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down the centuries, save by a few scat- of fishes,” plied by a rope and pulley tered monasteries. The district has from the Via degli Schiavoni, on the always labored under a deadly reputa- city side, to the Vicolo della Barchetta, tion for malaria. Pope Honorius IV.
a narrow country lane, on the other (1285) had tried to people it in vain. bank. The ferry and its surroundings His own experience indeed was no good were probably little altered in appearadvertisement for his experiment. The ance since that night, in the times of year before his election a conference the Borgia, when the charcoal burner of cardinals which met upon the Aven- saw the masked man on the white tine had been attacked by the fatal horse bring the body of the Pope's murscourge. Honorius, then Cardinal dered son down from the Via degli Savelli, alone had stuck to his post Schiavoni to fling it into the Tiber. when all the others fled in terror. By Three bridges now lead across to the keeping up good fires and by other pre- great new quarter which covers the cautions the plucky Cardinal escaped farmlands of Cincinnatus with its recthe malaria. But the Romans did not tangular arrangement of streets and forget the incident, and to this day squares. In this neighborhood, too, have not forgotten it. The Aventine all along the city side of the Tiber, the and the district between the Baths of embankment, which has done so much Caracalla and the Porta San Sebastiano for the health of Rome, has swept alone remain to-day to tell the stranger away innumerable tenements—some of what half Rome was like fifty years the most picturesque and interesting, ago. It is safe to predict that both no doubt, which survived in Rome from these districts will at no distant date the sixteenth and even from the fifbe covered with buildings. The Aven- teenth centuries. It was here that tine will in all probability then be Vanozza, the mother of Cæsar Borgia, found to be as healthy and as desira- owned a hostelry; and here as one wanble as any other part of the city. dered in the crowded narrow streets
Outside the walls suburban districts near the Via del Orso one could best have grown up in the neighborhood of realize the appearance of the city in its the chief gates. The quarter near the strange mixture of squalor and magPorta San Lorenzo is densely popu- nificence four hundred years ago. The lated by a workman class, who are not making of the great thoroughfare, the always on the best of terms with the Coros Vittore Emmanuele, which leads police. Beyond the Portal del Popolo, from the Piazza di Venezia to the the Porta Pia, and the Porta San Gio- Ponte St. Angelo, also has removed vanni, the open vineyards have given many an ancient landmark. That thorplace to factories, warehouses, and oughfare follows in parts the line of dwelling houses. But nowhere is the the ancient Via Papalis by which the change more striking than in the Prati popes made their transit from St. Pedi Castello adjoining the Vatican City ter's to the Capitol, while in other on the north. In 1870 these were still parts blocks of houses have been reopen fields with hardly even a factor's moved bodily to give a convenient dihouse upon them, and so they had re- rection to the route. The streets in mained since the day when Cincinnatus this part were previously narrow and tilled them. At the point where the river tortuous, little altered in appearance is now crowned by the Ponte Cavour, a since the days of Sixtus IV., who, with ferry boat, of the exact build and ap- the aid of his henchman, Cardinal pearance of the barchetta which ap- d'Estouteville, about the year 1480, pears in Raphael's "Miraculous draught had greatly widened them, and had
paved many of them with tiles. It is esque rookeries beloved by generations needless to say that the latter had long of artists. Were none of these to go? given way to the little square blocks Was no sacrifice to be made to the of lava from the Capo di Bove quar- needs of a great modern capital? Misries. It was difficult sometimes, as takes were made in plenty; that may one looked at these picturesque but freely be admitted. In the early days very crowded thoroughfares, to per- which followed on the “Risorgimento" snade oneself that they could have ever there were evidences of feverish haste, been considered broad and commodious and the jerry-builder set up his memo Yet it is in evidence that before the rial, likely to be all too short-lived, in days of Sixtus it was hardly possible the Via Nazionale and in a few other for two borsemen to pass abreast. In streets, the instability of whose houses the days of Pius IX., when the colos- is as notorious as of those in the fashsal coach of the Pope was sometimes ionable quarters of Kensington, where to be met driving through the streets dancing is forbidden by the terms of in this neighborhood, it was impossible the lease. It may be freely owned, for another carriage to pass it. There too, that sacrifices have been too eviis no part of Rome whose appearance dently made to that love of the rectanhas undergone a greater change than gular which is the first inspiration of this, except the now embanked portion the modern city-builder. He who east and south of the Tiber.
