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Sibyls, by Raphael, painted by order of Agostino Chigi, the wealthy and famous banker. The Church of S. Maria in Trastevere, said to have been founded on the spot whero a spring of oil miraculously flowed at the time of the birth of Christ, has been of late years repaired and redecorated, and is now one of the finest of the ancient basilicas, and is considered by many to vie in grandeur with St. John Lateran and S. Maria Maggiore. In the Church of S. Onofrio the poet Tasso is buried.
Throughout the city the ancient and modern are met with in curious nearness; but they seem to meet together naturally. Heathen temples pass into churches as easily as the Cloaca Maxima, that solidly made sewer-one of the mammoth structures of Regal Rome-serves the city in the matter of drainage to-day, as it served it centuries ago. Baths, basilicas, theatres, temples, far too numerous to describe, are to be met with on every hand; and, side by side with them, all the latest things in modern civilisation.
The palaces of Rome, with their countless treasures in art, are almost as numerous as the churches, and afford endless pleasure to the visitor, as they are for the most part accessible to the public. Among the most famous are some to which we have already referred, but there are others which we must notice in passing; although, as there are seventy-five enumerated in the guide-books—a larger number in proportion to its population than in any other city in the world—our references must needs be incomplete and fragmentary. In the Palazzo della Cancelleria-one of the most magnificent palaces in Rome, built with travertine taken from the Colosseum-the Roman Parliament met in June, 1848, summoned by Pius IX. at the commencement of the reforms which eventually drove him from his capital; and in the following month it was the "scene of the memorable outrage, when the mob burst into the chamber while the deputies were sitting, and demanded an immediate declaration of war against Austria." In the Palazzo Spada is preserved one of the great treasures of Rome—the Statue of Pompey, at whose base "great Cæsar fell.” The evidence seems irresistible that this is the very statue, notwithstanding the disputes of antiquarians on the subject. The Palazzo Rospigliosi possesses, on the ceiling of the Casino, the Aurora of Guido-one of the most celebrated frescoes in Rome, and the most brilliant piece of colouring by this master. The Palazzo Giraud was the palace of the representatives of England at the Court of Rome prior to the Reformation, and was given by Henry VIII. to Cardinal Campeggio. Cardinal Wolsey resided here during his last visit to Rome. The Farnesina Palace, built by the great banker of the sixteenth century, Agostino Chigi, was the scene of the great banquet given by him to the Pope (Leo X.), the cardinals, ambassadors, and notabilities of the day—the most costly banquet of modern times; and it is related that the magnificent plate on which they had dined was, by Chigi's orders, thrown into the Tiber as it was removed from the table, so that it might not be put to any meaner use. In this palace, which afterwards became the property of the Farnese family, and passed to the royal family of Naples, are the celebrated frescoes of Raphael and his pupils, illustrating the story of Cupid and Psyche. The Palazzo Pamphili-Doria-an enormous edifice, and considered by many as the most magnificent of the Roman palaces, and the Palazzo Corsini-once the residence of Christina, Queen of Sweden, who died in it in 1689, are both famous for their picture galleries, the works of art in the former numbering over eight hundred.
The villas of Rome are exquisite in their taste and the riches of their treasures, but more so in lovely gardens attached to them, with shady groves and flowery lawns, graceful avenues, carpets of flowers, plashing fountains, and groups of statuary. It would be a difficult thing to say which are the more beautiful, the gardens of the Villa Borghese or of the Pamphili-Doria ; nor is it necessary, for each has a characteristic beauty of its own, as have also the gardens of the Villa Medici, with their clipped hedges and straight walks, and other gardens attached to the great villas. Probably no writer has better succeeded in giving expression to the charm of these exquisite gardens, scattered all over Rome, than Hawthorne in his « Transformations."
There are several spots in Rome from which magnificent views of the city can be obtained, such as from the Pincian Hill, the tower of the Capitol, the gardens of the Corsini Palace on the slopes of the Janiculum, or from any of the heights—for, as a matter of fact, there is no city with more varying and delightful views. From these heights and coigns of vantage may be seen the Apennines and other mountains bounding the plain ; the Campagna, desolate and lonely, its surface broken by hillocks, lying like a sea, in the midst of which Rome stands as an oasis. And here, too, may be traced the formation of the Seven Hills on which the city stands,—the Palatine, crowned with the ruins of the Palace of the Cæsars; the Aventine, with the Church of Santa Sabina and two others; the Capitoline, with the towers of the Ara Cæli; the Cælian, with the Church of St. John Lateran; the Esquiline, with the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore; the Quirinal, crowned with the Palace of the King; and the Viminal, lying between the Quirinal and the Esquiline. “The Quirinal, Viminal, Esquiline, and the Cælian stretch out towards the Tiber like four fingers of a hand, of which the plain whence they detach themselves represents the vast palm. This hand has seized the world.” *
It was from these seven bills, included in the walls of Servius Tullius, that Rome took the name of the “City of the Seven Hills.”
