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POPE BONIFACE VIII. 265
the annual revenues of all the kings in the world would not have been equal to the treasures found and carried off by Sciarra's freebooting soldiers. His very private chamber was ransacked; nothing left but bare walls.
"At length the people of Anagni could no longer bear the insult and the sufferings heaped upon their illustrious fellow-citizen. They rose in irresistible insurrection, drove out the soldiers by whom they had been over-awed, now gorged with plunder, and doubtless not unwilling to withdraw. The Pope was rescued, and led out into the street, where the old man addressed a few words to the people: 'Good men and women, ye see how mine enemies have come upon me, and plundered my goods, and those of the Church, and of the poor. Not a morsel of bread have I eaten, not a drop have I drunk, since my capture. I am almost dead with hunger. If any good woman will give me a piece of bread and a cup of wine,—if she lias no wine, a little water,—I will absolve her; and any one who will give me their alms, from all their sins.' The compassionate rabble burst into a cry, 'Long life to the Pope!' They carried him back to his naked palace. They crowded, the women especially, with provisions, bread, meat, water, and wine. They could not find a single vessel: they poured a supply of water into a chest. The Pope proclaimed a general absolution to all except the plunderers of his palace. He even declared that he wished to be at peace with the Colonnas and all his enemies. This perhaps was to disguise his intention of retiring, as soon as he could, to Rome.
"The Romans had heard with indignation the sacrilegious attack on the person of the Supreme Pontiff. Four hundred horse, under Matteo and Gaetano Orsini, were sent to conduct him to the city. He entered it almost in triumph; the populace welcomed him with every demonstration of joy. But the awe of his greatness was gone ; the spell of his dominion over the minds of men was broken.
"The religious mind of Christendom was at once perplexed and horror-stricken by the sacrilegious violence on the person of the Supreme Pontiff: it shocked some even of the sternest Ghibellines. Dante, who brands the pride, the avarice, the treachery of Boniface in his most terrible words, and has consigned him to the direst doom, nevertheless expresses the almost universal feeling. Christendom 'shuddered to behold the Fleur-de-lis enter into Anagni, and Christ again captive in his Vicar, the mockery, the gall and vinegar, the crucifixion between robbers, the insolent and sacrilegious cruelty of the second Pilate.'" —Milmaris Hist. of Latin Christianity.
"Veggio in Alagna entrar lo fiordaliso,
Veggiolo un' altra volta esser deriso,
Veggio '1 nuovo Filato si crudele,
Two chapels on the left of the cathedral nave are filled
with Gaetani memorials. In one is a Greek inscription.
In the other is a painting of the Madonna, of 1322, and the
grand mosaic tomb wrought by the Cosmati (" magister
Cosmas, civis Romanus, cum filiis suis Luca et Jacopo"),
known as "II sepolcro della famiglia di Bonifazio." It
bears in Latin the inscription*
"Whoever thou art who directest thy steps to this venerable church, know at once the founders of all its glories. Peter the Bishop founded it with great effort, whom noble Salerno reared and gave to us. May the only Son of the Supreme Father have mercy on him."
In the sacristy are preserved some curious copes, and the croziers of Innocent III. and Boniface VIII. The crypt is given up to the especial saints of Anagni, who are numerous, and whose story, in a series of very early frescoes, occupies the walls. The south altar is devoted to Santa Oliva, whose bones and head are shown in a glass case beneath her statue. Opposite her is St. Magnus, bishop and martyr, who is represented above seated between two virgin saints. Beneath another altar are the martyrs Secunda, Aurelia, and Neonissa. In the tribune, which has a magnificent pavement, is the papal throne, and over it, in ancient fresco, the whole story of the Apocalypse—the seven candlesticks, the seven churches, the twenty-four elders in adoration of the spotless Lamb, &c, and, in the centre, above the altar, the Redeemer seated on a rainbow, with the two-edged sword proceeding out of his mouth.
The tall Romanesque tower of the Cathedral is not joined to the rest of the building, but stands alone upon a little green platform at the west end of the church. Hence there is a grand view over the valley, but to Eoman Catholics a more interesting feature will be the knot of brown buildings on the barren side of the mountain, about six miles above Anagni; for this is Acuta, where the recently founded but ever-increasing order of the Precious Blood had its origin, and where its foundress, Maria de Matthias, lived till her death in August, 1866. The story of her vocation is quite as romantic and curious as that of any old saintly legend, and that of her founding here a large sisterhood and school which she supported by faith and prayer, without any definite sources of assistance, in the same way in which the immense institutions of the Protestant Muller are carried on at Clifton. Of her extraordinary influence on the surrounding districts, no one who has visited them can have a doubt, or of the power of her sermons, which were simple discourses of loving practical Christianity, such as Miss Marsh might have delivered. When she was likely to preach thousands flocked to hear her, and when she appeared, a silence fell upon the crowd, with the whisper, " Hush, the great mother is going to speak to us."
(Palestrina is about 27 miles from Rome by way of Zagarolo. Public carriages leave the Piazza S. Marco daily at 6 A. M. for Palestrina and proceed to Olevano—fare, five francs. A shorter way of reaching these places is to take the railway as far as the Valmontone Station, where a post-carriage, with seats for two, meets the first train. It is about seven miles from the station to Palestrina. But the best plan of all is to drive from Velletri. There is no decent inn at Palestrina, but comfortable quarters may be obtained at the house of an artist's widow, sister of a lawyer, Anna Pastina, at the same charges as those usual in country inns. Her house—I, Via delle Concie—is the last on the left at the top of the staircase on the right of the piazza.)
AN early drive from Velletri to Palestrina, the ancient Praeneste, is delightful. Then the cloudless sky is generally opal behind the soft pink mountains. Reaching the foot of the Volscian hills, we come upon the most picturesque town of Monte Fortino, a fortress of the Conti, clambering up the side of a hill so steep that each row of houses begins over the roof of its neighbour, and each has a clear view of the sky.
About a mile distant, at the spot now called La Civita, is the site of the Volscian city Artena: portions of the Cyclopean walls of the citadel remain.
It is about three miles from Monte Fortino (passing the station) to Valmontone, the ancient Toleria, which stands on
a tufa rock in the midst of the plain between the two ranges of mountains, and is girt by old republican walls, with mediaeval towers. From the families of Conti, Sforza, and Barberini, it has passed to the Pamfili, by whom the huge palace which crowns the town was built in 1662. The eldest son of Prince Doria Pamfili bears the title of Prince of Valmontone. In the cortile of the palace are some inscriptions from the Labican catacombs. Adjoining it is a rather handsome cathedral of the 17th century, designed by Matteo de
Rossi. There are several bits at Valmontone to delight an artist, especially at the entrance of the town, where a magnificent fragment of the ancient wall forms the foreground to some very picturesque houses. Near this also is the interesting old church of Sant' Antonio, now called the Madonna delle Grazie.
Palestrina is quite a different type of place from all the others we have seen, and its people, unlike the courteous