« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
deaths' heads nor grotesque images of saints and martyrs, could detract. The monks, bearing these sad mementos of mortality, wore cowls, with holes cut for the eyes, and cross-bones painted on their breasts. Some of them held banners on which were represented various insignia of death,—the whole scene reminding one of the old mysteries of the middle ages, in which the pomps and vanities of life were contrasted by the ghastly images of the
2nd.—Byron came to take leave of us last night, and a sad parting it was. He seemed to have a conviction that we met for the last time; and yielding to the melancholy caused by this presentiment, made scarcely an effort to check the tears that flowed plentifully down his cheeks. He never appeared to greater advantage in our eyes than while thus resigning himself to the natural impulse of an affectionate heart; and we were all much moved. He presented to each of us some friendly memorial of himself, and asked from us in exchange corresponding guges-d'amitié, which we gave him. Again he reproached me for not remaining at Genoa until he
sailed for Greece; and this recollection brought back a portion of the pique he had formerly felt at our refusing to stay; for he dried his eyes, and, apparently ashamed of his emotion, made some sarcastic observation on his nervousness ; although his voice was inarticulate, and his lip quivered while uttering it. Should his presentiment be realised, and we indeed meet no more, I shall never cease to remember him with kindness: the very idea that I shall not see him again, overpowers me with sadness, and makes me forget many defects which had often disenchanted me with him. Poor Byron! I will not allow myself to think that we have met for the last time; although he has infected us all by his
Lucca, 6th.— Nothing can be more rich and varied than the scenery between Genoa and this place. The first day's journey commands a view of the sea, which spread out to the right, sparkles like some vast sapphire beneath the rays of the sun; while to the left rises a chain of hills covered with wood, behind which are a range of sterile rocky mountains bounding the horizon. Innumer. able villas are scattered along the coast, and many of the wooded hills, whose bases are bathed by the sea, are studded with white buildings, which peep from the bright green foliage in which they are embowered, looking like pearls scattered on emeralds. The port of St. Margaritta is the most beautiful spot imaginable. The houses are shaded by trees ; many of which seem absolutely bending their leafy honours to the limpid waves at their feet. Gardens and fields, glowing with vegetation, are seen around; and the vine no longer grows, as in France, in stunted masses, which, in my opinion, are inferior, in appearance, to the hop grounds in England ; nor, as it is in the vicinity of Genoa, trained over arches of trellis-work. Here it winds itself luxuriantly round trees in many a mazy fold, its stems resembling serpents; while its tendrils form garlands, that, festooned from bough to bough, give the scenery
appearance of being prepared for a féte champétre. A thousand wild flowers decorate the fields and hedges, and send forth delicious odours ; and the costumes of the peasantry are in harmony with the landscape. The mazero of Genoa is replaced by a large white napkin, folded flat, and so arranged as to cover the
crown of the head, and shade the brow. But this head-dress is chiefly contined to elderly women, the young wearing their hair in a net, which falls low on the back of the neck; and a small straw hat, shaped like a soup plate, with rosettes of straw and other ornaments of the same material, fancifully worked, on the top of the head. This costume is becoming, but is certainly not useful in a climate where the inhabitants are exposed to the scorching rays of the sun.
The abundance of fire-flies was truly surprising; they looked like miniature reflections of the bright stars above, glittering on the fields and hedges. At Sarzana, where we slept one night, the fire-flies flitted about the gardens in myriads ; and
my femme-de-chambre, true to the instinct of her métier, observed that it looked like a dark robe covered with spangles. * We crossed from Sarzana to Carrara by a road through a very beautiful country, that we might see the celebrated quarries which yield
The Italian superstition, which imagines the lucioli to be the souls of the departed, released for a few brief hours from Purgatory, to hover around the scenes of their earthly existence, is generally believed by the peasantry; and the notion, though not orthodoxical, is not unpoetical.
the purest white marble to be procured in Italy. Even in the quarry, this marble shows its superior quality; and in the workshops, where we witnessed the interesting process of shaping the rude blocks into statues and busts, the fine texture and pure colour of the material struck us with admiration. In the large studio we were shown several fine casts from the antique as well as from modern works. Canova's colossal statue of Napoleon, and the sitting one of his mother, were amongst the number. We saw no less than fifty busts of the Duke of Wellington; and the person who conducted us through the studio, told us that hundreds had been executed here, and sent to different parts of the globe: consequently, the countenance of our illustrious countryman promises to become as well known, even in the most distant regions, as is his fame. Long, long may England preserve the original, and glory in his achievements ! Who would not have felt proud at beholding such multiplied resemblances of our great captain, and in belonging to a country that boasts of such a hero?
From Carrara to Massa, the country is beautiful ; and the view of the vale of Carrara seen from a steep hill about a mile distant from the town, is worthy of