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when we arrived in Spezia, at a clean comfortable inn, the Two Moors.
Thursday, Oct. 27th.-We commenced our journey at four; the moon and stars shone so bright that it was light as day; for a short distance we passed by the very edge of the treacherous sea, which was smooth as a mirror. When day-light came we found the ground quite white with the hoar frost; it was extremely cold. We crossed the agra, and soon afterwards entered Sarzana, where we breakfasted on coffee, figs, and eggs, fried in oil—the Italian version of eggs and bacon, which, if the materials be good, is an excellent dish. We met some peasant girls with extremely minute hats. We walked about the city, which is neat; the cathedral is a handsome building; the marble altars in the transepts are well carved. Our appearance excited some curiosity, and even disturbed the gravity of a funeral in the cathedral. The Spaniard wore a laced jacket, fastened with points instead of buttons, and his head was smartly tied up in a coloured handkerchief, like a French woman. Of the three Germans, two had blue shirts, the other a brown one, with red leather girdles about their loins; of one, the flowing locks were surmounted by a small skull-cap of red velvet: I wore what perhaps seemed the most outlandish garment of all, an English drab great-coat and a travellingcap, like the other two Germans. The people of the city stared and followed us; at last a tobacconist came out of his shop, and said to me with a civil but somewhat pompous air, "Pray, sir, are you not Greeks?" I answered, "Yes, we are; and I am Homer, the father of poetry." He did not appear to comprehend my reply, but bowed and retired.
We stopped to look at some object, when a woman of a certain age, but still handsome, whose eyes must have made sad ravages amongst the hearts of the shopkeepers of the place, said to me, for I was lagging behind, "It is a fine day," or something of the kind, and immediately afterwards, "My dear sir, caro signore, pray tell me what you are?" I inquired, Do you really wish to know?" She answered, "I am already dead with anxiety." “Then, cara signora," I said, “know, that the little man with the embroidered coat is a Spanish apothecary, a good man, and, I believe, clever in his profession; the other three are Germans, for in Germany the students, and in England the butchers, wear those shirts; and I am an unfortunate Englishman." "A thousand thanks! a thousand thanks!" she hastily said, and ran away to swell the triumph of beauty, and to tell all over the city a secret, which all the dignity and all the authority of the tobacconist could not draw forth, but which had been instantly yielded up to the irresistible power of her charms.
We passed Mussa, a neat little town, most agreeably situated; the neighbouring quarries of white marble at Carrara are said to be worth a visit, which we could not afford them: we observed fine pieces of white marble applied to the most ordinary purposes. We arrived in good time at Pietra Santa; we explored the neat town, which contains, besides many pretty women, a handsome cathedral and baptistery: after supper we took a cup of coffee in the Café di Dante, an imposing title, and a stern patron for a place of amusement.
In a double-bedded room the little Spaniard occupied the other bed;
I was amused by the singular manner in which the stranger from the banks of the Guadalquivir disposed himself for rest-having carefully put his hair in papers like a woman, he lighted a cegar, and getting into his nest, quietly smoked himself to sleep, and thus wafted his fancy in a cloud back to his native Andalusia.
Friday, Oct. 28th.-I had been told by many travellers, that in Italy it would be imprudent on entering an inn to order whatever I wished for, and to trust to the honesty of the innkeeper; that the bill would not be extravagantly unreasonable, but that it was necessary to make a previous bargain for such accommodation as I might desire. The great pleasure of human life is to trust and to be trusted; and this practice was so odious in my eyes, that I was determined to use the course that I had hitherto followed, and not to make a special contract until I was once grossly imposed upon.
This morning at four o'clock I thought that my hour was come, and that I must henceforth be a regular higgler, and agree beforehand for the price of my bed and of every morsel I was to put into my mouth. When I asked my landlady what I was to pay for my entertainment, she named a sum that was nearly double the rate at which a traveller, who wished to be well treated, ought to pay: I said to myself, Now I must begin to make bargains, and laid the money quietly on the table; she took it up and went away.
There was some delay in harnessing the horses; I remained at the table sipping my coffee until I was called: in about twenty minutes the woman returned, and laying down some money before me, was going away; I said to her, "What is the matter-what is this money?" With the air of a peniteat making restitution, she answered, "The account will stand better thus," and went down stairs. I found that she had returned about half the sum I had paid her: I thought that this should go for nothing, and that I was absolved once more at least from the unpleasant necessity of driving a bargain. I related this adventure to many persons who had travelled much in Italy; they said it was very remarkable, that they had never met with any thing of the kind, and that they never saw again a piece of money, great or small, that they had once parted with.
