19 DECEMBER 1840, Page 13


Ir the generality of people were to ask themselves what they know of the ancient Etruscans, they, would answer that they lived in what

is the modern Tuscany ; that they invented the 'cuscan order of architecture, or it was founded upon their style ; and that as a people they were anterior to the Romans. Persons of a studious turn would go further, and say that many of their institutions were incerporated with those of Rome, especially of their religious institutions; and that Etruria furnished two early Roman kings,

and some patrician families. Those who have given attention to the speculations of NIEBUHR. alld his followers will have got

an idea of several populous and powerful cities, forming a , rat republic, and advanced to a certain degree in arts and com- merce, when Rome was weak and barbarous. • But very few, and those only who have pursued the subject as a study, in reports of

societies, detached passages of antiquarian works, and the collec- tions of museums, have a full perception of the reality—That the

Etrurians were a people far advanced in civilization, having not merely the institutions and usages which indicate settled govern- ment and established order, but an excellence io the arts; appa- rently a communication with foreign countries for purposes of' trade; manufactures of' a high degree of excellence, with those re- fined superfluities which indicate a surplus income snd much leisure : that in fact the Etruscans were a tinnily of that ancient civi- lized race, whose written records have perished, or are as yet a sealed book, but whose symbols are met with in many and widely-

distant regions. The characteristics of this primeval people are—

in their architecture, a massy and enduring style, not less at- tention having been lavished on the tombs of the dead than on the dwellings of the living ; in their arts, a high degree of mechanical execution, with a rigid design, but rarely devoid of power, not always of grace, and displaying great but constrained powers both of mind and hand; the most striking feature of their goVernment, so far as we know any thing of it, was a system of caste, which, however it differed in details, secured a monopoly of power, priesthood, and recondite knowledge, to a favoured few ; their dress and ornaments were splendid and luxurious as much so as those of modern times; if their furniture and their equipage were less, the reason may be found in local circumstances, rather than in the poverty or backwardness of the people. One of the most marked customs which have conic down to us respecting this ancient race was a superstitious* ease in burying their dead; by means of which, indeed, a knowledge of their existence is distinctly recalled to us after an obscurity of sonic thousand years. The most numerous and strongly-marked traits of this people are to be seen in Egypt : for even it' we follow those who hold that Egypt received her civilization from China and Hindustan, the lapse of time and foreign conquest have greatly changed them in the East. But their memorials are scattered over the world. Traces of them are found in North and South America, as well as in Central Asia and

Siberia ; and within these few years the knowledge of a people as

remarkable as the Egyptians themselves has been disinterred from the tombs of Etruria.

To popularize the wonders these tombs have unfolded—to de- scribe their character and contents to the stay-at-home—and to furnish the traveller with a guide-book which shall lead him to the most remarkable points by the shortest cut—is the object of Mrs. GRAF'S volume : and a very agreeable volume it is. In its essence, perhaps, it may be colisidered a compilation ; as all her expositions, and some of' her descriptions, are drawn direct front others : nor has the authoress yet devoted time enouoll to the pursuit to have thoroughly digested even second-hand knowledge. But site pro- fesses to give no general or complete view of her subject,—merely telling what she has learned, and what she has seen ; and as much of her knowledge was derived from oral communication—as she saw with her own eyes the remains that were to prove the conclusions deduced—and as her instructors were antiquaries or the first class— her N'oltune has a vivid and life-like character, which mere com- pilation can never at The style of :11rs. GRAY, moreover, is lively and agreeable, with an occasional peculiarity that resembles the playful waywardness of a tine lady. She is also an amateur artist, and is not devoid or classical reading. The book is almost a story. 111 IS:17, the late Bishop of Lich- field, Dr. Bumna, paid Mrs. GRAS' a visit, whilst as yet she knew nothing more of' the Etruseans, than that they were an old nation of Italy, conquered by Rome. The conversation turning tipon Egypt, the Bishop compared it with Etruria, and strongly advised her to visit CAM PA NA it i's exhibition of Etruscan tombs in Pall Mall. Struck with the sight, and with the Bishop's own collection of antiquities, Mrs. GRAY, with a party, subsequently made an Italian tour, in which Etl'Rseati antiquities and the sites of the ancient

