who is still young, and who took part in Garibaldi's Neapolitan campaign and also in the last Lombard war, is Secretary.

Worked daily there from nine till three. I discovered so much useful material that I shall return another time. For the periods of Adrian VI. and Clement VII. I discovered the correspondence of the Mantuan envoys in Rome, even that from headquarters, and autograph letters from almost every prominent personage of the time. Have thereby added to the last three chapters of vol. viii., and have acquired so much information, especially concerning the Sack of Rome, as will rejoice the heart of Ranke, who told me in Munich that there was no longer anything fresh to add, he having already explored every source. He had not, however, seen the archives of Mantua; and, indeed, it is few who have, the Austrian Government having made access to them very difficult. Count Arco calls them Archivio Vergine. The correspondence of Castiglione, Clement VII.'s Nuncio at Madrid, several of whose letters are unedited, lies there; likewise the reports of Suardino, the envoy of Mantua at Madrid. Copied several letters of Caesar Borgia.

Have never suffered from cold as I did at Mantua. I hardly expected to leave the place alive, and it was only the joy over my discoveries in the archives that sustained my vitality.

Saw the Palazzo del Te again, also the celebrated frescoes of Giulio Romano. A lady came running to the room terrified from the Sala dei Giganti. Saw the little house built by Giulio Romano, which still remains unaltered. The same pupil of Raffaelle also executed large paintings in the Palazzo Gonzaga. His finest frescoes are found in the Sala dei Trojani, where he painted an original conception of the Judgment of Paris—not the act itself, but the circumstance that preceded it. Mercury holding the apple in his hand leads the goddesses to the Shepherd, who is seen sitting in the distance beside his flock. Laocoon is also painted in the same room. The artist, with a painter's license, has divided the group; the three figures stand behind one another—the serpent rises out of the sea to attack them.

The castle of the Gonzaga, a part of which was lately restored by the unfortunate Archduke Maximilian, is a colossal square of buildings belonging to different periods, with courts, gardens, a labyrinth of rooms—a Vatican in miniature. It was conspicuous during the Renaissance for splendour, beauty, and the presence of the noblest intellects of the country. No celebrated personality of the time, when Castiglione wrote his Cortegiano, but graced its rooms. The centre of the company was Isabella d'Este, sister of Alfonso, and wife of Giovanni Francesco Gonzaga. Giovanni de Medici, of the Bande Neri, died here in the arms of Arabino.

In the beginning of the sixteenth century and still earlier, Mantua was renowned for its Academy, the continuation of the first Humanist school of Vittorino. A street still bears the name of Pomponazzi, the philosopher who denied the immortality of the soul, in the days of Julius II. and Leo X.

The keepers of the archives conducted me to the prisons of the castle, and showed me the room from which Orsini had escaped with such audacity, by his murderous bomb, to incite Napoleon to effect the emancipation of Italy. These prisons are no terrible dungeons, but clean rooms, to the honour of Austria, as I observed to my guides, who also acknowledged it.

One day we had a meal together in the palace of the Bonacorsi, which afterwards fell into possession of the Castiglione. Of ancient families in Mantua there still remains a branch of this house; further, the Colloredo, dal Bagno, Cavriani, and Arco. Called on the representative of the last named, and in a desolate, chilly room, amid books and manuscripts, found an old man half-blind and with a crab-like face, the pitiable incarnation of human suffering. With profound sadness I gazed on the old man, who had rendered such service to the history of Mantua, more especially to its municipal constitution, and who, even on the verge of the grave and the rack of suffering, continues his patriotic studies.

As soon as I had finished my labours in the archives I wandered through the town and round the lakes, on which large black barges row down to the Po, and to the Citadel, where stands the lonely monument to Andreas Hofer. In the evening there was always a great stir in the main street under the beautiful arcades, and the sounds of youthful life, as at the Befana in Rome. The approaching festa of S. Lucia is Mantua's Christmas.

