THE THIRD MORNING. BEFORE THE SOLDAN.
I cannot tell you anything definite of the two other frescos - for I can only examine one or two pictures in a day; and never begin with one till I have done with another; and I had to leave Florence without looking at these - even so far as to be quite sure of their subjects. The central one on the left is either the twelfth subject of Assisi - St. Francis in Ecstacy; [Footnote: "Represented" (next to St. Francis before the Soldan, at Assisi) "as seen one night by the brethren, praying, elevated from the ground, his hands extended like the cross, and surrounded by a shining cloud." - Lord Lindsay.] or the eighteenth, the Apparition of St. Francis at Arles; [Footnote: "St. Anthony of Padua was preaching at a general chapter of the order, held at Arles, in 1224, when St. Francis appeared in the midst, his arms extended, and in an attitude of benediction." - Lord Lindsay.] while the lowest on the right may admit choice between two subjects in each half of it: my own reading of them would be - that they are the twenty-first and twenty-fifth subjects of Assisi, the Dying Friar [Footnote: "A brother of the order, lying on his deathbed, saw the spirit of St. Francis rising to heaven, and springing forward, cried, 'Tarry, Father, I come with thee!' and fell back dead." - Lord Lindsay.] and Vision of Pope Gregory IX.; [Footnote: "He hesitated, before canonizing St. Francis; doubting the celestial infliction of the stigmata. St. Francis appeared to him in a vision, and with a severe countenance reproving his unbelief, opened his robe, and, exposing the wound in his side, filled a vial with the blood that flowed from it, and gave it to the Pope, who awoke and found it in his hand." - Lord Lindsay.] but Crowe and Cavalcasella may be right in their different interpretation; [Footnote: "As St. Francis was carried on his bed of sickness to St. Maria degli Angeli, he stopped at an hospital on the roadside, and ordering his attendants to turn his head in the direction of Assisi, he rose in his litter and said, 'Blessed be thou amongst cities! may the blessing of God cling to thee, oh holy place, for by thee shall many souls be saved;' and, having said this, he lay down and was carried on to St. Maria degli Angeli. On the evening of the 4th of October his death was revealed at the very hour to the bishop of Assisi on Mount Sarzana." - Crowe and Cavalcasella.] in any case, the meaning of the entire system of work remains unchanged, as I have given it above.