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mentation built into the Church of Sta. Maria defra Rotonda being the chief of them.
Turning the rocky corner beyond the Cappuccini we come at once upon one of the loveliest scenes in this land of beauty, and look down upon
"—the still glassy lake that sleeps
At the other end of the lake stands, on the hill-side, Castel Gandolfo, embossed against the delicate hues of the distant Campagna, Beneath us, buried in verdure, is the famous Emissarium; on the opposite shore was the site of Alba Longa; and on the right, beyond the convent of Palazzuola, rise Rocca di Papa, and the Alban Mount . The lake itself, which occupies the crater of an extinct volcano, is 6 miles in circuit, 2\ miles long, and if miles wide. Concerning its origin, a legend was related to one of the translators of Niebuhr's History, by a peasant boy, who guided him to Frescati, as follows :—
"' Where the lake now lies, there once stood a great city. Here, when Jesus Christ came into Italy, He begged alms. None took compassion on Him but an old woman, who gave Him two handfuls of meal. He bade her leave the city: she obeyed: the city instantly sank ; and the lake rose in its place.' To set the truth of the story beyond dispute, the narrator added, Sta serillo nei libri."—Niebuhr's Hist, of Rome.
"The lakes of Alba and Nemi, like others in the neighbourhood of Rome, are of a peculiar character. In their elevation, lying nestled as it were high up in the bosom of the mountains, they resemble what in Cumberland and Westmoreland are called tarns; but our tarns, like ordinary lakes, have their visible feeders and outlets, their head which receives the streams from the mountain-sides, and their foot by which they discharge themselves, generally in a larger stream, into the valley below. The lakes of Alba and Nemi lie each at the bottom of a perfect basin, and the unbroken rim of this basin allows them no visible outlet.
Again, it sometimes happens that lakes so situated have their outlet under-ground, and that the stream which drains them appears again to the day after a certain distance, having made its way through the basin of the lake by a tunnel provided for it by nature. This is the case particularly where the prevailing rock is the mountain or metalliferous limestone of Derbyshire, which is full of caverns and fissures; and an instance of it may be seen in the small lake or tarn of Malham in Yorkshire, and another on a much larger scale in the lake of Copais in Boeotia. But the volcanic rocks, in which the lake of Alba lies, do not afford such natural tunnels, or at least they are exceedingly small, and unequal to the discharge of any large quantity of water; so that if any unusual cause swells the lake, it can find no adequate outlet, and rises necessarily to a higher level. The Roman tradition reported that such a rise took place in the year 357 > was caused probably by some volcanic agency, and increased to such a height, that the water at last ran over the basin of the hills at its lowest point, and poured down into the Campagna. Traces of such an outlet are said to be still visible; and it is asserted that there are marks of artificial cutting through the rock, as it to enlarge and deepen the passage. This would suppose the ordinary IcTel of the lake in remote times to have been about two hundred feet higher than it is at present; and if this were so, the actual tunnel was intended not to remedy a new evil, but to alter the old state of the lake lor the better, by reducing it for the time to come to a lower level. Fossibly the discharge over the edge of the basin became suddenly greater, and so suggested the idea of diverting the water altogether by a different channel. But the whole story of the tunnel, as we have it, is so purely a part of the poetical account of the fall of Veii, that no part of
it can be relied on as historical Admitting that it was
wholly worked through the tufa, which is easily wrought, still the labour and expense of such a tunnel must have been considerable; and in the midst of an important war, how could either money or hands have been spared for such a purpose? Again, was the work exclusively a Roman one, or performed by the Romans jointly with the Latins, as an object of common concern to the whole confederacy? The Alban lake can scarcely have been within the domain of Rome; nor can we conceive that the Romans could have been entitled to divert its waters at their pleasure without the consent of the neighbouring cities. But if it were a common work; if the Latins entered heartily into the struggle of Rome with Veii, regarding it as a struggle between their race and that of the Etruscans; if the overflow of the waters of their national lake, the lake which bathed the foot of the Alban mountain, where their national temple stood, and their national solemnities were held, excited
an interest in every people of the Latin name, then we may understand how their joint labour and joint contributions may have accomplished the work even in the midst of war; and the Romans, as they disguised on every occasion the true nature of their connexion with the Latins, would not fail to represent it as exclusively their own."—AmoltCs Hist, of Rome, vol. I. ch. xxiii.
Following the beautiful avenue of ilexes, known as the Galleria di Sopra, as far as the Convent of S. Francesco, we shall find a little path winding down through thickets of cistus and genista to the water's edge, where we may see the remains of the famous Emissarium, constructed B.C. 394. The extreme beauty of the spot is worthy of the romantic story of its origin.
