Every head is uncovered many, specially women, are prostrate on the stones. Arrived at the basilica of San Frediano, the procession halts under the Byzantine mosaic on a gold ground, over the entrance. The entire chapter is assembled before the open doors. They kneel before the archbishop carrying the Host.
Again there is a halt before the snowy façade of the church of San Michele, pillared to the summit with slender columns of Carrara marble on the topmost pinnacle a colossal statue of the archangel, in golden bronze, the outstretched wings glistening against the turquoise sky. Here the same ceremonies are repeated as at the church of San Frediano.
Matteo Civitali, the one artist of importance that Lucca produced, was born in 1435. He remains really the one artist, not of the territory of Florence, who has worked in the manner of the fifteenth-century sculptors of that city. His work is everywhere in Lucca, here in the Duomo, in S. Romano, in S. Michele, in S. Frediano, and in the Museo in Palazzo Mansi.
Thence by the Via del Duomo, past S. Giovanni, we enter the Piazza S. Martino, that silent, empty square before the Duomo. The little Church of S. Giovanni that we pass on the way is the old cathedral, standing on the site of a pagan temple, and rebuilt by S. Frediano in 573, after the Lombards had destroyed the first Christian building.
"I did not hear one word you said, my dear cavaliere, but I am acquainted with the supposed miracles of San Frediano. They are entirely without evidence, and in no way shake my conclusions as to the utter worthlessness of such legends. In this I agree with the Protestants," he continued, "rather than with that inspired teacher, Savonarola.
The stream of colour flowed from the palace in the Via Larga round by the Cathedral, then by the great Piazza della Signoria, and across the Ponte Vecchio to the Porta San Frediano the gate that looks towards Pisa.
"At four o'clock this morning the Signor Whitaker was found by the police lying upon the pavement of the Lung Arno, close to the Porta San Frediano. He was dead struck down with a knife from behind." "Murdered!" I gasped. "Yes, Signore. It is already in the papers;" and he handed me a copy of the Nazione.
With the mention of his ancestral saint, the cavaliere's thoughts ran on to the Trenta chapel in the church of San Frediano, where they had all stood so lately together, Enrica blooming in health and beauty at his side. His sobs choked his voice. "Shall I send to Lucca for a doctor?" Trenta asked, as soon as he could compose himself. "As you please.
September 7th. I walked into town yesterday morning, by way of the Porta San Frediano. The gate of a city might be a good locality for a chapter in a novel, or for a little sketch by itself, whether by painter or writer.
It is quite another sort of beauty we see when, passing through the deserted, quiet streets, we come to S. Frediano, just within the Porta S. Maria, on the north side of the city.