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´╗┐Title: Rome in 1860
Author: Dicey, Edward, 1832-1911
Language: English
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Transcribed by from the 1861 Macmillan and Co. edition by David Price,


ROME IN 1860.
By
EDWARD DICEY.


Cambridge:
MACMILLAN AND CO.
AND 23, HENRIETTA STREET, COVENT GARDEN,
London.
1861.

[The right of Translation is reserved.]

* * * * *

Cambridge:
PRINTED BY C. J. CLAY, M.A.
AT THE UNIVERSITY PRESS

* * * * *

TO
MR. AND MRS ROBERT BROWNING



CHAPTER I.  THE ROME OF REAL LIFE.


My first recollections of Rome date from too long ago, and from too early
an age, for me to be able to recall with ease the impression caused by
its first aspect.  It is hard indeed for any one at any time to judge of
Rome fairly.  Whatever may be the object of our pilgrimage, we Roman
travellers are all under some guise or other pilgrims to the Eternal
City, and gaze around us with something of a pilgrim's reverence for the
shrine of his worship.  The ground we tread on is enchanted ground, we
breathe a charmed air, and are spellbound with a strange witchery.  A
kind of glamour steals over us, a thousand memories rise up and chase
each other.  Heroes and martyrs, sages and saints and sinners, consuls
and popes and emperors, people the weird pageant which to our mind's eye
hovers ever mistily amidst the scenes around us.  Here above all places
in God's earth it is hard to forget the past and think only of the
present.  This, however, is what I now want to do.  Laying aside all
memory of what Rome has been, I would again describe what Rome is now.
And thus, in my solitary wanderings about the city, I have often sought
to picture to myself what would be the feelings of a stranger who, caring
nothing and knowing nothing of the past, should enter Rome with only that
listless curiosity which all travellers feel perforce, when for the first
time they approach a great capital.  Let me fancy that such a traveller--a
very Gallio among travellers--is standing by my side.  Let me try and
tell him what, under my mentorship, he would mark and see.

It shall not be on a bright, cloudless day that we enter Rome.  To our
northern eyes the rich Italian sun-light gives to everything, even to
ruins and rags and squalor, a deceptive grandeur, and a beauty which is
not due.  No, the day shall be such a day as that on which I write; such
a day in fact as the days are oftener than not at this dead season of the
year, sunless and damp and dull.  The sky above is covered with
colourless, unbroken clouds, and the outline of the Alban and the Sabine
hills stands dimly out against the grey distance.  It matters little by
what gate or from what quarter we enter.  On every side the scene is much
the same.  The Campagna surrounds the city.  A wide, waste, broken,
hillock-covered plain, half common, half pasture land, and altogether
desolate; a few stunted trees, a deserted house or two, here and there a
crumbling mass of shapeless brickwork: such is the foreground through
which you travel for many a weary mile.  As you approach the city there
is no change in the desolation, no sign of life.  Every now and then a
string of some half-dozen peasant-carts, laden with wine-barrels or wood
faggots, comes jingling by.  The carts so-called, rather by courtesy than
right, consist of three rough planks and two high ricketty wheels.  The
broken-kneed horses sway to and fro beneath their unwieldy load, and the
drivers, clad in their heavy sheepskin jackets, crouch sleepily beneath
the clumsy, hide-bound framework, placed so as to shelter them from the
chill Tramontana blasts.  A solitary cart is rare, for the neighbourhood
of Rome is not the safest of places, and those small piles of stone, with
the wooden cross surmounting them, bear witness to the fact that a murder
took place not long ago on the very spot you are passing now.  Then,
perhaps, you come across a drove of wild, shaggy buffaloes, or a
travelling carriage rattling and jilting along, or a stray priest or so,
trudging homewards from some outlying chapel.  That red-bodied funereal-
looking two-horse-coach, crawling at a snail's pace, belongs to his
Excellency the Cardinal, whom Papal etiquette forbids to walk on foot
within the city, and whom you can see a little further on pottering
feebly along the road in his violet stockings, supported by his clerical
secretary, and followed at a respectful distance by his two attendant
footmen with their threadbare liveries.  At last, out of the dreary
waste, at the end of the interminable ill-paved sloughy road, the long
line of the grey tumble-down walls rises gloomily.  A few cannon-shot
would batter a breach anywhere, as the events of 1849 proved only too
well.  However, at Rome there is neither commerce to be impeded nor
building extension of any kind to be checked; the city has shrunk up
until its precincts are a world too wide; and the walls, if they are
useless, are harmless also; more, by the way, than you can say for most
things here.  There is no stir or bustle at the gates.  Two French
soldiers, striding across a bench, are playing at picquet with a pack of
greasy cards.  A pack-horse or two nibble the blades of grass between the
stones, while their owners haggle with the solitary guard about the
"octroi" duties.  A sentinel on duty stares listlessly at you as you
pass,--and you have entered Rome.

You are coming, I will suppose, from Ostia, and enter therefore by the
"Porta San Paolo;" the gate where legends tell that Belisarius sat and
begged.  I have chosen this out of the dozen entrances as recalling
fewest of past memories and leading most directly to the heart of the
living, working city.  You stand then within Rome, and look round in vain
for the signs of a city.  Hard by a knot of dark cypress-trees waves
above the lonely burial-ground where Shelley lies at rest.  A long,
straight, pollard-lined road stretches before you between high walls far
away; low hills or mounds rise on either side, covered by stunted,
straggling vineyards.  You pass on.  A beggar, squatting by the roadside,
calls on you for charity; and long after you have passed you can hear the
mumbling, droning cry, "Per l'amore di Dio e della Santa Vergine," dying
in your ears.  On the wall, from time to time, you see a rude painting of
Christ upon the cross, and an inscription above the slit beneath bids you
contribute alms for the souls in purgatory.  A peasant-woman it may be is
kneeling before the shrine, and a troop of priests pass by on the other
side.  A string of carts again, drawn by bullocks, another shrine, and
another troop of priests, and you are come to the river's banks.  The
dull, muddy Tiber rolls beneath you, and in front, that shapeless mass of
dingy, weather-stained, discoloured, plaster-covered, tile-roofed
buildings, crowded and jammed together on either side the river, is Rome
itself.  You are at the city's port, the "Ripetta" or quay of Rome.  In
the stream there are a dozen vessels, something between barges and
coasting smacks, the largest possibly of fifty tons' burden, which have
brought marble from Carrara for the sculptors' studios.  There is a
Gravesend-looking steamer too, lying off the quay, but she belongs to the
French government, and is employed to carry troops to and from Civita
Vecchia.  This is all, and at this point all traffic on the Tiber ceases.
Though the river is navigable for a long distance above Rome, yet beyond
the bridge, now in sight, not a boat is to be seen except at rare
intervals.  It is the Tiber surely, and not the Thames, which should be
called the "silent highway."

A few steps more and the walls on either side are replaced by houses, and
the city has begun.  The houses do not improve on a closer acquaintance;
one and all look as if commenced on too grand a scale, they had ruined
their builders before their completion, had been left standing empty for
years, and were now occupied by tenants too poor to keep them from decay.
There are holes in the wall where the scaffolding was fixed, large
blotches where the plaster has peeled away; stones and cornices which
have been left unused lie in the mud before the doors.  From the window-
sills and from ropes fastened across the streets flutter half-washed rags
and strange apparel.  The height of the houses makes the narrow streets
gloomy even at midday.  At night, save in a few main thoroughfares, there
is no light of any kind; but then, after dark at Rome, nobody cares much
about walking in out-of-the-way places.  The streets are paved with the
most angular and slippery of stones, placed herringbone fashion, with ups
and downs in every direction.  Foot-pavement there is none; and the
ricketty carriages drawn by the tottering horses come swaying round the
endless corners with an utter disregard for the limbs and lives of the
foot-folk.  You are out of luck if you come to Rome on a "Festa" day, for
then all the shops are shut, and the town looks drearier than ever.
However, even here the chances are two to one, or somewhat more, in
favour of the day of your arrival being a working-day.  When the shops
are open there is at any rate life enough of one kind or other.  In most
parts the shops have no window-fronts.  Glass, indeed, there is little of
anywhere, and the very name of plate-glass is unknown.  The dark, gloomy
shops varying in size between a coach-house and a wine-vault, have their
wide shutter-doors flung open to the streets.  A feeble lamp hung at the
back of every shop you pass, before a painted Madonna shrine, makes the
darkness of their interiors visible.  The trades of Rome are primitive
and few in number.  Those dismembered, disembowelled carcases, suspended
in every variety of posture, denote the butchers' shops; not the
pleasantest of sights at any time, least of all in Rome, where the custom
of washing the meat after killing it seems never to have been introduced.
Next door too is an open stable, crowded with mules and horses.  Those
black, mouldy loaves, exposed in a wire-work cage, to protect them from
the clutches of the hungry street vagabonds, stand in front of the
bakers, where the price of bread is regulated by the pontifical tariff.
Then comes the "Spaccio di Vino," that gloomiest among the shrines of
Bacchus, where the sour red wine is drunk at dirty tables by the grimiest
of tipplers.  Hard by is the "Stannaro," or hardware tinker, who is
always re-bottoming dilapidated pans, and drives a brisk trade in those
clumsy, murderous-looking knives.  Further on is the greengrocer, with
the long strings of greens, and sausages, and flabby balls of cheese, and
straw-covered oil-flasks dangling in festoons before his door.  Over the
way is the Government depot, where the coarsest of salt and the rankest
of tobacco are sold at monopoly prices.  Those gay, parti-coloured
stripes of paper, inscribed with the cabalistic figures, flaunting at the
street corner, proclaim the "Prenditoria di Lotti," or office of the
Papal lottery, where gambling receives the sanction of the Church, and
prospers under clerical auspices to such an extent that in the city of
Rome alone, with a population under two hundred thousand, fifty-five
millions of lottery tickets are said to be taken annually.  Cobblers and
carpenters, barbers and old clothes-men, seem to me to carry on their
trades much in the same way all the world over.  The peculiarity about
Rome is, that all these trades seem stunted in their development.  The
cobbler never emerges as the shoemaker, and the carpenter fails to rise
into the upholstery line of business.  Bookselling too is a trade which
does not thrive on Roman soil.  Altogether there is a wonderful sameness
about the streets.  Time after time, turn after turn, the same scene is
reproduced.  So having got used to the first strangeness of the sight you
move on more quickly.

There is no lack of life about you now, at the shop-doors whole families
sit working at their trades, or carrying on the most private occupations
of domestic life; at every corner groups of men stand loitering about,
with hungry looks and ragged garments, reminding one only too forcibly of
the "Seven Dials" on a summer Sunday; French soldiers and beggars, women
and children and priests swarm around you.  Indeed, there are priests
everywhere.  There with their long black coats and broad-brimmed shovel
hats, come a score of young priests, walking two and two together, with
downcast eyes.  How, without looking up, they manage to wend their way
among the crowd, is a constant miracle; the carriages, however, stop to
let them pass, for a Roman driver would sooner run over a dozen children
than knock down a priest.  A sturdy, bare-headed, bare-footed monk, not
over clean, nor over savoury, hustles along with his brown robe fastened
round his waist by the knotted scourge of cord; a ghastly-looking figure,
covered in a grey shroud from head to foot, with slits for his mouth and
eyes, shakes a money-box in your face, with scowling importunity; a fat
sleek abbe comes sauntering along, peeping into the open shops or (so
scandal whispers) at the faces of the shop-girls.  If you look right or
left, behind or in front, you see priests on every side,--Franciscan
friars and Dominicans, Carmelites and Capuchins, priests in brown cloth
and priests in serge, priests in red and white and grey, priests in
purple and priests in rags, standing on the church-steps, stopping at the
doorways, coming down the bye-streets, looking out of the windows--you
see priests everywhere and always.  Their faces are, as a rule, not
pleasant to look upon; and I think, at first, with something of the "old
bogey" belief of childhood, you feel more comfortable when they are not
too close to you; but, ere long, this feeling wears away, and you gaze at
the priests and at the beggars with the same stolid indifference.

You are getting, by this time, into the heart of the city, ever and anon
the streets pass through some square or piazza, each like the other.  In
the centre stands a broken fountain, moss-grown and weedy, whence the
water spouts languidly; on the one side is a church, on the other some
grim old palace, which from its general aspect, and the iron bars before
its windows, bears a striking resemblance to Newgate gone to ruin.  Grass
grows between the flag-stones, and the piazza is emptier, quieter, and
cleaner than the street, but that is all.  You stop and enter the first
church or two, but your curiosity is soon satisfied.  Dull and bare
outside, the churches are gaudy and dull within.  When you have seen one,
you have seen all.  A crippled beggar crouching at the door, a few common
people kneeling before the candle-lighted shrines, a priest or two
mumbling at a side-altar, half-a-dozen indifferent pictures and a great
deal of gilt and marble everywhere, an odour of stale incense and mouldy
cloth, and, over all, a dim dust-discoloured light.  Fancy all this, and
you will have before you a Roman church.  On your way you pass no fine
buildings, for to tell the honest truth, there are no fine buildings in
Rome, except St Peter's and the Colosseum, both of which lie away from
the town.  Fragments indeed of old ruins, porticoes built into the wall,
bricked-up archways and old cornice-stones, catch your eye from time to
time; and so, on and on, over broken pavements, up and down endless
hills, through narrow streets and gloomy piazzas, by churches
innumerable, amidst an ever-shifting motley crowd of peasants, soldiers,
priests, and beggars, you journey onwards for two miles or so; you have
got at last to the modern quarter, where hotels are found, and where the
English congregate.  There in the "Corso," and in one or two streets
leading out of it, there are foot-pavements, lamps at night, and windows
to the shops.  A fair sprinkling of second-rate equipages roll by you,
bearing the Roman ladies, with their gaudy dresses, ill-assorted colours,
and their heavy, handsome, sensual features.  The young Italian nobles,
with their English-cut attire, saunter past you listlessly.  The peasants
are few in number now, but the soldiers and priests and beggars are never
wanting.  These streets and shops, brilliant though they seem by contrast
with the rest of the city, would, after all, only be third-rate ones in
any other European capital, and will not detain you long.  On again by
the fountain of Treves, where the water-stream flows day and night
through the defaced and broken statue-work; a few steps more, and then
you fall again into the narrow streets and the decayed piazzas; on again,
between high walls, along roads leading through desolate ruin-covered
vineyards, and you are come to another gate.  The French sentinels are
changing guard.  The dreary Campagna lies before you, and you have passed
through Rome.

And when our stroll was over, that sceptic and incurious fellow-traveller
of mine would surely turn to take a last look at the dark heap of roofs
and chimney-pots and domes, which lies mouldering in the valley at his
feet.  If I were then to tell him, that in that city of some hundred and
seventy thousand souls, there were ten thousand persons in holy orders,
and between three and four hundred churches, of which nearly half had
convents and schools attached; if I were to add, that taking in novices,
scholars, choristers, servitors, beadles, and whole tribes of clerical
attendants, there were probably not far short of forty thousand persons,
who in some form or other lived upon and by the church, that is, in
plainer words, doing no labour themselves, lived on the labour of others,
he, I think, would answer then, that a city so priest-infested, priest-
ruled and priest-ridden, would be much such a city as he had seen with
me; such a city as Rome is now.



CHAPTER II.  THE COST OF THE PAPACY.


In foreign discussions on the Papal question it is always assumed, as an
undisputed fact, that the maintenance of the Papal court at Rome is, in a
material point of view, an immense advantage to the city, whatever it may
be in a moral one.  Now my own observations have led me to doubt the
correctness of this assumption, which, if true, forms an important item
in the whole matter under consideration.  It is no good saying, as my
"Papalini" friends are wont to do, Rome gains everything and indeed only
exists by the Papacy.  The real questions are, What class at Rome gain by
it, and what is it that they gain?  There are four classes at Rome: the
priests, the nobles, the bourgeoisie, and the poor.  Of course if anybody
gains it is the priesthood.  If the Pope were removed from Rome, or if a
lay government were established (the two hypotheses are practically
identical), the number of the Clergy would undoubtedly be much
diminished.  A large portion of the convents and clerical endowments
would be suppressed, and the present generation of priests would be heavy
sufferers.  This result is inevitable.  Under no free government would or
could a city of 170,000 inhabitants support 10,000 unproductive persons
out of the common funds; for this is substantially the case at Rome in
the present day.  Every sixteen lay citizens, men, women, and children,
support out of their labour a priest between them.  The Papal question
with the Roman priesthood is thus a question of daily bread, and it is
surely no want of charity to suppose that the material aspect influences
their minds quite as much as the spiritual.  Still even with regard to
the priests there are two sides to the question.  The system of political
and social government inseparable from the Papacy, which closes up almost
every trade and profession, drives vast numbers into the priesthood for
want of any other occupation.  The supply of priests is, in consequence,
far greater than the demand, and, as the laws of political economy hold
good even in the Papal States, priest labour is miserably underpaid.  It
is a Protestant delusion that the priests in Rome live upon the fat of
the land.  What fat there is is certainly theirs, but then there are too
many mouths to eat it.  The Roman priests are relatively poorer than
those in any other part of Italy.  It is one of the great mysteries in
Rome how all the priests who swarm about the streets manage to live.  The
clue to the mystery is to be found inside the churches.  In every church
here, and there are 366 of them, some score or two of masses are said
daily at the different altars.  The pay for performing a mass varies from
a "Paul" to a "Scudo;" that is, in round numbers, from sixpence to a
crown.  The "good" masses, those paid for by private persons for the
souls of their relatives, are naturally reserved for the priests
connected with the particular church; while the poor ones, which are paid
for out of the funds of the church, are given to any priest who happens
to apply for them.  So somehow or other, what with a mass or two a day,
or by private tuition, or by charitable assistance, or in some cases by
small handicrafts conducted secretly, the large floating population of
unemployed priests rub on from day to day, in the hope of getting
ultimately some piece of ecclesiastical patronage.  Yet the distress and
want amongst them are often pitiable, and, in fact, amongst the many
sufferers from the artificial preponderance given to the priesthood by
the Papal system, the poorer class of priests are not among the least or
lightest.

The nobility as a body are sure to be more or less supporters of the
established order of things.  Their interests too are very much mixed up
with those of the Papacy.  There is not a noble Roman family which has
not one or more of its members among the higher ranks of the priesthood,
and to a considerable degree their distinctions, such as they are, and
their temporal prospects are bound up with the Popedom.  Moreover, in
this rank of the social scale the private and personal influence of the
priests, through the women of the family, is very powerful.  The more
active, however, and ambitious amongst the aristocracy feel deeply the
exclusion from public life, the absence of any opening for ambition, and
the gradual impoverishment of their property, which are the necessary
evils of an absolute ecclesiastical government.

The "Bourgeoisie" stand on a very different footing.  They have neither
the moral influence of the priesthood nor the material wealth of the
nobility to console them for the loss of liberty; they form indeed the
"Pariahs" of Roman society.  "In other countries," a Roman once said to
me, "you have one man who lives in wealth and a thousand who live in
comfort.  Here the one man lives in comfort, and the thousand live in
misery."  I believe this picture is only too true.  The middle classes,
who live by trade or mental labour, must have a hard time of it.  The
professions of Rome are overstocked and underpaid.  The large class of
government officials or "impiegati," to whom admirers of the Papacy point
with such pride as evidence of the secular character of the
administration, are paid on the most niggardly scale; while all the
lucrative and influential posts are reserved for the priestly
administrators.  The avowed venality of the courts of justice is a proof
that lawyers are too poorly remunerated to find honesty their best
policy, while the extent to which barbers are still employed as surgeons
shows that the medical profession is not of sufficient repute to be
prosperous.  There is no native patronage for art, no public for
literature.  The very theatres, which flourish in other despotic states,
are here but losing speculations, owing to the interference of clerical
regulations.  There are no commerce and no manufactures in the Eternal
city.  In a back street near the Capitol, over a gloomy, stable-looking
door, you may see written up "Borsa di Roma," but I never could discover
any credible evidence of business being transacted on the Roman change.
There is but one private factory in Rome, the Anglo-Roman Gas Company.
What trade there is is huckstering, not commerce.  In fact, so Romans
have told me, you may safely conclude that every native you meet walking
in the streets here, in a broadcloth coat, lives from hand to mouth, and
you may pretty surely guess that his next month's salary is already
overdrawn.  The crowds of respectably-dressed persons, clerks and
shopkeepers and artizans, whom you see in the lottery offices the night
before the drawing, prove the general existence not only of improvidence
but of distress.

The favourite argument in support of the Papal rule in Rome, is that the
poor gain immensely by it.  I quite admit that the argument contains a
certain amount of truth.  The priests, the churches, and the convents
give a great deal of employment to the working classes.  There are
probably some 30,000 persons who live on the priests, or rather out of
the funds which support them.  Then, too, the system of clerical charity
operates favourably for the very poor.  Any Roman in distress can get
from his priest a "buono," or certificate, that he is in want of food,
and on presenting this at one of the convents belonging to the mendicant
orders, he will obtain a wholesome meal.  No man in Rome therefore need
be reduced to absolute starvation as long as he stands well with his
priest; that is, as long as he goes to confession, never talks of
politics, and kneels down when the Pope passes.  Now the evil moral
effects of such a system, its tendency to destroy independent
self-respect and to promote improvidence are obvious enough, and I doubt
whether even the positive gain to the poor is unmixed.  The wages paid to
the servants of the Church, and the amount given away in charity, must
come out of somebody's pockets.  In fact, the whole country and the poor
themselves indirectly, if not directly, are impoverished by supporting
these unproductive classes out of the produce of labour.  If prevention
is better than cure, work is any day better than charity.  After all,
too, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and nowhere are the poor
more poverty-stricken and needy than in Rome.  The swarms of beggars
which infest the town are almost the first objects that strike a stranger
here, though strangers have no notion of the distress of Rome.  The
winter, when visitors are here, is the harvest-time of the Roman poor.  It
is the summer, when the strangers are gone and the streets deserted,
which is their season of want and misery.

The truth is, that Rome, at the present day, lives upon her visitors, as
much or more than Ramsgate or Margate, for I should be disposed to
consider the native commerce of either of these bathing-places quite as
remunerative as that of the Papal capital.  The Vatican is the quietest
and the least showy of European courts; and of itself, whatever it may do
by others, causes little money to be spent in the town.  Even if the Pope
were removed from Rome, I much doubt, and I know the Romans doubt,
whether travellers would cease to come, or even come in diminished
numbers.  Rome was famous centuries before Popes were heard of, and will
be equally famous centuries after they have passed away.  The churches,
the museums, the galleries, the ruins, the climate, and the recollections
of Rome, would still remain equally attractive, whether the Pope were at
hand or not.  Under a secular government the city would be far more
lively and, in many respects, more pleasant for strangers.  An
enterprising vigorous rule could probably do much to check the malaria,
to bring the Campagna into cultivation, to render the Tiber navigable, to
promote roads and railways, and to develop the internal resources of the
Roman States.  The gain accruing from these reforms and improvements
would, in Roman estimation, far outweigh any possible loss in the number
of visitors, or from the absence of the Papal court.  Moreover, whether
rightly or wrongly, all Romans entertain an unshakeable conviction that
in an united Italian kingdom, Rome must ultimately be the chief, if not
the sole capital of Italy.

These reasons, which rest on abstract considerations, naturally affect
only the educated classes who are also biassed by their political
predilections.  The small trading and commercial classes are, on somewhat
different grounds, equally dissatisfied with the present state of things.
The one boon they desire, is a settled government and the end of this
ruinous uncertainty.  Now a priestly government supported by French
bayonets can never give Rome either order or prosperity.  For the sake of
quiet itself, they wish for change.  With respect to the poor, it is very
difficult to judge what their feelings or wishes may be.  From what I
have seen, I doubt, whether in any part of Italy, with the exception of
the provinces subject to Austrian oppression, the revolution is, strictly
speaking, a popular one.  I suspect that the populace of Rome have no
strong desire for Italian unity or, still less for annexation to
Sardinia, but I am still more convinced that they have no affection or
regard whatever for the existing government; not even the sort of
attachment, valueless though it be, which the lazzaroni of Naples have
for their Bourbon princes.  It is incredible, if any such a feeling did
exist, that it should refuse to give any sign of its existence at such a
time as the present.

With respect to the actual pecuniary cost of the Papal government, it is
not easy to arrive at any positive information; I have little faith in
statistics generally, and in Roman statistics in particular; I have,
however, before me the official Government Budget for the year 1858.  Like
all Papal documents, it is confused and meagre, but yet some curious
conclusions may be arrived at from it.  The year 1858 was as quiet a
year, be it remembered, as there has been in Italy for ten years past.  It
was only on new year's day, in 1859, that Napoleon dropped the first hint
of the Italian war.  The year 1858 may therefore be fairly regarded as a
normal year under the present Papal system.  For this year the net
receipts of the Government were,

                       Scudi.
Direct Taxes . . . . 3,011571
Customs  . . . . . . 5,444729
Stamps . . . . . . .   947184
Post . . . . . . . .   111848
Lottery  . . . . . .   392813
Licences for Trade . . 174525
Total               10,082670

Now the census, taken at the end of 1857, showed a little over 600,000
families in the Papal States.  The head therefore of every family had, on
an average, to pay about 16 sc. and a half, or 3 pounds. 7_s_. 9_d_.
annually for the expenses of the Government, which for so poor a country
is pretty well.  Let us now see how that money is professed to have been
spent,

The net expenses are,

                       Scudi.
Army . . . . . . . . 2,014047
Public Debt  . . . . 4,217708
Interior . . . . . . 1,507235
Currency . . . . . .    15115
Public Works . . . .   681932
Census . . . . . . .    88151
Grant for special
   purposes to Minister
   of Finance . . .  1,415404
Total                9,949592

Now the Pontifical army is kept up avowedly not for purposes of defence,
but to support the Government.  The public debt of 66 millions of scudi
has been incurred for the sake of keeping up this army.  The expenses of
the Interior mean the expenses of the police and spies, which infest
every town in the Papal dominions, and the grant for Special Purposes,
whatever else it may mean, which is not clear, means certainly some job,
which the Government does not like to avow.  The only parts, therefore,
of the expenditure which can be fairly said to be for the benefit of the
nation, are the expenses of the Currency, Census and Public Works,
amounting altogether to 785198 scudi, or not a twelfth of the net income
raised by taxation.  Commercially speaking, whatever may be the case
theologically, I am afraid the Papal system can hardly be said to pay.



CHAPTER III.  THE MORALITY OF ROME.


We all know the story of "Boccaccio's" Jew, who went to Rome an
unbeliever, and came back a Christian.  There is no need for alarm; it is
not my intention to repeat the story.  Indeed the only reason for my
alluding to it, is to introduce the remark that, at the present day, the
Jew would have returned from Rome hardened in heart and unconverted.  The
flagrant profligacy, the open immorality, which in the Hebrew's judgment
supplied the strongest testimony to the truth of a religion that survived
such scandals, exist no longer.  Rome is, externally, the most moral and
decorous of European cities.  In reality, she may be only a whited
sepulchre, but at any rate, the whitewash is laid on very thick, and the
plaster looks uncommonly like stone.  From various motives, this feature
is, I think, but seldom brought prominently forward in descriptions of
the Papal city.  Protestant and liberal writers slur over the facts,
because, however erroneously, they are deemed inconsistent with the
assumed iniquity of the Government and the corruptions of the Papacy.
Catholic narrators know perhaps too much of what goes on behind the
scenes to relish calling too close an attention to the apparent
proprieties of Rome.  Be the cause what it may, the moral aspect of the
Papal city seems to me to be but little dwelt upon, and yet on many
accounts it is a very curious one.

As far as Sabbatarianism is concerned, Rome is the Glasgow of Italy.  All
shops, except druggists', tobacconists', and places of refreshment, are
hermetically closed on Sundays.  Even the barbers have to close at half-
past ten in the morning under a heavy fine, and during the Sundays in
Lent cafes and eating-houses are shut throughout the afternoon, because
the waiters are supposed to go to catechism.  The English reading-rooms
are locked up; there is no delivery of letters, and no mails go out.  A
French band plays on the Pincian at sunset, and the Borghese gardens are
thrown open; but these, till evening, are the only public amusements.  At
night, it is true, the theatres are open, but then in Roman Catholic
countries, Sunday evening is universally accounted a feast.  To make up
for this, the theatres are closed on every Friday in the year, as they
are too throughout Lent and Advent; and once a week or more there is sure
to be a Saint's day as well, on which shops and all are closed, to the
great trial of a traveller's patience.  All the amusements of the Papal
subjects are regulated with the strictest regard to their morals.  Private
or public gambling of any kind, excepting always the Papal Lottery, is
strictly suppressed.  There are no public dancing-places of any kind, no
casinos or "cafes chantants."  No public masked balls are allowed, except
one or two on the last nights of the Carnival.  The theatres themselves
are kept under the most rigid "surveillance."  Every thing, from the
titles of the plays to the petticoats of the ballet-girls, undergoes
clerical inspection.  The censorship is as unsparing of "double
entendres" as of political allusions, and "Palais Royal" farces are
'Bowdlerized' down till they emerge from the process innocuous and dull;
compared with one at the "Apollo," a ballet at the Princess's was a wild
and voluptuous orgy.

The same system of repression prevails in everything.  In the print-shops
one never sees a picture which even verges on impropriety.  The few
female portraits exhibited in their windows are robed with an amount of
drapery which would satisfy the most prudish "sensibilities."  All books,
which have the slightest amorous tendency, are scrupulously interdicted
without reference to their political views.  The number of wine-shops
seems to me small in proportion to the size of the city, and in none of
them, as far as I could learn, are spirits sold.  There is another
subject, which will suggest itself at once to any one acquainted with the
life of towns, but on which it is obviously difficult to enter fully.  It
is enough to say, that what the author of "Friends in Council" styles,
with more sentiment than truth, "the sin of great cities," does not
"apparently" exist in Rome.  Not only is public vice kept out of sight,
as in some other Italian cities, but its private haunts and resorts are
absolutely and literally suppressed.  In fact, if priest rule were
deposed, and our own Sabbatarians and total-abstinence men and societies
for the suppression of vice, reigned in its stead, I doubt if Rome could
be made more outwardly decorous than it is at present.

This then is the fair side of the picture.  What is the aspect of the
reverse?  In the first place, the system requires for its working an
amount of constant clerical interference in all private affairs, which,
to say the least, is a great positive evil.  Confession is the great
weapon by means of which morality is enforced.  Servants are instructed
to report about their employers, wives about their husbands, children
about their parents, and girls about their lovers.  Every act of your
life is thus known to, and interfered with, by the priests.  I might
quote a hundred instances of petty interference: let me quote the first
few that come to my memory.  No bookseller can have a sale of books
without submitting each volume to clerical supervision.  An Italian
gentleman, resident here, had to my own knowledge to obtain a special
permission in order to retain a copy of Rousseau's works in his private
library.  The Roman nobles are not allowed to hunt because the Pope
considers the amusement dangerous.  Profane swearing is a criminal
offence.  Every Lent all restaurateurs are warned by a solemn edict not
to supply meat on fast days, and then told that "whenever on the
forbidden days they are obliged to supply rich meats, they must do so in
a separate room, in order that scandal may be avoided, and that all may
know they are in the capital of the catholic world."  Forced marriages
are matters of constant occurrence, and even strangers against whom a
charge of affiliation is brought are obliged either to marry their
accuser, or make provision for the illegitimate offspring.  In the
provinces the system of interference is naturally carried to yet greater
lengths.  Nine years ago certain Christians at Bologna, who had opened
shops in the Jewish quarter of the town, were ordered to leave at once,
because such a practice was in "open opposition to the Apostolic laws and
institutions."  Again, Cardinal Cagiano, Bishop of Senigaglia, published
a decree in the year 1844, which has never been repealed, to promote
morality in his diocese.  In that decree the following articles occur:

   "All young men and women are strictly forbidden, under any pretext
   whatever, to give or receive presents from each other before marriage.
   All persons who have received such presents before the publication of
   this decree, are required to make restitution of them within three
   months, or to become betrothed to the donor within the said period.
   Any one who contravenes these regulations is to be punished by fifteen
   days imprisonment, during which he is to support himself at his own
   expense, and the presents will be devoted to some pious purpose to be
   determined on hereafter."

