From this sacred monument, occupying a beautiful and elevated site, the eye wanders abroad over the distant prospect. Yet, while gazing on the surrounding scene, a feeling of indefinable melancholy depresses the spirit;every feature is that of lofty grandeur, but mingled with a gloom that insensibly steals on the mind and saddens the heart. In one direction you look to Roma Vecchia, lying lonely and dreary. Amid her mouldering stones, the early breeze whistles over the heathy grass on its brown knolls, and the hum of the insect fly passes unheeded and undisturbed. Far, on the other hand, lies the boundless Campagna, fading in-distinct in the dark blue grey of distance; while beyond, Rome, crowded with its innumerable spires, obelisks, and palaces, the splendid Church of St John Laterano, and noble city gate rising high, is presented to view, standing conspicuous, like a pointed rock in the air, receiving an added bulk from its own black shadow, which, as I then viewed it, lay in fine relief behind; while the morning sun streamed over its many statues, pouring down on the landscape below a flood of light. In the distance the noble aqueducts are seen, striding across the plain in vast but desolate majesty. No object on the long waste flat Campagna arrests the eye, which returns to look along the line of consecrated edifices, the massive ruins rising in lofty grandeur, back to the tower of Cecilia.
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