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 while yet a child, to walk in these stately gardens, full of sculpture, and hear the untiring music of the fountains. Christmas-eve we went to the Annunziata, for midnight mass. Though the service is not splendid here as in Rome, we yet enjoyed it;—sitting in one of the side chapels, at the foot of a monument, watching the rich crowds steal gently by, every eye gleaming, every gesture softened by the influence of the pealing choir, and the hundred silver lamps swinging their full light, in honor of the abused Emanuel. But far finest was it to pass through the Duomo. No one was there. Only the altars were lit up, and the priests, who were singing, could not be seen by the faint light. The vast solemnity of the interior is thus really felt. The hour was worthy of Brunelleschi. I hope he walked there so. The Duomo is more divine than St. Peter's, and worthy of genius pure and unbroken. St. Peter's is, like Rome, a mixture of sublimest heaven with corruptest earth. I adore the Duomo, though no place can now be to me like St. Peter's, where has been passed the splendidest part of my life. My feeling was always perfectly regal, on entering the piazza of St. Peter's. No spot on earth is worthier the sunlight;— on none does it fall so fondly. You ask me, how I employ myself here. I have been much engaged in writing out my impressions, which will be of worth so far as correct. I am anxious only to do historical justice to facts and persons; but there will not, so far as I am aware, be much thought, for I believe I have scarce expressed what lies deepest in my mind. I take no pains, but let the good genius guide my pen.
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