Rome, December 9th.
MY last letter was dispatched in such a hurry that I had not time to
conclude it. This will be nearly as imperfect; but yet I cannot forbear
writing, having the vanity to believe you are pleased with hearing only,
that I am well.
Your friend H. walked with me this morning in the Loggios of Raffaelle,
and we went afterwards to the Capitol. Nothing delighted me more, in
the whole treasury of sculptures, than a figure, in alto relievo, of
Endymion, reclined on the mountain's brow: his head falls upon his breast
with an ease and gracefulness, of which the Greeks alone had ever a
true conception. Most of the chambers, if you recollect, are filled
with the elegant remains of Adrian's collection. The villa of that classic
Emperor at Tivoli, must have been the most charming of structures. Having
travelled into various and remote parts of his empire, he assembled
their most valuable ornaments on one spot. Some of his apartments were
filled with the mysterious images and symbols of Egypt: others, with
eastern tripods, and strange Asiatic vases. Though enraptured with St.
Peter's and the Vatican; with the gardens and groves of pine, that surround
this interesting city; still I cannot help sighing after my native hills
and copses: which look (I know not how it happens) more like the haunts
of Pan, than any I have seen in Italy. I eagerly anticipate the placid
hours we shall pass, perhaps, next summer, on the wild range which belongs
to our sylvan deities. In their deep fastnesses, I will hide myself
from the world, and never allow its glare to bicker through my foliage.
You will follow me, I trust, into retirement, and equally forget the
turmoils of mankind. What have we children of the good old Sylvanus
to do with the miseries or triumphs of the savages that prowl about
London? Let us forget there exists such a city; and, when reposing amongst
ivy and blossoms of broom, imagine ourselves in the antient dominion
of Saturn, and dream that we see him pass along, with his rustic attendants.