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Palazzo Sommariva.

shire ebbs, and flows, regularly every quarter of an hour.

About four in the afternoon, we landed at Cadenobbia. Our host proved a complete Boniface: -after a long spluttering in Italian, and attempts on his part to surcharge us in every thing, when the bargain was at last concluded, and he had agreed to give us dinner at four francs a-head, and bed for two and a half, he then spoke English very well, informing us that he had spent seven years in England, chiefly in Norfolk. However, every thing was extremely good, and clean.

The morning of our return by the boat to Como was occupied first by the inspection of the Marchese de Sommariva's Palace, an Italian noble of large fortune, and a liberal encourager of modern art, whose villa is on the borders of the lake immediately opposite to Cadenobbia. His Palace contains some of the finest specimens in painting of the French school which I had yet seen; and among the productions of Canova there is a groupe of Mars and Venus large as life; and a statue of Palamedes, of the same size. How exquisite is the beauty of Venus! No mortal man- the stern, inexorable, God of War alone could break from those snowy arms that circle him, and resist that voluptuous tenderness which so sweetly whispers to him-Stay!

This nobleman has an only son, a Colonel of the

Il Fiume di Latte.


Garde du Corps of the King of France, and has a mansion at Paris equally enriched with the productions of art, and equally accessible to the lovers of it.

The next Palazzo visited was that of his Excellency Francesco Melzi d'Eril, Duke of Lodi; but this was chiefly remarkable for the elegance, and splendour, of its decorations, and for the Italian taste, and variety of style in the painting of rooms. Hence, to the famous Cascade, the Fiume di Latte. After toiling with great fatigue up the steep, we saw the dark cavern from which the torrent bursts; precipitating itself down a rocky winding way of several hundred feet, where it combats with impediments at every plunge, while the roar of its struggles may be heard at two miles distance.

The Lago di Como is about forty miles long, five or six broad, and from fifty to five hundred feet deep-subject to sudden and dangerous squalls, but serenely calm as we skimmed along its surface.

At Bellagio where we rowed this morning is the finest point of view. Here are seen the three great branches of the lake.

On the north it extends to mountains of Val Tellina,

Riva, bounded by the and the Julian Alps. On the south-east it extends to Lecco, and on the south-west to Como. In front the view is terminated by the cloud-aspiring Monte Legnone. The northern aspect is the grander from the loftier, and more precipitous,

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mountains; the southern the softer from the greater verdure, and cultivation. In general appearance the lake is embosomed in mountains of varying height and figure, yet clad to their topmost heights with verdure; rich in beech, poplar, fir and cypress; and at their base with the yet more luxuriant vine, olive, and mulberry.

Placed in the most picturesque, and varied situations, the banks of the crystal lake are diversified with innumerable hamlets, with the little town, the humble cot, the pilgrim's chapel, the votive shrine, or the grandér villa of the Milanese nobility, with whom this lake is a favourite summer retreat.

Now is seen the ruined fort upon the mountain's brow that erst frowned upon the plains below; and now is heard the peaceful chiming of the village spire that peeps with its white pinnacles from amid surrounding foliage.

Well might Pliny in speaking to his friend of his dear Como term it" tuæ meæque delicia."* We were benighted, but a more enchanting landscape than the Lake of Como by moonlight ne'er was seen. Not a wave ruffled the limpid surface of the lake:-in proportion as the mountains on one side became darker, and darker, the brighter was the reflection of the moon on the opposite side. Long time we watched pale Cynthia, seeing her beams gradually surmounting

Thy, and my, delight.

Lake by Moonlight.


the heights that intercepted her full view; observing the pale glow upon one range of mountains still enlarging and the shadows of the other continually receding, even to the water's edge. At length she rose above us in brightest majesty.

This night, methinks, is but the daylight sick,
It looks a little paler; 'tis a day

Such as the day is when the sun is hid.

The fleecy clouds that streamed across her orb were tinted with a golden hue, but did not at all obscure her brightness. The rough forms, and inequalities of the mountains gradually faded away, showing only one sweeping, graceful curve seen through a soft and purply, misty hue. As we rowed gently along, sometimes the intervening foliage, sometimes the circular tower, or pointed spire, intercepting her rays, which were shown but partially amid the golden clouds, and glittering stars of the dark blue firmament, formed the acme of picturesque beauty; while her silvery beams, playing in the waters, and caught only at momentary intervals, presented the most brilliant and sparkling coruscations; and the boats gliding by stole so softly and so silently away, as though afraid to awaken the sleeping waves!

On the ensuing day we returned to Milan.

The plains of Milan abound with rice. I wished much to see this production growing, to me a novel sight, but the fields had been cut about a fortnight.

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It was on my journey from Milan to Pavia that I first noticed the patriarchal custom of the ox treading out the corn. This animal is in universal request throughout Italy. The horse is seldom, but oxen are always seen in the plough, in the field, or on the road, toiling along with agricultural produce. They are here remarkably fine and handsome, almost invariably of a cream, or dove colour; and are always harnessed so as not to pull by the shoulders against the collar, but against the nape of the neck.

A singular opinion is prevalent throughout Italy that every species of the ox tribe that drinks the waters of the Po must breed, and become of a light dove colour.

The Triumphal Arch of the Simplon, already spoken of, is placed in that vast and noble plain, or Piazza Castello, which forms so admirable a field for the exercise, and review of the Austrian cavalry; and around which are their barracks, and residences. Adjoining to this is the Circus, or Amphitheatre, erected by Bonaparte for the express imitation and celebration of the Olympic, with other games of antiquity. The forms and arrangements are certainly true to the antique; the seats are constructed to rise one above the other in a gentle slope; and there are the respective gates of ingress and egress, with other Roman distinctions. Charioteering, horsemanship, feats of strength, and

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