On the morning of December 12, came by post to Modena, to reach the railway. It was still dark and bitterly cold; the windows of the carriage covered with frost. It was delightful to watch the night give way to dawn, to see the morning glow, and the sun rise in his splendour! We soon crossed the Po at S. Benedetto, in the same ferry-boat which had borne me across more than nineteen years ago, when I traversed the same road, in utter darkness as to my future and destiny.

Beyond S. Benedetto the axle of the carriage broke, and the vehicle remained by the roadside, while we sat perplexed. A procession of two-wheeled carts, laden with stone for the road, came by, driven by sturdy labourers wearing red caps. They helped to make fast the axle with ropes, but it was of no avail and only wasted time. A boy was sent on horseback to Moglia, the nearest postal station, to announce our misfortune, while the mail-bags and luggage were packed on the carts.

Walked on energetically in warm sunshine along the excellent road, the procession of carts following far behind. Four miles farther on was met by a little carriage, driven by two handsome young men, sons of the post-master, which brought me to Moglia, and in the same little carriage travelled on to Carpi.

Carpi is the capital of the principality of the Pii, who built a beautiful castle there. Had only sufficient time to enter the courtyard, which I did with thoughts of Alberto Pio, who had received the great Aldus in his printingoffice here. Afterwards proceeded with the post to Modena.

Bologna in the evening, where I spent the night at the Hotel Brun. On the 13th called on Frati at the Archigin nasio, who allowed me to see the now completed arrangements of this splendid institution, and the new Museum of Etruscan Antiquities. It was bitterly cold, snow lying on the roofs. Arrived at Florence at eight, and at ten on the night of December 13, left again for Rome.

Found my friends here in good spirits; even Madame L. in better health than I had expected. Called only on a few, among them on the Duke of Sermoneta and Donna Ersilia, whose husband took me to the House of Parliament .

On the 17th, the cold which had been coming on me for so long began to develop. Instead of acquiring a voice like the trumpet, which Miinchhausen did in thawing, I lost mine and became quite speechless. Have been obliged to keep my room for five entire days.

Rome, December 31.

The first person of my acquaintance whom I met was, strangely enough, Archbishop Strossmayer, who was walking in the noontide sun in the Piazza di Spagna, with Worsack, his theologian. He looked to me physically and mentally broken.

Herr von Donniges, the Bavarian envoy at the Italian Court, is living in my neighbourhood. He is ill of smallpox, so that I have not seen him yet. Avoid parties, and have only been to one of Count Tauffkirchen's Thursday evenings.

Have already turned to account for the last three chapters of vol. viii., the treasures which I collected at Mantua. When I have rewritten the concluding survey, I shall have put the final touches to my life's work. This will alter my attitude to Rome. Shall sever myself from the city, which already begins to seem the legend of my little life. Nothing else can so painfully bring home to me the transient nature and instability of human things. 1872

ROME, February 10. At the beginning of January Donniges died of smallpox, and we buried him beside the Pyramid of Cestius. Only a few people were present at the funeral—Count Tauffkirchen, an attache " from the Embassy, Dehrenthal, Riedel, Lindemann, and I. Donniges had been a member of the Bavarian Academie der Wissenschaften; had edited the Regesta of Henry VII. from the Turin archives; was the confidant of King Max; and it was at his instigation that the King had invited men such as Liebig to Munich. As a Protestant, he was intensely hated by the Ultramontanes. Have seen several celebrated Italians at Donna Ersilia's and Teano's; for instance Sella, Minghetti, Bonghi, Guerrieri Gonzaga (translator of Faust), and Terenzio Mamiani. Bonghi is editor of the Perseveranza, which showed itself so hostile to Germany during the last war. He is at the same time professor of Ancient History at Milan, a man of great ability in his own pedantic routine.

Rosenkranz sent Rafael Mariano, a talented young philosopher, belonging to Vera's school, to see me. He has written some philosophical treatises, also a review of modern Italian philosophy which he has dedicated to Rosenkranz. As leaders of this movement he cites Galuppi, Rosmini, Gioberti, Auronio Franchi, and expresses the opinion that the whole modern philosophy of Italy, bound as it is by the fetters of Scholasticism and Catholicism, stands outside the scientific movement and is devoid of importance.


« PreviousContinue »