Alps and Sanctuaries of Piedmont and the Canton Ticino
Samuel Butler

Part 4 out of 4

continually about us; they pretended to make a little fuss about
allowing themselves to be caught, but they evidently did not mind
it. I dropped a bit of bread and was stooping to pick it up; one
of them on seeing me move made for it and carried it off at once;
the action was exactly that of one who was saying, "I don't
particularly want it myself, but I'm not going to let you have it."
Presently some cacciatori came with a poodle-dog. They explained
to us that though the poodle was "a truly hunting dog," he would
not touch the sparrows, which to do him justice he did not. There
was a tame jay also, like the sparrows going about loose, but, like
them, aware when he was well off.

After dinner we went up to the castle, which I have now visited off
and on for many years, and like always better and better each time
I go there. I know no place comparable to it in its own way. I
know no place so pathetic, and yet so impressive, in its decay. It
is not a ruin--all ruins are frauds--it is only decayed. It is a
kind of Stokesay or Ightham Mote, better preserved than the first,
and less furnished than the second, but on a grander scale than
either, and set in incomparably finer surroundings. The path
towards it passes the church, which has been spoiled. Outside this
there are parts of old Roman columns from some temple, stuck in the
ground; inside are two statues called St. Peter and St. Paul, but
evidently effigies of some magistrates in the Roman times. If the
traveller likes to continue the road past the church for three-
quarters of a mile or so, he will get a fine view of the castle,
and if he goes up to the little chapel of S. Quirico on the top of
the hill on his right hand, he will look down upon it and upon
Arona. We will suppose, however, that he goes straight for the
castle itself; every moment as he approaches it, it will seem finer
and finer; presently he will turn into a vineyard on his left, and
at once begin to climb.

Passing under the old gateway--with its portcullis still ready to
be dropped, if need be, and with the iron plates that sheathe it
pierced with bullets--as at S. Michele, the visitor enters at once
upon a terrace from which the two foregoing illustrations were
taken. I know nothing like this terrace. On a summer's afternoon
and evening it is fully shaded, the sun being behind the castle.
The lake and town below are still in sunlight. This, I think, is
about the best time to see the castle--say from six to eight on a
July evening, or at any hour on a gray day.

Count Borromeo, to whom the castle belongs, allows it to be shown,
and visitors are numerous. There is very little furniture inside
the rooms, and the little there is is decaying; the walls are
covered with pictures, mostly copies, and none of them of any great
merit, but the rooms themselves are lovely. Here is a sketch of
the one in which San Carlo Borromeo was born, but the one on the
floor beneath is better still. The whole of this part was built
about the year 1350, and inside, where the weather has not reached,
the stones are as sharp as if they had been cut yesterday. It was
in the great Sala of this castle that the rising against the
Austrians in 1848 was planned; then there is the Sala di Giustizia,
a fine room, with the remains of frescoes; the roof and the tower
should also certainly be visited. All is solid and real, yet it is
like an Italian opera in actual life. Lastly, there is the
kitchen, where the wheel still remains in which a turnspit dog used
to be put to turn it and roast the meat; but this room is not shown
to strangers.

The inner court of the castle is as beautiful as the outer one.
Through the open door one catches glimpses of the terrace, and of
the lake beyond it. I know Ightham, Hever, and Stokesay, both
inside and out, and I know the outside of Leeds; these are all of
them exquisitely beautiful, but neither they nor any other such
place that I have ever seen please me as much as the castle of

We stayed talking to my old friend Signor Signorelli, the custode
of the castle, and his family, and sketching upon the terrace until
Tonio came to tell us that his boat was at the quay waiting for us.
Tonio is now about fourteen years old, but was only four when I
first had the pleasure of making his acquaintance. He is son to
Giovanni, or as he is more commonly called, Giovannino, a boatman
of Arona. The boy is deservedly a great favourite, and is now a
padrone with a boat of his own, from which he can get a good

He pulled us across the warm and sleepy lake, so far the most
beautiful of all even the Italian lakes; as we neared Arona, and
the wall that runs along the lake became more plain, I could not
help thinking of what Giovanni had told me about it some years
before, when Tonio was lying curled up, a little mite of an object,
in the bottom of the boat. He was extolling a certain family of
peasants who live near the castle of Angera, as being models of
everything a family ought to be. "There," he said, "the children
do not speak at meal-times, the polenta is put upon the table, and
each takes exactly what is given him, even though one of the
children thinks another has got a larger helping than he has, he
will eat his piece in silence. My children are not like that; if
Marietta thinks Irene has a bigger piece than she has, she will
leave the room and go to the wall."

"What," I asked, "does she go to the wall for?"

"Oh! to cry; all the children go to the wall to cry."

I thought of Hezekiah. The wall is the crying place, playing,
lounging place, and a great deal more, of all the houses in its
vicinity. It is the common drawing-room during the summer months;
if the weather is too sultry, a boatman will leave his bed and
finish the night on his back upon its broad coping; we who live in
a colder climate can hardly understand how great a blank in the
existence of these people the destruction of the wall would be.

We soon reached Arona, and in a few minutes were in that kind and
hospitable house the Hotel d'Italia, than which no better hotel is
to be found in Italy.

Arona is cooler than Angera. The proverb says, "He who would know
the pains of the infernal regions, could go to Angera in the summer
and to Arona in the winter." The neighbourhood is exquisite.
Unless during the extreme heat of summer, it is the best place to
stay at on the Lago Maggiore. The Monte Motterone is within the
compass of a single day's excursion; there is Orta, also, and
Varallo easily accessible, and any number of drives and nearer
excursions whether by boat or carriage.

One day we made Tonio take us to Castelletto near Sesto Calende, to
hear the bells. They ring the bells very beautifully at Vogogna,
but, unless my recollection of a good many years ago fails me, at
Castelletto they ring them better still.

At Vogogna, while we were getting our breakfast, we heard the bells
strike up as follows, from a campanile on the side of the hill:-

[At this point in the book a music score is given]

They did this because a baby had just died, but we were told it was
nothing to what they would have done if it had been a grown-up

At Castelletto we were disappointed; the bells did not ring that
morning; we hinted at the possibility of paying a small fee to the
ringer and getting him to ring them, but were told that "la gente"
would not at all approve of this, and so I was unable to take down
the chimes at Castelletto as I had intended to do. I may say that
I had a visit from some Italian friends a few years ago, and found
them hardly less delighted with our English mode of ringing than I
had been with theirs. It would be very nice if we could ring our
bells sometimes in the English and sometimes in the Italian way.
When I say the Italian way--I should say that the custom of
ringing, as above described, is not a common one--I have only heard
it at Vogogna and Castelletto, though doubtless it prevails

We were told that the people take a good deal of pride in their
bells, and that one village will be jealous of another, and
consider itself more or less insulted if the bells of that other
can be heard more plainly than its own can be heard back again.
There are two villages in the Brianza called Balzano and Cremella;
the dispute between these grew so hot that each of them changed
their bells three times, so as to try and be heard the loudest. I
believe an honourable compromise was in the end arrived at.

In other respects Castelletto is a quiet, sleepy little place. The
Ticino flows through it just after leaving the lake. It is very
wide here, and when flooded must carry down an enormous quantity of
water. Barges go down it at all times, but the river is difficult
of navigation and requires skilful pilots. These pilots are well
paid, and Tonio seemed to have a great respect for them. The views
of Monte Rosa are superb.

One of the great advantages of Arona, as of Mendrisio, is that it
commands such a number of other places. There is rail to Milan,
and again to Novara, and each station on the way is a sub-centre;
there are also the steamers on the lake, and there is not a village
at which they stop which will not repay examination, and which is
not in its turn a sub-centre. In England I have found by
experience that there is nothing for it but to examine every
village and town within easy railway distance; no books are of much
use: one never knows that something good is not going to be sprung
upon one, and few indeed are the places where there is no old
public-house, or overhanging cottage, or farmhouse and barn, or bit
of De Hooghe-like entry which, if one had two or three lives, one
would not willingly leave unpainted. It is just the same in North
Italy; there is not a village which can be passed over with a light


We were attracted to Locarno by the approaching fetes in honour of
the fourth centenary of the apparition of the Virgin Mary to Fra
Bartolomeo da Ivrea, who founded the sanctuary in consequence.

