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Ave Roma Immortalis, Vol. 2 by Francis Marion Crawford










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Copyright, 1898, By The Macmillan Company.

Set up and electrotyped October, 1898. Reprinted November, December, 1898; January, 1899.

Norwood Press J. S. Cushing &Co.—Berwick &Smith Norwood, Mass., U.S.A.
















Ave Roma Immortalis


'Arenula'—'fine sand'—'Renula,' 'Regola'—such is the derivation of the name of the Seventh Region, which was bounded on one side by the sandy bank of the Tiber from Ponte Sisto to the island of Saint Bartholomew, and which Gibbon designates as a 'quarter of the city inhabited only by mechanics and Jews.' The mechanics were chiefly tanners, who have always been unquiet and revolutionary folk, but at least one exception to the general statement must be made, since it was here that the Cenci had built themselves a fortified palace on the foundations of a part of the Theatre of Balbus, between the greater Theatre of Marcellus, then held by the Savelli, and the often mentioned Theatre of Pompey. There Francesco Cenci dwelt, there the childhood of Beatrice was passed, and there she lived for many months after the murder of her father, before the accusation was first brought against her. It is a gloomy place now, with its low black archway, its mouldy walls, its half rotten windows, and its ghostly court of balconies; one might guess that a dead man's curse hangs over it, without knowing how Francesco died. And he, who cursed his sons and his daughters and laughed for joy when two of them were murdered, rebuilt the little church just opposite, as a burial-place for himself and them; but neither he nor they were laid there. The palace used to face the Ghetto, but that is gone, swept away to the very last stone by the municipality in a fine hygienic frenzy, though, in truth, neither plague nor cholera had ever taken hold there in the pestilences of old days, when the Christian city was choked with the dead it could not bury. There is a great open space there now, where thousands of Jews once lived huddled together, crowding and running over each other like ants in an anthill, in a state that would have killed any other people, persecuted occasionally, but on the whole, fairly well treated; indispensable then as now to the spendthrift Christian; confined within their own quarter, as formerly in many other cities, by gates closed at dusk and opened at sunrise, altogether a busy, filthy, believing, untiring folk that laughed at the short descent and high pretensions of a Roman baron, but cringed and crawled aside as the great robber strode by in steel. And close by the Ghetto, in all that remains of the vast Portico of Octavia, is the little Church of Sant' Angelo in Pescheria where the Jews were once compelled to hear Christian sermons on Saturdays.


From a print of the last century]

Close by that church Rienzi was born, and it is for ever associated with his memory. His name calls up a story often told, yet never clear, of a man who seemed to possess several distinct and contradictory personalities, all strong but by no means all noble, which by a freak of fate were united in one man under one name, to make him by turns a hero, a fool, a Christian knight, a drunken despot and a philosophic Pagan. The Buddhist monks of the far East believe today that a man's individual self is often beset, possessed and dominated by all kinds of fragmentary personalities that altogether hide his real nature, which may in reality be better or worse than they are. The Eastern belief may serve at least as an illustration to explain the sort of mixed character with which Rienzi came into the world, by which he imposed upon it for a certain length of time, and which has always taken such strong hold upon the imagination of poets, and writers of fiction, and historians.

Rienzi, as we call him, was in reality named 'Nicholas Gabrini, the son of Lawrence'; and 'Lawrence,' being in Italian abbreviated to 'Rienzo' and preceded by the possessive particle 'of,' formed the patronymic by which the man is best known in our language. Lawrence Gabrini kept a wine-shop somewhere in the neighbourhood of the Cenci palace; he seems to have belonged to Anagni, he was therefore by birth a retainer of the Colonna, and his wife was a washer-woman. Between them, moreover, they made a business of selling water from the Tiber, through the city, at a time when there were no aqueducts. Nicholas Rienzi's mother was handsome, and from her he inherited the beauty of form and feature for which he was famous in his youth. His gifts of mind were many, varied and full of that exuberant vitality which noble lineage rarely transmits; if he was a man of genius, his genius belonged to that order which is never far removed from madness and always akin to folly. The greatest of his talents was his eloquence, the least of his qualities was judgment, and while he possessed the courage to face danger unflinchingly, and the means of persuading vast multitudes to follow him in the realization of an exalted dream, he had neither the wit to trace a cause to its consequence, nor the common sense to rest when he had done enough. He had no mental perspective, nor sense of proportion, and in the words of Madame de Staël he 'mistook memories for hopes.'

He was born in the year 1313, in the turbulent year that followed the coronation of Henry the Seventh of Luxemburg; and when his vanity had come upon him like a blight, he insulted the memory of his beautiful mother by claiming to be the Emperor's son. In his childhood he was sent to Anagni. There it must be supposed that he acquired his knowledge of Latin from a country priest, and there he lived that early life of solitude and retirement which, with ardent natures, is generally the preparation for an outburst of activity that is to dazzle, or delight, or terrify the world. Thence he came back, a stripling of twenty years, dazed with dreaming and surfeited with classic lore, to begin the struggle for existence in his native Rome as an obscure notary.

It seems impossible to convey an adequate idea of the confusion and lawlessness of those times, and it is hard to understand how any city could exist at all in such absence of all authority and government. The powers were nominally the Pope and the Emperor, but the Pope had obeyed the commands of Philip the Fair and had retired to Avignon, and no Emperor could even approach Rome without an army at his back and the alliance of the Ghibelline Colonna to uphold him if he succeeded in entering the city. The maintenance of order and the execution of such laws as existed, were confided to a mis-called Senator and a so-called Prefect. The Senatorship was the property of the Barons, and when Rienzi was born the Orsini and Colonna had just agreed to hold it jointly to the exclusion of every one else. The prefecture was hereditary in the ancient house of Di Vico, from whose office the Via de' Prefetti in the Region of Campo Marzo is named to this day; the head of the house was at first required to swear allegiance to the Pope, to the Emperor, and to the Roman People, and as the three were almost perpetually at swords drawn with one another, the oath was a perjury when it was not a farce. The Prefects' principal duty appears to have been the administration of the Patrimony of Saint Peter, in which they exercised an almost unlimited power after Innocent the Third had formally dispensed them from allegiance to the Emperor, and the long line of petty tyrants did not come to an end until Pope Eugenius the Fourth beheaded the last of the race for his misdeeds in the fifteenth century; after him the office was seized upon by the Barons and finally drifted into the hands of the Barberini, a mere sinecure bringing rich endowments to its fortunate possessor.

In Rienzi's time there were practically three castes in Rome,—priests, nobles, and beggars,—for there was nothing which in any degree corresponded to a citizen class; such business as there was consisted chiefly in usury, and was altogether in the hands of the Jews. Rome was the lonely and ruined capital of a pestilential desert, and its population was composed of marauders in various degrees.

The priests preyed upon the Church, the nobles upon the Church and upon each other, the beggars picked the pockets of both, and such men as were bodily fit for the work of killing were enlisted as retainers in the service of the Barons, whose steady revenues from their lands, whose strong fortresses within the city, and whose possession of the coat and mail armour which was then so enormously valuable, made them masters of all men except one another. They themselves sold the produce of their estates and the few articles of consumption which reached Rome from abroad, in shops adjoining their palaces; they owned the land upon which the corn and wine and oil were grown; they owned the peasants who ploughed and sowed and reaped and gathered; and they preserved the privilege of disposing of their own wares as they saw fit. They feared nothing but an ambush of their enemies, or the solemn excommunication of the Pope, who cared little enough for their doings. The cardinals and prelates who lived in the city were chiefly of the Barons' own order and under their immediate protection. The Barons possessed everything and ruled everything for their own profit; they defended their privileges with their lives, and they avenged the slightest infringement on their powers by the merciless shedding of blood. They were ignorant, but they were keen; they were brave, but they were faithless; they were passionate, licentious and unimaginably cruel.

Such was the city, and such the government, to which Rienzi returned at the age of twenty, to follow the profession of a notary, probably under the protection of the Colonna. That the business afforded occupation to many is proved by the vast number of notarial deeds of that time still extant; but it is also sufficiently clear that Rienzi spent much of his time in dreaming, if not in idleness, and much in the study of the ancient monuments and inscriptions upon which no one had bestowed a glance for generations. It was during that period of early manhood that he acquired the learning and collected the materials which earned him the title, 'Father of Archæology.' He seems to have been about thirty years old when he first began to speak in public places, to such audience as he could gather, expanding with ready though untried eloquence the soaring thoughts bred in years of solitary study.

Clement the Sixth, a Frenchman, was elected Pope at Avignon, a man who, according to the chronicler, contrasted favourably by his wisdom, breadth of view, and liberality, with a weak and vacillating predecessor. Seeing that they had to do with a man at last, the Romans sent an embassy to him to urge his return to Rome. The hope had long been at the root of Rienzi's life, and he must have already attained to a considerable reputation of learning and eloquence, since he was chosen to be one of the ambassadors. Petrarch conceived the highest opinion of him at their first meeting, and never withdrew his friendship from him to the end; the great poet joined his prayers with those of the Roman envoys, and supported Rienzi's eloquence with his own genius in a Latin poem. But nothing could avail to move the Pope. Avignon was the Capua of the Pontificate,—a vast papal palace was in course of construction, and the cardinals had already begun to erect sumptuous dwellings for themselves. The Pope listened, smiled, and promised everything except return; the unsuccessful embassy was left without means of subsistence; and Rienzi, disappointed in soul, ill in body, and almost starving, was forced to seek the refuge of a hospital, whither he retired in the single garment which remained unsold from his ambassadorial outfit. But he did not languish long in this miserable condition, for the Pope heard of his misfortunes, remembered his eloquence, and sent him back to Rome, invested with the office of Apostolic Notary, and endowed with a salary of five golden florins daily, a stipend which at that time amounted almost to wealth. The office was an important one, but Rienzi exercised it by deputy, continued his studies, propagated his doctrines, and by quick degrees acquired unbounded influence with the people. His hatred of the Barons was as profound as his love of his native city was noble; and if the unavenged murder of a brother, and the unanswered buffet of a Colonna rankled in his heart, and stimulated his patriotism with the sting of personal wrong, neither the one nor the other were the prime causes of his actions. The evils of the city were enormous, his courage was heroic, and after profound reflection he resolved upon the step which determined his tragic career.

To the door of the Church of Saint George in Velabro he affixed a proclamation, or a prophecy, which set forth that Rome should soon be restored to the 'Good Estate'; he collected a hundred of his friends in a meeting by night, on the Aventine, to decide upon a course of action, and he summoned all citizens to appear before the church of Sant' Angelo in Pescheria, towards evening, peacefully and without arms, to provide for the restoration of that 'Good Estate' which he himself had announced.


That night was the turning-point in Rienzi's life, and he made it a Vigil of Arms and Prayer. In the mysterious nature of the destined man, the pure spirit of the Christian knight suddenly stood forth in domination of his soul, and he consecrated himself to the liberation of his country by the solemn office of the Holy Ghost. All night he kneeled in the little church, in full armour, with bare head, before the altar. The people came and went, and others came after them and saw him kneeling there, while one priest succeeded another in celebrating the Thirty Masses of the Holy Spirit from midnight to early morning. The sun was high when the champion of freedom came forth, bareheaded still, to face the clear light of day. Around him marched the chosen hundred; at his right hand went the Pope's vicar; and before him three great standards displayed allegories of liberty, justice, and peace.

A vast concourse of people followed him, for the news had spread from mouth to mouth, and there were few in Rome who had not heard his voice and longed for the 'Good Estate' which he so well described. The nobles heard of the assembly with indifference, for they were well used to disturbances of every kind and dreaded no unarmed rabble. Colonna and Orsini, joint senators, had quarrelled, and the Capitol was vacant; thither Rienzi went, and thence from a balcony he spoke to the people of freedom, of peace, of prosperity. The eloquence that had moved Clement and delighted Petrarch stirred ten thousand Roman hearts at once; a dissatisfied Roman count read in clear tones the laws Rienzi proposed to establish, and the appearance of a bishop and a nobleman by the plebeian's side gave the people hope and encouragement. The laws were simple and direct, and there was to be but one interpretation of them, while all public revenues were to be applied to public ends. Each Region of the city was to furnish a contingent of men-at-arms, and if any man were killed in the service of his country, Rome was to provide for his wife and children. The fortresses, the bridges, the gates, were to pass from the custody of the Barons to that of the Roman people, and the Barons themselves were to retire forthwith from the city. So the Romans made Rienzi Dictator.

The nobles refused to believe in a change which meant ruin to themselves. Old Stephen Colonna laughed and said he would throw the madman from the window as soon as he should be at leisure. It was near noon when he spoke; the sun was barely setting when he rode for his life towards Palestrina. The great bell of the Capitol called the people to arms, the liberator was already the despot, and the Barons were already exiles. Rienzi assumed the title of Tribune with the authority of Dictator, and with ten thousand swords at his back exacted a humiliating oath of allegiance from the representatives of the great houses. Upon the Body and Blood of Christ they swore to the 'Good Estate,' they bound themselves to yield up their fortresses within the city, to harbour neither outlaws nor malefactors in their mountain castles, and to serve the Republic loyally in arms whenever they should be called upon to do so. The oath was taken by all, the power that could enforce it was visible to all men's eyes, and Rienzi was supreme.

Had he been the philosopher that he had once persuaded himself he was; had he been the pure-hearted Christian Knight of the Holy Spirit he had believed himself when he knelt through the long Office in the little church; had he been the simple Roman Tribune of the People that he proclaimed himself, when he had seized the dictatorship, history might have followed a different course, and the virtues he imposed upon Rome might have borne fruit throughout all Italy. But with Rienzi, each new phase was the possession of a new spirit of good or evil, and with each successive change, only the man's great eloquence remained. While he was a hero, he was a hero indeed; while he was a philosopher, his thoughts were lofty and wise; so long as he was a knight, his life was pure and blameless. But the vanity which inspired him, not to follow an ideal, but to represent that ideal outwardly, and which inflamed him with a great actor's self-persuading fire, required, like all vanity, the perpetual stimulus of applause and admiration. He could have leapt into the gulf with Curtius before the eyes of ten thousand grateful citizens; but he could not have gone back with Cincinnatus to the plough, a simple, true-hearted man. The display of justice followed the assumption of power, it is true; but when justice was established, the unquiet spirit was assailed by the thirst for a new emotion which no boasting proclamation could satisfy, and no adulation could quench. The changes he wrought in a few weeks were marvellous, and the spirit in which they were made was worthy of a great reformer; Italy saw and admired, received his ambassadors and entertained them with respect, read his eloquent letters and answered them with approbation; and Rienzi's court was the tribunal to which the King of Hungary appealed the cause of a murdered brother. Yet his vanity demanded more. It was not long before he assumed the dress, the habits, and the behaviour of a sovereign and appeared in public with the emblems of empire. He felt that he was no longer in spirit the Knight of the Holy Ghost, and he required for self-persuasion the conference of the outward honours of knighthood. He purified himself according to the rites of chivalry in the font of the Lateran Baptistry, consecrated by the tradition of Constantine's miraculous recovery from leprosy, he watched his arms throughout the dark hours, and received the order from the sword of an honourable nobleman. The days of the philosopher, the hero, and the liberator were over, and the reign of the public fool was inaugurated by the most extravagant boasts, and celebrated by a feast of boundless luxury and abundance, to which the citizens of Rome were bidden with their wives and daughters. Still unsatisfied, he demanded and obtained the ceremony of a solemn coronation, and seven crowns were placed successively upon his head as emblems of the seven spiritual gifts. Before him stood the great Barons in attitudes of humility and dejection; for a moment the great actor had forgotten himself in the excitement of his part, and Rienzi again enjoyed the emotion of undisputed sovereignty.

But Colonna, Orsini and Savelli were not men to submit tamely in fact, though the presence of an overwhelming power had forced them to outward submission, and in his calmer moments the extravagant tribune was haunted by the dream of vengeance. A ruffian asserted under torture that the nobles were already conspiring against their victor, and Rienzi enticed three of the Colonna and five of the Orsini to the Capitol, where he had taken up his abode. He seized them, held them prisoners all night, and led them out in the morning to be the principal actors in a farce which he dared not turn to tragedy. Condemned to death, their sins confessed, they heard the tolling of the great bell, and stood bareheaded before the executioner. The scene was prepared with the art of a consummate playwright, and the spectators were delighted by a speech of rare eloquence and amazed by the sudden exhibition of a clemency that was born of fear. Magnanimously pardoning those whom he dared not destroy, Rienzi received a new oath of allegiance from his captives and dismissed them to their homes.

The humiliation rankled. Laying aside their hereditary feud, Colonna and Orsini made a desperate effort to regain their power. By a misunderstanding they were defeated, and the third part of their force, entering the city without the rest, was overwhelmed and massacred, and six of the Colonna were slain. The low-born Rienzi refused burial for their bodies, knighted his son on the spot where they had fallen, and washed his hands in water that was mingled with their blood. It was his last triumph and his basest.

His power was already declining, and though the people had assembled in arms to beat off their former masters, they had lost faith in a leader who had turned out a madman, a knave, and a drunkard. They refused to pay the taxes he would have laid upon them, and resisted the measures he proposed. Clement the Sixth, who had approved his wisdom, punished his folly, and the so-called tribune was deposed, condemned for heresy, and excommunicated. A Neapolitan soldier of fortune, an adventurer and a criminal, took possession of Rome with only one hundred and fifty men, in the name of the Pope, without striking a blow, and the people would not raise a hand to help their late idol as he was led away weeping to the Castle of Sant' Angelo, while the nobles looked on in scornful silence. Rienzi was allowed to depart in peace after a short captivity and became a wanderer and an outcast in Europe.

In many disguises he went from place to place, and did not fear to return to Rome in the travesty of a pilgrim. The story of his adventures would fill many pages, but Rome is not concerned with them. In vain he appealed to adventurers, to enthusiasts, and to fanatics to help in regaining what he had lost. None would listen to him, no man would draw the sword. He came to Prague at last, obtained an audience of the Emperor Charles the Fourth, appealed to the whole court, with impassioned eloquence, and declared himself to be Rienzi. The attempt cost him his freedom, for the prudent emperor forthwith sent him a captive to the Pope at Avignon, where he was at first loaded with chains and thrown into prison. But Clement hesitated to bring him to trial, his friend Petrarch spoke earnestly in his favour, and he was ultimately relegated to an easy confinement, during which he once more gave himself up to the study of his favourite classics in peaceful resignation.

Meanwhile in Rome his enactments had been abolished with sweeping indifference to their character and importance, and the old misrule was reëstablished in its pristine barbarity. The feud between Orsini and Colonna broke out again in the absence of a common danger. The plague appeared in Europe and decimated a city already distracted by internal discord. Rome was again a wilderness of injustice, as the chronicle says; every one doing what seemed good in his own eyes, the Papal and the public revenues devoured by marauders, the streets full of thieves, and the country infested by outlaws. Clement died, and Innocent the Sixth, another Frenchman, was elected in his stead, 'a personage of great science, zeal, and justice,' who set about to reform abuses as well as he could, but who saw that he could not hope to return to Rome without long and careful preparation. He selected as his agent in the attempt to regain possession of the States of the Church the Cardinal Albornoz, a Spaniard of courage and experience.

[Illustration: PALAZZO FARNESE]

Meanwhile Rienzi enjoyed greater freedom, and assumed the character of an inspired poet; than which none commanded greater respect and influence in the early years of the Renascence. That he ever produced any verses of merit there is not the slightest evidence to prove, but his undoubted learning and the friendship of Petrarch helped him to sustain the character. He never lacked talent to act any part which his vanity suggested as a means of flattering his insatiable soul. He put on the humility of a penitent and the simplicity of a true scholar; he spoke quietly and wisely of Italy's future and he obtained the confidence of the new Pope.

It was in this way that by an almost incredible turn of fortune, the outcast and all but condemned heretic was once more chosen as a means of restoring order in Rome, and accompanied Cardinal Albornoz on his mission to Italy. Had he been a changed man as he pretended to be, he might have succeeded, for few understood the character of the Romans better, and there was no name in the country of which the memories appealed so profoundly to the hearts of the people.

The catalogue of his deeds during the second period of power is long and confused, but the history of his fall is short and tragic. Not without a keen appreciation of the difference between his former position as the freely chosen champion of the people, and his present mission as a reformer supported by pontifical authority, he requested the Legate to invest him with the dignity of a senator, and the Cardinal readily assented to what was an assertion of the temporal power. Then Albornoz left him to himself. He entered Rome in triumph, and his eloquence did not desert him. But he was no longer the young and inspired knight, self-convinced and convincing, who had issued from the little church long ago. In person he was bloated with drink and repulsive to all who saw him; and the vanity which had so often been the temporary basis of his changing character had grown monstrous under the long repression of circumstances. With the first moment of success it broke out and dictated his actions, his assumed humility was forgotten in an instant, as well as the well-worded counsels of wisdom by which he had won the Pope's confidence; and he plunged into a civil war with the still powerful Colonna. One act of folly succeeded another; he had neither money nor credit, and the stern Albornoz, seeing the direction he was taking, refused to send him assistance. In his extremity he attempted to raise funds for his soldiers and money for his own unbounded luxury by imposing taxes which the people could not bear. The result was certain and fatal. The Romans rose against him in a body, and an infuriated rabble besieged him at the Capitol.

It has been said that the vainest men make the best soldiers. Rienzi was brave for a moment at the last. Seeing himself surrounded, and deserted by his servants, he went out upon a balcony and faced the mob alone, bearing in his hand the great standard of the Republic, and for the last time he attempted to avert with words the tempest which his deeds had called forth. But his hour had come, and as he stood there alone he was stoned and shot at, and an arrow pierced his hand. Broken in nerve by long intemperance and fanatic excitement, he burst into tears and fled, refusing the hero's death in which he might still have saved his name from scorn. He attempted to escape from the other side of the Capitol towards the Forum, and in the disguise of a street porter he had descended through a window and had almost escaped notice while the multitude was breaking down the doors of the main entrance. Then he was seen and taken, and they brought him in his filthy dress to the great platform of the Capitol, not knowing what they should do with him and almost frightened to find their tyrant in their power.

They thronged round him, looked at him, spoke to him, but he answered nothing; for his hour was come, the star of his nativity was in the house of death. In that respite, had he been a man, courage might have awed them, eloquence might have touched them, and he might yet have dreamed of power. But he was utterly speechless, utterly broken, utterly afraid. A whole hour passed, and no hand was lifted against him; yet he spoke not. Then one man, tired of his pale and bloated face, silently struck a knife into his heart, and as he fell dead, the rabble rushed upon him and stabbed him to pieces, and a long yell of murderous rage told all Rome that Rienzi was dead.

They left his body to the dogs and went away to their homes, for it was evening, and they were spent with madness. Then the Jews came, who hated him also; and they dragged the miserable corpse through the streets; and made a bonfire of thistles in a remote place and burned it; and what was left of the bones and ashes they threw into the Tiber. So perished Rienzi, a being who was not a man, but a strangely responsive instrument, upon which virtue, heroism, courage, cowardice, faith, falsehood and knavery played the grandest harmonies and the wildest discords in mad succession, till humanity was weary of listening, and silenced the harsh music forever. However we may think of him, he was great for a moment, yet however great we may think him, he was little in all but his first dream. Let him have some honour for that, and much merciful oblivion for the rest.



The Eighth region is almost symmetrical in shape, extending nearly north and south with a tolerably even breadth from the haunted palace of the Santacroce, where the marble statue of the dead Cardinal comes down from its pedestal to pace the shadowy halls all night, to Santa Maria in Campo Marzo, and cutting off, as it were, the three Regions so long held by the Orsini from the rest of the city. Taking Rome as a whole, it was a very central quarter until the development of the newly inhabited portions. It was here, near the churches of Saint Eustace and Saint Ives, that the English who came to Rome for business established themselves, like other foreigners, in a distinct colony during the Renascence. Upon the chapel of Saint Ives, unconsecrated now and turned into a lecture room of the University, a strange spiral tower shows the talents of Borromini, Bernini's rival, at their lowest ebb. So far as one can judge, the architect intended to represent realistically the arduous path of learning; but whatever he meant, the result is as bad a piece of Barocco as is to be found in Rome.

As for the Church of Saint Eustace, it commemorates a vision which tradition attributes alike to Saint Julian the Hospitaller, to Saint Felix, and to Saint Hubert. The genius of Flaubert, who was certainly one of the greatest prose writers of this century, has told the story of the first of these in very beautiful language, and the legend of Saint Hubert is familiar to every one. Saint Eustace is perhaps less known, for he was a Roman saint of early days, a soldier and a lover of the chase, as many Romans were. We do not commonly associate with them the idea of boar hunting or deer stalking, but they were enthusiastic sportsmen. Virgil's short and brilliant description of Æneas shooting the seven stags on the Carthaginian shore is the work of a man who had seen what he described, and Pliny's letters are full of allusions to hunting. Saint Eustace was a contemporary of the latter, and perhaps outlived him, for he is said to have been martyred under Hadrian, when a long career of arms had raised him to the rank of a general. It is an often-told story—how he was stalking the deer in the Ciminian forest one day, alone and on foot, when a royal stag, milk-white and without blemish, crashed through the meeting boughs before him; how he followed the glorious creature fast and far, and shot and missed and shot again, and how at last the stag sprang up a steep and jutting rock and faced him, and he saw Christ's cross between the branching antlers, and upon the Cross the Crucified, and heard a still far voice that bade him be Christian and suffer and be saved; and so, alone in the greenwood, he knelt down and bowed himself to the world's Redeemer, and rose up again, and the vision had departed. And having converted his wife and his two sons, they suffered together with him; for they were thrust into the great brazen bull by the Colosseum, and it was made red hot, and they perished, praising God. But their ashes lie under the high altar in the church to this day.

The small square of Saint Eustace is not far from Piazza Navona, communicating with it by gloomy little streets, and on the great night of the Befana, the fair spreads through the narrow ways and overflows with more booths, more toys, more screaming whistles, into the space between the University and the church. And here at the southeast corner used to stand the famous Falcone, the ancient eating-house which to the last kept up the Roman traditions, and where in old days, many a famous artist and man of letters supped on dishes now as extinct as the dodo. The house has been torn down to make way for a modern building. Famous it was for wild boar, in the winter, dressed with sweet sauce and pine nuts, and for baked porcupine and strange messes of tomatoes and cheese, and famous, too, for its good old wines in the days when wine was not mixed with chemicals and sold as 'Chianti,' though grown about Olevano, Paliano and Segni. It was a strange place, occupying the whole of two houses which must have been built in the sixteenth century, after the sack of Rome. It was full of small rooms of unexpected shapes, scrupulously neat and clean, with little white and red curtains, tiled floors, and rush bottomed chairs, and the regular guests had their own places, corners in which they had made themselves comfortable for life, as it were, and were to be found without fail at dinner and at supper time. It was one of those genial bits of old Rome which survived till a few years ago, and was more deeply regretted than many better things when it disappeared.

Behind the Church of Saint Eustace runs a narrow street straight up from the Square of the Pantheon to the Via della Dogana Vecchia. It used to be chiefly occupied at the lower end by poulterers' shops, but towards its upper extremity—for the land rises a little—it has always had a peculiarly dismal and gloomy look. It bears a name about which are associated some of the darkest deeds in Rome's darkest age; it is called the Via de' Crescenzi, the street and the abode of that great and evil house which filled the end of the tenth century with its bloody deeds.

There is no more unfathomable mystery in the history of mediæval Rome than the origin and power of Theodora, whose name first appears in the year 914, as Lady Senatress and absolute mistress of the city. The chronicler Luitprand, who is almost the only authority for this period, heaps abuse upon Theodora and her eldest daughter, hints that they were of low origin, and brands them with a disgrace more foul than their crimes. No one can read their history and believe that they were anything but patrician women, of execrable character but of high descent. From Theodora, in little more than a hundred years, descended five Popes and a line of sovereign Counts, ending in Peter, the first ancestor of the Colonna who took the name; and, from her also, by the marriage of her second daughter, called Theodora like herself, the Crescenzi traced their descent. Yet no historian can say who that first Theodora was, nor whence she came, nor how she rose to power, nor can any one name the father of her children. Her terrible eldest child, Marozia, married three sovereigns, the Lord of Tusculum, the Lord of Tuscany, and at last Hugh, King of Burgundy, and left a history that is an evil dream of terror and bloodshed. But the story of those fearful women belongs to their stronghold, the great castle of Sant' Angelo. To the Region of Saint Eustace belongs the history of Crescenzio, consul, tribune and despot of Rome. In the street that bears the name of his family, the huge walls of Severus Alexander's bath afforded the materials for a fortress, and there Crescenzio dwelt when his kinswoman Marozia held Hadrian's tomb, and after she was dead. Those were the times when the Emperors defended the Popes against the Roman people. Not many years had passed since Otto the First had done justice upon Peter the Prefect, far away at the Lateran palace; Otto the Second reigned in his stead, and Benedict the Sixth was Pope. The race of Theodora hated the domination of the Emperor, and despised a youthful sovereign whom they had never seen. They dreamed of restoring Rome to the Eastern Empire, and of renewing the ancient office of Exarch for themselves. Benedict stood in their way and was doomed. They chose their antipope, a Roman Cardinal, one Boniface, a man with neither scruple nor conscience, and set him up in the Pontificate; and, when they had done that, Crescenzio seized Benedict and dragged him through the low black entrance of Sant' Angelo, and presently strangled him in his dungeon. But neither did Boniface please those who had made him Pope; and, within the month, lest he should die like him he had supplanted, he stealthily escaped from Rome to the sea, and it is recorded that he stole and carried away the sacred vessels and treasures of the Vatican, and took them to Constantinople.

So Crescenzio first appears in the wild and confused history of that century of dread, when men looked forward with certainty and horror to the ending of the world in the year one thousand. And during a dozen years after Benedict was murdered, the cauldron of faction boiled and seethed in Rome. Then, in the year 987, when Hugh Capet took France for himself and for his descendants through eight centuries, and when John the Fifteenth was Pope in Rome, 'a new tyrant arose in the city which had hitherto been trampled down and held under by the violence of the race of Alberic,'—that is, the race of Theodora,—'and that tyrant was Crescentius.' And Crescenzio was the kinsman of Alberic's children.

The second Otto was dead, and Otto the Third was a mere boy, when Crescenzio, fortified in Sant' Angelo, suddenly declared himself Consul, seized all power, and drove the Pope from Rome. This time he had no antipope; he would have no Pope at all, and there was no Emperor either, since the young Otto had not yet been crowned. So Crescenzio reigned alone for awhile, with what he called a Senate at his back, and the terror of his name to awe the Roman people. But Pope John was wiser than the unfortunate Benedict, and a better man than Boniface, the antipope and thief; and having escaped to the north, he won the graces of Crescenzio's distant kinsman by marriage and hereditary foe, Duke Hugh of Tuscany, grandson of Hugh of Burgundy the usurper; and from that strong situation he proceeded to offer the boy Otto inducements for coming to be crowned in Rome.

He wisely judged from what he had seen during his lifetime that the most effectual means of opposing the boundless license of the Roman patricians was to make an Emperor, even of a child, and he knew that the name of Otto the Great was not forgotten, and that the terrible execution of Peter the Prefect was remembered with a lively dread. Crescenzio was not ready to oppose the force of the Empire; he was surrounded by jealous factions at home, which any sudden revolution might turn against himself, he weighed his strength against the danger and he resolved to yield. The 'Senate,' which consisted of patricians as greedy as himself, but less daring or less strong, had altogether recovered the temporal power in Rome, and Crescenzio easily persuaded them that it would be both futile and dangerous to quarrel with the Emperor about spiritual matters. The 'Consul' and the 'Senate'—which meant a tyrant and his courtiers—accordingly requested the Pope to return in peace and exercise his episcopal functions in the Holy See. Pope John must have been as bold as he was wise, for he did not hesitate, but came back at once. He reaped the fruit of his wisdom and his courage. Crescenzio and the nobles met him with reverence and implored his forgiveness for their ill-considered deeds; the Pope granted them a free pardon, wisely abstaining from any assertion of temporal power, and sometimes apparently submitting with patience to the Consul's tyranny. For it is recorded that some years later, when the Bishops of France sent certain ambassadors to the Pope, they were not received, but were treated with indignity, kept waiting outside the palace three days, and finally sent home without audience or answer because they had omitted to bribe Crescenzio.


If Pope John had persuaded Otto to be crowned at once, such things might not have taken place. It was many years before the young Emperor came to Rome at last, and he had not reached the city when he was met by the news that Pope John was dead. He lost no time, designated his private chaplain, the son of the Duke of Franconia, 'a young man of letters, but somewhat fiery on account of his youth,' to be Pope, and sent him forward to Rome at once with a train of bishops, to be installed in the Holy See. In so youthful a sovereign, such action lacked neither energy nor wisdom. The young Pontiff assumed the name of Gregory the Fifth, espoused the cause of the poor citizens against the tyranny of the nobles, crowned his late master Emperor, and forthwith made a determined effort to crush Crescenzio and regain the temporal power.

But he had met his match at the outset. The blood of Theodora was not easily put down. The Consul laughed to scorn the pretensions of the young Pope; the nobles were in arms, the city was his, and in the second year of his Pontificate, Gregory the Fifth was driven ignominiously from the gates in a state of absolute destitution. He was the third Pope whom Crescenzio had driven out. Gregory made his way to Pavia, summoned a council of Bishops, and launched the Major Excommunication at his adversary. But the Consul, secure in Sant' Angelo, laughed again, more grimly, and did as he pleased.

At this time Basil and Constantine, joint Emperors in Constantinople, sent ambassadors to Rome to Otto the Third, and with them came a certain John, a Calabrian of Greek race, a man of pliant conscience, tortuous mind, and extraordinary astuteness, at that time Archbishop of Piacenza, and formerly employed by Otto upon a mission to Constantinople. Crescenzio, as though to show that his enmity was altogether against the Pope, and not in the least against the Emperor, received these envoys with great honour, and during their stay persuaded them to enter into a scheme which had suddenly presented itself to his ambitious intelligence. The old dream of restoring Rome to the Eastern Empire was revived, the conspirators resolved to bring it to realization, and John of Calabria was a convenient tool for their hands. He was to be Pope; Crescenzio was to be despot, under the nominal protection and sovereignty of the Greek Emperors, and the ambassadors were to conclude the treaty with the latter. Otto was on the German frontier waging war against the Slavs, and Gregory was definitely exiled from Rome. Nothing stood in the way of the plot, and it was forthwith put into execution. Certain ambassadors of Otto's were passing through Rome on their return from the East and on their way to the Emperor's presence; they were promptly seized and thrown into prison, in order to interrupt communication between the two Empires. John of Calabria was consecrated Pope, or rather antipope, Crescenzio took possession of all power, and certain legates of Pope Gregory having ventured to enter Rome were at once imprisoned with the Emperor's ambassadors. It was a daring stroke, and if it had succeeded, the history of Europe would have been different from that time forward. Crescenzio was bold, unscrupulous, pertinacious and keen. He had the Roman nobles at his back and he controlled such scanty revenues as could still be collected. He had violently expelled three Popes, he had created two antipopes, and his name was terror in the ears of the Church. Yet it would have taken more than all that to overset the Catholic Church at a time when the world was ripe for the first crusade; and though the Empire had fallen low since the days of Charles the Great, it was fast climbing again to the supremacy of power in which it culminated under Barbarossa and whence it fell with Frederick the Second. A handful of high-born murderers and marauders might work havoc in Rome for a time, but they could neither destroy that deep-rooted belief nor check the growth of that imperial law by which Europe emerged from the confusion of the dark age—to lose both law and belief again amid the intellectual excitements of the Renascence.

Otto the Third was young, brave and determined, and before the treaty with the Eastern Emperors was concluded, he was well informed of the outrageous deeds of the Roman patricians. No sooner had he brought the war on the Saxon frontier to a successful conclusion than he descended again into Italy 'to purge the Roman bilge,' in the chronicler's strong words. On his way, he found time to visit Venice secretly, with only six companions, and we are told how the Doge entertained him in private as Emperor, with sumptuous suppers, and allowed him to wander about Venice all day as a simple unknown traveller, with his companions, 'visiting the churches and the other rare things of the City,' whereby it is clear that in the year 998, when Rome was a half-deserted, half-ruined city, ruled by a handful of brigands living in the tomb of the Cæsars, Venice, under the good Doge Orseolo the Second, was already one of the beautiful cities of the world, as well as mistress of the Adriatic, of all Dalmatia, and of many lovely islands.

Otto took with him Pope Gregory, and with a very splendid army of Germans and Italians marched down to Rome. Neither Crescenzio nor his followers had believed that the young Emperor was in earnest; but when it was clear that he meant to do justice, Antipope John was afraid, and fled secretly by night, in disguise. Crescenzio, of sterner stuff, heaped up a vast provision of food in Sant' Angelo, and resolved to abide a siege. The stronghold was impregnable, so far as any one could know, for it had never been stormed in war or riot, and on its possession had depended the long impunity of Theodora's race. The Emperor might lay siege to it, encamp before it, and hem it in for months; in the end he must be called away by the more urgent wars of the Empire in the north, and Crescenzio, secure in his stronghold, would hold the power still. But when the Roman people knew that Otto was at hand and that the antipope had fled, their courage rose against the nobles, and they went out after John, and scoured the country till they caught him in his disguise, for his face was known to many. Because the Emperor was known to be kind of heart, and because it was remembered also that this John of Calabria, who went by many names, had by strange chance baptized both Otto and Pope Gregory, the Duke of Franconia's son, therefore the Romans feared lest justice should be too gentle; and having got the antipope into their hands, they dealt with him savagely, put out his eyes, cut out his tongue and sliced off his nose, and drove him to prison through the city, seated face backwards on an ass. And when the Emperor and the Pope came, they left him in his dungeon.

Now at Gaeta there lived a very holy man, who was Saint Nilus, and who afterwards founded the monastery of Grottaferrata, where there are beautiful wall paintings to this day. He was a Greek, like John of Calabria, and though he detested the antipope he had pity on the man and felt compassion for his countryman. So he journeyed to Rome and came before Otto and Gregory, who received him with perfect devotion, as a saint, and he asked of them that they should give him the wretched John, 'who,' he said, 'held both of you in his arms at the Font of Baptism,' though he was grievously fallen since that day by his great hypocrisy. Then the Emperor was filled with pity, and answered that the saint might have the antipope alive, if he himself would then remain in Rome and direct the monastery of Saint Anastasia of the Greeks. The holy man was willing to sacrifice his life of solitary meditation for the sake of his wretched countryman, and he would have obtained the fulfilment of his request from Otto; but Pope Gregory remembered how he himself had been driven out penniless and scantily clothed, to make way for John of Calabria, and his heart was hardened, and he would not let the prisoner go. Wherefore Saint Nilus foretold that because neither the Pope nor the Emperor would have mercy, the wrath of God should overtake them both. And indeed they were both cut off in the flower of their youth—Gregory within one year, and Otto not long afterwards.

Meanwhile they sent Nilus away and laid siege to the Castle of Sant' Angelo, where Crescenzio and his men had shut themselves up with a good store of food and arms. No one had ever taken that fortress, nor did any one believe that it could be stormed. But Pope and Emperor were young and brave and angry, and they had a great army, and the people of Rome were with them, every man. They used such engines as they had,—catapults, and battering-rams, and ladders; and yet Crescenzio laughed, for the stone walls were harder than the stone missiles, and higher than the tallest ladders, and so thick that fire could not heat them from without, nor battering-ram loosen a single block in a single course; and many assaults were repelled, and many a brave soldier fell writhing and broken into the deep ditch with his ladder upon him.

When the time of fate was fulfilled, the end came on a fair April morning; one ladder held its place till desperate armed hands had reached the rampart, and swift feet had sprung upon the edge, and one brave arm beat back the twenty that were there to defend; and then there were two, and three, and ten, and a score, and a hundred, and the great castle was taken at last. Nor do we know surely that it was ever taken again by force, even long afterwards in the days of artillery. But Crescenzio's hour had come, and the Emperor took him and the twelve chief nobles who were with him, and cut off their heads, one by one, in quick justice and without torture, and the heads were set up on spikes, and the headless bodies were hung out from the high crenellations of the ramparts. Thus ended Crescenzio, but not his house, nor the line of Theodora, nor died he unavenged.


From a print of the last century]

It is said and believed that Pope Gregory perished by the hands of the Crescenzi, who lived in the little street behind the Church of Saint Eustace. As for Otto, he came to a worse end, though he was of a pious house, and laboured for the peace of his soul against the temptations of this evil world. For he was young, and the wife of Crescenzio was wonderfully fair, and her name was Stefania. She came weeping before him and mourning her lord, and was beautiful in her grief, and knew it, as many women do. And the young Emperor saw her, and pitied her, and loved her, and took her to his heart in sin, and though he repented daily, he daily fell again, while the woman offered up her body and her soul to be revenged for the fierce man she had loved. So it came to pass, at last, that she found her opportunity against him, and poured poison into his cup, and kissed him, and gave it to him with a very loving word. And he drank it and died, and the prophecy of the holy man, Nilus, was fulfilled upon him.

The story is told in many ways, but that is the main truth of it, according to Muratori, whom Gibbon calls his guide and master in the history of Italy, but whom he did not follow altogether in his brief sketch of Crescenzio's life and death, and their consequences. The Crescenzi lived on, in power and great state. They buried the terrible tribune in Santa Sabina, on the Aventine, where his epitaph may be read today, but whither he did not retire in life, as some guide-books say, to end his days in prayer and meditation. And for some reason, perhaps because they no longer held the great Castle, they seem to have left the Region of Saint Eustace; for Nicholas, the tribune's son, built the small palace by the Tiber, over against the Temple of Hercules, though it has often been called the house of Rienzi, whose name was also Nicholas, which caused the confusion. And later they built themselves other fortresses, but the end of their history is not known.

In the troubles which succeeded the death of Crescentius, a curious point arises in the chronicle, with regard to the titles of the bishops depending from the Holy See. It is certainly not generally known that, as late as the tenth century, the bishops of the great cities called themselves Popes—the 'Pope of Milan,' the 'Pope of Naples,' and the like—and that Gregory the Seventh, the famous Hildebrand, was the first to decree that the title should be confined to the Roman Pontiffs, with that of 'Servus Servorum Dei'—'servant of the servants of God.' And indeed, in those changing times such a confusion of titles must have caused trouble, as it did when Gregory the Fifth, driven out by Crescentius, and taking refuge in Pavia, found himself, the Pope of Rome, confronted with Arnulf, the 'Pope' of Milan, and complained of his position to the council he had summoned.

The making and unmaking of Popes, and the election of successors to those that died, brings up memories of what Rome was during the vacancy of the See, and of the general delight at the death of any reigning Pontiff, good or bad. A certain monk is reported to have answered Paul the Third, that the finest festival in Rome took place while one Pope lay dead and another was being elected. During that period, not always brief, law and order were suspended. According to the testimony of Dionigi Atanagi, quoted by Baracconi, the first thing that happened was that the prisons were broken open and all condemned persons set free, while all men in authority hid themselves in their homes, and the officers of justice fled in terror from the dangerous humour of the people. For every man who could lay hands on a weapon seized it, and carried it about with him. It was the time for settling private quarrels of long standing, in short and decisive fights, without fear of disturbance or interference from the frightened Bargello and the terrorized watchmen of the city. And as soon as the accumulated private spite of years had spent itself in a certain amount of free fighting, the city became perfectly safe again, and gave itself up to laying wagers on the election of the next Pope. The betting was high, and there were regular bookmakers, especially in all the Regions from Saint Eustace to the Ponte Sant' Angelo, where the banks had established themselves under the protection of the Pope and the Guelph Orsini, and where the most reliable and latest news was sure to be obtained fresh from the Vatican. Instead of the Piazza di Spagna and the Villa Medici, the narrow streets and gloomy squares of Ponte, Parione and Sant' Eustachio became the gathering-place of society, high, low and indiscriminate; and far from exhibiting the slightest signs of mourning for its late ruler, the city gave itself up to a sort of Carnival season, all the more delightful, because it was necessarily unexpected.

Moreover, the poor people had the delight of speculating upon the wealth of the cardinal who might be elected; for, as soon as the choice of the Conclave was announced, and the cry, 'A pope, a pope!' rang through the streets, it was the time-honoured privilege of the rabble to sack and plunder the late residence of the chosen cardinal, till, literally, nothing was left but the bare walls and floors. This was so much a matter of course, that the election of a poor Pope was a source of the bitterest disappointment to the people, and was one of their principal causes of discontent when Sixtus the Fifth was raised to the Pontificate, it having been given out as certain, but a few hours earlier, that the rich Farnese was to be the fortunate man.



There used to be a tradition, wholly unfounded, but deeply rooted in the Roman mind, to the effect that the great bronze pine-cone, eleven feet high, which stands in one of the courts of the Vatican, giving it the name 'Garden of the Pine-cone,' was originally a sort of stopper which closed the round aperture in the roof of the Pantheon. The Pantheon stands at one corner of the Region of Pigna, and a connection between the Region, the Pantheon and the Pine-cone seems vaguely possible, though altogether unsatisfactory. The truth about the Pine-cone is perfectly well known; it was part of a fountain in Agrippa's artificial lake in the Campus Martius, of which Pigna was a part, and it was set up in the cloistered garden of Saint Peter's by Pope Symmachus about fourteen hundred years ago. The lake may have been near the Pantheon.

No one, so far as I am aware,—not even the excellent Baracconi,—offers any explanation of the name and device of the Ninth Region. Topographically it is nearly a square, of which the angles are the Pantheon, the corner of Via di Caravita and the Corso, the Palazzo di Venezia, and the corner of the new Via Arenula and Via Florida. Besides the Pantheon it contains some of the most notable buildings erected since the Renascence. Here are the palaces of the Doria, of the Altieri, and the 'Palace of Venice' built by Paul the Second, that Venetian Barbo, whose name may have nicknamed the racing horses of the Carnival. Here were the strongholds of the two great rival orders, the Dominicans and the Jesuits, the former in the Piazza della Minerva, the latter in the Piazza del Gesù, and in the Collegio Romano; and here at the present day, in the buildings of the old rivals, significantly connected by an arched passage, are collected the greatest libraries of the city. That of the Dominicans, wisely left in their care, has been opened to the public; the other, called after Victor Emmanuel, is a vast collection of books gathered together by plundering the monastic institutions of Italy at the time of the disestablishment. The booty—for it was nothing else—was brought in carts, mostly in a state of the utmost confusion, and the books and manuscripts were roughly stacked in vacant rooms on the ground floor of the Collegio Romano, in charge of a porter. Not until a poor scholar, having bought himself two ounces of butter in the Piazza Navona, found the greasy stuff wrapped in an autograph letter of Christopher Columbus, did it dawn upon the authorities that the porter was deliberately selling priceless books and manuscripts as waste paper, by the hundredweight, to provide himself with the means of getting drunk. That was about the year 1880. The scandal was enormous, a strict inquiry was made, justice was done as far as possible, and an official account of the affair was published in a 'Green Book'; but the amount of the loss was unknown, it may have been incalculable, and it was undeniably great.

The names visibly recorded in the Region have vast suggestions in them,—Ignatius Loyola, the Dominicans, Venice, Doria, Agrippa, and the buildings themselves, which are the record, will last for ages; the opposition of Jesuit and Inquisitor, under one name or another, and of both by the people, will live as long as humanity itself.

The crisis in the history of the Inquisition in Rome followed closely upon the first institution of the Tribunal, and seventeen years after Paul the Fourth had created the Court, by a Papal Bull of July twenty-first, 1542, the people burned the Palace of the Inquisition and threatened to destroy the Dominicans and their monastery.

[Illustration: THE PANTHEON]

So far as it is possible to judge the character of the famous Carafa Pope, he was ardent under a melancholic exterior, rigid but ambitious, utterly blind to everything except the matter he had in hand, proud to folly, and severe to cruelty. A chronicler says of him, that his head 'might be compared to the Vesuvius of his native city, since he was ardent in all his actions, wrathful, hard and inflexible, undoubtedly moved by an incredible zeal for religion, but a zeal often lacking in prudence, and breaking out in eruptions of excessive severity.' On the other hand, his lack of perception was such that he remained in complete ignorance of the outrageous deeds done in his name by his two nephews, the one a cardinal, the other a layman, and it was not until the last year of his life that their doings came to his knowledge.

