ePub 版

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 tilings 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 turn 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 mer mais dans le Tibrc: 1'oracle a done ete obei, aussi Veies a ete prise."— Ampere, 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;
Intus aquae dulces, vivoque sedilia saxo;
Nympharum domus."

j£n. i. 167.

A custode (who resides at Castel Gandolfo) is required to THE VILLA BARBERINI. 71

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, 4 la pensee de Domitien on voit apparaitre le bateau oil Pline le Jewne nous le montre trouble par du bruit des rames, dont chaque 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.' "—Amplre, 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 had often defiled with every abominable wickedness and crime, at last thou openedst thine eyes to punish him : to you, late though you might deem it, his punishment was a just and due atonement."

Words fail to paint the glories of Italian sunset as seen from the Villa Barberini.

"Various as the Campagna is in outline it is quite as various in colour, reflecting every aspect of the sky, and answering every touch of the seasons. Day after day it shifts the slide of its wondrous panorama of changeful pictures—now tender in the fresh green and flower-flush of spring—now golden in the matured richness of summer—and now subdued and softened into purple-browns in the autumn and winter. Silent and grand, with shifting opal hues of blue, violet, and rose, the mountains look upon the plain. Light clouds hide and cling to their airy crags, or drag along them their trailing shadows. Looking down from the Alban Hill one sees in the summer noons wild thunder-storms, with sloping spears of rain and flashing blades of lightning, charge over the plain and burst here and there among the ruins, while all around the full sunshine basks upon the Campagna, and trembles over the mountains. Towards twilight the landscape is transfigured in a blaze of colour—the earth seems fused in a fire of sunset—the ruins are of beaten gold—the meadows and hollows are as crucibles where delicate rainbows melt into every tone and gradation of colour—a hazy and misty splendour floats over the shadows, and earth drinks in the glory of the heavens. Then softly a grey veil is drawn over the plain, the shadow creeps up the mountain-side, the purples deepen, the fires of sunset fade away into cold ashes—and sunset is gone almost while we speak. The air grows chill, and in the hollows and along the river steal long white snakes of mist—fires from the stubble begin to show here and there—the sky's deep orange softens slowly into a glowing citron, with tinges of green, then refines into paler yellows, and the great stars begin to look out from the soft deep-blue above. Then the Campagna is swallowed up in dark, and chilled with damp and creeping winds."—Story's Roba di Roma, i. 324.

Close to the entrance of the villa, is the town-gate of Castel Gandolfo, the favourite summer residence of the popes for the last two hundred and fifty years, and the only portion of their property outside the Vatican walls, left untouched since the Sardinian occupation. The place was the fortress CASTEL GANDOLFO. 73

of the Gandolfi family in the 12th century, when Otho Gandolfi was senator of Rome. In 1218, it passed to the Savelli, who held it for four hundred years, triumphantly defying all attempts to wrest it from them. In 1596 it was raised into a duchy for Bernardino Savelli by Sixtus V., but poverty obliged him to sell the property to the government for 150,000 scudi, an enormous sum in those days. Clement VIII., by a decree of 1604, incorporated it with the temporal domain of the Holy See, and included it expressly in the bull of Pius V. de non infeudandis bonis Eccksice. It was reserved for Urban VIII. in 1604 to adopt it as a residence, and to build the palace from designs of Carlo Maderno, Bartolomeo Breccioli, and Domenico Castelli. Urban came every year to Castel Gandolfo, and a large number of his bulls are dated from hence. The pontifical palace was enlarged by Alexander VII., and completed by Clement XIII. The interior is furnished in the simplest manner and is little worth visiting. Pius IX. spent part of each summer here, before the invasion; and every afternoon saw him riding on his white mule in the old avenues or on the terraced paths above the lake, followed by his cardinals in their scarlet robes—a most picturesque and mediaeval scene.

The Church of S. Tlwmas of Villanuova, close to the palace, was built 1661, by Bernini, for Alexander VII. Its altar-piece is by Pietro da Cortona.

Not many tourists penetrate to the other side of the lake, yet here, it is established with tolerable certainty, was the Site of Alba Longa, the mother city of Rome. As the town was entirely destroyed by Tullus Hostilius, who removed its inhabitants to Rome, and established them on the Ccelian, its situation was long a disputed point with topographers, and was generally asserted to be that now occupied by Palazzuola, but Sir W. Gell discovered traces of an ancient road leading up the hills from the plain to the further shore of the lake, and suddenly terminating there at a turn of the precipice. This caused an examination of the spot to which it led, and resulted in the discovery of vast blocks of masonry and portions of columns buried beneath the underwood, probably fragments of the temples of the gods which Strabo tells us were spared by the Romans amid the general destruction. A knoll to the north was also found to be covered with ruins.

Alba was the metropolis of the cities of Latium before the building of Rome. Its foundation is ascribed by the Latin poets to Ascanius, and its name to the white sow of Eneas, and her thirty little pigs.

"Ex quo ter denis urbem redeuntibus annis
Ascanius clari condet cognominis Albam."

Ain. viii. 47.
"Et stetit Alba potens, alba e suis omine nata."

Propcrt. iv. El. i.

"Tum gratus Iiilo,

Atque novercali sedes praelata Lavino,
Conspicitur sublimis apex; cui candida nomen
Scrofa dedit."

jfuv Sat. xii. 70.

Lycophron however (Cassandra, v. 1255) says that the sow was black.

"La truie figure encore dans les armes de la petite ville d'Albano, et un bas-relief qui la represente au milieu de sa famille, encastre dans le mur d'une maison du-dessus d'une fontaine, a donne a une rue de Rome le nom de rue de la Truie (Via della Scrofa); allusion bien moderne a un bien antique souvenir."—Ampere, Hist. Rom. i. 196.

Since attention was first turned to this spot, every sue

« 上一頁繼續 »