The Stones of Venice: Introductory Chapters and Local Indices (printed Separately) for the Use of Travellers While Staying in Venice and Verona : Selections

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Merrill and Baker, 1879 - Architecture - 322 pages

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Page 110 - And well may they fall back, for beyond those troops of ordered arches there rises a vision out of the earth, and all the great square seems to have opened from it in a kind of awe...
Page 111 - ... five great vaulted porches, ceiled with fair mosaic, and beset with sculpture of alabaster, clear as amber and delicate as ivory, — sculpture fantastic and involved, of palm leaves and lilies, and grapes and pomegranates, and birds clinging and fluttering among the branches, all twined together into an endless network of buds and plumes ; and in the midst of it, the solemn forms of angels, sceptred, and robed to the feet, and leaning to each other across the gates, their figures indistinct...
Page 106 - ... on their stony scales by the deep russet-orange lichen, melancholy gold ; and so, higher still, to the bleak towers, so far above that the eye loses itself among the bosses of their traceries, though they are rude and strong...
Page 111 - their bluest veins to kiss " — the shadow, as it steals back from them, revealing line after line of azure undulation, as a receding tide leaves the waved sand ; their capitals rich with interwoven tracery, rooted knots of herbage, and drifting leaves of acanthus and vine, and mystical signs, all beginning and ending in the Cross ; and above them, in the broad archivolts, a continuous chain of language...
Page 112 - Lion, lifted on a blue field covered with stars, until at last, as if in ecstacy, the crests of the arches break into a marble foam, and toss themselves far into the blue sky in flashes and wreaths of sculptured spray, as if the breakers on the Lido shore had been frost-bound before they fell, and the sea-nymphs had inlaid them with coral and amethyst.
Page 63 - The impotent feelings of romance, so singularly characteristic of this century, may indeed gild, but never save the remains of those mightier ages to which they are attached like climbing flowers ; and they must be torn away from the magnificent fragments, if we would see them as they stood in their own strength.
Page 107 - We find ourselves in a paved alley, some seven feet wide where it is widest, full of people, and resonant with cries of itinerant salesmen, — a shriek in their beginning, and dying away into a kind of brazen ringing, all the worse for its confinement between the high houses of the passage along which we have to make our way. Overhead, an inextricable confusion of rugged shutters, and iron balconies, and chimney flues...
Page 109 - A yard or two farther, we pass the hostelry of the Black Eagle, and glancing as we pass through the square door of marble, deeply moulded, in the outer wall, we see the shadows of its pergola of vines resting on an ancient well, with a pointed shield carved on its side ; and so presently emerge on the bridge and Campo San Moise, whence to the entrance into St. Mark's Place, called the Bocca di Piazza...
Page 61 - Sea; when first upon the traveller's sight opened the long ranges of columned palaces — each with its black boat moored at the portal, each with its image cast down beneath its feet upon that green pavement which every breeze broke into new fantasies of rich tessellation when first, at the extremity of the bright vista, the shadowy Rialto threw its colossal curve slowly forth from behind the palace of the Camerlemghi, that strange curve, so delicate, so adamantine, strong as a mountain cavern,...
Page 89 - ... to warn them of all their dangers, to try by this way and that to stir the hard fastenings of those doors where the Master himself has stood and knocked yet none opened, and to call at the openings of those dark streets where Wisdom herself hath stretched forth her hands and no man regarded, — thirty minutes to raise the dead in...

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