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Never were the four orders of architecture so harmoniously combined as on those arched walls, formed of large blocks of Tivoli marble, on which the shadows fall so heavily in the moonlight. Successive masses of gloom indicate some of the many entrances, of which there are eighty, all numbered except one-the imperial ingress opposite the Palatine Hill -with a subterranean passage constructed by Commodus beside the royal entrance, and in which he was very nearly assassinated.
Among these openings one was named Sandapilaria, or Libitinalis ; the other, Sanavivaria. Near the former was the Spoliarium, where the bodies of men and beasts killed on the arena were thrown pell-mell-an awful charnel-house, which must have overflowed when imperial Titus inaugurated his amphitheatre by games which lasted one hundred days, when five thousand wild beasts and many thousand gladiators were killed.
Waiting for the arrival of the company, we had quietly paced round and round the Coliseum. I devoutly hoped they would not come, but at last, after a long space, Count Z and a whole tribe of French ladies made their appearance. The French sentry at first positively refused to let us enter.
"On ne passe pas par ici," echoed through the colonnade.
"Comment," cried one of his country women; "vous êtes Français et si peu galant? Mon Dieu," added she, turning to Count Z-; "c'est qu'il faut qu'il y ait bien longtemps qu'il a quitté la France!"
Count Z- expostulated in Italian, talking as rapidly as Figaro-declared he had a permesso at last got furious and excited, and swore at the sentry classical oaths; but it was of no manner of use, the musket still barred the entrance, and the man was immovable. To be sure, it was enough to anger any one less excitable than an Italian, to have invited a large party there and not to be able to get in. Count Zrushed frantically about, his hands clutching his hair, and looked quite melodramatic, gesticulating in his full Spanish cloak draped around him. At last the scena ended in our favour by the appearance of the custode from within, who at once cleared the way.
"Mon ami," said the French lady to the sentinel as she passed him, souvenez-vous toujours qu'un Français doit faire partout place aux dames."
The Coliseum by moonlight is very beautiful; a dim mysterious look hangs about the walls, half sunk in deepest gloom, half revealed in the clear argentine light of the moon, riding above in the blue heavens; yet I cannot say that to me it appeared more impressive than by day, though certainly more poetical. I had gone with a vague, undefined idea of something wonderful, and I was disappointed-the coloured lights were barbarous, and made the venerable ruin look like a painted pasteboard scene on the other side of the lake (Anglicè-pond) at the Surrey Gardens. One only effect was fine torches of pitch, planted under a series of arches in the upper stories, bringing out grandly every overarching line and pillar, even the long grass trailing in the breeze, while all near was buried in gloom. To my own taste, I prefer the Coliseum as I have described it on a Friday afternoon, when the black penitents are grouped round the altars and about the central cross, mingled with
rich picturesque dresses of the Roman women, all kneeling in various at titudes of deep devotion, a mellow wintry sun lighting up the whole.→→→→ While the French ladies, attended by the now radiant count, raced about the galleries, appearing and disappearing among the arches in the red and blue lights, looking like a sabbat of witches, I sat down on the steps of the black cross planted in the centre of the arena, and fell to rebuilding and repeopling those mighty galleries.
The space around is deep in sand, and the lions, and panthers, and bears hoarsely roar in their barred cages on a level with the arena. The imperial door (which bears no name engraven on it) opens, and the em peror enters, gorgeously apparelled in the imperial purple, wearing on his head a crown of gold. He is followed by the court, glistening and quiver. ing in magnificent apparel, like stars, but of inferior magnitude. Next following are the vestal virgins, robed in white draperies and purple mantles, and the senate arrayed in white togas, with embroidered borders of gold. These all take their places on the lowest gallery, the podium, protected by a golden network. Eighty-seven thousand spectators fill those ranges of seats in an instant, as if by magic; the matrons and virgins resplendent in scarlet, purple, gold, and diamonds, forming a brilliant circle apart among the darker-robed men.
