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AN ARCHÆOLOGICAL PAPER.
Etruscan origin of Greek ornament. This letter was published in the 'Edinburgh Literary Journal,' whose editorship had changed hands, the first editor, Mr Henry Glassford Bell, having resigned his charge. Mr Jonathan Bell was in Rome, to his old friend's great satisfaction. He recorded their frequent meetings, and as frequent theological frays, both following the perfervid inborn impulse to battle over doctrines.
During the summer months of June and July, John Blackie was still in Rome revising and correcting, and at length satisfactorily completing, his
paper. It passed muster by the end of July, and on August 2 he went out to Frascati to stay with Chevalier and Madame Bunsen at their villa there. One incident of this visit was related in after-years by his host.
One morning when breakfast was on the table and his young guest missing, Mr Bunsen sought him far and near in the grounds of the villa. Guided by tones which rose and swelled and sank with stimulating emphasis, he made his way to a field where grew in serried ranks cabbages, pumpkins, and warlike granturci, and here, addressing the regiments of vegetables in sounding Greek and after the manner of Demosthenes, he found his friend. Perhaps the neighbourhood of Tusculum had filled him with emulation, for just in this manner, we are told, did Cicero perfect his Greek. Though new to Bunsen, the trait was one with which we are already familiar.
About this time he announced his intention so to devote himself to Greek as to become qualified for the Chair of Greek in some University. In the letter which contains this expression of purpose he abjures all thought of the Presbyterian ministry. Mr Jonathan Bell had given it as his opinion that he was neither an archæologist nor a theologian, but emphatically a linguist, and he endorsed his friend's estimate, though he hinted roguishly that there might be the makings of a tragic dramatist amongst his volcanic powers, as there was a constant stream of versification from within overflowing his control. Indeed his letters were written half in rhyme, and roused wrath at home.
He described his visit to Bunsen as delightful. He stayed till the middle of August, and learned many things from his host, amongst others to listen as well as to talk, an exercise which he felt at first to be penitential. Mr Bunsen had conversations with him about personal religion, and told him that he had too readily accepted the conclusions of German scepticism, and that a thorough study of the human mind might bring home to him the shallowness of all
FAREWELL TO THE ETERNAL CITY.
systems which excluded the spiritual and the supernatural. Such lessons were humbling, but he realised that from the lips and example of such a man as his host they were a powerful corrective of the crude mental audacity which these years of freedom had engendered.
He read his essay to Mr Bunsen, who agreed with Professor Gerhard that it was a learned, accurate, and finished production, expressed too in admirable Italian. It was given to the printers at once, and was included in the papers of the ‘Annali dell'Instituto di Corrispondenza Archæologica per l'Anno 1831.' It won from all experts the utmost praise both for its learning and for its Italian.
This result being secured, he despatched a box of books, prints, coins, and minerals to Aberdeen, sent on his own luggage to Munich, and prepared to leave Rome on September 2. He did so with a heavy heart, regretting most of all to bid farewell to Mr Bunsen, but grieved also to part from many friends, who had made the Eternal City like a second home.
END OF WANDERJAHRE.
John BLACKIE and a young German called Thilemas started on September 2, knapsacks on back, dressed in white Italian summer suits, which could be washed when occasion offered, and without a care in the world other than heavy hearts at leaving Rome. Some of this heaviness can be traced to a romantic sentiment which had grown upon our hero for a certain clever and amiable Clotilda, to whom he had given lessons in English during the spring and summer, and whom he celebrated in abounding verse as the pattern of female dignity and charm. He had presented his verses on the subject to his family, however, and not to the lady herself, so that but for the sorrow that he must leave his
ON TRAMP THROUGH ITALY.
gentle friend with little hope of seeing her again, he was free from fetters.
The two pedestrians made their way by Perugia and Chiusi to Florence, taking nine days to walk the two hundred and fifty miles, at the rate of from twenty-five to thirty miles a-day. They stopped at the wayside inns for food and rest, and made the towns their stages for the night. The peasants whom they met could not understand the portent of two persons who scoured the country on foot, and sometimes they were refused admittance on the ground that only brigands and escaped malefactors pursued such
But they had much enjoyment of the tramp, and turned aside to view the antiquities which bordered their route. On September 11 they reached Florence, and made a halt of ten days to visit its galleries and buildings. The Tuscan country pleased them much, and they picked up what information they could about its well-cultivated valleys.
John Blackie wrote to his father from Florence in a tone of the most pronounced Radicalism, handling both the land question and the Irish question with vigour. He described the condition of the peasant farmers of Tuscany, who, paying a rent of three pauls an acre, were stimulated to industry by the certainty of becoming