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such a glorious work of art; in time, the mind dilates, and expands, with the sense of its own powers here so proudly displayed; while the soul soars to that Heaven, and to that God, to whose divinity, and to whose glory, this temple is consecrated!

Its form is a Latin Cross, and its dimensions, according to a table affixed in the cathedral, are thus:


Height from pavement to top of the cross.. 448 Length (exclusive of thickness of walls) 613 Breadth of transept


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Its lateral Chapels are about twenty feet broad, each;-at the intersection of the Nave and Transept stands the glorious, illuminated Tomb of St. Peter, while the vista is terminated by the sumptuous High Altar crowned by the Chair of the Apostle. The walls are encrusted with the choicest marbles; the arches, and ceilings, splendidly gilt; adorned with armorial bearings, coffers, roses, festoons, wreaths, medallions, doves, angels, &c. the niches, and chapels, enriched with the perfection of mosaic work, in glowing, and ever durable copies of the most celebrated pictures; any one of them a source of endless admiration and delight;

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and here, too, are the finest productions of sculpture in monumental tombs, effigies, and statues, works which may commemorate Sovereigns, and Pontiffs, but which immortalize the genius of the artist who created them.

Around the Tomb of St. Peter, 112 costly lamps perpetually burn, surmounted by a Canopy which is supported by four spiral, bronze, columns, gilt, of the Composite order, each of the height of 34 feet; the total elevation to the top of the cross above this sumptuous canopy being 122 feet, when measured from the pavement. Below, a double circular staircase, surrounded by a balustrade, leads to the ancient repository of the body of the Saint: the walls also, and pavement, being formed of the choicest and most variegated precious stones, and marbles.

The grand Nave is terminated circularly, and contains the majestic High Altar, above which is the bronze and gold Chair, supported by four colossal figures, representing the Fathers of the Church; and having enclosed within it the original one, wherein St. Peter, and his immediate successors are said to have officiated.

One stained window of yellow beams introduces the Holy Dove, and a golden Glory finishes this sumptuous terminating altar at the majestic height of 174 feet.

Yet the grander, the more sublime, gratification

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is to lift one's eyes to the matchless, glorious Cupola that ranges in the clouds; here, floods of azure light perpetually stream, assimilating, as it were, with the golden elevation, shedding soft celestial beams, and ever playing about that Dome that is planted in the earth, yet soars aloft amid the skies.

On the frieze of the entablature within the cupola is inscribed this sentence, the great hinge and support of the Roman Catholic creed.

"Tu es Petrus, et super hanc petram ædificabo ecclesiam meam, et tibi dabo claves regni cœlorum." *

So harmonious are the proportions of this cathedral that we are not aware of its colossal magnitude till we proceed to examine its details: the arches, the dome, the altar, we acknowledge to be stupendously grand; yet the accompaniments, the ornaments, the figures, appear suited to ourselves; nevertheless, in one figure, that of the Evangelist, St. Mark, comparatively, little elevated, and apparently of our own size, the pen that he holds is about six feet in length.

It were vain, and long, indeed, to attempt to describe the sculptures, the pictures, the riches of this basilick.


Among the monuments is Canova's unparalleled one to Pope Clement 13th, of the house of Rez

* Thou art Peter, and upon this rock will I build my Church, and to thee will I give the keys of the kingdom of heaven.

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zonico. The Pope is in his pontifical robes on his knees; a colossal figure of Religion bearing the Cross; the Genius of Death sighing at the foot of the sarcophagus, and holding the torch of life reversed, the flame just expiring; and two recumbent lions, the one asleep, the other aroused :both these animals are so living fine, that we dread to approach either; we fear to awaken the one, or to provoke the other.

Who would wish to live, or fear to die, that could obtain immortality by such a monument as this?

Near the Tomb of St. Peter is his statue sitting, being a bronze figure of the size of life, formerly a Jupiter Capitolinus, now, by the addition of a couple of keys, and other appropriate appendages, transmuted into the Saint. His right foot projects beyond the pedestal; all Catholics who enter the church first kiss, and then rub their foreheads against this foot. So many million times has this been done that the bronze is smoothed, and much worn away.

In the Transept are Confessionals for almost every modern tongue-English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Greek, German, Turkish, Oriental, &c.

So massive are the walls of St. Peter's that they resist all the varying influence of the seasons: here, at this period of winter, whatever be the outward

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cold, the cathedral inside is uniformly warm, and pleasant, hence one reason of its becoming a public promenade; Yesterday, Sunday, from four to five o'clock, after vespers in the Capella del Coro, where there is sometimes excellent music, and a grand display of English, it was, as usual, paraded by some of the most attractive fair loungers I have hitherto seen.

To Religion then is this splendid pile consecrated: to the High Priest of the Christian Church is it specially intrusted: in Rome, the ancient Queen of Nations, is it erected.

Visitants from all quarters, and of all ranks, here congregate, from the Sovereign Pontiff, and the haughty Cardinal, in their sumptuous robes, to the poor pilgrim with his simple scrip, rosary, and staff. Anon we observe the living varying throngs, and then we gaze in ceaseless admiration of the majestic pile and all its glorious beauties, till the rapt contemplation bursts through and soars even beyond that towering Dome which seems itself to aspire to the skies!

It remains for me to explore the range of subterranean chapels beneath the tomb of St. Peter; and to mount to the top of the cathedral in order to obtain a better view of its construction.

Originally, Constantine erected in the year 306, a temple on the site of this to the honour of Peter. In 1450, this, from necessity was rased to the

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