Literature and National Policy.
New York: JOHN F. TROW, 50 GREENE STREET, (FOR THE PROPRIETORS.) 1863.
ENTERED, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1863, by JOHN F. TROW, In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the Southern District of New York.
JOHN F. TROW, PRINTER, STEREOTYPER, AND ELECTROTYPER, 48 & 50 Greene Street, New York.
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THE CONTINENTAL MONTHLY. DEVOTED TO Literature and National Policy.
NEW YORK: JOHN F. TROW 50 GREENE STREET (FOR THE PROPRIETORS).
HENRY DEXTER AND SINCLAIR TOUSEY. WASHINGTON, D. C.: FRANCK TAYLOR.
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Huguenots of New Rochelle. Hon. G. P. Disosway, 1
Maccaroni and Canvas. No. 10. Henry P. Leland, 7
Consequences of the Rebellion. Hon. F. P. Stanton, 26
"I;" or, Summer in the City, 40
The Ivy. Charles Godfrey Leland, 47
The Mishaps of Miss Hobbs. William L. Williams, 54
The Union. No. 4. New York and Virginia Compared, &c. Hon. Robert J. Walker, 68
Promise. Edward S. Rand, Jr., 78
American Destiny. John Stahl Patterson, 79
Was He Successful? Richard B. Kimball, 98
The Physical Survey of New York Harbor and its Approaches. Henry Mitchell, Assistant U. S. Coast Survey, 105
An Englishman in South Carolina. (Concluded), 110
Pen, Pallet, and Piano, 117
Literary Notices, 122
Editor's Table, 126
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The article in the present number entitled "American Destiny," will be found worthy of very attentive perusal. It is the production of a Private attached to the 20th Battery of Ohio Volunteer Artillery. What country but ours supplies such material to the ranks of its common soldiery?
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The continuation of "A Merchant's Story," by the author of "Among the Pines," is unavoidably delayed till the succeeding number.
Our February Number will contain a Review of our Finances and Mr. Chase's Report. By Hon. R. J. Walker.
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ENTERED, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1862, by JAMES R. GILMORE, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the Southern District of New York.
John F. Trow, Printer
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THE CONTINENTAL MONTHLY: DEVOTED TO LITERATURE AND NATIONAL POLICY.
VOL. III.-JANUARY, 1863.—No. I.
THE HUGUENOTS OF NEW ROCHELLE.
It is worthy of record that Westchester County, New York, was settled by emigrants from New England and France, and both seeking homes from religious persecutions. As early as 1642, John Throcmorton, with thirty-five associates, made the first settlement in this section, with the approbation of the Dutch authorities. With Roger Williams, driven away from New England by the violence of Hugh Peters, they came here, and called the region Viedeland or Land of Peace—a beautiful name for the region of those seeking rest of conscience from wicked and violent men. But even here the Puritan did not find the desired quiet and safety; for several of his band perished in the Indian massacre that sorely visited New Netherland on the 6th of October, 1643.
The next settlement of Westchester was commenced in the year 1654, also by some Puritans from Connecticut, who adopted its present name, and the Rev. Ezekiel Fogge was their first 'independent minister;' and in 1684 a Mr. Warham Mather was called 'for one whole year, and that he shall have sixty pounds, in country produce, at money price, for his salary, and that he shall be paid every quarter.' Governor Fletcher, however, declined inducting the Presbyterian into that living, 'as it was altogether impossible,' he said, 'it being wholly repugnant to the laws of England to compel the subject to pay for the maintenance of any minister who was not of the national Church.' The Episcopal Governor, however, proposes 'a medium in that matter.' Some French emigrants had already found their way to this region, and M. Boudet, a French Protestant minister of Boston, who was in orders from the Bishop of London, could preach in French and English, and the people called him to the living, the parish being large enough for two clergymen. M. Boudet was accordingly sent for, hoping, as the English Governor writes, 'to bring the congregation over to the Church;' but, 'when he came, they refused to call him.' The Yankee Puritans were evidently not to be outmanaged by the English churchman. Westchester then numbered 'two or three hundred English and Dissenters; a few Dutch.'
On the 20th September, 1689, Jacob Leisler, of New York, purchased of Mr. Pell 6,000 acres of land in Westchester, a portion of the manor of Pelham, obtained from the Indians in 1640-'49. The grantor, heirs, and assigns, as an acknowledgment, were to pay Mr. Pell 'one fatted calf on every fourth and twentieth day of June, yearly, and every year, forever, if demanded.' It is a well known fact that every Huguenot, on the festival of St. John, pays his proportion toward the purchase of the fat calf whenever claimed.
During the year 1690, Leisler leased to the banished Huguenots these lands, purchased for them, as they came directly here from England, and were a portion of the 50,000 who found safety in that glorious Protestant kingdom four years before the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. At the revocation itself, not less than half a million escaped from bigoted France to Holland, Germany, and England; and to those in the latter country, Charles II., then on the British throne, granted letters of denization under the great seal, and Parliament relieved them from 'importation duties and passport fees.' During this same year, many, flying from France, were aided in their escape by English vessels off the island of Rhe, opposite brave La Rochelle. According to tradition, some of these were transported to this region, naming their new settlement in honor of their
'Own Rochelle, the fair Rochelle, Proud city of the waters.'
In the Documentary History of New York, vol. iii., p. 926, we find a petition to Colonel Fletcher, Governor of the colony, signed by Thanet, and Elei Cothouneau, in behalf of above twenty of these French refugees. 'Your petitioners,' they state, 'having been forced, by the late persecutions in France, to forsake their country and estates, and flye to ye Protestant princes * * *, wherefore they were invited to come and buy lands in this province, and they might by their labour help the necessityes of their families, and did spend all their small store with the aid of their friends, whereof they did borrow great sums of money [MS. torn]. They had lost their country and their estates, but saved their good principles and a pure faith; and, in a strange land, petitioned his Excellency 'to take their case in serious consideration, and out of charity and pity to grant them for some years what help and privileges your Excellency shall think convenient.' This is one of the earliest authentic records (1681) we have met with concerning the New Rochelle French refugees.
Pell, the lord of the manor, besides the 6,000 acres already obtained, also granted 100 additional, 'for the sake of the French church, erected or about to be erected, by the inhabitants of the said tract of land.' This Huguenot church in New Rochelle was built about 1692-'93, of wood, and stood in the rear of the present mansion house. It was destroyed soon after the Revolutionary war. Louis Bougeaud, about the same time, donated a piece of land forty paces square, for a churchyard to bury their dead; and, subsequently, a house with three acres of land was given by the town to the Huguenot church forever.
The Rev. DAVID BOUREPOS was the first minister of the New Rochelle Huguenots; he had likewise served his French brethren on Staten Island. The Governor requesting him to nominate 'some persons for the vacant offices of justices of the peace,' he replies that 'he could not comply, as none of his colonists at New Rochelle had a knowledge of the English tongue.' Nothing now is known of Bourepos' ministry or history. From his title of D.D., he must have been a man of learning; and we can learn something about the time when he died from the date of his will. 'Letters of administration were granted to Martha Bourepos, wife of David Bourepos, 25th of October, 1711' (New York Surrogates' Office). He probably resigned his pastoral charge in 1694.
Rev. DANIEL BOUDET, A. M., was the next minister of the French Protestant church at New Rochelle, a native of France; and he accompanied the French refugees, who reached Boston in the summer of 1686. About the year 1695, M. Boudet came to New Rochelle, and at first used the French prayers, according to the Protestant churches of France, and subsequently, every third Sunday, the Liturgy of the English Church. In 1709 the French church at New Rochelle determined to follow the example of some of their Reformed brethren in England, and conform to the English Church. All the members except two agreed to adopt the Liturgy and Rites of the Church of England, as established by law. Some thirty names appear on the document, requesting this important ecclesiastical change; and for the information especially of the genealogical reader, we note some of them: Michael Houdin, Jacob Bleecker, David Lispenard, Isaac Guion, Peter Bertain, John Soulice, Paul Lecord, Jean Abby, Jos. Antuny, Peter Bonnet, Peter Parquot, Benj. Seacord, Judith Leconet, Allida Guion, Josiah Le Conte, Elizabeth Lispenard, Moses de St. Croix, Deborah Foulon, Marie Neufville, Mary Stouppe, Jean Nicolle, John Bryan, Oliver Besley, Frederick King, Susanna Landrin, Anne Danielson, Rutger Bleecker, Mary Rodman, Agnes Donaldson, Esther Angeoine, Thomas Steel, Jane Contine, Jane Maraux, James Pine. 'The petitioners are members of the French Church at New Rochelle' (1793), and 'principally descendants from French Protestants, who fled from the religious persecutions in France, in the year one thousand six hundred and eighty-one.' Their fathers settled at New Rochelle, 1689, nearly a century before the date of this document. Few lists of family names are more imposing than this; and to this day, their descendants in Westchester County, increased to thousands, rank with our most useful and respectable citizens in wealth, good works, and piety. We are no great sticklers for genealogical trees or Doomsday Books, yet we believe in pride of family to a proper extent. There was a time once, in this republican land of ours, when many gloried in ignoring the fact that they came from distinguished stocks, as the spirit of our democratic institutions opposed the notion of family histories. We were all born of an honest, industrious race, for several generations back, and that is enough; and so it may be. Still, a man, when asked if he had a grandfather, would logically infer he had one, but he could not historically, unless there was some record of the fact. This indifference is happily passing way, and an interest of late is manifesting itself in such researches. No American, in whose veins runs Huguenot blood, need be ashamed of his origin. His ancestral history is most honorable, brave, and proud.
