excerpt from 'Italy Volume 2' pp. 303-304 (218 words)

excerpt from 'Italy Volume 2' pp. 303-304 (218 words)

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Italy Volume 2

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On Easter-Sunday the service is performed at St. Peter's, and it is then that the Church exhibits all its splendour, and exhibits its forces on a site worthy of their display. The spacious Piazza of St. Peter, its porticos and colonnades, its beautiful fountains, its stupendous façade, glittering in the noonday sun, become the scene of action. […] The loggie above the portico are filled with the cardinals; and in the centre, raised upon men's shoulders high above all, like some dimly-seen deity, and reduced almost to a speck by his elevation, appears the Pontiff. He is said to pray, but prays unheard; and when he rises to give the benediction, the act, scarce visible, is awfully announced, by the tolling of the great bell of St. Peter's, and the firing of the cannon of St. Angelo. The military ground their arms, and drop on their knees; the cardinals fling down the church's indulgences among the people, who scarcely stooped to pick them up, though each was the remission of years of frailty. Drums beat, trumpets sound, the music plays, the troops file off, and the ceremony finishes at night with the illumination of the Vatican.

 Of all the spectacles exhibited by Rome to wondering nations, this is the most beautiful, the most splendid, the most indescribable.

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excerpt from 'Italy Volume 2' pp. 303-304 (218 words)


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