* Super-sto.

cities of Etruria were the main objects, if not the motives of the journey. Fixing their head-quarters at Rome, the party first exhausted the subject of their pursuit in museums, private col- lections, the shops of dealers, anti the lectures and manuscripts of the Arelneological Society, as well as in the discourses of its learned - and courteous members. They then made various tours to the tombs; including Veii, Monte Nerone, Tarquinia, Vulci, Tus- eania, Ag,ylla, Castel d'Asso, and Clusium ; examining the sites of the cities, descending into the tombs, whether long since rifled or newly explored, and confabulating with the collectors and ciceroni of the place.

Antiquities, however, do not form the only subject of the volume.

Tt contains many descriptions of scenery, with the usual incidents of a tour, varied by sketches of manners and characters, English as well as native ; and as 'Mrs. GRAY'S objects led her out of the beatcn track, site describes places never visited by common tourists. In addition to these matters, her volume contains a sort of history of each of the cities she visited : but these historical sketches add little to its attraction ; for though well enough done, they are out of place. A brief notice of each city was indeed desirable ; but it should have been dismissed as rapidly as possible—not merely be- cause a long account interferes with the main subject, but the main subject itself' being altegether unknown to many readers, any thing NVIlielt is likely to mar its uttraution should be cautiously avoided. Perhaps .11Irs. GRAY has also dwelt too long upon single tombs, which, to the common reader, have no generic difference to dis- tinguish them from others. We mention these things because diffusion and digression seem tendencies of' .Mrs. GRAY, and should Sill write her promised History of Etruria such limits would there be less tolerable. She is too well read not to remember the precept, "Dunne supervarmon pleno Ie pectore mallet."

To return to the Etruscans. Their mode of writing bears a strong resemblance to the oldest Greek ; and we believe all, or nearly all their inscriptions, (sin now be read, though the meaning cannot be clearly interpreted : and, considering th a, even the ancient llontan was imperfectly understood in Clentro's time, we fear that the old Etruscan is likely to be a sealed boolc. For the power of reading their characters with certainty, the world is in- debted to a curious discovery in 1836-7 : the opening of a tomb, which, from the name of one of the discoverers was called, by the English, " General Galassi's grave."

"It was about this thole that we found Rome filled with amazement, and all her wise tiltit OCCIlpied ill :.1)evulaticris about the stupendous discovery of the Regulini Galassi tomb, which I have mentioned at Cervetri. We may call it stupendous, for we may use this word to a child's toy when upon it depends

some result. The Arciprete Regulini had discovered this extraordi-

nary tiunh; Uencral ( llassi, one of the officers of highest rank in the Papal army, had bought from him th,i articles therein found. The English used to call it tGalassi's grave.' All these articles are now purchased by the Government, and to be seen, properly and separately indicated, in thc Grego- rian 'Museum ; but in IS.3S. they \tyre exhibited in the General's own house; and haviag oho:lined lois permissioa to visit them, he was, like most of his conntrymun, so polite :MI (•,,tuf eons as to explain them himself.

" If we had been sorprised at Campanari's exhibition, we were petrified at the (;cnerars. Here we saw an Immo:use breastplate of' gold, which had been loslened on each shot:bier by a most derv:Mil). wrought gold fibula, with chains row those now made at Triehinopuly. The breastplate was stounped with a verity ol'arabesques and small patterns, as usual in the Egyptiaio style. The head had been crowned with fillets mai (Arcola': ornaments of pure gold; and a rich mantle had covered the boily, flowered with the same material. In this grave also had liii fenind a gum ley ot arms, round bronze' shields with a boss in the mitre, which WilS stampe.1, hnices, and arrews; a bier of bronze, as IICCICCI IIS if made it rear ;lg.,: teip'el. %volt a5essel containing sonic at looking lumps of' a yes-loon,' selfstalo,'. :old which on bring burnt proved to be pl.rfunieti SO *1 Lit lino Ile elm tried them Wetti obliged to have the root». Tlegre 'Acre tIvoIuv sonail ii.o..ges, perhaps of bares or of ancestors, in terra cilia, that hail ir.en rati,;:'d in diatide lines close to the lila ; also some large common vessels for wine and oil, :loci seine finely -painted vase: and tazze, with Week figures upooi a reit paned. ',,.1.1clo been consecrated to the dead. There were whecls of a car upon %%Loch the bier had been brought into the sepulchre, and many odher il ee Lich I do not remember. But the wonder of all these treasures iva- oh terra cotta, which had served ass schoolmaster's A. B. ('. Gil it c, ere the Etruscan letters, first in elphabet, and then in svliald...:; and bath the Liters and the syllables are the same as the oldest form of the Greek. It was deciphered by l/r. Lepsias, and is the key to till we at pre,. lot know, and will be the basis of all we ;ore ever likely to know or the Etru,cati tongue."