In 1705, Colonel Heathcote thus speaks of M. Boudet, the Huguenot preacher at New Rochelle: 'A good man, and preaches very intelligibly in English, which he does every third Sunday in his French congregation, when he uses the Liturgy of the Church. He has done a great deal of service since his first coming into this country. * * * He has thirty pounds a year settled on him out of the public revenue here, as the French minister in York hath; but that is paid with so much uncertainty that he starves, for the use of it.' During the year 1710, Governor Hunter permitted his congregation to build a new church of England, as by law established, and the 'Venerable Propagation Society' presented the new church with 'one hundred French prayer books of the small sort, and twenty of a larger impression; and in consideration of the great learning and piety of Monsieur Boudet, and his long and faithful discharge of his office, they augmented his salary from L30 to L50 per annum.' At this period we find the following excellent record of this excellent French minister: 'M. Boudet is a good old man, near sixty years of age, sober, just, and religious.' One hundred more French prayer books were sent to his church, 'for the edification of the French youth who have learned so much of that language as to join with him therein.' During the year 1714, M. Boudet took the spiritual charge of the Mohegan or River Indians, at which period he is called 'minister of the French colonistic congregation at New Rochelle.' In 1714 he reports fifty communicants in his church, and asks for an English Bible, with a small quantity of English Common Prayers, because 'our young people, or some of them, have sufficiently learned to read English for to join in the public service, when read in English.'
M. Boudet died in September, 1722, aged sixty-nine years, nearly twenty-seven of which he had been the minister of the New Rochelle church. He was eminently useful in keeping his congregation together amidst its adverse circumstances, and was greatly beloved. He was interred beneath the chancel floor of the old church; and for whose use he bequeathed his library.
The Rev. PIERRE STOUPPE, A. M., succeeded M. Boudet. He was also a native of France, and said to be a son or nearly related to the Rev. M. Stouppe, pastor of the French Protestant church in London, who was sent to Geneva, in 1654, by Oliver Cromwell, to negotiate there in the affairs of the French Protestants. He was born 1690, studied divinity at Geneva, and accepted a call to the Huguenot church at Charleston, S. C. Here he continued to preach until 1723, when, resigning the charge, he conformed to the Church of England, crossing the Atlantic for ordination. He was admitted to holy orders in 1723, and licensed to officiate as a missionary in the colony of New York, and to the French Protestants of New Rochelle, with a salary of L50 per annum. To this latter flock he proved very acceptable, from his ability to preach in French, the only language which most of them understood. His elders, or anciens, as sometimes called, were then Isaac Quantein and Isaac Guion. The new Huguenot pastor soon found trouble, as his predecessor had, with the dissatisfied M. Moulinais and his followers. Still he was useful: in 1726 he writes that he 'baptized six grown negroes and seven negro children, fitted eight young people for the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, to which they have been accordingly admitted,' and 'the number of communicants at Easter was thirty-three.'
In a letter of December 11, 1727, he presents some important information concerning the early settlement of New Rochelle: 'The present number of inhabitants amounts to very near four hundred persons. There is a dozen of houses near the church, standing pretty close to one another, which makes the place a sort of a town; the remainder of the houses and settlements are dispersed up and down, as far as the above 6,000 acres of land could bear. Nay, besides these, there were several other French families, members of New Rochelle, settled without its bounds.' Such was the commencement of the present picturesque and beautiful village of New Rochelle. More than a century and a half has passed away since its founders, the French refugees, emigrated to the spot; but their noble and holy principles have left good, undying influences, now seen in the refinement, morals, and religion of their descendants, in this entire region.
M. Stouppe further states that there were in the settlement two Quaker families, three Dutch ones, four Lutherans. 'The first never assist on assemblies; the Dutch and Lutheran, on the contrary, constantly assist when divine service is performed in English, so that they may understand it; and their children, likewise, have all been baptized by ministers of the church. Only the French Dissenters have deserted it, upon M. Moulinais, formerly one of the French ministers of New York, coming and settling, now a year ago, among us; and it is also by his means and inducement that they have built a wooden meeting-house within the time they were unprovided for, that is, from my predecessor's death to my arrival here. * * *
'There is no schoolmaster as yet in New Rochelle: the parents take care to instruct their own children, and that they do generally pretty well, besides what instructions are given them in the church during summer by the minister. * * * The number of slaves within New Rochelle is seventy-eight: part of them constantly attend divine service, and have had some instruction in the Christian faith by the care and assistance of their respective masters and mistresses, so that my predecessor did not scruple to baptize some, and even admit them to the communion of the Lord's Supper; and I myself have, for the same consideration, baptized fifteen of them within these three years, some children and some grown persons, without the least prejudice to the rest of my flock.' It would be well, in our boasted day of zeal and philanthropy, if all ministers of the blessed gospel manifested the same commendable interest for the spiritual welfare of the negroes, as this Huguenot pastor.
About the period of the French war, he writes, June 5, 1758, 'that since the war broke out, there have been great alterations in his congregations, which have lost many of their members by removals, and by enlisting in the king's service, and by death; nevertheless, the number of his communicants is seventy-four, and he has baptized, within the present half year, fifteen white and five black children.'
The ministry of this faithful Huguenot terminated on the earth, by his death in July, 1760. His biographer esteemed him a 'simple-minded, conscientious man, who for thirty-seven years continued faithfully to discharge the duties of his mission.' His communicants had increased from thirty-eight to eighty, and he was greatly beloved by his congregation. His remains were interred under the chancel of the old French church at New Rochelle, where so long he had watched over the little flock of his Master. M. Stouppe was succeeded by the
Rev. MICHAEL HOUDIN, A.M. He was born in France, 1705, educated a Franciscan friar, and, on Easter day, 1730, ordained a priest by the Archbishop of Treves, and subsequently preferred to the post of superior in the convent of the Recollects at Montreal. But, disgusted with monastic life, M. Houdin, at the commencement of the French war, left Canada and retired to the city of New York. Here, on Easter day, 1747, he made a public renunciation of Popery, and joined the Church of England. Attaining great proficiency in the English language, in June, 1750, he was invited by the people of Trenton, N.J., to officiate as a missionary in that State.
When he first reached New York with his wife, in June, 1744, Governor Clinton, suspicious of all Frenchmen at that moment, confined them to their lodgings, guarded by two sentinels. The following day he was examined by his Excellency, and learned that 'the French intended to attack Oswego with eight hundred men, the French having a great desire of being masters of that place.' Then M. Houdin was ordered to reside at Jamaica, Long Island, where he complained that his circumstances were 'very low,' and 'can do nothing to get a living;' that 'his wife and himself must soon come to want, unless his Excellency will be pleased to take him into consideration.' After this appeal, the authorities advised his return to the city, on his taking the oath of allegiance.
For some years, M. Houdin officiated at Trenton and the neighboring places as an 'itinerant missionary;' and in 1759 his services were required, as a guide, for General Wolfe, in his well-known expedition against Quebec. Before marching, he preached to the Provincial troops destined for Canada, in St. Peter's church, Westchester, from St. Matthew, ch. x. 28: 'Fear not them which kill the body.' And the French chaplain escaped the dangers of the war; but his brave General, at the very moment of victory, fell mortally wounded, on the Heights of Abraham, September 13, 1759. After the reduction of Quebec, he asked leave to join his mission again; but General Murray would not consent, as there was no other person who could be depended on for intelligence of the French movements. While M. Houdin was stationed at Quebec, an attempt was made by the Vicar-General of all Canada to seduce him from English allegiance, with an offer of great preferment in the Romish Church. This pressing invitation found its way into the hands of Generals Murray and Gage, when they sent a guard to arrest the Vicar-General.
M. Houdin, returning to New York, in 1761, was appointed 'itinerant missionary' to New Rochelle, by the 'Venerable Society' of England, 'he being a Frenchman by birth, and capable of doing his duty to them, both in the French and English languages.' During his incumbency, Trinity church, New Rochelle, received its first charter from George III., which the present corporation still enjoys with all its trusts and powers. It is dated in 1762, and was exemplified by his Excellency George Clinton in 1793. In 1763 he writes, complaining that the Calvinists used unlawful methods to obtain possession of the church glebe. These were the few old French Protestant families who had not conformed to the Church of England; and Houdin says of them: 'Seeing the Calvinists will not agree upon any terms of peace proposed to them by our church, * * * we are in hopes the strong bleeding of their purse will bring them to an agreement after New York court.'
The French Protestant preacher continued his pious labors at New Rochelle until October, 1766, when he departed this life. He was a man of considerable learning, irreproachable character, and esteemed a worthy Christian missionary. His remains, which were the last of the Huguenot pastors, were interred beneath the chancel of the old French church at New Rochelle, and by the side of his predecessors, Boudet and Stouppe. Since the removal of this sacred edifice, the ashes of these earliest Protestant French missionaries to our land repose beneath the public highway, and not a stone tells where they lie, or commemorates their usefulness, excellences, or piety. Their silent graves ought not thus to remain neglected and unhonored: some monumental record should mark the spot where these early Huguenot preachers in America were entombed.
