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Till she cannot see the hollow,
On her clay-built nest o'erhead.
O, 't is hard, so hard, to see
As to grander company!
Better joys than she can bring.
For the babe's weight on her knee,
For the loving lisp of glee,
Sweet as hum of honey-bée.
Name ere mine upon your lips ?
Of your rosy finger-tips?”
O the dews are falling fair!
On the cloudy fields of air.
And of murmurs, low as love, Murmurs mingled like the meeting of the winds, or like the beating
Of the wings of dove with dove.
In her hand the slow wheel stoppeth,
That the spinning all is vain,
Never can be joined again.
“Ah! how can you write about Spain
when once you have been there?” asked THOSE of my readers who have Heine of Théophile Gautier setting out
T frequented the garden of Doctor on a journey thither. Rappaccini no doubt recall with per- Nevertheless it seems to me that I fect distinctness the quaint old city of remember something about Padua with Padua. They remember its miles and a sort of romantic pleasure. There was miles of dim arcade over-roofing the a certain charm which I can dimly residewalks everywhere, affording ex- call, in sauntering along the top of the cellent opportunity for the flirtation of old wall of the city, and looking down lovers by day and the vengeance of upon the plumy crests of the Indianrivals by night. They have seen the corn that flourished up so mightily from now vacant streets thronged with mask- the dry bed of the moat. At such times ers, and the Venetian Podestà going in I could not help figuring to myself the gorgeous state to and from the vast many sieges that the wall had known, Palazzo della Ragione. They have with the fierce assault by day, the sewitnessed ringing tournaments in those cret attack by night, the swarming foe sad, empty squares, and races in the upon the plains below, the bristling Prato della Valle, and many other arms of the besieged upon the wall, the wonders of different epochs, and their boom of the great mortars made of pleasure makes me half sorry that I ropes and leather arid throwing mighty should have lived for several years balls of stone, the stormy flight of arwithin an hour by rail from Padua, rows, the ladders planted against the and should know little or nothing of defences and staggering headlong into these great sights from actual obser- the moat, enriched for future agriculture vation. I take shame to myself for not only by its sluggish waters, but by having visited Padua so often and so the blood of many men. I suppose that familiarly as I used to do, - for hav- most of these visions were old stage ing been bored and hungry there, — spectacles furbished up anew, and that for having had toothache there, upon my armies were chiefly equipped with one occasion, - for having rejoiced their obsolete implements of warfare more in a cup of coffee at Pedroc- from museums of armor and from cabichi's than in the whole history of Pa- nets of antiquities; but they were very dua, — for having slept repeatedly in vivid, for all that. the bad-bedded hotels of Padua and I was never able, in passing a certain never once dreamt of Portia, - for hav- one of the city gates, to divest myself ing been more taken by the salti mor- of an historic interest in the great loads tali * of a waiter who summed up my of hay waiting admission on the outaccount at a Paduan restaurant, than side. For an instant they masked again by all the strategies with which the city the Venetian troops that, in the war of has been many times captured and re- the League of Cambray, entered the city captured. Had I viewed Padua only in the hay-carts, shot down the landsover the wall of Doctor Rappaccini's knechts at the gates, and, uniting with garden, how different my impressions the citizens, cut the German garrison of the city would now be! This is one to pieces. But it was a thing long past. of the drawbacks of actual knowledge. The German garrison was here again ;
and the heirs of the landsknechts went Salti mortali are those prodigious efforts of clanking through the gate to the pamental arithmetic by which Italian waiters, in ver
rade-ground, with that fierce clamor of tally presenting your account, arrive at six as the product of two and two.
their kettle-drums which is so much
fiercer because unmingled with the time she was a blooming girl, - and noise of fifes. Once more now the paid nothing for either privilege. What Germans are gone, and, let us trust, wild and confused reminiscences on forever ; but when I saw them, there the wrinkled visage we should find seemed little hope of their going. thereafter of the fierce republican times, They had a great Biergarten on the of Ecelino, of the Carraras, of the Vetop of the wall, and they had set up netian rule! And is it not sad to think the altars of their heavy Bacchus in of systems and peoples all passing many parts of the city.