I could multiply instances of this sort indefinitely, but I know of none
more striking than the last.

So much for the mode in which the system is worked, and now as to its
practical result.  To judge fully, it is necessary to get behind the
scenes, a thing not easy for a stranger anywhere, least of all here.
There is too the further difficulty, that when you have got behind the
scenes, it is not very easy to narrate your esoteric experiences to the
public.  Even if there were no other objection, it would be useless to
quote individual stories and facts which have come privately to my
knowledge, and which would show Rome, in spite of its external propriety,
to be one of the most corrupt, debauched, and demoralized of cities.  Each
separate story can be disputed or explained away, but the weight of the
general evidence is overpowering.  In these matters it is best to keep to
the old Latin rule, "Experto crede."  I have talked with many persons,
Romans, Italians, and foreign residents, on the subject, and from one and
all I have heard similar accounts.  Every traveller I have ever met with,
who has made like inquiries, has come to a like conviction.  In a country
where there is practically neither press nor public courts, nor
responsible government, where even no classified census is allowed to be
taken, statistics are hard to obtain, and of little value when obtained.
Personal evidence, unsatisfactory as it is, is after all the best you can
arrive at.  With regard then to what, in its strictest sense, is termed
the "morality" of Rome, I must dismiss the subject with the remarks, that
the absence of recognized public resorts and agents of vice may be dearly
purchased when parents make a traffic in their own houses of their
children's shame, and that perhaps as far as the state is concerned the
debauchery of a few is a less evil than the dissoluteness of the whole
population.  More I cannot and need not say.  With respect to other sins
against the Decalogue, it is an easier task to speak.  There is very
little drunkenness in Rome I freely admit, but then the Italians, like
most natives of warm countries, are naturally sober.  Rome is certainly
not superior in this respect to other Italian cities; since the
introduction of the French soldiery probably the contrary.  At the street
corners you constantly see exhortations against profane swearing, headed
"Bestemmiatore orrendo nome," but in spite of this, the amount of
blasphemies that any common Roman will pour forth on the slightest
provocation, is really appalling.  Beggars too are universal.  Everybody
begs; if you ask a common person your way along the street, the chances
are that he asks you for a "buono mano."  Now, even if you doubt the
truth of Sheridan's dictum, that no man could be honest without being
rich, it is hard to believe in a virtuous beggar.  The abundance, also,
of lotteries shakes one's faith in Roman morality.  A population amongst
whom gambling and beggary are encouraged by their spiritual and temporal
rulers is not likely in other respects to be a virtuous or a moral one.
The frequency of violent crimes is in itself a startling fact.

To my eyes, indeed, the very look of the city and its inhabitants, is a
strong _prima facie_ ground of suspicion.  There is vice on those worn,
wretched faces--vice in those dilapidated hovel-palaces--vice in those
streets, teeming with priests and dirt and misery.  In fact, if you only
fancy to yourself a city, where there are no manufactures, no commerce,
no public life of any kind; where the rich are condemned to involuntary
idleness, and the poor to enforced misery; where there is a population of
some ten thousand ecclesiastics in the prime of life, without adequate
occupation for the most part, and all vowed to celibacy; where priests
and priest-rule are omnipotent, and where every outlet for the natural
desires and passions of men is carefully cut off--if you take in fully
all these conditions and their inevitable consequences, you will not be
surprised if to me, as to any one who knows the truth, the outward
morality of Rome seems but the saddest of its many mockeries.



CHAPTER IV.  THE ROMAN PEOPLE.


"Senatus Populusque Romanus."  The phrase sounds strangely, in my ears,
like the accents of an unknown language or the burden of a half-forgotten
melody.  In those four initial letters there seems to me always to lie
embodied an epitome of the world's history--the rise and decline and fall
of Rome.  On the escutcheons of the Roman nobles, the S.P.Q.R. are still
blazoned forth conspicuously, but where shall we look for the realities
expressed by that world-famed symbol?  It is true, the Senate is still
represented by a single Senator, nominated by the Pope, who drives in a
Lord Mayor's state coach on solemn occasions; and regularly, on the first
night of the opera season, sends round ices, as a present to the favoured
occupants of the second and third tiers of boxes at the "Apollo."  This
gentleman, by all the laws of senatorial succession, is the undoubted
heir and representative of the old Roman Senate, who sat with their togas
wrapped around them, waiting for the Gaul to strike; but alas, the
"Populus Romanus" has left behind him neither heir nor descendant.

Yet surely, if anything of dead Rome be still left in the living city, it
should be found in the Roman people.  In the _Mysteres du Peuple_ of
Eugene Sue, there is a story, that to the Proletarian people, the sons of
toil and labour, belong genealogies of their own, pedigrees of families,
who from remote times have lived and died among the ranks of industry.
These fabulous families, I have often thought, should have had their home
in the Eternal City.  Amongst the peasants that you meet, praying in the
churches, or basking in the sun-light, or toiling in the deadly Campagna
plains, there must be some, who, if they knew it, descend in direct
lineage from the ancient "Plebs."  It may be so, or rather it must be so;
but of the fact there is little outward evidence.  You look in vain for
the characteristic features of the old Roman face, such as you behold
them when portrayed in ancient statues.  The broad low brow, the
depressed skull, the protruding under-jaw, and the thin compressed lips,
are to be seen no longer.  Indeed, though I make the remark with the fear
of the artist-world before my eyes, I should hardly say myself, that the
Romans of the present day were a very handsome race; and of their own
type they are certainly inferior both to Tuscans and Neapolitans.  The
men are well formed and of good height, but not powerful in build or
make, and their features are rather marked than regular.  As for the
women, when you have once perceived that hair may be black as coal and
yet coarse as string, that bright sparkling eyes may be utterly devoid of
expression, and that an olive complexion may be deepened by the absence
of washing, you grow somewhat sceptical as to the reality of their
vaunted beauty.  All this, however, is a matter of personal taste, about
which it is useless to express a decided opinion.  I must content myself
with the remark, that the Roman peasantry as depicted, year after year,
on the walls of our academy, bear about the same resemblance to the
article provided for home consumption, as the ladies in an ordinary
London ball-room bear to the portraits in the "Book of Beauty."  The
peasants' costumes too, like the smock-frocks and scarlet cloaks of Old
England, are dying out fast.  On the steps in the "Piazza di Spagna," and
in the artists' quarter above, you see some score or so of models with
the braided boddices, and the head-dresses of folded linen, standing
about for hire.  The braid, it is true, is torn; the snow-white linen
dirt-besmeared, and the brigand looks feeble and inoffensive, while the
hoary patriarch plays at pitch and toss: but still they are the same
figures that we know so well, the traditional Roman peasantry of the
"Grecian" and the "Old Adelphi."  Unfortunately, they are the last of the
Romans.  In other parts of the city the peasants' dresses are few and far
between; the costume has become so uncommon, as to be now a fashionable
dress for the Roman ladies at Carnival time and other holiday festivals.
On Sundays and "Festas" in the mountain districts you can still find real
peasants with real peasants' dresses; but even there Manchester stuffs
and cottons are making their way fast, and every year the old-fashioned
costumes grow rarer and rarer.  A grey serge jacket, coarse nondescript-
coloured cloth trousers, and a brown felt hat, all more or less ragged
and dusty, compose the ordinary dress of the Roman working man.  Female
dress, in any part of the world, is one of those mysteries which a wise
man will avoid any attempt to explain; I can only say, therefore, that
the dress of the common Roman women is much like that of other European
countries, except that the colours used are somewhat gayer and gaudier
than is common in the north.

Provisions are dear in Rome.  Bread of the coarsest and mouldiest quality
costs, according to the Government tariff, by which its price is
regulated, from a penny to three halfpence for the English pound.  Meat
is about a third dearer than in London, and clothing, even of the poorest
sort, is very high in price.  On the other hand, lodgings, of the class
used by the poor, are cheap enough.  There is no outlay for firing, as
even in the coldest weather (and I have known the temperature in Rome as
low as eight degrees below freezing-point), even well-to-do Romans never
think of lighting a fire; and then, in this climate, the actual quantity
of victuals required by an able-bodied labourer is far smaller than in
our northern countries, while, from the same cause, the use of strong
liquors is almost unknown.  Tobacco too, which is all made up in the
Papal factories and chiefly grown in the country, is reasonable in price,
though poor in quality.  In the country and the poorer parts of the city,
the dearest cigar you can buy is only a baioccho, or under one halfpenny;
and from this fact you may conclude what the price of the common cheap
cigars is to a native.  From all these causes, I feel no doubt that the
cost of living for the poor is comparatively small, though of course the
rate of wages is small in proportion.  For ordinary unskilled labour, the
day-wages, at the winter season, are about three pauls to three pauls and
a half; in summer about five pauls; and in the height of the vintage as
much as six or seven pauls, though this is only for a very few weeks.  I
should suppose, therefore, that from 1_s_. 6_d_. to 1_s_. 9_d_. a day,
taking the paul at 5_d_., were the average wages of a good workman at
Rome.  From these wages, small as they are, there are several deductions
to be made.

In the first place, the immense number of "festas" tells heavily on the
workman's receipts.  On the more solemn feast-days all work is strictly
forbidden by the priests; and either employer or labourer, who was
detected in an infraction of the law, would be subject to heavy fines.
Even on the minor festivals, about the observance of which the Church is
not so strict, labour is almost equally out of the question.  The people
have got so used to holiday keeping, that nothing but absolute necessity
can induce them to work, except on working days.  All over Italy this is
too much the case.  I was told by a large manufacturer in Florence, that
having a great number of orders on hand, and knowing extreme distress to
prevail among his workmen's families, he offered double wages to any one
who came to work on a "festa" day, but that only two out of a hundred
responded to his offer.  I merely mention this fact, as one out of many
such I have heard, to show how this abuse must prevail in Rome, where
every moral influence is exerted in favour of idleness against industry,
and where the observance of holy days is practised most religiously.

Then, too, the higher rate of wages paid in summer is counterbalanced by
the extra risk to which the labourer is exposed.  The ravages created by
the malaria fevers amongst the ill-bred, ill-clothed, and ill-cared-for
labourers, are really fearful.  Indeed it is hardly an exaggeration to
say, that the whole working population of Rome is eaten up with malaria.
I feel myself convinced that the misery and degradation of the Papal
States are to be attributed to two causes, the enormous burden of the
priesthood, and the ravages of the malaria.  How far these two causes are
in any way connected with each other, I have never been able to
determine.  It is one of the rhetorical exaggerations which have impaired
the utility of the _Question Romaine_, that M. About, in his remarkable
work, always treats the malaria as if it was solely due to the
inefficiency of the Papal Government, and would disappear with the
deposition of the Pope.  This unphilosophical view is generally adopted
by liberal opponents of the Papacy, who lay the malaria to its doors,
while Papal advocates, on the contrary, always treat the malaria as a
mysterious scourge which can never be removed or even palliated; a view
almost as unphilosophical as the other.  For my own part, I have only
been able to arrive at three isolated conclusions on the subject.  First,
that mere cultivation of the Campagna, as shown by Prince Borghese's
unsuccessful experiments, does not at any rate immediately affect the
virulence of the miasma, or whatever the malaria may be.  Secondly, that
the malaria can actually be built out, or, in other words, if the
Campagna was covered with a stone pavement, the disease would disappear--a
remedy obviously impracticable; and lastly, that though the existence of
the malaria cannot be removed, as far I can see, yet that its evil
effects might be immensely lessened by warm clothing, good food, and
prompt medical aid at the commencement of the malady.  Whatever tends to
improve the general condition of the Roman peasantry will put these
remedies more and more within their reach, and will therefore tend to
check the ravages of the malaria.  Thus, the inefficient and obstructive
Government of the Vatican, which checks all material as well as all moral
progress, increases indirectly the virulence of the fever-plague; but
this, I think, is the most that can fairly be stated.

I trust that, considering the importance of the subject, this digression,
unsatisfactory as it is, may be pardoned; and I now turn to the third
curse, which eats up the wages of the working man at Rome--a curse even
greater, I think, than the "festas" or the malaria--I mean, the
universality of the middle-man system.  If you require any work done,
from stone carving to digging, you seldom or never deal with the actual
workman.  If you are a farmer and want your harvest got in, you contract
months beforehand with an agent, who agrees to supply you with harvest-
men in certain numbers, at a certain price, out of which price he pockets
as large a percentage as he can, and has probably commissions to pay
himself to some sub-contractor.  If you are a sculptor and wish a block
of marble chiselled in the rough, the man you contract with to hew the
block at certain day-wages brings a boy to do the work at half the above
amount or less, and only looks in from time to time to see how the work
is proceeding.  It is the same in every branch of trade or business.  If
you wish to make a purchase, or effect a sale, or hire a servant, you
have a whole series of commissions or brokerages to pay before you come
into contact with the principal.

If you inquire why this system is not broken through, why the employer
does not deal directly with his workmen, you are told that the custom of
the country is against any other method; that amongst the workmen
themselves there is so much terrorism and intimidation and _espionnage_,
that any single employer or labourer, who contracted for work
independently, would run a risk of annoyance or actual injury; of having,
for example, his block of marble split "by a slip of the hand," or his
tools destroyed, or a knife stuck into him as he went home at night, and,
more than all, that, without the supervision of the actual overseer, your
workmen would cheat you right and left, no matter what wages you paid.
After all it is better to be cheated by one man than by a dozen, and
being at Rome you must do as the Romans do.

It may possibly have been observed that, in the foregoing paragraph, I
have spoken of the "workmen at Rome," not of the Roman workmen.  The
difference, though slight verbally, is an all-important one.  The workmen
in Rome are not Romans, for the Romans proper never work.  The Campagna
is tilled in winter by groups of peasants, who come from the Marches, in
long straggling files, headed by the "Pifferari," those most inharmonious
of pipers.  In summer-time the harvest is reaped and the vintage gathered
in by labourers, whose homes lie far away in the Abruzzi mountains.  In
many ways these mountaineers bear a decided resemblance to the swarms of
Irish labourers who come across to England in harvest-time.  They are
frugal, good-humoured, and, compared to the native Romans, honest and
hard-working.  A very small proportion too of the working-men in Rome
itself are Romans.  Certain trades, as that of the cooks for instance,
are almost confined to the inhabitants of particular outlying districts.
The masons, carpenters, carvers, and other mechanical trades, are filled
by men who do not belong to the city, and who are called and considered
foreigners.  Of course the rule is not without exceptions, and you will
find genuine Romans amongst the common workmen, but amongst the skilled
workmen hardly ever.  There is a very large, poor, I might almost say,
pauper population in Rome, and in some form or other these poor must work
for their living, but their principle is to do as little work as
possible.  There still exists amongst the Romans a sort of debased,
imperial pride, a belief that a Roman is _per se_ superior to all other
Italians.  For manual work, or labour under others, they have an equal
contempt and dislike.  All the semi-independent trades, like those of cab-
drivers, street-vendors, petty shopkeepers, &c. are eagerly sought after
and monopolized by Romans.  The extent to which small trades are carried
on by persons utterly without capital and inevitably embarrassed with
debt, is one of the chief evils in the social system which prevails here.
If the Romans also, like the unjust steward, are too proud to dig, unlike
that worthy, to beg they are _not_ ashamed.  Begging is a recognized and
a respected profession, and if other trades fail there is always this
left.  The cardinal principle of Papal rule is to teach its subjects to
rely on charity rather than industry.  In order to relieve in some
measure the fearful distress that existed among the poor of Rome in the
early spring, the Government took some thousand persons into their
employment, and set them to work on excavating the Forum.  The sight of
these men working, or, more correctly speaking, idling at work, used to
be reckoned one of the stock jokes of the season.  Six men were regularly
employed in conveying a wheelbarrow filled with two spadefuls of soil.
There was one man to each handle, two in front to pull when the road
rose, and one on each side to give a helping hand and keep the barrow
steady.  You could see any day long files of such barrows, so escorted,
creeping to and from the Forum.  It is hardly necessary to say that
little progress was ever made in the excavations, or, for that matter,
intended to be made.  Yet the majority of these workmen were able-bodied
fellows, who received tenpence a day for doing nothing.  Much less injury
would have been inflicted on their self-respect by giving them the money
outright than in return for this mockery of labour.  Moreover the poor in
Rome, as I have mentioned elsewhere, are not afraid of actual starvation.
"Well-disposed" persons, with a good word from the priests, can obtain
food at the convents of the mendicant friars.  I am not saying there is
no good in this custom; in fact, it is almost the one good feature I know
of connected with the priestly system of government; but still, on an
indolent and demoralised population like that of Rome, the benefit of
this sort of charity, which destroys the last and the strongest motive
for exertion, is by no means an unmixed one.

The amusements of the people are much what might be expected from their
occupations.  To do them justice, they drink but moderately; but whenever
they can spare the time and money, they crowd out into the roadside
"Osterias," and spend hours, smoking and sipping the red wine lazily.
Walking is especially distasteful to them; and on a Sunday and festa-day
you will see hundreds of carriages filled with working people, though the
fares are by no means cheap.  Whole families will starve themselves for
weeks before the Carnival, and leave themselves penniless at the end, to
get costumes and carriages to drive down the "Corso" with on the gala
days.  The Romans, too, are a nation of gamblers.  Their chief amusement,
not to say their chief occupation, is gambling.  In the middle of the
day, at street-corners and in sunny spots, you see groups of working-men
playing at pitch halfpenny, or gesticulating wildly over the mysterious
game of "Moro."  Skittles and stone-throwing are the only popular
amusements which require any bodily exertion; and both of these, as
played here, are as much chance as skill.  The lottery, too, is the great
national pastime.

This picture of the Roman people may not seem a very favourable or a very
promising one.  I quite admit, that many persons, who have come much into
contact with them, speak highly of their general good humour, their
affectionate feelings and their sharpness of intellect.  At the same
time, I have observed that these eulogists of the Roman populace are
either Papal partizans who, believing that "this is the best of all
possible worlds," wish to prove also that "everything here is for the
best," or else they are vehement friends of Italy, who are afraid of
damaging their beloved cause by an admission of the plain truth, that the
Romans are not as a people either honest, truthful or industrious.  For
my own part, my faith is different.  A bad government produces bad
subjects, and I am not surprised to find in the debasement and
degradation of a priest-ruled people the strongest condemnation of the
Papal system.



CHAPTER V.  TRIALS FOR MURDER.


The idler about the streets of Rome may, from time to time, catch sight,
on blank walls and dead corners, of long white strips of paper, covered
with close-printed lines of most uninviting looking type, and headed with
the Papal arms--the cross-keys and tiara.  If, being like myself
afflicted with an inquisitive turn of mind, he takes the trouble of
deciphering these hieroglyphic documents, his labour would not be
altogether thrown away.  Those straggling strips, stuck up in out-of-the-
way places, glanced at by a few idle passers-by, and torn down by the
prowling vagabonds of the streets after a day or two for the sake of the
paper, are the sole public records of justice issued, or allowed to be
issued, under the Pontifical government.  Trials are carried on here with
closed doors; no spectators are admitted; no reports of the proceedings
are published.  In capital cases, however, _after_ the execution of the
criminal has taken place a sort of _Proces verbal_ of the case and of the
trial is placarded on the walls of the chief towns.

During the period of my stay at Rome there were three executions in
different parts of the Papal territory.  Whether by accident or by design
I cannot say, but all these executions occurred within a short period of
each other, and, in consequence, three such statements were issued almost
at the same time by the Government.  With considerable difficulty I
succeeded in obtaining copies of these statements, not, I am bound to
say, because there seemed to be any reluctance in furnishing them, but
because the fact of anybody wishing to obtain copies was so unusual, that
there was no preparation made for supplying them; and, at last, I only
succeeded in procuring them from a printer's devil to the Stanperia
Apostolica.  The facts narrated in them, and the circumstances alluded
to, seem to me to throw a strange light on the administration of justice,
and the daily life of this priest-ruled country.  It is as such that I
wish to comment on them.  In these statements, be it remembered, there is
no question of political or clerical bias.  The facts stated are all
facts, admitted by the authorities of their own free will and pleasure;
and if, as I think, these facts tell most unfavourably on the judicial
system of our clerical rulers, it is, at any rate, out of their own
mouths they are convicted.  All, therefore, that I propose to do is,
having these official statements before me, to tell the stories that they
contain, as shortly and as clearly as I can, adding no comment of my own
but what is necessary to explain the facts in question.  Let me take
first the case, which is entitled "Cannara contro Luigi Bonci;" the
township of Cannara, where the crime was committed, being what we should
call in a civil suit the plaintiff, and the accused Bonci the defendant.



CHAPTER V.--continued.  THE "BONCI" MURDER.


Some three years ago, then, there lived in the hamlet of Cannara, near
Perugia, a family called Bonci.  They belonged to the peasant class, and
were poor, even among the Papal peasantry.  The family consisted of the
father and mother, and of their son and daughter, both grown up.  Between
the father and son there had long been ill-blood.  The cause of this want
of family harmony is but indistinctly stated, but apparently it was due
to the irregular habits of the son, and to the severity of the father;
while all this domestic misery was rendered doubly bitter by the almost
abject want of the household.  On the night of November the 9th, 1856,
Venanzio Bonci, the father, Maria Rosa, his wife, and their daughter,
Caterina, were at supper in the miserable room, which formed the whole of
their dwelling, waiting for the return of the son, Luigi, who had been
absent ever since the morning.  There had been frequent quarrels before
between father and son about Luigi's stopping out late, and now it was
past midnight.  There was no light in the room except a faint flicker
from the embers, and the feeble glimmering of the starlight which entered
through the open windows.  A noise was heard in the stable underneath the
room, and the father, thinking it was the son, called out three or four
times, but got no answer.  A few minutes after Luigi entered without the
lantern, which he had left below in the stable, and although his sister
bade him good night he made no reply.  As he entered the room his father
called to him, "A fine time of night to come home."  "What then?" was the
only answer given by Luigi.  "You have never been home since morning,"
went on the father.  "What then?" was still the only answer.  The father
then told the son to hold his tongue, and again received the same reply.
At last Venanzio, losing his temper, called out, "Be quiet, or I'll break
your head;" or, according to the story, "I'll murder you:" to which Luigi
only answered, "I may as well die to-day as to-morrow."  After that there
was a short scuffle heard, and Venanzio suddenly cried out as if in pain,
"My God! my God!"  The mother and daughter screamed for help, but by the
time the neighbours had come in with lights, Luigi had run off.  Venanzio
was found reeling to and fro, with blood pouring from several wounds,
and, in spite of medical aid, he died in the course of a few hours.
Almost immediately after the commission of the crime Luigi was found by
the gendarmes in the cottage of an uncle, and arrested on the spot.

These, as far as I can learn from the very confused documents before me,
are all the facts admitted without question; or, more strictly speaking,
which the Government states to have been unquestioned.  Luigi was
arrested on the night of the murder.  Such small evidence as there was
could have been ascertained in twenty-four hours, and yet the prisoner
was never brought to trial till the 3rd of May, 1858; that is, eighteen
months afterwards.  On that day Luigi Bonci was arraigned before the
civil and criminal court of Perugia, on the two counts of parricide, and
of having illegal arms in his possession.  The Court was composed of the
President, Judge, Assistant Judge, and Deputy Judge of the district.
These gentlemen (all, I should state, lay officials) were assisted by the
public prosecutor and the Government counsel for the defence.  The course
of proceedings is stated to have been as follows: prayers were first
offered up for the Divine guidance, the prisoner was introduced and
identified, the written depositions were read over, a narrative of the
facts was given by the president, the prisoner was called upon to reply
to the charges alleged against him, the witnesses for the crown and for
the prisoner were heard respectively, the counsel for the prosecution
called upon the court to condemn the prisoner, and was replied to by the
counsel for the defence; the discussion was then declared closed, and
after the judges had retired and deliberated, their sentence was given.

All the facts I have been able to put together about the case are
gathered from this sentence and from those of the courts of appeal.  These
sentences, however, are extremely lengthy, very indistinct, and
encumbered with a great deal of legal phraseology.  As they are all alike
I may as well give an abstract of this one as a specimen of all.  The
sentence begins with the following moral remarks: "Frequent paternal
admonitions, alleged scarcity of daily food, and the evil counsels of
others, had alienated the heart of the prisoner to such an extent, that
feelings of affection and reverence towards his own father, Venanzio, had
given place to contempt, disobedience, ill-will, and even worse."  No
one, however, would have supposed that he "was capable of becoming a
parricide, as was too clearly proved on the fatal night in question."
After these preliminary reflections comes a narration of the facts much
in the words in which I have given them.  This is followed by a statement
of the arguments for the prosecution and for the defence, consisting of a
number of verbose paragraphs, each beginning, "considering that," &c.  The
case of the prosecution was clear enough.  The medical evidence proved
that the father died of the wounds received on the above-named night.  The
fact that the wounds were inflicted by the prisoner, was established by
the evidence of his mother and sister, who overheard the quarrel between
him and his father, by the flight after commission of the crime, by the
discovery of a blood-stained knife dropped on the threshold, by the
deposition of the father before death, and lastly, by the confession of
the prisoner himself, who admitted the crime, though under extenuating
circumstances.  The fact that the sister never heard the knife open,
although it had three clasps, was asserted to be evidence that the
prisoner entered the room with his knife open and intending to commit the
crime.  This charge of _malice prepense_ was supported by the son's
refusal to answer his father, by the insolence of his language, and by
the number and vehemence of the stabs he inflicted.

The prisoner's defence was also very simple.  According to his own story,
he was half drunk on his return home.  His father not only taunted and
threatened him, but at last seized the door-bar and began knocking him
about the head; and then, at last, maddened with pain and passion, he
drew out a knife he had picked up on the road, and stabbed his father,
hardly knowing what he did.  On the bare statement of facts, I should
deem this version of the story the more probable of the two, but as no
details whatever are given of the evidence on either side, it is
impossible to judge.  The court at any rate decided that there was no
proof of the prisoner having been drunk, and that the evidence of his
father having struck him was of a suspicious character, "while," they
add, "it would be absurd and immoral to maintain, that a father, whose
right and duty it is to correct his children (and indeed on this occasion
correction was abundantly deserved by the insolent demeanour of Luigi)
could be considered to provoke his son by a slight personal
chastisement."  The son, by the way, was over one and twenty, a fact to
which no allusion is made.  As "a forlorn hope," in the words of the
sentence, the counsel for the defence asserted, that whatever the crime
of the prisoner might be, it was not parricide, from the simple fact that
Luigi was not Venanzio's son.  The facts of the case appear to have been,
that Maria Rosa Battistoni being then unmarried, gave birth in July 1835
to a son, who was the prisoner at the bar; that shortly afterwards the
vicar of Cannara gave information to the Episcopal court of Assisi, that
Maria Rosa had been seduced by Venanzio Bonci and had had an illegitimate
child by him; that, in consequence, a formal requisition was addressed by
the above court to Venanzio, and that he thereupon acknowledged the
paternity of the child, and expressed his readiness to marry the mother.
The marriage was therefore solemnized, and the child entered in the
church-books as the legitimized son of Venanzio and Maria Bonci, in June,
1836.  Against this strong presumptive evidence of paternity, and the
natural inference to be drawn from the child having been brought up and
educated as Venanzio's son, there were only, we are told, to be set,
alleged expressions of doubt on the father's part, when in a passion, as
to his being really the father, and also certain confessions of the
mother to different parties, that Luigi was not the child of her husband.
All these confessions however, so it is asserted, were proved to be
subsequent in date to the son's arrest, and therefore, probably, made
with a view to save his life.  The plea is in consequence rejected.

No defence was attempted to the second count.  Both charges are therefore
declared fully proved; and as the punishment for parricide is public
execution, and the penalty for having in one's possession (a lighter
offence by the way, than using) any weapon without special license,
consists of imprisonment from two to twelve months, and of a fine from
five to sixty scudi, therefore the court "condemns Luigi Bonci for the
first count, to be publicly executed in Cannara, and to make compensation
to the heirs of the murdered man, according to the valuation of the civil
tribunals, and to pay the cost of the trial; and on the second count, the
court" (with a pedantic mockery of mercy) "considers the first three
months of the incarceration the prisoner has already undergone to be
sufficient punishment, coupled with a fine of five scudi and the loss of
the weapon."

This summary will, I fear, give the reader too favourable an opinion of
the original sentence.  In order to make the story at all intelligible, I
have had to pick out my facts, from a perfect labyrinth of sentences and
parentheses.  All I, or any one else can state is, that these seem to be
the facts, which seem to have been proved by the witnesses.  What the
character of the evidence was, or what was the relative credibility of
the witnesses, whose very names I know not, or how far their assertions
were borne out or contradicted by circumstantial proof, are all matters
on which (though the whole character of the crime depends on them) I can
form no opinion whatever.

The trial occupied but one day, and yet the above sentence, it appears,
was not communicated to the prisoner till the 15th of October, 1858, that
is, over five months afterwards.  When the official announcement of the
sentence was made, the prisoner declared his intention of appealing
against its justice.  By the Papal law, every person condemned for a
criminal offence, by the lay tribunals, has the right of appealing to the
Supreme Pontifical Court.  It is, therefore, needless to say, that in all
cases where sentence of death is passed, an appeal is made on any ground,
however trivial, as the condemned culprit cannot lose by this step, and
may gain.  The practical and obvious objection to this unqualified power
of appeal, is that the supreme ecclesiastical court is the real judge,
not the nominal lay court, which does little more than register the fact,
that the crime is proved _prima facie_.

On the 15th of February, 1859, after a delay of four months more from the
time of appeal, the court of the supreme tribunal of the Consulta Sacra,
assembled at the Monte Citorio in Rome, to try the appeal.  The court was
composed of six "most illustrious and reverend Judges," all "Monsignori"
and all dignitaries of the Church, assisted by a public prosecutor and
counsel for the defence, attached to the Papal exchequer.  The course of
proceedings appears to be much the same as in the inferior courts, except
that no witnesses, save the prisoner, were examined orally, and the whole
evidence was taken from written depositions.  At last, after "invoking
the most sacred name of God," the court pronounce their sentence.  This
sentence is in a great measure a recapitulation of the preceding one.
Either no new facts were adduced, or none are alluded to.  The grounds
for the defence are the same as on the previous occasion, namely, the
provocation given by the father, and the doubt as to the son's paternity.
There were, in fact, two questions before the court.  First, whether the
crime committed was murder or manslaughter; and, if it was murder,
whether the murderer was or was not the son of the murdered man.  Instead,
however, of facing either of these questions of fact, the court seems to
enter upon abstract considerations, which to our notions are quite
irrelevant.  The degree to which paternal corrections can be carried
without abuse, and the problem whether a man who kills a person, whom he
believes and has reason to believe to be his father, but who is not so in
fact, is guilty or not of the sin of parricide, seem rather questions for
clerical casuistry than considerations which bear upon facts.  The final
conclusion drawn from these various reflections is, that the court
confirms the judgment of the Perugian tribunal, in every respect.

