Imatges de pàgina
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Capitol. Before you is the Palatine where Romulus stood : beneath you are Cyclopean walls and the rock-hewn dungeon of one of the villages out of which the Empire sprang. On yonder hills Hannibal encamped. Through those gates marched the legions which conquered the world. There runs the Via Sacra, along which the victorious generals passed in triumph. The Forum in which crowds hung upon the eloquence of Cicero, and the spot where Cæsar fell pierced with wounds are before

There stretches the Appian Way, trodden by the feet of a prisoner from Jerusalem who was to win for his Master a nobler victory, and for himself a more imperishable crown than Romans ever knew. That vast pile is the Colosseum where Christians were flung to the lions, and gave their blood to be the seed of the Church. The Campagna around us is hollowed into catacombs in which they laid down their dead to rest in peace. There stands the arch where Titus passed bearing the spoils of the temple. Baths, temples, palaces, basilicas, attest the splendour of the Empire, and mark its decline and ruin. The records of mediæval anarchy may be read in battlemented ruins. And each step in the history of the papacy has left its mark in the ecclesiastical edifices around us, through its culminating splendours in the Basilica of St. Peter down to the column which celebrates the dogma of the immaculate conception, and the tablet which announces the infallibility of the pope.

Anything more lonely and desolate than the Campagna around Rome it would be difficult to

imagine. A waste of moorland stretches far and wide, covered with greyish brown moss and coarse grass. Its surface is broken up by a succession of hillocks, many, perhaps most, of which cover the remains of ancient grandeur and prosperity. Out of not a few of them rise crumbling walls and towers of various dates—the strongholds of turbulent barons, the villas and palaces of Roman senators and knights, or old Etrurian towns which had passed their prime before Rome rose to empire. Buffaloes and dove-coloured oxen wander over the waste or plunge into the morasses which lie between the mounds, to escape the stings of innumerable swarms of flies. Goats and goat-like sheep straggle here and there, guarded by wolf-like dogs, and tended by herdsmen, clad in sheep-skin jackets, their feet and legs swathed in filthy rags. The few human beings one encounters are livid in complexion, with sunken eyes and fever-stricken faces for the malaria exhaled from the soil is laden with the seeds of disease and death. Here and there a string of country carts may be seena few boards rudely nailed together and drawn by oxen or miserable horses_each one has a canopy of basket-work covered with hide, beneath which the driver crouches to escape the wind, or rain, or

Across this dreary waste travellers hasten to reach the city before sunset, for to breathe the air of the Campagna after nightfall might be fatal.

Dr. Manning:

sun.

XXIV.

DESCRIPTIONS OF FLOWERS.

1.-Perdita and her Flowers.

Perdita.

Sir, welcome : It is my father's will I should take on me The hostess-ship o' the day. [To Camillo] You're wel.

come, sir,
Give me those flowers there, Dorcas. Reverend sirs,
For you there's rosemary and rue; these keep
Seeming and savour all the winter long :
Grace and remembrance be to you both,
And welcome to our shearing !
Polixenes.

Shepherdess,
A fair one are you—well you fit our ages
With flowers of winter.
Per.

Sir, the year growing ancient,
Not yet on summer's death, nor on the birth
Of trembling winter, the fairest flowers o' the season
Are our carnations and streak'd gillyvors.

... Here's flowers for you :
Hot lavender, mints, savory, marjoram;
The marigold, that goes. to bed wi' the sun
And with him rises weeping : these are flowers
Of middle summer, and I think they are given
To men of middle age. You're very welcome.

Now, my fair'st friend,
I would I had some flowers o'the spring that might
Become your time of day; and yours, and yours.

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O Proserpina,
For the flowers now, that frighted thou let'st fall
From Dis's waggon ! daffodils,
That come before the swallow dares, and take
The winds of March with beauty; violets dim,
But sweeter than the lids of Juno's eyes
Or Cytherea's breath ; pale primroses,
That die unmarried, ere they can behold
Bright Phoebus in his strength--a malady
Most incident to maids; bold oxlips and
The crown imperial; lilies of all kinds,
The flower-de-luce being one !

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Shakespeare (from The Winter's Tale).

II.-Oberon and Titania.

Oberon. Hast thou the flower there? Welcome,

wanderer.
Puck. Ay, there it is.
Obe.

I pray thee, give it me.
I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows, 2
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine :3
There sleeps Titania sometime of the night,
Lulld in these flowers with dances and delight;
And there the snake throws her enamell’d skin,
Weed wide enough to wrap a fairy in :
And with the juice of this I'll streak her eyes,
And make her full of hateful fantasies.

Shakespeare (from A Midsummer Night's Dream).

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III.-From Lycidas. Bring the rathe 4 primrose that forsaken dies, The tufted crow-toe, and pale jessamine, The white pink, and the pansy freaked with jet, The glowing violet, The musk-rose, and the well-attired woodbine, With cowslips wan that hang the pensive head, And every flower that sad embroidery wears; Bid amaranthus all his beauty shed, And daffodillies fill their cups with tears, To strew the laureate hearse where Lycid lies.

Milton,

IV.-From Endymion.

Above his head
Four lily stalks did their white honours wed
To make a coronal; and round him grew
All tendrils green, of every bloom and hue,
Together intertwined and tramell'd fresh:
The vine of glossy sprout; the ivy mesh,
Shading its Ethiop berries; and woodbine,
Of velvet leaves and bugle-blooms divine;
Convolvolus in streaked vases flush

;
The creeper, mellowing for an autumn blush;
And virgin's bower, trailing airily;
With others of the sisterhood.

7. Keats.

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