68 Piazza Poli, October 17th. - We left Viterbo on the 15th, and proceeded, through Monterosi, to Sette Verse. There was nothing interesting at Sette Verse, except an old Roman bridge, of a single arch, which had kept its sweep, composed of one row of stones, unbroken for two or more thousand years, and looked just as strong as ever, though gray with age, and fringed with plants that found it hard to fix themselves in its close crevices.

The next day we drove along the Cassian Way towards Rome. It was a most delightful morning, a genial atmosphere; the more so, I suppose, because this was the Campagna, the region of pestilence and death. I had a quiet, gentle, comfortable pleasure, as if, after many wanderings, I was drawing near Rome, for, now that I have known it once, Rome certainly does draw into itself my heart, as I think even London, or even little Concord itself, or old sleepy Salem, never did and never will. Besides, we are to stay here six months, and we had now a house all prepared to receive us; so that this present approach, in the noontide of a genial day, was most unlike our first one, when we crept towards Rome through the wintry midnight, benumbed with cold, ill, weary, and not knowing whither to betake ourselves. Ah! that was a dismal tine! One thing, however, that disturbed even my present equanimity a little was the necessity of meeting the custom-house at the Porta del Popolo; but my past experience warranted me in believing that even these ogres might be mollified by the magic touch of a scudo; and so it proved. We should have escaped any examination at all, the officer whispered me, if his superior had not happened to be present; but, as the case stood, they took down only one trunk from the top of the vettura, just lifted the lid, closed it again, and gave us permission to proceed. So we came to 68 Piazza Poli, and found ourselves at once at home, in such a comfortable, cosey little house, as I did not think existed in Rome.

I ought to say a word about our vetturino, Constantino Bacci, an excellent and most favorable specimen of his class; for his magnificent conduct, his liberality, and all the good qualities that ought to be imperial, S - - -called him the Emperor. He took us to good hotels, and feasted us with the best; he was kind to us all, and especially to little Rosebud, who used to run by his side, with her small white hand in his great brown one; he was cheerful in his deportment, and expressed his good spirits by the smack of his whip, which is the barometer of a vetturino's inward weather; he drove admirably, and would rumble up to the door of an albergo, and stop to a hair's-breadth just where it was most convenient for us to alight; he would hire postilions and horses, where other vetturini would take nothing better than sluggish oxen, to help us up the hilly roads, so that sometimes we had a team of seven; he did all that we could possibly require of him, and was content and more, with a buon mono of five scudi, in addition to the stipulated price. Finally, I think the tears had risen almost to his eyelids when we parted with him.

Our friends, the Thompsons, through whose kindness we procured this house, called to see us soon after our arrival. In the afternoon, I walked with Rosebud to the Medici Gardens, and on our way thither, we espied our former servant, Lalla, who flung so many and such bitter curses after us, on our departure from Rome, sitting at her father's fruit-stall. Thank God, they have not taken effect. After going to the Medici, we went to the Pincian Gardens, and looked over into the Borghese grounds, which, methought, were more beautiful than ever. The same was true of the sky, and of every object beneath it; and as we came homeward along the Corso, I wondered at the stateliness and palatial magnificence of that noble street. Once, I remember, I thought it narrow, and far unworthy of its fame.

In the way of costume, the men in goat-skin breeches, whom we met on the Campagna, were very striking, and looked like Satyrs.

October 21st. - . . . . I have been twice to St. Peter's, and was impressed more than at any former visit by a sense of breadth and loftiness, and, as it were, a visionary splendor and magnificence. I also went to the Museum of the Capitol; and the statues seemed to me more beautiful than formerly, and I was not sensible of the cold despondency with which I have so often viewed them. Yesterday we went to the Corsini Palace, which we had not visited before. It stands in the Trastevere, in the Longara, and is a stately palace, with a grand staircase, leading to the first floor, where is situated the range of picture-rooms. There were a good many fine pictures, but none of them have made a memorable impression on my mind, except a portrait by Vandyke, of a man in point-lace, very grand and very real. The room in which this picture hung had many other portraits by Holbein, Titian, Rembrandt, Rubens, and other famous painters, and was wonderfully rich in this department. In another, there was a portrait of Pope Julius II., by Raphael, somewhat differing from those at the Pitti and the Uffizi galleries in Florence, and those I have seen in England and Paris; thinner, paler, perhaps older, more severely intellectual, but at least, as high a work of art as those.

The palace has some handsome old furniture, and gilded chairs, covered with leather cases, possibly relics of Queen Christina's time, who died here. I know not but the most curious object was a curule chair of marble, sculptured all out of one piece, and adorned with bas-reliefs. It is supposed to be Etruscan. It has a circular back, sweeping round, so as to afford sufficient rests for the elbows; and, sitting down in it, I discovered that modern ingenuity has not made much real improvement on this chair of three or four thousand years ago. But some chairs are easier for the moment, yet soon betray you, and grow the more irksome.

