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. The country was fertile, presenting, on each side of the road, vines trained on fig-trees; wheat-fields and olives, in greater abundance than any other product. On our right, with a considerable width of plain between, was the bending ridge of hills that shut in the Roman army, by its close approach to the lake at Passignano. In perhaps half all hour's drive, we reached the little bridge that throws its arch over the Sanguinetto, and alighted there. The stream has but about a yard's width of water; and its whole course, between the hills and the lake, might well have been reddened and swollen with the blood of the multitude of slain Romans. Its name put me in mind of the Bloody Brook at Deerfield, where a company of Massachusetts men were massacred by the Indians.

The Sanguinetto flows over a bed of pebbles; and J - - -crept under the bridge, and got one of them for a memorial, while U - - , Miss Shepard, and R - - -plucked some olive twigs and oak leaves, and made them into wreaths together, - symbols of victory and peace. The tower, which is traditionally named after Hannibal, is seen on a height that makes part of the line of enclosing hills. It is a large, old castle, apparently of the Middle Ages, with a square front, and a battlemented sweep of wall. The town of Torres (its name, I think), where Hannibal's main army is supposed to have lain while the Romans came through the pass, was in full view; and I could understand the plan of the battle better than any system of military operations which I have hitherto tried to fathom. Both last night and to-day, I found myself stirred more sensibly than I expected by the influences of this scene. The old battle-field is still fertile in thoughts and emotions, though it is so many ages since the blood spilt there has ceased to make the grass and flowers grow more luxuriantly. I doubt whether I should feel so much on the field of Saratoga or Monmouth; but these old classic battle-fields belong to the whole world, and each man feels as if his own forefathers fought them. Mine, by the by, if they fought them at all, must have been on the side of Hannibal; for, certainly, I sympathized with him, and exulted in the defeat of the Romans on their own soil. They excite much the same emotion of general hostility that the English do. Byron has written some very fine stanzas on the battle-field, - not so good as others that he has written on classical scenes and subjects, yet wonderfully impressing his own perception of the subject on the reader. Whenever he has to deal with a statue, a ruin, a battle-field, he pounces upon the topic like a vulture, and tears out its heart in a twinkling, so that there is nothing more to be said.

If I mistake not, our passport was examined by the papal officers at the last custom-house in the pontifical territory, before we traversed the path through which the Roman army marched to its destruction. Lake Thrasymene, of which we took our last view, is not deep set among the hills, but is bordered by long ridges, with loftier mountains receding into the distance. It is not to be compared to Windermere or Loch Lomond for beauty, nor with Lake Champlain and many a smaller lake in my own country, none of which, I hope, will ever become so historically interesting as this famous spot. A few miles onward our passport was countersigned at the Tuscan custom-house, and our luggage permitted to pass without examination on payment of a fee of nine or ten pauls, besides two pauls to the porters. There appears to be no concealment on the part of the officials in thus waiving the exercise of their duty, and I rather imagine that the thing is recognized and permitted by their superiors. At all events, it is very convenient for the traveller.

We saw Cortona, sitting, like so many other cities in this region, on its hill, and arrived about noon at Arezzo, which also stretches up a high hillside, and is surrounded, as they all are, by its walls or the remains of one, with a fortified gate across every entrance.

I remember one little village, somewhere in the neighborhood of the Clitumnus, which we entered by one gateway, and, in the course of two minutes at the utmost, left by the opposite one, so diminutive was this walled town. Everything hereabouts bears traces of times when war was the prevalent condition, and peace only a rare gleam of sunshine.

At Arezzo we have put up at the Hotel Royal, which has the appearance of a grand old house, and proves to be a tolerable inn enough. After lunch, we wandered forth to see the town, which did not greatly interest me after Perugia, being much more modern and less picturesque in its aspect. We went to the cathedral, - a Gothic edifice, but not of striking exterior. As the doors were closed, and not to be opened till three o'clock, we seated ourselves under the trees, on a high, grassy space surrounded and intersected with gravel-walks, - a public promenade, in short, near the cathedral; and after resting ourselves here we went in search of Petrarch's house, which Murray mentions as being in this neighborhood. We inquired of several people, who knew nothing about the matter; one woman misdirected us, out of mere fun, I believe, for she afterwards met us and asked how we had succeeded. But finally, through - - - 's enterprise and perseverance, we found the spot, not a stone's-throw from where we had been sitting.

