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Naumachiæ, or naval combats, from the facility of inundating the Arena at will, would, had the Emperor continued to reign, have been occasionally exhibited to admiring crowds. On the occasion of the baptism of the King of Rome, such games were exhibited; the tickets for which were distributed gratuitously, by the municipality of Milan.
Nevertheless I thought the general effect of this Amphitheatre was comparatively poor, and my impression was therefore one of disappointment.
It is capable of containing about 30,000 spectators; but how feeble are any attempts to rival old Rome, whose amphitheatres for the diversion of her citizens could accommodate an hundred thousand; and whose Circus Maximus was 2187 feet long, 960 broad, and would hold 250,000 people.
It is apparent that Bonaparte in most of his acts, from policy, or inclination, followed the Roman institutions. In imitation of old Rome, he sought to make his government, and people, completely military; in minor details he still copied Rome, as far as existing circumstances would allow; his public games were antique; and it was his pride, and his pleasure, to be deemed, and to preside, as a Roman Emperor.
How greatly Milan was favoured by Napoleon, is apparent from his selection of this city as the theatre of his coronation, as King of Italy in 1805; which, by his orders, was as spendid a
The Iron Crown.
pageant as ever was provided for admiring nations.
The Crown, moreover, selected to encircle his brows was the oldest, and most noted diadem in the world-the Iron Crown;-that which has graced so many regal heads; but, far above all, and to which the precious, and unvalued, gems that enrich it are but as nought;—that which contains an iron ring made of the Nails of the Cross of Christ, gathered in Jerusalem by St. Helena, and by her entrusted to her regal son, Constantine.
About two miles distance from Milan may be heard one of the most surprising artificial echoes in the universe. At the Casa Simonetta two parallel walls, reverberating the sound back upon each other till the undulation is totally exhausted, create an echo which repeats the human voice about forty times; and the report of a pistol between fifty and sixty.
This surprising effect was, I believe, entirely the result of chance, and not of design.
The grand Corso of Milan, or Corso della Porta Orientale is one of the widest, and noblest, of Italy; for here mingle some of the most fashionable houses of traffic, and modes, with the venerable remains of the buildings of old times, and of other governors, together with the modern splendid villas, and palaces, of the grandees of the present day. Here is of course the chief display
of beauty, and of equipage; nor have I yet seen any street better calculated for a four-in-hand exhibition than this Corso. Beyond it are the Public Gardens, separated only by a decorated and light iron railing, with a few appropriate appendages.
In taking leave of Milan, I have little more to add to my catalogue of sights. In the evening, or rather night, we took a farewell walk by moonlight through the city, pleasing ourselves with observations on the various buildings we chanced to meet with. Perhaps the best edifice we stumbled upon was the Ospedale Maggiore, a most noble charitable erection, capable of receiving twelve hundred sick, with apartments for convalescents, and for those who are able to carry on any particular branch of trade.
Of its exterior architecture, which was all that at such an hour we could notice, we admired its court-yard of about 300 feet square, with a double range of columns entirely around.
Finally, of the ancient poets who have sung Milan, Ausonius is one of the best descriptive, and most laudatory. Every classical reader will recollect his verses, beginning
Et Mediolani mira omnia, copia rerum.
Saturday morning, Eleven o'clock.-Off in one hour for Genoa. Our carriage will cost eight Napoleons, for which payment our vetturino, or coachman, bargains to provide one meal a day for us
Agreements for Travelling.
four, and separate beds for all during the three nights we shall be on the road. An agreement to this effect has accordingly been drawn up, and signed-a common practice in Italy, and very suitable to those who like ourselves neither travel in the common stage, nor en grand seigneur, preceded by their own courier; for by this practice we save, equally, trouble and imposition..
PAVIA MONASTERY OF LA CERTOSA-SUMPTUOUS CHAPELSBATTLE OF PAVIA-UNIVERSITY-BRIDGE OVER THE TES SIN, AND ANCIENT DESCRIPTION OF THAT RIVER-BOETHIUS-ANCIENT GENOA-MARENGO-THE PO, AND FABLE OF PHAETON-VALLEY OF POLCIVERA-GENOA SUMMARY OF ANCIENT, AND MODERN, HISTORY-ANDREW DORIA, AND REVOLUTION EFFECTED BY HIM IN 1528-CONSPIRACY OF LEWIS FIESCO IN 1547-DORIA PALACE-COLUMBUS.
ABOUT four miles from Pavia stands the cele brated Monastery of La Certosa.. Of all the monasteries I have yet seen this is incomparably the noblest, being also generally deemed the finest in Europe.
It was about the hour of sun-set that we approached this venerable, and sumptuous, institution for Carthusian Friars. Slowly we drove through lofty avenues of ancient elms, and poplars, whose boughs were gently fanned by the grateful autumnal breeze; and whose verdant foliage, so gracefully wantoning, shadowed the vermilion, and brilliant, hues of an Italian sun-set. At intervals we caught the huge, and costly, fabric glistening in the distant view; and as the setting rays gradually declined in brightness, the more appropriate were the solemn, and sombre, feelings excited by the darkening foliage, and a visit to the tombs of Monarchs, and Monks, whose