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Duke of Urbino in the capella de depositi was intended for his great namesake; but the magnificent Lorenzo is only the sharer of a coffin half hidden in a niche of the sacristy. The decay of Tuscany dates from the sovereignty of the Medici. Of the sepulchral peace which succeeded to the establishment of the reigning families in Italy, our own Sidney has given us a glowing, but a faithful picture. “Notwithstanding all the seditions of Florence, and other cities of Tuscany, the horrid factions of Guelphs and Ghibelins, Neri and Bianchi, nobles and commons, they continued populous, strong, and exceeding rich ; but in the space of less than a hundred and fifty years, the peaceable reign of the Medices is thought to have destroyed nine parts in ten of the people of that province. Amongst other things, it is remarkable, that when Philip II. of Spain gaye Sienna to the Duke of Flor. ence, his ambassador then at Rome sent him word, that he had given away more than 650,000 subjects; and it is not believed there are now 20,000 souls inhabiting that city and territory. Pisa, Pistoia, A rezzo, Cortona, and other towns, that were then good and populous, are in the like proportion diminished, and Florence more than any. When that city had been long troubled with seditions, tumults, and wars, for the most part unprosperous, they still retained such strength, that when Charles VIII. of France, being admitted as a friend with his whole army, which soon after conquered the kingdom of Naples, thought to master them, the people, taking arms, struck such a terror into him, that he was glad to depart upon such conditions as they thought fit to impose. Machiavel reports, that in that time Florence alone, with the Val d'Arno, a small territory belonging to that city, could, in a few hours, by the sound of a bell, bring together 135,000 well-armed men; whereas now that city, with all the others in that province, are brought to such despicable weakness, emptiness, poverty, and baseness, that they can neither resist the oppressions of their own prince, nor defend him or themselves if they were assaulted by a foreign enemy. The people are dispersed or destroyed, and the best families sent to seek habitations in Venice, Genoa, Rome, Naples, and Lucca. This is not the effect of war or pestilence, they enjoy a perfect peace, and suffer no other plague than the government they are under."* From the usurper Cosmo down to the imbecile Gaston, we look in vain for any of those unmixed qualities which should raise a patriot to the command of his fellow-citizens. The Grand Dukes, and particularly the third Cosmo, had operated so entire a change in the Tuscan character, that the candid Florentines, in excuse for some imperfections in the philanthropic system of Leopold, are obliged to confess that the sovereign was the only liberal man in his dominions. Yet that excellent prince himself had no other notion of a national assembly, than of a body to represent the wants and wishes, not the will, of the people.
On Government, chap. ii, sect. xxvi, page 208, edit. 1751, Sidney is, together with Locke and Hoadley, one of Mr. Hume's “despicable" writers,
An earthquake reeld unheededly away. " And such was their mutual animosity, so intent were they upon the battle, that the earthquake, which overthrew in great part many of the cities of Italy, which turned the course of rapid streams, poured back the sea upon the rivers, and tore down the very mountains, was not felt by one of the combatants."* Such is the description of Livy. It may be doubted whether modern tactics would admit of such an abstraction.
The site of the battle of Thrasimene is not to be mistaken. The traveller from the village under Cortona to Casa di Piano, the next stage on the way to Rome, has for the first two or three miles, around him, but more particularly to the right, that Alat land which Hannibal laid waste in order to induce the Consul Flaminius to move from Arezzo. On his left, and in front of him, is a ridge of hills bending down towards the lake of Thrasimene, called by Livy "montes Cortonenses," and now named the Gualandra. These hills he approaches at Ossaja, a village which the itineraries pretend to have been so denominated from the bones found there : but there have been no bones found there, and the battle was fought on the other side of the hill. From Ossaja the road begins to rise a little, but does not pass into the roots of the mountains until the sixty-seventh milestone from Florence. The ascent thence is not steep, but perpetual, and continues for twenty minutes. The lake is soon seen below on the right, with Borghetto, a round tower, elose upon the water; and the undulating hills partially covered with wood, amongst which the road winds, sink by degrees into the marshes near to this lower. Lower than the road, down to the right amidst these woody hilloeks, Hannibal placed his horse, f in the jaws of, or rather above the pass, which was between the lake and the present road, and most probably close to Borghetto, just under the lowest of the "tumuli."! On a summit to the left, above the road, is an old circular ruin, which the peasants call “ the Tower of Hannibal the Carthaginian.” Arrived at the highest point of the road, the traveller has a partial view of the fatal plain, which opens fully upon him as he descends the Gualandra. He soon finds himself in a vale enclosed to the left, and in front, and behind him by the Gualandra hills, bending round in a segment larger than a semicircle, and running down at each end to the lake, which obliques to the right and forms the enord of this mountain are. The position cannot be guessed at from the plains of Cortona, nor appears to be so completely enelosed unless to one who is fairly within the hills. It then, indeed, appears “ a place made as it were on purpose for a snare," locus insidiis natus. "Borghetto is then found to stand in a narrow marshy pass close to the hill, and to the lake, whilst there is no other
"Tantusque fuit ardor animorum, adeo intentus pugnæ animus, ut eum terræ motum qui multarum urbium Italiæ magnas partes prostravit, avertitque cursu rapido amnes, mare fuminibus invexit, montes lapsu ingenti proruit, nemo pugnantiom senserit.” Tit. Liv. lib. xxii. cap. xii.
