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Philip Thicknesse
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 140 pages of information about A Year's Journey through France and Part of Spain, 1777.
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|        TAUROBOLIO MATRIS DEUM MAGNAE IDAEAE        |
|           QUOD FACTUM EST EX IMPERIO            |
|                MATRIS IDAEAE DEUM                 |
|         PRO SALUTE IMPERATORIS CAESARIS          |
|                    TITI AELII                    |
|   ADRIANI ANTONINI AUGUSTI PII PATRIS PATRIAE    |
|                LIBERORUMQUE EJUS                |
|          ET STATUS COLONIAE LUGDUNENSIS          |
|         LUCIUS AEMILIUS CARPUS SEXTUMVIS         |
|          AUGUSTALIS ITEM DENDROPHORUS           |
|                                                 |
|           VIRES EXCEPIT ET A VATICANO           |
|           TRANSTULIT ARAMET BUCRANIUM           |
|            SUO IMPENDIO CONSECRAVIT             |
|                    SACERDOTE                    |
|     QUINTO SAMMIO SECUNDO AB QUINDECEMVIRIS     |
|            OCCABO ET CORONA EXORNATO            |
|        CUI SANCTISSIMUS ORDO LUGDUNENSIS        |
|        PERPETUITATEM SACERDOTIS DECREVIT        |
|         APPIO ANNIA ATILIO BRADUA TITO          |
|          CLODIO VIBIO VARO CONSULIBUS           |
|         LOCUS DATUS DECRETO DECURIONUM.         |
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The Maison Carree is not however, quite square, being something more in length than breadth; it is eighty-two feet long and thirty-seven and a half high, exclusive of the square socle on which it stands, and which is, at this time, six feet above the surface; it is divided into two parts, one enclosed, the other open; the facade is adorned with six fluted pillars of the Corinthian order, and the cornice and front are decorated with all the beauties of architecture.  The frize is quite plain, and without any of those bas-reliefs or ornaments which are on the sides, where the foliage of the olive leaf is exquisitely finished.  On each side over the door, which opens into the enclosed part, two large stones, like the but-ends of joists, project about three feet, and these stones are pierced through with two large mortices, six inches long, and three wide; they are a striking blemish, and must therefore have been fixed, for some very necessary purpose—­for what, I will not risque my opinion; it is enough to have mentioned them to you.  As to the inside, little need be said; but, that, being now consecrated to the service of GOD, and the use of the order of Augustines, it is filled up with altars, ex votos, statues, &c. but such as we may reasonably conclude, have not, exclusive of a religious consideration, all those beauties which were once placed within a Temple, the outward structure of which was so highly finished.

Truth and concern compel me to conclude this account of the Maison Carree, in lamenting, that the inhabitants of Nismes (who are in general a very respectable body of people) suffer this noble edifice to be defiled by every species of filth that poverty and neglect can occasion.  The approach to it is through an old ragged kind of barn door:  it is surrounded with mean houses, and disgraced on every side with filth, and the offerings of the nearest inhabitants.  I know not any part of London but what would be a better situation for it, than where it now stands:  I will not except even Rag-fair, nor Hockly in the Hole.

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