Sketches from the Subject and Neighbour Lands of Venice
Sketches from the Subject and Neighbour Lands of Venice
Edward A. Freeman
Sketches from the Subject and Neighbour Lands of Venice
This volume is designed as a companion and sequel to my former volume called "Architectural and Historical Sketches, chiefly Italian." Its general plan is the same. But more of the papers in the present volume appear for the first time than was the case with the earlier one, and most of those which are reprinted have been more largely changed in reprinting than those which appeared in the former book. This could hardly be otherwise with the pieces relating to the lands east of the Hadriatic, where I have had to work in remarks made during later journeys, and where great events have happened since I first saw those lands.
The papers are chiefly the results of three journeys. The first, in the autumn of 1875, took in Dalmatia and Istria, with Trieste and Aquileia. At that time the revolt of Herzegovina had just begun, and Ragusa was crowded with refugees. Some of the papers contained references to the state of things at the moment, and those references I saw no reason to alter. But I may as well say that the time of my first visit to the South-Slavonic lands was not chosen with reference to any political or military object. The journey was planned before the revolt began; it was in fact the accomplishment of a thirty years' yearning after the architectural wonders of Spalato, which till that year I had been unable to gratify. If that visit taught me some things with regard to our own times as well as to earlier times, it is not, I think, either wonderful or blameworthy.
In 1877 I visited Dalmatia for the second time, and Greece for the first. I should be well pleased some day to put together some out of many papers on the more distant Greek lands. In this volume I have brought in those on Corfu only, as that island forms an essential part of my present subject.
In the present year 1881 I again visited Dalmatia and some parts of Istria and Albania, as also a large part of Italy. This has enabled me to add some papers on the Venetian possessions both in northern and southern Italy, as also one on the Dalmatian island of Curzola, which on former visits I had seen only in passing.
The papers headed "Treviso," "Gorizia," "Spalato revisited," "Trani," "Otranto," "Corfu to Durazzo," and "Antivari," are all due to this last journey, and have never been in print before. That on "Curzola" appeared in Macmillan's Magazine for September 1881. Those headed "Udine and Cividale," "Aquileia," "Trieste to Spalato," "Spalato to Cattaro," "A trudge to Trebinje," appeared in the Pall Mall Gazette in 1875. The rest appeared in the Saturday Review in 1875 and 1876. But many of them have been so much altered that they can hardly be called mere reprints; they are rather recastings, with large additions, omissions, and changes, such as the light of second and third visits seemed to call for.
I made none of these journeys alone, and I have much for which to thank the companions with whom I made them. In 1877 I was with the Earl of Morley and Mr. J. F. F. Horner. And I must not forget to mention that it was Lord Morley who at once read and explained the inscription in the basilica of Parenzo, when Mr. Horner and I had seen that Mr. Neale's explanation was nonsense, but had not yet hit upon anything better for ourselves. In a great part of my two later journeys I had the companionship of Mr. Arthur Evans, my friend of 1877, my son-in-law of 1881. How much I owe to his knowledge of South-Slavonic matters, words would fail me to tell. I had seen Dalmatia for the first time, and I had begun to write about it, before I knew him and, I believe, before he had published anything; otherwise I should almost feel myself an intruder in a province which he has made his own. One out of many points I may specially mention. It was Mr. Evans who found and explained the two missing capitals from the palace at Ragusa, which are at once so remarkable in themselves and which throw so much light on the history of the building.
The illustrations to my former volume met with some severe criticism. But I am bound to say that of that severe criticism I agreed to every word. Only I thought that the critics would perhaps have been less severe if they had seen my original drawings themselves. The illustrations to the present volume have been made by a new process, partly, as before, from my own sketches, but partly also from photographs. I trust that they will be found less unsatisfactory than those that went before them.
As there are in these papers a good many historical references, some of them to rather out-of-the-way matters, but matters which could not always be explained at length in the text, I have drawn up a chronological table of the chief events in the history of the lands and cities of which I have had to speak.
I need hardly say that this volume, though I hope it may be useful to travellers on the spot, is not strictly a guide-book. But a good guide-book to Istria and Dalmatia is much needed. I am not joking when I say that the best guide to those parts is still the account written by the Emperor Constantino Porphyrogenitus more than nine hundred years back. But it is surely high time that there should be another. The attempts made in one or two of Murray's Handbooks are very poor. Sir Gardner Wilkinson's "Dalmatia and Montenegro," published more than thirty years ago, is an admirable book, and one to which I owe a very deep debt of gratitude. It first taught me what there was to see in the East-Hadriatic lands. But it is over-big for a guide-book. Mr. Neale's book contains some information, and, even in its ecclesiastical grotesqueness, it is sometimes instructive as well as amusing. But we can hardly take as our guide one who leaves out the Ragusan palace and who, when at Spalato, does not think of Diocletian. It would be in itself well if Gsel-fels, the prince of guide-book-makers, would do for Dalmatia as he has done for Sicily; but one would rather see it done in our own tongue.
September 20th, 1881.
