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human hair found in a Roman sarcophagus-and last in the catalogue I shall give, two splendid porcelain candelabra, made at Sevres, near Paris, and presented to his Holiness by Napoleon, as a propitiation for his revolutionary offences, and a pledge of his reconciliation, after he had assumed the imperial purple!

The Garden of the Vatican comprises an area of several acres, flanked on one side by a façade of the Palace, and on another by St. Peter's, the dome of which from this point appears to great advantage. On the remaining sides are walls as high and impregnable, as were those of Eden, while the temptations to scale them are much fewer and less irresistible. A sop of a paul appeased the hungry Cerberus, and induced him to unbar the jarring gates, scarcely less massive than the poet's brazen doors in the nether world. But even the pittance, paid as a fee of admission, is more than the lounge is worth, with the bare exception of a copious fountain, which is made to wind through groves of ilex, and dash down a bed of rugged rocks, filling the whole garden with its murmurs. The stream feeds two or three lakes of moderate size, on the borders of which are erected several lodges, in the worst possible taste, breaking in upon the simplicity of nature, without adding any of the embellishments of art. All the statues and other decorations are of a mean and uninteresting character. The walks are straight and formal, and the shrubbery tortured into unnatural shapes. If the Pope's gardeners were shut out of the enclosure for a few years, it would become a charming retreat. On the day of our ramble through these grounds, a severe thunder-storm passed over the city. The quantity of water collected upon the roof of St. Peter's, and descending in a torrent from the eaves, formed one of the grandest cascades I have seen in Europe, much exceeding in magnitude what is denominated the Niagara of the English Lakes.

In one of our frequent visits to the Vatican, as we were sauntering through the Loggie, gazing alternately at the azure firmament of Raphael, and the still brighter heavens, which canopied the city of the Seven Hills, the Pope's carriage came thundering through the colonnades of St. Peter's, and drove into the court below. A report soon circulated among the crowd of visitants, that his Holiness was bent on an excursion to his shooting-lodge, which forms an oasis in the desert of the Campagna, several miles beyond the walls of Rome, in the direction of the Alban Mount. Curiosity led us to descend to the door of the palace, for the purpose of catching a glance at the Pontiff as he came out. An eligible station was found on the landing at the foot of the stair-case, where a group of both sexes had already assembled --some from no better motives than our own, and others to receive

the benediction of the godly man. An interval of fifteen or twenty minutes afforded ample time for examining the four sleek and jetty steeds, which stood champing the golden bit, and tossing high their plumed heads, caparisoned with a profusion of burnished harness, and mounted by a brace of postillions in tawdry liveries. The carriage is a flaming chariot, with fiery red wheels, and the inside lined with crimson velvet. It was surrounded by a squadron of light dragoons for outriders, and a Swiss guard dressed like harlequins, in Turkish trowsers and stockings of red and yellow, armed with halberds resembling the ancient bipennis.

A troop of pilgrims, issuing from a morning levee in the chambers. of the Vatican, were the precursors of the Pope, who soon made his appearance upon the stairs, attended by a troop of ushers, bearing the rods of office, and a suite of cardinals, in hose and tunics of crimson. The Pontiff himself, now at the age of sixty or upwards, of a tall, slender form, and a pale, emaciated, though somewhat expressive countenance, appeared bare-headed, clad in a white robe bound with a girdle about his loins, red sandals, and a multiplicity of diamonds sparkling upon his fingers. During his descent of the long flight of steps, he was in earnest conversation with the ex-queen of Sardinia, who was on a pilgrimage to the palace, accompanied by a retinue of her maids of honour. She walked by his side, and they frequently paused, as if debating some important question, or perhaps to give the spectators a fair view of their persons. On arriving at the foot of the stairs, within a few paces of our station, her majesty knelt for the purpose of kissing the slipper of his Holiness. With a good deal of gallantry, he apparently endeavoured to prevent her from such an act of humiliation; but she persisted, and quite a bustle ensued. Finding all resistance vain, he raised in succession each foot to meet her fervent lips. One of the maids of honour attempted to follow the example of her mistress; but the Pope seemed to think, that the kisses of the latter would suffice, and hurried away to join his carriage, pronouncing his benediction on us all as he passed. Eustace labours to palliate this abject ceremony of devotees, by stating that the cross on the slipper is the object of reverence, and not the toe of the Pontiff. But unfortunately for his ingenious apology, the sandal in the present instance was embossed with a white rose, instead of the sacred symbol of Christianity.

Leo XII. is said to be a man of very moderate talents, and was scarcely known at the time of his elevation to the papal throne, from an obscure situation at Civita Vecchia. He was elected by the influence of France and Austria, contrary to the wishes and expectations

of the conclave of cardinals, who threw their ballots by accident for him, to prevent the choice of a more prominent candidate. Unable to acquire influence by the force of his intellect or the depth of his learning, and incapable of following the example of some of his predecessors in their splendid schemes of ambition, he has sought the reputation of extraordinary piety, with a sincere hope perhaps of redeeming the vices of early life by the peculiar sanctity of his old age. If reports currently circulated in Italy be founded in truth, he has perpetrated crimes which should have brought him to a gallows instead of a throne. He is accused, with what justice I know not, of having been guilty of incest and other unnatural enormities. From one extreme, he has now fallen into another; and his pontificate is characterized by all the bigotry and gross superstition of the dark ages. Rome is filled with pilgrims and beggars, invited thither by the encouragement of the Pope; monastic institutions are restored to their pristine vigour; new saints are canonized and added to the calendar; miracles have again become frequent; the year of jubilee returns at short intervals; and religious parades are made the business of life. The zeal of the Pontiff has in some degree extended to his spiritual subjects in other countries. What must be the character of an age, when a Bourbon descends from the throne of France, and goes up bare-headed to the shrine of Calvary, in a procession of monks, chanting hymns to the Virgin? Leo XII. is an instrument made use of by the Holy Alliance for rivetting the chains of Europe; and at his death, it is said that their influence will be rendered still more direct, by raising one of the archdukes of Austria to the papal throne, thus adding if possible to the degradation of Italy, by usurping the ecclesiastical, as well as the civil and military, government of the country.

