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beaucoup de dieux badins, il manque davantage encore, puisqu'il rien resle qu'une jambe sur le socle. Le reste gît au fond des bassins. Les eaux ne soufflent plus dans des tuyaux d'orgue; elles bondissent encore dans des conques de marbre et le long des grandes girandes; mais elles y chantent de leur voix naturelle. Les rocailles se sont tapissées de vertes chevelures, qui les rendent à la vérité. Les arbres ont repris leur essor puissant sous un climat énergique, et sont devenus des colosses encore jeunes et pleins de santé. Ceux qui sont morts ont dérangé la symétrie des allées; les parterres se sont remplis de folles herbes; les fraises et les violettes ont tracé des arabesques aux contours des tapis verts; la mousse a mis du velours sur les mosaïques criardes: tout a pris un air de révolte, un cachet d'abandon, un ton de ruine et un chant de solitude.
"Et maintenant, ces grands parcs jetés aux flancs des montagnes forment, dans leurs plis verdoyants, des vallées de Tempe, où les ruines rococo et les ruines antiques dévorées par la même végétation parasite donnent à la victoire de la nature un air de gaieté extraordinaire. Comme en somme, les palais sont d'une coquetterie princière ou d'un goût charmant; que ces jardins, surchargés de détails puérils, avaient été dessinés avec beaucoup d'intelligence sur les ondulations gracieuses du sol, et plantés avec un vrai sentiment de la beauté des sites; enfin, comme les sources abondantes y ontété habilement dirigées pour assainir et vivifier cette région bocagère, il ne serait pas rigoureusement vrai de dire que la nature y a été mutilée et insultée. Les brimborions fragiles y tombent en poussière; mais les longues terrasses d'où l'on dominait l'immense tableau de la plaine, des montagnes et de la mer; les gigantesques perrons de marbre et de lave qui soutiennent les ressauts du terrain, de qui ont, certes, un grand caractère; les allées couvertes qui rendent ces vieux Édens praticables en tout temps; enfin tout ce qui, travail élégant, utile et solide, a survécu au caprice de la mode, ajoute au charme de ces solitudes, et sert à conserver, comme dans des sanctuaires, les heureuses combinaisons de la nature et la monumentale beauté des ombrages. Il suffit de voir, autour des collines de Frascati, l'aride nudité des monts Tusculans, ou l'humidité malsaine des vallées, pour reconnaître que l'art est parfois bien nécessaire à l'oeuvre de la création." — George Sand, La Daniella.
Nothing can describe the charm of the villa life at Frascati,—the freshness of the never-ceasing fountains, the deep shade of the thick woods, the splendour of the summer fruits, and, above all, the changing glories of the view, which VILLA TORLONIA, FRASCATI. 103
is unlike any other in the world, over the vast plain, in which the world's capitol seems almost to be lost in the immensity and luminousness of the pink haze.
Opposite to the gate of the town, opens that of the Villa Torlonia—the Pincio of Frascati—and the great resort of its inhabitants. The villa itself is not worth visiting, but the view from its terrace is most beautiful, and a grand waterfall tumbles down a steep behind the house, through the magnificent ilex-groves. This type of villa is well pourtrayed by Miss Ed wards.
"We went down a broad walk, wide enough for a carriage drive, and completely roofed in by thick trees. Weeds grew unheeded in the gravel, and last year's leaves lay thick on the ground. Here and there, in the green shade, stood a stone seat brown with mosses; or a broken um; or a tiny antique altar, rifled from a tomb —and presently we reached a sjxice somewhat more open than the rest, with a shapeless mass of reticulated brick-work and a low arch guarded by two grim lions, in the midst. Here the leaves had drifted more deeply, and the weeds had grown more rankly than elsewhere; and a faint oppressive perfume sickened on the air. We pushed our way through the grass and brambles, and looked down into the darkness of that cavernous archway. A clinging damp lay on the old marble lions, and on the leaves and blossoms of the trailing shrubs that overgrew them. A green lizard darted by on a fragment of broken walL A squirrel ran up the shaft of a stately stone pine that stood in the midst of the ruins.
"At length we emerged upon a terrace that bounded the gardens on this side. The Campagna and the hills lay spread before us in the burning sun-set, and a shining zone of sea bounded the horizon. Long shadows streamed across the marble pavement, and patches of brilliant light pierced through the carved interstices of the broken balcony. A little fountain dripped wearily in the midst, surmounted by a headless Triton, and choked with water-weeds; whilst all along the parapet, with many a gap, the statues of the Caesars stood between us and the sun."—Barbaras History.
