After Waterloo: Reminiscences of European Travel 1815-1819 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 441 pages of information about After Waterloo.
all foreigners who arrive here are or pretend to be smitten with an ardent love for the fine arts, and every one wishes to take with him models of the fine things he has seen in Italy, on his return to his native country.  Here are English travellers who at home would scarcely be able to distinguish the finest piece of ancient sculpture—­the Mercury, for instance, in the Florentine Gallery, from a Mercury in a citizen’s garden at Highgate—­who here affect to be in extacies at the sight of the Venus, Apollino, &c., and they are fond of retailing on all occasions the terms of art and connoisseurship they have learned by rote, in the use of which they make sometimes ridiculous mistakes.  For instance I heard an Englishman one day holding forth on the merits of the Vierge quisouse, as he called it.  I could not for some time divine what he meant by the word quisouse, but after some explanation I found that he meant the celebrated painting of the Vierge qui coud, or Vierge couseuse, as it is sometimes called, which latter word he had transformed into quisouse.  This affectation, however, of passion for the belle arti, tho’ sometimes open to ridicule, is very useful.  It generates taste, encourages artists, and is surely a more innocent as well as more rational mode of spending money and passing time than in encouraging pugilism or in racing, coach driving and cock fighting.

[83] Pope, Essay on Man, ep.  III, 303-4.—­ED.

CHAPTER X

Journey from Florence to Rome—­Sienna—­Radicofani—­Bolsena—­Montefiascone wine—­Viterbo—­Baccano—­The Roman Campagna—­The papal douane—­Monuments and Museums in Rome—­Intolerance of the Catholic Christians—­The Tiber and the bridges—­Character of the Romans—­The Palassi and Ville—­Canova’s atelier—­Theatricals—­An execution in Rome.

September——­, 1816.

I made an agreement with a vetturino to take me to Rome for three louis d’or and to be spesato.  In the carriage were two other passengers, viz., a Neapolitan lady, the wife of a Colonel in the Neapolitan service, and a young Roman, the son of the Barigello or Capo degli Sbirri at Rome.  We issued from the Porta Romana at 6 o’clock a.m. the 3d September.

The road winds thro’ a valley, and has a gentle ascent nearly the whole way to Poggibonsi, where we brought to the first night.  The soil hereabouts is far from fertile, but every inch of it is put to profit.  The olive tree is very frequent and several farms and villages are to be met with.  The next day we arrived at 12 o’clock at Sienna.  The approach to Sienna is announced by a quantity of olive trees.  The situation of this city being on an elevation, makes it cold and bleak.  We remained here three hours, so that I had time to visit some of the places worthy of remark in this venerable

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After Waterloo: Reminiscences of European Travel 1815-1819 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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