« ForrigeFortsett »
“ Mo quotions reficit gelidus Digentia rivus,
Quem Mandela bibit rugosus frigoro pagus." The stream is clear high up the valley, but before it reaches the hill of Bardela looks green and yellow like a sulphur rivulet.
Rocca Giovano, a ruined village in the hills, half an hour's walk from the vine. yard where the pavement is shown, does seem to be the site of the fans of Vacuna, and an inscription found there tells that this temple of the Sabine Victory was reo paired by Vespasian. * With these helps, and a position corresponding exactly to every thing which the poot has told us of his retreat, we may feel tolerably secure of our site.
The hill which should be Lucretilis is called Campanile, and by following up tho rivulel to the pretended Bandusia, you come to the roots of the higher mountain Gennaro. Singularly enough, the only spot of ploughed land in the whole valley in on the knoll where this Bandusia rises.
".... tu frigus amabile
Præbes, et pecori vago." The peasants show another spring near the mosaic pavement which they call " Oradina,” and which flows down the hills into a lank, or mill-dam, and thence trickles over into the Digentia. But we must not hopo
“ To trace the Muses upwards to their spring," by oxploring the windings of the romantic valley in search of the Bandusian fountain. li seems strange that any one should have thought Bandusia a fountain of the Digentia - Horace has not let drop a word of il; and this immortal spring has in faci been discovered in possession of the holders of many good things in Italy, the monks. It was attached to the church of St. Gervais and Prolais near Venusia, where it was most likely to be found.t. We shall not be so lucky as a lato traveller in finding the occasional pine still pendent on the poetic villa.. There is not a pine in the whole valley, but there are two cypresses, which he evidently look, or mistook, for the tree in the ode. The truth is, that the pine is now, as it was in the days of Virgil
, a garden tree, and it was not at all likely to be found in the craggy acclivities of the valley of Rustica. Horaco probably had one of them in the orchard close above his sárın, immediately overshadowing his villn, not on thu rocky heights at some distanco from his abode. The tourist may have easily supposed himself to have seen this pine figured in the above cypresses; for ihe orange and lemon trees which throw such a bloom over his description of the royal gardens at Naplos, unless they havo beon since displaced, wore assuredly only acacias and other common gardun shrubs.
EUSTACE'S CLASSICAL TOUR.
The extreme disappointment experienced by choosing the Classical Tourist as a guide in Italy must be allowed to find vent in a few observations, which, it is asserted
IMP. CAESAR VESPASIANVS
POTEST. CENSOR. ÆDEM
SVA. IMPENSA. RESTITVIT.
† See - Historical Illustrations of the Fourth Canto, p. 43
See — Classical Tour, &c. chap. vii. p. 250. vol. ii. $ “Under our windows, and bordering on the beach, is the royal garden, laid out in parterres, and walks shaded by rows of orange trees," Classical Tour, &c. chap. xi, vol. ii. ost. 365.
without fear of contradiction, will be confirmed by every one who has selected the same conductor through the same country. This author is in fact one of the most inaccurale, unsatisfactory writers that have in our times attained a tenporary repulalion, and is very selduin to be trusted even when he speaks of objects which he must presumed to have seen. His errors, from the simple exaggeration to the downright mis-statement, are so frequent as to induce a suspicion that he had either never visiied the spots described, or had trusted to the fidelity of former writers. Indeed the Classical l'our has every characteristic of a mere compilation of former notices, strung together upon a very slender thread of personal observation, and swelled out by those decorations which are so easily supplied by a systematic adoption of all the commonplaces of praise, applied to every thing, and therefore signifying nothing.
Tue style which one person thinks cloggy and cumbrous, and unsuitable, may be to the taste of others, and such may experience some salulary excitement in plough. ing through the periods of the Classical Tour. It must be said, however, thai polish and weight are apt to beget an expectation of value. It is amongst the pains of the damned io toil up a climax with a huge round stone.
