Turn your eyes upward, myriads of windows and balconies, curtains swinging in the sun, and leaves and flowers and among them, people, just to confirm your illusion. Cries, screams, whip-cracks deafen you, the light blinds you, your brain begins to feel dizzy and you gulp air. You feel drawn into becoming part of the enthusiastic demonstration, to applaud, to cry "Evvive" - but for what? What is there before your eyes is nothing exceptional of extraordinary. All is perfectly calm; no deep political passion is stirring in these people. They all mind their business and talk about normal things; it is just a day like any other. It is Naples' life in its perfect normality, nothing more.
Renato Fucini, Naples Through a Naked Eye, 1878, Quoted from Landscape Painting of the Nineteenth Century, Marco Valsecchi, New York, 1971, p..182.
Where the lake became a brook, there were two or three mills. Their wheels seemed to run after each other, splashing water, like silly girls. I used to stay there long hours, watching them and throwing pebbles in the waterfalls to see them bounce and then fall again to disappear under the whirling round of the wheel. From the mills one could hear the noise of the millstones, the millers singing, children screaming, and always the squeaking of the chain over the hearth while the polenta was being stirred. I know this because the smoke coming out of the chimney always preceded the occurrence of this new, strident note in the universal concert. In front of the mills, there was a constant coming and going of sacks and flour-covered figures. Women from nearby villages came and chatted with the women of the mills while their grain was being ground. Meanwhile, the little donkeys, freed of their loads, greedily enjoyed the bran mash prepared as a treat for them on the occasion of the trips to the mills. When they finished, they started to bray, merrily stretching ears and legs. The miller's dogs barked and ran around them with playful assaults and defenses. I tell you, it was indeed a very lively scene and I couldn't think of anything better.
Ippolito Nievo, Confessions of an Octogenarian, 1867, Quoted from Landscape Painting of the Nineteenth Century, Marco Valsecchi, New York, 1971, p..184.
PLACE: Italian countryside
On a Sunday morning, early in September, Marie Grubbe stood looking out of the dormer window in Mistress Rigitze's house. Not a vehicle in sight! Nothing but staid footsteps, and now and then the long-drawn cry of the oyster-monger.
Jens Peter Jacobsen, Maria Grubbe, Quoted from Landscape Painting of the Nineteenth Century, Marco Valsecchi, New York, 1971, p. 278.
what could be more pleasant that to sit alone at the edge of a snowy field and listen to the chirping of the birds in the crystal silence of a winter's day, while somewhere far away in the distance sounded the bells of a passing troika - that melancholy lark of the Russian winter.
Maxim Gorky, Childhood, Quoted from Landscape Painting of the Nineteenth Century, Marco Valsecchi, New York, 1971, p. 279.