songs. Another volume containingrnsketches of Neapolitan life engaged Gissing’srnattention to such an extent that hernread it twice during his travels, first in arnGerman translation, then in the originalrnItalian; this was Sebetia by Amilcare Lauria,rnwhich Gissing judged “poor literaryrnwork but interesting.” Probably it wasrnthe subject matter that Gissing found interesting,rnand his unfavorable verdict onrnits literary quality was later endorsed byrnBenedetto Groce, who noted Lauria’s inabilityrnto produce works on a large scalernbut praised the vitality of his writing andrnthe light it throws on Neapolitan life.rnGissing also records having bought arncopy of Dante’s Vita Nuova, and “a couplernof volumes of the Biblioteca Universale”;rnon another occasion, he recordsrnhaving bought several novels. La Cieca dirnSorrento and Novelle, Scene e Racconti,rnboth by Francesco Mastriani, La Napolirndie scompare by Carlo Gaetani, but herndoes not say what he thought aboutrnthem.rnGissing was fascinated by Italian art,rnbuying and reading several books on thernsubject. He spent a long time gazing atrnMichelangelo’s “Moses” in S. Pietro inrnVincoli. In the Gorsini Palace, he sawrnGaravaggio’s “Madonna and Ghild,”rnremarking on its “singular realism.” Hernalso saw the three “Ecce Homo”: one byrnDolci, with “his favourite effeminaternface” and “long and soft hair”; thernsecond, by Guercino, which Gissingrnthought “realistic, even painful. Bloodshotrneyes and the mouth open in pain”;rnthe third, by Guido Reni, had “no realismrnin the blood-drops. The whole isrnmore idealistic, in a truer wav, of course,rnthan Dolci.”rnGissing describes in detail his impressionsrnof “The Transfiguration” in thernVatican Gallery, and of “The Last Judgment”rnand the ceiling of the SistinernGhapel. He expressed his enthusiasm forrnItalian art in a letter to his sister Margaret:rn”In the museums of the Vatican Irnwalk about in a state of exultation, wavingrnmy arms and shouting in a suppressedrnvoice.”rnAlthough Gissing lihowed much interestrnin Italian literature and art, and inrnvarious other aspects of the national life,rnthere is little doubt that he was attractedrnmost of all by Italy’s classical remains andrnassociations. Two of his letters attest thernliveliness of his interest. In 1885, threernyears before his first visit, he wrote to hisrnsister Ellen: “I dare not read a book aboutrnRome, it gives me a sort of angina pectoris,rna physical pain, so extreme is myrndesire to go there. And I shall not waitrnmuch longer.” He also remarked thatrn”Rome is the center of the Universe,”rnand that to study the city for only “a yearrnwould be utterly inadequate and I canrngive only a month, but I hope to comernagain, and more than once.”rnIn Taranto, Gissing, who had heardrnthat different types of murex shells couldrnbe observed at Fontanella (by the shorernof the Little Sea), went in search of thernplace, hoping to see these shells andrnto take at least one back to England asrna souvenir; but he discovered thatrn”Fontanella had vanished, swallowed up,rnwith all remnants of antiquity, by therngraceless Arsenal.” Nevertheless, Gissingrnobserved that the new Arsenal was “thernpride of Taranto, and the source of itsrnIS THE ROCKFORD INSTITUTE IN YOUR WILL?rnPerhaps a better question is:rnD O YOU HAVE A CURRENT WILL?rnIf not, the laws of your particular state will determine whatrnis to be done with your estate upon your death. In addition,rnunless there is proper planning, federal estate taxesrncan claim up to 55% of your property. If you would like torndiscuss elements of your estate planning, please write or call:rn(815) 964-5811rnThe Legacy ProgramrnThe Rockford Institutern934 North Main Street, Rockford, Illinois 61103rnprosperity,” and that it “signified substantialrngood to Italy!” Gissing remarkedrnthat anyone finding himself in Tarantornwould like to go to the river Galaeso—sornloved by Horace—and walk along itsrnbanks.rnWhile Gissing was in Gosenza, hernthought of Alarico the Hun, remarkingrnthat “the rivers Busento and Grati stillrnkeep the secret of the ‘royal sepulchre’rnadorned with splendid spoils the trophiesrnof Rome.” At Metaponto, Gissingrnexamined with keen interest the “Tempiorndetto delle Tavole Palatine,” one ofrnthe most important reliquia. Then hernwent in search of Siris, one of the famousrncities of the ancient world. At Grotone, arntown honored by Zeus for having paintedrnthe Temple of Hera Lacinia, Gissingrnunfortunately fell ill and was unable torngo to see the only column that still survived.rnWhile in Florence, Gissing wrote tornhis German friend, Eduard Bertz, “Yes, itrnis Italy still, but it is not Italy of thernSouth. . . . The Uffizi and the Pitti arernglorious, and the many churches are fullrnof interest. But it is not Rome; it is notrnthe bay of Pozzuoli; it is not divine Paestum,rnand Salerno and Capri. I have beenrntaught in these days how intensely classicalrnare my sympathies; if indeed I neededrnthe lesson. Amidst the most splendidrnartistic work of the Renaissance, I felt arnheartache for the Forum Romanum, andrnfor the passionate beauty of the southernrnsea. At present there is but one word inrnmy mind, and that is ‘Sicily!’. . . Therernone has both Greece and Rome. In Sicily,rnwith Thucydides and Theocritus inrnmy hands, I shall reach the supremernearthly happiness.”rnBut his dream of visiting Sicily remainedrnunrealized. Gissing saw thernnorthwestern coast of that island onlyrnwhen the ship in which he was travelingrnto Greece passed through the Straits ofrnMessina. However, a few years later, hernspent a few days in Reggio Calabria,rnfrom which he had a fine view of thernsame coast and of Mount Etna.rnThese comments by Gissing in his diariesrnand letters reveal Gissing’s profoundrninterest and delight in Italy. Hernwas a cultivated student of classical civilization,rnof Renaissance art, and of Italianrnliterature, and these Italian experiencesrnenriched him as a man andrninfluenced his literary work.rnFrancesco Badolato is the leading ItaUanrnauthority on George Gissing.rn50/CHRONICLESrnrnrn