The rejection of the appeal is not communicated for two months more, that
is, not till the 22nd of April, to the prisoner, who at once appeals
again against the execution of the verdict to the Upper Court of the
Supreme Tribunal.  On the 13th of May the case comes on for its third and
last trial.  The court is again composed of six ecclesiastics of high
rank, assisted by the same official counsel as before; the same course of
proceeding is adopted, except that the prisoner is not brought into court
or examined.  Again, after "invoking the most holy name of God," the
tribunal pronounces, not its sentence this time, but its judgment.  This
judgment alludes only to the two grounds on which the appeal is based.
The first is the question of paternity, which is at once dismissed, as
being a matter of evidence that has been already decided.  The second
ground of appeal is a technical and a legal one.  The defence appears to
have pleaded, that the original arrest was illegal, and that, by this
fact, the whole trial was vitiated.  On both sides it was admitted that
the prisoner was arrested without a warrant, and not in "flagrante
delicto," and that therefore the arrest was, strictly speaking, illegal.
The court, however, decides, that though the prisoner was not taken in
the act, yet his guilt was so manifest, that the gendarmes were justified
in acting as if they had caught him perpetrating the crime, while in
offences of great atrocity the police have also a discretionary power to
arrest offenders, even without warrants.  Though in this particular
instance the result is not much to be regretted, yet it is obvious, that
the admission of such a principle, and such an interpretation of the law,
gives the police unlimited power of arrest, subject to the approval of
their superiors: whether right or wrong, therefore, the appeal is
dismissed, and the final sentence of death pronounced.

It seems that this verdict was submitted on the 24th of May by the
President of the Supreme Court to the consideration of his Holiness the
Pope, who offered no objection to its execution.  The prisoner's last
chance was now gone, but, with a cruel mercy, he was left to linger on
for eight months more in uncertainty.  It was only on the 3rd of January,
1860, that orders were sent from Rome to Perugia, for the execution to
take place there instead of at Cannara, on the 13th.  On that day the
verdict of the court is conveyed to the unhappy wretch.  On the 14th, so
the last paragraph informs us, "The condemned" Luigi Bonci "was beheaded
by the public executioner, in the market-place of Perugia, and his head
was there exposed for an hour to the gaze of the assembled multitude."

On the 18th the report, from which these facts are taken, was placarded
on the walls of Rome.  The murder is committed in November, 1856; the
murderer is arrested on the night of the crime; for that crime he is not
tried at all till May, 1858; his final trial does not come off till May,
1859, and his execution is deferred till January, 1860.  For three years
and a quarter after the commission of the murder no report is published.
These facts need no comment.



CHAPTER V.--continued.  THE "UGOLINI" MURDER.


Of late years, round and about Viterbo, there was a well-known character,
Giovanni Ugolini by name, a sort of itinerant "Jack-of-all-trades," who
wandered about from place to place, picking up any odd job he could find,
and begging when he could turn his hand to nothing else.  He is described
in the legal reports as a Tinker and Umbrella-mender, but his especial
line of industry, novel to us at any rate, seems to have been that of a
scraper and cleaner of old tombstones.  By these various pursuits, he
scraped together a good bit of money for a man in his position, and at
the end of his winter circuit, in the year 1857, he had saved up by
common report as much as 70 scudi, or about 14 pounds odd.  On the 4th of
May in that year, Ugolini left the little town of Castel Giorgio, with
the avowed intention of going to Viterbo, to change his monies into
Tuscan coin.  Being belated on his road, he resolved to stop over the
night at the house of a certain Andrea Volpi which lay on his road, and
where he had often slept before.  On the following morning, about eight
o'clock, he left Volpi's house and went on his journey towards Viterbo.
Nothing more is positively known about him, except that on the same day
his body was found on a bye-path, a little off the direct Viterbo road,
covered with wounds.  No money was discovered about his person, while
there was every indication of his clothes and pack having been rummaged
and rifled.

Assuming, as one must, the correctness of these facts, there can be no
doubt that a very brutal murder and robbery had been committed.  For some
reasons, what, we are not told, the suspicions of the police fell at once
on one of Volpi's sons, called Serafino, a lad of about 22, and on a
friend of his, Bonaventura Starna, about two years older than himself.
Both of these persons, who were common labourers, were, in consequence,
arrested on the 7th of May.  They were not tried, however, till the 27th
of April, in the year following, when they were arraigned for the murder
before the lay criminal and civil court of Viterbo.

The two prisoners, nevertheless, are not tried on the same charge.  Volpi
is arraigned by the public prosecutor on a charge of wilful murder,
accompanied with treachery and robbery, while Starna is only brought to
trial as an accomplice to the crime, not as a principal.  Before the
actual guilt of either prisoner is ascertained, the public prosecutor,
that is, the Government, decides the relative degree of their respective
hypothetical guilt.  The justice of this proceeding may be questioned,
but its motive is palpable enough.  There was little or no direct
evidence against the prisoners, and to convict either of them, it was
necessary to rely upon the testimony of the other.

"With both the prisoners," so runs the sentence of the court, "a criminal
motive could be established in the fact of their avowed poverty, as they
each clearly admitted, that neither they nor their families possessed
anything in the world, and that they derived the means of their miserable
sustenance from their daily labour alone."  A very close intimacy was
proved to have existed between the prisoners, so much so, indeed, that
Starna had frequently been reproved by his parents for his friendship
with a man who stood in such ill repute as Volpi.  The fact that the
murdered man was, or was believed to be in possession of money, was shown
to be well known amongst the Volpi family.  Two of Serafino Volpi's
brothers were reported to have spoken to third parties of Ugolini's
savings, and one of them expressed a wish to rob him.  Why this brother
was neither arrested nor apparently examined, is one of the many
mysteries, by the way, you come across in perusing these Papal reports.
Serafino too had mentioned himself, to a neighbour, his suspicion of the
tinker's having saved money.  On the morning of the murder, Starna was
known to have come to the Volpi's cottage, to have talked with Serafino,
and to have left again in his company, shortly after Ugolini's departure.
After about an hour's absence, Serafino Volpi returned home, and
therefore had time enough to commit the murder.  He was shown, moreover,
to have been in possession of a knife, about which he could give no
satisfactory account, and which might have inflicted the wounds found on
the corpse.

These appear to have been all the facts which could be established
against either Volpi or Starna by positive evidence, and, at the worst,
such facts could only be said to constitute a case for suspicion.
Previously, however, to the trial, Starna turned, what we should call,
"King's evidence," and, in contradiction to his foregoing statements,
made a confession, on which the prosecution practically rested the whole
of its case.  According to this confession of Starna's, on the morning of
the murder he called by accident at the Volpi's, and stopped there, till
after the tinker, who was an entire stranger to him, had left the house.
Serafino Volpi then offered to accompany him to his (Starna's) house, on
the pretence of borrowing some tool or other.  They walked quickly to
avoid the rain, which was falling heavily, and shortly overtook Ugolini,
who exchanged a few words with Volpi about the weather, and then turned
off along a bye-road.  Thereupon Volpi proposed that they should follow
the old man and rob him, adding, "he has got a whole lot of coppers."
Starna, according to his own story, refused to have anything to do with
the matter; on which Volpi said, in that case he should do it alone, and
asked Starna to go and fetch the tool he wanted, and bring it to him
where they were standing.  Starna then left Volpi running across the
fields to overtake the tinker, and went home to find the tool.  In a very
short time afterwards, as he was coming back to the appointed meeting-
place, he met Volpi in a great state of agitation, who told him that the
job was finished, and Ugolini's throat cut, but that only 20 pauls' worth
of copper money, about eight shillings, were found upon him.  Starna
admitted that he then took eight pauls as his own share in the booty, and
told Volpi to wash off some spots of blood visible on his sleeve.  He
also added, that later on the same day he met Volpi again, and then
expressed his alarm at what had happened; on which he received the
answer, "If you had been with me, you would not be alive now."

One can hardly conceive a more suspicious story, or one more clearly
concocted to give the best colour to the witness's own conduct, at the
expense of his fellow-prisoner.  No evidence whatever appears to have
been brought in support of this confession.  The court, notwithstanding,
decides that the truth of this statement is fully established by internal
and external testimony, and therefore declares that the alleged crimes
are clearly proved against both the prisoners.  "Considering,"
nevertheless, "that though Starna was an accomplice in the crime, from
his having assisted Volpi, and from having, by his own confession, shared
in the booty, yet that his guilt was less, both in the conception and in
the perpetration of the crime, there being no proof that he had taken any
active part in the murder of Ugolini," therefore, "in the most holy name
of God," the court sentences Volpi to public execution, and Starna to
twenty years at the galleys.

Of course, both the prisoners resorted to their invariable right of
appeal, but their case did not come on before the lower court of the
Supreme Clerical Tribunal at Rome for upwards of a year, namely, on the
17th of May, 1859.  At this trial, no new facts whatever appear to have
been adduced.  I gather indistinctly, that Volpi's defence was that he
had not left his father's house at all on the morning of the murder, but
that his attempt to prove an "alibi" was unsuccessful.  The chief object
indeed of the very lengthy sentence of the court, recapitulating the
evidence already stated, is to establish the comparative innocence of
Starna, who, for some cause or other, seems to have been favourably
regarded.  We are told, that "the confession of Starna is confirmed by a
thousand proofs;" that "it is clearly shown" that Starna "in this
confession did not deny his own responsibility; a fact which gives his
statement the character of an incriminative and not of an exonerative
confession; and that though he might possibly have wished, in his
statement of the facts, to modify and extenuate his own share in the
crime, yet there was no reason to suspect that he wished gratuitously to
aggravate the guilt of his comrade;" and that also taking into
consideration the villainous character of Volpi, it cannot be doubted,
that he was the principal in the crime.  The court at Viterbo had decided
that the crime of the prisoners was murder, coupled with robbery and
treachery.  The Court of Appeal decides, on what seem sufficient grounds,
that there is no proof of treachery, and therefore, the crime not being
of so heinous a character, reduces the period of Starna's punishment from
twenty to fifteen years, while it simply confirms the sentence of death
on Volpi.

Again, as a matter of course, there is an appeal from this sentence to
the upper court of the Supreme Tribunal, which appeal comes off after
four months' delay, on the 9th of September, 1859.  The only ground of
appeal brought forward is one which, according to our notions of law,
should have been brought forward from the first, namely, that the guilt
of Volpi is not adequately proved by the unsupported statement of his
accomplice Starna, and "that the evidence which corroborates this
statement, only constitutes an _a priori_ probability of his guilt."  The
court, however, dismisses this plea at once, on the ground that it is not
competent to take cognizance of an argument based on the abstract merits
of the case, and therefore confirms the verdict.

On the 25th of November the sentence is submitted to, and approved by,
the Pope.  On the 3rd of January, 1860, orders are issued from Rome for
the execution to take place.  On the 17th the authorities of Viterbo
notify to the prisoner that his last appeal has been dismissed, and "call
on the military to lend their support to the execution of the sentence,"
and on the following day, two years and eight months after his arrest,
Volpi is executed for the murder of Ugolini on the Piazza della Rocca at
Viterbo.  On that day, too, appears the first report of his crime and
trial.



CHAPTER V.--continued.  THE "AVANZI" MURDER.


In July, 1859, there were in the Bagnio of Civita Vecchia two galley
slaves, Antonio Simonetti and Domenico Avanzi.  Simonetti was a man of
thirty, whose life, short as it was, seemed to have been one long career
of crime.  He had enlisted at an early age in the Pontifical dragoons,
and served for seven years; on leaving the army, he became a porter, and
within a few months was guilty of a highway robbery, and sentenced to the
galleys for life, then to five years' hard labour for theft, and again to
seven years at the galleys for an attempt to escape, though how the last
punishment could be super-added to the first, is a fact I cannot hope to
explain.  Of Avanzi nothing is mentioned, except that he was an elderly
man condemned to a lengthened term of imprisonment for heavy crimes.
Prisoners, it seems, condemned for long periods, are not sent out of
doors to labour at the public works, but are employed within the prison.
Both Simonetti and Avanzi were set to work in the canvas factory, and
according to a system adopted in many foreign gaols, they received a
certain amount of pay for their labour.  An agreement had been made
between the pair, that one should twist and the other spin the hemp; and
the price paid for their joint work was to be divided between them in
certain proportions.  About a fortnight before the murder this sort of
partnership was dissolved at the proposal of Simonetti, and some days
after Avanzi made a claim on his late partner for the price of two pounds
of hemp not accounted for.  There seems to have been no particular
dispute about this, but on the morning of the murder, Simonetti was
summoned before the overseer of the factory, on the ground of his refusal
to pay the sum claimed by Avanzi of fifteen baiocchi, or seven pence
halfpenny.  Simonetti did not deny that Avanzi had some claim upon him,
but disputed the amount.  At last, the overseer proposed, as an amicable
compromise, that Simonetti should pay down seven baiocchi as a settlement
in full, sooner than have a formal investigation.  Both parties adopted
the suggestion readily, and returned to their work apparently satisfied.
An hour and a half after, while Avanzi was sitting at his frame, with his
face to the wall, Simonetti entered the room with an axe he had picked up
in the carpenter's store, and walking deliberately up to Avanzi, struck
him with the axe across the neck, as he was stooping down.  Almost
immediate death ensued, and on the arrival of the guard, Simonetti was
arrested at once, and placed in irons.  Probably, as a matter of policy,
so daring a crime required summary punishment; at any rate, Papal justice
seems to have been executed with unexampled promptitude.  With what the
report justly calls "laudable celerity," the case was got ready for trial
in a week, and on the 30th of July, the civil and criminal court of
Civita Vecchia met to try the prisoner.  There could be no conceivable
question about the case.  The murder had been committed during broad
daylight, in a crowded room, and indeed, the prisoner confessed his
guilt, and only pleaded gross provocation as an excuse.  There was no
proof, however, that Avanzi had used irritating language; and even if he
had, too long a time had elapsed between the supposed offence and the
revenge taken, for the excuse of provocation to hold good.  Indeed, as
the sentence of the court argues, in somewhat pompous language, "Woe to
civil intercourse and human society, if, contrary to every principle of
reason and justice, an attempt to enforce one's just and legal rights by
honest means, were once admitted as an extenuating circumstance in the
darkest crimes, or as a sufficient cause for exciting pardonable
provocation in the hearts of criminals."  The tribunal too considers,
that the crime of the prisoner was aggravated by the fact, that his mind
remained unimpressed "by the horrors of his residence, or the dreadful
aspect and sad fellowship of his thousand unfortunate companions in
guilt, or by the flagrant penalties imposed upon him, for so many
crimes."  On all these grounds, whether abstract or matter-of-fact, the
court declares the prisoner guilty of the wilful murder of Avanzi, and
sentences him to death.

On the morrow this sentence is conveyed to Simonetti, who appeals.  With
considerable expedition the Supreme Tribunal meet to hear the case on the
23rd of September.  The prisoner alleged before this court that his
indignation had been excited by improper proposals made to him by the
murdered man, and it was on this account their partnership had been
dissolved.  Besides certain inherent improbabilities in this story, the
court decides that it was incredible that, if true, Simonetti should not
have made the statement at his previous trial.  The appeal was therefore
dismissed, and the sentence of death confirmed.  This decision was
notified to the prisoner on the 18th of November, who again appeals to
the higher Court, which meets to try the appeal on the 29th of the same
month.  This court at once decided that there was no ground for supposing
the crime was not committed with "malice prepense," or for modifying the
verdict.  It is not stated when the sentence was submitted to the Pope,
but on the 20th of January, 1860, the rejection of his final appeal is
communicated to the prisoner, and on the 21st the execution takes place,
and the report is published.

Now, if I had wished solely to decry the Papal system of justice, I
should not have given the report of the last trial, which seems to me far
the most favourable specimen of the set I have come across.  I am
inclined to believe, from the meagre narratives before me, that all the
criminals whose cases I have narrated were guilty of the crimes alleged
against them, and fully deserved the fate they met with.  My object,
however, has been to point out certain features which must, I think,
force themselves on any one who has read these cases carefully.  The
disregard for human life, the abject poverty, the wide-spread
demoralization in the rural districts indicated by these stories, are
startling facts in a country which has been for centuries ruled by the
vicegerents of Christ on earth.  At the same time, the great protraction
of the trials and the utter uncertainty about the date of their
occurrence, the unsatisfactory nature of the evidence, the want of any
cross-examination, the manner in which strict law is disregarded from a
clerical view of justice, and the identity between the court and the
prosecution, the abuse of the unlimited power of appeal, and the extent
to which this appeal from a lay to a clerical court places justice
virtually in the hands of the priesthood; and finally, the secret and
private character of the whole investigation, coupled with the utter
absence of any check on injustice through publicity, are all matters
patent even to a casual observer.  If such, I ask, is Papal justice, when
it has no reason for concealment and has right upon its side, what would
it be in a case where injustice was sought to be perpetrated and
concealed?



CHAPTER V.--continued.  THE "SANTURRI" MURDER.


Some months after I had written the question which closes the last
chapter, I was fortunate enough to obtain a partial answer to it.  During
the present year the Cavaliere Gennarelli, a Roman barrister, and a
member of the Roman parliament in 1848, has published a series of
official documents issued by the Papal authorities during the last ten
years; the most damning indictment, by the way, that was ever recorded
against a Government.  Amongst those documents there appears the official
sentence which, as usual, was published after the execution of a certain
Romulo Salvatori in 1851.  The trial possesses a peculiar momentary
interest from the fact that Garibaldi is one of the persons implicated in
the charge, and that the gallant general, if captured on Roman territory,
would be liable to the judgment passed on him in default.  It is,
however, rather with a view to show how the Papal system of justice
works, when political bias comes into play, that I propose to narrate
this story as a sequel to the others.  The words between inverted commas
are, as before, verbal translations from the sentence.  From that
sentence I have endeavoured to extract first the modicum of facts which
seem to have been admitted without dispute.

During the death-struggle of the Roman Republic, when the Neapolitan
troops had entered the Papal territory on their fruitless crusade, the
country round Velletri was occupied by Garibaldi's soldiery.  Near
Velletri there is a little town called Giulianello, of which a certain
Don Dominico Santurri was the head priest.  Justly or unjustly, this
priest, and two inhabitants of the town, named De Angelis and Latini,
were accused of plotting against the Republic; arrested by order of one
of Garibaldi's officers; imprisoned for a couple of days, and, after a
military examination (though of what nature is a matter of dispute) found
guilty of treason against the state.  The priest was sentenced to death
and shot at once; the other two prisoners were dismissed with a reproof.
Subsequently orders were issued for their re-arrest.  One of them,
Latini, had made his escape meanwhile; the other, De Angelis, being less
fortunate, was arrested again and executed.

Now, how far these persons were really guilty or not of the offence for
which they suffered, I of course have no means of knowing.  Common sense
tells one that a nation, fighting for dear life against foes abroad and
traitors within, is obliged to deal out very rough and summary justice,
and can hardly be expected to waste much time in deliberation.  At any
rate, when the Papal authority was restored, the Pope, on the demand of
the French, declared a general amnesty for all political offences.  This
promise, however, of an amnesty, like many other promises of Pius the
Ninth, was made with a mental reservation.  The Pope pardoned all
political offenders, but then the Pope alone was the judge of what
constituted a political offence.

In accordance with this system the execution of Santurri and De Angelis
was decided not to have been a political offence, but a case of private
vengeance, and "the indignation of the public was so strong," that
Government could not refuse the imperative call for justice.  Within a
few weeks, therefore, of the Papal restoration, seven inhabitants of
Giulianello were arrested on the charge of being concerned in the murders
of Santurri and De Angelis.

On the 4th of April, 1851, the Supreme Court of the Sacra Consulta met to
try the prisoners--nearly two years after the date of their arrest.  The
court, as usual, was composed of six high dignitaries of the Church, and
throughout the mode of procedure differed in nothing that I can learn
from what I have described in the former trials, except that there is no
allusion to any preliminary trial before the ordinary lay courts.  Whether
this omission is accidental, or whether, as in other instances during the
Papal "Vendetta" after '49, the ordinary forms of justice were dispensed
with, I cannot say.  Garibaldi, De Pasqualis, and David, "self-styled"
General, Colonel, and auditor respectively of the Roman army, were
summoned to appear and answer to the charge against them, or else to
allow judgment to go by default.  The prisoners actually before the bar
were

   Romolo Salvatori,
   Vincenzo Fenili,
   Luigi Grassi,
   Francesco Fanella,
   Dominico Federici,
   Angelo Gabrielli,
   Teresa Fenili.

It is curious, to say the least, that all the prisoners appear to have
been leading members of the liberal party at Giulianello.  Salvatori was
elected Mayor of the town during the Republic, and the next four
prisoners held the office there of "Anziani" at the same period, an
office which corresponds somewhat to that of Alderman in our old civic
days.  The chief witnesses for the prosecution were Latini, who so
narrowly escaped execution, and the widow of De Angelis, persons not
likely to be the most impartial of witnesses.

The whole sentence is in fact one long "ex parte" indictment against
Salvatori.  The very language of the sentence confesses openly the
partizanship of the court.  I am told that, in May 1849, "The Republican
hordes commanded by the adventurer Garibaldi, after the battle with"
(defeat of?) "the Royal Neapolitan troops at Velletri, had occupied a
precarious position in the neighbouring towns," and a good number of
these troops were stationed at Valmontone, under the command of the so-
called Colonel De Pasqualis; that at this period, when "an accusation
sent to the commanders of these freebooters was sufficient to ruin every
honest citizen," Salvatori, in order to gratify his private animosity
against Santurri, De Angelis, and Latini, forwarded to De Pasqualis an
unfounded accusation against them of intriguing for the overthrow of the
Republic; and in order to give it a "colour of probability," induced the
above-named Anziani to sign it; and that, in order to accomplish his
impious design, he wrote a private letter to De Pasqualis, telling him
how the arrest of the accused might be effected.  Again, I learn that a
search, instituted by Salvatori into the priest Santurri's papers,
produced no "evidence favourable to his infamous purpose," that the
accused were never examined, though "a certain David, who pretended to be
a military auditor, made a few vague inquiries of Santurri, and noted the
answers down on paper with a pencil."  Then we have a queer story how,
when Santurri implored for mercy, David replied, "Priests may pardon, but
Garibaldi never," though the very next minute David is represented as
announcing to De Angelis and Latini, that Garibaldi had granted them
their pardon.  Then I am informed that Salvatori used insulting language
to Santurri on his arrest; that it was solely owing to Salvatori's
remonstrances that orders were issued for the re-arrest of Latini and De
Angelis; and that though Salvatori ultimately, at the prayer of De
Angelis' wife, gave her a letter to De Pasqualis interceding for her
husband, yet he purposely delayed granting it till he knew it would be
too late.

Such are the heads of the long string of accusations against Salvatori,
of which practically the sentence is composed.  The evidence, as far as
it is given in the sentence on which the accusations rest, is vague in
the extreme.  The proof of any personal ill-will against the three
victims of the Republic, on the part of any of the prisoners, is most
insufficient.  Salvatori is said to have had an old grudge against
Santurri, about some wood belonging to the Church, to which he had made
an unjust claim.  De Angelis was stated to have once threatened to shoot
Salvatori; but this, even in Ireland, could hardly be construed into
evidence that therefore Salvatori was resolved to murder De Angelis.  The
only ground of ill-will that can be suggested, as far as Latini is
concerned, is that he was a partizan of the priesthood.  The act of
accusation against Santurri and his fellow-victims, forwarded by the
authorities of Giulianello, though essential to the due comprehension of
the story, is not forthcoming; and no explanation even is offered of the
motives which induced the four "Anziani" to sign a charge which, by the
Papal hypothesis, they knew to be utterly unfounded.  The bare idea, that
Santurri or the others were really guilty of any intrigues against the
Republic, is treated as absurd; the fact that any trial or investigation
ever took place is slurred over; and yet, with a marvellous
inconsistency, Salvatori is accused of being in reality the guilty author
of these executions, because some witness--name not given--reports that
he heard a report from a servant of Garibaldi, that Santurri was only
executed, in opposition to Garibaldi's own wish, in consequence of
Salvatori's representations.

What was the nature of Salvatori's defence cannot be gathered from the
sentence.  From another source, however, I learn that it was such as one
might naturally expect.  During 1849, the mayors of the small country
towns were entrusted with political authority by the Government.  In the
exercise of his duty, as mayor, Salvatori discovered that Santurri and
the others were in correspondence with the Neapolitans, who were then
invading the country, and reported the charge to the officer in command.
The result of a military perquisition was to establish convincing proof
of the charge of treason.  Santurri was tried by a court martial, and
sentenced at once to execution; as were also his colleagues, on further
evidence of guilt being discovered.  Salvatori, therefore, pleaded, that
his sole offence, if offence there was, consisted in having discharged
his duty as an official of the Republican Government, and that this
offence was condoned by the Papal amnesty.  This defence, as being
somewhat difficult to answer, is purposely ignored; and a printed notice,
published on the day of Santurri's execution, and giving an account of
his trial and conviction, is rejected as evidence, because it is not
official!

Considering the tone of the sentence it will not be matter of surprise,
that the court sums up with the conclusion, that "Not the slightest doubt
can be entertained that the wilful calumnies and solicitations of the
prisoner Salvatori were the sole and the too efficacious causes of the
result he had deliberately purposed to himself" (namely, the murder of
Santurri); and therefore unanimously condemns him to public execution at
Anagni.  Vincenzo Fenili and Grassi, who had co-operated in the arrest of
Santurri, are sentenced to 20 years' labour on the hulks.  There not
being sufficient evidence to convict Fanella, Federici, and Teresa
Fenili, they are to be--not acquitted, but kept in prison for six months
more, while Gabrielli, whose only offence was, that he told Salvatori
where the priest Santurri was to be found, though without any evil
motive, is to be released provisionally, having been, by the way,
imprisoned already for 18 months, while Garibaldi and De Pasqualis are to
be proceeded against in default.

Salvatori was executed on the 10th of September, 1851; Fenili and Grassi
are probably, being both men in the prime of life, still alive and
labouring in the Bagnio of Civita Vecchia, where, at their leisure, they
can appreciate the mercies of a Papal amnesty.  It seems to me that I
should have called this chapter the Salvatori rather than the Santurri
murder, and then the question asked at the end of the last would have
required no answer.



CHAPTER VI.  THE PAPAL PRESS.


At Rome there is no public life.  There are no public events to narrate,
no party politics to comment on.  Events indeed will occur, and politics
will exist even in this best regulated of countries; but as all narration
of the one, and all manifestation of the other, are equally interdicted
for press purposes, neither events nor politics have any existence.  To
one, who knows the wear and tear of the London press, to whom the very
name of a newspaper recalls late hours and interminable reports,
despatches and telegrams, proof-sheets, parliamentary debates and police
intelligence, leading articles and correspondents' letters; a very series
of Sisyphean labours, without rest or end; to such an one the position of
the Roman journalist seems a haven of rest, the most delightful of all
sinecures.  There are many mysteries indeed about the Papal Press.  Who
writes or composes the papers is a mystery; who reads or purchases them
is perhaps a greater mystery; but the bare fact of their existence is the
greatest mystery of all.  Even the genius of Mr Dickens was never able to
explain satisfactorily to the readers of _Nicholas Nickleby_, why
Squeers, who never taught anything at Dotheboys Hall, and never intended
anything to be taught there, should have thought it necessary to engage
an usher to teach nothing; and exactly in the same way, it is an
insoluble problem why the Pontifical Government, which never tells
anything and never intends anything to be told, should publish papers, in
order to tell nothing.  The greatest minds, however, are not exempt from
error; and it must be to some hidden flaw in the otherwise perfect Papal
system, that the existence of newspapers in the sacred city is to be
ascribed.  The marvel of his own being must be to the Roman journalist a
subject of constant contemplation.

The Press of Rome boasts of three papers.  There is the _Giornale di
Roma_, the _Diario Romano_, and, last and least, the _Vero Amico del
Popolo_.  The three organs of Papal opinion bear a suspicious resemblance
to each other.  The _Diary_ is a feeble reproduction of the _Journal_,
and the _Peoples True Friend_, which I never met with, save in one
obscure cafe, is a yet feebler compound of the two; in fact, the
_Giornale di Roma_ is the only one of the lot that has the least pretence
to the name of a newspaper; it is, indeed, the official paper, the London
Gazette of Rome.  It consists of four pages, a little larger in size than
those of the _Examiner_, and with about as much matter as is contained in
two pages of the English journal.  The type is delightfully large, and
the spaces between the lines are really pleasant to look at; next to a
Roman editor, the position of a Roman compositor must be one of the
easiest berths in the newspaper-world.  Things are taken very easily
here, and the _Giornale_ never appears till six o'clock at night, so that
writers and printers can take their pleasure and be in bed betimes.  There
is no issue on Sundays and Feast-days, which occur with delightful
frequency.  This ideal journal, too, has no fixed price.  The case of any
one being impatient enough about news to buy a single number seems hardly
to be contemplated.  The yearly subscription is seven scudi, which comes
to between a penny and five farthings a number; but for a single copy you
are asked half a paul, or twopence halfpenny.  This however must be
regarded as a fancy price, as single copies are not an article on demand;
they can only be obtained, by the way, at the office of the Gazette in
the Via della Stamperia, and this office is closed from noon, I think, to
sunset.

Suppose, for the sake of argument, there was an English newspaper at
Rome.  Let us consider what would be its summary of contents, this day on
which I write.  Putting aside foreign topics altogether, what might one
naturally suppose would be the Roman news?  There is the revolution in
the Romagna; if private reports are not altogether false, there have been
disturbances in the Marches; there is the question of the Congress, the
rumoured departure of the French troops, the state of the adjoining
kingdoms, the movements of the Pontifical army, and the promised Papal
reforms.  Add to all this, there is the recent mysterious attempt at
murder in the Minerva hotel, about which all kinds of strange rumours are
in circulation.  Suppose too, which heaven forbid, that I was a Roman
citizen, and had no means of catching sight of foreign newspapers, which
is extremely probable, or understood no foreign language, which is more
probable still; what in this case should I learn from my sole source of
information, my _Giornale di Roma_, about my own city and my own country,
on this 19th of January, in the year of grace 1860?

