SEPTEMBER 7th. Immediately after breakfast we went to St. Justina's, a noble temple, designed by Palladio, and worthy of his reputation. The dimensions are vast, and the equal distribution of light and ornament, truly admirable. Upon my first entrance, the long perspective of domes above, and chequered marble below, struck me with surprise and pleasure. I roved about the spacious aisles for several minutes; then sat down under the grand cupola, and admired the beautiful symmetry of the building. Both extremities of the cross aisles are terminated by altar-tombs of very remote antiquity, adorned with uncouth sculptures of the Evangelists, supported by wreathed columns of alabaster, round which, to my no small astonishment, four or five gawky, coarse fellows were waddling on their knees, persuaded, it seems, that this strange devotion would cure the rheumatism, or any other aches with which they were afflicted. You can have no conception of the ridiculous attitudes into which they threw themselves; nor the difficulty with which they squeezed along, between the middle column of the tomb and those which surround it. No criminal in the pillory ever exhibited a more rueful appearance, no swine ever scrubbed itself more fervently than these infatuated lubbers. I left them hard at work, taking more exercise than had been their lot for many a day; and, mounting into the organ gallery, listened to Turini's* music with infinite satisfaction. The loud harmonious tones of the instrument filled the whole edifice; and, being repeated by the echoes of its lofty domes and arches, produced a wonderful effect. Turini, aware of this circumstance, adapts his compositions with great intelligence to the place, and makes his slave, the organ, send forth the most affecting, long-protracted sounds, which languish in the air, and are some time a-dying. Nothing can be more original than his style! Deprived of sight by an unhappy accident, in the flower of his days, he gave up his entire soul to music, and scarcely exists but through its medium. When we came out of St. Justina's, the azure of the sky and the softness of the air inclined us to think of some excursion. Where could I wish to go, but to the place in which I had been so delighted? Besides, it was proper to make the C. another visit, and proper to see the Pisani palace, which happily I had before neglected. All these proprieties considered, M. de R. accompanied me to Fiesso. The sun was just sunk when we arrived. The whole æther in a glow, and the fragrance of the citron alleys delightful. Beneath them I walked in the cool, till the Galuzzi began once more her enchanting melody. She sang till the fineness of the weather tempted the fascinating G – a and myself to stray on the banks of the Brenta. A profound calm reigned upon the woods and the waters, and moonlight added serenity to a scene naturally peaceful. We listened to the faint murmurs of the leaves and the distant rural noises, observed the gleams that quivered on the river, and discovered a mutual delight in contemplating the same objects. We supped late: before the Galuzzi had repeated the airs which had most affected me, morning began to dawn.
September 8th. It was evening, and I was still asleep; not in a tranquil slumber, but at the mercy of fantastic visions. The want of sound repose, after my return home, had thrown me into a feverish and impatient mood, that was alone to be subdued by harmony. I had scarcely snatched some slight refreshment, before I flew to the great organ at St. Justina's; but tried this time to compose myself, in vain. M. de R., finding my endeavours unsuccessful, proposed, by way of diverting my attention, that we should set out immediately for one of the Euganean hills, about six or seven miles from Padua, at the foot of which some antique baths had been very lately discovered. I consented without hesitation, little concerned whither I went, or what happened to me, provided the scene was often shifted. The lanes and inclosures we passed, in our road to the hills, appeared in all the gaiety that verdure, flowers, and sunshine could give them. But my pleasures were overcast, and I beheld every object, however cheerful, through a dusky medium. Deeply engaged in conversation, distance made no impression, and we beheld the meadow, over which the ruins are scattered, lie before us, when we imagined ourselves several miles away. Had I but enjoyed my former serenity, how agreeably would such a landscape have affected my imagination! How lightly should I not have run over the herbage, and viewed the irregular shrubby hills, diversified with clumps of cypress, verdant spots, and pastoral cottages; such as Zuccarelli loved to paint! No scene could be more smiling than this which here presented itself, or answer, in a fuller degree, the ideas I had formed of Italy. Leaving our carriage at the entrance of the mead, we traversed its flowery surface, and shortly perceived among the grass, an oblong basin, incrusted with pure white marble. Most of the slabs are large and perfect, apparently brought from Greece, and still retaining their polished smoothness. The pipes to convey the waters are still discernible; in short, the whole ground plan may be easily traced. Nothing more remains: the pillars and arcades are fallen; and one or two pedestals alone vouch for their former existence. Near the principal bath, we remarked the platforms of several circular apartments, paved with mosaic, in a neat simple taste, far from inelegant. Weeds have not yet sprung up amongst the crevices; and the freshness of the ruin everywhere shows that it has not long been exposed. Theodoric is the prince to whom these structures are attributed; and Cassiodorus, the prime chronicler of the country, is quoted to maintain the supposition. My spirit was too much engaged to make any learned parade, or to dispute upon a subject, which I abandon, with all its importance, to calmer and less impatient minds. Having taken a cursory view of the ruins in the mead, we ascended the hill which borders upon it, and surveyed a prospect of the same nature, though in a more lovely and expanded style than that which I beheld from Mosolente. Padua crowns the landscape, with its towers and cupolas rising from a continual grove; and, from the drawing I have seen, I should conjecture that Damascus presents somewhat of a similar appearance. Taking our eyes off this extensive horizon we turned them to the fragments beneath our feet. The walls appear plainly composed of the opus reticulatum, so universal in the environs of Naples. A sort of terrace, with the bases of columns circling the mount, leads me to imagine here were formerly arcades and porticos, for enjoying the view; for, on the summit, I could trace no vestiges of any considerable structure, and am therefore inclined to conclude, that nothing more than a colonnade surrounded the hill, leading perhaps to some slight fane, or pavilion, for the recreation of the bathers below. A profusion of aromatic flowers covered the slopes, and exhaled additional perfumes, as the sun declined, and the still hour approached, which was wont to spread over my mind a divine composure, and to restore the tranquillity I might have lost in the day. But now it diffused its reviving coolness in vain, and I remained, if possible, more sad and restless than before. To produce such a revolution, divine how I must have been fascinated! and be not surprised at my repeating all the way, that pathetic sonnet of Petrarch:

O giorno, o ora, o ultimo momento,
O stelle congiurate a 'mpoverme!
