Charles Dickens, Pictures from Italy, Bradbury & Evans, 1846, Londra, Regno Unito.

At another time, there was the Exhibition of Relics in St. Peter’s, which took place at between six and seven o’clock in the evening, and was striking from the cathedral being dark and gloomy, and having a great many people in it.  The place into which the relics were brought, one by one, by a party of three priests, was a high balcony near the chief altar.  This was the only lighted part of the church.  There are always a hundred and twelve lamps burning near the altar, and there were two tall tapers, besides, near the black statue of St. Peter; but these were nothing in such an immense edifice.  The gloom, and the general upturning of faces to the balcony, and the prostration of true believers on the pavement, as shining objects, like pictures or looking-glasses, were brought out and shown, had something effective in it, despite the very preposterous manner in which they were held up for the general edification, and the great elevation at which they were displayed; which one would think rather calculated to diminish the comfort derivable from a full conviction of their being genuine.

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