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When I am inclined to be serious, I love to wander up and down before the tomb of Caius CESTIUS. The Protestant burial-ground is there ; and most of the little monuments are erected to the young ; young men of promise, cut off when on their travels, full of enthusiasm, full of enjoyment; brides, in the bloom of their beauty, on their first journey; or children borne from home in search of health. This stone was placed by his fellow-travellers, young as himself, who will return to the house of his parents without him; that, by a husband or a father, now in his native country. His heart is buried in that grave.
It is a quiet and sheltered nook, covered in the winter with violets ; and the Pyramid, that overshadows it, gives it a classical and singularly solemn air. You feel an interest there, a sympathy you were not prepared for. You are yourself in a foreign land ; and they are for the most part your countrymen. They call upon you in your mother-tonguein English—in words unknown to a native, known only to yourself : and the tomb of Cestius, that old majestic pile, has this also in common with them. It is itself a stranger; among strangers. It has stood there till the language spoken round about it has changed; and the shepherd, born at the foot, can read its inscription no longer.
and her lovely cheek is now
'Tis over; and the rite,
Nought save the crucifix, the rosary,
When on her knees she fell,
* It was at such a moment, when contemplating the young and the beautiful, that Tasso conceived his sonnets, beginning • Vergine pia,' and ' Vergine bella.' Those to whom he addressed them, have long been forgotten; though they were as much perhaps to be loved, and as much also to be pitied.
Thus I renounce the world !' when all was changed,
Like a dream the whole is fled;
* Her back was at that time turned to the people; but in his countenance might be read all that was passing. The Cardinal, who officiated, was a venerable old man, evidently unused to the service and much affected by it.