ePub 版

457, and only taken when the garrison were starved out. In B.C. 374 it was successfully defended against the Latins. Dionysius mentions the advantage it received from its lofty position, which enabled its defenders to see a Roman army as it issued from the Porta Latina. The view is indeed most beautiful, over plain and mountains, the foreground formed by the remains of

—" the white streets of Tusculum,
The proudest town of all," *

scattered sparsely amongst the furze and thorn-bushes, but the ruins which now exist belong chiefly not to early times but to the mediaeval fortress of the Dukes of Tusculum.

Including the Arx, the town of Tusculum was about ii mile in circuit. The Roman poets ascribe the foundation of the city to Telegonus, the son of Circe and Ulysses.

"Inter Aricinos Albanaque tempora constant,
Factaque Telegoni mcenia celsa manu."

Ovid. Fast. iii. 91.
*' Et jam Telegoni, jam mcenia Tiburis udi
Stabant, Argolicae quod posuere maims."

Ovid. Fast. iv. 71.
"At Cato, tum prima sparsus lanugine malas,
Quod peperere decus Circaeo Tuscula dorso
Mcenia, Laertie quondam regnata nepoti,
Cunctantem impellebat equum."

Sil. Ital. vii. 691.
"Linquens Telegoni pulsatos ariete muros,
Haud dignam inter tanta moram."

Sil. Ital. xii. 535. t

Tusculum was remarkable for the steadiness of its friendship for Rome, which was only interrupted in B.C. 379, when in consequence of a number of Tusculans having been

• Macaulay, Lays of Ancient Rome.

t See also Horace, Epode i. 29, and Statius, Silv. i. 3, 83.


found amongst the prisoners made in the Volscian campaign, war was declared, and Camillus was sent against the city.

"But the Tusculans would not accept this declaration of hostilities, and opposed the Roman arms in a manner that has scarcely been paralleled before or since. When Camillus entered their territory he found the peasants engaged in their usual avocations; provisions of all sorts were offered to his army, the gates of the town were standing open ; and as the legions defiled through the streets in all the panoply of war, the citizens within, like the countrymen without, were seen intent upon their daily business, the schools resounded with the hum of pupils, and not the slightest token of hostile preparation could be discerned. Then Camillus invited the Tusculan dictator to Rome. When he appeared before the senate in the Curia Hostilia, not only were the existing treaties with Tusculum confirmed, but the Roman franchise was shortly afterwards bestowed upon it, a privilege at that time rarely conferred." —Smith's Diet. of Greek and Roman Geography.

"In the times of the Latin League, from the fall of Alba to the battle of the Lake Regillus, Tusculum was the most prominent town in Latium. It suffered, like the other towns in Latium, a complete eclipse during the late. Republic and the Imperial times; but in the ninth, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth centuries, under the Counts of Tusculum, it became again a place of great importance and power, no less than seven popes of the house of Tusculum having sat in the chair of S. Peter. The final destruction of the city is placed by Nibby, following the account given in the records of the Podesta of Reggio, in 1191, on the 1st of April, in which year the city was given up to the Romans by the Emperor Henry VI., and, after the withdrawal of the German garrison, was sacked and razed to the ground. Those of the inhabitants who escaped collected round the Church of S. Sebastian, at the foot of the hill, in the district called Frascati, whence the town of Frascati took its origin and name."—Burn, The Roman Campagna.

"We had wandered long among those hills,
Watching the white goats on precipitous heights,
Half-hid among the bushes, or their young
Tending new-yeaned : and we had paused to hear
The deep-toned music of the convent bells,
And wound through many a verdant forest path,
Gathering the crocus and anemone,
With that fresh gladness, which when flowers are new

In the first spring, they bring us, till at last

We issued out upon an eminence,

Commanding prospect large on every side;

But largest where the world's great city lay,

Whose features, undistinguishable now,

Allowed no recognition, save where the eye

Could mark the white front of the Lateran

Facing this way, or rested on the dome,

The broad stupendous dome, high over all.

And as a sea around an island's roots

Spreads, so the level champaign round the town

Stretched every way, a level plain, and green

With the new vegetation of the spring;

Nor by the summer ardours scorched as yet,

Which shot from southern suns, too soon dry up

The beauty and the freshness of the plains;

But to the right the ridge of Apennine,

Its higher farther summits all snow-crowned,

Rose, with white clouds above them, as might seem

Another range of more aerial hills.

