Rome, May, 1847
.—Of the fragments of the great time, I have now seen nearly all that are treasured up here.
I have as yet nothing of consequence to say of them.
Others have often given good hints as to how they look
. As to what they are
, it can only be known by approximating to the state of soul out of which they grew.
They are many and precious; yet is there not so much of high excellence as I looked for. They will not float the heart on a boundless sea of feeling, like the starry night on our Western Prairies.
Yet I love much to see the galleries of marbles, even where there are not many separately admirable, amid the cypresses and ilexes of Roman villas; and a picture that is good at all, looks best in one of these old palaces.
I have heard owls hoot in the Colosseum by moonlight, and they spoke more to the purpose than I ever heard any other voice on that subject.
I have seen all the pomps of Holy Week in St. Peter
's, and found them less imposing than an habitual acquaintance with the church itself, with processions of monks and nuns stealing in, now and then, or the swell of vespers from some side chapel.
The ceremonies of the church have been numerous and