The programme announced that the festivities would begin on,
Saturday, at 3.30 P.M., with the carrying of the sacred image
(sacro simulacro) of the Virgin from the Madonna del Sasso to the
collegiate church of S. Antonio. There would then be a benediction
and celebration of the holy communion. At eight o'clock there were
to be illuminations, fireworks, balloons, &c., at the sanctuary and
the adjacent premises.

On Sunday at half-past nine there was to be mass at the church of
S. Antonio, with a homily by Monsignor Paolo Angelo Ballerini,
Patriarch of Alexandria in partibus, and blessing of the crown sent
by Pope Leo XIII for the occasion. S. Antonio is the church the
roof of which fell in during service one Sunday in 1865, through
the weight of the snow, killing sixty people. At half-past three a
grand procession would convey the Holy Image to a pretty temple
which had been erected in the market-place. The image was then to
be crowned by the Patriarch, carried round the town in procession,
and returned to the church of S. Antonio. At eight o'clock there
were to be fireworks near the port; a grand illumination of a
triumphal arch, an illumination of the sanctuary and chapels with
Bengal lights, and an artificial apparition of the Madonna
(Apparizione artificiale della Beata Vergine col Bambino) above the
church upon the Sacro Monte. Next day the Holy Image was to be
carried back from the church of S. Antonio to its normal resting-
place at the sanctuary. We wanted to see all this, but it was the
artificial apparition of the Madonna that most attracted us.

Locarno is, as every one knows, a beautiful town. Both the Hotel
Locarno and the Hotel della Corona are good, but the latter is, I
believe, the cheaper. At the castello there is a fresco of the
Madonna, ascribed, I should think rightly, to Bernardino Luini, and
at the cemetery outside the town there are some old frescoes of the
second half of the fifteenth century, in a ruinous state, but
interesting. If I remember rightly there are several dates on
them, averaging 1475-80. They might easily have been done by the
same man who did the frescoes at Mesocco, but I prefer these last.
The great feature, however, of Locarno is the Sacro Monte which
rises above it. From the wooden bridge which crosses the stream
just before entering upon the sacred precincts, the church and
chapels and road arrange themselves as on p. 269.

On the way up, keeping to the steeper and abrupter route, one
catches sight of the monks' garden--a little paradise with vines,
beehives, onions, lettuces, cabbages, marigolds to colour the
risotto with, and a little plot of great luxuriant tobacco plants.
Amongst the foliage may be now and again seen the burly figure of a
monk with a straw hat on. The best view of the sanctuary from
above is the one which I give on p. 270.

The church itself is not remarkable, but it contains the best
collection of votive pictures that I know in any church, unless the
one at Oropa be excepted; there is also a modern Italian "Return
from the Cross" by Ciseri, which is very much admired, but with
which I have myself no sympathy whatever. It is an Academy

The cloister looking over the lake is very beautiful. In the
little court down below--which also is of great beauty--there is a
chapel containing a representation of the Last Supper in life-sized
coloured statues as at Varallo, which has a good deal of feeling,
and a fresco (?) behind it which ought to be examined, but the
chapel is so dark that this is easier said than done. There is
also a fresco down below in the chapel where the founder of the
sanctuary is buried which should not be passed over. It is dated
1522, and is Luinesque in character. When I was last there,
however, it was hardly possible to see anything, for everything was
being turned topsy-turvy by the arrangements which were being made
for the approaching fetes. These were very gay and pretty; they
must have cost a great deal of money, and I was told that the
municipality in its collective capacity was thought mean, because
it had refused to contribute more than 100 francs, or 4 pounds
sterling. It does seem rather a small sum certainly.

On the afternoon of Friday the 13th of August the Patriarch
Monsignor Ballerini was to arrive by the three o'clock boat, and
there was a crowd to welcome him. The music of Locarno was on the
quay playing a selection, not from "Madame Angot" itself, but from
something very like it--light, gay, sparkling opera bouffe--to
welcome him. I felt as I had done when I found the matchbox in the
sanctuary bedroom at Graglia: not that I minded it myself, but as
being a little unhappy lest the Bishop might not quite like it.

I do not see how we could welcome a bishop--we will say to a
confirmation--with a band of music at all. Fancy a brass band of
some twenty or thirty ranged round the landing stage at Gravesend
to welcome the Bishop of London, and fancy their playing we will
say "The two Obadiahs," or that horrid song about the swing going a
little bit higher! The Bishop would be very much offended. He
would not go a musical inch beyond the march in "Le Prophete," nor,
willingly, beyond the march in "Athalie." Monsignor Ballerini,
however, never turned a hair; he bowed repeatedly to all round him,
and drove off in a carriage and pair, apparently much pleased with
his reception. We Protestants do not understand, nor take any very
great pains to understand, the Church of Rome. If we did, we
should find it to be in many respects as much in advance of us as
it is behind us in others.

One thing made an impression upon me which haunted me all the time.
On every important space there were advertisements of the
programme, the substance of which I have already given. But
hardly, if at all less noticeable, were two others which rose up
irrepressible upon every prominent space, searching all places with
a subtle penetrative power against which precautions were
powerless. These advertisements were not in Italian but in
English, nevertheless they were neither of them English--but both,
I believe, American. The one was that of the Richmond Gem
cigarette, with the large illustration representing a man in a hat
smoking, so familiar to us here in London. The other was that of
Wheeler & Wilson's sewing machines.

As the Patriarch drove off in the carriage the man in the hat
smoking the Richmond Gem cigarette leered at him, and the woman
working Wheeler & Wilson's sewing machine sewed at him. During the
illuminations the unwonted light threw its glare upon the effigies
of saints and angels, but it illumined also the man in the black
felt hat and the woman with the sewing machine; even during the
artificial apparition of the Virgin Mary herself upon the hill
behind the town, the more they let off fireworks the more clearly
the man in the hat came out upon the walls round the market-place,
and the bland imperturbable woman working at her sewing machine. I
thought to myself that when the man with the hat appeared in the
piazza the Madonna would ere long cease to appear on the hill.

Later on, passing through the town alone, when the people had gone
to rest, I saw many of them lying on the pavement under the arches
fast asleep. A brilliant moon illuminated the market-place; there
was a pleasant sound of falling water from the fountain; the lake
was bathed in splendour, save where it took the reflection of the
mountains--so peaceful and quiet was the night that there was
hardly a rustle in the leaves of the aspens. But whether in
moonlight or in shadow, the busy persistent vibrations that rise in
Anglo-Saxon brains were radiating from every wall, and the man in
the black felt hat and the bland lady with the sewing machine were
there--lying in wait, as a cat over a mouse's hole, to insinuate
themselves into the hearts of the people so soon as they should

Great numbers came to the festivities. There were special trains
from Biasca and all intermediate stations, and special boats. And
the ugly flat-nosed people came from the Val Verzasca, and the
beautiful people came from the Val Onsernone and the Val Maggia,
and I saw Anna, the curate's housekeeper, from Mesocco, and the old
fresco painter who told me he should like to pay me a visit, and
suggested five o'clock in the morning as the most appropriate and
convenient time. The great procession contained seven or eight
hundred people. From the balcony of the Hotel della Corona I
counted as well as I could and obtained the following result:-

Women 120
Men with white shirts and red capes 85
Men with white shirts and no capes (?)
The music from Intra 30
Men with white shirts and blue capes 25
Men with white shirts and no capes 25
Men with white shirts and green capes 12
Men with white shirts and no capes 36
The music of Locarno 30
Girls in blue, pink, white and yellow,
red, white 50
Choristers 3
Monks 6
Priests 66
Canons 12
His Excellency Paolo Angelo Ballerini,
Patriarch of Alexandria in Egypt,
escorted by the firemen, and his
private cortege of about 20 25
Government ushers (?)
The Grand Council, escorted by 22
soldiers and 6 policemen 28
The clergy without orders 30

In the evening, there, sure enough, the apparition of the Blessed
Virgin was. The church of the Madonna was unilluminated and all in
darkness, when on a sudden it sprang out into a blaze, and a great
transparency of the Virgin and child was lit up from behind. Then
the people said, "Oh bel!"

