Italy

May 25th. - As I said last night, we left Foligno betimes in the morning, which was bleak, chill, and very threatening, there being very little blue sky anywhere, and the clouds lying heavily on some of the mountain-ridges. The wind blew sharply right in U - - 's face and mine, as we occupied the coupe, so that there must have been a great deal of the north in it.

Hotel Wheeler, June 22d. - We arrived at this hotel last evening from Paris, and find ourselves on the borders of the Petit Quay Notre Dame, with steamers and boats right under our windows, and all sorts of dock-business going on briskly. There are barrels, bales, and crates of goods; there are old iron cannon for posts; in short, all that belongs to the Wapping of a great seaport. . . . . The American partialities of the guests [of this hotel] are consulted by the decorations of the parlor, in which hang two lithographs and colored views of New York, from Brooklyn and from Weehawken.

May 29th. - We left Perugia at about three o'clock to-day, and went down a pretty steep descent; but I have no particular recollection of the road till it again began to descend, before reaching the village of Magione. We all, except my wife, walked up the long hill, while the vettura was dragged after us with the aid of a yoke of oxen.

Leamington, November 14th, 1859. - J - - and I walked to Lillington the other day. Its little church was undergoing renovation when we were here two years ago, and now seems to be quite renewed, with the exception of its square, gray, battlemented tower, which has still the aspect of unadulterated antiquity. On Saturday J - - -and I walked to Warwick by the old road, passing over the bridge of the Avon, within view of the castle.

May 30th. - We started at six o'clock, and left the one ugly street of Passignano, before many of the beggars were awake. Immediately in the vicinity of the village there is very little space between the lake in front and the ridge of hills in the rear; but the plain widened as we drove onward, so that the lake was scarcely to be seen, or often quite hidden among the intervening trees, although we could still discern the summits of the mountains that rise far beyond its shores.

31 Hertford Street, Mayfair, May 16th, 1860. - I came hither from Bath on the 14th, and am staying with my friends, Mr. and Mrs. Motley. I would gladly journalize some of my proceedings, and describe things and people; but I find the same coldness and stiffness in my pen as always since our return to England. I dined with the Motleys at Lord Dufferin's, on Monday evening, and there met, among a few other notable people, the Honorable Mrs. Norton, a dark, comely woman, who doubtless was once most charming, and still has charms, at above fifty years of age.

We left Arezzo early on Monday morning, the sun throwing the long shadows of the trees across the road, which at first, after we had descended the hill, lay over a plain. As the morning advanced, or as we advanced, the country grew more hilly. We saw many bits of rustic life, - such as old women tending pigs or sheep by the roadside, and spinning with a distaff; women sewing under trees, or at their own doors; children leading goats, tied by the horns, while they browse; sturdy, sunburnt creatures, in petticoats, but otherwise manlike, at work side by side with male laborers in the fields.

May 25th. - We were aroused at four o'clock this morning; had some eggs and coffee, and were ready to start between five and six; being thus matutinary, in order to get to Terni in time to see the falls. The road was very striking and picturesque; but I remember nothing particularly, till we came to Borghetto, which stands on a bluff, with a broad valley sweeping round it, through the midst of which flows the Tiber.

At setting off [from Incisa], we were surrounded by beggars as usual, the most interesting of whom were a little blind boy and his mother, who had besieged us with gentle pertinacity during our whole stay there. There was likewise a man with a maimed hand, and other hurts or deformities; also, an old woman who, I suspect, only pretended to be blind, keeping her eyes tightly squeezed together, but directing her hand very accurately where the copper shower was expected to fall. Besides these, there were a good many sturdy little rascals, vociferating in proportion as they needed nothing.

June 8th. - I went this morning to the Uffizi gallery. The entrance is from the great court of the palace, which communicates with Lung' Arno at one end, and with the Grand Ducal Piazza at the other. The gallery is in the upper story of the palace, and in the vestibule are some busts of the princes and cardinals of the Medici family, - none of them beautiful, one or two so ugly as to be ludicrous, especially one who is all but buried in his own wig.

Syndicate content