This was the man to whom Queen Elizabeth sent an embassy, in the hope of obtaining the Papal sanction for her succession to the throne. Henry the Second of France had openly espoused the cause of Mary Queen of Scots, whom Philip the Second of Spain was also inclined to support, after the failure of his attempt to obtain the hand of Elizabeth for the Duke of Savoy. With France and Spain against her, the Queen appealed to Rome, and to Paul the Fourth. In the eyes of Catholics her mother had never been the lawful wife of Henry the Eighth, and she herself was illegitimate. If the Pope would overlook this unfortunate fact and confirm her crown in the eyes of Catholic Europe, she would make an act of obedience by her ambassador. She had been brought up as a Catholic, she had been crowned by a Roman Catholic bishop, and on first ascending the throne she had shown herself favourable to the Catholic party; the request and proposition were reasonable, if nothing more. Muratori points out that if a more prudent, discreet and gentle Pope had reigned at that time, and if he had received Elizabeth's offer kindly, according to the dictates of religion, which he should have considered to the exclusion of everything else, and without entering into other people's quarrels, nor into the question of his own earthly rights, England might have remained a Catholic country. Paul the Fourth's answer, instead, was short, cold and senseless. 'England,' he said, 'is under the feudal dominion of the Roman Church. Elizabeth is born out of wedlock; there are other legitimate heirs, and she should never have assumed the crown without the consent of the Apostolic See.' This is the generally accepted account of what took place, as given by Muratori and other historians. Lingard, however, whose authority is undeniable, argues against the truth of the story on the ground that the English Ambassador in Rome at the time of Queen Mary's death never had an audience of the Pope. It seems probable, nevertheless, that Elizabeth actually appealed to the Holy See, though secretly and with the intention of concealing the step in case of failure.

A child might have foreseen the consequences of the Pope's political folly. Elizabeth saw her extreme danger, turned her back upon Rome forever, and threw herself into the arms of the Protestant party as her only chance of safety. At the same time heresy assumed alarming proportions throughout Europe, and the Pope called upon the Inquisition to put it down in Rome. Measures of grim severity were employed, and the Roman people, overburdened with the taxes laid upon them by the Pope's nephews, were exasperated beyond endurance by the religious zeal of the Dominicans, in whose hands the inquisitorial power was placed.


Nor were they appeased by the fall of the two Carafa, which was ultimately brought about by the ambassador of Tuscany. The Pope enquired of him one day why he so rarely asked an audience, and he frankly replied that the Carafa would not admit him to the Pope's presence unless he would previously give a full account of his intentions, and reveal all the secrets of the Grand Duke's policy. Then some one wrote out an account of the Carafa's misdeeds and laid it in the Pope's own Breviary. The result was sudden and violent, like most of Paul's decisions and actions. He called a Consistory of cardinals, made open apology for his nephews' doings, deprived them publicly of all their offices and honours, and exiled them, in opposite directions and with their families, beyond the confines of the Papal States.

But the people were not satisfied; they accused the Pope of treating his nephews as scapegoats for his own sins, and the immediate repeal of many taxes was no compensation for the terrors of the Inquisition. There were spies everywhere. No one was safe from secret accusers. The decisions of the tribunal were slow, mysterious and deadly. The Romans became the victims of a secret reign of terror such as the less brave Neapolitans had more bravely fought against and had actually destroyed a dozen years earlier, when Paul the Fourth, then only a cardinal, had persuaded their Viceroy to try his favourite method of reducing heresy. Yet such was the fear of the Dominicans and of the Pope himself that no one dared to raise his voice against the 'monks of the Minerva.'

The general dissatisfaction was fomented by the nobles, and principally by the Colonna, who had been at open war with the Pope during his whole reign. Moreover, the severities of his government had produced between Colonna and Orsini one of those occasional alliances for their common safety, which vary their history without adorning it. The Pope seized the Colonna estates and conferred them upon his nephews, but was in turn often repulsed as the fighting ebbed and flowed during the four years of his Pontificate, for the Colonna as usual had powerful allies in the Emperor and in his kingdom of Naples. Changeable as the Roman people always were, they had more often espoused the cause of Colonna than that of the Pope and Orsini. Paul the Fourth fell ill in the summer, when the heat makes a southern rabble dangerous, and the certain news of his approaching end was a message of near deliverance. He lingered and died hard, though he was eighty-four years old and afflicted with dropsy. But the exasperated Romans were impatient for the end, and the nobles were willing to take vengeance upon their oppressor before he breathed his last. As the news that the Pope was dying ran through the city, the spell of terror was broken, secret murmuring turned to open complaint, complaint to clamour, clamour to riot. A vast and angry multitude gathered together in the streets and open places, and hour by hour, as the eager hope for news of death was ever disappointed, and the hard old man lived on, the great concourse gathered strength within itself, seething, waiting, listening for the solemn tolling of the great bell in the Capitol to tell them that Paul the Fourth had passed away. Still it came not. And in the streets and everywhere there were retainers and men-at-arms of the great houses, ready of tongue and hand, but friendly with the people, listening to tales of suffering and telling of their lords' angry temper against the dying Pope. A word here, a word there, like sparks amid sun-dried stubble, till the hot stuff was touched with fire and all broke out in flame.

Then words were no longer exchanged between man and man, but a great cry of rage went up from all the throng, and the people began to move, some knowing what they meant to do and some not knowing, nor caring, but moving with the rest, faster and faster, till many were trampled down in the press, and they came to the prisons, to Corte Savella and Tor di Nona, and even to Sant' Angelo, and as they battered at the great doors from without, the prisoners shouted for freedom from within, and their gaolers began to loose their chains, fearing for their own lives, and drew back the bolts to let the stream of riot in. So on that day four hundred condemned men were taken out and let loose, before the Pope was dead.

[Illustration: THE RIPETTA

From a print of the last century]

Yet the people had not enough, and they surged and roared in the streets, quivering with rage not yet half spent. And again words ran along, as fire through dry grass, and suddenly all men thought of the Inquisition, down by the Tiber at the Ripetta. Thought was motion, motion was action, action was to set men free and burn the hated prison to the ground. The prisoners of the Holy Roman Office were seventy-two, and many had lain there long unheard, for the trial of unbelief was cumbrous in argument and slow of issue, and though the Pope could believe no one innocent who was in prison, and though he was violent in his judgments, the saintly Ghislieri was wise and cautious, and would condemn no man hastily to please his master. When he in turn was Pope, the people loved him, though at first they feared him for Pope Paul's sake.

When they had burned the Inquisition on that day and set free the accused persons, and it was not yet night, they turned back from the Tiber, still unsatisfied, for they had shed little blood, or none at all, perhaps, and the people of Rome always thirsted for that when their anger was hot. Through the winding streets they went, dividing where the ways were narrow and meeting again where there was room, always towards Pigna, and the Minerva, and the dwelling of the learned black and white robed fathers into whose hands the Inquisition had been given and from whose monastery the good Ghislieri had been chosen to be cardinal. For the rabble knew no difference of thought or act between him and the dying Pope. They bore torches and weapons, and beams for battering down the doors, and they reached the place, a raging horde of madmen.

Suddenly before them there were five men on horseback, who were just and did not fear them. These men were Marcantonio Colonna and his kinsman Giuliano Cesarini, and a Salviati, and a Torres and Gianbattista Bernardi, who had all suffered much at the hands of the Pope and had come swiftly to Rome when they heard that he was near death. And at the sight of those calm knights, sitting there on their horses without armour and with sheathed swords, the people drew back a moment, while Colonna spoke. Presently, as he went on, they grew silent and understood his words. And when they had understood, they saw that he was right and their anger was quieted, and they went away to their homes, satisfied with having set free those who had been long in prison. So the great monastery was saved from fire and the monks from death. But the Pope was not yet dead, and while he lived the people were restless and angry by day and night, and ready for new deeds of violence; but Marcantonio Colonna rode through the city continually, entreating them to wait patiently for the end, and because he also had suffered much at Paul's hands, they listened to him and did nothing more.

[Illustration: PIAZZA MINERVA]

The rest is a history which all men know: how the next Pope was just, and put the Carafa to their trial for many deeds of bloodshed; how the judgment was long delayed that it might be without flaw; how it took eight hours at last to read the judges' summing up; and how Cardinal Carafa was strangled by night in Sant' Angelo, while at the same hour his brother and the two who had murdered his wife were beheaded in Tor di Nona, just opposite the Castle, across the Tiber—a grim tragedy, but the tragedy of justice.

Southward a few steps from the Church of the Minerva is the little Piazza della Pigna, with a street of the same name leading out of it. And at the corner of the place is a small church, dedicated to 'Saint John of the Pine-cone,' that is, of the Region. Within lies one of the noble Porcari in a curious tomb, and their stronghold was close by, perhaps built in one block with the church itself.

The name Porcari calls up another tale of devotion, of betrayal, and of death, with the last struggle for a Roman Republic at the end of the Middle Age. It was a hopeless attempt, made by a brave man of simple and true heart, a man better and nobler than Rienzi in every way, but who judged the times ill and gave his soul and body for the dream of a liberty which already existed in another shape, but which for its name's sake he would not acknowledge. Stephen Porcari failed where Rienzi partially succeeded, because the people were not with him; they were no longer oppressed, and they desired no liberator; they had freedom in fact and they cared nothing for the name of liberty; they had a ruler with whom they were well pleased, and they did not long for one of whom they knew nothing. But Stephen, brave, pure and devoted, was a man of dreams, and he died for them, as many others have died for the name of Rome and the phantom of an impossible Republic; for Rome has many times been fatal to those who loved her best.

In the year 1447 Pope Eugenius the Fourth died, after a long and just reign, disturbed far more by matters spiritual than by any worldly troubles. And then, says the chronicler, a meeting of the Romans was called at Aracoeli, to determine what should be asked of the Conclave that was to elect a new Pope. And there, with many other citizens, Stephen Porcari spoke to the Council, saying some things useful to the Republic; and he declared that Rome should govern itself and pay a feudal tribute to the Pope, as many others of the Papal States did. And the Archbishop of Benevento forbade that he should say more; but the Council and the citizens wished him to go on; and there was disorder, and the meeting broke up, the Archbishop being gravely displeased, and the people afraid to support Stephen against him, because the King of Spain was at Tivoli, very near Rome.

Then the Cardinals elected Pope Nicholas the Fifth, a good man and a great builder, and of gentle and merciful temper, and there was much feasting and rejoicing in Rome. But Stephen Porcari pondered the inspired verses of Petrarch and the strange history of Rienzi, and waited for an opportunity to rouse the people, while his brother, or his kinsman, was the Senator of Rome, appointed by the Pope. At last, after a long time, when there was racing, with games in the Piazza Navona, certain youths having fallen to quarrelling, and Stephen being there, and a great concourse of people, he tried by eloquent words to stir the quarrel to a riot, and a rebellion against the Pope. The people cared nothing for Petrarch's verses nor Rienzi's memory, and Nicholas was kind to them, so that Stephen Porcari failed again, and his failure was high treason, for which he would have lost his head in any other state of Europe. Yet the Pope was merciful, and when the case had been tried, the rebel was sent to Bologna, to live there in peace, provided that he should present himself daily before the Cardinal Legate of the City. But still he dreamed, and would have made action of dreams, and he planned a terrible conspiracy, and escaped from Bologna, and came back to Rome secretly.

His plan was this. On the feast of the Epiphany he and his kinsmen and retainers would seize upon the Pope and the Cardinals as prisoners, when they were on their way to High Mass at Saint Peter's, and then by threatening to murder them the conspirators would force the keepers of Sant'Angelo to give up the Castle, which meant the power to hold Rome in subjection. Once there, they would call upon the people to acclaim the return of the ancient Republic, the Pope should be set free to fulfil the offices of religion, while deprived of all temporal power, and the vision of freedom would become a glorious reality.

But Rome was not with Porcari, and he paid the terrible price of unpopular fanaticism and useless conspiracy. He was betrayed by the folly of his nephew, who, with a few followers, killed the Pope's equerry in a street brawl, and then, perhaps to save himself, fired the train too soon. Stephen shut the great gates of his house and defended himself as well as he could against the men-at-arms who were sent to take him. The doors were closed, says the chronicler, and within there were many armed men, and they fought at the gate, while those in the upper story threw the tables from the windows upon the heads of the besiegers. Seeing that they were lost, Stephen's men went out by the postern behind the house, and his nephew, Battista Sciarra, with four companions, fought his way through, only one of them being taken, because the points of his hose were cut through, so that the hose slipped down and he could not move freely. Those who had not cut their way out were taken within by the governor's men, and Stephen was dragged with ignominy from a chest in which he had taken refuge.

The trial was short and sure, for even the Pope's patience was exhausted. Three days later, Stephen Infessura, the chronicler, saw the body of Stephen Porcari hanging by the neck from the crenellations of the tower that used to stand on the right-hand side of Sant' Angelo, as you go towards the Castle from the bridge; and it was dressed in a black doublet and black hose—the body of that 'honourable man who loved the right and the liberty of Rome, who, because he looked upon his banishment as without good cause, meant to give his life, and gave his body, to free his country from slavery.'

Infessura was a retainer of the Colonna and no friend of any Pope's, of course; yet he does not call the execution of Porcari an act of injustice. He speaks, rather, with a sort of gentle pity of the man who gave so much so freely, and paid bodily death and shame for his belief in a lofty vision. Rienzi dreamed as high, rose far higher, and fell to the depths of his miserable end by his vanity and his weaknesses. Stephen Porcari accomplished nothing in his life, nor by his death; had he succeeded, no one can tell how his nature might have changed; but in failure he left after him the clean memory of an honest purpose, which was perhaps mistaken, but was honourable, patriotic and unselfish.

It is strange, unless it be an accident, that the great opponents, the Dominicans and the Jesuits, should have established themselves on opposite sides of the same street, and it is characteristic that the latter should have occupied more land and built more showy buildings than the former, extending their possessions in more than one direction and in a tentative way, while the rigid Dominicans remained rooted to the spot they had chosen, throughout many centuries. Both are gone, in an official and literal sense. The Dominican Monastery is filled with public offices, and though the magnificent library is still kept in order by Dominican friars, it is theirs no longer, but confiscated to the State, and connected with the Victor Emmanuel Library, in what was the Jesuit Roman College, by a bridge that crosses the street of Saint Ignatius. And the Jesuit College, on its side, is the property of the State and a public school; the Jesuits' library is taken from them altogether, and their dwelling is occupied by other public offices. But the vitality which had survived ages was not to be destroyed by such a trifle as confiscation. Officially both are gone; in actual fact both are more alive than ever. When the Jesuits were finally expelled from their College, they merely moved to the other side of the Dominican Monastery, across the Via del Seminario, and established themselves in the Borromeo palace, still within sight of their rivals' walls, and they called their college the Gregorian University. The Dominicans, driven from the ancient stronghold at last, after occupying it exactly five hundred years, have taken refuge in other parts of Rome under the security of title-deeds held by foreigners, and consequently beyond the reach of Italian confiscation. Yet still, in fact, the two great orders face each other.

It was the prayer of Ignatius Loyola that his order should be persecuted, and his desire has been most literally fulfilled, for the Jesuits have suffered almost uninterrupted persecution, not at the hands of Protestants only, but of the Roman Catholic Church itself in successive ages. Popes have condemned them, and Papal edicts have expelled their order from Rome; Catholic countries, with Catholic Spain at their head, have driven them out and hunted them down with a determination hardly equalled, and certainly not surpassed at any time, by Protestant Prussia or Puritan England. Non-Catholics are very apt to associate Catholics and Jesuits in their disapproval, dislike, or hatred, as the case may be; but neither Englishman nor German could speak of the order of Ignatius more bitterly than many a most devout Catholic.

To give an idea of the feeling which has always been common in Rome against the Jesuits, it is enough to quote the often told popular legend about the windy Piazza del Gesù, where their principal church stands, adjoining what was once their convent, or monastery, as people say nowadays, though Doctor Johnson admits no distinction between the words, and Dryden called a nunnery by the latter name. The story is this. One day the Devil and the Wind were walking together in the streets of Rome, conversing pleasantly according to their habit. When they came to the Piazza del Gesù, the Devil stopped. 'I have an errand in there,' he said, pointing to the Jesuits' house. 'Would you kindly wait for me a moment?' 'Certainly,' answered the Wind. The Devil went in, but never came out again, and the Wind is waiting for him still.

When one considers what the Jesuits have done for mankind, as educators, missionaries and civilizers, it seems amazing that they should be so judged by the Romans themselves. Their devotion to the cause of Christianity against paganism has led many of them to martyrdom in past centuries, and may again so long as Asia and Africa are non-Christian. Their marvellous insight into the nature and requirements of education in the highest sense has earned them the gratitude of thousands of living laymen. They have taught all over the world. Their courage, their tenacity, their wonderful organization, deserve the admiration of mankind. Neither their faults nor their mistakes seem adequate to explain the deadly hatred which they have so often roused against themselves among Christians of all denominations. All organized bodies make mistakes, all have faults; few indeed can boast of such a catalogue of truly good deeds as the followers of Saint Ignatius; yet none have been so despised, so hated, so persecuted, not only by men who might be suspected of partisan prejudice, but by the wise, the just and the good.



Rome tends to diminutives in names as in facts. The first emperor was Augustus, the last was Augustulus; with the Popes, the Roman Senate dwindled to a mere office, held by one man, and respected by none; the ascent to the Capitol, the path of triumphs that marked the subjugation of the world, became in the twelfth century 'Fabatosta,' or 'Roast Beans Lane'; and, in the vulgar tongue, 'Capitolium' was vulgarized to 'Campitelli,' and the word gave a name to a Region of the city. Within that Region are included the Capitol, the Forum, the Colosseum and the Palatine, with the palaces of the Cæsars. It takes in, roughly, the land covered by the earliest city; and, throughout the greater part of Roman history, it was the centre of political and military life. It merited something better than a diminutive for a name; yet, in the latest revolution of things, it has fared better, and has been more respected, than many other quarters, and still the memories of great times and deeds cling to the stones that are left.

In the dark ages, when a ferocious faith had destroyed the remnants of Latin learning and culture, together with the last rites of the old religion, the people invented legend as a substitute for the folklore of all the little gods condemned by the Church; so that the fairy tale is in all Europe the link between Christianity and paganism, and to the weakness of vanquished Rome her departed empire seemed only explicable as the result of magic. The Capitol, in the imagination of such tales, became a tower of wizards. High above all, a golden sphere reflected the sun's rays far out across the distant sea by day, and at night a huge lamp took its place as a beacon for the sailors of the Mediterranean, even to Spain and Africa. In the tower, too, was preserved the mystic mirror of the world, which instantly reflected all that passed in the empire, even to its furthest limits. Below the towers, also, and surmounting the golden palace, there were as many statues as Rome had provinces, and each statue wore a bell at its neck, that rang of itself in warning whenever there was trouble in the part of the world to which it belonged, while the figure itself turned on its base to look in the direction of the danger. Such tales Irving tells of the Alhambra, not more wonderful than those believed of Rome, and far less numerous.

There were stories of hidden treasure, too, without end. For, in those days of plundering, men laid their hands on what they saw, and hid what they took as best they might; and later, when the men of the Middle Age and of the Renascence believed that Rome had been destroyed by the Goths, they told strange stories of Gothmen who appeared suddenly in disguise from the north, bringing with them ancient parchments in which were preserved sure instructions for unearthing the gold hastily hidden by their ancestors, because there had been too much of it to carry away. Even in our own time such things have been done. In the latter days of the reign of Pius the Ninth, some one discovered an old book or manuscript, wherein it was pointed out that a vast treasure lay buried on the northward side of the Colosseum within a few feet of the walls, and it was told that if any man would dig there he should find, as he dug deeper, certain signs, fragments of statues, and hewn tablets, and a spring of water. So the Pope gave his permission, and the work began. Every one who lived in Rome thirty years ago can remember it, and the excited curiosity of the whole city while the digging went on. And, strange to say, though the earth had evidently not been disturbed for centuries, each object was found in succession, exactly as described, to a great depth; but not the treasure, though the well was sunk down to the primeval soil. It was all filled in again, and the mystery has never been solved. Yet the mere fact that everything was found except the gold, lends some possibility to the other stories of hidden wealth, told and repeated from generation to generation.

The legend of the Capitol is too vast, too varied, too full of tremendous contrasts to be briefly told or carelessly sketched. Archæologists have reconstructed it on paper, scholars have written out its history, poets have said great things of it; yet if one goes up the steps today and stands by the bronze statue in the middle of the square, seeing nothing but a paved space enclosed on three sides by palaces of the late Renascence, it is utterly impossible to call up the past. Perhaps no point of ancient Rome seems less Roman and less individual than that spot where Rienzi stood, silent and terrified, for a whole hour before the old stone lion, waiting for the curious, pitiless rabble to kill him. The big buildings shut out history, hide the Forum, the Gemonian steps, and the Tarpeian rock, and in the very inmost centre of the old city's heart they surround a man with the artificialities of an uninteresting architecture. For though Michelangelo planned the reconstruction he did not live to see his designs carried out, and they fell into the hands of little men who tried to improve upon what they could not understand, and ruined it.

The truth is that half a dozen capitols have been built on the hill, destroyed, forgotten, and replaced, each one in turn, during successive ages. It is said that certain Indian jugglers allow themselves to be buried alive in a state of trance, and are taken from the tomb after many months not dead; and it is said that the body, before it is brought to life again, is quite cold, as though the man were dead, excepting that there is a very little warmth just where the back of the skull joins the neck. Yet there is enough left to reanimate the whole being in a little time, so that life goes on as before. So in Rome's darkest and most dead days, the Capitol has always held within it a spark of vitality, ready to break out with little warning and violent effect.

[Illustration: THE CAPITOL]

For the Capitol, not yet the Capitol, but already the sacred fortress of Rome, was made strong in the days of Romulus, and it was in his time, when he and his men had carried off the Sabine girls and were at war with their fathers and brothers, that Tarpeia came down the narrow path, her earthen jar balanced on her graceful head, to fetch spring water for a household sacrifice. Her father kept the castle. She came down, a straight brown girl with eager eyes and red lips, clad in the grey woollen tunic that left her strong round arms bare to the shoulder. Often she had seen the golden bracelets which the Sabine men wore on their left wrists, and some of them had a jewel or two set in the gold; but the Roman men wore none, and the Roman women had none to wear, and Tarpeia's eyes were eager. Because she came to get water for holy things she was safe, and she went down to the spring, and there was Tatius, of the Sabines, drinking. When he saw how her eyes were gold-struck by his bracelet, he asked her if she should like to wear it, and the blood came to her brown face, as she looked back quickly to the castle where her father was. 'If you Sabines will give me what you wear on your left arms,' she said—for she did not know the name of gold—'you shall have the fortress tonight, for I will open the gate for you.' The Sabine looked at her, and then he smiled quickly, and promised for himself and all his companions. So that night they went up stealthily, for there was no moon, and the gate was open, and Tarpeia was standing there. Tatius could see her greedy eyes in the starlight; but instead of his bracelet, he took his shield from his left arm and struck her down with it for a betrayer, and all the Sabine men threw their shields upon her as they passed. So she died, but her name remains to the rock, to this day.

It was long before the temple planned by the first Tarquin was solemnly dedicated by the first consuls of the Republic, and the earthen image of Jupiter, splendidly dressed and painted red, was set up between Juno and Minerva. Many hundred years later, in the terrible times of Marius and Sylla, the ancient sanctuary took fire and was burned, and Sylla rebuilt it. That temple was destroyed also, and another, built by Vespasian, was burned too, and from the last building Genseric stole the gilt bronze tiles in the year 455, when Christianity was the fact and Jupiter the myth, one and twenty years before the final end of Rome's empire; and the last of what remained was perhaps burned by Robert Guiscard after serving as a fortress for the enemies of Gregory the Seventh.

[Illustration: CHURCH OF ARACOELI]

But we know, at last, that the fortress of the old city stood where the Church of Aracoeli stands, and that the temple was on the other side, over against the Palatine, and standing back a little from the Tarpeian rock, so that the open square of today is just between the places of the two. And when one goes up the steps on the right, behind the right-hand building, one comes to a quiet lane, where German students of archæology live in a little colony by themselves and have their Institute at the end of it, and a hospital of their own; and there, in a wall, is a small green door leading into a quiet garden, with a pretty view. Along the outer edge runs a low stone wall, and there are seats where one may rest and dream under the trees, a place where one might fancy lovers meeting in the moonlight, or old men sunning themselves of an autumn afternoon, or children playing among the flowers on a spring morning.

But it is a place of fear and dread, ever since Tarpeia died there for her betrayal, and one may dream other dreams there than those of peace and love. The vision of a pale, strong man rises at the edge, bound and helpless, lifted from the ground by savage hands and hurled from the brink to the death below,—Manlius, who saved the Capitol and loved the people, and was murdered by the nobles,—and many others after him, just and unjust, whirled through the clear air to violent destruction for their bad or their good deeds, as justice or injustice chanced to be in the ascendant of the hour. And then, in the Middle Age, the sweet-scented garden was the place of terrible executions, and the gallows stood there permanently for many years, and men were hanged and drawn and quartered there, week by week, month by month, all the year round, the chief magistrate of Rome looking on from the window of the Senator's palace, as a duty; till one of them sickened at the sight of blood, and ordained that justice should be done at the Bridge of Sant' Angelo, and at Tor di Nona, and in the castle itself, and the summit of the fatal rock was left to the birds, the wild flowers, and the merciful purity of nature. And that happened four hundred years ago.

Until our own time there were prisons deep down in the old Roman vaults. At first, as in old days, the place of confinement was in the Mamertine prison, on the southeastern slope, beneath which was the hideous Tullianum, deepest and darkest of all, whence no captive ever came out alive to the upper air again. In the Middle Age, the prison was below the vaults of the Roman Tabularium on the side of the Forum, but it is said that the windows looked inward upon a deep court of the Senator's palace. As civilization advanced, it was transferred a story higher, to a more healthy region of the building, but the Capitoline prison was not finally given up till the reign of Pius the Ninth, at which time it had become a place of confinement for debtors only.

Institutions and parties in Rome have always had a tendency to cling to places more than in other cities. It is thus that during so many centuries the Lateran was the headquarters of the Popes, the Capitol the rallying-place of the ever-smouldering republicanism of the people, and the Castle of Sant' Angelo the seat of actual military power as contrasted with spiritual dominion and popular aspiration. So far as the latter is concerned its vitality is often forgotten and its vigour underestimated.

One must consider the enormous odds against which the spirit of popular emancipation had to struggle in order to appreciate the strength it developed. A book has been written called 'The One Hundred and Sixty-one rebellions of papal subjects between 896 and 1859'—a title which gives an average of about sixteen to a century; and though the furious partiality of the writer calls them all rebellions against the popes, whereas a very large proportion were revolts against the nobles, and Rienzi's attempt was to bring the Pope back to Rome, yet there can be no question as to the vitality which could produce even half of such a result; and it may be remembered that in almost every rising of the Roman people the rabble first made a rush for the Capitol, and, if successful, seized other points afterwards. In the darkest ages the words 'Senate' and 'Republic' were never quite forgotten and were never dissociated from the sacred place. The names of four leaders, Arnold of Brescia, Stefaneschi, Rienzi and Porcari, recall the four greatest efforts of the Middle Age; the first partially succeeded and left its mark, the second was fruitless because permanent success was then impossible against such odds, the third miscarried because Rienzi was a madman and Cardinal Albornoz a man of genius, and the fourth, because the people were contented and wanted no revolution at all. The first three of those men seized the Capitol at once, the fourth intended to do so. It was always the immediate object of every revolt, and the power to ring the great Patarina, the ancient bell stolen by the Romans from Viterbo, had for centuries a directing influence in Roman brawls. Its solemn knell announced the death of a Pope, or tolled the last hour of condemned criminals, and men crossed themselves as it echoed through the streets; but at the tremendous sound of its alarm, rung backward till the tower rocked, the Romans ran to arms, the captains of the Regions buckled on their breastplates and displayed their banners, and the people flocked together to do deeds of sudden violence and shortlived fury. In a few hours Stefaneschi of Trastevere swept the nobles from the city; between noon and night Rienzi was master of Rome, and it was from the Capitol that the fierce edicts of both threatened destruction to the unready barons. They fled to their mountain dens like wolves at sunrise, but the night was never slow to descend upon liberty's short day, and with the next dawn the ruined towers began to rise again; the people looked with dazed indifference upon the fall of their leader, and presently they were again slaves, as they had been—Arnold was hanged and burned, Stefaneschi languished in a dungeon, Rienzi wandered over Europe a homeless exile, the straight, stiff corpse of brave Stephen Porcari hung, clad in black, from the battlement of Sant' Angelo. It was always the same story. The Barons were the Sabines, the Latins and the Æquians of Mediæval Rome; but there was neither a Romulus nor a Cincinnatus to lead the Roman people against steel-clad masters trained to fighting from boyhood, bold by inheritance, and sure of a power which they took every day by violence and held year after year by force.

In imagination one would willingly sweep away the three stiff buildings on the Capitol, the bronze Emperor and his horse, the marble Castor and Pollux, the proper arcades, the architectural staircase, and the even pavement, and see the place as it used to be five hundred years ago. It was wild then. Out of broken and rocky ground rose the ancient Church of Aracoeli, the Church of the Altar of Heaven, built upon that altar which the Sibyl of Tivoli bade Augustus raise to the Firstborn of God. To the right a rude fortress, grounded in the great ruins of Rome's Archive House, flanked by rough towers, approached only by that old triumphal way, where old women slowly roasted beans in iron chafing-dishes over little fires that were sheltered from the north wind by the vast wall. Before the fortress a few steps led to the main door, and over that was a great window and a balcony with a rusty iron balustrade—the one upon which Rienzi came out at the last, with the standard in his hand. The castle itself not high, but strong, brown and battered. Beyond it, the gallows, and the place of death. Below it, a desolation of tumbling rock and ruin, where wild flowers struggled for a holding in spring, and the sharp cactus sent out ever-green points between the stones. Far down, a confusion of low, brown houses, with many dark towers standing straight up from them like charred trees above underbrush in a fire-blasted forest. Beyond all, the still loneliness of far mountains. That was the scene, and those were the surroundings, in which the Roman people reinstituted a Roman Senate, after a lapse of nearly six hundred years, in consequence of the agitation begun and long continued by Arnold of Brescia.

Muratori, in his annals, begins his short account of the year 1141 by saying that the history of Italy during that period is almost entirely hidden in darkness, because there are neither writers nor chroniclers of the time, and he goes on to say that no one knows why the town of Tivoli had so long rebelled against the Popes. The fact remains, astonishing and ridiculous,—in the middle of the twelfth century imperial Rome was at war with suburban Tivoli, and Tivoli was the stronger; for when the Romans persuaded Pope Innocent the Second to lay siege to the town, the inhabitants sallied out furiously, cut their assailants to pieces, seized all their arms and provisions, and drove the survivors to ignominious flight. Hence the implacable hatred between Tivoli and Rome; and Tivoli became an element in the struggles that followed.

Now for many years, Rome had been in the hands of a family of converted Jews, known as the Pierleoni, from Pietro Leone, first spoken of in the chronicles as an iniquitous usurer of enormous wealth. They became prefects of Rome; they took possession of Sant' Angelo and were the tyrants of the city, and finally they became the Pope's great enemies, the allies of Roger of Apulia, and makers of antipopes, of whom the first was either Pietro's son or his grandson. They had on their side possession, wealth, the support of a race which never looks upon apostasy from its creed as final, the alliance of King Roger and of Duke Roger, his son, and the countenance, if not the friendship, of Arnold of Brescia, the excommunicated monk of northern Italy, and the pupil of the romantic Abelard. And the Pierleoni had against them the Popes, the great Frangipani family with most of the nobles, and Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, who has been called the Bismarck of the Church. Arnold of Brescia was no ordinary fanatic. He was as brave as Stefaneschi, as pure-hearted as Stephen Porcari, as daring and eloquent as Rienzi in his best days. The violent deeds of his followers have been imputed to him, and brought him to his end; but it was his great adversary, Saint Bernard, who expressed a regretful wish 'that his teachings might have been as irreproachable as his life.' The doctrine for which he died at last was political, rather than spiritual, human rather than theological. In all but his monk's habit he was a layman in his later years, as he had been when he first wandered to France and sat at the feet of the gentle Abelard; but few Churchmen of that day were as spotless in their private lives.

He was an agitator, a would-be reformer, a revolutionary; and the times craved change. The trumpet call of the first Crusade had roused the peoples of Europe, and the distracted forces of the western world had been momentarily concentrated in a general and migratory movement of religious conquest; forty years later the fortunes of the Latins in the East were already waning, and Saint Bernard was meditating the inspiring words that sent four hundred thousand warriors to the rescue of the Holy Places. What Bernard was about to attempt for Palestine, Arnold dreamed of accomplishing for Rome. In his eyes she was holy, too, her ruins were the sepulchre of a divine freedom, worthy to be redeemed from tyranny even at the price of blood, and he would have called from the tomb the spirit of murdered liberty to save and illuminate mankind. Where Bernard was a Christian, Arnold was a Roman in soul; where Bernard was an inspired monk, Arnold was in heart a Christian, of that first Apostolic republic which had all things in common.

At such a time such a man could do much. Rome was in the utmost distress. At the election of Innocent the Second, the Jewish Pierleoni had set up one of themselves as antipope, and Innocent had been obliged to escape in spite of the protection of the still powerful Frangipani, leaving the Israelitish antipope to rule Rome, in spite of the Emperor, and in alliance with King Roger for nine years, until his death, when it required Saint Bernard's own presence and all the strength of his fiery words to dissuade the Romans from accepting another spiritual and temporal ruler imposed upon them by the masterful Pierleoni. So Innocent returned at last, a good man, much tried by misfortune, but neither wise nor a leader of men. At that time the soldiers of Rome were beaten in open battle by the people of Tivoli, a humiliation which it was not easy to forget. And it is more than probable that the Pierleoni looked on at the Pope's failure in scornful inaction from their stronghold of Sant' Angelo, which they had only nominally surrendered to Innocent's authority.

From a distance, Arnold of Brescia sadly contemplated Rome's disgrace and the evil state of the Roman people. The yet unwritten words of Saint Bernard were already more than true. They are worth repeating here, in Gibbon's strong translation, for they perfect the picture of the times.

'Who,' asks Bernard, 'is ignorant of the vanity and arrogance of the Romans? a nation nursed in sedition, untractable, and scorning to obey, unless they are too feeble to resist. When they promise to serve, they aspire to reign; if they swear allegiance, they watch the opportunity of revolt; yet they vent their discontent in loud clamours, if your doors, or your counsels, are shut against them. Dexterous in mischief, they have never learnt the science of doing good. Odious to earth and heaven, impious to God, seditious among themselves, jealous of their neighbours, inhuman to strangers, they love no one, by no one are they beloved; and while they wish to inspire fear, they live in base and continual apprehension. They will not submit; they know not how to govern; faithless to their superiors, intolerable to their equals, ungrateful to their benefactors, and alike impudent in their demands and their refusals. Lofty in promise, poor in execution: adulation and calumny, perfidy and treason, are the familiar arts of their policy.'

Fearless and in earnest, Arnold came to Rome, and began to preach a great change, a great reform, a great revival, and many heard him and followed him; and it was not in the Pope's power to silence him, nor bring him to any trial. The Pierleoni would support any sedition against Innocent; the Roman people were weary of masters, they listened with delight to Arnold's fierce condemnation of all temporal power, that of the Pope and that of the Emperor alike, and the old words, Republic, Senate, Consul, had not lost their life in the slumber of five hundred years. The Capitol was there, for a Senate house, and there were men in Rome to be citizens and Senators. Revolution was stirring, and Innocent had recourse to the only weapon left him in his weakness. Arnold was preaching as a Christian and a Catholic. The Pope excommunicated him in a general Council. In the days of the Crusades the Major Interdiction was not an empty form of words; to applaud a revolutionary was one thing, to attend the sermons of a man condemned to hell was a graver matter; Arnold's disciples deserted him, his friends no longer dared to protect him under the penalty of eternal damnation, and he went out from Rome a fugitive and an outcast.

Wandering from Italy to France, from France to Germany, and at last to Switzerland, he preached his doctrines without fear, though he had upon him the mark of Cain; but if the temporal sovereignty against which he spoke could not directly harm him, the spiritual power pursued him hither and thither, like a sword of flame. A weaker man would have renounced his beliefs, or would have disappeared in a distant obscurity; but Arnold was not made to yield. Goaded by persecution, divinely confident of right, he faced danger and death and came back to Rome.

He arrived at a moment when the people were at once elated by the submission of Tivoli, and exasperated against Innocent because he refused to raze that city to the ground. The Pierleoni were ever ready to encourage rebellion. The Romans, at the words Liberty and Republic, rose in a body, rushed to the Capitol, proclaimed the Commonwealth, and forthwith elected a Senate which assumed absolute sovereignty of the city, and renewed the war with Tivoli. The institution then refounded was not wholly abolished until, under the Italian kings, a representative government took its place.

The success and long supremacy of Arnold's teaching have been unfairly called his 'reign'; yet he neither caused himself to be elected a Senator, nor at any time, so far as we can learn, occupied any office whatsoever; neither did he profit in fortune by the changes he had wrought, and to the last he wore the garb of poverty and led the simple life which had extorted the reluctant admiration of his noblest adversary. But he could not impose upon others the virtues he practised himself, nor was it in his power to direct the force his teachings had called into life. For the time being the Popes were powerless against the new order. Innocent is said to have died of grief and humiliation, almost before the revolution was complete. His successor, Celestin the Second, reigned but five months and a half, busy in a quarrel with King Roger, and still the new Senate ruled the city.


But saving that it endured, it left no mark of good in Rome; the nobles saw that a new weapon was placed in their hands, they easily elected themselves to office, and the people, deluded by the name of a Republic, had exchanged the sovereignty of the Pope, or the allegiance of the Emperor, for the far more ruthless tyranny of the barons. The Jewish Pierleoni were rich and powerful still, but since Rome was strong enough to resist the Vatican, the Pontificate was no longer a prize worth seizing, and they took instead, by bribery or force, the Consulship or the Presidency of the Senate. Jordan, the brother of the antipope Anacletus, obtained the office, and the violent death of the next Pope, Lucius the Second, was one of the first events of his domination.

Lucius refused to bear any longer the humiliation to which his predecessors had tamely submitted. Himself in arms, and accompanied by such followers as he could collect, the Pope made a desperate attempt to dislodge the Senate and their guards from the Capitol, and at the head of the storming party he endeavoured to ascend the old road, known then as Fabatosta. But the Pierleoni and their men were well prepared for the assault, and made a desperate and successful resistance. The Pope fell at the head of his soldiers, struck by a stone on the temple, mortally wounded, but not dead. In hasty retreat, the dying man was borne by his routed soldiers to the monastery of Saint Gregory on the Coelian, under the safe protection of the trusty Frangipani, who held the Palatine, the Circus Maximus, and the Colosseum. Of all the many Popes who died untimely deaths he was the only one, I believe, who fell in battle. And he got his deathblow on the slope of that same Capitol where Gracchus and Manlius had died before him, each in good cause.

It has been wrongly said that he had all the nobles with him, and that the revolution was of the people alone, aided by the Pierleoni. This is not true. So far as can be known, the Frangipani were his only faithful friends, but it is possible that the Count of Tusculum, seventh in descent from Theodora, and nephew of the first Colonna, at that time holding a part of the Aventine, may have also been the Pope's ally. Be that as it may, the force that Lucius led was very small, and the garrison of the Capitol was overwhelmingly strong.

Some say also that Arnold of Brescia was not actually in Rome at that time, that the first revolution was the result of his unforgotten teachings, bearing fruit in the hearts of the nobles and the people, and that he did not come to the city till Pope Lucius was dead. However that may be, from that time forward, till the coming of Barbarossa, Arnold was the idol of the Romans, and their vanity and arrogance knew no bounds. Pope Eugenius the Third was enthroned in the Lateran under the protection of the Frangipani, but within the week he was forced to escape by night to the mountains. The Pierleoni held Sant' Angelo; the people seized and fortified the Vatican, deprived the Pope's Prefect of his office, and forced the few nobles who resisted them to swear allegiance to Jordan Pierleone, making him in fact dictator, and in name their 'Patrician.' The Pope retorted by excommunicating him, and allying himself with Tivoli, but was forced to a compromise whereby he acknowledged the Senate and the supremacy of the Roman people, who, already tired of their dictator, agreed to restore the Prefect to office, and to express some sort of obedience, more spiritual than temporal, to the Pope's authority. But Arnold was still supreme, and after a short stay in the city Eugenius was again a fugitive.

It was then that he passed into France, when Lewis the Seventh was ready armed to lead the Second Crusade to the Holy Land; and through that stirring time Rome is dark and sullen, dwelling aloof from Church and Empire in the new-found illusion of an unreal and impossible greatness. Seven hundred years later an Italian patriot exclaimed, 'We have an Italy, but we have no Italians.' And so Arnold of Brescia must many times have longed for Romans to people a free Rome. He had made a republic, but he could not make free men; he had called up a vision, but he could not give it reality; like Rienzi and the rest, he had 'mistaken memories for hopes,' and he was fore-destined to pay for his belief in his country's life with the sacrifice of his own. He had dreamed of a liberty serene and high, but he had produced only a dismal confusion: in place of peace he had brought senseless strife; instead of a wise and simple consul, he had given the Romans the keen and rapacious son of a Jewish usurer for a dictator; where he had hoped to destroy the temporal power of Pope and Emperor, he had driven the greatest forces of his age, and two of the greatest men, to an alliance against him.

So he perished. Eugenius died in Tivoli, Anastasius reigned a few months, and sturdy Nicholas Breakspeare was Adrian the Fourth. Conrad the Emperor also died, poisoned by the physicians King Roger sent him from famous Salerno, and Frederick Barbarossa of Hohenstauffen, his nephew, reigned in his stead. Adrian and Frederick quarrelled at their first meeting in the sight of all their followers in the field, for the young Emperor would not hold the Englishman's stirrup on the first day. On the second he yielded, and Pope and Emperor together were invincible. Then the Roman Senate and people sent out ambassadors, who spoke hugely boasting words to the red-haired soldier, and would have set conditions on his crowning, so that he laughed aloud at them; and he and Adrian went into the Leonine city, but not into Rome itself, and the Englishman crowned the German. Yet the Romans would fight, and in the heat of the summer noon they crossed the bridge and killed such straggling guards as they could find; then the Germans turned and mowed them down, and killed a thousand of the best, while the Pierleoni, as often before, looked on in sullen neutrality from Sant' Angelo, waiting to take the side of the winner. Then the Emperor and the Pope departed together, leaving Rome to its factions and its parties.

Suddenly Arnold of Brescia is with them, a prisoner, but how taken no man can surely tell. And with them also, by Soracte, far out in the northern Campagna, is Di Vico, the Prefect, to judge the leader of the people. The Pope and the Emperor may have looked on, while Di Vico judged the heretic and the rebel; but they did not themselves judge him. The Prefect, Lord of Viterbo, had been long at war with the new-formed Senate and the city, and owed Arnold bitter hatred and grudge.

The end was short. Arnold told them all boldly that his teaching was just, and that he would die for it. He knelt down, lifted up his hands to heaven, and commended his soul to God. Then they hanged him, and when he was dead they burnt his body and scattered the ashes in the river, lest any relics of him should be taken to Rome to work new miracles of revolution. No one knows just where he died, but only that it was most surely far out in the Campagna, in the hot summer days, in the year 1155, and not within the city, as has been so often asserted.

He was a martyr—whether in a good cause or a foolish one, let those judge who call themselves wise; there was no taint of selfishness in him, no thought of ambition for his own name, and there was no spot upon his life in an age of which the evils cannot be written down, and are better not guessed. He died for something in which he believed enough to die for it, and belief cannot be truer to itself than that. So far as the Church of today may speak, all Churchmen know that his heresies of faith, if they were real, were neither great nor vital, and that he was put to death, not for them, but because he was become the idol and the prophet of a rebellious city. His doctrine had spread over Italy, his words had set the country aflame, his mere existence was a lasting cause of bloody strife between city and city, princes and people, nobles and vassals. The times were not ripe, and in the inevitable course of fate it was foreordained that he must perish, condemned by Popes and Emperors, Kings and Princes; but of all whole-souled reformers, of all patriot leaders, of all preachers of liberty, past and living, it is not too much to say that Arnold of Brescia was the truest, the bravest and the simplest.

       * * * * *

To them all, the Capitol has been the central object of dreams, and upon its walls the story of their failure has often been told in grotesque figures of themselves. When Rienzi was first driven out, his effigy was painted, hanged by the heels upon one of the towers, and many another 'enemy of the state' was pictured there—Giuliano Cesarini, for one, and the great Sforza, himself, with a scornful and insulting epigraph; as Andrea del Castagno, justly surnamed the 'Assassin,' painted upon the walls of the Signoria in Florence the likeness of all those who had joined in the great conspiracy of the Pazzi, hung up by the feet, as may be seen to this day.

It has ever been a place of glory, a place of death and a place of shame, but since the great modern changes it is meant to be only the seat of honour, and upon the slope of the Capitol the Italians, in the first flush of victorious unity, have begun to raise a great monument to their greatest idol, King Victor Emmanuel. If it is not the best work of art of the sort in existence it will probably enjoy the distinction of being the largest, and it is by no means the worst, for the central statue of the 'Honest King' has been modelled with marvellous skill and strength by Chiaradia, whose name is worthy to be remembered; yet the vastness of the architectural theatre provided for its display betrays again the giantism of the Latin race, and when in a future century the broad flood of patriotism shall have subsided within the straight river bed of sober history, men will wonder why Victor Emmanuel, honest and brave though he was, received the greater share of praise, and Cavour and Garibaldi the less, seeing that he got Italy by following the advice of the one, if not by obeying his dictation, and by accepting the kingdom which the other had destined for a republic, but was forced to yield to the monarchy by the superior genius of the statesman.

That day is not far distant. After a period of great and disastrous activity, the sleepy indifference of 1830 is again settling upon Rome, the race for imaginary wealth is over, time is a drug in the market, money is scarce, dwellings are plentiful, the streets are quiet by day and night, and only those who still have something to lose or who cherish very modest hopes of gain, still take an interest in financial affairs. One may dream again, as one dreamed thirty years ago, when all the clocks were set once a fortnight to follow the sun.

Rome is restoring to Cæsar the things that are Cæsar's. They are much bigger and finer things than the symmetrical, stuccoed cubes which have lately been piled up everywhere in heaven-offending masses, and one is glad to come back to them after the nightmare that has lasted twenty years. Moreover, one is surprised to find how little permanent effect has been produced by the squandering of countless millions during the building mania, beyond a cruel destruction of trees, and a few modifications of natural local accidents. To do the moderns justice, they have done no one act of vandalism as bad as fifty, at least, committed by the barons of the Middle Age and the Popes of the Renascence, though they have shown much worse taste in such new things as they have set up in place of the old.

The charm of Rome has never lain in its architecture, nor in the beauty of its streets, though the loveliness of its old-fashioned gardens contributed much which is now in great part lost. Nor can it be said that the enthralling magic of the city we used to know lay especially in its historical association, since Rome has been loved to folly by half-educated girls, by flippant women of the world and by ignorant idlers without number, as well as by most men of genius who have ever spent much time there.


In the Middle Age one man might know all that was to be known. Dante did; so did Lionardo da Vinci. But times have changed since a mediæval scholar wrote a book 'Concerning all things and certain others also.' We cannot all be archæologists. Perhaps when we go and stand in the Forum we have a few general ideas about the relative position of the old buildings; we know the Portico of the Twelve Gods in Council, the Temple of Concord, the Basilica Julia, the Court of Vesta, the Temple of Castor and Pollux; we have a more vague notion of the Senate Hall; the hideous arch of Septimius Severus stares us in the face; so does the lovely column of evil Phocas, the monster of the east, the red-handed centurion-usurper who murdered an Emperor and his five sons to reach the throne. And perhaps we have been told where the Rostra stood, and the Rostra Julia, and that the queer fragment of masonry by the arch is supposed to be the 'Umbilicus,' the centre of the Roman world. There is no excuse for not knowing these things any more than there is any very strong reason for knowing them, unless one be a student. There is a plan of the Forum in every guide book, with a description that changes with each new edition.

And yet, without much definite knowledge,—with 'little Latin and less Greek,' perhaps,—many men and women, forgetting for one moment the guide book in their hands, have leaned upon a block of marble with half-closed, musing eyes, and breath drawn so slow that it is almost quite held in day-dream wonder, and they have seen a vision rise of past things and beings, even in the broad afternoon sunshine, out of stones that remember Cæsar's footsteps, and from walls that have echoed Antony's speech. There they troop up the Sacred Way, the shock-headed, wool-draped, beak-nosed Romans; there they stand together in groups at the corner of Saturn's temple; there the half-naked plebeian children clamber upon the pedestals of the columns to see the sights, and double the men's deep tones with a treble of childish chatter; there the noble boy with his bordered toga, his keen young face, and longing backward look, is hurried home out of the throng by the tall household slave, who carries his school tablets and is answerable with his skin for the boy's safety. The Consul Major goes by, twelve lictors marching in single file before him—black-browed, square-jawed, relentless men, with their rods and axes. Then two closed litters are carried past by big, black, oily fellows, beside whom walk freedmen and Greek slaves, and three or four curled and scented parasites, the shadows of the great men. Under their very feet the little street boys play their games of pitching at tiny pyramids of dried lupins, unless they have filberts, and lupins are almost as good; and as the dandified hanger-on of Mæcenas, straining his ear for the sound of his patron's voice from within the litter, heedlessly crushes the little yellow beans under his sandal, the particular small boy whose stake is smashed clenches his fist, and with flashing eyes curses the dandy's dead to the fourth generation of ascendants, and he and his companions turn and scatter like mice as one of the biggest slaves threateningly raises his hand.


