Charles Frederick Holder.

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died here, and thus the Past comes
suddenly down to the Present. In
the next garden the sombre brows of
Dante keep watch above the wall — I
know not if for special significance.
Below, on another sweep of Fiesolan
road is the cedar-shadowed domain,
whose late lord was Landor, but
whose armorial pines and the legend,
Pine del Pini," beneath the shrine
of Our Lady of Seven Sorrows, speak
of an earlier century. Winding thus
between villa and garden-walls,

tery of the Medici, whither Pico
Mirandola — that glass of fashion and
mould of form in the days when
Florentine form and fashion was the
mould and mirror of the best part of
Europe — came to meditate and write
his learned treatises The old Badia !
— it too runs over with its blithe flock
of students, and on holidays and in
Carnivale the Badia boys give enter-
tainments of their own enacting to
the peasantry about.

The Bandinelli fountain which



plashes merrily just above the Piazza
may almost have been a witness to
the encounter between its maker and
that specially "honest man," Ben-
venuto Cellini, of which Benvenuto
has left us the artless tale. He had
gone to Fiesole, he tells us, to see a
natural son whom he had there at
nurse and of whom he was exceed-
ingly fond. When he was about to
leave, the child would not part with
him, but held him fast with his little
hands, crying, so that " it was sur-
prising in an infant of two years."
All of which appears to have touched
Cellini's heart much, but he re-
membered that he had nevertheless

To-day Fiesole is largely a nest of
foreigners, like so many famous spots
of Europe. English and Americans
hold the villas scattered up and down
its sides, and perhaps are a blessing
to the Fiesolan peasants, who make
the best part of their little revenues
from these "mad Americans" and
rich Jnglese. But more than her air
or her sunshine or her beauty, Fiesole
has a potent spell which binds her to
the future as well as to the past, and
insures that she will never be quite
forsaken by the travelling book -lover,
poet, or sight-seer. One name has
given immortality to this winding
road which borders upon Mugnone —


intended to waylay Bandinelli, who
went every evening to visit his farm
above San Domenico, and to attack
him and "punish his insolence;" so
he tore himself away from the en-
gaging little son and started in pur-
suit of his enemy. Just as he entered
the Square of San Domenico from
one side, Bandinelli entered from the
other "upon a little mule which ap-
peared no bigger than an ass. " Ben-
venuto made for him with the inten-
tion of summary vengeance, which
Bandinelli beholding turned pale
as death and trembled all over, so
that Benvenuto, in disgust, declared
he was not worth the trouble of kill-
ing and bade him " Fear nothing,
vile poltroon," after which, he says,
he returned home " somewhat easier
in his mind!"

else a "most immemorial" stream.
Follow its placid curves (not forget-
ting that across in that barn-like
building is the paint-splashed studio
where Arnold Bocklin spent a year
or two) and presently this way of
Boccaccio brings you to a villa — it
was described long ago :

" It was a little eminence remote
from any great road, covered with
trees and shrubs of an agreeable ver-
dure; and on the top was a stately
palace with a grand and beautiful
court in the middle; within were
galleries and fine apartments ele-
gantly fitted up and adorned with
the most curious paintings; around
it were fine meadows and delightful
gardens with fountains of purest

It is the Villa Palmieri. Eng-



land's Queen lodged here a few years
ago. Nobody cares for that, but
guests of another quality were there
centuries before her, and everybody
cares. It is the villa of the De-
cameron. Look well and you may
chance to see the fair Fiametta and
all the chaplet-crowned Decameron-
ian company beneath the trees; nay,
I will swear that which passed me on
dusky wing was Federigo's very fal-
con. For note a singular thing! Here
in Fiesole, with grim Etruria en-
throned on her brow and a laughing
Decameronian memory at her feet

up and down these ways — Landor in
his solitude truly lived — and \
living are the peasants and the many-
tongued tourists. Only the loot of
the Decameronian story-tellers n.
pressed the grass ; their
moved the perfumed air; and
they alone of all the number i
outlived death and time, and
most triumphantly alive inhabit
of Fiesole to-day.

