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CATHEDRAL OF SEGNI. 245
years, the wild growth of plants clinging to them, the mighty strength 0/ the mountain on which the giant fabric rests, and the grandeur of nature which surrounds it, all combine to bring the mind into a state of feeling impossible to describe.
"When I had passed through that gate, the rocky path led me deep down the other side of the wall of mountain, so that the view of Latium was lost. Below I found another and far larger circular cistern hewn in the rock, of at least 30 feet in diameter. In its broad rocky margin many basins are scooped out, in which the women of Segni still do their washing. In all the Volscian towns I have found such ancient and perfectly preserved cisterns: they seem to be peculiar to that neighbourhood, as I do not remember ever to have met with them elsewhere in Latium of this size and shape."—Gregorovius.
The streets of Segni have little interest. In its piazza is the modernized Cathedral, having few memorials of a bishopric which dates from 499. It contains however two remarkable statues—one is that of St. Vitalian, a native of Segni, Pope from 657 to 672, the feeble though canonized pontiff who received the Emperor Constans II. at Eome, and allowed him to carry off to Constantinople so many of its treasures, including the bronze roof of the Pantheon. Nevertheless he deserves honour for having been in some respects, with Wilfrid, the apostle of England, and, having been the Pope who sent the Greek Archbishop Theodore to Canterbury. The statue was placed here in 1721, and taken from the image on his coins. Its inscription ends:
"Signia gave me to Rome: Rome gave me the tiara.
"The other statue, also of indifferent execution, stands opposite that of St. Vitalian. Bruno, a native of Asti, in Piedmont, came to Rome, recommended to Gregory VII., and was afterwards made Bishop of Segni by Urban II. In defiance of the Canon, he abandoned his episcopal seat and went to Monte Cassino, where the Abbot Oderisius received him among the Benedictines. Although Pascal II. ordered the truant to return to his diocese, he remained at Monte Cassino, was
there chosen Abbot, and in the leisure of the cloister composed his exegetical writings.
"Not long after, Bruno played a part at Rome. It is well known that in the sequel of the strife about investiture, Pope Pascal was taken prisoner by the Emperor Henry V., and compelled to issue a Bull by which he yielded to the Emperor the contested right of spiritual investiture. After his release, when Henry had returned to Germany, Cardinals and Bishops beset Pascal with entreaties to revoke the Bull thus wrung from him, and to break his oath; among these fanatics the most zealous was Bruno. His vehemence angered Pascal, who thereupon forbade him to be at the same time Bishop and Abbot. So Bruno laid down his office at Monte Cassino, and returned toSegni, where he died in 1123. He was canonized in 1183.
"It was Lord Ellis, also both Abbot of Monte Cassino and Bishop of Segni, who raised this monument to his predecessor. But the Church of Segni has another and more remarkable connection with distant England ; for it was in a synod of bishops of the Campagna held here in 1173, that Thomas a Becket was canonized shortly after his murder. This is recorded by an inscription in the Cathedral.
"Lord Ellis became Bishop of Segni in 1708. He restored the Cathedral, and bequeathed to the town a seminary, its best memorial of him. Pupils come to it from all parts of Latium; they wear a priestly garb, although not necessarily intended for Holy Orders. The seminary stands near the Church of St. Pietro."— Gregorovius.
Nothing can be more kind than the reception which the inhabitants of Segni give to strangers. The women here wear a different costume to those in the towns on the other side of the valley. They have no panni, but a large silver bodkin fastens up their hair, and their bodices, usually green, are laced behind instead of in front. Almost all the natives are proprietors in the country on a very small scale, and though little can be grown in these lofty uplands, the vineyards, oliveyards, and fruit-gardens are very productive. The most excellent cherries and peaches abound; and the woods supply chestnuts for a coarse bread which is considered very nourishing, and abundant acorns for the maintenance of the black pigs which are fed here in vast numbers.
It is most amusing to see the return of the country-people at sunset when they return home from their fields, thousands
The Inhabitants of Segni returning from the Country.
at a time, streaming along the terrace in front of the gateway, and up the steep streets into the upper town, each accompanied by his domestic animals—his donkeys, his goats, or his pet pigs, which come frisking behind their masters in the most diverting manner, for all share their homes with them. Then the whole street is blocked up for a time, and the cries, the shouts, the braying, the barking, and, above all, the squeaking and grunting, baffle all description.
THE HERN I CAN HILLS—FERENTINO, ALATRI, AND ANAGNI.
HIS is one of the most interesting excursions near Rome, and is perhaps the one which is least known, though it is now rendered very easy by the railway. To accomplish it, one must leave Rome by the first train at eight A.m., and it must be remembered, that that train alone is met by the omnibus from Segni, Anagni, Ferentino, and other places on the route, but distant several miles from the railway; and that if any other train is chosen, the traveller will find himself deposited at a small country station in a desolate district, without any further means of progress. For the same reason it will be best to visit the nearest places first, taking up the same train at the different stations. Any one who is delicate about food, had better take it with them from Rome, or at any rate some tea and coffee. Meat can scarcely ever be obtained in the mountain towns, but eggs,
EARLY MORNING IN THE CAMPAGNA. 249
goats' milk, and excellent coarse bread are always to be found there, and often macaroni also, with the thin sour wine of the hill districts. The inns are mere taverns, often approached by filthy alleys, but the people are always civil, the linen clean, and the beds sufficiently comfortable to be appreciated by a tired traveller, whose appetite, strengthened by the fresh mountain air, will also be quite ready for the humble fare of the place. The charges are those of an Italy unspoilt by English and Americans; one franc for bed, two francs for dinner, and forty centimes for breakfast, are not unusual prices. It is quite unnecessary to bargain, and will only create surprise and discomfort.
Those who have not been accustomed to it in Rome, will learn on this excursion how much beauty and pleasure are lost by want of early rising. The most delicate hues and shadows do not last for many hours after sunrise. When we have emerged from the unfinished station, and traversed the vineyards and kitchen-gardens within the walls of Rome, we are astonished by the colouring of the pale pink precipices in the familiar range of the Sabina, as they melt into a silver haze. Here and there a projecting cliff can be distinguished, in the rest all form is lost in colour; Monticelli and S. Angelo glitter on their hill-tops, and the long flat lines of the Campagna are tinged with peacock hues, as the blue cloud-shadows flit across them. In the foreground the rank vegetation of thistles, marigolds, and lupins, grows together so vigorously, that you seem to see them sucking their strong life out of the rich brown earth. On the other side, we have first the striding aqueducts, tinged on their inner edge by the dazzling sunlight, and then the long line of ruined tombs, which traces out the Appian Way against the low-lying