I was myself a little disappointed. It was not a good apparition,
and I think the effect would have been better if it had been
carried up by a small balloon into the sky. It might easily have
been arranged so that the light behind the transparency should die
out before the apparition must fall again, and also that the light
inside the transparency should not be reflected upon the balloon
that lifted it; the whole, therefore, would appear to rise from its
own inherent buoyancy. I am confident it would have been arranged
in this way if the thing had been in the hands of the Crystal
Palace people.

There is a fine old basilicate church dedicated to S. Vittore at
the north end of Locarno. It is the mother church of these parts
and dates from the eighth or ninth century. The frescoes inside
the apse were once fine, but have been repainted and spoiled. The
tower is much later, but is impressive. It was begun in 1524 and
left incomplete in 1527, probably owing to the high price of
provisions which is commemorated in the following words written on
a stone at the top of the tower inside

Furm. [fromento--corn] cost lib. 6.
Segale [barley] lib. 5.
Milio [millet] lib. 4.

I suppose these were something like famine prices; at any rate, a
workman wrote this upon the tower and the tower stopped.


We left Locarno by the conveyance which leaves every day at four
o'clock for Bignasco, a ride of about four hours. The Ponte
Brolla, a couple of miles out of Locarno, is remarkable, and the
road is throughout (as a matter of course) good. I sat next an old
priest, an excellent kindly man, who talked freely with me, and
scolded me roundly for being a Protestant more than once.

He seemed much surprised when I discarded reason as the foundation
of our belief. He had made up his mind that all Protestants based
their convictions upon reason, and was not prepared to hear me go
heartily with him in declaring the foundation of any durable system
to lie in faith. When, however, it came to requiring me to have
faith in what seemed good to him and his friends, rather than to me
and mine, we did not agree so well. He then began to shake death
at me; I met him with a reflection that I have never seen in print,
though it is so obvious that it must have occurred to each one of
my readers. I said that every man is an immortal to himself: he
only dies as far as others are concerned; to himself he cannot, by
any conceivable possibility, do so. For how can he know that he is
dead until he IS dead? And when he IS dead, how can he know that
he is dead? If he does, it is an abuse of terms to say that he is
dead. A man can know no more about the end of his life than he did
about the beginning. The most horrible and loathed death still
resolves itself into being badly frightened, and not a little hurt
towards the end of one's life, but it can never come to being
unbearably hurt for long together. Besides, we are at all times,
even during life, dead and dying to by far the greater part of our
past selves. What we call dying is only dying to the balance, or
residuum. This made the priest angry. He folded his arms and
said, "Basta, basta," nor did he speak to me again. It is because
I noticed the effect it produced upon my fellow-passenger that I
introduce it here.

Bignasco is at the confluence of the two main branches of the
Maggia. The greater part of the river comes down from the glacier
of Basodino, which cannot be seen from Bignasco; I know nothing of
this valley beyond having seen the glacier from the top of the pass
between Fusio and Dalpe. The smaller half of the river comes down
from Fusio, the valley of Sambucco, and the lake of Naret. The
accommodation at Bignasco is quite enough for a bachelor; the
people are good, but the inn is homely. From Bignasco the road
ascends rapidly to Peccia, a village which has suffered terribly
from inundations, and from Peccia it ascends more rapidly still--
Fusio being reached in about three hours from Bignasco. There is
an excellent inn at Fusio kept by Signor Dazio, to whose energy the
admirable mountain road from Peccia is mainly due. On the right
just before he crosses the bridge, the traveller will note the
fresco of the Crucifixion, which I have mentioned at page 140.

Fusio is over 4200 feet above the level of the sea. I do not know
wherein its peculiar charm lies, but it is the best of all the
villages of a kindred character that I know. Below is a sketch of
it as it appears from the cemetery.

There is another good view from behind the village; at sunset this
second view becomes remarkably fine. The houses are in deep cool
shadow, but the mountains behind take the evening sun, and are
sometimes of an incredible splendour. It is fine to watch the
shadows creeping up them, and the colour that remains growing
richer and richer until the whole is extinguished; this view,
however, I am unable to give.

I hold Signor Dazio of Fusio so much as one of my most particular
and valued friends, and I have such special affection for Fusio
itself, that the reader must bear in mind that he is reading an
account given by a partial witness. Nevertheless, all private
preferences apart, I think he will find Fusio a hard place to beat.
At the end of June and in July the flowers are at their best, and
they are more varied and beautiful than anywhere else I know. At
the very end of July and the beginning of August the people cut
their hay, and then for a while the glory of the place is gone, but
by the end of August or the beginning of September the grass has
grown long enough to re-cover the slopes with a velvety verdure,
and though the flowers are shorn, yet so they are from other places

There are many walks in the neighbourhood for those who do not mind
mountain paths. The most beautiful of them all is to the valley of
Sambucco, the upper end which is not more than half-an-hour from
Signor Dazio's hotel. For some time one keeps to the path through
the wooded gorge, and with the river foaming far below; in early
morning while this path is in shade, or, again, after sunset, it is
one of the most beautiful of its kind that I know. After a while a
gate is reached, and an open upland valley is entered upon--
evidently an old lake filled up, and neither very broad nor very
long, but grassed all over, and with the river winding through it
like an English brook. This is the valley of Sambucco. There are
two collections of stalle for the cattle, or monti--one at the
nearer end and the other at the farther.

The floor of the valley can hardly be less than 5000 feet above the
sea. I shall never forget the pleasure with which I first came
upon it. I had long wanted an ideal upland valley; as a general
rule high valleys are too narrow, and have little or no level
ground. If they have any at all there often is too much as with
the one where Andermatt and Hospenthal are--which would in some
respects do very well--and too much cultivated, and do not show
their height. An upland valley should first of all be in an
Italian-speaking country; then it should have a smooth, grassy,
perfectly level floor of say neither much more nor less than a
hundred and fifty yards in breadth and half-a-mile in length. A
small river should go babbling through it with occasional smooth
parts, so as to take the reflections of the surrounding mountains.
It should have three or four fine larches or pines scattered about
it here and there, but not more. It should be completely land-
locked, and there should be nothing in the way of human handiwork
save a few chalets, or a small chapel and a bridge, but no tilled
land whatever. Here oven in summer the evening air will be crisp,
and the dew will form as soon as the sun goes off; but the
mountains at one end of it will keep the last rays of the sun. It
is then the valley is at its best, especially if the goats and
cattle are coming together to be milked.

