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HUC EGO MIGRAVI MUSIS COMITATUS APOLLO,
HIC DELPHI, HIC HELICON, HIC MIHI DELOS ERIT. The walls are adorned with a representation of Apollo and the muses ; and some of that god's adventures are painted in fresco by Domenichino, particularly the manner in which he treated Marsyas. This, in my humble opinion, had better been omitted ; both because it is a disagreeable subject for a picture, and because it does no honour to Apollo. Marsyas unquestionably was an object of contempt and ridicule, on account of his presumption ; but the punishment said to have been inflicted on him exceeds all bounds, and renders the inflictor more detestable in our eyes than the insolent satyr him- . self. This story is so very much out of character, and so unlike the elegant god of poetry and music, that I am inclined to suspect it is not true. There is a report, equally incredible, which has been propagated by malicious people concerning his sister Diana ; I do not mean her rencounter with Actæon, for the goddess of Chastity may, without inconsistency, be supposed cruel, but it is quite impossible to reconcile her general character with the stories of her nocturnal visits to Endymion.
The villa Ludovisi is remarkable for its gardens and water-works. The hills on which Frescati is situated, afford great abundance of water, a circumstance of which the owners of those villas have profited, all of them being ornamented with fountains, cascades, or water-works of some kind or other.
The villa Taverna, belonging to the prince Borghese, is one of the finest and best furnished of any in the neighbourhood of Rome. From this you ascend through gardens to Monte Dracone, another palace on a more lofty situation, belonging also to that prince, and deriving its name from the arms of his family. The ancient city of Tusculum is supposed to have stood on the spot, or very
* Hither I, Apollo, have come, accompanied by the muses. henceforth be our Delphos, Delos, and Helicon.
near it, where Freseati now is built, and at the distance of about a mile and a half, it is generally believed, was the Tusculan villa of Cicero, at a place now called Grot, ta Ferrata. Some Greek monks of the order of St. Basil, flying from the persecution of the Saracens in the eleventh century, were permitted to build a convent on the ruins of Cicero's famous house. They still perform the service in the Greek language.
Whichever way you walk from Frescati, you have the most delightful scenes before you. I.passed two very agreeable days, wandering through the gardens and from villa to villa. The pleasure of our party was not a little augmented by the observations of Mr. B-a lively old gentleman from Scotland, a man of worth but no antiquarian, and indeed no admirer of any thing, ancient or modern, which has not some relation to his native country; but to balance that indifference, he feels the warmest regard for every thing which has. We extend, ed our walks as far as the lake of Nemi, a basin of water lying in a very deep bottom, about four miles in circum, ference, whose surrounding hills are covered with tall and shady trees. Here
Black melancholy sits, and round her throws
Shades every flower, and darkens every green. I never saw a place more formed for contemplation and solemn ideas. In ancient times there was a temple here sacred to Diana. The lake itself was called Speculum Dianæ, and Lacus Triviæ, and is the place mentioned in the seventh book of the Æneid, where the fury Alecto is described blowing the trumpet of war, at whose dreadful sound the woods and mountains shook, and mothers trembling for their children, pressed them to their bosoms.
Coptremuit nemus, et sylvæ intopuere profundæ,
Audiit et Triviæ longe lacus.* * The intervening words are cold, and not much connected with the fine line which concludes the quotation.
Et trepidæ matres pressere ad pectora natos.* We returned by Gensano, Marino, La Riccia, and Castel Gondolfo. All the villages and villas I have named communicate with each other by fine walks and avenues of lofty trees, whose intermingling branches form a conti
a nued shade for the traveller. Castel Gondolfo is a little village near the lake' Albano, on one extremity of which is a castle, belonging to his holiness, from which the village takes its name ; there is nothing remarkably fine in this villa, except its situation. Near the village of Castel Gondolfo, is the villa Barbarini, within the gardens of which are the ruins of an immense palace built by the emperor Domitian. There is a charming walk, about a mile in length, along the side of the lake from Castel Gondolfo to the town of Albano. The lake of Albano is an oval piece of water of about seven or eight miles circumference, whose margin is finely adorned with groves and trees of various verdure, beautifully reflected from the transparent bosom of the lake; and which, with the surrounding hills, and the Castel Gondolfo which crowns one of them, has a fine picturesque effect.
