Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

gether. The effect that these produce (as each of them makes a small angle with the other) is exactly that of a multiplying glass; so that, when three or four people are walking below, there is always the appearance of three of four hundred walking above. The whole of the doors are likewise covered over with small pieces of mirror, cut into the most ridiculous shapes, and intermixed with a great sariety of crystal and glass of different colours. All the chimney-pieces, windows, and fide-boards, are crowded with pyramids and pillars of tea-pots, caudle-cups, bowls, cups, faucers, &c, strongly cemented together; some of theke columns are not without their beauty: one of them has a large china chamber-pot for its base, and a circle of pretty little flower-pots for its capital; the shaft of the column, upwards of four feet long, is composed entirely of tea-pots of different sizes, diminished gradually from the base to the capital. The profufion of China that has been em. ployed in forming these columns is incredible; I dare fay there is not less than forty pillars and pyramids formed in this strange fantastic manner.-Most of the rooms we paved with fine marble tables of different colours, that · look like so many tomb-stones. Some of these are richly wrought with lapis lazuli, porphyry, and other valuable ftones; their fine polith is now gone, and they only appear like common marble; the place of these beautiful tables he has supplied by a new set of his own invention, some of which are not without their merit. These are made of the finest tortoise-shell mixed with mother of pearl, ivory, and a variety of metals; and are mounted on fine stands of solid brass.

The windows of this inchanted castle are composed of a variety of glass of every different colour, mixed without any sort of order or regularity. Blue, red, green, yellow, purple, violet.--So that at each window, you may have the

heavens added

AT BAGARIA, NEAR PALERMO.

503

heavens and earth of whatever colour you chuse, only by looking through the pane that pleases you. The houseclock is cased in the body of a statue; the eyes of the figure move with the pendulum, turning up their white and black alternately, and make a hideous appearance.

His bed-chamber and dressing-room are like two apartments in Noah's ark; there is scarcely a beast, however vile, that he has not placed there; toads, frogs, ferpents, lizards, scorpions, all cut out in marble, of their respective colours. There are a good many busts too, that are not less fingularly imagined. Some of these make a very handsome profile on one fide; turn to the other, and you have a skeleton; here you see a nurse with a child in her arms; its back is exactly that of an infant; its face is that of a wrinkled old woman of ninety.

For some minutes one can laugh at these follies, but indignation and contempt foon get the better of your mirth, and the laugh is turned into a fneer. I own I was soon tired of them; though some things are so strangely fancieel; that it may well excuse a little mirth, even from the most rigid cynic.

The family ftatues are charming; they have been done from some old pictures, and make a moft venerable appear. ance; he has dressed them out from head to foot, in new and elegant suits of marble; and indeed the effect it produces is more ridiculous than any thing you can conceive. · Their Thoes are all of black marble, their stockings ganerally of red; their clothes are of different colours, blue, green, and variegated, with a rich old-fashioned lace. The perriwigs of the men and head-dresses of the ladies are of fine white; so are their shirts, with long flowing ruf fles of alabaster. The walls of the house are covered with rome fine basso relievos of white inarble in a good taste; these he could not well take out, or alter, so he has only added immense frames to them. Each frame is composed of four large marble tables.

The author and owner of this fingular collection is a poor miserable lean figure, shivering at a breeze, and seems to be afraid of every body he speaks to.

He is one of the richest subjects in the island, and it is thought he has not laid out less than 20,000l. in the creation of this world of monsters and chimeras.--He certainly might have fallen upon some way to prove himself a fool at a cheaper rate. However, it gives bread to a number of poor people, to whom he is an excellent master. His house at Palermo is a good deal in the same style ; his carriages are covered with plates of brass, so that some of them are musquet. proof.

