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don'to know about the canvas, but we see the subject windows to see the sun rise, I was surprised with the is loose.'
vision of the colonnade that fronted me. It seemed The four front rooms occupied by the Royal Society one of those edifices in fairy tales that are raised by are all built with coved ceilings, set off by mouldings genii in a night-time.' Walpole could hardly have and cornices richly carved and gilt. The saloon, the slept off the effects of the ball, or else he wished to first room entered from the stair, is panelled in high flatter his noble friend. relief, with carved figures over the door-heads, and Sir William Chambers, again, remarking on the way shews on its ceiling a large picture, painted by Sir in which the aristocracy of London hid their palaces James Thornhill. The pictures on the other three ceilings behind dead-walls, as nuns and friars did their conare by Ricci, though whether Sebastian or his nephew vents, says, referring to the wall of Burlington House: Marco had the greater share in their execution is not 'Few in this vast city suspect, I believe, that behind easy to decide. It was Sebastian Ricci who painted an old brick wall in Piccadilly, there is one of the the Ascension in the cupola of Chelsea Hospital, and finest pieces of architecture in Europe.' the pictures on the staircase of Montague House-late And we find Gay repeating similar opinions. In a the British Museum; and it is said of him that he left passage of his Trivia, he writes: England in a pet because Sir James Thornhill was employed to paint the dome of St Paul's.
Burlington's fair palace still remains, In the rear of the main building lies a large plot of
Beauty within—without proportion reigns ; ground enclosed by the walls of the Albany, Burlington
Beneath his eye declining art revives,
The wall with animated pictures lives. Arcade, and of the street known as Burlington
There Handel strikes the strings, the melting strain Gardens. A terrace, bordered by a double row of stately elms, stretches along three sides ; the fourth is shut
Transports the soul, and thrills through every vein :
There oft I enter-but with cleaner shoes, in by the very sombre back-front of the house itself.
For Burlington's beloved by every Muse. Broad grass-plots, divided by a gravelled walk, cover the area between the terraces ; and what with the An unsophisticated spectator would come to a different ample foliage of the trees, and the spread of verdure, conclusion, and lament that second-rate effects should the place is refreshing to the eye of a Londoner. The have been produced on a site possessed of first-rate bachelors of the Albany wanted to enjoy it; and when capabilities. government bought Burlington House, one or two of Gay's allusion to Handel arises from the fact of the them knocked down the brick screens which shut great musician having lived three years in the house: out from their windows everything except a little it was, moreover, the residence of the Duke of Portdaylight. But their enjoyment was cut short by a land while he was minister; and the place is conperemptory order from the Board of Works for the nected with political history by yet another incident replacing of the envious screens within twenty-four -Sir Samuel Romilly once addressed the electors of hours. On the Burlington Arcade side, not a window, Westminster in the court-yard. not a crevice permits curious folk to peep. Only from One of Hogarth's prints, the Man of Taste, contains the street at the end can any view of the grounds be a view of Burlington House, concerning which Mr obtained by outsiders. Uxbridge House-now the Peter Cunningham remarks, that 'it represents Kent Western Branch of the Bank of England—is one among the architect) on the summit in his threefold capacity those privileged to look down on the philosophers and of painter, sculptor, and architect, flourishing his savans as they saunter up and down under the shade pallet and pencils over the heads of his astonished of the trees. It is already classic ground here- supporters, Michael Angelo and Raphael. On a scaffold, abouts, and no detriment will accrue from the new a little lower down, Pope stands, whitewashing the associations. There, in the rear, lived Gay under front; and while he makes the pilasters of the gateway Queensberry's ducal roof; Akenside resided in Old clean, his wet brush bespatters the Duke of Chandos, Burlington Street; there, in Cork Street, is the house who is passing by; Lord Burlington serves the poet which the old Earl of Burlington built for General in the capacity of a labourer; and the date of the print Wade-a house of which some one said: “It was is 1731.' too small to live in, and too big to hang to a watch- That same old brick wall' has borne many a shot chain.' And had we space, we might record other of late from paper artillery and from parliamentary reminiscences.