" Equites ad ipeus fauces saltus tumulis apte tegentibus locat.” T. Livii, lib. xxil. cap. iv.
outlet at the opposite turn of the mountains than through the little town of Passignano, which is pushed into the water by the foot of a high rocky acclivity.”* There is a woody eminence branching down from the mountains into the upper end of the plain nearer to the side of Passignano, and on this stands a white village called Torre. Polybius seems to allude to this eminence as the one on which Hannibal encamped, and drew out his heavyarmed Africans and Spaniards in a conspicuous position.f From this spot he despatched his Balearic and light-armed troops round through the Gualandra heights to the right, so as to arrive unseen and form an ambush amongst the broken acclivities which the road now passes, and to be ready to act upon the left flank and above the enemy, whilst the horse shut up the pass behind. Flaminius came to the lake near Borghetto at sunset; and, without sending any spies before him, marched through the pass the next morning before the day had quite broken, so that he perceived nothing of the horse and light troops above and about him, and saw only the heavyarmed Carthaginians in front on the hill of Torre. The consul began to draw out his army in the flat, and in the mean time the horse in ambush occupied the pass hehind him at Borghetto. Thus the Romans were completely enclosed, having the lake on the right, the main army on the hill of Torre in front, the Gualandra hills filled with the light-armed on their left flank, and being prevented from receding by the cavalry, who, the farther they advanced, stopped up all the outlets in the rear. A fog rising from the lake now spread itself over the army of the consul, but the high lands were in the sunshine, and all the different corps in ambush looked towards the hill of Torre for the order of attack. Hannibal gave the signal, and moved down from his post on the height. At the same moment all his troops on the eminences behind and in the flank of Flaminius, rushed forwards as it were with one accord into the plain. The Romans, who were forming their array in the mist, suddenly heard the shouts of the enemy amongst them, on every side, and before they could fall into their ranks, or draw their swords, or see by whom they were attacked, felt at once that they were surrounded and lost.
There are two little rivulets which run from the Gualandra into the lake. The traveller crosses the first of these at about a mile after he comes into the plain, and this divides the Tuscan from the Papal territories. The second, about a quarter of a mile further on, is called “the bloody rivulet;" and the peasants point out an open spot to the left between the “Sanguinetto" and the hills, which, they say, was the principal scene of slaughter. The other part of the plain is covered with thick-set olive-trees in corn grounds, and is nowhere quite level, except near the edge of the lake. It is, indeed, most probable, that the batile was fought near this end of the valley, for the six thousand Romans, who, at the beginning of the action, broke through the enemy, escaped to the summit of an eminence which must have been in this quarter, otherwise they would have had to traverse the whole plain, and to pierce through the main army of Hannibal.
*" Inde colles assurgunt.” T. Livii, lib. xvii. cap. iv.
+ Τον μεν κατά πρόσωπον της ποπείας λόφον αυτός κατελάβετο, και τους Δίβυας και τους "Ίβηρας έχων επ' αυτού κατεστρατοπεδευσε. Ηist. lib. iii. ap. 83. The account in Polybius is not so easily reconcilable with present appearances as that in Livy: he talks of hills to the right and left of the pass and valley; but when Flaminius entered he had the lake at the right of both.
"A tergo et super caput decepere insidiæ.” T. Liv. &c.
