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“In the deep umbrage of the olive's shade.”
The Lucchese look upon the mountains. Does not this, in some measure, account for their love of liberty ? It may seem rather more fauciful than philosophic, but one can scarcely perambulate, on a fine day, the delightful promenade, which surrounds the walls, and gaze on the adjacent hills, without realizing, as it were, in the tenor of his musings, something of the elevated and inspiring sentiment, so beautifully typified by their green and graceful loftiness. ·High mountains are a feeling;' and were we to analyse the emotions they excite, surely the sense of freedom would be prominent among them. Not less in the spirit of wisdom than of poetry, should we found a city among the hills. Let the souls of men grow familiar with their sky-pointing summits, their blue waving lines, the dark hugeness of their forms at nightfall, and the rosy vestment thrown around them by the morning. It was not an accidental combination that
made the Alps Tell's birth-place, or planted the home of Hofer in the midst of the Tyrol. Originally a Roman colony, Lucca, in the middle ages, was repeatedly bartered away by successive masters, in consequence of the liberal principles of her inhabitants, until she succeeded while in the pos. session of Florence, in purchasing her freedom of Charles IV, for two hundred thousand guilders. One of her first selfcreated rulers was Castruccio, a warrior pre-eminent for consummate bravery; and, although involved in numer. ous wars, she maintained her independence till the time of Napoleon. It was a happy circumstance for the Lucchese, that the Emperor's sister who virtually governed them, had learned from her brother Lucien while in Paris, to love and respect the cause of Poetry and the Arts. Elise delighted in exhibiting this new-born taste, by a generous patronage of genius; and the traveller meets with many affecting proofs of the attachment in which her memory is still held by the people.
Well do the inhabitants of this little duchy, deserve the appellative so long, by general consent, bestowed on them, of the industrious. Fields of flax, and vegetable patches of the most promising aspect, indicate to the stranger his vicinity to Lucca. A rocky vein of soil and many cliff-like hills affords genial ground for the olive, and a certain superior quality in the fruit or peculiar care exercised in the manufacture, renders the oil here produced, preferable to that of any other district in Italy. Within a few years, fortunes have been made by the fabrication of paper and silk. The hangings of the Palace, indeed, furnish a striking proof of the degree of excel. lence attained in the latter branch. This edifice is far more rich, however, in works of art. There is a picture by Annibal Carraci, representing the Woman taken in Adultery. An expression of profound sorrow and benev. olence illumes the Saviour's countenance. Hehas risen from the stooping posture he had assumed in the presence of the maliguant accusers, and seems just to have dismiss. ed the woman who, kneeling at his feet, is gazing despairingly upon his face. Her eyes are full of eloquent
We can almost see the tears; but her anguish is evidently too deep for weeping, while something like the light of hope mingles with and beautifies her expression, as if his forgiving accent had already fallen upon ner soul. In the same apartment hangs another painting remarkable for effective coloring—Christ before Pilate, by Gerardo delle Notti. The rays of a candle shine up on the sharp Jewish features of the judge, and from amid the dark shadows of the back-ground, beam forth, in calm majesty, the serene lineaments of the accused. The capo d'opera of this collection is a Holy Family by Raphael, which some might be pardoned for esteeming above the more celebrated one of the Pitti palace. The mother's face is certainly more strictly Italian, and nothing can be more sweetly eloquent than her downcast eyes meekly bent upon the clinging child. Angelica Kaufman, who learned painting from her father, and so speedily surpassed him in skill, is said to have greatly preferred ideal female figures, and, as her point of excellence was grace, they were doubtless best adapted to her pencil. She found, however, in real life, an admirable subject, in the person of Amarilla Etrusca, an admired improvisalrice, whose portrait taken at the moment of inspiration, graces the Ducal gallery. It is a delightful and by no means a .common occurrence, in the annals of the arts, for one gifted woman thus to celebrate another. The most renowned picture, however, at present existing here, is the Assumption, by Fra Bartolomeo, in the Dominican convent. A young artist frorn Rome, patronised by the Duke, was my cicerone at Lucca, and, after viewing the palace, we adjourned to his studio, to look over his designs. Some of these indicate no ordinary talent. One of them illustrates an instance of sudden vengeance recorded in the history of Tuscany. Cosmo de Medici, as the story runs, having discovered an intrigue between his wife and a page, sent for a priest and executioner, and when all was ready, called her into the apartment, made known his discovery, and giving a signal, the favorite was murdered before her eyes. The moment chosen, is when the enraged husband, having displayed an intercepted letter, is uttering the fatal word. The scene was most vividly sketched by the young painter—the deep but diverse emo. tions of the several parties, being most strongly depicted in their attitudes and expression.
But the period of my sojourn at Lucca, was not alto. gether favorable to a quiet and leisure survey of her at. tractions. It was the anniversary of a triennial festa in a neighboring town, and the inviting weather, and cheer ful faces of the throng swarming the gate, were enough to lure even a passing traveller along the road to Pescia, the birth-place of Sismondi. The contadini of this and the adjacent villages crowded the streets. The men's faces were generally sallow, or very brown from exposure to the sun ; and those which age had stamped with furrows, and shaded with gray locks, resemble the impressive heads so often introduced in the pictures of the old mas. ters. The female peasants have the same sun-burnt appearance, being equally accustomed to work in the fields. They wore enormous gold and silver ornaments, often preserving, in this form, all their superfluous earnings. On this occasion, too, their best mantillas were in requisition, of a snowy whiteness, and frequently embroidered with no little taste. This simple, but most becoming head dress, is in beautiful contrast with their olive complexious and raven hair. It is a charming pastime for a native of the North, to thread such an assemblage of the rustic fair of the South. Sometimes a face is encountered, so bland, innocent, and passively beautiful, but for the rich jet eyes, as to revive the sweet impressions which poetry inspires, of what an English poet considers the most divine coincidence in existence—a lovely woman in a rural spot.' To give variety to the otherwise pastoral aspect of the scene, here and there, some exquisite from an adjacent city, loiters along, and the venders endeavor to call attention to their stalls, by loud and various cries. Nuts, cheap toys, and pastry, comprise their merchandise. And what are the ostensible amusements of such a concourse? What spell preserves amid such a heteroge. neous mass, so much order and mutual courtesy ? Whence the charm that gives rise to such merry peals of laughter, that arrays so many faces with gladness? Nature, in