'lime tomb itself' was subsequently visited by the writer : but as our object is not SO much to give an :IC count of the customs of the ancient Etruscans &iS of' Mrs. Gis1Y'S 0,)k, we shall pass it over for more varionti Matt el'. We IR ay however remark, that Etruria pos- scssed two signs of inlvatieement --loaded die, and seamping-work that was to be placed out of sig",t.

polo:Ls:mos or sseir:sr israunIA.

Signor Carlo A rid (a informed us that the necropolis of Tarquinia was corn- paud to est..et ,ixtei it s.iliare ntile; and that...judging front the twothou- saml tott.1,iaLl 11 1)1,1.1. I lite Leen opened, their number in all could not la hss il iiitiSti T. W 011, gives of tile dense poopiolmiii il mai. it Eo:'ioria tor though the Leeropalo: of Taigoinia may have been a sial; hr lhutsil,s, 1'1'01 lie) :Wit OW tue of US 0,A10 IttOtitC011ItiCit ';'.011,)ipl. it em ,1 .1) all sides cemet rut's scarcely itifcrior in \l. :it to I it Vu'ci and Montalto, it it hout naming Castvl II' it hick we shall desefibe as having probably been the west r kliboy of centr.,'. II: Truly the voice iron' the dead which these princes tel IllcoMones send forth, tells us great things of their potent sway over a iti,.1,us and !Cada Us to tlIC (ICSO■ lation and bartetrisin of 11:11,-ri.:1, and still snore of Papill Italy, with the The ground eolitaining, or SU HOST(' 10 C011tiliti is leased out to curiersity-dealovs or au 0b po IlaTis, '11110 have the exclusive ust/f rue! ns as it were, of the graves, but not ii the tt1l ; taking their chance, of course, is to what the result may be, ter the groove's may he numerous but already ritled—it is supposed for their tie:y.111.es. in the latter ages of the Empire. (;cricral IS A I. s51 and the At eiliretc liegulini were the fortunate speculators ou this eeett.,ion. flourishing state of things which must have existed there when the world was young. We now often see a few squalid emaciated individuals, half seared away by pestilential air and half starved with insufficient food, straggling over the barren waste, whose only trace of real habitation is to be found in the records of its former inhabitants, dead three thousand years ago. This Wile dreadfully the case at nest= ; but in a measure it is true of every place where the malaria prevails. The ancient inhabitants must have been a ropulous, wealthy, and to judge from their paintings, a merry and somewhat -Epicurean race, who knew how to make the most of the good things which the home of their fathers produced, before the Roman sword brought with it the malaria, and sent conscriptions and pestilence to depopulate the land. These were bright and sunny days in old Etruria, when every num sat miler his own vine and under his own fig-tree, when 'rages taught how to read fortunes from the swoop of an eagle's wing, and when Melton presided on the magisterial bench.

ETRUSCAN IMP nr.m Among the bronzes of the Jesuits' College are some singular. looking hooks, mitt' immense claws, and various odd adjuncts, which are the counterparts of what are still shown in the Christian INIuseum of the Vatican as instruments of torture by which the early Christians were martyred. The Jesuits now con- sider this as a mistake, and that they were really used by the Etruscan urn- spices in sacrifice, probably as flesh-hooks, and, as we :tipposcal, resembling tltose mentioned in the Bible as having been struck into the seethim,pot by the sons of Eli. I have seen them in various museums besides, and I think in the British Museum in the room of ancient bronzes. One of the rarest sacrificial instruments that has been discovered was rt spoon of ivory, shown to me by Monsignor° Wiseman of the English College. The Etruscans used ivory in profusion, but very little of it has come dowo to us; and this spoon was of a very singular shape, with elaborately carved armaments, and from its unique appearance and fragile material, appeared to nie one of the most remarkable relics of antiquity I had ever seen.