artillery too. Sundry energetic individuals have But now for a few words concerning the house itself. demanded its demolition in the Times, to say nothing Pepys, the ever-memorable, says in his Diary, under of other papers; and not longer ago than the 19th of date September 1668: "To my Lord Burlington's June last, certain members of the House of Commons house; the first time I ever was there, it being the talked ‘Bunkum' with like purport. The wall ought house built by Sir J. Denham next to Clarendon to come down, and forthwith! If it did come down, House.' The Sir John Denham here alluded to holds we venture to say that nobody would be gratified, not a place among English poets as the author of Cooper's even the members aforesaid ; for the scene to be Hill and some other poems; he was surveyor of royal revealed would be an uninteresting view of the back of palaces and buildings; and it is supposed that he built the colonnade, of an old coach-house and stables, of the house for the earl, and not for himself. Be this the hinder appurtenances of the porter's lodge, and of as it may, it can hardly be true that the earl said he some other places resorted to by students when up for built on this spot, as no one would ever build beyond their examination. him; for other houses, noble and plebeian, were then The earl died, and the title with him, in 1735, and actually built to the west, or in course of erection. Burlington House became the property of the Duke However, Richard Boyle, the next Earl of Burling- of Devonshire. There was talk of pulling it down ton, was an architect, who had, as Walpole says, every about fifty years ago; but Lord George Cavendish quality of a genius and artist except envy; and he bought it, and made considerable alterations, employing befriended architects, and aided liberally in the pub- Samuel Ware as architect. He took down,' says lication of architectural designs. He built a new front Britton, “and rebuilt the whole house, except the front
to the house mentioned by Pepys, in 1717, and in the elevation and some rooms connected with it.' He following year the colonnade, gateway, and screen- restored the terraces and steps in the grounds behind, wall. Walpole goes into raptures over this colonnade. and converted the east wing, which had been a ridingThe earl had invited him to a ball, and arriving at house and stables, into a dwelling for a portion of the night, he saw nothing while crossing the court-yard; household. In 1819, he built Burlington Arcade, and but 'at daybreak,' as he writes, looking out of the l got a rental of L.4000 a year for that double row of
badly ventilated shops. This amount, as we have have explored the interior of Africa; and, disguised as heard, is increased by sub-letting to L.8000. Among true and mahogany-coloured followers of the Prophet, the tenants there is one who pays L.175 a year, and we have penetrated with Captain Burton to Mecca another L.195 each for his one little shop.
and Medina. Through the instrumentality of the One thing Lord George did not do-build wholesome Abbé Huc, we have made the acquaintance of those habitations for his servants; for anything more dismal ridiculous Chinese; we have got very near the North than the underground apartments cannot well be ima- Pole with Dr Armstrong; we have journeyed round gined. That any domestics should ever have consented the world with Madame Pfeiffer-in fact, there is not to pass their days therein, is a marvel; but now there a spot on the face of the globe that has been described is a change. The Board of Works, by a small outlay, by book, lecture, or panorama, that we have not have turned the dungeons into habitable rooms. visited, and do not know almost as much about as
The Cavendish family retained possession till about the authors, lecturers, and artists themselves. three years ago, when they sold the Burlington House In the course of these sedentary wanderings, there estate to government for L.140,000. The house stood are certain favourite scenes and incidents that we have empty for a few months; then an exhibition of draw- seen with our mind's eye on so many occasions, that ings and paintings, and another of designs for cavalry- they have become as familiar to us as if we had actually barracks were held in it; then, to make room for the witnessed them. They appear to be standard subjects registrar-general, the university was transferred from that age cannot wither, and whose infinite variety Somerset House to Burlington House. In 1856, the custom cannot stale. For instance, how often, as we Royal Society, as already stated, accepted the offer of have been sitting before our fire with our legs up on a home further west; preparations for their reception a chair, have we felt awestruck and insignificant as were commenced; the university was shifted once we gazed upon the glories of Niagara. How many more into the east wing; and in May of this year the times on a cold December night, with the curtains Royals held their first meeting in the new hall; and comfortably drawn, and the kettle singing cheerily there we leave them in occupation of their new home, on the hob, have we, panting with heat and blinded by with our best wishes for harmonious action with their the glare of the desert sun, been assisted by semi-nude fellow-lodgers, and that they may continue to advance Arabs up the steps of the Great Pyramid, and drank science, and advocate her claims as worthily and as imaginary bottled beer when we got to the top; and, independently as heretofore.
