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and nearly every other prominent actor with him were seized and hung through the Palace windows. Thus the conspiracy was an entire failure; but the people deeply mourned the death of Giuliano.
To return to the Church of San Lorenzo, where there are many other things of interest, among them two oblong pulpits, which are entered only by a ladder or moveable steps. On these pulpits are bronze bas-reliefs representing the “Passion and Resurrection of the Saviour”-“The Descent from the Cross” and “The Entombment” being regarded as the finest.
On our way home we stopped a few moments at the Baptistery, near the great Cathedral, and examined closely the celebrated bronze doors, of which there are plaster castings in the Corcoran Art Gallery. These are on the side facing the Duomo. On two other sides of the Baptistery there are also bronze doors, we believe, of the same size, but less elaborately constructed. In the interior are some pictures, statuary, etc. One extensive piece of statuary, in rear of the altar, representing some Bible scene, and the mosaic work in the dome, are surpassingly fine. Here priests and their attendants are every day engaged in christening and registering the names of newly-born infants; and the proceedings appeared to us more like an ordinary business transaction than a solemn religious ceremony.
On entering the Duomo, which is a most imposing structure, looming high up above all the surrounding buildings, except the Campanile, which is about the same height, we were surprised at the plainness of its finish internally, and at the absence of remarkable works of art. There are, however, many monuments, statues, and paintings here, of more or less
merit. The dome is said to have served as a model to Michael Angelo for that of St. Peter's in Rome, which it exceeds in size. The Campanile, or belltower, erected in 1334-'6, is two hundred and ninetytwo feet in height, and is regarded as one of the finest existing works of the kind. It is sometimes called “Giotto's Tower,” he being the architect who commenced its construction. It is square in form and four stories high, the lower story being decorated by statues and figures in bas-relief. It is stated that Giotto intended to surmount it by a spire of one hundred feet, but that Gaddi, who completed it after his death, abandoned this project. Longfellow, in a short poem, thus refers to it:
“In the old Tuscan town stands Giotto's tower,
The lily of Florence blossoming in stone
A vision, a delight, and a desire —
That in the night of ages bloomed alone,
But wanting still the glory of the spire.” On a beautiful afternoon a party of us rode to the site of the old Roman city of Fiesole, situated on a high hill some three miles northeast of Florence, where the remains of the city walls, built two thousand years ago, are still to be seen, as well as the vestiges of an amphitheater supposed to date back also to that period. The Cathedral which we entered there has been built over eight hundred years, and other buildings near by, occupied as a convent, are equally ancient. What was once a city is now only a scattered village. Hallam describes it as “a villa overhanging the towers of Florence, on the slope of that lofty hill crowned by. the mother city, the ancient Fiesole, in gardens which Tully might have envied. With Fieino, Lan
dino, and Politiano at his side, he delighted his hours of leisure with the beautiful visions of Platonic philosophy, for which the summer stillness of an Italian sky appears the most congenial accompaniment.” The view from Fiesole is very fine when the weather is clear; but we thought the picture of the place itself, with the charming residences and gardens of the dwellers on the slope of the hill as we approached it, was finer still. In the spring, when the foliage is fresh and green, it must be beautiful indeed. It is reached from Florence only by a zigzag turnpike.
CHAPTER XL. FLO LORENCE, NOVEMBER 23. — On the morning of
the 18th instant we were prompt at breakfast in order to be early at the Painting Galleries, and by nine o'clock we were at the Uffizi Gallery, fifteen minutes' walk from our boarding house, No. 7 via Palestro; but, very much to our disappointment, we found a notice on the door stating that the hour of opening was eleven A. M., notwithstanding Bædeker's Hand - book says nine A. M. Since the latest edition of this book, however, we understand a law has been passed in Italy providing for an admission fee to all the public Galleries on every day of the week except Sunday and Thursday, but whether the hours of exhibition are to be different on the free from the paying days we do not know. The admission fee here is one franc, or, what is the same, one lira; and it is evidently the purpose of this poor
Italian Government to reap a handsome income in fees from the thousands of travelers who flock here every year. Seeing we had nearly two hours to wait, we crossed the Ponte Vecchio (bridge) and passed the intervening time in the Royal Palace heretofore briefly described. At the appointed hour we were on hand at the Uffizi Gallery door, and save a short time for lunch we occupied the day until three o'clock in that and the Pitti Gallery. In this time, however, we could give little more than a glance even at a very small part of the pictures, statuary, and other rare objects of art here; and it would be folly to attempt to give an intelligent description of them. The Uffizi Gallery is on the north and the Pitti Gallery, adjoining the Royal Palace, on the south side of the Arno, which divides the city, and both are connected by a covered way, which crosses above the street, and, turning at right angles, runs over the tops of the buildings along the river side a considerable distance to the Ponte Vecchio; thence again turning a square corner, extends over the long rows of jewelers' shops, by which the bridge is lined on either side from one end to the other, and ascends by steps to the Pitti Gallery, looking out on the southeast side upon the beautiful Boboli Garden. These shops in themselves, like many others along the Lung Arno and in other parts of the city, of similar character, are a sight to behold, brilliant as they are with all kinds of the most attractive jewelry that can be made of gold and precious stones. Nowhere else have we seen such quantities of turquoise, lapis lazuli, agate, jasper, and onyx, not to mention diamonds. The Florentine mosaics, a specialty, are very beautiful. It is a walk of ten minutes from one Gallery to the other
through the covered passage or corridor, which is well lighted. On the walls of this corridor are gobelin works, some oil paintings, many engravings, and an endless number of drawings, many of the latter regarded as very valuable, being the works of Michael Angelo, Giotto, Leonardo da Vinci, Tintoretto, Albert Dürer, and other old artists. The inlaid marble tables, of which there are several in these Galleries, like those in the King's Palace, are superb beyond description. Villages, landscapes, birds, musical instruments, people, and other objects are represented in them in a wonderfully perfect manner. One of them is said to have kept twentyfive men busy twenty-two years in its construction a work for one man of five hundred and fifty years! In one of the rooms are the marble statues of “Venus di Medici,” “The Wrestlers,” “Young Apollo,” “The Dancing Fawn,” and “Slave Whetting his Knife”-all originals, and plaster casts of which are common. Here, also, are Titian's “Venus" and Raphael's pictures of “The Madonna with the Goldfinch,” “St. John as a Boy,” “St. John Preaching in the Desert," and his “Portrait of Pope Julius II.,” as well as many others of his celebrated paintings. Correggio's “Madonna Adoring the Child," and Raphael's “Madonna of the Chair,” or “Sitting Madonna,” both original and both universally copied, are among the most attractive pictures of the thousands of fine paintings in these Galleries. In a corridor of the Uffizi Gallery is a cabinet of gems, consisting of costly jewels and numerous other valuable articles of virtù not unlike what we saw in the Green Vaults at Dresden. Since our first visit we have been several times to these Galleries, and were we to go there every day for a year we should