Boudet, Stouppe, and Houdin were the last of the Huguenot preachers in our land of whose histories we can find anything, and as they never can be fully written, we have made a more full record of these fragments concerning their memories, than otherwise would have been written. Especially let the children of the French Protestants in Westchester venerate these men, who were consecrated to sacred offices in the days of their pious ancestors, and, like Moses, led them from oppression and bondage to the land of Canaan in this Western World.
We might mention many who deserve the honor, among the descendants of the New Rochelle Huguenots; but the name of one will suit our purpose—JOHN JAY. He was born in New York, from a family originally of La Guienne, France; and he was sent, by his fellow citizens to the General Congress which assembled at the commencement of the conflict between the colonies and England. In 1774 he signed the act of association to suspend the importation of British merchandise; in 1779 he was honored with the presidency of Congress. At the expiration of this important post, Mr. Jay was commissioned to represent his country at the court of Louis XVI., and he was one of the four commissioners who signed, on the 30th November, 1782, the treaty of Versailles, by which Great Britain recognized our NATIONAL INDEPENDENCE. A Huguenot, ELIAS BOUDINOT, was the first president of the great national institution, the American Bible Society; and at his death, bequeathed to it a noble benefaction. The French Protestants were always ardent lovers of the BIBLE, and John Jay succeeded Mr. Boudinot in his important office of president to that noble institution. 'No one in America,' says the eminent Dr. Baird, 'need blush at having one of these respectable Huguenots among his ancestors;' and Bancroft, the historian of our land, recognizes in them that moral elevation of which they gave so many proofs in every country where they settled; and he adds: 'The children of the French Calvinists have certainly good reason to hold the memory of their fathers in great honor.' (Vol. ii, p. 183.) So think we.
MACCARONI AND CANVAS.
A WALK AROUND SEGNI.
There are three quiet old places on the Continent that Caper always remembers with solemn pleasure—Breda in Holland, Segni in Italy, Neufchatel in Switzerland. He reposed in Breda, rested in Segni, was severely tranquil in Neufchatel: the real charm of travelling is best appreciated when one is able to pause in one's headlong career in some such place and meditate over it. Caper paused for many months at Segni.
SEGNI, or Signia, a Latium city of the Volscians, was, after its colonization by the Romans, always faithful to the Republic. Strabo, Pliny, Plautus, Martial, Juvenal, Silius, Italicus, Dionysius Halicarnassus, and Livy, all make mention, in one way or another, of this city. Little is known of its history, from the fact that it was burned to the ground by the order of the Duke of Alva, viceroy of Naples, on the 14th of August, 1557; and in the fire all records of the city were destroyed. Its polygonal or Cyclopean walls, of Pelasgic origin, still remain in many parts as perfect as they ever were: consisting of gigantic blocks of hewn limestone, they are fitted one into another with admirable precision; no mortar was used in laying them, and there they stand, these well-named Cyclopean walls, for some of the stones are 12 feet long by 5 feet wide, firmly as if centuries on centuries had not sent a myriad of storms to try their strength. There are several gates in these walls, noted among which is one called the Saracen's Gate; it is known in architecture from its indicating by its form one of the first attempts toward the pointed arch.
In walking through the town, you find here and there bits of middle-age architecture, which have escaped ruin; here a door, there a window, of graceful design, built around with the rough masonwork for which Segni is noted in later days; but the greater number of the houses are constructed in the rudest manner, indicating the poverty and ignorance of the majority of the inhabitants. It is, however, a decent poverty, for, to the credit of the town be it spoken, there was not, when Caper was there, a professional beggar, excepting the friars, in or around it.
Taking the first street—if a rough road winding around the top of the mountain, and but four or five feet wide, may be called so—Caper saw at the doors of the houses, standing chatting to each other, many old women, their white hair flying in every direction, who, as they talked, knitted stockings; or, with distaff in hand, twirled the spindle, making flax into thread for spinning, or wool into woof and web for weaving. Hearing a shuttle, he looked in at an open door, and found a young girl busily weaving a heavy blue cloth at a queer old loom; not far from her, an elderly woman was weaving flax thread into coarse, heavy linen goods. Passing along, he heard the whir of millstones, and, entering a house, saw a girl working one of the handmills of the country; on a stand, where there was a stone basin, the girl turned in the wheat; another stone, fitting exactly in the basin, was attached to the ceiling by a long pole; catching hold of this, she gave the stone a rotary motion, grinding the wheat very fairly.
Suddenly Caper saw in the back part of the room a woman, holding what seemed a large, red-headed caterpillar, without any fuzz on it; she was evidently nourishing it in the way represented in that famous painting 'The Roman Daughter,' thus proving that it was a baby. Its resemblance to the caterpillar arose from the way it was swathed: around all the Segnian infants they wind a strip of knit or woven cloth, about eight feet long and four inches wide, fairly mummifying them; then, to crown the work, they put on their little bullet heads, a scarlet cap with brilliant flowers and ribbons, making the poor babies resemble anything but Christian productions. In a neighboring town they hang their babies up in a wicker basket, resembling the birch-bark contrivances for our Indian papooses.
Continuing his walk, our artist next came to where they were building a house; and its future occupant, who was a man of some enterprise and action, told Caper, with a long face, that he almost despaired of seeing it completed: the harvest came, and almost every workman went off to the wheat fields, leaving the house unfinished until they were ready to recommence work on it, well knowing that there were no other ones in the town able to do their labor; however, those who mixed mortar, carried tiles, and stone, and plaster, were hard at work. These laborers were girls of from twelve to sixteen years old, and one or two of them, spite of dirt and hard labor, were really handsome, with bright, intelligent countenances. They earned one paul (ten cents) each a day, and seemed contented and happy, joking with each other and laughing heartily nearly all the time. Probably our Chippewa Indians would think twice before they set the young women of their tribe to hod-carrying as a livelihood; but then the Chippewas are savages. The hods carried by these girls on their heads were flat, wooden trays, square at each end: once poised on the head, they balanced themselves, and were carried around without a fall. This carrying on the head, by the women, from an eight-gallon barrel of wine down to a sickle or pocket handkerchief, helps to give them their straight forms and fine carriage of head, neck, and shoulders.
Napoleon the First, in breaking down most of the feudal customs of the Papal States, should be regarded by the poor inhabitants as one of their greatest benefactors; still, many a remnant of the middle ages remains firmly marked in the habits of the country people. Even now the inhabitants of the Campagna live, not in isolated houses, but in small towns built around the once protecting castle or powerful monastery, where, in times past, they fled, when attacked in the fields by the followers of some house inimical to the one under whose protection they lived. Follow the entire Campagna, from Rome to Naples, by way of Frosinone, and you will see the ruins of watch towers, built to warn the workmen in the fields of the approaching enemy. Thus, in Segni, although the fields cultured by the inhabitants, lay miles away at the foot of the mountain, yet every day seven eighths of the 5,000 inhabitants walked from four to six miles or more down the mountains to the scene of their daily labors, returning the same distance at sunset. Often and often Caper saw the mother, unable to leave the infant at home, carry it in a basket on her head to the far-away fields, bringing it back at night with the additional burden of corn shelled or wheat garnered in the field. Trotting along gayly at her side, you may be sure, was the ever-present black pig, with a long string wound around his body, by which he is attached to some tree or stone as soon as he reaches the fields, and thus prevented from rooting where he should not root. The day's labor of his mistress finished, she unties him, wraps the string around his body, and he follows her up to the town with the docility of a well-trained dog.
It is the women, too, who daily walk four or five miles up the mountain for their supply of firewood. Arriving at the forest of the commune, they collect split wood and fagots, tying them into round bundles, a yard long, and two or three feet in diameter, and return to Segni, carrying this small woodpile all the way on their heads. It is the women, too, who bring water from the fountains for their household use, in A copper vessels (conche) holding from two to three gallons: these are placed on the head, and carried self-balancing sometimes for long distances. At a fair held at Frosinone, Caper once saw several women, each one carrying on her head two of these conche filled with water, one balanced on the other; and this for half a mile up a steep road, from the fountain at the foot of the mountain, to the town above.
The women, too, do their fair share of harvesting; they cut the wheat with sickles; then, after it is cut, separate the grains from the stalk by rubbing a handful of stalks with a small piece of wood in which a series of iron rings are placed, making a rude rasp; collecting the grains, they then carry them from the fields, sifting them at their leisure in a large round sieve, suspended from a triangle of long poles; then, on a breezy day, you may see them standing over a large cloth, holding a double handful of wheat high above their heads, and letting it fall: the wind blows away the chaff, and the clean grain falls on the outspread cloth.
