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deity, who carried his scrupulosity of proof somewhat further, we suspect, than his employers intended, found plenty of women who pretended to all the qualifications, but none who completely stood the test of investigation. In direct proportion to their claims in some respects, they were apt to fail in others; and even when they made no pretensions at all, but were at once unaffectedly beautiful, virtuous, and chaste, Mercury found that in proportion to the trusting simplicity of their goodness, the irreversible part of the business stood very aukwardly in the way.
At length, to his great joy, he had accounts which he could rely on, of three persons who completely answered the description in request. Without further delay, he wrote about them to Jupiter, and proceeded to the place they lived in to claim them : when unluckily he had the mortification to find, that they had been taken away by Pluto the day before, for the Three Furies.
LETTERS FROM ABROAD.
We have adopted the present form of communication with le reader for these articles, because we found the use of one's plural privileges inconvenient in travelling. An author must reverse on these occasions the custom of his legitimate brother we's, and travel cognito; otherwise his personal experiences will sometimes have a very ludicrous and inconsistent effect. He will not be able to move about with so much freedom, or give the results of his impressions and encounters with such vivacity, as if he were unhampered with a body corporate. It is not every body, like Cerberus or a king, who can be “ three gentlemen at once,” and at the same time lose nothing of his loco-motion. Therefore, be it known once for all, that when we travel, though in company, we are one, and shall use the first
accordingly; being, nevertheless, at all other times, more than one, and ready to prove it beyond a doubt upon the head of any one else, who shall dispute our miscellaneousness.
Pisa, one of the oldest cities in Europe, and supposed to have originated in a colony from its Grecian namesake, was at one time the most flourishing city in Tuscany. But the sea deserted it; and with the sea gradually departed all its modern importance. What it retained longest, and up to a late period, was its renown as a place of learning and education. But even that has departed now.
It has indeed an
university, whose name is loth to abandon it; and the education, to those who are very much in earnest about it, is worth procuring, because private tuition, of a very attentive kind, is to be had for a trifle; and the university lectures may be attended gratuitously. * The science most in request is medicine, or rather surgery. The name of Professor Vaccà (a man in the prime of life, with an intelligent and pleasing countenance) is known all over Europe. There is also another liberality, truly becoming the study of letters, and worth the imitation of countries that pique themselves on their advances beyond superstition:-men of any sect or religion can take all the degrees in the university, except those in divinity or canonical law. One of the most interesting sights now in Pisa is a venerable Greek Archbishop, who takes his walk on the Lungarno every evening. It is understood that he is superintending the education of some Greek youths, and that he puts the receipts of his office to the noble purpose of assisting it. Prince Alexander Mavrocordato, who joined his countrymen last year in their great struggle, and to whom Mr. Shelley has dedicated his Hellas, was studying here when his glorious duty called him off. I know not on what errand a rich Russian comes to the same place; but the other evening, in the cathedral, I saw one of the sons of the late Marshal S. IIis semi-barbarous, fair, active-looking, and not ill-natured face, formed a curious contrast with the procession of dark southern heads, that was passing him up the middle of the church. His brother, who is said to be handsome, is here also. I was told they
* The writer of this article, for some weeks, had the pleasure of interchanging some English and Italian reading with the Abate Giuliani, an elegant scholar; and there is a young man of the name of Giannetti, who made a very kind and attentive master to his children, and promises to be an excellent instructor.
had been in Pisa about a year, and were ricchissimi (very rich)—a word which an Italian utters with a peculiar gravity,
What renders Pisa interesting now, and will continue to render it so as long as it exists, is its being left to a comparative solitude, and its containing one of the most singular, and many of the most ancient specimens of the arts, in Italy. It now stands five miles from the sea, and so completely out of the ordinary roads of communication, that the writers of elaborate works upon Italy do not think it incumbent upon them to notice it. Such however as have a true taste for their subject, cannot be well satisfied with themselves for the omission. Let the reader imagine a small white city, with a tower also white, leaning very distinctly in the distance at one end of it, trees on either side, and blue mountains for the back-ground. Such is the first sight of Pisa, as the traveller sees it in coming from Leghorn. Add to this, in summer-time, fields of corn on all sides, bordered with hedge-row trees, and the festoons of vines, of which he has so often read, hanging from tree to tree; and he may judge of the impression made upon an enthusiastic admirer of Italy, who is in Tuscany for the first time. It looks like a thing you have dreamt of, and answers most completely to the imagination.
In entering the city, the impression is beautiful. What looked white in the distance remains as pure and fair on closer acquaintance. You cross a bridge, and cast your eye up the whole extent of the city one way, the river Arno (the river of Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio) winding through the middle of it under two more bridges; and fair elegant houses of good size bordering the wide pavement on either side. This is the Lung’arno, or street along the Arno. The mountains, in which you now discover the look of their marble veins (for it is from these that the marble of Carrara comes)