The tourist had the choice of his words, but there was no such latitude allowed to that of his sentiments. The love of virtue and of liberty, which must have distinguished the character, certainly adorns the pages of Mr. Eustace, and the gentlemanly spirit, so recommendatory either in an author or his productions, is very conspicuous throughout the Classical Tour. But these generous qualities are the foliage of such a performance, and may be spread about it so prominently, and profusely us to embarrass those who wish to see and find the fruit at hand. The unction of the divine, and the exhortations of the moralist, may have made this work something more and better than a book of travels, but they have not made it a book of travels; and this observation applics more especially to hat enticing method of instruction conveyed by the perpetual introduction of thu samu Gallic Helot to rcel und blustor before the rising generation, and terrify it into decency by the display of all the excesses of the revolution. An aniinosity against atheists and regicides in general, and Frenchmen specifically, may be honourable, and may be useful as a record; but that antidote should either be administered in any work rather than a tour, or, at least, should be served up apart, and not so mixed with the whole mass of information and reflection, as to give a biiterness to every page: for who would choose to have the unripathies of any inan, however just, for his travelling companions ? A tourist, unless he aspires to the credit of prophecy, is not answerable for the changes which may take place in the country which he describes ; but his reader may very fairly esteem all his political portraits and deductions as so much wasle paper, the moment they cease to assist, and more particularly if they obstruct, luis actual survey.
Neither encomium nor accusation of any governmeni, or governors, is mcant to be nere offered ; but it is stated as an incontrovertible tact, that ile change operated, either by the address of the late imperial systein, or by the disappointment of every expectation by those who have succeeded to the Italian thrones, las been so corsiderable, and is so apparent, as not only to put Mr. Eustace's antigallican philippics entirely out of date, but even to throw some suspicion upon the competency and candour of the author himself. A remarkable example may be found in the instance of Bologna, over whose papal attachments, and consequent desolation, the tourist pours forth such strains of condolence and revenge, made louder by the borrowed trumpet of Mr. Burke. Now Bologna is at this moment, and has been for some years, notoni. ous amongst the states of Italy for its attachinent to revolutionary principles, and was almost the only city which made any demonstrations in favour of the unfortunate Murat. This change may, however, have been made since Mr. Eustace visited this country; but the traveller whom he has thrilled with horror at the projected stripping of the copper froin the cupola of Si. or's, must be much relieved to find thai sacrilege out of the power of the French, or any other plunderers, the cupola being covered with lead.*
'Ir the conspiring voice of otherwise rival critics had not given considerable currency to the Classical Tour, it would have been unnecessary to warn the reader, that hon
*"What, then, will be the astonishment, or rather the horror, of my reader, when I inform him
the French Cornmittee turned its attention to Saint Peter's and employed a company of Jews to estimate and purchase the gold, silver, and bronze that adorn the inside of the edifice, as well as the coppe that covers the vaults and domo on the outside." Chap. iv. p. 130. vol. ii. The story about the Jew is posi tively denied at Rome.
ever it may adorn his library, it will be of little or no service to him in his carriage; and if the judgment of those critics had hitherto been suspended, no attempt would have been made to anticipate their decision. As it is, those who stand in the relation of postority to Mr. Eustace may be permitted to appeal from contemporary praises, and are perhaps more likely to be just in proportion as the causes of love and hatred are the farther removed. This appeal had, in some measure, been made before the abovo remarks were written; for one of the most respectable of the Florentine publishers, who had been persuaded by the repeated inquiries of those on their journey southwards to reprint a cheap edition of the Classical Tour, was, by the concurring advice of returning travellers, induced to abandon his design, although he had already arranged his types and paper, and had struck off one or two of the first sheels.
Tho writer of these notos would wish to part (like Mr. Gibbon) on good terms with the Pope and the Cardinals, but he does not think it necessary to extend the same discrool silence to their humble partisans.