After the sacrifices, which always preceded the games, martial music thunders forth, and the gladiators appear, ranging themselves in two parallel lines, bearing whips, with which they scourge the wretched bestiarii, who in a long line pass between them-slaves, prisoners, Christians, children, women, and old men-all devoted to die in the coming games. Preceded by a herald, the gladiators now pass in procession round the amphitheatre, bowing to the emperor, and exclaiming, "Cæsar, morituri te salutant." ("Cæsar, those about to die salute thee.") But the opening ceremonies appear tedious to the impatient plebs, who roar and cry in the upper galleries, and will wait no longer, so the vestals give the signal to begin. The grated doors are raised, and the wild beasts rush like a hurricane over the arena; a hurricane that rains blood, for see in a moment the arms, legs, heads, and entrails that cover the sand! Troop after troop of bestiarii appear-the excitement is inflamed to madness emperor, people, women, vestals, long for and gloat upon the sight of blood, and applaud and incite the hideous carnage. The bestiarii being all despatched, next are to come the gladiators. The attendants, too, are there, and drag off the bodies into the Spoliarium; one of them is called Mercury, the other Pluto, and they bear the attributes of these divinities. Mercury touches the dead with a red hot iron, and Pluto gives the coup de grace. Handsome slaves, elegantly dressed, appear and rake over the sand to obliterate the traces of blood, while ingeniously-contrived gratings exude showers of perfumes over the amphitheatre to refresh the air heavy with the strong smell of blood. The velarium at the top, arranged so as to exclude the sun, undulates with an artificial movement, serving as a great fan, or gigantic ventilator, while songs and symphonies are accom panied by an harmonious orchestra, and buffoons and tumblers amuse the audience.
But see! the gladiators mounted on splendid cars appear, and driving round again salute the emperor. "Cæsar, morituri te salutant" resounds in
chorus. They are dressed in a short red or white tunic, with a cincture of worked leather, and bear a small shield, a trident, and a net; some have only a larger shield, and others carry a noose, or are armed with swords. They are mostly Gauls by birth, and are to fight both on horseback and on foot successively, one troop after another, to vary the games by their particular modes of combat. Some there are, "sine missione," self-doomed to death, and this fact has been duly noticed on the manifestoes in order to draw more company. The trumpets sound-the fight has begun! The swords cross-lances meet-and blood again flows in copious streams. Yet the people grumble and hiss-death is too sudden; the combatants are to eke out life by wounds to the utmost moment-not to strike and kill. "There is no amusement in seeing a man die," shouts one. "They are cowards, these gladiators," cries another. "They want to live," roars a third-but "They shall die," sounds all around. And die they shall, for their life rests on the vox populi. And that is now raised in horrid yells and shouts, hoarse as with blood. The spectators en masse rise—the vestals, too, stretch forth their arms, and threaten with gestures worthy of the Furies, terrible, convulsive-and the wretched gladiators are doomed, and fall to a man. Sometimes ten thousand fall on the ground where I now sit. Fresh gladiators appear, and are more prodigal of their blood, and as hideous wounds are inflicted, the cry, "Hoc habet!-Hoc habet!" flies round. Perhaps when one, who has fought nobly and interested the audience, is about to receive a death-blow, the thumb is raised, as the just dying gladiator appeals to the people, and he is spared; or, if the thumb be lowered, it is the sign of instant death, and the gladiator, holding in his hand the sword of his adversary, must direct the point against his own throat.
This is a glorious exhibition, and entrances every one as often as it occurs. The vestals, more ferocious than the one-breasted Amazons of yore, clap their hands in loud applause, and the whole amphitheatre thrills with transports of savage satisfaction. Three times have the handsome slaves cleared the sand of the arena, three times the odoriferous perfumes have descended. The combats of man to man are over for this day, but yet the audience is not contented-more blood must flow; blood always, but with a variety. Some richly-dressed slaves appear with a brazier filled with burning coals. What can this signify? The people have heard of the heroic action of Mutius Scævola, but have not seen it; the degenerate descendants of the ancient Romans desire to behold represented the stoic fortitude of their republican ancestor. A man advances into the midst of the arena, dressed in a tunica incendialis of sulphura lighted torch is held on each side-if he moves, he burns; and in this position he parodies Mutius, and his right hand is burnt off! Bestiarii are again dragged forth, while, moving from the principal entrance, appear artificial mounds covered with trees, shrubs, and herbage; suddenly their sides collapse, and lions, bears, panthers, and bisons rush forward on the arena. The carnage recommences-blood again scents
the air-and men and animals sink down on the sand in hideous death embraces. At last no more victims are left. A few savage animals remain masters of the field, and quietly sit down to crack the human bones around them.
Thus perished St. Ignatius, the Christian bishop, sent from the far east expressly to die in the Roman amphitheatre. He kneels in the midst of the arena, and the eyes of a hundred thousand spectators are bent upon him. "I am the Lord's wheat," exclaims he, "and I must be broken by the teeth of the beasts before I can become the bread of Jesus Christ." While he yet speaks, two lions fling themselves upon him, and in a moment nothing is left but a few large bones. Armies of martyrs perished within these walls-perished by a like death, and died rejoicing. Already heaven opened before them, and ecstatic visions saluted their closing eyes of ineffable radiance! They heard not the cries, the yells of the spectators: that holy and sainted band-Eustace, and the Virgins Martina, Tatiana, and Prisca; Julius and Marius, and the rest-whose spirits now rejoice in glory! Oh! sublime and immortal idea of the Catholic Church, to consecrate this detested arena! and plant a cross in the centre! "In hoc signo vici." Here, indeed, is the crosstriumphant!