There is scarcely anything in an examination of Rome more striking, scarcely anything that better brings home to us the history of the city, than to make the circuit of its walls. Of the walls of Servius Tullius the circuit can no longer be made, but the modern walls of Rome are essentially the walls of Aurelian. In a certain sense their preservation is wonderful. It is true that the walls, as they stand, are of all dates, from Aurelian and those whose works Aurelian made use of, down to our own day. Every siege of Rome has involved the battering down and rebuilding of some part of their vast circuit. They contain, therefore, work-certainly materials—of every date and style from the days of the kings of Rome to the days of the restored Kingdom of Italy. But, with all this, the wall is still the same wall ; it is still the wall of Aurelian, and not of any one earlier or later. Save on the right bank of the Tiber, the line of the walls has not been interfered with in any of its endless repairs; all those repairs, from Honorius to Victor Emmanuel, have been repairs in the strictest sense; they have been a making good of something which the accidents of time and warfare had destroyed or weakened. The wall is still a boundary and a barrier, kept, on the whole, singularly free from modern encroachments; and, when we think of all that this great line of defence
Ampère, “History of Rome."
has suffered, we shall be more inclined to wonder that so many of the ancient gates are left to us than that some of them have given way to modern successors.
There are twenty gates belonging to the modern city, but some of them are now walled up. The actual Salarian Gate, through which Alaric entered Rome, has been swept away, although some stones are there which still stand as they stood on the night when the
slumbering city was “awakened by the tremendous sound of the Gothic trumpet." Between the Salarian and the now closed Nomentane Gate we have a piece of modern wall, and the modern gate of Porta Pia, with an elaborate inscription in honour of the bearer of that name. In that wall we see a few yards newer still. Hard by it, hangs, or hung, a garland, recording the names of men who died in our own times to undo the evil work of ages; where the new wall looks newest was wrought the last deliverance of Rome.
“Through that breach the army of United Italy entered her capital. In that quarter the history of Rome seems indeed crowded into a small space. The army of Alaric and the army of Victor Emmanuel entered Rome almost, as it were, abreast. One entry marked
the beginning of the modern world—the world which grew out of the fusion of the two elements which were represented by the Roman and the Goth; the second entry marked the re-admission of Rome within that world, by her deliverance from the worn-out power, which crumbled away as soon as it was no longer guarded by the bayonets of a foreign tyrant.”*
Among the principal colleges and academies of Rome, are the Collegio di Propaganda
Fide, to which we have already referred; the Collegio della Sapienza—the University of Rome—whose professors are among the most celebrated in the kingdom, and enjoy a European reputation; the Collegio Romano, until 1870 under the management of the Jesuits, but now turned into a Lyceum for secondary instruction; the Academy of St. Luke, composed of painters, sculptors, and architects; and a number of institutions for the promotion of every branch of study.
The charitable institutions of Rome are not only remarkable for their general excellence, but also for the unusual magnificence of their buildings. The great hospital of
* Saturday Review.
Santo Spirito admits about 8,000 patients annually; there are usually about 3,000 children in the Foundling Hospital (Pia Casa degli Esposti);
Casa degli Esposti); the Lunatic Asylum-a model establishment-contains about 650 patients, and it is noted in “Murray,” that “one of the most frequent predisposing causes of mental alienation met with here, arises from religious exaltation ; the relative proportion of ecclesiastics and nuns to the other inmates is therefore considerable.” In addition to these, there are hospitals for almost all kinds of ailments and accidents, and institutions for the aged, infirm, and incapacitated.
Seventy years ago, "each of the three hundred and sixty-five churches in Rome had a separate cemetery, and Rome was far from a healthy city. One of the first things Napoleon I. found himself obliged to do, when he occupied Rome at the beginning of this century, was to establish an extramural place of burial. The advantage of this reform was even recognised by the Popes, and intermural interment was gradually prohibited, first within one church and then within another, until it was finally abolished altogether, except occasionally, in the case of some wealthy English convert, to whose remains it was desired to pay especial honour.” The cemeteries are extensive and well arranged. In the Protestant Burial-ground, close by the Pyramid of Caius Cestius, erected 30 B.C.-a monument upon which St. Paul must have gazed as he was led to execution beyond the city walls upon the road to Ostia—are buried the poets Shelley and Keats, Richard Wyatt and John Gibson the sculptors, and John Bell the celebrated surgeon.
Any one who takes special interest in the Jews, and their long and curious history in connection with Rome, would do well to pay a visit to the Ghetto, lying between the fish-market and the Tiber. Old curiosity shops, old clo' shops, second-hand furniture shops, and rag-and-bone shops abound, and the dwelling-houses are miserable. But the people are more interesting than the place. They are pure Jews, and their physiognomy is that of the Abrahamic type, Semitic, and Oriental in every respect. And these Jews of to-day are descendants of those who came as captive slaves or prisoners of war with Titus; who paid taxes (fixed to be the same sum as that which they sent annually to the Temple at Jerusalem) to Roman Emperors and Roman Popes; who, from the days of Vespasian almost to our own, knew nothing but spoliation, taxation, persecution, and cruelty; who were condemned to run in the races at the Carnival ; to pay for the prizes distributed; to send a deputation on the installation of every new Pope, and be publicly cursed; to wear yellow head-gear as a distinctive badge; to provide silken hangings and spread carpets around the Arch of Titus, which commemorates the destruction of their Holy City. Happily the gates which once so cruelly shut them into their Ghetto were removed in the days of Pius IX., and, under Victor Emmanuel, they and their brethren throughout his dominions were granted the same liberty and freedom as the rest of his Italian subjects.
Although about 6,000 Jews reside in the Ghetto and are very closely huddled together, it is a remarkable fact that epidemies which have attacked others, have passed over them. “The plague and the cholera have been repeatedly in Rome, but the Jews in the Ghetto have not suffered much from either. Famine has been in Rome several times, but the Jews in the Ghetto have suffered comparatively little from it. The miasma from the Pontine Varshes in summer is the cause of much fever and many deaths in Rome, but the Jews in the Ghetto do not suffer from it much. There are causes to which this