George Gordon Byron, Letters and Journals, London 1833.
"Milan is striking, the cathedral superb."

Mark Twain, The innocents Abroad, San Francisco, 1869.
"What a wonder it is (the cathedral)! So grand, so solemn, so vast! And yet so delicate, so airy, so graceful! A very world of solid weight, and yet it seems ...a delusion of frostwork that might vanish with a breath!... The central one of its five great doors is bordered with a bas-relief of birds and fruits and beasts and insects, which have been so ingeniously carved out of the marble that they seem like living creatures-- and the figures are so numerous and the design so complex, that one might study it a week without exhausting its interest...everywhere that a niche or a perch can be found about the enormous building, from summit to base, there is a marble statue, and every statue is a study in itself...Away above, on the lofty roof, rank on rank of carved and fretted spires spring high in the air, and through their rich tracery one sees the sky beyond. ... (Up on) the roof...springing from its broad marble flagstones, were the long files of spires, looking very tall close at hand, but diminishing in the distance...We could see, now, that the statue on the top of each was the size of a large man, though they all looked like dolls from the street... They say that the Cathedral of Milan is second only to St. Peter's at Rome. I cannot understand how it can be second to anything made by human hands."

Herman Melville, Journal of a Visit to Europe and the Levant, 1856-57, Princeton 1955.
"More satisfactory to me than St. Peters. A wonderful grandure. Effect of burning windows at end of aisle(...). Groups of angels on points of pinnacles and everywhere."

Percy Bysshe Shelley, Letters, (from Peacock's Memoirs of Shelley, London 1909).
"This cathedral [Milan] is a most astonishing work of art. It is built of white marble, and cut into pinnacles of immense height and the utmost delicacy of workmanship and loaded with sculpture. The effect of it, piercing the solid blue with those groups of dazzling spires, relieved by the serene depth of this Italian heaven, or by moonlight when the stars seem gathered among those clustered shapes, is beyond anything I had imagined architecture capable of producing...There is one solitary spot among those aisles behind the altar, where the light of day is dim and yellow under the storied window, which I have chosen to visit, and read Dante there."

WILLIAM WORDSWORTH, The eclipse of the Sun, 1820.
"But Fancy with the speed of fire
Hath passed to Milan's loftiest spire,
And there alights 'mid that aerial host
Of Figures human and divine,
White as the snows of Apennine
Indurated by frost."

HENRY JAMES, Italian Hours, Boston-New York, 1909.
"Of that volume the Cathedral is the fairest and fullest page (...). It is splendidly vast and dim; the altarlamps twinkle afar through the incense-thickened air like foglights at sea, and the great columns rise straight to the roof, which hardly curves to meet them, with the girth and altitude of oaks of a thousand years; (...) Yet it was from a natural desire to breathe a sweeter air that I immediately afterwards undertook the interminable climb to the roof of the cathedral. This is another world of wonders, and one which enjoys due renown, every square inch of wall on the winding stairways being bescribbled with a traveller's name. There is a great glare from the far-stretching slopes of marble, a confusion (like the masts of a navy or the spears of an army) of image-capped pinnacles, biting the impalpable blue, and, better than either, the goodliest view of level Lombardy sleeping in its rich transalpine light and resembling, with its white-walled dwellings and the spires on its horizon, a vast green sea spotted with ships. After two months of Switzerland the Lombard plain is a rich rest to the eye, and the yellow, liquid, free-flowing light--as if on favoured Italy the vessels of heaven were more widely opened--had for mine a charm which made me think of a great opaque mountain as a blasphemous invasion of the atmospheric spaces."

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