THE LOMBARD AUSTRIA
The north-eastern corner of Italy is one of those parts of the world which have gone through the most remarkable changes. That it has often changed its political masters is only common to it with the rest of Italy, and with many other lands as well. The physical changes too which the soil and its waters have gone through are remarkable, but they are not unparalleled. The Po may perhaps be reckoned as the frontier stream of the region towards the south, and the many paths by which the Po has found its way into the Hadriatic need not be dwelled on. We are more concerned with rivers further to the north-east. The Isonzo no longer represents the course of the ancient Sontius; the Natisone no longer flows by fallen Aquileia. The changes of the coast-line which have made what is left of Aquileia inland have their counterparts at Pisa and at Ravenna. In the range of historical geography, the most curious feature is the way in which certain political names have kept on an abiding life in this region, though with singular changes of meaning. The land has constantly been either Venetian or Austrian; sometimes it has been Venetian and Austrian at once. But it has been Venetian and Austrian in various meanings. It was Venetian long before the name of Venice was heard of in its present sense; it was Austrian long before the name of Austria was heard of in its present sense. The land of the old Veneti bore the Venetian name ages before the city of Venice was in being, and it keeps it now that Venice has ceased to be a political power. Venetian then the land has ever been in one sense, while a large part of it was for some centuries Venetian in another sense, in the days when so many of its cities bowed to Saint Mark and his commonwealth as its rulers. Austrian the land was in the old geographical sense, when it formed the Lombard Austria– the eastern half, the Eastrice– that form would, we suspect, come nearer to Lombard speech than Oesterreich– of the Lombard realm. But if the Lombard realm had its Austria and its Neustria, so also had the Frankish realm. Wherever a land could be easily divided into east and west, there was an Austria, and its negative a Neustria. Lombardy then had its Austria, and its Austria was found in the old and the new Venetian land. No one perhaps ever spoke of the Karlings as the House of Austria, or of their Empire as the dominions of the House of Austria. And yet the name would not have been out of place. Their dominion marked the predominance of the eastern part of the Frankish realm – its Oesterreich, its Austrasia, its Austria– over the Neustrian power of the earlier dynasty. The Lombard Austria became part of the dominions of those who were before all things lords of the Frankish Austria. And in later times, when the Lombard and the Frankish Austria were both forgotten, when the name clave only to a third Austria, the more modern Austria of Germany – the Eastern mark called into being to guard Germany from the Magyar – the Venetian land has more than once become Austrian in another sense; some of it in that sense remains Austrian still. Dukes of the most modern Austria – plain dukes who were satisfied with being dukes – archdukes who were Emperors by lawful election – archdukes who have had a strange fancy for calling themselves Emperors of their archduchy – have all of them at various times borne rule over the whole or part of the older Austria of Lombardy. To-day the north-eastern corner of Italy, land of Venetia, the once Lombard Austria, is parted asunder by an artificial boundary between the dominions of the Italian King and the lord of the later Austria. And, what a passing traveller might not easily find out, in this old Venetian land, in both parts of it, alike under modern Italian and under modern Austrian rule, besides the Latin speech which everywhere meets the eye and the ear, the speech of Slavonic settlers still lingers. Settlers they are in the Venetian land, no less than its Roman or its German masters. It is hard to say who the old Veneti were, perhaps nearer akin to the Albanians than to any other European people. At all events there is no reason for thinking that they were Slaves. The presence of a Slavonic speech in this region is a fruit of the same migration which made the land beyond Hadria Slavonic. But to hear the Slavonic and the Italian tongues side by side is so familiar a phænomenon under modern Austrian rule, that its appearance at Aquileia or Gorizia may with some minds seem to give the land a specially Austrian character, and may help to shut out the remembrance that at Aquileia and Gorizia we are within the ancient kingdom of Italy. Nay it may be a new and strange thing to many to hear that, even within the bounds of the modern kingdom of Italy, there are districts where, though Italian is the cultivated tongue, yet Slave is the common peasant speech.
But besides physical changes, changes of name, changes of inhabitants, we are perhaps yet more deeply struck with the fluctuations in the history of the cities of this region. In this matter, throughout the Venetian land, the first do indeed become last and the last first. No city in this region has kept on that enduring life through all changes which has belonged to many cities in other parts of Europe. We do not here find the Roman walls, or the walls yet earlier than Roman days, fencing in dwelling-places of man which have been continuously inhabited, which have sometimes been continuously flourishing, through all times of which history has anything to tell us. We need not take our examples from Rome or Athens or Argos or the Phœnician Gades. It is enough to look to one or two of the capitals of modern Europe. At the beginning of the fifth century, London and Paris, not yet indeed capitals of kingdoms, were already in being, and had been in being for some centuries. But far above either ranked the great city of north-eastern Italy, then one of the foremost cities of the world, the ancient colony of Aquileia, keeper of one of the great lines of approach towards Italy and Rome. No one city had then taken the name of the Venetian land; no wanderers from the mainland had as yet settled down like sea-fowl, as Cassiodorus puts it, on the islands of the lagoons. By the end of the fifth century both London and Paris had passed from Roman rule to the rule of Teutonic conquerors. London, we may conceive, was still inhabited; at all events its walls stood ready to receive a fresh colony before long. Paris had received one of those momentary lifts of which she went through several before her final exaltation; the city which had been favoured by Roman Julian was favoured also by Frankish Chlodwig. But Aquileia had felt the full fury of invaders who came, not to occupy or to settle, but simply to destroy. As a city, as a bulwark of Italy, she had passed away for ever. But out of her fall several cities had, in the course of that century, risen to increased greatness, and the greatest of all had come into being. The city was born which, simply as a city, as a city bearing rule over distant lands, must rank as the one historic peer of Rome. Not yet Queen of the Hadriatic, not yet the chosen sanctuary of Saint Mark, not yet enthroned on her own Rialto, the settlement which was to grow into Venice had already made its small beginnings.
But the fall of Aquileia, the rise of Venice, are only the greatest examples of a general law. A nearer neighbour of Aquileia at once profited by her overthrow; Grado, on her own coast, almost at her own gates, sprang up as her rival; but the greatness of Grado has passed away only less thoroughly than the greatness of Aquileia. So the Venetian Forum Julii gave way to its more modern neighbour Udine. It lost the name which it had given to the land around it. Its shortened form Friuli lived on as one of the names of the surrounding district, but Forum Julii itself was forgotten under the vaguer description of Cividale. Gorizia has been for ages the head of a principality; in later times it has been the head of an ecclesiastical province. But Gorizia is absolutely unknown till the beginning of the eleventh century, and it does not seem even to have supplanted any earlier city. It is thus a marked peculiarity of this district that the chief towns, with Venice itself at their head, have not lived on continuously as chief towns from Roman or earlier times. West of Venice the rule does not apply. Padua and Verona are old enough for the warmest lover of antiquity, and Vicenza, going back at least to the second century B.C., must be allowed to be of a respectable age.
That the chief cities of a district should date from early mediæval, and not from Roman times, is a feature which at once suggests analogies with our own island. Both in Venetia and in Britain we are struck with the prevalence of places which arose after the fall of the elder Roman power, in opposition to most parts of Italy and Gaul, where nearly every town can trace back to Roman days or earlier. But the likeness cannot be carried out in detail. In the district which we have just marked out it is absolutely the greatest cities – one of them so great as to be put out of all comparison with the others – which are of this comparatively recent date. In England, though the great mass of the local centres are places of English foundation and bearing English names, yet the greatest and most historic cities still carry the marks of Roman origin about them. Some Roman cities in Britain passed utterly away; others lived on, or soon came to life again, in the forms of York, London, and Winchester. But in Venetia it is the cities which answer to York and London which have lost their greatness, though they have not utterly passed away. This last fact is one of the characteristics of the district; the fallen cities have simply fallen from their greatness; they have not ceased to be dwelling-places of man. Aquileia and Forum Julii have ceased for ages to be what Aquileia and Forum Julii once were, but they have not become as Silchester, or even as Salona. Of the position of all these places there is no manner of doubt. They are there to speak for themselves; even Julium Carnacum, whose site has had to be looked for, still abides, though those who have reached it describe it as a small village. Aquileia under its old name, Forum Julii under its new name, are still inhabited, they still hold the rank of towns; but while they still abide, the rule that the first should become last and the last first is carried out among them. As ancient Aquileia was far greater than ancient Forum Julii, so modern Aquileia, though it keeps its name, is now far less than modern Cividale, from which the name of Forum Julii has passed away.
