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with other well-known buildings, of which the interest was confined to Papal times. The Agger of Servius Tullius and the ruined Ponte Salara have been swept away. The incomparable view from the Ponte Rotto has been blocked out, the trees on the Aventine and the woods of Monte Mario have been cut down. The Villa Negroni-Massimo, the most beautiful of Roman gardens, with the grandest of old orange avenues, and glorious groves of cypresses amid which Horace was buried,—a villa whose terraces dated from the time when it belonged to Maecenas, and which was replete with recollections of the romantic story of Vittoria Accorambuoni, of Donna Camilla Perretti, and of Alfieri, has been ruthlessly and utterly ploughed up, so that not a trace of it is left. Even this, however, is as nothing compared with the entire destruction of the beauty and charm of the grandest of the buildings which remain. The Baths of Caracalla, stripped of all their verdure and shrubs, and deprived alike of the tufted foliage amid which Shelley wrote, and of the flowery carpet which so greatly enhanced their lonely solemnity, are now a series of bare featureless walls standing in a gravelly waste, and possess no more attraction than the ruins of a London warehouse. The Coliseum, no longer "a garlanded ring," is bereaved of everything which made it so lovely and so picturesque, while botanists must for ever deplore the incomparable and strangely unique "Flora of the Coliseum," which Signor Rosa has caused to be carefully annihilated, even the roots of the shrubs having been extracted by the firemen, though, in pulling them out, more of the building has come down than five hundred years of time would have injured. In the Basilica of Constantine, the whole of the beautiful covering of shrubs, with which Nature had protected the vast arches, has been removed, and the rain, soaking into the unprotected upper surface, will soon bring them down. Nor has the work of the destroyer been confined to the Pagan antiquities; the early Christian porches of S. Prassede and S. Pudenziana, with their valuable terra-cotta ornaments, have been so smeared with paint and yellow-wash as to be irrecognisable; many smaller but precious Christian antiquities, such as the lion of the Santi Apostoli, have disappeared altogether. And in return for these destructions and abductions, Rome has been given . . what? Quantities of hideous false rock-work painted brown in all the public gardens ; a Swiss cottage and a clock which goes by water forced in amid the statues and sarcophagi of the Pincio; and the having the passages of the Capitol painted all over with the most flaring scarlet and blue, so as utterly to destroy the repose and splendour of its ancient statues.
Should tb« present state of things continue much longer, and especially should Signor Rosa remain in power, the whole beauty of Rome will have disappeared, except that which the Princes guard in their villas, and that which the everlasting hills and the glowing Campagna can never fail to display. It is to the environs that poets must turn for their inspiration and artists for their pictures, and as the destroying hand advances, they must wander further away, for though the Villa Adriana, which was like a historical Idyll of Nature, has already fallen, and the amphitheatre of Sutri is threatened, Cori and Ninfa, Alatri and Anagni, Aquino, Subiaco, Narni, Soracte, and Caprarola must long remain unspoilt.
On the immediate neighbourhood of Rome much has INTRODUCTORY. 17
already been written. Sir William Gell's " Topography of Rome and its Vicinity" is a mine of antiquarian information. Some slight sketches of different points of interest, especially of the monasteries in the neighbourhood, may be found in the different works of Hemans. The author would especially express his constant debt of gratitude to "Cramer's Ancient Italy," and to many of the wonderfully accurate articles in "Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography." Story's charming "Roba di Roma," and several admirable novels, especially "The Marble Faun" (foolishly called "Transformation" in England), "Barbara's History," and more especially George Sand's "Daniella," abound in charming word-pictures of the Campagna and the nearer places on the hills. But for more distant excursions, the English books of reference are easily • exhausted, with one great exception,—"Dennis' Cities and Cemeteries of Etruria." In studying this delightful work, and even in the few extracts given in these volumes, the reader who knows Rome will seem to feel again the fresh breeze from the Sabine and Alban hills sweeping over the Campagna, laden with a scent of sweet basil and thyme, and he will enjoy again in their remembrance that glow of enthusiasm which the real scenes brought into them. The great volumes of Dennis are too large to be companions on the excursions themselves, but in preparation for them will be charming fireside companions for Roman winter evenings. German scholars will delight in the charming volumes of Gregorovius, and especially in his " Lateinische Sommer," than which no descriptive book is more pictorial or more interesting. The best and most accurate Hand-books of Italy which have yet been published are also in German—those of Dr. Th. Vol. 1. 2
Gsell-fels, assisted by admirable maps, and though they are exceedingly unequal, as if the author had only visited in person a portion of the district he describes, in some places they are almost exhaustive. The small Hand-books of Baedeker are very convenient and practical, and are generally very carefully corrected.
