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declared the place sacred, out of respect to the blood of the many murtyrs who were butchered there during the persecutions. This declaration, if issued two or three centuries ago, would have preserved the Coliseum enlire ; it can now only protect its remains, and transmit them in their present state to posterity.
We then ascended the Palatine Mount, after having walked round its base in order to examine its bearings. This hill, the nursery of infant Rome, and finally the residence of imperial grandeur, presents now two solitary villas and a convent, with their deserted gardens and vineyards. Its numerous temples, its palaces, its porticos, and its libraries, once the glory of Rome, and The admiration of the universe, are now mere heaps of ruins, so shapeless and scattered, that the antiquary and architect are at a loss to discover their site, their plans and their elevation. Of that wing of the imperial palace, which looks to the west, and on the Circus Maximus, some apartments remain vaulted and of fine proportions, but so deeply buried in ruins, as to be now subterranean.
A hall of immense size was discovered about the beginning of the last century, concealed under the ruins of its own massive roof. The pillars of Verdeantico that supported its vaults, the statues that ornamented its niches, and the rich marbles that formed its pavement, were found buried in rubbish ; and were immediately carried away by the Farnesian family, the proprietors of the soil, to adorn their palaces, and furnish their galleries.
This hall is now cleared of its encumbrances, and presents to the eye a vast length of naked wall, and an area covered with weeds. As we stood contemplating its extent and proportions, a fox started from an aperture, once a window, at one end, and crossing the open space, scrambled up the ruins at the other, and disappeared in the rubbish. This scene of desolation reminded me of Ossian's beautiful description, “the thistle shook there its lonely head ; 'the moss whistled to the gale; the fox looked out from the windows; the rank grass waved round his head,” and almost seemed the accomplishment of that awful prediction, "There the wild beasts of the desert shall lodge, and howling monsters shall fill the houses ; and wolves shall howl to one another in their palaces, and dragons in their voluptuous pavilions."
THE THERMÆ, OR THE BATHS OF CARACALLA.
The length of the Thermæ of Caracalla was one thousand eight hundred and forty feet, its breadth, one thousand four hundred and seventy-six. 'At each end were two temples, one to Apollo, and another to Æscu. lapius, as the “ Genii Tutelares' of a place sacred to the improvement of the mind, and to the care of the body. The two other temples were dedicated to the two protecting divinities of the Antonine fainily, Hercules and Bacchus. In the principal building were, in the first place, a grand circular vestibule with four halls on each side, for cold, tepid, warm, and steam baths; in the centre was an immense square, for exercise, when the weather was unfavourable to it in the open air; beyond it a great hall, where sixteen hundred marble seats were placed for the convenience of the bathers ; at each end of this hall were libraries. This building terminated on both sides in a court surrounded with porticos, with an odeum for music, and in the middle a capacious basin for swimming. Round this edifice were walks shaded by rows of trees, particularly the plane; and in its front extended a gymnasium for running, wrestling, &c. in fine weather. The whole was bounded by a vast portico opening into exedræ or spacious halls, where poets declaimed, and philosophers gave lectures.
This immense fabric was adorned within and with: out with pillars, stucco work, paintings, and statues. The stucco and painting, though faintly indeed, are yet in many places perceptible. Pillars have been dug up, and some still remain amidst the ruins; while the Far. nesian bull, and the famous Hercules found in one of these halls, announce the multiplicity, and beauty, of
the statues which once adorned the Thermæ of Caracal. la. The flues and reservoirs for water still remain. The height of the pile was proportioned to its extent, and still appears very considerable, even though the ground be raised at least twelve feet above its ancient level. It is now changed into gardens and vineyards ; its high massive walls form separations, and its limy ruins spread over the surface, burn the soil, and check its natural fertility.