Aquileia then, once the greatest city of all, is the city that has come nearest to being altogether wiped out of being. Venice, afterwards the greatest of all, is the city which may most truly be said to have been called out of nothing in after-times. Among the other cities the change has been rather a change of relation and proportion, than a case of absolute birth and death. Cividale is still there, though it is but a poor representative of Forum Julii. Udine has taken its place. But Udine, though its importance belongs wholly to mediæval times, was not strictly a mediæval creation. It is just possible to prove the existence of Vedinum in Roman days, though it is only its existence which can be proved; it plays no part whatever in early history. The case is slightly different with another neighbouring city, the Roman Tarvisium, whose name gradually changed to Treviso. Tarvisium was of more account than Vedinum, but it first comes into notice in the wars of Belisarius, and its position as an important city playing a part in Italian history dates only from the days of the Lombard League. And its general history is one in which the shifting nomenclature of the district may be read with almost grotesque accuracy. It has not only been, like its neighbours, Venetian and Austrian in two widely different senses – it has not only been Venetian in the old geographical sense, and Venetian in the sense of being subject to the commonwealth of Venice – it has not only been Austrian in the old Lombard sense, and Austrian in the sense of being subject to the Dukes of the German Austria – but it has also shifted backwards and forwards between the rule of the Serene Republic and the rule of the Austrian Dukes, in a way to which it would not be easy to find a parallel even among the old revolutions of its neighbours.
Treviso and its district, the march which bears its name, was the first possession of Venice on the true mainland of Italy, as distinguished from that mere fringe of coast along the lagoons which may be more truly counted as part of her dominion by sea. That Treviso lay near to Venice was a truth which came home to Venetian minds at a very early stage of Venetian history. Even in the eleventh century, the earliest authentic chronicler of Venice, that John whose work will be found in the seventh volume of Pertz, speaks with some significance, even when recording events of the time of Charles the Great, of "quædam civitas non procul a Venetia, nomine Tarvisium." When strictly Italian history begins, Treviso runs through the ordinary course of a Lombard city; it takes its share in resistance to the imperial power, it falls into the hands of tyrants of the house of Romano and of the house of Scala. Along with Padua, it is the city which is fullest of memories of the terrible Eccelinò. Won by the Republic in 1338 from its lord Mastino della Scala, the special strangeness of its fortunes begins. The modern House of Austria was already in being; but its Dukes had not yet grown into Emperors, one only had grown into an acknowledged King. They had not won for themselves the crowns of Bohemia or Hungary, though, by the opposite process, one Bohemian king, the mighty Ottocar, had counted Austria in the long list of his conquered lands. But presently Treviso becomes the centre of events in which Austria, Hungary, Bohemia, and the Empire, all play their parts. It is perhaps not wonderful when the maritime republic, mistress of the Trevisan march, vainly seeks to obtain the confirmation of her right from the overlord of Treviso though not of Venice, Charles of Bohemia, King of the Romans and future Emperor. But the old times when Huns, Avars, Magyars, barbarians of every kind, poured into this devoted corner of Italy, seem to have come back, when in 1356 we find Treviso besieged by a Hungarian king. But the Hungarian king is no longer an outside barbarian; he is a prince of the house of Anjou and Paris. If Lewis the Great besieged Treviso, it was not in the character of a new Attila or Arpad; he attacked the now Venetian city as part of the war which he so successfully waged against the Republic in her Dalmatian lands. Not thirty years later we find the Doge Andrew Contarini, with more wisdom perhaps than the more famous Foscari of the next age, considering that to Venice the sea was greater than the land, and therefore commending her new conquest on the mainland to Duke Leopold of Austria. The words of the chronicler Andrew Dandolo are worth remembering. They express the truest policy of the Republic, from which she ought never to have gone astray.
"Ducalis excellentia prudentissima, meditatione considerans proprium Venetorum esse mare colere, terramque postergare; hinc enim divitiis et honoribus abundat, inde sæpe sibi proveniunt scandala et errores."
But Leopold, he who fell at Sempach, had not the same passion for dominion south of the Alps as some of his successors. He wisely sold Treviso to the lord of Padua, Francesco Carrara, from whom, after a moment of doubt whether the prize would not pass to the tyrant of Milan, the Republic won it back after eight years' separation. Henceforward Treviso shared the fate of the other Venetian possessions which gradually gathered on each side of her. Having had for a moment its share of Austrian dominion in the fourteenth century, Treviso was able, in the wars of the sixteenth century, to withstand the same power in a new shape, the power of Maximilian, Austrian Archduke and Roman King. In later times nothing distinguishes the city from the common course by which Treviso and her neighbours became Austrian, French, and Austrian again, till, by the happiest change of all, they became members of a free and united Italy.
In the aspect of the city itself, the Roman Tarvisium has left but small signs of its former being. All that we see is the Treviso of mediæval and later times. The walls, the bell-towers, the slenderer tower of the municipal palace, the arcaded streets, the houses too, though they are not rich in the more elaborate forms of Italian domestic art, have all the genuine character of a mediæval Italian town. Not placed in any striking position, not a hill-city, not in any strictness a river-city, but a city of the plain looking towards the distant mountains – not adorned by any building of conspicuous splendour – Treviso is still far from being void of objects which deserve study. As we look on the city, either from the lofty walk into which so large a part of its walls have been turned, or else from the neighbourhood of its railway station, its aspect, without rivalling that of the great cities of Italy, is far from unsatisfactory. But the character of the city differs widely in the two views. From the station the ecclesiastical element prevails. The main object in the view from this side is the Dominican church of Saint Nicolas, one of those vast brick friars' churches so characteristic of Italy, and to which the praise of a certain stateliness cannot be denied. Saint Nicolas, with its great bell-tower, groups well with the smaller church and smaller tower of a neighbouring Benedictine house. In short, the towers of Treviso form its leading feature, and that, though several of the greatest, above all the huge campanile designed for the cathedral church, have never been finished. In the view from the railway Saint Nicolas' tower is dominant; the tall slender tower of the municipal palace, loftier, we suspect, in positive height, fails to balance it. In the other view, from the wall on the other side, the municipal tower is the leading object, which it certainly would not have been if the bell-tower of the duomo had ever been carried up. There is a great friars' church on this side too, the desecrated church of Saint Francis; but, though a large building with marked outline, it does not stand out at all so conspicuously as its Dominican rival on the other side. The duomo itself, with its eccentric cupolas, goes for less in the general view than either. On the whole, the aspect of Treviso is very characteristically Italian; it would be yet more so if it sent up its one great campanile to mark its site from afar. Still, even as it is, this city of the Lombard Austria proclaims itself as one of the same group as those cities further to the west which we look down on side by side from the castle-hill of Brescia.
