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of Pyremont, and a contemporary of Alfieri, I think that he would have indulged in most, if not all, the eccentricities that marked the Italian poet. The same impatience of control, the same violence of temper, a similar partiality for animals, and a similar respect for the distinctions of rank, characterise both; but all these peculiarities are softened in Byron by the increased civilization and refinement of our times.
Saw the Capella del Depositi to-day. A monument of the tasteless vanity of its founders. Here the most precious marbles and costly gems have been brought from every quarter of the world to decorate the last abode of mortality. It is like dressing a corse with jewels, which only serves to take from the solemnity of death, without concealing any of its sad reality. This useless waste of wealth indisposes the mind for the reflections to which a place designed for the interment of the dead should give rise, and excites a contemptuous pity to see vanity outliving the entombed. The walls of this chapel are encrusted with marbles of every hue, and their diversity reminds one of a patchwork quilt, or of a tailor's book of patterns.
The Sacristia Nuova contains the splendid monuments by Michael Angelo, erected to Giuliano and Lorenzo de Medici. Nothing can exceed the solemn beauty of the figure of Night, which is placed at one side of the sarcophagus, while one of Day confronts it on the other. This last statue, though unfinished, possesses all the vigour for which the works of the great sculptor are remarkable ; but Night breathes the
very soul of melancholy contemplation, and fixes the attention by its depth of repose. One turns again and again to gaze on this exquisite statue, which addresses itself most powerfully to the imagination. The other monument has two figures, representing Dawn and Twilight, both worthy the chisel of Buonarotti ; but Night fascinated me so much, that I could not give these figures the portion of attention which was their due.
Saw Bartolini's studio, which is filled with busts of the English. Every lord and commoner, who has passed through Florence during the last few years, has left here a memorial of his visit; and every lady who had ever heard that she had a good profile (and Heaven knows how seldom the assertion was true), has left a model of it on the dusty shelves of Bartolini. The great love of the English for portraits, is by foreigners attributed to a more than ordinary degree of vanity ; while its source might with greater truth be traced to a more amiable motive, to that of family affection. Many are the busts at Bartolini's that might serve to illustrate my hypothesis ; for nothing but the desire of gratifying some beloved object, could have induced the originals of them to bequeath to posterity such countenances as affection alone could contemplate with pleasure. Elderly gentlemen with double chins, resembling the breast of the pelican, and protuberant stomachs, requiring a double portion of marble in their representation ; with wigs concealing half the organs, by the developement of which phrenologists judge of the intellectual powers; and coats that seem to have been invented to disfigure human beings, meet the eye in this studio. And portly matrons too, are ranged in rows, with busts, exuberant as those which Rubens loved to lavish on his canvas ; and tresses so luxuriant, as to convey the impression that they belonged to the original, only because she had bought them. Young ladies, with compressed waists, and drooping ringlets, looking all like sisters; and
young gentlemen, with formal faces, and straight hair, confront one at every step. But among them, are busts with features so delicately moulded, and heads so classically shaped, that they maintain the pre-eminence for beauty, accorded to England over all other countries. Bartolini is a very clever sculptor, and some of his works justify the high reputation he has acquired.
To-morrow we depart for Rome.
Siena, July 1st.—The country between Florence and this place, disappointed me. The road is hilly, and the views it commands do not compensate for its tediousness. A want of trees is the general defect of Tuscan scenery; and the stunted appearance of those to be found, do not atone for their scarcity.
I like this town, gloomy though it be, and its cathedral has more than realized my expectations. It is a superb specimen of the Lombard style of architecture, but bearing various marks of the florid gothic. Cased on the exterior, as well as in the interior, with black and white marble, a motley mixture which, though costly, injures the general effect, it resembles an edifice constructed with club and spade cards, or covered with backgammon boards. The cathedral contains some precious fragments of antiquity, consisting of a pedestal, enriched with finely executed bassi rilievi, and a pillar, on one side of which is represented the labours of Hercules ; and on the other, an equestrian figure of admirable workmanship. A companion has been made to this beautiful column; and the two serve to support the architrave of a door opening into an adjoining chapel. But the modern pillar is so immeasurably inférior to its antique neighbour, that it may well be said of them, that they are paired, but not matched. Near the principal entrance of the church, stands an antique vase of rare beauty ; the interior ornamented with fish, executed in alto-rilievo of exquisite finish. A companion has also been made for this vase, but so inferior, as only to serve to institute comparisons by no means favourable to modern sculpture. The pulpit is of marble, and forms a fine ornament to the cathedral, being of excellent design, and faultless execution. It is supported by pillars, and ornamented with rilievi representing different events in the life of