« VorigeDoorgaan »
surrounding country. Thither every of April, 1555, Siena surrendered. Beevening almost all Siena resorts to breathe fore the siege it numbered forty thousand fresb air and to see and be seen. To go inhabitants, at its close there remained back three hundred years : when Charles but six thousand; but the thirty-four V. heard of the surrender of the Spanish thousand then left to be accounted for garrison he was furious, and the year 1553 did not all perish in the siege, for seven saw a Spanish army of vengeance carry- hundred families, preferring exile to slaving fire and sword into the Sienese terri. ery, wandered forth into voluntary banishtory. This army was checked by the ment. unexpected and heroic resistance of the It is impossible not to sympathize with ·little town of Montalcino, which was one's whole heart with a gallant little peoclosely invested for eighty days. But in ple thus protracting a struggle for liberty the following year came another army, and their ancient independence, almost to under the ferocious Marignano, and this the point of extermination, against such a time the Spaniards penetrated to the very ruler as Charles V., and such a general walls of the city, and twenty-five thousand as Marignano; but it is just to remember Spaniards and soldiers of Cosimo biv- that the republic of. Siena, during the ouacked before the gates. All the citi- whole of its existence, had displayed zens were called to arms, and the priests more and worse vices than did even the and monks were compelled to work on the little republics and states of ancient fortifications.
Greece. There was never an end to the Three ladies, named Forteguerri, Pic- cruel feuds and bitter party hatreds which colomini, and Fausti, organized three rent asunder the city state ; and he who battalions of women. Three thousand had rendered the greatest service to the maidens worked on the ramparts and in republic was the most likely to become the trenches. The general-in-chief was the object of the envy and hatred of his Pietro Strozzi, a Florentine exile, and a fellow-citizens, who would often even bitter personal enemy of Cosimo. He clamor for his blood. Aonio Paleario, of determined to relieve Siena by a coup. whom I shall have occasion shortly to de-inain against Florence. Marignano speak, thus writes of the republic in 1530: marched to prevent him. Twe two ar." The city rises on delightful bills, its termies met at Marciano, where the Sienese ritory is fertile and produces everything suffered the crushing defeat of Scanna. in abundance, but discord arms the citigallo, caused by the treachery of the zens against one another, and all their commander of the French cavalry in the energy is consumed in factions; ” and it service of Siena, who had been bought is worthy of notice that it was unsafe by Marignano with the price of twelve for him to settle in Siena until the Spantin fasks filled with pieces of gold. The ish domination was, for the first time, Sienese lost all their artillery and fifty- firmly established after 1530. five banners, while twelve thousand men Upon the surrender of the republic in fell either killed or wounded.
1555, Charles V. handed it over in fief to The siege now became more strict and his son, Philip II. of Spain, and he, in more dreadful — little or no quarter was turn, at the treaty of the Chateau de Camgiven. Fifteen hundred peasants, caught bray (1559), made it over to Cosimo dei by Marignano while endeavoring to take Medici, whom Italian historians are wont supplies into the city, were hanged within to call the Tiberius of Tuscany. From sight of the despairing citizens, so that a that time Siena remained an integral part Spanish historian, an eye-witness, adds: of the grand duchy of Tuscany, until “The trees seemed to produce more dead after exactly three hundred years, in 1859, bodies of men than leaves." Still the it decided by a plébiscite, first among its citizens would not yield, and they even sister cities, to place itself under the carried their patriotism to the height of tricolor flag of United Italy. inhumanity to their own flesh and blood, From the earliest times, and during the several times turning out of the gates most stormy periods of its independent hundreds of “useless mouths,” consisting existence, the republic of Siena was a lib. of the old, the sick, the infirm, and of eral patron of the art of painting, and the women and children, who either perished deep religious feeling and tender devoby the Spanish sword, or became the prey tional beauty of the works of its great of wild beasts, or died from cold and hun-masters, from the thirteenth century ger. Within the city, to the ravages of downwards, still appeal to the traveller the sword and of famine were added those as well from the altars and walls of its of pestilence, and at length, on the 17th | many churches as in the Instituto delle
Belle Arti, where the treasures of many It is interesting, too, as one comes unthe suppressed convents have been col- der the shadow of the enormous mass of lected. That the love of painting is not the huge Church of St. Dominic, and dead in this one of its old haunts is shown passes into the cloisters, now occupied as by the splendid mosaics executed on the a studio by the distinguished sculptor façade of the cathedral by Signor Luigi Sarrocchi, to remember that this was long Mussini, the distinguished painter, di, the abode of the "angelical doctor,” St. rector of the institution just named, and Thomas of Aquinas. by Signor Franchi, who is also attached The saints of the Middle Ages gave to the institution. The excellence of the place in the sixteenth century to thinkers school of wood-carving in Siena is shown and reformers. Foremost among them by the yearly increasing amount of deli. must be mentioned Lelius and Faustus cate and costly work entrusted to Siena Socious, uncle and nephew. Born of an houses by connoisseurs of this branch of old and famous Sienese family, and deart in England; and it is interesting that scended from a series of eminent juris. the whole of the internal ornamental wood-consults, equally distinguished by great work on, I believe, the last Cunard liner erudition and extreme conservatism, Lewas executed here.