The valley of Sambucco has all this and a great deal more, to say
nothing of the fact that there are excellent trout in it. I have
shown it to friends at different times, and they have all agreed
with me that for a valley neither too high nor too low, nor too big
nor too little, the valley of Sambucco is one of the best that any
of us know of--I mean to look at and enjoy, for I suppose as
regards painting it is hopeless. I think it can be well rendered
by the following piece of music as by anything else:- {33}

[At this point in the book a music score is given]

One day Signor Dazio brought us in a chamois foot. He explained to
us that chamois were now in season, but that even when they were
not, they were sometimes to be had, inasmuch as they occasionally
fell from the rocks and got killed. As we looked at it we could
not help reflecting that, wonderful as the provisions of animal and
vegetable organisms often are, the marvels of adaptation are
sometimes almost exceeded by the feats which an animal will perform
with a very simple and even clumsy instrument if it knows how to
use it. A chamois foot is a smooth and slippery thing, such as no
respectable bootmaker would dream of offering to a mountaineer:
there is not a nail in it, nor even an apology for a nail; the
surefootedness of its owner is an assumption only--a piece of faith
or impudence which fulfils itself. If some other animal were to
induce the chamois to believe that it should at the least have feet
with suckers to them, like a fly, before venturing in such
breakneck places, or if by any means it could get to know how bad a
foot it really has, there would soon be no more chamois. The
chamois continues to exist through its absolute refusal to hear
reason upon the matter. But the whole question is one of extreme
intricacy; all we know is that some animals and plants, like some
men, devote great pains to the perfection of the mechanism with
which they wish to work, while others rather scorn appliances, and
concentrate their attention upon the skilful use of whatever they
happen to have. I think, however, that in the clumsiness of the
chamois foot must lie the explanation of the fact that sometimes
when chamois are out of season, they do nevertheless actually
tumble off the rocks and get killed; being killed, of course it is
only natural that they should sometimes be found, and if found, be
eaten; but they are not good for much.

After a day or two's stay in this delightful place, we left at six
o'clock one brilliant morning in September for Dalpe and Faido,
accompanied by the excellent Signor Guglielmoni as guide. There
are two main passes from Fusio into the Val Leventina--the one by
the Sassello Grande to Nante and Airolo, and the other by the Alpe
di Campolungo to Dalpe. Neither should be attempted by strangers
without a guide, though neither of them presents the smallest
difficulty. There is a third and longer pass by the Lago di Naret
to Bedretto, but I have never been over this. The other two are
both good; on the whole, however, I think I prefer the second.
Signor Guglielmoni led us over the freshest grassy slopes
conceivable--slopes that four or five weeks earlier had been gay
with tiger and Turk's-cap lilies, and the flaunting arnica, and
every flower that likes mountain company. After a three hours'
walk we reached the top of the pass, from whence on the one hand
one can see the Basodino glacier, and on the other the great
Rheinwald glaciers above Olivone. Other small glaciers show in
valleys near Biasca which I know nothing about, and which I imagine
to be almost a terra incognita, except to the inhabitants of such
villages as Malvaglia in the Val Blenio.

When near the top of the pass we heard the whistle of a marmot.
Guglielmoni told us he had a tame one once which was very fond of
him. It slept all the winter, but turned round once a fortnight to
avoid lying too long upon one side. When it woke up from its
winter sleep it no longer recognised him, but bit him savagely
right through the finger; by and by its recollection returned to
it, and it apologised.

From the summit, which is about 7600 feet above the sea, the path
descends over the roughest ground that is to be found on the whole
route. Here there are good specimens of asbestos to be picked up
abundantly, and the rocks are full of garnets; after about six or
seven hundred feet the Alpe di Campolungo is reached, and this
again is an especially favourite place with me. It is an old lake
filled up, surrounded by peaks and precipices where some snow rests
all the year round, and traversed by a stream. Here, just as we
had done lunching, we were joined by a family of knife-grinders,
who were also crossing from the Val Maggia to the Val Leventina.
We had eaten all we had with us except our bread; this Guglielmoni
gave to one of the boys, who seemed as much pleased with it as if
it had been cake. Then after taking a look at the Lago di
Tremorgio, a beautiful lake some hundreds of feet below, we went on
to the Alpe di Cadonighino where our guide left us.

At this point pines begin, and soon the path enters them; after a
while we catch sight of Prato, and eventually come down upon Dalpe.
In another hour and a quarter Faido is reached. The descent to
Faido from the summit of the pass is much greater than the ascent
from Fusio, for Faido is not more than 2300 feet above the sea,
whereas, as I have said, Fusio is over 4200 feet. The descent from
the top of the pass to Faido is about 5300 feet, while to Fusio it
is only 3400. The reader, therefore, will see that he had better
go from Fusio to Faido, and not vice versa, unless he is a good

From Faido we returned home. We looked at nothing between the top
of the St. Gothard Pass and Boulogne, nor did we again begin to
take any interest in life till we saw the science-ridden, art-
ridden, culture-ridden, afternoon-tea-ridden cliffs of Old England
rise upon the horizon.

APPENDIX A--Wednesbury Cocking (See p. 55)

I know nothing of the date of this remarkable ballad, or the source
from which it comes. I have heard one who should know say, that
when he was a boy at Shrewsbury school it was done into Greek
hexameters, the lines (with a various reading in them):

"The colliers and nailers left work,
And all to old Scroggins' went jogging;"

being translated:

[Greek text]

I have been at some pains to find out more about this translation,
but have failed to do so. The ballad itself is as follows:

At Wednesbury there was a cocking,
A match between Newton and Scroggins;
The colliers and nailers left work,
And all to old Spittle's went jogging.
To see this noble sport,
Many noblemen resorted;
And though they'd but little money,
Yet that little they freely sported.

There was Jeffery and Colborn from Hampton,
And Dusty from Bilston was there;
Flummery he came from Darlaston,
And he was as rude as a bear.
There was old Will from Walsall,
And Smacker from Westbromwich come;
Blind Robin he came from Rowley,
And staggering he went home.

Ralph Moody came hobbling along,
As though he some cripple was mocking,
To join in the blackguard throng,
That met at Wednesbury cocking.
He borrowed a trifle of Doll,
To back old Taverner's grey;
He laid fourpence-halfpenny to fourpence,
He lost and went broken away.

But soon he returned to the pit,
For he'd borrowed a trifle more money,
And ventured another large bet,
Along with blobbermouth Coney.
When Coney demanded his money,
As is usual on all such occasions,
He cried, -- thee, if thee don't hold thy rattle,
I'll pay thee as Paul paid the Ephasians.

The morning's sport being over,
Old Spittle a dinner proclaimed,
Each man he should dine for a groat,
If he grumbled he ought to be --,
For there was plenty of beef,
But Spittle he swore by his troth,
That never a man should dine
Till he ate his noggin of broth.

The beef it was old and tough,
Off a bull that was baited to death,
Barney Hyde got a lump in his throat,
That had like to have stopped his breath,
The company all fell into confusion,
At seeing poor Barney Hyde choke;
So they took him into the kitchen,
And held him over the smoke.

They held him so close to the fire,
He frizzled just like a beef-steak,
They then threw him down on the floor,
Which had like to have broken his neck.
One gave him a kick on the stomach,
Another a kick on the brow,
His wife said, Throw him into the stable,
And he'll be better just now.

Then they all returned to the pit,
And the fighting went forward again;
Six battles were fought on each side,
And the next was to decide the main.
For they were two famous cocks
As ever this country bred,
Scroggins's a dark-winged black,
And Newton's a shift-winged red.

The conflict was hard on both sides,
Till Brassy's black-winged was choked;
The colliers were tarnationly vexed,
And the nailers were sorely provoked.
Peter Stevens he swore a great oath,
That Scroggins had played his cock foul;
Scroggins gave him a kick on the head,
And cried, Yea,--thy soul.

The company then fell in discord,
A bold, bold fight did ensue;
-, -, and bite was the word,
Till the Walsall men all were subdued.
Ralph Moody bit off a man's nose,
And wished that he could have him slain,
So they trampled both cocks to death,
And they made a draw of the main.

The cock-pit was near to the church,
An ornament unto the town;
On one side an old coal pit,
The other well gorsed around.
Peter Hadley peeped through the gorse,
In order to see them fight;
Spittle jobbed out his eye with a fork,
And said, -- thee, it served thee right.

Some people may think this strange,
Who Wednesbury never knew;
But those who have ever been there,
Will not have the least doubt it's true;
For they are as savage by nature,
And guilty of deeds the most shocking;
Jack Baker whacked his own father,
And thus ended Wednesbury cocking.