O fido sguardo, or che volei tu dirme,
Partend' io, per non esser mai contento?

September 9th. You may imagine how I felt when the hour of leaving Padua drew near. It happened to be a high festival, and high mass was celebrated at the great church of St. Anthony, with more than ordinary splendour. The music drawing us thither, we found every chapel twinkling with lights, and the choir filled with a vapour of incense. Through its medium several cloth of gold figures discovered themselves, ministring before the altar, and acting their parts with a sacred pomposity, wonderfully imposing. I attended very little to their functions; but the plaintive tones of the voices and instruments, so consonant with my own feelings, melted me into tears, and gave me, no doubt, the exterior of exalted piety. Guadazni sung amongst the other musicians, but seemed to be sinking apace into devotion and obscurity. The ceremony ended, I took leave of M. de R. with sincere regret, and was driven away to Vicenza. Of my journey I scarce know any more, than that the evening was cold and rainy, that I shivered and was miserable.
September 10th. The morning being overcast, I went, full of the spirit of Æschylus, to the Olympic theatre, and vented my evil temper in reciting some of the most tremendous verses of his furies. The august front of the scene and its three grand streets of fanes and palaces, inspired me with the lofty sentiments of the Grecian drama; but the dubious light, admitted through windows, scarce visible between the rows of statues which crown the entablature, sunk me into fits of gloom and sadness. I mused a long while in the darkest and most retired recess of the edifice; fancying I had penetrated into a real and perfect monument of antiquity, which till this moment had remained undiscovered. It is impossible to conceive a structure more truly classical, or to point out a single ornament which has not the best antique authority? I am not in the least surprised that the citizens of Vicenza enthusiastically gave in to Palladio's plan, and sacrificed large sums to erect so beautiful a model. When finished, they procured, at a vast expense, the representation of a Grecian tragedy, with its chorus and majestic decorations. You can enter into the rapture of an artist who sees his fondest vision realised; and can easily conceive how it was, that Palladio esteemed this compliment, the most flattering reward. After I had given scope to the fancies which the scene suggested, we set out for Verona. The situation is striking and picturesque. A long line of battlemented walls, flanked by venerable towers, mounts the hill in a grand irregular sweep, and incloses many a woody garden, and grove of slender cypress. Beyond, rises an awful assembly of mountains; opposite to which a plain presents itself, decked with all the variety of meads and thickets, olive-grounds and vineyards. Amongst these our road kept winding till we entered the city gate, and passed (the post knows how many streets and alleys in the way!) to the inn, a lofty handsome-looking building; but so full that we were obliged to take up with an apartment on its very summit, open to all the winds, like the magic chamber Apuleius mentions, and commanding the roofs of half Verona. Here and there a pine shot up amongst them, and the shady hills, terminating the perspective of walls and turrets, formed a romantic scene. Placing our table in a balcony, to enjoy the prospect with greater freedom, we feasted upon fish from the Lago di Guarda, and the delicious fruits of the country; grapes worthy of Canaan, and peaches such as Eden itself might have gloried in producing. Thus did I remain, solacing myself, breathing the cool air, and remarking the evening tints of the mountains. Neither paintings of Count this, nor the antiques of the Marquis t'other, could tempt me from my aerial situation; I refused hunting out the famous Paolos scattered over the town, and sat like the owl in the Georgics,

Solis et occasum servans de culmine summo.

