The Gallery Where Caligula Was Murdered.
Pavement Ok The Palace.
Process Of Excavation.
The air here is invariably fragrant with the breath of flowers, and during the delicious days of spring the velvet sward is carpeted with countless violets and anemones, that flush the withered cheek of Rome and make it glow again with youthful beauty. Nor are these gardens wanting in agreeable memories. For centuries they have been the favorite haunt of artists, and under not a few of these immemorial pines Raphael used to walk at sunrise, enamored of some fair ideal, which, later in the day, would find expression on his canvas.
On entering the villa itself, I looked around me with astonishment. This surely was a palace rather than a villa. The ceilings glowed with brilliant frescos; the walls were encased in m any-colored marbles and covered with forms and tableaux in relief; while on the beautiful mosaic pavement stood rare vases, inlaid tables, and pedestals supporting many busts and statues, modern and antique. Its ancient treasures are especially remarkable, not only in themselves, but on account of their peculiar origin. After his marriage with Pauline Bonaparte, sister of Napoleon, the Prince Borghese, owner of the villa, was requested by his imperial brother-in-law to sell him some of his statues to increase the treasures of the Louvre at Paris. The Prince complied, but was immediately inconsolable at having done so. Finally, half in hope, half in despair, he had his vast estates once more dug over and explored, with the result that from the wondrous soil of old Italy was brought to light a second collection of marbles, equal, if not superior, to the first. Think, then, what marvels of artistic skill may still repose within the dust of Rome, from which, without even leaving his own property, a Prince could thus extract a gallery of statues!
In The Villa Borghese.
The Fountain Of Trevi.
Nothing gives us a better idea of the magnificence of ancient Rome than the astounding wealth which its soil is still capable of yielding. Thus, merely in the brief inter-val of fifteen years, - between 1873 and 1888, -there were unearthed, in laying the foundations for new buildings in Rome, one hundred and ninety-two marble statues, several of which were masterpieces; two hundred and sixty-six busts, seventy-seven columns, twenty-four hundred lamps, three hundred and sixty cameos, four hundred and five bronzes, and thirty-seven thousand gold and silver coins.
No city in the world was ever more abundantly supplied with water than the City of the Caesars, and of the numerous springs which poured the precious liquid into Rome one of the purest and most copious is now known as the Fountain of Trevi. Marcus Agrippa brought its silvery current to the city, a score of years before the birth of Christ, through one of the gigantic aqueducts that, with their massive arches, formed elevated pathways for the mountain streams which flowed toward Rome and entered it as railroads now converge from different points to one of our modern cities. It was then called the "Fountain of the Virgin," because its source had been made known to Marcus Agrippa's thirsty soldiers by a youthful maiden. In the great flood of barbarism that swept over Rome in the fifth century, this aqueduct was broken, and its flow of water ceased for a thousand years; but, in 1560, Pope Pius IV. caused the colossal conduit to be repaired, and brought the water once more into the city. In 1735 its terminus was marked by an enormous structure, which, although more remarkable than beautiful, is still sufficiently imposing to leave upon the memory a deep impression. The architectural background for the running water resembles the facade of a huge palace, and is adorned with lofty columns and statues, and two reliefs, one of which represents the traditional maiden pointing out the spring to the Roman soldiers, while the other portrays Agrippa studying a plan for the construction of the aqueduct. At the base a mass of rocks and masonry has been arranged, like boulders piled up by an avalanche, among which Neptune's ocean chariot, drawn by two sea monsters, seems to be stranded, despite the strenuous efforts of a score of Tritons to release it. Meanwhile, around the ocean deity, a flood of water bursts forth through a hundred apertures, and after sporting madly with old Neptune's horses and attendants, and mockingly eluding them by leaping over barriers, darting under rocks and wriggling through a thousand crevices, at last falls breathless into a marble reservoir, and lies demurely in the sunshine, offering no resistance to the men and women who come to fill their jars and pitchers from its overflow. This fountain well repays a visit by moonlight, for the proportions of the structure and the forms of the statues then seem infinitely more majestic than by day; while, in the hush of evening, the innumerable little streams, which interlace the rocks like silver threads, seem to be murmuring of the dripping ferns and mosses in their far-off mountain home. Who has not sometimes pitied such imprisoned water, which cannot take the course that it would naturally choose, but is compelled to flow along a route determined by the will of man?