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seeming to hang alone in the air. All the light proceeded from this, and had the most singular effect imaginable as one entered the great door. Soon after came one after another, I believe, thirty processions, all dressed in linen frocks, and girt with a cord, their heads covered with a cowl all over, only two holes to see through left. Some of them were all black, others red, others white, others party-coloured; these were continually coming and going with their tapers and crucifixes before them; and to each company, as they arrived and knelt before the great altar, were shown from a balcony at a great height, the three wonders, which are, you must know, the head of the spear that wounded Christ; St. Veronica's handkerchief, with the miraculous impression of his face upon it; and a piece of the true cross, on the sight of which the people thump their breasts, and kiss the pavement with vast devotion. The tragical part of the ceremony is half a dozen wretched creatures, who with their faces covered, but naked to the waist, are in a side chapel disciplining themselves with scourges full of iron prickles; but really in earnest, as our eyes can testify, which saw their backs and arms so raw we should have taken it for a red satin doublet torn, and shewing the skin through, had we not been convinced of the contrary by the blood which was plentifully sprinkled about them. It is late; I give you joy of Port-Bello, and many other things, which I hope are all true. * * * *


Rome, April, 16, N. S. 1740.

I'LL tell you, West, because one is amongst new things, you think one can always write new things. When I first came abroad every thing struck me, and I wrote its history; but now I am grown so used to be surprised, that I don't perceive any flutter in myself when I meet with any novelties; curiosity and astonishment wear off, and the next thing is, to fancy that other people know as much of places as one's self; or, at least, one does not remember that they do not. It appears to me as odd to write to you of Saint Peter's, as it would do to write to you of Westminster Abbey. Besides, as one looks at Churches, &c. with a book of travels in one's hand, and sees every thing particularized there, it would appear transcribing to write upon the same subjects. I know you will hate me for this declaration; I remember how ill I used to take it when any body served me so that was travelling. Well, I will tell you something if you will love me: you have seen prints of the ruins of the temple of Minerva Medica; you shall only hear its situation, and then figure what a villa might be laid out there.

'Tis in the middle of a garden: at a little dis

tance are two subterraneous grottos, which were the burial-places of the liberti of Augustus. There are all the niches and covers of the urns with the inscriptions remaining: and in one very considerable remains of an ancient stucco ceiling, with paintings in grotesque.

Some of the walks would terminate upon the Castellum Aquæ Martiæ, St. John Lateran, and St. Maria Maggiore, besides other churches: the walls of the garden would be two aqueducts, and the entrance through one of the old gates of Rome. This glorious spot is neglected, and only serves for a small vineyard and kitchen garden.

I am very glad that I see Rome while it yet exists; before a great number of years are elapsed, I question whether it will be worth seeing. Between the ignorance and poverty of the present Romans, every thing is neglected and falling to decay; the villas are entirely out of repair, and the palaces so ill kept, that half the pictures are spoiled by damp.

At the villa Ludovisi is a large oracular head of red marble, colossal, and with vast foramina for the eyes and mouth: the man that shewed the palace said it was un ritratto della famiglia. The Cardinal Corsini has so thoroughly pushed on the misery of Rome by impoverishing it, that there is no money but paper to be seen. He is reckoned to have amassed three millions of crowns. You may judge of the affluence the nobility live in, when I

assure you that what the chief princes allow for their own eating is a testoon a day (eighteenpence); there are some extend their expense to five pauls, or half-a-crown. Cardinal Albani is called extravagant for laying out ten pauls for his dinner and supper. You may imagine they never have any entertainments: so far from it, they never have any company. The Princesses and Duchesses, particularly, lead the dismallest of lives. Being the posterity of Popes, though of worse families than the ancient nobility, they expect greater respect than my ladies the Countesses and Marquises will pay them; consequently they consort not, but mope in a vast palace with two miserable tapers, and two or three Monsignori, whom they are forced to court and humour, that they may not be entirely deserted. Sundays they do issue forth in a vast unwieldy coach to the Corso.

In short, child, after sun-set one passes one's time here very ill; and if I did not wish for you in the mornings, it would be no compliment to tell you that I do in the evening. Lord! how many English I could change for you, and yet buy you wondrous cheap! and then French and Germans I could fling into the bargain by dozens. Nations swarm here. You will have a great fat French Cardinal, garnished with thirty Abbès, roll into the area of St. Peter's, gape, turn short, and talk of the Chapel of Versailles. I heard one of them say t'other day, he had been at the Capitale.

One asked of course how he liked it-Ah! il y a assez de belles choses.

Tell Asheton I have received his letter; and will write next post; but I am in a violent hurry and have no more time; so Gray finishes this delicately.

Not so delicate; nor, indeed, would his conscience suffer him to write to you, till he received de vos nouvelles, if he had not the tail of another person's letter to use by way of evasion. I sha'n't describe, as being in the only place in the world that deserves it, which may seem an odd reason— but they say as how it's fulsome, and every body does it, (and, I suppose, every body says the same thing), else I should tell you a vast deal about the Coliseum, and the Conclave, and the Capitol, and. these matters. A-propos du Colisée, if you don't know what it is, the Prince Borghese will be very capable of giving you some account of it, who told an Englishman that asked what it was built for," They say 'twas for Christians to fight tigers in."

We are just come from adoring a great piece of the true cross, St. Longinus's spear, and St. Veronica's handkerchief; all which have been this evening exposed to view in St. Peter's. In the same place, and on the same occasion, last night, Walpole saw a poor creature, naked to the waist,

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