The first fact brought before my eager gaze on taking up the paper, would
be that yesterday was the feast of St Peter's chair.  Solemn mass was, I
learn, performed in the cathedral, in the presence of "our Lord's
Holiness," and a Latin oration pronounced in honour of the Sacred Chair.
After the ceremony was over, it seems that the Senator of Rome, Marquis
Mattei, presented an address to the Pope, with a copy of which I am
kindly favoured.  The Senator, in his own name and in that of his
colleagues in the magistracy, declares, that "if at all times devotion to
the Pontiff and loyalty to the Sovereign was the intense desire of his
heart, it is more ardent to-day than ever, since he only re-echoes the
sentiment of the whole Catholic world, which with wonderful unanimity
proclaims its veneration for the august Father of the faithful, and
offers itself, as a shield, to the Sovereign of Rome."  He adds, that
"his mind revolts from those fallacious maxims, which some persons try to
insinuate into the feeble minds of the people, throwing doubts on the
incontestable rights of the Church, and that he looks with contempt on
such intrigues."  As however both the Senator and his colleagues are
nominees of the Pope, and as a brother of the Marquis is a Cardinal, I
feel sceptical as to the value of their opinion.  The next paragraph
tells me, that in order to testify their devotion to the Papacy the
inhabitants of Rome illuminated their houses last night in honour of the
feast.  Unfortunately, I happened to walk out yesterday evening, and
observed that the lamps were very few and far between, while in the only
illuminated house I entered I found the proprietor grumbling at the
expense which the priests had insisted on his incurring.  I have then a
whole column about the proceedings at the "Propaganda" on the festival of
the Epiphany, now some days ago.  The Archbishop of Thebes, I rejoice to
learn, excited the pupils of the Academy to imitate the virtues
manifested in the "Magi," by an appropriate homily, drawing a striking
parallel between the simplicity, the faith and honesty of the three
kings, and the disbelief and hypocrisy of the wicked king Herod.  I
wonder if I have ever heard of Herod under a more modern name, and pass
on to a passage, written in italics, in order to attract my special
attention.  The "Propaganda" meeting is, I am informed, "a noble
spectacle, which Rome alone can offer to the world; that Rome, which God
has made the capital of His everlasting kingdom."  This concludes the
whole of my domestic intelligence; all that I know, or am to know, about
the state of my own country.

Then follows the foreign intelligence, under the heading of "Varieties."
Seventy pro-papal works have, I read, been published in France; indeed,
the zeal in behalf of the Pontifical cause gains, day by day, so rapidly
in that country, that "every one," so some provincial paper says, "who
can hold a pen in hand uses it in favour of justice and religion, upon
the question of the Papacy."  So much for France.  All I learn about
Italy is that all writings in defence of the Pope are eagerly sought
after and perused.  Spanish affairs meet with more attention.  An English
vessel has been captured, it seems, freighted with 14,000 bayonets for
Tangiers; and the shipwrecked crew of a French brig were all but
massacred by the Moors, or rather, if they were not massacred, it was
from no want of malignity on the part of the infidels.  I have next an
account of the opening of the Victoria Bridge, Canada, interesting
certainly, though I confess that some account, when the sewers in the
Piazza di Spagna are likely to be closed, would possess more practical
interest for myself.  This paragraph is followed by two columns long of
the American President's letter to Congress; a subject on which, as a
Roman citizen, I do not feel keenly excited.

The next heading is the "Morning's News."  This news is made up of small
short extracts from, or more correctly speaking, small paragraphs
about--extracts from--the foreign newspapers.  If I have not heard any
rumours at my cafe, these paragraphs are commonly unintelligible; if I
have heard any such reports of agitation or excitement abroad in
reference to the Papacy I always find from the paragraphs, that these
reports were utterly erroneous.  There is a good deal about the new
French free-trade tariff, and the pacific intentions of the emperor.
There are grave discussions, it appears, in the cabinets of London and
Turin; and the return of the conservative Count Walewski to office is
confidently expected in Paris.  Lord Cowley's journey to London is now
known to have no political signification, and the idea that any accord
between France and England betokened a desertion of the Villa-Franca
stipulations, is asserted, on the best authority, to be an entire
delusion.

This concludes my budget of news.  A whole page is covered with
quotations from Villemain's pamphlet, _La France, l'Empire et la
Papaute_; but as my own personal experience must of course be the best
evidence as to the blessings of a Papal government, this seems to me to
be carrying coals to Newcastle.  I have then a list of the strangers
arrived at Rome, one advertisement of some religious work, _The Devotions
of Saint Alphonso Maria de Liguori_, a few meteorological observations
from the Pontifical observatory, and half-a-dozen official notices of
legal judgments, in cases about which, till now, I have never been
allowed to hear a single allusion.  I have, however, the final
satisfaction of observing that my paper was printed at the office of the
Holy Apostolic Chamber.

"Ex uno," my Roman friend might truly say, "disce omnes."  The number I
have taken as a sample is one of more than average interest.  I know,
indeed, no greater proof of the anxiety and alarm of the Papal government
than that so much intelligence should be allowed to ooze out through the
Roman press.  I know also of no greater proof of its weakness.  A strong
despotic government may ignore the press altogether; but a despotism
which tries to defend itself by the press, and such a press, must be weak
indeed.  None but a government of priests, half terrified out of their
senses, would dream of feeding strong men with such babes' meat as this.
There are Signs of the Times even in the _Giornale di Roma_.



CHAPTER VII.  THE POPE'S TRACT.


If it has ever been the fortune of my readers to mix in
tract-distributing circles, they will, doubtless, have become acquainted
with a peculiar style of literature which, for lack of a more appropriate
appellation, I should call the "candid inquirer" and "intelligent
operative" style.  The mysteries of religion, the problems of social
existence, the intricate casuistries of contending duties, are all
explained, in a short and simple dialogue between a maid-servant and her
mistress; or a young, a very young man, and his parochial pastor, or a
ne'er-do-weel sot and a sober, industrious artisan.  The price is only a
penny (a reduction made on ordering a quantity), and the logic is worthy
of the price.

In its dire distress and need the Papacy has resorted, as a forlorn hope,
to the controversial tract system.  As an abstract matter this is only
fair play.  The Pope has had so many millions of tracts published against
him, that it is hard if he may not produce one little one in his own
defence.  His Holiness may say with truth, in the words of Juvenal,

   Semper ego auditor tantum? nunquamne reponam,
   Vexatus toties?

But, as a matter of policy, if he has got so very little to say for
himself, it would be perhaps wiser if he held his tongue.  Be that as it
may, the Vatican has thought fit to bring out a small brown paper tract,
in answer to the celebrated, too-celebrated, pamphlet, _Le Pape et le
Congres_.  The tract is of the smallest bulk, the clearest type, the best
paper, and the cheapest price.  Mindful of the Horatian dictum, it
plunges at once "in medias res," and starts, out of breath, with the
following interjections: "The end of the world has come.  Some want a
Pope and not a King; others half a Pope and half a King; and others
again, no Pope and no King.  And who are these persons--Catholics or
Protestants, Jews or Phalansterians, believers or unbelievers?  Men who
have once believed, and believe no longer, or men who have never believed
at all?  Which are the most sincere of these classes?  The last, who say,
'God and the people,' and who mean to say, 'No more Popes, and no more
Kings.'  Which are the most hypocritical?  The second, the men of half
measures, who wish for half a Pope and half a King, trusting the while,
that either Pope or King may die of inanition, or at any rate that the
King will.  Which are the greatest dupes?  The first, who, Pharisee-like,
offering up their prayers, and going to church once a year, deceive
themselves with the idea, that the Pope will be more powerful and more
free in the vestry of St Peter's than in the palace of the Vatican."

The above view of the devotional habits prevalent amongst the Pharisees
may appear somewhat novel, but let that pass.  Meanwhile, any one
experienced in tract lore will feel certain that this outburst will be
followed by the appearance of the "candid inquirer," who comes upon the
boards at once, in obedience to the call, and addresses the eloquent
controversialist with the stereotyped phrases.

"These three classes of persons, who raise an outcry against the temporal
power of the Pope, are of different stamps; for I understand well whom
you allude to; you mean the sincere, the moderate and the devout
opponents of the Papacy.  I have, however, one or two questions, I should
like to ask you; would you be kind enough to answer me?"

X of course replies, that nothing in the world would give him so much
pleasure; and during the first dialogue the candid inquirer appears in
the character of D, the devout opponent.  The pamphlet is much too long
and too tedious to give in full.  Happily the arguments are few in
number; and such as they are, I shall be able to pick them out without
much difficulty, quoting the exact words of the dialogue, wherever it
rises to peculiar grandeur.  X opens the discussion by carrying an
assault at once into the enemy's weak places: "You devout believers say
that a Court is not fitting for a priest.  Everybody, however, knows
that, at the Papal Court, the time and money of the public are not
frittered away in parties and fetes and dances.  Everybody knows too that
women are not admitted to the Vatican, and therefore the habits of the
court are not effeminate, while the whole of its time is spent in
transacting state affairs; and the due course of justice is not disturbed
by certain feminine passions."  After this statement, startling to any
one with a knowledge of the past, and still more to an inhabitant of Rome
at the present day, the devout inquirer wisely deserts the domain of
stern facts, and betakes himself to abstract considerations.  His first
position, that the Vicar of Christ ought to follow the example of his
master, who had neither court nor kingdom, nor where to lay his head, is
upset at once by the _argumentum ad hominem_, that, according to the same
rule, every believer ought to get crucified.  No escape from this dilemma
presenting itself to our friend D's devout but feeble mind, X follows up
the assault, by asking him, as a _deductio ad absurdum_, whether he
should like to see the Pope in sandals like St Peter.  The catechumen
falls into the trap at once; flares up at the idea of such degradation
being inflicted on the "Master of kings and Father of the faithful;" and
asks indignantly if, for a "touch of Italianita," he is to be suspected
of having "washed away his baptism from his brow."  Henceforth great D,
after "Charles Reade's" style, becomes little d.  Logically speaking, it
is all over with him.  If the Pope be the master of kings, he must by
analogy have the rights of a master, liberty to instruct and power to
correct.  The old parallel of a schoolmaster and his scholars is adduced.
D feels he is caught; states, in the stock formula, "that this parallel
between the master of kings and the master of scholars puzzles me,
because it is unimpeachable; and yet I don't want to concede everything,
and cannot deny everything."  As a last effort, he suggests with
hesitation, that "after all, a law which secured the Pope perfect liberty
of speech, action and judgment, would fulfil all the necessities of the
case; and that in other respects the Pope might be a subject like anybody
else."  On this suggestion X tramples brutally.  D is asked, how the
observance of this law is to be enforced, and can give no answer, on
which X bursts into the most virulent abuse of all liberal governments in
terms commensurate with the offence.  "Praised be God, the days of Henry
the VIIIth are passed, and Catholics and Bishops, and all men of great
and free intellects need no longer lose their heads beneath the British
axe.  But are you ignorant that the 'most catholic France' has had
proclaimed from her tribunes, that the law is of no creed?  Are you
ignorant of the Josephian laws of Austria?  Glory be now to her young and
most devout of catholic sovereigns! but are you not aware, that in the
reign of Joseph the bishops in that empire were not allowed to write to,
or correspond freely with, the Pope? . . . I suppose, forsooth, you
expect observance of the law from those liberal governments of yours,
which make the first use of their liberty to destroy liberty itself; who
exile bishops, and who, in the face of all the world, break the plighted
faith of treaties and concordats--oh yes, those governments, who spy into
the most secret recesses of family life, and create the monstrous and
tyrannical _Loi des suspects_, oh yes, _they_ are sure to respect the
liberty and the independence of the Bishop of Rome! and are you baby
enough to believe or imagine it?"  D cowers beneath the moral lash; and
hints rather than proposes, that if one country did not respect the
Pope's freedom, he could move into another, though he admits at the same
time, he can see grave difficulties in the project.  Even this admission
is unavailing to protect him from X's savage onslaught, who winds up
another torrent of vituperation with these words: "Yes!  This is no
question of the Pope and the Pope's person, but of the liberty of all the
Church, and of all the Episcopate, of your liberty and mine, of the
liberty of princes, peoples, and all Christian souls.  Miserable man,
have you lost all common sense, all catholic sense, even the ordinary
sense of language?"  In vain D confesses his errors, owns that he is
converted, and implores mercy.  "No," X replies in conclusion, "this is
not enough; your tongue has spread scandal; and even, if innocent itself,
has sown discord.  The good seed is obedience and reverence to the Pope
our father and the Church our mother.  Woe to the tares of the new creed!
Woe to the proud and impious men, who under the cloak of piety raise
their hands and tongues against their father and mother!  The crows and
birds of prey shall feed upon their tongues, and the wrath of God shall
wither up their hands."

The demolition of D, the devout, only whets X's appetite; and heedless of
his coming doom, M, the moderate, enters the lists.  As a specimen of
Papal mild facetiousness, I quote the commencement of the second
dialogue.

M.  "Great news! a great book!"

X.  "Where from?"

M.  "From Paris."

X.  "A dapper-dandy then, I suppose?"

M.  "No, a political pamphlet."

X.  "Well, that is the same as a political dandy."

M.  "A pamphlet explaining the policy of the Moderates."

X.  "You mean, of the Moderate intellects?"

M.  "No, I mean the policy of the Moderates, a policy of compromise,
between the Holy Father and, and--"

X.  "Say what you really mean,--between the Holy Father and the Holy
Revolution."

After this test of M's intellectual calibre, I am not surprised to learn
that he is treated throughout with the most contemptuous playfulness.  He
is horror-struck at learning that, in fact, he is nothing better "than a
mediator between Christ and Beelzebub."  He is joked about the _fait
accompli_; and asked whether he would consider a box on his ears was
excused and accounted for by a similar denomination of the occurrence;
questioned, whether he would like himself to be deprived of all his
property; and at last dumbfounded by the inquiry, whether the reasoning
of his beloved pamphlet is anything but rank communism.  M, in fact,
after this tirade ceases any attempt at argument, and contents himself
with feeble suggestions, which afford to X fertile openings for the
exercise of his vituperative abilities.  For instance, M drops a hint
that the Pope might be placed under the guarantee and protection of the
Catholic powers; on which X retorts: "The Catholic powers indeed!  First
of all, you ought to be sure whether the Catholic powers will not
co-operate with the Jew, in the disgraceful act of plundering Christ
through his Vicar, in order to guarantee him afterwards the last shreds
of his garment."  (Another somewhat novel view, by the way, of Gospel
history.)  "Secondly, you should learn whether any tribunal in the world,
in the name of common justice, would place the victim under the
protection and guarantee of his spoiler."  When M expresses a doubt
whether there is any career for a soldier or statesman under the Papal
Government, his doubts are removed by the reflection that the Roman
statesmen are no worse off than the French, and that, if Roman soldiers
don't fight, and Roman orators don't speak, it is because the exertion of
their faculties would not prove beneficial to themselves or others.  Then
follows one of those ejaculatory paragraphs, which
tract-controversialists generally, and X especially, delight in.  "You!
yes, you! applaud that Parisian insult-monger, who after having robbed
Rome of the provinces, that give her power and splendour, and having left
her a city maimed of hands and feet, with a frontier two fingers'-length
from the Vatican, then speaks of Rome thus degraded; he, I say, this
author of yours--this legislator of yours--this Parisian of yours, speaks
in the words of _Le Pape et le Congres_,"--and so on, through a labyrinth
of exclamatory parentheses.  "Moderate" is overwhelmed by all this;
becomes convinced and converted; and, after the fashion of Papal
converts, out-Herods Herod in the ardour of his zeal.  He volunteers to X
the following original view of French politics: "I can understand the
anger of the (French) journals because France has been so unfortunate in
her Italian enterprise.  She promised, she advised, she threatened; and
promises, advice, and threats are alike dispersed in air.  She promised
and placarded on all the walls the independence of Italy from the Alps to
the Adriatic.  Where is her promise now?  She promised and published
through all the Churches the freedom and integrity of the Papal
dominions.  Where is her promise now?  She advised Piedmont, she advised
the Duchies, she advised the Romagna, and her advice was neither received
nor accepted.  Where is her advice now?  Then came the threats of the
31st of December last, and, with profound respect, she threatened the
Pope to sacrifice the Romagna; and her prayers or her threats, as you
like, where are they now?"  Again, of his own accord, M asserts, as a
self-evident fact, that "morality and justice have no better sanctuary
and no purer inspirations than are to be found in the Court of the
Vatican."  What slight difficulties he still entertains are removed at
once.  He asks X candidly to tell him whether the Papal government is
really a bad one or not, and is satisfied with the quotation "Sunt bona
mixta malis;" he then inquires, in all simplicity, why there are so many
complaints and outbreaks against the Papal rule? and is told, in
explanation, that the Pope is persecuted because he is weak.  X,
emboldened by his easy triumph, ridicules the notion of any reforms being
granted by the Papacy, states that what is wanted is a reform in the
Papal subjects, not in the Papal rulers, and finally falls foul of poor
M, in such language as this:--"What good can we ever expect from this
race of Moderates, who in all revolutions are sent out as pioneers, who
have ruined every state in turn by shutting their eyes to every danger,
and parleying with every revolution, and who would propose a compromise
even with fire or fever, or plague itself."  After this, X repeats the
old fable of the horse and the man, and then launches into a tirade
against France: "You refused to believe that Italy replaced foreign
influence by foreign dominion on the day on which France crossed the
Alps.  Do you still disbelieve in the treason which is plotting against
Italy, by depriving her of her natural bulwarks, Savoy, Nice, and the
maritime Alps?  Do you not see, that while you are lulled to sleep by the
syren song of Italian independence, Italy is weakened, dismembered and
enslaved?"  A last suggestion of M, that possibly the language of the
encyclical letter was a little too strong, brings forth the following
retort: "It was strong, and tasted bitter to diseased and vitiated
palates, but to the lips of justice the taste was sweet and satisfying.
Poor nations!  What have politics become?  What filth we are obliged to
swallow!  What scandal to the people; what a lesson of immorality is this
fashion of outraging every principle of right, with sword, tongue and
pen!  In this chaos, blessed be Providence, there is one free voice left,
the voice of St Peter, which is raised in defence of justice, despised
and disregarded."  Hereupon M confesses, "on the faith of a Moderate,"
that the refusal of the Pope to accept the advice of the Emperor was "an
act worthy of him, both as Pope and Italian sovereign," and then retires
in shame and confusion.

S, the sincere opponent, then enters and announces with foolish pride,
that "Italy shall be free, and the gates of hell shall prevail."  Pride
cometh before a fall, and S is shortly convinced that his remark was
profane, and that, by his own shewing, liberty was a gift of hell.  S
then repeats a number of common-places about the rights of men, the voice
of the people, and the will of the majority; and as, in every case, he
quotes these common-places incorrectly and inappropriately, X upsets him
without effort.  As a specimen of the style of logic adopted, I will take
one case at hazard.  S states that "his reason of all reasons is, that
Italy belongs to the Italians, and that the Italians have the right of
dividing it, uniting it, and governing it, as seems good in their own
sight."  To this X answers, "I adopt and apply your own principle.  Turin,
with its houses, belongs to the Turinese; therefore the Turinese have the
right to divide or unite the houses of Turin, or drive out their
possessors, as seems good in their own sight."  The gross
disingenuousness, the palpable quibble in this argument, need no
exposure.  Logically, however, the argument is rather above the usual
range.  X then proceeds to frighten S with the old bugbears;--the
impossibility of real union between the Italian races; the absorption of
the local small capitals in the event of a great kingdom, and the
certainty that the European powers will never consent to an Italian
monarchy.  This conclusion is a short _resume_ of Papal history, which
will somewhat surprise the readers of Ranke and Gibbon.

"After the death of Constantine, the almost regal authority of the Popes
in reality commenced.  Gregory the Great, created Pope 440 A.D. was
compelled for the safety of Italy to exercise this authority against the
Lombards on one hand, and the rapacious Exarchs on the other.  About 726
A.D.  Gregory II. declined the offer of Ravenna, Venice, and the other
Italian States, who conferred upon him, in name as well as in fact, the
sovereignty of Italy.  At last, in 741 A.D. when Italy was not only
deserted in her need, but threatened from Byzantium with desolation and
heresy, Gregory III. called in the aid of Charles Martel, that Italy
might not perish; and by this law, a law of life and preservation, and
through the decree of Providence, the Popes became Italian sovereigns,
both in right and fact."  On this very lucid and satisfactory account of
the origin of the Papal power, S is convinced at once, and is finally
dismissed shamefaced, with the unanswerable interrogation, "whether the
real object of the Revolution is not to create new men, new nations, new
reason, new humanity, and a new God?"

The three abstractions, S, M, D, then re-assemble to recant their errors.
One and all avow themselves confuted, and convicted of folly or worse.  X
gives them absolution with the qualified approval, that "he rejoices in
their moral amendment, and trusts the change may be a permanent one," and
then asks them, as an elementary question in their new creed, "What is
the true and traditional liberty of Italy, the only one worthy to be
sought and loved by all Italians?"  To this question with one voice S and
M and D make answer, "Liberty with law, law with religion, and religion
with the Pope."  The course of instruction is completed, and if anybody
is still unconvinced by the arguments of the all-wise X, I am afraid that
his initial letter must be a Z.

So much for the _Independenza e Papa_, as the pamphlet is styled.  I have
given, I fear, a somewhat lengthy account of it; not for its literary
merits, which are small, but as being the best native defence of the
Papacy I have come across.  The dull dead _vis inertiae_ which formed the
real strength of the Papacy has been of late exchanged for a petty
useless fussiness.  Ever since Guerroniere's pamphlet fell like a bomb
upon the Vatican there has been a perfect array of paper-champions, sent
forth to do battle for the Papal cause.  They are mostly, it is true, of
foreign growth.  Extracts from Montalembert, De Falloux, and Berryer's
speeches, patched together and re-garnished; reprints of the Episcopal
charges in France; editions of Count Sola della Margherita's much
be-praised work; and, I regret to say, translations of Lord Normanby's
speeches in the House of Lords, are advertised daily on the walls of
Rome.  Of native and original productions there have been but few.
Literary talent does not flourish in Rome, and what little there is, is
all retained against the Government.  The _Eye-glance at the Encyclical_,
the _Widow's Mite_, and the _Tears of St Peter_, are the titles of some
of the anonymous pro-Papal tracts published under Government patronage;
of these the _Independenza e Papa_, which is sold at the printing-office
of the _Giornale di Roma_, is decidedly the ablest and most respectable.



CHAPTER VIII.  PAPAL LOTTERIES.


If ever anybody had cause to regret the suppression of lotteries, it is
the whole tribe of play-writers and authors.  Never will there be found
again a "Deus ex Machina," so serviceable or so unfailing as the lottery.
If your plot wanted a solution, or your intrigue a _denoument_, or your
novel a termination, you could always cut through all your difficulties
by the medium of a lottery-ticket.  The virtuous but impoverished hero
became at once a very Croesus, and the worldly-minded parent bestowed his
daughter and his blessing on the successful gambler, who, by the way,
never purchased his own ticket, but always had it bequeathed to him as a
legacy.  Alas, lottery-tickets, like wealthy uncles and places under
government, have gone out of date.  The fond glance of memory turns in
vain towards the good old times, when the lottery was in its glory.  It
is, however, some comfort to reflect, that if, as devout Catholics
assert, the Papacy is eternal, then in Rome, at least, lotteries are
eternal also.  In truth, the lottery is a great, I might almost say _the_
great Pontifical institution.  It is a trade not only sanctioned, but
actively supported, by the Government.  Partly, therefore, as a matter of
literary interest, and partly as a curious feature in the economics of
the Papal States, I have made various personal researches into the
working of the lottery-system, and shall endeavour to give the
theoretical not the practical result of my investigations; the latter
result being, I am afraid, of a negative description.

Murray, who knows everything, states that in Rome alone fifty-five
millions of lottery-tickets are taken annually.  Now though I would much
sooner doubt the infallibility of the Pope than that of the author of the
most invaluable of hand-books, I cannot help thinking there is some
strange error in this calculation.  The whole population of Rome is under
180,000, and therefore, according to this statement, every living soul in
the city, man, woman, priest and child, must, on an average, take one
ticket a day, to make up the amount stated.  If, however, without
examining the strict arithmetical correctness of this statement, you take
it, just as the old Romans used "sex centi" for an indefinite number, as
an expression of the fact, that the number of the lottery-tickets taken
annually in Rome is quite incredible, you will not be far wrong.  During
the year 1858 the receipts of the lottery (by which I suppose are meant
the net, not the gross receipts) are officially stated to have been
1,181,000 scudi, or about an eleventh of the whole Pontifical revenue.  It
is true the expenses of the Lottery are charged amidst the state
expenditure for the year at 788,987 scudi, but then a large portion of
this expense is directly repaid to the Government, and the remainder is
paid to the lottery-holders, who all have to pay heavily for the
privilege of keeping a lottery-office, and who form also the most devoted
of the Papal adherents, more especially since the liberal party have set
their faces against the lottery.  Common estimation too assigns a far
larger profit to the lotteries than Papal returns give it credit for,
and, I own that, from the system on which they are conducted, of which I
shall speak presently, I suspect the profit must be very much beyond the
sum mentioned; anyhow, this source of income is a very important one, and
is guarded jealously as a Government monopoly.  Private gambling tables
of any kind are rigidly suppressed.  If you want to gamble, you must
gamble at the tables and on the terms of the Government.  The very sale
of foreign lottery-tickets is, I believe, forbidden.  To this rule there
is one exception, and that is in favour of Tuscany.  Between the Grand
Ducal and the Papal Governments there long existed an _entente cordiale_
on the subject of lotteries.  There is no bond, cynics say, so powerful
as that of common interest; and this saying seems to be justified in the
present instance.  Though the Court of Rome is at variance on every point
of politics and faith with the present revolutionary Government of
Tuscany, yet in matters of money they are not divided; and so the joint
lottery-system flourishes, as of old.  The lottery is drawn once a
fortnight at Rome, and once every alternate fortnight at Florence or
Leghorn; and as far as the speculator is concerned, it makes no
difference whether his ticket is drawn for in Rome or in Tuscany, though
the gains and losses of each branch are, I understand, kept separate.
These lotteries are not of the plain, good old English stamp, in which
there were, say, ten thousand tickets, and ten prizes of different value
allotted to the holders of the ten first numbers drawn, while the
remaining nine thousand nine hundred and ninety ticket-holders drew
blanks.  The system of speculation in vogue here is far more hazardous
and complicated.  To any one acquainted with the German gambling-places
it is enough to say, that the Papal lottery-system is exactly like that
of a _roulette_ table, with the one important exception, that the chances
in the bank's favour, instead of being about thirty-seven to thirty-six,
as they are at Baden or Hamburgh, are in the proportion of three to one.
For the benefit of those to whom these words convey no definite meaning,
I will endeavour to explain the system as simply as I can.

In a Papal or Tuscan lottery there are ninety numbers, from one up to
ninety, and of these numbers, five are drawn at each drawing.  You may,
therefore, stake your money on any one or two or three or four or five of
the ninety numbers being drawn, which is termed playing at the "eletto,"
"ambo," "terno," "quaterno," and "tombola" respectively, or you may
finally play "al estratto," that is, you may not only speculate on the
particular numbers drawn, but on the order in which they may happen to be
drawn.  Practically, people rarely play upon any except the three first-
named chances, and they will be sufficient for my explanation.  Now a
very simple arithmetical calculation will show you, that the chances
against your naming one number out of the five drawn is eighteen to one;
against your predicting two, four hundred to one; and against your
hitting on three, nearly twelve thousand to one.  Supposing, therefore,
the game was played with ordinary fairness, and even as much as 25 per
cent. were deducted for profit and working expenses off the winnings, you
ought, if you staked a scudo, for instance, and won an "eletto," "ambo"
or "terno," to win in round numbers 14, 300, and 9000 scudi respectively.
If in reality you did win (a very great "if" indeed), you would not be
paid in these instances more than 4, 25 and 3600 scudi.  In fact, if ever
there was invented in this world a game, of which the old saying, "Heads
I win, and tails you lose" held true, it would be of the Papal Lottery.
If the numbers you back do not happen to turn up, you lose the whole of
your stake; if they do, you are docked of more than seventy-five per
cent. of your winnings.  For my part, I would sooner play at thimble-rig
on Epsom Downs, or dominoes with Greek merchants, or at "three-cards"
with a casual and communicative fellow-passenger of sporting cast: I
should infallibly be legged, but I should hardly be plundered so
ruthlessly or remorselessly.  Still the Vatican, like all gentlemen who
play with loaded dice or marked cards, may have a run of luck against it.
Spiritual infallibility itself cannot determine whether a halfpenny
tossed into the air will come down man or woman, and the law of chances
cannot be regulated by a _motu proprio_.  It is possible, though not
probable, that on any one occasion the majority of the gamblers might
stake their money fortuitously on one series of numbers, and if that
series did happen to be drawn, then the loss to the Lottery, even with
all deductions, would be a heavy one, and the Roman exchequer is by no
means in a position to bear a heavy drain.  In consequence, measures are
taken to avert this calamity; each office reports daily what sums have
been staked on what numbers; and, if any numbers are regarded with undue
partiality, orders are issued from the head department to receive no more
money on these numbers or series.  I have assumed all along that the
numbers are drawn fairly, and, without a very high opinion of the
integrity of our Papal rulers, I am disposed to think they are.  In the
first place, any general impression of unfairness would greatly damage
the future profits of the speculation; and, secondly, by the usual rule
of averages it will be found that, on the whole, people stake pretty
equally on one combination as another, and therefore the question, which
particular numbers are drawn, is of less practical importance to the
lottery management than might at first be supposed.  In spite, however,
of these abstract considerations, the virtue of the Papal Lotteries,
unlike that of Caesar's wife, is not above suspicion; and I have often
heard Romans remark, that the only possible explanation of there being
one blank day between the closing the lottery-offices and the drawing was
the obvious one, that time was required to calculate, from the state of
the stakes, what combination of winning numbers will be most beneficial,
or least hurtful, to the Papal pockets.

Whatever mathematicians may assert, your regular gamblers always believe
in luck, and therefore it is not surprising that a nation, whose great
excitement is the lottery, should be devout worshippers of the blind
goddess.  It may be that some memories of the Pythagorean doctrines still
exist in the land of their birth, but be the cause what it may, it is
certain that in the southern Peninsula a belief in the symbolism of
numbers is a received article of faith.  Every thing, name, or event, has
its numerical interpretation.  Suppose, for instance, a robbery occurs;
forthwith the numbers or sequences of numbers corresponding to the name
of the robber or the robbed, the day or hour of the crime, the articles
stolen, or a dozen other coincident circumstances, are eagerly sought
after and staked upon in the ensuing lottery.  Then there are the _numeri
simpatici_, or the numbers in each month or year which are supposed to be
fortunate, and lists of which are published in the popular almanacs.  The
"sympathetic number for instance for the month of March is 88," why or
wherefore I have never been able to discover.  Let me assume now, that
having dreamt a dream, or heard of a death, or I care not what, you wish
to stake your money on the arithmetical signification of the occurrence.
You will have no difficulty in discovering a lottery-office; in well nigh
every street there are one or more "Prenditoria di Lotti."  In fact,
begging and gambling are the only two trades that thrive in Rome, or are
pushed with enterprise or energy.  When the drawing takes place in
Tuscany, the result is communicated at once by the electric telegraph, a
fact unparalleled in any other branch of Roman business.  Over each
office are placed the Papal arms, the cross keys of St Peter and the
tiara.  Outside their aspects differ, according to the quarter of the
city.  In the well-to-do streets, if such an appellation applied to any
street here be not an absurdity, the exterior of the lottery-offices are
neat but not gaudy.  A notice, printed in large black letters on a white
placard, that this week the lottery will be drawn for in Rome, or where-
ever it may be, and a simple glass frame over the door, in which are slid
the winning numbers of last week, form the whole outward adornment.  In
the poor and populous parts the lotteries flaunt out in all kinds of
shabby finery: the walls about the door are pasted over with puffing
inscriptions; from stands in front of the shop flutter long stripes of
parti-coloured paper, inscribed with all sorts of cabalistic figures.  If
you like you may try the "Terno della fortuna," which is certain,
morally, to turn up this week or next.  If you are of a philosophical
disposition, you may stake your luck on the numbers 19 and 42, which have
not been drawn for ever so long a time, and must therefore be drawn
sooner--or later; or if you like to cast in your lot with others, you may
back that "ambo" which has "sold" marked against it; at any rate, you
will not be the only fool who stands to lose or win on that chance,
which, after all, is some slight consolation.  If none of these
inducements are sufficient, you may fix on your choice by spinning round
the index on the painted dial-plate, and choosing the numbers opposite to
which the spin stops, thus making chance determine chance.  Having, at
last, selected your combination somehow or other, you enter the office
with something of that shamefaced feeling which, I suppose, a man must be
conscious of the first time that he ever enters the back-door of a
pawnbroker's establishment.