lius Socinus threw himself with such ardor Few buildings in Italy, or indeed in the into the ranks of the reformers as soon to world, present a more imposing appear. distance and shock them. He visited, in ance than does the cathedral, built on the succession, France, England, the Low very suminit of one of the hills on which Countries, Germany, and Poland, and in Siena stands; though it takes time to the end settled at Zürich, where he died accustom the eye to the alternate courses at the age of thirty-seven in 1562. His of white and black marble of which it is nephew, Faustus, after passing twelve built, and architectural critics find fault years at the court of the grand duke of with its style. None, however, can deny Tuscany, with whom he was a great favorthe extraordinary richness and imposing ite, suddenly went into voluntary exile in effect of the interior. More even than the Germany, and for the remainder of his cathedral, the numerous and massive pal-life devoted himself with ardor and enaces, seemingly capable of defying all thusiasm to the dissemination of the enemies, including time, attest the devel. views that had become associated with opment to which architecture had attained the name of his uncle. Maltreated and in Siena in the Middle Ages.
persecuted, he at length found a refuge In all, Siena gave nine popes to Rome, near Cracow, where he died in 1604, at the a gift possibly of doubtful advantage; but age of seventy-five. Uncle and nephew of the benefit to Christendom of the left behind thein an enormous body of saints that were born in Siena there can heterodox divinity, now never opened' but be no doubt. Of these the greatest was by professed students; but the ideas and Catherine, the daughter of a dyer, who, in influence of these two great men, received her short life of thirty-three years, by her and handed on by later thinkers, were greatness of soul and absolute saintliness probably never more rife and potential of character, became a power in Christen than now, after nearly three centuries. dom, and by effecting the return of the First among the great reformers to papacy from Avignon to Rome, influenced, whom Siena gave birth stands the majestic to an extent difficult now to estimate, the figure of Bernardino Ochino. He was history of the whole world. The purity born in 1487, just four years after Luther. of the style of her letters is as remarkable He was a born saint, and endeavored by a as the force of her character and the life of privation and austerity to carry saintliness of her life, and she is justly re- heaven by assault. He first joined the garded, with Dante, Petrarch, and Boccac. Franciscans, their rule of life appearing cio, as one of the founders of that lingua to him the most austere of any of the Toscana which has become modern Ital. monastic orders, and when that of the ian. Her life and life's work have been Capucines seemed to him still more rigortreated with such fulness and with so deep ous, he left the former and joined the lat. a sympathy by Mrs. Josephine Butler in ter. As in the case of Luther, then in his her recent touching biography of the saint that I will say no more of her here.*
Far be it from any one to attempt to rob the Roman
life of such, a saint, but it would be at least open to Within the last few months Monsignor Capel has argument whether, had Catherine lived one hundred been holding services in English in a church attached and fifty years later, she would not have taken her stand to what was once the house of the father of St. Cathe by the side of Vittoria Colonna and rejoiced in the dawa erine, for the especial benefit of the English in Siena.