We strolled along Longara, and found the piazza of St. Peter's full of French soldiers at their drill. . . . . We went quite round the interior of the church, and perceiving the pavement loose and broken near the altar where Guido's Archangel is placed, we picked up some bits of rosso antico and gray marble, to be set in brooches, as relics.

We have the snuggest little set of apartments in Rome, seven rooms, including an antechamber; and though the stairs are exceedingly narrow, there is really a carpet on them, - a civilized comfort, of which the proudest palaces in the Eternal City cannot boast. The stairs are very steep, however, and I should not wonder if some of us broke our noses down them. Narrowness of space within doors strikes us all rather ludicrously, yet not unpleasantly, after being accustomed to the wastes and deserts of the Montanto Villa. It is well thus to be put in training for the over-snugness of our cottage in Concord. Our windows here look out on a small and rather quiet piazza, with an immense palace on the left hand, and a smaller yet statelier one on the right, and just round the corner of the street, leading out of our piazza, is the Fountain of Trevi, of which I can hear the plash in the evening, when other sounds are hushed.

Looking over what I have said of Sodoma's "Christ Bound," at Sierra, I see that I have omitted to notice what seems to me one of its most striking characteristics, - its loneliness. You feel as if the Saviour were deserted, both in heaven and earth; the despair is in him which made him say, "My God, why hast thou forsaken me?" Even in this extremity, however, he is still Divine, and Sodoma almost seems to have reconciled the impossibilities of combining an omnipresent divinity with a suffering and outraged humanity. But this is one of the cases in which the spectator's imagination completes what the artist merely hints at.

Mr. - - - , the sculptor, called to see us, the other evening, and quite paid Powers off for all his trenchant criticisms on his brother artists. He will not allow Powers to be an artist at all, or to know anything of the laws of art, although acknowledging him to be a great bust-maker, and to have put together the Greek Slave and the Fisher-Boy very ingeniously. The latter, however (he says), is copied from the Apollino in the Tribune of the Uzi; and the former is made up of beauties that had no reference to one another; and he affirms that Powers is ready to sell, and has actually sold, the Greek Slave, limb by limb, dismembering it by reversing the process of putting it together, - a head to one purchaser, an arm or a foot to another, a hand to a third. Powers knows nothing scientifically of the human frame, and only succeeds in representing it as a natural bone-doctor succeeds in setting a dislocated limb by a happy accident or special providence. (The illustration was my own, and adopted by Mr. - - - .) Yet Mr. - - - seems to acknowledge that he did succeed. I repeat these things only as another instance how invariably every sculptor uses his chisel and mallet to smash and deface the marble-work of every other. I never heard Powers speak of Mr. - - - , but can partly imagine what he would have said.

Mr. - - - spoke of Powers's disappointment about the twenty-five-thousand-dollar appropriation from Congress, and said that he was altogether to blame, inasmuch as he attempted to sell to the nation for that sum a statue which, to Mr. - - - 's certain knowledge, he had already offered to private persons for a fifth part of it. I have not implicit faith in Mr. - - - 's veracity, and doubt not Powers acted fairly in his own eyes.

October 23d. - I am afraid I have caught one of the colds which the Roman air continually affected me with last winter; at any rate, a sirocco has taken the life out of me, and I have no spirit to do anything. This morning I took a walk, however, out of the Porta Maggiore, and looked at the tomb of the baker Eurysaces, just outside of the gate, - a very singular ruin covered with symbols of the man's trade in stone-work, and with bas-reliefs along the cornice, representing people at work, making bread. An inscription states that the ashes of his wife are likewise reposited there, in a bread-basket. The mausoleum is perhaps twenty feet long, in its largest extent, and of equal height; and if good bakers were as scarce in ancient Rome as in the modern city, I do not wonder that they were thought worthy of stately monuments. None of the modern ones deserve any better tomb than a pile of their own sour loaves.

I walked onward a good distance beyond the gate alongside of the arches of the Claudian aqueduct, which, in this portion of it, seems to have had little repair, and to have needed little, since it was built. It looks like a long procession, striding across the Campagna towards the city, and entering the gate, over one of its arches, within the gate, I saw two or three slender jets of water spurting from the crevices; this aqueduct being still in use to bring the Acqua Felice into Rome.

Returning within the walls, I walked along their inner base, to the Church of St. John Lateran, into which I went, and sat down to rest myself, being languid and weary, and hot with the sun, though afraid to trust the coolness of the shade. I hate the Roman atmosphere; indeed, all my pleasure in getting back - all my home-feeling - has already evaporated, and what now impresses me, as before, is the languor of Rome, - its weary pavements, its little life, pressed down by a weight of death.

