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on a level with the capital of the corner pillar of the portico: at the base of this pillar lay a large reeking dunghill! I descended the declivity before me, and rose again to the fountain in front of the portico. So beautiful, so light, so majestic, when seen from a point much higher than the base of the columns--what must it have been, when raised on a flight of seven steps; when surrounded by level ground, instead of standing, as it now does, in a hole; when, unencumbered by the ugly, massy, half Chinese, half Grecian belfries built upon it; when uninjured by the tall, heavy iron railing fastened against the exterior pillars; when unstript of its bronze covering, torn away to form the twisted, fantastic canopy, reared over the high altar of S. Peter's, and the useless, innocent cannon of the fort of S. Angelo; when the exterior circumference of the edifice was unembarrassed by the shabby houses built against it; when, I say, it had not suffered these and many other injuries inflicted upon it, by the imbecility, * the egotism,t and the

• What else could direct the building of the two belfries ?

+ Constans II. carried to his capital the bronze tiles of the Pantheon, and many other spoils of Rome.

envy, * of succeeding ages, what must have been the magnificence of this portico and building! What, also, can be finer than the interior of this structure! What an appearance of size and lightness ! The dome is now white washed within ! it is said to have been formerly covered with plates of silver.

Lord Byron, who gives a very just description of the Pantheon, calls it a “temple of all Gods 6 from Jove to Jesus!” Whatever Byron's religious sentiments may have been—or whether he himself knew what they were—is nothing to my purpose; but surely the conservation such as it is--of the Pantheon, is a glorious triumphal monument for the religion that has preserved it, and ought to be held forth and cared for, as such, by the chiefs of that religion.

The busts which were formerly assembled in this temple are now placed elsewhere. A better reason, than the rapid succession of great men, might, I conceive, be given for their removal: the church of S. Maria ad Martyres* was ill suited for an exposition, which might not have been out of place in the Pantheon.

* Since all of it that could be useful to the church of St. Peter has been taken from the Pantheon, this last has been eft in a most ruined, neglected-look at its pavement-state. Is not this very like envy, for a monument that modern Rome has tried, but without success, to surpass ?

The square in front of the Rotonda,t and the neighbouring streets, form the grand poultry market. I made my way along these narrow lapes, passing between lambs and turkeys, sausages and wild-boars, suspended in front of the shops; my path being, also, now and then, crossed by fowls without feathers, these being-as is the custom at Rome-plucked off previous to killing the bird. Having reached the Dogana, I was acquainted with the road from there to the Hotel. Adieu.

The name given to this temple at its consecration.

+ Its popular appellation.

LETTER III.

November 20, 1893.

MY DEAR FRIEND,

From the windows of our apartment is a fine view of the church of S. Peter. I have not spoken sooner of this monument of modern Rome, as I wished, by reiterated visits, to make myself perfectly acquainted with it, before sending any remarks upon it. A succession of narrow streets conducts to the Ponte S. Angelo: this bridge is certainly handsome; but its greatest title to celebrity is derived from its leading across the Tiber to the tomb of Hadrian and the basilica of S. Peter. After traversing the bridge, and turning immediately to the left, the street branches out into two, at the end of each of which one corner of the facade of the church is seen. It is said to have been intended to clear away he mass of houses contained between these two streets: by the carrying into effect of this plan, a large triangular place would have reached from the foot of S. Angelo to the church. Visite rs now come out at one corner of the open space before this latter building, and are prevented by the advanced end of the colonnade from seeing at once the whole structure.

Why can I not give to this edifice the unbounded admiration it is almost entitled to claim ? Why must I, in this church, blame what, in other buildings, might have my fullest praise? It is, that faults are doubly lamented in so near an approach to perfection; and those faults that are here observed must be contrasted with the beauties of the plan, according to which it was first intended to erect this monument.

I have never been able to form any definite opinion on the colonnade which stretched before me, when, at my first visit, I stood below the obelisk to survey it. It has certainly a grand effect, though it appears too small for the building to which it leads ; and four rows of pillars are, most unnecessarily, crowded together to support an useless roof, that would have rested as safely on half that number. These pillars are not formed of one single block, but of many

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