to come to the subject more particularly in hand, how It was during the long vacation of 1856, while often, as we indolently lounged in our dressing-gown repairs were going on, and before the societies entered and slippers, on our favourite sofa, have we thoroughly into occupation, that an incident occurred, with which enjoyed all the dangers and excitements of whaleit seems to us good to close our article on Burlington fishing. House. The reader must be good enough to imagine It is related of Colonel W8, the historian of a certain porter who was on duty at the time, giving British India, that when he was told that the author an account of it to a certain professor.
of Lalla Rookh had never been in the East, he said: Sir,' says the porter, there came in a brisk-looking Well, that shews me that reading D'Herbelot is as oldish gentleman, with a sprig in his mouth; and seeing good as riding on a camel. On the same principle, him look about, I made bold to go up to him and ask there are few readers who, by studying Herman his name.
Melville's volumes, and other works of the same “My name is Lord Palmerston. Who are you?" oleaginous nature, are not as well acquainted with the
“The porter of the my lord;" and I made his modus operandi of capturing a whale, from the cry of lordship a bow.
“There she spouts !' of the man in the cross-trees, to “The very man I want to see. Come and shew me the stripping off the blubber at the ship's side, and over the house."
boiling it down in the ship's coppers, as if they had *So,' continues the porter to the professor, ‘I went, spent the greater part of their lives cruising about the sir, as his lordship asked, and shewed him the house, Arctic Ocean with harpoons in their hands. Supposing and told him which rooms was for the Royal Society, the reader, therefore, to be theoretically a first-rate which for the Linnean Society, and which for the whale-fisher, I shall not waste time and paper by Chemical Society. And his lordship asked a good dilating on the perils of icebergs, of boats set fire to many questions, and seemed to want to know all about by the friction of the rope, or stove in by the monster's the societies, and I answered him as well as I was able. tail, or any other of the moving accidents and hairAnd so, after we had been all over the house, his lord breadth 'scapes incidental to this most exciting of ship wanted to go out into the grounds behind, and I pursuits, but shall come at once to what I consider unlocked the door, and his lordship walked about and its antithesis-namely, duck-hunting. asked more questions; and then he talked about the No reader of this Journal, it is to be hoped, has societies again, and he said: “What is the Linnæan ever been present at a duck-hunt. It is a barbarous Society? What do they do ?”
exhibition, although not a bit more cruel than foxAnd his lordship didn't know, sir, nor I didn't know!' hunting, or any other sport in which a poor defenceless
animal struggles gallantly for its life, till from sheer VERY LIKE A WHAL E.