Quitting St. John Lateran, I went astray, as I do nine times out of ten in these Roman intricacies, and at last, seeing the Coliseum in the vista of a street, I betook myself thither to get a fresh start. Its round of stones looked vast and dreary, but not particularly impressive. The interior was quite deserted; except that a Roman, of respectable appearance, was making a pilgrimage at the altars, kneeling and saying a prayer at each one.

Outside of the Coliseum, a neat-looking little boy came and begged of me; and I gave him a baiocco, rather because he seemed to need it so little than for any other reason. I observed that he immediately afterwards went and spoke to a well-dressed man, and supposed that the child was likewise begging of him. I watched the little boy, however, and saw that, in two or three other instances, after begging of other individuals, he still returned to this well-dressed man; the fact being, no doubt, that the latter was fishing for baiocci through the medium of his child, - throwing the poor little fellow out as a bait, while he himself retained his independent respectability. He had probably come out for a whole day's sport; for, by and by, he went between the arches of the Coliseum, followed by the child, and taking with him what looked like a bottle of wine, wrapped in a handkerchief.

November 2d. - The weather lately would have suited one's ideal of an English November, except that there have been no fogs; but of ugly, hopeless clouds, chill, shivering winds, drizzle, and now and then pouring rain, much more than enough. An English coal-fire, if we could see its honest face within doors, would compensate for all the unamiableness of the outside atmosphere; but we might ask for the sunshine of the New Jerusalem, with as much hope of getting it. It is extremely spirit-crushing, this remorseless gray, with its icy heart; and the more to depress the whole family, U - - has taken what seems to be the Roman fever, by sitting down in the Palace of the Caesars, while Mrs. S - - -sketched the ruins. . . . .

[During four months of the illness of his daughter, Mr. Hawthorne wrote no word of Journal. - ED.]

February 27th, 1859. - For many days past, there have been tokens of the coming Carnival in the Corso and the adjacent streets; for example, in the shops, by the display of masks of wire, pasteboard, silk, or cloth, some of beautiful features, others hideous, fantastic, currish, asinine, huge-nosed, or otherwise monstrous; some intended to cover the whole face, others concealing only the upper part, also white dominos, or robes bedizened with gold-lace and theatric splendors, displayed at the windows of mercers or flaunting before the doors. Yesterday, U - - and I came along the Corso, between one and two o'clock, after a walk, and found all these symptoms of impending merriment multiplied and intensified; . . . . rows of chairs, set out along the sidewalks, elevated a foot or two by means of planks; great baskets, full of confetti, for sale in the nooks and recesses of the streets; bouquets of all qualities and prices. The Corso was becoming pretty well thronged with people; but, until two o'clock, nobody dared to fling as much as a rosebud or a handful of sugar-plums. There was a sort of holiday expression, however, on almost everybody's face, such as I have not hitherto seen in Rome, or in any part of Italy; a smile gleaming out, an aurora of mirth, which probably will not be very exuberant in its noontide. The day was so sunny and bright that it made this opening scene far more cheerful than any day of the last year's carnival. As we threaded our way through the Corso, U - - kept wishing she could plunge into the fun and uproar as J - - - would, and for my own part, though I pretended to take no interest in the matter, I could have bandied confetti and nosegays as readily and as riotously as any urchin there. But my black hat and grave talma would have been too good a mark for the combatants, . . . . so we went home before a shot was fired. . . . .

March 7th. - I, as well as the rest of the family, have followed up the Carnival pretty faithfully, and enjoyed it as well, or rather better than could have been expected; principally in the street, as a more looker-on, - which does not let one into the mystery of the fun, - and twice from a balcony, where I threw confetti, and partly understood why the young people like it so much. Certainly, there cannot well be a more picturesque spectacle in human life, than that stately, palatial avenue of the Corso, the more picturesque because so narrow, all hung with carpets and Gobelin tapestry, and the whole palace-heights alive with faces; and all the capacity of the street thronged with the most fantastic figures that either the fancies of folks alive at this day are able to contrive, or that live traditionally from year to year. . . . . The Prince of Wales has fought manfully through the Carnival with confetti and bouquets, and U - - received several bouquets from him, on Saturday, as her carriage moved along.

March 8th. - I went with U - - to Mr. Motley's balcony, in the Corso, and saw the Carnival from it yesterday afternoon; but the spectacle is strangely like a dream, in respect to the difficulty of retaining it in the mind and solidifying it into a description. I enjoyed it a good deal, and assisted in so far as to pelt all the people in cylinder hats with handfuls of confetti. The scene opens with a long array of cavalry, who ride through the Corso, preceded by a large band, playing loudly on their brazen instruments. . . . . There were some splendid dresses, particularly contadina costumes of scarlet and gold, which seem to be actually the festal attire of that class of people, and must needs be so expensive that one must serve for a lifetime, if indeed it be not an inheritance. . . . .

