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the revolution. The Villa Borghese is, for
instance, open only for Saturday, and even
then, you are compelled to make a long circuit
of the walls before you are admitted at a
side entrance, the principal gate, close to the
Porta del Popolo, being permanently closed.
The grounds have been deplorably laid waste.
The noble pines which formerly constituted
their chief ornament are, for the most part,
cut down: from the Casino, here, as well as
from the Villas Ludovici and Albani, you
have enchanting views of the Campagna and
neighbouring hills, lighted up by an ever-
changing succession of glowing tints.

A public walk or drive is now being made
along two sides of the Palatine fronting the
Capitoline and Aventine hills, on the piece
of ground purchased by the Emperor of
Russia for the purpose of making excavations,
and afterwards presented by him to the
Roman Government, in return for which his
Imperial Majesty has received presents of
various statues from the galleries of the
Vatican. I watched the workmen digging
and carrying away earth as I sat in my
balcony, and from time to time descended, to
see how they were going on. On the side
next the Aventine under the beautiful
terraced walk of the Villa Mills, the lower
stories of dwelling-houses have been laid
open. They lie outside the ancient wall of
the Palatine (the substructions of which are
visible), and in many of the chambers the
stucco still remains upon the wails, decorated
with coarse arabesque paintings. Many
fragments of marble cornices and other architectural
ornaments have been dug up, which
remain on the spot, walled into a light
structure of brick-work erected for the
purpose. Looking down upon the hollow space
between the two hills once occupied by the
Circus Maximus, are now to be seen the two
gas tanks, each capable of holding sixty
thousand cubic feet of gas, established there
by Mr. Shepherd, an engineer, whose courage
and energy in battling with the almost
insurmountable difficulties he has had to encounter
in this undertaking, do him honour. It was
a subject of interest to me to visit the Circus
Maximus from time to time, and observe
the progress of the works, and talk with the
vignaroli who were pursuing the quiet
occupation of tending vines, tomatoes, cabbages,
and other vegetables, in the space
remaining uninvaded by English enterprise.
In digging the foundations of the tanks,
fragments of precious marbles were occasionally
brought to light, and Mrs. Shepherd told me
she had already collected sufficient to make a
handsome mosaic table. The contrast of
ideas excited by this spot is perhaps as
striking as any locality in Rome can present.
The mind wanders back to a period connected
with the early history of the Eternal City,
and that event, familiar to us all, even in the
nurserya picture of the Sabine women
carried off by the Romans during the games
in the Circus Maximus. As we look upon
this quiet spot, where the ground is now laid
out in plots for the cultivation of vegetables,
it is curious to think of the fierce and bloody
scenes which have formerly taken place here.
The soil of the Circus Maximus is exceedingly
rich and productive; everything grows
there in luxuriance. The tomatoes or " golden
apples " not only hang in such masses as to
weigh down the plants themselves, but drop off
in heaps before they can be gathered; so that
the whole side of the Circus is red with them.

It may not be uninteresting to add a word
on the subject of Mr. Shepherdwho, after a
fight which may be considered as the last,
and certainly not the least of gladiatorial
combats of the place, has succeeded in
establishing himself here, in spite of an opposition
that would have discouraged most men.
Permission for lighting certain quarters of Rome
with gas was granted in November, 1847.
Mr. Shepherd formed a company in London,
consisting of eight members, who were ready
to commence operations when the Republic
was proclaimed in Rome, and Pius the Ninth
took flight. Upon the invitation of the
Republican municipality, however, Mr. Shepherd
returned to Rome. The French soon
afterwards took possession of the city.
Encouraged by Prince Odescalchi, senator
of Rome, Mr. Shepherd now put in his
claim for an amelioration of contract, the
first terms having been very disadvantageous
to him, and rendered still more so by the
depreciation of property which followed the
political changes. The justice of the demand
was recognised, a project was drawn up,
laid before the Council, and fully discussed
by them; after which Mr. Shepherd was
informed that he must either fulfil the
original contract, or forfeit the twenty
thousand crowns already deposited by him. He
refused of course to acquiesce in these
terms, but would have been well satisfied to
withdraw altogether, had the deposit been
returned to him. As there was no chance
of this he must fight his way through. Then
commenced a strugglereports, counter-
reports, promises, intrigues, fair words, and
secret hostilitiesending with the revocation
by official decree of everything which had
been previously decided upon. The decree
was appealed against by Mr. Shepherd, who,
after battling with an opposition founded on
the most frivolous and vexatious pretexts,
lasting till April 1852, at length addressed a
memorial to the Pope. His Holiness expressed
his approbation of the new contract proposed,
and sanctioned the purchase of ground in the
Circus Maximus. Now came the last
expiring effort of faction. The monks of San
Gregorio, and of two other convents in the
neighbourhood, presented a petition to the
sanitary commission, stating that they
already inhabited one of the most unhealthy
districts in Rome, against the deleterious
effects of which they were enabled to struggle