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Italy, the Magic Land   By: (1847-1942)

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[Illustration: Temple, Taormina ]

ITALY

THE MAGIC LAND

BY

LILIAN WHITING

AUTHOR OF "THE FLORENCE OF LANDOR," "THE LAND OF ENCHANTMENT," "THE WORLD BEAUTIFUL," ETC.

"And, under many a yellow star, We dropped into the Magic Land!"

Illustrated from Photographs

BOSTON LITTLE, BROWN, AND COMPANY 1907

Copyright, 1907 ,

BY LITTLE, BROWN, AND COMPANY.

All rights reserved

Published November, 1907

THE GRIFFITH STILLINGS PRESS, BOSTON, U.S.A.

TO ELLA

(MRS. FRANKLIN SIMMONS)

WHOSE EARTHLY FORM REPOSES IN THE BEAUTIFUL ROMAN CEMETERY, WHERE POETIC ASSOCIATIONS WITH KEATS AND SHELLEY HAUNT THE AIR, UNDER THE SCULPTURED "ANGEL OF THE RESURRECTION," WITH ITS MAJESTIC SYMBOLISM OF THE TRIUMPH OF IMMORTALITY, BUT WHOSE RADIANT PRESENCE STILL TRANSFIGURES THE LIFE THAT HELD HER IN IMMORTAL DEVOTION, THESE PAGES ARE INSCRIBED,

WITH THE UNFORGETTING LOVE OF

LILIAN WHITING.

ROME, ITALY, May Days, 1907.

" Nor Life is ever lord of Death, And Love can never lose its own. "

PREFATORY NOTE

That Florence, the "Flower City," receives only a passing allusion in this record of various impressions that gleam and glow through the days after several visits to the Magic Land, is due to the fact that in a previous volume by the writer one entitled "The Florence of Landor" the lovely Tuscan town with its art, its ineffable beauty, and its choice social life, formed the subject matter of that volume. Any attempt to portray Florence in the present book would savor only of the repetition of loves and enthusiasms already recorded in the previous work in which Walter Savage Landor formed the central figure. For that reason no mention of Florence, beyond some mere allusion, is attempted in these pages, which only aim to present certain fragmentary impressions of various sojourns in Italy, refracted through the prism of memory. Whatever inconveniences or discomfort attend the traveller swiftly fade, and leave to him only the precious heritage of resplendent sunset skies, of poetic association, of artistic beauty. In spirit he is again lingering through long afternoons in St. Peter's till the golden light through the far windows of the tribune is merged into the dusk of twilight in which the vast monumental groups gleam wraith like. Again he is ascending the magnificent Scala Regia , and lingering in the Raphael Stanze, or in the wonderful sculpture galleries of the Vatican, or sauntering in the sunshine on the Palatine. In memory he is again spellbound by ancient and mediƦval art. In the line of modern sculpture the work of Franklin Simmons in Rome is a feature of Italy that haunts the imagination. No lover of beauty would willingly miss his great studios in the Via San Nicolo da Tolentino, with their wealth of ideal creations that contribute new interest to the most divine of all the arts.

"The world of art is an ideal world, The world I love, and that I fain would live in; So speak to me of artists and of art, Of all the painters, sculptors, and musicians That now illustrate Rome."

The mystic charm of the pilgrimage to Assisi; the romance that reflects itself in the violet seas and flaming splendors of the sky on the shores of Ischia and Capri; the buried treasures of Amalfi; the magnetic impressiveness of the Eternal City, all these enter into life as new forces to build and shape the future into undreamed of destinies.

L. W.

THE BRUNSWICK, BOSTON, October Days, 1907.

CONTENTS

PAGE

I THE PERIOD OF MODERN ART IN ROME 3

II SOCIAL LIFE IN THE ETERNAL CITY 127

III DAY DREAMS IN NAPLES, AMALFI, AND CAPRI 227

IV A PAGE DE CONTI FROM ISCHIA 281

V VOICES OF ST... Continue reading book >>




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