excerpt from 'Letters on Italy; illustrated by engravings' pp. 33 (290 words)

excerpt from 'Letters on Italy; illustrated by engravings' pp. 33 (290 words)

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Letters on Italy; illustrated by engravings

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[Letter V]

Who can sleep the first night of their arrival at Tivoli? My delightful bed-chamber was close to the temple of the Sybil, or rather of Vesta, and in sight of a magnificent cascade. The stream dashes itself down, disappears, and separates into a thousand little currents in the subterraneous passages which pierce the mountain upon which this part of the city is built.

The fall of the waters produces a deafening sound, sometimes imitating the noise of thunder, according as the sound strikes directly on the ear, or is dispersed by the wind. Between me and the cascade lay the bridge, the church, and the town; and the effect of the moonlight on the river which flowed round the town was most beautiful.

 How different was the scene when I beheld it in the morning, yet equally delightful! The heavens were cloudless, and the dashing of the cascade seemed softened, and it was mingled with sounds which told of the awakening of nature and of man. The chirping of swallows, the turning of mills, the noise [of] the horses' hoofs as they passed the bridge, the voices of the peasants, cloathed in their best habits and hastening to church, the sound of the bells floating on the air, all announced a day of festival. It was indeed so to me to find myself at Tivoli! Nothing is pleasanter here than the perpetual chiming of the bells, so disagreeable in other places: it resembles in Italy a sort of aërial music. So well do this people, whose taste is so delicate in all the arts, know how to harmonize and time their sounds, and to produce intonations as correct as those with which nature has inspired their songs.

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excerpt from 'Letters on Italy; illustrated by engravings' pp. 33 (290 words)


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