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CHAPTER XIII.

LICENZA AND MONTE GENNARO.

(This is one of the most interesting of the excursions from Tivoli. A carriage may be taken from Tivoli to the farm of Horace itself, or good walkers may take the morning diligence to Subiaco as far as S. Cosimato, and walk from thence to Licenza, returning to meet the diligence in the evening. For the excursion to Monte Gennaro, horses must be ordered beforehand.)

OON after leaving Tivoli some magnificent arches of

the Claudian Aqueduct are seen crossing a ravine on the left, through which a road leads to Ampiglione (probably the ancient Empulum), where some of the ancient walls remain. Then, also on the left, rises the most picturesque village of Castel Madarna crowning a ridge of hill. Then the road passes close to some ruins supposed to be those of the tomb of C. Maenius Bassus of the time of Caligula.

Seven miles from Tivoli we reach Vuovaro, the Varia of Horace. Some of the ancient walls remain, of huge blocks of travertine. The place now belongs to Count Bolognetti Cenci, who has a dismal palace here. At one end of a piazza facing the principal church in the upper town, is the beautiful Chapel of S. Giacomo, built for one of the Orsini, Count of Tagliacozzo, by Simone, a pupil of Brunelleschi, who (says Vasari) died when he was employed upon it . It is octagonal, with a dome crowned by the figure of a saint. The Italian-gothic is very peculiar. The principal door is richly adorned with saints: above are angels floating over the Virgin and Child, their attitude of adoration very beautiful. Santa Severa is buried here, as well as at Anagni! Pope Pius II. in his "Commentaria" (LVL) speaks of this church as "nobile sacellum ex marmore candidissimo," and as adorned with "statuis egregiis." Of late years it has become important as a place of pilgrimage from "the miraculous picture " which it contains.

[graphic]

"Outside the church was a stall, at which I bought a copy of a hymn addressed by the inhabitants of the town, 'to their miraculous picture of the most Holy Mary our advocate, which on July 22, 1868, began to move its eyes miraculously.' Then follows the hymn, which is poor enough. Inside the church, over the high altar, surrounded with decorations and with lights, is placed the picture, a beautiful one, full of feeling and pathos. The hands are united as in prayer, and the face is turned upwards, the eyes being large and lustrous, and in the very act of beginning to weep. It is a work of the school of Guido, and might be by the master himself.

'' Before the altar were kneeling a group olcontadini, or country people, on their way from the Easter services at Rome. The priest was kneeling at the altar, singing the Litany of the Virgin, in which she is addressed in direct prayer, 'Mother of mercy, have mercy on us :' 'Mother of grace, have mercy upon us,' &c.: the contadini repeating the 1 Miserere nobis' after each title of invocation had been given out by the priest. This being ended, the worshippers all bent down and kissed the pavement, and then went backwards out of the church, bowing repeatedly as they passed down the nave.

"Meantime we were invited into the sacristy to see the book of testimonials to the fact of the miracle. The witnesses were many, of all nations. The purport of their testimony was mainly this: that at such a time the deposer had seen the left, or the right eye, or both, move or enlarge, or fill with tears; or the expression of the face change, or the throat become agitated. Many of the depositions were accompanied with fervent expressions of thankfulness and joy.

"Now as to the account to be given of the phenomena thus deposed to. It is well known that certain arrangements of lines and of colours cause the appearance, when long contemplated, of unsteadiness and of motion LUCRETIUS.

in a picture: especially if combined with the representation of an expression of countenance itself emotioned, and, if I may thus use the word, transitional. Now this last is eminently the case at Vicovaro. I am convinced, that were I a devotee kneeling before that picture, I could in ten minutes imagine it to undergo any such change as those recorded in the book. All is engaging, lustrous, suggestive."—Dean Alford, 1865.

A short distance beyond Vicovaro, almost opposite the convent of S. Cosimato (see ch. xix.), a road to the left turns up the valley of Licenza. t On the right is the castle of the Marchese del Gallo. About two miles up the valley, on the left, the castle of Rocca Giovane is seen rising above its little town. Here was a temple of Vacuna, the Victoria of the Sabines.

The scenery is now classical, for:—

"where yon bar
Of girdling mountains intercepts the sight
The Sabine farm was till'd, the weary bard's delight."

Ckildt Harold.

