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appearance of industry than in any of the towns we have seen, since we left Ancona; there are considerable manufactures of paper, cloth, and silk. In a convent of nuns, is a famous picture by Raphael, generally visited by travellers, and much admired by connoisseurs.
The situation of this town is peculiarly happy. It stands in a charming valley, laid out in corn-fields and vineyards, intersected by mulberry and almond trees, and watered by the river Clitumnus; the view terminating on one side by hills crowned with cities, and on the other by the loftiest mountains of the Apennines. I never experienced such a sudden and agreeable change of climate, as on descending from those mountains, in many places, at present, covered with snow, to this pleasant valley of Umbria,
Where western gales eternally reside,
And all the seasons lavish all their pride.
From Foligno to Vene the road lies through this fine plain. A little before you come to the post-house at Vene, on the right hand, there is a little building; the front which looks to the valley, is adorned with six Corinthian pillars; the two in the middle enriched by a laurel foliage: on one side, is a crucifix in basso relievo, with vine branches curling around it. On this building, there are some inscriptions which mention the resurrection. Some, who think the architecture too fine for the first ages of Christianity, and the temple too old to have been built since the revival of that art, have conjectured, that this little edifice is antique, and originally erected by the an cient inhabitants of Umbria, as a temple, in honour of the river god Clitumnus; but, at some subsequent period, converted into a Christian chapel, and the crucifix and inscriptions added after its consecration. Other very respectable judges think the style of architecture is by no means pure, but adulterated by meretricious ornament, and worthy enough of the first ages of Christianity.
Mr. Addison has given many quotations from the Latin poets, in honour of this river, all of which countenance the
popular opinion with regard to the quality of the water. The breed of white cattle, which gave such a reputation to the river, still remains in this country. We saw many of them as we passed, some milk-white, but the greatest numbers of a whitish grey. The common people still retain the ancient opinion with respect to the effect of the water. Spoletto, the capital of Umbria, is situated on a high rock, the ascent to which is very steep on all sides. This town retains little appearance of its ancient importance. Keysler says, that, like other paltry towns in Italy, it exhibits bombastic inscriptions concerning its antiquity, and many trivial occurrences which have happened there; the only inscription, however, which he quotes, and the only one which I saw, is that over the Porta di Fuga, from which the Carthaginian army is supposed to have been repulsed.
CESIS AD THRASYMENUM ROMANIS
URBEM ROMAM INFENSO AGMINE PETENS, SPOLETO MAGNA SUORUM CLADE REPULSUS, INSIGNI FUGA PORTE NOMEN FECIT.
I cannot perceive any thing bombastic in this; Livy mentions the fact in his twenty-second book, in the following
Annibal recto itnere per Umbriam usque ad Spoletum venit, inde quum perpopulato agro urbem oppugnare adortus esset, cum magna cæde suorum repulsus, conjectans ex unius coloniæ haud nimis prospere tentatæ viribus quanta moles Romanæ urbis esset.
If the inhabitants of the greatest capital in the world had equal authority for their ancestors having repulsed such a general as Hannibal, would they not be inclined to receive it as truth, and to transmit it to the latest posterity?
This town is still supplied with water, by means of an antique aqueduct, one of the most entire, and the highest in Europe. In the centre, where the height is greatest, there is a double arcade; the other arches diminish in
height, as they recede from it, towards the sloping sides of the two mountains which this magnificent work unites.
In the cathedral, there is a picture of the Virgin by St. Luke; but we had already seen sufficient specimens of this saint's abilities, as a sculptor and a painter, and we had not the least curiosity to see any more.
LEAVING Spoletto, we passed over the highest of the Apennines, and then descended through a forest of olive trees, to the fruitful valley in which Terni is situated, on the river Nera. It was formerly called Interamna, on account of its standing between two branches of that river. The valley which stretches from this town to Terni, is exuberantly fertile, being finely exposed to the south sun, and watered by the Nera, which, by its beauteous windings, divides the plain into peninsulas of various shapes. The emperor Tacitus, and his brother Florianus, were natives of Terni; but the greatest pride of that city is, its having given birth to Tacitus the historian.