March 9th. - I was, yesterday, an hour or so among the people on the sidewalks of the Corso, just on the edges of the fun. They appeared to be in a decorous, good-natured mood, neither entering into the merriment, nor harshly repelling; and when groups of maskers overflowed among them, they received their jokes in good part. Many women of the lower class were in the crowd of bystanders; generally broad and sturdy figures, clad evidently in their best attire, and wearing a good many ornaments; such as gold or coral beads and necklaces, combs of silver or gold, heavy ear-rings, curiously wrought brooches, perhaps cameos or mosaics, though I think they prefer purely metallic work to these. One ornament very common among them is a large bodkin, which they stick through their hair. It is usually of silver, but sometimes it looks like steel, and is made in the shape of a sword, - a long Spanish thrusting sword, for example. Dr. Franco told us a story of a woman of Trastevere, who was addressed rudely at the Carnival by a gentleman; she warned him to desist, but as he still persisted, she drew the bodkin from her hair, and stabbed him to the heart.

By and by I went to Mr. Motley's balcony, and looked down on the closing scenes of the Carnival. Methought the merry-makers labored harder to be mirthful, and yet were somewhat tired of their eight play-days; and their dresses looked a little shabby, rumpled, and draggled; but the lack of sunshine - which we have had on all the preceding days - may have produced this effect. The wheels of some of the carriages were wreathed round and spoked with green foliage, making a very pretty and fanciful appearance, as did likewise the harnesses of the horses, which were trimmed with roses. The pervading noise and uproar of human voices is one of the most effective points of the matter; but the scene is quite indescribable, and its effect not to be conceived without both witnessing and taking part in it. If you merely look at it, it depresses you; if you take even the slightest share in it, you become aware that it has a fascination, and you no longer wonder that the young people, at least, take such delight in plunging into this mad river of fun that goes roaring between the narrow limits of the Corso.

As twilight came on, the moccoli commenced, and as it grew darker the whole street twinkled with lights, which would have been innumerable if every torch-bearer had not been surrounded by a host of enemies, who tried to extinguish his poor little twinkle. It was a pity to lose so much splendor as there might have been; but yet there was a kind of symbolism in the thought that every one of those thousands of twinkling lights was in charge of somebody, who was striving with all his might to keep it alive. Not merely the street-way, but all the balconies and hundreds of windows were lit up with these little torches; so that it seemed as if the stars had crumbled into glittering fragments, and rained down upon the Corso, some of them lodging upon the palace-fronts, some falling on the ground. Besides this, there were gas-lights burning with a white flame; but this illumination was not half so interesting as that of the torches, which indicated human struggle. All this time there were myriad voices shouting, "SENZA MOCCOLO!" and mingling into one long roar. We, in our balcony, carried on a civil war against one another's torches, as is the custom of human beings, within even the narrowest precincts; but after a while we grew tired, and so did the crowd, apparently; for the lights vanished, one after another, till the gas-lights - which at first were an unimportant part of the illumination - shone quietly out, overpowering the scattered twinkles of the moccoli. They were what the fixed stars are to the transitory splendors of human life.

Mr. Motley tells me, that it was formerly the custom to have a mock funeral of harlequin, who was supposed to die at the close of the Carnival, during which he had reigned supreme, and all the people, or as many as chose, bore torches at his burial. But this being considered an indecorous mockery of Popish funereal customs, the present frolic of the moccoli was instituted, - in some sort, growing out of it.

All last night, or as much of it as I was awake, there was a noise of song and of late revellers in the streets; but to-day we have waked up in the sad and sober season of Lent.

It is worthy of remark, that all the jollity of the Carnival is a genuine ebullition of spirit, without the aid of wine or strong drink.

March 11th. - Yesterday we went to the Catacomb of St. Calixtus, the entrance to which is alongside of the Appian Way, within sight of the tomb of Cecilia Metella. We descended not a very great way under ground, by a broad flight of stone steps, and, lighting some wax tapers, with which we had provided ourselves, we followed the guide through a great many intricate passages, which mostly were just wide enough for me to touch the wall on each side, while keeping my elbows close to my body; and as to height, they were from seven to ten feet, and sometimes a good deal higher It was rather picturesque, when we saw the long line of our tapers, for another large party had joined us, twinkling along the dark passage, and it was interesting to think of the former inhabitants of these caverns. . . . . In one or two places there was the round mark in the stone or plaster, where a bottle had been deposited. This was said to have been the token of a martyr's burial-place, and to have contained his blood. After leaving the Catacomb, we drove onward to Cecilia Metella's tomb, which we entered and inspected. Within the immensely massive circular substance of the tomb was a round, vacant space, and this interior vacancy was open at the top, and had nothing but some fallen stones and a heap of earth at the bottom.