Absurd details rise in the dream. An old crone is selling roasted chestnuts in the shadow of the temple of Castor and Pollux; a tipsy soldier is reeling to his quarters with his helmet stuck on wrong side foremost; a knot of Hebrew money-changers, with long curls and high caps, are talking eagerly in their own language, clutching the little bags they hide in the sleeves of their yellow Eastern gowns—the men who mourned for Cæsar and for Augustus, whose descendants were to burn Rienzi's body among the thistles by Augustus's tomb, whose offspring were to breed the Pierleoni; a bright-eyed, skinny woman of the people boxes her daughter's ears for having smiled at one of the rich men's parasites, and the girl, already crying, still looks after the fashionable good-for-nothing, under her mother's upraised arm.

All about stretches the vast humming city of low-built houses covering the short steep hills and filling all the hollow between. Northeastward lies the seething Suburra; the yellow river runs beyond the Velabrum and the cattle market to the west; southward rise the enchanted palaces of Cæsar; due east is the Esquiline of evil fame, redeemed and made lovely with trees and fountains by Mæcenas, but haunted even today, say modern Romans, by the spectres of murderers and thieves who there died bloody deaths of quivering torture. All around, as the sun sinks and the cool shadows quench the hot light on the white pavements, the ever-increasing crowds of men—always more men than women—move inward, half unconsciously, out of inborn instinct, to the Forum, the centre of the Empire, the middle of the world, the boiling-point of the whole earth's riches and strength and life.

Then as the traveller muses out his short space of rest, the vision grows confused, and Rome's huge ghosts go stalking, galloping, clanging, raving through the surging dream-throng,—Cæsar, Brutus, Pompey, Catiline, Cicero, Caligula, Vitellius, Hadrian,—and close upon them Gauls and Goths and Huns, and all barbarians, till the dream is a medley of school-learned names, that have suddenly taken shadows of great faces out of Rome's shadow storehouse, and gorgeous arms and streaming draperies, and all at once the sight-seer shivers as the sun goes down, and passes his hand over his eyes, and shakes himself, and goes away rather hastily, lest he should fall sick of a fever and himself be gathered to the ghosts he has seen.

It matters very little whether the day-dream much resembles the reality of ages long ago, whether boys played with lupins or with hazel-nuts then, or old women roasted chestnuts in the streets, or whether such unloving spirits should be supposed to visit one man in one vision. The traveller has had an impression which has not been far removed from emotion, and his day has not been lost, if it be true that emotion is the soul's only measure of time. There, if anywhere, lies Rome's secret. The place, the people, the air, the crystal brightness of winter, the passion-stirring scirocco of autumn, the loveliness of the long spring, the deep, still heat of summer, the city, the humanity, the memories of both, are all distillers of emotion in one way or another.

Above all, the night is beautiful in Rome, when the moon is high and all is quiet. Go down past the silver Forum to the Colosseum and see what it is then, and perhaps you will know what it was in the old days. Such white stillness as this fell then also, by night, on all the broad space around the amphitheatre of all amphitheatres, the wonder of the world, the chief monument of Titus, when his hand had left of Jerusalem not one stone upon another. The same moonbeams fell slanting across the same huge walls, and whitened the sand of the same broad arena when the great awning was drawn back at night to air the place of so much death. In the shadow, the steps are still those up which Dion the Senator went to see mad Commodus play the gladiator and the public fool. On one of those lower seats he sat, the grave historian, chewing laurel leaves to steady his lips and keep down his laughter, lest a smile should cost his head; and he showed the other Senators that it was a good thing for their safety, and there they sat, in their rows, throughout the long afternoon, solemnly chewing laurel leaves for their lives, while the strong madman raved on the sand below, and slew, and bathed himself in the blood of man and beast. There is a touch of frightful humour in the tale.

And one stands there alone in the stillness and remembers how, on that same night, when all was over, when the corpses had been dragged away, it may have been almost as it is now. Only, perhaps, far off among the arches and on the tiers of seats, there might be still a tiny light moving here and there; the keepers of that terrible place would go their rounds with their little earthen lamps; they would search everywhere in the spectators' places for small things that might have been lost in the press—a shoulder-buckle of gold or silver or bronze, an armlet, a woman's earring, a purse, perhaps, with something in it. And the fitful night-breeze blew now and then and made them shade their lights with their dark hands. By the 'door of the dead' a torch was burning down in its socket, its glare falling upon a heap of armour, mostly somewhat battered, and all of it blood-stained; a score of black-browed smiths were picking it over and distributing it in heaps, according to its condition. Now and then, from the deep vaults below the arena, came the distant sound of a clanging gate or of some piece of huge stage machinery falling into its place, and a muffled calling of men. One of the keepers, with his light, was singing softly some ancient minor strain as he searched the tiers. That would be all, and presently even that would cease.

One thinks of such things naturally enough; and then the dream runs backward, against the sun, as dreams will, and the moon rays weave a vision of dim day. Straightway tier upon tier, eighty thousand faces rise, up to the last high rank beneath the awning's shade. High in the front, under the silken canopy sits the Emperor of the world, sodden-faced, ghastly, swine-eyed, robed in purple; all alone, save for his dwarf, bull-nosed, slit-mouthed, hunch-backed, sly. Next, on the lowest bench, the Vestals, old and young, the elder looking on with hard faces and dry eyes, the youngest with wide and startled looks, and parted lips, and quick-drawn breath that sobs and is caught at sight of each deadly stab and gash of broadsword and trident, and hands that twitch and clutch each other as a man's foot slips in a pool of blood, and the heavy harness clashes in the red, wet sand. Then grey-haired senators; then curled and perfumed knights of Rome; and then the people, countless, vast, frenzied, blood-thirsty, stretching out a hundred thousand hands with thumbs reversed, commanding death to the fallen—full eighty thousand throats of men and women roaring, yelling, shrieking over each ended life. A theatre indeed, a stage indeed, a play wherein every scene of every act ends in sudden death.

And then the wildest, deadliest howl of all on that day; a handful of men and women in white, and one girl in the midst of them; the clang of an iron gate thrown suddenly open; a rushing and leaping of great, lithe bodies of beasts, yellow and black and striped, the sand flying in clouds behind them; a worrying and crushing of flesh and bone, as of huge cats worrying little white mice; sharp cries, then blood, then silence, then a great laughter, and the sodden face of mankind's drunken master grows almost human for a moment with a very slow smile. The wild beasts are driven out with brands and red-hot irons, step by step, dragging backward nameless mangled things in their jaws, and the bull-nosed dwarf offers the Emperor a cup of rare red wine. It drips from his mouth while he drinks, as the blood from the tiger's fangs.

“What were they?” he asks.

“Christians,” explains the dwarf.



The Region of Sant' Angelo, as has been already said, takes its name from the small church famous in Rienzi's story. It encloses all of what was once the Ghetto, and includes the often-mentioned Theatre of Marcellus, now the palace of the Orsini, but successively a fortress of the Pierleoni, appropriately situated close to the Jews' quarter, and the home of the Savelli. The history of the Region is the history of the Jews in Rome, from Augustus to the destruction of their dwelling-place, about 1890. In other words, the Hebrew colony actually lived during nineteen hundred years at that point of the Tiber, first on one side of the river, and afterwards on the other.

It is said that the first Jews were brought to Rome by Pompey, as prisoners of war, and soon afterwards set free, possibly on their paying a ransom accumulated by half starving themselves, and selling the greater part of their allowance of corn during a long period. Seventeen years later, they were a power in Rome; they had lent Julius Cæsar enormous sums, which he repaid with exorbitant interest, and after his death they mourned him, and kept his funeral pyre burning seven days and nights in the Forum. A few years after that time, Augustus established them on the opposite side of the Tiber, over against the bridge of Cestius and the island. Under Tiberius their numbers had increased to fifty thousand; they had synagogues in Rome, Genoa and Naples, and it is noticeable that their places of worship were always built upon the shore of the sea, or the bank of a river, whence their religious services came to be termed 'orationes littorales'—which one might roughly translate as 'alongshore prayers.'

They were alternately despised, hated, feared and flattered. Tacitus calls them a race of men hated by the gods, yet their kings, Herod and Agrippa—one asks how the latter came by an ancient Roman name—were treated with honour and esteem. The latter was in fact brought up with Drusus, the son of the Emperor Tiberius, his son was on terms of the greatest intimacy with Claudius, and his daughter or grand-daughter Berenice was long and truly loved by Titus, who would have made her Empress had it been possible, to the great scandal of the Emperor's many detractors, as Suetonius has told. Sabina Poppæa, Nero's lowly and evil second wife, loved madly one Aliturius, a Jewish comic actor and a favourite of Nero; and when the younger Agrippa induced Nero to imprison Saint Peter and Saint Paul, and Josephus came to Pozzuoli, having suffered shipwreck like the latter, this same Josephus, the historian of the Jews, got the actor's friendship and by his means moved Poppæa, and through her, Nero, to a first liberation of those whom he describes as 'certain priests of my acquaintance, very excellent persons, whom on a small and trifling charge Felix the procurator of Judæa had put in irons and sent to Rome to plead their cause before Cæsar.' It should not be forgotten that Josephus was himself a pupil of Banus, who, though not a Christian, is believed to have been a follower of John the Baptist. And here Saint John Chrysostom, writing about the year 400, takes up the story and tells how Saint Paul attempted to convert Poppæa and to persuade her to leave Nero, since she had two other husbands living; and how Nero turned upon him and accused him of many sins, and imprisoned him, and when he saw that even in prison the Apostle still worked upon Poppæa's conscience, he at last condemned him to die. Other historians have said that Poppæa turned Jewess for the sake of her Jewish actor, and desired to be buried by the Jewish rite when she was dying of the savage kick that killed her and her child—the only act of violence Nero seems to have ever regretted. However that may be, it is sure that she loved the comedian, and that for a time he had unbounded influence in Rome. And so great did their power grow that Claudius Rutilius, a Roman magistrate and poet, a contemporary of Chrysostom, and not a Christian, expressed the wish that Judæa might never have been conquered by Pompey and subdued again by Titus, 'since the contagion of the cancer, cut out, spreads wider, and the conquered nation grinds its conquerors.'

And so, with varying fortune, they survived the empire which they had seen founded, and the changes of a thousand years, they themselves inwardly unchanged and unchanging, while following many arts and many trades besides money-lending, and they outlived persecution and did not decay in prosperity. In their seven Roman synagogues they set up models of the temple Titus had destroyed, and of the seven-branched candlestick and of the holy vessels of Jerusalem which were preserved in the temple of Peace as trophies of the Jews' subjection; they made candlesticks and vessels of like shape for their synagogues, nursing their hatred, praying for deliverance, and because those sacred things were kept in Rome, it became a holy city for them, and they throve; and by and by they oppressed their victors. Then came Domitian the Jew-hater, and turned them out of their houses and laid heavy taxes upon them, and forced them for a time to live in the caves and wild places and catacombs of the Aventine, and they became dealers in spells and amulets and love philtres, which they sold dear to the ever-superstitious Romans, and Juvenal wrote scornful satires on them. Presently they returned, under Trajan, to their old dwellings by the Tiber. Thence they crept along the Cestian bridge to the island, and from the island by the Fabrician bridge to the other shore, growing rich again by degrees, and crowding their little houses upon the glorious portico of Octavia, where Vespasian and Titus had met the Senate at dawn on the day when they triumphed over the Jews and the fall of Jerusalem, and the very place of the Jews' greatest humiliation became their stronghold for ages.

Then all at once, in the twelfth century, they are the masters. The Pierleoni hold Sant' Angelo, and close to their old quarters fortify the Theatre of Marcellus, and a Pierleone is antipope in name, but a real and ruling Pope in political fact, while Innocent the Second wanders helplessly from town to town, and later, while Lewis the Seventh of France leads the Second Crusade to the rescue of the Holy Sepulchre, the 'Vicar of Christ' is an outcast before the race of those by whom Christ was crucified. That was the highest point of the Jews' greatness in Rome.


From a print of the last century]

But it is noticeable that while the Hebrew race possesses in the very highest degree the financial energy to handle and accumulate money, and the tenacity to keep it for a long time, it has never shown that sort of strength which can hold land or political power in adverse circumstances. In the twelfth century the Pierleoni were the masters of Rome; in the thirteenth, they had disappeared from history, though they still held the Theatre of Marcellus; in the fourteenth they seem to have perished altogether and are never heard of again. And it should not be argued that this was due to any overwhelming persecution and destruction of the Jews, since the Pierleoni's first step was an outward, if not a sincere, conversion to Christianity. In strong contrast with these facts stands the history of the Colonna. The researches of the learned Coppi make it almost certain that the Colonna descend from Theodora, the Senatress of Rome, who flourished in the year 914; Pietro della Colonna held Palestrina, and is known to have imprisoned there, 'in an empty cistern,' the governor of Campagna, in the year 1100; like the Orsini, the Colonna boast that during more than five hundred years no treaty was drawn up with the princes of Europe in which their two families were not specifically designated; and at the time of the present writing, in the last days of the nineteenth century, Colonna is still not only one of the greatest names in Europe, but the family is numerous and flourishing, unscathed by the terrible financial disasters which began to ruin Italy in 1888, not notably wealthy, but still in possession of its ancestral palace in Rome, and of immense tracts of land in the hills, in the Campagna, and in the south of Italy—actively engaged, moreover, in the representative government of Italy, strong, solid and full of life, as though but lately risen to eminence from a sturdy country stock—and all this after a career that has certainly lasted eight hundred years, and very probably nearer a thousand. Nor can any one pretend that it owes much to the power or protection of any sovereign, since the Colonna have been in almost constant opposition to the Popes in history, have been exiled and driven from Italy more than once, and have again and again suffered confiscation of all they possessed in the world. There have certainly not been in the same time so many confiscations proclaimed against the Jews.

The question presents itself: why has a prolific race which, as a whole, has survived the fall of kingdoms and empires without end, with singular integrity of original faith and most extraordinary tenacity of tradition and custom, together with the most unbounded ambition and very superior mental gifts, never produced a single family of powerful men able to maintain their position more than a century or two, when the nations of Europe have produced at least half a dozen that have lasted a thousand years? If there be any answer to such a question, it is that the pursuit and care of money have a tendency to destroy the balance and produce degeneration by over-stimulating the mind in one direction, and that not a noble one, at the expense of the other talents; whereas the struggle for political power sharpens most of the faculties, and the acquisition and preservation of landed property during many generations bring men necessarily into a closer contact with nature, and therefore induce a healthier life, tending to increase the vitality of a race rather than to diminish it. Whether this be true or not, it is safe to say that no great family has ever maintained its power long by the possession of money, without great lands; and by 'long' we understand at least three hundred years.

With regard to the Jews in Rome it is a singular fact that they have generally been better treated by the religious than by the civil authorities. They were required to do homage to the latter every year in the Capitol, and on this occasion the Senator of Rome placed his foot upon the heads of the prostrate delegates, by way of accentuating their humiliation and disgrace, but the service they were required to do on the accession of a new Pope was of a different and less degrading nature. The Israelite School awaited the Pope's passage, on his return from taking possession of the Lateran, standing up in a richly hung temporary balcony, before which he passed on his way. They then presented him with a copy of the Pentateuch, which he blessed on the spot, and took away with him. That was all, and it amounted to a sanction, or permission, accorded to the Jewish religion.

As for the sumptuary laws, the first one was decreed in 1215, after the fall of the Pierleoni, and it imposed upon all Jews, and other heretics whomsoever, the wearing of a large circle of yellow cloth sewn upon the breast. In the following century, according to Baracconi, this mark was abolished by the statutes of the city and the Jews were made to wear a scarlet mantle in public; but all licensed Jewish physicians, being regarded as public benefactors, were exempted from the rule. For the profession of medicine is one which the Hebrews have always followed with deserved success, and it frequently happened in Rome that the Pope's private physician, who lived in the Vatican and was a personage of confidence and importance, was a professed Israelite from the Ghetto, who worshipped in the synagogue on Saturdays and looked with contempt and disgust upon his pontifical patient as an eater of unclean food. There was undoubtedly a law compelling a certain number of the Jews to hear sermons once a week, first in the Trinità dei Pellegrini, and afterwards in the Church of Sant' Angelo in the Fishmarket, and it was from time to time rigorously enforced; it was renewed in the present century under Leo the Twelfth, and only finally abolished, together with all other oppressive measures, by Pius the Ninth at the beginning of his reign. But when one considers the frightful persecution suffered by the race in Spain, it must be conceded that they were relatively well treated in Rome by the Popes. Their bitterest enemies and oppressors were the lower classes of the people, who were always ready to attack and rifle the Ghetto on the slightest pretext, and against whose outrageous deeds the Jews had no redress.


It was their treatment by the people, rather than the matter itself, which made the carnival races, in which they were forced to run after a hearty meal, together with a great number of Christians, an intolerable tyranny; and when Clement the Ninth exempted them from it, he did not abolish the races of Christian boys and old men. The people detested the Jews, hooted them, hissed them, and maltreated them with and without provocation. Moses Mendelssohn, the father of the composer, wrote to a friend from Berlin late in the eighteenth century, complaining bitterly that in that self-styled city of toleration, the cry of 'Jew' was raised against him when he ventured into the streets with his little children by daylight, and that the boys threw stones at them, as they passed, so that he only went out late in the evening. Things were no better in Rome under Paul the Fourth, but they were distinctly better in Rome than in Berlin at the time of Mendelssohn's writing.

Paul the Fourth, the Carafa Pope, and the friend of the Inquisition, confined the Jews to the Ghetto. There can be no doubt but that the act was intended as a measure of severity against heretics, and as such Pius the Ninth considered it indefensible and abolished it. In actual fact it must have been of enormous advantage to the Jews, who were thus provided with a stronghold against the persecutions and robberies of the rabble. The little quarter was enclosed by strong walls with gates, and if the Jews were required to be within them at night, on pain of a fine, they and their property were at least in safety. This fact has never been noticed, and accounts for the serenity with which they bore their nightly imprisonment for three centuries. Once within the walls of the Ghetto they were alone, and could go about the little streets in perfect security; they were free from the contamination as well as safe from the depredations of Christians, and within their own precincts they were not forced to wear the hated orange-coloured cap or net which Paul the Fourth imposed upon the Jewish men and women. To a great extent, too, such isolation was already in the traditions of the race. A hundred years earlier Venice had created its Ghetto; so had Prague, and other European cities were not long in following. Morally speaking their confinement may have been a humiliation; in sober fact it was an immense advantage; moreover, a special law of 'emphyteusis' made the leases of their homes inalienable, so long as they paid rent, and forbade the raising of the rent under any circumstances, while leaving the tenant absolute freedom to alter and improve his house as he would, together with the right to sublet it, or to sell the lease itself to any other Hebrew; and these leases became very valuable. Furthermore, though under the jurisdiction of criminal courts, the Jews had their own police in the Ghetto, whom they chose among themselves half yearly.

It has been stated by at least one writer that the church and square of Santa Maria del Pianto—Our Lady of Tears—bears witness to the grief of the people when they were first forced into the Ghetto in the year 1556. But this is an error. The church received the name from a tragedy and a miracle which are said to have taken place before it ten years earlier. It was formerly called San Salvatore in Cacaberis, the Church of the 'Saviour in the district of the kettle-makers.' An image of the Blessed Virgin stood over the door of a house close by; a frightful murder was done in broad day, and at the sight tears streamed from the statue's eyes; the image was taken into the church, which was soon afterwards dedicated to 'Our Lady of Tears,' and the name remained forever to commemorate the miraculous event.

Besides mobbing the Jews in the streets and plundering them when they could, the Roman populace invented means of insulting them which must have been especially galling. They ridiculed them in the popular open-air theatres, and made blasphemous jests upon their most sacred things in Carnival. It is not improbable that 'Punch and Judy' may have had their origin in something of this sort, and 'Judy' certainly suggests 'Giudea,' a Jewess. What the Roman rabble had done against Christians in heathen days, the Christian rabble did against the Jews in the Middle Age and the Renascence. They were robbed, ridiculed, outraged, and sometimes killed; after the fall of the Pierleoni, they appear to have had no civil rights worth mentioning; they were taxed more heavily than the Christian citizens, in proportion as they were believed to be more wealthy, and were less able to resent the tax-gatherer; their daughters were stolen away for their beauty, less consenting than Jessica, and with more violence, and the Merchant of Venice is not a mere fiction of the master playwright. All these things were done to them and more, yet they stayed in Rome, and multiplied, and grew rich, being then, as when Tacitus wrote of them, 'scrupulously faithful and ever actively charitable to each other, and filled with invincible hatred against all other men.'


The old Roman Ghetto has been often described, but no description can give any true impression of it; the place where it stood is a vast open lot, waiting for new buildings which will perhaps never rise, and the memory of it is relegated to the many fast-fading pictures of old Rome. Persius tells how, on Herod's birthday, the Jews adorned their doors with bunches of violets and set out rows of little smoky lamps upon the greasy window-sills, and feasted on the tails of tunny fish—the meanest part—pickled, and eaten off rough red earthen-ware plates with draughts of poor white wine. The picture was a true one ten years ago, for the manners of the Ghetto had not changed in that absolute isolation. The name itself, 'Ghetto,' is generally derived from a Hebrew root meaning 'cut off'—and cut off the Jews' quarter was, by walls, by religion, by tradition, by mutual hatred between Hebrews and other men. It has been compared to a beehive, to an anthill, to an old house-beam riddled and traversed in all directions by miniature labyrinths of worm-holes, crossing, intercommunicating, turning to right and left, upwards and downwards, but hardly ever coming out to the surface. It has been described by almost every writer who ever put words together about Rome, but no words, no similes, no comparisons, can make those see it who were never there. In a low-lying space enclosed within a circuit of five hundred yards, and little, if at all, larger than the Palazzo Doria, between four and five thousand human beings were permanently crowded together in dwellings centuries old, built upon ancient drains and vaults that were constantly exposed to the inundations of the river and always reeking with its undried slime; a little, pale-faced, crooked-legged, eager-eyed people, grubbing and grovelling in masses of foul rags for some tiny scrap richer than the rest and worthy to be sold apart; a people whose many women, haggard, low-speaking, dishevelled, toiled half doubled together upon the darning and piecing and smoothing of old clothes, whose many little children huddled themselves into corners, to teach one another to count; a people of sellers who sold nothing that was not old or damaged, and who had nothing that they would not sell; a people clothed in rags, living among rags, thriving on rags; a people strangely proof against pestilence, gathering rags from the city to their dens, when the cholera was raging outside the Ghetto's gates, and rags were cheap, yet never sickening of the plague themselves; a people never idle, sleeping little, eating sparingly, labouring for small gain amid dirt and stench and dampness, till Friday night came at last, and the old crier's melancholy voice ran through the darkening alleys—'The Sabbath has begun.'

And all at once the rags were gone, the ghostly old clothes that swung like hanged men, by the neck, in the doorways of the cavernous shops, flitted away into the utter darkness within; the old bits of iron and brass went rattling out of sight, like spectres' chains; the hook-nosed antiquary drew in his cracked old show-case; the greasy frier of fish and artichokes extinguished his little charcoal fire of coals; the slipshod darning-women, half-blind with six days' work, folded the half-patched coats and trousers, and took their rickety old rush-bottomed chairs indoors with them.

Then, on the morrow, in the rich synagogue with its tapestries, its gold, and its gilding, the thin, dark men were together in their hats and long coats, and the sealed books of Moses were borne before their eyes and held up to the North and South and East and West, and all the men together lifted up their arms and cried aloud to the God of their fathers. But when the Sabbath was over, they went back to their rags and their patched clothes and to their old iron and their junk and their antiquities, and toiled on patiently again, looking for the coming of the Messiah.

And there were astrologers and diviners and magicians and witches and crystal-gazers among them to whom great ladies came on foot, thickly veiled, and walking delicately amidst the rags, and men, too, who were more ashamed of themselves, and slunk in at nightfall to ask the Jews concerning the future—even in our time as in Juvenal's, and in Juvenal's day as in Saul's of old. Nor did the papal laws against witchcraft have force against Jews, since the object of the laws was to save Christian souls from the hell which no Jew could escape save by conversion. And the diviners and seers and astrologers of the Ghetto were long in high esteem, and sometimes earned fortunes when they hit the truth, and when the truth was pleasant in the realization.

They are gone now, with the Ghetto and all that belonged to it. The Jews who lived there are either becoming absorbed in the population of Rome, or have transferred themselves and their rags to other places, where lodgings are cheap, but where they no longer enjoy the privilege of irrevocable leases at rents fixed for all time. A part of them are living between Santa Maria Maggiore and the Lateran, a part in Trastevere, and they exercise their ancient industries in their new homes, and have new synagogues instead of the old ones. But one can no longer see them all together in one place. Little by little, too, the old prejudices against them are disappearing, even among the poorer Romans, whose hatred was most tenacious, and by and by, at no very distant date, the Jews in Rome will cease to be an isolated and peculiar people. Then, when they live as other men, amongst other folks, as in many cities of the world, they will get the power in Rome, as they have begun to get it already, and as they have it already in more than one great capital. But a change has come over the Jewish race within the last fifty years, greater than any that has affected their destinies since Titus destroyed the Temple and brought thousands of them, in the train of Pompey's thousands, to build the Colosseum; and the wisest among them, if they be faithful and believing Jews, as many are, ask themselves whether this great change, which looks so like improvement, is really for good, or whether it is the beginning of the end of the oldest nation of us all.



In Italian, as in Latin, Ripa means the bank of a river, and the Twelfth Region took its name from being bounded by the river bank, from just below the island all the way to the Aurelian walls, which continue the boundary of the triangle on the south of Saint Sebastian's gate; the third side runs at first irregularly from the theatre of Marcellus to the foot of the Palatine, skirts the hill to the gas works at the north corner of the Circus Maximus, takes in the latter, and thence runs straight to the gate before mentioned. The Region includes the Aventine, Monte Testaccio, and the baths of Caracalla. The origin of the device, like that of several others, seems to be lost.

The Aventine, ever since the auguries of Remus, has been especially the refuge of opposition, and more especially, perhaps, of religious opposition. In very early times it was especially the hill of the plebeians, who frequently retired to its heights in their difficulties with the patricians, as they had once withdrawn to the more distant Mons Sacer in the Campagna. The temple of Ceres stood in the immediate neighbourhood of the Circus, on the line of approach to the Aventine, and contained the archives of the plebeian Ædiles. In the times of the Decemvirs, much of the land on the hill was distributed among the people, who probably lived within the city, but went out daily to cultivate their little farms, just as the inhabitants of the hill villages do today.

If this were not the case, it would be hard to explain how the Aventine could have been a solitude at night, as it was in the time of the Bacchic orgies, of which the discovery convulsed the republic, and ended in a religious persecution. That was when Scipio of Asia had been accused and not acquitted of having taken a bribe of six thousand pounds of gold and four hundred and eighty pounds of silver to favour Antiochus. It was in the first days of Rome's corruption, when the brilliant army of Asia first brought the love of foreign luxury to Rome; when the soldiers, enriched with booty, began to have brass bedsteads, rich coverlets and curtains, and other things of woven stuff in their magnificent furniture, and little Oriental tables with one foot, and decorated sideboards; when people first had singing-girls, and lute-players, and players on the sharp-strung 'triangle,' and actors, to amuse them at their feasts; when the feasts themselves began to be extravagant, and the office of a cook, once mean and despised, rose to be one of high estimation and rich emolument, so that what had been a slave's work came to be regarded as an art. It was no wonder that such changes came about in Rome, when every triumph brought hundreds and thousands of pounds of gold and silver to the city, when Marcus Fulvius brought back hundreds of crowns of gold, and two hundred and eighty-five bronze statues, and two hundred and thirty statues of marble, with other vast spoils, and when Cnæus Manlius brought home wealth in bullion and in coin, which even in these days, when the value of money is far less, would be worth any nation's having.

And with it all came Greek corruption, Greek worship, Greek vice. For years the mysteries of Dionysus and the orgies of the Mænads were celebrated on the slopes of the Aventine and in those deep caves that riddle its sides, less than a mile from the Forum, from the Capitol, from the house of the rigid Cato, who found fault with Scipio of Africa for shaving every day and liking Greek verses. The evil had first come to Rome from Etruria, and had then turned Greek, as it were, in the days of the Asian triumphs; and first it was an orgy of drunken women only, as in most ancient times, but soon men were admitted, and presently a rule was made that no one should be initiated who was over twenty years of age, and that those who refused to submit to the horrid rites after being received should perish in the deepest cave of the hill, while the noise of drums and clashing cymbals and of shouting drowned their screams. And many boys and girls were thus done to death; and the conspiracy of the orgies was widespread in Rome, yet the secret was well kept.

Now there was a certain youth at that time, whose father had died, and whose mother was one of the Mænads and had married a man as bad as herself. He and she were guardians of her son's fortune, and they had squandered it, and knew that when he came of age they should not be able to give an account of their guardianship. They therefore determined to initiate him at the Bacchic orgy, for he was of a brave temper, and they knew that he would not submit to the rites, and so would be torn to pieces by the Mænads, and they might escape the law in their fraud. His mother called him, and told him that once, when he had been ill, she had promised the gods that she would initiate him in the Bacchanalia if he recovered, and that it was now time to perform her vow. And doubtless she delighted his ignorance with an account of a beautiful and solemn ceremony.

But this youth was dearly loved by a woman whose faith to him covered many sins. She had been a slave when a girl, and with her mistress had been initiated, and knew what the rites were, and how evil and terrible; and since she had been freed she had never gone to them. So when her lover told her he was to go, thinking it good news, she was terrified, and told him that it were better that both he and she should die that night, than that he should be so contaminated. When he knew the truth, he went home and told his mother and his stepfather boldly that he would not go; and they, being beside themselves with anger and disappointment, called four slaves and threw him out into the street. For which deed they died. For the young man went to his father's sister, and told all; and she sent him to the Consul to tell his story, who called the woman that loved him, and promised her protection, so that at last she told the truth, and he brought the matter before the Senate. Then there was great horror at what was told, and the people who had been initiated fled in haste by thousands, and the city was in a turmoil, while the Senate made new and terrible laws against the rites. Many persons were put to death, and a few were taken and imprisoned on suspicion, and many, being guilty, killed themselves. For it was found that more than seven thousand men and women had conspired in the orgies, and the contamination had spread throughout Italy.

As for the youth, and the woman who had saved the State out of love for him, the Senate and the people made a noble and generous decree. For him, he received a sum of money from the public treasury in place of the fortune his mother had stolen from him, and he was exempted from military service, unless he chose to be a soldier, and from ever furnishing a horse to the State. But for the woman, whose life had been evil, it was publicly decreed that her sins should be blotted out, that she should have all rights of holding, transferring and selling property, of marrying into another gens and of choosing a guardian, as if she had received all from a husband by will; that she should be at liberty to marry a man of free descent, and that he who should marry her was to incur no degradation, and that all consuls and prætors in the future should watch over her and see that no harm came to her, as long as she lived. Her people made her an honourable Roman matron, and perhaps the stern old senators thus rewarded her in order that the man she had saved might marry her without shame. But whether he did or not, no one knows.


From a print of the last century]

This is the first instance in which a religion, and the orgies were so called by the Romans, was practised upon the Aventine in opposition to that of the State. It was not the last. Under Domitian, Juvenal found a host of Jews established there, on the eastern slope and about the fountain of Egeria, and thirty years before him Saint Paul lived on the Aventine in the Jewish house of Aquila and Priscilla where Santa Prisca stands today. It is worth noting that Aquila, an eagle, the German Adler, was already then a Jewish name. Little by little, however, the Jews went back to the Tiber, and the Aventine became the stronghold of the Christians; there they built many of their oldest churches, and thence they carried out their dead to the near catacombs of Saint Petronilla, the church better known as that of Saint Nereus and Saint Achillæus. And there are many other ancient churches on the hill, and on the road that leads to Saint Sebastian's gate, and beyond the walls, on the Appian Way as far as Saint Callixtus; lonely, peaceful shrines, beautiful with the sculptures and pavements and mosaics of the Cosmas family who lived and worked between six and seven hundred years ago. On the other side of the hill, near the Circus, Saint Augustine taught rhetoric for a living, though he knew no Greek and was perhaps no great Latin scholar either—still an unbeliever then, an astrologer and a follower after strange doctrines, one whom no man could have taken for a future bishop and Father of the Church, who was to be author of two hundred and thirty-two theological treatises, as well as of an exposition of the Psalms and the Gospels. Here Saint Gregory the Great, once Prefect of Rome, preached and prayed, and here the fierce Hildebrand lived when he was young, and called himself Gregory when he was Pope, perhaps, because he had so often meditated here upon the life and acts of the wise Saint, in the places hallowed by his footsteps.

Later, the Aventine was held by the Savelli, who dwelt in castles long since destroyed, even to the foundations, by the fury of their enemies; and there the two Popes of the house, Honorius the Third—a famous chronicler in his day—and Honorius the Fourth, found refuge when the restless Romans 'annoyed them,' as Muratori mildly puts it. They were brave men in their day, mostly Guelphs, and faithful friends of the Colonna, and it is told how one of them died in a great fight between Colonna and Orsini.

It was in that same struggle which culminated in the execution of Lorenzo Colonna, the Protonotary, that Pope Sixtus the Fourth destroyed the last remains of the Sublician Bridge, at the foot of the Aventine. So, at least, tradition says. From that bridge the Roman pontiffs had taken their title, 'Pontifex,' a bridge-maker, because it was one of their chief duties to keep it in repair, when it was the only means of crossing the Tiber, and the safety of the city might depend upon it at any time; and for many centuries the bridge was built of oak, and without nails or bolts of iron, in memory of the first bridge which Horatius had kept. Now those who love to ponder on coincidences may see one in this, that the last remnant of the once oaken bridge, kept whole by the heathen Pontifex, was destroyed by the Christian Pontifex, whose name was 'of the oak'—for so 'della Rovere' may be translated if one please.

Years ago, one might still distinctly see in the Tiber the remains of piers, when the water was low, at the foot of the Aventine, a little above the Ripa Grande; and those who saw them looked on the very last vestige of the Sublician Bridge, that is to say, of the stone structure which in later times took the place of the wooden one; and that last trace has been destroyed to deepen the little harbour. In older days there were strange superstitions and ceremonies connected with the bridge that had meant so much to Rome. Strangest of all was the procession on the Ides of May,—the fifteenth of that month,—when the Pontiffs and the Vestals came to the bridge in solemn state, with men who bore thirty effigies made of bulrushes in likeness to men's bodies, and threw them into the river, one after the other, with prayers and hymns; but what the images meant no man knows. Most generally it was believed in Rome that they took the place of human beings, once sacrificed to the river in the spring. Ovid protests against the mere thought, but the industrious Baracconi quotes Sextus Pompeius Festus to prove that in very early times human victims were thrown into the Tiber for one reason or another, and that human beings were otherwise sacrificed until the year of the city 657, when, Cnæus Cornelius Lentulus and Publius Licinius Crassus being consuls, the Senate made a law that no man should be sacrificed thereafter. The question is one for scholars; but considering the savage temper of the Romans, their dark superstitions, the abundance of victims always at hand, and the frequency of human sacrifices among nations only one degree more barbarous, there is no reason for considering the story very improbable.


Within the limits of this region the ancient Brotherhood of Saint John Beheaded have had their church and place of meeting for centuries. It was their chief function to help and comfort condemned criminals from the midnight preceding their death until the end. To this confraternity belonged Michelangelo, among other famous men whose names stand on the rolls to this day; and doubtless the great master, hooded in black and unrecognizable among the rest, and chanting the penitential psalms in the voice that could speak so sharply, must have spent dark hours in gloomy prisons, from midnight to dawn, beside pale-faced men who were not to see the sun go down again; and in the morning, he must have stood upon the very scaffold with the others, and seen the bright axe smite out the poor life. But neither he nor any others of the brethren spoke of these things except among themselves, and they alone knew who had been of the band, when they bore the dead man to his rest at last, by their little church, when they laid Beatrice Cenci before the altar in Saint Peter's on the Janiculum, and Lucrezia in the quiet church of Saint Gregory by the Aventine. They wrote down in their journal the day, the hour, the name, the death; no more than that. And they went back to their daily life in silence.

But for their good deeds they obtained the right of saving one man from death each year, conceded them by Paul the Third, the Farnese Pope, while Michelangelo was painting the Last Judgment—a right perhaps asked for by him, as one of the brothers, and granted for his sake. Baracconi has discovered an account of the ceremony. At the first meeting in August, the governor of the confraternity appointed three brethren to visit all the prisons of Rome and note the names of the prisoners condemned to death, drawing up a precise account of each case, but ascertaining especially which ones had obtained the forgiveness of those whom they had injured. At the second meeting in August, the reports were read, and the brethren chose the fortunate man by ballot.


Then the whole dark company went in procession to the prison. The beadle of the order marched first, bearing his black wand in one hand, and in the other a robe of scarlet silk and a torch for the pardoned man; two brothers followed with staves, others with lanterns, more with lighted torches, and after them was borne the crucifix, the sacred figure's arms hanging down, perhaps supposed to be in the act of receiving the pardoned man, and a crown of silvered olive hung at its feet—then more brothers, and last of all the Governor and the chaplain. The prison doors were draped with tapestries, box and myrtle strewed the ground, and the Governor received the condemned person and signed a receipt for his body. The happy man prostrated himself before the crucifix, was crowned with the olive garland, the Te Deum was intoned, and he was led away to the brotherhood's church, where he heard high mass in sight of all the people. Last, and not least, if he was a pauper, the brethren provided him with a little money and obtained him some occupation; if a stranger, they paid his journey home.

But the Roman rabble, says the writer, far preferred an execution to a pardon, and would follow a condemned man to the scaffold in thousands. If he was to be hanged, the person who touched the halter was the most fortunate, and much money was often paid for bits of the rope; and at night, when the wretched corpse was carried away to the church by the brethren, the crowd followed in long procession, mumbling prayers, to kneel on the church steps at last and implore the dead man's liberated spirit to suggest to them, by some accident, numbers to be played at the lottery—custom which recalls the incantations of the witches by the crosses of executed slaves on the Esquiline.



All that part of Rome which lies on the right bank of the Tiber is divided into two Regions; namely, Trastevere and Borgo. The first of these is included between the river and the walls of Urban the Eighth from Porta Portese and the new bridge opposite the Aventine to the bastions and the gate of San Spirito; and Trastevere was the last of the thirteen Regions until the end of the sixteenth century, when the so-called Leonine City was made the fourteenth and granted a captain and a standard of its own.

The men of Trastevere boast that they are of better blood than the other Romans, and they may be right. In many parts of Italy just such small ancient tribes have kept alive, never intermarrying with their neighbours nor losing their original speech. There are villages in the south where Greek is spoken, and others where Albanian is the language. There is one in Calabria where the people speak nothing but Piedmontese, which is as different from the Southern dialects as German is from French. Italy has always been a land of individualities rather than of amalgamations, and a country of great men, rather than a great country.

It is true that the Trasteverines have preserved their individuality, cut off as they have been by the river from the modernizing influences which spread like a fever through the length and breadth of Rome. Their quarter is full of crooked little streets and irregularly shaped open places, the houses are not high, the windows are small and old fashioned, and the entrances dark and low. There are but few palaces and not many public buildings. Yet Trastevere is not a dirty quarter; on the contrary, to eyes that understand Italians, there is a certain dignity in its poverty, which used to be in strong contrast with the slipshod publicity of household dirt in the inhabited parts of Monti. The contrast is, in a way, even more vivid now, for Monti, the first Region, has suffered most in the great crisis, and Trastevere least of all. Rome is one of the poorest cities in the civilized world, and when she was trying to seem rich, the element of sham was enormous in everything. In the architecture of the so-called new quarters the very gifts of the Italians turned against them; for they are born engineers and mathematicians, and by a really marvellous refinement of calculation they have worked miracles in the construction of big buildings out of altogether insufficient material, while the Italian workman's traditional skill in modelling stucco has covered vast surfaces of unsafe masonry with elaborately tasteless ornamentation. One result of all this has been a series of catastrophes of which a detailed account would appal grave men in other countries; another consequence is the existence of a quantity of grotesquely bad street decoration, much of which is already beginning to crumble under the action of the weather. It is sadder still, in many parts of Monti to see the modern ruins of houses which were not even finished when the crash put an end to the building mania, roofless, windowless, plasterless, falling to pieces and never to be inhabited—landmarks of bankruptcy, whole streets of dwellings built to lodge an imaginary population, and which will have fallen to dust long before they are ever needed, stuccoed palaces meant to be the homes of a rich middle class, and given over at derisory rents to be the refuge of the very poor. In the Monti, ruin stares one in the face, and poverty has battened upon ruin, as flies upon garbage.

But Trastevere escaped, being despised by the builders on account of its distance from the chief centres. It has even preserved something of the ancient city in its looks and habits. Then, as now, the wine shops and cook shops opened directly upon the street, because they were, as they still often are, mere single, vaulted chambers, having no communication with the inner house by door or stairway. The little inner court, where the well is, may have been wider in those days, but it must always have been a cool, secluded place, where the women could wrangle and tear one another's hair in decent privacy. In the days when everything went to the gutter, it was a wise precaution to have as few windows as possible looking outward. In old Rome, as in Trastevere, there must have been an air of mystery about all dwelling-houses, as there is everywhere in the East. In those days, far more than now, the head of the house was lord and despot within his own walls; but something of that power remains by tradition of right at the present time, and the patriarchal system is not yet wholly dead. The business of the man was to work and fight for his wife and children, just as to fight and hunt for his family were the occupations of the American Indian. In return, he received absolute obedience and abject acknowledgment of his superiority. The government-fed Indian and the Roman father of today do very little fighting, working, or hunting, but in their several ways they still claim much of the same slavish obedience as in old times. One is inclined to wonder whether nowadays the independence of women is not due to the fall in value of men, since it is no longer necessary to pursue wild beasts for food, since fighting is reduced to a science, taught in three months, and seldom needed for a long time, and since work has become so largely the monopoly of the nimble typewriter. Women ask themselves and others, with at least a show of justice, since man's occupation is to sit still and think, whether they might not, with a little practice, sit quite as still as he and think to as good a purpose. In America, for instance, it was one thing to fell big trees, build log huts, dam rivers, plough stony ground, kill bears, and fight Indians; it is altogether another to sit in a comfortable chair before a plate-glass window, and dictate notes to a dumb and skilful stenographer.

But with the development of women's independence, the air of privacy, not to say of mystery, disappears from the modern dwelling. In Trastevere things have not gone as far as that. One cannot tread the narrow streets without wondering a little about the lives of the grave, black-haired, harsh-voiced people who go in and out by the dark entrances, and stand together in groups in Piazza Romana, or close to Ponte Sisto, early in the morning, and just before midday, and again in the cool of the evening.

It seems to be a part of the real simplicity of the Italian Latin to put on a perfectly useless look of mystery on all occasions, and to assume the air of a conspirator when buying a cabbage; and more than one gifted writer has fallen into the error of believing the Italian character to be profoundly complicated. One is too apt to forget that it needs much deeper duplicity to maintain an appearance of frankness under trying circumstances than to make a mystery of one's marketing and a profound secret of one's cookery. There are few things which the poor Italian more dislikes than to be watched when he is buying and preparing his food, though he will ask any one to share it with him when it is ready; but he is almost as prone to hide everything else that goes on inside his house, unless he has fair warning of a visit, and full time to make preparation for a guest. In the feeling there is great decency and self-respect, as well as a wish to show respect to others.

[Illustration: PONTE GARIBALDI]

To Romans, Trastevere suggests great names—Stefaneschi, Anguillara, Mattei, Raphael, Tasso. The story of the first has been told already. Straight from the end of the new bridge that bears the name of Garibaldi, stands the ancient tower of the great Guelph house of Anguillara that fought the Orsini long and fiercely, and went down at last before them, when it turned against the Pope. And when he was dead the Orsini bought the lands and strongholds he had given to his so-called nephew, and set the eel of Anguillara in their own escutcheon, in memory of a struggle that had lasted more than a hundred years. The Anguillara were seldom heard of after that; nor does anything remain of them today but the melancholy ruins of an ancient fortress on the lake of Bracciano, not far from the magnificent castle, and the single tower that bears their name in Rome.

But Baracconi has discovered a story or a legend about one of them who lived a hundred years later, and who somehow was by that time lord of Cære, or Ceri, again, as some of his ancestors had been. It was when Charles the Fifth came to Rome, and there were great doings; for it was then that the old houses that filled the lower Forum were torn down in a few days to make him a triumphal street, and many other things were done. Then the Emperor gave a public audience in Rome, and out of curiosity the young Titta dell' Anguillara went in to see the imperial show. There he saw that a few of the nobles wore their caps, and he, thinking himself as good as they, put on his own. The Grand Chamberlain asked him why he was covered. 'Because I have a cold,' he answered, and laughed. He was told that only Grandees of Spain might wear their caps in the Emperor's presence. 'Tell the Emperor,' said the boy, 'that I, too, am a Grandee in my house, and that if he would take my cap from my head, he must do it with his sword,' and he laid his hand to the hilt of his own. And when the Emperor heard the story, he smiled and let him alone.

Many years ago, before the change of government, the Trasteverine family, into whose possession the ancient tower had come, used to set out at Christmas-tide a little show of lay figures representing the Nativity and the Adoration of the Kings, in the highest story of the strange old place, and almost in the open air. It was a pretty and a peaceful sight. The small figures of the Holy Family, of the Kings, of the shepherds and their flocks, were modelled and coloured with wonderful skill, and in the high, bright air, with the little landscape as cleverly made up as the figures, it all stood out clearly and strangely lifelike. There were many of these Presepi, as they were called, in Rome at that season, but none so pretty as that in the gloomy old tower, of which every step had been washed with blood.

Of all tales of household feud and vengeance and murder that can be found in old Rome, one of the most terrible is told of the Mattei, whose great palace used to stand almost opposite the bridge of Saint Bartholomew, leading to the island, and not more than two hundred yards from the Anguillara tower. It happened in the year 1555, about the time when Paul the Fourth, of inquisitorial memory, was elected Pope, thirty years before the sons of the Massimo murdered their father's unworthy wife, and Orsini married Victoria Accoramboni; and the deeds were done within the walls of the old house of which a fragment still remains in the Lungaretta, with a door surmounted by the chequered shield of the Mattei.

[Illustration: PALAZZO MATTEI

From a print of the last century]

At that time there were four brothers of the name, Marcantonio, Piero, Alessandro, and Curzio; and the first two quarrelled mortally, wherefore Piero caused Marcantonio to be murdered by hired assassins. Of these men, Alessandro, who dearly loved both his murdered brother and his younger brother Curzio, slew one with his own hand, but the rest escaped, and he swore a blood feud against Piero. Yet, little by little, his anger subsided, and there was a sort of armed peace between the two.

Then it happened that Piero, who was rich, fell in love with his own niece, the beautiful Olimpia, the dowerless daughter of his other brother Curzio; and Curzio, tempted by the hope of wealth, consented to the match, and the dispensation of the Church was obtained for the marriage. It is not rare, even nowadays, for a man to marry his niece in Europe, whether they be Catholics or Protestants, but the Italians are opposed to such marriages; and Alessandro Mattei, pitying the lovely girl, whose life was to be sold for money, and bitterly hating the murderer bridegroom, swore that the thing should not be. Yet he could not prevent the wedding, for Piero was rich and powerful, and of a determined character. So Piero was married, and after the wedding, in the evening, he gave a great feast in his house, and invited to it all the kinsmen of the family, with their wives.

And Alessandro Mattei came also, with his son, Girolamo, and bringing with him two men whom he called his friends, but whom no one knew. These were hired murderers, but Piero smiled pleasantly and made a pretence of being well satisfied. The company feasted together, and drank old wine, with songs and rejoicings of all sorts. Then Alessandro rose to go home, for it was late, and Piero led him to the door of the hall to take leave of him courteously, so that all the kinsfolk might see that there was peace, for they were all looking on, some sitting in their places and some standing up out of respect for the elder men as they went to the door. Alessandro stood still, exchanging courtesies with his brother, while his servants brought him his cloak, and the arquebuse he carried at night for safety; for he had his palace across the Tiber, where it stands today. Then taking the hand-gun, he spoke no more words, but shot his brother in the breast, and killed him, and fled, leaving his son behind, for the young man had wished to stay till the end of the feast, and the two hired assassins had been brought by his father to protect him, though he did not know it.

When they heard the shot, the women knew that there was blood, so they sprang up and put out the lights in an instant, that the men might not see to kill one another; therefore Curzio, the bride's father, did not see that his brother Alessandro had gone out after the killing. He crept about with a long knife, feeling in the dark for the embroidered doublet which Alessandro wore, and when he thought that he had found it, he struck; but it was Girolamo who was dressed like his father, and the two who were to watch him were on each side of him, and one of them feeling that Curzio was going to strike, and knowing him also by the touch of what he wore, killed him quietly before his blow went home, and dragged out Girolamo in haste, for the door was open, and there was some light in the stairs, whence the servants had fled. But others had sought Alessandro, and other blows had been dealt in the dark, and the bride herself was wounded, but not mortally.

