But the very soul of Venetia is always hovering near, ready to be invoked by those who confess her charm. When, under the glamor of her radiant skies the faded hues flash forth once more, there is no ruin nor decay, nor touch of conquering hand of man nor time, only a splendid city of dreams, waiting in silence--as all visions wait--until that invisible, haunting spirit has turned the legends of her power into actual activities.
nificent garments and lights and sumptuous, overwrought details--the very extravagance of the Renaissance--a great black marble crucifix bore aloft the most solemn Symbol of the Christian Faith.
The religious ceremonial with which the festival had opened was over, and down the aisles on either side, past the family altars, with their innumerable candles and lanterns and censers,--ceaselessly smoking in memorial of the honored dead,--the brothers of the Frari and the Servi marched in solemn procession to the chant of the acolytes, returning to mass themselves in the transepts, in fuller view of the pulpits, before the contest began. The Frari had taken their position on the right, under the elaborate hanging tomb of Fra Pacifico--a mass of sculpture, rococo, and gilding; the incense rising from the censer swinging below the coffin of the saint carried the eye insensibly upward to the grotesque canopy, where cumbrous marble clouds were compacted of dense masses of saints' and cherubs' heads with uncompro
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