Twilight drawing on, I left my haunt, and stealing downstairs, enquired for a guide to conduct me to the amphitheatre, perhaps the most entire monument of Roman days. The people of the house, instead of bringing me a quiet peasant, officiously delivered me up to a professed antiquary, one of those diligent, plausible young men, to whom, God help me! I have so capital an aversion. This sweet spark displayed all his little erudition, and flourished away upon cloacas and vomitoriums with eternal fluency. He was very profound in the doctrine of conduits, and knew to admiration how the filthiness of all the amphitheatre was disposed of; but perceiving my inattention, and having just grace enough to remark that I chose one side of the street when he preferred the other, and sometimes trotted, through despair, in the kennel, he made me a pretty bow, I tipped him half-a-crown, and seeing the ruins before me, traversed a gloomy arcade and emerged alone into the arena. A smooth turf covers its surface, from which the spacious row of gradines rises to a majestic elevation. Four arches, with their simple Doric ornament, alone remain of the grand circular arcade which once crowned the highest seats of the amphitheatre; and, had it not been for Gothic violence, this part of the structure would have equally resisted the ravages of time. Nothing can be more exact than the preservation of the gradines; not a block has sunk from its place, and whatever trifling injuries they may have received have been carefully repaired. The two chief entrances are rebuilt with solidity and closed by portals, no passage being permitted through the amphitheatre except at public shows and representations, sometimes still given in the arena.
When I paced slowly across it, silence reigned undisturbed among the awful ruins, and nothing moved, save the weeds and grasses which skirt the walls and tremble with the faintest breeze. I liked the idea of being thus shut in on every side by endless gradines, abandoned to a stillness and solitude I was so peculiarly disposed to taste. Throwing myself upon the grass in the middle of the arena, I enjoyed the freedom of my situation, and pursued the last tracks of light, as they faded behind the solitary arches, which rise above the rest. Red and fatal were the tints of the western sky; the wind blew chill and hollow, and something more than common seemed to issue from the withering herbage on the walls. I started up, fled through a dark arcade, where water falls drop by drop; and arrived, panting, in the great square before the ruins. Directing my steps across it, I reached an ancient castle, once inhabited by the Scaligeri, sovereigns of Verona. Hard by, appeared the ruins of a triumphal arch, which most antiquaries ascribe to Vitruvius, enriched with delicate scrolls and flowery ornaments. I could have passed half an hour very agreeably in copying these elegant sculptures; but night covering them with her shades, I returned home through the Corso; where the outlines of several palaces designed by Michel San Michele attracted my attention. But it was too dusky to examine their details.
September 11th. Traversing once more the grand piazza, and casting a last glance upon the amphitheatre, we passed under a lofty arch which terminates the perspective, and left Verona by a wide, irregular, picturesque street, commanding, whenever you look back, a striking scene of towers, cypress, and mountains. The country, between this beautiful town and Mantua, presents one continued grove of dwarfish mulberries, among which start up innumerable barren hills. Now and then a knot of poplars diversify their craggy summits, and sometimes a miserable shed. Mantua itself rises out of a morass formed by the Mincio, whose course, in most places, is so choked up with reeds as to be scarcely discernible. It requires a creative imagination to discover any charms in such a prospect, and a strong prepossession not to be disgusted with the scene where Virgil was born. For my own part, I approached this neighbourhood with proper deference, and began to feel the God; but finding no tufted tree on which I could suspend my lyre, or verdant bank which invited to repose, I abandoned poetry, and entered the city in despair. The beating of drums, and the sight of German whiskers, finished what croaking frogs and stagnant ditches had begun. Every classic idea being scared by such sounds and such objects, I dined in dudgeon, and refused stirring out till late in the evening. A few paces from the town stand the remains of the palace where the Gonzagas formerly resided. This I could not resist looking at, and was amply rewarded. Several of the apartments, adorned by the bold pencil of Julio Romano, merit the most exact attention; and the grotesque, with which the stucco ceilings are covered, equal the celebrated loggios of the Vatican. I don't recollect ever having seen these elegant designs engraven, and believe it would be perfectly worth the pains of some capital artist to copy them. Being in fresco upon damp neglected walls, each year diminishes their number, and every winter moulders some beautiful figure away.
The subjects, mostly from antique fables, are treated with all the purity and gracefulness of Raffaelle. Amongst others, the story of Polypheme is very conspicuous. Acis appears, reclined with his beloved Galatea, on the shore of the ocean, whilst their gigantic enemy, seated above on the brow of Ætna, seems by the paleness and horrors of his countenance to meditate some terrible revenge. When it was too late to examine the paintings any longer, I walked into a sort of court, or rather garden, which had been decorated with fountains and antique statues. Their fragments still remain amongst weeds and beds of flowers, for every corner of the place is smothered with vegetation. Here nettles grow thick and rampant; there, tuberoses and jessamine climb around mounds of ruins, which during the elegant reign of the Gonzagas led to grottoes and subterraneous apartments, concealed from vulgar eyes, and sacred to the most refined enjoyments. I gathered a tuberose that sprung from a shell of white marble, once trickling with water, now, half-filled with mould; and carrying it home, shut myself up for the rest of the night, inhaled its perfume, and fell a-dreaming.