The grand scale on which the beauties of nature appear in Switzerland and the Alps, has been considered by some, as too vast for the pencil; but among the sweet hills and valleys of Italy, her features are brought nearer the eye, are fully seen and understood, and appear in all the bloom of rural loveliness. Tivoli, Albano, and Frescati, there. fore, are the favourite abodes of the landscape-painters who travel to this country for improvement; and in the opinion of some, those delightful villages furnish studies better suited to the powers of their art, than even Switzerland itself. Nothing can surpass
the admirable assemblage of hills, meadows, lakes, cascades, gardens, ruins,
th The woods all thunder'd, and the mountains shook,
The lake of Trivia heard the note profound.
groves, and terraces, which charm the eye, as you wander
, among the shades of Frescati and Albano, which appear in new beauty as they are viewed from different points, and captivate the beholder with endless variety. One reflection obtrudes itself on the mind, and disturbs the satisfaction which such pleasing scenes would otherwise produce; it arises from beholding the poverty of infinitely the greater part of the inhabitants of those villages-Not that they seem miserable or discontented-a few roasted chesnuts, and some bunches of grapes, which they may have for a penny, will maintain them ; but the easier they are satisfied, and the less repining they are, the more earnestly do we wish that they were better provided for. Good heavens! why should so much be heaped on a few, whom profusion cannot satisfy ; while a bare competency is withheld from multitudes, whom penury cannot render discon tented ?
The most commanding view is from the garden of a convent of capucins, at no great distance from Albano. Directly before you is the lake, with the mountains and woods which surround it, and the castle of Gondolfo ; on one hand is Frescati with all its villas; on the other, the towns of Albano, La Riccia, and Gensano; beyond these you have an uninterrupted view of the Campagna, with St. Peter's church and the city of Rome in the middle, the whole prospect being bounded by the hills of Tivoli, the Apennines, and the Mediterranean.
While we contemplated all these objects with pleasure and admiration, an English gentleman of the party said to Mr. B-,. There is not a prospect equal to this in all France or Germany, and not many superior even in England.' • That I well believe,' replied the Caledonian ; • but if I had you in Scotland, I could shew you several with which this is by no means to be compared.' • Indeed ! Pray in what part of Scotland are they to be seen?'
• I presume you never was at the castle of Edinburgh, sir ?' • Never.' " Or at Stirling ?” “Never.' • Did you ever see Loch Lomond, sir ?" . I never did.' .I
suppose I need not ask, whether you have ever been in Aberdeenshire, or the Highlands, or I must confess once for all,' interrupted the Englishman, that I have the misfortune never to have seen any part of Scotland.' • Then I am not surprised,' said the Scot, taking a large pinch of snuff, that you think this the finest view you ever saw.' "I presume you think those in Scotland a great deal finer !
• A very great deal indeed, sir; why that lake, for example, is a pretty thing enough ; I dare swear, many an English nobleman would give a good deal to have such another before his house; but Loch Lomond is thirty miles in length, sir ! there are above twenty islands in it, sir ! that is a lake for you. As for their desert of a Campagna, as they call it, no man who has eyes in his head, sir, will compare it to the fertile valley of Stirling, with the Forth, the most beautiful river in Europe twining through it.'
• Do you really in your conscience imagine,' said the Englishman, that the Forth is a finer river than the Thames ?? • The Thames ?' exclaimed the North Briton, 'why, my dear sir, the Thames at London is a mere gutter, in comparison of the Firth of Forth at Edinburgh. I suppose then,' said the Englishman, recovering himself, ' you
you do not approve of the view from Windsor Castle?" "I ask your pardon,' replied the other ; ' I approve of it very much; it is an ex
; ceeding pretty kind of a prospect; the country appears from it as agreeable to the sight as any plain flat country, crowded with trees, and intersected by inclosures, can well do; but I own I am of opinion, that mere fertile fields, woods, rivers, and meadows, can never, of themselves, perfectly satisfy the eye.' " You imagine, no doubt,' said the Englishman,' that a few heath-covered mountains and rocks embellish a country very much ?' 'I am precisely of that opinion,' said the Scot; and you will as soon convince me that a woman may be completely beautiful with fine eyes, good teeth, and a fair complexion, though she should not have a nose on her face, as that a landscape, or country, can be completely beautiful