Girolamo and the man who had killed Curzio came to the Bridge of Saint Bartholomew, where Alessandro was waiting, very anxious for his son; and when he saw him in the starlight he drew a long breath. But when he knew what had happened and how the murderer had killed Curzio to save the boy, Alessandro was suddenly angry, for he had loved Curzio dearly. So he quickly drew his dagger and stabbed the man in the breast, and threw his body, yet breathing, over the bridge into the river. But that night he left Rome secretly and quickly, and he lived out his days an outlaw, while Girolamo, who was innocent of all, became the head of the Mattei in Rome.

It is no wonder that the knife is a tradition in Trastevere. Even now it is the means of settling difficulties, but less often by treachery than in the other regions. For when two young men have a difference it is usual for them to go together into some quiet inner court or walled garden, and there they wind their handkerchiefs round their right wrists and round the hilt of the knife to get a good hold, and they muffle their left arms in their jackets for a shield, and face each other till one is dead. If it be barbarous, it is at least braver than stabbing in the dark.

Raphael is remembered in Trastevere for the beautiful little palace of the Farnesina, which he decorated for the great and generous banker, Agostino Chigi, and for the Fornarina, whose small house with its Gothic window stands near the Septimian gate, where the old Aurelian wall crosses Trastevere and the Lungara to the Tiber. And he has made Trastevere memorable for the endless types of beauty he found there, besides the one well-loved woman, and whom he took as models for his work. He lived at the last, not in the house on the Roman side, which belonged to him and is still called his, but in another, built by Bramante, close to the old Accoramboni Palace, in the Piazza Rusticucci, before Saint Peter's, and that one has long been torn down.


We know little enough of that Margaret, called the Fornarina from her father's profession; but we know that Raphael loved her blindly, passionately, beyond all other thoughts; as Agostino Chigi loved the magnificent Imperia for whom the Farnesina was built and made beautiful. And there was a time when the great painter was almost idle, out of love for the girl, and went about languidly with pale face and shadowed eyes, and scarcely cared to paint or draw. He was at work in the Vatican then, or should have been, and in the Farnesina, too; but each day, when he went out, his feet led him away from the Pope's palace and across the square, by the Gate of the Holy Spirit and down the endless straight Lungara towards the banker's palace; but when he reached it he went on to the Fornarina's house, and she was at the window waiting for him. For her sake he refused to marry the great Cardinal Bibbiena's well-dowered niece, Maria, and the world has not ceased to believe that for too much love of the Fornarina he died. But before that, as Fabio Chigi tells, Pope Leo the Tenth, being distressed by the painter's love sickness, asked Agostino Chigi if there were not some way to bring him back to work. And the great banker, as anxious for his Farnesina as the Pope was for his Vatican, spirited away the lovely girl for a time, she consenting for her lover's sake. And Chigi then pretended to search for her, and comforted Raphael with news of her and promises of her return, so that after being half mad with anxiety he grew calmer, and worked for a time at his painting. But soon he languished, and the cure was worse than the evil; so that one day Chigi brought the girl back to him unawares and went away, leaving them together.

Of the end we know nothing, nor whether Margaret was with him when he died; we know nothing, save that she outlived him, and died in her turn, and lies in a grave which no one can find. But when all Rome was in sorrow for the dead man, when he had been borne through the streets to his grave, with his great unfinished Transfiguration for a funeral banner, when he had been laid in his tomb in the Pantheon, beside Maria Bibbiena, who had died, perhaps, because he would not love her, then the pale Margaret must have sat often by the little Gothic window near the Septimian gate, waiting for what could not come any more. For she had loved a man beyond compare; and it had been her whole life.


From an old engraving]

If one comes from the Borgo by the Lungara, and if one turns up the steep hill to the right, there is the place where Tasso died, seventy-five years after Raphael was gone. The small monastery of Sant' Onofrio, where he spent the last short month of his life, used to be a lonely and beautiful place, and is remembered only for his sake, though it has treasures of its own—the one fresco painted in Rome by Lionardo da Vinci, and paintings by Domenichino and Pinturicchio in its portico and little church, as well as memories of Saint Philip Neri, the Roman-born patron saint of Rome. All these things barely sufficed to restrain the government from turning it into a barrack for the city police a few years ago, when the name of one of Italy's greatest poets should alone have protected it. It was far from the streets and thoroughfares in older times, and the quiet sadness of its garden called up the infinite melancholy of the poor poet who drew his last breath of the fresh open air under the old tree at the corner, and saw Rome the last time, as he turned and walked painfully back to the little room where he was to die. It is better to think of it so, when one has seen it in those days, than to see it as it is now, standing out in vulgar publicity upon the modern avenue.

There died the man who had sung, and wandered, and loved; who had been slighted, and imprisoned for a madman; who had escaped and hidden himself, and had yet been glorious; who had come to Rome at last to receive the laureate's crown in the Capitol, as Petrarch had been crowned before him. His life is a strange history, full of discordant passages that left little or no mark in his works, so that it is a wonder how a man so torn and harassed could labour unceasingly for many years at a work so perfectly harmonious as 'Jerusalem Freed'; and it seems strange that the hot-headed, changeable southerner should have stood up as the determined champion of the Epic Unity against the school of Ariosto, the great northern poet, who had believed in diversity of action as a fundamental principle of the Epic; it is stranger still and a proof of his power that Tasso should have earned something like universal glory against the long-standing supremacy of Ariosto in the same field, in the same half-century, and living at the same court. Everything in Tasso's life was contradictory, everything in his works was harmonious. Even after he was dead, the contrasts of glory and misery followed his bones like fate. He died in the arms of Cardinal Aldobrandini, the Pope's nephew, almost on the eve of his intended crowning in the Capitol; he was honoured with a magnificent funeral, and his body was laid in an obscure corner, enclosed in a poor deal coffin. It was six years before the monks of Sant' Onofrio dug up the bones and placed them in a little lead box 'out of pity,' as the inscription on the metal lid told, and buried them again under a poor slab that bore his name, and little else; and when a monument was at last made to him in the nineteenth century, by the subscriptions of literary societies, it was so poor and unworthy that it had better not have been set up at all. A curious book might be written upon the vicissitudes of great men's bones.

Opposite the Farnesina stands the great Palazzo Corsini, once the habitation of the Riario family, whose history is a catalogue of murders, betrayals, and all possible crimes, and whose only redeeming light in a long history was that splendid and brave Catherine Sforza, married to one of their name, who held the fortress of Forlì so bravely against Cæsar Borgia, who challenged him to single combat, which he refused out of shame, who was overcome by him at last, and brought captive to the Vatican in chains of gold, as Aurelian brought Zenobia. In the days of her power she had lived in the great palace for a time. It looks modern now; it was once a place of evil fame, and is said to have been one of the few palaces in Rome which contained one of those deadly shafts, closed by a balanced trap door that dropped the living victim who stepped upon it a hundred and odd feet at a fall, out of hearing and out of sight for ever. From the Riario it was bought at last, in 1738, by the Corsini, and when they began to repair it, they found the bones of the nameless dead in heaps far down among the foundations.

There also lived Christina, Queen of Sweden, of romantic and execrable memory, for twenty years; and here she died, the strangest compound of greatness, heroism, vanity and wickedness that ever was woman to the destruction of man; ending her terrible life in an absorbing passion for art and literature which attracted to itself all that was most delicate and refined at the end of the seventeenth century; dabbling in alchemy, composing verses forgotten long ago, discoursing upon art with Bernini, dictating the laws of verse to the poet Guidi, collecting together a vast library of rare books and a great gallery of great pictures, and of engravings and medals and beautiful things of every sort—the only woman, perhaps, who was ever like Lucrezia Borgia, and outdid her in all ways.

Long before her time, a Riario, the Cardinal of Saint George, had like tastes and drew about him the thinkers and the writers of his age, when the Renascence was at its climax and the Constable of Bourbon had not yet been shot down at the walls a few hundred yards from the Corsini palace, bequeathing the plunder of Rome to his Spaniards and Germans. Here Erasmus spent those hours of delight of which he eloquently wrote in after years, and here, to this day, in the grand old halls whence the Riario sent so many victims to their deaths below, a learned and literary society holds its meetings. Of all palaces in Rome in which she might have lived, fate chose this one for Queen Christina, as if its destiny of contrasts past and future could best match her own.

Much more could be told of Trastevere and much has been told already; how Beatrice Cenci lies in San Pietro in Montorio, how the lovely Farnesina, with all its treasures, was bought by force by the Farnese for ten thousand and five hundred scudi,—two thousand and one hundred pounds,—how the Region was swept and pillaged again and again by Emperors and nobles, and people and Popes, without end.

But he who should wander through the Regions in their order, knowing that the greatest is last, would tire of lingering in the long Lungara and by the Gate of the Holy Spirit, while on the other side lies the great Castle of Sant' Angelo, and beyond that the Vatican, and Saint Peter's church; and for that matter, a great part of what has not been told here may be found in precise order and ready to hand in all those modern guide books which are the traveller's first leading-strings as he learns to walk in Rome.

       * * * * *

Yet here, on the threshold of that Region which contains many of the world's most marvellous treasures of art—at the Gate of the Holy Spirit, through which Raphael so often passed between love and work—I shall say a few words about that development in which Italy led the world, and something of the men who were leaders in the Renascence.

Art is not dependent on the creations of genius alone. It is also the result of developing manual skill to the highest degree. Without genius, works of art might as well be turned out by machinery; without manual skill, genius could have no means of expression. As a matter of fact, in our own time, it is the presence of genius, without manual skill, or foolishly despising it, that has produced a sort of school called the impressionist.

To go back to first principles, the word Art, as every child knows, is taken directly from the Latin ars, artis, which the best Latin dictionary translates or defines: 'The faculty of joining anything corporeal or spiritual properly or skilfully,' and therefore: 'skill, dexterity, art, ability,' and then: 'skill or faculty of the mind or body that shows itself in performing any work, trade, profession, art, science.' From the meaning of the Latin word we may eliminate what refers to spiritual things; not because literature, for instance, is not art, as well as music and the rest, but because we have to do with painting, sculpture, architecture, metal working, and the like, in which actual manual skill is a most integral element.

Now it is always admitted that art grew out of handicraft, when everything was made by hand, and when the competition between workers was purely personal, because each man worked for himself and not for a company in which his individuality was lost. That is nowhere more clear than in Italy, though the conditions were similar throughout Europe until the universal introduction of machinery. The transition from handicraft to art was direct, quick and logical, and at first it appeared almost simultaneously in all the trades. The Renascence appears to us as a sort of glorious vision in which all that was beautiful suddenly sprang into being again, out of all that was rough and chaotic and barbarous. In real fact the Renascence began among carpenters, and blacksmiths, and stone masons, and weavers, when they began to take pride in their work, when they began to try and ornament their own tools, when the joiner who knew nothing of the Greeks began to trace a pattern with a red-hot nail on the clumsy wooden chest, when the smith dinted out a simple design upon the head of his hammer, when the mason chipped out a face or a leaf on the corner of the rough stone house, and when the weaver taught himself to make patterns in the stuff he wove. The true beginning of the Renascence was the first improvement of hand-work after an age in which everything people used had been rougher and worse made than we can possibly imagine. Then one thing suggested another, and each generation found some new thing to do, till the result was a great movement and a great age. But there never was, and never could have been, any art at all without hand-work. Progress makes almost everything by machinery, and dreams of abolishing hand-work altogether, and of making Nature's forces do everything, and provide everything for everybody, so that nobody need work at all, and everybody may have a like share in what is to cost nobody anything. Then, in the dream, everybody will be devoted to what we vaguely call intellectual pursuits, and the human race will be raised to an indefinitely high level. In reality, if such things were possible, we should turn into oysters, or into something about as intelligent. It is the experience of all ages that human beings will not work unless they are obliged to, and degenerate rapidly in idleness, and there have not been many exceptions to the rule. Art grew out of hand-work, but it grew in it, too, as a plant in the soil; when there is no more hand-work, there will be no more art. The two belong to each other, and neither can do without the other.

[Illustration: THE FORUM

Looking West]

Of course, I do not mean to say that there was a succession of centuries, or even one century, during which no pictures were painted in Italy, or no sculptures carved. The tradition of the arts survived, like the tradition of Latin poetry, with the same result, that rude works were produced in the early churches and convents. But there was no life in those things; and when, after a long time, after the early Crusades, Byzantine artists came to Italy, their productions were even worse than those of the still ignorant Italians, because they were infinitely more pretentious, with their gildings and conventionalities and expressionless types, and were not really so near the truth. What I mean is that the revival of real art came from a new beginning deep down and out of sight, among humble craftsmen and hard-working artisans, who found out by degrees that their hands could do more than they had been taught to do, and that objects of daily use need not be ugly or merely plain in order to be strong and well made and serviceable. And as this knowledge grew among them with practice and by experiment, they rose to the power of using for new purposes of beauty the old methods of painting and sculpture, which had survived, indeed, but which were of no value to the old-fashioned artists who had learned them from generation to generation, without understanding and without enthusiasm.

The highest of the crafts in the Middle Age was goldsmithing. When almost every other artistic taste had disappeared from daily life in that rough time, the love of personal adornment had survived, and when painters and sculptors were a small band of men, trained to represent certain things in certain ways—trained like a church choir, in fact, to the endless repetition of ancient themes—the goldsmiths had latitude and freedom to their hearts' desire and so many buyers for their work that their own numbers were not nearly so limited as those of 'artists' in the narrow sense. One chief part of their art lay in drawing and modelling, another in casting metals, another in chiselling, and they were certainly the draughtsmen of an age in which the art of drawing was practically lost among painters; and it was because they learned how to draw that so many of them became great painters when the originality of two or three men of genius had opened the way.

One says 'two or three,' vaguely, but the art had grown out of infancy when they appeared, and there was an enormous distance between Cimabue, whom people call the father of painting, and the Cosmas family, of whom the last died about the time that Cimabue was born. But though Cimabue was a noble, the Cosmas family who preceded him were artisans first and artists afterwards, and men of the people; and Giotto, whom Cimabue discovered sketching sheep on a piece of slate with a pointed stone, was a shepherd lad. So was Andrea Mantegna, who dominated Italian art a hundred and fifty years later—so was David, one of the greatest poets that ever lived, and so was Sixtus the Fifth, one of the strongest popes that ever reigned—all shepherds.

It is rather remarkable that although so many famous painters were goldsmiths, none of the very greatest were. Among the goldsmiths were Orcagna, Ghiberti, Ghirlandajo, Antonio del Pollaiuolo, Francia, Verrocchio, Andrea del Sarto. But Benvenuto Cellini, the greatest of goldsmiths, was never a painter, and the very greatest painters were never goldsmiths, for Cimabue, Giotto, Mantegna, Lionardo da Vinci, Perugino, Raphael, Michelangelo, all began in the profession that made them the greatest artists of their age. It is very hard to get at an idea of what men thought about art in those times. Perhaps it would be near the truth to say that it was looked upon as a universal means of expression. What strikes one most in the great pictures of that time is their earnestness, not in the sense of religious faith, but in the determination to do nothing without a perfectly clear and definite meaning, which any cultivated person could understand, and at which even a child might guess. Nothing was done for effect, nothing was done merely for beauty's sake. It was as if the idea of usefulness, risen with art from the hand-crafts, underlay the intentions of beauty, or of devotion, or of history, which produced the picture. In those times, when the artist put in any accessory he asked himself: 'Does it mean anything?' whereas most painters of today, in the same case, ask themselves: 'Will it look well?' The difference between the two points of view is the difference between jesting and being in earnest—between an art that compared itself with an ideal future, and the art of today that measures itself with an ideal past. The great painters of the Renascence appealed to men and to men's selves, whereas the great painters of today appeal chiefly to men's eyes and to that much of men which can be stirred through the eye only.

It was not that those early artists were religious enthusiasts, moved by a spiritual faith such as that which inspired Fra Angelico and one or two others. Few of them were religious men; several of them, like Perugino, were freethinkers. It was not, I think, because they looked upon art itself as a very sacred matter, not to be jested with, since they used their art against their enemies for revenge and ridicule. It was rather because everyone was in earnest then, and was forced to be by the nature of the times; whereas people now are only relatively in earnest, and stake their money only where men once staked their lives. That was one reason. Another may be that the greatest painters of those times were practically men of universal genius and were always men of vast reading and cultivation, the equals and often the superiors of the learned in all other branches of science, literature and art. They were not only great painters, but great men and great thinkers, and far above doing anything solely 'for effect.' Lionardo da Vinci has been called the greatest man of the fifteenth century—so has Michelangelo—so, perhaps, has Raphael. They seemed able to do everything, and they have not been surpassed in what they did as painters, sculptors, architects, engineers, fortifiers of cities, mathematicians, thinkers. No one nowadays ever thinks of a painter as being anything but a painter, and people shrug their shoulders at the idea that an artist can do anything of the kind called 'serious' in this age.


One asks what were the surroundings, the customs, the habits, in which these men grew to be already great at an age when modern boys are at college. One asks whether that system of teaching or education, whatever it may have been, was not much more likely to make great men than ours. And the answer suggests itself: our teaching is for the many, and the teaching of that day was for the few.

Let anyone try and imagine the childhood of Giotto as the account of it has come down to us through almost all the authorities. He was born in the year 1276—when Dante was about eleven years old. That was the time when the wars of Guelphs and Ghibellines were at their height. That was the year in which Count Ugolino della Gherardesca got back his lordship over Pisa—where he was to be starved to death with his two sons and two grandsons some twelve years later. That was the time when four Popes died in sixteen months—the time when the Sicilian Vespers drove Charles of Anjou from Sicily for ever—when Guido da Montefeltro was fighting and betraying and fighting again—the time of Dante's early youth, in which fell most of those deeds for which he consigned the doers to hell and their names to immortality.

Imagine, then, what a shepherd's hut must have been in those days, in a narrow valley of the Tuscan hills—the small cottage built of unhewn stones picked up on the hillside, fitted together one by one, according to their irregular shapes, and cemented, if at all, with clay and mud from the river bed—the roof of untrimmed saplings tied together and thatched with chestnut boughs, held down by big stones, lest the wind should blow them away. The whole, dark brown and black with the rich smoke of brushwood burned in the corner to boil the big black cauldron of sheep's milk for the making of the rank 'pecorino' cheese. One square room, lighted from the door only. The floor, the beaten earth. The beds, rough-hewn boards, lying one above the other, like bunks, on short strong lengths of sapling stuck into the wall. For mattresses, armfuls of mountain hay. The people, a man, his wife and two or three children, dressed winter and summer in heavy brown homespun woollen and sheepskins. For all furniture, a home-made bench, black with age and smoke. The food, day in, day out, coarse yellow meal, boiled thick in water and poured out to cool upon the black bench, divided into portions then with a thin hide thong, crosswise and lengthwise, for each person a yellow square, and eaten greedily with unwashed hands that left a little for the great sheep-dog. The drink, spring water and the whey left from the cheese curds, drunk out of a small earthen pot, passed from mouth to mouth. A silent bunch of ignorant human beings, full of thought for the morrow, and of care for the master's sheep that were herded together in the stone pen all round the hut; fighting the wolves in winter, and in summer time listening for the sound of war from the valley, when Guelph and Ghibelline harried all the country, and killed every stray living thing for food. And among these half-starved wretches was a boy of twelve or thirteen years, weak-jointed, short-winded, little better than a cripple and only fit to watch the sheep on summer days when the wolves were not hungry—a boy destined to be one of the greatest artists, one of the greatest architects, and one of the most cultivated men of that or any other age—Giotto.

The contrast between his childhood and his manhood is so startling that one cannot realize it. It means that in those days the way from nothing to much was short and straight for great minds—impossible and impracticable for small ones. Great intelligences were not dwarfed to stumps by laborious school work, were not stuffed to a bursting point by cramming, were not artificially inflamed by the periodical blistering of examinations; but average intelligences had not the chance which a teaching planned only for the average gives them now. Talent, in the shape of Cimabue, found genius, in the form of Giotto, clothed in rags, sketching sheep with one stone on another; talent took genius and fed it and showed it the way, and presently genius overtopped talent by a mountain's head and shoulders. Cimabue took Giotto from his father, glad to be rid of the misshapen child that had to be fed and could do nothing much in return; and from the smoky hut in the little Tuscan valley the lad was taken straight to the old nobleman painter's house in the most beautiful city of Italy, was handed over to Brunetto Latini, Dante's tutor, to be taught book-learning, and was allowed to spend the other half of his time in the painting room, at the elbow of the greatest living painter.

The boy was a sort of apprentice-servant, of course, as all beginners were in those times. In the big house, he probably had a pallet bed in one of those upper dormitories where the menservants slept, and he doubtless fed with them in the lower hall at first. They must have laughed at his unmannerly ways, and at his surprise over every new detail of civilized life, but he had a sharp tongue and could hold his own in a word-fight. There were three tables in a gentleman's house in the Middle Age,—the master's, which was served in different rooms, according to the weather and the time of year; secondly, the 'tinello,' or canteen, as we should call it, for the so-called gentlemen retainers—among whom, by the bye, ranked the chief butler and the head groom, besides the chaplain and the doctor; thirdly, the servants' hall, where all the lower people of the house fed together. Then, as now in old countries, the labour of a large household was indefinitely subdivided, and no servant was expected to do more than one thing, and every servant had an assistant upon whom he forced all the hard work. A shepherd lad, brought in from the hills in his sheepskin coat, sheepskin breeches, and leg swathings of rags and leather, would naturally be the butt of such an establishment. On the other hand, the shepherd boy was a genius and had a tongue like a razor, besides being the favourite of the all-powerful master; and as it was neither lawful nor safe to lay hands on him, his power of cutting speech made him feared.

So he learned Latin with the man who had taught Dante,—and Dante was admitted to be the most learned man of his times,—and he ground the colours and washed the brushes for Cimabue, and drew under the master's eye everything that he saw, and became, as the chronicler Villani says of him, 'the most sovereign master of painting to be found in his time, and the one who most of all others took all figures and all action from nature.' And Villani was his contemporary, and knew him when he was growing old, and recorded his death and his splendid funeral.

One-half of all permanent success in art must always lie in the mechanical part of it, in the understanding and use of the tools. They were primitive in Giotto's day, and even much later, according to our estimate. Oil painting was not dreamt of, nor anything like a lead pencil for drawing. There was no canvas on which to paint. No one had thought of making an artist's palette. Not one-tenth of the substances now used for colours were known then. A modern artist might find himself in great difficulties if he were called upon to paint a picture with Cimabue's tools.

But to Giotto they must have seemed marvellous after his pointed stone pencil and his bit of untrimmed slate. Everything must have surprised and delighted him in his first days in Florence—the streets, the houses, the churches, the people, the dresses he saw; and the boy who had begun by copying the sheep that were before his eyes on the hillside, instantly longed to reproduce a thousand things that pleased him. So, when he was already old enough to understand life and its beauty, he was suddenly transported to the midst of it, just where it was most beautiful; and because he instantly saw that his master's art was unreal and far removed from truth, dead, as it were, and bound hand and foot in the graveclothes of Byzantine tradition, his first impulse was to wake the dead in a blaze of life. And this he did.

And after him, from time to time, when art seemed to be stiffening again in the clumsy fingers of the little scholars of the great, there came a true artist, like Giotto, who realized the sort of deathlike trance into which art had fallen, and roused it suddenly to things undreamed of—from Giotto to Titian. And each did all that he meant to do. But afterwards came Tintoretto, who said that he would draw like Michelangelo and paint like Titian; but he could not, though he made beautiful things: and he was the first great artist who failed to go farther than others had gone before him; and because art must either advance or go backward, and no one could advance any more, it began to go backward, and the degeneration set in.

About three hundred years elapsed between Giotto's birth and Titian's death, during which the world changed from the rough state of the Middle Age to a very high degree of civilization; and men's eyes grew tired of what they saw all the time, while many of the strong types which had made the change faded away. Men grew more alike, dress grew more alike, thoughts grew more alike. It was the beginning of that overspreading uniformity which we have in our time, which makes it so very easy for any one man to be eccentric, but which makes it so very hard for any one man to be really great. One might say that in those times humanity flowed in very small channels, which a strong man of genius could thwart and direct. But humanity now is a stream so broad that it is almost like an ocean, in which all have similar being, and the big fish come to the surface, and spout and blow and puff without having any influence at all on the tide.

There was hardly any such thing possible as eccentricity in Giotto's time. When the dress and manners and language of every little town differed distinctly from those of the nearest village, every man dressed as he pleased, behaved as he had been taught, and spoke the dialect of his native place. There was a certain uniformity among the priesthood, whose long cassock was then the more usual dress of civilians in great cities in times of peace and who spoke Latin among themselves and wrote it, though often in a way that would make a scholar's blood run cold. But there was no uniformity among other classes of men. A fine gentleman who chose to have his cloth tights of several colours, one leg green and one blue, or each leg in quarters of four colours, attracted no attention whatever in the streets; and if one noble affected simple habits and went about in an old leathern jerkin that was rusty in patches from the joints of his armour, the next might dress himself in rich silk and gold embroidery, and wear a sword with a fine enamelled hilt. No one cared, except for himself, and it must have been hard indeed to produce much effect by any eccentricity of appearance. But there was the enormous and constantly changing variety that takes an artist's eye at every turn,—which might make an artist then of a man who nowadays would be nothing but a discontented observer with artistic tastes.

I do not think that these things have ever been much noticed as factors in the development of European art. Consider what Florence, for instance, was to the eye at that time. And then consider that, until that time, art had been absolutely prohibited from painting what it saw, being altogether a traditional business in which, as Burckhardt says, the artist had quite lost all freedom of mind, all pleasure and interest in his work, in which he no longer invented, but had only to reproduce by mechanical repetition what the Church had discovered for him, in which the sacred personages he represented had shrivelled to mere emblems, and the greater part of his attention and pride was directed to the rich and almost imperishable materials in which alone he was allowed to work for the honour and glory of the Church.

In the second Council of Nicea, held in the year 787, the question of sacred pictures was discussed, and in the acts of the Council the following statement is found:—

'It is not the invention of the painter which creates the picture, but an inviolable law, a tradition of the Church. It is not the painters, but the holy fathers, who have to invent and dictate. To them manifestly belongs the composition, to the painter only the execution.'

It would be hard to find a clearer definition of the artist's place and work before Giotto.

Consider all these things, and then think of the sensations of the first man upon whom it flashed all at once that he might be free and might paint everything he saw, not as monks dictated to him, but as he saw it, to the best of his strength and talent. He must have felt like a creature that had been starved, suddenly turned out free to roam through a world full of the most tempting things and with a capacity to enjoy them all. He did not realize his freedom completely at first; it was impossible for him to throw off at once all the traditions in which he had been brought up and taught; but he realized enough to change the whole direction of all the art that came after him.

Two things are remarkable about the early Italian artists. With the solitary exception of Cimabue—the first of the Renascence—none of them was born rich, but, on the other hand, a great many of them were not born poor either. Giotto and Mantegna were shepherd boys, it is true; but Michelangelo was the son of a small official of ancient family in the provinces, the mayor of the little city of Chiusi e Caprese; Lionardo da Vinci's father was a moderately well-to-do land-holder; Raphael's was a successful painter, and certainly not in want. Secondly, a very great number of them made what must have been thought good fortunes in those days, while they were still young men. Some, like Andrea del Sarto, squandered their money and died in misery; one or two, like Fra Angelico, refused to receive money themselves for their work and handed over their earnings to a religious community. None, so far as I can find out, toiled through half a lifetime with neither recognition nor pay, as many a great artist has done in our times—like the Frenchman Millet, for instance, whose Angelus fetched such a fabulous price after his death. The truth is that what we mean by art had just been discovered, and it met with immediate and universal appreciation, and the result was a demand for it which even a greater number of painters could not have oversatisfied. Consequently, there was plenty to do for every man of genius, and there were people not only willing to pay great sums for each work, but who disputed with each other for the possession of good paintings, and quarrelled for what was equivalent to the possession of great artists.

Another element in the lives of these men, as in the lives of all who rose to any eminence in those days, was the great variety that circumstances introduced into their existence. Change and variety are favourable to creative genius as they are unfavourable to uncreative study. The scholar and the historian are best left among their books for twenty years at a time, to execute the labour of patient thought which needs perpetual concentration on one subject. If Gibbon had continued to be an amateur soldier and a man of the world, as he began, he might have written a history, but it would not have been the most astonishing history of modern times. In Macaulay's brilliant and often too creative work, one sees the influence of his changing political career, to the detriment of sober study. For the more the creative man sees and lives in his times, the more he is impelled to create. In the midst of his best years of painting, Lionardo da Vinci was called off to build canals, and Cæsar Borgia kept him busy for two years in planning and constructing fortifications. Immediately before that time he had finished his famous Last Supper, in Milan, and immediately afterwards he painted the Battle of Anghiari—now lost—which was the picture of his that most strongly impressed the men of his day.

Similarly, Michelangelo was interrupted in his work when, the Constable of Bourbon having sacked Rome, the Medici were turned out of Florence, and the artist was employed by the Republic to fortify and defend the city. It was betrayed, and he escaped and hid himself—and the next great thing he did was the Last Judgment, in the Sixtine Chapel. He did stirring work in wild times, besides painting, and hewing marble, and building Saint Peter's.

That brings one back to thinking how much those men knew. Their universal knowledge seems utterly unattainable to us, with all our modern machinery of education. Michelangelo grew up in a suburb of Florence, to which his father moved when he was a child, at a notary's desk, his father trying to teach him enough law to earn him a livelihood. Whenever he had a chance, he escaped to draw in a corner, or to spend forbidden hours in an artist's studio. He was taught Latin and arithmetic by an old schoolmaster, who was probably a priest, and a friend of his father's. At fourteen he earned money in Ghirlandajo's studio, which means that he was already an artist. At twenty-five he was probably the equal of any living man as sculptor, painter, architect, engineer and mathematician. Very much the same might be said of Lionardo. One asks in vain how such enormous knowledge was acquired, and because there is no answer, one falls back upon wild theories about untaught genius. But whatever may be said of painting and sculpture, neither architecture nor engineering, and least of all the mathematics so necessary to both, can be evolved from the inner consciousness.

Men worked harder then than now, and their teachers and their tools helped them less, so that they learned more thoroughly what they learned at all. And there was much less to distract a man then, when he had discovered his own talent, while there was everything to spur him. Amusements were few, and mostly the monopoly of rich nobles; but success was quick and generous, and itself ennobled the men who attained to it—that is, it instantly made him the companion, and often the friend, of the most cultivated men and women of the day. Then, as now, success meant an entrance into 'society' for those whose birth had placed them outside of it. But 'society' was different then. It consisted chiefly of men who had fought their own way to power, and had won it by a superiority both intellectual and physical, and of women who often realized and carried out the unsatisfied intellectual aspirations of their husbands and fathers. For wherever men have had much to do, and have done it successfully, what we call culture has been more or less the property of the women. In those times, the men were mostly occupied in fighting and plotting, but the beautiful things produced by newly discovered art appealed to them strongly. Women, on the other hand, had nothing to do. With the end of the Middle Age, the old-fashioned occupations of women, such as spinning, weaving and embroidering with their maids, went out of existence, and the mechanical work was absorbed and better done by the guilds. Fighting was then a large part of life, but there was something less of the petty squabbling and killing between small barons, which kept their women constant prisoners in remote castles, for the sake of safety; and there was war on a larger scale between Guelph and Ghibelline, Emperor and Pope, State and State. The women had more liberty and more time. There were many women students in the universities, as there are now, in Italy, and almost always have been, and there were famous women professors, whose lectures were attended by grown men. No one was surprised at that, and there was no loud talk about women's rights. Nobody questioned the right of women to learn as much as they could, where-ever anything was taught. There were great ladies, good and bad, like Vittoria Colonna and Lucrezia Borgia, who were scholars, and even Greek scholars, and probably equal to any students of their time. Few ladies of Michelangelo's day did not know Latin, and all were acquainted with such literature as there was—Dante, Macchiavelli, Aretino, Ariosto and Petrarch,—for Tasso came later,—the Tuscan minor poets, as well as the troubadours of Provence—not to mention the many collections of tales, of which the scenes were destined to become the subjects of paintings in the later days of the Renascence.

Modern society is the enemy of individuality, whether in dress, taste or criticism, and the fear of seeming different from other people is greater than the desire to rise higher than other people by purely personal means. In the same way, socialism is the enemy of all personal distinction, whatever the socialists may say to the contrary, and is therefore opposed to all artistic development and in favour of all that is wholesale, machine-made, and labour-saving. And nobody will venture to say that modern tendencies are not distinctly socialistic.


The Baths of Diocletian remodelled by Michelangelo]

We are almost at the opposite extreme of existence from the early Renascence. That was the age of small principalities; ours is the day of great nations. Anyone who will carefully read the history of the Middle Age and of the Renascence will come to the inevitable conclusion that the greatest artists and writers of today are very far from being the rivals of those who were great then. Shakespeare was almost the contemporary of Titian; there has been neither a Shakespeare nor a Titian since, nor any writer nor artist in the most distant manner approaching them. Yet go backward from them, and you will find Dante, as great as Shakespeare, and at least three artists, Michelangelo, Lionardo da Vinci and Raphael, quite as great as Titian. They lived in a society which was antisocialistic, and they were the growth of a period in which all the ideas of civilized mankind tended in a direction diametrically opposed to that taken by our modern theories. This is undeniable. The greatest artists, poets and literary men are developed where all conditions most develop individuality. The modern state, in which individuality is crushed by the machinery of education in order that all men may think alike, favours the growth of science alone; and scientific men have the least individuality of all men who become great, because science is not creative like art and literature, nor destructive like soldiering, but inquisitive, inventive and speculative in the first place, and secondly, in our age, financial. In old times, when a discovery was made, men asked, 'What does it mean? To what will it lead?' Now, the first question is, 'What will it be worth?' That does not detract from the merit of science, but it shows the general tendency of men's thoughts. And it explains two things, namely, why there are no artists like Michelangelo nor literary men like Shakespeare in our times—and why the majority of such artists and literary men as we have are what is commonly called reactionaries, men who would prefer to go back a century or two, and who like to live in out-of-the-way places in old countries, as Landor lived in Florence, Browning in Venice, Stevenson in Samoa, Liszt in Rome,—besides a host of painters and sculptors, who have exiled themselves voluntarily for life in Italy and France. The whole tendency of the modern world is scientific and financial, and the world is ruled by financiers and led by a financial society which honours neither art nor literature, but looks upon both as amusements which it can afford to buy, and which it is fashionable to cultivate, but which must never for a moment be considered as equal in importance to the pursuit of money for its own sake.

It was the great scope for individuality, the great prizes to be won by individuality, the honour paid to individuality, that helped the early painters to their high success. It was the abundance of material, hitherto never used in art, the variety of that material, in an age when variety was the rule and not the exception, it was the richness of that material, not in quantity and variety only, but in individual quality, that made early paintings what we see. It was their genuine and true love of beauty, and of nature and of the eternal relations between nature and beauty, that made those men great artists. It was the hampering of individuality, the exhaustion and disappearance of material and the degeneration of a love of beauty to a love of effect, that put an end to the great artistic cycle in Italy, and soon afterwards in the rest of the world, with Rembrandt and Van Dyck, the last of the really great artists.

Progress is not civilization, though we generally couple the two words together, and often confound their values. Progress has to do with what we call the industrial arts, their development, and the consequent increase of wealth and comfort. Civilization means, on the other hand, among many things, the growth and perfecting of art, in the singular; the increase of a general appreciation of art; the refinement of manners which follows upon a widespread improvement of taste; the general elevation of a people's thoughts above the hard conditions in which a great people's struggles for existence, preëminence and wealth take place.

Progress, in its right acceptation, ought also to mean some sort of moral progress—such, for instance, as has transformed our own English-speaking race in a thousand years or more from a stock of very dangerous pirates to a law-abiding people—if we may fairly say as much as that of ourselves.

Civilization has nothing to do with morality. That is rather a shocking statement, perhaps, but it is a true one. It may be balanced by saying that civilization has nothing to do with immorality either. The early Christians were looked upon as very uncivilized people by the Romans of their time, and the meanest descendants of the Greeks secretly called the Romans themselves barbarians. In point of civilization and what we call cultivation, Alcibiades was immeasurably superior to Saint Paul, Peter the Hermit or Abraham Lincoln, though Alcibiades had no morality to speak of and not much conscience. Moreover, it is a fact that great reformers of morals have often been great enemies of art and destroyers of the beautiful. Fra Bartolommeo, who is thought by many to have equalled Raphael in the latter's early days, became a follower of Savonarola, burned all his wonderful drawings and studies, and shut himself up in a monastery to lead a religious life; and though he yielded after several years to the command of his superiors, and began painting again, he confined himself altogether to devotional subjects as long as he lived, and fell far behind Raphael, who was certainly not an exemplary character, even in those days.

In Europe, and in the Latin languages, there is a distinction, and a universally accepted one, between education and instruction. It is something like that which I am trying to make clear between Civilization and Progress. An 'instructed man' means a man who has learned much but who may have no manners at all, may eat with his knife, forget to wash his hands, wear outlandish clothes, and be ignorant even of the ordinary forms of politeness. An 'educated person,' on the contrary, may know very little Latin, and no Greek, and may be shaky in the multiplication table; but he must have perfect manners to deserve the designation, and tact, with a thorough knowledge of all those customs and outward forms which distinguish what calls itself civilized society from the rest of the world. Anyone can see that such instruction, on the one hand, and such education, on the other, are derived from wholly different sources, and must lead to wholly different results; and it is as common nowadays to find men who have the one without the other, as it ever was in ancient Greece or Rome. I should like to assert that it is more common, since Progress is so often mistaken for Civilization and tacitly supposed to be able to do without it, and that Diogenes would not be such a startling exception now as he was in the days of Alexander the Great. But no one would dare to say that Progress cannot go on in a high state of Civilization. All that can be stated with absolute certainty is that they are independent of each other, since Progress means 'going on' and therefore 'change'; whereas Civilization may remain at the same high level for a very long period, without any change at all. Compare our own country with China, for instance. In the arts—the plural 'arts'—in applied science, we are centuries ahead of Asia; but our manners are rough and even brutal compared with the elaborate politeness of the Chinese, and we should labour in vain to imitate the marvellous productions of their art. We may prefer our art to that of the far East, though there are many critics who place the Japanese artists much higher than our own; but no one can deny the superior skill of the Asiatics in the making of everything artistic.

Nor must we undervalue in art the importance of the minor and special sort of progress which means a real and useful improvement in methods and materials. That is doubtless a part, a first step, in the general progress which tends ultimately to the invention of machinery, but which, in its development, passes through the highest perfection of manual work.

The first effect of this sort of progress in art was to give men of genius new and better tools, and therefore a better means of expression. In a way, almost every painter of early times was an inventor, and had to be, because for a long time the methods and tools of painting were absurdly insufficient. Every man who succeeded had discovered some new way of grinding and mixing colours, of preparing the surface on which he worked, of using the brush and the knife, and of fixing the finished picture by means of varnishes. The question of what painters call the vehicle for colour was always of immense importance. Long before Giotto began to work there seem to have been two common ways of painting, namely, in fresco, with water-colours, and on prepared surfaces by means of wax mixed with some sort of oil.

In fresco painting, the mason, or the plasterer, works with the painter. A surface as large as the artist expects to use during a few hours is covered with fresh stucco by the mason, and thoroughly smoothed with a small trowel. Stucco, as used in Italy, is a mixture of slaked lime and white marble dust, or very fine sand which has been thoroughly sifted. If stained to resemble coloured or veined marbles, and immediately ironed till it is dry with hot smooth irons, the surface of the mass is hardened and polished to such a degree that it is almost impossible to distinguish it from real marble without breaking into it. Waxing gives it a still higher polish. But if water-colours are used for painting a picture upon it, and if the colours are laid on while the stucco is still damp, they unite with the lime, and slowly dry to a surface which is durable, but neither so hard nor so polished as that produced when the stucco is ironed. The principal conditions are that the stucco must be moist, the wall behind it absolutely dry and the colours very thin and flowing. Should the artist not cover all that has been prepared for his day's work, the remainder has to be broken out again and laid on fresh the next day. It is now admitted that the wall-paintings of the ancients were executed in this way. As it was impossible for the artist at any time to have the whole surface of the freshly stuccoed wall at his disposal in order to draw his picture before painting it, he either drew the design in red upon the rough dry plaster, and then had the stucco laid over it in bits, or else he made a cartoon drawing of the work in its full size. The outlines were then generally pricked out with a stout pin, and the cartoon cut up into pieces of convenient dimensions, so that the painter could lay them against the fresh stucco and rub the design through, or pounce it, as we should say, with charcoal dust, like a stencil. He then coloured it as quickly as he could. If he made a mistake, or was not pleased with the effect, there was no remedy except the radical one of breaking off the stucco, laying it on fresh, and beginning over again. It was clearly impossible to paint over the same surface again and again as can be done in oil painting.

No one knows exactly when eggs were first used in fresco painting, nor does it matter much. Some people used the yolk and the white together, some only one or the other, but the egg was, and is, always mixed with water. Some artists now put gum tragacanth into the mixture. It is then used like water in water-colour work, but is called 'tempera' or 'distemper.' The effect of the egg is to produce an easy flow of the colour with so little liquid that the paint does not run on the surface, as it easily does in ordinary water-colours. The effect of the yellow yolk of the egg upon the tints is insignificant, unless too much be used. By using egg, one may paint upon ordinary prepared canvas as easily as with oils, which is impossible with water-colour.

As for the early paintings upon panels of wood, before oils were used, they were meant to be portable imitations of fresco. The wood was accordingly prepared by covering it with a thin coating of fine white cement, or stucco, which was allowed to dry and become perfectly hard, because it was of course impossible to lay it on fresh every day in such small quantities. The vehicle used could therefore not be water, which would have made the colours run. The most common practice of the Byzantine and Romanesque schools seems to have been to use warm melted wax in combination with some kind of oil, the mixture being kept ready at hand over a lighted lamp, or on a pan of burning charcoal. There are artists in Europe, still, who occasionally use wax in this way, though generally mixed with alcohol or turpentine, and the result is said to be very durable. Sir Joshua Reynolds painted many pictures in this way.

With regard to using oils on a dry surface in wall painting, instead of fresco, Lionardo da Vinci tried it repeatedly with the result that many of his wall paintings were completely lost within thirty or forty years after they had been painted. The greatest of those which have survived at all, the Last Supper in Milan, has had to be restored so often that little of the original picture remains untouched.

The enormous value of linseed oil and nut oil as a vehicle was apparent as soon as it was discovered in Holland. Its great advantages are that, unlike water or egg, it will carry a large quantity of colour upon the canvas at the first stroke, that it dries slowly, so that the same ground may be worked over without haste while it is still fresh, and that it has a very small effect in changing the tints of the original paints used. One may see what value was attached to its use from the fact that those who first brought it to Italy worked in secret. Andrea Castagno, surnamed the Assassin, learned the method from his best friend, Domenico Veneziano, and then murdered him while he was singing a serenade under a lady's window, in order to possess the secret alone. But it soon became universally known and made a revolution in Italian painting.

In the older times, when rare and valuable pigments were used, as well as large quantities of pure gold, the materials to be employed and their value were stipulated for in the contract made between the painter and his employer before the picture was begun, and an artist's remuneration at that time was much of the nature of a salary, calculated on an approximate guess at the time he might need for the work. That was, of course, a survival from the time of the Byzantine artists, to whom gold and silver and paints were weighed out by the ecclesiastics for whom they painted, and had to be accounted for in the finished picture. There is a story told of an artist's apprentice, who made a considerable sum of money by selling the washings of his master's brushes when the latter was using a great quantity of ultramarine; and that shows the costliness of mere paints at that time. As for the more valuable materials, the great altar picture in Saint Mark's, in Venice, is entirely composed of plates of pure gold enamelled in different colours, and fastened in a sort of mosaic upon the wood panel as required, the lights and shades being produced by hatching regular lines through the hard enamel with a sharp instrument. The whole technical history of painting lies between that sort of work and the modern painter's studio.

Before oil painting became general, artists were largely dependent on commissions in order to do any work except drawing. Fresco needed a wall, and work done in that manner could not be removed from place to place. The old-fashioned panel work with its gold background was so expensive that few artists could afford to paint pictures on the mere chance of selling them. But the facilities and the economy of pure tempera work, and work in oils, soon made easel pictures common.

Between the time of Giotto and that of Mantegna another means of expression, besides painting, was found for artists, if not by accident, by the ingenuity of the celebrated goldsmith, Maso Finiguerra, who was the first man in Italy, and probably the first in the world, to take off upon paper impressions in ink from an engraved plate.

[Illustration: THE PALATINE]

The especial branch of goldsmithing which he practised was what the Italians still call 'niello' work, or the enamelling of designs upon precious metals. The method of doing such work is this. Upon the piece to be enamelled the design is first carefully drawn with a fine point, precisely as in silver chiselling, and corrected till quite perfect in all respects. This design is then cut into the metal with very sharp tools, evenly, but not to a great depth. When completely cut, the enamelling substance, which is generally sulphate of silver, is placed upon the design in just sufficient quantities, and the whole piece of work is then put into a furnace and heated to such a point that the enamel melts and fills all the cuttings of the design, while the metal itself remains uninjured. This is an easier matter than might be supposed, because gold and silver, though soft under the chisel, will not melt except at a very high temperature. When the enamel has cooled, the whole surface is rubbed down to a perfect level, and the design appears with sharp outlines in the polished metal.

Now anyone who has ever worked with a steel point on bright metal knows how very hard it is to judge of the correctness of the drawing by merely looking at it, because the light is reflected in all directions into one's eyes, not only from untouched parts of the plate, but from the freshly cut lines. The best way of testing the work is to blacken it with some kind of colour that is free from acid, such as a mixture of lampblack and oil, to rub the surface clean so as to leave the ink only in the engraved lines, and then take an impression of the drawing upon damp paper. That is practically what Finiguerra did, and in so doing he discovered the art of engraving. Probably goldsmiths had done the same before him, as they have always done since, but none of them had thought of drawing upon metal merely for the sake of the impression it would make, and without any intention of using the metal afterwards. Within fifty years of Finiguerra's invention very beautiful engravings were sold all over Italy, and many famous painters engraved their own works—foremost among these, Mantegna and Botticelli.

Early Italian art rose thus by regular steps, from the helpless, traditional, imitative work of the Romanesque and Byzantine artists to its highest development. It then passed a succession of climaxes in the masterpieces of Lionardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael and Titian, and thence descended gradually to the miserably low level of the eighteenth century.

It is easy to trace the chief objects which painting had in view in its successive phases. Tradition, Reality and Illusion were the three. Cimabue was still a Traditionist. Giotto was the first Realist. Mantegna first aimed at the full illusion which finished art is capable of producing, and though not so great a man as Giotto, was a much greater painter. Then came Lionardo, Michelangelo and Raphael, the men of universal genius, who could make use of tradition without being commonplace, who could be realistic without being coarse, and who understood how to produce illusion without being theatrical. In the decay of Italian art what strikes one most strongly is the combination of the three faults which the great men knew how to avoid—coarseness, commonplace thought and theatrical execution.


From a print of the last century]

Cimabue had found out that it was possible to paint sacred pictures without the dictation of priests, as prescribed by the Council of Nice. The idea discovered by Giotto, or rather the fact, namely, that nature could be copied artistically, produced a still greater revolution, and he had hosts of scholars and followers and imitators. But they were nothing more, or at the most it may be said that they developed his idea to the furthest with varying success. It was realism—sometimes a kind of mystic evocation of nature, disembodied and divinely pure, as in Beato Angelico; often exquisitely fresh and youthful, as in his pupil, Benozzo Gozzoli, whose vast series of frescoes half fills the Camposanto of Pisa—sometimes tentative and experimental, or gravely grand, as in Masaccio, impetuous and energetic as in Fra Lippo Lippi, fanciful as in Botticelli—but still, always realism, in the sense of using nature directly, without any distinct effort at illusion, the figures mostly taken from life, and generally disposed in one plane, the details minute, the landscapes faithful rather than suggestive.

The lives of those men were all typical of the times in which they lived, and especially the life of the holy man we call Beato Angelico, of saintly memory, that of the fiery lay brother, Filippo Lippi, whose astounding talents all but redeemed his little less surprising sins—and lastly that of Andrea Mantegna.

The first two stand out in tremendous contrast as contemporaries—the realist of the Soul, and the realist of the Flesh, the Saint and the Sinner, the Ascetic and the Sensualist.

