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forty-four feet at the transept, or widest part; that is
it covers about seven acres. With these general ideas of the building, let us enter it.
We immediately observe, on the right and left of the door, statues, apparently of children-cherubsthat sustain marble vases of holy water. We approach them, and find that they are giants, more than six feet high. We see at a little distance, on the pilasters and just above the pedestal, sculptured doves—and they appear to the eye of no very extraordinary size, and we think that we can easily lay our hand on them.
We approach, and find that we can scarcely reach to touch them, and they are eighteen inches or two feet long. We advance along the mighty central nave, and we see, nearly at the termination of it and beneath the dome, the high altar, surmounted by a canopy, raised on four twisted pillars of bronze. The pillars and canopy seem to be of very suitable elevation for the place, and yet we soon learn that they are ninety feet high.
I have before spoken of the size of the dome with its walls twenty-three feet thick, its own height one hundred and seventy-nine feet, and itself raised two hundred and seventy-seven feet above the floor of the church. The dome is sustained by four square pillars, two hundred and twenty-three feet in circumference. That is to say, each one of these pillars, or masses of masonry, is nearly sixty feet on each side, and therefore as large as one of our common-sized churches, if it were raised up and set on the end.
There is a small church and an adjoining house on the Strada Felice in Rome, designedly built so as to be together equal to the size of one of these columns. And yet these columns do not seem to be in the way at all; they do not seem to occupy any disproportionate space; they do not encumber the mighty pavement !
With regard to the objects within St. Peter's, I can notice only two or three that struck me most. One of them is the monument to the last of the Stuarts, Charles Edward, and his brother Henry, the cardinal. There are two angels of death before which I have spent hours. So exquisitely moulded are their forms, so delicate, thoughtful, beautiful are their faces, so sad, too, as they are about to extinguish the torch of life as they stand leaning their cheeks upon the reverse end of the long, slender stem - so sad, indeed, but then that sadness so relieved by beauty - intellectual, contemplative, winning beauty - it seems to my fancy, at times, as if they would certianly appear to me at my own death; as if they would flit before the imagination, and reconcile the soul to a departure effected by a ministry so beautiful. Ah! blessed angels! I may one day strech out my hands to you, and ask your aid —but not yet-not yet. But sickness, sorrow, deprivation, calamity in some shape, may make you welcome, before one thinks to be ready.
Among the mosaic copies of paintings in which St. Peter's is so rich, there is one of the Incredulity of Thomas, which has always made one of my stoppingplaces, in taking the customary circuit. The eagerness of Thomas, the calm dignity of Jesus, are fine ; but the face of John, as he stands just behind Thomas; and looks upon his rash act, is one to remember always. It seems to me the very personification of forbearance.,
He submits calmly that Thomas should do it-should satisfy himself—but yet he is exceedingly sorrowful. +
There is no surprise in his countenance; he knows human frailty ; he is not astonished at unbelief or hardness of heart; but it seems, at the same time, as if his own heart were broken at the spectacle. There is not the slightest rebuke in his beautiful countenance; but such a union of indulgence and sorrow, as one might well pray for, at that altar-to be awakened in his mind when he stands by the evil and erring.
A Walk in St. Peter's is something by itself-a thing not to be had, nor any thing like it, anywhere else in the world. The immensity of the place; its immense, unequaled magnificence; the charming temperature of the air, preserved the same the year round, by the vastness of the mass of masonry; the incensebreathing walls-for there is literally an odor of sanctity always here, from the daily burning of incense; the rich, beautiful, variegated marble .columns; the altars, the tombs on every side, the statues, the paintings, the fine medallions in marble, of the heads of saints and fathers of the church, which are set into the sides of the columns in great numbers; then the arches on arches that present themselves to the view in every direction; and, if the walk be towards evening - the music of the vesper hymn, now swelling in full chorus upon the ear, and then dying away, as the music changes, or the walk leads you near the chapel whence it proceeds, or farther from it; all this, with the gathering shadows of approaching evening the shadows slowly gathering in arch and dome-makes a walk in
St. Peter's like nothing else!
Ainong the most beautiful things in Rome are its *ountains, and among the most striking things are its obelisks.
The fountains in front of St. Peter's especially, are really glorious. They rise thirty or forty feet into the air, and come down in a shower. The quantity of water thrown up is so great, and the streams, as they spring out from the basin, are made so to diverge, that they present the appearance of two trees, one on each side of the piazza. The fountains are partly resolved into drops and mist, and a rainbow may always be seen in the direction opposite the sun. Every time one sees them, they seem a new mystery and beauty; and when the sky is so fair, so glorious a thing, that you feel almost (as you do some days) as if you could kneel down and worship it, they appear like a cloud of incense - pure, bright, resplendent - offered up to that supernal splendor and purity.
As to these Egyptian obelisks, of polished granite, pointing up to the sky from almost every square and open space in Rome, and with that handwriting of mysterious and yet unexplained characters upon their sides—what could be more striking ? The antiquities of Rome are young, by their side. Some of them were built by Sesostris, by Rameses, between three and four thousand years ago. They saw ages of empire and glory before Rome had a being.
They are also in the most perfect preservation. So beautifully polished, and entirely free from stain, untouched by the storms of thirty-five centuries, it seems as if they had not lost one of their particles, since they came from the quarries of Egypt. That very
surface, we know, has been gazed upon by the eyes of a hundred successive generations. Speak, dread monitors ! as ye point upward to Heaven---speak, dark hieroglyphic symbols! and tell us—are ye not yet conscious, when conscious life has been flowing around you for three thousand years ? Methinks it were enough to penetrate the bosom of granite with emotion, to have witnessed what ye have witnessed. Methinks that the stern and inexorable mystery, graven upon your mighty shafts, must break silence, to tell that which it hath known of weal and wo, of change, disaster, blood, and crime !
CULTIVATION OF TASTE FOR BEAUTY.
In looking at our nature, we discover among its admirable endowments, the sense or perception of Beauty. We see the germ of this in every human being, and there is no power which admits greater cultivation; and why should it not be cherished in all? It deserves remark, that the provision for this principle is infinite in the universe. There is but a very minute portion of the creation which we can turn into food and clothes, or gratification for the body; but the whole creation may be used to minister to the sense of heauty.
Beauty is an all pervading presence. It unfolds in