June 20th – Spent the day in the museum and gardens of the Vatican –Went first to the hall of Inscriptions – saw hundreds of Greek and Roman ones; also many slabs with inscriptions and sarcophagi with bas relief brought from the catacombs and old ruins.
The Hall of Scripture was very interesting. There we saw numbers of busts and statues of the Roman Emperors and mythological statues.
Saw the most esteemed Torso; also the Tarceon, a father and two sons with several snakes entwined around them as to cause their death – are represented as dying. In another hall we saw some most beautiful sarcophagi and granite bk. and red bathtube taken from the baths of the emperors. In the hall of animals we saw a great variety of animals carved out of different kinds of marbles and stones; also many beautiful urns.
The etruscan collection was very good. All kinds
of old things in bronze and in a large case, a number of gold and silver
ornaments and jewels which were found in one tomb. In another hall, a
dozen or two pieces of Gobelin tapestry, illustrating the life of Our
Savior. In an adjoining hall, 500 feet long, we saw numbers of old maps
covering each side of the walls.
June 21st – Finished the Vatican. Saw the Pope in the Sistine Chapel, it being the anniversary of his coronation. Had to wear a black dress and a black veil.
In the gallery of the Vatican saw the two finest pictures in the world, the Transfiguration by Raphael and the Communion of St. Jerome by Dominico.
The halls of the library were gorgeous. There were several beautiful vases and a Sevres fount given by Napoleon after his son was baptized. The walls were richly frescoed.
In four fine cases we saw some old vellum books, a bible of the Fourth Century, highly illustrated books, one of Dante’s; also the letters of Henry the VIII and Anne Boleyn. After this through a hall extending nearly the full length of the Vatican, where there were come handsome cases of books. In some glass cases we saw antique cameos and jewels taken from the tomb of Titus and other tombs. Saw some beautiful carvings in iron. Also an elegantly carved chair of apple wood for the Pope to pray on.
After this walked all around the interior of St. Peters. It is a wonderful church, rich in marbles and mosaics, all of which are copies of paintings. There is not a painting in the church. The mosaics are so fine that one would take them for the originals. We went through the factory where they were making the mosaics of the Pope. Saw several nearly finished; also a large piece for a church. The wealth in the vatican is astonishing.
Naples – Arrived about the 27th or 28th. The weather very warm and though we have been here three days have seen only two or three things. The first afternoon went to Virgil’s tomb and then to the old Campo Santo where the lower classes are buried. There are three hundred and sixty-five pits, one being opened every day. We looked into one where some bodies had been thrown – saw them just as they had fallen – one man with his hands over his head and his face turned aside, the only clothes left them being their shirts. The rest are taken by the men who belong to the establishment, blood of St. Genaruis.