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fortune forsook his banners, to pine a prisoner on a desolate rock, without even a line to sooth his grief, or to tell that he was still remembered ?
I turned from these neglected trophies of departed glory with no increased respect for her, who having allowed them to be offered for sale, and finding no purchaser, now permits them to be shown to all who desire to behold such mementos of the mutability of fortune; and to moralize on the fallen greatness of one whose name will ever remind posterity of the most signal example of mortal instability. Not greater the ascent than the downfall!
Went over the Steccata church; containing the usual number of pictures and monuments. The ceiling of the gallery, behind the high altar, has Moses breaking the tables of the law, and another fine, though unfinished work of Parmegiano, Adam and Eve, said to be the last he ever touched.
The Palazzo di Giardino, or old ducal palace, contains a room well worthy attention, the ceiling being painted by Agostino Caraccio, and the walls by Cignani. These frescos are charming; and their beauty excites regret that one compartment was left unfinished, Caraccio having died while engaged on it. We lingered long in contemplating them, instead of hurrying round the various churches to which our cicerone was anxious to conduct us; such persons attaching in general more importance to the quantity than to the quality of what they show. He pointed out to us the spot
once occupied by the house of Petrarch; that house in which he received the account of the death of Laura, and had the remarkable dream in which she appeared to him.
PIACENZA.—This is a cheerful though not a fine town, and the country around it is fertile and smiling. The cathedral and church of the Madonna della Campagna have some good pictures and frescos ; but after the multitudinous collections I have seen, I begin to get tired of noting down any that have not made a very striking impression on me.
In the square are two equestrian statues of great merit; one represents Ranuccio and the other Alexander Farnese. I did not visit the town-hall or theatre, though both are said to be worthy of examination; but I looked on the spot where it is said Alberoni first saw the light, and where Pope Gregory X. was born.
The difference between individuals born on the same spot, is as great as that between flowers springing from the same bed. Alberoni, the son of a gardener, bold and ambitious, rose by his talents, even less than by his consummate tact, to the
government of Spain, and restored to it the martial character of former times; while Gregory, the scion of an ancient and noble family, devoted his abilities to reconcile the differences that had so long divided the eastern and western churches.
GENOA.- Once more at Genoa. How
recollections come crowding on memory at the sight of this place, and the well known objects that every where meet my view! In each, and all, Byron bears
, a prominent part, and every thing around me looks so exactly as when he used to be present, that I feel my regret for his loss renewed afresh. Strange and powerful effect of association! On the balcony near which I now write he has stood conversing with me; the same scene spread out before us, the same blue clouds floating over our heads. So distinctly does the spot recal him to my memory, that I seem again to see his face, that expressive and intelligent countenance; and to hear the sound of that clear, low, and musical voice, never more to be heard on earth.
I can hardly bring myself to think that five long years have elapsed since I stood here listening to Byron's reflections on the past, and projects for the future: and that now he is in the narrow house.
When I last visited Genoa, it was on our route to Nice in 1826. Snow was then on the ground, and every thing was so dark and dreary, that Genoa no longer appeared as I had been accustomed to behold it; but now, with a blue sky and sunshine, a genial air, and every thing around wearing the aspect of summer, it looks so precisely as it was wont to do, when in 1823 I first sojourned here, that all my recollections of that happy period are awakened.
Our kind friend Mr. Barry has been already here to greet us, and we have promised to dine with him to-morrow at Albaro, in the Palazzo Saluzzi, the house where I first saw Byron. He remarked that the sight of us brought back to him the memory of Lord Byron very forcibly, and spoke of him with much feeling.
The public walks, the Acqua Verde and the Acqua Sola, are much improved since I left them. Walking in the latter, I saw, attended by a lady, an English girl, whose countenance struck me as resembling in an extraordinary degree that of Lord Byron; and on approaching nearer to her, the likeness became still more evident. Our laquais-deplace observing that the young lady had excited our curiosity, advanced, and in a low tone of voice informed us that she was the daughter of the great poet, Lord Byron.
It was indeed - Ada, sole daughter of my house and heart.” We had not previously heard that Lady Byron was in Genoa, so that we were little conscious when remarking the family resemblance how natural it was. And here were they sojourning in this place, where five years ago his heart would have palpitated with joy at the idea of being so near them; and where the knowledge that his daughter's feet had pressed the soil, would have endeared the very earth to him. Here, where they so often occupied his thoughts, those busy, bitter, yet tender thoughts, were they looking on the same objects, and moving in the same scenes once familiar to him! And he who would have welcomed them is in his English grave: and nothing remains to tell them with what yearning affection they were remembered by him here, when a mournful foreboding, too truly verified by the event, told him he should never return from Greece, for which expedition he was then preparing.
The sight of Lady Byron and her daughter affected me strangely, and brought back to my mind many of the conversations in which Lord Byron referred to them with such tenderness.
We went early to-day to our dinner engagement at Mr. Barry's, and felt a mournful interest in inspect
a ing the apartments occupied by Lord Byron. They are very nearly in the same state as when he resided here ; for Mr. and Mrs. Barry entertain a lively recollection of him, and like to leave undisturbed every thing that identifies the place with his memory. .
I sat on the chair where I had formerly been seated next him ; looked from the window whence he had pointed out a beautiful view; and listened to Mr. Barry's graphic description of the scene, when becalmed in the gulf of Genoa, the day he sailed for Greece, he returned, and walked through the rooms of his deserted dwelling, filled with melancholy forebodings. He had hoped to have found in it her whom he was destined never more to behold, that fair and young Italian lady, the Contessa Guiccioli; whose attachment to him had triumphed over every sentiment of prudence and interest, and by its devo