Rare Works Of Art.
The Fountain Paolino.
An Aerial Waterway.
It is estimated that, during the period of the Empire, Rome's supply of water amounted to three hundred and thirty-three million gallons daily; and to-day, thanks to her ancient rulers, she is better supplied with water than any other capital in the world. Four different aqueducts bring to it, even now, an amount equal to one hundred and ten gallons daily per capita, while London furnishes its inhabitants with only thirty gallons each, and Paris seventy. It is not strange, therefore, that, with this magnificent volume pouring into it continually, Rome has been called a city of fountains. There are, in fact, in the City of the Tiber, twenty - eight fountains in the different squares, and more than three hundred public conduits that flow, night and day, into huge stone watering troughs.
The Capitol, like all the others of Rome's seven hills, is eloquent of history. It was the scene of many of Rome's earliest glories and her latest crimes. Above the city, on one side of it, was the Tarpeian Rock, down which all traitors and the basest criminals were hurled to death; and on its temple-crowned plateau all the distinguished Romans of antiquity have often stood. Here Brutus, too, harangued the populace after the murder of Caesar; and it was on the steps which the present modern stairway has now replaced, that Rienzi ("Last of theRoman Tribunes") fell, bleeding from twenty wounds, while from a window in their palace his beautiful young wife looked out and saw his tragic death. . Bearing these facts in mind, I climbed the noble staircase leading to the summit, and stood within the Square of the Capitol. The bronze statue of Marcus Aurelius in the centre of the area is especially interesting because it is the only equestrian figure which has come down to us of all that once adorned imperial Rome; and what a comment on the character of the Middle Ages is the fact that it owed its preservation to mistaken identity! For it was then supposed to be a representation of Constantine, whose statue, since he had been a Christian Emperor, was spared while those of Pagan sovereigns were, as far as possible, destroyed. Critics have usually been unfriendly to this work of art, but the horse, at least, was greatly admired by Michelangelo, who upon one occasion clapped his hands together as he looked at it, exclaiming enthusiastically, "Cammina!" - Get up! - as though that word would start it into motion.
The Appian Way, And Aqueducts.
Ruins Of The Claudian Aqueduct.
The Square Of The Capitol.
The Statue Of Marcus Aurelius.
No reader of the "Marble Faun" will forget Hawthorne's description of a visit made by moonlight to this statue, which he calls the most majestic representation of the kingly character that the world has ever seen. Certain it is, that as I looked upon this figure of Rome's noblest sovereign, and realized how it once had stood thus in the Forum, when the whole world lay subject to that outstretched hand, I felt that I had been brought nearer to the past, than even by the Arch of Titus, or the Colosseum.
The Hall Of The Emperors.
Leaving the square, I entered the Museum of the Capitol, and found myself in the apartment known as the Hall of the Emperors. This had for me a novel interest. Hitherto I had been treading in the footsteps of the ancient Romans, but here I met them face to face. Around the walls, I saw in a long double line statues and busts of Roman Emperors and their families, all of which are authentic likenesses, cut in the marble seventeen or eighteen hundred years ago, and placed side by side for close inspection and comparison. Beginning at random, I wrote in my note-book the names of these imperial characters and their modes of death. After a time I paused and observed the record. It was as follows: Julius Caesar, murdered; Agrippina (represented in the seated statue), died of enforced starvation; Caligula, her son, assassinated; Claudius, poisoned; Messalina, his wife, put to death by order of her husband; Agrippina, mother of Nero, murdered by her son; Nero himself, died by suicide; Poppaea, his wife, kicked to death by Nero; the Emperor Galba, murdered; Otho, died by suicide;