On our way home we entered the Church of "Domine, quo vadis," and looked at the old fragment of the Appian Way, where our Saviour met St. Peter, and left the impression of his feet in one of the Roman paving-stones. The stone has been removed, and there is now only a fac-simile engraved in a block of marble, occupying the place where Jesus stood. It is a great pity they had not left the original stone; for then all its brother-stones in the pavement would have seemed to confirm the truth of the legend.

While we were at dinner, a gentleman called and was shown into the parlor. We supposed it to be Mr. May; but soon his voice grew familiar, and my wife was sure it was General Pierce, so I left the table, and found it to be really he. I was rejoiced to see him, though a little saddened to see the marks of care and coming age, in many a whitening hair, and many a furrow, and, still more, in something that seemed to have passed away out of him, without leaving any trace. His voice, sometimes, sounded strange and old, though generally it was what it used to be. He was evidently glad to see me, glad to see my wife, glad to see the children, though there was something melancholy in his tone, when he remarked what a stout boy J - - -had grown. Poor fellow! he has neither son nor daughter to keep his heart warm. This morning I have been with him to St. Peter's, and elsewhere about the city, and find him less changed than he seemed to be last night; not at all changed in heart and affections. We talked freely about all matters that came up; among the rest, about the project - recognizable by many tokens - for bringing him again forward as a candidate for the Presidency next year. He appears to be firmly resolved not again to present himself to the country, and is content to let his one administration stand, and to be judged by the public and posterity on the merits of that. No doubt he is perfectly sincere; no doubt, too, he would again be a candidate, if a pretty unanimous voice of the party should demand it. I retain all my faith in his administrative faculty, and should be glad, for his sake, to have it fully rccognized; but the probabilities, as far as I can see, do not indicate for him another Presidential term.

March 15th. - This morning I went with my wife and Miss Hoar to Miss Hosmer's studio, to see her statue of Zenobia. We found her in her premises, springing about with a bird-like action. She has a lofty room, with a skylight window; it was pretty well warmed with a stove, and there was a small orange-tree in a pot, with the oranges growing on it, and two or three flower-shrubs in bloom. She herself looked prettily, with her jaunty little velvet cap on the side of her head, whence came clustering out, her short brown curls; her face full of pleasant life and quick expression; and though somewhat worn with thought and struggle, handsome and spirited. She told us that "her wig was growing as gray as a rat."

There were but very few things in the room; two or three plaster busts, a headless cast of a plaster statue, and a cast of the Minerva Medica, which perhaps she had been studying as a help towards the design of her Zenobia; for, at any rate, I seemed to discern a resemblance or analogy between the two. Zenobia stood in the centre of the room, as yet unfinished in the clay, but a very noble and remarkable statue indeed, full of dignity and beauty. It is wonderful that so brisk a woman could have achieved a work so quietly impressive; and there is something in Zenobia's air that conveys the idea of music, uproar, and a great throng all about her; whilst she walks in the midst of it, self-sustained, and kept in a sort of sanctity by her native pride. The idea of motion is attained with great success; you not only perceive that she is walking, but know at just what tranquil pace she steps, amid the music of the triumph. The drapery is very fine and full; she is decked with ornaments; but the chains of her captivity hang from wrist to wrist; and her deportment - indicating a soul so much above her misfortune, yet not insensible to the weight of it - makes these chains a richer decoration than all her other jewels. I know not whether there be some magic in the present imperfect finish of the statue, or in the material of clay, as being a better medium of expression than even marble; but certainly I have seldom been more impressed by a piece of modern sculpture. Miss Hosmer showed us photographs of her Puck - which I have seen in the marble - and likewise of the Will-o'-the-Wisp, both very pretty and fanciful. It indicates much variety of power, that Zenobia should be the sister of these, which would seem the more natural offspring of her quick and vivid character. But Zenobia is a high, heroic ode.

. . . . On my way up the Via Babuino, I met General Pierce. We have taken two or three walks together, and stray among the Roman ruins, and old scenes of history, talking of matters in which he is personally concerned, yet which are as historic as anything around us. He is singularly little changed; the more I see him, the more I get him back, just such as he was in our youth. This morning, his face, air, and smile were so wonderfully like himself of old, that at least thirty years are annihilated.

Zenobia's manacles serve as bracelets; a very ingenious and suggestive idea.

March 18th. - I went to the sculpture-gallery of the Capitol yesterday, and saw, among other things, the Venus in her secret cabinet. This was my second view of her: the first time, I greatly admired her; now, she made no very favorable impression. There are twenty Venuses whom I like as well, or better. On the whole, she is a heavy, clumsy, unintellectual, and commonplace figure; at all events, not in good looks to-day. Marble beauties seem to suffer the same occasional eclipses as those of flesh and blood. We looked at the Faun, the Dying Gladiator, and other famous sculptures; but nothing had a glory round it, perhaps because the sirocco was blowing. These halls of the Capitol have always had a dreary and depressing effect upon me, very different from those of the Vatican. I know not why, except that the rooms of the Capitol have a dingy, shabby, and neglected look, and that the statues are dusty, and all the arrangements less magnificent than at the Vatican. The corroded and discolored surfaces of the statues take away from the impression of immortal youth, and turn Apollo [The Lycian Apollo] himself into an old stone; unless at rare intervals, when he appears transfigured by a light gleaming from within.