September 12th. A shower having fallen, the air was refreshed, and the drops still glittered upon the vines, through which our road conducted us. Three or four miles from Mantua the scene changed to extensive grounds of rice, and meads of the tenderest verdure watered by springs, whose frequent meanders gave to the whole prospect the appearance of a vast green carpet shot with silver. Further on we crossed the Po, and passing Guastalla, entered a woody country full of inclosures and villages; herds feeding in the meadows, and poultry parading before every wicket.
The peasants were busied in winnowing their corn; or, mounted upon the elms and poplars, gathering the rich clusters from the vines that hang streaming in braids from one branch to another. I was surprised to find myself already in the midst of the vintage, and to see every road crowded with carts and baskets bringing it along; you cannot imagine a pleasanter scene. Round Reggio it grew still more lively, and on the other side of that agreeable little city, I remarked many a cottage that Tityrus might have inhabited, with its garden and willow hedge in flower, swarming with bees. Our road, the smoothest conceivable, led us perhaps too rapidly by so cheerful a landscape. I caught glimpses of fields and copses as we fled along, that could have afforded me amusement for hours, and orchards on gentle acclivities, beneath which I could have walked till evening. The trees literally bent under their loads of fruit, and innumerable ruddy apples lay scattered upon the ground:

Strata jacent passim sua quaeque sub arbore poma.

Beyond these rich masses of foliage, to which the sun lent additional splendour, at the utmost extremity of the pastures, rose the irregular ridge of the Apennines, whose deep blue presented a striking contrast to the glowing colours of the foreground. I fixed my eyes on the chain of distant mountains, and indulged, as usual, my conjectures of what was going forwards on their summits; of those who tended goats on the edge of the precipice; traversed at this moment, the dark thickets of pine; and passed their lives in yonder sheds, contented and unknown. Such were the dreams that filled my fancy, and kept it incessantly employed till it was dusk, and the moon began to show herself; the same moon which but a few nights ago had seen me so happy at Fiesso. Her soft light reposed upon the meads, that had been newly mown; and the shadows of tall poplars were cast aslant them. I left my carriage, and running into the dim haze, abandoned myself to the recollection it inspired. During an hour, I kept continually flying forwards, bounding from inclosure to inclosure, like a hunted antelope, and forgetting where I was or whither I was going. One sole idea filled my mind, and led me on with such heedless rapidity, that I stumbled over stones and bushes, and entangled myself in every wreath of vines which opposed my progress.
At length, having wandered where chance or the wildness of my fancy led, till the lateness of the evening alarmed me, I regained the chaise as fast as I could, and arrived between ten and eleven at the place of my destination.
Sept. 13th. Having but a moment or two at liberty, I hurried early in the morning to the palace, and entered an elegant Ionic court, with arcades of the whitest stone, through which I caught peeps of a clear blue sky, and groves of cypresses. Some few good paintings still adorn the apartments, but the best part of the collection has been disposed of, for a hundred thousand sequins; amongst which was that inestimable picture, the Notte of Corregio. An excellent copy remains, and convinced me the original was not undeservedly celebrated. None but the pencil of Corregio ever designed such graceful angels; nor imagined such a pearly dawn to cast around them. Ten thousand times, I dare say, has the subject of the nativity been treated, and as many painters have failed in rendering it so pleasing. The break of day, the first smiles of the celestial infant, and the truth, the simplicity, of every countenance, cannot be too warmly admired. In the other rooms, no picture gave me more pleasure than Jacob's vision, by Domenico Feti. I gazed several minutes at the grand confusion of clouds and seraphim descending around the patriarch, and wished for a similar dream.