Treviso, so near a neighbour of Venice, the earliest of her subject cities of the mainland, does not fail to proclaim the relation between the subject and the ruling commonwealth in the usual fashion. The winged lion, the ensign which we are to follow along so many shores, appears on not a few points of her defences. Over the gate of Saint Thomas the badge of the Evangelist appears in special size and majesty, accompanied, it would seem, by several younger members of his family whose wings have not yet had time to grow. And Treviso too in some sort calls up the memory of its mistress in the abundance of streams, canals, and bridges. It has at least more right than some of the towns to which the guide-books give the name, to be called a little Venice. But the contrast is indeed great between the still waters of the lagoons and the rushing torrents which pass under the walls and turn the mills of Treviso. Venice, in short, though her name has been rather freely scattered about hither and thither, remains without likeness or miniature among either subjects, rivals, or strangers.
The heart of an Italian city is to be looked for in its town-house and the open space before it. It is characteristic of the mistress of Treviso that her palace, the palace of her rulers, not of her people, stands somewhat aside from the great centre of Venetian life. The church of the patron saint who had become identified with the commonwealth takes in some sort the place which in more democratic states belongs to the home of the commonwealth itself. Technically indeed Saint Mark's is itself part of the palace; it answers to Saint Stephen's at Westminster, not to Saint Peter's; but nowhere else among commonwealths does the chapel of the palace in this sort surpass or rival the palace itself. The less famous Saint Liberalis, patron of the city and diocese of Tarvisium, does not venture, after the manner of the Evangelist, thus to supplant Tarvisium itself. The commonwealth fully proclaims its being in the group of municipal buildings which surround the irregular space which forms the municipal centre of the city. One alone of these, at once in some sort the oldest and the newest, calls for special notice. The former palazzo della Signoria, now the palace, the centre, in the new arrangement of things, not only of the city of Treviso but of the whole province of which it is the head, has been clearly renewed, perhaps rebuilt. But it keeps the true character of a Lombard building of the kind, the simpler and truer forms which were in vogue before the Venetian Gothic set in. It marks the true position of that style that, though we cannot help admiring many of its buildings when we look at them, we find it a relief when we come to something earlier and more real. The buildings of which Venice set the type are very rich, very elegant; but we feel that, after all, England, France, Germany, could all do better in the way of windows, and that Italy left to herself could do better in the way of columns and arches. Old or new, rebuilt or simply repaired, there is nothing very wonderful in the municipal palace of Treviso; but in either case it is pleasing as an example of the genuine native style of Italy. It has arcades below, groups of round-headed windows above, and the tower looks over the palace with the more effect, because it is not parallel to it. The arcades of the palace, continued in the form of the arcades of the streets, are a feature of Treviso, as of all other southern cities that were built by rational men in rational times, and were designed, unlike Venice and Curzola, for the passage of carriages and horses. At Treviso we have arcades of all kinds, all shapes, all dates, some rude enough, some really elegant, but all of them better than the portentous folly which has offered up modern Rome and modern Athens as helpless victims to whatever powers may be conceived to preside over heat, dust, and their consequences. Treviso is not a first-class Italian city; it is hardly one of the second class; but it is pleasant to thread one's way through the arcades, to try to spell out the geography of the streams that are crossed by many bridges; it is pleasant to mount here and there on the wall, to look down on the broad foss below, and across it on the rich plain with its wall of mountains in the distance.
In the ecclesiastical department what there is of any value above ground belongs mainly to the friars. The interest of the duomo, as a building, lies wholly in its crypt, a grand and spacious one, certainly not later than the twelfth century. It may be that some of the smaller marble shafts which support its vault had already done duty in some earlier building, and there is no doubt as to the classical date of a fragment of a large fluted column which in this same crypt serves the purpose of a well. The church above has been mercilessly Jesuited; yet, as it keeps more than one cupola, those cupolas give it a certain dignity; the stamp of Constantinople and Venice, of Périgueux and Angoulême, is hard wholly to wipe out. Otherwise a few tombs and a fine piece of mediæval gilded wood-carving are about all that the church of Treviso has to show. The great Dominican church has been more lucky. The guide-book of Gsel-fels, commonly the best of guide-books, but which cuts Treviso a little short, rather sets one against it by saying that it has been wholly modernized within. Repaired and freshened up it certainly has been; but it can hardly be said to have been modernized; the old lines seem not to have been tampered with. And there is something far from lacking in dignity in the effect of its vast interior, even though its style be the corrupt Gothic of Italy. One merit is that the arches which spring from the huge pillars, though wide, are not sprawling – not like those which those who do not dare to think for themselves are called on to admire in the nave of the Florentine duomo. Unlike the work of Arnolfo, the Dominican church of Treviso does not look one inch shorter or lower than it is. It has too the interest of much contemporary painting and other ornamental work. The smaller Benedictine church hard by, whose bell-tower groups so well with Saint Nicolas, employs in that bell-tower a trefoil arch, a strange form to spring from mid-wall shafts. Within there is not much to look at, beyond a tablet setting forth the glories of the Benedictine order, how many emperors, empresses, kings, queens, popes, cardinals, archbishops, bishops, and so forth, belonged to it. Dukes, marquesses, counts, and knights, were unnumbered. It is a strange thought that to that countless band Bec added the full manhood and long monastic life of Herlwin, that Saint Peter of Shrewsbury and Saint Werburh of Chester had severally the privilege of enrolling Earl Roger and Earl Hugh, each for a few days only, as members of the brotherhood of Benedict and Anselm.
The other friars' church, that of Saint Francis, has been less lucky than its Dominican rival. Desecrated and partitioned, its inside is now inaccessible; the outside promises well for a church of its own type. Yet how feeble after all are the very best of these Italian buildings which forsook their own native forms for a hopeless attempt to reproduce the forms of other lands. We are always told that Italian Gothic cannot be Northern Gothic, because Italy is not like Northern lands. True enough; but what that argument proves is that Italy should have kept to her own natural Romanesque, the true fruit of her own soil, and should never have meddled with forms which could not be transplanted in their purity. The great fact of Italian architectural history is that the native style never was thoroughly driven out, but that, alongside of the sham Gothic, true Romanesque lived on to lose itself in the earlier and better kind of Renaissance. The open arcades of streets and houses, and the bell-towers of the churches, largely remain really Romanesque in style at all dates. For the working out of the same law in greater buildings we must make our way south-eastward. The chronicler of the eleventh century hinted that Treviso was near to Venice, and the men of the fourteenth century acted on the hint. But the wise Doge, who a generation later told his people to stick to the sea and leave the land behind, knew better where the true subject and neighbour lands of Venice lay. We cannot fully obey him as yet, as we have still points on the Italian mainland to visit. But we may still keep the true goal of our pilgrimage before our eyes, and we may remember that the lands which were most truly near to Venice were those lands, subject and hostile, to which the path lay by her own element. The lessons of which we begin to get a glimpse at Treviso we shall not learn in their fulness till we have reached the other side of Hadria.