Beato Angelico—of his many names, it is easier to call him by the one we know best—was born in 1387. At that time the influence of the Empire in Italy was ended, and that of the Popes was small. The Emperors and the Popes had in fact contended for the control of municipal rights in the free Italian cities; with the disappearance of those rights under the Italian despots the cause of contention was gone, as well as the partial liberty which had given it existence. The whole country was cut up into principalities owned and ruled by tyrants. Dante had been dead about sixty years, and the great imperial idea which he had developed in his poem had totally failed. The theoretical rights of man, as usual in the world's history, had gone down before the practical strength of individuals, whose success tended, again, to call into activity other individuals, to the general exaltation of talent for the general oppression of mediocrity. In other words, that condition had been produced which is most favourable to genius, because everything between genius and brute strength had been reduced to slavery in the social scale. The power to take and hold, on the one hand, and the power to conceive and execute great works on the other, were as necessary to each other as supply and demand; and all moral worth became a matter of detail compared with success.

In such a state of the world, a man of creative genius who chanced to be a saint was an anomaly; there was no fit place for him but a monastery, and no field for his powers but that of Sacred Art. It was as natural that Angelico should turn monk as that Lippo Lippi, who had been made half a monk against his will, should turn layman.

In the peaceful convent of Saint Mark, among the Dominican brethren, Beato Angelico's character and genius grew together; the devout artist and the devotional mystic were inseparably blended in one man, and he who is best remembered as a famous painter was chosen by a wise Pope to be Archbishop of Florence, for his holy life, his gentle character and his undoubted learning.

He could not refuse the great honour outright; but he implored the Pope to bestow it upon a brother monk, whom he judged far more worthy than himself. He was the same consistent, humble man who had hesitated to eat meat at the Pope's own table without the permission of the prior of his convent—a man who, like the great Saint Bernard, had given up a prosperous worldly existence in pure love of religious peace. It was no wonder that such a man should become the realist of the angels and a sort of angel among realists—himself surnamed by his companions the 'Blessed' and the 'Angelic.'

Beside him, younger than he, but contemporary with him, stands out his opposite, Filippo Lippi. He was not born rich, like Angelico. He came into the world in a miserable by-way of Florence, behind a Carmelite convent. His father and mother were both dead when he was two years old, and a wretchedly poor sister of his father took care of him as best she could till he was eight. When she could bear the burden no longer, she took him to the door of the monastery, as orphans were taken in those days, and gave him over to the charity of the Carmelite fathers. Most of the boys brought to them in that way grew up to be monks, and some of them became learned; but the little Filippo would do nothing but scrawl caricatures in his copybook all day long, and could not be induced to learn anything. But he learned to draw so well that when the prior saw what he could do, he allowed him to paint; and at seventeen the lad who would not learn to read or write knew that he was a great artist, and turned his back on the monastery that had given him shelter, and on the partial vows he had already taken. He was the wildest novice that ever wore a frock. He had almost missed the world, since a little more inclination, a little more time, might have made a real monk of him. But he had escaped, and he took to himself all the world could give, and revelled in it with every sensation of his gifted, sensuous nature. It was only when he could not get what he wanted that he had curious returns of monkish reasoning. The historian of his life says that he would give all he possessed to secure the gratification of whatever inclination chanced to be predominant at the moment; but if he could by no means accomplish his wishes, he would then depict the object which attracted his attention and he would try, by reasoning and talking with himself, to diminish the violence of his inclination.

There was no lack of adventure in his life, either. Once, at Ancona, on the Adriatic, he ventured too far out to sea in an open boat, and he and his companions were picked up by a Barbary pirate and carried off to Africa. But for his genius he might have ended his days there, instead of spending only eighteen months in slavery. A clever drawing of the pirate chief, made on a whitewashed wall with a bit of charcoal from a brazier, saved him. The Moor saw it, was delighted, set him to paint a number of portraits, in defiance of Moses, Mahomet and the Koran, and then, by way of reward, brought him safe across the water to Naples and gave him his liberty.

He painted more pictures, earned money, and worked his way back to Florence. As long as he worked at all he did marvels, but a pretty face was enough to make him forget his art, his work and the Princes and Dukes who employed him. Cosimo de Medici once shut him up with his picture, to keep him at it; he tore the sheets of his bed into strips, knotted them together, escaped by the window—and was of course forgiven. The nuns of Saint Margaret employed him to paint an altar-piece for them; he persuaded them to let the most beautiful of their novices sit as a model for one of the figures; he made love to her, of course, and ran away with her, leaving the picture unfinished. It is characteristic of him that though he never forsook her, he refused the Pope's offer of a dispensation from his early vows which would have enabled him to marry her—for he hated all ties and bonds alike, and a regular marriage would have seemed to him almost as bad as slavery in Africa.

Lippo represented one extreme of character, Beato Angelico the other. Between them were many men of almost equal genius, but of more common temper, such as Botticelli, who was Lippo's pupil, or Benozzo Gozzoli, the pupil of Angelico. Of Sandro Botticelli we know at least that he resembled his master in one respect—he positively refused to learn anything from books, and it was in sheer despair that his father, Filipepe, apprenticed the boy to a goldsmith, who rejoiced in the nickname of Botticello—'the little tun'—perhaps on account of his rotund figure, and it was from this first master of his that the boy came to be called 'Botticello's Sandro.' The goldsmith soon saw that the boy was a born painter, and took him to Lippo Lippi to be taught. Both Botticelli and Gozzoli, like many first-rate artists of that time, were quiet, hard-working men, devoted to their art, and not remarkable for anything else. The consequence is that little is known about their lives. It is natural that we should know most about the men who were most different from their companions, such as Michelangelo on the one hand, and Benvenuto Cellini on the other, or Beato Angelico and Lippo Lippi, or the clever Buffalmacco—whose practical jokes were told by Boccaccio and Sacchetti, and have even brought him into modern literature—and Lionardo da Vinci. Then, as now, there were two types of artists, considered as men; there were Bohemians and scholars. Lionardo and Michelangelo were grave and learned students; so was Beato Angelico in a sense limited to theology. But Benvenuto, Lippo Lippi and Buffalmacco were typical Bohemians. As for the latter, he seems scarcely ever to have painted a picture without playing off a practical jest upon his employer, and he began his career by terrifying his master, who insisted upon waking him to work before dawn. He fastened tiny wax tapers upon the backs of thirty black beetles, and as soon as he heard the old man stirring and groping in the dark, he lighted the tapers quickly, and drove the beetles into the room, through a crack under the door, and they ran wildly hither and thither on the pavement. The master took them for demons come to carry off his soul; he almost lost his senses in a fit, and he used half the holy water in Florence to exorcise the house. But ever afterwards he was too much frightened to get up before daylight, and Buffalmacco slept out the long night in peace.

Andrea Mantegna, the great painter and engraver, who made the final step in the development of pictorial art in Italy, was a shepherd's son, like Giotto, born about one hundred years after Giotto's death. Similar conditions and a similar bent of genius produced different results in different centuries. Between Giotto and Mantegna the times had changed; men lived differently, thought differently and saw differently.

How Mantegna got into the studio of the learned master Squarcione of Padua is not known. The shepherd lad may have strayed in on a summer's day, when the door was open, and attracted the painter's attention and interest. One of the greatest living painters today was a Bavarian peasant boy, who used to walk ten miles barefoot to the city and back on Sundays, carrying his shoes to save them, in order to go into the free galleries and look at the pictures; and somehow, without money, nor credit, nor introduction, he got into the studio of a good master, and became a great artist. Mantegna may have done the same. At all events, he became old Squarcione's favourite pupil.

But when he was inside the studio, he found there a vast collection of antique fragments of sculpture, which the master had got together from all sources, and which the pupils were drawing. He was set to drawing them, too, as the best way of learning how to paint.

That was the logical manifestation and characteristic expression of Renascence, which was a second birth of Greek and Roman art, science and literature—one might call it, in Italy, the second birth of civilized man. It brought with it the desire and craving for something more than realism, together with the means of raising all art to the higher level required in order to produce beautiful illusions. Men had found time to enjoy as well as to fight and pray. In other words, they fought and prayed less, and the result was that they had more leisure. The women had begun to care for artistic things much earlier, and they had taught their children to care for them, and the result was a general tendency of taste to a higher level. Genius may be an orphan and a foundling, but taste is the child of taste. Genius is the crude, creative force; but the gentle sense of appreciation, neither creative nor crude, but receptive, is most often acquired at home and in childhood. A full-grown man may learn to be a judge and a critic, but he cannot learn to have taste after he is once a man. Taste belongs to education rather than to instruction, and it is the mother that educates, not the schoolmaster.

That faculty of taste was what Italy had acquired between the time of Cimabue and the time of Mantegna—roughly speaking, between the year 1200 and the year 1450—between the first emancipation of art from the old Byzantine and Romanesque thraldom and the time when the new art had so overspread the country that engravings of the most famous pictures began to be sold in the streets in every important city in Italy. Only a few years after Mantegna's death, Albert Dürer, the great painter engraver of Nüremberg, appeared before the council of Venice to try and get a copyright for his engravings, which were being so cleverly forged by the famous Raimondi that the copies were sold in the Piazza of Saint Mark as originals. In passing, it is interesting to remember that Dürer, whose engravings now sell for hundreds of dollars each, sold them himself at his own house for prices varying between the values of fifteen and twenty-five cents, according to the size of the plate. The Council of Venice refused him the copyright he asked, but interdicted the copyist from using Dürer's initials.

The immense sale of prints popularized art in Italy at the very time when the first great printing houses, like the Aldine, were popularizing learning. Culture, in the same sense in which we use the word, became preëminently the fashion. Everyone wished to be thought clever, and a generation grew up which not only read Latin authors with pleasure, wrote Latin correctly, and had some acquaintance with Greek, but which took a lively interest in artistic matters, and constituted a real public for artists, a much larger and a much more critical one than could be found today among an equal population in any so-called civilized country. The era of collectors began then, and Mantegna's old master was the first of them. Every man of taste did his best to get possession of some fragment of antique sculpture, everyone bought engravings, everyone went to see the pictures of the great masters—everyone tried to get together a little library of printed books. It took two hundred and fifty or three hundred years to develop the Renascence, but what it produced in Italy alone has not been surpassed, and in many ways has not been equalled, in the four hundred years that have followed it.

With its culmination, individualities, even the strongest, became less distinctly defined, and the romantic side of the art legend was ended. It is so in all things. The romance of the ocean belongs to those who first steered the perilous course that none had dared before; many have been in danger by the sea, many have perished in the desperate trial of the impossible, but none can be Columbus again; many have done brave deeds in untracked deserts, but none again can be the pioneers who first won through to our West. The last may be the greatest, but the first will always have been the first, the daring, the romantic, who did what no man had done before them.

And so it is also in the peaceful ways of art. Giotto, Beato Angelico, Lippo Lippi, Botticelli, never attained to the greatness of Lionardo or Michelangelo or Raphael. Sober criticism can never admit that they did, whatever soft-hearted enthusiasts may say and write. But those earlier men had something which the later ones had not, both in merit and in genius. They fought against greater odds, with poorer weapons, and where their strength failed them, heart and feeling took the place of strength; and their truth and their tenderness went straight to the heart of their young world, as only the highest perfection of illusion could appeal to the eyes of the critical, half-sceptic generation that came after them.

And so, although it be true that art is not dependent on genius alone, but also on mechanical skill, yet there is something in art which is dependent on genius and on nothing else. It is that something which touches, that something which creates, that something which itself is life; that something which belongs, in all ages, to those who grope to the light through darkness; that something of which we almost lose sight in the great completeness of the greatest artists, but which hovers like a halo of glory upon the brows of Italy's earliest, truest and tenderest painters.



Borgo, the 'Suburb,' is the last of the fourteen Regions, and is one of the largest and most important of all, for within its limits stand Saint Peter's, the Vatican, and the Mausoleum of Hadrian—the biggest church, the biggest palace and the biggest tomb in the whole world.

To those who know something of Rome's great drama, the Castle of Sant' Angelo is the most impressive of all her monuments. Like the Colosseum, it stands out in its round strength alone, sun-gilt and shadowy brown against the profound sky. Like the great Amphitheatre, it has been buffeted in the storms of ages and is war-worn without, to the highest reach of a mounted man, and dinted above that by every missile invented in twelve hundred years, from the slinger's pebble or leaden bullet to the cannon ball of the French artillery. Like the Colosseum, it is the crestless trunk of its former self. But it has life in it still, whereas the Colosseum died to a ruin when Urban the Eighth showed his successor how to tear down the outer wall and build a vast palace with a hundredth part of the great theatre.

Sant' Angelo is a living fortress yet, and nearly a thousand years have passed, to the certain knowledge of history, since it was ever a single day unguarded by armed men. Thirty generations of men at arms have stood sentry within its gates since Theodora Senatrix, the strong and sinful, flashed upon history out of impenetrable darkness, seized the fortress and made and unmade popes at her will, till, dying, she bequeathed the domination to her only daughter, and her name to the tale of Roman tyranny.

The Castle has been too often mentioned in these pages to warrant long description of it here, even if any man who has not lived for years among its labyrinthine passages could describe it accurately. The great descending corridor leads in a wide spiral downwards to the central spot where Hadrian lay, and in the vast thickness of the surrounding foundations there is but stone, again stone and more stone. From the main entrance upwards the fortress is utterly irregular within, full of gloomy chambers, short, turning staircases, dark prisons, endless corridors; and above are terraces and rooms where much noble blood has been shed, and where many limbs have been racked and tortured, and battlements from which men good and bad, guilty and innocent, have been dropped a rope's length by the neck to feed the crows.

Here died Stephen Porcari, the brave and spotless; here died Cardinal Carafa for a thousand crimes; and here Lorenzo Colonna, caught and crushed in the iron hands of Sixtus the Fourth, laid his bruised head, still stately, on the block—'a new block,' says Infessura, who loved him and buried him, and could not forget the little detail. The story is worth telling, less for its historical value than for the strange exactness with which it is all set down.

Pope Sixtus, backed by the Orsini, was at war with the Colonna to the end of his reign; but once, on a day when there was truce, he seems to have said in anger that he cared not whom the Colonna served nor with whom they allied themselves. And Lorenzo Colonna, Protonotary Apostolic, with his brothers, took the Pope at his word, and they joined forces with the King of Naples, fortifying themselves in their stronghold of Marino, whence the eldest son of the family still takes his title. The Pope, seeing them in earnest and fearing King Ferdinand, sent an embassy of two cardinals to them, entreating them to be reconciled with the Church. But they answered that they would not, for his Holiness had given them permission to ally themselves with whom they pleased, and refused them money for service, and they said that they could not live without pay—a somewhat ironical statement for such men as the Colonna, who lived rather by taking than by giving an equivalent for anything received.

[Illustration: CASTLE OF SANT' ANGELO]

Then the Pope made war upon King Ferdinand, and when there had been much bloodshed, and plundering and burning on both sides, Prospero Colonna quarrelled with the Duke of Calabria, who was on Ferdinand's side and for whom he had been fighting, and came over to the Church, and so the Colonna were restored to favour, and the Pope made a treaty with the King against Venice, and so another year passed.

But after that the quarrel was renewed between Pope Sixtus and Lorenzo Colonna, on pretext that a certain part of the agreement to which they had come had not been executed by the Protonotary; and while the matter was under discussion, the Cardinal of Saint George, nephew of the great Count Jerome Riario, sent word privately to the Protonotary Colonna, warning him either to escape from Rome or to be on his guard if he remained, 'because some one was plotting against him, and hated him.' Wherefore Lorenzo shut himself up in the dwelling of Cardinal Colonna, between the Colonna palace and Monte Cavallo on the Quirinal hill, and many young men, attached to the great house, began to watch in arms, day and night, turn and turn about. And when this became known, the Orsini also began to arm themselves and keep watch at Monte Giordano. Scenting a struggle, a Savelli, siding with Colonna, struck the first blow by seizing forty horses and mules of the Orsini in a farm building on the Tivoli road; and immediately half a dozen robber Barons joined Savelli, and they plundered right and left, and one of them wrote a long and courteous letter of justification to the Pope. But Orsini retorted swiftly, 'lifting' horses and cattle that belonged to his enemies and making prisoners of their retainers. Among others he took two men who belonged to the Protonotary. And the latter, unable to leave Rome in safety, began to fortify himself in the Cardinal's house with many fighting men, and with many strange weapons, 'bombardelle, cerobottane,' and guns and catapults. Whereupon the Pope sent for Orsini, and commanded him, as the faithful adherent of the Church, to go and take the Protonotary prisoner to his house. But while Orsini was marshalling his troops with those of Jerome Riario, at Monte Giordano and in Campo de' Fiori, the Pope sent for the municipal officers of the city and explained that he meant to pardon the Protonotary if the latter would come to the Vatican humbly and of his own free will; and certain of these officers went to the Protonotary as ambassadors, to explain this. To them he answered, in the presence of Stephen Infessura, the chronicler who tells the story, that he had not fortified himself against the Church, but against private and dangerous enemies, against whom he had been warned, and that he had actually found that his house was spied upon by night; but that he was ready to carry out the terms of the old agreement, and finally, that he was ready to go freely to the Pope, trusting himself wholly to His Holiness, without any earnest or pledge for his safety, but that he begged the Pope not to deliver him into the hands of the Orsini. Yet even before he had spoken, the Orsini were moving up their men, by way of Saint Augustine's Church, which is near Piazza Navona. Nevertheless Colonna, the Protonotary, mounted his horse to ride over to the Vatican.

But John Philip Savelli stood in the way, and demanded of the officers what surety they would give for Colonna; and they promised him safety upon their own lives. Then Savelli answered them that they should remember their bond, for if Colonna did not come back, or if he should be hurt, he, Savelli, would be avenged upon their bodies. And Colonna rode out, meaning to go to the Pope, but his retainers mounted their horses and rode swiftly by another way and met him, and forced him back. For they told him that if he went, his end would be near, and that they themselves would be outlawed; and some said that before they would let him go, they would cut him to pieces themselves rather than let his enemies do it. And furiously they forced him back, him and his horse, through the winding streets, and brought him again into the stronghold, and bade the officers depart in peace.

And the second time two of the officers returned and told the Protonotary to come, for he should be safe. And again he mounted his horse, and struck with the flat of his blade a man who hindered him, and leaped the barrier raised for defence before the palace and rode away. And again his own men mounted and followed him, and overtook him at the cross of Trevi, near by. And one, a giant, seized his bridle and forced him back, saying, 'My Lord, we will not let you go! Rather will we cut you in quarters ourselves; for you go to ruin yourself and us also.'

But when they had him safe within the walls, he wrung his hands, and cried out that it was they who, by hindering him, were destroying themselves and him. But many answered, 'If you had gone, you would never have come back.' And it was then the twenty-first hour of the day, and there were left three hours before dark.

But the Pope, seeing that Colonna did not come, commanded the Orsini to bring him by force, as they might, even by slaying the people, if the people should defend him; and he ordered them to burn and pillage the regions of Monti, Trevi and Colonna. And with Orsini there were some of those fierce Crescenzi, who still lived in Rome. And they all marched through the city, bearing the standard of the Church, and they passed by Trevi and surrounded the house on Monte Cavallo, and proclaimed the ban against all men who should help the Protonotary; wherefore many of the people departed in fear. Then Orsini first leapt the barrier, and his horse was killed under him by a bombard that slew two men also; and immediately all the Colonna's men discharged their firearms and catapults and killed sixteen of their enemies. But the Orsini advanced upon the house.

Then, about the twenty-third hour, the Colonna were weary of fighting against so many, and their powder was not good, so that they fell back from the main gateway, and the Orsini rushed in and filled the arched ways around the courtyard, and set fire to the hay and straw in the stables, and fought their way up the stairs, sacking the house.

They found the Protonotary in his room, wounded in the hand and sitting on a chest, and Orsini told him that he was a prisoner and must come. 'Slay me, rather,' he answered. But Orsini bade him surrender and have no fear. And he yielded himself up, and they took him away through the smoking house, slippery with blood. They found also John Philip Savelli, and they stripped him of the cuirass he wore, and setting their swords to him, bade him cry, 'Long live Orsini!' And he answered, 'I will not say it.' Then they wounded him deep in the forehead and smote off both his hands, and gave him many wounds in face and body, and left him dead. And they plundered all the goods of Cardinal Colonna, his plate, his robes, his tapestries, his chests of linen, and they even carried off his cardinal's hat.

So the Protonotary, on the faith of Orsini, was led away to the Pope in his doublet, but some one lent him a black cloak on the way. And as they went, Jerome Riario rode beside him and jeered at him, crying out, 'Ha, ha! thou traitor, I shall hang thee by the neck this night!' But Orsini answered Jerome, and said, 'Sir, you shall hang me first!' for he had given his word. And more than once on the way, Riario, drunk with blood, drew his dagger to thrust it into Colonna, but Orsini drove him off, and brought his prisoner safely to the Pope. And his men sacked the quarter of the Colonna; and among other houses of the Colonna's retainers which were rifled they plundered that of Paul Mancino, near by, whose descendant was to marry the sister of Mazarin; and also, among the number, the house of Pomponius Letus, the historian, from whom they took all his books and belongings and clothes, and he went away in his doublet and buskins, with his stick in his hand, to make complaint before the municipality.

Then for a whole month all that part of Rome which was dominated by the Colonna was given over to be pillaged and burned by their enemies, while in still Sant' Angelo, the tormentors slowly tore Lorenzo Colonna to pieces, so that the Jewish doctor who was called in to prolong his life said that nothing could save him, for his limbs were swollen and pierced through and through, and many of his bones were broken, and he was full of many deep wounds. Yet in the end, lest he should die a natural death, they prepared the new block and the axe to cut off his head.

'Moreover,' says Infessura, in his own language, 'on the last day of June, when the people were celebrating in Rome the festivity of the most happy decapitation of Saint Paul the Apostle, whose head was cut off by the most cruel Nero—on that very day, about an hour and a half after sunrise, the aforesaid Holiness of our Sovereign Lord caused the Protonotary Colonna to be beheaded in the Castle; and there were present the Senator and the Judge of the crime. And when the Protonotary was led out of prison early in the morning to the grating above the Castle, he turned to the soldiers who were there and told them that he had been grievously tormented, wherefore he had said certain things not true. And immediately afterwards, when he was in the closed place below, where he was beheaded, the Senator and Judge sat down as a Tribunal, and caused to be read the sentence which they passed against him, although no manner of criminal procedure had been observed, since all the confessions were extorted under torture, and he had no opportunity of defending himself.' Therefore, when this sentence had been read, the Protonotary addressed those present and said: 'I wish no one to be inculpated through me. I say this in conscience of my soul, and if I lie, may the devil take me, now that I am about to go out of this life; and so thou, Notary who hast read the sentence, art witness of this, and ye all are witnesses, and I leave the matter to your conscience, that you should also proclaim it in Rome,—that those things written in this sentence are not true, and that what I have said I have said under great torture, as ye may see by my condition.' He would not let them bind his hands, but knelt down at the block, and forgave the executioner, who asked his pardon. And then he said in Latin, 'Lord, into thy hands I commend my spirit,' and called thrice upon Christ the Saviour, and at the third time, the word and his head were severed together from his body.

Then they placed the body in a wooden coffin and took it to Santa Maria Transpontina, the first church on the right, going from the Castle toward Saint Peter's, and when none came to take it away, they sent word to his mother. And she, white-haired and tearless, with burning eyes, came; and she took her son's head from the coffin and held it up to the people, saying, 'Behold the justice of Sixtus,' and she laid it in its place tenderly; and with torches, and the Confraternities, and many priests, the body was taken to the Church of the Holy Apostles, and buried in the Colonna Chapel near the altar.

But before it was buried it was seen in the coffin, and taken out, and laid in it again, and all saw the torments which the man had suffered in his feet, which were swollen and bound up with rags; and also the fingers of his hands had been twisted, so that the inside was turned clean outwards, and on the top of his head was a wound, where priests make the tonsure, as though the scalp had been raised by a knife; and he was dressed in a cotton doublet, yet his own had been of fine black silk. Also they had put on him a miserable pair of hose, torn from the half of the leg downwards; and a red cap with a trencher was upon his head, and it was rather a long cap, and the narrator believed that the gaolers had dressed him thus as an insult. 'And I Stephen, the scribe, saw it with my eyes, and with my hands I buried him, with Prosper of Cicigliano, who had been his vassal; and no other retainers of the Colonna would have anything to do with the matter, out of fear, as I think.'

Five hundred years had passed since Theodora's day, four hundred more are gone since Lorenzo the Protonotary laid his head upon the block, and still the tradition of terror and suffering clings to Sant' Angelo, and furnishes the subject of an all but modern drama. Such endurance in the character of a building is without parallel in the history of strongholds, and could be possible only in Rome, where the centuries pass as decades, and time is reckoned by the thousand years.


From a print of the last century]

The main and most important memories in the Region of Borgo, apart from the Castle, and Saint Peter's and the Vatican, are those connected with the Holy Office, the hospital and insane asylum of Santo Spirito, and with the Serristori barracks. In Rome, to go to Santo Spirito means to go mad. It is the Roman Bedlam. But there is another association with the name, and a still sadder one. There, by the gate of the long, low hospital, is still to be seen the Rota—the 'wheel'—the revolving wooden drum, with its small aperture, corresponding to an opening in the grating, through which many thousand infants have been passed by starving women to the mystery within, to a nameless death, or to grow up to a life almost as nameless and obscure. The mother, indeed, received a ticket as a sort of receipt by which she could recognize her child if she wished, but the children claimed were very few. Within, they were received by nursing Sisters, and cared for, not always wisely, but always kindly, and some of them grew up to happy lives. Modern charity, in its philistinism and well-regulated activity, condemns such wholesale readiness to take burdens which might sometimes be borne by those who lay them down. But modern charity, in such condemnation, does not take just account of a mother's love, and believes that to receive nameless children in such a way would 'encourage irresponsibility,' if not vice. And yet in Rome, where half the population could neither read nor write, infanticide was unknown, and fewer children were passed in through the Rota yearly than are murdered in many a modern city. For the last thing the worst mother will do is to kill her child; last only before that will she part with it. Which was more moral, the unrestricted charity of the Rota, or the unrestricted, legal infanticide of the old-fashioned 'baby-farm,' where superfluous children were systematically starved to death by professional harpies?

On by the Borgo Santo Spirito, opposite the old church of the Penitentiaries, stands the Palazzo Serristori, memorable in the revolutionary movement of 1867. It was then the barracks of the Papal Zouaves—the brave foreign legion enlisted under Pius the Ninth, in which men of all nations were enrolled under officers of the best blood in Europe, hated more especially by the revolutionaries because they were foreigners, and because their existence, therefore, showed a foreign sympathy with the temporal power, which was a denial of the revolutionary theory which asserted the Papacy to be without friends in Europe. Wholesale murder by explosives was in its infancy then as a fine art; but the spirit was willing, and a plot was formed to blow up the castle of Sant' Angelo and the barracks of the Zouaves. The castle escaped because one of the conspirators lost heart and revealed the treachery; but the Palazzo Serristori was partially destroyed. The explosion shattered one corner of the building. It was said that the fuse burned faster than had been intended, so that the catastrophe came too soon. At all events, when it happened, about dark, only the musicians of the band were destroyed, and few of the regiment were in the building at all, so that about thirty lives were sacrificed, where the intention had been to destroy many hundreds. In the more sane condition of Europe today, it seems to us amazing that Pius the Ninth should have been generally blamed for signing the death warrant of the two atrocious villains who did the deed, and for allowing them to be executed. The fact that he was blamed, and very bitterly, gives some idea of the stupid and senseless prejudice against the popes which was the result of Antonelli's narrow and reactionary policy.



We commonly speak of the nineteenth century as an age of superior civilization. The truth of the assertion depends on what civilization means, but there is no denying that more blood has been shed by civilized nations during the last one hundred and twenty years than in any equal period of the world's history. Anyone may realize the fact by simply recalling the great wars which have devastated the world since the American Revolution.

But the carnage was not uninterrupted. The record of death is divided in the midst by the thirty years of comparative peace which followed the battle of Waterloo and preceded the general revolution of 1848. Napoleon had harried the world, from Moscow to Cairo, from Vienna to Madrid, pouring blood upon blood, draining the world's veins dry, exhausting the destroying power of mankind in perpetual destruction. When he was gone, Europe was utterly worn out by his terrible energy, and collapsed suddenly in a state of universal nervous prostration. Then came the long peace, from 1815 to 1848.

During that time the European nations, excepting England, were governed by more or less weak and timid sovereigns, and it was under their feeble rule that the great republican idea took root and grew, like a cutting from the stricken tree of the French Revolution, planted in the heart of Europe, nurtured in secret, and tended by devoted hands to a new maturity, but destined to ruin in the end, as surely as the parent stock.

Those thirty and odd years were a sort of dull season in Europe—an extraordinarily uneventful period, during which the republican idea was growing, and during which the monarchic idea was decaying. Halfway through that time—about 1830—Joseph Mazzini founded the Society of Young Italy, in connection with the other secret societies of Europe, and acquired that enormous influence which even now is associated with his name. Mazzini and Garibaldi meant to make a republic of Italy. The House of Savoy did not at that time dream of a united Italian Kingdom. The most they dared hope was the acquisition of territory on the north by the expulsion of the Austrians. England and circumstances helped the Savoy family in their sudden and astonishing rise of fortune; for at that time Austria was the great military nation of Europe, while France was the naval power second to England, and through the Bourbons, Italy was largely under the influence of Austria. England saw that the creation of an independent friendly power in the Mediterranean would both tend to diminish Austria's strength by land, and would check France in her continued efforts to make the shores of the Mediterranean hers.

She therefore encouraged Italy in revolution, and it is generally believed that she secretly furnished enormous sums of money, through Sir James Hudson, minister in Turin, to further the schemes of Mazzini. The profound hatred of Catholics which was so much more marked in England then than now, produced a strong popular feeling there in favour of the revolutionaries, who inveighed against all existing sovereignties in general, but were particularly bitter against the government of the Popes. The revolution thus supported by England, and guided by such men as Mazzini and Garibaldi, made progress. The legendary nature of Rome, as mistress of the world, appealed also to many Italians, and 'Rome' became the catchword of liberty. The situation was similar in other European countries; secret societies were as active, and to the revolutionaries the result seemed as certain.

But the material of monarchic opposition was stronger elsewhere than in Italy. Prussia had Hohenzollerns and Austria had Hapsburgs—races that had held their own and reigned successfully for hundreds of years. The smaller German principalities had traditions of conservative obedience to a prince, which were not easily broken. On the other hand, in Italy the government of the Bourbons and their relatives was a barbarous misrule, of which the only good point was that it did not oppress the people with taxes, and in Rome the Pontifical chair had been occupied by a succession of politically insignificant Popes from Pius the Seventh, Napoleon's victim, to Gregory the Sixteenth. There was no force in Italy to oppose the general revolutionary idea, except the conservatism of individuals, in a country which has always been revolutionary. Much the same was true of France. But in both countries there were would-be monarchs waiting in the background, ready to promote any change whereby they might profit—Louis Napoleon, and the Kings of Sardinia, Charles Albert first, and after his defeat by the Austrians and his abdication, the semi-heroic, semi-legendary Victor Emmanuel.

Gregory the Sixteenth died in 1846, and Pius the Ninth was elected in his stead—a man still young, full of the highest ideals and of most honest purpose; enthusiastic, a man who had begun life in military service and was destined to end it in captivity, and upon whom it was easy to impose in every way, since he was politically too credulous for any age, and too diffident, if not too timid, for the age in which he lived. His private virtues made him a model to the Christian world, while his political weakness made him the sport of his enemies. The only stable thing in him was his goodness; everything else was in perpetual vacillation. In every true account of every political action of Pius the Ninth, the first words are, 'the Pope hesitated.' And he hesitated to the last—he hesitated through a pontificate of thirty-two years, he outreigned the 'years of Peter,' and he lost the temporal power.

The great movement came to a head in 1848. A year of revolutions, riots, rebellions and new constitutions. So perfectly had it been organized that it broke out almost simultaneously all over Europe—in France, Italy, Prussia and Austria. Just when the revolution was rife Pius the Ninth proclaimed an amnesty. That was soon after his election, and he vacillated into a sort of passive approval of the Young Italian party. It was even proposed that Italy should become a confederation of free states under the presidency of the Pope. No man in his senses believed in such a possibility, but at that time an unusual number of people were not in their senses; Europe had gone mad.

Everyone knows the history of that year, when one Emperor, several Kings, and numerous princes and ministers scattered in all directions, like men running away from a fire that is just going to reach a quantity of explosives. The fire was the reaction after long inactivity. Pius the Ninth fled like the rest, when his favourite minister, Count Rossi, had been stabbed to death on the steps of the Cancelleria. Some of the sovereigns got safely back to their thrones. The Pope was helped back by France and kept on his throne, first by the Republic, and then, with one short intermission, by Louis Napoleon. In 1870, the French needed all their strength for their own battles, and gave up fighting those of the Vatican.

During that long period, from 1849 to 1870, Pius the Ninth governed Rome in comparative security, in spite of occasional revolutionary outbreaks, and in kindness if not in wisdom. Taxation was insignificant. Work was plentiful and well paid, considering the country and the times. Charities were enormous. The only restriction on liberty was political, never civil. Reforms and improvements of every kind were introduced. When Gregory the Sixteenth died, Rome was practically a mediæval city; when the Italians took it, twenty-four years later, it was a fairly creditable modern capital. The government of Pius the Ninth was paternal, and if he was not a wise father, he was at all events the kindest of men. The same cannot be said of Cardinal Antonelli, his prime minister, who was the best hated man of his day, not only in Europe and Italy, but by a large proportion of Churchmen. He was one of those strong and unscrupulous men who appeared everywhere in Europe as reactionaries in opposition to the great revolution. On a smaller scale—perhaps because he represented a much smaller power—he is to be classed with Disraeli, Metternich, Cavour and Bismarck. In palliation of many of his doings, it should be remembered that he was not a priest; for the Cardinalate is a dignity not necessarily associated with the priesthood, and Antonelli was never ordained. He was a fighter and a schemer by nature, and he schemed and fought all his life for the preservation of the temporal power in Rome. He failed, and lived to see his defeat, and he remained till his death immured in the Vatican with Pius the Ninth. He used to live in a small and almost mean apartment, opening upon the grand staircase that leads up from the court of Saint Damasus.

When the Italians entered Rome through the breach at the Porta Pia, Italy was unified. It is a curious fact that Italy was never at any time unified except by force. The difference between the unification under Julius Cæsar and Augustus, and the unification under Victor Emmanuel, is very simple. Under the first Cæsars, Rome conquered the Italians; under the House of Savoy, the Italians conquered Rome.

The taking of Rome in 1870 was the deathblow of mediævalism; and the passing away of King Victor Emmanuel and of Pope Pius the Ninth was the end of romantic Italy, if one may use the expression to designate the character of the country through all that chain of big and little events which make up the thrilling story of the struggle for Italian unity. After the struggle for unity, began the struggle for life—more desperate, more dangerous, but immeasurably less romantic. There is all the difference between the two which lies between unsound banking and perilous fighting. The long Pontificate of Pius the Ninth came to a close almost simultaneously with the reign and the life of Victor Emmanuel, first King of United Italy, after the Pope and the King had faced each other during nearly a third of the century, two political enemies of whom neither felt the slightest personal rancour against the other. On his death-bed, the King earnestly desired the Pope's parting blessing, but although the Pope gave it, the message arrived too late, for the old King was dead. Little more than a month later, Pius the Ninth departed this life. That was the end of the old era.

The disposition of Europe in the year 1878, when Leo the Thirteenth was crowned, was strongly anti-Catholic. England had reached the height of her power and influence, and represented to the world the scientific-practical idea in its most successful form. She was then traversing that intellectual phase of so-called scientific atheism of which Huxley and Herbert Spencer were the chief teachers. Their view seems not to have been so hostile to the Catholic Church in particular as it was distinctly antagonistic to all religion whatsoever. People were inclined to believe that all creeds were a thing of the past, and that a scientific millennium was at hand. No one who lived in those days can forget the weary air of pity with which the Huxleyites and the Spencerians spoke of all humanity's beliefs. England's enormous political power somehow lent weight to the anti-religious theories of those two leading men of science, which never really had the slightest hold upon the believing English people. Italians, for instance, readily asserted that England had attained her position among nations by the practice of scientific atheism, and classed Darwin the discoverer with Spencer the destroyer; for all Latins are more or less born Anglomaniacs, and naturally envy and imitate Anglo-Saxon character, even while finding fault with them, just as we envy and imitate Latin art and fashions. Under a German dynasty and a Prime Minister of Israelitish name and extraction, the English had become the ideal after which half of Europe hankered in vain. England's influence was then distinctly anti-Catholic.

Germany, fresh in unity, and still quivering with the long-forgotten delight of conquest, was also, as an Empire, anti-Catholic, and the Kultur Kampf, which was really a religious struggle, was at its height. Germany's religions are official at the one extreme and popular at the other; but there is no intermediate religion to speak of—and what we should call cultured people, scientific men, the professorial class, are largely atheistic.

For some time after the proclamation of the Empire, Germany meant Prussia to the rest of the world—Prussia officially evangelical, privately sceptical, the rigid backbone of the whole German military mammoth. The fact that about one-third of the population of the Empire is Catholic was overlooked by Prussia and forgotten by Europe.

France—Catholic in the provinces—was Paris just then—republican Paris. And all French Republics have been anti-Catholic, as all French monarchies have been the natural allies of the Vatican, as institutions, though individual Kings, like Francis the First, have opposed the Popes from time to time. France, in 1878, was recovering with astonishing vitality from her defeat, but the new growth was unlike the old. The definite destruction of the old France had taken place in 1870; and the new France bore little resemblance to the old. It was, as it is now, Catholic, but anti-papal.

The smaller northern powers, Scandinavia and Holland, were anti-Catholic of course. Russia has always been the natural enemy of the Catholic Church. Of the remaining European nations, only Austria could be said to have any political importance, and even she was terrorized by the new German Empire.

Italy had been the scene of one of those quick comedies of national self-transformation which start trains of consequences rather than produce immediately great results. One may call it a comedy, not in a depreciating sense, but because the piece was played out to a successful issue with little bloodshed and small hindrance. It had been laid down as a principle by the playwrights that the Vatican was the natural enemy of Italian unity; and the playwrights and principal actors, Cavour, Garibaldi and others, were all atheists. The new Italy of their creation was, therefore, an anti-Catholic power, while the whole Italian people, below the artificial scientific level, were, as they are now, profoundly, and even superstitiously, religious. That was the state of the European world when Leo the Thirteenth was elected.

[Illustration: POPE LEO XIII.

From the Portrait by Lenbach]

The Popes have always occupied an exceptional position as compared with other sovereigns. There is not, indeed, in the history of any nation or community any record of an office so anomalous. To all intents and purposes Christianity is a form of socialism, the Church is a democracy, and the government of the Popes has been despotic, in the proper sense,—that is, it has been one of 'absolute authority.' It is probably not necessary to say anything about the first statement, which few, I fancy, will be inclined to deny. Pure socialism means community of property, community of social responsibility, and community of principles. As regards the democratic rules by which the Church governs itself, there cannot be two ways of looking at them. Peasant and prince have an equal chance of wearing the triple crown; but in history it will be found that it has been more often worn by peasants than by princes, and most often by men issuing from the middle classes. Broadly, the requirements have always been those answered by personal merit rather than by any other consideration. The exceptions have perhaps been many, and the abuses not a few, but the general principle cannot be denied, and the present Pope came to the supreme ecclesiastical dignity by much the same steps as the majority of his predecessors. Since his elevation to the pontificate the Pecci family have established, beyond a doubt, their connection with the noble race of that name, long prominent in Siena, and having an ancient and historical right to bear arms and the title of count—a dignity of uncertain value in Italy, south of the Tuscan border, but well worth having when it has originated in the northern part of the country.

Joachim Vincent Pecci, since 1878 Pope, under the name of Leo the Thirteenth, was born at Carpineto, in the Volscian hills, in 1810. His father had served in the Napoleonic wars, but had already retired to his native village, where he was at that time a landed proprietor of considerable importance and the father of several children. Carpineto lies on the mountain side, in the neighbourhood of Segni, in a rocky district, and in the midst of a country well known to Italians as the Ciociaria. This word is derived from 'cioce,' the sandals worn by the peasants in that part of the country, in the place of shoes, and bound by leathern thongs to the foot and leg over linen strips which serve for stockings. The sandal indeed is common enough, or was common not long ago, in the Sabine and Samnian hills and in some parts of the Abruzzi, but it is especially the property of the Volscians, all the way from Montefortino, the worst den of thieves in Italy, down to the Neapolitan frontier. Joachim Pecci was born with a plentiful supply of that rough, bony, untiring mountaineer's energy which has made the Volscians what they have been for good or evil since the beginning of history.

Those who have been to Carpineto have seen the dark old pile in which the Pope was born, with its tower which tops the town, as the dwellings of the small nobles always did in every hamlet and village throughout the south of Europe. For the Pecci were good gentlefolk long ago, and the portraits of Pope Leo's father and mother, in their dress of the last century, still hang in their places in the mansion. His Holiness strongly resembles both, for he has his father's brow and eyes, and his mother's mouth and chin. In his youth he seems to have been a very dark man, as clearly appears from the portrait of him painted when he was Nuncio in Brussels at about the age of thirty-four years. The family type is strong. One of the Pope's nieces might have sat for a portrait of his mother. The extraordinarily clear, pale complexion is also a family characteristic. Leo the Thirteenth's face seems cut of live alabaster, and it is not a figure of speech to say that it appears to emit a light of its own.

Born and bred in the keen air of the Volscian hills, he is a southern Italian, but of the mountains, and there is still about him something of the hill people. He has the long, lean, straight, broad-shouldered frame of the true mountaineer, the marvellously bright eye, the eagle features, the well-knit growth of strength, traceable even in extreme old age; and in character there is in him the well-balanced combination of a steady caution with an unerring, unhesitating decision, which appears in those great moments when history will not wait for little men's long phrases, when the pendulum world is swinging its full stroke, and when it is either glory or death to lay strong hands upon its weight. But when it stops for a time, and hangs motionless, the little men gather about it, and touch it boldly, and make theories about its next unrest.

In the matter of physique, there is, indeed, a resemblance between Leo the Thirteenth, President Lincoln and Mr. Gladstone—long, sinewy men all three, of a bony constitution and indomitable vitality, with large skulls, high cheek-bones, and energetic jaws—all three men of great physical strength, of profound capacity for study, of melancholic disposition, and of unusual eloquence. It might almost be said that these three men represent three distinct stages of one type—the real or material, the intellectual and the spiritual. From earliest youth each of the three was, by force of circumstances, turned to the direction which he was ultimately to follow. Lincoln was thrown upon facts for his education; Gladstone received the existing form of education in its highest development, while the Pope was brought up under the domination of spiritual thoughts at a time when they had but lately survived the French Revolution. Born during the height of the conflict between belief and unbelief, Leo the Thirteenth, by a significant fatality, was raised to the pontificate when the Kultur Kampf was raging and the attention of the world was riveted on the deadly struggle between the Roman Catholic Church and Prince Bismarck—a struggle in which the great chancellor found his equal, if not his master.

The Pope spent his childhood in the simple surroundings of Carpineto, than which none could be simpler, as everyone knows who has ever visited an Italian country gentleman in his home. Early hours, constant exercise, plain food and farm interests made a strong man of him, with plenty of simple common sense. As a boy he was a great walker and climber, and it is said that he was excessively fond of birding, the only form of sport afforded by that part of Italy, and practised there in those times, as it is now, not only with guns, but by means of nets. It has often been said that poets and lovers of freedom come more frequently from the mountains and the seashore than from a flat inland region. Leo the Thirteenth ranks high among the scholarly poets of our day, and is certainly conspicuous for the liberality of his views. As long as he was in Perugia, it is well known that he received the officers of the Italian garrison and any government officials of rank who chanced to be present in the city, not merely now and then, or in a formal way, but constantly and with a cordiality which showed how much he appreciated their conversation. It may be doubted whether in our country an acknowledged leader of a political minority would either choose or dare to associate openly with persons having an official capacity on the other side.

But the stiff mannerism of the patriarchal system which survived until recently from the early Roman times gave him that formal tone and authoritative manner which are so characteristic of his conversation in private. His deliberate but unhesitating speech makes one think of Goethe's 'without haste, without rest.' Yet his formality is not of the slow and circumlocutory sort; on the contrary, it is energetically precise, and helps rather than mars the sound casting of each idea. The formality of strong people belongs to them naturally, and is the expression of a certain unchanging persistence; that of the weak is mostly assumed for the sake of magnifying the little strength they have.

The Pope's voice is as distinctly individual as his manner of speaking. It is not deep nor very full, but, considering his great age, it is wonderfully clear and ringing, and it has a certain incisiveness of sound which gives it great carrying power. Pius the Ninth had as beautiful a voice, both in compass and richness of quality, as any baritone singer in the Sixtine choir. No one who ever heard him intone the 'Te Deum' in Saint Peter's, in the old days, can forget the grand tones. He was gifted in many ways—with great physical beauty, with a rare charm of manner, and with a most witty humour; and in character he was one of the most gentle and kind-hearted men of his day, as he was also one of the least initiative, so to say, while endowed with the high moral courage of boundless patience and political humility. Leo the Thirteenth need speak but half a dozen words, with one glance of his flashing eyes and one gesture of his noticeably long arm and transparently thin hand, and the moral distance between his predecessor and himself is at once apparent. There is strength still in every movement, there is deliberate decision in every tone, there is lofty independence in every look. Behind these there may be kindliness, charity, and all the milder gifts of virtue; but what is apparent is a sort of energetic, manly trenchancy which forces admiration rather than awakens sympathy.


When speaking at length on any occasion he is eloquent, but with the eloquence of the dictator, and sometimes of the logician, rather than that of the persuader. His enunciation is exceedingly distinct in Latin and Italian, and also in French, a language in which he expresses himself with ease and clearness. In Latin and Italian he chooses his words with great care and skill, and makes use of fine distinctions, in the Ciceronian manner, and he certainly commands a larger vocabulary than most men.

His bearing is erect at all times, and on days when he is well his step is quick as he moves about his private apartments. 'Il Papa corre sempre,'—'the Pope always runs'—is often said by the guards and familiars of the antechamber. A man who speaks slowly but moves fast is generally one who thinks long and acts promptly—a hard hitter, as we should familiarly say.

It is not always true that a man's character is indicated by his daily habits, nor that his intellectual tendency is definable by the qualities of his temper or by his personal tastes. Carlyle was one instance of the contrary; Lincoln was another; Bismarck was a great third, with his iron head and his delicate feminine hands. All men who direct, control or influence the many have a right to be judged by the world according to their main deeds, to the total exclusion of their private lives. There are some whose public actions are better than their private ones, out of all proportion; and there are others who try to redeem the patent sins of their political necessities by the honest practice of their private virtues. In some rare, high types, head, heart and hand are balanced to one expression of power, and every deed is a mathematical function of all three.

Leo the Thirteenth probably approaches as nearly to such superiority as any great man now living. As a statesman, his abilities are admitted to be of the highest order; as a scholar he is undisputedly one of the first Latinists of our time, and one of the most accomplished writers in Latin and Italian prose and verse; as a man, he possesses the simplicity of character which almost always accompanies greatness, together with a healthy sobriety of temper, habit and individual taste rarely found in those beings whom we might call 'motors' among men. It is commonly said that the Pope has not changed his manner of life since he was a simple bishop. He is, indeed, a man who could not easily change either his habits or his opinions; for he is of that enduring, melancholic, slow-speaking, hard-thinking temperament which makes hard workers, and in which everything tends directly to hard work as a prime object, even with persons in whose existence necessary labour need play no part, and far more so with those whose smallest daily tasks hew history out of humanity in the rough state.

Of the Pope's statesmanship and Latinity the world knows much, and is sure to hear more, while he lives—most, perhaps, hereafter, when another and a smaller man shall sit in the great Pope's chair. For he is a great Pope. There has not been his equal, intellectually, for a long time, nor shall we presently see his match again. The era of individualities is not gone by, as some pretend. Men of middle age have seen in a lifetime Cavour, Louis Napoleon, Garibaldi, Disraeli, Bismarck, Leo the Thirteenth—and the young Emperor of Germany. With the possible exception of Cavour, who died, poisoned as some say, before he had lived out his life, few will deny that of all these the present Pope possesses, in many respects, the most evenly balanced and stubbornly sane disposition. That fact alone speaks highly for the judgment of the men who elected him, in Italy's half-crazed days, immediately after the death of Victor Emmanuel.

At all events, there he stands, at the head of the Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church, as wise a leader as any who in our day has wielded power; as skilled, in his own manner, as any who hold the pen; and better than all that, as straightly simple and honest a Christian man as ever fought a great battle for his faith's sake.

Straight-minded, honest and simple he is, yet keen, sensitive and nobly cautious; for there is no nobility in him who risks a cause for the vanity of his own courage, and who, in blind hatred of his enemies, squanders the devotion of those who love him. In a sense, today, the greater the man the greater the peacemaker, and Leo the Thirteenth ranks highest among those who have helped the cause of peace in this century.

