Finally, I arrived. Cabs and omnibuses of all colours stood at the station, and the conductors, shouting in a loud voice: <<Porta Vercellina, Signore?>> and <<Porta Ticinese>>, insistently invited the passengers to come along. So, I saw him in a bearded conductor of a stocky build, who without further ado grabbed the arm of a lord who was walking leisurely and threw it like a badminton into a blue omnibus. The poor lord, in dismay, could not utter his “Goddam” until he was halfway into town.
I directed my steps where most people go: through the Porta Ticinese onto the large Corso della Porta Ticinese. The first sight of the city aroused my astonishment, which reached its climax when, at the end of the street mentioned, I came to the large square of the fort, which, surrounded by the most beautiful buildings, had a view of the marble spiers of the cathedral and, from the other side, of the Arco della Pace (Arch of Peace), which I climbed the next morning. Built of Carrarian marble, this edifice, resting on a considerable expanse, rises to an awe-inspiring height and raises innumerable towers and turrets, each crowned with a statue, into the pure blue air. In this marvellous work, the basic idea of Christianity is brought to mind for us: high up in the clouds, as if they wanted to reach heaven, towers and peaks stretch and stretch and make us understand the incessant striving of the true Christian to separate himself from the earthly and to strive for something higher and higher to seek heaven. The proudly aspiring pillars and arches are the bold flight of thoughts that are free and unhindered to soar to the highest and highest; but as God, the spiritual eye of man, is inscrutable, so his physical eye should not recognize what the master has made with an artful hand on the outermost point.
Milan – Lodi: goal achieved!
I was in Milan for several days. I stayed at the Albergo della Croce bianca (White Cross Inn) on the Corso della Porta Vercellina, next to the old Radetzky’s palace and not far from the Reuss Hussar Barracks. I went there several times a day and had the honour of being able to see and speak to the colonel of the regiment and his adjutant. But whom I did not see, but little, did not see or speak to, it was Mr. Cousin from Lodi. So, one fine afternoon I got on the omnibus for two and a half francs that goes daily to this little town, thirty miles away. I arrived there safely at seven o’clock in the evening of October 23 and had finally reached my last destination.