UDINE AND CIVIDALE
1875 – 1881
Ought the antiquarian traveller who has taken up his quarters at Udine and has thence made an expedition to Cividale to counsel his fellow-inquirers to follow his example in so doing or not? The answer to this question may be well made largely to depend on the state of the weather. It would be dangerous to say, from an experience of two visits only, that at Udine and Cividale it always either rains or has very lately rained; but those are the only two conditions in which we can speak of those places from personal knowledge. Now it is wonderful how a heavy rain damps the zeal of the most inquiring spirit, especially if he be carrying on his inquiries by himself. If he has companions, a good deal of wet may be shaken off by the process of talking and laughing at the common bad luck. If he be alone, every drop sticks; he has nothing to do but to grumble, and he has nobody to listen to his grumblings but himself. The land may be beautiful, but its beauties are half hid; the buildings may have the most taking outlines, but it is impossible to make a drawing of them. Even interiors lose their cheerfulness; the general gloom makes half their details invisible; and his own depression of spirit makes the inquirer less able than usual to understand and appreciate what he can see. Udine and Cividale on a fine day are something quite unlike Udine and Cividale in the rain. But even in this more cheerful state of things, when the rain has to be spoken of in the past tense, it may happen that the past puts serious difficulties in the way of the enjoyment of the present. Cividale is undoubtedly more pleasant and more profitable to see when the rain is past than when the rain is actually falling. But then, to judge from our two experiences, Cividale is easier to get at while the rain is actually falling than when it has ceased to fall. What in the one state of things is the half-dry ghiara of an Alpine stream becomes a flood covering the road for no small distance, and suggesting, to all but the most zealous, the thought of turning back. It is only those for whom the attractions of the spot which once was the Forum Julii are strong indeed, who will pluck up heart to go on when their carriage has sometimes to be helped on by men who are used to wade through the flood, or else is forced to leave what should have been the high road for a narrow and difficult path across the fields. It is well to record these things, that those who stay at home may be put in mind that, even in perfectly civilized lands, topographical knowledge is not always to be got without going to some little trouble in the search after it. We have seen Udine and Cividale wet, and we have seen them dry, but then it was when they had been wet only a very short time before. We are tempted to think that we might understand them better at some time when the rainfall was neither of the present nor of the very recent past.
One thing however is certain, that, wet or dry, not many Englishmen make the experiment of trying to find out what this corner of Italy may have to show. Not an English name, save that of one specially famous and adventurous traveller, was to be seen in the visitors' book, either in Albergo dell' Italia at Udine or in the Museum at Cividale. The true traveller is always in a doubtful state of mind when he finds a place of interest neglected by his own countrymen. On the one hand he is personally relieved, as being set free from the gabble of English tourists at tables d'hôte and the like. But how far ought he to proclaim to the world the merits of the place which he has found out for himself? How can he draw the line, so as to lead travellers to come, without holding out the least inducement to mere tourists? But perhaps the danger is not great; tourists will go only where it is the fashion to go, and the historical traveller must not think of himself more highly than he ought to think or fancy that it is for such as he to create a fashion.
We will suppose then that our traveller has started from Treviso, and has reached the frontier town of Italy in the modern sense of the name. We have seen that the existence of the place in Roman times under the name of Vedinum can be proved and no more. The importance and history of Udine, Utinum, are wholly mediæval. It takes the place of Forum Julii as the capital of Friuli the district which keeps the name which has passed away from the city. It is one of the eccentricities of nomenclature that the other Forum Julii in southern Gaul has kept its name, but in the still more corrupted shape of Fréjus. The new head of the Venetian borderland – Venetia in the older sense – went through the usual course of the neighbouring cities with one feature peculiar to itself. Not a patriarchal see, Udine was a patriarchal capital, the capital of the patriarchs of Aquileia in that temporal character which for a long while made the bishops of the forsaken city the chief princes of that corner of Italy.
Like Treviso, but somewhat later, Udine had to undergo a Hungarian siege, when the Magyar crown had passed by marriage from the house of Anjou to the house of Luxemburg. But we may mark how the different powers which had something to do with the lands with which we are concerned are already beginning to gather from the same hands. Lewis, the enemy of Treviso in 1356, purely western in origin, was purely eastern in power – King of Hungary and of the lands round about Hungary, King of Poland by a personal union. Siegmund, the enemy of Udine in 1411, was already King of Hungary, Margrave of Brandenburg also, in days when, as Hungary had nothing to do with Austria, so Brandenburg had nothing to do with Prussia. He was already chosen but not crowned King of the Romans; he was to be, before he had done, King of Bohemia, reformer of the Church, and Emperor, last crowned Emperor not of the Austrian house. Presently the city passed away from the rule of the patriarchs, but it could hardly be said to pass from a spiritual to a temporal lord when it came under the direct superiority of the Evangelist and his Lion. In the war of the League of Cambray it passed for a moment into the hands of an Austrian Archduke, but one who wore the crown of Aachen, and bore the titles of Rome without her crown. The first momentary master saw from the German Austria that Udine was Maximilian, King of Germany and Emperor-elect. In the eighteenth century the patriarchs of Aquileia had become harmless indeed, so harmless that their dignity could be altogether swept away, and their immediate province divided between the two new archbishoprics of Udine and Gorizia. Thus Udine, having once been the temporal seat of an ecclesiastical prince of the highest rank, came, as a subject city, to hold the highest ecclesiastical rank short of that which was swept away to make room for its elevation.
Udine is one of those places which keep fortifications of what we may call the intermediate period, what, in this part of the world, is specially the Venetian period. Such walls stand removed alike from those which, even when not Roman in date, closely follow the Roman type of defences, and from fortifications of the purely modern kind. The walls of Udine are well preserved and defended with ditches, and, as they fence in a large space and as there is comparatively little suburb, they form a prominent feature in the aspect of the town. Within the town, towering over every other object, is the castle or citadel, as unpicturesque a military structure as can be conceived, but perched on a huge mound, like so many of the castles of our own land. Here is work for Mr. Clark. Is the mound natural or artificial? Tradition says that it was thrown up by Attila, that he might stand on it and see the burning of Aquileia. Legendary as such a tale is on the face of it, it may perhaps be taken as some traditional witness to the artificial nature of the mound. It would be dangerous to say anything more positively without minute knowledge both of the geology and of the præ-historic antiquities of Venetia; but analogy always suggests that such mounds are artificial, or at least largely improved by art. Anyhow there the mound is, an earthwork which, if artificial it be, the Lady of the Mercians herself need not have been ashamed of.