In the autumn, when the men are employed in the vintage, comes the chestnut season; and then the women, who are not busy in the vineyard, and who regard it as a frolic, go for miles up in the mountains, collecting the nuts, large as our horse chestnuts. They form no small part of the winter stock of food for the mountaineers, while the refuse nuts are used to fatten the pet pig. We can have but small conception of the primeval look these chestnut woods wear, the trees growing to an enormous size, many a one being ten to twelve feet in diameter. The weather is glorious during this season: clear, bright, and buoyantly refreshing, blow the autumn winds; and as Caper, day after day, wandered among the old trees, now helping an old woman to fill a sack with the brown nuts, now clubbing the chestnuts from the trees for a young girl, he, too, voted chestnut gathering a rare good time. Far off, and now near, the girls were singing their quaint wild songs. Thus heard, the rondinella sounds well: it is of the woods and deserts; strange, barbaric, oriental, bacchantic, what you please, save dawdling drawing-room and piano-ic.
To resume the walk around the town: Caper, after leaving the man who was employing the sylphide hod-carriers, called in at the shop were cigars were sold, and outside of which was a tin sign, on which was painted the papal coat-of-arms, and the usual words, indicating that the government monopolies, salt and tobacco, were for sale. Having bought some cigars, he entered into conversation with the man who kept the store. He learned, what he already knew, that everything in the town was done by hand, weaving, spinning, thrashing, grinding wheat and corn, &c.
'Do you know,' said Caper, 'that in some countries all these labors are done by steam?'
It is dangerous to tell great truths; and after our artist had spoken, he saw, by the expression of the man's face, that he had placed himself in danger; but suddenly the cigar-seller's face was illuminated with intelligence, as he exclaimed:
'Oh, you mean that infernal thing that goes boo-hoo-hoo? I saw it when I was in Rome, last week: it's going to drag cars to Civita Vecchia on the iron road.'
'That's it,' answered Caper, greatly relieved.
'Benissimo! we never had anything of the kind; and what is more, WE DON'T WANT ONE!'
Caper walked out, determined to write to New York, and beg some of the good people there to save a few missionaries from death among the Fejees, and send them to Segni, where there was a wide field open for the dissemination of knowledge.
Passing along, he next came to the small square in front of the church, where once every week a market was held: here he found a man, who had just arrived with fresh fish from Terracina—the Terracina of the opera of 'Fra Diavolo.' Among the small fish, sardines, &c., which were brought to town that day, in time for Friday's dinner, when every one kept vigilia, was one large fish, which our artist determined to buy and present to his landlord at the inn. He asked its price.
'That fish,' said the fishman, 'is for the dinner of the Illustrissimo and Reverendissimo Monsignore the Bishop; and if you were to turn every scale in its body into baioccho, and give them all to me, you couldn't have it.'
Caper was sorely tempted to turn the scales in his own favor, for he knew, if he were to pay well, he could bear off the fish triumphantly, spite of the seller's declaration; but a thought of the sore affliction he would bring into the mind of the fat old gentleman in purple, with a gold chain around his neck, who rejoiced in the name of bishop, deterred him from his heretical proceeding, and he walked away in deep meditation.
The patron saint of Segni is San Bruno; and, to do him honor, every other male baby born in the town is called Bruno; so our artist, in his walks around town, heard this name howled, cried, screamed, shrieked, called, and appealed to, on an average once in five minutes, through the hours when the male inhabitants were about and awake. This similarity in names was, by no means, accompanied by similarity in appearance, for there were more light-haired and blue-eyed men by this name in the place than any one, having the popular idea of what an Italian looks like, would believe could be found in a town of the same size in America. Trying to account for the Norse look of many of the Segnians, and the Oriental look of many others, Caper climbed up to the top of the mountain above the town, and seating himself in the shadow of the old Cyclopean wall, looked down the mountain side to the broad valley below him.
'As all roads lead to Rome,'soliloquized he, 'it's no wonder that those two famous old ways down there in the valley, the Via Trajana and the Via Latina, should have once been passed over by white-haired, blue-eyed Goths, and, seeing the old town perched up here, they should have climbed up, having strong legs. Once here, they put all the men to the sword, made love to the girls, plundered all that was plunderable; drank up all the liquor, Sambuca, Rosoglio, 'Rhum di Giamaica,' and Acqua viva, they could put their paws on; then, having a call further on, left the girls, small babes, and other impedimenta (baggage!), rushing onto Rome to settle accounts with their bankers there, like hon-o-rable men. So you find many flaxen-haired, sky-eyed people up here, and they are rough and bold and independent.
Years and years after them, clambering over the mountains from the seacoast, came the Saracens—oh, you were the boys!—and they, being a refined and elegantly educated circle, compared with the Goths, of course did the same amount of slaughtering and love-making, only more refinedly and elegantly; cutting off heads instead of knocking them in; and with the gold spoons and other instruments that they found in the church, instead of making sword hilts and helmets, they at once worked them into graceful, crescent-shaped earrings, and curious rings, chains, and brooches, giving them to the girls and winning their hearts in the old-fashioned style. The girls, for their part, declared to each other that when these odious Moors went away, they would give all the earrings and brooches back to the church. But they forgot to; which accounts for their wearing them, or those of similar pattern, to this day.
The gentle Saracens, moreover, wishing to introduce their own school of music, taught the girls to sing; proof of which is the horrible songs the contadini still have, resembling in no wise pious Christian hymns, but rather a cross between a growl to Odin and a yell to Allah! A growl to Odin, for the girls could not forget the Goths, albeit they only knew them through reports of their foremothers.
Then the Saracens turned their attention to crockery ware, pots, pans, and water jars; forming like fruits and flowers the yielding clay, and establishing models that are every hour to be seen around one in this old nest. Clothes, too, they thought, should be made as they saw 'fit;' and, accordingly, head-dresses and dresses, under garments, &c., a la Saracenesca, were all the rage; and as the colors were in no wise sombre or melancholy to behold, the girls took kindly to them, and, slightly modified, wear them still. When you see the pane, the white cloth worn on the women's heads, remember it was once an Oriental yashmak, falling around and concealing the face of the Italian lady love of a Saracen; but when the Saracens departed, they rolled up the veil and disclosed to delighted Christians the features of Rita or Maria, who figured for a time as Zoe or Fatima.
With their religion, the Saracens were not so successful—they could not make it popular; so they waived this point, contented with having set the fashions, and introduced their own style of music, crockery, and jewelry.
Thus reflecting, Caper stopped short, regarded his watch, found it was near dinner time—the pastoral hour of noon-day—and then turned to walk down to the inn. On his way he passed a store having French calicoes in the window, and mourned in his heart to think how short a time it would be before these became popular, and the homemade picturesque dresses of the female Segnians would be discarded. The time, too, was fast coming—with the railroad from Rome to Naples—when travellers will overrun these mountain towns, and the price of board shoot up from forty cents to a dollar or two: then the inhabitants will learn geography and become mercenary, and will learn arithmetic and blaspheme (in their way) at forestieri Inglese, Americani, Francese, or Tedeschi, and cheat them. Then the peace of the Volscians will have departed, never, oh, never more to return.
Then the women will wear—bonnets! and cheap French goods; will no longer look like moving woodyards, bringing fagots on their heads down mountain sides; no longer bear aloft the graceful conche filled with sweet water from the fountain, for hydraulic rams will do their business; no longer lead the sportive pig to pastures new, but pen him up, and feed him when the neighbors are not looking on! These days will sorely try the men: now they labor in the fields in shirts and drawers, never thinking of putting on their pantaloons until they return to the very gates of the town, where, at sunset, you may see them, ten or twelve deep, thus employed before entering the city; but in the future they will have to observe les convenances and make their toilette in the fields. This they will do with great grumbling, returning homeward, and they will sing rondinelle bearing severely on the forestieri who have ruined the good old pod-augur days when they made vendetta without trouble: thus reflecting, the donkeys they ride, while their wives walk and carry a load, will receive many virulent punches intended for other objects.
'Signor Giacomo, dinner is served,' said the landlord, as Caper entered the old inn.
Cool wine, roast lamb, wild pigeons, crisp salad, with a broiled partridge; great bunches of luscious grapes, figs freshly picked, and maccaroni a la Milanese. Such was our artist's dinner that day. Patriarchally simple of a necessity; but, then, what can you expect in a town where the British Lion has never yet growled for a bushel of raw beef when he is fed, or swore at the landlord for not having a pint of hay boiled in hot water (tea?) for breakfast, when he is nervous?
FIVE FAIRS AND FESTIVALS.
Do not believe, in spite of all you hear about the benighted Papal States, that the people spend their holidays groaning and begging to depart from this vale of tears: on the contrary, the ignorant wretches believe in enjoying every moment of life; and, to judge by the Segnians, who are by no means dyspeptical, they do so with all their might. They know, if they fall sick, good Doctor Matteucci attends them carefully and well, without any charge, for he receives a salary from the commune. They know, if they have good health and do their work, they will be rewarded every now and then with a holiday, in which religion is so tempered with lottery tickets, wine drinking, fireworks, horse races, and trading, that, shorn lambs as they are, paying to the church three cents for every twenty-five pounds of corn they may grind, and as large a portion of their crops for the rent of the lands they till, they still have jolly good times at the fairs and festivals in their own and neighboring towns.
Every town has its patron saint, and it is in honor of his day that they hold one grand festival each year. To accommodate temporal affairs, a fair is also held on the same day, so that the country people of the neighborhood may purchase not only the necessaries, but the simple luxuries they need or long for.
Besides the only principal festival and fair in Segni to San Bruno, already described, they had three minor celebrations of minor saints, substitutes, as Rocjean declared, for Pomona, Bacchus, and Ceres: certainly, the saints' days fell very curiously about the same time their predecessors were worshipped.