THE PARAPLUIE VERT.
WHEN Mr. Sevenoaks (a name now shamefully abbreviated) paid his first visit to Paris, on the eve of the great dynastic changes which placed the younger branch of the Bourbons upon the throne of the elder, he determined, in honour of England, that everything he took with him should be of the best quality and description.
His hat was the finest beaver that Christy could produce. The chapeau de soie, now so universal, was then in its infancy. No one wore it but markers, laquais de place, and those doubtful members of the class gentleman, who, in various ways, lived upon their wits at the smallest possible cost. Why should it have gained the ascendant? It is Lord Bacon, I believe, who tells us that a state will never decay so long as the principles which led to its greatness are maintained. The chancellor's wisdom will equally apply to life's minor affairs. Had the manufacturers of beaver been true to the principles which brought it into favour, had they been less eager to economise labour to their own profit, and abstained from too ready a substitution of the furs of rabbits and of hares, it would never have given place to a rival. Alas! that it should: but those who knew it in the latest stages of its decline and fall may remember, that if its wearer walked upon the chain-pier at Brighton on a windy day, however it might have been smoothly brushed, it seemed on his return as if "each particular hair"-that formed its surface-"did stand on end," at the dangers it had encountered. Its glossy rotundity had become roughened into a resemblance of the restless billows which were dancing to the freshening breeze, imparting, on such occasions, a personal appearance which was the reverse of knowing. This gave one of its advantages to the advancing silk; and the good old British beaver was finally superseded. Less important changes were said to have endangered even our glorious constitution; but that sacred myth seems happily to
have a more than feline power of vitality; it has survived a good deal; and, if we get through our present difficulties, it will doubtless still go on, periodically expiring, for ages. The beaver was not so fortunate; though Mr. S., like a true Englishman, sported and supported it to the last.
His next favourite possession was his watch. It had been expressly made for him by Baraud. Very different from the celebrated watch of Captain Cuttle-it never required setting, but went to a second with progressive regularity; and Mr. S. was of opinion that it would continue to do so to the "last syllable of recorded time." Of its outside appearance I cannot say much. Its exterior was not equal to its virtues. It was large, heavy, and inelegant; and his French acquaintance at the cafés were in the habit of asking him, over and over again, the hour, with the object of provoking a malicious smile when, dilating with all the importance of the possessor of something valuable, he gravely produced it in reply. Many men would have discovered that they were laughed at. Mr. S. merely noted in his diary that the Parisians had a troublesome habit of asking what o'clock it was.
But the property upon which he prided himself more than anything else was a green silk umbrella. It must have been made in some happy moment; and was universally admired for its combined elegance, lightness, and strength. Mr. S. carried it under his arm with an air of conscious superiority; but it gave him an infinitude of trouble. If he mislaid it, he was miserable. At his hotel it was continually "Où est mon parapluie?” If he dined at a café, his first attempt at French, after a fussying movement, was "Garçon! Je cherche mon parapluie. C'est un parapluie vert, fabrique Anglaise." There was scarcely a shopkeeper in the Rue de la Paix whom he had not addressed, "Madame, j'ai perdu mon parapluie. L'avez vous vu? C'est un parapluie vert, fabrique
On one occasion he visited the Enfans Trouvés. I went there myself about the same time; and a horrible sight I thought it. I may say, episodically, that it is truly a place of retribution, where the crimes of the fathers are visited upon the children. They are left at the porter's lodge without formality or questioning, and sometimes as many as thirty are deposited in a day. Fifteen had been brought in, the morning I was there. Judging from those I saw, they have mostly the appearance of being the children of guilt and concealment. The nurses handle them pretty roughly while they fold them up in linen, very much after the fashion of an Egyptian mummy, and in this state they are laid upon the table, or passed from hand to hand like logs of wood or graven images. In the sick-room six or eight of the poor little wretches were lying, thus bound-up, upon a table before the fire, in the agonies of death; crying and moaning in a concert of misery which only a Dante could describe. I was attracted to a corner of the room by the same pitiable sounds, and upon drawing the curtain of a crib, a little object, with the shrunken features of suffering old age, fixed its haggard eyes upon me with one of those looks which it is impossible ever to forget. In a few months those who survive the first ordeal are sent to nurses in the country; and, including these out-pensioners, the whole number then on the establishment was five thousand. I do not know whether it made the same impression upon Mr. Sevenoaks as upon myself. Probably it