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creation before me was white as the Alpine snows, and shot up in a glorious cluster of towers, spires, and pinnacles, which flashed back the splendours of the mid-day sun. It looked as if it had sprung from under the chisel but yesterday. Indeed, one could hardly believe that human hands had fashioned so fair a structure. It was so delicate, and graceful, and aerial, and unsullied, that I thought of the city which burst upon the pilgrims when they had got over the river, or that which a prophet saw descending out of heaven. Milan, hid in rich woods, was before me, and this was its renowned Cathedral.

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The Barrier-Beautiful Aspect of the City-Hotel Royale--History of
Milan-Dreariness of its Streets-Decay of Art-Decay of Trade-The
Cathedral-Beauty, not Sublimity, its Characteristic-Its Exterior de-
scribed-The Piazza of the Cathedral-Austrian Cannon-Pamphlets on
Purgatory-Punch-Punch versus the Priest-Church and State in Italy
-Austrian Oppression-Confiscation of Estates in Lombardy-Forced
Loans-Niebuhr's Idea that the Dark Ages are returning.

It was an hour past noon when the diligence, with its polyglot freight, drove up to the barrier. There gathered round the vehicle a white cloud of Austrian uniforms, and straightway every compartment of the carriage bristled with a forest of hands holding passports. These the men-at-arms received; and, making them hastily up into a bundle, and tying them with a piece of cord, they despatched them by a special messenger to the Prefect; so that hardly had we entered the Porta Vercellina, till our arrival was known at head-quarters. There was handed at the same time to each passenger a printed paper, in which the same notification was four times repeated,—first in Italian, next in French, then in German, and lastly in English,-enjoining the holder, under certain penalties,

to present himself within a given number of hours at the Police Office.

It was under these conditions,-a pilgrim from a far land, -that I appeared at the gates of Milan. The passport detention seemed less an annoyance here than I had ever felt it before. The beauteous city, sitting so tranquilly amidst the sublimest scenery, seemed to have something of a celestial character about it. It looked so resplendent, partly by reason of the materials of which it is built, and partly by reason of the sun that shone upon it as an Italian sun only can shine, that none but pure men, I felt, might dwell here, and none but pure men might enter at its gates. There were white sentinels at its portals; rows of white houses formed its exterior; and in the middle of the city, floating above it, for it seemed to float rather than to rest on foundations,—was its snow-white temple, -a place too holy almost, as it seemed, for human worship and human worshippers; and then the city had for battlements a glorious wall, white as alabaster, which rose to the clouds. Everything conspired to cheat the visitor into the belief that he had come at last to an abode where every hurtful passion was hushed, and where Peace had fixed her chosen seat.


"All right," shouted the passport official: the gensdarmes, who guarded the path with naked bayonet, stepped aside; and the quick, sharp crack of the postilion's whip set the horses amoving. We skirted the spacious esplanade, and saw in the distance the beauteous form of the Arco della Pace. We had not far till the drum's roll struck gone and a the upon long glittering line of Austrian bayonets was seen moving across the esplanade. It was evident that the time had not yet come to Milan, all glorious as she seemed, when men "shall learn war no more. We plunged into a series of narrow streets, which open on the Mercato Vecchio. We crossed

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the Corso, and came out upon the broad promenade that traverses Milan from the square of the Duomo to the Porta Orientale. We soon found ourselves at the diligence office; and there, our little colony of various nations breaking up, I bade adieu to the good vehicle which had carried me from Turin, and took my way to the Hotel Royale, in the Contrada dei tre Re.

At the first summons of the porter's bell the gate opened. On entering, I found myself in what had been one of the palaces of Milan when the city was in its best days. But the Austrian eagle had scared the native princes and nobles of the Queen of Lombardy, who were gone, and had left their streets to be trodden by the Croat, and their palaces to be tenanted by the wayfarer. The buildings of the hotel formed a spacious quadrangle, three storeys high, with a finely paved court in the centre. I was conducted up stairs to my bed-room, which, though by no means large, and plainly furnished, presented the luxury of extreme cleanliness, with its beautifully polished wooden floor, and its delicately white napery and curtains. The saloon on the ground-floor opened sweetly into a little garden, with its fountain, its bit of rock-work, and its gods and nymphs of stone. The apartment had a peculiarly comfortable air at breakfast-time. The hissing urn, flanked by the tea-caddy; the rich brown coffee, the delicious butter, and the not less delicious bread, the produce of the plains around, not unnaturally white, as with us, but golden, like the wheat when it waves in the autumnal sun; and the guests, mostly English, which assembled morning after morning,-made the return of this hour very pleasant. Establishing myself at the Albergo Reale for this and the two following days, I sallied out, to wander everywhere and see everything.

Milan is of ancient days; and few cities have seen greater

changes of fortune.

In the reign of Diocletian and Maximilian it became the capital of the western empire, and was filled with the temples, baths, theatres, and other monuments which usually adorn royal cities. The tempest which Attila, in the middle of the fifth century, conducted across the Alps, fell upon it, and swept it away. Scarce a vestige of the Roman Milan has come down to our day. A second Milan was founded, but only to fall, in its turn, before the arms of Frederick Barbarossa. There was a strong vitality in its site, however; and a third Milan,—the Milan of the present day, -arose. This city is a huge collection of churches and barracks, cafés and convents, theatres and palaces, traversed by narrow streets, ranged mostly in concentric circles round its grand central building, the Duomo. The streets, however, that lead to its various ports, are spacious thoroughfares, adorned with noble and elegant mansions. Such is the arrangement of the town in which I now found myself.

I sought everywhere for the gay Milan,-the white-robed city I had seen an hour ago,-but it was gone; and in its room sat a silent and sullen town, with an air of most depressing loneliness about it. There were few persons on the streets; and these walked as if they dragged a chain at their heels. I passed through whole streets of a secondary character, without meeting a single individual, or hearing the sound of man or of living thing. It seemed as if Milan had proclaimed a fast and gone to church; but when I looked into the churches, I saw no one there save a solitary figure in white, in the distance, bowing and gesticulating with extraordinary fervour, in the presence of dumb pictures and dim tapers. How can a worship in which no one ever joins edify any one? I could discover no signs of a flourishing art. There were not a few pretty and some beautiful things in the shop-windows;

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