Another most remarkable frieze consists of a procession of souls to judg- ment ; and among these one group in particular attracted our attention. It represented the soul of a person who had in life been of doubtful character, much both of good and evil being attributed to him ; and in this ease the nicely-balanced scales of justice trembled. lie is dragged in a car beliwe the judge by two winged genii, the one good and the other evil, who are con- tending for the exclusive possession of him, In the eagerness or dispute, the car stops; they cannot draw it on, but remain stationary, to mark the uncertain reputation of the deceased. The evil genii are represented as black; and all the spirits wear a cothurnus, or buskin of that form which was sacred amongst the Etruscans to immaterial existences, especially the genii of Darkiiess, Den t ft, and Sleep. It is not winged, but peaked like wings in a sheath, and r, aches toid• way up the leg. The genii are all winged; and the souls, of which there nrc many, have no wings. Only two are represented in the plate, hecause only :t smalfpart of the subject is given; but in the tomb there was it long procession, each hearing some instrument as a symbol of his profession. Only a smali part remains, travellers having thought proper to break off and earn. away the stucco; and no doubt what we saw will soon follow. It was the idea of the Etruscans that the soul preserved after death the likeness of the body it had left ; but that it was composed of thin elastic air, and clothed in airy white. The good genius wishes to proceed with the two souls represented to the gate of happiness; but the evil genii who claim them seem more in number, and the one who stops the car wishes to turn it into the gate of misery, by which an evil genius is already sitting and waiting for its return. The difference of representation between this and the ."fifone," to which we afterwards pro- ceeded, is very remarkable; for here the evil genii were not frightful, though black, bore no serpents, and their hammers were of a different form film' the usual hammers of Death.


A larger sarcophagus than any of the others stooti in the middle of the chamber. It was uncovered, and contained what remained of the skeleton and armour of the head of the family of "V, It huri. There he lay with his helmet, his greaves, and his two spears, after the fit:Ilion of classical antiquity ; and ell around him in the coffin there was the strangest assemblage of little odds ends that I ever saw. If we may be permitted to judge of the old a arriiir's tastes by the things which were bitried along with him, he must in his dey mei generation have been a passionate lover of rocovo, with very little diserine- nation—in short, a collector of trash, like so meny pre,ervers of ps?telo curi- osities rtmong ourselves. There were quantities ot little pieces or ,oao:d nod transparent coloured pastas, clear stones or compositions, some like topic mei others like amethyst, balls of iteriume, utensils of bronze, of all sorts, sheass, and sizes, and for all manner of uselessmasa And lastly, I pulled out is ;int gave me rather an unpleasant insight into Signor Velthuri's character, aril is kid idea of the employment of his lighter hours—a pair of dice, which, if my me- rnoty fads roe not, were loaded.

Respecting the English in Italy, Mrs. GRAY says the Itilians entertain a high notion of their truth, honour, and honesty, but il0t, a very exalted one of their politeness, manners, or disposition to acquire. I hey come, they say, " to teach and to judge but never to inquire and learn." A curious anecdote of this ignorant s ciliousticss is introduced in the account of


Too much praise cannot he given to the Pope Mr his taste mid ne.guiticche.• in cotweiving the de-ign of collecting into one vast museum all the reittleihts of Ettmean art mcml ■litiquity found in his dominions. Ile has pri...retded it, and is prosecuting it, with unremitting ardour ; and when the neee! of Ii gory the Sixteetall may be confounded in our memories with ths hetny have preceded him in the Papal chair, time name of t:regory, the munificent

