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Montaigne's Travel Journal Paperback – November, 1983
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"On the eve of Easter I saw at Saint John Lateran the heads of Saint Paul and Saint Peter that are shown there, which still have their flesh, color, and beard, as if they were alive: Saint Peter, a white and slightly longish face, his color ruddy and inclined to the sanguine, a forked gray beard, his head covered with a papal miter; Saint Paul, dark, his face broad and stouter, the head bigger, the beard gray, thick. They are up high in a special place. The way of showing them is that they call the people by the sound of bells, and by fits and starts lower a curtain be-hind which are these heads, side by side. They Iet them be seen for the time it takes to say an Ave Maria, and immediately raise the curtain again; after that they lower it again in the same way, and this up to three times. They repeat this exhibition four or five times during the day. The place is about as high as a pike, and then there is a heavy iron grill through which you look. They light several tapers around it on the out-side; but it is hard to discern very clearly all the details. I saw them two or three times. The polish of these faces had some resemblance to our masks." (p. 95)
The heads are still in the church; unfortunately they are no longer displayed publicly.
North Point Press' books are wonderful examples of the bookmaker's art, but the company went out of business quite a while ago. Be sure to buy their edition if you can find one. The Foreword by Guy Davenport and Introduction by Donald M. Frame are icing on the cake.