Having spent the little time I had remaining in contemplating this object, I hastened from the palace, and left Modena. We traversed a champain country in our way to Bologna, whose richness and fertility encreased in proportion as we drew near that celebrated mart of lap-dogs and sausages. A chain of hills commands the city, variegated with green inclosures and villas innumerable, almost every one of which has its grove of chestnuts and cypresses. On the highest acclivity of this range appears the magnificent convent of Madonna del Monte, embosomed in wood and joined to the town by a corridor a league in length. This vast portico ascending the steeps and winding amongst the thickets, sometimes concealed and sometimes visible, produces an effect wonderfully grand and singular. I longed to have mounted the height by so extraordinary a passage; and hope on some future day to be better acquainted with Saint Maria del Monte. At present, I thought of little else, to say truth, but what I had seen at Fiesso, and what I was to hear at Lucca. The anxiety inspired by the one, and impatience by the other, rendered me shamefully insensible to the merit of Bologna, where I passed near two hours, and of which I can add nothing, but that it is very much out of humour at this present moment, an earthquake and Cardinal Buoncompagni having disarranged both land and people. For half-a-year the ground continued trembling; and for these last six months, the legate and senators have grumbled and scratched incessantly; so that, between natural and political commotions, the Bolognese must have passed an agreeable summer. Such a report of the situation of things, you may suppose, was not likely to retard my journey. I put off delivering my letters to another opportunity; ran up a tall slender tower, as high as the Campanile di San Marco, by way of exercise; and proceeded immediately after dinner towards the mountains. We were soon in the midst of crags and stony channels, that stream with ten thousand rills in the winter season, but during the summer months reflect every sunbeam, and harbour half the scorpions in the country. For many a toilsome league our prospect consisted of nothing but dreary hillocks and intervening wastes, more barren and mournful than those to which Mary Magdalene retired. Sometimes a crucifix or chapel peeped out of the parched fern and grasses, with which these desolate fields are clothed; and now and then we met a goggle-eyed pilgrim trudging along, and staring about him as if he waited only for night and opportunity to have additional reasons for hurrying to Jerusalem. During three or four hours that we continued ascending, the scene increased in sterility and desolation; but, at the end of our second post, the landscape began to alter for the better: little green valleys at the base of tremendous steeps, discovered themselves, scattered over with oaks, and freshened with running waters, which the nakedness of the impending rocks set off to advantage. The sides of the cliffs in general consist of rude misshapen masses; but their summits are smooth and verdant, and continually browsed by herds of white goats, which were gambolling on the edge of the precipices as we passed beneath. I joined one of these frisking assemblies, whose shadows were stretched by the setting sun along the level herbage. There I sat a few minutes whilst they shook their beards at me, and tried to scare me with all their horns; but I was not to be frightened, and would put up my adorations to departing day, in spite of their caperings. Being tired with skipping and butting at me in vain, the whole herd trotted away, and I after them. They led me a dance from crag to crag and from thicket to thicket. It was growing dusky apace, and wreaths of smoke began to ascend from the mysterious depths of the valleys. I was ignorant what monster inhabited such retirements, so gave over my pursuit lest some Polypheme or other might make me repent it. I looked around, the carriage was out of sight; but hearing the neighing of horses at a distance, I soon came up with them, and mounted another rapid ascent, from whence an extensive tract of cliff and forest land was discernible. The rocks here formed a spacious terrace, along which I continued surveying the distant groves, and marking the solemn approach of night. The sky was hung with storms, and a pale moon seemed to advance with difficulty amongst broken and tempestuous clouds. It was an hour to reap plants with brazen sickles, and to meditate upon revenge. A chill wind blew from the highest peak of the Apennines, inspiring evil, and made a dismal rustle amongst the woods of chesnut that hung on the mountains' side, through which we were forced to pass. I never heard such fatal murmurs, nor felt myself so gloomily disposed. I walked out of the sound of the carriage, where the glimmering moonlight prevailed, and began interpreting the language of the leaves, not greatly to my own advantage or that of any being in the universe. I was no prophet of good, but full of melancholy bodings, and something that bordered on despair. Had I but commanded an oracle, as ancient visionaries were wont, I should have thrown whole nations into dismay. How long I continued in this strange temper I cannot pretend to say, but believe it was midnight before we emerged from the oracular forest, and saw faintly before us the huts of Lognone, where we were to sleep. This blessed hamlet is suspended on the brow of a bleak mountain, and every gust that stirs, shakes the whole village of its foundations. At our approach two hags stalked forth with lanterns and invited us with a grin, which I shall always remember, to a dish of mustard and crows' gizzards, a dish I was more than half afraid of tasting, lest it should change me to some bird of darkness, condemned to mope eternally on the black rafters of the cottage. After repeated supplications we procured a few eggs, and some faggots to make a fire. Its blaze gave me courage to hear the hollow blasts that whistled in the crevices; and pitching my bed in a warm corner I soon fell asleep, and forgot all my cares and inquietudes.