preserver of time scattered records of an ancient world, 1111.10 el'••I• I ;. !,:mm veneration by those who have taste or learning suffieleet lii hurlht the v• st importance and inestimable value of his work. I v. i,11 lie would oak- iii 11, protection to those extraordinary and interesting tombs from whielm his many relics and eurmsitte are taken. lie is au enthusiastic admirer of the mishit's and beantiful in ancient art, and well versed in the histaric lore of past ages ; and he is un excellent judge of what rare objects may or may not be worth his own expensive purchase, This truly wonderful rieleitin i4 dlti effort Of the Pope's taste struggliog against a very low exchequer ; and want of money, notwitlaitanding Id very small personal expenses, has sometimes been the reas son why he has utistioned from acquisitions %%Idyll he WilS OtherVdie ii ct. anxious to make. The forn:c., ion and arrangement of hiti immuccamidi (rot' hc haA so much enlarged and improved the Egyptian, that he may ulmost Ii,, S'ii to have made it as well nil the Etruscan) are his solace during the intervals of business ; and though he is rertainly not remise in iiresiiling over the isieneils of the Clitirela I have heard those say %Ili) are numbed to his person, that lie

tears himself away from his maces and bronzes with the utmost regret, and re- turns to them again svitlt all the zest of it schoolboy when he

task. Aim is to be expected in the pet of IL hovereign, the Grew 'rim' collection is arranged with the utmost taste and in beautiful order ; the credit of e idyll is greatly due to the Cavaliere Visconti, Director of the Papal Musette,. This was one of our favourite haunts in Rome, although it was not until nearly the end of our residence there that we were capable of fully enjoying it ; for at the beginning we were too ignorant to know iyhat were the objects most rare, most curious, or most worthy of admiration or attention. Ignorance, however, is always pardonable and often unavoidable tl1/011 subjects that are new ; but nnt so the pert contempt with which many of our well-educated countrymen treat every titin,g they do not understand. We once met a minor political star, now high in office, on his return front a visit to this museum ; and on ashires him what he tholight of its contents, he replied, " Oh, pots and pans, jttst like any other pots and parts."

Could " Pots and Pans" have been Lord Cs..rnENnox ?

NV° will conclude our quotatioas with more miscellaneons ex- tracts. Here is


,krnongst other out-of-the-way things, (Mulct° contains the Bridewell or House of Correction for the clergy of the Papal States. If ever it hecomea

the way, ;. e. a pleee of resort thr strangers, 1 donbt not the Bridewell cviii be removed, as the reinarks of foseigners might not always be either pleasant or discreet. 'fin re were thirty of these reverend gentlemen in confinement in

:Slay IS19 ; for murder, some fur forgery, crud sciccie tr other crimes. limy tibiae err mice expiated I ;lid not learn ; whether by fine, or confine- ment fur a tcrin of years, or fiw life. A very zealous Italian. I should think, would deny the existence both of the crimes and the persons. It is only by accident and inadvertency that a stranger eau ever hear time truth of these things. 'ii e immLi m,lm. however, who Ilutcy that the Italian clergy never are punished, are very glad to ascertain the existence of' such a place.

sterriao Tile FASHION.

At the inn we were complimentetl npan being the only 'English people who bad ever known how to eat meat propsely,—which mertes, being interpreted, how to eat it over-dressed without tiuding fludt ; and i.e Weill considered as very osntme //Apt and sulterior in wisdom upon that account. The smart mald of the inn, alter being very tat tactive Mr some little time, at last made 11, sort of dart et lay ern). beggit:L; pardon in the I Lillian u:ty, " t_.:ettsa, Signora," ns she up I he frill of toy idetive. I felt nitteh obliged toiler, and sat quite St ill, never do:tiding but that she was brusliing delicately MI or killing some

