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(1887) [MARC] Author: Viktor Rydberg Translator: Alfred Corning Clark With: Hans Anton Westesson Lindehn
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Full resolution (JPEG) - On this page / på denna sida - Pencil Sketches in Rome - 4. La Campagna di Roma

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ROME lies enwreathed with villas, parks and vine-
yards. Along the city wails, especially on the west
and south, woods of pine, cypress, maple, elm, evergreen
oak and laurel, succeed each other, and gardens, sur-
rounding palaces or castle-like country-houses, in the
halls of which the remnants of the marble folk of ancient
Rome have appointed a tryst. The Villa Doria-Pamfili,
the Vatican gardens, the Villa Borghese, the Monte
Pincio, the Villa Medici, the Villa Ludovisi, the Villa
Albani, are world-renowned. Who that has been there,
does not dream himself back amid their fountains and
statues, their shady walks and shining beds of flowers?
But back of these, and sometimes even skirting the
outer wall of the villa, a wilderness stretches out in all
directions—to the azure slopes of the Appenines, to the
Alban mountains and the sea. The contrast between
the magnificence of nature and art that charms us in the
Roman pleasure-gardens, and the desert there outside, is
at first overwhelming, and one is ready to believe in an
illusion, called up to hide from the capital of Catholicism
the alarming reality that surrounds it—hide the prophecy
of the fate that should befall the intellect of mankind, if
the power that so long held the sceptre over this region,
could stretch her sway as far as she aims. It is the funeral
state bed of a great power departed, this waste Campagna

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