APPENDIX B--Reforms Instituted at S. Michele in the year 1478 (See
p. 105)

The palmiest days of the sanctuary were during the time that
Rodolfo di Montebello or Mombello was abbot--that is to say,
roughly, between the years 1325-60. "His rectorate," says
Claretta, "was the golden age of the Abbey of La Chiusa, which
reaped the glory acquired by its head in the difficult negotiations
entrusted to him by his princes. But after his death, either lot
or intrigue caused the election to fall upon those who prepared the
ruin of one of the most ancient and illustrious monasteries in
Piedmont." {34}

By the last quarter of the fifteenth century things got so bad that
a commission of inquiry was held under one Giovanni di Varax in the
year 1478. The following extracts from the ordinances then made
may not be unwelcome to the reader. The document from which they
are taken is to be found, pp. 322-336 of Claretta's work. The text
is evidently in many places corrupt or misprinted, and there are
several words which I have looked for in vain in all the
dictionaries--Latin, Italian, and French--in the reading-room of
the British Museum which seemed in the least likely to contain
them. I should say that for this translation, I have availed
myself, in part, of the assistance of a well-known mediaeval
scholar, the Rev. Ponsonby A. Lyons, but he is in no way
responsible for the translation as a whole.

After a preamble, stating the names of the commissioners, with the
objects of the commission and the circumstances under which it had
been called together, the following orders were unanimously agreed
upon, to wit:-

"Firstly, That repairs urgently required to prevent the building
from falling into a ruinous state (as shown by the ocular testimony
of the commissioners, assisted by competent advisers whom they
instructed to survey the fabric), be paid for by a true tithe, to
be rendered by all priors, provosts, and agents directly subject to
the monastery. This tithe is to be placed in the hands of two
merchants to be chosen by the bishop commendatory, and a sum is to
be taken from it for the restoration of the fountain which played
formerly in the monastery. The proctors who collect the tithes are
to be instructed by the abbot and commendatory not to press harshly
upon the contributories by way of expense and labour; and the money
when collected is, as already said, to be placed in the hands of
two suitable merchants, clients of the said monastery, who shall
hold it on trust to pay it for the above-named purposes, as the
reverends the commendatory and chamberlain and treasurer of the
said monastery shall direct. In the absence of one of these three
the order of the other two shall be sufficient.

"Item, it is ordered that the mandes, {35} or customary alms, be
made daily to the value of what would suffice for the support of
four monks.

"Item, that the offices in the gift of the monastery be conferred
by the said reverend the lord commendatory, and that those which
have been hitherto at the personal disposition of the abbot be
reserved for the pleasure of the Apostolic See. Item, that no one
do beg a benefice without reasonable cause and consonancy of
justice. Item, that those who have had books, privileges, or other
documents belonging to the monastery do restore them to the
treasury within three months from the publication of these
presents, under pain of excommunication. Item, that no one
henceforth take privileges or other documents from the monastery
without a deposit of caution money, or taking oath to return the
same within three months, under like pain of excommunication.
Item, that no laymen do enter the treasury of the monastery without
the consent of the prior of cloister, {36} nor without the presence
of those who hold the keys of the treasury, or of three monks, and
that those who hold the keys do not deliver them to laymen. Item,
it is ordered that the places subject to the said monastery be
visited every five years by persons in holy orders, and by
seculars; and that, in like manner, every five years a general
chapter be held, but this period may be extended or shortened for
reasonable cause, and the proctors-general are to be bound in each
chapter to bring their procurations, and at some chapter each monk
is to bring the account of the fines and all other rights
appertaining to his benefice, drawn up by a notary in public form,
and undersigned by him, that they may be kept in the treasury, and
this under pain of suspension. Item, that henceforth neither the
office of prior nor any other benefice be conferred upon laymen.
The lord abbot is in future to be charged with the expense of all
new buildings that are erected within the precincts of the
monastery. He is also to give four pittances or suppers to the
convent during infirmary time, and six pints of wine according to
the custom. {37} Furthermore, he is to keep beds in the monastery
for the use of guests, and other monks shall return these beds to
the chamberlain on the departure of the guests, and it shall be the
chamberlain's business to attend to this matter. Item, delinquent
monks are to be punished within the monastery and not without it.
Item, the monks shall not presume to give an order for more than
two days' board at the expense of the monastery, in the inns at S.
Ambrogio, during each week, and they shall not give orders for
fifteen days unless they have relations on a journey staying with
them, or nobles, or persons above suspicion, and the same be
understood as applying to officials and cloistered persons. {38}

"Item, within twelve months from date the monks are to be at the
expense of building an almshouse in S. Ambrogio, where one or two
of the oldest and most respected among them are to reside, and have
their portions there, and receive those who are in religion. Item,
no monk is to wear his hair longer than two fingers broad. {39}
Item, no hounds are to be kept in the monastery for hunting, nor
any dogs save watch-dogs. Persons in religion who come to the
monastery are to be entertained there for two days, during which
time the cellarer is to give them bread and wine, and the pittancer
{40} pittance.

"Item, women of bad character, and indeed all women, are forbidden
the monk's apartments without the prior's license, except in times
of indulgence, or such as are noble or above suspicion. Not even
are the women from San Pietro, or any suspected women, to be
admitted without the prior's permission.

"The monks are to be careful how they hold converse with suspected
women, and are not to be found in the houses of such persons, or
they will be punished. Item, the epistle and gospel at high mass
are to be said by the monks in church, and in Lent the epistle is
to be said by one monk or sub-deacon.

"Item, two candelabra are to be kept above the altar when mass is
being said, and the lord abbot is to provide the necessary candles.

"Any one absent from morning or evening mass is to be punished by
the prior, if his absence arises from negligence.

"The choir, and the monks residing in the monastery, are to be
provided with books and a convenient breviary {41} . . . according
to ancient custom and statute, nor can those things be sold which
are necessary or useful to the convent.

* * *

"Item, all the religious who are admitted and enter the monastery
and religion, shall bring one alb and one amice, to be delivered
into the hands of the treasurer and preserved by him for the use of
the church.

* * *

"The treasurer is to have the books that are in daily use in the
choir re-bound, and to see that the capes which are unsewn, and all
the ecclesiastical vestments under his care are kept in proper
repair. He is to have the custody of the plate belonging to the
monastery, and to hold a key of the treasury. He is to furnish in
each year an inventory of the property of which he has charge, and
to hand the same over to the lord abbot. He is to make one common
pittance {42} of bread and wine on the day of the feast of St.
Nicholas in December, according to custom; and if it happens to be
found necessary to make a chest to hold charters, &c., the person
whose business it shall be to make this shall be bound to make it.

"As regards the office of almoner, the almoner shall each day give
alms in the monastery to the faithful poor--to wit, barley bread to
the value of twopence current money, and on Holy Thursday he shall
make an alms of threepence {43} to all comers, and shall give them
a plate of beans and a drink of wine. Item, he is to make alms
four times a year--that is to say, on Christmas Day, on
Quinquagesima Sunday, and at the feasts of Pentecost and Easter;
and he is to give to every man a small loaf of barley and a grilled
pork chop, {44} the third of a pound in weight. Item, he shall
make a pittance to the convent on the vigil of St. Martin of bread,
wine, and mincemeat dumplings, {45}--that is to say, for each
person two loaves and two . . . {46} of wine and some leeks,--and
he is to lay out sixty shillings (?) in fish and seasoning, and all
the servants are to have a ration of dumplings; and in the morning
he is to give them a dumpling cooked in oil, and a quarter of a
loaf, and some wine. Item, he shall give another pittance on the
feast of St. James--to wit, a good sheep and some cabbages {47}
with seasoning.