March 23d. - I am wearing away listlessly these last precious days of my abode in Rome. U - - 's illness is disheartening, and by confining - - - , it takes away the energy and enterprise that were the spring of all our movements. I am weary of Rome, without having seen and known it as I ought, and I shall be glad to get away from it, though no doubt there will be many yearnings to return hereafter, and many regrets that I did not make better use of the opportunities within my grasp. Still, I have been in Rome long enough to be imbued with its atmosphere, and this is the essential condition of knowing a place; for such knowledge does not consist in having seen every particular object it contains. In the state of mind in which I now stand towards Rome, there is very little advantage to be gained by staying here longer.

And yet I had a pleasant stroll enough yesterday afternoon, all by myself, from the Corso down past the Church of St. Andrea della Valle, - the site where Caesar was murdered, - and thence to the Farnese Palace, the noble court of which I entered; thence to the Piazza Cenci, where I looked at one or two ugly old palaces, and fixed on one of them as the residence of Beatrice's father; then past the Temple of Vesta, and skirting along the Tiler, and beneath the Aventine, till I somewhat unexpectedly came in sight of the gray pyramid of Caius Cestius. I went out of the city gate, and leaned on the parapet that encloses the pyramid, advancing its high, unbroken slope and peak, where the great blocks of marble still fit almost as closely to one another as when they were first laid; though, indeed, there are crevices just large enough for plants to root themselves, and flaunt and trail over the face of this great tomb; only a little verdure, however, over a vast space of marble, still white in spots, but pervadingly turned gray by two thousand years' action of the atmosphere. Thence I came home by the Caelian, and sat down on an ancient flight of steps under one of the arches of the Coliseum, into which the sunshine fell sidelong. It was a delightful afternoon, not precisely like any weather that I have known elsewhere; certainly never in America, where it is always too cold or too hot. It, resembles summer more than anything which we New-Englanders recognize in our idea of spring, but there was an indescribable something, sweet, fresh, gentle, that does not belong to summer, and that thrilled and tickled my heart with a feeling partly sensuous, partly spiritual.

I go to the Bank and read Galignani and the American newspapers; thence I stroll to the Pincian or to the Medici Gardens; I see a good deal of General Pierce, and we talk over his Presidential life, which, I now really think, he has no latent desire nor purpose to renew. Yet he seems to have enjoyed it while it lasted, and certainly he was in his element as an administrative man; not far-seeing, not possessed of vast stores of political wisdom in advance of his occasions, but endowed with a miraculous intuition of what ought to be done just at the time for action. His judgment of things about him is wonderful, and his Cabinet recognized it as such; for though they were men of great ability, he was evidently the master-mind among them. None of them were particularly his personal friends when he selected them; they all loved him when they parted; and he showed me a letter, signed by all, in which they expressed their feelings of respect and attachment at the close of his administration. There was a noble frankness on his part, that kept the atmosphere always clear among them, and in reference to this characteristic Governor Marcy told him that the years during which he had been connected with his Cabinet had been the happiest of his life. Speaking of Caleb Cushing, he told me that the unreliability, the fickleness, which is usually attributed to him, is an actual characteristic, but that it is intellectual, not moral. He has such comprehensiveness, such mental variety and activity, that, if left to himself, he cannot keep fast hold of one view of things, and so cannot, without external help, be a consistent man. He needs the influence of a more single and stable judgment to keep him from divergency, and, on this condition, he is a most inestimable coadjutor. As regards learning and ability, he has no superior.

Pierce spoke the other day of the idea among some of his friends that his life had been planned, from a very early period, with a view to the station which he ultimately reached. He smiled at the notion, said that it was inconsistent with his natural character, and that it implied foresight and dexterity beyond what any mortal is endowed with. I think so too; but nevertheless, I was long and long ago aware that he cherished a very high ambition, and that, though he might not anticipate the highest things, he cared very little about inferior objects. Then as to plans, I do not think that he had any definite ones; but there was in him a subtle faculty, a real instinct, that taught him what was good for him, - that is to say, promotive of his political success, - and made him inevitably do it. He had a magic touch, that arranged matters with a delicate potency, which he himself hardly recognized; and he wrought through other minds so that neither he nor they always knew when and how far they were under his influence. Before his nomination for the Presidency I had a sense that it was coming, and it never seemed to me an accident. He is a most singular character; so frank, so true, so immediate, so subtle, so simple, so complicated.