The interior of these offices is the same throughout.  A low, dark room,
with a long ink-stained desk at one side, behind which, pen in ear, is
seated an official, more grimy even, and more snuffy than the run of his
tribe.  Opposite the desk there is sure to be a picture of the Madonna
with a small glass lamp before it, wherein a feeble wick floats and
flickers in a pool of rancid oil.  On the wall you may read a list of the
virtuous maidens who are to receive marriage portions of from 5 pounds
downwards, on the occasion of the lottery being drawn at some religious
festival.  Indeed, throughout, the lottery is conducted on a strictly
religious footing.  The _impiegati_, or officials who keep them, are all
men of sound principles and devotional habits, fervent adherents of the
Pope, and habitual communicants.  Lotteries too can be defended on
abstract religious grounds, as encouraging a simple faith in providence,
and dispelling any overwhelming confidence in your own unsanctified
exertions.  When you have made these reflections, you have only got to
tell the clerk what sum of money you want to stake, and on what numbers.
The smallest contribution (from eleven baiocchi or about sixpence
upwards) will be thankfully received.  A long whity-brown slip of paper
is given you, with the numbers written on it, and the sum you may win
marked opposite.  No questions whatever, about name or residence or
papers, are asked, as they are whenever you want to transact any other
piece of business in Rome; and all you have to do, is to keep your slip
of paper, and come back on the Saturday to learn whether your numbers
have been drawn or not.

There is, in truth, a ludicrous side to the Papal Lotteries; but there is
also a very sad one.  It is sad to see the offices on a Thursday night,
when they are kept open till midnight, hours after every other shop is
closed, and to watch the crowds of common humble people who hurry in, one
after the other; servants and cabmen and clerks and beggars, and, above
all, women of the poorer class, to stake their small savings--too often
their small pilferings--on the hoped-for numbers.  When one speaks of the
disgrace and shame that this authorized system of gambling confers on the
Papal Government; of the improvidence and dishonesty and misery it
creates too certainly among the poor, one is always told, by the
advocates of the Papacy, that the people are so passionately attached to
the lottery, that no Government could run the risk of abolishing it.  If
this be true, which I do not believe, I can only say--shame upon the
rulers, who have so demoralized their subjects!



CHAPTER IX.  THE STUDENTS OF THE SAPIENZA.


There is no University properly speaking in Rome.  The constant and
minute interference of the priests in the course of study; the rigid
censorship extended over all books of learning, and the arbitrary
restrictions with which free thought and inquiry are hampered, would of
themselves be sufficient to stop the growth of any great school of
learning at Rome, even if there existed a demand for such an institution,
which there does not.  Still in these days, even at Rome, young men must
receive some kind of education, and to meet this want the Sapienza
College is provided.  Both in the age of the scholars and the nature of
the studies it bears a much closer resemblance to a Scotch high school
than to an University, but still, such as it is, it forms the great lay-
place of education in the Papal States.  There is a separate theological
faculty; the head of the college is a Cardinal, and the whole course of
study is under the control and supervision of the priests.  Many,
however, of the professors are laymen, the majority of the pupils are
educated for secular pursuits, and the families from whom the students
come, form as a body the _elite_ in point of education and intelligence
amongst the mercantile and professional classes in the Papal States.

At the commencement of the year a great attempt was made by the
Government to get up addresses of loyalty and devotion to the Pope.  Not
even Pius the Ninth himself believed one single word in any of these
purchased testimonials.  Indeed, on one occasion, when an address was
presented by the officers of the army, he informed the deputation with
more candour than prudence, that he knew perfectly well not one of them
would raise his hand to save the Papacy.  But abroad, and more especially
in France, it was conceived that such addresses would be accepted as
genuine testimonials to the contentment of the Roman people with their
rulers.  In obedience to these tactics, it was resolved to have an
address from the students of the Sapienza.  Such an address, containing
the stock terms of fulsome adulation and unreasoning reverence, was drawn
up by the authorities.  Only a dozen students out of the 400 to 500 of
whom the college consists volunteered to sign it.  The students were then
summoned in a body before the rector, and requested to add their
signatures.  For this purpose the address was left in their hands, but
instead of being signed it was torn to pieces, and the fragments
scattered about the lecture-room, amidst a chorus of shouts and groans.
With the sort of senile folly which characterized all the proceedings of
the Vatican at this period, the affair, instead of being passed
unnoticed, was taken up seriously, and assumed in consequence an utterly
uncalled-for notoriety.  The college was closed for the day, several of
the pupils were summoned before the police, an official inquiry was
instituted into the demonstration, and the matter became the talk of
Rome.

Of course at once a dozen contradictory rumours were in circulation, and
it was with considerable difficulty that I obtained the above narrative
of the occurrence, which I know to be substantially correct.  As a
curious instance of how facts are perverted at Rome by theological bias,
I would mention here that when I made some inquiries on the subject from
an English gentleman, a recent convert, and I need hardly add a most
virulent partizan of the Papal rule, who was in a position to know the
truth about the matter, I was told by him, that there had undoubtedly
been a demonstration at the Sapienza, but that the truth was, the
students were so indignant at the outrages committed against his
Holiness, that they drew up an address of their own accord, expressive of
their devotion to the Pope, and that upon the rector refusing his consent
to the presentation of the address, on the ground that they were too
young to take any part in political matters, they vented by tumultuous
shouts their dissatisfation at this somewhat ill-timed interference.  Now,
not only was there such an inherent improbability about this story, to
any one at all acquainted with Roman feelings or Papal policy, that it
scarcely needed refutation, but subsequent events proved it to be
entirely devoid of foundation in fact, and yet it was told me in good
faith by a person who had every means of knowing the truth if he had
chosen.  The anecdote thus forms a curious illustration of the manner in
which stories are got up and circulated in Rome.

The result of the inquiry was that seven or eight of the students, who
whether justly or unjustly were regarded as ringleaders in the
demonstration, were either expelled or suspended from prosecuting their
studies.  Amongst the expelled students was the son of the medical
Professor, Dr Maturani, who, considering his son unjustly used, resigned,
or rather was obliged to resign his post.  The Pope then made a state
visit to the college, but was very coldly received, and held out no hopes
of the offenders being pardoned.  The partizans of the Government talked
much about the good effect produced by the Papal visit, but within a day
or two the students assembled in a body at the Sapienza, and demanded of
the rector that the medical professor should be reinstated in his office,
and that the sentences of expulsion should be rescinded, as all were
equally guilty or equally guiltless.  On receiving these demands the
rector requested the students, as a personal favour, to make no further
demonstration till he had had time to lay their sentiments before
Cardinal Roberti, the president of the Congregation of Studies, which he
promised to do at once.  The students thereupon retired, but on their
return next morning received no reply whatever.  The following day was
Sunday, when the college is closed, and on Monday the new medical
professor was to deliver his inaugural lecture.  It was expected that the
students would take this opportunity of venting their dissatisfaction,
and the government actually resolved to send the Roman gendarmes into the
lecture-room in order to suppress any expression of feeling by force.  At
the time this act was considered only a piece of almost incredible folly,
but the events of St Joseph's day shewed clearly enough that the Vatican
was anxious to bring about a collision between the troops and the
malcontents.  A little blood-letting, after Lord Sidmouth's dictum, was
considered wholesome for the Pope's subjects.  Fortunately the intention
came to the knowledge of the French authorities, who interfered at once,
and said if troops were required they must be French and not Papal ones,
as otherwise it was impossible to answer for the result.  On the Monday
therefore a detachment of French troops was sent down to the college.  The
lecture-room was crowded with students, who greeted the new Professor on
his entry with a volley of hisses, and then left the room in a body.  The
French officer in command was appealed to by the authorities to
interfere, but refused doing so, and equally declined receiving an
address which the students wished to force upon him.  His orders he
stated were solely to suppress any actual riot, but nothing further.  Some
400 of the students then proceeded to the residences of Cardinal
Antonelli, of General Goyon, and the Duc de Gramont, and presented an
address, a copy of which they requested might be forwarded to the
Emperor.  These were the words of the address;

   "Your Excellency--Some of our comrades have been removed from us.
   United to them in our studies, united, too, in our sentiments, we
   protest against a punishment so unjust and so partial.  When adulation
   and servility suggested to some amongst us the utterance of a
   falsehood which insulted the Pontiff, while it did no service to the
   Sovereign, we all rose in union to denounce those who, without our
   consent, constituted themselves the interpreters of our wishes.  This
   act was not the caprice of a section.  It was the vast majority
   amongst us who thus spoke out the truth.  The punishment, if
   punishment there is to be for speaking the truth, should not fall upon
   a few alone.

   "We confess it openly, the act was the act of all; the measure of our
   conduct was the same for all.  We therefore demand from your
   Excellency that the expelled students should be allowed to return, or
   else that we should all be united with them in one common punishment,
   as we are proud of being united with them in a common love of truth
   and of our country.

   "The presence of our 400 students supplies the place of signatures."

The last clause is open to question.  The plain fact is, that the
students could not get their courage up to signing point.  A government
of priests never forgives or forgets, and their vengeance though slow is
very sure.  Any student who had actually affixed his signature to the
address would have been a marked man for life; and instead of wondering
that the whole body had not sufficient moral resolution to express their
sentiments in writing, I am surprised that they had the courage to
protest at all, even anonymously.  This hesitation, however, afforded the
government a loop-hole, which they were wise enough to take advantage of;
Cardinal Antonelli declined at once to give any reply to the address, on
the ground that he could take no notice of an unsigned and unauthentic
document; so the matter rested.  Logically, the Cardinal had the best of
the dispute; but, practically, the remonstrants triumphed.  The students
kept away from the classes, and after a short time the Sapienza college
had to be closed, in order, if possible, to weed out the liberal faction
amongst the pupils.  Numbers of the students were arrested or exiled.  As
instances of Papal notions of justice and law, I may mention two
instances connected with the government inquiry, which came to my
knowledge.  One student was sent for to the police-office and asked if he
was one of those who presented the address; on his replying in the
negative, he was asked further, whether, if he had been on the spot, he
would have joined in the presentation.  To this question, he replied,
that the police had no right to question him as to a matter of
hypothesis, but only as to facts.  The magistrate's sole answer to this
objection consisted in an order to leave Rome within twenty-four hours.
Another student was arrested by a gendarme in the street, and brought to
the police-office; it was past five o'clock, and the magistrate informed
him it was too late to enter on the charge that day, and therefore he
must remain in the custody of the police for the night.  In vain the
student requested to be informed of the charge against him, and protested
against the illegality of detaining a person in custody without there
being any charge even alleged; but to all this the magistrate remained
obdurate, and the student was sent home under the care of the gendarme.
Happily for himself, he managed to give his guardian the slip in the
streets, and left the Papal States that night without awaiting the result
of an inquiry which had commenced under such auspices.

It is true that the political opinions of a parcel of boys may have very
little intrinsic value; but straws shew which way the wind blows, and so
this exhibition of the students' sentiments shews how deep-rooted is the
disaffection to the Papacy throughout Roman society, and also how strong
the conviction is, that the days of priest-rule are numbered.



CHAPTER X.  A PAPAL PAGEANT.


The Papacy is too old and too feeble even to die with dignity.  Of itself
the sight of a falling power, of a dynasy _in extremis_, commands
something of respect if not of regret; but the conduct of the Papacy
deprives it of the sympathy that is due to its misfortunes.  There is a
kind of silliness, I know of no better word to use, about the whole Papal
policy at the present day, which is really aggravating.  It is silly to
rave about the martyr's crown and the cruel stake, when nobody has the
slightest intention of hurting a hair of your head; silly to talk of your
paternal love when your provinces are in arms against your "cruel
mercies;" silly to boast of your independence when you are guarded in
your own capital against your own subjects by foreign troops; silly, in
fact, to bark when you cannot bite, to lie when you cannot deceive.  No
power on earth could make the position of the Pope a dignified one at
this present moment, and if anything could make it less dignified than
before, it is the system of pompous pretensions and querulous complaints
and fulsome adulation which now prevails at the Vatican.  I know not how
better to give an idea of the extent to which this system is carried,
than by describing a Papal pageant which occurred early in the year.

To enter fully into the painful absurdity of the whole scene, one should
bear in mind what were the prospects of Papal politics at the
commencement of February.  The provinces of the Romagna were about to
take the first step towards their final separation, by electing members
for the Sardinian Parliament.  The question, whether the French troops
could remain in Rome, or in other words, whether the Pope must retire
from Rome, was still undecided; the streets of the city were thronged
with Pontifical Sbirri and French patrols, to suppress the excitement
caused by a score of lads, who raised a shout of _Viva l'Italia_ a week
before.  The misery and discontent of the Roman populace was so great
that the coming Carnival time was viewed with the gravest apprehensions,
and anxious doubts were entertained whether it was least dangerous to
permit or forbid the celebration of the festival.  Bear all this in mind;
fancy some _Mene, mene, tekel, upharsin_, is written on all around,
telling of disaffection and despair, and revolt and ruin; and then listen
to what was said and done to and by the Pope on that Sunday before
Septuagesima.

Some months ago a college was founded at Rome for the education of
American youths destined to the priesthood; there were already an
English, an Irish, and a Scotch college, not to speak of the Propaganda.
However, in addition to all these, a college reserved for the United
States, was projected and established by the present Pontiff.  Indeed,
this American college, the raised Boulevard, which now disfigures the
Forum, and the column erected in the Piazza di Spagna to the dogma of the
Immaculate Conception, appear to be the only material products of the
Pontificate of Pius the Ninth.  For some reason or other, which I am not
learned enough in theological lore to determine, the feast of St Francis
de Sales was celebrated as a sort of inauguration festival by the pupils
of the new college.  The Pope honoured the ceremony with his presence;
and, for a wonder, a very full account of the proceedings was published
in the _Giornale di Roma_; the quotations I make are literal translations
from the official reports.

"The day," so writes the _Giornale_, "was in very truth a blessed and a
fortunate one, not only for the pupils themselves, who yearned for an
opportunity of bearing solemn witness to their gratitude and devotion
towards their best and highest father and most munificent benefactor, but
also for all those who have it upon their hearts to share in those great
works which form the most striking proof of the perpetual growth and
spread of our most sacred religion."

Apparently the number of the latter class is not extensive, as the visit
of the Pope attracted but little crowd, and the lines of French soldiers
who were drawn up on his way to salute him as he passed, were certainly
not collected in the first instance by a spirit of religious zeal.  The
_Giornale_, however, views everything with the eyes of faith, not of
"pure reason."  Mass was performed at the Holy Church of Humility, and
"from early dawn, as soon as the news of the holy father's visit was
circulated, an immense crowd assembled there which filled not only the
church, but the adjoining rooms and corridors.  The crowd was composed of
the flower of Roman rank and beauty, and the _elite_ of the strangers
residing in Rome, both French, English, and American, who desired the
blessing of assisting at the bloodless sacrifice celebrated by the Vicar
of Christ, and who longed to receive from his hands the angels' food."  I
am sorry truth compels me to state, that the whole of this immense crowd
consisted of some two hundred people in all, and that the only
illustrious personages of special note amongst the crowd not being
priests, were General Goyon, the American Minister and Consul, and the
Senator of Rome.  The Pope arrived at eight o'clock, and then proceeded
to celebrate the communion, assisted by Monsignors Bacon, bishop of
Portland, U.S., and Goro, bishop of Liverpool.  "The rapt contemplation,
the contrition of heart, the spirit of ardent faith which penetrated the
whole assembly, more especially while the holy father distributed the
sacred bread, were all things so sublime that they are easier to conceive
than to describe."

After mass was over the Pope entered the college.  Above the door the
following inscription was written in Latin, composed, I can safely say,
by an Hiberno-Yankee pen:

"Approach, O mighty Pius, O thou the parent of the old world and the new,
approach these sanctuaries, which thou hast founded for thine American
children devoted to the science of the church!  To thee, the whole
company of pupils; to thee, all America, wild with exultation, offer up
praise!  For thee, they implore all things peaceful and blessed."

In the hall prepared for his holiness' reception there was hung up,
"beneath a gorgeous canopy, a marvellous full-length likeness of the
august person of the holy Pontiff, destined to recall his revered
features.  Around the picture a number of appropriate Latin mottos were
arranged, of which I give one or two as specimens of the style of
adulation adopted:

"Come, O youth, raise up the glad voice, behold, the supreme shepherd is
present, blessing his children with the light of his countenance.  Hail,
O day, shining with a glorious light, on which his glad children receive
within their arms the best of parents!

"As the earth beams forth covered with the sparkling sun-light, so the
youths rejoice with gladness, while thou, O father, kindly gladdenest
them with thy most pleasant presence!"

Refreshments were then presented to the guests, which I am glad to say
were much better than the mottos.  The pupils of the Propaganda, who were
all present, sang a hymn; addresses were made to the Pope by the
pro-rector of the college in the name of the pupils, by Bishop Bacon on
behalf of catholic America, and by Cardinal Barnabo, the superior of the
Propaganda, all of them in terms of the most fervent adoration.  Each of
the American pupils then advanced with a short poem which he had
composed, or was supposed to have composed, in expression of the emotions
of his heart on this joyful occasion, and requested permission to recite
it.  At such a time the best feature in the Pope's character, a sort of
feeble kindliness of nature, was sure to show itself.  I cannot but think
indeed that the sight of the young boyish faces, whose words of reverence
might possibly be those of truth and honesty, must have given an unwonted
pleasure to the worn out, harassed, disappointed old man.  "The holy
father," I read, "receiving with agitated feelings so many tokens of
homage, was delighted beyond measure."  When the English poems were
recited to him, he called out, "can't understand a word, but it seems
good, very good."  He spoke to each of the lads in turn, and, when he was
shown the statue of Washington, told them to give a cheer for their
country, to cry _Viva la Patria_ (the very offence, by the way, for which
ten days before he had put his own Roman fellow-countrymen into prison),
and then when the boys cheered, he raised his hands to his ears, and told
them laughingly, they would drive him deaf.  Now all this is very
pleasant, or in young-lady parlance, very nice, and I wish, truly, I had
nothing more to tell.  I trust, indeed, that the long abstinence from
food (as a priest who is about to celebrate the communion is not allowed
to touch food from midnight till the time when Mass is over, and in these
matters of observance Pius IX. is reputed to be strictly conscientious)
or else the excitement of the scene had been too much for the not very
powerful mind of the Pontiff; otherwise I know not how you can excuse an
aged man, on the brink of the grave, to say nothing of the Vicegerent of
Christ, using such language as he employed.

"After much affectionate demonstration, the Holy Father could no longer
restrain his lips from speaking, and, turning his penetrating glance
around, spoke as follows," in the words of the _Giornale_:

"One of the chief objects of the most high Pontiffs has ever been, the
propagation and maintenance of the faith throughout the world.  Their
efforts therefore have always been directed towards the establishment of
colleges in this sovereign city, in order that the youth of all nations,
who would have to preach the faith in the different Catholic countries,
might receive their education here.  In the foundation then of this new
college, he had only followed in the steps of his illustrious
predecessors.  It thus seemed to him that he had rather performed a
simple duty, than an act deserving praise.  After his Holiness had
pointed out, what a great blessing the faith was, how indeed it was a
true gift of Heaven, the sole solace and comfort vouchsafed to us
throughout the vicissitudes of fortune, he then expressed his extreme
distress, that in these days, this very faith should be made an especial
object of attack, and added that this fact alone was the cause of his
deep and profound dejection.  There is no need, he stated, to refer now,
to the prisons and tortures and persecutions of old, when we are all
witnesses to the onslaught which is now being made against the Catholic
faith and against whosoever seeks to maintain its purity and integrity.
There was no cause however for wonder: such from the cradle had been the
heritage of the faith, which was born and bred amidst persecution and
adversity, and which under the same lot still continues its glorious
progress.  The Gospel of the day recalled this truth only too
appropriately; although his Holiness continued in the midst of
persecution, it was his duty only to arm himself with greater courage,
yet the grief of his heart was nevertheless rendered more bitter still,
by beholding that in this very peninsula--so highly privileged by God,
not only endowed with the faith, and with possessing the most august
throne on earth,--that even here, the minds and hearts of men were
hopelessly perverted.  No, his fears were not caused by the arms or
armies, or the forces of any power, be it what it might.  No, it was not
the loss of temporal dominion, which created in his heart the bitterest
of afflictions.  Those who have caused this loss must, alas! bear the
censure of the Church, and must henceforth be given over to the wrath of
God, as long as they refuse to repent, and cast themselves on His loving
mercy.  What afflicted and terrified him far more than all this, was the
perversion of all ideas, this fearful evil, the corrupting of all
notions; vice, in truth, is taken for virtue, virtue counted for vice.  At
last, in some cities of this unhappy Italy, men have come to make in
truth an apotheosis of the cut-throat and the assassin.  Praise and
honour are lavished on the most villainous of men and actions, while at
the same time endurance in the faith and even episcopal resolution in
maintaining the holy rights of that faith, and its provident blessings,
are stigmatized with a strange audacity, by the names of hypocrisy,
fanaticism, and perversion of religion.  He then went on to say, that
now, more than ever, it was high time to take vengeance in the name of
God, and that the vengeance of the priesthood and the Vicariate of Christ
Jesus consisted solely in prayer and supplication, that all might be
converted and live.  That, moreover, the chief of all these evils was
only too truly the corruption of the heart and the perversion of the
intellect, and that this evil could only be overcome by the greatest of
miracles, which must be wrought by God and interceded from him by prayer.
After this, the Holy Father, in language which seemed inspired, as though
he were raised out of himself, exhorted all present, and especially the
young men destined to carry the faith to their distant countries."

Even amongst the audience, who all belonged more or less to the Papal
faction, the intemperate and injudicious character of this speech,
delivered in the presence of the French commander-in-chief, and the
allusions which could not but be intended for the Emperor Napoleon,
Cavour, and Victor Emmanuel, created great consternation, and was but
coldly received.  The _Giornale_ however reports, that "where his
Holiness, with agitated voice, bestowed his apostolic benediction, awe
and admiration could be read on every countenance; all hearts beat aloud;
and no eyelid was left dry.  The whole assembly pressing forward, bent in
turn before the august personage, touching, some his hands and some his
dress, while others again cast themselves at his feet, in order to
impress thereon a reverent and affectionate kiss."

After having examined the building, the Pope went on foot to the
neighbouring convent of the Augustine nuns, called "The Convent of the
Virgins," the whole of the religious community were "permitted to kiss
the sacred foot," and then "having comforted the virgins with paternal
and loving words," he returned to the Vatican, past the files of French
troops, through the beggar-crowded streets, amidst cold, sullen glances
and averted obeisances, back to his dreary palace, there to wait wearily
for orders from Paris.



CHAPTER XI.  THE CARNIVAL SENZA MOCCOLO.


There are things in the world which allow of no description, and of such
things a true Roman carnival is one.  You might as well seek to analyze
champagne, or expound the mystery of melody, or tell why a woman pleases
you.  The strange web of colour, beauty, mirth, wit, and folly, is
tangled so together that common hands cannot unravel it.  To paint a
carnival without blotching, to touch it without destroying, is an art
given unto few, I almost might say to none, save to our own wondrous word-
wizard, who dreamt the "dream of Venice," and told it waking.  For my own
part, the only branch of art to which, even as a child, I ever took
kindly, was the humble one of tracing upon gritting glass, with a grating
pencil, hard outlines of coarse sketches squeezed tight against the
window-pane.  After the manner in which I used to draw, I have since
sought to write; for such a picture-frame then as mine, the airy,
baseless fabric of an Italian revel is no fitting subject, and had the
Roman Carnival for 1860 been even as other carnivals are, I should have
left it unrecorded.  It has been my lot, however, to witness such a
carnival as has not been seen at Rome before, and is not likely to be
seen again.  In the decay of creeds and the decline of dynasties there
appear from time to time signs which, like the writing on the wall,
proclaim the coming change, and amongst these signs our past Carnival is,
if I err not, no unimportant one.  While then the memory of the scene is
fresh upon me, let me seek to tell what I have seen and heard.  The
question whether we were to have a Carnival at all, remained long
doubtful; the usual time for issuing the regulations had long passed, and
no edict had appeared; strange reports were spread and odd stories
circulated.  Our rulers were, it seems, equally afraid of having a
carnival and not having it; and with their wonted wisdom decided on the
middle course, of having a carnival which was not a carnival at all.  One
week before the first of the eight fete-days, the long-delayed edict was
posted on the walls; the festival was to be celebrated as usual, except
that no masks were to be allowed; false beards and moustaches, or any
attempt to disguise the features, were strictly forbidden.  Political
allusions, or cries of any kind, were placed under the same ban; crowds
were to disperse at a moment's notice, and prompt obedience was to be
rendered to any injunction of the police.  Subject to these slight
restraints, the wild revel and the joyous licence of the Carnival was to
rule unbridled.  In the words of a Papal writer in the government gazette
of Venice: "The festival is to be celebrated in full vigour, except that
no masks are allowed, as the fashion for them has lately gone out.  There
will be, however, disguises and fancy dresses, confetti, bouquets, races,
moccoletti, public and private balls, and, in short, every amusement of
the Carnival time."  What more could be required by a happy and contented
people?  Somehow, the news does not seem to be received with any
extraordinary rejoicing; a group of idlers gaze at the decree and pass
on, shrugging their shoulders listlessly.  Along the Corso notice-boards
are hung out of balconies to let, but the notices grow mildewed, and the
balconies remain untaken.  The carriage-drivers don't pester you, as in
former years, to engage them for the Carnival; and the fancy dresses
exposed in the shop-windows are shabby and few in number.  There is no
appearance of unnecessary excitement; but "still waters run deep;" and in
order to restrain any possible exuberance of feeling, on the very night
before the Carnival the French general issues a manifesto.  "To prevent
painful occurrences," so run General Guyon's orders, "the officer
commanding each detachment of troops which may have to act against a
crowd, shall himself, or through a police-officer, make it a summons to
disperse.  After this warning the crowd must disperse instantly, without
noise or cries, if it does not wish to see force employed."  Still no
doubts are entertained of the brilliancy of the Carnival; the Romans (so
at least their rulers say, and who should know them better?) will enjoy
themselves notwithstanding; the Carnival is their great holiday, the one
week of pleasure counted on the long, dull year through, and no power on
earth, still less no abstract consideration, will keep them from the
Corso revels.  From old time, all that they have ever cared for are the
_panem et circenses_; and the Carnival gives them both.  It is the Roman
harvest-time, when the poor gather in their gleanings.  Flower-sellers,
vendors of confetti, hawkers of papers, letters-out of chairs and
benches, itinerant minstrels, perambulating cigar-merchants, pedlars,
beggars, errand-boys, and a hundred other obscure traders, pick up,
heaven knows how! enough in Carnival time to tide them over the dead
summer-season.  So both necessity and pleasure, want and luxury, will
combine to swell the crowd; and the pageant will be gay enough for the
Vatican to say that its faithful subjects are loyal and satisfied.

The day opens drearily, chilly, and damp and raw, with a feeble sun
breaking through the lowering clouds; soon after noon the streets begin
to fill with soldiers.  Till this year the Corso used to be guarded, and
the files of carriages kept in order, by the Italian pontifical dragoons,
the most warlike-looking of parade regiments I have ever seen.  Last
spring, however, when the war broke out, these bold dragoons grew ashamed
of their police duties, and began to ride across the frontier without
leave or license, to fight in behalf of Italy.  The whole regiment, in
fact, was found to be so disaffected that it was disbanded without delay,
and at present there are only some score or so left, who ride close
behind the Pope when he goes out "unattended," as his partisans profess.
So the dragoons having disappeared, the duty of keeping order is given to
the French soldiers.  There are soldiers ranged everywhere: along the
street pavements there is one long line of blue overcoats and red
trousers and oil-skin flowerpot hats covering the short, squat, small-
made soldiers of the 40th Foot regiment, whose fixed bayonets gleam
brightly in the rare sun-light intervals.  At every piazza there are
detachments stationed; their muskets are stacked in rows on the ground,
and the men stand ready to march at the word of order.  In every side-
street sentinels are posted.  From time to time orderlies gallop past.
Ever and anon you hear the rub-a-dub of the drums, as new detachments
pass on towards the Corso.  The head-quarters at the Piazza Colonna are
crowded with officers coming and going, and the whole French troops off
duty seem to have received orders to crowd the Corso, where they stroll
along in knots of three or four, alone and unnoticed by the crowd around
them.  The heavy guns boom forth from the Castle of St Angelo, and the
Carnival has begun.

Gradually and slowly the street fills.  One day is so like another that
to see one is to have seen all.  The length of the Corso there saunters
listlessly an idle, cloak-wrapt, hands-in-pocket-wearing, cigar-smoking,
shivering crowd, composed of French soldiers and the rif-raff of Rome,
the proportion being one of the former to every two or three of the
latter.  The balconies, which grow like mushrooms on the fronts of every
house, in all out-of-the-way places and positions, are every now and then
adorned with red hangings.  These balconies and the windows are scantily
filled with shabbily-dressed persons, who look on the scene below as
spectators, not as actors.  At rare intervals a carriage passes.  The
chances are that its occupants are English or Americans.  On the most
crowded day there are, perhaps, at one time, fifty carriages in all, of
which more than half belong to the _forestieri_.  Indeed, if it were not
for our Anglo-Saxon countrymen, there would be no carnival at all.  We
don't contribute much, it is true, to the brilliancy of the _coup d'oeil_.
Our gentlemen are in the shabbiest of coats and seediest of hats, while
our ladies wear grey cloaks, and round, soup-plate bonnets.  However, if
we are not ornamental, we are useful.  We pelt each other with a hearty
vigour, and discharge volleys of _confetti_ at every window where a fair
English face appears.  The poor luckless nosegay or sugar-plum boys look
upon us as their best friends, and follow our carriages with importunate
pertinacity.  Fancy dresses of any kind are few.  There are one or two
very young men--English, I suspect,--dressed as Turks, or Greeks, or
pirates, after Highbury Barn traditions, looking cold and uncomfortable.
Half a dozen tumble-down carriages represent the Roman element.  They are
filled with men disguised as peasant-women, and _vice versa_; but,
whether justly or unjustly, they are supposed to be chartered for the
show by the Government, and attract small comment or notice.  Amongst the
foot-crowd, with the exception of a stray foreigner, there is not a well-
dressed person to be seen.  The fun is of the most dismal character.  Boys
with bladders whack each other on the back, and jump upon each other's
shoulders.  Harlequins and clowns--shabby, spiritless, and unmasked--grin
inanely in your face, and seem to be hunting after a joke they can never
find.  A quack doctor, or a man in crinoline, followed by a nigger
holding an umbrella over his head, or a swell with pasteboard collars,
and a chimney-pot on his head, pass from time to time and shout to the
bystanders, but receive no answer.  Give them a wide berth, for they are
spies, and bad company.  The one great amusement is pelting a black hat,
the glossier the better.  After a short time even this pleasure palls,
and, moreover, victims grow scarce, for the crowd, contrary to the run of
Italian crowds, is an ill-bred, ill-conditioned one, and take to throw
nosegays weighted with stones, which hurt and cut.  So the long three
hours, from two to five, pass drearily.  Up and down the Corso, in a
broken, straggling line, amidst feeble showers of chalk (not sugar)
plums, and a drizzle of penny posies to the sound of one solitary band,
the crowd sways to and fro.  At last the guns boom again.  Then the score
of dragoons--of whom one may truly say, in the words of Tennyson's
"Balaclava Charge," that they are "all that are left of--not the 'twelve'
hundred"--come trotting down the Corso from the Piazza del Popolo.  With
a quick shuffling march the French troops pass along the street, and form
in file, pushing back the crowd to the pavements.  With drawn swords and
at full gallop the dragoons ride back through the double line.  Then
there is a shout, or rather a long murmur.  All faces are turned up the
street, and half a dozen broken-kneed, riderless, terror-struck shaggy
ponies with numbers chalked on them, and fluttering trappings of pins and
paper stuck into their backs, run past in straggling order.  Where they
started you see a crowd standing round one of the grooms who held them,
and who is lying maimed and stunned upon the ground, and you wonder at
the unconcern with which the accident is treated.  Another gun sounds.
The troops form to clear the street, the crowd disperses, and the
Carnival is over for the day.  A message is sent to the Vatican, to
inform the Pope that the festival has been most brilliant, and along the
telegraphic wires the truth is flashed to Paris that the day has passed
without an outbreak.