Some of the guide-books call Udine "a miniature Venice;" it is not easy to see why. There are some canals and bridges in Udine, but so there are in Milan, Amiens, and countless other towns. There is even a Rialto; but one hardly sees how it came by its name. The true "piccola Venezia" is far away in Dalmatia, floating on its islands in the bay of Salona. The point of likeness to Venice is probably found in the civic palace and the two neighbouring columns. But these last are only the usual badges of Venetian rule, and the palace, though it may suggest the dwelling of the Doges, has no more likeness to it than is shared by many other buildings of the same kind in Italy. But, like or unlike to Venice, there is no doubt, even on a rainy day, that the palace of Udine is a building of no small merit; on a fine day it might perhaps make us say that it was worth going to Udine to see it. It is, of course, far smaller than the Doges' palace; and if it lacks the wonderful intermediate story of the Venetian building, it also lacks the ugly story above it. The point of likeness, if any, lies in the arcades, with their columns of true Italian type, slenderer than those at Venice, and using the pointed arch in the outer and the round arch in the inner range. But the columns at Udine are not a mere range like those at Venice. They stand row behind row, almost like the columns of a crypt, and they supply a profitable study in their floriated capitals. The pillared space forms the market-place of the city, and a busy place it is at the times of buying and selling, filled with the characteristic merchandise of the district, the golden balls of silk, for whose presence the Venetian land may thank the adventurous monks of Justinian's day. Some of the columns, and a large part of the rest of the building, had been renewed between 1875 and 1881. Between those years the palace had been nearly destroyed by fire. Here was a case of necessary restoration. No rational person could have been better pleased, either if the palace had been left in ruins or if it had been repaired in some incongruous fashion. In such a case as this, the new work is as much in its place as the old, and the new work at Udine is as worthy as any new work is ever likely to be to stand side by side with the old. At Udine again, as in many other places, the thought cannot fail to strike us how thoroughly these grand public palaces of Italy do but set before us, on a grand scale and in a more ornamented style, a kind of building of which a humble variety is familiar enough among ourselves. Many an English market-town has an open market-house with arches, with a room above for the administration of justice or any other public purpose. Enlarge and enrich a building of this kind, and we come by easy steps to the palace of Udine and to the palace of Venice.
The civic palace is the only building of any great architectural value in Udine. The metropolitan church contains little that is attractive for antiquity or for beauty of the higher kind. But the interior, though of mixed and corrupt style, is not without a certain stateliness, and its huge octagonal tower would have been a grand object if its upper stages had been carried up in a manner worthy of its basement. The streets are largely arcaded; and if the arcades of Udine supply less detail than those of some other Italian cities, any arcade is better than none. Udine can at least hold its head higher than modern Bari, modern Athens, modern Rome. Still at best Udine in itself holds but a secondary place among Italian cities, and its main historic interest consists in the way in which the utterly obscure Vedinum contrived to supplant both Aquileia and Forum Julii. As things now are, Forum Julii, dwindled to Cividale, has become a kind of appendage to Udine, and we must make our way thither from what is now the greater city.
Let us here put on record the memories of an actual journey, as strengthened and corrected by a later one made under more favourable circumstances. The accounts in the common guide-books are so meagre, and it is so impossible to get any topographical books in Udine, that our inquirer sets out, it must be confessed, with the vaguest notions of what he is going to see. Gsel-fels was not in those days, and, now that he has come into being, he has treated the lands at the head of the Hadriatic a good deal less fully than he has done most other parts of Italy. The traveller then is promised a store of Roman remains by one guide-book, and an early Romanesque church by another. He knows that the greatness of Forum Julii has gone elsewhere, and he is perhaps led to the belief that he is going to see a fallen city, perhaps another Aquileia, perhaps even another Salona. One thing is clear, even in the rain – namely, that the natural surroundings of Forum Julii are of the noblest kind. The grand position of the place itself he will not find out till later; but the mist half hides, half brings out, the fact that Udine lies near, and Cividale lies nearer, to the great range of the Julian Alps. Here and there their outlines can be made out; here and there a snowy peak shows itself for a moment in the further distance. A fertile plain with a mountain barrier, with broad and rushing rivers to water it – it was clearly a goodly land in which the old Veneti had fixed themselves, and in which Rome fixed the Forum of Julius as a colony and garrison to keep their land in obedience.
A long and flat road, but with the mountains ever in front, leads on by several villages with their bell-towers, over what, according to the accidents of weather, may be either a half-dry ghiara or a deep flood, till the traveller reaches the place which was Forum Julii, and which is Cividale. Here he finds himself – a little to his amazement – in a living town, with walls and gates and towers, with streets and houses and churches, none of them certainly of the Julian æra. The town is not very large; it is not a local capital like Udine; still it is a town, not a village among ruins and fragments like Aquileia and Salona. But it is plain that Cividale has not forgotten what she once was; the traveller is set down at the Grande Albergo al Friuli, and the albergo stands in the Piazza Giulio Cesare. He remembers the like name at Rimini, and he begins to cherish hopes that the treasures of Rimini may have their like at Cividale. In utter ignorance of what the place may really contain, he seeks for a bookseller's shop, hoping that some guide-book or plan of some kind may still be found. The bookseller is soon found, but his shop contains nothing of the least profit to an inquirer into the remains of Forum Julii. But the traveller hears that there is a museum; that promises something: besides the treasures which the museum itself may contain, such a place commonly implies an intelligent keeper, who sometimes proves to be a scholar of a high order. But he takes a wrong turn; no great harm however, as he thereby learns sooner than he otherwise would have learned the noble natural site of Cividale, planted on the rocky banks of the rushing stream of the Natisone. He sees two or three unpromising churches, and looks into the chief of them, a building of strange and mixed style, but not without a certain stateliness of general effect. He sees the Via Cornelio Gallo, which promises something, and the Via del Tempio, which promises more. Visions of Nîmes, Vienne, and Pola rise before him; he follows the track, but he finds nothing in the least savouring of Jupiter or Diana, and he learns afterwards that the Tempio from which the street is called is the great church, known, it seems, in a special way, as Templum Maximum. Still the museum is not reached; but a second inquiry, a second journey to quite another end of the town, leads to it. The museum is examined; it contains a considerable stock of objects of the usual kind, fragments of architecture and sculpture, which witness to the former greatness of Forum Julii. More remarkable are the specimens of Lombard workmanship, in various forms of armour and ornament, to say nothing of the actual tomb of the Lombard Duke Gisulf. At the museum he is put under the friendly guidance of a kindly priest, by whose care many matters are cleared up. Roman remains, strictly so called, there are none to see. There have been diggings, and the walls have been traced out, but all has been covered up again; outside the museum there is nothing in the pagan line left. But of Romanesque work the remains, though neither large nor many, are of high interest. Buried in an Ursuline nunnery, of which the good father opens the door, is a small Romanesque church of most singular design, built, so he tells us, in 764, but which, if so, must have received some further enrichment in the twelfth century. The sculptures in the western wall are surely of the later date; but the shell, parts of which in their coupled Corinthian columns strongly call to mind some of the ancient churches of Rome, may well be of the earlier date, of the last days of the Lombard kingdom.