The village upon the right, Bardella, is Mandela. Between ns and it flows the brook Licenza, the Digentia of Horace; the hill in front, Monte Libretti, is the famous Mons Lucretilis.

"Me quoties reficit gelidus Digentia rivus,
Quem Mandela bibit, rugosus frigore pagus;
Quid sentire putas? quid credis, amice, precari?
Sit mihi quod nunc est."

i. Epist. xviii. 104.

Velox amoenum soepe Lucretilem
Mutat Lycaeo Faunus, et igneam
Defendit aestatem capellis

Usque meis pluviosque ventos.

i. Ode 17.

"Le veritable pelerinage a la demeure champetre d'Horace, c'est celai qu'on peut faire a sa villa de la Sabine, dont l'emplacement a ete"

VOL. L 14

si bien déterminé, près de Rocca Giovane, par M. Rosa. S'il ne reste de la maison que des briques et des pierres enfouies à l'endroit où une esplanade en fait connaître aujourd'hui l'emplacement, les lieux d'alentour portent des noms dans lesquels on a pu retrouver les anciens noms. Varia (Ep. i. 14, 3) est VUo Varo; la village de Mandela (Ep. i. 18, 105), dont Horace était voisin, s'appelle Bardella: la Digentia (Ep. i. 18, 104) est devenue la Licenta. Il y a aussi la fontaine i'Oratini, et, tout près des débris de l'habitation, la colline du poète, colle del Poelello. On a reconnu encore le mont Lucrétile, qui protégeait les chèvres d'Horace contre l'ardeur de l'été et les vents pluvieux (Carm. i. 13, 1—4).

'' Cette villa est celle que Mécène avait donnée à Horace. C'était * ce champ modeste qu'il avait rêvé, avec un jardin, auprès d'une eau toujours vive' (Sat. ii. 6, 2, et Ep. ni. 16, 12)—celle qui s'appelle encore fonte dOratini, —et un peu de forêts au-dessus.' La végétation a été changée par la culture, mais les grands traits du paysage subsistent. L'on voit toujours la chaîne des montagnes qui est coupée par une vallée profonde, celle où coule la Licenza; et l'on peut remarquer la justesse de tous les détails de cette description, que le poète semble s'excuser de faire si longue, loquaciter, et qui est renfermée dans quelques vers charmants et précis:

'Continui montes nisi dissocientur opaca
Valle; sed ut veniens dextrum latus aspiciet sol,
Laevum decedens curru fugiente vaporet.'—Ep. i. 16, 5."

Ampère, Emp. Rom. i. 363.

The Sabine farm was presented to Horace by Maecenas, c. B. c. 33.

'* To the munificence of Maecenas we owe that peculiar charm of the Horatian poetry, that it represents both the town and country life of the Romans of that age; the country life, not only in the rich and luxurious villa of the wealthy at Tivoli, or at Baiae; but in the secluded retreat and among the simple manners of the peasantry. It might seem as if the wholesome air which the poet breathed, during his retirement on his farm, re-invigorated his natural manliness of mind. There, notwithstanding his love of convivial enjoyment in the palace of Maecenas and other wealthy friends, he delighted to revert to his own sober and frugal way of living."—Milman.

The road comes to an end on the margin of the clear

[blocks in formation]

brook Digentia, which is here sometimes swollen into a broad river by the winter rains. On the further side of the wide stony bed it has made for itself, rises Licenza, cresting

[graphic]

a high hill and approached by a steep rocky path through the olives. Further up the valley is the "Fonte Blandusino," still pointed out as the spring of Horace. Just where the read ends, a steep bank covered with chestnuts rises on the left. Passing through the wood (only a few steps from the road) to a garden, we find a contadino, who shovels up the rich loam with his spade, exposes a bit of tesselated pavement, and says " Ecco la villa d'Orazio."

"The Sabine farm Was situated in the valley of Ustica, thirty miles from Rome, and twelve miles from Tivoli. It possessed the attraction, no small one to Horace, of being very secluded—Varia (Vico Varo), the nearest town, being four miles off—yet, at the same time, within an easy distance of Rome. When his spirits wanted the stimulus of society or the bustle of the capital, which they often did, his ambling mult could speedily convey him thither; and when jaded, on the other hand, by the noise and racket and dissipations of Rome, he could, in the same

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