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that of the Liverpool " roughs " (August, 1874), who, when a respectable citizen refused to give up his money, deliberately kicked him to death, in the presence of his wife and brother, who were themselves terribly injured in endeavouring to defend him. Even from brigands, if they are Italian, a woman would be almost certain to meet with nothing but personal kindness and respect, and a suffering woman could not be sufficiently commiserated or assisted.
An equally false impression exists in England as to middle and upper classes in Central Italy, who are generally represented and believed to be little better than well-dressed clowns, selfish, egotistical, frivolous, uneducated, ground down by superstition, devoid of all the habits of cleanly and civilized life. Such misconceptions will soon vanish from the minds of those who are at the pains to furnish themselves with introductions to the resident gentry on their mountain excursions, and who enjoy the friendly cordial hospitality of the many happy family homes, in which generation after generation have lived honoured and beloved, while in the sons and daughters of the country-houses, as well as in those of many of the Roman palaces, the same cultivation and accomplishments will be found which exist in a similar class in England, illuminated by that native grace and natural quickness and brilliancy which is seldom seen out of Italy.
"Any one who has been at the pains to seek a friendship, and has been lucky enough to find one, among the sons of modem Rome, will not be slow in doing justice to their charms; the faithfulness, warmth, tact, good humour, the grace of manner, the courage and tenderness, and that dignity of manhood which is so well reflected in the strong straight limbs, bright skin, rippling hair, and sunny faces, so well known to the loungers in the Corso, or on the Pincian hill. Let us not judge the Roman harshly. His history has been strangely chequered, and his energies may have varied with his fortunes. Sometimes, like Rienzi, he may still mistake memories for hopes, idle visions of past greatness for that inspiration which is the earnest of future glory: 'At non omnia perdidit, neque omnes.'"
Claude Delaval Cobham.
With regard to the best seasons for the excursions from Rome, those who reach Central Italy in October will find that month far the best for a tour in the Abruzzi, before the winter snows have set in. Subiaco and its surroundings are gloriously beautiful in November, and are greatly enhanced by the tints of the decaying vegetation, the absence of which is much felt in spring when the valley between Subiaco and Tivoli looks bare and colourless.
During the winter months many of the shorter excursions may be pleasantly made from Rome in a carriage or on horseback, and a tramontana, if not too severe, will be found most agreeable by pedestrians in the valleys of Veii, or on the heights of Tusculum. The railway to Frascati opens many delightful and short excursions, and may always give a perfect country change of a few hours. In March, Alatri, Anagni, Cori, and Segni may be visited, with many other places in that district, but March is an uncertain month because " Marzo e pazzo," for it is the time, say Italians, "when men did kill God."
"A reverend meteorologist accounted for the cold in Lent, by saying that it was a mortification peculiar to the holy season, and would continue till Easter, because it was cold when Peter sate at the High Priest's fire on the eve of the Crucifixion."—Forsyth.
But April is the pleasantest month of all, and then should be made the enchanting excursion to Soracte, Caprarola, and the Ciminian Hills—which may be extended to Orvieto, whence those who do not wish to return to Rome may continue their journey northwards.
OSTIA AND CASTEL FUSANO.
(This excursion can easily be managed in the day. P revisions must be taken, as there is no inn at Ostia, and visitors to Castel Fusano must provide themselves the day before with an order (given on presenting a card with a request, at the Chigi Palace in the Corso) to put up their horses there. Two hours suffice to see Ostia, but as much time as possible should be given to Castel Fusano.)
IT was in the freshness of an early morning of most brilliant sunshine, that we drove out of the old crumbling Ostian gate now called Porta San Paolo, which Belisarius built, and where Totila and Genseric entered Rome, and passed beneath the Pyramid of Caius Cestius, which for nineteen hundred years has cast its pointed shadow over the turfy slopes, where foreign Christians, gathered from so many distant lands, now sleep in Christ. This pyramid St . Paul looked upon as he was led out to execution beyond the city walls, and it may be considered as "the sole surviving witness of his martyrdom." A little further and we pass the "Chapel of the Farewell," which marks the site of his legendary leave-taking with St. Peter, and is adorned with a bas-relief of the two aged martyrs embracing for the last time, and inscriptions of the words they are reported to have spoken to one another. Then we reach the great basilica, once surrounded by the flourishing fortified village of Joanopolis, but now standing alone in solitary abandonment, even the monks, who scantily occupy its adjoining convent, being obliged to fly into the town before the summer malaria. Outside, the restored church has no features of age or grandeur, but within, as the eye passes down its unbroken lines of grey columns, surmounted by a complete series of papal portraits, it may rest upon the magnificent mosaics of the tribune, and the grand triumphal arch of Galla Placidia, relics of the venerable basilica which perished by fire on the night of the 15th of July, 1823, on which Pius VII. lay dying, who had long been a monk within its walls, and to whom the watchers by his death-bed never ventured to tell the great catastrophe with which the sky was red, though as his last moments approached, he is believed to have seen it in a troubled vision.
Beyond San Paolo, and indeed all the way from thence to Ostia, the road was once bordered with villas, but now there are only three cottages in the whole distance, which is bare or solemn as the feelings of those who visit it. It leads through the monotonous valley of the Tiber, where buffaloes and grand slow-moving bovi feed amid the rank pastures which are white with narcissus. Here and there a bit of tufa rock crops up crested with ilex and laurestinus. A small Roman bridge called Ponte della Eefolta is passed. At length, on mounting a slight hill, we come upon a wide view over the pale-blue death-bearing marshes of the Maremma, here called Campo-morto, to the dazzling sea, and almost immediately enter a forest of brushwood, chiefly myrtle and phillyrea, from which we only emerge as we reach the narrow singular causeway leading to Ostia itself. It is a strange scene, not unlike the approach to Mantua
upon a small scale. On either side stretch the still waters of the pestiferous lagoon, called the Stagno, waving with tall reeds which rustle mournfully in the wind, and white with floating ranunculus. To the left, a serrated outline of huge pine-tops marks the forest of Fusano; to the right we see the grey towers of Porto, the cathedral of Hippolytus, and the tall campanile which watches over the I sola Sacra, where, with a feeling fitting the mysterious sadness of the place, Dante makes souls wait to be ferried over into purgatory. Large sea-birds swoop over the reedy expanse. In | front the mediaeval castie rises massive and grey against the sky-line. As we approach, it increases in grandeur, and its huge machicolations and massive bastions become visible. The desolate causeway is now peopled with marble figures; heroes standing armless by the wayside, ladies reposing headless amid the luxuriant thistle-growth. Across the gleaming water we see the faint snowy peaks of the Leonessa. On each sandbank, rising above the Stagno, are works connected with the salt mines founded by King Ancus Martius, twenty-five centuries ago, and working still. They have always been important, as is evidenced by the name of one of the gates of Rome, the Porta Salara, through which the inhabitants of the Sabina passed with their purchases of Ostian salt.
Every artist will sketch the Castle of Ostia, and will remember as he works, that Raphael sketched it long ago, and that, from his sketch, Giovanni da Udine painted it in the background of his grand fresco of the victory over the Saracens, in the Stanza of the Incendio del Borgo in the Vatican, for here the enemy who had totally destroyed the ancient town in the fifth century, were as totally defeated in