Here at last something of no small value has been lighted on. As a matter of architecture, this church is by far the best thing in Cividale. Indeed, as a matter of architecture strictly so called, it is the only thing of any importance. But let the other churches be gone through again, perhaps only with that relief of the mind which follows the discovery of an intelligible clue, yet more when old memories are revived and strengthened by a second visit, and, though they are of no great value as buildings, they are found to be of no small interest in other ways. The Templum Maximum indeed, late and corrupt as is its style, is not without a certain grandeur of internal effect, and it contains more than one object which calls up historic memories. There is the chair which cannot in strictness be called patriarchal, but which was doubtless used by patriarchs when the spiritual shepherds of Aquileia fled from their wasted home to the safer shelter of Forum Julii, and ruled its chief church as provosts. There too on the altar we may see the silver image work of the twelfth century, the gift of one of the two patriarchs who bore the name of Peregrinus. And there too is a wonderful object, the indoor baptistery – for it is more than a font – repaired two years after Charles the Great had added the style of King of the Lombards to his Frankish kingship and his Roman patriciate. We may then believe that, in the columns and round arches of its octagon, we see work of the date when the land of Forum Julii was still the Austria of an independent Lombard realm. Other objects of early days are to be found in even the less promising churches, specially an altar, rich with the goldsmith's craft, which suggests, though it does not rival, the altar of Saint Ambrose at Milan. But first among the treasures of Cividale must rank the precious volume which is still guarded in the treasury of the great church. This is an ancient book of the gospels, now of three gospels only, for some zealous Venetian, eager for the honour of Saint Mark, deemed that the pages which contained his writings were out of place anywhere except in the Evangelist's own city. The highest historical value of the book consists in the crowds of signatures scattered through its margin, signatures of persons great and small, known and unknown, from the days of the Lombard princes to the Empress-Queen of the last age and the Bourbon pretender of the present. When we have grasped the fact that the popular speech of the surrounding district is Slavonic, we are less surprised than we otherwise might be to find that a large proportion of the signatures come from eastern Europe. Among them are a crowd of signatures from Bulgaria, headed by Michael their king. It is for palæographers to judge of the date by the writing. And palæographers say that, of the ancient names, none are earlier than the end of the eighth century or later than the end of the tenth. Otherwise we might have been driven to see in this Michael nothing greater than a fourteenth century king of an already divided Bulgaria. But the great Simeon of an earlier day left a son Michael, a monk, who left his monastery to strive vainly for his father's crown. Yet, if the witness of wise men as to the dates of the writing may be trusted, it must be either the signature of this Michael or else an utter forgery. But the unenlightened in such matters asks how the signatures of men of so many lands and ages got there. Did those whose names were written – for of course few, if any, would write them themselves – come to the book, or did the book go to them? The earlier signatures at least are said to be the names of reconciled enemies who took the holy book to witness that their enmities were laid aside. This we can neither affirm nor deny, but it surely cannot apply to all the signatures in the book. The treasury contains other ancient books, and other objects which are well worth notice, but this strange and precious relic is the chiefest of them all.
Altogether then there turns out to be a good deal to see on the site which once was Forum Julii. What is to be seen is perhaps not exactly of the kind which the traveller may have fancied in his dreams. He can hardly have come expecting to find a stately mediæval or modern city. He may have come expecting to find the walls of a Roman city sheltering here and there either Roman fragments or modern cottages. He will find neither of these; but he will find a town whose natural position is far more striking than could have been looked for in the approach from Udine, and whose chief merit is that it shelters here and there, in corners where they have to be sought for, several objects, neither Roman nor mediæval, but of the darker, and therefore most instructive, period which lies between the two.
At Udine and at Cividale we are still in Italy in every sense which that name has borne since the days of Augustus Cæsar. But the fact which may have startled us at the last stage of our course, the fact that a Slavonic tongue is to be heard within the borders of both the old and the new Italian kingdom, may suggest the thought that we are drawing near to parts of the world which are in some respects different from Treviso and the lands to the west of it. We are about to pass from the subject lands of Venice to the neighbour lands. We shall presently reach the borders which modern diplomacy has decreed for the Italian kingdom, seemingly because they were the borders of the territory of the Venetian commonwealth on the mainland. Venice, as Venice, has passed away, but it is strange to see how one of the most artificial of her boundaries survives. The present arrangements of the European map seem to lay down as the rule on this frontier that nothing that was not Venetian can be Italian. The rule is purely negative; no weight at all is given to the converse doctrine that whatever was Venetian should be Italian. Nor is it necessary to plead for any such doctrine, a doctrine which nationality and geography, as well as practical possibility, would all decline to support. Still it is hard to see why the negative doctrine should be so strictly pressed, and why Italian lands should be forced to remain under a foreign dominion, simply because they never came under the dominion of Venice. If any argument grounded in this way on facts which have long since ceased to have a meaning were urged on the Italian side, it would be at once scouted as pedantic and antiquarian. But it would seem that even pedantry and antiquarianism are welcomed when they tell on behalf of the other side. For surely it is the height of pedantry and antiquarianism to argue that, because a land was never numbered among the subject provinces of Venice, it therefore may not be numbered among the equal members of a free Italian kingdom. It is certainly hard to find any other reason, except that the advance of Venice stopped at a certain point, to account for the fact that the dominions of a foreign prince come so awkwardly near to Verona, for the fact that Trent and Roveredo look to Vienna and not to Rome. Such are our thoughts on one line of journey; on our present course the same question suggests itself again. We pass a frontier where it is not at first sight easy to see why any frontier should be there. We journey from Udine to Gorizia, still keeping within the old Lombard Austria, but between Udine and Gorizia lies Cormons, and after Cormons we find ourselves in a new Austria. We speak with geographical accuracy. We might not say, as some would, that we were in Austria if we were at Cattaro or at Tzernovitz, but in the land which we have now entered, we are, not indeed in the archduchy of Austria, but within the circle of Austria according to the arrangements of Maximilian. And in truth we do soon mark a change. We soon come to feel more distinctly than before that we are in a land where more tongues than one are spoken. We may have found out that round about Cividale all is not Italian in speech; but the Slavonic tongue of those parts is modest and retiring. It does not thrust itself into print or show itself flauntingly on doors or windows. But when we pass the border, when we are in the land which is Austrian both in the oldest and the newest sense, the presence of a twofold, even of a three-fold, speech makes itself very clear. At Cividale, if Slavonic was to be heard, it was at least not to be seen. In the city which we next reach, Italian and Slavonic are both to be seen openly, and a third tongue is to be seen alongside of them. Are we to seek here for the justification of the frontier which struck us as artificial and needless? Is the fact that the Slavonic tongue is spoken in or close by the city which we next reach a proof that that city ought to remain outside the Italian kingdom? If so, the argument might be thought to prove too much; it might be thought to prove that Cividale ought not to be counted to Italy any more than its neighbour. But any one who took up this line of argument would hardly be led by it to approval of things as they are. The Panslavist who should go the length of arguing that neither Gorizia nor Cividale ought to look to Rome as its head would hardly argue that either of them ought to look to Vienna.