I passed by the tower in the Via Portoghese to-day, and observed that the nearest shop appears to be for the sale of cotton or linen cloth. . . . . The upper window of the tower was half open; of course, like all or almost all other Roman windows, it is divided vertically, and each half swings back on hinges. . . . .

Last week a fritter-establishment was opened in our piazza. It was a wooden booth erected in the open square, and covered with canvas painted red, which looked as if it had withstood much rain and sunshine. In front were three great boughs of laurel, not so much for shade, I think, as ornament. There were two men, and their apparatus for business was a sort of stove, or charcoal furnace, and a frying-pan to place over it; they had an armful or two of dry sticks, some flour, and I suppose oil, and this seemed to be all. It was Friday, and Lent besides, and possibly there was some other peculiar propriety in the consumption of fritters just then. At all events, their fire burned merrily from morning till night, and pretty late into the evening, and they had a fine run of custom; the commodity being simply dough, cut into squares or rhomboids, and thrown into the boiling oil, which quickly turned them to a light brown color. I sent J - - -to buy some, and, tasting one, it resembled an unspeakably bad doughnut, without any sweetening. In fact, it was sour, for the Romans like their bread, and all their preparations of flour, in a state of acetous fermentation, which serves them instead of salt or other condiment. This fritter-shop had grown up in a night, like Aladdin's palace, and vanished as suddenly; for after standing through Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, it was gone on Monday morning, and a charcoal-strewn place on the pavement where the furnace had been was the only memorial of it. It was curious to observe how immediately it became a lounging-place for idle people, who stood and talked all day with the fritter-friers, just as they might at any old shop in the basement, of a palace, or between the half-buried pillars of the Temple of Minerva, which had been familiar to them and their remote grandfathers.

April 14th. - Yesterday afternoon I drove with Mr. and Mrs. Story and Mr. Wilde to see a statue of Venus, which has just been discovered, outside of the Porta Portese, on the other side of the Tiber. A little distance beyond the gate we came to the entrance of a vineyard, with a wheel-track through the midst of it; and, following this, we soon came to a hillside, in which an excavation had been made with the purpose of building a grotto for keeping and storing wine. They had dug down into what seemed to be an ancient bathroom, or some structure of that kind, the excavation being square and cellar-like, and built round with old subterranean walls of brick and stone. Within this hollow space the statue had been found, and it was now standing against one of the walls, covered with a coarse cloth, or a canvas bag. This being removed, there appeared a headless marble figure, earth-stained, of course, and with a slightly corroded surface, but wonderfully delicate and beautiful, the shape, size, and attitude, apparently, of the Venus de' Medici, but, as we all thought, more beautiful than that. It is supposed to be the original, from which the Venus de' Medici was copied. Both arms were broken off, but the greater part of both, and nearly the whole of one hand, had been found, and these being adjusted to the figure, they took the well-known position before the bosom and the middle, as if the fragmentary woman retained her instinct of modesty to the last. There were the marks on the bosom and thigh where the fingers had touched; whereas in the Venus de' Medici, if I remember rightly, the fingers are sculptured quite free of the person. The man who showed the statue now lifted from a corner a round block of marble, which had been lying there among other fragments, and this he placed upon the shattered neck of the Venus; and behold, it was her head and face, perfect, all but the nose! Even in spite of this mutilation, it seemed immediately to light up and vivify the entire figure; and, whatever I may heretofore have written about the countenance of the Venus de' Medici, I here record my belief that that head has been wrongfully foisted upon the statue; at all events, it is unspeakably inferior to this newly discovered one. This face has a breadth and front which are strangely deficient in the other. The eyes are well opened, most unlike the buttonhole lids of the Venus de' Medici; the whole head is so much larger as to entirely obviate the criticism that has always been made on the diminutive head of the De' Medici statue. If it had but a nose! They ought to sift every handful of earth that has been thrown out of the excavation, for the nose and the missing hand and fingers must needs be there; and, if they were found, the effect would be like the reappearance of a divinity upon earth. Mutilated as we saw her, it was strangely interesting to be present at the moment, as it were, when she had just risen from her long burial, and was shedding the unquenchable lustre around her which no eye had seen for twenty or more centuries. The earth still clung about her; her beautiful lips were full of it, till Mr. Story took a thin chip of wood and cleared it away from between them.

The proprietor of the vineyard stood by; a man with the most purple face and hugest and reddest nose that I ever beheld in my life. It must have taken innumerable hogsheads of his thin vintage to empurple his face in this manner. He chuckled much over the statue, and, I suppose, counts upon making his fortune by it. He is now awaiting a bid from the Papal government, which, I believe, has the right of pre-emption whenever any relics of ancient art are discovered. If the statue could but be smuggled out of Italy, it might command almost any price. There is not, I think, any name of a sculptor on the pedestal, as on that of the Venus de' Medici. A dolphin is sculptured on the pillar against which she leans. The statue is of Greek marble. It was first found about eight days ago, but has been offered for inspection only a day or two, and already the visitors come in throngs, and the beggars gather about the entrance of the vineyard. A wine shop, too, seems to have been opened on the premises for the accommodation of this great concourse, and we saw a row of German artists sitting at a long table in the open air, each with a glass of thin wine and something to eat before him; for the Germans refresh nature ten times to other persons once.