exhaustion it falls an easy victim to its relentless per
secutors. The only difference between them is, that ONE of the greatest luxuries we possess in these the fox has the honour of being chased to death by luxurious days, is the power of enjoying the startling well-bred hounds with sleek dappled coats, and wellnovelty, exciting adventure, and magnificent scenery mounted gentlemen in red ones, while the instruments of foreign climes, without stirring from the comfortable of the duck's destruction are generally ragged boys arm-chair in our library, or, at all events, without and a scrubby terrier. The first, therefore, is a manly greater exertion than is necessary to obtain posses- and noble sport, belauded by poets and followed by all sion of the well-padded stall of some exhibition-room the high and mighty in the land; and the latter is, in Piccadilly or Leicester Square. In this way, with equally as a matter of course, a low and degrading the assistance of Mr Burford, we witnessed the capture pursuit, for which the young rascals engaged in it of the Malakoff, and were present at the Moscow ought to be well whipped, and their cur hung. coronation. In this way, we have ascended Mont The essentials for duck-hunting arema good-sized Blanc with the facetious Albert Smith, and slain pond, a tough old mallard, an amphibious terrier, lions and hippopotami in company with the adven- and boys ad libitum. If the duck is sharp enough to turous Gordon Cumming. With Dr Livingstone, we dive when the dog makes a snap at him, he escapes ;
if not, he is caught. Generally, though for a few the season when the largest bags are made. Four is minutes he may avoid the terrier, his sojourns under the golden number for the shocting-party, from which water get short by degrees and ominously less, till at no deviation must be allowed; and to give some sort last he falls a victim to what may be literally called of vraisemblance to our description, let us suppose the the dogged determination of his canine pursuer. There expedition planned, and the party' to consist of those is but one chance in his favour, namely, the apparition well-known continental travellers, Smith, Brown, of that modern rara avis in terris, a policeman, or of Jones, and Robinson. They have been stopping at some individual with humane feelings and a thick Lausanne, and, with the love of sport inherent in stick. Occasionally, also, a duck owes his life to his Englishmen, determine to have a day's grebe-shooting. own powers of endurance, shewing such good sport, In pursuance of this laudable resolution, they hire a that, like the hunted stag, he is saved for another boat for the day; and in illustration of another time.
pleasing trait in the English character, lay in a stock As a sport, duck-hunting in many points bears a of provisions sufficient to last them a week. strong resemblance to coursing. In each, the dogs Everything being ready, they shove off with a full hunt by sight, the human-or, as some would say, the determination of bringing back a large bag of grebes. inhuman-owners being only spectators, assisting | They could not have a better day. The lake is without their animals in the one case by finding the game; in a ripple ; the sky as blue as London milk; and the other, by preventing its escape by flight from the the air as clear as Thames water, after it has been pond. The conduct of the hare and the duck under filtered. The southerly wind and cloudy sky so prized pursuit are also very similar. The hare lies like a by fox-hunters, would prove totally destructive to the stone till she is almost kicked up; and the duck does hopes of the grebe-shooter. A frost could not be more not dive till the nose of the terrier almost touches his annoying to the former, than any mist or thickness of tail. The instinct of self-preservation teaches both to the atmosphere to the latter. By the direction of the place themselves under circumstances most favourable rowers, who are accustomed to the sport, our heroesto their peculiar conformation: the hare takes to the each, as a matter of course, with a cigar in his mouth hills, where her long hind-legs give her a better - distribute themselves en règle thus: Robinson, being chance of escape ; and the duck dives under water, rather stout, establishes himself in the stern; Jones where, for a certain time, he is perfectly in his occupies the bow; and Smith and Brown take their element, and safe from pursuit. The astonishment of stations on the quarters ; so that on whichever side the great bounding greyhound when he finds himself the unfortunate bird may appear, he will be sure unable to pull up, and going several yards beyond the to hear a shower of No. 1 shot pattering round point where the hare has doubled, is only equalled by him. The necessity of first catching your hare is the puzzled look of the terrier when the duck disap- enforced by the sagacious Mrs Glasse, as an essential pears from out of his very jaws, and he gazes help- preliminary to cooking him; and in the same way, lessly round in doubt as to where his prey will make first find your grebe'is a rule that must invariably its reappearance. To finish the parallel—both hare and be observed previous to shooting him. For this purduck eventually arrive at the same destination, each pose, the surface of the lake is eagerly scanned in all being only rescued from the jaws of the dog, that he directions, through pocket-telescopes and double-barmay, at a later period, find employment for the jaws relled opera-glasses. Brown is the first to catch sight of his master.