"Item, during infirmary time he must provide four meat suppers and
two pints {48} (?) of wine, and a pittance of mincemeat dumplings
during the rogation days, as do the sacristan and the butler. He
is also to give each monk one bundle of straw in every year, and to
keep a servant who shall bring water from the spring for the
service of the mass and for holy water, and light the fire for the
barber, and wait at table, and do all else that is reasonable and
usual; and the said almoner shall also keep a towel in the church
for drying the hands, and he shall make preparation for the mandes
on Holy Thursday, both in the monastery and in the cloister.
Futhermore, he must keep beds in the hospital of S. Ambrogio, and
keep the said hospital in such condition that Christ's poor may be
received there in orderly and godly fashion; he must also maintain
the chapel of St. Nicholas, and keep the chapel of St. James in a
state of repair, and another part of the building contiguous to the
chapel. Item, it shall devolve upon the chamberlain to pay yearly
to each of the monks of the said monastery of St. Martin who say
mass, except those of them who hold office, the sum of six florins
and six groats, {49} and to the treasurer, precentor, and surveyor,
{50} to each one of them the same sum for their clothing, and to
each of the young monks who do not say mass four florins and six
groats. And in every year he is to do one O {51} for the greater
priorate {52} during Advent. Those who have benefices and who are
resident within the monastery, but whose benefice does not amount
to the value of their clothes, are to receive their clothes
according to the existing custom.

"Item, the pittancer shall give a pittance of cheese and eggs to
each of the monks on every day from the feast of Easter to the
feast of the Holy Cross in September--to wit, three quarters of a
pound of cheese; but when there is a principal processional duplex
feast, each monk is to have a pound of cheese per diem, except on
fast days, when he is to have half a pound only. Also on days when
there is a principal or processional feast, each one of them,
including the hebdomadary, is to have five eggs. Also, from the
feast of Easter to the octave of St. John the Baptist the pittancer
is to serve out old cheese, and new cheese from the octave of St.
John the Baptist to the feast of St. Michael. From the feast of
St. Michael to Quinquagesima the cheese is to be of medium quality.
From the least of the Holy Cross in September until Lent the
pittancer must serve out to each monk three quarters of a pound of
cheese, if it is a feast of twelve lessons, and if it is a feast of
three lessons, whether a week-day or a vigil, the pittancer is to
give each monk but half a pound of cheese. He is also to give all
the monks during Advent nine pounds of wax extra allowance, and it
is not proper that the pittancer should weigh out cheese for any
one on a Friday unless it be a principal processional or duplex
feast, or a principal octave. It is also proper, seeing there is
no fast from the feast of Christmas to the octave of the Epiphany,
that every man should have his three quarters of a pound of cheese
per diem. Also, on Christmas and Easter days the pittancer shall
provide five dumplings per monk per diem, and one plate of sausage
meat, {53} and he shall also give to each of the servants on the
said two days five dumplings for each several day; and the said
pittancer on Christmas Day and on the day of St. John the Baptist
shall make a relish, {54} or seasoning, and give to each monk one
good glass thereof, that is to say, the fourth part of one {55} for
each monk--to wit, on the first, second, and third day of the feast
of the Nativity, the Circumcision, the Epiphany, and the
Purification of the Blessed Virgin; and the pittancer is to put
spice in the said relish, and the cellarer is to provide wine and
honey, and during infirmary time those who are being bled are to
receive no pittance from the pittancer. Further, from the feast of
Easter to that of the Cross of September, there is no fast except
on the prescribed vigils; each monk, therefore, should always have
three quarters of a pound of cheese after celebration on a week-day
until the above-named day. Further, the pittancer is to provide
for three mandes in each week during the whole year, excepting
Lent, and for each mande he is to find three pounds of cheese.
From the feast of St. Michael to that of St. Andrew he is to
provide for an additional mande in each week. Item, he is to pay
the prior of the cloister six florins for his fine {56} . . . and
three florins to the . . . . {57} and he should also give five eggs
per diem to the hebdomadary of the high altar, except in Lent.
Further, he is to give to the woodman, the baker, the keeper of the
church, the servants of the Infirmary, the servant at the
Eleemosynary, and the stableman, to each of them one florin in
every year. Item, any monks who leave the monastery before vespers
when it is not a fast, shall lose one quarter of a pound of cheese
even though they return to the monastery after vespers but if it is
a fast day, they are to lose nothing. Item, the pittancer is to
serve out mashed beans to the servants of the convent during Lent
as well as to those who are in religion, and at this season he is
to provide the prior of the cloister and the hebdomadary with
bruised cicerate; {58} but if any one of the same is hebdomadary,
he is only to receive one portion. If there are two celebrating
high mass at the high altar, each of them is to receive one plate
of the said bruised cicerate.

"As regards the office of cantor, the cantor is to intone the
antiphon 'ad benedictus ad magnificat' at terce, {59} and at all
other services, and he is himself to intone the antiphons or
provide a substitute who can intone them; and he is to intone the
psalms according to custom. Also if there is any cloistered person
who has begun his week of being hebdomadary, and falls into such
sickness that he cannot celebrate the same, the cantor is to say or
celebrate three masses. The cantor is to lead all the monks of the
choir at matins, high mass, vespers, and on all other occasions.
On days when there is a processional duplex feast, he is to write
down the order of the office; that is to say, those who are to say
the invitatory, {60} the lessons, the epistle of the gospel {61}
and those who are to wear copes at high mass and at vespers. The
cantor must sing the processional hymns which are sung on entering
the church, but he is exempt from taking his turn of being
hebdomadary by reason of his intoning the offices; and he is to
write down the names of those who celebrate low masses and of those
who get them said by proxy; and he is to report these last to the
prior that they may be punished. The cantor or his delegate is to
read in the refectory during meal times and during infirmary time,
and he who reads in the refectory is to have a quart [?] of bread,
as also are the two junior monks who wait at table. The cantor is
to instruct the boys in the singing of the office and in morals,
and is to receive their portions of bread, wine and pittance, and
besides all this he is to receive one florin for each of them, and
he is to keep them decently; and the prior is to certify himself
upon this matter, and to see to it that he victuals them properly
and gives them their food.

"The sacristan is to provide all the lights of the church whether
oil or wax, and he is to give out small candles to the hebdomadary,
and to keep the eight lamps that burn both night and day supplied
with oil. He is to keep the lamps in repair and to buy new ones if
the old are broken, and he is to provide the incense. He is to
maintain the covered chapel of St. Nicholas, and the whole church
except the portico of the same; and the lord abbot is to provide
sound timber for doors and other necessaries. He is to keep the
frames {62} of the bells in repair, and also the ropes for the
same, and during Lent he is to provide two pittances of eels to the
value of eighteen groats for each pittance, and one other pittance
of dumplings and seasoning during rogation time, to wit, five
dumplings cooked in oil for each person, and one quart of bread and
wine, and all the house domestics and serving men of the convent
who may be present are to have the same. At this time all the
monks are to have one quarter of a pound of cheese from the
sacristan. And the said sacristan should find the convent two
pittances during infirmary time and two pints {63} of wine, and two
suppers, one of chicken and salt meat, with white chestnuts,
inasmuch as there is only to be just so much chicken as is
sufficient. Item, he is to keep the church clean. Item, he has to
pay to the keeper of the church one measure of barley, and eighteen
groats for his clothes yearly, and every Martinmas he is to pay to
the cantor sixty soldi, and he shall place a {64} . . . or boss
{65} in the choir during Lent. Also he must do one O in Advent and
take charge of all the ornaments of the altars and all the relics.
Also on high days and when there is a procession he is to keep the
paschal candle before the altar, as is customary, but on other days
he shall keep a burning lamp only, and when the candle is burning
the lamp may be extinguished.