"For seven years and more the Romans had been besieging Veii. Now the summer was far advanced, and all the springs and rivers were very low; when on a sudden the waters of the Lake of Alba began to rise; and they rose above its banks, and covered the fields and the houses by the water-side; and still they rose higher and higher, till they reached the top of the hills which surrounded the lake as with a wall, and they overflowed where the hills were lowest; and behold the water of the lake poured down in a mighty torrent into the plain beyond. When the Romans found that the sacrifices which they offered to the gods and powers of the place were of no avail, and their prophets knew not what counsel to give them, and the lake still continued to overflow the hills and to pour into the plain below, then they sent over the sea to Delphi, to ask counsel of the oracle of Apollo, which was famous in every land.
"So the messengers were sent to Delphi. And, meanwhile, the report of the overflowing of the lake was much talked of; so that the people of Veii heard of it. Now there was an old Veientian, who was skilled in the secrets of the Fates, and it chanced that he was talking from the walls with a Roman centurion whom he had known before in the days of peace; and the Roman spoke of the ruin that was coming upon Veii, and was sorry for the old man his friend ; but the old man laughed and said: 'Ah! ye think to take Veii; but ye shall not take it till the waters of the Lake of Alba are all spent, and flow out into the sea no more.' When the Roman heard this he was much moved by it, for he knew that the old man was a prophet; and the next day he came again to talk with the old man, and he enticed him to come out of the city, and to go aside with him to a lonely place, saying that he had a certain matter of his own concerning which he desired to know the secrets of fate: and while they were talking together, he seized the old man, and carried him off to the Roman camp, and brought him before the generals ; and the generals sent him to Rome to the Senate. Then the old man declared all that was in the Fates concerning the overflow of the Lake of Alba ; and he told the Senate what they were to do with the water, that it might cease to flow into the sea: 'If the lake overflow, and its waters run out into the sea, woe unto Rome; but if it be drawn off, and the waters reach the sea no longer, then it is woe unto Veii.' But the Senate would not believe the old man's words, till the messengers should come back from Delphi.
"After a time the messengers came back, and the answer of the god agreed in all things with the words of the old man at Veii. For it said, 'See that the waters be not confined within the bason of the lake; see that they take not their own course and run into the sea. Thou shalt let the water out of the lake, and thou shalt tum it to the watering of thy fields, and thou shalt make courses for it till it be spent and come to nothing.' Then the Romans believed the oracle, and they sent workmen, and began to bore through the side of the hills to make a passage for the water. And the water flowed out through this passage underground; and it ceased to flow over the hills; and when it came out from the passage into the plain below, it was received into many courses which had been dug for it, and it watered the fields, and became obedient to the Romans, and was all spent in doing them service, and flowed to the sea no more. And the Romans knew that it was the will of the gods that they should conquer Veii."—Arnold's Hist, of Rome.
"L'emissaire fonctionne encore aujourd'hui; par lui les eaux du lac arrosent la campagne romaine et vont se jeter non dans la titer mais dans le Tibre: l'oracle a done ete obci, aussi Véies a 4ti prise."— Ampère, Hist. Rom. ii. 526.
The opening of the Emissarium is enclosed within a Nymphaeum of imperial date, such as is beautifully described in the lines of Virgil:—
"Fronte sub adversa scopulis pendentibus antrum;
yEn. i. 167.
A custode (who resides at Castel Gandolfo) is required to
open the-grating. Italians always set fire to little paper boats, which they call "fates," and float them down through the darkness, where they may be seen burning for an immense distance. Near the Nymphaeum are many ruins of other Roman buildings known by the country" people as Bagni di Diana, Grotte delle "Ninfe, &c. All probably are remains of the summer retreats of Domitian.
"Quand, par un beau jour de printemps, on contemple le lac endormi dans une coupe de verdure et reflechissant les gracieuses ondulations de ses bords, a la pensee de Domitien on voit apparaltre le bateau oil Pline le Jeune nous le montre trouble par du bruit des rames, dont cbaque coup le fait tressaillir. II fallait cesser de ramer et le remorquer. 'Alors," dit Pline, 'immobile dans ce bateau muet, il semblait traine comme a une expiation.' "—Ampin, L'Emp. Rom. ii. 135.
Clambering up the hill again, we find the height crested by the fine trees overhanging the wall of the Villa Barberini, The beautiful grounds of this villa may always be visited by strangers, and present an immense variety of lovely views, from a foreground, half cultivated and half wild, ending in a grand old avenue of umbrella-pines. The ruins, which we see here in such abundance, are supposed to be remains of the Villa of Pompey, or of the "insane structures," as Cicero calls them, belonging to the villa of Clodius. As we wander here we cannot but call to mind the whole grand invocation of Cicero in his speech in behalf of Milo against the owner of this villa.
"And you, hills and groves of Alba, you, I say, I entreat and implore, and you, the ruined shrines of the Albans, so closely knit with all that is revered by the people of Rome, altars which this fellow in his . headlong madness had dared to strip and rob of their holy groves, and bury beneath the insane piles of his own buildings. Then it was your shrines, your rites that were honoured, your influence which prevailed, which he had insulted with crime of every kind, and thou, from thy lofty peak, great Jupiter Latiaris, whose lake and woods and fields he