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double dose of the stimulating particles in question. No wonder, therefore, say those nice investigators of cause and effect, that the inhabitants of this country are more given to amorous indulgences, than those who are favour: ed with a chaster soil and a colder climate.

For my own part, I must acknowledge, that I have seen nothing, since I came to Naples, to justify the general imputations above mentioned, or to support this very ingenius theory. On the contrary, there are circumstances from which the opposers of this system draw very different conclusions ; for every system of philosophy, like every minister of Great Britain, has an opposition. The gentlemen in opposition to the voluptuous influence of this climate, and the fiery effects of this soil, undermine the foundation of their antagonists theory, by asserting, that, so far from being of a warmer complexion than their neighbours, the Neapolitans are of colder constitutions, or more philosophic in the command of their passions, than any people in Europe. Do not the lower class of men, say they, strip themselves before the houses which front the bay, and bathe in the sea without the smallest ceremony? Are not numbers of those stout, athletic figures, during the heat of the day, seen walking and sporting on the shore perfectly naked; and with no more idea of shame, than Adam felt in his state of innocence; while the ladies from their coaches, and the servant-maids and young girls, who pass along, contemplate this singular spectacle with as little apparent emotion as the ladies in Hyde Park behold a review of the horse-guards ?

As Sir William and Lady Hamilton are preparing to visit England, and the duke feels no inclination to remain after they are gone, we intend to return to Rome in a few days,

LETTER LXIX.

Rome. W

e delayed visiting Tivoli, Frescati, and Albano, till our return from Naples:

The Campagna is an uninhabited plain, surrounding the city of Rome, bounded on one side by the sea, and on the other by an amphitheatre of hills, crowned with towns, villages, and villas, which form the finest landscapes that can be imagined. The ancient Romans were wont to seck shelter from the scorching heats of summer, among the woods and lakes of those hills; and the cardi. nals and Roman princes, at the same season, retire to their villas ; while many of the wealthier sort of citizens take lodgings in the villages, during the season of gathering the vines.

On the road from Rome to Tivoli, about three miles from the latter, strangers are desired to visit a kind of lake called Solfatara, formerly Lakus Albulus, and there shown certain substances, to which they give the name of Floating Islands. They are nothing else than bunches of bulrushes, springing from a thin soil, formed by dust and sand blown from the adjacent ground, and glued together by the bitumen which swims on the surface of this lake, and the sulphur with which its waters are impregnated. Some of these islands are twelve or fifteen yards in length; the soil is sufficiently strong to bear five or six people, who, by the means of a pole, may move to different parts of the lake, as if they were in a boat. This lake empties itself, by a whitish, muddy stream, into the Teverone, the ancient Anio; à vapour, of a sulphureous smell, arising from it as it flows. The ground near this rivulet, as also around the borders of the lake, resounds, as if it were hollow, when a horse gallops over it. The water of this lake has the singular quality of covering every substance which it touches with a hard, white, stoney matter. On throwing a bundle of small sticks or shrubs into it, they will, in a few days, be covered with a white crust; but,

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what seems still more extraordinary, this incrustating quality is not so strong in the lake itself, as in the canal, or little rivulet that runs from it; and the farther the water has flowed from the lake, till it is quite lost in the Anio, the stronger this quality is, Those small, round incrustations, which cover the sand and pebbles, resembling sugar-plumbs, are called Confetti di Tivoli.* Fishes are found in the Anio, both above and below Tivoli, till it receives the Albula ; after which, during the rest of its course to the Tiber, there are none. The waters of this lake had a high medical reputation anciently, but they are in no esteem at present.

Near the bottom of the eminence on which Tivoli stands, are the ruins of the vast and magnificent villa built by the emperor Adrian. In this were comprehended an amphitheatre, several temples, a library, a circus, a naumachia. The emperor also gave to the buildings and gardens of this famous villa the names of the most celebrated places; as the Academia, the Lycæum, the Prytaneum of Athens, the Tempe of Thessaly, and the Elysian fields and infernal regions of the poets. There were also commodious apartments for a vast number of guests, all admirably distributed with baths, and every conveniency. Every quarter of the world contributed to ornament this famous villa, whose spoils have since formed the principal ornaments of the Campidoglio, the Vatican, and the palaces of the Roman princes. It is said to have been three miles in length, and above a mile in breadth. Some antiquarians make it much larger; but the ruins, now remaining, do not mark a surface of a quarter of that extent.

At no great distance, they shew the place to which the eastern queen Zenobia was confined, after she was brought in triumph to Rome by the emperor Aurelian.

The town of Tivoli is now wretchedly poor ; it boasts however greater antiquity than Rome itself, being the ancient Tibur, which, Horace informs us, was founded by a Grecian colony,

* Confections of Tivoli,

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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. Julius 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 ;
Tibur, beneath whose lofty towers,
The Grecians fixed their blissful seat.

FRANCIS. + The walls of the moist Tibur then stood, which was founded by the Greeks.

For little works become their little fate,
And every age, not Rome's imperial seat.

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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 rast 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 Me cenas'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,
Quem Mandela bibit, rugosus frigore pagus ;

Quid sentire putas, quid credis, amice, precari ? the seventeenth ode of the first book,

Velox amæpum sæpe Lucretilem

Mutat Lycæo Faunus ; + * 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.

FRANCIS.

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