* * *

"As touching the office of infirmarer, the infirmarer is to keep
the whole convent fifteen days during infirmary time, to wit, the
one-half of them for fifteen days and the other half for another
fifteen days, except that on the first and last days all the monks
will be in the infirmary. Also when he makes a pittance he is to
give the monks beef and mutton, {66} sufficient in quantity and
quality, and to receive their portions. The prior of the cloister,
cantor, and cellarer may be in the infirmary the whole month. And
the infirmarer is to keep a servant, who shall go and buy meat
three times a week, to wit, on Saturdays, Mondays, and Wednesdays,
but at the expense of the sender, and the said servant shall on the
days following prepare the meat at the expense of the infirmarer;
and he shall salt it and make seasoning as is customary, to wit, on
all high days and days when there is a processional duplex feast,
and on other days. On the feast of St. Michael he shall serve out
a seasoning made of sage and onions; but the said servant shall not
be bound to go and buy meat during Advent, and on Septuagesima and
Quinquagesima Sundays he shall serve out seasoning. Also when the
infirmarer serves out fresh meat, he is to provide fine salt. Also
the said servant is to go and fetch medicine once or oftener when
necessary, at the expense of the sick person, and to visit him. If
the sick person requires it, he can have aid in the payment of his
doctor, and the lord abbot is to pay for the doctor and medicines
of all cloistered persons.

"On the principal octaves the monks are to have seasoning, but
during the main feasts they are to have seasoning upon the first
day only. The infirmarer is not bound to do anything or serve out
anything on days when no flesh is eaten. The cellarer is to do
this, and during the times of the said infirmaries, the servants of
the monastery and convent are to be, as above, on the same footing
as those who are in religion, that is to say, half of them are to
be bled during one fifteen days, and the other half during the
other fifteen days, as is customary.

"Item, touching the office of cellarer, it is ordered that the
cellarer do serve out to the whole convent bread, wine, oil, and
salt; as much of these two last as any one may require reasonably,
and this on all days excepting when the infirmarer serves out
kitchen meats, but even then the cellarer is to serve his rations
to the hebdomadary. Item, he is to make a pittance of dumplings
with seasoning to the convent on the first of the rogation days;
each monk and each servant is to have five dumplings uncooked with
his seasoning, and one cooked with [oil?] and a quart of bread and
wine, and each monk is to have one quarter of a pound of cheese.
Item, upon Holy Thursday he is to give to the convent a pittance of
leeks and fish to the value of sixty soldi, and . . . {67} Item,
another pittance upon the first day of August; and he is to present
the convent with a good sheep and cabbages with seasoning. Item,
in infirmary time he is to provide two pittances, one of fowls and
the other of salt meat and white chestnuts, and he is to give two
pints of wine. Item, in each week he is to give one flagon [?].
{68} Item, the cellarer is to provide napkins and plates at meal
times in the refectory, and he is to find the bread for making
seasoning, and the vinegar for the mustard; and he is to do an O in
Advent, and in Lent he is to provide white chestnuts, and cicerate
all the year. From the feast of St. Luke to the octave of St.
Martin he is to provide fresh chestnuts, to wit, on feasts of
twelve lessons; and on dumpling days he is to find the oil and
flour with which to make the dumplings.

"Item, as to the office of surveyor, it is ordered that the
surveyor do pay the master builder and also the wages of the day
labourers; the lord abbot is to find all the materials requisite
for this purpose. Item, the surveyor is to make good any plank or
post or nail, and he is to repair any hole in the roofs which can
be repaired easily, and any beam or piece of boarding. Touching
the aforesaid materials it is to be understood that the lord abbot
furnish beams, boards, rafters, scantling, tiles, and anything of
this description; {69} the said surveyor is also to renew the roof
of the cloister, chapter, refectory, dormitory, and portico; and
the said surveyor is to do an O in Advent.

"Item, concerning the office of porter. The porter is to be in
charge of the gate night and day, and if he go outside the convent,
he must find a sufficient and trustworthy substitute; on every
feast day he is {70} . . . to lose none of his provender; and to
receive his clothing in spring as though he were a junior monk; and
if he is in holy orders, he is to receive clothing money; and to
have his pro rata portions in all distributions. Item, the said
porter shall enjoy the income derived from S. Michael of Canavesio;
and when a monk is received into the monastery, he shall pay to the
said porter five good sous; and the said porter shall shut the
gates of the convent at sunset, and open them at sunrise."

The rest of the document is little more than a resume of what has
been given, and common form to the effect that nothing in the
foregoing is to override any orders made by the Holy Apostolic See
which may be preserved in the monastery, and that the rights of the
Holy See are to be preserved in all respects intact. If doubts
arise concerning the interpretation of any clause they are to be
settled by the abbot and two of the senior monks.


{1} Vol. iii. p. 300.

{2} "I know that my Redeemer liveth."--"Messiah."

{3} Suites de Pieces, set i., prelude to No. 8.

{4} Dettingen Te Deum.

{5} In the index that Butler prepared in view of a possible second
edition of Alps and Sanctuaries occurs the following entry under
the heading "Waitee": "All wrong; 'waitee' is 'ohe, ti.'" He was
subsequently compelled to abandon this eminently plausible
etymology, for his friend the Avvocato Negri of Casale-Monferrato
told him that the mysterious "waitee" is actually a word in the
Ticinese dialect, and, if it were written, would appear as
"vuaitee." It means "stop" or "look here," and is used to attract
attention. Butler used to couple this little mistake of his with
another that he made in The Authoress of the Odyssey, when he said,
"Scheria means Jutland--a piece of land jutting out into the sea."
Jutland, on the contrary, means the land of the Jutes, and has no
more to do with jutting than "waitee" has to do with waiting.--R.
A. S.

{6} Treatise on Painting, chap. cccxlix.

{7} See Appendix A.

{8} Curiosities of Literature, Lond. 1866, Routledge & Co., p.

{9} Ivanhoe, chap. xxiii., near the beginning.

{10} Handel's third set of organ concertos, No. 6.

{11} "Storia diplomatica dell' antica abbazia di S. Michele della
Chiusa," by Gaudenzio Claretta. Turin, 1870. Pp. 8, 9.

{12} "Storia diplomatica dell' antica abbazia di S. Michele della
Chiusa," by Gaudenzio Claretta. Turin, 1870. P. 14.

{13} Handel; slow movement in the fifth grand concerto.

{14} For documents relating to the sanctuary, see Appendix B, P.

{15} "Well, my dear sir, I am sorry you do not think as I do, but
in these days we cannot all of us start with the same principles."

{16} "It may be for a hundred, or for five hundred years, or for a
thousand, or even ten thousand, but it will not be eternal; for God
is a strong man--great, generous, and of large heart."

{17} "If a person has not got an appetite . . . "

{18} The waiter's nickname no doubt was Cristo, which was softened
into Cricco for the reason put forward below.--R. A. S.

{19} "Cricco is a rustic appellation, and thus religion is not

{20} "Religion and the magnificent panorama attract numerous and
merry visitors."

{21} "And the milk [in your coffee] does for you instead of soup."

{22} Butler said of this drawing that it was "the hieroglyph of a
lost soul."--R. A. S.

{23} "Dalle meraviglie finalmente che sono inerenti al simulacro
stesso."--Cenni storico-artistici intorno al santuario di Oropa.
(Prof. Maurizio Marocco. Turin, Milan, 1866, p. 329.)

{24} Marocco, p. 331.

{25} "Questa e la festa popolare di Gragha, e pochi anni addietro
ancora ricordava in miniature le feste popolari delle sacre
campestri del medio evo. Da qualche anno in qua, il costume piu
severo che s' introdusse in questi paesi non meno che in tutti gli
altri del Piemonte, tolse non poco del carattere originale di
questa come di tante altre festivita popolesche, nelle quali
erompeva spontanea da tutti i cuori la diffusive vicendevolezza
degli affetti, e la sincera giovalita dei sentimenti. Cio non
pertanto, malgrado si fatta decadenza la festa della Madonna di
Campra e ancor al presente una di quelle rare adunanze
sentimentali, unica forse nel Biellese, alle quali accorre
volentieri e ritrova pascolo appropriato il cristiano divoto non
meno che il curioso viaggiatore." (Del Santuario di Graglia
notizie istoriche di Giuseppe Muratori. Torino, Stamperia reale,
1848, p. 18.)