Sept. 14th. The sun had not been long above the horizon, before we set forwards upon a craggy pavement hewn out of the rough bosom of cliffs and precipices. Scarce a tree was visible, and the few that presented themselves began already to shed their leaves. The raw nipping air of the deserts with difficulty spares a blade of vegetation; and in the whole range of these extensive eminences I could not discover a single corn-field or pasture. Inhabitants, you may guess, there were none. I would defy even a Scotch highlander to find means of subsistance in so rude a soil. Towards mid-day, we had surmounted the dreariest part of our journey, and began to perceive a milder landscape. The climate improved, as well as the prospect, and after a continual descent of several hours, we saw groves and villages in the dips of the hills, and met a string of mules and horses laden with fruit. I purchased some figs and peaches from this little caravan, and, spreading my repast upon a bank, basked in the sunshine, and gathered large spikes of lavender in full bloom. Continuing our route, we bade adieu to the realms of poverty and barrenness, and entered a cultivated vale, shaded by woody acclivities. Amongst these we wound along, the peasants singing upon the hills, and driving their cattle to springs by the road's side, near one of which we dined, in a patriarchal manner; and afterwards pursued our course through a grove of taper cypresses, waving with the cool gales of the evening. The heights were suffused with a ruddy glow, proceeding from the light pink clouds which floated on the horizon. No others were to be seen. All nature seemed in a happy, tranquil state; the herds penned in their folds, and every rustic going to repose. I shared the general calm, for the first time this many a tedious hour; and traversed the dales in peace, abandoned to flattering hopes and gay illusions. The full moon shone propitiously upon me, as I ascended a hill, and discovered Florence at a distance, surrounded with gardens and terraces rising one above another. The serene moonlight on the pale grey tints of the olive, gave an elysian, visionary appearance to the landscape. I never beheld so mild a sky, nor such soft gleams: the mountains were veiled in azure mists, which concealed their rugged summits, and the plains in vapours that smoothed their irregularities, and diffused a faint aerial hue to which no description can render juctice. I could have contemplated such scenery for hours, and was sorry when I found myself shut up from it by the gates of Florence. We passed several lofty palaces of the true Tuscan order, with rustic arcades and stout columns, whose solidity and magnificence were not diminished by the shades of midnight. Whilst these grand masses lay dark and solemn, the smooth flagstone, with which every street is paved, received a chequered gleam, and the Arno, the brightest radiance. Though tired with my jumble over the Apennines, I could not resist the pleasure of walking upon the banks of so celebrated a river, and crossing its bridges, which still echoed with music and conversation. Having gratified the first impulse of curiosity, I returned to Vaninis, and slept as well as my impatience would allow, till it was time next morning (September 15th) to visit the gallery, and worship the Venus de Medicis. I felt, upon entering this world of taste and elegance, as if I could have taken up my abode in it for ever, but, confused with the multitude of objects, I knew not where to turn myself, and ran childishly by the ample ranks of sculptures, like a butterfly in a parterre, that skims before it fixes, over ten thousand flowers. Having taken my course down one side of the gallery, I turned the angle and discovered another long perspective, equally stored with prodigies of bronze and marble, paintings on the walls, on the ceilings, in short, everywhere. A minute brought me to the extremity of this range, vast as it was; then, flying down a third, adorned in the same delightful manner, I paused under the bust of Jupiter Olympius; and began to reflect a little more maturely upon the company in which I found myself. Opposite, appeared the majestic features of Minerva, breathing divinity: and Cybele, the mother of the gods. I bowed low to the awful powers; but seeing a black figure just by, whose colour and attitude seemed to announce the deity of sleep, I made immediately up to it. You know my fondness for this drowsy personage, and that it is not the first time I have quitted the most splendid society for him. I found him at present, of touchstone, with the countenance of a towardly brat, sleeping ill through indigestion. The artist had not conceived such high ideas of the god as live in my bosom, or else he never would have represented him with so little grace or dignity. Displeased at finding my favourite subject profaned, the lively transports of enthusiasm began in some degree to be dissipated, and I felt myself calm enough to follow the herd of guides and spectators from chamber to chamber, and cabinet to cabinet, without falling into errors of rapture and inspiration. We were led slowly and moderately through the large rooms, containing the portraits of painters, good, bad, and indifferent, from Raffaelle to Liotard; then into a museum of bronzes, which would afford both amusement and instruction for years. To one who can never behold an ancient lamp or tripod, without the associations of those who sacrificed on the one, and meditated by the other, imagine what pleasure such a repository must have communicated. When I had alarmed, not satisfied, my curiosity by rapidly running over a multitude of candelabrums, urns, and sacred utensils, we entered a small luminous apartment, surrounded with cases richly decorated, and filled with the most exquisite models of workmanship in bronze and various metals, classed in exact order. Here are crowds of diminutive deities and tutelary lars, to whom the superstition of former days attributed those midnight murmurs which were believed to presage the misfortunes of a family. Amongst these now neglected images are preserved a vast number of talismans, cabalistic amulets, and other grotesque relics of ancient credulity. In the centre of the room I remarked a table, beautifully formed of polished gems, and, near it, the statue of a genius with his familiar serpent, and all his attributes; the guardian of the treasured antiquities. From this chamber we were conducted into another, which opens to that part of the gallery where the busts of Adrian and Antinous are placed. Two pilasters, delicately carved in trophies and clusters of ancient armour, stand on each side of the entrance; within are several perfumed cabinets of miniatures, and a single column of oriental alabaster about ten feet in height,

Lucido e terso, e bianco, più che latte.