If any conduct will inspire honesty, it is the appearance of confidence, for persons will frequently cheat those who manifest distrust, and spare others who seem to confide in them; thus men, who venture boldly into the lion's den, generally come out unhurt. If I were asked whether I would therefore advise any one to pay the lion a familiar visit, I would say, "No, because too much would be staked;" but when the question is, whether five or ten shillings is to be paid, the traveller, who desires to see men and manners, must elect either to make sure of his five shillings, or to risk them occasionally for the sake of a moral experiment; as for our amusement we play at cards for small sums.
The morning was cold, the ground white with the hoar frost. When the horses stopped at a small public-house to bait, we walked over a considerable hill, from the top of which we had a good view of the coast, and what was at that time a novelty, some pastures and marshes near Viareggio; the sides of the hill were darkened by the flax. We sat upon a wall until the carriage came up, and soon
after we had mounted it, we crossed the Serchio by a bridge at a short distance from Lucca.
We found many large canes growing on the banks of this pretty little river, which the Italians use for many purposes; the women often spin with a distaff of the most simple construction possible; the ancient distaff, from which the fates have eternally drawn the varied thread of human life, cannot be less artificial-it is in fact a piece of one of these canes, about two feet in length, rudely broken off, with the flax at the top.
Through cold, hunger, and fatigue, I fell asleep; when I awoke I saw Pisa before me. I was captivated with the calm beauty of Pisa, and I was treated there with so much real kindness, that I had only to regret that it was my lot to visit it once only, and for a very short time.
Saturday, Oct. 29th.-The Lung'Arno is fine, but the Arno is muddy; in the Italian landscape grass and large trees are wanting, and the rivers are either quite dry or muddy. The custom-houses are exceedingly annoying in this little state; for fiscal purposes they shut the Posta della Spiaggia at five o'clock in the evening; and having locked, bolted, and barred the gate, they leave it, so that all access to the city from the country on that side is as completely precluded as if the city were invested by a besieging army, which is an enormous inconvenience; and this most monstrous piece of tyranny is perpetrated because the person, to whom the stupid Tuscans passively submit themselves, does not choose to hire a gate keeper, to prevent his being cheated in the toll of a turnip or carrot. All day long the soldiers are employed at the gates in stopping the market-carts and counting the cabbages, or in thrusting iron skewers through the baskets of manure, which boys or asses carry out of the city; when I passed the gates in a calèche they made me stand up, and peeped under the seat.
I entered several quiet churches in this pleasant still city. I looked for Ugolino's tower, the Tower of Hunger it is called, but I was told it had been pulled down. The leaning or falling tower, the cathedral, the baptistery, and the Campo Santo, stand together on a grass plot, and have a fine effect; it would be difficult in any other city to find another constellation of four such handsome buildings without any eye-sore.
I like the tower; whether it be in good or in bad taste, I like the tower; it is circular; seven stories of arcades are surmounted by a belfry, and all of white marble; the four lower stories lean more than the three upper, which adds to the deception, as there is a bend in the middle, as if it were breaking in the fall: whether the inclination of the tower is to be ascribed to art or to the sinking of the foundation has always been disputed; it is easy to find argument in support of either supposition. It is of comfortable ascent by one hundred and fifty-three steps, and commands a delightful view; it is a hollow cylinder, and the appearance of the interior is perhaps even more extraordinary than of the exterior; it resembles a well, or the bent shaft of a pit cut through a fine stratum of white marble. It was mentioned as a ludicrous act, that an architectural amateur had come from America for the sole purpose of seeing this famous campunile, but I confess that it did not strike me in the same light; if this
beautiful building took his fancy, as much as it captivated me, I do not think that it would repent him of his voyage.
The cathedral boasts of bronze doors, curiously wrought in relief with the history of the Old and New Testament, by Bonanno, an ancient statuary; paintings, marbles, mosaics, bronzes, a large silver altar, a finely carved marble pulpit, and in short every object of devotional luxury or magnificence. The performances of St. Rainerius, the patron of the church and city, are depicted; many of them would be ridiculous in any but a saint-in him they are full of unction and edification.
The baptistery is a circular building, remarkable for riches similar to those of the cathedral, and for a very extraordinary echo.