It is, however, of five festivals and fairs held in five neighboring towns, that the present chapter treats; so let the drums beat while our three artists proceed to enjoy on paper the days they celebrated.
One evening, the vetturino, Francesco, came to the trio and told them that on the next day but one, Sunday, there would be a fair and festa at Frosinone, a town about twenty-three miles from Segni, and that if they wished to go, he had three seats to hire in his vettura. Having heard that the costumes to be seen there were highly picturesque, and anxious to study the habits of the people in holiday guise, our artists determined to go. At daybreak on the appointed morning, having breakfasted and filled their flasks with wine, they started with a guide to walk down to Casa Bianca, a small osteria, distant, as the guide assured them, about two miles; three miles, as Francesco swore to; four miles, as Gaetano, the landlord declared; and six miles as Caper and Rocjean were ready to affirm to. Down the mountain road they scrambled, only losing their patience when they found they had to wade a small marsh, where their tempers and polished boots were sorely tried. Once over, they reached Casa Bianca, and found the vettura there, having arrived an hour before from Rome, thirty odd (and peculiar) miles distant; and now with the same horses they had to make twenty-three miles more before ten A. M., according to agreement. Rocjean and Caper sat outside the carriage, while Dexter sat inside, and conversed with two other passengers, cheerful and good-natured people, who did all in their power to make everybody around them contented and jolly.
The road went through the fertile Sacco valley; right and left rich pasture grounds, or wheat and corn fields; the mountains on either side rising in grandeur in the early sunlight, their tops wreathed with veils of rising mist. They soon passed Castelaccio (the termination accio is one, according to Don Boschi, of vilification; consequently, the name may be translated Bigbad Castle): this castle belongs to Prince Torlonia, apropos of which prince it is rather singular that all his money cannot buy good Latin; for any one may read at Frascati, staring you in the face as it does, as you wind up the villa, engraved on a large marble tablet, an inscription touching
TORLONIA ET UXSOR EJUS, ETC.
UXSOR may be Latin, but it is the kind that is paid for, and not the spontaneous gift of classic Italy.
The carriage next passed through Ferentino, Ferentinum of the Volscians, where it stopped for a time to let Rocjean see the stone called La Fata, whereon is inscribed the noble generosity of Quintilius Priscus, who gave crustula and mulsum (cakes and mead) to the old people; sportulae (cold victuals?) to the decurions, and nucum sparsiones (a sprinkling of nuts) for the small children.
After which antiquarian research, and a drink of wine at the Hotel des Etrangeres, the trio called loudly on Francesco to drive on; for the name of the inn suggested similar signboards, Hotel d'Angleterre, Hotel Vitoria, Hotel des Isles Brittaniques, at all of which one or other of our travellers had been savagely fleeced.
The carriage at last arrived at the tavern, at the foot of the mountain on which Frosinone stands, and our artists found that the ascent must be made on foot: this, in the face of the broiling sun, was equal to two hot baths at least. However, they determined to take it easily, and accordingly tarried for a while by an old bridge crossing a small stream, running bright and clear, where cattle were drinking; then they stopped at the neighboring fountain, where the girls were filling copper water jars, and dusty contadini were washing themselves in order to present a clean face at the fair; and listened with pleasure to the hearty laughter and holiday jests bandied about with profusion. Thus in refreshed spirits they commenced the ascent.
On the brow of the mountain, in front rank of the houses of the city, arose the walls of what they thought at first glance was a very large factory; they subsequently learned it was a male-factory or prison; this, with the governor's palace and other lofty buildings, gives Frosinone a stately air, only lost on entering the place and finding the streets narrow, steep, and not particularly clean. On entering the street leading to the main gate of entrance, their ears were saluted by the squealing and grunting of many hogs collected together in small droves, on both sides the way, for sale or barter. Here stood a bronzed peasant, dressed only in shirt and drawers, with boots up to his knees; a steeple crowned straw hat, with a large carnation pink in it, shading his closely shaved face, on which no hair was seen save two long curls pendent in front of his ears, while the back part of his head was shaved nearly as smooth as his face. This man held in his arms a small pig in a violent state of squeals. Mixed up among the pigs were many women dressed in lively colored costumes, looking graceful and pretty, and gaining added effect from the dark tones of the old gray houses around them. Advancing upward, at times at angles of forty-five degrees and more, through narrow streets crowded with picturesque houses (if they did threaten to tumble down), they at last reached the Piazza: here the squeeze commenced, crockery, garlic, hardware, clothing, rosaries and pictures of the saints, flowers; while donkeys, gensdarmes, jackasses, and shovel hats, strangers, and pretty girls were all pressing with might and main—they did not seem to know where—probably to the nearest wine shops, which were driving a brisk trade.
Reaching an inn, our artists ordered dinner, and amused themselves, while it was being prepared, looking out of the window at the crowds in the street beneath. On the opposite side of the way were two open windows, evidently 'behind the scenes' of the main church, since many of the principal actors in the ceremonies were here attiring themselves in curious robes prior to their appearing in public. A tallow-faced looking youth, with no hair on the extreme crown of his head, while swinging a long wax candle around, struck a fat old gentleman, with a black silk gown and white lace bertha over it, in the back; whereupon, I regret to write it, the fat old gentleman struck the tallow-faced youth the severest kind of a blow below the belt, entirely contrary to the rules of the P. R. Dexter, having watched the performance, at its conclusion shouted for very joy; whereupon the stout man, raising his eyes, saw in the opposite windows the three forestieri, and I do assure you that such a look of malevolence as crossed his face for a moment contained all the Borgias ever knew of poisons and assassinations. Luckily, the artists did not have to go to confession to that man.
Dinner finished, Rocjean proposed a walk. They first went to the old church, but found its interior ruined with whitewash and tawdry decorations. The music, however, was excellent, but the crowd of worshippers intense; so they repaired to the cattle market, in the piazza in front of the prison. They had been there but a short time, before the procession in honor of the patron saint of Frosinone, whose full-length seated effigy was carried by bearers, passed them. Along with other emblems borne by priests or laymen was a cross, apparently of solid wood, the upright piece fully twelve feet long, and as large round at the base as your thigh; the transverse piece of the cross was proportionately large; this was borne with ease by a moderate-sized man. Caper was at a loss to account for the facility with which the bearer handled pieces of timber as large as small joists of a house; so he asked a good-natured looking citizen standing near him, if that wooden cross was not very heavy?
'Eh! that heavy? Why, it's not wood; it's made of stove-pipes!'
The citizen also told Caper that the seated effigy of the patron saint had had a hard time of it some years ago, for the country around Frosinone suffering from a long drought, the inhabitants had in vain prayed, begged, and supplicated the aforementioned saint to send them rain; but he remained obdurate, until at last, seeing him so stubborn, they seized him, in spite of the priests, carried him down to the bridge, neck and heels, and threatened him, by all his brother and sister saints, to put him to bed—bed of the stream (it was nearly dry)—unless he speedily gave them a good supply of rain. In a couple of days, sure enough, the rain came down, and in such torrents, that there was a grand rush of the country people from the vicinity, begging the saint to hold up. Since that time he has behaved very decently, and just now is in high favor.
There were some fine cattle at the fair; and Dexter, noticing a peculiar and becoming headdress to several of the long-horned oxen, made of the skin of some animal, ornamented with bright-colored strips of woollen with tassels at the end, tried to purchase a pair, but found the owners generally unwilling to sell them: however, one man at last agreed to sell a pair made of wolf-skin, with bright red, yellow, and green strips and tassels, for a fair price, and Dexter at once bought them—as a study, and also as an ornament for his studio.
The tombola in the Piazza Tosti drew together a large crowd; and then it was that Rocjean was in his element, Caper delighted, and Dexter rejoiced in the study of costumes and motives for paintings. The straw hats worn here looked more picturesque than the black felt conical hats of the other end of the valley, but the 'soaplocks' of the men were villanous. The women were brilliant in holiday attire, among their dresses showing that half-modern Greek, half Neapolitan style, uniting the classic with the middle age. The ciociare, as those who wear ciocie or sandals are called, were there in full force: one of these men, with whom Rocjean had a long conversation, told our artist that the price paid for enough leather for a pair was forty cents. Each sandal is made of a square piece of sole leather, about twelve inches long by five inches wide, and is attached to the foot by strings crossing from one side to the other, and bending the leather into the rough resemblance of a shoe. The leather is sold by weight, and the ciociara declared that sandals were far better than shoes.
'But, when it rains, your feet are wet,' suggested Rocjean.
'Seguro' (certainly), answered ciociara.
'And when it snows, they are wet; and when it is muddy, they won't keep the mud out; and when it's dusty, where is the dust?'
'Down there in the Campagna!' answered the man. 'But you seem to forget that we wrap cloths over our feet and legs, as high as the knee, and tie them all on with strings; or else our women knit brown woollen leggings, which cover our feet and legs. Well, good or bad, they are better for us (noi oltri) than shoes.'
