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Ms A 58v

[58v°] ...Céline and I were very brave; we were always the first and were following the Bishop closely in order to see everything pertaining to the relics of the saints and hear the explanations given by the guides. So while the Bishop was offering Mass on the tomb of [5] St. Charles, we were behind the altar with Papa, resting our heads on the tomb enshrining his body which was clothed in its pontifical robes. And it was like this everywhere, except in those places reserved to dignitaries and then we did not follow his Excellency. We climbed up to the lower pinnacles adorning the roof of the cathedral, and leaving some timid ladies to hide their faces [10] in their hands we followed the braver pilgrims and reached the top of the marble belltower. From this vantage point, we had the pleasure of seeing the city of Milan at our feet, its numerous inhabitants milling around like so many tiny ants. Descending from our high perch, we [15] commenced a series of driven tours which lasted a whole month. I certainly satisfied my desire forever to ride around in comfort!Campo Santo attracted us even more than the cathedral. All its marble statues, seemingly brought to life by the chisel of some great genius, are placed around the huge cemetery in a sort of haphazard manner [20] which to me added greatly to their charm. One would almost be tempted to console these imaginary personages who were all around us. The expression on the faces is so real, the sorrow so calm and resigned, one can hardly fail to recognize the thoughts of immortality which must necessarily have filled the hearts of the artists creating these masterpieces. One saw a small child scattering flowers on the grave of its parents; the marble seemed to lose its heaviness as the delicate petals slipped through the child’s fingers and the breeze scattered them.

 


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