How the whole world might be peopled with antique beauty if the Romans would only dig!

April 19th. - General Pierce leaves Rome this morning for Venice, by way of Ancona, and taking the steamer thence to Trieste. I had hoped to make the journey along with him; but U - - 's terrible illness has made it necessary for us to continue here another mouth, and we are thankful that this seems now to be the extent of our misfortune. Never having had any trouble before that pierced into my very vitals, I did not know what comfort there might be in the manly sympathy of a friend; but Pierce has undergone so great a sorrow of his own, and has so large and kindly a heart, and is so tender and so strong, that he really did the good, and I shall always love him the better for the recollection of his ministrations in these dark days. Thank God, the thing we dreaded did not come to pass.

Pierce is wonderfully little changed. Indeed, now that he has won and enjoyed - if there were any enjoyment in it - the highest success that public life could give him, he seems more like what he was in his early youth than at any subsequent period. He is evidently happier than I have ever known him since our college days; satisfied with what he has been, and with the position in the country that remains to him, after filling such an office. Amid all his former successes, - early as they came, and great as they were, - I always perceived that something gnawed within him, and kept him forever restless and miserable. Nothing he won was worth the winning, except as a step gained toward the summit. I cannot tell how early he began to look towards the Presidency; but I believe he would have died an unhappy man without it. And yet what infinite chances there seemed to be against his attaining it! When I look at it in one way, it strikes me as absolutely miraculous; in another, it came like an event that I had all along expected. It was due to his wonderful tact, which is of so subtle a character that he himself is but partially sensible of it.

I have found in him, here in Rome, the whole of my early friend, and even better than I used to know him; a heart as true and affectionate, a mind much widened and deepened by his experience of life. We hold just the same relation to each other as of yore, and we have passed all the turning-off places, and may hope to go on together still the same dear friends as long as we live. I do not love him one whit the less for having been President, nor for having done me the greatest good in his power; a fact that speaks eloquently in his favor, and perhaps says a little for myself. If he had been merely a benefactor, perhaps I might not have borne it so well; but each did his best for the other as friend for friend.

May 15th. - Yesterday afternoon we went to the Barberini picture-gallery to take a farewell look at the Beatrice Cenci, which I have twice visited before since our return from Florence. I attempted a description of it at my first visit, more than a year ago, but the picture is quite indescribable and unaccountable in its effect, for if you attempt to analyze it you can never succeed in getting at the secret of its fascination. Its peculiar expression eludes a straightforward glance, and can only be caught by side glimpses, or when the eye falls upon it casually, as it were, and without thinking to discover anything, as if the picture had a life and consciousness of its own, and were resolved not to betray its secret of grief or guilt, though it wears the full expression of it when it imagines itself unseen. I think no other such magical effect can ever have been wrought by pencil. I looked close into its eyes, with a determination to see all that there was in them, and could see nothing that might not have been in any young girl's eyes; and yet, a moment afterwards, there was the expression - seen aside, and vanishing in a moment - of a being unhumanized by some terrible fate, and gazing at me out of a remote and inaccessible region, where she was frightened to be alone, but where no sympathy could reach her. The mouth is beyond measure touching; the lips apart, looking as innocent as a baby's after it has been crying. The picture never can be copied. Guido himself could not have done it over again. The copyists get all sorts of expression, gay, as well as grievous; some copies have a coquettish air, a half-backward glance, thrown alluring at the spectator, but nobody ever did catch, or ever will, the vanishing charm of that sorrow. I hated to leave the picture, and yet was glad when I had taken my last glimpse, because it so perplexed and troubled me not to be able to get hold of its secret.

Thence we went to the Church of the Capuchins, and saw Guido's Archangel. I have been several times to this church, but never saw the picture before, though I am familiar with the mosaic copy at St. Peter's, and had supposed the latter to be an equivalent representation of the original. It is nearly or quite so as respects the general effect; but there is a beauty in the archangel's face that immeasurably surpasses the copy, - the expression of heavenly severity, and a degree of pain, trouble, or disgust, at being brought in contact with sin, even for the purpose of quelling and punishing it. There is something finical in the copy, which I do not find in the original. The sandalled feet are here those of an angel; in the mosaic they are those of a celestial coxcomb, treading daintily, as if he were afraid they would be soiled by the touch of Lucifer.

After looking at the Archangel we went down under the church, guided by a fleshy monk, and saw the famous cemetery, where the dead monks of many centuries back have been laid to sleep in sacred earth from Jerusalem. . . . .