of game; and Robinson, after staring intently for The analogy between duck-hunting and whale- some minutes through his ivory lorgnette, confirms the fishing is, however, even more striking. The same discovery. The boatmen are directed to row in the mode of escape-the same necessity for occasional direction of the supposed grebe. respiration on the part of the victim—the same excit What a magnificent fellow!' exclaims Robinson, ing uncertainty as to where the next appearance will be, whose face glows like a peony with heat and exciteform the characteristics of each pursuit. In fact, as ment. “He's as black as a coal.' popping at sparrows and slaughtering elephants may But he dothn't seem to move,' says Smith, who be considered as the two extremes of terra-firma shoot- lisps and drops his r's. 'I thought gebes dived. ing, so hunting a duck and chasing a whale may be He 'll dive fast enough presently,' replies Robinson, termed the alpha and omega of aquatic sport. There who is standing up in the stern with his gun ready, is an amusement, however, common on the Lake of although the quarry is a mile off. Geneva, called la chasse du grêbe, that partakes of the 'I say, mind how you shoot,' says Jones, in the qualities of each, and forms a connecting-link between bow, as he looks nervously round at his friends' guns, them : it is the comparative, of which they are the which are pointing so, that were they to go off, positive and superlative. I shall therefore conclude Robinson's would deposit a charge in the small of his this paper with a short account of grebe-shooting, back, and Smith's and Brown's shave off his whiskers. which was indeed the principal object with which I Keep your muzzles up, can't you?' commenced it: its having degenerated into a disserta Do you know,' said Smith, looking intently through tion on duck-hunting was purely accidental; and his glass—'I don't think ith a gebe, after all. It accidents, as every one knows, will happen in the hathn't got any head.' best regulated articles.
It's asleep, perhaps,' replied Robinson, getting The grebe is a handsome swimming bird with a fine ready for a sitting shot. crest, that gives him the appearance of having had Why, it's an old hat!' cried Jones in disgust, when his own head cut off, and one belonging to a much they had got near enough to a black object floating larger individual substituted. He seldom flies, and motionless in the water, to distinguish its real nature. his pedestrian powers are so inconsiderable as to be Brown, the original discoverer of the hat, is of hardly worth mentioning, negative qualities in which course well abused for having led them such a wildhe resembles the duck, and which render him pecu- goose chase; and the quartette, to make up for their liarly applicable for the sport I am about to describe. disappointment, have recourse to that potent consolaHe is not prized for his flesh, which is coarse and fishy, tion to the youthful Briton, pale ale. Presently a real but, like the whale, he contributes in another way to Simon Pure is sighted, with his brown coat and white the wants of man, or rather woman, as his skin, which under-garments shining in the sun like satin, and a fetches from six to ten francs, is made into muffs, tip- bright chestnut-coloured crest hanging down his neck pets, and other articles of feminine attire. No parti- like the back-liair of a lady with auburn locks when cular day is mentioned in the Swiss almanacs as that it is undergoing the operation of being brushed. on which "grebe-shooting commences ;' but autumn is This time the sportsmen place themselves under the
direction of the head-boatman, whose advice, in the favour of a constitutional government; and the hope excitement of the hat-chase, they had previously of rationally and peacefully realising the dream of scorned. Silence is enjoined, and an agreement 1848, of a united Italy, with Piedmont as its head, is entered into between the shooters that, for fear of daily gaining ground. Even among conscientious accidents, only one shot shall be fired at a time, and Catholics, the project of a speedy separation of the that one is to be by the individual nearest the bird. temporal from the spiritual authority of the pope, is This rule is, of course, broken on the very first oppor- openly discussed, and by many considered as their only tunity, when all four blaze away at the game, in utter safeguard from the torrent of anarchy and revolt to recklessness of consequences. This does not happen, which the oppressions and corruptions of its rulers are