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Tibur Argæo positum colono
Sit meæ sedes utinam senectæ. Ovid gives it the same origin, in the fourth book of the Fasti.
Jam menia Tiburis udi
Stabant; Argolicæ quod posuere manus.t This was a populous and flourishing town in remoter antiquity; but it appears to have been thinly inhabited in the reign of Augustus. Horace, in an epistle to Mæcenas, says,
Parvum parva decent. Mihi jam non regia Roma,
Sed vacuum Tibur placet Though the town itself was not populous, the beauty of the situation, and wholesomeness of the air, prompted great numbers of illustrious Romans, both before the final destruction of the republic, and afterwards in Augustus's time, to build country-houses in the neighbourhood. juu lius Cæsar had a villa here, which he was under the necessity of selling to defray the expense of the public shews and games he exhibited to the people during his ædileship. Plutarch says, that his liberality and magnificence, on this occasion, obscured the glory of all who had preceded him in the office, and gained the hearts of the people to such a degree, that they were ready to invent new offices and new honours for him. He then laid the foundation of that power and popularity, which enabled him, in the end, to overturn the constitution of his country. Caius Cassius had also a country-house here; where Marcus Brutus and he are said to have had frequent meetings,
* May Tibur to my latest hours,
Afford a kind and calm retreat ;
FRANCIS. + The walls of the moist Tibur then stood, which was founded by the Greeks.
For little works become their little fate,
and to have formed the plan which terminated the ambition of Cæsar, and again offered to Rome that freedom which she had not the virtue to accept. Here, also, was the villa of Augustus, whose success in life arose at the field of Philippi from which he fled, was confirmed by the death of the most virtuous citizens of Rome, and who, without the talents, reaped the fruits of the labours and vast projects of Julius. Lepidus the triumvir, Cæcilius Metellus, Quintilius Varus, the poets Catullus and Propertius, and other distinguished Romans, had villas in this town or its environs; and you are shewn the spots on which they stood : but nothing renders Tibur so in. teresting, as the frequent mention which Horace makes of it in his writings. His great patron and friend Mæcenas had a villa here, the ruins of which are to be seen on the south bank of the Anio ; and it was pretty generally supposed, that the poet's own house and farm were very near it, and immediately without the walls of Tibur ; but it has been of late asserted, with great probability, that Horace's farm was situated nine miles above that of Mæcenas's, at the side of a stream called Licenza, formerly Digentia, near the hill Lucretilis, in the country of the ancient Sabines. Those who hold this opinion say, that
. when Horace talks of Tibur, he alludes to the villa of Mæcenas; but when he mentions Digentia, or Lucretilis, his own house and farm are to be understood; as in the eighteenth epistle of the first book,
Me quoties reficit gelidus Digentia rivus,
Quid sentire putas, quid credis, amice, precari ? the seventeenth ode of the first book,
Velox amænum sæpe Lucretilem
Mutat Lycæo Faunis ; * When retired to the cool stream of Digentia, which supplies the cold village of Mandela with water, what, my friend, do you imagine are my sentiments and wishes ?
† Pan, from Arcadia's heights descends,
To visit of my rural seat.
and in other passages. But whether the poet's house and farm were near the town of Tibur, or at a distance from it, his writings sufficiently show that he spent much of his time there ; and it is probable that he composed great part of his works in thạt favourite retreat. This he him. self in some measure declares, in that fine ode addressed to Julius Antonius, son of Mark Antony, by Fulvia; the same whom Augustus first pardoned, and afterwards put privately to death, on account of an intrigue into which Antonius was seduced by the abandoned Julia, daughter of Augustus.
Ego, apis Matinæ
Carmina fingo. * If you ever come to Tivoli, let it not be with a numerous party; come alone, or with a single friend, and be sure to put your Horace in your pocket. You will read him here with more enthusiasm than elsewhere ; you will imagine you see the philosophic poet wandering among the groves, sometimes calmly meditating his moral precepts, and sometimes his eye in a fine frenzy rolling with all the fire of poetic enthusiasm. If Tivoli had nothing else to recommend it but its being so often sung by the most elegant of the poets, and its having been the residence of so many illustrious men, these circumstances alone would render it worthy the attention of travellers ; but it will also be interesting to many on account of its cascade, the Sibyl's temple, and the villa Estense.
The river Anio, deriving its source from a part of the
• But as a bee, which through the shady groves,
Feeble of wing, with idle murmurs roves,
Apennines, fifty miles above Tivoli, glides through a plain till it comes near that town, when it is confined for a short space between two hills, covered with groves. Thèse were supposed to have been the residence of the sibyl Albunea, to whom the temple was dedicated. The river, moving with augmented rapidity as its channel is confined, at length rushes headlong over a lofty precipice; the noise of its fall resounds through the hills and groves of Tivoli; a liquid cloud arises from the foaming water, which afterwards divides into numberless small cascades, waters several orchards, and, having gained the plain, flows quietly for the rest of its course, till it loses itself in the Tiber. It is not surprising that the following lines have been so often quoted by those who visit the Sibyl's temple, because they delineate, in the most expressive manner, some of the principal features of the country around it,
Me nec tam patiens Lacedæmon,
Quam domus Albuneæ resonantis,
Mobilibus pomaria rivis.* The elegant and graceful form of the beautiful little tem. ple I have so often mentioned, indicates its having been built when the arts were in the highest state of perfectioni at Rome. Its proportions are not more happy than its situation, on a point of the mountain fronting the great cascade.
Before they take their leave of Tivoli, strangers usually visit the villa Estense, belonging to the duke of Mode
It was built by Hippolitus of Este, cardinal of Ferrara, and brother to the duke of that name; but more distinguished by being the person to whom Ariosto addressed his poem of Orlando Furioso. The house itself is not in the finest style of architecture. There are many whimsical water-works in the gardens. Those who do not approve of the taste of their construction, still owe them some degree of respect, on account of their being the first grand water-works in Europe; much more ancient than those of Versailles. The situation is noble, the terraces lofty, the trees large and venerable; and though the ground is not laid out to the greatest advantage, yet the whole has a striking air of magnificence and grandeur.
* But me not patient Lacedæmon charms,
Not fair Larissa with such transport warms
FRESCATI is an agreeable village, on the declivity of a hill, about twelve miles from Rome. It derives its name from the coolness of the air, and fresh verdure of the fields around. It is a bishop's see, and always possessed by one of the six eldest cardinals. At present it belongs to the cardinal duke of York, who, whether in the country or at Rome, passes the greatest part of his time in the duties and ceremonies of a religion, of whose truth he seems to have the fullest conviction ; and who, living himself in great simplicity, and not in the usual style of cardinals, spends a large proportion of his revenue in acts of charity and benevolence; the world forgetting, by the world forgot, except by those who enjoy the comforts of life through his bounty. Tivoli was the favourite residence of the ancient Ro
The moderns give the preference to Frescati, in whose neighbourhood some of the most magnificent villas in Italy are situated.
The villa Aldobrandini, called also Belvedere, is the most remarkable, on account of its fine situation, extensive gardens, airy terraces, its grottos, cascades, and was ter-works. Over a saloon, near the grand cascade, is the following inscription.