As to-day, so to-morrow When
the last stone of the Etrusean wall
has fallen, and the rose and olive
have made a winding-sheet instead


— grim Etruria really walled those
heights; the splendid glitter of me-
diaeval life once really brightened
these hillsides; haughty generals
and rough Roman soldiery marched

of a robe for Fiesole, people will say
of her as they do to-day \

"Fiesole? — ah, yes! we remember;
the country of Boccaccio, the home of
the Decameronian story-telle-





SATURDAY, 15th November.—
Marched early. Passed two
deep creeks, and many high
points of rocks, also large herds of
buffaloes. At two o'clock in the
afternoon, I thought I could distin-
guish a mountain to our right, which
appeared like a small blue cloud;
viewed it with the spy-glass, and
was still more confirmed in my con-
jecture, yet only communicated it to
Dr. Robinson, who was in front of
me; but in half an hour it appeared
in full view before us. When our
small party arrived on the hill, they
with one accord gave three cheers to
the Mexican mountains.

"Wednesday, 26th November. —
We commenced ascending ; found the
way very difficult, being obliged to
climb up rocks sometimes almost
perpendicular; and after marching-
all day we encamped in a cave with-
out blankets, victuals, or water. We
had a fine clear sky, while it was
snowing at the bottom.

"Thursday, 27th November. —
Arose hungry, thirsty, and extremely
sore, from the unevennessof the rocks
on which we had lain all night ; but
were amply compensated for our toil
by the sublimity of the prospects be-
low. The unbounded prairie was
overhung with clouds which appeared
like an ocean in a storm, wave piled
on wave, and foaming, while the sky

over our heads was perfectly clear.
Commenced our march up the moun-
tain, and in about one hour arrived
at the summit of this chain ; here we
found the snow middle deep, and dis-
covered no sign of beast or bird in-
habiting this region. The thermo-
meter which stood at 9 above zero at
the foot of the mountain, here fell 4
below. The summit of the Grand
Peak, which was entirely bare of
vegetation, and covered with snow,
now appeared at the distance of fif-
teen or sixteen miles from us, and as
high again as that we had ascended.
It would have taken a whole day's
march to have arrived at its base,
when I believe no human being could
have ascended to its summit. This,
with the condition of my soldiers,
who had only light overhauls on, and
no stockings, and were every way ill-
provided to endure the inclemency of
this region, the bad prospects of kill-
ing anything to subsist on, with the
further detention of two or three
days which it must occasion, deter-
mined us to return. The clouds from
below had now ascended the moun-
tain and entirely enveloped the sum-
mit, on which rest eternal snows.
We descended by a long, deep ravine
with much less difficulty than we had
contemplated ; found all our baggage
safe, but the provisions all destroyed.
It began to snow, and we sought



6 33

shelter under the side of a projecting
rock, where we all four made a meal
on one partridge, and a pair of deer's
ribs, which the ravens had left us,
being the first food we had eaten for
forty-eight hours."

Such is the account given by Cap-
tain Zebulon Montgomery Pike, U.
S. I., of the discovery in 1808 of the
stately mountain which
bears his name, and on
whose northern base nes-
tle Colorado Springs and

Pike was an intrepid
man, the son of a Revo-
lutionary father, Zebu-
lon Pike of New Jersey.
Appointed in 1805 by
General Wilkinson to ex-
plore the upper Missis-
sippi, he conducted the
expedition with such sat-
isfaction that in the fol-
lowing year he was en-
trusted with a still more
important undertaking.
Having restored a band
of about fifty captive
Indians to their people
who lived on the Osage
River, he proceeded to
carry forward his ex-
plorations, having been
specially charged with
the duty of discovering
the sources of the Red
River. Ever in danger
of attack by Indians,
closely watched by the
Spanish authorities, he
finally crossed the Ar-
kansas, thereby violat-
ing the terms of an arrangement then
lately made between the United States
and Spanish governments, and trav-
elled on foot in search of Red River.
With great difficulty and much suffer-
ing from cold and exposure, Pike and
his party, which consisted of one lieu-
tenant, one surgeon, two servants,
one corporal, sixteen privates, and an
interpreter, reached what they sup-
)osed to be Red River, but which


proved to be the Rio Grande, and at
a convenient point erected a fortified
camp in February, 1807. They \
not left long unmolested, for on the
26th of the same month Pike
conducted by a squad of Spanish sol-
diers to Sante Fe\ thence to El 1
and Chihuahua. After a court.
captivity of four months. Pike

allowed to return to the
United States, via Nat-
chitoches. In the second
year of the war of 1
this brave, sympathi
and compassionate offi-
cer, who was adored by
his men for his fortitude
and humanity, lost his
life by an explosion at
Toronto, having been
sent with a force against
Canada with the rank of
brigadier-general. This
brief biographical men-
tion is due to the mem-
ory of the first American
who led tlie way into
Central Colorado.