away, and these ancient women lasting I please myself with thinking that, if still, and still selling grapes in front of I walked on such a spring day as this the Palazzo della Ragione? What a in the arcaded Paduan streets, I should long mortality! catch glimpses, through the gateways The youngest of their number is a of the palaces, of gardens full of vivid thousand years older than the palace, bloom, and of fountains that tinkle there which was begun in the twelfth century, forever. If it were autumn, and I were and which is much the same now as it in the great market - place before the was when first completed. I know that, Palazzo della Ragione, I should hear if I entered it, I should be sure of findthe baskets of amber-hued and hon- ing the great hall of the palace - the eyed grapes humming with the murmur vastest hall in the world - dim and of multitudinous bees, and making a dull and dusty and delightful, with nothmusic as if the wine itself were already ing in it except at one end Donatello's singing in their gentle hearts. It is a colossal marble-headed wooden horse great field of succulent verdure, that of Troy, stared at from the other end wide old market-place; and fancy loves by the two dog-faced Egyptian women to browse about among its gay stores of in basalt placed there by Belzoni. fruits and vegetables, brought thither by Late in the drowsy summer afterthe world-old peasant-women who have noons I should have the Court of the been bringing fruits and vegetables to University all to myself, and might study the Paduan market for so many centu- unmolested the blazons of the noble ries. They sit upon the ground before youth who have attended the school in their great panniers, and knit and doze, different centuries ever since 1200, and and wake up with a drowsy “ Comanda have left their escutcheons on the walls la ?" as you linger to look at their grapes. to commemorate them. At the foot of They have each a pair of scales, - the the stairway ascending to the schools emblem of Injustice, -- and will weigh from the court is the statue of the you out a scant measure of the fruit, if learned lady who was once a professor you like. Their faces are yellow as in the University, and who, if her likeparchment, and Time has written them ness belie not her looks, must have so full of wrinkles that there is not given a great charm to student life in room for another line. Doubtless these other times. At present there are no old parchment visages are palimpsests, lady professors at Padua, any more and would tell the whole history of than at Harvard, and during late years Padua if you could get at each succes- the schools have suffered greatly from sive inscription. Among their primal the interference of the Austrian governrecords there must be some account of ment, which frequently closed them for the Roman city, as each little contadi- months, on account of political demonnella remembered it on market-days; strations among the students. But now and one might read of the terror of At there is an end of this and many other tila's sack, a little later, with the peas- stupid oppressions; and the time-honant-maid's personal recollections of the ored University will doubtless regain bold Hunnish trooper who ate up the its ancient importance. Even in 1864 grapes in her basket, and kissed her it had nearly fifteen hundred students, hard, round red cheeks, — for in that and one met them everywhere under
the arcades, and could not well mistake the porticos of other Paduan churches them, with that blended air of pirate rest upon the backs of bird - headed and dandy which these studious young lions and leopards that fascinate with men loved to assume. They were to be their mystery and beauty. seen a good deal on the promenades It was the wish to see the attributive outside the walls, where the Paduan la- Giottos in the Chapter which drew us dies are driven in their carriages in first to St. Anthony's, and we saw them the afternoon, and where one sees the with the satisfaction naturally attending blood - horses and fine equipages for the contemplation of frescos discovered which Padua is famous. There used only since 1858, after having been hidonce to be races in the Prato della Valle, den under plaster and whitewash for after the Italian notion of horse-races; many centuries ; but we could not bebut these are now discontinued, and lieve that Giotto's fame was destined there is nothing to be found there but to gain much by their rescue from obthe statues of scholars and soldiers livion. They are in no wise to be comand statesmen, posted in a circle around pared with this master's frescos in the the old race - course. If you strolled Chapel of the Annunziata, - which, inthither about dusk on such a day as deed, is in every way a place of wonder this, you might see the statues unbend and delight. You reach it by passing a little from their stony rigidity, and in through a garden lane bordered with the failing light nod to each other very roses, and a taciturn gardener comes pleasantly through the trees. And if out with clinking keys, and lets you you stayed in Padua over night, what into the chapel, where there is nobody could be better to-morrow morning than but Giotto and Dante, nor seems to a stroll through the great Botanical Gar- have been for ages. Cool it is, and of den, — the oldest botanical garden in a pulverous smell, as a sacred place the world, — the garden which first re- should be ; a blessed benching goes ceived in Europe the strange and splen- round the wall, and you sit down and did growths of our hemisphere, – the take unlimited comfort in the frescos. garden where Doctor Rappaccini doubt. The gardener leaves you alone to the less found the germ of his mortal plant? solitude and the silence, in which the
On the whole, I believe I would talk of the painter and the exile is rather go this moment to Padua than plain enough. Their contemporaries to Lowell or Lawrence, or even to and yours are cordial in their gay Worcester; and as to the disadvantage companionship ; through the half-open of having seen Padua, I begin to think door falls, in a pause of the rain, the the whole place has now assumed so same sunshine that they saw lie there ; fantastic a character in my mind that I the deathless birds that they heard am almost as well qualified to write of sing out in the garden trees; it is the it as if I had merely dreamed it.
