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the walls of Padua and the houses, furnishing evidence of our approach to another Ferrara. The moon was by this time mounting towards the zenith, in a pure cerulean sky. and poured a flood of radiance upon the city of Antenor and Livy, the antique towers of which never appeared under a more favourable light; and to render our arrival still more romantic, a serenade of the softest music was kept up in front of the hotel till midnight.
EXCURSION TO ARQUA—TOMB AND LAST RESIDENCE OF PETRARCH SKETCH OF PADUA—CHURCH OF ST. ANTHONY—
SANTA JUSTIZIA HOSPITAL FOR INVALIDS OBSERVATORY—
BIRTH-PLACE AND TOMB OF LIVY UNIVERSITY TOMB OF
ANTENOR RIDE DOWN TIIE BRENTA—ARRIVAL AT VENICE
FIRST VIEW OF THE CITY.
September, 1826.—The 12th was occupied in an excursion to Arqua, embosomed among the Euganean Hills, ten or twelve miles in a south-western direction from Padua. Having visited the birth-place and residence of Petrarch, we were anxious to pay our respects to his tomb. Several pretty villas were passed on our way thither. At Bataglia the main road was deserted, and a path pursued which leads through a village, much frequented for its warm baths. Thence onward, the vetturino lost his way, and took us through fields and vineyards, with no other track than the loaded wine-carts of the peasant had left. Our coach frequently brushed along the hedges, and from its windows we plucked rich clusters of grapes, now in full maturity. They arc generally purple, and the colour contrasts beautifully with the deep green of the foliage. The vine is here, as in other parts of Italy, trained upon trees of moderate height; and the laden festoons, hanging gracefully from branch to branch, formed a picture, which the touches of no pencil can reach. There is almost as much difference between a French and an Italian vineyard, as between a garden and a hop-field. Yet much to the regret of every person of taste, utility is on the side of the former. The peasantry were busy with the intagc, and wagons heaped with the produce of their rounds were met on our wayEntering a vale opening from the Euganean Hills to the Ldriatic, we came to the borders of a solitary lake, slumbering t the outlet of the gorge, and surrounded by woody slopes. )n its quiet shores, three tourists passed us, who had een on a pilgrimage to Arqua, a mile or two beyond, "he village is small, and so situated as to look out through ie pass upon the broad plain, which spreads below'to the J,ulf of Venice. An intelligent lad, with a fine face, and a ;lossy head of hair, descending from beneath his black cap o his shoulders, in graceful and natural curls, offered his ervices as a cicerone, and led us up the steep to the tomb of he poet. The monument stands upon a small open area, n. front of the church of Santa Maria, and is composed of oarse red marble, so rough hewn that the inscriptions are carcely legible. A large sarcophagus, finished in the style »f the 13th and 14th centuries, is elevated ten or twelve eet from the ground, supported by four plain Doric pillars, 'n one corner of it is a hole, through which a Florentine is said to have stolen an arm of his illustrious countryman. A >ronae bust of the poet stands in front. One eye was picket! out and pilfered by an unknown traveller, who remained it the village for the night. Numerous other mutilations lave been committed by visitants. There are no trees in he old church-yard, except one little cypress, which stands iveeping near the tomb. The laurels mentioned in a note to Childe Harold, are all withered. Several inscriptions, difficult to decipher, are found upon the pedestal and the front of he church.
There is a striking resemblance between the scenery of Arqua and that of Vaucluse; and I cannot but think that Petrarch was influenced by this circumstance, in selecting .he place for his retirement and death. Calcareous hills of moderate elevation, naked at their summits, rise on all sides. From their bases descend slopes, clothed with olives, mulberries, figs, pomegranates, and vines. To add to the similarity, a brook waters the vale, and a copious fountain gushes out of the hill, within a few yards of the tomb. In the house of the priest attached to the church, we found an album filled with sonnets and with the names of visitants. The former are almost as voluminous as those of the poet himself.
Petrarch's last residence was upon the brow of Monte Grande, commanding a full view of the vale, of the village of Arqua, and of Monte Sero, a picturesque hill crowned by the ruins of a fortress, at the distance of a mile or two in front. An hour or more was passed in examining the house, which is of brick, two stories high, with a handsome porch at the entrance, shaded by vines and fig-trees. The walls as well as the ceilings of the rooms are ornameBted with frescos, depicting scenes which were designed by the poet himself. A coarse old woman, who is the present resident, explained the whole series. They are chiefly illustrative of the loves of Petrarch and Laura. In one she is represented bathing, in another reading, and in a third reposing in the shade of a tree, while her votary, always at a respectful distance, is in the act of admiring her charms. The scene at the bath reminds one of a passage in the Seasons.