however, for some time. At first, on being approached, hastening the country. the grebe is wild, and dives a long way out of distance. But of these questions, in their wide political The boatmen, judging from the direction he takes, bearings, abler pens are treating; my task is simply row to the spot where they expect he will reappear. to complete the picture of the customs, the amuseHe is too cunning for them, however, and comes to the ments, the domestic life, the religious ceremonies, the surface some hundred yards from where they had environs of one city in the Roman States, which I calculated to see him. Away they go in pursuit; but have enjoyed better opportunities of studying than are long before the eager gunners can get within shot, generally accorded to an English traveller; and from down goes his head, up goes his tail
, and away he which, depicted with the most conscientious veracity, paddles on his subaqueous expedition, to come up the unprejudiced reader can form his own deductions. again to breathe in a more unexpected quarter than Though the austerities of Lent have ceased to be
Perseverance is at length rewarded, and the observed, even in the faithful diocese of Ancona, to any rowers make a lucky cast. The grebe ascends within very mortifying extent, the ancient rites of the church twenty yards of the boat, but finding his mistake, hey, are still kept up, and towards the close of the Holy presto! he is down again like lightning; and the only Week, the whole population becomes compulsorily result, caused by the contents of four barrels fired devout. The parochial clergy go round to every recklessly in his direction, is a very near approach house in their jurisdiction, taking down the names to the capsize of the boat, and a few bubbles foating and ages of the inhabitants, and delivering to all on the surface of the water. Unfortunately for the a ticket filled up with their name, requiring them poor bird, his respiratory organs are so constituted to repair, within a given period, to the parish church, that an occasional mouthful of fresh air is one of the for confession and communion. Any freewill-offering, necessaries of his existence, and his late summary any spontaneous act of grace in these religious duties, proceeding obliges him to expose himself again before is thus lost; and with the young men especially, prender he can get out of range. A severe peppering is the Pasqua, as it is termed, becomes a most irksome task, consequence; but he is still so active, that a white which they endeavour to shuffle over, or resort to every tail in the act of disappearing is the only mark he expedient and deception to evade altogether. The presents to the random shots of the excited sportsmen. government, however, is very strict in enforcing this The contest, however, is too unequal to last. Tired ordinance, with the political view of maintaining its and wounded, the grebe's attempts to escape become fast-waning influence through the confessional, going more and more feeble, till, after repeated volleys, a even the length of refusing pontifical subjects their lucky shot administers the coup de grâce, and the party passports, if they require to travel, when it can be in the boat sit down to luncheon.
proved that they have neglected their Easter duties; Having seen them bag one bird, it is not necessary but this is an odious abuse of authority, tending to to follow them any further on their aquatic expedition. bring religion into contempt. Their subsequent achievements may be briefly expressed I remember hearing of the astonishment and indig. by the musical term da capo, a phrase which I have nation of some members of the V-family-Poles by been given to understand is synonymous with the birth, but French by education-with whom we were English one of ditto repeated.'
intimate, the first year they passed in Ancona, when My object is gained if I have made good my title, the priest, having taken the statistics of the household, and proved to everybody's satisfaction, that the Lake and ascertained that they professed the Roman Catholic of Geneva and the Arctic Ocean are in some respects faith, handed to each of them in succession a printed similar; and that the grebe-to say nothing of the ticket, requiring them to conform to this law. In duck—is, as far as the manner of his capture is France, they declared, they had never heard of such a concerned, extremely like a whale.
measure; and they could not, even before us, forbear
from expressing their disgust. It required all their RELIGIOUS OBSERVANCES IN ITALY.