Fireworks and a ball at the Governor's palace closed that saint's day; and the next afternoon our artists left the town to return to Segni; but as toward midnight they began to ascend the long, steep road leading to the town, they were overtaken by a thunderstorm, which for grandeur equalled anything that Caper at least had ever seen. The lightning was nearly incessant, at one flash revealing the valley below them, and distant mountain peaks after peaks trembling in white light, then all black as black could be; patches of road in front of the old carriage, silver one second, sable another; while the thunder cracked and roared, echoing and reechoing from rock to rock, ringing away up the wild gorge around which the road wound. The rain fell in torrents, and pebbles and stones loosened from the mountain sides came falling around them. Francesco, the driver, on foot, urged the tired horses onward with blows and the most powerful language he could bring to bear; he accused the off-horse of being a pickpocket and an arciprete, and a robber of a small family, of which Francesco assured him he knew he was the father. Then the mare Filomena came in for her share of vilifications, being called a 'giovinastra (naughty girl), a vecchierellaccia (vile old hag), a—' Here the rain, pebbles, lightning, and thunder interrupted the driver, and Rocjean told him to take breath and a pull at his flask, which was filled with Sambuca. Thus refreshed, although soaked to the skin, Francesco livened up, and from despondency passed to hope, then to joy, finally landing the old carriage near the gate of Segni, in time for the artists to see far below them the clouds rolling rapidly away, and hear the thunder grumbling far off, over some other town, some other benighted travellers.
VALMONTONE was the next town visited, and the festival in honor of its patron saint, Luigi Gonzago, was a decided success; the singing in the church operatically excellent; a good-sized tombola; a funny dinner in the back room of a grocery store, one half of the floor of which was covered with shelled corn, while the other half was occupied by the united legs of two tables, a dozen chairs, four dogs, one cat, six male and three female country people. There was a lamb roasted whole, a small barrel of wine, plenty of bread, find-your-own-knives-and-be-happy dinner. Coming out of this small den, and passing a fine large house, opposite the grand palace of the Prince of Valmontone, behold an Italian acquaintance of Caper's standing in a balcony with a very handsome woman; another moment, and Caper was invited in, and passed from poverty to wealth in the twinkling of an eye. Rooms full of guests, tables covered with damask linen, silver, flowers, crystal glasses, delicate food (too late!), good wine (just in time!), charming ladies.
'Condessa, permit me to present Signor' Cahpeer, Americano.'
A rich, full, musical voice, lovely eyes, a brilliant toilette—is it any wonder the heart of our artist beat con animo, when the beautiful woman welcomed him to Valmontone, and hoped it would not be his last visit. Other introductions, other glasses of sparkling wine—then off for the street, excitement, music, coffee, and a cigar; pretty girls with tender eyes; the prince's stables, with hawks nailed to the doors, and blood horses in their stalls; contadini, cowbells, jackasses; ride home on horseback by moonlight; head swimming, love coming in, fun coming out. Exit festival the second.
GAVIGNANO was the scene of the third festival; it is a small town, lying at the foot of Segni. Caper went there on horseback, and, after a regular break-neck ride down the mountain, the path winding round like a string on an apple, arrived there in time to escape a pouring rain, and find himself in a large hall with three beautiful sisters, the Roses of Montelanico, numerous contadini friends, and the wine bottles going round in a very lively and exhilarating manner. The rain ceasing, Caper walked out to see the town, when his arm was suddenly seized, and, turning round, who should it be but Pepe the rash, Pepe the personification of Figaro: a character impossible for northern people to place outside of a madhouse, yet daily to be found in southern Europe. Rash, headstrong, full of deviltry, splendid appetite, and not much conscience—volatile, mocking, irrepressible.
Pepe seized Caper by the arm with a loud laugh, and, only saying, 'Evviva, Signor' Giacomo, come along!' without giving him breathing time, rushed him up narrow streets, down dirty alleys, through a crowd of mules, mud, and mankind, until they both caught a glimpse of a small church with green garlands over the door. Hauling Caper inside, he dragged him through a long aisle crowded with kneeling worshippers, smashed him down on a bench in front of the main altar, tearing half a yard of crimson damask and nearly upsetting the priest officiating; and then, while Caper (red in the face, and totally unfit to hear the fine chorus of voices, among which Mustafa's, the soprano, came ringing out) was composing himself to listen, Pepe grabbed him with a 'Music's over; andiamo (let's go). Did you hear Mustafa? Bella voce, tra-la-leeeee! Mustafa's a contadino; I know his pa and ma; they changed him when only five years old. Thought he was a Turk, didn't you? He sings in the Sistine chapel. Pretty man, fat; positively not a sign of a beard.'
Struggling to escape, Caper was rushed out of church, and into a caffe to have a tumblerful of boiling coffee poured down his throat, and again be expressed up hill at a break-neck rate, catching sights of tumble-down old houses, mud, water, flowers, peasants, costumes, donkeys, until he was landed in the Gran' Piazza. Whew!
'Must see the hall where the concert is to-night. Beautiful girl, bellisima, pfisp! (imitating kiss) girl from Rome; sings three pieces, Ernani, Norma, pfisp! Come along!
Smack, bang! into the hall, where the silence and presence of a select few, including Monsignore and the Governatore in council assembled, commanded silence: Pepe wouldn't hear of it anywheres, so again they were in the open air; the band was playing good music in the square, the tombola was about to commence, and contadini were busy with pencils and tickets, ready to win the eighty scudi put up.
Tombola commenced, and Pepe at once supervised all the tickets within reach. 'Bravo, twenty-seven! you've got it, Tonio; scratch it, my lamb.—You haven't, Santi, poverino mio.—It's non c'e, Angeluccio.—Ah, Bruno, always lucky.—Fifty-four, Santa Maria, who would have thought it?—Caro Bernardo, only one more number to win the terno!'
Somebody won the tombola at last, and Pepe told Caper he should wait for the fireworks and the concert. 'Beautiful girl, ah, bella, sings three pieces;' here he burst out with that song
'Ninella mia di zucchero, Prende 'sto core, ed abbraccialo;'
not waiting for the end of which, Caper interrupted him by saying that he should not wait for the evening, as he intended returning to Segni at once.
'Will you?' asked Pepe. 'Oh, bravo! good idea. Concert room will be crowded to suffocation; get hot, perspire, catch cold. Fireworks nothing. I'll go with you; great fools to wait. Here is a wine-shop; let us refresh!'
In they went, and finished a quart, after which Pepe proposed visiting another wine-shop, where they had some frascati, good and sweet. So he hurried Caper along so fast through mud and narrow streets, all the way down hill, that his feet could not begin to hold on the slippery stones, and both went ahead on the plan of not being able to stop; at last they reached a landing place, where the wine was sold; hastening in, they nearly fell over a tall, splendid-looking girl, who was standing in the hall.
'Iddio! it's my cara Giulia, lovely as ever. Come with us and finish a bottle; this is our friend Giacomo, Americano, brave youth, allegro!'
'It pleases me well to make the acquaintance of the Signor; I have often seen him in Segni—'
'And now you'll fall in love with him,
E tu non pienz' a mi,''
sang Pepe. 'This comes of my headlong hurry introducing pretty girls to interesting strangers. Ah, bella, Giulia!
'Zitto! Pepe, and pour me out a glass of wine.'
Pepe poured out the wine, one glass after another. Suddenly springing from his seat, he said, 'Wait here a minute. I see Gaetano: will be back again prestissimo!'
He went, and Caper and Giulia were left seated, talking merrily over the wine. There were stars shining when Giulia bid good night to Caper, yet Pepe did not return; he had seized some new idea, may-be the pretty Roman who sang at the concert. Then Caper saddled his horse and rode out into the night—glad that he had met black-eyed Giulia.
The night rides up the mountain! Here's romance, real and beautiful. Are you not treading an old Roman road, over which the legions have marched to victory, war chariots rattled? Up the mountains, on the old road once leading over the mountains to Terracina, the Tarracina of the Romans, who made it one of their naval stations; up that road you go, trusting solely to your horse, one slip of whose foot would send you into eternity via a ravine some hundred feet sheer down. Here, bright light from a casina where the contadini are loading mules with grapes to be pressed in the city up there near the stars! High above you, nothing but a wall of black rock, up, up, so high! Stars gleaming down, the comet tailing from side to side of the ravine, while the path in the ragged, jagged, storm-gullied rock is so dark you see nothing: your horse stops, his hind feet slip—no! he clings, his hoofs are planted firm; up he goes, and there, in the hands of Providence, you are tossed and pitched, as he winds up and plunges down. The merry ringing, jingling bells of mules ahead, and the voices of their drivers: turn a corner, and the bright light of torches flashes in your eyes. Look again and earnestly at the beautiful scene: mules, drivers, black rocks, olive trees above, all flamboyant in the ruddy light, appearing and disappearing; a weird, wild scene. Up, up, long is the way; past the fountain where the stars are flashing in the splashing waters; past gardens; past the mountain path at last. Ecco, the inn of Gaetano.