THE PANTHEON. The pantheon, it is true, retains its majestic portico, and presents its graceful dome uninjured: the pavement laid by Agrippa, and trodden by Augustus, still forms its floor; the compartments and fluted pillars of the richest marble, that originally lined its walls, still adorn its inward circumference; the deep tints that age has thrown over it only contribute to raise its dignity, and augment our veneration; and the traveller enters its portal, through which twice twenty generations have flowed in succession, with a mixture of awe and relig. ious veneration. Yet the Pantheon itself has been "shorn of its beams," and looks eclipsed through the “ disastrous twilight” of eighteen centuries. Where is now its proud elevation, and the flight of steps that conducted to its threshold ? Where the marbles that clothed, or the handmaid edifices that concealed its brick exterior? Where the statues that graced its cor. nice? The bronze that blazed on its dome, that vaulted its portico, and formed its sculptured doors? And. where the silver that lined the compartments of its roof within, and dazzled the spectator with its brightness? The rapacity of Genseric began, the avarice of succeeding barbarians continued to strip it of these splendid decorations; and time, by levelling many a noble structure in its neighborhood, has raised the pavement, and deprived it of all the advantages of situation. The two celebrated pillars of Antoninus, and Trajan,
stand each in its square ; but they have also lost several feet of their original elevation ; and, the colonnade or portico that enclosed the latter, supposed to be the noblest structure of the kind ever erected, has long since sunk in the dust, and its ruins probably lie buried under the foundations of the neighboring houses.
ST. PETER'S. From the bridge and Castle de St. Angelo, a wide street conducts in a direct line to a square, and that square presents at once the court or portico, and part of the Basilica.- When the spectator approaches the entrance of this court, he views four rows of lofty pillars sweeping off to the right and left in a bold semicircle. In the centre of the area formed by this immense colonnade, an Egyptian obelisk, of one solid piece of granite, ascends to the height of one hundred and thirty feet; two perpetual fountains, one on each side, play in the air, and fall in sheets round the basins of porphyry that receive them.-—Before him, raised on three successive flights of marble steps, extending four hundred feet in length, and towering to the elevation of one hundred and eighty, he beholds the majestic front of the Basilica itself. This front is supported by a single row of Corinthian pillars and pilasters, and adorned with an attic, a balustrade, and thirteen colossal statues.--Far behind and above it, rises the matchless Dome, the justly celebrated wonder of Rome and of the world. The colonnade of coupled pillars that surround and strengthen its vast base, the graceful attic that surmounts this colonnade, the bold and expansive swell of the dome itself, and the pyramid seated on a cluster of columns, and bearing the ball and cross to the skies, all perfect in their kind, form the most magnificent and singular exhibition that the human eye perhaps ever contemplated. Twolessercupolas, one on each side, partake of the state, and add not a little to the majesty of the principal dome.
. The interior corresponds perfectly with the grandeur of the exterior, and fully answers the expectations, however great, which such an approach must naturally have raised.-Five lofty portals open into the portico or vestibulum, a gallery in dimensions and decorations equal to the most spacious cathedrals. It is four hun. dred feet in length, seventy in height, and fifty in breadth, paved with variegated marble, covered with a gilt vault, adorned with pillars, pilasters, mosaic and basso-relievos, and terminated at both ends by equestrian statues, one of Constantine, the other of Charle. magne. A fountain at each extremity supplies a stream sufficient to keep a reservoir always full, in order to carry off every unseemly object, and perpetually refresh and purify the air and the pavement. Opposite the five portals of the vestibule are the five doors of the church; three are adorned with pillars of the finest marble; that in the middle has valves of bronze.
As you enter, you behold the most extensive hall ever constructed by human art, expanded in magnificent perspective before you; advancing up the nave, you are delighted with the beauty of the variegated marble under your feet, and with the splendor of the golden vault over your head. The lofty Corinthian pilasters with their bold entablature, the intermediate niches with their statues, the arcades with the graceful figures that recline on the curves of their arches, charm your eye in succession as you pass along.-But how great your astonishment when you reach the foot of the altar, and standing in the centre of the church contemplate the four superb vistas that open around you; and then raise your eyes to the dome, at the prodigious elevation of four hundred feet, extended like a firmament over your head, and presenting, in glowing mosaic, the companies of the just, the choirs of celestial spirits, and the whole hierarchy of heaven arrayed in the presence of the Eternal, whose “ throne high raised above all height,” crowns the awful scene.
When you have feasted your eye with the grandeur of this uparalleled exhibition in the whole, you will