We have written the name Gorizia; but we have written it with fear and trembling. For we have now reached a city where we have three names to choose from. Shall we say Görz, Gorizia, or Gorici? All three names will be found carefully displayed side by side in public notices. One is tempted, by the analogy of a crowd of Slavonic names in other places, to suggest Goritaz instead of any of them. But Gorici is the Slavonic form as by law established, and to that rule both natives and visitors may do well to bow. In any case there is little doubt that on this spot of many names we have reached a place which, though Italian in geography, though for ages German in allegiance, was in truth Slavonic in origin. A charter of Otto the Third speaks of "una villa quæ Sclavonica lingua vocatur Gorizia." This is the earliest certain mention of the place. There is indeed a document which tells us how in the year 949 Bishop John of Trieste was borne down by many troubles, and how one source of his troubles was a heavy debt to David the Jew of Gorizia. But wise men reject the document which asserts this piece of episcopal mismanagement. And the way in which the place is spoken of in the eleventh century does not sound as if it could have been a spot whose wealth could have drawn Jews thither in the tenth. In any case the Slavonic villa grew into a town and a county of the Empire, and late in the fifteenth century the Counts of Gorizia became the same persons as the Archdukes of Austria. But long after the beginning of that union, the distinction between Austria and Gorizia was still strongly drawn. How much Gorizia still thought of itself, how much its prince still thought of himself in his local character, is made plain by the most prominent feature of the chief building of the place. Over the gateway of the castle is an inscription recording repairs done in the year 1660 by the reigning Count Leopold. That Count bore higher titles, and he does not fail to record them on the stone; but they are recorded in an almost incidental way. Letters boldly cut, letters which catch the eye at some distance, proclaim that the work was done by LEOPOLDUS COMES GORITIÆ. Go near, and you may literally read between the lines, in smaller letters and abbreviated words, that this Count Leopold happened to be also Emperor of the Romans, King of Germany, Hungary, and Bohemia, Archduke of Austria, and – in his own eyes at least – Duke of Burgundy. But here at Gorizia he reigned and built directly as Count of Gorizia, and he proclaimed himself primarily by his local title. In an inscription such things could be done; heraldry hardly admitted of any such ingenious devices. The bird of Cæsar must bear the hereditary shield of the prince who has been chosen to the imperial office, and on that hereditary shield the bearings of the Gorizian county cannot displace those of duchies and kingdoms. While therefore the legend proclaims the doer of the repairs of 1660 as before all things a hereditary local count, the shield proclaims him as before all things a Roman Emperor-elect. Yet one may believe that most of those who pass under the imperial bird over the gateway deem him all one with his bastard likeness over the tobacco-shops. Some may even fail to see that, among the many hereditary bearings of the elective Cæsar, the lion of the Austrian duchy keeps his proper place. That lion is so apt to pass out of sight, men are so ready to cry "Austria" when they see the eagle of Rome, so little ready to cry "Austria" when they see Austria's own bearing, that it may be kind to point out one place where his form and his occasional destiny may best be studied. The true Austrian beast is plainly to be seen on the walls of the Schlachtkapelle near Sempach, and his presence there is explained by the legend, thrilling to the federal and democratic mind, "Das Panier von Oestreich ist gefangen, und ist nach Uri gekommen."
The eagle of Rome over the gateway, in a place where in these regions we look almost mechanically for the lion of Saint Mark, reminds us yet again that we have passed from the subject into the neighbour lands of Venice. And various inscriptions, public and private, bring no less clearly home to our minds that we are in a land of more than one tongue. Of the three names of the town, that by which we have hitherto spoken of it, that which it bears in the earliest trustworthy charter, that which differs by one letter only from its more ordinary Latin shape as seen over the gate, is also the name which the traveller will most frequently hear in its streets and will see universally written over its shops. As far as one can see at a glance, German is at Görz the tongue of hôtels, cafés, public departments of all kinds. Italian is the tongue of the citizens of Gorizia whose shops are sheltered by its street arcades. Slavonic, we conceive, will some day be the tongue of the little children who, in all the joy of a state of nature, as naked as any other mammals, creep, as merrily though more slowly than the lizards, over the grass and stones of the castle-hill of Gorici. Anyhow Gorizia is, like Palermo of old, the city of the threefold tongue. But the place itself is, considering its history, a little disappointing. Nothing indeed is lacking in the way of position. Mountains on all sides, except where the rich plain of the swift Isonzo stretches away to the sea, fence in the city, without hemming it close in as in a prison. One hill is crowned by the castle, whence we look out on another crowned by the long white line of the Franciscan convent, suggesting memories of the banished king who was the last to receive the consecrating oil of Rheims. Houses, churches, villages, are thickly scattered over the plain and the hill sides. The vines and the mulberry-trees, the food of the silkworm whose endless cocoons choke up the market-place, witness to the richness of the land. But there is a strange lack of buildings of any importance in this capital of an ancient county, this resort which boasts itself as the "Nizza Austriaca," the "Oesterreichische Nizza" – in such formulæ the third tongue of the spot is not called into play. A Nizza without any Mediterranean may seem as strange as the Rialto which we saw at Udine without any Grand Canal. But Gorizia as a modern town is not striking. Its best features are the old arcades in some of its streets and markets. Such arcades must be bad indeed to be wholly unsatisfactory, and some of those at Gorizia are very fairly done. But there is no grand church, no grand municipal palace; the castle itself is not what on such a site it ought to be. The castle is the kernel of the whole place. Gorizia is not a hill-town, nor can we call it a river-town. There is the castle on the hill, and the town seems to have gathered at its foot. The castle soars so commandingly over the country round that we wish here, as at Udine, that there was something better to soar than the ugly barrack which forms its uppermost stage. There are indeed better things within Count Leopold's gateway. The outer court is laid out in streets, and contains several houses with architectural features. One, bearing date 1475, with respectable columns and round arches below, and with windows of the Venetian type above, might pass for a very humble following, not of the palaces of Venice or Udine, but of the far nobler pile which is in store for us at Ragusa. A small church too strikes us, with its windows projecting like oriels, one of them indeed rising from the ground. This last, when we enter, proves to be the smallest of side-chapels set on this fashion. In some cities such a small eccentricity would hardly deserve any notice; but at Gorizia we learn to become thankful for rather small mercies.