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The site of (Cicero's villa may be supposed either at the Grotta Ferrata, or at the Tusculum of Prince Lucien Buonaparte.
The former was thought some years ago the actual site, as may be seen from Middleton's Life of Cicero, At present it has lost something of its credit, except for the Domenichinos. Nine monks of the Greek order live there, and the adjoining villa is a cardinal's summer house. The olher villa, called Rufinella, is on the summit of the hill above Frascati, and many rich remains of Tusculum , have been found there, besides seventy-two statues of different merit and preservation, and seven busţs.
From the same eminence are seen the Sabine hills, embosomed in which ļies the long valley of Rustica. There are several circumstances which tend to establish the identity of this valley with the « Ustica » of Horace; and it seems possible that the mosaic pavement which the peasants uncover by throwing up the earth of a vineyard, may belong to his villa. Rustica is pronounced short, not according to our stress upon--« Usticoe cubantis. »--It is more rational to think that' we are wrong than that the inhabitants of this secluded valley have changed their tone in this word. The addition of the consonant prefixed is nothing : yet it is necessary to be aware that Rustica may be a modern name which the peasants may have caught from the antiquaries.
The villa, or the mosaic, is in a vineyard on a knoll covered with chesnut trees. A stream runs down the valley, and although it is not true, as said in the guide books, that this stream is cal. led Licenza, yet there is a village on a rock at the head of the valley which is so denominated, and which may have taken its name from the Digentia. Licenza contains 700 inhabitants. On a peak a little way beyond is Civitella , containing 300. On the banks of the Anio, a little before you turn up into Valle Rustica, to the left about an hour from the villa, is a town called Vico-varo, another favourable coincidence with the Varia of the poet. At the end of the valley, towards the Anio, there is a bare hill, crowned with a little town called Bardela. At the foot of this hill the rivulet of Licenza flows, and is almost absorbed in a wide sandy bed before it reaches the Anio. Nothing can be more for · tunate for the lines of the poet, whether in a metaphorical or direct sense :
« Me quotiens reficit gelidus Digentia rivus,
Quem Mandela bibit rugosus frigore pagus. » The stream is clear high up the valley , but before it reaches the hill of Bardela looks green and yellow like a sulphur rivulet.
Rocca Giovane , a ruined village in the hills , half an hour's walk from the vineyard where the pavement is shown, does seem to be the site of the fane of Vacuna , and an inscription found there tells that this temple of the Sabine victory was repaired by Vespasian. * With these helps, and a position corresponding exactly to every thing which the poet has told us of his retreat, we may feel tolerably secure of our site.
The hill which should be Lucretilis is called Campanile , and by following up the rivulet to the pretended Bandusia, you come to the roots of the higher mouutain Gennaro. Singularly enough the only spot of ploughed land in the whole valley is on the knoll where this Bandusia rises,
«.., .. tu frigus amabile
Præbes , et pecori vago, » The peasants show another spring near the mosaic pavement which they call « Oradina , » and which flows down the hills into a tauk or mill dam, and thence trickles over into the Digentia, But we must not hope
« To trace the Muses upwards to their spring » by exploring the windings of the romantic valley in search of the Bandusiąn fountain. It seems sirange that any one should have thought Bandusia a fountain of the Digentia-Horace has not let drop a word of it; and this immortal spring hạs in fact been discovered in prossession of the holders of many good things in Italy, the monks, It was attached to the church of St. Gervais and Protais, near Venusia, where it was most likely to be found, * We shall not be so lucky
* MP. CÆSAR VESPASIANUS
POTEST, CENSOR, ADEM
SVĄ. ĮMPENSA. RESTITUIT.
as a late traveller in finding the occasional pine still pendant on the poetic villa. There is not a pine in the whole valley , but there are two cypresses, which he evidently took, or mistook for the tree in the ode. t The truth is, that the pine is now, as it was in the days of Virgil , a garden tree, and it was not at all likely to be found in the craggy acclivities of the valley of Rustica. Horace probably had one of them in the orchard close above his farm, immediately overshadowing his villa, not on the rocky heights at some distance from his abode, The tourist may have easily supposed himself to have seen this pine figured in the above cypresses , for the orange and lemon trees which throw such a bloom over his description of the royal gardens at Naples , unless they have been since displaced were assuredly only acacias and other common garden shrubs. * The extreme disappointment experienced by choosing the Classical Tourist as a guide in Italy must be allowed to find vent in a few observations, which , it is asserted without fear of contradiction, will be confirmed by every one who has selected the same conductor through the same country. This author is in fact one of the most inaccurate, unsatisfactory writers that have in our times attained a temporary reputation, and is very soldom to be trusted even when be speaks of objects which he must be presumed to have seen. His errors, from the simple exaggeration to the downright mistatement, are so frequent as to induce a suspioien that he had either never visited the spots described, or had trusted to the fidelity of former writers. Indeed the Classical Tour has every characteristic of a mere compilation of former notices , strung together upon a very slender thread of personal observation. and swelled out by those decorations which are so easily supplied by a systematic adoption of all the common places of praise , applied to every thing, and therefore signifying not
The style which one person thinks cloggy and cumbrous, and unsuitable , may be to the taste of others, and such may experience
of See-Classical] Tour , etc. chap. vii. p. 250. vol. ii.