fresh sweetness of the grass mown The day that we first visited the six hundred years ago that breathes city was very rainy, and we spent most through all the lovely garden grounds. of the time in viewing the churches. How mistaken was Ponce de Leon, These, even after the churches of Ven. to seek the fountain of youth in the ice, one finds rich in art and historic New World! It is there, - in the Old interest, and they in no instance fall World, — far back in the past. We into the maniacal excesses of the Re- are all old men and decrepit together naissance to which some of the tem- in the present; the future is full of ples of the latter city abandon them- death; in the past we are light and selves. Their architecture forms a sort glad as boys turned barefoot in the of border-land between the Byzantine spring. The work of the heroes is of Venice and the Lombardic of Ve- play to us; the pang of the martyr is rona. The superb domes of St. Antho- a thrill of rapture; the exile's longing ny's emulate those of St. Mark's, and is a strain of plaintive music touching and delighting us. We are not do with art, I here dismiss that subject, only young again, we are immortal. and with a gross and idle delight follow It is this divine sense of superiority to the sacristan down under this church fate which is the supreme good won to the prison of Santa Giustina. from travel in historic lands, and from Of all the faculties of the mind there the presence of memorable things, and is none so little fatiguing to exercise as which no sublimity of natural aspects mere wonder; and, for my own sake, I can bestow. It is this which forms the try always to wonder at things without wide difference between Europe and the least critical reservation. I thereAmerica, - a gulf that it will take a fore, in the sense of deglutition, bolted thousand years to bridge.
this prison at once, though subsequent It is a shame that the immortals experiences led me to look with grave should be limited in their pleasures indigestion upon the whole idea of prisby the fact that they have hired their ons, their authenticity, and even their brougham 'by the hour; yet we early existence. quit the Chapel of Giotto on this ac- As far as mere dimensions are count. We had chosen our driver from concerned, the prison of Santa Giusamong many other drivers of brough- tina was not a hard one to swallow, ams in the vicinity of Pedrocchi's, be- being only three feet wide by about cause he had such an honest look, and ten feet in length. In this limited was not likely, we thought, to deal un- space, Santa Giustina passed five years fairly with us.
of the paternal reign of Nero (a vir“But first,” said the signor who had tuous and a long-suffering prince, selected him, “how much is your whom, singularly enough, no historic brougham an hour ?".
artist has yet arisen to whitewash), and So and so.
was then brought out into the larger “Show me the tariff of fares." cell adjoining, to suffer a blessed mar“ There is no tariff.”
tyrdom. I am not sure now whether “ There is. Show it to me.”
the sacristan said she was dashed to " It is lost, signor.”
death on the stones, or cut to pieces “I think not. It is here in this pock- with knives; but whatever the form of et. Get it out."
martyrdom, an iron ring in the ceiling The tariff appears, and with it the was employed in it, as I know from fact that he had demanded just what seeing the ring, - a curiously wellthe boatman of the ballad received in preserved piece of ironmongery. Withgift, — thrice his fee.
in the narrow prison of the saint, and The driver mounted his seat, and just under the grating, through which served us so faithfully that day in Padua the sacristan thrust his candle to illumithat we took him the next day for Arquà. nate it, was a mountain of candle-dripAt the end, when he had received his pings, – a monument to the fact that due, and a handsome mancia besides, faith still largely exists in this doubting he was still unsatisfied, and referred to world. My own credulity, not only with the tariff in proof that he had been regard to this prison, but also touching under-paid. On that confronted and the coffin of St. Luke, which I saw in defeated, he thanked us very cordially, the church, had so wrought upon the gave us the number of his brougham, esteem of the sacristan, that he now and begged us to ask for him when we took me to a well, into which, he said, came next to Padua and needed a car- had been cast the bones of three thouriage.
sand Christian martyrs. He lowered From the Chapel of the Annunziata a lantern into the well, and assured he drove us to the Church of Santa me that, if I looked through a cerGiustina, where is a very famous and tain screenwork there, I could see the noble picture by Romanino. But as bones. On experiment I could not see this paper has nothing in the world to the bones, but this circumstance did