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THE

IDLER IN ITALY.

We passed through the three principal streets of Genoa to-day-indeed the only ones that merit attention-named Rue de Balbi, Nuova, and Nuovissima. The Strada Nuova is lined by magnificent palaces, but its extent does not accord with the splendour of the buildings that occupy it; and which, if placed in another situation, would appear to much greater advantage. Madame de Staël observed that this street looked as if built for a congress of kings; but to me, it gives more the idea of a collection of edifices heaped together for sale, in the same incongruous manner in which, in a fashionable auctionroom in London, I have seen the most sumptuous pieces of furniture piled one against the other, and

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preventing, by their proximity, the possibility of any one of them being viewed with the attention they merited. I wished for the hand of a magician to transport these fine palaces to suitable sites, where, not elbowed by each other, they might challenge admiration.

All that in England are reserved for the interior decoration of our finest residences, are here lavished on the exterior, with a profusion that bespeaks the unbounded wealth of their founders. Marble columns, rich friezes, balustrades, statues, fountains, arcades, and galleries, all formed of the same costly materials, strike the eye; mingled with terraced gardens, in which bloom the orange, myrtle, and oleander, with a luxuriance unknown even in the conservatories of our cold clime. Groups of women passing and repassing, in their picturesque attire, their mazeros floating gracefully from their heads, and wearing their rich ornaments of gold and silver filagree, are contrasted by numbers of priests in their black cloaks, and ancient shepherd hats ; monks in white and brown robes and sandaled feet, and soldiers in their gay uniforms: giving the streets that fantastic character seen only on the Continent, and which, from its novelty, is very attractive to me. The mazero is universally adopted by all classes of women at Genoa : the upper class are distinguished by the fineness of the texture and delicacy of the embroidery of theirs; but those of la bourgeoisie, if less costly, are worn with as much grace, and the same spirit of coquetry in the use of this pretty article of dress is displayed.

2nd.-Went out at nine this morning to see the flower market, and the place where trinkets are exposed for sale. The air was redolent with the perfumes of the flowers, and their tints seemed to me to be far richer and brighter than the same species are with us. Never had I seen such tuberoses, Spanish jessamines, and laurel roses; and the Neapolitan and Parma violets exhaled their delicious odours all around. There was no lack of buyers, for the Genoese seem to consider flowers as a portion of the necessaries of life, and, I am told, purchase them as regularly as we do vegetables. It was a pretty picture to see the rich and varied hues of the flowers, as they were ranged along in lines in the vessels that contained them, with women cheapen

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ing and assorting the bouquets they had selected; in each of which I observed they placed a bunch of orange flowers. The shops of the jewellers present a rich array of gold and silver filagree-work, in which the Genoese are said to excel. Neck chains, very large earrings, crosses, and medallions, on which the head of some saint is engraved, are displayed to tempt the passers by, who loiter round with admiring gaze. The women of the middle and lower classes here, wear an abundance of gold ornaments. The greater number of those I saw this morning had very large earrings, golden neck chains composed of ten and twelve rows, to which was suspended an immense cross or medal with a saint's head or scriptural device. They wear their hair divided in front, and generally without curls; the back hair is braided, and is confined by a large gold pin or bodkin; and a similar one fastens the mazero. A gold ring, shaped like the shields used by ladies to protect the fingers when working, is much worn here on the forefinger, and covers nearly the first joint of it. The mazeros of the female peasants are of printed cotton, of the brightest colours and most gaudy patterns. Designs of animals, birds, butter

flies, fruits, and flowers, ornament these scarfs, which resemble the Indian panaplores used for covering beds. Young women place a bouquet of natural flowers in the front of their heads, beneath the mazero, which has a very pretty effect. The men wear bright scarlet Venetian caps, have their jackets swung carelessly over their shoulders by a cord, and look somewhat like the figures in a Dutch picture.

Lord Byron has just left our hotel; he came to us about two o'clock, and remained until half-past four. It is strange to see the perfect abandon with which he converses to recent acquaintances, on subjects which even friends would think too delicate for discussion. I do not like this openness on affairs that should be only confided to long-tried intimacy: it betrays a want of the delicacy and decorum which a sensitive mind ought to possess, and leaves him at the mercy of every chance acquaintance to whom he may make his imprudent disclosures. Byron seems to take a pleasure in censuring England and its customs; yet it is evident to me that he rails at it and them as a lover does at the faults of his mistress, not loving her the less even while he rails. Why

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