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of HADRIAN, and the still more gorgeous sepulchre of St. PETER -the Pantheon of the ancient city suspended in air over the POLYTHEON of the Popes !*
One of the first reflections excited in the mind, on shifting the view from the Old to the New City, arises out of the natural query, why the former should have been erected upon hillsthe latter on a plain—the Campus Martius ? Security was, no doubt, the cause of the first selection-luxury and laziness led to the second. It is not in Rome alone, that we see this difference between antique and modern taste.
It characterizes the whole of the civilized world. The old and the new towns of Edinburgh afford a familiar example.
The Roman patricians did not dash to the Senate in splendid carriages, as our peers do. When Cicero assembled the conscript fathers in the Temple of Jupiter-on the very spot where I now stand-I question whether a regiment of Chamouni mules, the very best in Switzerland, would not have broken their knees in the attempt to carry the senators to the scene of their deliberations ! No! The streets, and the Via Sacraleaving history out of the question-prove that the ancients trudged the Eternal City on foot—and were true peripatetic philosophers. Not so their lazy and luxurious descendants. When the MONTE VATICANO begins to intercept the rays of the setting sun—when the vapours raised from the Campagna during the day, begin to descend in refreshing but deadly dews in the evening—then are carried forth the pale olive BEAUTIES and effeminate Beaus of Rome, to be paraded in slow and solemn procession up and down the CORSO-a street greatly inferior to the Strand—but stretching from the foot of the Capitol to the Porto del Popolo. Where they spend the rest of their time, is best known to themselves—and to those of my countrymen and women, who had far better opportunities, and infinitely more
* It is well known that Michael Angelo literally performed his apparently hyperbolic promise that of raising the Pantheon into the air. The dome of St. Peter's is of the same dimensions as Agrippa's Temple of all the Gods.
curiosity than myself, to become acquainted with Roman privacy.
The listless inhabitants of the Eternal City have not, and desire not, the salutary exercise of scrambling up and down the seven hills, like their forefathers, protected from the sun by the narrowness of the streets and the height of the houses. When English example or their own curiosity happens to draw them from the gloomy Corso to the cheerful PINCIAN, they ascend not that pleasant mount by the marble stairs of the PIAZZA DI SPAGNA, refreshed by the jetting fountain at their base ! oh no. A carriage-course has been ziz-zagged to its summit, from the PIAZZA DEL Popolo, for dragging up the indolent patrician and lifeless Albino, on rare occasions, to inhale something like
pure air !*
The external physiognomy of Italy, as well as of her great cities and even of her inhabitants, presents more prominent features and singular contrasts than any other country or people in the world. Bernardine de St. Pierre informs us that all contrasts produce harmoniesand hence, perhaps, it is, that Italy is the land of music and of song. There is poetry—or the materials of poetry, in every thing which meets the eye between the Alps and Mount Ætna. Her skies are azure and her hills are green-the sun-beams are ardent, the moon-beams mellow, the stars brilliant—the breezes are alternately delicious and malarious—iced by the Alps, or ignited by the Sirocco-her mountains are lofty, and her streamlets are clear-her rivers are rapid, and her lakes are smooth-her shores are laved by tranquil seas, her hills are shook by hidden fires-the country is rich,
* It is a well known fact, that a late Octogenarian Professor of “ modern Athens," was in the frequent habit of walking to the summit of the Salisbury crags, and annually penning an ode, on those airy cliffs ; the last of which, when upwards of 80 years of age, was to two of his oldest and best friends
HIS LEGS.' The veteran, in this ode, renewed his adhesion to his tried friends, and declared his determination to “ stick to them, as long as they would stick to him.”
MUSEUM OF THE CAPITOL.
and the people are poor-the fields are fertile, while their cultivators are squalid and unhealthy-men and women sew the seed; but saints and angels reap the harvest—the vines are graceful, the grapes luscious; but the wine is too often sour—the roads are magnificent, while the inns are wretched-the country swarms with priests, but is destitute of religion--teems with redundant population where celibacy is the CARDINAL VIRTUEglitters with gems and precious stones in the midst of penury and starvation-exhibits despots on the plains, and bandits in the mountains-abounds in all the materials of wealth and power, but possesses few flourishing manufactories, except those of monks, music, and maccaroni. In fine—the nobility is sunk in sloth, the Church in plethora, the populace in pauperism !
If we narrow our periscopic glance, and concentrate it on the opposite side of the Capitol, we shall there find ample objects for contemplation-every species of stimulus for kindling up excitement in the minds of northern visitors, whose sensibilities are acute, and whose moral appetites are keen (from long abstinence) for intellectual enjoyments.
MUSEUM OF THE CAPITOL.