{26} Samson Agonistes.

{27} "Venus laughing from the skies."

{28} Jephthah.

{29} I cannot give this cry in musical notation more nearly than
as follows:- [At this point in the book a music score is given]

{30} "Such as ye are, we once were, and such as we are, ye shall

{31} Lugano, 1838.

{32} Butler always regretted that he did not find out about Medea
Colleone's passero solitario in time to introduce it into Alps and
Sanctuaries. Medea was the daughter of Bartolomeo Colleone, the
famous condottiere, whose statue adorns the Campo SS. Giovanni e
Paolo at Venice. Like Catullus's Lesbia, whose immortal passer
Butler felt sure was also a passero solitario, she had the
misfortune to lose her pet. Its little body can still be seen in
the Capella Colleone, up in the old town at Bergamo, lying on a
little cushion on the top of a little column, and behind it there
stands a little weeping willow tree whose leaves, cut out in green
paper, droop over the corpse. In front of the column is the
inscription,--"Passer Medeae Colleonis," and the whole is covered
by a glass shade about eight inches high. Mr. Festing Jones has
kindly allowed me to borrow this note from his "Diary of a Tour
through North Italy to Sicily."--R. A. S.

{33} Handel's third set of organ Concertos, No. 3.

{34} "Storia diplomatica dell' antica abbazia di S. Michele della
Chiusa," by Gaudenzio Claretta. Turin, Civelli & Co. 1870. p.

{35} "Item, ordinaverunt quod fiant mandata seu ellemosinae
consuetae quae sint valloris quatuor prebendarum religiosorum omni
die ut moris est." (Claretta, Storia diplomatica, p. 325.) The
mandatum generally refers to "the washing of one another's feet,"
according to the mandate of Christ during the last supper. In the
Benedictine order, however, with which we are now concerned, alms,
in lieu of the actual washing of feet, are alone intended by the

{36} The prior-claustralis, as distinguished from the prior-major,
was the working head of a monastery, and was supposed never, or
hardly ever, to leave the precincts. He was the vicar-major of the
prior-major. The prior-major was vice-abbot when the abbot was
absent, but he could not exercise the full functions of an abbot.
The abbot, prior-major, and prior-claustralis may be compared
loosely to the master, vice-master, and senior tutor of a large

{37} "Item, quod dominus abbas teneatur dare quatuor pitancias seu
cenas conventui tempore infirmariae, et quatuor sextaria vini ut
consuetum est" (Claretta, Storia diplomatica, p. 326). The
"infirmariae generales" were stated times during which the monks
were to let blood--"Stata nimirum tempora quibus sanguis monachis
minuebatur, seu vena secabatur." (Ducange.) There were five
"minutiones generales" in each year--namely, in September, Advent,
before Lent, after Easter, and after Pentecost. The letting of
blood was to last three days; after the third day the patients were
to return to matins again, and on the fourth they were to receive
absolution. Bleeding was strictly forbidden at any other than
these stated times, unless for grave illness. During the time of
blood-letting the monks stayed in the infirmary, and were provided
with supper by the abbot. During the actual operation the brethren
sat all together after orderly fashion in a single room, amid
silence and singing of psalms.

{38} "Item, quod religiosi non audeant in Sancto Ambrosio
videlicet in hospiciis concedere ultra duos pastos videlicet
officiariis singulis hebdomadis claustrales non de quindecim diebus
nisi forte aliquae personae de eorum parentela transeuntes aut
nobiles aut tales de quibus verisimiliter non habetur suspicio eos
secum morari faciant, et sic intelligatur de officiariis et de
claustralibus" (Claretta, Storia diplomatica, p. 326).

{39} The two fingers are the barber's, who lets one finger, or
two, or three, intervene between the scissors and the head of the
person whose hair he is cutting, according to the length of hair he
wishes to remain.

{40} "Cellelarius teneatur ministrare panem et vinum et
pittanciarius pittanciam" (Claretta, Stor. dip., p. 327).
Pittancia is believed to be a corruption of "pietantia."
"Pietantiae modus et ordo sic conscripti . . . observentur. In
primis videlicet, quod pietantiarius qui pro tempore fuerit omni
anno singulis festivitatibus infra scriptis duo ova in brodio
pipere et croco bene condito omnibus et singulis fratribus . . .
tenebitur ministrare." (Decretum pro Monasterio Dobirluc., A.D.
1374, apud Ducange.) A "pittance" ordinarily was served to two
persons in a single dish, but there need not be a dish necessarily,
for a piece of raw cheese or four eggs would be a pittance. The
pittancer was the official whose business it was to serve out their
pittances to each of the monks. Practically he was the maitre
d'hotel of the establishment.

{41} Here the text seems to be corrupt.

{42} That is to say, he is to serve out rations of bread and wine
to everyone.

{43} "Tres denarios."

{44} "Unam carbonatam porci." I suppose I have translated this
correctly; I cannot find that there is any substance known as
"carbonate of pork."

{45} "Rapiolla" I presume to be a translation of "raviolo," or
"raviuolo," which, as served at San Pietro at the present day, is a
small dumpling containing minced meat and herbs, and either boiled
or baked according to preference.

{46} "Luiroletos." This word is not to be found in any
dictionary: litre (?).

{47} "Caulos cabutos cum salsa" (choux cabotes?)

{48} "Sextaria."

{49} "Grossos."

{50} "Operarius, i.e. Dignitas in Collegiis Canonicorum et
Monasteriis, cui operibus publicis vacare incumbit . . . Latius
interdum patebant operarii munera siquidem ad ipsum spectabat
librorum et ornamentorum provincia." (Ducange.) "Let one priest
and two laymen be elected in every year, who shall be called
operarii of the said Church of St. Lawrence, and shall have the
care of the whole fabric of the church itself . . . but it shall
also pertain to them to receive all the moneys belonging to the
said church, and to be at the charge of all necessary repairs,
whether of the building itself or of the ornaments." (Statuta
Eccl. S. Laur. Rom. apud Ducange.)

{51} O. The seven antiphons which were sung in Advent were called
O's. (Ducange.)

{52} "Pro prioratu majori." I have been unable to understand what
is here intended.

{53} "Carmingier."

{54} "Primmentum vel salsam."

{55} "Biroleti." I have not been able to find the words
"carmingier," "primmentum," and "biroletus" in any dictionary.
"Biroletus" is probably the same as "luiroletus" which we have met
with above, and the word is misprinted in one or both cases.

{56} "Item, priori claustrali pro sua dupla sex florinos."
"Dupla" has the meaning "mulcta" assigned to it in Ducange among
others, none of which seem appropriate here. The translation as
above, however, is not satisfactory.

{57} "Pastamderio." I have been unable to find this word in any
dictionary. The text in this part is evidently full of misprints
and corruptions.

{58} "Ciceratam fractam." This word is not given in any
dictionary. Cicer is a small kind of pea, so cicerata fracta may
perhaps mean something like pease pudding.

{59} Terce. A service of the Roman Church.

{60} "Invitatorium." Ce nom est donne a un verset qui se chante
ou se recite au commencement de l'office de marines. Il varie
selon les fetes et meme les feries. Migne. Encyclopedie

{61} "Epistolam Evangelii." There are probably several misprints

{62} "Monnas." Word not to be found.

{63} "Sextaria."

{64} Word missing in the original.

{65} "Borchiam." Word not to be found. Borchia in Italian is a
kind of ornamental boss.

{66} "Teneatur dare religiosis de carnibus bovinis et montonis

{67} "Foannotos." Word not to be found.

{68} "Laganum."

{69} "Enredullas hujusmodi" [et res ullas hujusmodi?].

{70} "In processionibus deferre et de sua prebenda nihil perdat
vestiarium vere suum salvatur eidem sicut uni monacullo."


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