On the last day of the Carnival the Porto Pia road was full as usual, and
the Corso filled as usual with soldiers, and spies, and rabble.  An order
was published, that any person appearing out of the Corso with lighted
tapers would be arrested, and therefore the idea of an evening
demonstration outside the gates was dropped.  Not all the efforts,
however, of the police could light the Moccoletti in the Corso.  House
after house, window after window, were left unlighted.  The crowd in the
streets carried no candles, and there were only sixteen carriages or so,
all filled with strangers.  Of all the dreary sights I have ever
witnessed that Moccoletti illumination was the dreariest.  At rare
intervals, and in English accents, you heard the cry of "Senza Moccolo,"
which used to burst from every mouth as the tiny flames flickered, and
glared, and fell.  Before the sight was half over the spectators began to
leave, and while I pushed my way through the dispersing crowds, I could
still hear the faint cry of "Senza Moccolo."  As the sound still died
away, the cry still haunted me; and in my recollection, the Carnival of
1860 will ever remain as the dullest and dismalest of Carnivals--the
Carnival without mirth, or sun, or gaiety--the Carnival Senza Moccolo.



CHAPTER XII.  ROMAN DEMONSTRATIONS.  THE PIAZZA COLONNA CROWDS.  THE
PORTA PIA MEETINGS.  THE ANTI-SMOKE MOVEMENT.


Straws show which way the wind blows, and so, though the straws
themselves are valueless, yet as indications of what is coming, their
motions are worth noting.  It is thus that I judge of the series of
demonstrations which marked the spring of this year in Rome, and which
ended in the outrage of St Joseph's day.  Of themselves they were less
than worthless, but as tokens of the future they possess a value of their
own.  In recent Papal history they form a strange page.  Let me note
their features briefly, as I wrote of them at the time.



January 28.


At last there is a break in the dull uniformity of Roman life.--There is
a ripple on the waters, whether the precursor of a tempest, or to be
followed by a dead calm, it is hard to tell.  Meanwhile it is some gain
at any rate, that the old corpse-like city should show signs of life,
however transient.  Feeble as those symptoms are, let us make the most of
them.

Since the Imperial occupation of Rome, the building in the Piazza
Colonna, which old Roman travellers remember as the abode of the Post
Office, has been confiscated to the service of the French army.  It
forms, in fact, a sort of military head-quarter.  All the bureaux of the
different departments of the service are to be found here.  The office of
the electric telegraph is contained under the same roof, and the front
windows of the town-hall-looking building, lit up so brightly and so late
at night, are those of the French military "circle."  The Piazza Colonna,
where stands the column of Mark Antony, opens out of the Corso, and is
perhaps the most central position in all Rome.  At the corner is the
cafe, monopolized by the French non-commissioned officers; and next door
is the great French bookseller's.

Altogether the Piazza and its vicinity is the French _quartier_ of Rome.
At seven o'clock every evening, the detachments who are to be on guard,
during the night, at the different military posts, are drawn up in front
of the said building, receive the pass-word, and then, headed by the
drums and fifes, march off to their respective stations.  Every Sunday
and Thursday evening too, at this hour, the French band plays for a short
time in the Piazza.  Generally, this ceremony passes off in perfect
quiet, and in truth attracts as little attention from bystanders as our
file of guardsmen passing on their daily round from Charing Cross to the
Tower.  On Sunday evening last, a considerable crowd, numbering, as far
as I can learn, some two or three thousand persons, chiefly men and boys,
assembled round the band, and as the patrols marched off down the Corso,
and towards the Castle of Saint Angelo, followed them with shouts of
"Viva l'Italia," "Viva Napoleone," and, most ominous of all, "Viva
Cavour."  As soon as the patrols had passed the crowd dispersed, and
there was, apparently, an end of the matter.  The next night poured with
rain, with such a rain as only Rome can supply; and yet, in spite of the
rain, a good number of people collected to see the guard march off, and
again a few seditious or patriotic cries (the two terms are here
synonymous) were heard.  Such things in Italy, and in Rome especially,
are matters of grave importance, and the Government was evidently
alarmed.  Contrary to general expectation, and I suspect to the hopes of
the clerical party, the French general has issued no notice, as he did
last year, forbidding these demonstrations.  However, the patrols have
been much increased, and great numbers of the Pontifical gendarmes have
been brought into the city.  On Tuesday night the Papal police made
several arrests, and a report was spread by the priests that the French
troops had orders to fire at once, if any attempt was made to create
disturbance.  On the same night, too, there was a demonstration at the
Apollo.  I have heard, from several quarters, that on some of the
Pontifical soldiers entering the house, the whole audience left the
theatre, with very few exceptions.  However, in this city one gets to
have a cordial sympathy with the unbelieving Thomas, and not having been
present at the theatre myself, I cannot endorse the story.

Last night I strolled down the Corso to see the guard pass.  The street
was very full, at least full for Rome, where the streets seem empty at
their fullest, and numerous groups of men were standing on the door-steps
and at the shop windows.  Mounted patrols passed up and down the street,
and wherever there seemed the nucleus of a crowd forming, knots of the
Papal _sbirri_, with their long cloaks and cocked hats pressed over their
eyes, and furtive hang-dog looking countenances, elbowed their way
unopposed and apparently unnoticed.  In the square itself there were a
hundred men or so, chiefly, I should judge, strangers or artists, a group
of young ragamuffins, who had climbed upon the pedestals of the columns,
and seemed actuated only by the curiosity natural to the boy genus, and a
very large number of French soldiers, who, at first sight, looked merely
loiterers.  The patrol, of perhaps four hundred men, stood drawn up under
arms, waiting for the word to march.  Gradually one perceived that the
crowds of soldiers who loitered about without muskets were not mere
spectators.  Almost imperceptibly they closed round the patrol, pushed
back by the bystanders not in uniform, and then retreated, forming a
clear ring for the guard to move in.  There was no pushing, no hustling,
no cries of any kind.  After a few minutes the drums and fifes struck up,
the drum-major whirled his staff round in the air, the ring of soldier-
spectators parted, driving the crowd back on either side, and through the
clear space thus formed the patrol marched up the square, divided into
two columns, one going to the right, and the other to the left, and so
passed down the length of the Corso.  The crowd made no sign, and raised
no shout as the troops went by, and only looked on in sullen silence.  In
fact, the sole opinion I heard uttered was that of a French private, who
formed one of the ring, and who remarked to his comrade that this duty of
theirs was _sacre nom de chien de metier_, a remark in which I could not
but coincide.  As soon as the patrol had passed, the crowd retreated into
the cafes or the back-streets, and in half-an-hour the Corso was as empty
as usual, and was left to the _sbirri_, who passed up and down slowly and
silently.  Even in the small side-streets, which lead from the Corso to
the English quarters, I met knots of the Papal police accompanied by
French soldiers, and the suspicious scrutinizing glance they cast upon
you as you passed showed clearly enough they were out on business.



18 February.


The present has been a week of demonstrations, both Papal and anti-Papal.
Last Thursday was the Giovedi Grasso, the great people's day of the
carnival.  In other years, from an early hour in the afternoon, there is
a constant stream of carriages and foot-passengers setting from all parts
of Rome towards the Corso.  The back-streets and the ordinary promenades
are almost deserted.  The delight of the Romans in the carnival is so
notorious, that persons long resident in Rome possessed the strongest
conviction beforehand, that no human power could ever keep the natives
from the Corso upon Thursday.  The day, unlike its predecessors, was
brilliantly bright.  The Corso was decked out as gaily as hangings and
awnings could make it.  The sellers of bouquets and "confetti" were at
their posts.  A number of carriages were sent down filled with adherents
of the Government, dressed in carnival attire, to act as decoy-ducks.  All
officials were required to take part in the festivities.  The influence
of the priests was exerted to beat up carnival recruits amongst their
flocks, and yet the people obstinately declined coming.  The revel was
ready, but the revellers were wanting.  The stiff-necked Romans were not
content with stopping away, but insisted on going elsewhere.  By one of
those tacit understandings, which are always the characteristic of a
country without public life or liberty, a place of rendezvous was fixed
upon.  Without notice or proclamation of any kind, everybody knew
somehow, though how, nobody could tell, that the road beyond the Porta
Pia was the place where people were to meet on the day in question.  The
spot was appropriate on various grounds.  Along the Via Nomentana, which
leaves Rome through this gate, lies the Mons Sacer, whither the Plebs of
old seceded from the city, to escape from the tyranny of their rulers.
The gate too, which was commenced by Michael Angelo, was completed by the
present Pontiff, and there is an irony dear to an Italian's mind in the
idea of choosing the Porta Pia for the egress of a demonstration against
the Pope Pius.  Perhaps, after all, the fact that the road is one of the
sunniest and pleasantest near Rome may have had more to do with its
selection than any abstract considerations.  Be the cause what it may,
one fact is certain, that from the time when the Corso ought to have been
filling, a multitude of carriages and holiday-dressed people set out
towards the Porta Pia.  The Giovedi Grasso is a feast-day in Rome, and
all the shops are shut, and their owners at liberty.  All Rome, in
consequence, seemed to be wending towards the Porta Pia.  From the gate
to the convent of St Agnese, a distance of about a mile, there was a long
string of carriages, chiefly hired vehicles, but filled with well-dressed
persons.  As far as I could judge, the number of private and aristocratic
conveyances was small.  The prince of Piombino, who is married to one of
the half-English Borghese princesses, was the only Roman nobleman I heard
of, as being amongst the crowd.  But if the nobility were not present on
the Via Nomentana, they were equally absent from the Corso.  The
footpaths were thronged with a dense file of orderly respectable people.
There were, perhaps, half-a-dozen carriages, the owners of which had some
sort of carnival-dress on, but that was all.  There were no cries, no
throwing of confetti, no demonstration of feeling, except in the very
fact of the assemblage.  As far as I could guess from my own observation,
there were about 6000 people present, and from 400 to 500 carriages;
though persons who ought to be well informed have told me that there were
double these numbers.  No attempt at interference was made on the part of
the French.  There were but few French soldiers about, and what there
were, were evidently mere spectators.  Pontifical gendarmes passed along
the road at frequent intervals, and, not being able to arrest a
multitude, consoled themselves with the small piece of tyranny of closing
the _osterias_, which, both in look and character, bear a strong
resemblance to our London tea-gardens, and are a favourite resort of
thirsty and dusty pedestrians.  The crowd, nevertheless, remained
perfectly orderly and peaceful, and as soon as the carnival-time was
over, returned quietly to the city.  As I came back from the gate I
passed through the Corso just before the course was cleared for the
races.  I have never seen in Italy a rabble like that collected in the
street.  The crowd was much such a one as you will sometimes meet, and
avoid, in the low purlieus of London on Guy Faux day.  Carriages there
were, some forty in all, chiefly English.  One hardly met a single
respectable-looking person, except foreigners, in the crowd; and I own I
was not sorry when I reached my destination, and got clear of the mob.
Yet the report of the police of the Pope was, that the carnival was
_brilliante, e brilliantissimo_.

On the following day (Friday) much the same sort of demonstration took
place in the Corso.  There being no carnival, the whole street, from the
Piazza del Popolo to the Capitol, was filled with a line of carriages,
going and returning at a foot's pace.  The balconies and windows were
filled with spectators, and the rabble of the previous day was replaced
by the same quiet, decent crowd I had seen at the Porta Pia.  The
carriages, from some cause or other, were more aristocratic in
appearance; while the number of spectators was much smaller--probably
because it was a working day, and not a "festa."  By seven o'clock the
assemblage dispersed, and the street was empty.  Meanwhile, Friday
afternoon was chosen for the time of a counter-demonstration at the
Vatican.  All the English Roman Catholics sojourning in Rome received
notice that it was proposed to present an address to the Pope, condoling
with him in his afflictions.  Cardinal Wiseman was the chief promoter,
and framed the address.  Many Roman Catholics, I understand, abstained
from going, because they were not aware what the terms of the address
might be, and how far the sentiments expressed in it might be consistent
with their position as English subjects.  The demonstration outwardly was
not a very imposing one; about fifty cabs and one-horse vehicles drove up
at three o'clock to the Vatican, and altogether some 150 persons, men,
women, and children, of English extraction, mustered together as
representatives of Catholic England.  The address was read by Cardinal
Wiseman, expressing in temperate terms enough the sympathy of the meeting
for the tribulations which had befallen his Holiness.  The bearing of the
Pope, so his admirers state, was calm, dignified, and resolute.  As
however, I have heard this statement made on every occasion of his
appearance in public, I am disposed to think it was much what it usually
is--the bearing of a good-natured, not over-wise, and somewhat shaky old
man.  In reply to the address, he stated that "if it was the will of God
that chastisement should be inflicted upon his Church, he, as His vicar,
however unworthy, must taste of the chalice;" and that, "as becomes all
Christians, knowing that though we cannot penetrate the motives of God,
yet that He in his wisdom permits nothing without an ulterior object, we
may safely trust that this object must be good."  All persons present
then advanced and kissed the Pope's hand, or foot, if the ardour of their
devotion was not contented by kissing the hand alone.  When this
presentation was over, the Pope requested the company to kneel, and then
prayed in Italian for the spiritual welfare of England, calling her the
land of the saints, and alluding to the famous _Non Angli, sed angeli_.
He exhorted all present "to look forward to the good time when justice
and mercy should meet and embrace each other as brothers;" and finally,
with faltering voice, and tears rolling down his cheeks, gave his
apostolical benediction.  Of course, if you can shut your eyes to facts,
all this is very pretty and sentimental.  If the Romans could be happy
enough to possess the constitution of Thibet, and have a spiritual and a
temporal Grand Llama, they could not have fixed on a more efficient
candidate for the former post than the present Pope; but the crowds of
French soldiers which lined the streets to coerce the chosen people,
formed a strange comment on the value of pontifical piety.  It is too
true that the better the Pope the worse the ruler.  Probably the
thousands of Romans who thronged the Corso knew more about the blessings
of the Papal sway than the few score strangers, who volunteered to pay
the homage to the Sovereign of Rome which the Romans refuse to render.

To-day the demonstration was repeated on the Porta Pia; and the Vatican,
indignant at its powerlessness to suppress these symptoms of
disaffection, is anxious to stir up the crowd to some overt act of
insurrection, which may justify or, at any rate, palliate the employment
of violent measures.  So in order to incense the crowd, the public
executioner was sent out in a cart guarded by gendarmes to excite some
active expression of anger on the part of the mob.  It is hard for us to
understand the feeling with which the Italians, and especially the
Romans, regard the _carnefice_.  He is always a condemned murderer, whose
life is spared on condition of his assuming the hated office, and, except
on duty, he is never allowed to leave the quarter of St Angelo, where he
dwells, as otherwise his life would be sacrificed to the indignation of
the crowd, who regard his presence as a contamination.

The poor fellow looked sheepish and frightened enough, as he patrolled
slowly with his escort up and down the crowded Porta Pia thoroughfare;
but even this insult failed to effect its object.  The device was too
transparent for an Italian crowd not to detect it, and the ill-omened
_cortege_ of the "Pope's representative," as the Romans styled the
executioner, passed by without any comment.



MARCH 7.


The system of silent legal opposition which was carried on formerly at
Milan, and now at Venice, is being organised here against the Papal rule.
By one of those mystical compacts to which I have before alluded, it has
been resolved to suppress smoking and lottery-gambling.  Our
anti-tobacconists, or our moral reformers, must not suppose that the
Romans have suddenly become alive to the iniquity of either of these
pursuits.  I wish, indeed, with regard to the latter, I could
conscientiously assert that the Liberal faction had decreed its
extinction from any conviction of the degradation and corruption
inflicted by it upon their country.  I fear, however, from the extent to
which lotteries are still encouraged by the Tuscan Government, that such
is not the case.  The reason of the movement is, indeed, a very simple
and material one.  From the lotteries and the tobacco monopoly the
government derives a very large part of its revenues, and a part, too,
which does not excite unpopularity in the same way as direct taxation.
Any extinction, therefore, or indeed any serious diminution of these
sources of revenue, would place the Holy See in great difficulties.  The
profits on the lottery go directly into the pockets of the Government,
who are also supplied with very extensive and important patronage by the
vast number of petty posts which the system employed for collecting
tickets places at their disposal.  The tobacco monopoly is farmed out to
a company, on whom any loss would fall in the first instance; but if the
abstention from tobacco were continued long, the Government would soon
feel the effects, through the inability of the company to keep up their
present rate of payment.

Whether rightly or wrongly, an attempt to cut off the funds of the Papal
exchequer in this manner is certainly being made.  Strangers, of course,
are not interfered with; but Italians are warned at the doors of the
cigar-shops and the lottery-offices not to enter and buy.  The sudden
diminution in the number of people you meet smoking in the streets is
quite remarkable, and, I am sure, would strike any observer who had never
heard of the movement.  There have been already several disturbances
between smokers and non-smokers.  The story goes, that in a quarrel
arising out of this subject, a man was stabbed in the street the night
before last; but in Rome it is almost impossible to make out the truth in
a matter of this kind.  At several lottery-offices gendarmes have been
placed to hinder purchasers of tickets from being molested; and a bitter
feeling seems growing up on every side.  How long the Romans may have
strength of mind enough to abstain from their favourite amusements of
smoking and gambling, it is impossible to say; but since I witnessed
their resolute abstention from the delights of the Carnival, I think
better of their courage than I did before.

On Sunday evening, when the great promenade takes place along the Corso,
where, a week ago, there was hardly a male mouth without a cigar or
cheroot or cigarette inserted in it, I only noticed four smokers in the
Corso crowd, and they were all foreigners.  The practice is suppressed
not only in the streets but in the cafes.  For the benefit of the weaker
brethren, who cannot screw up their patriotism to total abstinence, pipes
are allowed, as the Government profit on tobacco is very small compared
with that on cigars.  The Italians, however, are not much of
pipe-smokers, and the tobacconists are in despair at the total absence of
customers.  Of course, the partisans of the Government prophesy that the
movement will end in smoke, but at present the laugh is on the other
side.



March 10.


The Society for the Suppression of Smoking, who by the way send their
tracts to the reading-rooms here, of all places in the world, will regret
to learn that the Roman Anti-Tobacco Crusade is to expire on and after
Sunday next.  The leaders of the liberal party have, I think, acted
wisely in contenting themselves with an exhibition of their union and
power and then withdrawing from the contest.  The loss to the Government
by the discontinuance of smoking was only an indirect and eventual one;
on the other hand, the company, who farm the Tobacco monopoly, would have
been ruined by the progress of the movement, and had already been obliged
to dismiss a large proportion of their work-people.  The tobacconists and
street-hawkers of cigars were deprived of their livelihood, and the
misery and consequent ill-will created amongst the poor of Rome by
keeping up the prohibition would have been serious.  Then, too, perhaps
it was thought advisable not to impose too heavy a trial on patriotic
ardour.  Smoke is meat and drink to a Roman, his first care in the
morning, his occupation by day, and his last thought at night.  Yet you
may truly say, that during the time of its prohibition the whole city
willingly gave up smoking.  If, in order to testify political
dissatisfaction, the whole of London were to leave off beer-drinking by
private agreement, the expression of feeling would be hardly a more
remarkable one.



CHAPTER XIII.  THE EMEUTE OF ST JOSEPH'S DAY.


The feast of San Giuseppe is the only _festa_ day in Lent, when the
Romans eat fried fish in honour of the occasion,--St Joseph alone knows
why.  Henceforth the day will have other and less pleasing associations.
The garland-wreathed stalls, with the open ovens and the frizzling
fritters, were reared as usual at every corner; the shops were closed;
the _osterias_ were full; the streets were crowded with holiday-people in
holiday-attire, and the day was warm and bright like an early summer-day
in England, though it was only the 19th of March.  The news of the
Romagna elections, with their overwhelming majority in favour of
annexation to Sardinia, had been just received in Rome with general
exultation.  No doubt the festive appearance which marked the city
throughout the day was not altogether accidental, but was meant for, and
regarded as, an expression of public sympathy with the revolted
provinces.  St Joseph happens to be the patron saint of the two great
Italian popular heroes, Garibaldi and Mazzini, and a demonstration on
this day was therefore considered to be in honour of the Three Josephs,
the Saint and his two proteges.  It was known generally that the
adherents of the Liberal party would muster, as usual, on the Porta Pia
road, and that the more courageous partizans of the popular cause would
be distinguished by wearing a violet in their button-holes.

The Government had, it seems, decided that even these tacit expressions
of disaffection must be suppressed at all costs.  With a happy irony of
cruelty which appears to distinguish a priestly despotism above every
other, the holiday of St Joseph was chosen as the opportunity for
striking terror into the hearts of the disloyal Romans; and as the policy
which sent out the executioner to excite the populace had not been
crowned with its coveted success, it was resolved to create a collision
between the police and the people.  In the morning, five Roman gentlemen
of position and fortune, suspected of sympathy with the liberal cause,
received notice that they were exiled from the Papal States, and must
leave the city within twenty-four hours.  Amongst these gentlemen was St
Angeli, who, not long ago, was arrested and imprisoned without charge or
trial, and who was but lately released on the remonstrance of the French
authorities.  There was also Count Silverstrelli, a brother of the
gentleman of that name so well known to English sportsmen at Rome.  The
news of these arrests did not check the proposed demonstration.  Towards
four o'clock a considerable number of carriages and persons on foot
assembled outside the gates on the Via Nomentana; some patrols, however,
of French soldiers were found to be stationed along the road; and as it
is the great object of the liberal leaders at Rome to avoid any
possibility even of collision between the people and the French troops,
it was resolved to adjourn the place of assemblage to the Corso.  Whether
this was a thought suggested on the moment, or whether it was the result
of a preconcerted plan, is a mooted question not likely to be decided;
the resolution, however come to, was acted on at once.  Neither here, nor
elsewhere, I may observe, was there anything of a tumultuous crowd, or
the slightest apparent approach to agitation on the part of the
multitude.  All a spectator could observe was, that the carriages turned
homewards somewhat nearer to the gates than usual, and that the stream of
people who sauntered idly along the footpath, as on any other _festa_
day, set out earlier than they are wont to do on their return to the
city.

About six o'clock the crowd from the Porta Pia had reassembled in the
Corso.  Six o'clock is always the fullest time in that street; private
carriages are coming back from the Pincio promenade, and strangers are
driving back to their hotels from the rounds of sight-seeing.  The Corso,
without doubt, was unusually and densely crowded; the footpaths swarmed
with passengers, and, what was peculiarly galling to the Government,
after the failure of the Carnival, there was a double line of
aristocratic carriages passing up and down; still everything was
perfectly peaceable and orderly.  At the hour of the _Ave Maria_ the
crowd was at its fullest, and this was the time selected for the outrage.
In a scene of general terror and confusion it is impossible to ascertain
exact details of the order in which events occurred, but I believe the
following account is fairly exact.

There were a great number of the Pontifical police, or _sbirri_, as the
Romans call them, scattered in knots of two or three about the Corso;
there were also several mounted patrols of the Papal gendarmes.  The
police did everything in their power to excite the people, hustled the
crowd in every direction, used the most opprobrious epithets, and pushed
their way along with insulting gestures.  There are various stories
afloat as to the immediate cause of the outbreak; one, that as a patrol
passed the crowd hissed; another, that a cry was heard of "Viva Vittorio
Emmanuele!" and a third, the Papal version, that on a young man of the
name of Barberi being asked by a gendarme why he wore a violet flower on
his coat, he answered rudely, and, on the officer trying to arrest him,
his comrades pulled him away.  All stories agree, that the provocation to
the police was given in the Piazza Colonna; and the disturbance, if any,
was so trivial, that a friend of mine, who was on the spot at the time,
perceived nothing of it, and only fancies he heard a murmur as the police
rode by.  The provocation, whatever it was, was sufficient as a pretext
for the premeditated outrage.  The _sbirri_ drew their swords, and
slashing right and left, charged the dense crowds of men, women and
children.  The word was given, and a band of some twenty Papal dragoons,
who had been drawn up hard by at the Monte Citorio, waiting under arms
for the signal, galloped down the Corso, clearing their way with drawn
swords.  The _sbirri_ along the street pulled out their cutlass-knives;
the dragoons rode on the footway, and struck out at the carriages filled
with ladies as they passed by, while the police ran a-muck (I can use no
other word) amongst the terror-stricken crowd.  The cries of the crushed
and wounded, the terror of the women, and the savage, brutal fury of the
police, added to the panic and confusion of the scene.  Not the slightest
attempt at resistance was made by the unarmed crowd; in a few minutes the
Corso was cleared as if by magic, and order reigned in Rome.

Short as the time was, the havoc wrought was very considerable.  Nearer
two than one hundred persons were injured in all.  Of course the greater
number of these persons were not actually wounded, but crushed, or
stunned, or thrown down.  There was no respect of persons in the use made
of their swords by the police.  Three French officers of the 40th, who
were in plain clothes amongst the crowd, were cut down and severely
wounded.  An Irish gentleman, the brother of the member for Fermanagh,
narrowly escaped a sabre-cut by dodging behind a pillar.  The son of
Prince Piombino was pursued by a gendarme beneath the gateway of his own
palace, and only got off with his hat slit right in two.  Persons were
hunted down by the soldiery even out of the Corso.  One gentleman, an
Italian, was chased up the Via Condotti by a dragoon with his sword
drawn, and saved himself from a sabre-cut by taking refuge in a passage.
Some of the dragoons rode down the Via Ripetta, when they had come to the
top of the Corso, and cut down a woman who was passing by.  As soon as
the Corso was cleared, the gendarmes went into the different cafes along
the street, and ordered all persons, who were found in them, to go home
at once.  In one case an infirm old man, who could not make off fast
enough, had his face cut open by a sabre-blow; while the backs of the
gendarmes' swords were used plentifully to expedite the departure of the
cafe frequenters.  The exact number of wounded it is of course impossible
to ascertain.  Persons who received injuries were afraid to show
themselves, and still more to call attention to their injuries, for fear
of being arrested for disaffection and immured in prison.  If I believed
the stories I heard on good authority and on most positive assurance, I
should put down the number of persons who died from wounds or injuries
received during the melee at from twelve to fifteen.  Still, long
experience has led me to place very little reliance on any Roman story I
cannot test; and I am bound to say, I could not sift any one of these
stories to the bottom.  On the other hand, this fact by no means causes
me to disbelieve that fatal injuries may have been received.  The extreme
difficulty, if not impossibility, of obtaining true information on such a
point may be realized from the circumstance, that a government official
was, within my knowledge, dismissed from his post for merely visiting one
of the victims who had been wounded by the police.  By all accounts, even
by that of the Papal partizans, the number of severe injuries inflicted
was very considerable; indeed it is impossible it should have been
otherwise, when one considers that along a street so crowded that the
carriages could only move at a foot's pace, the gendarmes on horse and
foot charged recklessly, cutting at every one they could reach.  In my
statement, however, of the casualties, I have sought to assert, not what
I believe, but only what (as far as one can speak with certainty of what
one did not actually see) I know to be the truth.

The worst part of the whole story, in my opinion, was the subsequent
conduct of the Government.  These outrages, which might have been excused
as the result of an unforeseen disturbance, obtained in cold blood the
deliberate sanction of the Vatican.  The Papal gendarmes received the
personal acknowledgments of the Pope for their conduct.  The six horsemen
who distinguished themselves by clearing the Piazza Colonna were promoted
for their services, and all the police on duty that day received extra
pay.  With unusual promptitude, in fact not more than a week after the
event, the _Giornale di Roma_ contained an official statement of the
occurrence.  After alleging that hitherto they had considered the
unpleasant event of too small importance to deserve notice, they proceed
to give the following narrative.

   "On Monday, the 19th instant, in the course of the afternoon, the
   revolutionary faction proposed to make a demonstration in the Corso
   against the Pontifical Government, by an assemblage of persons hired
   for the express purpose.  On the discovery of these designs, fitting
   arrangements were made in concert with the French police; and the
   French troops, as well as the Papal gendarmes, were drawn up, so that
   in case of need they might suppress any disturbance whatever.

   "In fact, about five o'clock in the afternoon crowds were formed in
   the streets, directed by leaders, and amongst these leaders were two
   hide-tanners, whom the gendarmes arrested with promptitude.  The
   crowd, thus raked together, then began to hoot at and insult the
   gendarmes, and at last attempted to rescue the prisoners.  Not
   succeeding in this attempt, the rioters, whose numbers had now been
   swollen by a lot of idle fellows from the vilest rabble, crowded
   together into the Piazza Colonna, and continued to outrage the
   officers of public justice with every kind of insult.  Thereupon a
   handful of police advanced courageously against the rioters, and
   proved quite sufficient to disperse and rout them.

   "The friends of order applauded the gallant gendarmes in the execution
   of their duty.  In less than an hour the most perfect quiet reigned
   around, and in the affray a very few persons were injured, whose
   injuries have proved to be of slight consequence."

Throughout the whole of this document the _suppressio veri_ reigns
supreme.  It is ludicrous describing the _emeute_ as an event unworthy of
special mention, when rewards and praises have been heaped by the
Government on the heroes who distinguished themselves in the suppression
of this contemptible fracas.  In a city like Rome a crowd which filled
the whole Corso's length cannot be described as a faction, while the
occupants of the aristocratic carriages which lined both sides of the
street are not likely to have had two hide-tanners for their leaders.  The
size of the crowd disposes at once of the idea that the persons who
composed it were bribed to be present; and the attempt to identify the
action of the French troops with that of the Papal gendarmes, is upset by
the plain and simple fact, that the French patrols were on the Porta Pia
road, and not in the Corso at all.  Indeed, if the whole matter was not
too serious to laugh at, there would be something actually comical in the
notion of the friends of order, or any person in their senses, stopping
to applaud the gendarmes as they trampled their way through the helpless,
screaming, terror-stricken crowd, striking indiscriminately at friend or
foe.  The statement has this value, and this value only, that it gives
the formal approval of the Government to the brutal outrages of the Papal
police.

