Goethe's Travels in Italy: Together with His Second Residence in Rome and Fragments on Italy

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Page 56 - All that surrounds me is dignified—a grand venerable work of combined human energies, a noble monument, not of a ruler, but of a people. And if their lagunes are gradually filling up, if unwholesome...
Page 74 - Bohme says that, by seeing a pewter platter by a ray from Jupiter, he was enlightened as to the whole universe. There is also in this collection a fragment of the entablature of the temple of Antoninus and Faustina in Rome. The bold front of this noble piece of architecture reminded me of the capitol of the Pantheon at Mannheim.
Page 66 - Republic, on the highest festivals in honour of its ancient rule on the sea; and the problem has been admirably solved. The vessel is all ornament; we ought to say, it is overladen with ornament; it is altogether one piece of gilt carving, for no other use, but that of a pageant to exhibit to the people its leaders in right noble style. We know well enough that a people, who likes to deck out its boats, is no less pleased to see their rulers bravely adorned. This state-galley is a good index to show...
Page 283 - After this the eye falls on the whole of the long ridge of ^Etna ; then on the left it catches a view of the seashore, as far as Catania, and even Syracuse ; and then the wide and extensive view is closed by the immense smoking volcano, but not horribly, for the atmosphere, with its softening effect, makes it look more distant and milder than it really is.
Page 121 - Yesterday I visited the nymph ^Egeria, and then the Hippodrome of Caracalla, the ruined tombs along the Via Appia, and the tomb of Metella, which is the first to give one a true idea of what solid masonry really is. These men worked for eternity. All causes of decay were calculated, except the rage of the spoiler, which nothing can resist.
Page 157 - Coliseum. At night it is always closed. A hermit dwells in a little shrine within its range, and beggars of all kinds nestle beneath its crumbling arches : the latter had lit a fire on the arena, and a gentle wind bore down the smoke to the ground, so that the lower portion of the ruins was quite hid by it ; while above, the vast walls stood out in deeper darkness before the eye. As we stopped at the gate to contemplate the scene through the iron gratings, the moon shone brightly in the heavens above....
Page 330 - I look forward with great pleasure to the third part of Herder's work. . . . No doubt, he has admirably developed that lovely wish-dream of mankind that some day things will be better.
Page 122 - The remains of the principal aqueduct are highly venerable. How beautiful and grand a design, to supply a whole people with water by so vast a structure! In the evening we came upon the Coliseum, when it was already twilight. When one looks at it, all else seems little ; the edifice is so vast, that one cannot hold the image of it in one's soul — in memory we think it smaller, and then return to it again to find it every time greater than before.
Page 406 - These high works of art," writes Goethe, " are also the highest works of Nature, produced by men in accordance with true and natural laws. All arbitrariness, all self-conceit is banished ; here is necessity, here is God.
Page 182 - We soon stood on the brink of the vast chasm, the smoke of which, altho a gentle air was bearing it away from us, unfortunately veiled the interior of the crater, which smoked all round from a thousand crannies. At intervals, however, we caught sight through the smoke of the cracked walls of the rock. The view was neither instructive nor delightful; but for the very reason that one saw nothing, one lingered in the hope of catching a glimpse of something more; and so we forgot our slow counting. We...

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