dangerous power.
In the question of slavery in the United States
he was much interested, and said he wished the northern portion of America
were separated from the southern, that New England
and the other free States might be entirely relieved from this odious taint.
He talked well, too, upon other subjects, especially literary subjects; but he is more thoroughly interested, I should think, in what relates to religion and government than anything else, though his fears and anxieties will probably
prevent him from ever fully publishing all he thinks and feels on either of them.
But he is a man of wisely liberal views in politics, I should think, and a sincere Catholic in his faith.
His temperament leads him to live much and quietly in the country, where he occupies himself with agriculture and botany, with poetry and literature.
He is rich already, and on the death of his aged uncle, the present Marquis Beccaria, he will be master of a large fortune; though I think this will hardly much affect his habits or his modes of life, which will always be determined by his original character.
He is of middling size, and his hair is quite gray, so that he looks older than he is; he stutters a very little, and he takes snuff freely.
He is simple, frank, and ardent,—at least sometimes ardent in his manner,—and left with me not only a strong impression of his talent, but of his excellent and faithful character. . . . .
.—. . . . . To the Brera we next went. . . . . Most of its halls are not well enough lighted, but the three pictures that are best worth seeing are in very good positions.
They are Raffaelle's Sposalizio,—a work of his youth, which, notwithstanding its grace and sweetness, has so many awkward parts about it, that it cannot be looked at with great pleasure; Guido's Peter and Paul
in Discussion about the Gentiles, a grand picture full of deep meaning; and Guercino's Hagar sent away by Abraham, in which the severity of the patriarch, the half-concealed triumph of Sarah, and the broken-hearted expression of the beautiful victim, who hesitates yet an instant to believe or obey the cruel command for her exile, produce altogether an effect which places it among the very first pictures in the world.
I was glad to find that the beautiful Hagar
was quite fresh in my recollection after an interval of nearly twenty years. . . . .
.—We passed the forenoon in the cathedral, which, in fact, I visit every day; but which we to-day examined in some detail.
It is a magnificent structure, inferior in size only to St. Peter
's and St. Paul
's, and built of solid marble in all its architecture and ornaments, from the foundation-stone to the pinnacle . . . . . This is precisely one of the buildings where you care nothing about the details, though I must needs say I do not like the doors and windows on the front, or the magnificent granite pillars on the inside of the principal entrance, because they are of Roman architecture and contradict the rest of the fabric.
Still, after all, you do not think of these incongruities when you are there, for they are lost in the effect of the whole.
Its vastness, its gorgeousness, and the richness of the dim light by which it is seen, give it full power over the imagination.
.—. . . . In the afternoon Mr. Binney
, of Philadelphia
, and his party joined us from Venice
, with the intention of going South with us, whenever we shall jointly determine upon the course it will be best to take. . . . .
.—We have passed through the territories of the Duke
, and are safely shut up for a fortnight's quarantine in Castel Franco.
The whole day's work has been as ridiculous as anything of the sort, perhaps, can be. In less than an hour after leaving Parma
we reached the frontier of Modena
, and were stopped by the guard till horses could be sent for; as the Duke
allows no foreigner to enter his territories, who does not come prepared to traverse them as fast as post-horses can carry him, and under an escort, to make it sure that no intercourse is held with the inhabitants on the way. The whole goes here, as elsewhere in Italy
, on the absurd system that cholera is communicated mainly, and perhaps solely, by contact, like the plague.
Our passport, therefore, was taken in a pair of tongs and fumigated; the money to pay for this graceful ceremony was dropped into vinegar, and then the passport was given to two carabineers, who rode in a caleche behind us, to see that we did not get out of the carriage or touch any of the subjects of the most gracious Duke
In this way we were handed on from post to post, changing the carabineers at each station, until about three o'clock, or about six hours after we entered Modena
, we crossed its frontiers again and were delivered over to the Pope
's guards, who fumigated our passport anew,—though it had been in the hands of the carabineers the whole time,—and then sent us into our lazaretto, which is neither more nor less than a set of old brick barracks in a ruined fort, erected some time in the seventeenth century, and dismantled by the French
Our rooms are brick on all sides, and cheerless enough; but the food is quite decent.
In these barracks we are locked up and guarded with perhaps twenty or thirty other persons, . . . . we are not allowed to touch any person who came in on a different day from ourselves, nor to touch anything they have touched; but we may all walk and converse together in a large, well-sodded esplanade of about ten acres, surrounded completely with the buildings which prevent us from seeing anything of the external world . . . . . This is to be our fate for a fortnight; but we have a pleasant party and abundant occupations, and . . . . are not altogether sorry for a little real repose, after above five months of very busy travelling. . . . .
.—We have now gone through nearly the whole of this
miserable farce of a quarantine, and next day after to-morrow are to be released, and pronounced free of infection.
On the whole, it has not been worse than we anticipated, and we have all been so truly busy that I do not know when the same number of days have passed so quickly.
Every morning I have risen at seven, and we have all met for breakfast about nine; after which we have occupied ourselves in reading and writing . . . . till twelve, when we have generally walked an hour in the most delightful weather. . . . . At five we have met again for dinner, after which we took a dish of tea together and finished the evening with a game of whist. . . . . Part of the time there have been fifty persons in the same condition with ourselves, and at this moment there are above twenty Americans
Most of the parties complain much of the tediousness and vexation of the delay, and we have heartily pitied a poor Russian Countess
who has heard here of the illness and death of a child at Florence
, hardly twenty hours drive from here, which she yet could not be permitted to visit. . . . .
.—This morning we were released.
The population of the lazaretto has been much increased within the last two days, . . . . in such numbers that no suitable accommodations can be provided for them . . . . . This morning they crowded round the carriage as we entered it, looking like the poor souls in Virgil who are not permitted to pass over the Styx . . . . . However, we did not stop to think much of such things, but hastened on to Bologna
, where we were glad indeed to find ourselves again amidst the somewhat cheerless comforts of a huge Italian
palazzo, turned into an inn. As soon as we were established we went out to see the city, with an appetite for sights somewhat sharpened by an abstinence of a full fortnight. . . . .
The evening I spent with Mad. Martinetti
, with whom, nineteen years ago, I spent the only two evenings I ever passed in Bologna
She is not as beautiful as she was then, when she had recently sat to Gerard
as the model for his Corinna
improvisating on Cape Misenum; but she is still a fine-looking woman, and has the grace, sweetness, and intelligence of which time can never despoil her, and which have always made her house one of the most agreeable in Italy