In spite of his great age, the Holy Father enjoys excellent health, and leads a life full of occupations from morning till night. He rises very early, and when, at about six o'clock in the morning, his valet, Pio Centra, enters his little bedroom, he more often finds the Pope risen than asleep. He is accustomed to sleep little—not more than four or five hours at night, though he rests a short time after dinner. We are told that sometimes he has been found asleep in his chair at his writing-table at dawn, not having been to bed at all. Of late he frequently says mass in a chapel in his private apartments, and the mass is served by Pio Centra. On Sundays and feast-days he says it in another chapel preceding the throne-room. The little chapel is of small dimensions, but by opening the door into the neighbouring room a number of persons can assist at the mass. The permission, when given, is obtained on application to the 'Maestro di Camera,' and is generally conceded only to distinguished foreign persons. After saying mass himself, the Holy Father immediately hears a second one, said by one of the private chaplains on duty for the week, whose business it is to take care of the altar and to assist. Frequently he gives the communion with his own hand to those who are present at his mass. After mass he breakfasts upon coffee and goat's milk, and this milk is supplied from goats kept in the Vatican gardens—a reminiscence of Carpineto and of the mountaineer's early life.

Every day at about ten he receives the Secretary of State, Cardinal Rampolla, and converses with him for a good hour or more upon current affairs. On Tuesdays and Fridays the Secretary of State receives the Diplomatic Corps in his own apartments, and on those days the Under Secretary confers with the Pope in his chief's place. The acting prefect of the 'Holy Apostolic Palaces' is received by the Pope when he has business to expound. On the first and third Fridays of each month the Maggiordomo is received, and so on, in order, the cardinal prefects of the several Roman congregations, the Under Secretaries, and all others in charge of the various offices. In the papal antechamber there is a list of them, with the days of their audiences.

During the morning the Pope receives cardinals, bishops and ambassadors who are going away on leave, or who have just returned, princes and members of the Roman nobility, and distinguished foreigners. At ten o'clock he takes a cup of broth brought by Centra. At two in the afternoon, or a little earlier, he dines, and he is most abstemious, although he has an excellent digestion. His private physician, Doctor Giuseppe Lapponi, has been heard to say that he himself eats more at one meal than the Holy Father eats in a week. Every day, unless indisposed, some one is received in private audience. These audiences are usually for the cardinal prefects of the congregations, the patriarchs, archbishops and bishops who are in Rome at the time, and distinguished personages.

When the weather is fine the Pope generally walks or drives in the garden. He is carried out of his apartments to the gate in a sedan-chair by the liveried 'sediarii,' or chair-porters; or if he goes out by the small door known as that of Paul the Fifth, the carriage awaits him, and he gets into it with the private chamberlain, who is always a monsignore. It is as well to say here, for the benefit of non-Catholics, that 'monsignori' are not necessarily bishops, nor even consecrated priests, the title being really a secular one. Two Noble Guards of the corps of fifty gentlemen known under that name ride beside the carriage doors. The closed carriage is a simple brougham, having the Pope's coat of arms painted on the door, but in summer he occasionally goes out in an open landau. He drives several times round the avenues, and when he descends, the officer of the Guards dismounts and opens the carriage door. He generally walks in the neighbourhood of the Chinese pavilion and along the Torrione, where the papal observatory is built.

Leo the Thirteenth is fond of variety—and no wonder, shut up for life as he is in the Vatican; he enjoys directing work and improvements in the gardens; he likes to talk with Vespignani, the architect of the Holy Apostolic Palaces, who is also the head of the Catholic party in the Roman municipality, to go over the plans of work he has ordered, to give his opinion, and especially to see that the work itself is executed in the shortest possible time. Time is short for a pope; Sixtus the Fifth, who filled Rome and Italy with himself, reigned only five years; Rodrigo Borgia eleven years; Leo the Tenth, but nine.


In 1893 the Pope began to inhabit the new pavilion designed and built by Vespignani in pure fifteenth-century style. It is built against the Torrione, the ancient round tower constructed by Saint Leo the Fourth about the year 850. In 1894 Leo the Thirteenth made a further extension, and joined another building to the existing one by means of a loggia, on the spot once occupied by the old barracks of the papal gendarmes, who are still lodged in the gardens, and whose duty it is to patrol the precincts by day and night. Indeed, the fact that two dynamiters were caught in the garden in 1894 proves that a private police is necessary.

During the great heat of summer the Pope, after saying mass, goes into the garden about nine in the morning and spends the whole day there, receiving everyone in the garden pavilion he has built for himself, just as he would receive in the Vatican. He dines there, too, and rests afterward, guarded by the gendarmes on duty, to whom he generally sends a measure of good wine—another survival of a country custom; and in the cool of the day he again gets into his carriage, and often does not return to the Vatican till after sunset, toward the hour of Ave Maria.

In the evening, about an hour later,—at 'one of the night,' according to the old Roman computation of time,—he attends at the recitation of the rosary, or evening prayers, by his private chaplain, and he requires his immediate attendants to assist also. He then retires to his room, where he reads, studies or writes verses, and at about ten o'clock he eats a light supper.

While in the garden he is fond of talking about plants and flowers with the director of the gardens. He walks with the officer of the Noble Guards and with the private chamberlain on duty. He speaks freely of current topics, tells anecdotes of his own life and visits the gazelles, goats, deer and other animals kept in the gardens. From the cupola of Saint Peter's the whole extent of the grounds is visible, and when the Pope is walking, the visitors, over four hundred feet above, stop to watch him. He has keen eyes, and sees them also. 'Let us show ourselves!' he exclaims on such occasions. 'At least they will not be able to say that the Pope is ill!'

The Pope's favourite poets are Virgil and Dante. He knows long passages of both by heart, and takes pleasure in quoting them. When Father Michael, the apostolic prefect to Erithrea, was taking his leave, with the other Franciscans who accompanied him to Africa, his Holiness recited to them, with great spirit, Dante's canto upon St. Francis.

The Pope reads the newspapers, passages of interest being marked for him by readers in order to save time. He frequently writes letters to the bishops, and composes encyclicals in a polished and Ciceronian style of Latin. The encyclicals are printed at the private press of the Vatican, an institution founded by him and furnished with all modern improvements. They are first published in the 'Osservatore Romano,' the official daily paper of the Vatican, and then finally translated into Italian and other languages, and sent out to the bishops abroad. Leo the Thirteenth likes to see and talk with men of letters, as well as to read their books. Two years ago he requested Professor Brunelli of Perugia to buy for him the poetical works of the Abbé Zanella. The request is characteristic, for his Holiness insisted upon paying for the book, like anyone else.

When great pilgrimages are to be organized, the first step taken is to form committees at the place of origin. The leader of the pilgrimage is usually the head of the diocese, who then writes to Rome to make the arrangements. The Committee on Pilgrimages provides quarters for the pilgrims, at the Lazaret of Saint Martha, or elsewhere, that they may be properly lodged and fed. On the occasion of the celebrated French workingmen's pilgrimage, the great halls in the Belvedere wing, including the old quarters of the engineer corps, and of the artillery and the riding-school, were opened as dining-halls, where the pilgrims came morning and evening to their meals; the kitchen department and the general superintendence were in charge of Sisters, and everything was directed by the Roman Committee of Pilgrimages. The visitors were received by the Circolo, or Society of Saint Peter's, and by the first Artisan Workmen's Association, the members of which waited at table, wearing aprons. The Circolo has an office for pilgrimages which facilitates arrangements with the railways, and provides lodgings in hotels, inns and private houses in Rome for the well-to-do; but the General Committee on Pilgrimages provides lodgings for the poor. The head of the pilgrimage also makes arrangements for the mass which the Holy Father celebrates for the pilgrims, and for the audience which follows. If the pilgrimage is large, the mass is said in Saint Peter's; if small, in the Vatican, either in the Loggia of the Beatification or in the Sala Ducale. At the audience the pilgrims place their offerings in the Pope's hands, and he blesses the rosaries, crosses and other objects of devotion, and gives small silver medals in memory of the occasion.

Since 1870 the Pope has not conducted the solemn services either in Saint Peter's or in the Sixtine Chapel. The only services of this kind in which he takes part are those held in the Sixtine Chapel on the anniversary of the death of Pius the Ninth, and on the anniversary of his own coronation, March 3. At these two functions there are also present the Sacred College, the bishops and prelates, the Roman nobility, the Knights of Malta, the Diplomatic Corps in full dress, and any foreign Catholic royal princes who may chance to be in Rome at the time. At the 'public' consistories, held with great pomp in the Sala Regia, the Pope gives the new hat to each new cardinal; but there are also 'private' consistories held in the beautiful Sala del Concistoro, near the hall of the Swiss Guards, at the entrance to the Pope's apartments.

Moreover, the Pope appears at beatifications and canonizations, and during the present pontificate these have been generally held in the Hall of Beatifications, a magnificent room with a tribune, above the portico of Saint Peter's, turned into a chapel for the occasion, with innumerable candles and lamps, the transparency of the beatified person, called the Gloria, and standards on which are painted representations of miracles. The last of these ceremonies was held in Saint Peter's, with closed doors, but in the presence of an enormous concourse, with the greatest pomp, the whole of the Noble Guard and the Palatine Guard turning out, and order being preserved by the Swiss Guards, the gendarmes, and the vergers of the basilica, known as the 'Sanpietrini.'

In Holy Week, in order to meet the wants of the many eminent and devout Catholics who then flock to Rome, the Holy Father celebrates mass two or three times in the Sala Ducale, which is then turned into a chapel. During these masses motetts are sung by the famous Sixtine choir, under the direction of the old Maestro Mustafa, once the greatest soprano of the century, but at the same time so accomplished a musician as to have earned the common name of 'Palestrina redivivus.' It is to be regretted that he has never allowed any of his beautiful compositions to be published. On such occasions as Christmas Day or the feast of Saint Joachim, by whose name the Pope was christened, he receives the College of Cardinals, the bishops present in Rome, many prelates, the heads of religious bodies, some officers of the old pontifical army and of the guards, and the dignitaries of the papal court, in his own private library, where he talks familiarly with each in turn, and quite without ceremony. Reigning sovereigns, princes and distinguished persons are received in the grand throne-room, where the throne is covered with red velvet, with coats of arms at the angles of the canopy. Upon a large pier-table, in the rococo style, between the windows and opposite the throne, stands a great crucifix of ivory and ebony, between two candlesticks. The carpet used at such times was presented by Spain. Before the Emperor of Germany's visit the Pope himself gave particular directions for the dressing of the throne and the arrangement of the rooms.

When great personages are received their suites are also presented, after which the Pope retires with his guest to the small private throne-room.

Before coming to the Pope's presence it is necessary to pass through many anterooms, the Sala Clementina, the hall of the palfrenieri and sediarii,—that is, of the grooms and chair-porters,—the hall of the gendarmes, the antechamber of the Palatine Guard, that of the officers on duty, the hall of the Arras, that of the chamberlains and Noble Guards and at last the antechamber of the Maestro di Camera—there are eight in all. Persons received in audience are accompanied by the 'camerieri segreti,' who do the honours in full dress, wearing their chains and carrying their staves.

The private library is a spacious room lined with bookcases made of a yellow wood from Brazil, some of which are curtained. Busts of several former Popes stand upon marble columns.

To the Pope's bedroom, only his private valet and his secretaries have access. It is of small dimensions, and contains only a bed, in an alcove adorned with graceful marble columns, a writing-table, an arm-chair and kneeling stool, and one wardrobe.

Besides these, there is his private study, in which the table and chair stand upon a little carpeted platform, other tables being placed on each side upon the floor, together with an extremely uncomfortable but magnificent straight-backed arm-chair, which is one of the gifts offered on the occasion of the episcopal jubilee. There is, moreover, a little room containing only a lounge and an old-fashioned easy-chair with 'wings' and nothing else. It is here that the Holy Father retires to take his afternoon nap, and the robust nature of his nerves is proved by the fact that he lies down with his eyes facing the broad light of the window.

The private apartment occupies the second floor, according to Italian reckoning, though we Americans should call it the third; it is on a level with Raphael's loggie. The floor above it is inhabited by Cardinal Rampolla, the Secretary of State.

The 'pontifical court,' as it is called, consists (1898) of Cardinal Rampolla, the Secretary of State; Cardinal Mario Mocenni, the pro-prefect of the Holy Apostolic Palaces, a personage of the highest importance, who has sole control of everything connected with the Vatican palace and all the vast mass of adjoining buildings; the Maggiordomo, who, besides many other functions, is the manager of the museums, galleries and inhabited apartments; the Maestro di Camera, who nearly corresponds to a master of ceremonies, and superintends all audiences; the almoner and manager of the papal charities, assisted by a distinguished priest, who is also a lawyer, formerly secretary to the well-known Monsignor de Merode; a monk of the Dominican order, who supervises the issuing of books printed at the Vatican; a chief steward; four private secretaries, who take turns of service lasting a week for each, and are always with the Pope, and finally the chief of the Vatican police. Moreover, his Holiness has his private preacher, who delivers sermons before him in Advent and Lent, and his confessor, both of whom are always Capuchin monks, in accordance with a very ancient tradition.

It must not be supposed by the uninitiated that these few persons in any way represent the central directive administration of the Catholic Church. On the contrary, the only one of them who is occupied in that larger field is Cardinal Rampolla, the Secretary of State. The others are, strictly speaking, the chief personages of the pontifical household, as we should say. But their offices are not sinecures. The Pope's restless energy extracts work from the men about him as one squeezes water from a sponge. In the days of Pius the Ninth, after the fall of the temporal power, the Vatican was overrun and overcrowded with useless but well-paid officials, officers and functionaries great and small, who took refuge there against the advancing wave of change. When Leo the Thirteenth had been on the throne only a few weeks, there was sold everywhere a comic print representing the Pope, with a huge broom, sweeping all the useless people pell-mell down the steps of the Vatican into the Piazza of Saint Peter's. As often happens, the caricaturist saw the truth. In a reign that has lasted twenty years, Leo the Thirteenth has done away with much that was useless, worthless and old-fashioned, and much that cumbered the narrow patch of earth on which so important a part of the world's business is transacted. He is a great simplifier of details, and a strong leveller of obstructions, so that his successor in the pontificate will find it a comparatively easy thing to keep the mechanism in order in its present state.


The strictest economy, even to the minutest details, is practised in the Vatican. It appears certain that the accounts of the vast household have often been inspected by the Pope, whose prime object is to prevent any waste of money where so much is needed for the maintenance of church institutions in all parts of the world. In the midst of outward magnificence the papal establishment is essentially frugal, for the splendid objects in the Pope's apartments, even to many of the articles of furniture, are gifts received from the faithful of all nations. But the money which pours into the Vatican from the contributions of Catholics all over Christendom is only held in trust, to be expended in support of missions, of poor bishoprics, and of such devout and charitable organizations as need help, wherever they may be. That nothing may be lost which can possibly be applied to a good purpose is one of Leo the Thirteenth's most constant occupations. He has that marvellous memory for little things which many great leaders and sovereigns have had; he remembers not only faces and names, but figures and facts, with surprising and sometimes discomfiting accuracy.

In his private life, as distinguished from his public and political career, what is most striking is the combination of shrewdness and simplicity in the best sense of both words. Like Pius the Ninth, he has most firmly set his face against doing anything which could be construed as financially advantageous to his family, who are good gentlefolk, and well to do in the world, but no more. All that he has as Pope he holds in trust for the Church in the most literal acceptation of the term. The contributions of Catholics, on being received, are immediately invested in securities bearing interest, which securities are again sold as may be necessary for current needs, and expended for the welfare of Catholic Christianity. Every penny is most carefully accounted for. These moneys are generally invested in Italian national bonds—a curious fact, and indicative of considerable confidence in the existing state of things, as well as a significant guarantee of the Vatican's good faith towards the monarchy. It is commonly said in Rome among bankers that the Vatican makes the market price of Italian bonds. Whether this be true or not, it is an undeniable fact that the finances of the Vatican are under the direct and exceedingly thrifty control of the Pope himself. To some extent we may be surprised to find so much plain common sense surviving in the character of one who has so long followed a spiritual career. We should not have looked for such practical wisdom in Pius the Ninth. But the times are changed since then, and are most changed in most recent times. The head of the Catholic Church today must be a modern man, a statesman, and an administrator; he must be able to cope with difficulties as well as heresies; he must lead his men as well as guide his flock; he must be the Church's steward as well as her consecrated arch-head; he must be the reformer of manners as well as the preserver of faith; he must be the understander of men's venial mistakes as well as the censor of their mortal sins.

Battles for belief are no longer fought only with books and dogmas, opinions and theories. Everything may serve nowadays, from money, which is the fuel of nations, to wit, which is the weapon of the individual; and the man who would lose no possible vantage must have both a heavy hand and a light touch.

By his character and natural gifts, Leo the Thirteenth is essentially active rather than contemplative, and it is not surprising that the chief acts of his pontificate should have dealt rather with political matters than with questions of dogma and ecclesiastical authority. It has certainly been the object of the present Pope to impress upon the world the necessity of Christianity in general, and of the Roman Catholic Church in particular, as a means of social redemption and a factor in political stability. This seems to be his inmost conviction, as shown in all his actions and encyclical letters. One is impressed, at every turn, by the strength of his belief in religion and in his own mission to spread it abroad. In regard to forms of faith, the opinions of mankind differ very widely, but the majority of intelligent men now living seem to hold a more or less distinct faith of one sort or another, and to require faith of some sort in their fellow-men. Common atheism has had its little day, and is out of fashion. It is certainly not possible to define that which has taken the place of the pseudo-scientific materialism which plagued society twenty or thirty years ago, and it is certainly beyond the province of this book to examine into the current convictions with which we are to begin the twentieth century.

Unprejudiced persons will not, however, withhold their admiration in reviewing the life of a man who has devoted his energies, his intelligence and his strength, not to mention the enormous power wielded by him as the head of the Church, to the furtherance and accomplishment of ends which so many of us believe to be good. For the pontificate of Leo the Thirteenth has differed from that of his predecessor in that it has been active rather than passive. While Pius the Ninth was the head of the Church suffering, Leo the Thirteenth is the leader of the Church militant. This seems to be the reason why he has more than once been accused of inconsistency in his actions, notably in his instructions to French Catholics, as compared with the position he has maintained towards the Italian government. People seem to forget that, whereas the question of temporal power is deeply involved in the latter case, it has nothing whatever to do with the former, and as this question is the one most often brought up against the papacy and discussed in connection with it by people who seem to have very little idea of its real meaning, it may be as well to state here at once the Pope's own view of it.

'The temporary sovereignty is not absolutely requisite for the existence of the papacy, since the Popes were deprived of it during several centuries, but it is required in order that the pontiff's independence may display itself freely, without obstacles, and be evident and apparent in the eyes of the world. It is the social form, so to say, of his guardianship, and of his manifestation. It is necessary—not to existence, but to a right existence. The Pope who is not a sovereign is necessarily a subject, because (in the social existence of a monarchy) there is no mean term between subject and sovereign. A Pope who is a subject of a given government is continually exposed to its influence and pressure, or at least to influences connected with political aims and interests.'


The writer from whom these lines are quoted comes to the natural and logical conclusion that this is not the normal position which should be occupied by the head of the Church. I may remark here that the same view is held in other countries besides Italy. The Emperor of Russia is the undisputed head of the Russian Orthodox Church. Queen Victoria occupies, by the British Constitution, almost exactly the same position towards the Anglican Church. In practice, though certainly not in theory, it is the evident purpose of the young German Emperor, constitutionally or unconstitutionally, to create for himself the same dominant pontifical position in regard to the Churches of the German Empire. It seems somewhat unjust, therefore, that the Popes, whose right to the sovereignty of Rome was for ages as undisputed as that of any King or Emperor in Europe, though secondary in itself to their ecclesiastical supremacy, should be blamed for protesting against what was undoubtedly a usurpation so far as they were concerned, although others may look upon it as a mere incident in the unification of a free people. Moreover, since the unification was accomplished, the vanquished Popes have acted with a fairness and openness which might well be imitated in other countries. The Italians, as a nation, possess remarkable talent and skill in conspiracy, and there is no organization in the world better fitted than that of the Roman Catholic Church for secretly organizing and carrying out a great political conspiracy, if any such thing were ever attempted. The action of the Popes, on the contrary, has been fair and above board.

Both Pius the Ninth and Leo the Thirteenth have stated their grievances in the most public manner, and so far have they been from attempting to exercise their vast influence in directing the politics of Italy that they have enjoined upon Italian Catholics to abstain from political contests altogether. Whether in so doing they have pursued a wise course or not, history will decide, probably according to the taste of the historian; but the fact itself sufficiently proves that they have given their enemies more than a fair chance. This seems to have been the form taken by their protests; and this is a fair answer to the principal accusation brought by non-Catholics against the Pope, namely, that he is ready to sacrifice everything in an unscrupulous attempt to regain possession of temporal power. In other matters Leo the Thirteenth has always shown himself to be a statesman, while Pius the Ninth was the victim of his own meek and long-suffering character. To enter into the consideration of the political action of the Pope during the last fifteen years, would be to review the history of the world during that time. To give an idea of the man's character, it would be sufficient to recall three or four of the principal situations in which he has been placed. A volume might be written, for instance, on his action in regard to the German Army Bill, his position towards Ireland, his arbitration in the question of the Caroline Islands, and his instructions to French Catholics.

It is extremely hard to form a fair judgment from documents alone, and especially from those documents which most generally come before the public, namely, articles in such reviews as the Contemporary Review, on the one hand, and the Civiltà Cattolica on the other. Indeed, the statements on either side, if accepted without hesitation, would render all criticisms futile. Devout Roman Catholics would answer that matters of faith are beyond criticism altogether; but the writers in the Contemporary, for instance, will, with equal assurance, declare themselves right because they believe that they cannot be wrong. It would be better to consult events themselves rather than the current opinions of opposite parties concerning them, to set aside the consideration of the aims rightly or wrongly attributed to Leo the Thirteenth, and to look only on the results brought about by his policy in our time. In cases where actions have a merely negative result, it is just to consider the motive alone, if any criticism is necessary, and here there seems to be no particular reason for doubting the Pope's statement of his own case. For instance, in connection with Ireland, the Pope said, in the document known as 'The Circular Letter of the Propaganda': 'It is just that the Irish should seek to alleviate their afflicted condition; it is just that they should fight for their rights, nor is it denied them to collect money to alleviate the condition of the Irish.' In regard to the same matter, the 'Decree of the Holy Office' reads as follows: 'The Holy See has frequently given opportune advice and counsel to the Irish people (upon whom it has always bestowed especial affection), whenever its affairs seem to require it, by which counsel and advice they might be enabled to defend and vindicate their rights without prejudice to justice, and without disturbing the public peace.' A fairer statement of the rights of men, and a more express injunction against public disturbance of any kind, could hardly be expressed in two short sentences.

Outside of Italy the position of Leo the Thirteenth in Rome is not generally understood. Most people suppose that the expression 'the prisoner in the Vatican,' which he applies to himself, and which is very generally applied to him by the more ardent of Italian Catholics, is a mere empty phrase, and that his confinement within his small dominion is purely a matter of choice. This is not the case. So far as the political theory of the question is concerned, it is probable that the Pope would not in any case be inclined to appear openly on Italian territory unless he showed himself as the official guest of King Humbert, who would naturally be expected to return the visit. To make such an official visit and such an appearance would be in fact to accept the Italian domination in Rome, a course which, as has already been noticed, would be contrary to the accepted Catholic idea of the social basis necessary for the papacy. It would not necessarily be an uncatholic act, however, but it would certainly be an unpapal one. No one would expect the ex-Empress of the French, for instance, to live openly in Paris, as though the Parisians had never been her subjects, and as though she accepted the Republic in a friendly and forgiving spirit. And the case is to all intents and purposes exactly identical.


But this is not all. It is unfortunately true that there is another and much better reason why Leo the Thirteenth cannot show himself in the streets of Rome. It is quite certain that his life would not be safe. The enthusiastic friends of Italy who read glowing accounts of the development of the new kingdom and write eloquent articles in the same strain will be utterly horrified at this statement, and will, moreover, laugh to scorn the idea that the modern civilized Italian could conspire to take the life of a harmless and unoffending old man. They will be quite right. The modern civilized Italians would treat the Pope with the greatest respect and consideration if he appeared amongst them. Most of them would take off their hats and stand aside while he drove by, and a great many of them would probably go down upon their knees in the streets to receive his blessing. The King, who is a gentleman, and tolerant of religious practices, would treat the head of the Church with respect. The Queen, who is not only religious, but devout, would hail the reappearance of the pontiff with enthusiasm. But unfortunately for the realization of any such thing, Rome is not peopled only by modern civilized Italians, nor Italy either. There is in the city a very large body of social democrats, anarchists and the like, not to mention the small nondescript rabble which everywhere does its best to bring discredit upon socialistic principles—a mere handful, perhaps, but largely composed of fanatics and madmen, people half hysterical from failure, poverty, vice and an indigestion of so-called 'free thought.' There have not been many sovereigns nowadays whose lives have not been attempted by such men at one time or another. Within our own memory an Emperor of Russia, a President of the French Republic and two Presidents of the United States have been actually murdered by just such men. The King of Italy, and the Emperor William the First, Napoleon the Third, Queen Victoria and Alexander the Third have all been assailed by such fanatics within our own recollection, and some of them have narrowly escaped death. Not one of them, with the exception of Alexander the Third, has been so hated by a small and desperate body of men as Leo the Thirteenth is hated by the little band which undoubtedly exists in Italy today. I will venture to say that it is a matter of continual satisfaction to the royal family of Italy, and to the Italian government, that the Pope should really continue to consider himself a prisoner within the precincts of the Vatican, since it is quite certain that if he were to appear openly in Rome the Italian authorities would not, in the long run, be able to protect his life.

After all that has been said and preached upon the subject by the friends of Italy, it would be a serious matter indeed if the Pope, taking a practical advantage of his theoretic liberty, should be done to death in the streets of Rome by a self-styled Italian patriot. No one who thoroughly understands Rome at the present day is ignorant that such danger really exists, though it will no doubt be promptly denied by Italian ministers, newspaper correspondents or other intelligent but enthusiastic persons. The hysterical anarchist is unfortunately to be met with all over the world at the present day, side by side with the scientific social democrat, and too often under his immediate protection. Indeed, a great number of the acts of Leo the Thirteenth, if not all of them, have been directed against the mass of social democracy in all its forms, good, bad and indifferent; and to the zeal of his partisans in endeavouring to carry out his suggestions must be attributed some of the strong utterances of the Church's adherents upon matters political.

The question of 'assent and obedience' to the Holy See in matters not relating to dogma and faith is, perhaps, the most important of all those in which the papacy is now involved. There appears to be a decided tendency to believe that Catholics ascribe to the Holy See a certain degree of infallibility in regard to national policy and local elections. The Pope's own words do not inculcate a blind obedience as necessary to the salvation of the voter, though it is expressly declared a grave offence to favour the election of persons opposed to the Roman Catholic Church and whose opinions may tend to endanger its position. The idea that the Pope's political utterances can ever be considered as ex cathedrâ is too illogical to be presented seriously to the world by thinking men. Leo the Thirteenth is undoubtedly a first-rate statesman, and it might be to the advantage not only of all good Catholics but of all humanity, and of the cause of peace itself, to follow his advice in national and party politics whenever practicable. To bind oneself to follow the political dictation of Leo the Thirteenth, and to consider such obedience to the Pope as indispensable to salvation, would be to create a precedent. Pius the Ninth was no statesman at all, and there are plenty of instances in history of Popes whose political advice would have been ruinous, if followed, though it was often formulated more authoritatively and more dictatorially than the injunctions from time to time imparted to Catholics by Leo the Thirteenth. An Alexander the Sixth would be an impossibility in our day; but in theory, if another Rodrigo Borgia should be elected to the Holy See, one should be as much bound to obey his orders in voting for the election of the President of the United States as one can possibly be to obey those of Leo the Thirteenth, seeing that the divine right to direct the political consciences of Catholics, if it existed at all, would be inherent in the papacy as an institution, and not merely attributed by mistaken people to the wise, learned and conscientious man who is now the head of the Catholic Church. But the Pope's utterances have lately been interpreted by his too zealous adherents to mean that every Catholic subject or citizen throughout the world, who has the right to vote in his own country, must give that vote in accordance with the dictates of the Church as a whole, and of his bishop in particular, under pain of committing a very grave offence against Catholic principles. A state in which every action of man, public or private, should be guided solely and entirely by his own religious convictions would no doubt be an ideal one, and would approach the social perfection of a millennium. But in the mean time a condition of society in which society itself should be guided by such political opinions as any one man, human and limited, can derive from his own conscience, pure and upright though it be, would be neither logical nor desirable. There are points in the universal struggle for life which do not turn upon questions of moral right and wrong, and which every individual has a preëminent and inherent right to decide for himself.

Anyone who undertakes to speak briefly of such a personage as Leo the Thirteenth, and of such a question as the 'assent and obedience' of Catholics in matters not connected with morals or belief, lays himself open to the accusation of superficiality. We are all, however, obliged to deal quickly and decisively, in these days, with practical matters of which the discussion at length would fill many volumes. Most of us cannot do more than form an opinion based upon the little knowledge we have, express it as best we may, and pass on. The man who spends a lifetime in the study of one point, the specialist in fact, is often too ignorant of all other matters to form any general opinion worth expressing. Humanity is too broad to be put under a microscope, too strong to be treated like a little child. No one man, today, in this day of many Cæsars, can say surely and exactly what should be rendered to each of them.

Leo the Thirteenth is the leader of a great organization of Christian men and women spreading all over the world; the leader of a vast body of human thought; the leader of a conservative army which will play a large part in any coming struggle between anarchy and order. He may not be here to direct when the battle begins, but he will leave a strong position for his successor to defend, and great weapons for him to wield, since he has done more to simplify and strengthen the Church's organization than a dozen Popes have done in the last two centuries. Men of such character fight the campaigns of the future many times over in their thoughts while all the world is at peace around them, and when the time comes at last, though they themselves be gone, the spirit they called up still lives to lead, the sword they forged lies ready for other hands, the roads they built are broad and straight for the march of other feet, and they themselves, in their graves, have their share in the victories that save mankind from social ruin.



The Mons Vaticanus is sometimes said to have received its name from 'vaticinium,' an oracle or prophecy; for tradition says that Numa chose the Vatican hill as a sacred place from which to declare to the people the messages he received from the gods. It is not, however, one of the seven hills on which ancient Rome was built, but forms a part of a ridge beginning with the Janiculum and ending with Monte Mario, all of which was outside the ancient limits of the city. In our day the name is applied only to the immense pontifical palace adjacent to, and connected with, the basilica of Saint Peter's.

The present existence of this palace is principally due to Nicholas the Fifth, the builder pope, whose gigantic scheme would startle a modern architect. His plan was to build the Church of Saint Peter's as a starting point, and then to construct one vast central 'habitat' for the papal administration, covering the whole of what is called the Borgo, from the Castle of Sant' Angelo to the cathedral. In ancient times a portico, or covered way supported on columns, led from the bridge to the church, and it was probably from this real structure that Nicholas began his imaginary one, only a small part of which was ever completed. That small portion alone comprises the basilica and the Vatican Palace, which together form by far the greatest continuous mass of buildings in the world. The Colosseum is 195 yards long by 156 broad, including the thickness of the walls. Saint Peter's Church alone is 205 yards long and 156 broad, so that the whole Colosseum would easily stand upon the ground-plan of the church, while the Vatican Palace is more than half as long again.

Nicholas the Fifth died in 1455, and the oldest parts of the present Vatican Palace are not older than his reign. They are generally known as Torre Borgia, from having been inhabited by Alexander the Sixth, who died of poison in the third of the rooms now occupied by the library, counting from the library side. The windows of these rooms look upon the large square court of the Belvedere, and that part of the palace is not visible from without.

Portions of the substructure of the earlier building were no doubt utilized by Nicholas, and the secret gallery which connects the Vatican with the mausoleum of Hadrian is generally attributed to Pope John the Twenty-third, who died in 1417; but on the whole it may be said that the Vatican Palace is originally a building of the period of the Renascence, to which all successive popes have made additions.

The ordinary tourist first sees the Vatican from the square as he approaches from the bridge of Sant' Angelo. But his attention is from the first drawn to the front of the church, and he but vaguely realizes that a lofty, unsymmetrical building rises on his right. He pauses, perhaps, and looks in that direction as he ascends the long, low steps of the basilica, and wonders in what part of the palace the Pope's apartments may be, while the itinerant vender of photographs shakes yards of poor little views out of their gaudy red bindings, very much as Leporello unrolls the list of Don Giovanni's conquests. If the picture peddler sees that the stranger glances at the Vatican, he forthwith points out the corner windows of the second story and informs his victim that 'Sua Santità' inhabits those rooms, and promptly offers photographs of any other interior part of the Vatican but that. The tourist looks up curiously, and finally gets rid of the fellow by buying what he does not want, with the charitable intention of giving it to some dear but tiresome relative at home. And ever afterward, perhaps, he associates with his first impression of the Vatican the eager, cunning, scapegrace features of the man who sold him the photographs.

To fix a general scheme of the buildings in the mind one must climb to the top of the dome of the church and look down from the balcony which surrounds the lantern. The height is so great that even the great dimensions of the biggest palace in the world are dwarfed in the deep perspective, and the wide gardens look small and almost insignificant. But the relative proportions of the buildings and grounds appear correctly, and measure each other, as it were. Moreover, it is now so hard to obtain access to the gardens at all that the usual way of seeing them is from the top of Saint Peter's, from an elevation of four hundred feet.

To the average stranger 'the Vatican' suggests only the museum of sculpture, the picture-galleries and the Loggie. He remembers, besides the works of art which he has seen, the fact of having walked a great distance through straight corridors, up and down short flights of marble steps, and through irregularly shaped and unsymmetrically disposed halls. If he had any idea of the points of the compass when he entered, he is completely confused in five minutes, and comes out at last with the sensation of having been walking in a labyrinth. He will find it hard to give anyone an impression of the sort of building in which he has been, and certainly he cannot have any knowledge of the topographical relations of its parts. Yet in his passage through the museums and galleries he has seen but a very small part of the whole, and, excepting when in the Loggie, he probably could not once have stood still and pointed in the direction of the main part of the palace.


From a print of the last century]

In order to speak even superficially of it all, it is indispensable to classify its parts in some way. Vast and irregular it is at its two ends, toward the colonnade and toward the bastions of the city, but the intervening length consists of two perfectly parallel buildings, each over three hundred and fifty yards long, about eighty yards apart, and yoked in the middle by the Braccio Nuovo of the Museum and a part of the library, so as to enclose two vast courts, the one known as Belvedere,—not to be confused with the Belvedere in the Museum,—and the other called the Garden of the Pigna, from the pine-cone which stands at one end of it.

Across the ends of these parallel buildings, and toward the city, a huge pile is erected, about two hundred yards long, very irregular, and containing the papal residence and the apartments of several cardinals, the Sixtine Chapel, the Pauline Chapel, the Borgia Tower, the Stanze and Loggie of Raphael, and the Court of Saint Damasus. At the other end of the parallelogram are grouped the equally irregular but more beautiful buildings of the old Museum, of which the windows look out over the walls of the city, and which originally bore the name of Belvedere, on account of the lovely view. This is said to have been a sort of summer-house of the Borgia, not then connected with the palace by the long galleries.

It would be a hopeless and a weary task to attempt to trace the history of the buildings. Some account of the Pope's private apartments has already been given in these pages. They occupy the eastern wing of the part built round the Court of Damasus; that is to say, they are at the extreme end of the Vatican, nearest the city, and over the colonnade, and the windows of the Pope's rooms are visible from the square. The vast mass which rises above the columns to the right of Saint Peter's is only a small part of the whole palace, but is not the most modern, by any means. It contains, for instance, the Sixtine Chapel, which is considerably older than the present church, having been built by Sixtus the Fourth, whose beautiful bronze monument is in the Chapel of the Sacrament, in Saint Peter's. It contains, too, Raphael's Stanze, or halls, and Bramante's famous Loggie, the beautiful architecture of which is a frame for some of Raphael's best work.


But any good guide book will furnish all such information, which it would be fruitless to give in such a work as this. In the pages of Murray the traveller will find, set down in order and accurately, the ages, the dimensions, and the exact positions of all the parts of the building, with the names of the famous artists who decorated each. He will not find set down there, however, what one may call the atmosphere of the place, which is something as peculiar and unforgettable, though in a different way, as that of Saint Peter's. It is quite unlike anything else, for it is part of the development of churchmen's administration to an ultimate limit in the high centre of churchmanism. No doubt there was much of that sort of thing in various parts of Europe long ago, and in England before Henry the Eighth, and it is to be found in a small degree in Vienna to this day, where the traditions of the departed Holy Roman Empire are not quite dead. It is hard to define it, but it is in everything; in the uniforms of the attendants, in their old-fashioned faces, in the spotless cleanliness of all the Vatican—though no one is ever to be seen handling a broom—in the noiselessly methodical manner of doing everything that is to be done, in the scholarly rather than scientific arrangement of the objects in the museum and galleries—above all, in the visitor's own sensations. No one talks loudly among the statues of the Vatican, and there is a feeling of being in church, so that one is disagreeably shocked when a guide, conducting a party of tourists, occasionally raises his voice in order to be heard. It is all very hard to define, while it is quite impossible to escape feeling it, and it must ultimately be due to the dominating influence of the churchmen, who arrange the whole place as though it were a church. An American lady, on hearing that the Vatican is said to contain eleven thousand rooms, threw up her hands and laughingly exclaimed, 'Think of the housemaids!' But there are no housemaids in the Vatican, and perhaps the total absence of even the humblest feminine influence has something to do with the austere impression which everything produces.

On the whole, the Vatican may be divided into seven portions. These are the pontifical residence, the Sixtine and Pauline chapels, the picture galleries, the library, the museums of sculpture and archæology, the outbuildings, including the barracks of the Swiss Guards, and, lastly, the gardens with the Pope's Casino. Of these the Sixtine Chapel, the galleries and museums, and the library, are incomparably the most important.

The name Sixtine is derived from Sixtus the Fourth, as has been said, and is usually, but not correctly, spelled 'Sistine.' The library was founded by Nicholas the Fifth, whose love of books was almost equal to his passion for building. The galleries are representative of Raphael's work, which predominates to such an extent that the paintings of almost all other artists are of secondary importance, precisely as Michelangelo filled the Sixtine Chapel with himself. As for the museums, the objects they contain have been accumulated by many popes, but their existence ought, perhaps, to be chiefly attributed to Julius the Second and Leo the Tenth, the principal representatives of the Rovere and Medici families.

On the walls of the Sixtine Chapel there are paintings by such men as Perugino, Luca Signorelli, Botticelli, and Ghirlandajo, as well as by a number of others; but Michelangelo overshadows them all with his ceiling and his 'Last Judgment.' There is something overpowering about him, and there is no escaping from his influence. He not only covers great spaces with his brush, but he fills them with his masterful drawing, and makes them alive with a life at once profound and restless. One does not feel, as with other painters, that a vision has been projected upon a flat surface; one rather has the impression that a mysterious reality of life has been called up out of senseless material. What we see is not imaginary motion represented, but real motion arrested, as it were, in its very act, and ready to move again. Many have said that the man's work was monstrous. It was monstrously alive, monstrously vigorous; at times over-strong and over-vital, exaggerative of nature, but never really unnatural, and he never once overreached himself in an effort. No matter how enormous the conception might be, he never lacked the means of carrying it to the concrete. No giantism of limb and feature was beyond the ability of his brush; no astounding foreshortening was too much for his unerring point; no vast perspective was too deep for his knowledge and strength. His production was limited only by the length of his life. Great genius means before all things great and constant creative power; it means wealth of resource and invention; it means quantity as well as quality. No truly great genius, unless cut short by early death, has left little of itself. Besides a man's one great masterpiece, there are always a hundred works of the same hand, far beyond the powers of ordinary men; and the men of Michelangelo's day worked harder than we work. Perhaps they thought harder, too, being more occupied with creation, at a time when there was little, than we are with the difficult task of avoiding the unintentional reinvention of things already invented, now that there is so much. The latter is a real difficulty in our century, when almost every mine of thought has been worked to a normal depth by minds of normal power, and it needs all the ruthless strength of original genius to go deeper, and hew and blast a way through the bedrock of men's limitations to new veins of treasure below.

It has been said of Titian by a great French critic that 'he absorbed his predecessors and ruined his successors.' Michelangelo absorbed no one and ruined no one; for no painter, sculptor or architect ever attempted what he accomplished, either before him or after him. No sane person ever tried to produce anything like the 'Last Judgment,' the marble 'Moses,' or the dome of Saint Peter's. Michelangelo stood alone as a creator, as he lived a lonely man throughout the eighty-nine years of his life. He had envy but not competition to deal with. There is no rivalry between his paintings in the Sixtine Chapel and those of the many great artists who have left their work beside his on the same walls.

The chapel is a beautiful place in itself, by its simple and noble proportions, as well as by the wonderful architectural decorations of the ceiling, conceived by Michelangelo as a series of frames for his paintings. Beautiful beyond description, too, is the exquisite marble screen. No one can say certainly who made it; it was perhaps designed by the architect of the chapel himself, Baccio Pintelli. There are a few such marvels of unknown hands in the world, and a sort of romance clings to them, with an element of mystery that stirs the imagination, in a dreamy way, far more than the gilded oak tree in the arms of Sixtus the Fourth, by which the name of Rovere is symbolized. Sixtus commanded, and the chapel was built. But who knows where Baccio Pintelli lies? Or who shall find the grave where the hand that carved the lovely marble screen is laid at rest?

[Illustration: SIXTINE CHAPEL]

It is often dark in the Sixtine Chapel. The tourist can rarely choose his day, and not often his hour, and, in the weary traveller's hard-driven appreciation, Michelangelo may lose his effect by the accident of a thunder shower. Yet of all sights in Rome, the Sixtine Chapel most needs sunshine. If in any way possible, go there at noon on a bright winter's day, when the sun is streaming in through the high windows at the left of the 'Last Judgment.' Everyone has heard of the picture before seeing it, and almost everybody is surprised or disappointed on seeing it for the first time. Then, too, the world's ideas about the terrific subject of the painting have changed since Michelangelo's day. Religious belief can no more be judged by the standard of realism. It is wiser to look at the fresco as a work of art alone, as the most surprising masterpiece of a master draughtsman, and as a marvellous piece of composition.

In the lower part of the picture, there is a woman rising from her grave in a shroud. It has been suggested that Michelangelo meant to represent by this figure the Renascence of Italy, still struggling with darkness. The whole work brings the times before us. There is the Christian Heaven above, and the heathen Styx below. Charon ferries the souls across the dark stream; they are first judged by Minos, and Minos is a portrait of a cardinal who had ventured to judge the rest of the picture before it was finished. There is in the picture all the whirling confusion of ideas which made that age terrible and beautiful by turns, devout and unbelieving, strong and weak, scholarly upon a foundation of barbarism, and most realistic when most religious. You may see the reflected confusion in the puzzled faces of most tourists who look at the 'Last Judgment' for the first time. A young American girl smiles vaguely at it; an Englishman glares, expressionless, at it through an eyeglass, with a sort of cold inquiry—'Oh! is that all?' he might say; a German begins at Paradise at the upper left-hand corner, and works his way through the details to hell below, at the right. But all are inwardly disturbed, or puzzled, or profoundly interested, and when they go away this is the great picture which, of all they have seen, they remember with the most clearness.

And as Michelangelo set his great mark upon the Sixtine, so Raphael took the Stanze and the Loggie for himself—and some of the halls of the picture-galleries too. Raphael represented the feminine element in contrast with Michelangelo's rude masculinity. There hangs the great 'Transfiguration,' which, all but finished, was set up by the young painter's body when he lay in state—a picture too large for the sentiment it should express, while far too small for the subject it presents—yet, in its way, a masterpiece of composition. For in a measure Raphael succeeded in detaching the transfigured Christ from the crowded foreground, and in creating two distinct centres of interest. The frescoes in the Stanze represent subjects of less artistic impossibility, and in painting them Raphael expended in beauty of design the genius which, in the 'Transfiguration,' he squandered in attempting to overcome insuperable difficulties. Watch the faces of your fellow-tourists now, and you will see that the puzzled expression is gone. They are less interested than they were before the 'Last Judgment,' but they are infinitely better pleased.

Follow them on, to the library. They will enter with a look of expectation, and presently you will see disappointment and weariness in their eyes. Libraries are for the learned, and there are but a handful of scholars in a million. Besides, the most interesting rooms, the Borgia apartments, have been closed for many years and have only recently been opened again after being wisely and well restored under the direction of Leo the Thirteenth.

Two or three bad men are responsible for almost all the evil that has been said and written against the characters of the Popes in the Middle Age. John the Twelfth, of the race of Theodora Senatrix, Farnese of Naples and Rodrigo Borgia, a Spaniard, who was Alexander the Sixth, are the chief instances. There were, indeed, many popes who were not perfect, who were more or less ambitious, avaricious, warlike, timid, headstrong, weak, according to their several characters; but it can hardly be said that any of them were, like those I have mentioned, really bad men through and through, vicious, unscrupulous and daringly criminal.

According to Guicciardini, Alexander the Sixth knew nothing of Cæsar Borgia's intention of poisoning their rich friend, the Cardinal of Corneto, with whom they were both to sup in a villa on August 17, 1503. The Pope arrived at the place first, was thirsty, asked for drink, and by a mistake was given wine from a flask prepared and sent by Cæsar for the Cardinal. Cæsar himself came in next, and drank likewise. The Pope died the next day, but Cæsar recovered, though badly poisoned, to find himself a ruined man and ultimately a fugitive. The Cardinal did not touch the wine. This event ended an epoch and a reign of terror, and it pilloried the name of Borgia for ever. Alexander expired in the third room of the Borgia apartments, in the raving of a terrible delirium, during which the superstitious bystanders believed that he was conversing with Satan, to whom he had sold his soul for the papacy, and some were ready to swear that they actually saw seven devils in the room when he was dying. The fact that these witnesses were able to count the fiends speaks well for their coolness, and for the credibility of their testimony.

It has been much the fashion of late years to cry down the Vatican collection of statues, and to say that, with the exception of the 'Torso' it does not contain a single one of the few great masterpieces known to exist, such as the 'Hermes of Olympia,' the 'Venus of Medici,' the 'Borghese Gladiator,' the 'Dying Gaul.' We are told that the 'Apollo' of the Belvedere is a bad copy, and that the 'Laocoön' is no better, in spite of the signatures of the three Greek artists, one on each of the figures; that the 'Antinous' is a bad Hermes; and so on to the end of the collection, it being an easy matter to demolish the more insignificant statues after proving the worthlessness of the principal ones. Much of this criticism comes to us from Germany. But a German can criticise and yet admire, whereas an Anglo-Saxon usually despises what he criticises at all. Isaac D'Israeli says somewhere that certain opinions, like certain statues, require to be regarded from a proper distance. Probably none of the statues in the Vatican is placed as the sculptor would have placed it to be seen to advantage. Michelangelo believed in the 'Laocoön,' and he was at least as good a judge as most modern critics, and he roughed out the arm that was missing,—his sketch lies on the floor in the corner,—and devoted much time to studying the group. It is true that he is said to have preferred the torso of the 'Hercules,' but he did not withhold his admiration of the other good things. Of the 'Apollo' it is argued that it is insufficiently modelled. Possibly it stood in a very high place and did not need much modelling, for the ancients never wasted work, nor bestowed it where it could not be seen. However that may be, it is a far better statue, excepting the bad restorations, than it is now generally admitted to be, though it is not so good as people used to believe that it was. Apparently there are two ways of looking at objects of art. The one way is to look for the faults; the other way is to look for the beauties. It is plain that it must be the discovery of the beauty which gives pleasure, while the criticism of shortcomings can only flatter the individual's vanity. There cannot be much doubt but that Alcibiades got more enjoyment out of life than Diogenes.

The oldest decorated walls in the palace are those by Fra Angelico in the Chapel of Nicholas. For some reason or other this chapel at one time ceased to be used, the door was walled up and the very existence of the place was forgotten. In the last century Bottari, having read about it in Vasari, set to work to find it, and at last got into it through the window which looks upon the roof of the Sixtine Chapel. The story, which is undoubtedly true, gives an idea of the vastness of the palace, and certainly suggests the probability of more forgotten treasures of art shut up in forgotten rooms.

One other such at least there is. High up in the Borgia Tower, above the Stanze of Raphael, is a suite of rooms once inhabited by Cardinal Bibbiena, of the Chigi family, and used since then by more than one Assistant Secretary of State. There is a small chapel there, with a window looking upon an inner court. This was once the luxurious cardinal's bath-room, and was beautifully painted by Raphael in fresco, with mythological subjects. In 1835, according to Crowe and Cavalcaselle, Passavant saw it as it had originally been, with frescoes still beautiful, though much damaged, and the marble bath still in its place in a niche painted with river gods. In one of the Vatican's periodical fits of prudery the frescoes were completely hidden with a wooden wainscot, the bath-tub was taken away and the room was turned into a chapel. It is believed, however, that the paintings still exist behind their present covering.