Among the furniture of the house are a case of drawers, and the old armed chair, in which the poet breathed his last, on the 13th of July, 1374, at the age of 70. The walls of the apartments are inscribed with the names of visitants. In a balcony looking into the vale, is a fresco representing an old man in the attitude of disarming Cupid, which is probably intended to be emblematic of Petrarch's philosophical retirement; though it ill accords with the reminiscences oi Laura, portrayed in other parts of the house. Below the terrace spreads a small but pretty garden, filled with vines of the muscadel grape, which we found delicious. Strings of figs, undergoing the process of drying in the sun, were suspended in festoons on the front of the building. Thev are strung like apples in our country, with a leaf of the tree between every two, to keep them from uniting. The fig, before it is dried, is a luscious and nutritious fruit. We found it ripe and in all its perfection, during our tour through the north of Italy.
We returned by a different route, passing a large palace, which belongs to the Duke of Modena. It is five stories high; but neither the edifice nor the grounds exhibit much taste. Many ladies and gentlemen were met in carriages, on their way to the baths of St. Helena.
Early on the following morning, we commenced the rounds of Padua, in the usual manner of sight-seeing, under the guidance of a stupid cicerone, who scarcely knew the localies of bis native city. He took us to the church of St. ,nthony, a stupendous Gothic edifice, rising from one of the rincipal squares, crowned by five domes and several lofty teeples. It is stately and venerable in its aspect. The rea in front is embellished with an equestrian statue of a renetian General. We found the interior full of people, neeling at the shrine of St. Anthony, who is the patron of le city.
In the choir of the church is another shrine dedicated to le saint, which may be considered the "sanctum sanctoum," as it is consecrated by the most precious relics. A oung ecclesiastic put on his robes, said his prayers, lighted alf a dozen large candles, and then opened the three cabiets, which contain the plate of the church, as well as the ragments of St. Anthony's body. Vessels of massive gold mbossed with gems, vases and chalices, studded with emeald and diamond, flashed upon our dazzled sight.
Pointing with a long wand to a relic in one of the transient crystal vases, the priest said, " that is the chin of St. Anthony." It was high above us, and we could but indisinctly see the lower jaw and teeth of some head, perhaps a aint's, but more probably a sinner's. The tongue svas in mother vase; but the reflection and refraction of the crystal >revented us from discovering any thmg beyond a red substance, of the shape and colour of the unruly member, with he root fixed in a socket and the tip pointing upward. It is ilways an object, in the exhibition of relics, to guard against i close inspection.
The church of Santa Justizia is scarcely inferior in size md splendour to that of St. Anthony, while in the style of ts architecture it is far superior. It was designed by Pallalio. . It has a noble front, and the interior is lofty and maglificent. The cloisters of an adjoining convent have been /ery laudably converted into a hospital for invalid soldiers, dedicated by Francis I. to the "Leeso Militi," inscribed jpon the front. We saw hundreds of the inmates, as well is other troops who had never been wounded, parading the streets in a uniform of coarse tow cloth, which hung like cotton-bagging about their limbs, and formed an odd contrast to gilt swords, cocked hats, and tawdry epaulettes. But the most showy of the throng was a young Othello, of a coal black complexion, in a gaudy laced coat, girt with a broad red sash, wearing one yellow glove, and dangling the other in his hand, as he paraded the streets in all the pomp and circumstance of a military dandy, looking out for some modern Desdetnona among the fair Paduese. In the dress and appearance of the people of this city, there is a strange compound of pride and poverty. One man was observed in a shabby coat, with a ponderous watch-seal hanging from each of his pockets.
A spacious and splendid promenade, called the Prato della Valle, spreads in front of the church of Santa Justizia. It is surrounded by a canal, planted with beautiful groves, and filled with hundreds of statues of distinguished men of Padua and Venice. Any one has the privilege of canonizing his friend, by adding a bust to the congregation, with a label upon the pedestal.
We visited the Observatory, near the western walls, and ascended to the top, which is 125 feet from the ground. The cupola is ornamented with frescos, exhibiting rude likenesses of eminent astronomers, among whom are Sir Isaac Newton and Gallileo. On the ceiling are delineated the signs of the zodiac. This tower affords a perfect view of the town, which is seven miles in circuit, situated upon a plain, and watered by the Brenta. In many places the houses have dropped away, leaving large tracts of vacant grounds, shaded with luxuriant foliage. The population, which could once send an army of 20,000 to the field, is now reduced to 50,000 in all; and the city bears the marks of decrepitude, poverty, and decay. We had an enchanting prospect of Monselice, the Euganean Hills, the Rhaetian Alps, and Tyrol, together with the boundless sea of verdure which stretches along the shores of the Adriatic. The waters of the Gulf were not discernible; but through the excellent telescope belonging to the Observatory, a fair view was obtained of the dome of St. Mark's at Venice.
A call was made at the Cathedral, which is far from being an interesting church. It contains a protty medallion ot Petrarch, in alto-rilievo of white marble, placed against a slab of black antique, fixed in the wall. The monument was erected in 1818, at the expense of one of the canons, who was a great admirer of the poet. If I mistake not, Petrarch was an officer in this church.
The cicerone led us thence to the reputed house of Titus Livius, the Roman historian. My faith was so weak, while gazing at the front of a modern building, ornamented with