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his Fellow-Citizen, when he was himself employed in swelling the Hemi. sphere of St. Peters, in an Italian adage:
Come te non volo-meglio de te non posso.
But this unmerited flattery savours too little of the conscious superiority of ge. nius, ever to have escaped the Painter of the Prophets and Sybils of the Capella Sistina.
The Dome of Santa Maria del Fiore (for most of the Cathedrals of Italy are dedicated to the Virgin) is nothing more than a vast and gloomy concave, dimly impressed with the innumerable Figures of the Last Judgment, trembling before the
+"I will not imitate thee, though I cannot excel.”
dreaded Tribunal of final recompenses; while the Sanctum Sanctorum, inclosed below it from vulgar profanation, swarms alike, with equivocal Beatitudes, and Candidates for Purgatory.
Behind the dingy altar is a marble Pieta [the mournful mother, weeping over the body of her Son] said to be the last work of Michael Angelo—at which the superannuated Sculptor was arrested by the hand of Death.
In one of the darkened Chapels that surround the Choir (under the patronage of San Zenobi) is a bronze Ciborio, by Lorenzo Ghiberti, glimmering at noon day, with the dubious light of waxen tapers, faring round a Christian Sanctuary, while the surrounding pavement is blackened with the cloaks and veils of prostrate Suppliants, unintentionally emblematic of superstitious horror.
Within this gloomy vault, too well adapted to the perpetration of deeds of darkness, in the year 1478, at the instigation of the then Pope, Paul IV-upon a solemn Festival—at the moment of the elevation of the Host-when all the People were prostrate before the altar, Ju. lian de Medicis, and his Brother Lorenzo, since surnamed the Magnificent, were at the same instant stabbed by desperate Assassins. The wound of Lorenzo was not mortal, and he took refuge in the Vestry: But Julian died
spot, leaving behind him a posthumous Son, who afterward, as Pope Clement VII.
played over again, upon the Theatre of Christendom, the same horrid
In the damp and dirty Nave are seen rude Mosaics, executed in the infancy of the art, by Ghirlandajo, and Gaddo Gaddi; and dusky Monuments, stuck here and there upon the walls, contribute to the general gloom.
The Front of this immense pile has never been finished, although the Campanile, a tower erected to suspend the thundering bell, two hundred feet in the air, was designed by Giotto, and completely encrusted with white and black marble, in alternate squares, as long ago as the year 1334; a period when Italian Architecture was neither Gothic nor
Grecian, Grecian, but a whimsical intermixture of both.
On the opposite side of the Square, is the Chapel of the Baptistery, detached, like the Steeple, from the body of the Church, as is often the case in Italy. It is an octagonal structure, said to have been originally a Heathen temple.
The Mosaics of the Dome were done by Apollonius, a Grecian Artist, in the Twelfth Century—but they are scarcely visible, by the twilight glimmer that is admitted from without-in meridian sunshine. Beneath its whelming Canopy, I have seen a squalling Infant, initiated into the Ecclesia, Cattolico, Apostolico, é