On descending from the Tower of the Capitol, and turning to the right, we enter an edifice which even Lady Morgan (no great idolator of antiquity) allows to be “ well worth a pilgrimage to Rome, though that alone existed there.” That the Museum of the CAPITOL excited in my mind the tumultuous tide of emotions which it raises in the minds of others, may be readily granted; but I may
observe that, after each visitation, a train of ideas arose in my imagination, which haunted me, in gorgeous dreams, for nights in succession. I suspect that many others besides myself have regretted the difficulty, or rather the impossibility, of recording on the tablet of memory the splendid and extravagant imagery which excited (perhaps morbid) feelings conjure up in the mental phantasmagoria of sleep, when disjointed fragments of previous sensations reverberate on the common sensory of the soul, uncontrolled, unchastised by waking reason. If report speak truth, these chaotic images have afforded materials for magnificent descriptions of the morning pen. Raw beef-steaks and indigestible condiments for supper are said to have
furnished the untrammelled imagination with food for the highest flights of poetry and romance—while libations of laudanum, like the genius of Shake
" Exhausted worlds, and then imagined new." Many of these alleged facts may be fictions, as far as regards individual descriptions; but the principle is founded in truth, and the extent of its influence on moral impulses and physical results is very far beyond the range of general belief. It is not, however, in dreams alone, that such gross materials act on the mind, or at least on some of its faculties, through the medium of corporeal organs. In every gradation of society, from the monarch to the mechanic, the imagination, nay, even the judgment, is influenced by material agents acting on the organized structures of the body, during the plenitude of intellectual exertion. But it is with moral agencies or impressions that I have now to do—the above being a digression.
In despite of the authority of Tertullian and Lactantius, I long had my doubts respecting the advent of the MILLENNIUM—and never entertained the slightest expectation of its commencing in my time. What was my surprise, as well as joy, to find that I had lived to witness this blessed state, this reign of the saints on earth! A short tour in Italy offered to my senses proofs as strong as those of“ holy writ,” that Papias was no dreaming enthusiast, but a veritable prophet. If the cessation of war and crime—the subsidence of every turbulent passion-the annihilation of envy, hatred, and malice-the establishment of harmony and concord among all the jarring elements of animated Nature, be signs of a MILLENNIUM, then I say that the gallery of the Gran Duca at Florence, the Museum of the Capitol, and of the Vatican at Rome, together with the Studii of Naples, furnish the most incontestible proofs. Gods, angels, and saints have descended upon this little beauteous globe, to mingle in peaceful quietude with men and animals of every tribe, of every species, and of every age !
Behold that majestic form, that celestial countenance! It is the Father of the Gods. He has ceased to
" Shake his annbrosial curls and give the nod," which were too often the signals for bloodshed and injustice! JUPITER has become a reformed rake, and consequently the best of husbands. He has discarded all his former mistresses ; and though he is evidently cold to JUNO herself, the latter stands with placid aspect, and without evincing the least
symptom of jealousy towards her once faithless spouse. The presence of Dåphne, Leda, Calisto, and Alcmena, excites no suspicions in the Queen's mind. Her Majesty of Olympus, indeed, seems to be aware that Time has cured her lord and master of his erratic propensities, and that a prying watch over his rambles is no longer necessary. Such is one of the many happy effects of the Marble Millennium !
It has been a mooted subject of discussion among divines, philosophers, and metaphysicians, whether or not a remembrance of the past shall accompany us to a future state of existence? The question is beset with thorny difficulties! If memory enables the disembodied spirit to look back on the transactions of this life, Paradise itself will not be free from agitating retrospections ! If, on the other hand, all remembrance of the past be sunk in the grave, death is a virtual annihilation, and a future state of existence is, to all intents and purposes, a new creation. All our present ideas of retributive justice, and of future rewards and punishments, harmonize with the doctrine that consciousness of pre-existence shall obtain in another world whether that be a better or a worse than the present. The marble Millennium which we are now contemplating, favours this natural supposition. Although every passion is hushed, memory seems to animate, or at least to leave an impression on the forms of gods and men in the millennium.
Mark that martial figure, with nodding plume and glittering helmet. It is the God of War. But Mars no longer “ thunders on the plain,” like a turbulent chief inciting others to break their heads, his own being secured by a secret amulet from wound or peril. The millennarii around him, however prone, in their former lives, to warfare, are now too wise to obey his call-even if they had the inclination! Would that nations took a lesson from the marble Millennium !
APOLLO treats us to some elegant postures indicative of former propensities—but neither bends the bow, nor strikes the lyre ! Python forgives the wounds it has received from the arrows of the god, and humours his celestial pride by rehearsing its own death.
Not far from Apollo stands his crescented sister, still evincing MEMORY. Diana is no longer permitted-or perhaps inclined, to destroy the fields of the industrious farmer-but the goddess is surrounded by her dogs-a circumstance that may furnish consolation to the country SQUIRE, on quitting this earthly scene, as it affords ample grounds for hope, that
-admitted to an equal sky, His faithful dogs will bear him company.
Venus looks as modest as a Vestal Virgin, and is, perhaps, as pure. Incapable of feeling the “ soft impression,” she is unable to communicate it to