The Romans fought desperately for three hours; but the death of Flaminius was the signal for a general dispersion. The Carthaginian horse then burst in upon the fugitives, and the lake, the marsh about Borghetto, but chiefly the plain of the Sanguinetto and the passes of the Gualandra, were strewed with dead. Near some old walls on a bleak ridge to the left above the rivulet, many human bones have been repeatedly found, and this has confirmed the pretensions and the name of the “stream of blood.”
Every district of Italy has its hero. In the north some painter is the usual genius of the place, and the foreign Julio Romano more than divides Mantua with her native Virgil.* To the south we hear of Roman names. Near Thrasimene tradition is still faithful to the fame of an enemy, and Hannibal the Carthaginian is the only ancient name remembered on the banks of the Perugian lake. Flaminius is unknown; but the postilions on that road have been taught to show the very spot where Il Console Romano was slain. Of all who fought and fell in the battle of Thrasimene, the historian himself has, besides the generals and Maharbal, preserved indeed only a single name. You overtake the Carthaginian again on the same road to Rome. The antiquary, that is, the hostler of the posthouse at Spoleto, tells you that his town repulsed the victorious enemy, and shows you the gate still called Porta di Annibale. It is hardly worth while to remark that a French travel writer, well known by the name of the President Dupaty, saw Thrasimene in the lake of Bolsena, which lay conveniently on his way from Sienna to Rome.
But thou, Clitumnus! No book of travels has omitted to expatiate on the temple of the Clitumnus, between Foligno and Spoleto; and no site, or scenery, even in Italy, is more worthy a description. For an account of the dilapidation of this temple, the reader is referred to “Historical Illustrations of the Fourth Canto of Childe Harold," p. 35.
STANZA LXXI. Charming the eye with dread,—a matchless cataract, I saw the Cascata del Marmore of Terni twice, at different periods ; once from the summit of the precipice, and again from the valley below. The lower view is far to be preferred, if the traveller has time for one only; but in any point of view, either from above or below, it is worth all the
* About the middle of the XIIth century the coins of Mantua hore on one side the image and figure of Virgil. Zecca d'Italia, pl. xvii. i. 6
Voyage dans le Milanais, &c. par A. Z. Millin, tom, i1. pag. 294, Paris, 1817.
cascades and torrents of Switzerland put together: the Staubach, Reichenbach, Pisse Vache, fall of Arpenaz, &c., are rills in comparative appearance. Of the fall of Schaffhausen I cannot speak, not yet having seen it.
An Iris sits, amidst the infernal surge, Of the time, place, and qualities of this kind of Iris, the reader will see a short account in a note to Manfred. The fall looks so much like the “hell of waters," that Addison thought the descent alluded to by the gulf in which A.ecto plunged into the infernal regions. It is singular enough, that two of the finest cascades in Europe should be artificial—this of the Velino, and the one at Tivoli. The traveller is strongly recommended to trace the Velino, at least as high as the little lake, called Pie' di Lup. The Reatine territory was the Italian Tempe,* and the ancient naturalists, amongst other beautiful varieties, remarked the daily rainbows of the lake Velinus.f A scholar of great name has devoted a treatise to this district alone. I
The thundering lauwineIn the greater part of Switzerland the avalanches are known by the name of lauwine.
The drill'd dull lesson, forced down word by word These stanzas may probably remind the reader of Ensign Northerton's remarks, "D-n Homo," &c.; but the reasons for our dislike are not exactly the same. I wish to express, that we become tired of the task before we can comprehend the beauty; that we learn by rote before we can get by heart; that the freshness is worn away, and the future pleasure and advantage deadened and destroyed, by the didactic anticipation, at an age when we can neither feel nor understand the power of compositions which it requires an acquaintance with life, as well as Latin and Greek, to relish, or to reason upon. For the same reason we never can be aware of the fulness of some of the finest passages of Shakspeare (“To be, or not to be," for instance), from the habit of having them hammered into us at eight years old, as an exercise, not of mind, but of memory: so that when we are old enough to enjoy them, the taste is gone, and the appetite palled. In some parts of the Continent, young persons are taught from more common authors, and do not read the best classics till their maturity. I certainly do not speak on this point from any pique or aversion towards the place of my education. I was not a slow, though an idle boy; and I believe no one could,
# "Reatini me ad sua Tempe duxerunt.” Cicer, epist. ad Attic, xv, lib. iv.