These things were at a distance, but more near

And at our feet signs of the tide of life,

That once was here, and now had ebbed away—

Pavements entire, without one stone displaced,

Where yet there had not rolled a chariot-wheel

For many hundred years; rich cornices,

Elaborate friezes of rare workmanship,

And broken shafts of columns, that along

This highway side lay prone; vaults that were rooms,

And hollowed from the turf, and cased in stone,

Seats and gradations of a theatre,

Which emptied of its population now

Shall never be refilled : and all these things,

Memorials of the busy life of man,

Or of his ample means for pomp and pride,

Scattered among the solitary hills,

And lying open to the sun and showers,

And only visited at intervals

By wandering herds, or pilgrims like ourselves

From distant lands; with now no signs of life,

Save where the goldfmch built his shallow nest


'Mid the low bushes, or where timidly
The rapid lizard glanced between the stones—
All saying that the fashion of this world
Passes away; that not Philosophy
Nor Eloquence can guard their dearest haunts
From the rude touch of desecrating Time.
What marvel, when the very fanes of God,
The outward temples of the Holy One,
Claim no exemption from the general doom,
But lie in ruinous heaps; when nothing stands,
Nor may endure to the end, except alone
The spiritual temple built with living stones?"

Archbishop Trench.

Descending from the Arx, a path to the right leads through woods full of flowers to the Camaldoli, but nobodycan pass the cross at the foot of the hill on which the convent stands, upon pain of excommunication. Here Cardinal Passionei lived in retirement, and occupied himself by collecting eight hundred inscriptions found amongst the ruins of Tusculum.

The whole of the inhabitants of the Camaldoli were carried off during an audacious outbreak of brigandage in the reign of Pius VII., but escaped during a skirmish with the Papal troops sent to their rescue. Since then the buildings have been surrounded with defensive walls with loopholes for the discharge of fire-arms. The aspect of the place is beautifully described by Cardinal Wiseman.

"The English college possesses a country house, deliciously situated in the village of Monte-Porzio. Like most villages in the Tusculan territory, this crowns a knoll, which in this instance looks as if it had been kneaded up from the valleys beneath it, so round, so shapely, so richly bosoming does it swell upwards; and so luxuriously clothed is it with the three gifts whereby 'men are multiplied' (Ps. iv. 8), that the village and its church seem not to sit upon a rocky summit, but to be half sunk into the lap of the olive, the vine, and the waving corn, that reach the very houses. While the entrance and front of this villa are

VOL. I. 8

upon the regular streets of the little town, the garden side stands upon the very verge of the hill-top; and the view, after plunging at once to the depths of the valley, along which runs a shady road, rises up a gentle acclivity, vine and olive clad, above which is clasped a belt of stately chestnuts, the bread-tree of the Italian peasant, and thence springs a round craggy mound, looking stern and defiant, like what it was—the citadel of Tusculum. Upon its rocky front the English students have planted a huge cross.

"Such is the view which presents itself immediately opposite to the spectator, if leaning over the low parapet of the English garden. Just where the vineyards touch the woods, as if to adorn both, there lies nestling what you would take to be a very neat and regular village. A row of houses, equidistant and symmetrical, united by a continuous dwarf wall, and a church with its towers in the midst, all of dazzling whiteness, offer no other suggestion. The sight would certainly deceive one, but not so the ears. There is a bell that knows no sleeping. The peasant hears it as he rises at day-break to proceed to his early toil; the vine-dresser may direct every pause for refreshment by its unfailing regularity through the day; the horseman returning home at evening uncovers himself as it rings forth the 'Ave ;' and the muleteer singing on the first of his string of mules, carrying wine to Rome, at midnight is glad to catch its solemn peal, as it mingles with the tinkle of his own drowsy bells. Such an unceasing call to prayer and praise can only be answered, not by monks nor by friars, but by anchorites.

"And to such does this sweet abode belong. A nearer approach does not belie the distant aspect. It is as neat, as regular, as clean, and tranquil as it looks. It is truly a village divided by streets, in each of which are rows of houses exactly symmetrical. A small sitting-room, a sleeping cell, a chapel completely fitted up, in case of illness, and a wood and lumber room, compose the cottage. This is approached by a garden, which the occupant tills, but only for flowers, assisted by his own fountain abundantly supplied. While singing None in the choir, the day's meal is deposited in a little locker within the door of the cell, for each one's solitary refection. On a few great festivals they dine together; but not even the Pope, at his frequent visits, has meat placed before him. Everything, as has been said, is scrupulously clean. The houses inside and out, the well-furnished library, the stranger's apartments (for hospitality is freely given), and still more the church, are faultless in this respect . And so are the venerable men who stand in the choir, and whose noble voices sustain the church's magnificent psalmody with unwavering slowness of intonation. They are clad in white from head to foot, their thick woollen drapery falling in large folds; and the shaven

« 上一頁繼續 »