For a time the Pro-Papal party were in a state of high exultation.  A
popular demonstration had been suppressed by a score or so of Pontifical
troops.  The stock stories about the cowardice of the Italians were
revived, and the more intemperate partizans of the Government asserted
that the support of the French army was no longer needed, and that the
Pope would shortly be able to rely for protection on his own troops
alone.  There was in these exultations a certain sad amount of truth.  I
am no blind admirer of the Romans, and I freely admit that no
high-spirited crowd would have submitted to be cut down by a mere handful
of gendarmes.  I admit, too, that this blood-letting stopped for the time
the fashion of demonstrations.  It is however at best a doubtful
compliment to a government that it has succeeded in crushing the spirit
and energy of a nation; but to this compliment, I fear, the Papal rule is
only too well entitled.  "The lesson given on St Joseph's day," so wrote
the organ of the Papacy in Paris, "has profited;" how, and to whom, time
will show.  Hardly, I think; at any rate, to the religion of love and
mercy, or to those who preach its doctrines, and enforce its teachings by
lessons such as this.



CHAPTER XIV.  A COUNTRY FAIR.


Far away among the Sabine hills, right up the valley of the Teverone, as
the Romans now-a-days call the stream which once bore the name of Anio,
hard by the mountain frontier-land of Naples, lies the little town of
Subiaco.  I am not aware that of itself this out-of-the-world nook
possesses much claim to notice.  Antiquarians, indeed, visit it to search
after the traces of a palace, where Nero may or may not have dwelt.
Students of ecclesiastical lore make pilgrimages thereto, to behold the
famous convent of the Santo Speco, the home of the Benedictine order.  In
summer-time the artists in Rome wander out here to take shelter from the
burning heat of the flat Campagna land, and to sketch the wild Salvator
Rosa scenery which hems in the town on every side.  I cannot say,
however, that it was love of antiquities or divinity, or even scenery,
which led my steps Subiaco-wards.  The motive of my journey was of a less
elevated and more matter-of-fact character.  Some few days beforehand a
yellow play-bill-looking placard caught my eye as I strolled down the
Corso.  A perusal of its contents informed me, that on the approaching
feast-day of St Benedict there was to be held at Subiaco the great annual
_Festa e fiera_.  Many and various were the attractions offered.  There
was to be a horse-race, a _tombola_, or open lottery, an illumination,
display of fire-works, high mass, and, more than all, a public
procession, in which the sacred image of San Benedetto was to be carried
from the convent to the town.  Such a bill of fare was irresistible, even
had there not been added to it the desire to escape from the close muggy
climate of Rome into the fresh mountain-air,--a desire whose intensity
nothing but a long residence here can enable one to appreciate.

Subiaco is some forty odd miles from Rome, and amongst the petty towns of
the Papal States is a place of some small importance.  The means,
however, of communication with the metropolis are of the scantiest.  Two
or three times a week a sort of Italian _eil-wagen_, a funereal and
tumble-down, flea-ridden coach, with windows boarded up so high that,
when seated, you cannot see out of them, and closed hermetically, after
Italian fashion, shambles along at jog-trot pace between the two towns,
and takes a livelong day, from early morning to late at night, to perform
the journey.  Other public mode of transit there is none; and therefore,
not having patience for the diligence, I had to travel in a private
conveyance, and if there had been any one else going from the fair to
Rome, which there was not, they must perforce have done the same.  As to
the details of the journey, and the scenery through which you pass, are
they not written in the book of Murray, wherein whoso likes may read
them?  It is enough for me to note one or two facts which tell their own
story.  Throughout the forty and odd miles of the road I traversed, I
never passed through a single village or town, with the exception of
Tivoli; and between that town and Rome, a distance of some twenty miles,
never even caught sight of one.  After Tivoli, when the road enters the
mountains, there are a dozen small towns or so, all perched on the
summits of high hills, under which the road winds in passing.  Detached
houses or cottages there are, as a rule, none--certainly not half a dozen
in all--the whole way along.  There was little appearance of traffic
anywhere.  A few rough carts, loaded with charcoal or wood for the Roman
markets; strings of mules, almost buried beneath high piles of brushwood,
which were swung pannier-wise across their backs; and a score of peasant-
farmers mounted on shaggy cart-horses, and jogging towards the fair,
constituted the way-bill of the road.  The mountain slopes were
apparently altogether barren, or at any rate uncultivated.  In the plain
of the valley, bearing traces of recent inundation from the brook-torrent
which ran alongside the road in strange zig-zag windings, were a number
of poorly tilled fields, half covered with stones.  The season was
backward, and I could see no trace of anything but hard, fruitless
labour; and the peasants, who were working listlessly, seemed unequal to
the labour of cultivating such unprofitable lands.  Personally the men
were a vigorous race enough, but the traces of the malaria fever, the
sunken features and livid complexion, were painfully common; their dress
too was worn ragged and meagre, while the boys working in the fields
constantly left their work to beg as I passed by, a fact which,
considering how little frequented this district is by travellers, struck
me unpleasantly.  With my English recollections of what going to the fair
used to be, I looked but in vain for farmers' carts or holiday-dressed
foot-folk going towards Subiaco.  I did not meet one carriage of any
description, except the diligence without a passenger, and could not have
guessed, from the few knots of peasants I passed, that there was anything
unusual going on in what I suppose I might call the county town of the
district.

By the time I reached Subiaco, the first day of the fair was at its
height.  The topography of the place is of the simplest description,--a
narrow street running up a steep hill, with a small market-place; on the
summit stands a church; half a dozen _cul-de-sac_ alleys on the right,
terminated by the wall that hems in the river at their feet; a long
series of broken steps on the left, leading to a dilapidated castle,
where the Legate ought to reside, but does not; such are the main
features of the town.  In fact, if you fancy Snow Hill, Holborn, shrunk
to about a quarter of its width, all its houses reduced to much such a
condition as that gaunt corner-building which for years past has excited
my ungratified curiosity; Newgate gaol replaced by the facade of a dingy
Italian church; the dimensions of the locale considerably diminished; and
a small section of the dark alleys between the prison and Farringdon
Street, bounded by the Fleet-ditch uncovered; you will have a very fair
impression of the town of Subiaco.

The fair, such as it was, was confined to this High Street and to the
little square at its head.  The street was filled with people, chiefly
men, bartering at the doors of the un-windowed shops.  A very small crowd
would fill so small a place, but I think there could hardly have been
less than a thousand persons.  Cutlery and hosiery of the rudest kind
seemed to be the great articles of commerce.  There were, of course, an
office of the Pontifical Lottery, which was always crammed, an itinerant
vendor of quack medicines and a few scattered stalls (not a single booth
by the way), where shoes and caps and pots and pans and the "wonderful
adventures of St Balaam" were sold by hucksters of Jewish physiognomy.
Lean, black-bristled pigs ran at every step between your legs, and young
kids, slung across their owners' shoulders with their heads downwards,
bleated piteously.  The only sights of a private description were a
series of deformed beggars, drawn in go-carts, and wriggling with the
most hideous contortions; but the fat woman, and the infant with two
heads, and the learned dog, whom I had seen in all parts of Europe, were
nowhere to be found.  There was not even an organ boy or a hurdy-gurdy.
Music, alas! like prophecy, has no honour in its own country.  The crowd
was of a very humble description; the number of bonnets or hats visible
might be counted on one's fingers, and the fancy peasant costumes of
which Subiaco is said to be the great rendezvous, were scarcely more in
number.  There was very little animation apparent of any kind, very
little of gesticulation, or still less of shouting; indeed the crowd, to
do them justice, were perfectly quiet and orderly, for a holiday crowd
almost painfully so.  The party to which I belonged, and which consisted
of four Englishmen, all more or less attired in those outlandish costumes
which none but Englishmen ever wear, and no Englishman ever dreams of
wearing in his own country, excited no comment whatever, and scarcely
attracted a passing glance.  Fancy what the effect would be of four
bloused and bearded Frenchmen strolling arm-in-arm through a village wake
in an out-of-the-way English county?  By the time I had strolled through
the fair, the guns, or rather two most dilapidated old fowling-pieces,
were firing as a signal for the race.  The horses were the same as those
run at the Carnival races in Rome, and as the only difference was, that
the course, besides being over hard slippery stones, was also up a steep
hill-street, and the race therefore somewhat more cruel, I did not wait
to see the end, but wandered up the valley to hear the vespers at the
convent of the Santo Speco.  I should have been sorry to have missed the
service.  Through a number of winding passages, up flights of narrow
steps, and by terrace-ledges cut from the rock, over which I passed, and
overhanging the river-side, I came to a vault-like chapel with low
Saracenic arches and quaint old, dark recesses, and a dim shadowy air of
mystery.  Round the candle-lighted altar, standing out brightly from
amidst the darkness, knelt in every posture some seventy monks; and ever
and anon the dreary nasal chanting ceased, and a strain of real music
burst from out the hidden choir, rising and dying fitfully.  The whole
scene was beautiful enough; but,--what a pity there should be a "but" in
everything,--when you came to look on the scene in the light of a
service, the charm passed away.  There were plenty of performers but no
audience; the congregation consisted of four peasant-women, two men, and
a child in arms.  The town below was crowded.  The service was one of the
chief ones in the year, but somehow or other the people stopped away.

When the music was over, I was shown through the convent.  There were, as
usual, the stock marvels: a hole through which you looked and beheld
a--shall I call it sacred?--picture of Satan with horns and hoof
complete; a small plot of ground, where used to grow the thorns on which
St Benedict was wont to roll himself in order to quench the desires of
manhood, and where now grow the roses into which St Francis transformed
the said thorns, in honour of his brother saint.  The monk who showed me
the building talked much about the misery of the surrounding poor.  At
the convent's foot lies a little wood of dark green ilexes, of almost
unknown age, valued on account of some tradition about St Benedict, and
perhaps still more as forming a kind of oasis on the barren, bare
mountain-side.  Armed guards have to be placed at night around this wood,
to save it from the depredations of the peasantry; every tree belonging
to the convent and not guarded was sure to be cut down.  No one, so my
informant told me, would believe the sums of money the convent had spent
of late on charity, and how for this purpose even their daily supplies of
food had been curtailed; but alas! it was only like pouring water into a
sieve, for the people were poorer than ever.  I own that when the old
priest pointed out the number of churches and convents you could see in
the valley below, and spoke, with regret, of the time when there were
twelve convents round Subiaco alone, I felt that the cause of this
hopeless misery was not far to seek, though hard to remedy.

On my way homewards to the town I beheld the half dozen sky-rockets which
composed the display of fire-works, and also the two rows of oil-lamps on
the cornices over the church-door, which formed the brilliant
illuminations.  Neither sight seemed to collect much crowd or create much
excitement.  As the dusk came on the streets emptied fast, and by night-
time the town was almost deserted; and, except that the wine-shops were
still filled with a few hardened topers, every sign of the fair had
vanished.  There was not even a trace of drunkenness apparent.  The next
morning the same scene was repeated with little difference, save that the
crowd was rather greater, and a band of military music played in the
market-place.  About noon the holy procession was seen coming down the
winding road which leads from the convent to the town.  I had taken up my
position on a roadside bank, and enjoyed a perfect view.  There were a
number of shabby flags and banners preceded by a hundred able-bodied men
dressed in dirty-white surplices, rather dirtier than the colour of their
faces.  A crowd of ragged choristers followed swinging incense-pots,
droning an unintelligible chant, and fighting with each other.  Then came
a troop of monks and scholars with bare heads and downcast eyes.  All
these walked in twos and twos, and carried a few crucifixes raised aloft.
The monks were succeeded by a pewter-looking bust, which, I suppose, was
a likeness of St Benedict, and the bust was followed by a mule, on which,
in a snuff-coloured coat, black tights, white neckcloth, and a
beef-eater's hat, the whole sheltered beneath a green carriage umbrella,
rode His Excellency the Governor of the district.  Behind him walked his
secretary, the Syndic of Subiaco, four gendarmes, and three broken-down,
old livery-clad beadles, who carried the umbrellas of these high
dignitaries.  In truth, had it not been for the unutterable shabbiness of
the whole affair, I could have fancied I saw the market scene in
"Martha," and "The Last Rose of Summer" seemed to ring unbidden in my
ears.  Not a score of un-official spectators accompanied the procession
from the convent, and the interest caused by it appeared but small; the
devotion absolutely none.  The fact which struck me most throughout was
the utter apathy of the people.  Not a person in the place I spoke to--and
I asked several--had any notion who the governor was.  The nearest
approach that I got to an answer was from one of the old beadles, who
replied to my question, "Chi sa?" "E una roba da lontano;" and with this
explanation that the governor was "a thing that came from a distance," I
was obliged to rest satisfied.  When the procession reached the town the
band joined in, the governor got off his mule, room was made for our
party in the rank behind him, I suppose, as "distinguished foreigners;"
and so with banners flying, crosses nodding, drums beating, priests and
choristers chanting, we marched in a body into the church, where the
female portion of the crowd and all the beggars followed us.  I had now,
however, had enough of the "humours of the fair," and left the town
without waiting to try my luck at the _tombola_, which was to come off
directly High Mass was over.



CHAPTER XV.  THE HOLY WEEK.


The _nil admirari_ school are out of favour.  In our earnest working age,
it is the fashion to treat everything seriously, to find in every thing a
deep hidden meaning, in fact, to admire everything.  Since the days of
Wordsworth and Peter Bell, every petty poet and romantic writer has had
his sneer at the shallow sceptic to whom a cowslip was a cowslip only,
and who called a spade a spade.  I feel, therefore, painfully that I am
not of my own day when I express my deliberate conviction, that the
ceremonies of Holy Week at Rome are--the word must come out sooner or
later--an imposture.  This is not the place to enter into the religious
aspect of the Catholic question, nor if it were, should I have any wish
to enter the lists of controversy as a champion of either side.  I can
understand that for some minds the ideas of Church unity, of a mystic
communion of the faithful, and of an infallible head of a spiritual body
have a strange attraction, nay, even a real existence.  I can understand
too, that for such persons all the pomps and pageantry of the Papal
services present themselves under an aspect to me unintelligible.  Whether
these ideas be right or wrong, I am not able, nor do I care, to argue.
The Pontifical ceremonies, however, have not only a spiritual aspect, but
a material and very matter-of-fact one.  They are after all great
spectacles got up with the aid of music and upholstery and dramatic
mechanism.  Now, how far in this latter point of view the ceremonies are
successful or not, I think from some small experience I am pretty well
qualified to judge; and if I am asked whether, as ceremonies, the
services of the Church of Rome are imposing and effective, I answer most
unhesitatingly, No.  I know that this assertion upsets a received article
of faith in Protestant England as to the seductive character of the Papal
ceremonies.  I remember well the time when I too believed that the
shrines of the old faith were the haunts of sense-enthralling grandeur,
of wild enchantment and bewitching beauty; when I too dreamt how amidst
crowds of rapt worshippers, while unearthly music pealed around you and
the fragrant incense floated heavenwards, your soul became lost to
everything, save to a feeling of unreasoning ecstasy.  In fact, I
believed in the enchantments of Papal pageantry, as firmly as I believed
that a Lord Mayor's feast was a repast in which Apicius would have
revelled, or that an opera ball was a scene of oriental and voluptuous
delight.  Alas! I have seen all, and known all, and have found all three
to be but vanity.

Now the question as to the real aspect of the Papal pageantry, and the
effects produced by it upon the minds, not of controversialists, but of
ordinary spectators, is by no means an unimportant one with reference to
the future prospects of Italy and the Papacy.  Let me try then, not
irreverently or depreciatingly, but as speaking of plain matters of fact,
to tell you what you really do see and hear at the greatest and grandest
of the Roman ceremonies.  Of all the Holy Week services none have a more
European fame, or have been more written or sung about, than the
Misereres in the Sistine Chapel.  Now to be present at these services you
have to start at about one o'clock, or midday, in full evening costume,
dress-coat and black trowsers.  Any man who has ever had to walk out in
evening attire in the broad daylight, will agree with me that the
sensation of the general shabbiness and duskiness of your whole
appearance is so strong as to overcome all other considerations, not to
mention your devotional feelings.  In this attire you have to stand for a
couple of hours amongst a perspiring and ill-tempered crowd, composed of
tourists and priests, for the Italians are too wise to trouble themselves
for such an object.  During these two mortal hours you are pushed forward
constantly by energetic ladies bent on being placed, and pushed back by
the Swedish guards, who defend the entrance.  The conversation you hear
around you, and perforce engage in, is equally unedifying, both
religiously and intellectually, a sort of _rechauffe_ of Murray's
handbook, flavoured with discussions on last Sunday's sermon.  When you
are reduced to such a frame of mind and body as is the natural result of
time so employed, the doors of the chapel are opened, and you have
literally to fight your way in amidst a crowd of ladies hustling,
screaming, and fainting.  If you are lucky, you get standing room in a
sort of open pen, whence, if you are tall, you can catch a sight of the
Pope's tiara in the distance; or, if you belong to the softer sex, you
get a place behind the screen, where you cannot see, but, what is much
better, can sit.  The atmosphere of the candle-lighted, crammed chapel is
overpowering, and occupation you have none, except trying in the dim
light to decipher the frescoes on the roof, with your head turned
backwards.  For three long hours you have a succession of dreary
monotonous strains, forming portions of a chant, to you unintelligible,
broken at intervals by a passage of intonation.  There is no organ or
instrumental music, and the absence of contralto voices is poorly
compensated for by the unnatural accents of the Papal substitutes for
female vocalists.

The music itself may be very fine,--competent critics declare it is, and
I have no doubt they are right; but I say, unhesitatingly, it is not
music that addresses itself to popular tastes, or produces any feeling
save that of weariness on nine-tenths of its hearers.  You can mark
clearly the expression of satisfaction which steals over every face as
candle after candle of the stack of wax-lights before the altar is put
out successively, at intervals of some twenty minutes.  If the ceremony
were reduced to one-tenth of its length, it might be impressive, but a
dirge which goes on for three hours, and a chandelier which takes the
same time to have its lights snuffed out, become an intolerable nuisance.
The dying cadence of the Miserere is undoubtedly grand; but, in the first
place, it comes when your patience is exhausted; and, in the second, it
lasts so long, that you begin to wonder whether it will ever end.  The
slavery to conventional rules in England, which causes one to shrink from
the charge of not caring about music as zealously as one could, and from
pleading guilty to personal cowardice, makes Englishmen, and still more
Englishwomen, profess to be delighted with the Miserere; but, in their
heart of hearts, their feeling is much such as I have given utterance to.

The ceremonies in St Peter's itself are, as sights, much better; but yet
I often think that the very size and grandeur of the giant edifice
increases the _mesquin-ness_ (for want of an English word I must
manufacture a French one) of the whole ceremony.  At the exposition of
the relics, for instance, you see in a very lofty gallery two small
figures, holding up something--what, you cannot tell--set up in a rich
framework of gold and jewels; it may be a piece of the cross, or a
martyr's finger-bone, or a horse's tooth--what it is neither you nor any
one else can guess at that distance.  If the whole congregation knelt
down in adoration, the artistic effect would unquestionably be fine, but
then not one person in seven does kneel, and therefore the effect is
lost.  So it is with the washing of the high altar.  If one priest alone
went up and poured the wine and oil over the sacred stone, and then
cleansed the shrine from any spot or stain, the grandeur of the idea
would not be marred by the monotony of the performance; but when some
four hundred priests and choristers defile past, each armed with a chip
besom, like those of the buy-a-broom girls of our childhood, and each
gives a dab to the altar as he passes, the whole scene becomes tiresome,
if not absurd.  The same fatal objection applies to the famous washing of
the feet at the Trinita dei Pellegrini.  As a mere matter of simple fact,
there is nothing very interesting in seeing a number of old women's feet
washed, or in beholding a number of peasants who would be much better if
the washing extended above their feet, engaged in gulping down an
unsavoury repast.  The whole charm of the thing rests in the idea, and
this idea is quite extinguished by the extreme length and tediousness of
the whole proceeding.  The feet have too evidently been washed before,
and the pilgrims are too palpably got up for the occasion.

The finest ceremony I have ever witnessed in Rome is the High Mass at St
Peter's on Easter-day; but as a theatrical spectacle, in which light
alone I am now speaking of it, it is marred by many palpable defects.
Whenever I have seen the Pope carried in his chair in state, I can never
help thinking of the story of the Irishman, who, when the bottom and seat
of his sedan-chair fell out, remarked to his bearers, that "he might as
well walk, but for the honour of the thing."  One feels so strongly that
the Pope might every bit as well walk as ride in that ricketty, top-heavy
chair, in which he sits, or rather sways to and fro, with a sea-sick
expression.  Then the ostrich feathers are so very shabby, and the whole
get-up of the procession is so painfully "not" regardless of expense.  You
see Cardinals with dirty robes, under the most gorgeous stoles, while the
surplices are as yellow as the stained gold-worked bands which hang
across them.  There is, indeed, no sense of congruity or the inherent
fitness of things about the Italian ceremonials.  A priest performs mass
and elevates the host with muddy boots on, while the Pope himself, in the
midst of the grandest service, blows his nose on a common red
pocket-handkerchief.  The absence of the organ detracts much from the
impressiveness of the music in English ears, while the constant bowings
and genuflexions, the drawling intonations, and the endless monotonous
psalms, all utterly devoid of meaning for a lay-worshipper, added to the
utter listlessness of the congregation, and even of the priests engaged
in celebration of the service, destroy the impression the gorgeousness of
the scene would otherwise produce.

The insuperable objection, however, to the impressiveness of the whole
scene is the same as mars all Papal pageants,--I mean the length and
monotony of the performance.  One chant may be fine, one prostration
before the altar may be striking, one burst of the choral litany may act
upon your senses; but, when you have chant after chant, prostration after
prostration, chorus after chorus, each the twin brother to the other, and
going on for hours, without apparent rhyme or reason, you cease to take
thought of anything, in order to speculate idly when, if ever, there is
likely to be an end.  There is no variety, and little change, too, about
the ceremonies.  When you have seen one you have seen all; and when you
have seen them once, you can understand how to the Romans themselves
these sights have become stale and dull, till they look upon them much as
I fancy the musician in the orchestra of the old Princess's must have
looked upon one of Kean's Shaksperian revivals when the season was far
spent.



CHAPTER XVI.  ISOLATION OF ROME.


There is, I think, no city in the world where Pilate's question, "What is
truth?" would be so hard to answer as in Rome.  In addition to the
ordinary difficulties which everywhere beset the path of the foreigner in
search of knowledge, there are a number of obstacles peculiar and special
to Rome alone.

The whole policy of the government is directed towards maintaining the
country in a state of isolation, towards drawing, in fact, a moral
_cordon sanitaire_ round the Papal dominions.  Indeed, if one lived long
in Rome, one would get to doubt the reality of anything.  When I last
came to Rome straight from Tuscany, seething in the turmoil of its new-
bought liberties, I could hardly believe that only six months ago there
had been war in Italy within two hundred miles from the Papal city, that
the fate of Italy still hung trembling in the balance, and that the chief
province of the country was still in open revolt against its rulers.
There was no sign, no trace, scarce a symptom even of what had passed or
was passing in the world without.  We all seemed spellbound in a dull,
dead, dreary circle.  There were no advertisements in the streets, except
of devotional works for the coming season of Lent; no pamphlets or books
placed in the booksellers' windows, which by their titles even implied
the existence of the war and the revolution; no prints for sale of the
scenes of the campaign, or the popular heroes of the day.  This was the
normal state of Rome, such as I had seen it in former years.  Later on,
indeed, either the force of events, or a change in the counsels of the
Vatican, induced the Papacy to drop the defensive passive attitude which
constituted its real strength, and to adopt an active offensive policy,
which served rather to show the greatness of the dreaded danger than to
avert its occurrence.  Still the increased animation, though perceptible
enough to a Roman, appeared to a stranger but a step above absolute
stagnation.  I never could get over my astonishment at our utter
ignorance of what went on around and amongst us.  About the state of
affairs in our two neighbouring countries, whether in free Tuscany or in
despotic Naples, we were entirely in the dark.  What little news we got
was derived from chance reports of stray travellers, or from the French
and English newspapers.  The _Giornale di Roma_ gave us now and then a
damnatory paragraph about the Tuscan Government, from which, out of a
mass of vituperation, we could pick up an odd fact or so; but during the
first four months of this year, throughout which period I perused the
_Giornale_ pretty carefully, I do not remember to have seen a single
allusion, good, bad or indifferent, to the kingdom of Naples.  The Tuscan
papers were naturally enough forbidden, as are almost all the journals of
the free Italian states, and could only be obtained by private hands.  The
Neapolitan Gazette, the _Monitore del Regno delle Due Sicilie_, was never
seen by any chance, though I cannot suppose its circulation was directly
interdicted.  The communication between Rome and Naples was, and is,
scanty in the extreme.  During the last ten years, about ten miles of the
Pio-Centrale Railroad, the Neapolitan line, have been opened.  At present
beyond Albano the works are entirely at a stand-still, and there are
still some thirty miles of line, between Rome and the frontier, of which
hardly a sod has been turned.  The Civita Vecchia line has only been
completed in consequence of the pressure of the French authorities, and
the Ancona-Florence line is still in _statu quo_.  Three times a week
there are diligences between Rome and Naples.  The local steam-boats,
which used to run along the coast from Porto d'Anzio to the Neapolitan
capital have been given up, and in fact there is no ready means of
transit, save by the foreign steamers, which touch at Civita Vecchia.
Whether purposely or not, everything has been done to check free
communication between the Papal and Neapolitan States, and in this
respect the Government has been eminently successful.  The two countries
are totally distinct.  A Neapolitan is a _forestiere_ in Rome, and _vice
versa_.  The _divide et impera_ has been the motto of all the petty
Italian despots and of the Papacy in particular, and hitherto has proved
successful.  Even now, as far as I could see and learn, the desire for
Italian unity does not penetrate very low down.  It is the desire, I
freely grant, of all the best and wisest Italians, but scarcely, I
suspect, the wish of the Italian people.  In truth, Italy at this moment
is very much what Great Britain would be, if Scotland, Ireland, Wales and
the States of the Saxon Heptarchy had remained to this day separate petty
kingdoms, ruled by governments who fostered and developed every local and
sectional jealousy.  The broad fact, that for some weeks at Rome we were
in utter ignorance whether there had been a revolution or not in the
capital of the frontier kingdom, not thirty miles away, and should have
been quite surprised if we had learnt anything about the matter, is a
sufficient commentary on our state of isolation.

This artificial isolation too is increased by a sort of general apathy
and almost universal ignorance, which are characteristic of all classes
in Rome.  How far this intellectual apathy is caused by, or causes, the
material isolation of the city, would be a curious question to determine.
The existence, however, of this fact, which none acquainted with Rome
will question, constitutes one of the chief difficulties in ascertaining
accurate information about facts.  The most intelligent and the most
liberal amongst the Romans (the two terms are there synonymous) never
seem to know the value of positive facts, and even in matters susceptible
of proof prefer general statements.  Then, too, the absence of social
meetings, or means of intercourse, is one of the most striking features
about Roman society.  There is no public life, no current literature,
little even of free conversation.  Of course, among the English and
foreign residents there are plenty of parties and gaieties of every kind.
At these parties you meet a few Anglicised Italians, who have picked up a
little of our English language and a good deal of our English dress.  The
nobility of Rome who come into contact with the higher class of English
travellers give a good number of formal receptions, but amongst the
middle and professional classes there is very little society at all.  The
summer is the season for what society there is, but even then there is
but little.  There are no saloons in the Roman theatres, and the
miserable refreshment-rooms, with their bars even more shabby and worse
provided than our English ones, are, as you may suppose, not places of
meeting.  Even at the Opera there seemed to be little visiting in the
boxes.  With the exception of the strangers' rooms, there are no reading-
rooms or clubs in Rome, if I may exclude from this category a miserable
_Gabinetto di Lettura_, chiefly frequented by priests, and whose current
_lettura_ consisted of the _Tablet_, the _Univers_, the _Armonia_, and
the _Courier des Alpes_.  The only real places of meeting, or focuses of
news, are the cafes.  At best, however, they are _triste_, uncomfortable
places.  There is no cafe in all Rome equal to a second-rate one in an
ordinary French provincial town.  There are few newspapers, little domino
playing, and not much conversation.  The spy system is carried to such an
extent here, that even in private circles the speakers are on their guard
as to what they say, and still more as to what they repeat.  As an
instance of this, I may mention a case that happened to me personally.  On
the morning before the demonstrations at the Porta Pia a Roman gentleman,
with whom I was well acquainted, wished to give me information of the
proposed meeting, of which, it happened, I was well aware; but though we
were alone in a room together, the nearest approach on which my friend
ventured to a direct information, which might be considered of a
seditious character, was to tell me that I should find the Porta Pia road
a pleasant walk on an afternoon.

In fact, paradoxical as the assertion may appear, you learn more about
Rome from foreigners than from natives.  Unfortunately, such information
as you may acquire in this way is almost always of a suspicious
character.  Almost every one in Rome judges of what he sees or hears
according, in German phrase, to some stand-point of his own, either
political or artistic or theological, as the case may be.  As to the
foreign converts, it is only natural that, as in most cases they have
sacrificed everything for the Papal faith, they should therefore look at
everything from the Papal point of view.  If, however, they abuse and
despise the Romans on every occasion, it is some satisfaction to reflect
that the Romans lose no opportunity of despising or abusing them in turn.
English Liberals who see a good deal of Roman society, see it, I think,
under too favourable circumstances, and also attach undue importance to
the wonderful habit all Italians have of saying as their own opinion
whatever they think will be pleasing to their listener.  On the other
hand, the persons who are best qualified to judge of Rome, the ordinary
residents of long standing, who care little about Italy and less about
the Pope, are, I fancy, unduly influenced by the advantages of their
exceptional position.  There are few places in the world where a
stranger, especially an English stranger, is better off than in Rome.  As
a rule, he has perfect liberty to do and say and write what he likes, and
almost inevitably he gets to think that a government which is so lenient
a one for him cannot be a very bad one for its own subjects.  The cause,
however, of this exceptional lenity is not hard to discover.  Much as we
laugh at home about the _Civis Romanus_ doctrine, abroad it is a very
powerful reality.  Whether rightly or wrongly, foreign governments are
afraid of meddling with English subjects, and act accordingly.  Then,
too, Englishmen as a body care very little about foreign politics, and
are known to live almost entirely among themselves abroad, and seldom to
interfere in the concerns of foreigners; and lastly, I am afraid that the
moral influence of England, of which our papers are so fond of boasting,
is very small indeed on the continent generally, and especially in Italy.
All the articles the _Times_ ever wrote on Italian affairs did not
produce half the effect of About's pamphlet or Cavour's speeches.  I am
convinced that the influence of English newspapers in Italy is most
limited.  The very scanty knowledge of the English language, and the
utter want of comprehension of our English modes of thought and feeling,
render an English journal even more uninteresting to the bulk of Italians
than an Italian one is to an Englishman; and the Roman rulers are well
aware of this important fact.  Hard words break no bones, and the Vatican
cares little for what English papers say of it, and looks upon the
introduction of English Anti-Papal journals as part of the necessary
price to be paid for the residence of the wealthy heretics who refuse to
stop anywhere where they cannot have clubs and churches and papers of
their own.  The expulsion of M. Gallenga, the _Times_ correspondent, was
in reality no exception to this policy.  It was not as the correspondent
of an English newspaper, but as an ex-Mazzinian revolutionist and the
author of _Fra Dolcino_, that this gentleman was obnoxious to the Papal
authorities.  Though a naturalized English subject, he had not ceased to
be an Italian, and his personal influence amongst Roman society might
have been considerable, though the effect of his English correspondence,
however able, would have been next to nothing.