The walk through the Museum is certainly one of the most wonderful in the world. There are more masterpieces, perhaps, in Florence; possibly objects of greater value may be accumulated in the British Museum; but nowhere in the world are statues and antiquities so well arranged as in the Vatican, and perhaps the orderly beauty of arrangement has as much to do as anything else with the charm which pervades the whole. One is brought into direct communication with Rome at its best, brilliant with the last reflections of Hellenic light; and again one is brought into contact with Rome at its worst, and beyond its worst, in its decay and destruction. Amid the ruin, too, there is the visible sign of a new growth in the beginnings of Christianity, from which a new power, a new history, a new literature and a new art were to spring up and blossom, and in the rude sculpture of the Shepherd, the Lamb and the Fishes lies the origin of Michelangelo's 'Moses' and 'Pietà.' There, too, one may read, as in a book, the whole history of death in Rome, graven in the long lines of ancient inscriptions, the tale of death when there was no hope, and its story when hope had begun in the belief in the resurrection of the dead. There the sadness of the sorrowing Roman contrasts with the gentle hopefulness of the bereaved Christian, and the sentiment and sentimentality of mankind during the greatest of the world's developments are told in the very words which men and women dictated to the stone-cutter. To those who can read the inscriptions the impression of direct communication with antiquity is very strong. For those who cannot there is still a special charm in the long succession of corridors, in the occasional glimpses of the gardens, in the magnificence of the decorations, as well as in the statues and fragments which line the endless straight walls. One returns at last to the outer chambers, one lingers here and there, to look again at something one has liked, and in the end one goes out remembering the place rather than the objects it contains, and desiring to return again for the sake of the whole sensation one has had rather than for any defined purpose.

At the last, opposite the iron turnstile by which visitors are counted, there is the closed gate of the garden. It is very hard to get admission to it now, for the Pope himself is often there when the weather is fine. In the Italian manner of gardening, the grounds are well laid out, and produce the effect of being much larger than they really are. They are not, perhaps, very remarkable, and Leo the Thirteenth must sometimes long for the hills of Carpineto and the freer air of the mountains, as he drives round and round in the narrow limits of his small domain, or walks a little under the shade of the ilex trees, conversing with his gardener or his architect. Yet those who love Italy love its old-fashioned gardens, the shady walks, the deep box-hedges, the stiff little summer-houses, the fragments of old statues at the corners, and even the 'scherzi d'acqua,' which are little surprises of fine water-jets that unexpectedly send a shower of spray into the face of the unwary. There was always an element of childishness in the practical jesting of the last century.

When all is seen, the tourist gets into his cab and drives down the empty paved way by the wall of the library, along the basilica, and out once more to the great square before the church. Or, if he be too strong to be tired, he will get out at the steps and go in for a few minutes to breathe the quiet air before going home, to get the impression of unity, after the impressions of variety which he has received in the Vatican, and to take away with him something of the peace which fills the cathedral of Christendom.



We have an involuntary reverence for all witnesses of history, be they animate or inanimate, men, animals, or stones. The desire to leave a work behind is in every man and man-child, from the strong leader who plants his fame in a nation's marrow, and teaches unborn generations to call him glorious, to the boy who carves his initials upon his desk at school. Few women have it. Perhaps the wish to be remembered is what fills that one ounce or so of matter by which modern statisticians assert that the average man's brain is heavier than the average woman's. The wish in ourselves makes us respect the satisfaction of it which the few obtain. Probably few men have not secretly longed to see their names set up for ages, like the 'Paulus V. Borghesius' over the middle of the portico of Saint Peter's, high above the entrance to the most vast monument of human hands in existence. Modesty commands the respect of a few, but it is open success that appeals to almost all mankind. Pasquin laughed:—

    'Angulus est Petri, Pauli frons tota. Quid inde?
    Non Petri, Paulo stat fabricata domus.'

Which means:—

    'The corner is Peter's, but the whole front Paul's.
    Not being Peter's, the house is built for Paul.'

The thing itself, the central cathedral of Christendom, is so enormous that many who gaze on it for the first time do not even notice that hugely lettered papal name. The building is so far beyond any familiar proportions that at first sight all details are lost upon its broad front. The mind and judgment are dazed and staggered. The earth should not be able to bear such weight upon its crust without cracking and bending like an overloaded table. On each side the colonnades run curving out like giant arms, always open to receive the nations that go up there to worship. The dome broods over all, like a giant's head motionless in meditation. The vastness of the structure takes hold of a man as he issues from the street by which he has come from Sant' Angelo. In the open space, in the square and in the ellipse between the colonnades and on the steps, two hundred thousand men could be drawn up in rank and file, horse and foot and guns. Excepting it be on some special occasion, there are rarely more than two or three hundred persons in sight. The paved emptiness makes one draw a breath of surprise, and human eyes seem too small to take in all the flatness below, all the breadth before, and all the height above. Taken together, the picture is too big for convenient sight. The impression itself moves unwieldily in the cramped brain. A building almost five hundred feet high produces a monstrous effect upon the mind. Set down in words, a description of it conveys no clear conception; seen for the first time, the impression produced by it cannot be put into language. It is something like a shock to the intelligence, perhaps, and not altogether a pleasant one. Carried beyond the limits of a mere mistake, exaggeration becomes caricature; but when it is magnified beyond humanity's common measures, it may acquire an element approaching to terror. The awe-striking giants of mythology were but magnified men. The first sight of Saint Peter's affects one as though, in the everyday streets, walking among one's fellows, one should meet with a man forty feet high.

Involuntarily we conceive that Saint Peter's has always stood where it stands, and it becomes at once, in our imaginations, the witness of much which it really never saw. Its calm seems meant to outlast history; one thinks that, while the Republic built Rome, and Augustus adorned it, and Nero burned it on the other side of the Tiber, the cathedral of the world was here, looking on across the yellow water, conscious of its own eternity, and solemnly indifferent to the ventures and adventures of mankind.

It is hard to reduce the great building in imagination to the little basilica built by Constantine the sentimentalist, on the site of Nero's circus; built by some other man perhaps, for no one knows surely; but a little church, at best, compared with many of those which Saint Peter's dwarfs to insignificance now. To remind men of him the effigy of that same Constantine sits on a marble charger there, on the left, beneath the portico, behind the great iron gate, with head thrown back, and lifted hand, and marble eyes gazing ever on the Cross. Some say that he really embraced Christianity only when dying. The names of the churches founded by him in Constantinople are all sentimentally ambiguous, from Sophia, 'wisdom,' to Anastasia, 'resurrection,' or revival, and hence 'spring.' It is strange that the places of worship built by him in Rome, if they were really his work, should bear such exceedingly definite designations and direct dedications as Saint Peter's, Saint John's, Saint Paul's and the Church of the Holy Cross. At all events, whether he believed much or little, Christianity owes him much, and romance is indebted to him for almost as much more. But for Constantine there might have been no Charlemagne, no Holy Roman Empire.

In old times criminals of low degree used to be executed on the Esquiline, and were buried there, unburned, unless their bodies were left to wither upon the cross in wind and sun, as generally happened. The place was the hideous feeding ground of wild dogs and carrion birds, and witches went there by night to perform their horrid rites. It was there that Canidia and her companion buried a living boy up to the neck that they might make philters of his vitals. Everyone must remember the end of Horace's imprecation:—

    ”... insepulta membra different lupi,
          Et Esquilinæ alites.”

Then came Mæcenas and redeemed all that land; turned it into a garden, and beautified it; uprooted the mouldering crosses, whereon still hung the bones of dead slaves, and set out trees in their stead; piled thirty feet of clean earth upon the shallow graves of executed murderers and of generations of thieves, and planted shrubbery and flowers, and made walks and paths and shady places.

Therefore it happened that the southern spur of the Janiculum became after that time a place of execution and cruel death. The city had never grown much on that side of the Tiber,—that is to say, on the right bank,—and the southern end of the long hill was a wilderness of sand and brushwood.

[Illustration: MAMERTINE PRISON]

In the deep Mamertine prison, behind the Tabulary of the Forum, it was customary to put to death only political misdoers, and their bodies were then thrown down the Gemonian steps. 'Vixerunt,' said Cicero, grimly, when Catiline's fellow conspirators lay there dead; and perhaps the sword that was to fall upon his own neck was even then forged. The prison is still intact. The blood of Vercingetorix and of Sejanus is on the rocky floor. Men say that Saint Peter was imprisoned here. But because he was not of high degree Nero's executioners led him out across the Forum and over the Sublician bridge, up to the heights of Janiculum. He was then very old and weak, so that he could not carry his cross, as condemned men were made to do. When they had climbed more than half-way up the height, seeing that he could not walk much farther, they crucified him. He said that he was not worthy to suffer as the Lord had suffered, and begged them to plant his cross with the head downward in the deep yellow sand. The executioners did so. The Christians who had followed were not many, and they stood apart weeping.

When he was dead, after much torment, and the sentinel soldier had gone away, they took the holy body, and carried it along the hillside, and buried it at night close against the long wall of Nero's circus, on the north side, near the place where they buried the martyrs killed daily by Nero's wild beasts and in other cruel ways. They marked the spot, and went there often to pray. Lately certain learned men have said that he was crucified in the circus itself, but the evidence is slight compared with the undoubted weight of a very ancient tradition, and turns upon the translation of a single word.

Within two years Nero fell and perished miserably, scarcely able to take his own life to escape being beaten to death in the Forum. In a little more than a year there were four emperors in Rome; Galba, Otho and Vitellius followed one another quickly; then came Vespasian, and then Titus, with his wars in Palestine, and then Domitian. At last, nearly thirty years after the apostle had died on the Janiculum, there was a bishop called Anacletus, who had been ordained priest by Saint Peter himself. The times being quieter then, this Anacletus built a little oratory, a very small chapel, in which three or four persons could kneel and pray over the grave. And that was the beginning of Saint Peter's Church. But Anacletus died a martyr too, and the bishops after him all perished in the same way up to Eutichianus, whose name means something like 'the fortunate one' in barbarous Greek-Latin, and who was indeed fortunate, for he died a natural death. But in the mean time certain Greeks had tried to steal the holy body, so that the Roman Christians carried it away for nineteen months to the Catacombs of Saint Sebastian, after which they brought it back again and laid it in its place. And again after that, when the new circus was built by Elagabalus, they took it once more to the same catacombs, where it remained in safety for a long time.

Now came Constantine, in love with religion and inclined to think Christianity best, and made a famous edict in Milan, and it is said that he laid the deep foundations of the old Church of Saint Peter's, which afterward stood more than eleven hundred years. He built it over the little oratory of Anacletus, whose chapel stood where the saint's body had lain, under the nearest left-hand pillar of the canopy that covers the high altar, as you go up from the door. Constantine's church was founded, on the south side, within the lines of Nero's circus, outside of it on the north side, and parallel with its length. Most churches are built with the apse to the east, but Constantine's, like the present basilica, looked west, because from time immemorial the bishop of Rome, when consecrating, stood on the farther side of the altar from the people, facing them over it. And the church was consecrated by Pope Sylvester the First, in the year 326.

Constantine built his church as a memorial and not as a tomb, because at that time Saint Peter's body lay in the catacombs, where it had been taken in the year 219, under Elagabalus. But at last, in the days of Honorius, disestablisher of heathen worship, the body was brought back for the last time, with great concourse and ceremony, and laid where it or its dust still lies, in a brazen sarcophagus.

Then came Alaric and the Vandals and the Goths. But they respected the church and the Saint's body, though they respected Rome very little. And Odoacer extinguished the flickering light of the Western Empire, and Dietrich of Bern, as the Goths called Theodoric of Verona, founded the Gothic kingdom, and left his name in the Nibelungenlied and elsewhere. At last arose Charles, who was called the 'Great' first on account of his size, and afterwards on account of his conquests, which exceeded those of Julius Cæsar in extent; and this Charlemagne came to Rome, and marched up into the Church of Constantine, and bowed his enormous height for Leo the Third to set upon it the crown of the new empire, which was ever afterwards called the Holy Roman Empire, until Napoleon wiped out its name in Vienna, having girt on Charlemagne's sword, and founded an empire of his own, which lasted a dozen years instead of a thousand.

So the ages slipped along till the church was in bad repair and in danger of falling, when Nicholas the Fifth was Pope, in 1450. He called Alberti and Rossellini, who made the first plan; but it was the great Julius the Second who laid the first stone of the present basilica, according to Bramante's plan, under the northeast pillar of the dome, where the statue of Saint Veronica now stands. The plan was changed many times, and it was not until 1626, on the thirteen hundredth anniversary of Saint Sylvester's consecration, that Urban the Eighth consecrated what we now call the Church of Saint Peter.

We who have known Saint Peter's since the old days cannot go in under the portico without recalling vividly the splendid pageants we have seen pass in and out by the same gate. Even before reaching it we glance up from the vast square to the high balcony, remembering how from there Pius the Ninth used to chant out the Pontifical benediction to the city and the world, while in the silence below one could hear the breathing of a hundred thousand human beings.

[Illustration: PANORAMA

From the Orti Farnesiani]

That is all in ghostland now, and will soon be beyond the reach of memory. In the coachhouses behind the Vatican, the old state coaches are mouldering; and the Pope, in his great sedia gestatoria, the bearers, the fan-men, the princes, the cardinals, the guards and the people will not in our time be again seen together under the Roman sky. Old-fashioned persons sigh for the pageantry of those days when they go up the steps into the church.

The heavy leathern curtain falls by its own weight, and the air is suddenly changed. A hushed, half-rhythmic sound, as of a world breathing in its sleep, makes the silence alive. The light is not dim or ineffectual, but very soft and high, and it is as rich as floating gold dust in the far distance, and in the apse, an eighth of a mile from the door. There is a blue and hazy atmospheric distance, as painters call it, up in the lantern of the cupola, a twelfth of a mile above the pavement.

It is all very big. The longest ship that crosses the ocean could lie in the nave between the door and the apse, and her masts from deck to truck would scarcely top the canopy of the high altar, which looks so small under the super-possible vastness of the immense dome. We unconsciously measure dwellings made with hands by our bodily stature. But there is a limit to that. No man standing for the first time upon the pavement of Saint Peter's can make even a wide guess at the size of what he sees unless he knows the dimensions of some one object.

Close to Filarete's central bronze door a round disk of porphyry is sunk in the pavement. That is the spot where the emperors of the Holy Roman Empire were crowned in the old church; Charlemagne, Frederick Barbarossa and many others received the crown, the Chrism and the blessing here, before Constantine's ancient basilica was torn down lest it should fall of itself. For he did not build as Titus built—if, indeed, the old church was built by him at all.

A man may well cast detail of history to the winds and let his mind stand free to the tremendous traditions of the place, since so much of them is truth beyond all question. Standing where Charles the Great was crowned eleven hundred years ago, he stands not a hundred yards from the grave where the Chief Apostle was first buried. There he has lain now for fifteen hundred years, since the 'religion of the fathers' was 'disestablished,' as we should say, by Honorius, and since the Popes became Pontifices Maximi of the new faith. This was the place of Nero's circus long before the Colosseum was dreamed of, and the foundations of Christendom's cathedral are laid in earth wet with blood of many thousand martyrs. During two hundred and fifty years every bishop of Rome died a martyr, to the number of thirty consecutive Popes. It is really and truly holy ground, and it is meet that the air, once rent by the death cries of Christ's innocent folk, should be enclosed in the world's most sacred place, and be ever musical with holy song, and sweet with incense. It needs fifty thousand persons to fill the nave and transepts in Saint Peter's. It is known that at least that number have been present in the church several times within modern memory; but it is thought that the building would hold eighty thousand—as many as could be seated on the tiers in the Colosseum. Such a concourse was there at the opening of the Oecumenical Council in December, 1869, and at the jubilees celebrated by Leo the Thirteenth; and on all those occasions there was plenty of room in the aisles, besides the broad spaces which were required for the functions themselves.

To feel one's smallness and realize it, one need only go and stand beside the marble cherubs that support the holy-water basins against the first pillar. They look small, if not graceful; but they are of heroic size, and the bowls are as big as baths. Everything in the place is vast; all the statues are colossal, all the pictures enormous; the smallest detail of the ornamentation would dwarf any other building in the world, and anywhere else even the chapels would be churches. The eye strains at everything, and at first the mind is shocked out of its power of comparison.

But the strangest, most extravagant, most incomprehensible, most disturbing sight of all is to be seen from the upper gallery in the cupola looking down to the church below. Hanging in mid-air, with nothing under one's feet, one sees the church projected in perspective within a huge circle. It is as though one saw it upside down and inside out. Few men could bear to stand there without that bit of iron railing between them and the hideous fall; and the inevitable slight dizziness which the strongest head feels may make one doubt for a moment whether what is really the floor below may not be in reality a ceiling above, and whether one's sense of gravitation be not inverted in an extraordinary dream. At that distance human beings look no bigger than flies, and the canopy of the high altar might be an ordinary table.

And thence, climbing up between the double domes, one may emerge from the almost terrible perspective to the open air, and suddenly see all Rome at one's feet, and all the Roman mountains stretched out to south and east, in perfect grace of restful outline, shoulder to shoulder, like shadowy women lying side by side and holding hands.

And the broken symmetry of the streets and squares ranges below, cut by the winding ribbon of the yellow Tiber; to the right the low Aventine, with the dark cypresses of the Protestant cemetery beyond, and the Palatine, crested with trees and ruins; the Pincian on the left, with its high gardens, and the mass of foliage of the Villa Medici behind it; the lofty tower of the Capitol in the midst of the city; and the sun clasping all to its heart of gold, the new and the old alike, past and present, youth, age and decay,—generous as only the sun can be in this sordid and miserly world, where bread is but another name for blood, and a rood of growing corn means a pound of human flesh. The sun is the only good thing in nature that always gives itself to man for nothing but the mere trouble of sitting in the sunshine; and Rome without sunshine is a very grim and gloomy town today.

It is worth the effort of climbing so high. Four hundred feet in the air, you look down on what ruled half the world by force for ages, and on what rules the other half today by faith—the greatest centre of conquest and of discord and of religion which the world has ever seen. A thousand volumes have been written about it by a thousand wise men. A word will tell what it has been—the heart of the world. Hither was drawn the world's blood by all the roads that lead to Rome, and hence it was forced out again along the mighty arteries of the Cæsars' marches—to redden the world with the Roman name. Blood, blood and more blood,—that was the history of old Rome,—the blood of brothers, the blood of foes, the blood of martyrs without end. It flowed and ebbed in varying tide at the will of the just and the unjust, but there was always more to shed, and there were always more hands to shed it. And so it may be again hereafter; for the name of Rome has a heart-stirring ring, and there has always been as much blood spilled for the names of things as for the things themselves.

It is wonderful to stand there and realize what every foot means, beneath that narrow standing room on the gallery outside the lantern, counting from the top downward as one counts the years of certain trees by the branches. For every division there is a pope and an architect: Sixtus the Fifth and Giacomo della Porta, Paul the Third and Michelangelo, Baldassare Peruzzi and Leo the Tenth, Julius the Second and Bramante, Nicholas the Fifth and Alberti. Then the old church of Constantine, and then the little oratory built over Saint Peter's grave by Saint Anacletus, the third or, according to some, the fourth bishop of Rome; then, even before that, Nero's circus, which was either altogether destroyed or had gone to ruins before Anacletus built his chapel.

And far below all are buried the great of the earth, deep down in the crypt. There lies the chief Apostle, and there lie many martyred bishops side by side; men who came from far lands to die the holy death in Rome,—from Athens, from Bethlehem, from Syria, from Africa. There lie the last of the Stuarts, with their pitiful kingly names, James the Third, Charles the Third, and Henry the Ninth; the Emperor Otho the Second has lain there a thousand years; Pope Boniface the Eighth of the Caetani, whom Sciarra Colonna took prisoner at Anagni, is there, and Rodrigo Borgia, Alexander the Sixth, lay there awhile, and Agnes Colonna, and Queen Christina of Sweden, and the Great Countess, and many more besides, both good and bad—even to Catharine Cornaro, Queen of Cyprus, of romantic memory. In the high clear air above, it chills one to think of the death silence down there in the crypt; but when you enter the church again after the long descent, and feel once more the quick change of atmosphere by which a blind man could tell that he was in Saint Peter's, you feel also the spell of the place and its ancient enchantment; you do not regret the high view you left above, and the dead under your feet seem all at once near and friendly.


It is not an exaggeration or the misuse of a word to call it magic. Magic is supposed to be a means of communication with beings of another world. It is scarcely a metaphor to say that Saint Peter's is that. It is the mere truth and no more, and you can feel that it is if you will stand, with half-closed eyes, against one of the great pillars, just within hearing of the voices that sing solemn music in the chapel of the choir, and make yourself a day-dream of the people that go up the nave by seeing them a little indistinctly. If you will but remember how much humanity is like humanity in all ages, you can see the old life again as it was a hundred years—two, three, five, ten hundred years before that. If you are fortunate, just then, a score of German seminary students may pass you, in their scarlet cloth gowns, marching two and two in order, till they wheel by the right and go down upon their knees with military precision before the gate of the Chapel of the Sacrament. Or if it be the day and hour, a procession crosses the church, with lights and song and rich vestments, and a canopy over the Sacred Host, which the Cardinal Archpriest himself is carrying reverently before him with upraised hands hidden under the cope, while the censers swing high to right and left. Or the singers from the choir go by, in violet silk and lace, hurrying along the inner south aisle to the door of the sacristy, where heavy yellow cherubs support marble draperies under the monument of Pius the Eighth. If you stand by your pillar a little while, something will surely happen to help your dream, and sweep you back a century or two.

And if not, and if you have a little imagination of your own which can stir itself without help from outside, you can call up the figures of those that lie dead below, and of those who in ages gone have walked the dim aisles of the ancient church. Up the long nave comes Pelagius, Justinian's pope, with Narses by his side, to swear by holy cross and sacred gospel that he has not slain Vigilius, Pope before him: and this Narses, smooth-faced, passionless, thoughtful, is the conqueror of the Goths, and having conquered them, he would not suffer that a hair of the remnant of them should be hurt, because he had given his word. High-handed Henry the Fifth, claiming power over the Church, being refused full coronation by Pope Paschal till he yields, seizes Pope and College of Cardinals then and there, and imprisons them till he has starved them to submission, and half requites the Church for Gregory's humiliation of the father whom he himself thrust from the throne—of that Henry whom the strong Hildebrand made to do penance barefoot on the snow in the courtyard of Matilda's Castle at Canossa. And Matilda herself, the Great Countess, the once all beautiful, betrayed in love, the half sainted, the all romantic, rises before you from her tomb below, in straight, rich robes and flowing golden hair, and once more makes gift of all her vast possessions to the Church of Rome. Nicholas Rienzi strides by, strange compound of heroism, vanity and high poetry, calling himself in one breath the people's tribune, and Augustus, and an emperor's son. There is a rush of armed men shouting furiously in Spanish, 'Carne! Sangre! Bourbon!' There is a clanging of steel, a breaking down of gates, and the Constable of Bourbon's horde pours in, irresistible, ravaging all, while he himself lies stark and stiff outside, pierced by Bernardino Passeri's short bolt, and Clement trembles in Sant' Angelo. Christina of Sweden, Monaldeschi's murder red upon her soul, comes next, fawning for forgiveness, to die in due time over there in the Corsini palace by the Tiber.

A man may call up half the world's history in half an hour in such a place, toward evening, when the golden light streams through the Holy Dove in the apse. And, in imagination, to those who have seen the great pageants within our memory, the individual figures grow smaller as the magnificence of the display increases out of all proportion, until the church fills again with the vast throngs that witnessed the jubilees of Leo the Thirteenth in recent years, and fifty thousand voices send up a rending cheer while the most splendid procession of these late days goes by.

It was in the Chapel of the Sacrament that the body of the good Pope Pius the Ninth was laid in state for several days. That was a strange and solemn sight, too. The gates of the church were all shut but one, and that was only a little opened, so that the people passed in one by one from the great wedge-shaped crowd outside—a crowd that began at the foot of the broad steps in the Piazza, and struggled upward all the afternoon, closer and closer toward the single entrance. For in the morning only the Roman nobles and the prelates and high ecclesiastics were admitted, by another way. Within the church the thin stream of men and women passed quickly between a double file of Italian soldiers. That was the first and last time since 1870 that Italian troops were under arms within the consecrated precincts. It was still winter, and the afternoon light was dim, and it seemed a long way to the chapel. The good man lay low, with his slippered feet between the bars of the closed gate. The people paused as they passed, and most of them kissed the embroidered cross, and looked at the still features, before they went on. It was dim, but the six tall waxen torches threw a warm light on the quiet face, and the white robes reflected it around. There were three torches on each side, too, and there were three Noble Guards in full dress, motionless, with drawn swords, as though on parade. But no one looked at them. Only the marble face, with its kind, far-away smile, fixed itself in each man's eyes, and its memory remained with each when he had gone away. It was very solemn and simple, and there were no other lights in the church save the little lamps about the Confession and before the altars. The long, thin stream of people went on swiftly and out by the sacristy all the short afternoon till it was night, and the rest of the unsatisfied crowd was left outside as the single gate was closed.

Few saw the scene which followed, when the good Pope's body had lain four days in state, and was then placed in its coffin at night, to be hoisted high and swung noiselessly into the temporary tomb above the small door on the east side—that is, to the left—of the Chapel of the Choir. It was for a long time the custom that each pope should lie there until his successor died, when his body was removed to the monument prepared for it in the mean time, and the Pope just dead was laid in the same place.

The church was almost dark, and only in the Chapel of the Choir and in that of the Holy Sacrament, which are opposite each other, a number of big wax candles shed a yellow light. In the niche over the door a mason was still at work, with a tallow dip, clearly visible below. The triple coffin stood before the altar in the Chapel of the Choir. Opposite, where the body still lay, the Noble Guards and the Swiss Guards, in their breastplates, kept watch with drawn swords and halberds.

The Noble Guards carried the bier on their shoulders in solemn procession, with chanting choir, robed bishop, and tramping soldiers, round by the Confession and across the church, and lifted the body into the coffin. The Pope had been very much beloved by all who were near him, and more than one grey-haired prelate shed tears of genuine grief that night.

In the coffin, in accordance with an ancient custom, a bag was placed containing ninety-three medals, one of gold, one of silver and one of bronze, for each of the thirty-one years which Pope Pius had reigned; and a history of the pontificate, written on parchment, was also deposited at the feet of the body.

When the leaden coffin was soldered, six seals were placed upon it, five by cardinals, and one by the archivist. During the ceremony the Protonotary Apostolic, the Chancellor of the Apostolic Chamber and the Notary of the Chapter of Saint Peter's were busy, pen in hand, writing down the detailed protocol of the proceedings.

The last absolution was pronounced, and the coffin in its outer case of elm was slowly moved out and raised in slings, and gently swung into the niche. The masons bricked up the opening in the presence of cardinals and guards, and long before midnight the marble slab, carved to represent the side of a sarcophagus, was in its place, with its simple inscription, 'Pius IX, P.M.'

From time immemorial the well containing the marble staircase which leads down to the tomb of Saint Peter has been called the 'Confession.' The word, I believe, is properly applied to the altar-rail, from the ancient practice of repeating there the general confession immediately before receiving the Communion, a custom now slightly modified. But I may be wrong in giving this derivation. At all events, a marble balustrade follows the horseshoe shape of the well, and upon it are placed ninety-five gilded lamps, which burn perpetually. There is said to be no special significance in the number, and they produce very little effect by daylight.

But on the eve of Saint Peter's Day, and perhaps at some other seasons, the Pope has been known to come down to the church by the secret staircase leading into the Chapel of the Sacrament, to pray at the Apostle's tomb. On such occasions a few great candlesticks with wax torches were placed on the floor of the church, two and two, between the Chapel and the Confession. The Pope, attended only by a few chamberlains and Noble Guards, and dressed in his customary white cassock, passed swiftly along in the dim light, and descended the steps to the gilded gate beneath the high altar. A marble pope kneels there too, Pius the Sixth, of the Braschi family, his stone draperies less white than Pope Leo's cassock, his marble face scarcely whiter than the living Pontiff's alabaster features.

Those are sights which few have been privileged to see. There is a sort of centralization of mystery, if one may couple such words, in the private pilgrimage of the head of the Church to the tomb of the chief Apostle by night, on the eve of the day which tradition has kept from the earliest times as the anniversary of Saint Peter's martyrdom. The whole Catholic world, if it might, would follow Leo the Thirteenth down those marble steps, and two hundred million voices would repeat the prayer he says alone.

Many and solemn scenes have been acted out by night in the vast gloom of the enormous church, and if events do not actually leave an essence of themselves in places, as some have believed, yet the knowledge that they have happened where we stand and recall them has a mysterious power to thrill the heart.

Opposite the Chapel of the Sacrament is the Chapel of the Choir. Saint Peter's is a cathedral, and is managed by a chapter of Canons, each of whom has his seat in the choir, and his vote in the disposal of the cathedral's income, which is considerable. The chapter maintains the Choir of Saint Peter's, a body of musicians quite independent of the so-called 'Pope's Choir,' which is properly termed the 'Choir of the Sixtine Chapel,' and which is paid by the Pope. There are some radical differences between the two. By a very ancient and inviolable regulation, the so-called 'musico,' or artificial soprano, is never allowed to sing in the Chapel of the Choir, where the soprano singers are without exception men who sing in falsetto, though they speak in a deep voice. On great occasions the Choir of the Sixtine joins in the music in the body of the church, but never in the Chapel, and always behind a lattice.

Secondly, no musical instruments are ever used in the Sixtine. In the Chapel of the Choir, on the contrary, there are two large organs. The one on the west side is employed on all ordinary occasions; it is over two hundred years old, and is tuned about two tones below the modern pitch. It is so worn out that an organ-builder is in attendance during every service, to make repairs at a moment's notice. The bellows leak, the stops stick, some notes have a chronic tendency to cipher, and the pedal trackers unhook themselves unexpectedly. But the Canons would certainly not think of building a new organ.

Should they ever do so, and tune the instrument to the modern pitch, the consternation of the singers would be great; for the music is all written for the existing organ, and could not be performed two notes higher, not to mention the confusion that would arise where all the music is sung at sight by singers accustomed to an unusual pitch. This is a fact not generally known, but worthy of notice. The music sung in Saint Peter's, and, indeed, in most Roman churches, is never rehearsed nor practised. The music itself is entirely in manuscript, and is the property of the choir master, or, as is the case in Saint Peter's, of the Chapter, and there is no copyright in it beyond this fact of actual possession, protected by the simple plan of never allowing any musician to have his part in his hands except while he is actually performing it. In the course of a year the same piece may be sung several times, and the old choristers may become acquainted with a good deal of music in this way, but never otherwise. Mozart is reported to have learned Allegri's Miserere by ear, and to have written it down from memory. The other famous Misereres, which are now published, were pirated in a similar way. The choir master of that day was very unpopular. Some of the leading singers who had sung the Misereres during many years in succession, and had thus learned their several parts, met and put together what they knew into a whole, which was at once published, to the no small annoyance and discomfiture of their enemy. But much good music is quite beyond the reach of the public—Palestrina's best motetts, airs by Alessandro Stradella, the famous hymn of Raimondi, in short a great musical library, an 'archivio' as the Romans call such a collection, all of which is practically lost to the world.

It is wonderful that under such circumstances the choir of Saint Peter's should obtain even such creditable results. At a moment's notice an organist and about a hundred singers are called upon to execute a florid piece of music which many have never seen nor heard; the accompaniment is played at sight from a mere figured bass, on a tumble-down instrument two hundred years old, and the singers, both the soloists and the chorus, sing from thumbed bits of manuscript parts written in old-fashioned characters on paper often green with age. No one has ever denied the extraordinary musical facility of Italians, but if the outside world knew how Italian church music is performed it would be very much astonished.

It is no wonder that such music is sometimes bad. But sometimes it is very good; for there are splendid voices among the singers, and the Maestro Renzi, the chief organist, is a man of real talent as well as of amazing facility. His modernizing influence is counter-balanced by that of the old choir master, Maestro Meluzzi, a first-rate musician, who would not for his life change a hair of the old-fashioned traditions. Yet there are moments, on certain days, when the effect of the great old organ, with the rich voices blending in some good harmony, is very solemn and stirring. The outward persuasive force of religion lies largely in its music, and the religions that have no songs make few proselytes.

Nothing, perhaps, is more striking, as one becomes better acquainted with Saint Peter's, than the constant variety of detail. The vast building produces at first sight an impression of harmony, and there appears to be a remarkable uniformity of style in all the objects one sees. There are no oil-paintings to speak of in the church, and but few frescoes. The great altar-pieces are almost exclusively fine mosaic copies of famous pictures which are preserved elsewhere. Of these reproductions the best is generally considered to be that of Guercino's 'Saint Petronilla,' at the end of the right aisle of the tribune.

Debrosses praises these mosaic altar-pieces extravagantly, and even expresses the opinion that they are probably superior in point of colour to the originals from which they are copied. In execution they are certainly wonderful, and many a stranger looks at them and passes on, believing them to be oil-paintings. They possess the quality of being imperishable and beyond all influence of climate or dampness, and they are masterpieces of mechanical workmanship. But many will think them hard and unsympathetic in outline, and decidedly crude in colour. Much wit has been manufactured by the critics at the expense of Guido Reni's 'Michael,' for instance, and as many sharp things could be said about a good many other works of the same kind in the church. Yet, on the whole, they do not destroy the general harmony. Big as they are, when they are seen from a little distance they sink into mere insignificant patches of colour, all but lost in the deep richness of the whole.

As for the statues and monuments, between the 'Pietà' of Michelangelo and Bracci's horrible tomb of Benedict the Fourteenth, there is the step which, according to Tom Paine, separates the sublime from the ridiculous. That very witty saying has in it only just the small ingredient of truth without which wit remains mere humour. Between the ridiculous and the sublime there may sometimes be, indeed, but one step in the execution; but there is always the enormous moral distance which separates real feeling from affectation—the gulf which divides, for instance, Bracci's group from Michelangelo's.


The 'Pietà' is one of the great sculptor's early works. It is badly placed. It is dwarfed by the heavy architecture above and around it. It is insulted by a pair of hideous bronze cherubs. There is a manifest improbability in the relative size of the figure of Christ and that of the Blessed Virgin. Yet in spite of all, it is one of the most beautiful and touching groups in the whole world, and by many degrees the best work of art in the great church. Michelangelo was a man of the strongest dramatic instinct even in early youth, and when he laid his hand to the marble and cut his 'Pietà' he was in deep sympathy with the supreme drama of man's history. He found in the stone, once and for all time, the grief of the human mother for her son, not comforted by foreknowledge of resurrection, nor lightened by prescience of near glory. He discovered in the marble, by one effort, the divinity of death's rest after torture, and taught the eye to see that the dissolution of this dying body is the birth of the soul that cannot die. In the dead Christ there are two men manifest to sight. 'The first man is of earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven.'

In the small chapel stands a strangely wrought column, enclosed in an iron cage. The Romans now call it the Colonna Santa, the holy pillar, and it is said to be the one against which Christ leaned when teaching in the temple at Jerusalem. A great modern authority believes it to be of Roman workmanship, and of the third century; but those who have lived in the East will see much that is oriental in the fantastic ornamented carving. It matters little. In actual fact, whatever be its origin, this is the column known in the Middle Age as the 'Colonna degli Spiritati,' or column of those possessed by evil spirits, and it was customary to bind to it such unlucky individuals as fell under the suspicion of 'possession' in order to exorcise the spirit with prayers and holy water. Aretino has made a witty scene about this in the 'Cortegiana,' where one of the Vatican servants cheats a poor fisherman, and then hands him over to the sacristan of Saint Peter's to be cured of an imaginary possession by a ceremonious exorcism. Such proceedings must have been common enough in those days when witchcraft and demonology were elements with which rulers and lawgivers had to count at every turn.

Leave the column and its legend in the lonely chapel, with the exquisite 'Pietà'; wander hither and thither, and note the enormous contrasts between good and bad work which meet you at every turn. Up in the right aisle of the tribune you will come upon what is known as Canova's masterpiece, the tomb of Clement the Thirteenth, the Rezzonico pope, as strange a mixture of styles and ideas as any in the world, and yet a genuine expression of the artistic feeling of that day. The grave Pope prays solemnly above; on the right a lovely heathen genius of Death leans on a torch; on the left rises a female figure of Religion, one of the most abominably bad statues in the world; below, a brace of improbable lions, extravagantly praised by people who do not understand leonine anatomy, recall Canova's humble origin and his first attempt at modelling. For the sculptor began life as a waiter in a 'canova di vino,' or wine shop, whence his name; and it was when a high dignitary stopped to breakfast at the little wayside inn that the lad modelled a lion in butter to grace the primitive table. The thing attracted the rich traveller's attention, and the boy's fortune was made. The Pope is impressive, the Death is gentle and tender, the Religion, with her crown of gilded spikes for rays, and her clumsy cross, is a vision of bad taste, and the sleepy lions, when separated from what has been written about them, excite no interest. Yet somehow, from a distance, the monument gets harmony out of its surroundings.


One of the best tombs in the basilica is that of Sixtus the Fourth, the first pope of the Rovere family, in the Chapel of the Sacrament. The bronze figure, lying low on a sarcophagus placed out on upon the floor, has a quiet manly dignity about it which one cannot forget. But in the same tomb lies a greater man of the same name, Julius the Second, for whom Michelangelo made his 'Moses' in the Church of San Pietro in Vincoli—a man who did more than any other, perhaps, to make the great basilica what it is, and who, by a chain of mistakes, got no tomb of his own. He who solemnly laid the foundations of the present church, and lived to see the four main piers completed, with their arches, has only a little slab in the pavement to recall his memory. The protector and friend of Bramante, of Michelangelo and of Raphael,—of the great architect, the great sculptor and the great painter,—has not so much as the least work of any of the three to mark his place of rest. Perhaps he needed nothing but his name.

After all, his bones have been allowed to rest in peace, which is more than can be said of all that have been buried within the area of the church. Urban the Sixth had no such good fortune. He so much surprised the cardinals, as soon as they had elected him, by his vigorous moral reforms that they hastily retired to Anagni and elected an antipope of milder manners and less sensitive conscience. He lived to triumph over his enemies. In Piacenza he was besieged by King Charles of Naples. He excommunicated him, tortured seven cardinals whom he caught in the conspiracy and put five of them to death; overcame and slew Charles, refused him burial and had his body exposed to the derision of the crowd. The chronicler says that 'Italy, Germany, England, Hungary, Bohemia, Poland, Sicily and Portugal were obedient to the Lord Pope Urban the Sixth.' He died peacefully, and was buried in Saint Peter's in a marble sarcophagus.

But when Sixtus the Fifth, who also surprised the cardinals greatly, was in a fit of haste to finish the dome, the masons, wanting a receptacle for water, laid hands on Urban's stone coffin, pitched his bones into a corner, and used the sarcophagus as they pleased, leaving it to serve as a water-tank for many years afterwards.

In extending the foundations of the church, Paul the Third came upon the bodies of Maria and Hermania, the two wives of Honorius, the Emperor who 'disestablished' paganism in favour of Christianity. They were sisters, daughters of Stilicho, and had been buried in their imperial robes, with many rich objects and feminine trinkets; and they were found intact, as they had been buried, in the month of February, 1543. Forty pounds of fine gold were taken from their robes alone, says Baracconi, without counting all the jewels and trinkets, among which was a very beautiful lamp, besides a great number of precious stones. The Pope melted down the gold for the expenses of the building, and set the gems in a tiara, where, if they could be identified, they certainly exist today—the very stones worn by empresses of ancient Rome.

Then, as if in retribution, the Pope's own tomb was moved from its place. Despoiled of two of the four statues which adorned it, the monument is now in the tribune, and is still one of the best in the church. A strange and tragic tale is told of it. A Spanish student, it is said, fell madly in love with the splendid statue of Paul's sister-in-law, Julia Farnese. He succeeded in hiding himself in the basilica when it was closed at night, threw himself in a frenzy upon the marble and was found stone dead beside it in the morning. The ugly draperies of painted metal which now hide much of the statue owe their origin to this circumstance. Classical scholars will remember that a somewhat similar tale is told by Pliny of the Venus of Praxiteles in Cnidus.

In spite of many assertions to the effect that the bronze statue of Saint Peter which is venerated in the church was originally an image of Jupiter Capitolinus, the weight of modern authority and artistic judgment is to the contrary. The work cannot really be earlier than the fifth century, and is therefore of a time after Honorius and the disestablishment. Anyone who will take the trouble to examine the lives of the early popes in Muratori may read the detailed accounts of what each one did for the churches. It is not by any means impossible that this may be one of the statues made under Saint Innocent the First, a contemporary of Honorius, in whose time a Roman lady called Vestina made gift to the church of vast possessions, the proceeds of which were used in building and richly adorning numerous places of worship. In any case, since it is practically certain that the statue was originally intended for a portrait of Saint Peter, and has been regarded as such for nearly fifteen hundred years, it commands our respect, if not our veneration.

The Roman custom of kissing the foot, then bending and placing one's head under it, signifies submission to the commands of the Church, and is not, as many suppose, an act of devotion to the statue.

The practice of dressing it in magnificent robes on the feast of Saint Peter is connected with the ancient Roman custom, which required censors, when entering upon office, to paint the earthen statue of Jupiter Capitolinus a bright red. But the connection lies in the Italian mind and character, which cling desperately to external practices for their hold upon inward principles. It is certainly not an inheritance of uninterrupted tradition, as Roman church music, on the contrary, most certainly is; for there is every reason to believe that the recitations now noted in the Roman missal were very like those used by the ancient Romans on solemn occasions.

The church is not only a real landmark. Astronomers say that if there were a building of the same dimensions on the moon we could easily see it with our modern telescopes. It is also, in a manner, one of Time's great mile-stones, of which some trace will probably remain till the very end of the world's life. Its mere mass will insure to it the permanence of the great pyramid of Cheops. Its mere name associates it for ever with the existence of Christianity from the earliest time. It has stamped itself upon the minds of millions of men as the most vast monument of the ages. Its very defects are destined to be as lasting as its beauties, and its mighty faults are more imposing than the small perfections of the Greeks. Between it and the Parthenon, as between the Roman empire and the Athenian commonwealth, one may choose, but one dares not make comparison. The genius of the Greeks absorbed the world's beauty into itself, distilled its perfection, and gave humanity its most subtle quintessence; but the Latin arm ruled the world itself, and the imperial Latin intelligence could never find any expression fitted to its enormous measure. That is the secret of the monstrous element in all the Romans built. And that supernormal giantism showed itself almost for the last time in the building of Saint Peter's, when the Latin race had reached its last great development, and the power of the Latin popes overshadowed the whole world, and was itself about to be humbled. Before Michelangelo was dead Charles the Fifth had been Emperor forty years, Doctor Martin Luther had denied the doctrine of salvation by works, the nations had broken loose from the Popes, and the world was at war.


Let us part here, at the threshold of Saint Peter's, not saying farewell to Rome, nor taking leave without hope of meeting on this consecrated ground again; but since the city lies behind us, region beyond region, memory over memory, legend within legend, and because we have passed through it by steps and by stations, very quickly, yet not thoughtlessly nor irreverently, let us now go each our way for a time, remembering some of those things which we have seen and of which we have talked, that we may know them better if we see them again.

For a man can no more say a last farewell to Rome than he can take leave of eternity. The years move on, but she waits; the cities fall, but she stands; the old races of men lie dead in the track wherein mankind wanders always between two darknesses; yet Rome lives, and her changes are not from life to death, as ours are, but from one life to another. A man may live with Rome, laugh with her, dream with her, weep with her, die at her feet; but for him who knows her there is no good-bye, for she has taken the high seat of his heart, and whither he goes, she is with him, in joy or sorrow, with wonder, longing or regret, as the chords of his heart were tuned by his angel in heaven.

But she is as a well-loved woman, whose dear face is drawn upon a man's heart by the sharp memory of a cruel parting, line for line, shadow for shadow, look for look, as she was when he saw her last; and line for line he remembers her and longs for her smile and her tender word. Yet be the lines ever so deep-graven, and the image ever so sweet and true, when the time of parting is over, when he comes back and she stands where she stood, with eyes that lighten to his eyes, then she is better loved than he knew and dearer than he had guessed. Then the heart that has steadily beaten time to months of parting, leaps like a child at the instant of meeting again; then eyes that have so long fed on memory's vision widen and deepen with joy of the living truth; then the soul that has hungered and starved through an endless waiting, is suddenly filled with life and satisfied of its faith.