I am almost ashamed to tell you, that we did not go to see the famous cataract, near this town, which is usually visited by travellers, and which, by all accounts, is so worthy of their curiosity. Innumerable streams from the highest Apennines, meeting in one channel, form the river Velino, which flows placidly, for some time, through a plain almost horizontal; and afterwards, when the river becomes more rapid by the contracting and sloping of the channel, the plain terminates of a sudden in a precipice three hundred feet high, over which, the river rushing, dashes with such violence against the rocky bottom, that a vast cloud of watery smoke is raised all around. river Velino does not long survive the fall, but broken, groaning, and foaming, soon finishes his course in the Nera. Mr. Addison is of opinion, that Virgil had this
gulf in his eye when he described the place in the middle of Italy, through which the fury Alecto descended into Tartarus.
A very heavy rain which fell while we were at Terni, the fatigue and difficulty of climbing up the Monte di Marmore, from whence this fall appears to the greatest advantage, and our impatience to be at Rome, prevented us from seeing that celebrated cataract, which we regretted the less, as we had frequently seen one of the same kind in Scotland, about twelve miles above Hamilton, at a place called Corra, where the river Clyde, falling perpendicular from a vast height, produces the same effects, in every respect, unless, that he outlives the accident, and continues his course for near fifty miles before he joins the Atlantic ocean.
The distance from Terni to Narni is about seven miles; the road is uncommonly good, and the country on each side delightful. When we came near Narni, while the chaises proceeded to the town, I walked to take a view of the bridge of Augustus. This stately fabric is wholly of marble, and without cement, as many other antique buildings are. Only one of the arches remains entire, which is the first on the side of the river where I was; under it there was no water; it is one hundred and fifty feet wide. The next arch, below which the river flows, is twenty feet wider, and has a considerable slope, being higher on the side next the first arch, than on that next the third. The remaining two arches are, in every respect, smaller than the two first. What could be the reason of such ungraceful irregularity in a work, in other respects so magnificent, and upon which so much labour and expense must have been bestowed, I cannot imagine. It is doubtful, whether there were originally four arches, or only three; for that which is supposed by some to be the basis from which the two lesser arches sprung, is thought by others to be the remains of a square pillar, raised sometime after the bridge was built, to support
the middle of the third arch; which, on the supposition that there were but three, must have been of a very extraordinary width.
This fabric is usually called Augustus's bridge, and Mr. Addison thinks that without doubt Martial alludes to it, in the ninety-second epigram of the seventh book; but some other very judicious travellers imagine, it is the remains of an aqueduct, because those arches joined two mountains, and are infinitely higher than was necessary for a bridge over the little river which flows under them. It has also been supposed, not without great appearance of probability, that this fabric was originally intended to serve the purposes of both.
As the rain still continued, my curiosity to see this fine ruin procured me a severe drenching: this I received with due resignation, as a punishment for having been intimidated by rain, from visiting the fine cascade at Terni. It was with great difficulty I got up the hill, by a path which I thought was shorter and easier than the high road; this unfortunately led to no gate. At last, however, I observed a broken part of the wall, over which I immediately clambered into the town. Martial takes notice of the difficulty of access to this town.
Narni, sulphureo quam gurgite candidus amnis
Circuit, ancipiti vix adeunda Jugo.
The town itself is very poor, and thinly inhabited. It boasts, however, of being the native city of the emperor Nerva, and some other celebrated men.
The road from Narni to the post-house at Otricoli, is exceeding rough and mountainous. This is a very poor village, but advantageously situated on a rising ground. Between this and the Tiber, at some little distance from the road, there is a considerable tract of ground, covered with many loose antique fragments and vaults: these are generally considered as the ruins of the ancient Ocriculum. We passed along this road early in the morning, and were entertained, great part of the way, with vocal music from the pilgrims, several hordes of whom we met