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revived. The story is told by Theodoret” and Cassiodorus +, and seems worthy of credit notwithstanding its place in the Roman martyrology.f Besides the torrents of blood which flowed at the funerals, in the amphitheatres, the circus, the forums, and other public places, gladiators were introduced at feasts, and tore each other to pieces amidst the supper tables, to the great delight and applause of the guests. Yet Lipsius permits himself to suppose the loss of courage, and the evident degeneracy of mankind, to be nearly connected with the abolition of these bloody spectacles. §
Here, where the Roman million's blame or praise
When one gladiator wounded another, he shouted, “he has it,” “hoc habet,” or “habet.” The wounded combatant dropped his weapon, and advancing to the edge of the arena, supplicated the spectators. If he had fought well, the people saved him; if otherwise, or as they happened to be inclined, they turned down their thumbs, and he was slain. They were occasionally so savage that they were impatient if a combat lasted longer than ordinary without wounds or death. The emperor's presence generally saved the vanquished; and it is recorded as an instance of Caracalla's ferocity, that he sent those who supplicated him for life, in a spectacle, at Nicomedia, to ask the people; in other words, handed them over to be slain. A similar ceremony is observed at the Spanish bull-fights. The magistrate presides; and after the horsemen and piccadores have fought the bull, the matadore steps forward and bows to him for permission to kill the animal. If the bull has done his duty by killing two or three horses, or a man, which last is rare, the people interfere with shouts, the ladies wave their hand
f Baronius, ad ann. et in notis ad Martyrol. Rom. I. Jan. See— Marangoni delle memorie sacre e profane dell’Anfiteatro Flavio, p. 25. edit. 1746.
§ “Quod 2 non tu Lipsi momentum aliquod habuisse censes ad virtutem 2 Magnum. Tempora nostra, mosque ipsos videamus. Oppidum ecce unum alterumve captum, direptum est; tumultus circa nos, non in nobis; et tamen concidimus et turbamur. Ubi robur, ubi tot per annos meditata sapientiae studia 2 ubi ille animus qui possit dicere, si fractus illabatur orbis P” &c. ibid. lib. ii, cap. xxv. The prototype of Mr. Windham's panegyric on bull-baiting.
kerchiefs, and the animal is saved. The wounds and death of the horses are accompanied with the loudest acclamations, and many gestures of delight, especially from the female portion of the audience, including those of the gentlest blood. Everything depends on habit. The author of Childe Harold, the writer of this note, and one or two other Englishmen, who have certainly in other days borne the sight of a pitched battle, were, during the summer of 1809, in the governor's box at the great amphitheatre of Santa Maria, opposite to Cadiz. The death of one or two horses completely satisfied their curiosity. A gentleman present, observing them shudder and look pale, noticed that unusual reception of so delightful a sport to some young ladies, who stared and smiled, and continued their applauses as another horse fell bleeding to the ground. One bull killed three horses qff his own horns. He was saved by acclamations, which were redoubled when it was known he belonged to a priest. An Englishman who can be much pleased with seeing two men beat themselves to pieces, cannot bear to look at a horse galloping round an arena with his bowels trailing on the ground, and turns from the spectacle and the spectators with horror and disgust.
The Latian coast,” &c. &c.
The whole declivity of the Alban hill is of unrivalled beauty, and from the convent on the highest point, which has succeeded to the temple of the Latian Jupiter, the prospect embraces all the objects alluded to in the cited stanza; the Mediterranean; the whole scene of the latter half of the AEneid, and the coast from beyond the mouth of the Tiber to the headland of Circaeum and the Cape of Terracina. The site of Cicero's villa may be supposed either at the Grotta Ferrata, or at the Tusculum of Prince Lucien Buonaparte. The former was thought some years ago the actual site, as may be seen from Middleton's Life of Cicero. At present it has lost something of its credit, except for the Domenichinos. Nine monks of the Greek order live there, and the adjoining villa is a cardinal's summer-house. The other villa, called Rufinella, is on the summit of the hill above Frascati, and many rich remains of Tusculum have been found there, besides seventytwo statues of different merit and preservation, and seven busts. From the same eminence are seen the Sabine hills, embosomed in which lies the long valley of Rustica. There are several circumstances which tend to establish the identity of this valley with the “Ustica” of Horace;
and it seems possible that the mosaic pavement which the peasants uncover
“Me quotiens reficit gelidus Digentia rivus, -
The stream is clear high up the valley, but before it reaches the hill of
“. . . . tu frigus amabile
* IMP. CAESAR WESPASIANVS PONTIFEx MAXIMWS. TriB. Potest. CENSOR - AEDEM victoriae. Wet WSTATE ILLAPSAM. swa. IMPENSA. RESTITWiT.
The peasants show another spring near the mosaic pavement which they call “Oradina,” and which flows down the hills into a tank, or mill-dam, and thence trickles over into the Digentia.
But we must not hope
“To trace the Muses upwards to their spring,”
by exploring the windings of the romantic valley in search of the Bandusian fountain. It seems strange that any one should have thought Bandusia a fountain of the Digentia–Horace has not let drop a word of it; and this immortal spring has in fact been discovered in possession of the holders of many good things in Italy, the monks. It was attached to the church of St. Gervais and Protais near Venusia, where it was most likely to be found.* We shall not be so lucky as a late traveller in finding the occasional pine still pendent on the poetic villa. There is not a pine in the whole valley, but there are two cypresses, which he evidently took, or mistook, for the tree in the ode.f. The truth is, that the pine is now, as it was in the days of Virgil, a garden tree, and it was not at all likely to be found in the craggy acclivities of the valley of Rustica. Horace probably had one of them in the orchard close above his farm, immediately overshadowing his villa, not on the rocky heights at some distance from his abode. The tourist may have easily supposed himself to have seen this pine figured in the above cypresses; for the orange and lemon trees which throw such a bloom over his description of the royal gardens at Naples, unless they have been since displaced, were assuredly only acacias and other common garden shrubs.t
The extreme disappointment experienced by choosing the Classical Tourist as a guide in Italy must be allowed to find vent in a few observations, which, it is asserted without fear of contradiction, will be confirmed by every one who has selected the same conductor through the same country. This author is in fact one of the most inaccurate, unsatisfactory writers that have in our times attained a temporary reputation, and is very seldom to be trusted even when he speaks of objects which he must be presumed to have seen. His errors, from the simple exaggeration
* See— Historical Illustrations of the Fourth Canto, p. 43. f See— Classical Tour, &c. chap. vii. p. 250 vol. ii.
f “Under our windows, and bordering on the beach, is the royal garden, laid out in parterres, and walks shaded by rows of orange trees.” Classical Tour, &c. chap. xi, vol. ii. oct. 365.
to the downright mis-statement, are so frequent as to induce a suspicion