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are bathed by the emerald waters of the romantic Mediterranean Sea.
We remained for a day at the rocky, stormy town of Gibraltar, meeting variegated men of all lands, who spoke all dialects, and preached and practiced all religions.
The pagan, the Moslem, the Buddhist, the Jew and the Christian dressed in the garb of their respective nationalities, were wrangling, trading, praying and swearing in all languages, every one grasping for the "almighty dollar."
As the sun went down over the shining shoulders of the Western Atlantic, flashing its golden rays over the moving, liquid floor of the heaving ocean and Mediterranean Sea, William and myself stood on the topmost crag of giant Gibraltar, and the Bard sent forth this impulsive sigh from his romantic soul:
How I long to roam o'er the bounding sea,
In the midnight hour when the moon hangs low
To rise and fall with the songs of the sea
Around the world my form should sweep-
I clapped my hands intensely at the rendition of the poem, and echo from her rocky caves sent back the applause, while the sea gulls in their circling flight, screamed in chorus to the voice of echo and the eternal roar of old ocean.
At sunrise we sailed away into the land-locked waters of the Mediterranean Sea, where man for a million years has loved, lived, fought and died among beautiful, blooming islands that nestle on its bosom like emeralds in the crown of immortality.
We passed along the coast of Spain to Cape Nao, in sight of the Balearic Islands, on to Barcelona, to the mouth of the river Rhone, and up to the ancient city of Avignon.
In and around this city popes, princes and international warriors lived in royal style; but they are virtually forgotten, while Petrarch, the poetic saint and laureate of Italy, is as fresh in the memory of man as the day he died-July 18th, 1374, at the age of seventy.
William and myself remained all night in the Lodge House of the Gardens of "Vacluse," the
hermit home of the sighing, soaring poet, who pined his life away in platonic love for "Laura," who married Hugh de Sade, when she was only seventeen years of age, and presented the nobleman ten children as pledges of her homespun affection.
And this is the married lady who Petrarch, the poet, wasted his sonnets upon, and was treated in fact as we were told by the "oldest inhabitant" of Avignon, with supercilious contempt.
Boccaccio and Petrarch were intimate friends, and both of these passionate poets lavished their love on "married flirts," who give promise to the ear and disappointment to the heart.
I could see that while Shakspere reveled deep in the mental philosophy of Petrarch, and even plucked a flower from his rustic bower, he had no sympathy with lovesick swains, and as we signed our names in the Lodge House book, he wrote this:
Petrarch, grand, immortal in thy sonnets;
Next day the Albion sailed into the Mediterranean, passed by the island of Corsica (cradle of one of the greatest soldiers of the world), through
the Strait of Bonifacio, and in due course kept on to the flourishing city of Naples.
It was dark twilight when we came to peer into the surrounding hills and mountains of classic Italy.
To the wonder and amazement of every passenger on board, Mount Vesuvius was in brilliant action, and the flash of sparks and blazing lights from this huge chimney top of Nature dazzled the beholder, and produced a fearful sensation in the soul.
As the great jaws of the mountain opened its fiery lips and belched forth molten streams of lava, shooting a million red hot meteors into the caves of night, the earth and ocean seemed to tremble with the sound and birds and beasts of prey rushed screaming and howling to their nightly homes.
Shakspere entranced stood on the bow of the ship and soliloquized:
Great God! Almighty in thy templed realm;
Beyond this transient, seething, suffering sod!
At this moment the vessel struck the dock and lurched William out of his reverie, coming "within an ace" of pitching the poet into the harbor of Naples.
Captain O'Neil informed us that he would be engaged unloading and loading his ship for a week or ten days at Naples, before he started for Sicily, Greece and Egypt.
William and myself concluded to hire a guide and ride and tramp by land to Rome, and view the ancient capital and test the hospitality of the Italians.
Early the next morning we set out for the Imperial City, perched on her seven hills, and enlightening the world with the radiance of her classic memorials.
Our guide, Petro, was a villainous looking fellow, yet the landlord of the Hotel Columbo told us he was well acquainted with the mountain bypaths and open roads, and could, in the event of meeting robbers, be of great service to us.
Petro wanted ten "florins" in advance, and wine and bread on the road; and as we could not do any better, the bargain was made, and off we tramped through the great city of Milan, scaling the surrounding hills and pulling up as the sun went down at the town of Terracino.
After a good night's rest and hot breakfast, we started on horseback through a mountain trail for the banks of the Tiber, but when within three miles of the Capitoline hills Petro seemed to lose his way, and rode off into the underbrush to find it.
We stopped in the trail, and in less than five minutes after the disappearance of our faithful