Page:Pictures From Italy.djvu/53

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41
GENOA.

servants, in this hot July, may escape from the heat of the fire, and where the Brave Courier plays all sorts of musical instruments of his own manufacture, all the evening long. A mighty old, wandering, ghostly, echoing, grim, bare house it is, as ever I beheld or thought of.

There is a little vine-covered terrace, opening from the drawing-room; and under this terrace, and forming one side of the little garden, is what used to be the stable. It is now a cow-house, and has three cows in it, so that we get new milk by the bucket-full. There is no pasturage near, and they never go out, but are constantly lying down and surfeiting themselves with vine-leaves—perfect Italian cows—enjoying the dolce far' niente all day long. They are presided over, and slept with, by an old man named Antonio, and his son: two burnt-sienna natives with naked legs and feet, who wear, each, a shirt, a pair of trousers, and a red sash, with a relic, or some sacred charm like a bonbon off a twelfth cake, hanging round the neck. The old man is very anxious to convert me to the Catholic Faith; and exhorts me frequently. We sit upon a stone by the door, sometimes, in the evening, like Robinson Crusoe and Friday reversed; and he generally relates, towards my conversion, an abridgment of the History of Saint Peter—chiefly, I believe, from the unspeakable delight he has in his imitation of the cock.

The view, as I have said, is charming; but in the day you must keep the lattice-blinds close shut, or the sun would drive you mad; and when the sun goes