of the Reformation,
German monastery, the severest discipline the executioners. The Lord will know and most wearing austerities could not well how to find me wheresoever I may give peace to his soul, a peace which he be, when he wills that my blood shall be found only in simple trust in the divine shed.” He decided upon leaving Italy mercy.
forever, and a few days later, taking the Ochino was possessed of a wonderful road of Milan and Aosta, he crossed the eloquence, which stirred men's hearts as great St. Bernard, and descended to with the voice of a trumpet. Since Sa. Geneva, where he was received with open vonarola's death no such potent preacher arms, and nominated pastor to the Italian had appeared in Italy;. Under his preach. refugees, who were beginning to flock 10 ing for a charitable object at Naples, five the city of refuge as the only means of thousand scudi were raised. After listen- escape from the clutches of ihe Inquisi. ing to him the men of Perugia promised tion. From his secure asylum upon the to be reconciled to one another, and to shores of Lake Leman, Ochino continued forego the bitter hatred of centuries. to hold close and affectionate correspond. Charles V., after hearing one of his ser-ence with those like-minded with himself mons, exclaimed, “ This man would make in Italy, and especially in Siena, and his the very stones weep.” A singularly no- sermons and works, though prohibited ble presence, a face wasted by vigils and and cursed by the pope, were widely dislabors, with bair prematurely grey, and seminated and read throughout the penin. above all the knowledge of the purity and sula. unaffected piety of his life, heightened the And now I must bring to a close these effect of his eloquence. He passed from reminiscences of illustrious Sienese by a city to city of Italy preaching, and was notice of one who, though not born in everywhere received with almost princely Siena, was for many years professor in its honors. His headquarters were often in university, on wbich he conferred great the Capucine convent, close to his native honor by the lustre of his genius and the city, and the archives of Siena contain brilliancy of his eloquence — Aonio Pamany letters which passed between him leario. Born at Veroli, in southern Italy, and its rulers, which show the strong love in 1503, he from his earliest years threw he always bore to his birthplace. He was himself, heart and soul, into the revival of elected general-superior of his order, and learning and letters, in that new birth of in 1542 was invited to preach the Lent the intellect to which Europe, and Italy sermons in Venice. All Venice flocked especially, were just awakening. When to hear him, and the enthusiasm evoked twenty-seven years old he visited Tus. by his eloquence knew no bounds. But cany, and spent a year among like-minded the papal legate was listening to his friends of learning at Siena. Thence he words, and on one occasion rose, inter- proceeded to the University of Padua, rupted him, and commanded hiin to be principally in order to attend the lectures silent in the name of the Holy Father. of Lampridius on Demosthenes. Within So great, however, was the popularity of less than a year he was recalled to Siena Ochino, that three days later he was again by the danger of one of his friends in that allowed to enter the pulpit, and this time city, Antonio Bellanti. before even a larger audience. Upon The family of Bellanti had rendered reaching Verona, after leaving Venice, he the most signal and distinguished service received a summons to appear before the to the republic, only, however, to be re. Holy Office at Rome. What that sum- paid by base ingratitude. Their palace mon's implied be well knew, and he deter- had been pillaged by the mob, and Antomined to disobey it. There is among the nio himself thrown into prison upon a manuscripts belonging to the library of capital charge based upon an obsolete Siena a letter from Ochino to Vittoria law of the republic which punished with Colonna, dated August 22, 1542, in which death any one who introduced salt into he tells her that, having learned from his the city to the detriment of the revenue. friends how pretended heretics are dealt | It is a sad illustration of the virulence of with at Rome, he has resolved not to ap- party hatred during the last years of the pear there, because he would there have existence of the republic, that no one only one of two alternatives, either to dared to undertake the defence of the deny Christ, or to die in torinents: Deny accused.