I put my guide's patience to the proof, by remaining much longer than any one else ever did, in admiring the pillar, and rummaging the drawers of the cabinets. At last, the musk with which they are impregnated, obliged me to desist, and I moved on to a suite of saloons, with low arched roofs, glittering with arabesque, in azure and gold. Several medallions appear amongst the wreaths of foliage, tolerably well painted, with representations of splendid feasts and tournaments, for which Florence was once so famous. A vast collection of small pictures, most of them Flemish, covers the walls of these apartments. But nothing struck me more than a Medusa's head by that surprising genius, Leonardo da Vinci. It appears just severed from the body, and cast on the damp pavement of a cavern: a deadly paleness covers the countenance, and the mouth exhales a pestilential vapour; the snakes, which fill almost the whole picture, beginning to untwist their folds; one or two seemed already crept away, and crawling up the rock in company with toads and other venomous reptiles. The colouring of these disgustful objects is faithful to a great degree; the effect of light, prodigious; the whole so masterly, that I could not help entering into this description, though I fear to little purpose; as words, at best, convey but a weak idea of objects addressed to the sight alone. Here are a great many Polemburgs: one in particular, the strangest I ever beheld. Instead of those soft scenes of woods and waterfalls he is in general so fond of representing, he has chosen for his subject Virgil ushering Dante into the regions of eternal punishment, amidst the ruins of flaming edifices that glare across the infernal waters. These mournful towers harbour innumerable shapes, all busy in preying upon the damned. One capital devil, in the form of an enormous lobster, seems very strenuously employed in mumbling a miserable mortal, who sprawls, though in vain, to escape from his claws. This performance, whimsical as it is, retains all that softness of tint and delicacy of pencil for which Polemburg is so renowned. Had not the subject so palpably contradicted the execution, so as to become remarkable, I should have passed it over, like a thousand more, and have brought you immediately to the Tribune. I dare engage our sensations were similar upon entering this apartment, and beholding such a circle of celestials. Need I say I was enchanted the moment I set my feet within it, and saw full before me the Venus de Medicis? The warm ivory hue of the original marble is a beauty no copy has ever imitated, and the softness of the limbs exceeded the liveliest idea I had formed to myself of their perfection. Their symmetry every artist is acquainted with; but do you recollect a faint ruddy cast in the hair, which admirably relieves the whiteness of the forehead? This circumstance, though perhaps accidental, struck me as peculiarly charming; it increased the illusion, and helped me to imagine I beheld a breathing divinity. When I had taken my eyes reluctantly from this beautiful object, I cast them upon a Morpheus of white marble, who lies slumbering at the feet of the goddess in the form of a graceful child. A dormant lion serves him for a pillow; two ample wings, carved with the utmost delicacy, are gathered under him; two others, budding from his temples, half-concealed by a flow of lovely ringlets. His languid hands scarce hold a bunch of poppies: near him creeps a lizard, the companion of his cave. Nothing can be more just than the expression of sleep in the countenance of the little divinity. His lion too seems perfectly lulled, and rests his muzzle upon his fore paws as quiet as a domestic mastiff. I contemplated the God with infinite satisfaction, till I felt an agreeable sleepiness steal over my senses, and should have liked very well to doze away a few hours by his side. My ill-humour at seeing this deity so grossly sculptured in the gallery, was dissipated by the gracefulness of his appearance in the Tribune. I was now contented, for the artist (to whom the Lord give a fair seat in paradise!) had realized my ideas; and, if I may venture my opinion, sculpture never arrived to higher perfection, and, at the same time, kept more justly within its province. Sleeping figures with me always produce the finest illusion. I easily persuade myself that I behold the very personage cast into the lethargic state, which is meant to be represented; and I can gaze whole hours upon them with complacency. But when I see an archer in the very act of discharging his arrow, a dancer with one foot in the air, or a gladiator extending his fist to all eternity, I grow tired, and ask, when will they perform what they are about? When will the bow twang? the foot come to the ground? or the fist meet its adversary? Such wearisome attitudes I can view with admiration, but never with pleasure. The wrestlers, for example, in the same apartment, filled me with disgust: I cried out, For heaven's sake! give the throw, and have done. In taking my turn round the enchanted circle, I discovered still another Morpheus, stretched carelessly on a mantle, with poppies in his hands; but no wings grow from his temples, nor lion supports his head. A moth just issuing from his chrysolite, is the only being which seems to have felt his soporific influence, whereas the other god I have mentioned, may vaunt the glory of subduing the most formidable of animals. The morning was gone before I could snatch myself from the Tribune. In my way home, I looked into the cathedral, an enormous fabric, inlaid with the richest marbles, and covered with stars, and chequered work, like an old-fashioned cabinet. The architect seems to have turned his building inside out; nothing in art being more ornamented than the exterior, and few churches so simple within. The nave is vast and solemn, the dome amazingly spacious, with the high altar in its centre, inclosed by a circular arcade near two hundred feet in diameter. There is something imposing in this decoration, as it suggests the idea of a sanctuary, into which none but the holy ought to penetrate. However profane I might feel myself, I took the liberty of entering, and sat down in a niche. Not a ray of light reaches this sacred inclosure, but through the medium of narrow