ANAGNI held its festival in honor of San Magno (Prottetore della Citta) on the 19th day of August. Gaetano, the landlord, invited Caper to attend it, putting his famous white horse at the disposal of the artist, accompanying him on a small bay beast that was extremely fond of showing his heels to the surrounding objects. Leaving Segni about ten o'clock in the morning, they had hardly reached a bridle path down the mountain, nothing more in fact than a gully, when they were joined by a cavalcade of four other Segnians. One of them, the 'funny fellow' of the party, was mounted on a very meek-looking donkey, and enlivened the hot ride across the valley of the Sacco by spasmodic attempts to lead the cavalcade and come in ahead of the others. He had a lively time as they approached the city, and a joke with every foot passenger on the way; but Gaetano, whose reserve was one of his strong points, and who was anxious to enter Anagni under favorable auspices, gave the word to Caper, and in a few minutes they left cavalcade and donkey-rider far behind.
Anagni, the ancient Anagnia, was the capital of the Hernici. The favorite residence, in the middle ages, of several of the popes, it still shows in its building marks of the wealth it once enjoyed. Having stabled their horses with a friend of Gaetano's, who insisted on their finishing the best part of a bottiglia of red wine with him, the artist, under the landlord's guidance, set out to see the town. They climbed up street to the cathedral, a fine old pile trembling with music and filled with worshippers, paintings of saints in extremis, flowers, wax candles, votary offerings, and heat; then coming out, and feeling wolfish, looked round for a place where they could find dinner! Here it was! a scene that would have cheered Teniers: a very large room, its walls brown with smoke; long wooden tables, destitute of cloth, but crowded with country people eating, drinking, talking, enjoying themselves to the utmost extent. Forks were invisible, but every man had his own knife, and Caper, similarly provided, whipped out his long pocket weapon and commenced an attack on roast lamb and bread, as if time were indeed precious. Wine was provided at Fair price; and, with fruit, he managed to cry at last, 'Hold, enough!'
Gaetano, having a message for a young priest in the seminary there, asked Caper how he would like to see the interior of the building, and the way the prete lived? Caper assenting, they entered a fine large establishment with broad walls and high ceilings, and mounting to the second story and knocking at the door of a chamber, they were admitted by a tall, thin, sallow young man, about eighteen years old, evidently the worse for want of exercise, and none the stronger minded for his narrow course of education and instruction.
Gaetano introduced Caper to the young priest, and the artist, who, a moment before entering the room, was as lively as the Infant Bacchus, at once became melancholy as the Infant Samuel, and a feeling of such pity seized him, that, endeavoring not to show it, he turned it into a sentiment of interest in the young priest and his surroundings, admiring the beautiful view from the window, and, turning inward to a poor wreath of paper flowers hanging over a holy-water fount attached to the wall, praised for their resemblance to natural flowers. (Was that untruth unforgiven?)
'I made them,' said the young priest; 'but they are nothing to the ones I have made for our church in Montelanico. I will show those to you.' Opening a large paper box, he showed Caper wreaths and festoons of paper flowers. 'I have spent weeks on weeks over them,' he continued, 'and they will decorate the church at the next festa. I spend all my leisure hours making artificial flowers.'
In answer to a question from Caper of the dress he then wore was the usual one worn by the seminarists on important occasions, the young priest answered him that it was not, and at once produced the full dress, putting on the upper garment, a species of cassock, in order to show him how it looked. He next called his attention to a curious old work, full of engravings illustrating the different costumes of the different orders of priests, and was in full discourse to describe them all, when Gaetano told him that he was sorry, but that he had to go, as he had some matters to attend to at the fair. So Caper bid the young priest good-by, saying he regretted that he had not time to further study the ecclesiastical costumes. A feeling of relief seized him when he was once more in the open air—thoughts of gunning, fishing, fighting, anything, so long as it was not the making paper flowers by that poor, pale-faced boy: it was terrible!
There are several resident families in Anagni having titles; these are known as the stelle d'Anagni (stars of Anagni), and number among the ladies many beautiful faces, if those pointed out to him were the true stars. But it was, while smoking a cigar over a cup of coffee, that he saw enter the cafe without exception one of the loveliest and most attractive women he met in Italy. The word simpatica, so often used by Italians, expressing, as it does, so much in so short a space, exactly applied to the charming woman who passed him, as she entered the room where he was seated. She was accompanied by several gentlemen, one of whom, on whose arm she leaned, having the most character of all the others in his face, and the finest-looking man in figure and carriage, Caper selected as her husband—and he was right.
Gaetano, having finished his business, soon entered the cafe in company with a dashing, handsome-looking man, in half ecclesiastical costume; for though he wore a shovel hat and long-tailed black frock coat, yet his other clothes, though black, had the air of being made by an a la mode tailor. His manner was cordial, frank, hearty. He proposed a walk around the town, to see what was going on among the villani. Caper calling his attention to the lady mentioned above, the ecclesiastic, making his excuses for his sudden leave, at once hurried over to salute her, and was evidently very cordially received. He returned in a few minutes to Caper.
'It is the Principessa ——, and she insists on having an introduction to the American. She is making the villegiatura among these mountain towns for a frolic. She will be in Segni, with her husband, the Signor ——, and it will be pleasant for you to know them while there.'
'Introduce me by all means. She is the most beautiful woman I have seen in Italy.'
The introduction was made, and our artist surpassed himself in conversing intelligibly, much to the delight of the fair Italian and her friends, who declared they were prepared to converse with him solely by signs. Promising that when they came to Segni he should not fail to call upon them, and give them a long account of the savage life he lived among his Indian brethren in America, he laughingly bid them good day.
The dashing priest now went with Caper and Gaetano through the crowded streets, pointing out objects of interest, architectural and human; past booths where all kinds of merchandise was exposed for sale, out to see the ancient massive walls of travertine, where divers stunning objects were carved, inscriptions, &c. Then they found a wine shop, where it was cool and tolerably quiet, and smoked and drank until sunset, having much sport conversing with the amiable villane, who were as comfortably tipsy as their circumstances would permit. At sunset, the Piazza Grande was brilliant with hangings, crimson and gold, and colored tapestry hung from the windows of the surrounding houses. Here the tombola was held, and here the crowd was excited as usual; the lucky ones bearing off the prizes were in such rapturous state of bliss—'one might have stuck pins into them without their feeling it.'
About sunset, Gaetano and Caper saddled their horses, and left the city, striking over the valley to Segni, passing on the road country people mounted on donkeys, or travelling along on foot, nine tenths of whom were vigorously canvassing—the life of Saint Magno?—no, indeed, but the chances of the lottery!
There was to have been the next day, at Anagni, a curious chase of buffaloes, in accordance with some passage in the life of San Magno, as the people said; but, according to Rocjean, more probably some neglected ceremony of the ancient heathens, which the party in power, finding they could not abolish, gracefully tacked on to the back of the protector of the city. These kind of things are done to an alarming extent around Rome; and the Sieur de Rocjean, when he lost his calendar containing the dates of all the festivals, said it was of no importance—he had and excellent Lempriere!
The fifth festival—if you have patience to read about it—was held at GENAZZANO, and was decidedly the most celebrated one of the season. It came off on the 8th of September, and for costumes, picturesqueness, and general effect, might have been called, to copy from piano literature, Le Songe d'un Artiste.
The town itself looks as if it had just been kicked out of a theatre. Round towers at entrance gates, streets narrow and all up hill, the tiles on the houses running down to see what is going on in the gutter, quaint old houses, gray with time, with latticed windows, queer old doors, a grand old castle in ruins. It is one of the scenes you long so much to see before you come abroad, and which you so seldom find along the Grande Route. Spend a summer in the mountain towns of Italy! among the Volscian mountains or hills—and have your eyes opened.
As Caper entered the gate, the first objects meeting his sight were: a procession of genuine pilgrims, dressed precisely as you see them in Robert le Diable, or Linda di Chamouni, or on the stage generally—long gray robes down to their feet, cocked hats with cockle shells, long wands; some barefoot, some with sandals: on they passed, singing religious songs. Then came the peasantry, all in perfect theatrical harmony, costumes rigidly correct a la Sonnambula. German artists dressed in Sunday clothes a la Der Freyschutz. A cafe with festoons of lemon-peel hung from window to window—they are not up to this idea in Fra Diavolo. Pretty girls in latticed windows, with red boddices, white sleeves, flowers in their hair—legitimate Italian drama. Crockery-ware in piles—low comedy. A man with a table, Sambuca and Acqua-vita bottles on it, and wee glasses, one cent a drink: melodrama. Fresh oranges and figs, pumpkin-seed and pine cones; a house with mushrooms strung on thread, hanging from window to window—this was not for festival display, but is the common way of the country. Notices of the festa, containing programme of the day, including amusements, ecclesiastical and secular, hung up alongside the stands where they were selling lottery tickets—tragedy. Fountains, with groups of peasantry drinking, or watering horses and donkeys—pantomime. Priests, in crow-black raiment, and canal-boat or shovel hats—mystery. Strangers from Rome, in the negro-minstrel style of costume, if young men; or in the rotund-paunch and black-raiment dress, if elderly men; or in the chiffonee style, if Roman women attempting the last Parisian fashion—farce.
Here are the booths with rosaries, crucifixes, Virgin Mary's holy-water holders, medals of Pio Nono, or jewelry; gold crescent earrings, spadine (long silver hair pins); silver hearts, legs, arms, for votive offerings, and crosses without number.
Caper entered the church; it was filled, and stifling with heat and frankincense, and contadini, and wax lights burning before the shrine, on which the sun shone. There were beautiful faces among the pajine (people in fine raiment), showing what can be made from the contadine (people in coarse clothes) by not overworking them.