Other expl-
lowed into those awe-
inspiring regions of the
Rockies. In 181 9 Colo-
nel S. H. Long pene-
trated into the desolate
wilds of Colorado, and in
1832 Captain Bonneville
of the American Fur
Company. In 1834, 1
mont, guided l»y the
snow-crowned peak that
had lured the intrepid
Pike, reached the same
localities where he and
his frost-bitten men had struggled
against cold and snow nearly four de-
cades before. There the later expl<
discovered mineral Spring Vici-

nal qualities, and his expedition add-
ed much to the little that was known
about that mountainous region. Both
before and after the acquirement of the
territory from Mexico at the close of
the war of 1846-48, a few adventurous
spirits were wont to find their way



into the mountain fastness of Colo-
rado. These roving adventurers,
however, were principally hunters
and trappers, and it was not until
1859 that the great stampede west-
ward into the Pike's Peak country
took place. The pioneers of the pre-
vious year had discovered gold, and
in the fall of 1858 had founded the

I towns of Auraria, Denver, Boulder,
Fountain City, and other smaller set-
tlements. The reports of these new
gold discoveries caused the rush into
Colorado only equalled by that into
California ten years earlier. From
that time this vast region of prairies
and mountain ranges, of beautiful
valleys and green gorges, of fertile
plateaus and snow-capped peaks, was
no longer a land of mystery and
dread. Development went rapidly
ahead, mining towns sprang up on
all sides in that mighty confusion
and mixture of the beautiful and the
terrible, and railroads have been con-
structed along lines fearful with dark
chasms and beetling cliffs.

The managing director of the
Kansas Pacific Railway, during the
time of its construction toward Den-
ver, was General William J. Palmer,
who formed the great project of open-
ing up a vast region by building a
trunk line of railway from Denver to
the City of Mexico, as a main from
which numerous branch lines could
be extended into the gorges and

canyons of the Rockies in which the
precious metal lay hidden. Unsup-
ported, however, by the directors and
unable to obtain a subsidy from the
Government, he severed his

tion with the Kansas Pacific and |
ceeded to carry out an enterprise

a different kind. Tlr the

founding ot a town which would
come the site of a good eitv in the
event of the proposed railroad 1
being built.

In the autumn of 1870, in companv
with Hon. A. C Hunt and oth<
he left Denver to visit a locality
which Hunt, who knew the COU1
thoroughly and had perfect COnfid<
in its future, believed would
best inducements to select it
site for the projected town. Leading
them southward he conducted his
companions to the base ol
Peak; the advantages of the locality
were recognized, and the 61
toward the consummation of Pain;
city-building project was taken. A
company was organized under
corporate name of the Colorado
Springs Company, and took up a
track of 10,000 acres of land. M.
over, the Denver and Rio Grande
Railway Company was organt
and the Mountain Base Investment
Company, a name which was soon
changed to that of the National Land
and Improvement Company. These
companies acted with such


6 3 6



that on July 31st, 187 1, the first stake
was driven on the site of Colorado
Springs, and within a year seventy-
five miles of railway connected the
new town with Denver.

Colorado Springs thrived and grew
apace. In ten years' time it contained
a resident population of 5,000 or 6,000
inhabitants, a showing which proves
the wisdom of its founders in their
choice of site in face of the fact that
it is not a mining town, and that the
sources of its wealth are external.
It is in fact a sanitarium offering in-
ducements to the health-seeker in cli-
mate, scenery, and mineral waters
that have carried its fame through
the continent. Its name, however,
must be regarded as a misnomer, tor
the celebrated medicinal springs from
which it derived its name are located
at Manitou, lying six miles to the
west. The survey was made on a
liberal basis, the site being cut up
into ample-sized lots intersected by
wide streets, which were planted at
great cost with avenues of trees, the
sidewalks being skirted by rivulets
of flowing water conducted from the
mountains by a canal and irrigation

work. No expense was spared to
make the place attractive. Situated
on a level plain, with rich feeding-
grounds, and many a fertile valley
in the mountains to the west, it has
become the home of the ranch owners
whose cattle ranges extend for sev-
enty miles away.