windows, high in the dome, and richly painted. A sort of yellow tint predominates, which gives additional solemnity to the altar, and paleness to the votary before it. I was sensible of the effect, and obtained at least the colour of sanctity. Having remained some time in this pious hue, I returned home and feasted upon grapes and ortolans with great edification; then walked to one of the bridges across the Arno, and surveyed the hills at a distance, purpled by the declining sun. Its mild gleams tempted me to the garden of Boboli, which lies behind the Palazzo Pitti, stretched out on the side of a mountain. I ascended terrace after terrace, robed by a thick underwood of bay and myrtle, above which rise several nodding towers, and a long sweep of venerable wall, almost entirely concealed by ivy. You would have been enraptured with the broad masses of shade and dusky alleys that opened as I advanced, with white statues of fauns and sylvans glimmering amongst them; some of which pour water into sarcophagi of the purest marble, covered with antique relievos. The capitals of columns and ancient friezes are scattered about as seats. On these I reposed myself, and looked up to the cypress groves which spring above the thickets; then, plunging into their retirements, I followed a winding path, which led me by a series of steep ascents to a green platform overlooking the whole extent of wood, with Florence deep beneath, and the tops of the hills which encircle it jagged with pines; here and there a convent, or villa, whitening in the sun. This scene extends as far as the eye can reach. Still ascending I attained the brow of the eminence, and had nothing but the fortress of Belvedere, and two or three open porticos above me. On this elevated situation, I found several walks of trellis-work, clothed with luxuriant vines, that produce, to my certain knowledge, the most delicious clusters. A colossal statue of Ceres, her hands extended in the act of scattering fertility over the country, crowns the summit, where I lingered, to mark the landscape fade, and the bright skirts of the western clouds die gradually away. Then descending alley after alley, and bank after bank, I came to the orangery in front of the palace, disposed in a grand amphitheatre, with marble niches relieved by dark foliage, out of which spring tall aerial cypresses. This spot brought the scenery of an antique Roman garden full into my mind. I expected every instant to be called to the table of Lucullus hard by, in one of the porticos, and to stretch myself on his purple triclinia; but waiting in vain for a summons till the approach of night, I returned delighted with a ramble that had led my imagination so far into antiquity.
Friday, Sept. 16. My impatience to hear Pacchierotti called me up with the sun. I blessed a day which was to give me the greatest of musical pleasures, and travelled gaily towards Lucca, along a fertile plain, bounded by rocky hills, and scattered over with towns and villages. We passed Pistoia in haste, and about three in the afternoon entered the Lucchese territory, by a clean paved road, which runs through some of the pleasantest copses imaginable, bordered with variety of heaths and broom in blossom. Sometimes it conducted us down slopes, overgrown with shrubby chestnuts and arbor vitæ; sometimes, between groves of cypress and pines laden with cones: a red soil peeping forth from the vegetation, adds to the richness of the landscape, which swells all the way into gentle acclivities: and, round the town, spreads into mountains, green to their very summits, and diversified with gardens and palaces. A more pleasing scenery can with difficulty be imagined. I was quite charmed with beholding it, as I knew very well that the opera would keep me a long while chained down in its neighbourhood. Happy for me that the environs of Lucca were so beautiful; since I defy almost any city to contain more ugliness within its walls. Narrow streets and dismal alleys; wide gutters and cracked pavements; everybody in black, according with the gloom of their habitations, which however are large and lofty enough of conscience; but having all grated windows, they convey none but dark and dungeon-like ideas. My spirits fell many degrees upon entering this sable capital; and when I found Friday was meagre day, in every sense of the word, with its inhabitants, and no opera to be performed, I grew terribly out of humour, and shut myself up in a chamber of the inn; which, to complete my misfortune, was crowded with human lumber. Instead of a delightful symphony, I heard nothing for some time but the clatter of plates and the swearing of waiters. Amongst the number of my tormentors was a whole Genoese family of distinction; very fat and sleek, and terribly addicted to the violin. Hearing of my fondness for music, they speedily got together a few scrapers, and began such an academia as drove me to one end of the room, whilst they possessed the other. The hopes and heir of the family, a coarse, chubby dolt of about eighteen, played out of all time, and, during the intervals of repose, he gave his elbow, burst out into a torrent of commonplace, which completed, you may imagine, my felicity. Pacchierotti, whom they all worshipped in their heavy way, sat silent the while in a corner; the second Soprano warbled, not absolutely ill, at the harpsichord; whilst the old lady, young lady, and attendant females, kept ogling him with great perseverance. Those who could not get in, squinted through the crevices of the door. Abbés and greyhounds were fidgetting continually about. In short, I was so worried, that, pleading headaches and lassitudes, I escaped about ten o'clock, and shook myself, when I got safe into my apartment, like a spaniel just fresh from a dripping copse.

* A nephew of Bertoni, and worthy of his uncle.

Letter I ::: Letter II ::: Letter III ::: Letter IV ::: Letter V ::: Letter VI ::: Letter VII ::: Letter VIII ::: Letter IX ::: Letter X ::: Letter XI ::: Letter XII ::: Letter XIII ::: Letter XIV ::: Letter XV ::: Letter XVI ::: Letter XVII ::: Letter XVIII ::: Letter XIX ::: Letter XX ::: Letter XXI ::: Letter XXII ::: Letter XXIII ::: Letter XXIV ::: Letter XXV ::: Letter XXVI ::: Letter XXVII
Additional letters, I-VII
An Excursion to the Grande Chartreuse in the year 1778