Petrarch's house stands below the promenade which I have just mentioned, and within hearing of the reverberations between the strokes of the cathedral bell. It is two stories high, covered with a light-colored stucco, and has not the slightest appearance of antiquity, no more than many a modern and modest dwelling-house in an American city. Its only remarkable feature is a pointed arch of stone, let into the plastered wall, and forming a framework for the doorway. I set my foot on the doorsteps, ascended them, and Miss Shepard and J - - -gathered some weeds or blades of grass that grew in the chinks between the steps. There is a long inscription on a slab of marble set in the front of the house, as is the fashion in Arezzo when a house has been the birthplace or residence of a distinguished man.

Right opposite Petrarch's birth-house - and it must have been the well whence the water was drawn that first bathed him - is a well which Boccaccio has introduced into one of his stories. It is surrounded with a stone curb, octagonal in shape, and evidently as ancient as Boccaccio's time. It has a wooden cover, through which is a square opening, and looking down I saw my own face in the water far beneath.

There is no familiar object connected with daily life so interesting as a well; and this well or old Arezzo, whence Petrarch had drunk, around which he had played in his boyhood, and which Boccaccio has made famous, really interested me more than the cathedral. It lies right under the pavement of the street, under the sunshine, without any shade of trees about it, or any grass, except a little that grows in the crevices of its stones; but the shape of its stone-work would make it a pretty object in an engraving. As I lingered round it I thought of my own town-pump in old Salem, and wondered whether my townspeople would ever point it out to strangers, and whether the stranger would gaze at it with any degree of such interest as I felt in Boccaccio's well. O, certainly not; but yet I made that humble town-pump the most celebrated structure in the good town. A thousand and a thousand people had pumped there, merely to water oxen or fill their teakettles; but when once I grasped the handle, a rill gushed forth that meandered as far as England, as far as India, besides tasting pleasantly in every town and village of our own country. I like to think of this, so long after I did it, and so far from home, and am not without hopes of some kindly local remembrance on this score.

Petrarch's house is not a separate and insulated building, but stands in contiguity and connection with other houses on each side; and all, when I saw them, as well as the whole street, extending down the slope of the hill, had the bright and sunny aspect of a modern town.

As the cathedral was not yet open, and as J - - -and I had not so much patience as my wife, we left her and Miss Shepard, and set out to return to the hotel. We lost our way, however, and finally had to return to the cathedral, to take a fresh start; and as the door was now open we went in. We found the cathedral very stately with its great arches, and darkly magnificent with the dim rich light coming through its painted windows, some of which are reckoned the most beautiful that the whole world has to show. The hues are far more brilliant than those of any painted glass I saw in England, and a great wheel window looks like a constellation of many-colored gems. The old English glass gets so smoky and dull with dust, that its pristine beauty cannot any longer be even imagined; nor did I imagine it till I saw these Italian windows. We saw nothing of my wife and Miss Shepard; but found afterwards that they had been much annoyed by the attentions of a priest who wished to show them the cathedral, till they finally told him that they had no money with them, when he left them without another word. The attendants in churches seem to be quite as venal as most other Italians, and, for the sake of their little profit, they do not hesitate to interfere with the great purposes for which their churches were built and decorated; hanging curtains, for instance, before all the celebrated pictures, or hiding them away in the sacristy, so that they cannot be seen without a fee.

Returning to the hotel, we looked out of the window, and, in the street beneath, there was a very busy scene, it being Sunday, and the whole population, apparently, being astir, promenading up and down the smooth flag-stones, which made the breadth of the street one sidewalk, or at their windows, or sitting before their doors.

The vivacity of the population in these parts is very striking, after the gravity and lassitude of Rome; and the air was made cheerful with the talk and laughter of hundreds of voices. I think the women are prettier than the Roman maids and matrons, who, as I think I have said before, have chosen to be very uncomely since the rape of their ancestresses, by way of wreaking a terrible spite and revenge.

I have nothing more to say of Arezzo, except that, finding the ordinary wine very bad, as black as ink, and tasting as if it had tar and vinegar in it, we called for a bottle of Monte Pulciano, and were exceedingly gladdened and mollified thereby.