Below the Villa Torlonia, the Villa Pallavicini, with an ilex-crested terrace, projects over the plain. Above it, is the* Villa Aldobrandini, standing grandly upon a successicm of
by Giovanni Fontana for Cardinal Pietro Aldobrandini, nephew of Clement VIII. The villa is adorned internally with frescoes by CaV. d'Arpino. Behind it a succession of waterfalls tumble through a glorious old ilex-grove, into a circle of fantastic statues. The scene may once have been ridiculous, but Nature has now made it most beautiful.
"At the Villa Aldobrandini, or Belvidere, we were introduced to the most multifarious collection of monsters I ever hope to behold. Giants, centaurs, fauns, Cyclops, wild beasts, and gods, blew, bellowed, and squeaked, without mercy or intermission; and horns, pan's-pipes, organs, and trumpets, set up their combined notes in such a dissonant chorus, that we were fain to fly before them; when the strains that suddenly burst forth from Apollo and the Nine Muses, who were in a place apart, compelled us to stop our ears, and face about again in the opposite direction.
'' When this horrible din was over, we were carried back to admire the now silent Apollo and the Muses,—a set of painted wooden dolls, seated on a little mossy Parnassus, in a summer-house,—a plaything we should have been almost ashamed to have made even for the amusement of children. All these creatures, in the mean time, were spouting out VILLA RUFINELLA, FRASCATI.
water. The lions and tigers, however, contrary to their usual habits, did nothing else; and the 'great globe itself,' which Atlas was bearing on his shoulders, instead of ' the solid earth,' proved a mere aqueous ball, and was overwhelmed in a second deluge."—Eaton's Rome.
Those who are not good walkers, should engage donkeys for the excursion to Tusculum, to which a steep ascent leads from the piazza of the town, between the walls of the villas Aldobrandini and Falconieri. Just beyond the latter, an inscription marks the humble retreat of the learned Cardinal Baronius. A steep hill leads to the Convent of the Cappuccini, but our path passes through the shady and delightful walks of the Villa Rufinella, which is now the property of Prince Lancellotti, having formerly belonged to the Buonapartes. The casino was built by Vanvitelli. The chapel contains monuments of the Buonaparte family. During the residence of Lucien Buonaparte here (Nov. 1818), this villa was the scene of one of the boldest acts of brigandage known in the Papal States. A party of robbers, who had their rendezvous at Tusculum, first seized the old priest of the family as he was out walking, and having plundered and stripped him, bound him hand and foot . As they surmised, when the dinner-hour arrived, and the priest was missing, a servant was sent out in search of him, and left the door open, through which five bandits entered, and attacking the servants they met, forced them to silence by threats of instant death. One maid-servant, however, escaped, and gave warning to the party in the dining-room, who all had time to hide themselves, except the Prince's secretary, who had already left the room to discover the cause of the noise, and who was carried off, together with the butler, and a facchmo. The old priest meanwhile contrived to escape and conceal himself in some straw.
The next day the facchino was sent back to treat with the Prince, and to say that unless he sent a ransom of 4000 crowns the prisoners would be immediately put to death. He sent 2000 and an order on his banker for the remainder. The brigands, greatly irritated, returned the order torn up with a demand for 4000 crowns more, and with this the Prince was forced to comply in order to preserve the lives of his attendants. The brigands escaped scot free!
A tomb which is passed at the entrance of Frascati towards the Villa Rufinella is said to be that of Lucullus, who is known to have had a villa here. This stood near the Villa of Cicero, who was accustomed to borrow books and fetch them with his own hand (De Fin. iii. 2) from the library of his friend. The scholiast on Horace describes the Villa of Cicero as being "ad latera superiora " of the hill, and its site is generally believed to have been that now occupied by the Villa Rufinella, and that the Casino stands on the site of his Academica, which had shady walks like those of Plato's Garden—forefathers of the walks which we still see.
The Tusculan Disputations of Cicero take their name from this beloved villa of his, which he bitterly complained of the Roman consuls valuing at only " quingentis millibus" —between ^4000 and ^5000. A complete picture of the villa may be derived from the many allusions to it in the works of Cicero, thus :—
"We learn that it contained two gymnasia (Dhi. i. *.), an upper one called the Lycaeum, in which, like Aristotle, he was accustomed to walk and dispute in the morning (Tusc. Disp. ii. 3), and to which a library was attached (Div. ii. 3); and a lower one called the Academy (Tusc. Disp. ii. 3). Both were adorned with beautiful statues in marble and