stineitig insect which she lout couht not, however, understand all

her with this fm iii, Mt, she pulled the sleeve gently beneath, whilst

she held it up, hed I Kiss' no iti.e..CL Whatever. She then thanked mc, and said that she now knew how the sleeve was made, rind hots to fashion her next festa gown like it. She told me that it hal attracted the mIntiration of the hattfe the moment I entered ; and that the women in it bein,.; unable to divine how so admirable a sleeve had been contrived, she had 'brought the head to:into:maker of the place two or three times through the room to look at it, itt hors 1i:if iulcies: covering the secret, in order that the Chiusi sleeves 'night be maile Lewaril In the same manner. I had indeed been annoyed with the woman, for she ii ■V;I::S loitered as she passed through, and stopped to ask me some coin- monplitee questien, such is "LOIN' I liked Italy ?" and " if it was ever su hot in. England ?" rn . I I had set her down foe au idle housemaid. I was greatly praised for alio, ing this sleeve to lie examined ; whil4 li,..tween laughter and anger I knew me e hat to say, for I wits not only ronezed et the impertinence, but really provoked that an Italian girl should give up her own picturesque and graceful east ume to follow the silly, and, in a poor person, the vulgar-looking fashions of the .Frencli metropolis. I hall little idea that I was icersonating Le Courier des Dames when I entered our apartments in the inn at CIA-14SL


When we expressed to him our admiration of this wonderful imitation of nature, Ile told its that, in his younger days, an eccentric countryman of ours, Lord Bristol, the Bishop of Derry, the " Count-13ishop," as Horace Walpole calls him, was so much struck witlt it, that he came almost every year to

Cornet° IhO sake of seeing it, long befbre the more recaint Etruscan diseovc• ries bad given the place an interest to persons fond of antiquities. bora Bristol used to amuse himself with astonieliing the Italian clergy. 1Suring his freihiteet wanderings, when lie ei11111C ill a very uncomfortable hm, he used to

to the intrisil el,..rgyotan and imist upon his exercising hospitality to- wards him as to a &tiler of tiat Clineoll, and on one ocea,ion he invited a large lvely 61'C:den:tan monks to dine %%trim Lirn on a 111A- illy, and seduced theta

h. to disoli.eliellt.e by havieg 161:illden meg, dre..;sed ai to represent

maigre. !ler they had iii heartily eaten, he revealed the truth to them, exulted in the trap he lid laid, anut settadalizell them ..tmelt irregular conduct iit a P.isieT.


1:;.:tri, Iii parrcal.r., much of the beauty of the gold :mil j.nvelltd ornaments sii;.; to Imeien, (lIona,t.o.te,) acil that, it few winter:: ago, the Priocess of I'm mimic hati enema', at some of tile Ambassador's Qtrs in Home with it- humyhire of Etruscan jewellery, which was the envy of the society, mut excelled the cheslatrosiere of Paris or Vienna. 'Litmus, after thousands Of \Tai's, the saertri and cer.anottial eredttmes of the illustrious of the early world were Made 1'0 Oh:drib:4m t 0 a .,.centi of spl,mdour in modern Europe. Ancieut Rome, miller

I er ,,cett mammy .t.telt, and modern Dome now looked up.ar II': ta spill.

It i.; natural to the human mind to regret the extinct,

and snore especially to mourn over fallen greatness, that we

• cannot figcl surprise(' at Mrs. G it AY indulging itt lamentations over

the destruction of Etruria, mid in declamations against the Ro- mans who subdued her. It is doubtful, however, whether this feeling is one that reascm will justify. Perhaps it may be safely laid down as mmn axiom, that nothing perishes which is worth:: to : nor were the arts of' Etrutht extinguished with the nation.

I laws cold her system of relig:cm, With its pompous rites and s:cznewhat exclusiye priesthecol, were interwoven with those of Route, and in a certain sense still survive in the gorgeous ceremo- nies and mystic formalities of the Romish Church. How much of her fine end useful arts beton:TR to herself, and how much was de- rived from Egypt and ii.um Greece, is a knotty question ; but it is not too much to assert that nearly all which was adapted to the future condition of the world was ctinalgamat ed with those of Rome. As lip. her downfid, we may be sore of' this, that no powerful na- tion is ever overthrown until her vitality is es:ticiet: the Ibritts of a mighty people inccy survive, but the spirit that gave them power, life, and meatting, is dead. The Persians, the lacedonians, the Romans, and the North:nun, destroyed the carcases of' stations ra- ther than nations themselves; and it were as idle to grieve over the decadence of the flirest, WhiCh fidh4 to fivtilia. the earth and reappcat ht shapes of greater beauty and utility, as to lament the c>r,c;.ticrow of a eiviiiN;ition that has fulfilled its task, outlived its uses, and transmitted its sethinft to another race.