It must necessarily be with the present work as with the many which have preceded it. Some who follow in the paths it indicates will think its descriptions exaggerated, others will find them not sufficiently glowing. For Rome, more than any other place, produces different impressions on different minds. The Campagna in its ruin and desolation will be described as "dismal and monotonous," or "solemn and beautiful," according to the feelings of those who traverse it. Some will only be, impressed with the dirt, the poverty, the ruinousness of the mountain-towns; others with their picturesqueness and colour. It is necessary to real enjoyment of these mountain places to cast out all the black motes which too often obscure our vision. When this is done, what a store of sunny memories may be laid up.
"Yea, from the very soil of silent Rome
The lives of buried peoples, and become
A child by right of that eternal home,
Rome is unlike other towns in having scarcely any suburbs; on nearly every side one is in the country almost directly.
"St. John describes Rome, in the Apocalypse, as sitting upon her seven hills in the wilderness. And a wilderness indeed it is. First, in every direction that leads into the Campagna, you pass the inhabited streets; then comes a belt of vineyards and villas, fading off into INTRODUCTORY. 19
desolation as you proceed; then come the grand old walls, stretching away, with their richly-coloured brickwork and flanking towers. You pass out through a stately gate, through which legions have gone out and in fifteen hundred years ago, and you are in the Campagna. There it is before you, mile after mile, brownish green in the foreground, red in the middle distance, melting away into purple and blue in the farther distance, and bounded by a glorious bank of mountains, of colours not to be attempted by pen or pencil. Hardly a human habitation is visible, save where, on the Alban Hills to your right, the villages gleam out, sprinkling their gorgeous sides with spots of pearl. Ancient towers and tombs are cast at random about the waste. Flat it is not, but full of the most picturesque undulations, and even lines of low cliffs and winding streams. Endless are its varieties of beauty, in outline, in grouping, and above all, in colour. For miles and miles the ancient and modern aqueducts bridge it with their countless arches—haunts of all the lovely hues of the bow of heaven. Watch them in the yellow and orange of the morning and noonday sun; watch them mellowing off as the westering beam slopes on them, turning their gold to copper, then casting that copper into the glow of the furnace, then cooling it down into the dull iridescence of parting evening; watch them till the green grey of the fading light has subdued them into the sober mass of undistinguished plain and mountain; then wrap your cloak double round you, and stride away through the chilled streets and the thronging Corso to your steep open staircase, and your snug log fire, and meditate on as fair and heavenly a sight as ever blessed a clay on this varied earth.
"Rome itself is a place of never-dying and ever-vaiying intere|f; but the Campagna of Rome is a pure source of unfailing delight."—Dean Alford.
Yet without its varied mountain distances, without the glorious climate to illuminate it, it is almost impossible to say how ugly the Campagna would be. As it is it is perfectly beautiful. For so vast an expanse there are few marked features; only, here and there, the aqueducts, sometimes striding across the plain in mighty lines of arches garlanded against the sky with ivy and smilax, sometimes merely marked by a white line in the grass or a succession of miniature round towers over their openings. Between the aqueducts, run the roads, often following the course of