Included in the purchases made by
the Land and Improvement Company
was a beautiful glen at the entrance to
Mountain Pass. Here were situated
the mineral springs, and here another
town-site was laid out which devel-
oped hand in hand with Colorado
Springs. La Fonte was the name
first given to this new watering-place,
but it was soon changed to that of
Manitou. It sprang into popularity
at once, and thousands of tourists
and health-seekers from the United
States and Europe visit it during the
season. The population of Manitou
is consequently of a transient char-
acter; unlike Colorado Springs, the
town is largely composed of hotels
and boarding-houses, and has a de-
serted appearance during the winter,
which is the " season" for the resi-
dents at Colorado Springs.







6 3 8


As a health resort the locality of
Colorado Springs and Manitou proved
so beneficial to persons of delicate
health, particularly to those having
a tendency to pulmonary weakness,
that numbers of visitors from the
Eastern States have settled perma-
nently in the neighborhood and en-
gaged in some agricultural or pas-
toral pursuit, having their homes
located at Colorado Springs. Many
of the ranch owners and cattle-men
first visited the country as health-
seekers — both American and English

>NG S l'KAK.

— and being possessed of all the ad-
vantages of wealth and education,
contributed largely to the social re-
finement prevailing in the settlement,
which its founders promoted by
establishing Colorado Springs as a
temperance town. Every deed of
sale of land given by them contained
a forfeiture clause, in accordance with
which the property conveyed was to
revert to the Colorado Springs Com-
pany in case intoxicating liquor was
sold at any time on it. Thus this
frontier town was a bright exception
to its class in social and moral stand-

ing, and became a place avoided by
the turbulent and dissolute, and an
objective point of right-minded and
order-loving settlers.

But while these settlements possess
all the requirements for personal
health and natural prosperity, grand
object-lessons are also given in the
great schools which nature has estab-
lished all around; and while the
bodily frame is provided for by her
bounteousness and kept in health and
repair by her hygienic treatment, the
education of the soul is not neglected.
The grandeur of her
architecture, the magnifi-
cence of her picture gal-
leries, the magnitude of
her stupendous libraries,
which contain the history
of the past in countless
pages bound in sand and
lime-stone rocks, instruct
and elevate the mind.

Many are the beautiful
attractions in scenery and
the wonders presented by
natural objects that are
within easy access of Col-
orado Springs and Mani-
tou. Situated at the base
of Pike's Peak, whose ma-
jestic summit towers high
above the surroundings,
the former stands on a
level plain 6,000 feet
above the sea-level, while
Manitou, five or six miles
to the west, lies at the very
foot of that giant sentinel, nestling
in a mountain nook. Scenic displays
of many varieties are near at hand.
Bright pictures of smiling valleys,
gay with flowers of divers colors, and
resonant with murmuring brooklets
and the hum of waterfalls; gloomy
gorges into which the sun's rays rarely
penetrate; massive mountain forms
and stupendous rocks; and oceans of
wave-surfaced plains can be seen
within short distances from either
Manitou or Colorado Springs.

Principal among these wonders of
nature is the Garden of the Gods,


6 39

which is striking and exceptional in
its attractiveness of fantastic shapes
in red and white sandstone which it
presents, its image rocks, and its stu-
pendous gateway. The huge portal
which forms the entrance to this ro-
mantic spot is flanked by perpendicu-
lar masses of red rock rising several
hundred feet above the narrow pas-
sage-way along which winds the road
that leads the visitor to the wonder-
ful enclosure. When you enter this
mysterious recess, you may well
imagine that you are intruding into
the abandoned workshop of Titan
sculptors. For a couple of miles
or more the grass-carpeted floor is
strewn with colossal rock-forms of
many designs, carved in white and
red sandstone. Here a giant artist
has roughly fashioned a human face
and form, there another has erected
cathedral towers and spires hundreds

of feet in height, while a third has
cut out huge pillars with his invisible
chisel. Scattered in endless confu-
sion lie fantastic shapes, the ground
around them littered with the chip-
pings and fragments split off by the
mighty workmen. You marvel at
the uncouth ponderous forms, and t In-
fancy creeps into your mind that the
sculptors of your imagining wanted
persistency in their artistic labors,
casting aside their half-finished pro-
ductions one after another and ca:
ing to completion no single pie*
work. But the slow corrosive indus-
try of the elements in their operati< mis
upon the solid rocks is not directed
to the building up of architectural
structures and the modelling of s
metrical forms, but is employed in de-
struction, and as you look down the
long vista of future time and mentally
revisit this thought-stirring glen, you

-*: M I






find no relic of these marvellous ob-
jects. Disintegration has completed
its work.