The government have had serious thoughts of demolithing the regiment of monsters he has placed round his house; but, as he is humane and inoffensive, and as this would certainly break his heart, they have as yet forborne. How- . ever, the seeing of them by women with child is said to have been already attended with very unfortunate circumftances; and ladies complain that they dare no longer take an airing in the Bagaria; that some hideous form always haunts their imagination for some time after: their hulbands too, it is said, are as little satisfied with the great variety of horns.

[ocr errors]

Remarkuble Instances of the SAGACITY of Dogs. The following Singular Account we have translated from the

Semanier, a Paris Parer. Ill it be unworthy of history-Will it be a departure from the respect I owe my readers, to preserve the memory of a Dog, who poured out his life with grief upon the alhes of the man whose hand had nourished him? A few

day's

FROM A PARIS PAPER.

505

days before the gth Thermidor, the day on which Robele pierre was overthrown, a revolutionary tribunal in one of the departments of the North of France condemned to death M. des R****, an ancient magistrate, and a most efti. mable man, guilty, at fifty leagues from Paris, of a con. spiracy, which had not existed at St. Lazare. M. des R. had a water spaniel, of ten or twelve years old, of the small breed, which had been brought up by him, and had never quitted him. Des R. in prison saw his family dispersed by a system of terror ;—some had taken flight; others, themselves arrested, were carried into distant gaols; his domestics were dismissed ; his house was buried in the solitude of the Seals; his friends either abandoned him, or concealed themselves; every thing in the world was filent to him, except his dog. This faithful animal had been refused ad- . mittance into the prison. He had returned to his master's

house, and found it fhut. He took refuge with a neigh- bour, who received himn; but that posterity may judge

foundly of the times in which we have existed, it must be added, that this man received him trembling, in secret, and dreading left his humanity for an animal should conduct him to the scaffold. Every day, at the same hour, the dog left the house, and went to the door of the prison. He was refused admittance, but he constantly passed an hour before it, and then returned. His fidelity at length won upon the porter, and he was one day allowed to enter. The dog saw his master. It was difficult to separate them; but the gaoler carried him away, and the dog returned to his retreat. He came back the next morning, and every day; and once each day he was admitted. He licked the hand of his friend, looked at him, licked his hand again, and went away of himself.

" When the day of sentence arrived, notwithstanding the crowd, notwithstanding the guard, he penetrated into the hall, and crouched himself between the legs of the unVOL. I. No. 11.

happy

3 T

happy man, whom he was about to lose for ever. The judges condemned the man; and, may my tears be pardoned for the expression, which escapes from them, they condemned him in the presence of his dog. They reconducted him to the prison, and the dog, for that time, did not quit the door. The fatal hour arrives, the prison opens; the unfortunate man paffes out; it is the dog that receives him at the threshold. He clings upon his hand. 'Alas! that hand will will never more be spread upon thy caressing head! He follows him. The axe falls, the master dies, but the tenderness of the dog cannot ceafe. The body is carried away, he walks at its fide ; the earth receives it, he lays himself upon the grave. .

“ There he passed the first night, the next day, the fecond night. The neighbour, in the mean time, unhappy at not seeing him, risks himself, searching for the dog, guesses for the extent of his fidelity the asylum he has chofen, finds him, caresses him, brings him back, and makes him eat. An hour afterwards, the dog escaped, and regained his favourite place. Three months passed away, each morning of which he came to feek his food, and then returned to the ashes of his master; but each day he was more fad, more meagre, more languishing, and it was plain that he was gradually reaching his end. They endeavoured, by chaining him up, to wean him ; but you cannot, triumph over Nature! He broke, or bit through his bonds; escaped ; returned to the grave, and never quitted it more. It was in vain that they endeavoured to bring him back. They carried him food, but he ate no longer. For four and twenty hours he was seen employing his weakened limbs in digging up the earth that feparated him from the remains of the man he had so much loved. : Passion gave him strength, and he gradually approached the body; his labours of affection then vehemently increased ; his efforts became convullive; he shrieked in his

struggles;

« ПредишнаНапред »