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LETTER LXXIV.

ROME CONTINUED-POPE'S CATHEDRAL-PUBLIC FESTIVAL-BAPTISTERY--SCALA SANTA-CHURCH OF SANTA MARIA MAGGIORE-ST. MARY OF THE ANGELS-MONTE TESTACCIO-TOMB OF CAIUS CESTIUS-PROTESTANT CEMETERY-EXCURSION TO ST. PAUL'S OF THE THREE FOUNTAINS.

June, 1826.

ST. John Lateran, or the Pope's Cathedral, is second only to St. Peter's in magnitude and the grandeur of its proportions, and claims even a superiority in sanctity and religious importance. It is the mother church of Rome, founded by the emperor Constantine, or more properly converted by him from a palace into a sanctuary. It stands upon an elevated, spacious, and beautiful area, near the Neapolitan Gate, commanding a charming view of the ruins in the vicinity, as well as of the distant mountains. The front is peculiarly bold, grand, and imposing, surpassing in my opinion the principal façade of St. Peter's. Its battlements are surmounted by colossal statues of the Saviour and the twelve apostles. The material of the church is a handsome stone of a light complexion. A magnificent flight of steps, extending the whole breadth of the front, leads to the vestibule. The central door is of sculptured bronze, said to be from the ancient temple of Saturn near the Roman Forum.

Such is the stately exterior of St. John Lateran. The interior is of the form denominated the basilica, consisting of a wide nave in the centre, with double aisles on each side, separated from one another by rows of pilasters, which at the time of our several visits were covered with crimson cloth, the usual decorations during festivals. A series of splendid chapels line the outermost aisles. Of these shrines, the Corsini is by far the most magnificent. In the four corners are statues, representing the cardinal virtues, beautifully executed in white marble. The figures are admirable both in design and execution. On the left as you enter, is the proud tomb of Clement XII. who consecrated and enriched this chapel, in honour of St. Corsini, his ancestor. The sarcophagus of the Pope is porphyry, of the most exquisite workmanship. It was pilfered from the Pantheon, and is supposed to have contained the dust of Agrippa, son-in-law of Augustus. On the tomb of one of the Corsini, opposite that of Clement, is a statue representing religion, the expression of which is inimitable. In a word, all the sculpture in this chapel is of the very first order, as

beautiful in the designs as in the material and finish. Much cannot be said in favour of the other ornaments of St. John Lateran. Along the sides of the nave, are ranges of colossal saints, some of them in very bad taste. One of them holds a knife in his hand, and has his own skin, which has just been taken off, thrown over his arm. The altar of the holy sacrament is extremely splendid, glittering with costly embellishments, and supported by four fluted bronze-gilt pillars of the Corinthian order, said to have been taken from the temple of Jupiter Capitolinus.

We witnessed in this church the anniversary celebration of Ascension Day, when the Pope officiated in person. The ceremonies were splendid, but had little the appearance of religious rites. Early in the forenoon, the principal streets leading to the Cathedral were thronged with carriages and pedestrians, hastening to see the Pontiff perform his sacred functions. Regiments of Austrian troops in full uniform, wearing sprigs of evergreen in their hats, were paraded on the great square, in front of the church; and a numerous band of martial music gave life and animation to the scene. An immense multitude, comprising nearly the whole population of Rome, with all the strangers in the city, were collected in the church, on the steps, and seated in their coaches thronging the area. There was a fine display of Roman beauty and taste. At length the Pope appeared in pontifical robes of snowy whiteness, fringed with gold, wearing an image of the sun upon his breast, and the glittering tiara upon his brow. He was borne along the aisles on the shoulders of men, and seated in the tribune behind the high altar, surrounded by all the ecclesiastical dignitaries. After high mass was celebrated, closing with exquisite music, his Holiness was carried in state to the balcony in front of the church, for the purpose of pronouncing his benediction upon the assembled multitude. Above his head rose a splendid canopy of crimson velvet, and an orb of plumes, resembling a peacock's tail, was displayed on his right. The moment he made his appearance, all dropped upon their knees, while he spread forth his hands and uttered a brief blessing. As soon as the ceremony was over, a salute of twenty guns was fired from the eastle of St. Angelo, and the Austrian band struck up some of the martial airs of the north. In the midst of the uproar, the Pope threw from the balcony printed papers, which came down like a shower of play-bills, and set the crowd in a general scramble for these precious copies of his benediction. Hucksters were all the while crying punch, and apple-women, cakes and fruit. It was, on the whole, a very odd scene, more resembling a military muster, a theatrical exhibition, or any other show, than a sacred festival of the church.

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