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LETTER LXIX.

Rome.

FR

RESCATI is an agreeable village, on the declivity of a hill, about twelve miles from Rome. It derives its name from the coolnefs of the air, and fresh verdure of the fields around. It is a bishop's fee, and always poffeffed by one of the fix eldest Cardinals. At present it belongs to the Cardinal Duke of York, who, whether in the country or at Rome, paffes 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 fimplicity, and not in the ufual style of Cardinals, fpends a large proportion of his revenue in acts of charity and benevolence; the world forgetting, by the world forgot, except

except by those who enjoy the comforts of life through his bounty.

Tivoli was the favourite refidence of the ancient Romans. The moderns give the preference to Frefcati, in whofe neighbourhood fome of the moft magnificent villas in Italy are fituated.

The villa Aldobrandini, called alfo Belvedere, is the most remarkable, on account of its fine fituation, extenfive gardens, airy terraces, its grottos, cafcades, and waterworks. Over a faloon, near the grand cafcade, is the following inscription:

HUC EGO MIGRAVI MUSIS COMITATUS APOLLO,
HIC DELPHI, HIC HELICON, HIC MIHI DELOS ERIT *.

The walls are adorned with a reprefentation of Apollo and the Mufes; and fome of that God's adventures are painted in Fresco by Domenichino, particularly the manner in which he treated Marfyas. This, in my humble opinion, had better

Hither I, Apollo, have come, accompanied by the Mufes. This fhall henceforth be our Delphos, Delos, and Helicon.

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been omitted; both because it is a difagreeable fubject for a picture, and because it does no honour to Apollo. Marfyas unquestionably was an object of contempt and ridicule, on account of his prefumption; but the punishment faid to have been inflicted on him exceeds all bounds, and renders the inflictor more deteftable in our eyes than the infolent Satyr himself. This story is fo very much out of character, and fo unlike the elegant God of Poetry and Mufic, that I am inclined to fufpect it is not. true. There is a report, equally incredible, which has been propagated by malicious people, concerning his fifter Diana; I do not mean her rencounter with Acteon, for the Goddess of Chastity may, without inconfiftency, be supposed cruel, but it is quite impoffible to reconcile her general character with the ftories of her nocturnal vifits to Endymion.

The villa Ludovifi is remarkable for its gardens and water-works. The hills on VOL. II. Ꮓ which

moft virtuous citizens of Rome, and who, without the talents, reaped the fruits of the labours and vaft projects of Julius. Lepidus the Triumvir, Cæcilius Metellus, Quintilius Varus, the poets Catullus and Propertius, and other diftinguished Romans, had villas in this town or its environs; and you are shewn the spots on which they stood but nothing renders Tibur so interesting, 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 feen on the fouth bank of the Anio; and it was pretty generally fuppofed, 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 afferted, with great probability, that Horace's farm was fituated nine miles above that of Mæcenas's, at the fide of a ftream called Licenza, formerly Digentia, near the hill Lucretilis, in the country of the ancient Sa

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bines. Those who hold this opinion, fay, 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 Epiftle of the first book,

Me quoties reficit gelidus Digentia rivus, Quem Mandela bibit, rugofus frigore pagus ; Quid fentire putas, quid credis, amice, precari*?

the feventeenth Ode of the first book,

Velox amænum fæpe Lucretilem
Mutat Lyceo Faunus † ;-

and in other paffages. But whether the poet's house and farm were near the town of Tibur, or at a distance from it, his writings fufficiently show that he spent much of his time there; and it is probable that he

* When retired to the cool ftream of Digentia, which fupplies the cold village of Mandela with water; what, my friend, do you imagine, are my fentiments and wishes? + Pan from Arcadia's heights descends, To vifit oft my rural feat

FRANCIS.

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