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[164] original work could be properly distinguished. . . . . On carefully cleaning it, the picture was found perfect, after three months labor, for the smoke had preserved it; and on the 10th of August last (1817) it was first opened to the public. It is the finest picture, I suppose, that I have yet seen in Europe, excepting the Madonna of Raphael at Dresden. . . . . This immense picture with its various subjects and groups becomes one work, and seems united in all its parts, as if the artist had breathed it upon the canvas by a simple volition of his genius. After standing before it above an hour, I knew not which most to admire,—the poetical sublimity of the invention, or the boldness of the execution, and that magic and transparency of coloring in which Titian has no rival

October 19.—As in all the Italian cities, so in Venice, there is little society, and the persons I have known who have lived there, such as Botta, De Breme, the Baron de Bonstetten, etc., have all told me it was to be seen best at Count Cicognara's. To him, therefore, they gave me letters, and I have found their predictions justified, and his acquaintance sufficient for my purposes, and for all the time I could give to society. He is a nobleman of fortune, President of the Academy of Fine Arts, and author of several considerable works, particularly a History of Modern Sculpture,—beginning at the third century, where Winckelmann leaves it,—in three folio volumes, of which the last is now in the press. He is about fifty years old, has a pleasant family, a wife accomplished and still beautiful, and assembles at his house the elegant, cultivated society there is in the city. Yesterday I dined with him, and every evening since I have been here 1 have passed in his coterie; for I find that when you once go to a party of this sort in Italy, it is expected you should continue your visits, if you like, as regularly as if you went to the opera,—which so many never miss. This, however, is no disagreeable circumstance to a stranger, and at his house—with Dandolo and several other of the patricians, and a few men of letters—I have passed my evenings as pleasantly as I did at Milan, with De Breme and Count Confalonieri.

October 20.—This morning, like Portia's messenger, we passed

With imagined speed
Unto the tranect, to the common ferry
Which trades to Venice;

embarked on the lagoon, and looked back for the last time on Venice, which seems from the opposite shore to dance like a fairy creation on the undulations of the ocean.

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