Paleario did not hesitate a Christ I never can," be writes; “to die, moment, but hurried back to Siena, and by the grace of God, I am ready, as he before the tribunal of the republic, in himself may dispose of me, but not to one of the halls of the Palazzo Pubblico, give myself voluntarily into the hands of delivered a magnificent oration in defence
of his friend, a discourse which, read nor evil in my good. The hour has come now, after three centuries, would not seem when I must pass from this life to my Lord unworthy of Cicero himself. His efforts and Master and God. Very joyfully do I go were crowned with success and his friend to the marriage supper of the Son of the great was acquitted; but so great was the dan. King, as I have ever prayed my Lord that of ger that the successful advocate ran of
His infinite goodness and bounty He would
grant me admittance. assassination, that his friends persuaded
Therefore, my beloved consort, comfort thyhim to leave Siena speedily and return to self in the will of God and in my contentment, Padua. Nor did he return until after and look well to the little family left in deep 1535, when the Spaniards had established dismay, and bring them up and guard them in their authority in the republic. Paleario the fear of God, and be thou to them both could now live safely in Siena, and he father and mother. I am already seventy years gave lectures on philosophy and poetry, old and useless. Our sons must labor with and completed his great poem on the virtue and with sweat of the brow to provide “Immortality of the Soul,” intended to be God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ and
what is necessary to live honorably. May a reply to Lucretius. He purchased the the Communion of the Holy Spirit be with Villa of Cecignano, an estate near to
AONIO PALEARIO. Colle, which had once been the property Rome, July 3, 1570. of that Aulus Cecina who was defended by Cicero, and married.
With this are a few lines to his sons But Paleario was not only a poet, an
Lampridio and Fedro, in which he gives orator, and an enthusiast for classical some directions about his small property. learning: he came of pious parents,
This letter thus begins : – among his intimate friends were some of My most courteous lords (the Inquisitors) the most eminent and pious churchmen are not wanting in politeness to me to the of the day, and be longed for a thorough very last, and allow me to write to you. It reformation of the Church without a pleases God to call me to Himself by means schism. By degrees he awoke to the con- that you will understand, though they will apviction that this was an impossibility; and pear bitter and sharp to you. If, however, you when once he clearly perceived this, his and satisfaction, in order to conform myself to
consider that it is with my entire contentment position was decided. Henceforth his
the will of God, so it ought to content you. life was a constant struggle against the persecutions of the friars. They suc. It was on the evening of the end of ceeded in driving him from the University July, that eight members of the Confraof Siena, and he took refuge at Lucca, ternity of San Giovanni Decollato, a phil. where he was appointed professor of elo- anthropic society which devoted itself quence. Here he remained from 1546 to rendering services to the condemned until 1555, in which year his implacable in the hour of death, presented themselves enemies compelled him to leave, and he at the prison of Tordinona, and informed repaired to Milan. He was constantly Paleario that he had only a few hours to warned by his friends of the danger of live. They obtained perinission for him the boldness of his utterances as to the to write the letters above quoted, and necessity of a reform of the Church, and faithfully transmitted them to his wife at that his only chance of safety was fight Colle. Just as day was breaking over the beyond the Alps; but he would not heed eternal city, he was led out to die. The them, and indeed seemed to think that scaffold was erected on the bridge of St. his mission in the world was to be a con. Angelo. He was strangled, and his body fessor. At the age of sixty-six he was was then ihrown into the flames. Truly, arrested in Milan by the agents of the never did Christian philosopher and conInquisition, and taken as a prisoner to fessor go forth to meet his death with Rome. There he was sentenced to death more sublime serenity. on the 15th of October, 1569, and the It may be asked, how stands it now sentence was carried into execution on with Protestantisin in the city of Ochino the 3rd of July, 1570. And now let us and Paleario? As in the greater part of turn to a letter preserved among the man. Italy, in Spain, and elsewhere, the Holy uscripts in the Public Library of Siena. Office did its work thoroughly, and crushed It is the farewell of Paleario to his wife and burned out the Reformation. So far and children, and is as follows :
as I know, beyond one or two Swiss and
English, there are no Protestants in Sic To Marietta Paleario,
A very handsome Waldensian temMY DEAREST CONSORT, I desire that thou ple was erected in a leading boulevard shouldst not find displeasure in my pleasure, near to the Church of St. Dominic more
than a year ago, and though no service which the vines had been trained. At has yet been held there, yet as a large this season, too, women and boys are to building is now in process of construc- be seen up among the branches gathering tion beside it to serve as a presbytery, it the grapes, and the great, white, largemay be hoped that the church will soon horned, meek-eyed oxen draw primitive be opened. Occasional Waldensian ser- vans through the fields on which are the vices are now held in the house of a Swiss tubs or baskets in which the grapes are resident.