mother's persuasions, and the example of her unques
tioning submission to whatever emanated from priestly Some impressions of a winter I spent on the shores of authority, to stifle the murmurs of the young ladies, the Adriatic have been already offered to the readers and enforce their obedience. of this Journal. Nor would any further delineations On Holy Thursday, after mid-day, an unwonted of an Italian interior have suggested themselves to my silence seemed to fall upon the town, unbroken till the mind, had not the great events of the present moment same hour on Saturday. No bells were tolled, no given a fresh interest to the countries most likely matins or vespers rung, no mass celebrated in the eventually to be affected by them, and awakened a churches ; while the streets were filled with people desire to learn, more thoroughly, what is their actual hastening to the sepolcri, or sepulchres, of which seven condition, and determine how far Central and Southern must be visited by the faithful. Each church has its Italy, retaining their former mode of government and sepolcro, varying in the details, but agreeing as to the institutions, can challenge a comparison with that general characteristics of the representation. The highnorthern state of the peninsula where progress and altar is divested of its usual ornaments, in token of reform are the order of the day.
mourning; and on the platform immediately before it, It is the prevailing impression on the continent that surrounded by all the emblems of the passion, is a no part of Europe will be sooner subjected to some figure in wax of life-size of the Saviour, as if just violent convulsion and up-rooting of all existing things removed from the cross. All around, and on the steps than the kingdom of Naples and the papal dominions. leading up, are a profusion of natural flowers and To the reader of Italian journals, the attentive listener tapers; and sentinels with arms reversed are stationed in Italian political circles, the evidence is unmistakable at intervals to keep back the crowd. that the tide of popular feeling is setting in anew in In some churches more figures are introduced-such as Joseph of Arimathea, the beloved apostle, the three Some paces behind, upon a sort of platform, appeared Maries; others have a greater display of flowers and a huge image of the Madonna, considerably above the wax-lights, but the pervading effect in all is invari- size of life, dressed in violet robes, with long brown ably the same. The complete stillness; the ceaseless, ringlets, and pierced through with seven daggers_all noiseless swaying of the crowd, as those who occupy the spiritualised beauty with which the blessed the foremost places, after a few minutes' admiring among women’ should be invested, lost in the vulgarity inspection, and a few muttered prayers, quietly give of this most material representation. This, with the room in their turn to fresh comers; the indiscriminate dignitaries and magistrates of the town walking two blending of rich and poor, as the lady in her silken and two, closed the procession; after which marched robes kneels on the pavement beside the tattered more soldiers, those who had been stationed along the beggar; the motionless forms of the Austrian soldiers streets falling into the ranks, and the band performing in all the glittering panoply of war, surrounding the a funeral-march-the same the Austrians always play marred and blood-stained effigy of the Prince of Peace; after the interment of any of their comrades. the saturnine matter-of-fact faces of the attendant I have not exaggerated this description. To some priests and sacristans, who hover about, relighting any enthusiastic poetic minds, to whom such things seem taper that is accidentally extinguished, or adjusting beautiful in the abstract, I know my account will any of the arrangements that may be displaced; the prove distasteful. But thus it always is: a close air heavy with the scent of flowers mingling with the insight into the countries where these time-honoured exhalations of the vaults beneath, where moulder the traditional ceremonies are still maintained, strips them remains of those who in their day have gazed upon of the mysterious charm with which, to a foreigner, this spectacle, for centuries repeated, for centuries un- they might seem to be invested, and accounts for changed: all this has struck each stranger in his turn, the levity with which they are witnessed by those and is but a feeble transcript of the varied impressions familiarised to them since their earliest childhood. it produces.