The burial ground, or Campo Santo, is a noble rectangular cloister of marble, which not only surrounds some earth brought from the Holy Land, a most comfortable bed for a dead body, but has its walls painted in fresco, with various subjects of Biblical and Pisan history, by Giotto, Andrea Orgagna, Memmi, and other great masters; and a vast assemblage of statues, busts, sarcophagi, reliefs, inscriptions, antique, modern, and of the middle ages, many of them of distinguished merit. It is at once a burial ground, a picture gallery, and a museum of antiquities; if it be ever freely open to the public, it must be an instructive and agreeable lounge; if it can only be visited in company with a guide it loses much of its value and interest.
One fresco is remarkable, because a figure in it has supplied a proverb, a rare merit in a painting: the subject is the well-known passage in the history of Noah, which has given rise to the slave-trade, to all the discussions on the subject, and to the renown of Mr. Wilberforce, when the Patriarch, to prevent any ill effects from the dampness of the earth, treated himself to a glass of wine, and, unfortunately for the sable posterity of Ham, filled his glass too often: the three sons are conducting themselves in the manner that history relates, and a pretty young woman, I suppose the wife of one of the sons, is covering her face with her hand, but evidently peeping through her fingers; hence the proverb "la vergognosa del Campo Santo," the modest woman of the Campo Santo, is applied to ridicule mock modesty. I should conjecture that the painter was friendly to the slave-trade; and in order to give the unhappy Africans the finest possible title in both lines to a black skin, he ingeniously means to show, that the wife of Ham was equally guilty, although in a more feminine manner, with her husband.
The botanical garden, or Garden of Simples, as it is called, is pretty good; I saw there a small cedar, the only specimen of that noble and singular tree that I remember to have seen in Italy.
Sunday, Oct. 30th.-I saw in progress the engravings of Mascagni's anatomical plates; they are on a large scale, minute and elaborate, and, as I was informed by a distinguished anatomist, extremely accurate; when complete, they will be a great acquisition to the student. The ingenious person who superintends the execution of them seemed deeply impressed and penetrated by the notion of their importance; he ran on into long discussions and explanations with a volubility which would have been more intolerable if it had been less tiresome, for it was surprising as a specimen of the relentless in boring; he had gotten
however one joke, whether he had accidentally invented it himself, or some one in pity had given it him, I could not determine, but it appeared to make him very happy, for he wrapped himself up in it, and hugged himself in the conceit of its exceeding facetiousness; it was this-that the great anatomist had represented all the various parts without the skin except two, one I remember was the eye in the male subject, the other was some part, I forget what, in the female.
I took a walk in the country, and saw in a vineyard a snake, at least a yard in length, with a green back; he lifted up its head and looked at me; but as an Englishman is now no curiosity, he lowered it immediately, and calmly continued his rustling course.
At the instance of a friend, who has studied much, and practised a little the agriculture of the country, I was induced to look at one of the ploughs, and to hear it explained by a countryman; the plough is clumsy, but I believe not heavy, and I am informed it is efficient; it is doubtless very simple, it consists of three pieces of wood only, and in their names I was told that I should recognize Virgil's plough: the countryman called one piece something like buris; another dentale; the dentalia of Virgil, my friend triumphantly said, and found in it the duplex dorsum, which has puzzled the commentators; the third part he called stegola, which may be a diminutive of stiva. Here follows the much agitated passage descriptive of the plough:
Continuo in sylvis magnâ vi flexa domatur
Stivaque, quæ currus a tergo torqueat imos.-Georg. l. i. v. 169.
Monday, Oct. 31st.-I was driven quickly in a calèche, drawn by one horse, along a good, level, uninteresting road, to the emporium of salt fish, Leghorn. I found the town better than I had expected; the square is large and well built, as are also some of the streets. In the cathedral they were singing, burning incense, and ringing a bell as usual, but there was nothing attractive. Elba may be seen at a distance from the shore, and some other islands. There is an English burial ground full of cypresses and marble monuments. Men were employed on the walls in making ropes; they did not carry the tow in their aprons as in England, but at the end of poles, one of which resembled a distaff with flax upon it magnified; it requires a much greater familiarity with ropes than I can pretend to, to be a competent judge of the advantages or disadvantages of this method.
The number of Jews was so great, the smell of salt fish so strong, and the coachmen and boatmen so much more troublesome than they commonly are, even in Italy, that I left the place with real pleasure. Leghorn appeared to me to be one of those cities where the only enjoyment of the traveller is the reflection that he will most probably never enter it again; but I confess that I am strongly prejudiced against disagreeable persons and places. Yet I have heard of English, and of a superior caste too, who have resided long there, and have become attached to the spot; but perhaps it would be difficult to find on the surface of the globe a situation of which men would not in general grow fond by a long residence; this Tuscan seaport and its vicinity may have advantages which gradually disclose themselves; it would