From all these causes it is very hard to learn anything at Rome, and
harder yet to learn anything with accuracy.  It is only by a process of
elimination you ever arrive at the truth.  Out of a dozen stories and
reports you have to take one, or rather part of one, and to reject the
eleven and odd remaining.  It has been my object, therefore, in the
following descriptions of the scenes which marked the period of my
residence in Rome, to give as much as possible of what I have known and
seen myself, and as little of what I heard and learnt from others.  What
my narrative may lose in vividness, it will, I trust, gain in accuracy.



CHAPTER XVII.  THE PAPAL QUESTION SOLVED BY NAPOLEON I.


About half a century ago the Papal question was the order of the day.
Another Napoleon was seated on the throne of France, in the full tide of
success and triumph of victory; another Pius was Pontiff at the Vatican,
under the patronage of French legions, and, strange to say, another
Antonelli was the leading adviser of the Pope.  The city of Rome, too,
and the Papal States were in a condition of general discontent and
disaffection; but, unfortunately, this latter circumstance is one of too
constant occurrence to afford any clue as to the date of the period in
question.

In the year of grace 1806, the enemies of Napoleon were _ipso facto_ our
friends; and in consequence the Pope, who was known to be hostile to
France, became somewhat of a popular character amongst us.  Indeed Pius
VII. was looked on at home rather in the light of a martyr and a hero.  It
is only of late years that this feeling has worn off, and that we, as a
nation, have begun to doubt whether, in his struggle with the Papacy, the
Corsican usurper, as it was the fashion then to style him, may not have
been in the right after all.  Considerable light has been thrown upon
this question by the recent publications of certain private State papers,
which remained in the possession of Count Aldini, the minister of Italian
affairs under the great Emperor.

There had long been subjects of dissension between the Papal and the
Imperial Governments.  At last, in 1806, these dissensions came to an
open rupture.  On the 1st of June in that year, Count Aldini wrote a
despatch, by order of the Emperor, to complain of the avowed hostility
displayed by the Papal Court against the system of legislation introduced
into the Kingdom of Italy, and of the private intrigues carried on by
Cardinal Antonelli.  In this despatch occur these words, which at the
present day read strangely appropriate:--

   "His Majesty cannot behold without indignation, how that authority,
   which was appointed by God to maintain order and obedience on earth,
   employs the most perilous weapons to spread disorder and discord."

This appeal to the conscience of the Vatican remained of course without
effect, and things only grew worse.  At the end of the same year Napoleon
published at Berlin his famous decrees for the blockade of England, and
the exclusion of all English merchandise.  Whether justly or unjustly,
the Court of Rome was suspected by Buonaparte of not keeping up the
blockade (the most unpardonable of all political offences in his eyes).
At last, by a decree of the 2nd of April 1808, he removed the Marches
from the Papal Government, and annexed them to the Kingdom of Italy.  The
legations, by the way, had formed part of that kingdom since the treaty
of Tolentino.  This experiment proved unsuccessful.  Napoleon soon
discovered, what his successor is also likely to learn, that the real
evil of the Papal Government consisted not in its territorial extent, but
in the admixture of temporal and spiritual authority; that, in fact, its
power of working mischief was, if anything, in inverse proportion to its
size.  With that rapidity of resolution which formed half his power, he
resolved at once to suppress the temporal power of the Popes, and gave
instructions to Count Aldini to draw up the necessary decrees.  The
Emperor was then on the eve of departure for the Spanish peninsula; and
it was during the harassing reverses of his fortunes in Spain, that the
following report of Aldini was perused by him:--

   "Sire,--Your Imperial and Royal Majesty has considered that the time
   is come to fix the destinies of Rome.

   "You have directed me to examine which, amidst the diverse governments
   that Rome has had during modern times, is most adapted for her actual
   circumstances, while retaining the character of a free government.  It
   appears from history, that Crescenzius governed Rome for many years
   with the title of Patrician and Consul.

   "Pope John XV. having appealed against him to the Emperor Otho, the
   appeal was dismissed, and Crescenzius was confirmed in his office, and
   caused to swear allegiance to the Emperor.

   "The supreme dominion of the Emperors over Rome was exercised without
   contradiction throughout all the dynasty of the Othos and Conrads, and
   only became assailed under Frederick I.

   "Afterwards, amidst the multitude of Italian republics, the Roman
   republic was restored for a time; and, in the 13th century, had for
   the head of its government a Matteo of the Orsini family with the
   title of Senator, in honour of whose memory a medal was struck.

   "For a long period the Kings of Naples, of the Anjou race, were
   Senators of Rome.

   "Pope Nicholas III. retained the senatorial dignity for himself; and,
   by a bull of 1268, forbade the election of any Senator, without the
   sanction of the Pope.

   "From this date all the Senators of Rome have been nominated by the
   Popes, and were never permitted to be foreigners.

   "Besides the Senator, there was a council, called the Conservatori.
   The members of this council were chosen from amongst the first
   families of Rome; proposed by the Senator, and approved by the Pope.

   "From time to time the Pontiffs have endeavoured to diminish the
   jurisdiction and the prerogatives of the Senators, so that in latter
   times their office has been reduced to a mere honorary charge.

   "It has appeared to me that the restoration of this form of
   government, replacing the Senator in his old authority, would be a
   step at once adapted to the circumstances of the present day, and
   acceptable to the Roman people.

   "To declare Rome a free Imperial city, and to reserve a palace there
   for your Majesty and your court, cannot but produce the most
   favourable effect on the minds of the Romans.

   "In the other dispositions of the proposed statute I have confined
   myself to following the precedents adopted by your Majesty on former
   occasions, under similar circumstances."

This report was accompanied by the minutes of three decrees.  The first
referred to the future government of the Eternal City, and was sketched
out in the following articles:--

   "Art. 1.  Rome is a free Imperial city.

   "Art. 2.  The Palace of the Quirinal, with its dependencies, is
   declared to be an Imperial Palace.

   "Art. 3.  The confines between the territory of Rome and the Kingdom
   of Italy are to be determined by a line, which, starting from
   Arteveri, passes through Baccano, Palestrina, Marino, Albano,
   Monterotondo, Palombara, Tivoli, and thence, keeping always at a
   distance of two miles inland from the sea, returns to Arteveri.

   "Art. 4.  The lands of all communes intersected by the above line form
   the territory of Rome, excepting all lands that lie between the line
   and the sea coast.

   "Art. 5.  A Senator and a Magistracy of forty Conservators are to form
   the Government of the City and its territory.

   "Art. 6.  The executive power resides in the Senator; the legislative
   with the Magistracy of the Conservators.  The Senator has the
   initiative in all projects of law.

   "Art. 7.  The office of the Senator is for life; that of the
   Conservators for four years.  The Magistracy is to be renewed every
   year for one-fourth of its members.  In the first three years, lot is
   to decide who go out; afterwards, the members shall retire by
   rotation.

   "Art. 8.  Ten Conservators, at least, shall be chosen from the
   different communes which compose the territory of Rome.

   "Art. 9.  The Senator is always to be nominated by us and our
   successors.  For the first election alone we reserve to ourselves the
   right of nominating the Magistracy of the Conservators.  Hereafter, as
   vacancies occur, the Senator shall nominate the Conservators from a
   double list presented to him by the Magistracy.

   "Art. 10.  The judicial functions are to be exercised in the name of
   the Senator, by judges nominated by him.  Their appointment shall be
   for life.  They cannot be removed except for fraud or neglect of duty,
   recognised as such by the Magistracy, or on being sentenced to any
   disgraceful or penal punishment.

   "Art. 11.  Five AEdiles, nominated after the same fashion as the
   Conservators, shall superintend the preservation of the ancient
   monuments and the repairs of the public buildings.  For this purpose a
   special fund (the amount to be determined by the Government) shall be
   placed yearly at their disposal.

   "Art. 12.  Between the kingdom of Italy and the Roman State, there
   shall be no intermediate line of customs or duties.  The Government of
   Rome may, however, impose an _octroi_ duty on victuals at the gates of
   the city.

   "Art. 13.  For . . . years no ecclesiastic can hold a civil office in
   Rome or its territory."

The second decree declares that the Papal States, with the exception of
the Roman territories above described, are irrevocably and in perpetuity
annexed to the Kingdom of Italy, and that the _Code Napoleon_ is to be
the law of the land.

The third is headed, "Dispositions with regard to his Holiness," and
disposes of the Papal question in this somewhat summary manner.

   "We Napoleon, by the grace of God, and by the Constitution, Emperor of
   the French, King of Italy, Protector of the Rhenish Confederation,

   "Having regard to our first decree concerning Rome, have decreed, and
   decree as follows:--

   "Art. 1.  The Church and the Piazza of St Peter, the palace of the
   Vatican and that of the Holy Office, with their dependencies, are a
   free possession of his Holiness the Pope.

   "Art. 2.  All the property of the Capitol and the Basilica of St Peter
   are preserved to those institutions under whatever administration the
   Pope may please to appoint.

   "Art. 3.  His Holiness shall receive a yearly income of one million
   Italian francs, and shall retain all the honorary privileges he has
   enjoyed in past times.

   "Given at our Imperial Palace of St Cloud, this --- day of Sept.
   1808."

In the midst of the Spanish campaigns, these documents were perused and
approved by the Emperor, who wrote to Aldini, at that time in Italy, and
told him to make private inquiries as to whether the time was opportune
for the promulgation of these decrees, and whether it was expedient to
require the clergy to take an oath of allegiance to the new constitution.
Aldini's reply contains the following remarkable passage:--

   "The Pope, who has never enjoyed the good opinion of the Roman public,
   has succeeded in these latter days in winning the sympathy of a few
   fanatics, who call his obstinacy heroic constancy, and wait every day
   for a miracle to be worked by God in his defence.

   "Except these bigots and a few wealthy persons who dread the
   possibility, that, under a change of government, their privileges
   might be destroyed, and the taxes on property increased, all classes
   are of one mind in desiring a new order of things, and all alike long
   for its establishment.

   "I must not, however, conceal from you that this universal sentiment
   is chiefly due to two causes:--Firstly, to the idea that the payment
   of the interest on the public debt will be resumed; as, in truth, a
   great number of Roman families depend on these payments for their
   income; and secondly, to the hope that Rome will become the capital of
   a great state, a hope which the Romans know not how to renounce."

Under these circumstances, Count Aldini goes on to recommend that hopes
should be held out of an early resumption of payments on the national
debt, and that a provisional air should be given to the proposed
arrangement, so as to keep alive the prospect of a great kingdom, of
which Rome should be the centre.  He deprecates enforcing an oath of
allegiance on the clergy, on the ground that "all priests will consent to
obey the civil government; but all will not consent to swear allegiance
to it, because they consider obedience an involuntary act, and an oath a
voluntary act which might compromise their conscience."  He finally
recommends delay, under present circumstances, till some decisive victory
has crushed the hopes of the priest party.  This delay was fatal to the
scheme.  After the battle of Wagram, Napoleon resumed the project, and
resolved to encrease the Pope's income to two millions of francs.  Then,
however, there came unfortunately the protests of Pius VII. the bull of
excommunication hurled against the Emperor, and a whole series of petty
insults and annoyances on the part of the Pope; such, for instance, as
walling up the doors of his palace, and declaring, like his successor and
namesake, his anxiety to be made a martyr.  Passion seems to have
prevailed over Napoleon's cooler and better judgment.  The Pope was
carried off to Savona, Rome was made part of the French empire, and
Aldini's project slumbered till, in after years, it has been revived,
though without acknowledgement, by M. Guerroniere, in his pamphlet of _Le
Pape et le Congres_.

Now this project I have quoted not for its intrinsic value, but because I
think it one likely to be realized.  Napoleon III. (the fact both for
good and bad is worth minding) and not the Italians has to decide on
Rome's future, and any one who has watched the Emperor's career will be
aware how carefully he follows out the cooler and wiser ideas of his
great predecessor.  The Papal question is not one to be settled by the
sword, and I know not whether amongst all the plans that I have seen, the
solution of Napoleon I. does not present the fewest difficulties.



CHAPTER XVIII.  TWO PICTURES.


Within the space of a few days, some three weeks in all, it was my
fortune to be present at two demonstrations forming two pictures of
Italian story, or rather two aspects of one picture.  In both the subject-
matter was the feelings of Italians towards their rulers; in both that
feeling was expressed legibly, though in diverse fashions; and from both
one and the same lesson--that lesson, which I have sought to express in
these loose sketches of mine--may be learned easily.  Let me first, then,
write of these pictures as I saw them at the time, so that my moral may
speak for itself to those who care to learn it.

The 12th of April is the anniversary of Pio Nono's return to Rome from
Gaeta, that refuge of destitute sovereigns.  It is also, by a strange
coincidence, the anniversary of the day on which his Holiness and General
Goyon narrowly escaped being killed by the falling of a scaffold, from
which they were inspecting the repairs at the church of St Agnese.  On
that day, in honour of the doubly joyful event, the Pope went to
celebrate mass at the convent of St Agnese.  The time was one when a
popular demonstration in favour of the Pope was urgently required.  It
was in fact the beginning of the end.  Victor Emmanuel was about to enter
Bologna as king; the news of the Sicilian insurrection had just reached
Rome; the Imperial Government had sent one of its periodical intimations,
that the French occupation could not be prolonged indefinitely; and
General De La Moriciere had assumed the command of the Papal army, on his
ill-fated and Quixotic crusade.  At such a time it was deemed necessary
to show Europe, that the Pope still reigned in the hearts of his people,
and every effort was made to secure a demonstration.  Government clerks
and official personages received orders to be present at the ceremony;
and all persons, over whom the Priests had influence, were urged to
attend and swell the crowd.  And yet what came of it all?  Along the road
between the Convent of Santa Agnese and the Porta Pia, where the great
demonstrations took place some weeks ago, there was little sign of crowd
or excitement.  The day was chilly and cheerless; but the chilliness of
the wind itself precluded the idea of rain, so that it was not the
weather which deterred the concourse of the faithful.  The Patrizzi
Villa, just outside the gate, had a few festoons hung over the garden
wall, which fronts the road; but one of the Patrizzi family, I should
mention, is a Cardinal.  The villas on the road exhibited no decorations
or signs of festivity whatever.  Indeed, I only observed three houses in
all which had placed hangings before their windows, or made any
preparations in honour of the event.  There were not many persons outside
the gates.  Every few steps you met patrols of six French soldiers headed
by a gendarme.  These patrols had been sent by General Goyon to keep the
crowd in order; but, unfortunately, there was no crowd to keep in order;
so that the soldiers looked and seemed to feel as if they were sent on a
fool's errand.  At St Agnese there were some 150 carriages collected,
almost all hired ones, of the poorer sort.  The private vehicles were
very few indeed; not a quarter of the muster at most.  The church itself
was gaily filled, but not crowded in any part.  Priests, monks, and women
formed nine-tenths of the congregation.  The sacrament was administered
by the Pope himself to a number of communicants, amongst whom the English
converts visiting Rome were as usual conspicuous.  After mass was over
the Pope had breakfast at the Convent, and returned about noon to the
city.  Meanwhile, something approaching to a crowd, that is about 600
people, half of whom were priests and the rest _impiegati_, were
collected at the gates; and as the Pope passed to his coach and four,
each of this crowd, with somewhat suspicious unanimity, drew a
handkerchief from his pocket, and raised a feeble cheer.  Inside the
gates, and along the streets through which the Papal procession passed,
there was no appearance of any unusual concourse of people.  By the
corner of the Gualtro Fontane street, near the new palace of Queen
Christina, a large body of nuns and school-children, decked out in white,
were drawn up on the pavement, who waved their hats, and threw flowers as
the Pope went by; but this was all; and even the Pope himself could
hardly have supposed what demonstration there was to be spontaneous.  It
is true the _Giornale_ made the most of it.  Their narrative ran thus:
"About half-past eleven in the morning his Holiness, accompanied by the
applause of all who had joined to escort him, entered his carriage, and
took the road towards his residence at the Vatican.  Words are
insufficient to express the enthusiastic affection, the joyous
demonstrations, which, for the length of three miles from St Agnese to
the Quirinal, were manifested towards him by the good people of this
Sovereign City, who had crowded to behold his passage; and who, by any
means in their power, expressed the tender affection which they could not
but entertain for his sacred person.  Infinite, too, was the number of
carriages which followed the Royal cortege to the Pontifical palace of St
Peter's."

To this I can only say, that many things are visible to the eye of faith,
and hidden to the common world.  To my unenlightened vision, the crowd of
three miles in length was composed of a thousand persons in all; and the
infinite number of carriages looked uncommonly like sixty.

And now for the converse picture.



The "Promised Land."


Out of chill clouds and dull gloom, I passed into summer sunshine.  Across
barren moor-land and more barren mountains, by the side of marshy lakes,
deserted and malaria-haunted, through squalid villages and decayed
cities, my journey brought me into a rich garden-country, studded with
thriving towns swarming with life, and watered with endless streams.  I
came into a land such as children of Israel never looked upon from over
Jordan, after their weary wanderings in the wilderness; a land rich in
oil and corn, and vineyards and cattle; a very "land of promise."  This,
indeed, is the true Italy, the Italy of which all poets of all time have
sung; and whose likeness all artists have sought to draw, and sought in
vain.  The sight, however, of this wondrous beauty was not new to me who
write; still less is its record new to you who read.  With this much of
tribute let it pass unnoticed.  Fortunately, it was my lot to see the
promised land of Italy as for centuries past she has not been seen.  I
saw her free, and rejoicing in her freedom.  Then let me seek to recall
such of the epochs in that right royal progress--when the chosen King
came to take possession of his promised land--as stand most clearly
forth.

I remember once seeing a collection of Indian portraits.  There were
rajahs and dervishes, jugglers and dancing-girls, depicted in every
variety of garb and posture.  For the whole set, however, there was but
one face.  Each portrait had a hole where the face should have been, and
the picture was completed by placing the one head beneath the blank
opening.  In fact, you had one face beneath a hundred different
draperies.  So also, in my wanderings, I saw but one picture in a dozen
frames; one sight in many cities.  At some, the flags may have waved more
gaily; at some again the lamps may have sparkled more brilliantly, and at
others the crowd may have cheered more lustily; but the substance of the
sight was the same throughout.  Everywhere, some half-dozen of dusty open
carriages, filled with officers in uniform, passing through crowded
streets festooned with flowers, dressed out with banners--everywhere, the
one figure of a plain, rough Soldier-king, bowing stiffly and slowly from
time to time--everywhere, a surging, heaving, shouting crowd.  Such is
the one subject of my picture-gallery.

I am in the Duomo of Florence.  Around and about me there is a great
crowd.  Every niche and cornice where foot can stand is occupied.  A deep
gloom hangs around the darkened church, and from out the lofty vaulted
roof thousands of lamps hang glimmering like stars upon a moonless sky.
Ever and anon the organ peals forth triumphantly, and the clouds of
incense rise fitfully; and as the bell rings, and the host is raised on
high, you see above the bowed heads of the swaying crowd the figure of
the excommunicated King, kneeling on the altar-steps.  Then, when the
service is over, and the royal procession passes down the nave, through
the double line of soldiers, who keep the passage clear, I am carried
onwards to the front of the grand cathedral, which for centuries has
stood bare and unfinished, and which is to date its completion from the
time when the city of Dante and Michael Angelo is to date her freedom,
too long delayed.

The next scene present to my memory is a dark gloomy night.  I am at
Pisa, in the city of the Campo Santo, where hang the chains of the
ancient port which the Genoese carried off in triumph centuries ago, in
the days of the old Republic, and have brought back to day, in honour of
the new brotherhood.  The great festival of the Luminara is to be held to-
night, in the presence of the King.  I have come from Florence through
the pleasant Arno valley, shining in the glory of an Italian sunset, and
the night has come on, and dark, rain-laden clouds are rolling up from
the sea; but neither wind nor rain are heeded now.  Through narrow
streets, which a year ago were silent and deserted, I follow a great
multitude pressing towards the river-side.  A sudden turn brings me to
the quay, and an illuminated city rises before me across the Arno.  The
glare is so strong that at first I can scarcely distinguish anything save
the one grand blaze of light.  Then, by degrees, I see that every house
and palace-front along those mile-long quays is lit up by rows on rows of
lamps, scattered everywhere.  Arches and parapets and bridges are all
marked out against the dark back-ground of the sky by the long lines of
light, and in the depths of the dull stream that rolls at my feet a
second inverted city sparkles brightly.  Along either quay a great,
countless multitude keeps moving to and fro, casting a dark hem of shadow
at the foot of the houses which line the river.  Then of a sudden the
low, ceaseless hum of ten thousand voices is exchanged for a loud cheer,
and the bands begin to play, and the royal carriages, escorted by a
running crowd, pass along the quays; and wherever the throng is thickest,
you can tell that Victor Emmanuel is to be found, with Ricasoli by his
side.  Then, as the King and his party pass out of sight, the storm comes
on in its fury, and the gusts of wind blow out the lamps, as if after
doing honour to the King their work was ended.

Another scene which I remember well was on a long day's journey through
the Val di Chiana, a day's journey by fertile fields and smiling
villages, and on pleasant country roads.  The King was coming in the
course of the day along the same route.  At every corner, at every bridge
and roadside house, there were groups of peasants standing waiting to see
_Il padrone nuovo_, the new sovereign and master.  The children had flags
in their little hands, and the cottagers had hung out their coloured bed-
quilts, and the roadside crosses were decked out with flowers.  The
church-bells were ringing, country bands were playing lustily, and the
national guard of every little town I passed stood under arms, to the
admiration of all beholders.  It was a holiday everywhere; the fields
were left untilled, the carts were taken up to carry whole peasant
families to the market-town of Arezzo, where the King was to spend the
night.  Man, woman, and child wore the national colours in some part of
their Sunday dress; and about everything and everybody there was a look
of happiness, hard indeed to describe, but one not often seen nor easily
forgotten.

Let us turn northwards.  The old streets of Bologna, with their endless
rows of colonnades, are filled with people.  The dead Papal city is alive
again.  The priests have disappeared; friars, monks, Jesuits, and nuns
have vanished from their old haunts.  St Patrick did not clear the land
of Erin more thoroughly and more suddenly of the genus reptile than the
presence of Victor Emmanuel has cleared Bologna of the genus priest.  It
is whispered that out of top windows, and from behind blinds and
shutters, priests are peeping out at the strange sight of a glad and a
free people, with glances the reverse of friendly; but neither the black
robe nor the brown serge cowl, nor the three-cornered, low-crowned hat,
are to be seen amongst the crowd.  Well, perhaps the scene looks none the
less gay for their absence.  The flags and flowers glitter beneath the
blue, cloudless sky, and the burning sun of a hot summer day gives an
unwonted brightness to the grey colours of the grim, gaunt houses.  Down
the steep, winding road leading from the old monastery of St Michael,
where the King is lodged, through the dark, narrow, crowded streets, a
brilliant cavalcade comes riding slowly; half a horse's length in front
rides Victor Emmanuel.  Amongst the order-covered staff who follow, there
is scarcely one of not more royal presence than their leader; there are
many whose names may stand before his in the world's judgment, but the
crowd has its eye fixed on the King, and the King alone.  For three days
this selfsame crowd has followed him, and stared at him, and cheered him,
but their ardour remains undiminished.  All the school-children of the
city, down to little mites of things who can scarcely toddle, have been
brought out to see him.  Boy-soldiers, with Lilliputian muskets, salute
him as he passes.  A mob of men, heedless of the gendarmes or of the
horses' hoofs, run before the cavalcade, in the burning heat, and cheer
hoarsely.  Every window is lined with ladies in the gayest of gay
dresses, who cast glances before the King, and try, like true daughters
of Eve, to catch a smile from that plain, good-humoured face.  So amidst
flowers and smiles and cheers the procession passes on.  There is no
pause, indeed, in the ceaseless cheering, save where the band of exiles
stands with the flags of Rome, and Naples, and Venice, covered with the
black veil; or when the regiments defile past with the tattered colours
which were rent to shreds at San Martino and at Solferino, and then the
cry of "Viva Vittorio Emmanuele" is changed for that of "Viva l'Italia!"

It is a Sunday afternoon, and at three o'clock I have turned out of the
broiling streets into the vast, crowded theatre of Reggio.  Every place
is occupied, every box is crammed; rows of lights sparkle around the
darkened house, and the heat is a thing to be remembered afterwards.
There is a gorgeous ballet being acted on the stage, and Caesar is being
tempted by every variety of female art and posture, in a way which never
happens except to ballet heroes, and to Saint Anthony of Padua.  The
dancing girls, however, dance in vain, and the orchestra plays to deaf
ears, for all voices are raised at once, and all eyes are turned from the
stage.  The King has entered the royal box, and every lady in the long
tiers of boxes unfurls the tricolor-flag she bears in her hands and waves
it bravely.  The whole house keeps rising, shouting, cheering.  The
musicians lay down their instruments, and the ballet-girls drop their
postures and Caesar forgets his dignity, and one and all crowd forward on
the stage and join in the general cheering; and when the king leaves, the
curtain drops upon the unfinished ballet, and the whole house rush into
the piazza to see Victor Emmanuel again as he drives away.

The last time that my path comes across the kingly progress is at a
railway station.  The long street of Parma, leading to the station, is
lined with a dense crowd; and the flowers and flags and triumphal arches
are to be seen in greater profusion here than even I have been accustomed
to before.  The royal carriages have to move at a foot's pace, on account
of the multitude which presses round them.  Amidst playing of bands and
throwing of flowers, the King, accompanied by his vast escort, has
reached the station, and enters it with his suite, but the eager
enthusiasm of the multitude is not sated yet.  Regardless of all railway
rules and penalties, they clamber over palings and run up embankments,
and manage to force their way at last to the platform itself, as the
royal train is moving on.  Even the iron nerve of Victor Emmanuel seems
affected by this last greeting of farewell; and while the train remains
in sight I can see the King bowing kindly to the crowd on either side.

Never, I think, in the world's history was the promised land entered with
more of promise.

When, in the old fairy tale, the sleeping princess of the slumber-bound
palace awoke to light and life; when of a sudden the horses began to
neigh, and the clocks to tick, and the spits to turn, the brightness and
suddenness of the change could scarcely have been more complete than that
through which I passed.  From chill, cheerless, ceaseless rain into
bright warm sun-light; from a country fever-haunted, barren, and
desolate, into a land swarming with life, rich and fertile as a garden;
from a gloomy priest-ridden people, kept down by force of arms, hating
their rulers and hated by them, into the presence of a free people
rejoicing in their freedom: such has been my change as I passed from the
States of the Church into those of Victor Emmanuel.

Surely the moral of these two pictures speaks for itself.  Put aside
abstract political considerations, put aside, too, theological questions,
and look at broad facts patent to all.  If anybody can see Rome and the
Papal States, and still believe that the people are happy or prosperous
or faring with good prospects either for this world or the next, I can
say nothing more.  His eyes are not my eyes, nor his judgment mine.  For
those to whom this ocular testimony is denied, I have written these
papers.  I have sought to make present to them the utter dreariness, the
hopeless discontent, the abject demoralization, which strike a resident
in Rome, unless he refuses wilfully to see the truth.  In the dead Rome
of real life; in the universal spiritless immorality of Roman society; in
the decay of what once was the Roman people; in the squalid misery of the
country towns, miserable even in their merriment; in the utter isolation
of the Papal States, a moral lazaretto amongst European kingdoms, you see
only too plainly the permanent condition of the country.  As to the
present misery, you can read its signs in those pageants which impose on
no one; in the Carnivals, where there are no revellers; in the solemn
ceremonies, where the worshippers are sought in vain; and in the sad,
sullen, hopeless demonstrations, whereby a people protest constantly that
they are weary of their fate.  If you look for causes, you may find them
perhaps in those trials without law or justice; in that Press without
liberty or truth; in those Church-sanctioned lotteries; in the presence
of that multitude of priests, and in the policy which dictated the
outrage of St Joseph's day, and the Bull of excommunication.  How far
these causes are sufficient to explain the fact, is a matter of opinion.
I can understand a fervent believer in the Catholic Faith saying, that
the people of the Papal States ought to be happy and prosperous under
Papal rule.  It may be so, but the fact is they are not; and that they
are both prosperous and happy under the rule of Victor Emmanuel ever
since the great Lombard campaign, when the French armies at Solferino
destroyed the Austrian power, the key-stone of the whole priest-despot
rule in Italy.  I have been living, with but short intervals, in
different parts of this Italian land.  Wherever the free national
government has spread, I can see the growth of prosperity and happiness.
There have been, there are, and there will be partial reactions, petty
disturbances; but they are but eddies in the great, deep, resistless
current.  Go to Bologna, or Ferrara, or Ancona, and you will find them,
as I have, passed from dead desolation into active life.  Commerce is
flourishing, order prevails, and the people are free and full of life.
These are facts on which both Protestant and Catholic can judge; and
Catholics, as well as Protestants, will tell you the same thing.  Then if
this be so, and that it is so I assert fearlessly, in what right, human
or divine, are a number of God's creatures to be forced to live out that
one short life of ours in dull, abject misery?  If you tell me that their
misery is necessary to the maintenance of a religious creed, be that
creed Protestant or Catholic, I reply that the sooner then that creed
disappears, the better for mankind and for faith in God.

And now, a few words in parting about the future.  The end I believe is
coming on so rapidly, has indeed advanced so far, since first I began to
write these letters, little more than a year ago, that I hesitate to make
prophecies which to-morrow may render vain.  The whole Italian revolution
is eminently a political one, not a religious one.  It is possible a
religious change, whether reformation-like or otherwise, may follow in
its steps, but that time is not come.  There is no wish in the Italian
people, unless I err much, to alter the national faith, or to dispense
with the Pope, as a spiritual potentate.  Before long Pius IX., having
caused as much misery as one man can well cause in one lifetime, must
depart from this world; and then, if not sooner, some arrangement must be
come to between the Pope and the Italian people, if the Papacy is to last
at all.  In some form or other I hold that the compromise will be of the
nature of the "Napoleonic Solution," to which I have therefore given a
place amongst these papers.  Whether it is possible for a Pope to remain
permanently at Rome as a spiritual prince in a free city, time alone can
show, but ere long the experiment will be made.

If in these letters I have said aught to wound the faith of either
Protestant or Catholic, I have said it unwillingly, and regret that it
should be so.  This however I believe, and would have others believe it
too, that the misery of the Roman people is a real misery, be its cause
what it may, and like all real misery in this world, calls to God for
justice, and not in vain.





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