As another instance : there was the custom of On Good Friday, there is always a procession blessing the houses on Easter Saturday, which I had through the principal streets of the town, which, with heard of long before visiting Italy, and imagined must out any of the devotional accessories of the sepolcri- prove equally edifying and impressive. But when I the time-worn churches, the subdued light, the hushed saw a very dirty priest in his alb—I think that is the voices-cannot fail painfully to impress the English name—a sort of linen ephod worn over the black spectator who has not been inured to sights of this gown, attended by a still more dirty little boy carrying description.
holy-water, walk hastily through the house, muttering By the people it was eagerly looked forward to as a few unintelligible words on the threshold of each a pleasant variety in the monotony of their lives, an room, only pausing a little longer in the kitchen to opportunity of sauntering about, of looking out of the crack a few jokes with the servants, without the least windows, of nodding to their acquaintances, and semblance of devotion on his side or of reverence on furthering some flirtation or intrigue. Any idea of theirs—and gratefully accepting a few pauls sent out investing the pageant with a religious significance to him by the family-why, I fell from the clouds, seemed foreign to the minds of the great majority of and my cherished illusions were dispelled. It seemed the assembled throng.
almost as hollow as blessing the horses on the 17th of When the muffled drums were heard announcing January, the festival of St Anthony, the patron of that the procession was approaching, and a detachment animals, which had previously greatly astonished me. of troops began to line the street under our windows, I All the post and vetturino horses, all those belonging remarked a thrill of excitement, but certainly not of to private families, were taken on that day, gaily awe, as every head was impatiently turned in the decked out with ribbons, to a square in front of one direction from whence the torches and banners of the of the principal churches, where priests, standing on confraternity of the Passionisti first came in view. the steps of the portico, sprinkled them with holyMen of all classes belonged to this compagnia, all water, and pronounced a formula of benediction. A similarly dressed in loose robes and cowls of gray linen, small gratuity was given for each horse, and in return which concealed the features, a crown of thorns round the donors were presented with a little wax-taper and the head, and a girdle of knotted cords ; the difference a small loaf of bread, by which the grooms, rather than of rank being discernible only by the whiter feet of the poor quadrupeds, were the gainers. There was a some amongst them, and the evident pain with which favourite cat in my uncle's establishment--a cat of they trod the sharp uneven pavement. I must, how- great size and beauty, and of doglike sagacity—which ever, pause to observe here, that a bent head and hoary the servants were in vain desirous he would send to hair would be the general accompaniments to these be blessed, though prompted by no other motive than marks of gentle birth, were the drapery in which they the pleasure of dressing it up, and of joining in the are enshrouded to be suddenly thrown aside.
crowd of idlers before the church. Next came friars and priests, all walking according Generally, however, it would appear as if some to established rule and precedence—Capuching, Fran- vague idea of averting ill-luck, of deprecating some ciscans, Carmelites, Dominicans, Augustinians, carrying sinister influence, must linger in the hearts of the lighted tapers and chanting litanies. Following these coachmen and postilions who still adhere to this were more Capuchins, to whom was especially dele- custom; which is practised by the priests—so Young gated the office of carrying all the objects belonging Italy will tell you-solely to maintain their hold upon to the crucifixion; and thus they passed on, white- the superstitious fears of the lowest ranks of the bearded tottering old men, bearing successively an populace. emblem of this day's great sacrifice, profaned by being But stay-I am wandering from my more immeparaded, like some mummery of old, before the idle diate subject, although all the church-bells let loose, crowd, who gazed, and sneered, and talked, indifferent and ringing their merry peals, proclaim it is noon to the awful event thus commemorated. The crown on Holy Saturday, and that Lent is over! There of thorns, the purple robe, the scourge, the nails, the is something very heart-stirring in this rejoicing: I dice with which the soldiers had cast lots, the spear, wish we had the same custom in England to usher were all carried slowly along; the sacred form itself, in the triumphant glories of the Easter morn. Why in the utter prostration of death, stretched upon a it should be anticipated here by twelve hours, and bier, coming next in view. A few knelt here, not one the bells give forth their jubilee, and salvos of artillery in twenty though; the rest all listless, unthinking, or be fired, at mid-day, instead of mid-night, I do not unbelieving
| exactly know: I think I have somewhere read an