One of the most ordinary results of
this war between active and passive
potencies is Balanced Rock, resting
on its narrow base. As you stand
beneath its overhanging walls, the
possibility that its prodigious mass
may topple over at any moment in-
spires you with a creeping fear and
a respectful awe. In harmony with
the monster forms and monuments
erected in this studio of nature and
in keeping with their wild designs
are the mighty walls that inclose
them. On either side rise lofty crags
with battlements and towers, and
bastions of heavy stone-work, cease-
lessly assaulted by the visible and
invisible agents of destruction. For
ages have they been mute guardians
of the rare collection of curios which
lies at their base, and for centuries to
come they will continue to oppose
the insidious foe. In vain, however;
for they themselves will finally suc-
cumb to the truceless warfare waged
unremittingly against them.

Though the Garden of the Gods is
a prominent attraction to the tourist,
there are other rival scenes that
excite his wonder and admiration.
Mountain Pass, with its almost per-
pendicular rock walls, winding its
sinuous course through the mountains
to the grassy plains of South Park, is
rich in natural grandeur and pictu-
resqueness. This defile is a natural
highway over the range and abounds
in glens and grottoes, precipices,
canyons, streams, and waterfalls.
Formerly it was lonely in its desolate-
ness; to-day it is a great thorough-
fare for the tourist and for traffic.

Wonderful is that tremendous cleft
in the mountain side called Cheyenne
Canyon, down which rushes a boiling
torrent between perpendicular Avails
two thousand feet in height, down
cascades and cataracts; grand is the
sublimity of the scenery in Williams
Canyon, where the visitor can behold
a colossal amphitheatre of nature's

building, with tier above tier fash-
ioned out of the living rock ; and
deeply impressive in these scenes of
the Rocky Mountains are the effects
of light and shade and coloring, and
the atmospheric deceptions with
which the rarefied air beguiles the

From sunrise to sunset a continuous
series of changing views and pano-
ramic pictures are presented to the
sight-seer. Before the day-ruler rises
from his couch beyond the Great
Plain, plains that stretch to the east-
ern horizon, the lofty mountain sum-
mits are aglow with his golden rays,
and as he drives on his course through
the morning heavens, illumining
alike ridges and ravines, foot-hills
and mountain tops, distances lose
their value and perspective fails of
its effect and the mighty range seems
to stand like a vast moral edifice clos-
ing in the west As the sun declines,
then light and shade, with their re-
vealing wands, change the great wall
into shifting scenes, clothing the
mountain slopes and peaks in robes
of splendor and enfolding the gorges
and canyons in veils of gloom.

Conspicuous among the scenic
features of the mountains is the color-
ing of the rocks. From fiery red to
shining white; gray, green, and
salmon-colored; cream-tinted and
bronze-hued, they supply pictures of
inimitable beauty, taxing the artist's
skill to represent them with his paint-
brush. The harmonious combina-
tions of colored rocks with the bright
greens of grasses and trees and the
deep blue of the sky are marvellous,
and form scenes of impressive love-
liness and grandeur.

To mention all the lovely spots
and all the imposing displays of ma-
jestic forms outlined by the contor-
tions of earth's convulsions in this
region; to describe all the boundless
views obtained from lofty stand-
points, wherefrom in the vast dis-
tance land and sky seem to melt and
mingle together, with no horizon as a
boundarv line between them, and to



try to express in words the feelings
of exhilaration with which the pure
air and high elevation intoxicate the
spirits would be impossible. It
would be unpardonable to omit
making mention of Monument Park
and that object idyl, Glen Eyrie; the
Seven Falls and the Seven Lakes
nestling in a deep basin of Cheyenne

Online LibraryCharles Frederick HolderThe Californian (Volume 4) → online text (page 86 of 120)