would learn the depths to which dreariThe task which the municipality of ness may attain in the hands of the city Rome has had to face since the city surveyor pledged to uniformity might has become the capital of Italy has do worse than spend an hour or two of been both vast and difficult. They a dusty June day in the new quarters have performed it perhaps no better, between the Lateran and S. Maria certainly no worse, than other munici- Maggiore. Again, with regard to the palities have performed far less im- enormous monument to Victor Emportant tasks. To double in thirty to manuel, without accepting the view of forty years the accommodation of a those who declare that that monarch population, to double also the area over should need no memorial in a which building extends, to provide suit- tional Rome-an
which, table means of traffic and adequate driven to its logical results, would give measures of sanitation in a city whose monuments only to those who are least natural position has at all times made worth remembering—we may fairly drainage a difficult problem, would tax deplore its colossal character and the the capacities of the most capable destruction which has resulted from it. Board of Works engaged in developing We may still more readily admit that a comparatively new city. But in in the carrying out of the Tiber EmRome the problem has been far more bankment the modern Roman fell paindifficult. It has meant the endeavorfully short of his traditions. Here was to turn an ancient city into a modern. an opportunity exactly suited, it would At every few hundred yards some fresh have seemed, to the engineering and problem arose; some memory of clas- architectural genius of the race. One sical or mediæval or Renaissance days isks oneself what the engineers of the stood in the way of the new thorough- days of Augustus and Trajan-even of fare or the needed sewer. Moreover, Sixtus or Julius II.-would have made you could not drive a new street in any of it. But to-day the Tiber creeps direction among the older parts of disinally between its sad and sewer-like Rome without sweeping away pictur- walls, a work of incredible dullness.
One has to remind oneself, as one's we in England rest our claim to tell wrath rises, that no more practically Italy how a nation ought to deal with useful work has been accomplished her national birthright. since the days of the Cloaca Maxima Having said this, I shall not be misand of the Roman aqueducts. It understood when I express regret for would have been not less useful if the the loss, the inevitable loss, of so much architectural opportunities which arose that gave to Rome its peculiar charm, along its line had been better utilized its flavor-I fear the word may be used by the descendants of Servius and of in more senses than one-in the days Claudius.
when, forty years ago, she was still But when one has admitted all this and looking back in many respects to the a great deal more, and when one has Renaissance rather than forward to the even exhausted all the charges which twentieth century. It was then still architect or engineer, historian or poet, the Rome of Nathaniel Hawthorne, of artist or bric-à-brac man may bring Charles Dickens, of William Story. against those who have been endeavor- Mark Twain's jest that you could not ing to shape old Rome to the needs of fall out of a two-pair window in Rome a modern city, one must still in fair- without killing a monk or a soldier had ness return to the old conclusion that some point in it then, for the streets there is no nation in Europe, and no still swarmed with the various orders. municipality within any nation, which, They were a typical feature, naturally, judging by their results in far less diffi- of Rome. Numerous in the city ever cult undertakings, would have made since the days of St. Francis and St. fewer mistakes than have been made Dominic, they were perhaps never more in carrying out a task which has had no numerous than in the years which imparallel in the previous record of cities. mediately preceded the fall of Rome. Something has been lost undoubtedly; In the mornings the lay brothers went at given points more has been lost per- forth armed with their large copper haps than need have been; but pres
vessels of hat-box shape to gather in ervation, not annihilation, has been on the gifts of the faithful or the charitathe whole the keynote of the trans- ble. Naturally the rich strangers' quarformation. The cry which goes up
ter about the Piazza di Spagna was a from other countries, but especially favorite hunting-ground for them, from England, from time to time, that though the poorest quarters were not Italy is indifferent to and negligent of omitted. A very familiar figure to her art and her antiquities, is curiously those who lived in Rome at that time unjust to a nation which, out of a not was a magnificent dark-bearded Capuoverflowing exchequer, spends very cino, whose beat in the early mornings large sums upon these objects, and oc- lay along the Babuino. The browncasionally spends a portion of it badly. cowled, stately figure drew many an It is perhaps in one sense fortunate for admiring stare from the passing foresus that Italians do not travel in large tiere, a compliment which he never numbers in our country. An educated failed to acknowledge by crossing himItalian who wandered through England self, either as a protection against the and noticed how the restorations of the inroads of vanity or, more probably, last fifty years have robbed us of some as a safeguard against the evil eye. I two-thirds of our noblest memorials as often wonder what his fate was at the effectively as if they had been swept suppression of the monasteries, whether into the rivers, might be inclined to ask he was one of those who went forth on what superiority in these matters into the world again, or whether he had
already found a quiet rest in the city of his soul before the evil day came. One may be allowed to hope that the latter was his fate. To-day these picturesque figures are as rare in Rome as in any other town of Italy. They may be seen, silent kneeling figures, in the church of Araceli, most Roman of all Roman churches, but the streets and public places of Rome know them no more save as occasional visitors.
The markets of Rome, in old days almost the most interesting of Europe, have fallen into line with the less picturesque but more regulated markets of the great capitals. The great cattlemarket just outside the Porta del Popolo, a position which it shared with the extemporized Anglican Church-for no Protestant place of worship was allowed within the walls—has migrated to a corner of Rome not far from the old Protestant cemetery, but nearer to the Tiber. The wild Campagna horsemen, with their goatskin aprons and long ox-goads, no longer form a feature of the Piazza del Popolo, nor do the unseemly vehicles piled high with the quaking carcases of pigs and oxen any longer rumble down the Ripette or the Babuino. Gone, too, is the people's market in the Piazza Navona, where everything that flew or ran or crawled, from turkeys and pheasants to porcupines and hedgehogs, squirrels and tortoises, and even green snakes, could be purchased by the frugal housewife in search of variety. It was a favorite resort, too, of the coin-hunter and bibliophile, for here the simple-minded dealer set forth his "Roba di Campagna," and here the equally simpleminded buyer bought his bargains or his experience. For though the peasant did no doubt often deliver here the coins which he had ploughed up from the soil of the Campagna, the antiquity dealer likewise used it for the output of his industries. The stalls have mi. grated now to the Campo dei Fiori, at
no great distance. But the forger of to-day is either less skilful or more unblushing-perhaps both.