Once more our artist was in the pure air, and, walking up the main street, came to a house with a beautifully carved stone window, half Byzantine, half Gothic, while a house on the opposite side of the street boasted of two other windows finely carved. While looking at them, Caper was hailed by name, and a stout, fresh-colored English artist, named Wardor, whom he had known in Rome, came over and welcomed him to Genazzano. Wardor, it turned out, was spending the summer there, as he had done the year before; consequently, there was not a nook or corner in the old town he did not know; and if he had not been so lazy, he could have filled his sketch book with a hundred picturesque studies. But no; with the keenest appreciation of every bit of color, every graceful pose of a human figure, every beautiful face, every fine effect of light or shadow—he made no sign. His legitimate function was friendly guide to the stranger, and in this office he carried Caper all over the old castle, out to the long shady walk on the esplanade behind it, pointed out beautiful views over the valley; finally, showing Caper his studio, which, as it was a large room, and his padrona could impose on his good nature, was fairly glittering with copper pans, hung on the walls when not in use in the kitchen. On an easel was a painting, to be called The King of the Campagna; all that was apparent was the head and horns of the king. Wardor had thus actually spent three mouths painting on a space not so large as your fist, while the canvas was at least three feet by two feet and a half. But the king, a buffalo, would be a regal figure, for the head was life itself.
Caper proposed finishing a bottle of wine with Wardor, in honor of the day; so the latter piloted him up street and then down a flight of steps to a quiet wine-shop, where, sitting on a shady terrace, they could calmly enjoy the lovely landscape spread below them, and look over the town, over the valley, to far-away Segni high up in the Volscians. The landlord's wife, a buxom, comely woman, in full holiday costume, brought them a flask of cool wine and glasses, presenting them at the same time with a couple of very large sweet apples, the largest of which was thirteen inches in circumference by actual measurement. So you see they have apples as well as oranges in Italy; only, apples are practical, so they are generally omitted in the poetical descriptions of the blue-skyed land.
Caper and Wardor dined together in a very crowded inn, where the maccaroni must have been cooked by the ton, to judge of the sized dish the two artists were presented with—and which they finished! Chickens, lamb chops, salad, and two flasks of wine at last satisfied them. When they left the table, Wardor proposed their calling on a Roman family, who were spending the summer in the town. They found the house they occupied crowded with guests, who, having finished dinner, were busily employed dancing to the music of two guitars and a flute; that is, the younger part of them, while the elders applauded vociferously, entering into the amusement with a reckless spirit of fun and good nature, which people who have to keep shady nine tenths of the year for fear of their rulers, are very apt to indulge in the remaining tenth.
Elisa, the daughter of the Roman family, received Caper with hearty welcome, chiding him for having been all summer at Segni, and yet not coming near them, and entreating him to come to Genazzano and make them a long visit. She introduced him at once to her affianced husband, a handsome young doctor of the town, a man of sterling ability and sound common sense, who very soon made Caper at home, insisted on his dancing the Tarantella and Saltarella Napolitana with a lively, lithe young lady, who cut our artist's heart to fiddlestrings before they had danced five minutes together a polka—for let the truth be told, Caper never could dance the Tarantella.
Wardor, in the meantime, had been led off in triumph to a side-table, and was making a very hearty second dinner; he not having force of mind enough to do like Caper and refuse a good offer! Caper had to drink a few tumblers (not wine-glasses) of wine, and found it beneficial in dancing. It may be as well to repeat here, in order to calm all apprehensions of our artist being a hard drinker, that all these wines around Rome, with few exceptions, are little stronger than mild sweet cider, and that satiety will generally arrive before inebriety. Ask any sober and rigorously correct traveller, who has ever been there, if this is not so. If he speaks from experience, he will say: 'Certainly!' 'Of course!' 'To be sure!' And again: 'Why not?'
It is not asserted here that the Romans of the city or surrounding country never get tipsy; but that it is only occasionally they have change enough to do so; consequently, a beautiful state of sobriety is observed by those travellers who—never observe anything.
The moon was shining over the old gate-towers of Genazzano when Caper mounted his horse, and, in company with two Segnians, rode forth from the fifth festa, and over the hills through Cavi, and over the valley past Valmontone, and then up the steep road to his summer home; wondering if in far-away America they were dreaming of a man who was going through a course of weekly Fourth-of-July's, and how long it would be before the world came to an end if such a state of things existed in any country where people had liberty to study geography, and were ruled by politicians instead of priests?
* * * * *
'May I ask your candid opinion of the great moral effect of so many holidays on an uneducated population?' inquired Caper one day of Rocjean, while speaking of the festivals of the Papal States.
'Certainly you may! My opinion is that the head of the state, carrying out the gigantic policy of his predecessors, believes: 'That that government governs best that gives the greatest amount of fiddling to the greatest amount of its children.''
'But,' objected Caper, 'I don't see where the fiddling comes in.'
'In the churches!' sententiously remarked the Sieur de Rocjean.
'Oh,' quoth Caper, 'I was thinking of festivals.'
Reader, do you think likewise, when you are with the Romans.
Life is but an outer wall Round the realm of thought unseen; Ah! to let the drawbridge fall Leading to that magic hall! Ah! to let creation in.
Kings that with the world contended, What remains of all the splendid Misery their hands have wrought? Hushed and silent now the thunder They have made the world rock under; But the ages bow in wonder To a thought.
Ah! the many tragic parts That are played by human hearts In that golden drama, fame. These are minor actors truly, That should not be seen unduly, Letting idle recollection Trifle with the play's perfection, Letting an unwritten anguish Make the brilliant pageant languish. Alas for every hero's story, That the woes which chiefly make it Must surge from the heart, or break it, And show the stuff that fashions glory.
Pyramids and templed wonders At the best are wise men's blunders; The subtle spell of thought and fancy, It is Nature's necromancy. In that land where all things real Blossom into the ideal, In that realm of hidden powers Moving this gross world of ours, He that would inherit fame, Let him on the magic wall Of some bright, ideal hall Write his name; He and glory then shall be Comrades through eternity.
While the deeds of mighty kings Sleep the sleep of meaner things, Thoughts enclosed in words of granite Revolutionize our planet. And, itself a new creation, Many an enchanted tune, As of nightingale's in June, Comes floating down in long vibration, To the chorus of the hours Lending its harmonial powers, Or through Time's resounding arches Playing Nature's solemn marches, To whose beat the marshalled nations Pass in steady generations.
But deem not the thoughts unspoken, Silent despots of the brain, Build their airy halls in vain, Die and leave behind no token. As the stars upon the ether Play their golden monody, Flashing on dusk-featured night The soft miracle of light; So upon a finer ether, A spiritual emanation From the whole mind of creation, Plays the brain incessantly; And each thought is a vibration, Running like a poet's rhyme Down the endless chords of time, And on each responsive brain Dropping in a silver rain Of divinest inspiration.
When the whirlwind rush of war Passes, and is heard no more, Voices crushed beneath its din Rise and their long reign begin; Thoughts like burning arrows hurled At the tyrants of the world, Thoughts that rend like battle axes Till wrong's giant hand relaxes, Thoughts that open prison gates And strike the chains of prostrate limb, That turn the current of the fates, Like God's commissioned cherubim With divine authority To proclaim creation free, And plant in human hearts the seeds That shall grow to noble deeds. Ha! when genius climbs the throne Sacred to oppression grown, And from his seat plucks tyranny; When, with thoughts that pierce like flame, Songs, and every word a fame, She crowns imperial Liberty, Then shall the usurper, glory, End his foul and brutal story, And manhood evermore shall be A synonym of liberty.
'IT STILL MOVES.'
It still goes on. The driving rain May chill, but light will gleam again, It still goes on. Truth's enemy Wins a defeat with victory. It still goes on. Cold winter's snow Comes that the grass may greener grow; And Freedom's sun, whate'er befall, Shines warm and bright behind it all.
THE CONSEQUENCES OF THE REBELLION.
Among all the subjects of human cognizance, the least understood, and therefore the most difficult of anticipation, are those which concern the acts of men, as individuals or in society. Presumptuous, indeed, would be that man who should undertake to foretell the exact results of pending political or military operations, complicated as they must be by innumerable unknown and undiscoverable contingencies, which lie hidden in the circumstances of the actual situation. The difficulty of this investigation does not arise, however, from the absence of fixed laws controlling such events, but solely from our ignorance of those laws, and the extreme complexity of the conditions in which they act. The issue of existing causes is as certain as this moment, as it will be after it shall have become unalterable in history. No accident can disturb or thwart it; for, in truth, there can be no such thing as accident, except in our imaginations, and by reason of our incapacity to trace the continuous thread of inevitable sequence, or causation, which connects together all events whatever, in their inception, through their continuance, and to their end. All enlightened thinkers of the present age have recognized this great truth; and yet none have been able to apply to social and political affairs the sole admitted test of genuine philosophy, the prediction of future results from known antecedents. Indeed, the wisest and most competent of political observers have always been the most cautious in their indulgence of the prophetic spirit, and the most ready to acknowledge their ignorance of what the future will bring forth in the great field of political and social affairs. Gasparin, in his late admirable book, 'America before Europe' (according to his American translator), has this very modest passage on this subject: