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our Saviour. The vault of the nave is painted blue, and studded with stars; and round the cornice are ranged busts of the Popes.

We looked in vain for that of Pope Joan, said to have been among the number, and to have had the following inscription :-Johannes VIII. Fæmina de Angliæ; but neither bust nor inscription did we

Pious Catholics not only assert the story of a female Pope to be a mere fable, but indignantly reproach those who seem to doubt its being an invention of the enemy, to throw discredit on the papal see. Certain it is, that those writers who lived nearest to the period when Joan is said to have filled the high office, mention nothing of the curious and diverting adventures attributed to her. Marianus Scotus, who wrote two hundred years after her time, is supposed to have been the first author who mentioned her, and all he said, if indeed he said it, was, that to Leo IV. succeeded Joan, a woman who held the see two years, five months, and four days. Many historians assert that Benedict succeeded Leo, which, if true, refutes the tale, for it is known that Nicholas succeeded Benedict and Hadrian, Nicholas, so no interregnum is left to be filled up by Joan. The reputed adventures of this heroine, are as amusing as they are improbable, and are given at length in Bower's lives of the Popes.

The profusion of decoration lavished on the cathedral is truly surprising, but serves rather to distract than to gratify the attention of the beholder. Columns, with foliage twined round them, grotesque figures innumerable; allegorical groups resembling the phantasms of a night-mare; and the oft-repeated images of lions tearing lambs, meet the eye at every side, producing that satiety which a multiplicity of ill-assorted ornaments never fails to occasion. The pavement here is very remarkable, being not tesselated, but resembling marqueterie. It is of white marble, with grey inlaid ; and both are cemented with black mastic. This species of work is called pietra commessa. The subjects are chiefly scriptural, with a strange mixture of

symbolical and classical emblems; saints and sybils being mingled with lions, elephants, and dragons, presenting altogether an incongruous appearance. Many artists were employed on this work, but the principal parts are said to have been executed by Domenico, Becafumi, or Mecherino. The animals represent the different cities in alliance with Siena : —the elephant of Rome, the dragon of Pistoia, and the lions of Florence. A covering of board, which has several locks, has been placed to protect the parts of the pavement most injured by time ; and is only removed to satisfy the curiosity of those whose rank, or purse, can command its gratification. The portion of the pavement beneath the cupola, represents the Sacrifice of Abraham ; which has greater force of expression than beauty of design.

The Chigi Chapel contains more than the usual quantity of marble, gilding, and bronze, lavished on such places in Italy, where a gorgeous display of finery seems to be considered a fitting offering to the Most High. There is something very repugnant to English feelings in this theatrical exhibition, in a temple dedicated to the Divinity; but the Italians like, and are proud of it. In the Chigi Chapel is the Magdalene of Bernini, a statue in which the contrition of the penitent has not impaired the beauty of the sinner. One of our party made this remark aloud; on which our cicerone with naïveté replied, that probably the sculptor had copied a model who had only lately begun to repent. If, however, the Magdalene shows little marks of mortification in the flesh, a picture of St. Jerome, which is near it, displays all the symptoms of it; for never was there a representation more expressive of ascetic endurance. The Library, or Sacristy, contains the celebrated antique group of the Graces, which, though greatly mutilated, still preserves enough beauty to justify its reputation. The centre figure has lost its head, but so easy is its attitude, and so round is the contour of the form, that it attracts as much admiration as many other fair ladies win, without heads; or, at least, without the intellects that should fill them. The walls of the Sacristy are decorated by ten large pictures in fresco, by Pinturicchio, from designs by Raphael. They represent the remarkable events in the life of Pius II. It is asserted that Raphael painted, as well as designed, some of these pictures; but if so, his pencil, at that period, possessed little of the grace and exquisite purity which afterwards characterised it. These paintings are remarkable for nothing but a vividness of colour, which even time has not succeeded in mellowing.

The only books in the library are a few volumes of sacred music in manuscript, on vellum, beautifully illuminated; the labours of a monk, whose patience deserves no less applause than his skill, for the time employed to paint these embellishments must have surely tried it severely. The fountain at Siena is visited by all travellers, who taste its sparkling water, immortalised by the praise of Dante.

The celebrated picture of the Sibyl, by Peruzzi, at Fonte Giusta, fully justifies Lanzi's commendation. It is full of a solemn inspiration, worthy the prediction (the birth of Christ to Augustus) which she is represented as uttering. The Piazza del Campo has an imposing effect, and reminds one of old pictures representing the scene of ancient games. The Palazzo Publico is appropriated to different uses, as heterogenous as can be well imagined ; one portion being assigned to the courts of law, another to the theatre, and a prison fills the rest—a strange union! where, beneath one roof, pleasure is encouraged, crime judged, and criminals incarcerated.

The earthquakes of 1797 have left ineffaceable traces of their power at Siena: the Dominican Church was much injured. We vainly looked in

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