« VorigeDoorgaan »
this kind to leave his dominions. He appoints a commission to examine discoveries like this and report upon the value; then the Pope pays the discoverer one-half of that assessed value and takes the statue. He said this Jupiter was dug from a field which had just been bought for thirty-six thousand dollars, so the first crop was a good one for the new farmer. I do not know whether Ferguson always tells the truth or not, but I suppose he does. I know
I that an exorbitant export duty is exacted upon all pictures painted by the old masters, in order to discourage the sale of those in the private collections. I am satisfied, also, that genuine old masters hardly exist at all, in America, because the cheapest and most insignificant of them are valued at the price of a fine farm. I proposed to buy a small trifle of a Raphael, myself, but the price of it was eighty thousand dollars, the export duty would have made it considerably over a hundred, and so I studied on it awhile and concluded not to take it.
I wish here to mention an inscription I have seen, before I forget it:
“Glory to God in the highest, peace on earth To MEN OF GOOD WILL!” It is not good scripture, but it is sound Catholic and human nature.
This is in letters of gold around the apsis of a mosaic group at the side of the scala santa, church of St. John Lateran, the Mother and Mistress of all the Catholic churches of the world. represents the Saviour, St. Peter, Pope Leo, St. Sil
The group vester, Constantine, and Charlemagne.
Peter is giving the pallium to the Pope, and a standard to Charlemagne. The Saviour is giving the keys to St. Silvester, and a standard to Constantine. No prayer is offered to the Saviour, who seems to be of little importance anywhere in Rome; but an inscription below says, “ Blessed Peter, give life to Pope Leo and victory to King Charles."
It does not say, “ Intercede for us, through the Saviour, with the Father, for this boon,” but “ Blessed Peter, give it
In all seriousness — without meaning to be frivo
lous - without meaning to be irreverent, and more than all, without meaning to be blasphemous,—I state as my simple deduction from the things I have seen and the things I have heard, that the Holy Personages rank thus in Rome:
First -“The Mother of God - otherwise the Virgin Mary.
Second - The Deity.
Fourth — Some twelve or fifteen canonized Popes and martyrs. Fifth -- Jesus Christ the Saviour -- (but always as
— an infant in arms).
I may be wrong in this — my judgment errs often, just as is the case with other men's- but it is my judgment, be it good or bad.
Just here I will mention something that seems curious to me. There are no
in Rome, and no “Churches of the Holy Ghost," that I can discover. There are some four hundred churches, but about a fourth of them seem to be named for the Madonna and St. Peter. There are so many named for Mary that they have to be distinguished by all sorts of affixes, if I understand the matter rightly. Then we have churches of St. Louis; St. Augustine; St. Agnes; St. Calixtus; St. Lorenzo in Lucina; St. Lorenzo in Damaso; St. Cecilia; St. Athanasius; St. Philip Neri; St. Catherine; St. Doménico, and a multitude of lesser saints whose names are not familiar in the world and away down, clear out of the list of the churches, comes a couple of hospitals: one of them is named for the Saviour and the other for the Holy Ghost !
Day after day and night after night we have wandered among the crumbling wonders of Rome; day after day and night after night we have fed upon the dust and decay of five-and-twenty centuries - have brooded over them by day and dreamt of them by night till sometimes we seemed moldering away ourselves, and growing defaced and cornerless, and liable at any moment to fall a prey to some antiquary and be patched in the legs, and “restored" with an unseemly nose, and labeled wrong and dated wrong, and set up in the Vatican for poets to drivel about and vandals to scribble their names on forever and forevermore.
But the surest way to stop writing about Rome is to stop.' I wished to write a real “guide-book'
chapter on this fascinating city, but I could not do it, because I have felt all the time like a boy in a candy-shop — there was everything to choose from, and yet no choice. I have drifted along hopelessly for a hundred pages of manuscript without knowing where to commence. I will not commence at all. Our passports have been examined. We will go to Naples.
THE ship is lying here in the harbor of Naples
quarantined. She has been here several days and will remain several more. We that came by rail from Rome have escaped this misfortune. Of course no one is allowed to go on board the ship, or come ashore from her. She is a prison, now. The passengers probably spend the long, blazing days looking out from under the awnings at Vesuvius and the beautiful city - and in swearing. Think of ten days of this sort of pastime ! — We go out every day in a boat and request them to come ashore. It soothes them. We lie ten steps from the ship and tell them how splendid the city is; and how much better the hotel fare is here than anywhere else in Europe; and how cool it is; and what frozen continents of ice-cream there are; and what a time we are having cavorting about the country and sailing to the islands in the Bay. This tranquilizes them.
ASCENT OF VESUVIUS. I shall remember our trip to Vesuvius for many a day - partly because of its sight-seeing experiences,