Alps And Sanctuaries Of Piedmont And The Canton Ticino By Samuel Butler

 -   Over
the door and windows are two frescoes of skeletons holding mirrors
in their hands, with a death's head in - Page 180
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Over The Door And Windows Are Two Frescoes Of Skeletons Holding Mirrors In Their Hands, With A Death's Head In The Mirror.

This reflected head is supposed to be that of the spectator to whom death is holding up the image of what he will one day become.

I do not remember the inscription at Soazza; the one in the Campo Santo at Mesocco is, "Sicut vos estis nos fuimus, et sicut nos sumus vos eritis." {30}

On my return to England I mentioned this inscription to a friend who, as a young man, had been an excellent Latin scholar; he took a panic into his head that "eritis" was not right for the second person plural of the future tense of the verb "esse." Whatever it was, it was not "eritis." This panic was speedily communicated to myself, and we both puzzled for some time to think what the future of "esse" really was. At last we turned to a grammar and found that "eritis" was right after all. How skin-deep that classical training penetrates on which we waste so many years, and how completely we drop it as soon as we are left to ourselves.

On the right-hand side of the door of the mortuary chapel there hangs a wooden tablet inscribed with a poem to the memory of Maria Zara. It is a pleasing poem, and begins:-

"Appena al trapassar il terzo lustro Maria Zara la sua vita fini. Se a Soazza ebbe la sua colma A Roveredo la sua tomba . . .

she found," or words to that effect, but I forget the Italian. This poem is the nearest thing to an Italian rendering of "Affliction sore long time I bore" that I remember to have met with, but it is longer and more grandiose generally.

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