collected. The landscape, as seen from But I have dwelt, I fear, too long upon the walls, is occasionally relieved by the memory of some of those who shed groves of the stone pine and copses of lustre upon Siena by their genius and oak and other trees. These latter are, I virtue in the past.
fear, becoining scarcer year by year, for The old city sits a queen upon three the Sienese seem to have less respect for hills, and from every point in the sur-trees than even the Italians generally, rounding country its cathedral, its towers and to have no compunction in cutting and walls form a picture of singular them down. There is but one exception beauty. In its mediæval walls, still intact to this sad rule, and that is the cypress, a and perfect, were once no fewer than grove or avenue of which every Italian thirty.eight gates; of these, thirty have gentleman strives to have around his been closed, so that eight remain open. villa. Very beautiful is its flame-like The circuit of the walls is seven kilome- form, but after all not so beautiful as the tres, and they enclose an irregular star- oak, which nowhere flourishes better than shaped space, a good deal of which is here in Tuscany, if only allowed to do so. laid out in olive-yards and gardens. Once It is painful to look at the denuded conSiena numbered one hundred thousand dition of Italy as regards wood,* and then inhabitants; now there are but twenty- think of the magnificent forests of oak four thousand. After the ravages of the that have been selled witbin the last thirty plague, in 1348, and the last struggle for years to provide sleepers for its railway the freedom of the republic in 1554-5, system. many houses were razed, and the ground To return to the view from the walls occupied by them was turned into gar- of Siena. The distant hillsides are covdens, as we now see them. The sur-ered with ilex and oak, but for the most rounding country, as seen from the walls part only scrub, as the charcoal-burner is of the fortress, appears one great olive always at work, and long before the trees yard and vineyard. The vines are either have reached maturity they fall before the trained upon mulberries or upon other inexorable axe. These bills stretch away, trees, rarely upon olives. In the winter range beyond range, into the distance, and the grey, silvery sheen of the olives stands in the soft waning light present the most out against the bright red earth, which exquisite shades of purple. To the south has given its name to "burnt Siena;" the wooded Monte Amiata rises to a height but with the spring the young corn planted of fifty-six hundred feet, about half-way everywhere between the olives and the distant between Siena and Rome, while to mulberries covers the ground with exqui. the north the main chain of the Apensite verdure; and when the vines and nines, on the confines of Modena, rises other trees put out their leaves towards the middle of May, it is difficult to con- Since this article has been in type, I have heard ceive of a fairer green than the country of an English family who thirty years ago found the exhibits.
neighborhood of Siena beautifully wooded with oaks.
Twenty years later they returned to find the greater In a month or six weeks all is changed; part felled, and two years since nearly all were gone. hill and valley alike are golden with ripe Men of good position and in other respects sane seem
afflicted with a mischievous madness which shows itself grain, and as soon as the grain is har. in an utter hatred of trees. A few years back between vested the land reverts to its native red- the outer and inner gate at Camollia was a superb aveness, though late in the autumn this is nue of ilex. Every tree was felled in one year by a
tree-hating sindaco, and now in this most exposed relieved by some green crops, as welcome place there is not a particle of shade against the blazing to the eye as they doubtless are to the villas, and there used to be some lovely shady Janes,
A mile outside the city are some fine cattle for whose sustenance they are in- with fine old oaks on either side, through whose umtended. Last year the yield of grapes brageous foliage the hot sun could not penetrate. These was exceptionally abundant, and it
oaks have nearly all been slaughtered, the proprietor
having no other idea but to inake what he calls a curious, as one drove along distant coun- campo pulito-a clean field; and even where along try lanes, to see great purple clusters a little hollow flows a rivulct, erst shaded by willows,
the fiat has gone forth, and all the trees are at this mohanging by the roadside from the topmost ment being felled. They make a desolation, and call branches of oaks and other trees upon it a campo pulito.