*« Under our windows, and bordering on the beach, is the royal garden, laid out in parterres, and walks shaded by rows of orange trees. » Classical Tour', etc. chap. xi. vol. ii. oct. 565.
some salutary excitement in ploughing through the periods of the Classical Tour. It must be said, however ; that polish and weight are apt to beget an expectation of value. It is amongst the pains of the damned to toil up a climax with a huge round stone.
The tourist had the choice of his words, but there was no such latitude allowed to that of his sentiments. The love of virtue and of liberty, which must have distinguished the character, certainly adorns the pages of Mr Eustace, and the gentlmanly spirit, so recommendatory either in an author or his production , is very conspicnous throughont the Classical Tour. But these generous qualities are the foliage of such a performance, and may be spread about it so prominently and profusely, as to embarras those who wish to see and find the fruit at hand. The unction of the divine, and the exhortations of the moralist , may have made this work something more and better than a book of travels, but they have not made it a book of travels; and this observation applies more especially to that enticing method of instruction conveyed by the perpetual introduction of the same Gallic Helot to reel and bluster before the rising generation, and terrify it into decency by the display of all the excesses of the revolution. An animosity against atheists and regicides in general , and Frenchmen specifically, may be honourable , and may he useful, as a record ; but that antidote should either be administered in any work rather than a tour, or at least should be served up apart, and not so mixed with the whole mass of information and reflection, as to give a bitterness to every page: for who would choose to have the antipathies of any man, however just , his travelling companions ? A tourist , unless he aspires to the credit of prophecy, is not answerable for the changes which may take place in the country which he describes; but his reader may very fairly esteem all his political portraits and deductions as so much waste paper, the moment they cease to assist, and more particularly if they obstruct , his actual survey.
Neither encomium nor accusation of any government, or governors, is meant to be here offered, but it is stated as an incontrovertible fact, that the change operated, either by the address of the late imperial system, or by the disappointment of every expectation by those who have succeeded to the Italian thrones, has been so considerable, and is so apparent, as not only to put Mr. Eustace's Antigallican philippics entirely out of date, but even to throw some suspicion upon the competency and candour of the author himself. A remarkable example may be found in the instance of Bologna, over whose papal attachments, and consequent desolation, the tourist pours forth such strains of condolence and revenge, made louder by the borrowed trumpet of Mr Burke. Now Bologna is at this moment, and has been for some years, notorious amongst the states of Italy for its attachment to revolutionary principles, and was almost the only cily which made any demonstrations in favour of the unfortunate Murat. This change may, however, have been made since Mr. Eustace visited this country; but the traveller whom he has thrilled with horror at the projected stripping of the copper from the cupola of St. Peter's, must be much relieved to find that sacrilege out of the power of the French, or any other plunderers, the cupola being covered with lead. *
If the conspiring voice of otherwise rival critics had not given considerable currency to the Classical Tour, it would have been unnecessary to warn the reader, that however it may adorn his library. it will be of little or no service to him in his carriage; and if the judgment of those critics had hitherto been suspended, no altempt would have been made to anticipate their decision. As it is, those who stand in the relation of posterity to Mr Eustace , may be permitted to appeal from cotemporary praises, and are perhaps more likely to be just in proportion as the causes of love and hatred are the farther removed. This appeal had, in some measure, been made before the above remarks were written ; for one of the most respectable of the Florentine publishers, who had been persuaded by the repeated inquiries of those on their jour
* « What, then, will be the astonishment, or rather the horror, of my reader when I inform him ......... the French Committee turned ils attention to Saint Peter's. and employed a company of Jews to estimate and purchase the gold , silver, and bronze that adorn the inside of the edifice, as well as the copper that covers the vault and dome on the outside, » Chap, iv. p, 130, vol. ii. The story about the Jews is positively denied at Rome,