But even more interesting was the market, hardly reckoned as such, in the Piazza Montanara, under the Theatre of Marcellus, where every Sunday morning from time immemorial the weekly hiring of laborers had taken place, and on a smaller scale does so still. But those were the days of Italy's "analfabetismo,” when few of the field laborers could be trusted to write his own name and none his own love-letter. And the letter-writing scribe did a roaring trade at a little table on the corner of the piazza, while an open-air barber or two shaved their victims with a celerity which savored of sleight of hand. The skill of these practitioners was equal to any emergency which could arise in their craft, but at times the hollow cadaverous cheeks of the victims of malaria, chiefly from Ostia and its neighborhood, tried their resources very highly. But even this difficulty had vanished before the discovery that a walnut inserted in the cheek restored the general level of the countenance. There was no more entertaining spot in Rome in the morning hours; but before midday the blue-coated conical-batted throng had melted away. There were few after that hour left sitting idle in the market because no man had hired them, and as the various groups, with their sacks flung over one shoulder and a long staff filled with ringloaves on the other, had tramped forth to fresh fields and pastures new, one could realize that the raw material of Italy is as fine as that of any country in the world.
But nowhere has a cleaner sweep been made of houses, men, and manners than in the Ghetto. of this nest of dirt and unsavoriness, of apparent poverty which often concealed wealth, of squalor inconceivable, of pictur
esqueness unforgettable, the Govern- the Piazza Trajana especially comes ment have now made an almost entire to my mind. The primitive method of clearance. The fish market within the casting all domestic refuse into the portico of Octavia-to the artist's eye open street had come down with many Rome had hardly such a subject as allied habits from very ancient days. that-went years ago. Gradually the Even to-day they are by no means exrookeries which lay around have fol- tinct in Rome, but they have retired lowed, and to-day there is very little from the more fashionable thoroughto tell that this was once the place fares. In those days they gave occupawhere the Jews of Rome, herded to- tion, or at any rate an interest, to an gether like swine, insulted, hated, army of effete and very incapable robbed, and even locked in at night into dustmen who with heart-shaped shovtheir ill-savored prison, multiplied and els and Noah's Ark band-carts, and grew rich through many a century. wearing the inspiring inscription “S. P. The church of S. Angelo in Pescheria, Q. R.” upon their red hat-bands, folin which in former days the elders lowed the contemplative rather than were compelled once a year to listen the active life, and longed for the day to a sermon preached against their own when they should be promoted to be lifaith, still remains, but the whole of censed beggars, and rich beyond the the quarter which lay between that dreams of avarice. The life of the church and the river has disappeared. Roman dustman of to-day has been In severe floods there was no part of made more strenuous for him, and it Rome which suffered so much as the is only fair to say that Rome is now Ghetto. In the flood of 1869 I saw a clean town, as well looked after as the sight, which has been so often de- most capitals of Europe. I do not scribed, of the inhabitants shifting know of one in which life can be more their goods in boats in the Via della comfortable. It is of course easy to Pescheria, into the upper stories of the cry that “Rome is spoilt" every time houses. Men said that these same that we find that something has disupper stories concealed treasures of appeared from the Rome which we bric-à-brac known only to those daring knew when we were young, and before connoisseurs who had penetrated it had once more renewed its everlastthither ready “in more senses than one ing youth. Rome will take a great to pay through the nose." I know not. deal of spoiling. It is safe to prophI knew it only through its ground-floor esy that a thousand years hence it will squalors, which were open to the eye still be the most interesting city in the of every passer-by. In the cavern-like world, no matter what changes may recesses sat old and wolf-eyed bags have come to it in that time. It has amid piles of sour clothing and cheap indeed already a very long start-a second-hand furniture. They are scat. city of continuous and vital historical tered now fairly evenly through the va. interest from its birthday till to-day, rious quarters of Rome, save that a and not likely to play a less interesting good many still hang fondly about their part in the history that lies ahead than ancient home.
any other capital in the modern world. But not in the Ghetto alone, though The Romans do well when they show there chiefly, were sanitary methods that they cherish every stone that can conspicuous by their absence. There remind them of their ancient greatness; were side streets leading even out of they do equally well to fit their city to the best thoroughfares, where walking take its part in the greatness that yet was well-nigh impossible; one such in awaits it in the days to come. The Cornbill Magazine.
Gerald S. Davies.