So he who loves Rome, and leaves her, remembers her long and well, telling himself that he knows how every stone of her walls and her streets would look again; but he comes back at last, and sees her as she is, and he stands amazed at the grandeur of all that has been, and is touched to the heart by the sad loveliness of much that is. Together, the thoughts of love and reverence rise in words, and with them comes the deep wonder at something very great and high. For he himself is grown grey and war-worn in the strife of a few poor years, while through five and twenty centuries Rome has faced war and the world; and he, a gladiator of life, bows his head before her, wondering how his own fight shall end at last, while his lips pronounce the submission of his own mortality to her abiding endurance—




Abruzzi, i. 159; ii. 230

Accoramboni, Flaminio, i. 296
  Vittoria, i. 135, 148, 289-296, 297

Agrarian Law, i. 23

Agrippa, i. 90, 271; ii. 102
  the Younger, ii. 103

Alaric, i. 252; ii. 297

Alba Longa, i. 3, 78, 130

Albergo dell' Orso, i. 288

Alberic, ii. 29

Albornoz, ii. 19, 20, 74

Aldobrandini, i. 209; ii. 149
  Olimpia, i. 209

Alfonso, i. 185

Aliturius, ii. 103

Altieri, i. 226; ii. 45

Ammianus Marcellinus, i. 132, 133, 138

Amphitheatre, Flavian, i. 91, 179

Amulius, i. 3

Anacletus, ii. 295, 296, 304

Anagni, i. 161, 165, 307; ii. 4, 5

Ancus Martius, i. 4

Angelico, Beato, ii. 158, 169, 190-192, 195, 285

Anguillara, i. 278; ii. 138
  Titta della, ii. 138, 139

Anio, the, i. 93
  Novus, i. 144
  Vetus, i. 144

Annibaleschi, Riccardo degli, i. 278

Antiochus, ii. 120

  Anacletus, ii. 84
  Boniface, ii. 28
  Clement, i. 126
  Gilbert, i. 127
  John of Calabria, ii. 33-37

Antonelli, Cardinal, ii. 217, 223, 224

Antonina, i. 266

Antonines, the, i. 113, 191, 271

Antoninus, Marcus Aurelius, i. 46, 96, 113, 114, 190, 191

Appian Way, i. 22, 94

Appius Claudius, i. 14, 29

Apulia, Duke of, i. 126, 127; ii. 77

Aqua Virgo, i. 155

Aqueduct of Claudius, i. 144

Arbiter, Petronius, i. 85

Arch of—
  Arcadius, i. 192
  Claudius, i. 155
  Domitian, i. 191, 205
  Gratian, i. 191
  Marcus Aurelius, i. 96, 191, 205
  Portugal, i. 205
  Septimius Severus, ii. 93
  Valens, i. 191

Archive House, ii. 75

Argiletum, the, i. 72

Ariosto, ii. 149, 174

Aristius, i. 70, 71

Arnold of Brescia, ii. 73, 76-89

Arnulf, ii. 41

Art, i. 87; ii. 152
  and morality, i. 260, 261; ii. 178, 179
    religion, i. 260, 261
  Barocco, i. 303, 316
  Byzantine in Italy, ii. 155, 184, 185
  development of taste in, ii. 198
  factors in the progress of art, ii. 181
    engraving, ii. 186
    improved tools, ii. 181
    individuality, i. 262; ii. 175-177
  Greek influence on, i. 57-63
  modes of expression of, ii. 181
    fresco, ii. 181-183
    oil painting, ii. 184-186
  of the Renascence, i. 231, 262; ii. 154
  phases of, in Italy, ii. 188
  progress of, during the Middle Age, ii. 166, 180
  transition from handicraft to, ii. 153

Artois, Count of, i. 161

Augustan Age, i. 57-77

Augustulus, i. 30, 47, 53; ii. 64

Augustus, i. 30, 43-48, 69, 82, 89, 90, 184, 219, 251, 252, 254, 270; ii. 64, 75, 95, 102, 291

Aurelian, i. 177, 179, 180; ii. 150

Avalos, Francesco, d', i. 174, 175

Aventine, the, i. 23, 76; ii. 10, 40, 85, 119-121, 124, 125, 126, 127, 129, 132, 302

Avignon, i. 167, 273, 277; ii. 6, 9


Bacchanalia, ii. 122

Bacchic worship, i. 76; ii. 120

Bajazet the Second, Sultan, i. 276

Baracconi, i. 104, 141, 178, 188, 252, 264, 274, 304; ii. 41, 45, 128, 130, 138, 323

Barberi, i. 202

Barberini, the, i. 157, 187, 226, 268, 301; ii. 7

Barbo, i. 202; ii. 45

Barcelona, i. 308

Bargello, the, i. 129, 293, 296; ii. 42

Basil and Constantine, ii. 33

Basilica (Pagan)—
  Julia, i. 66, 71, 106; ii. 92

Basilicas (Christian) of—
  Constantine, i. 90; ii. 292, 297
  Liberius, i. 138
  Philip and Saint James, i. 170
  Saint John Lateran, i. 107, 112, 117, 278, 281
  Santa Maria Maggiore, i. 107, 135, 139, 147, 148, 166, 208, 278; ii. 118
  Santi Apostoli, i. 157, 170-172, 205, 241, 242; ii. 213
  Sicininus, i. 134, 138

Baths, i. 91
  of Agrippa, i. 271
  of Caracalla, ii. 119
  of Constantine, i. 144, 188
  of Diocletian, i. 107, 129, 145-147, 149, 289, 292
  of Novatus, i. 145
  of Philippus, i. 145
  of public, i. 144
  of Severus Alexander, ii. 28
  of Titus, i. 55, 107, 152

Befana, the, i. 298, 299, 300; ii. 25

Belisarius, i. 266, 267, 269

Benediction of 1846, the, i. 183

Benevento, Cola da, i. 219, 220

Bernard, ii. 77-80

Bernardi, Gianbattista, ii. 54

Bernini, i. 147, 301, 302, 303; ii. 24

Bibbiena, Cardinal, ii. 146, 285
  Maria, ii. 146

Bismarck, ii. 224, 232, 236, 237

Boccaccio, i. 211, 213
  Vineyard, the, i. 189

Bologna, i. 259; ii. 58

Borghese, the, i. 206, 226
  Scipio, i. 187

Borgia, the, i. 209
  Cæsar, i. 149, 151, 169, 213, 287; ii. 150, 171, 282, 283
  Gandia, i. 149, 150, 151, 287
  Lucrezia, i. 149, 177, 185, 287; ii. 129, 151, 174
  Rodrigo, i. 287; ii. 242, 265, 282
  Vanozza, i. 149, 151, 287

Borgo, the Region, i. 101, 127; ii. 132, 147, 202-214, 269

Borromini, i. 301, 302; ii. 24

Botticelli, ii. 188, 190, 195, 200, 276

Bracci, ii. 318

Bracciano, i. 282, 291, 292, 294
  Duke of, i. 289

Bramante, i. 305; ii. 144, 145, 274, 298, 322

Brescia, i. 286

Bridge. See Ponte
  Ælian, the, i. 274
  Cestian, ii. 105
  Fabrician, ii. 105
  Sublician, i. 6, 23, 67; ii. 127, 294

Brotherhood of Saint John Beheaded, ii. 129, 131

Brothers of Prayer and Death, i. 123, 204, 242

Brunelli, ii. 244

Brutus, i. 6, 12, 18, 41, 58, 80; ii. 96

Buffalmacco, ii. 196

Bull-fights, i. 252

Burgundians, i. 251


Cæsar, Julius, i. 29-33, 35-41, 250; ii. 102, 224, 297

Cæsars, the, i. 44-46, 125, 249, 252, 253; ii. 224
  Julian, i. 252
  Palaces of, i. 4, 191; ii. 95

Caetani, i. 51, 115, 159, 161, 163, 206, 277
  Benedict, i. 160

Caligula, i. 46, 252; ii. 96

Campagna, the, i. 92, 94, 158, 237, 243, 253, 282, 312; ii. 88, 107, 120

Campitelli, the Region, i. 101; ii. 64

  dei Fiori, i. 297
  Marzo (Campus Martius), i. 65, 112, 271
  the Region, i. 101, 248, 250, 275; ii. 6, 44
  Vaccino, i. 128-131, 173

Canale, Carle, i. 287

Cancelleria, i, 102, 305, 312, 315, 316; ii. 223

Canidia, i. 64; ii. 293

Canossa, i. 126; ii. 307

Canova, ii. 320

Capet, Hugh, ii. 29

Capitol, the, i. 8, 14, 24, 29, 72, 107, 112, 167, 190, 204, 278, 282; ii. 12, 13, 21, 22, 52, 64, 65, 67-75, 84, 121, 148, 302

Capitoline hill, i. 106, 194

Captains of the Regions, i. 110, 112, 114
  Election of, i. 112

Caracci, the, i. 264

Carafa, the, ii. 46, 49, 50, 56, 111

Cardinal, i. 186, 188; ii. 56, 204

Carnival, i. 107, 193-203, 241, 298; ii. 113
  of Saturn, i. 194

Carpineto, ii. 229, 230, 232, 239, 287

Carthage, i. 20, 26, 88

Castagno, Andrea, ii. 89, 185

Castle of—
  Grottaferrata, i. 314
  Petrella, i. 286
  the Piccolomini, i. 268
  Sant' Angelo, i. 114, 116, 120, 126, 127, 128, 129, 259, 278, 284, 308,
  314; ii. 17, 28, 37, 40, 56, 59, 60, 109, 152, 202-214, 216, 269

Castracane, Castruccio, i. 165, 166, 170

Catacombs, the, i. 139
  of Saint Petronilla, ii. 125
    Sebastian, ii. 296

Catanei, Vanossa de, i. 287

Catharine, Queen of Cyprus, ii. 305

Cathedral of Siena, i. 232

Catiline, i. 27; ii. 96, 294

Cato, ii. 121

Catullus, i. 86

Cavour, Count, ii. 90, 224, 228, 237

Cellini, Benvenuto, i. 311, 315; ii. 157, 195

Cenci, the, ii. 1
  Beatrice, i. 147, 285-287; ii. 2, 129, 151
  Francesco, i. 285; ii. 2

Centra Pio, ii. 238, 239

Ceri, Renzo da, i. 310

Cesarini, Giuliano, i. 174; ii. 54, 89

Chapel, Sixtine. See under Vatican

Charlemagne, i. 32, 49, 51, 53, 76, 109; ii. 297

Charles of Anjou, i. ii. 160
  Albert of Sardinia, ii. 221
  the Fifth, i. 131, 174, 206, 220, 305, 306; ii. 138

Chiesa. See Church
  Nuova, i. 275

Chigi, the, i. 258
  Agostino, ii. 144, 146
  Fabio, ii. 146

Christianity in Rome, i. 176

Christina, Queen of Sweden, ii. 150, 151, 304, 308

Chrysostom, ii. 104, 105

Churches of,—
  the Apostles, i. 157, 170-172, 205, 241, 242; ii. 213
  Aracoeli, i. 52, 112, 167; ii. 57, 70, 75
  Cardinal Mazarin, i. 186
  the Gallows, i. 284
  Holy Guardian Angel, i. 122
  the Minerva, ii. 55
  the Penitentiaries, ii. 216
  the Portuguese, i. 250
  Saint Adrian, i. 71
    Agnes, i. 301, 304
    Augustine, ii. 207
    Bernard, i. 291
    Callixtus, ii. 125
    Charles, i. 251
    Eustace, ii. 23, 24, 26, 39
    George in Velabro, i. 195; ii. 10
    Gregory on the Aventine, ii. 129
    Ives, i. 251; ii. 23, 24
    John of the Florentines, i. 273
      Pine Cone, ii. 56
    Peter's on the Janiculum, ii. 129
    Sylvester, i. 176
  Saints Nereus and Achillæus, ii. 125
    Vincent and Anastasius, i. 186
  San Clemente, i. 143
    Giovanni in Laterano, i. 113
    Lorenzo in Lucina, i. 192
      Miranda, i. 71
    Marcello, i. 165, 192
    Pietro in Montorio, ii. 151
      Vincoli, i. 118, 283; ii. 322
    Salvatore in Cacaberis, i. 112
    Stefano Rotondo, i. 106
  Sant' Angelo in Pescheria, i. 102; ii. 3, 10, 110
  Santa Francesca Romana, i. 111
    Maria de Crociferi, i. 267
      degli Angeli, i. 146, 258, 259
      dei Monti, i. 118
      del Pianto, i. 113
      di Grotto Pinta, i. 294
      in Campo Marzo, ii. 23
      in Via Lata, i. 142
      Nuova, i. 111, 273
      Transpontina, ii. 212
      della Vittoria, i. 302
    Prisca, ii. 124
    Sabina, i. 278; ii. 40
  Trinità dei Pellegrini, ii. 110

Cicero, i. 45, 73; ii. 96, 294

Cimabue, ii. 156, 157, 162, 163, 169, 188, 189

Cinna, i. 25, 27

Circolo, ii. 245

Circus, the, i. 64, 253
  Maximus, i. 64, 66; ii. 84, 119

City of Augustus, i. 57-77
  Making of the, i. 1-21
  of Rienzi, i. 93; ii. 6-8
  of the Empire, i. 22-56
  of the Middle Age, i. 47, 78-99, 92
  of the Republic, i. 47
    today, i. 55, 92

Civilization, ii. 177
  and bloodshed, ii. 218
    morality, ii. 178
    progress, ii. 177-180

Claudius, i. 46, 255, 256; ii. 102

Cloelia, i. 13

Coelian hill, i. 106

Collegio Romano, i. 102; ii. 45, 61

Colonna, the, i. 51, 94, 104, 135, 153, 157-170, 172, 176, 187, 206, 217, 251, 252, 271, 272, 275-283, 306-315; ii. 2, 6, 8, 10, 16, 20, 37, 51, 54, 60, 106, 107, 126, 204
  Giovanni, i. 104
  Jacopo, i. 159, 165, 192
  Lorenzo, ii. 126, 204-213
  Marcantonio, i. 182; ii. 54
  Pietro, i. 159
  Pompeo, i. 305, 310-317; ii. 205
  Prospero, ii. 205
  Sciarra, i. 162-166, 192, 206, 213, 229, 275,279, 281, 307
  Stephen, i. 161, 165; ii. 13, 16
    the Younger, i. 168
  Vittoria, i. 157, 173-177; ii. 174
  the Region, i. 101, 190-192; ii. 209
  War between Orsini and, i. 51, 104, 159, 168, 182, 275-283, 306-315;
  ii. 12, 18, 126, 204-211

Colosseum, i. 56, 86, 90, 96, 106, 107, 111, 125, 152, 153, 187, 191, 209, 278; ii. 25, 64, 66, 84, 97, 202, 203, 301

Column of Piazza Colonna, i. 190, 192

Comitium, i. 112, 257, 268

Commodus, i. 46, 55; ii. 97, 285

Confraternities, i. 108, 204

Conscript Fathers, i. 78, 112

Constable of Bourbon, i. 52, 259, 273, 304, 309-311; ii. 308

Constans, i, 135, 136

Constantine, i. 90, 113, 163

Constantinople, i. 95, 119

Contests in the Forum, i. 27, 130

Convent of Saint Catharine, i. 176

Convent of Saint Sylvester, i. 176

Corneto, Cardinal of, ii. 282, 283

Cornomania, i. 141

Cornutis, i. 87

Coromania, i. 141, 144

Corsini, the, ii. 150

Corso, i. 96, 106, 108, 192, 196, 205, 206, 229, 251
  Vittorio Emanuele, i. 275

Corte Savella, i. 284; ii. 52

Cosmas, the, ii. 156, 157

Costa, Giovanni da, i. 205

Court House, i. 71

Crassus, i. 27, 31; ii. 128

Crawford, Thomas, i. 147

Crescentius, ii. 40, 41

Crescenzi, i. 114; ii. 27, 40, 209

Crescenzio, ii. 28-40
  Stefana, ii. 39

Crispi, i. 116, 187

Crusade, the Second, ii. 86, 105

Crusades, the, i. 76

Curatii, i. 3, 131

Customs of early Rome, i. 9, 48
  in dress, i. 48
    religion, i. 48


Dante, i. 110; ii. 164, 175, 244

Decameron, i. 239

Decemvirs, i. 14; ii. 120

Decrees, Semiamiran, i. 178

Democracy, i. 108

Development of Rome, i. 7, 18
  some results of, i. 154
  under Barons, i. 51
    Decemvirs, i. 14
    the Empire, i. 29, 30
    Gallic invasion, i. 15-18
    Kings, i. 2-7, 14-45
    Middle Age, i. 47, 92, 210-247
    Papal rule, i. 46-50
    Republic, i. 7-14
    Tribunes, i. 14

Dictator of Rome, i. 29, 79

Dietrich of Bern, ii. 297

Dionysus, ii. 121

Dolabella, i. 34

Domenichino, ii. 147

Domestic life in Rome, i. 9

Dominicans, i. 158; ii. 45, 46, 49, 50, 60, 61

Domitian, i. 45, 152, 205; ii. 104, 114, 124, 295

Doria, the, i. 206; ii. 45
  Albert, i. 207
  Andrea, i. 207
  Conrad, i. 207
  Gian Andrea, i. 207
  Lamba, i. 207
  Paganino, i. 207

Doria-Pamfili, i. 206-209

Dress in early Rome, i. 48

Drusus, ii. 102

Duca, Antonio del, i. 146, 147
  Giacomo del, i. 146

Dürer, Albert, ii. 198


Education, ii. 179

Egnatia, i. 75

Elagabalus, i. 77, 177, 179; ii. 296, 297

Election of the Pope, ii. 41, 42, 277

Electoral Wards, i. 107

Elizabeth, Queen of England, ii. 47

Emperors, Roman, i. 46
  of the East, i. 95, 126

Empire of Constantinople, i. 46
  of Rome, i. 15, 17, 22-28, 31, 45, 47, 53, 60, 72, 99

Encyclicals, ii. 244

Erasmus, ii. 151

Esquiline, the, i. 26, 106, 139, 186; ii. 95, 131, 193

Este, Ippolito d', i. 185

Etruria, i. 12, 15

Euodus, i. 255, 256

Eustace, Saint, ii. 24, 25
  square of, ii. 25, 42

Eustachio. See Sant' Eustachio

Eutichianus, ii. 296

Eve of Saint John, i. 140
  the Epiphany, 299


Fabius, i. 20

Fabatosta, ii. 64, 84

Farnese, the, ii. 151
  Julia, ii. 324

Farnesina, the, ii. 144, 149, 151

Fathers, Roman, i. 13, 78, 79-84

Ferdinand, ii. 205

Ferrara, Duke of, i. 185

Festivals, i. 193, 298
  Aryan in origin, i. 173
  Befana, i. 299-301
  Carnival, i. 193-203
  Church of the Apostle, i. 172, 173
  Coromania, i. 141
  Epifania, i. 298-301
  Floralia, i. 141
  Lupercalia, i. 194
  May-day in the Campo Vaccino, i. 173
  Saturnalia, i. 194
  Saint John's Eve, i. 140

Festus, ii. 128

Feuds, family, i. 168

Field of Mars. See Campo Marzo

Finiguerra, Maso, ii. 186-188

Flamen Dialis, i. 34

Floralia. See Festivals

Florence, i. 160

Forli, Melozzo da, i. 171

Fornarina, the, ii. 144, 146

Forum, i, 8, 9, 11, 14, 15, 17, 26, 27, 64, 72, 111, 126, 129, 194; ii. 64, 92-94, 97, 102, 294, 295
  of Augustus, i. 119
    Trajan, i. 155, 171, 172, 191

Fountains (Fontane) of—
  Egeria, ii. 124
  Trevi, i. 155, 156, 186, 267
  Tullianum, i. 8

Franconia, Duke of, ii. 36, 53

Francis the First, i. 131, 174, 206, 219, 304

Frangipani, i. 50, 94, 153; ii. 77, 79, 84, 85

Frederick, Barbarossa, ii. 34, 85, 87
  of Naples, i. 151
  the Second, ii. 34

Fulvius, ii. 121


Gabrini, Lawrence, ii. 4
  Nicholas, i. 23, 93, 103, 168, 211, 281; ii. 3-23, 308

Gaeta, ii. 36

Galba, ii. 295

Galen, i. 55

Galera, i. 282, 291

Galileo, i. 268

Gardens, i. 93
  Cæsar's, i. 66, 68
  of Lucullus, i. 254, 270
  of the Pigna, ii. 273
  Pincian, i. 255
  the Vatican, ii. 243, 271, 287

Gargonius, i. 65

Garibaldi, ii. 90, 219, 220, 228, 237

Gastaldi, Cardinal, i. 259

Gate. See Porta
  the Colline, i. 250
    Lateran, i. 126, 154
    Septimian, ii. 144, 147

Gebhardt, Émile, i. 213

Gemonian Steps, ii. 67, 294

Genseric, i. 96; ii. 70

George of Franzburg, i. 310

Gherardesca, Ugolino della, ii. 160

Ghetto, i. 102; ii. 2, 101, 110-118

Ghibellines, the, i. 129, 153, 158; ii. 6

Ghiberti, ii. 157.

Ghirlandajo, ii. 157, 172, 276

Giantism, i. 90-92, 210, 302

Gibbon, i. 160

Giotto, ii. 157, 160-165, 169, 188, 189, 200

Gladstone, ii. 231, 232

Golden Milestone, i. 72, 92, 194

Goldoni, i. 265

Goldsmithing, ii. 156, 157, 186, 187

“Good Estate” of Rienzi, ii. 10-12

Gordian, i. 91

Goths, ii. 297, 307.

Gozzoli, Benozzo, ii. 190, 195

Gracchi, the, i. 22, 28
  Caius, i. 23; ii. 84
  Cornelia, i. 22, 24
  Tiberius, i. 23; ii. 102

Gratidianus, i. 27

Guards, Noble, ii. 241, 243, 247, 248, 309, 310, 312
  Palatine, ii. 247, 248
  Swiss, ii. 246, 247, 310

Guelphs, i. 159; ii. 42, 126, 138
  and Ghibellines, i. 129, 153, 275; ii. 160, 162, 173

Guiscard, Robert, i. 95, 126, 127, 129, 144, 252; ii. 70


Hadrian, i. 90, 180; ii. 25, 202, 203

Hannibal, i. 20

Hasdrubal, i. 21

Henry the Second, ii. 47
  Fourth, i. 126, 127; ii. 307
  Fifth, ii. 307
  Seventh of Luxemburg, i. 273, 276-279; ii. 5
  Eighth, i. 219; ii. 47, 274

Hermann, i. 46

Hermes of Olympia, i. 86

Hermogenes, i. 67

Hilda's Tower, i. 250

Hildebrand, i. 52, 126-129; ii.

Honorius, ii. 323, 324

Horace, i. 44, 57-75, 85, 87; ii. 293
  and the Bore, i. 65-71
  Camen Seculare of, i. 75
  the Satires of, i. 73, 74

Horatii, i. 3, 131

Horatius, i. 5, 6, 13, 23; ii. 127

Horses of Monte Cavallo, i. 181

Hospice of San Claudio, i. 251

Hospital of—
  Santo Spirito, i. 274; ii. 214, 215

House of Parliament, i. 271

Hugh of Burgundy, ii. 30
  of Tuscany, ii. 30

Huns' invasion, i. 15, 49, 132

Huxley, ii. 225, 226


Imperia, ii. 144

Infessura, Stephen, ii. 59, 60, 204-213

Inn of—
  The Bear, i. 288
    Falcone, ii. 26
    Lion, i. 287
  Vanossa, i. 288

Inquisition, i. 286; ii. 46, 49, 52, 53, 54

Interminelli, Castruccio degli, i. 165.

Irene, Empress, i. 109

Ischia, i. 175

Island of Saint Bartholomew, i. 272; ii. 1

Isola Sacra, i. 93

Italian life during the Middle Age, i. 210, 247
  from 17th to 18th centuries, i. 260, 263, 264


Janiculum, the, i. 15, 253, 270; ii. 268, 293, 294, 295

Jesuit College, ii. 61

Jesuits, ii. 45, 46, 61-63

Jews, i. 96; ii. 101-119

John of Cappadocia, i. 267, 268

Josephus, ii. 103

Juba, i. 40

Jugurtha, i. 25

Jupiter Capitolinus, ii. 324, 325
  priest of, i. 80, 133

Justinian, i. 267

Juvenal, i. 112; ii. 105, 107, 124


Kings of Rome, i. 2-7


Lampridius, Ælius, i. 178

Lanciani, i. 79, 177

Lateran, the, i. 106, 112-114, 129, 140-142
  Count of, i. 166

Latin language, i. 47

Latini Brunetto, ii. 163

Laurentum, i. 55, 93

Lazaret of Saint Martha, ii. 245

League, Holy, i. 305, 306, 313, 314

Lentulus, ii. 128

Lepida, Domitia, i. 255, 256

Letus, Pomponius, i. 139; ii. 210

Lewis of Bavaria, i. 165, 167, 192, 275
  the Seventh, ii. 86, 105
    Eleventh, i. 104, 151
    Fourteenth, i. 253

Library of—
  Collegio Romano, ii. 45
  Vatican, ii. 275, 276, 282
  Victor Emmanuel, ii. 45, 61

Lieges, Bishop of, i. 280

Lincoln, Abraham, ii. 231, 236

Lippi, Filippo, ii. 190, 191, 192-195, 200

Liszt, i. 185, 203; ii. 176

Livia, i. 220, 252

Livy, i. 44, 47

Lombards, the, i. 251

Lombardy, i. 309

Lorrain, i. 264

Loyola, Ignatius, ii. 46, 62

Lucilius, i. 74

Lucretia, i. 5, 12, 13

Lucullus, i. 257, 270

Lupercalia, i. 194

Lupercus, i. 194


Macchiavelli, ii. 174

Mæcenas, i. 62, 69, 74, 140; ii. 293

Mænads, ii. 122

Maldachini, Olimpia, i. 304, 305

Mamertine Prison, i. 25, ii. 72, 293

Mancini, Maria, i. 170, 187

Mancino, Paul, ii. 210

Manlius, Cnæus, ii. 121
  Marcus, i. 29; ii. 71, 84
  Titus, i. 80

Mantegna, Andrea, ii. 157, 169, 188, 196-198

Marcomanni, i. 190

Marforio, i. 305

Marino, i. 174

Marius, Caius, i. 25, 29

Marius and Sylla, i. 25, 29, 36, 45, 53; ii. 69

Mark Antony, i. 30, 93, 195, 254

Marozia, ii. 27, 28

Marriage Laws, i. 79, 80

Mary, Queen of Scots, ii. 47

Masaccio, ii. 190

Massimi, Pietro de', i. 317

Massimo, i. 102, 317

Mattei, the, ii. 137, 139, 140, 143
  Alessandro, ii. 140-143
  Curzio, ii. 140-143
  Girolamo, ii. 141-143
  Marcantonio, ii. 140, 141
  Olimpia, ii. 141, 142
  Piero, ii. 140, 141

Matilda, Countess, ii. 307

Mausoleum of—
  Augustus, i. 158, 169, 205, 251, 252, 270, 271
  Hadrian, i. 102, 252; ii. 28, 202, 270.
Castle of Sant' Angelo

Maximilian, i. 151

Mazarin, i. 170, 187

Mazzini, ii. 219, 220

Mediævalism, death of, ii. 225

Medici, the, i. 110; ii. 276
  Cosimo de', i. 289; ii. 194
  Isabella de', i. 290, 291
  John de', i. 313

Messalina, i. 254, 272; ii. 255, 256, 257

Michelangelo, i. 90, 146, 147, 173, 175, 177, 302, 303, 315; ii. 129, 130, 157, 159, 166, 169, 171, 172, 175, 188, 200, 276-281, 284, 317-319, 322
  “Last Judgment” by, i. 173; ii. 171, 276, 280, 315
  “Moses” by, ii. 278, 286
  “Pietà” by, ii. 286

Middle Age, the, i. 47, 92, 210-247, 274; ii. 163, 166, 172-175, 180, 196

Migliorati, Ludovico, i. 103

Milan, i. 175
  Duke of, i. 306

Milestone, golden, i. 72

Mithræum, i. 271

Mithras, i. 76

Mithridates, i. 26, 30, 37, 358

Mocenni, Mario, ii. 249

Monaldeschi, ii. 308

Monastery of—
  the Apostles, i. 182
  Dominicans, ii. 45, 61
  Grottaferrata, ii. 37
  Saint Anastasia, ii. 38
    Gregory, ii. 85
  Sant' Onofrio, ii. 147

Moncada, Ugo de, i. 307, 308

Mons Vaticanus, ii. 268

Montaigne, i. 288

Montalto. See Felice Peretti

Monte Briano, i. 274
  Cavallo, i. 181, 188, 292, 293; ii. 205, 209
  Citorio, i. 193, 252, 271
  Giordano, i. 274, 281, 282, 288; ii. 206
  Mario, i. 313; ii. 268

Montefeltro, Guido da, ii. 160

  the Region, i. 101, 106, 107, 111, 112, 125, 133, 134, 144, 150, 185,
  305; ii. 133, 209
  and Trastevere, i. 129, 145, 153; ii. 133, 209
  by moonlight, i. 117

Morrone, Pietro da, i. 159

Muratori, i. 85, 132, 159, 277; ii. 40, 48, 76, 126, 324

Museums of Rome, i. 66
  Vatican, ii. 272, 273, 283, 286, 287
  Villa Borghese, i. 301

Mustafa, ii. 247


Naples, i. 175, 182, 307, 308

Napoleon, i. 32, 34, 53, 88, 109, 258; ii. 218, 221, 298
  Louis, ii. 221, 223, 237

Narcissus, i. 255

Navicella, i. 106

Nelson, i. 253

Neri, Saint Philip, i. 318

Nero, i. 46, 56, 188, 254, 257, 285; ii. 163, 211, 291

Nilus, Saint, ii. 36, 37, 40

Nogaret, i. 162, 164

Northmen, i. 46, 49

Numa, i. 3; ii. 268

Nunnery of the Sacred Heart, i. 256


Octavius, i. 27, 30, 43, 89; ii. 291

Odoacer, i. 47; ii. 297

Olanda, Francesco d', i. 176

Oliviero, Cardinal Carafa, i. 186, 188

Olympius, i. 136, 137, 138

Opimius, i. 24

Orgies of Bacchus, i. 76; ii. 120

Orgies of the Mænads, ii. 121
  on the Aventine, i. 76; ii. 121

Orsini, the, i. 94, 149, 153, 159, 167-169, 183, 216, 217, 271, 274, 306-314; ii. 16, 126, 138, 204
  Bertoldo, i. 168
  Camillo, i. 311
  Isabella, i. 291
  Ludovico, i. 295
  Matteo, i. 281
  Napoleon, i. 161
  Orsino, i. 166
  Paolo Giordano, i. 283, 290-295
  Porzia, i. 187
  Troilo, i. 290, 291
  Virginio, i. 295
  war between Colonna and, i. 51, 104, 159, 168, 182, 275-283, 306-315;
  ii. 18, 126, 204

Orsino, Deacon, i. 134, 135

Orvieto, i. 314

Otho, ii. 295
  the Second, ii. 304

Otto, the Great, i. 114; ii. 28, 30
  Second, ii. 28
  Third, ii. 29-37

Ovid, i. 44, 63


Painting, ii. 181
  in fresco, ii. 181-183
    oil, ii. 184-186

Palace (Palazzo)—
  Annii, i. 113
  Barberini, i. 106, 187
  Borromeo, ii. 61
  Braschi, i. 305
  Cæsars, i. 4, 191; ii. 64
  Colonna, i. 169, 189; ii. 205
  Consulta, i. 181
  Corsini, ii. 149, 308
  Doria, i. 207, 226
  Pamfili, i. 206, 208
  Farnese, i. 102
  Fiano, i. 205
  della Finanze, i. 91
  Gabrielli, i. 216
  the Lateran, i. 127; ii. 30
  Massimo alle Colonna, i. 316, 317
  Mattei, ii. 140
  Mazarini, i. 187
  of Nero, i. 152
  della Pilotta, i. 158
  Priori, i. 160
  Quirinale, i. 139, 181, 185, 186, 188, 189, 304
  of the Renascence, i. 205
  Rospigliosi, i. 181, 187, 188, 189
  Ruspoli, i. 206
  Santacroce, i. 237; ii. 23
  of the Senator, i. 114
  Serristori, ii. 214, 216
  Theodoli, i. 169
  di Venezia, i. 102, 192, 202

Palatine, the, i. 2, 13, 67, 69, 194, 195; ii. 64, 119

Palermo, i. 146

Palestrina, i. 156, 157, 158, 161, 165, 166, 243, 282; ii. 13, 315

Paliano, i. 282
  Duke of, i. 157, 189

Palladium, i. 77

Pallavicini, i. 206, 258

Palmaria, i. 267

Pamfili, the, i. 206

Pannartz, i. 317

Pantheon, i. 90, 102, 195, 271, 278; ii. 44, 45, 146

Parione, the Region, i. 101, 297, 312, 317; ii. 42
  Square of, ii. 42

Pasquino, the, i. 186, 305, 317

Passavant, ii. 285

Passeri, Bernardino, i. 313; ii. 308

Patarina, i. 107, 202

Patriarchal System, i. 223-228

Pavia, i. 175

Pecci, the, ii. 229
  Joachim Vincent, ii. 229, 230.

Peretti, the, i. 205
  Felice, i. 149, 289-295
  Francesco, i. 149, 289, 292
  Vittoria. See

Perugia, i. 159, 276, 277

Perugino, ii. 157, 260, 276

Pescara, i. 174

Peter the Prefect, i. 114; ii. 230.

Petrarch, i. 161

Petrella, i. 286

Philip the Fair, i. 160, 276, 278
  Second of Spain, ii. 47

Phocas, column of, ii. 93

  Barberini, i. 155
  della Berlina Vecchia, i. 283
    Chiesa Nuova, i. 155
  del Colonna, i. 119, 190
    Gesù, ii. 45
  della Minerva, ii. 45
    Moroni, i. 250
    Navona, i. 102, 297, 298, 302, 303, 305; ii. 25, 46, 57
    Pigna, ii. 55
  of the Pantheon, i. 193; ii. 26
    Pilotta, i. 158
  del Popolo, i. 144, 206, 259, 273
    Quirinale, i. 181
    Romana, ii. 136
  Sant' Eustachio, ii. 25
  San Lorenzo in Lucina, i. 192, 205, 250
  Saint Peter's, ii. 251, 309
  di Sciarra, i. 192
    Spagna, i. 251; ii. 42
  delle Terme, i. 144
  di Termini, i. 144
    Venezia, i. 206

Pierleoni, the, ii. 77, 79, 82, 101, 105, 106, 109, 114

Pigna, ii. 45
  the Region, i. 101, 102; ii. 44

Pilgrimages, ii. 245

Pincian (hill), i. 119, 270, 272

Pincio, the, i. 121, 189, 223, 253, 255, 256, 259, 264, 272

Pintelli, Baccio, ii. 278, 279

Pinturicchio, ii. 147

Pliny, the Younger, i. 85, 87

Pompey, i. 30

Pons Æmilius, i. 67
  Cestius, ii. 102, 105
  Fabricius, ii. 105
  Triumphalis, i. 102, 274

Ponte. See also Bridge
  Garibaldi, ii. 138
  Rotto, i. 67
  Sant' Angelo, i. 274, 283, 284, 287; ii. 42, 55, 270
  Sisto, i. 307, 311; ii. 136
  the Region, i. 274, 275

Pontifex Maximus, i. 39, 48

Pontiff, origin of title, ii. 127

  Adrian the Fourth, ii. 87
  Alexander the Sixth, i. 258; ii. 269, 282
    Seventh, i. 259
  Anastasius, ii. 88
  Benedict the Sixth, ii. 28-30
    Fourteenth, i. 186
  Boniface the Eighth, i. 159, 160, 167, 213, 280, 306; ii. 304
  Celestin the First, i. 164
    Second, ii. 83
  Clement the Fifth, i. 275, 276
    Sixth, ii. 9, 17-19
    Seventh, i. 306, 307, 310, 313, 314; ii. 308
    Eighth, i. 286
    Ninth, i. 187; ii. 110
    Eleventh, i. 171
    Thirteenth, ii. 320
  Damascus, i. 133, 135, 136
  Eugenius the Third, ii. 85
    Fourth, ii. 7, 56
  Ghisleri, ii. 52, 53
  Gregory the Fifth, ii. 32-37
    Seventh, i. 52, 126; ii. 307
    Thirteenth, i. 183, 293
    Sixteenth, i. 305; ii. 221, 223
  Honorius the Third, ii. 126
    Fourth, ii. 126
  Innocent the Second, ii. 77, 79, 82, 105
    Third, i. 153; ii. 6
    Sixth, ii. 19
    Eighth, i. 275
    Tenth, i. 206, 209, 302, 303
  Joan, i. 143
  John the Twelfth, ii. 282
    Thirteenth, i. 113
    Fifteenth, ii. 29
    Twenty-third, ii. 269
  Julius the Second, i. 208, 258; ii. 276, 298, 304
  Leo the Third, i. 109; ii. 146, 297
    Fourth, ii. 242
    Tenth, i. 304; ii. 276, 304
    Twelfth, i. 202; ii. 111
    Thirteenth, i. 77; ii. 218-267, 282, 287, 308, 312, 313
  Liberius, i. 138
  Lucius the Second, ii. 84, 85
  Martin the First, i. 136
  Nicholas the Fourth, i. 159, 274
    Fifth, i. 52; ii. 58, 268, 269, 298, 304
  Paschal the Second, i. 258; ii. 307
  Paul the Second, i. 202, 205
    Third, i. 219; ii. 41, 130, 304, 323, 324
    Fourth, ii. 46, 47, 48-51, 111, 112
    Fifth, ii. 289
  Pelagius the First, i. 170, 171; ii. 307
  Pius the Fourth, i. 147, 305
    Sixth, i. 181, 182
    Seventh, i. 53; ii. 221
    Ninth, i. 76, 183, 315; ii. 66, 110, 111, 216, 221-225, 252, 253, 255,
    257, 258, 265, 298, 308, 311
  Silverius, i. 266
  Sixtus the Fourth, i. 258, 275; ii. 127, 204-213, 274, 278, 321
    Fifth, i. 52, 139, 149, 181, 184, 186, 205, 283;
    ii. 43, 157, 241, 304, 323
  Sylvester, i. 113; ii. 297, 298
  Symmachus, ii. 44
  Urban the Second, i. 52
    Sixth, ii. 322, 323
    Eighth, i. 181, 187, 268, 301; ii. 132, 203, 298
  Vigilius, ii. 307

Popes, the, i. 125, 142, 273
  at Avignon, i. 167, 273, 277; ii. 9
  among sovereigns, ii. 228
  election of, ii. 41, 42
  hatred for, ii. 262-264
  temporal power of, i. 168; ii. 255-259

Poppæa, i. 103

Porcari, the, ii. 56
  Stephen, ii. 56-60, 204

Porsena of Clusium, i. 5, 6, 12

Porta. See also Gate
  Angelica, i. 120
  Maggiore, i. 107
  Metronia, i. 106
  Mugonia, i. 10
  Pia, i. 107, 147, 152; ii. 224
  Pinciana, i. 193, 250, 264, 266, 269
  del Popolo, i. 272, 299
  Portese, ii. 132
  Salaria, i, 106, 107, 193
  San Giovanni, i. 107, 120
    Lorenzo, i. 107
    Sebastiano, ii. 119, 125
    Spirito, i. 311; ii. 132, 152
  Tiburtina, i. 107

Portico of Neptune, i. 271
  Octavia, ii. 3, 105

Poussin, Nicholas, i. 264

Præneste, i. 156

Prætextatus, i. 134

Prefect of Rome, i. 103, 114, 134

Presepi, ii. 139

Prince of Wales, i. 203

Prior of the Regions, i. 112, 114

Processions of—
  the Brotherhood of Saint John, ii. 130
  Captains of Regions, i. 112
  Coromania, i. 141
  Coronation of Lewis of Bavaria, i. 166, 167
  Ides of May, ii. 127-129
  the Triumph of Aurelian, i. 179

Progress and civilization, i. 262; ii. 177-180
  romance, i. 154

Prosper of Cicigliano, ii. 213


Quæstor, i. 58

Quirinal, the (hill), i. 106, 119, 158, 182, 184, 186, 187; ii. 205


Rabble, Roman, i. 115, 128, 132, 153, 281; ii. 131

Race course of Domitian, i. 270, 297

Races, Carnival, i. 108, 202, 203

Raimondi, ii. 315

Rampolla, ii. 239, 249, 250

Raphael, i. 260, 315; ii. 159, 169, 175, 188, 200, 281, 285, 322
  in Trastevere, ii. 144-147
  the “Transfiguration” by, ii. 146, 281

Ravenna, i. 175

Regions (Rioni), i. 100-105, 110-114, 166
  Captains of, i. 110
  devices of, i. 100
  fighting ground of, i. 129
  Prior, i. 112, 114
  rivalry of, i. 108, 110, 125

Regola, the Region, i. 101, 168; ii. 1-3

Regulus, i. 20

Religion, i. 48, 50, 75

Religious epochs in Roman history, i. 76

Renascence in Italy, i. 52, 77, 84, 98, 99, 188, 237, 240, 250, 258, 261, 262, 303; ii. 152-201, 280
  art of, i. 231
  frescoes of, i. 232
  highest development of, i. 303, 315
  leaders of, ii. 152, 157-159
  manifestation of, ii. 197
  palaces of, i. 205, 216
  represented in “The Last Judgment,” ii. 280
  results of development of, ii. 199

Reni, Guido, i. 264; ii. 317

Republic, the, i. 6, 12, 15, 53, 110; ii. 291
  and Arnold of Brescia, ii. 86
    Porcari, ii. 56-60
    Rienzi, i. 93; ii. 6-8
  modern ideas of, ii. 219

Revolts in Rome—
  against the nobles, ii. 73
  of the army, i. 25
  of Arnold of Brescia, ii. 73-89
    Marius and Sylla, i. 25
    Porcari, ii. 56-60
    Rienzi, i. 93; ii. 6-8, 73
    slaves, i. 24
    Stefaneschi, i. 281-283; ii. 219-222

Revolutionary idea, the, ii. 219-222

Riario, the, ii. 149, 150, 151
  Jerome, ii. 205

Rienzi, Nicholas, i. 23, 93, 103, 168, 211, 281; ii. 3-23, 308

Rioni. See Regions

Ripa, the Region, i. 101; ii. 118

Ripa Grande, ii. 127

Ripetta, ii. 52

Ristori, Mme., i. 169

Robert of Naples, i. 278

Rotfredo, Count, i. 114, 115

  a day in mediæval, i. 241-247
  Bishop of, i. 133
  charm of, i. 54, 98, 318
  ecclesiastic, i. 124
  lay, i. 124
  a modern Capital, i. 123, 124
  foundation of, i. 2
  of the Augustan Age, i. 60-62
      Barons, i. 50, 84, 104, 229-247; ii. 75
      Cæsars, i. 84
      Empire, i. 15, 17, 28, 31, 45, 47, 53. 60, 99
      Kings, i. 2-7, 10, 11
      Middle Age, i. 110, 210-247, 274; ii. 172-175
      Napoleonic era, i. 229
      Popes, i. 50, 77, 84, 104
      Republic, i. 6, 12, 16, 53, 110
    Rienzi, i. 93; ii. 6-8
    today, i. 55
  sack of, by Constable of Bourbon, i. 259, 273, 309-315
  sack of, by Gauls, i. 15, 49, 252
    Guiscard, i. 95, 126-129, 252
  seen from dome of Saint Peter's, ii. 302
  under Tribunes, i. 14
    Decemvirs, i. 14
    Dictator, i. 28

Romulus, i. 2, 5, 30, 78, 228

Rospigliosi, i. 206

Rossi, Pellegrino, i. 316
  Count, ii. 223

Rostra, i. 27; ii. 93
  Julia, i. 68; ii. 93

Rota, ii. 215

Rovere, the, i. 258; ii. 276, 279, 321

Rudini, i. 187

Rudolph of Hapsburg, i. 161

Rufillus, i. 65


Sacchi, Bartolommeo, i. 139, 147

Saint Peter's Church, i. 166, 278; ii. 202, 212, 243, 246, 268, 289, 294, 295, 326
  altar of, i. 96
  architects of, ii. 304
  bronze doors of, ii. 299, 300
  builders of, ii. 304
  Chapel of the Choir, ii. 310, 313, 314
  Chapel of the Sacrament, ii. 274, 306, 308, 310, 312, 313
  Choir of, ii. 313-316
  Colonna Santa, ii. 319
  dome of, i. 96; ii. 302
  Piazza of, ii. 251
  Sacristy of, i. 171

Salvini, i. 169, 252
  Giorgio, i. 313

Santacroce Paolo, i. 286

Sant' Angelo the Region, i. 101; ii. 101

Santorio, Cardinal, i. 208

San Vito, i. 282

Saracens, i. 128, 144

Sarto, Andrea del, ii. 157, 169

Saturnalia, i. 125, 194, 195

Saturninus, i. 25

Satyricon, the, i. 85

Savelli, the, i. 284; ii. 1, 16, 126, 206
  John Philip, ii. 207-210

Savonarola, i. 110

Savoy, house of, i. 110; ii. 219, 220, 224

Scævola, i. 13

Schweinheim, i. 317

Scipio, Cornelius, i. 20
  of Africa, i. 20, 22, 29, 59, 76; ii. 121
     Asia, i. 21; ii. 120

Scotus, i. 182

See, Holy, i. 159, 168; ii. 264-267, 277, 294

Segni, Monseignor, i. 304

Sejanuo, ii. 294

Semiamira, i. 178

Senate, Roman, i. 167, 168, 257
  the Little, i. 177, 180

Senators, i. 78, 112, 167

Servius, i. 5, 15

  Arch of, ii. 92
  Septizonium of, i. 96, 127

Sforza, i. 13; ii. 89
  Catharine, i. 177; ii. 150
  Francesco, i. 306

Siena, i. 232, 268; ii. 229

Signorelli, ii. 277

Slaves, i. 81, 24

Sosii Brothers, i. 72, 73

Spencer, Herbert, ii. 225, 226

Stefaneschi, Giovanni degli, i. 103, 282

Stilicho, ii. 323

Stradella, Alessandro, ii. 315

Streets. See Via

Subiaco, i. 282

Suburra, i. 39; ii. 95

Suetonius, i. 43

Sylla, ii. 25-29, 36-42


Tacitus, i. 46, 254; ii. 103

Tarentum, i. 18, 19

Tarpeia, i. 29; ii. 68, 69

Tarpeian Rock, ii. 67

Tarquins, the, i. 6, 11, 12, 80, 248, 249, 269; ii. 69
  Sextus, i. 5, 11

Tasso, i. 188, 189; ii. 147-149
  Bernardo, i. 188

Tatius, i. 68, 69

Tempietto, the, i. 264

Temple of—
  Castor, i. 27
  Castor and Pollux, i. 68; ii. 92, 94
  Ceres, ii. 119
  Concord, i. 24; ii. 92
  Flora, i. 155
  Hercules, ii. 40
  Isis and Serapis, i. 271
  Julius Cæsar, i. 72
  Minerva, i. 96
  Saturn, i. 194, 201; ii. 94
  the Sun, i. 177, 179, 180, 271
  Venus and Rome, i. 110
  Venus Victorius, i. 270
  Vesta, i. 68

Tenebræ, i. 117

Tetricius, i. 179

Theatre of—
  Apollo, i. 286
  Balbus, ii. 1
  Marcellus, ii. 1, 101, 105, 106, 119
  Pompey, i. 103, 153

Thedoric of Verona, ii. 297

Theodoli, the, i. 258

Theodora Senatrix, i. 158, 266, 267; ii. 27-29, 203, 282

Tiber, i. 23, 27, 66, 93, 94, 151, 158, 168, 189, 237, 248, 249, 254, 269, 272, 288

Tiberius, i. 254, 287; ii. 102

Titian, i. 315; ii. 165, 166, 175, 188, 278

Titus, i. 56, 86; ii. 102, 295

Tivoli, i. 180, 185; ii. 76, 85

Torre (Tower)—
  Anguillara, ii. 138, 139, 140
  Borgia, ii. 269, 285
  dei Conti, i. 118, 153
  Milizie, i. 277
  Millina, i. 274
  di Nona, i. 274, 284, 287; ii. 52, 54, 72
  Sanguigna, i. 274

Torrione, ii. 241, 242

Trajan, i. 85, 192; ii. 206

Trastevere, the Region, i. 101, 127, 129, 278, 307, 311; ii. 132, 133, 134, 135, 136, 143, 151

Trevi, the Fountain, i. 155, 186
  the Region, i. 155, 187; ii. 209

Tribunes, i. 14

Trinità de' Monti, i. 256, 264
  dei Pellegrini, ii. 110

Triumph, the, of Aurelian, i. 179

Triumphal Road, i. 66, 69, 70, 71

Tullianum, i. 8

Tullus, i. 3
  Domitius, i. 90

Tuscany, Duke of, ii. 30

Tusculum, i. 158


Unity, of Italy, i. 53, 77, 123, 184; ii. 224
  under Augustus, i. 184
    Victor Emmanuel, i. 184

University, Gregorian, the, ii. 61
   of the Sapienza, i. 251; ii. 24, 25

Urbino, Duke of, i. 208, 217


Valens, i. 133

Valentinian, i. 133

Varus, i. 46

Vatican, the, i. 127, 128, 147, 165, 189, 278, 281, 307; ii. 44, 202, 207, 228, 243, 245, 249, 250, 252, 253, 269, 271
  barracks of Swiss Guard, ii. 275
  chapels in,
    Pauline, ii.
    Nicholas, ii. 285
    Sixtine, ii. 246, 274, 275, 276, 278-281, 285
    fields, i. 274
  Court of the Belvedere, ii. 269
    Saint Damasus, ii. 273
  finances of, ii. 253
  gardens of, ii. 243, 271, 287
    of the Pigna, ii. 273
  library, ii. 275, 276, 282
    Borgia apartments of, ii. 282
  Loggia of the Beatification, ii. 245
    Raphael, ii. 273, 274, 276, 285
  Maestro di Camera, ii. 239, 248, 250
  museums of, ii. 272, 273, 283, 286, 287
  picture galleries, ii. 273-284
  Pontifical residence, ii. 249
  private apartments, ii. 249
  Sala Clementina, ii. 248
    del Concistoro, ii. 246
    Ducale, ii. 245, 247
    Regia, ii. 246
  throne room, ii. 247
  Torre Borgia, ii. 269, 285

Veii, i. 16, 17

Velabrum, i. 67

Veneziano, Domenico, ii. 185

Venice, i. 193, 296, 306; ii. 35, 205

Vercingetorix, ii. 294

Vespasian, i. 46, 56; ii. 295

Vespignani, ii. 241, 242

Vesta, i. 57
  temple of, i. 71, 77

Vestals, i. 77, 80, 133, 152; ii. 99
  house of, i. 69

  della Angelo Custode, i. 122
  Appia, i. 22, 94
  Arenula, ii. 45
  Borgognona, i. 251
  Campo Marzo, i. 150
  di Caravita, ii. 45
  del Corso, i. 155, 158, 192, 193, 251; ii. 45
  della Dateria, i. 183
  Dogana Vecchia, ii. 26
  Flaminia, i. 193
  Florida, ii. 45
  Frattina, i. 250
  de' Greci, i. 251
  Lata, i. 193
  Lungara, i. 274; ii. 144, 145, 147
  Lungaretta, ii. 140
  della Maestro, i. 283
  Marforio, i. 106
  di Monserrato, i. 283
  Montebello, i. 107
  Nazionale, i. 277
  Nova, i. 69
  di Parione, i. 297
  de' Poli, i. 267
  de Pontefici, i. 158
  de Prefetti, ii. 6
  Quattro Fontane, i. 155, 187
  Sacra, i. 65, 71, 180
  San Gregorio, i. 71
  San Teodoro, i. 195
  de' Schiavoni, i. 158
  Sistina, i. 260
  della Stelleta, i. 250
  della Tritone, i. 106, 119-122, 155
  Triumphalis, i. 66, 70, 71
  Venti Settembre, i. 186
  Vittorio Emanuele, i. 275

Viale Castro Pretorio, i. 107

Vicolo della Corda, i. 283

Victor Emmanuel, i. 53, 166, 184; ii. 90, 221, 224, 225, 238
  monument to, ii. 90

Victoria, Queen of England, ii. 263

Vigiles, cohort of the, i. 158, 170

Villa Borghese, i. 223
  Colonna, i. 181, 189
  d'Este, i. 185
  of Hadrian, i. 180
    Ludovisi, i. 106, 193
    Medici, i. 259, 262, 264, 265, 269, 313
  Negroni, i. 148, 149, 289, 292
  Publica, i. 250

Villani, i. 160, 277; ii. 164

Villas, in the Region of Monti, i. 149, 150

Vinci, Lionardo da, i. 260, 315; ii. 147, 159, 169, 171, 175, 184, 188, 195, 200
  “The Last Supper,” by, ii. 171, 184

Virgil, i. 44, 56, 63

Virginia, i. 14

Virginius, i. 15

Volscians, ii. 230


  Aurelian, i. 93, 106, 110, 193, 271; ii. 119, 144
  Servian, i. 5, 7, 15, 250, 270
  of Urban the Eighth, ii. 132

Water supply, i. 145

William the Silent, ii. 263

Witches on the Æsquiline, i. 140

Women's life in Rome, i. 9


Zama, i. 21, 59

Zenobia of Palmyra, i. 179; ii. 150.

Zouaves, the, ii. 216


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