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Title: The Dodge Club - or, Italy in MDCCCLIX
Author: De Mille, James, 1833-1880
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Dodge Club - or, Italy in MDCCCLIX" ***

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THE DODGE CLUB, OR, ITALY IN MDCCCLIX.

by

James De Mille

Author of "Cord and Creese; or, the Brandon Mystery," etc., etc

With One Hundred Illustrations


New York:
Harper & Brothers Publishers,
Franklin Square
1872.



CONTENTS.


CHAPTER I.

PARIS.--THE DODGE CLUB.--HOW TO SPEAK FRENCH.--HOW TO RAISE A CROWD.

ILLUSTRATIONS. Dick!--Here I Invite My Friends.--The Club.--The Place
Vendôme.--Keep It Buttons!


CHAPTER II.

ORLEANS.--HOW TO QUELL A LANDLORD.--HOW TO FIGHT OFF HUMBUGS; AND HOW
TO TRAVEL WITHOUT BAGGAGE.

ILLUSTRATIONS. That's A Hotel Bill.--Cicero Against Verres.
--Sac-r-r-r-ré.


CHAPTER III.

THE RHONE IN A RAIN.--THE MAD FRENCHMAN.--SUICIDE A CAPITAL
CRIME IN FRANCE.

ILLUSTRATIONS. Number 729.--Horror! Despair!


CHAPTER IV.

MARSEILLES.


CHAPTER V.

THE RETIRED ORGAN-GRINDER.--THE SENATOR PHILOSOPHIZES.--EVILS OF NOT
HAVING A PASSPORT.

ILLUSTRATIONS. Those Italians.--Genoa, The Superb.


CHAPTER VI.

LAZARONI AND MACARONI.

ILLUSTRATIONS. Their Noble Excellencies.--Lazaroni And Macaroni.


CHAPTER VII.

DOLORES.--AN ITALIAN MAID LEARNS ENGLISH.--A ROMANTIC ADVENTURE.--A
MASQUERADE, AND WHAT BEFELL THE SENATOR.--A CHARMING DOMINO.--A
MOONLIGHT WALK, AND AN ASTOUNDING DISCOVERY.

ILLUSTRATIONS. Yankee Doodle.--I Kiss Hands.--The Young Hussar.--A
Perplexed Senator.--Exit Senator.


CHAPTER VIII.

ADVENTURES AND MISADVENTURES.--A WET GROTTO AND A BOILING LAKE.--THE
TWO FAIR SPANIARDS, AND THE DONKEY RIDE.

ILLUSTRATIONS. Darn it!--Don't.--Thump!--A Trying Moment.--Senator
And Donkey.


CHAPTER IX.

A DRIVE INTO THE COUNTRY.--A FIGHT WITH A VETTURINO.--THE EFFECT OF
EATING "HARD BOILED EGGS."--WHAT THEY SAW AT PAESTUM.--FIVE TEMPLES
AND ONE "MILL."

ILLUSTRATIONS. Do You See That?--The Mill At Paestum.


CHAPTER X.

ON THE WATER, WHERE BUTTONS SEES A LOST IDEA AND GIVES CHASE TO IT,
TOGETHER WITH THE HEART-SICKENING RESULTS THEREOF.

ILLUSTRATIONS. The Spaniards.--A Thousand Pardons!


CHAPTER XI.

THE SENATOR HAS SUCH A FANCY FOR SEEKING USEFUL INFORMATION!--CURIOUS
POSITION OF A WISE, AND WELL-KNOWN, AND DESERVEDLY-POPULAR LEGISLATOR,
AND UNDIGNIFIED MODE OF HIS ESCAPE.

ILLUSTRATIONS. The Senator.


CHAPTER XII.

HERCULANEUM AND POMPEII, AND ALL THAT THE SIGHT OF THOSE FAMOUS PLACES
PRODUCED ON THE MINDS OF THE DODGE CLUB.

ILLUSTRATIONS. Villa Of Diomedes.--Phew!--A Street In Pompeii.


CHAPTER XIII.

VESUVIUS.--WONDERFUL ASCENT OF THE CONE.--WONDERFUL DESCENT INTO THE
CRATER.--AND MOST WONDERFUL DISAPPEARANCE OF MR. FIGGS, AFTER WHOM
ALL HIS FRIENDS GO, WITH THEIR LIVES IN THEIR HANDS.--GREAT SENSATION
AMONG SPECTATORS.

ILLUSTRATIONS. The Ascent Of Vesuvius.--The Descent Of Vesuvius.
-Where's Figgs?--Mr Figgs.--The Ladies.


CHAPTER XIV.

MAGNIFICENT ATTITUDE OF THE SENATOR; BRILLIANCY OF BUTTONS; AND PLUCK
OF THE OTHER MEMBERS OF THE CLUB: BY ALL OF WHICH THE GREATEST EFFECTS
ARE PRODUCED.

ILLUSTRATIONS. The Bandits Captured.--Sold.


CHAPTER XV.

DOLORES ONCE MORE.--A PLEASANT CONVERSATION.--BUTTONS LEARNS MORE OF
HIS YOUNG FRIEND.--AFFECTING FAREWELL.

ILLUSTRATIONS. Two Piastres!--The Brave Soldier.


CHAPTER XVI.

DICK RELATES A FAMILY LEGEND.

ILLUSTRATIONS. Buying A Whale.--The Long-Lost Son.


CHAPTER XVII.

NIGHT ON THE ROAD.--THE CLUB ASLEEP.--THEY ENTER ROME.--THOUGHTS ON
APPROACHING AND ENTERING "THE ETERNAL CITY."

ILLUSTRATIONS. To Rome.


CHAPTER XVIII.

A LETTER BY DICK, AND CRITICISMS OF HIS FRIENDS.


CHAPTER XIX.

ST. PETER'S!--THE TRAGIC STORY OF THE FAT MAN IN THE BALL.--HOW
ANOTHER TRAGEDY NEARLY HAPPENED.--THE WOES OF MEINHERR SCHATT.

ILLUSTRATIONS. Gracious Me!


CHAPTER XX.

THE GLORY, GRANDEUR, BEAUTY, AND INFINITE VARIETY OF THE PINCIAN
HILL; NARRATED AND DETAILED NOT COLUMNARILY BUT EXHAUSTIVELY,
AND AFTER THE MANNER OF RABELAIS.


CHAPTER XXI.

HARMONY ON THE PINCIAN HILL.--MUSIC HATH CHARMS.--AMERICAN MELODIES.
--THE GLORY, THE POWER, AND THE BEAUTY OF YANKEE DOODLE, AND THE
MERCENARY SOUL OF AN ITALIAN ORGAN-GRINDER.

ILLUSTRATIONS. Old Virginny.


CHAPTER XXII.

HOW A BARGAIN IS MADE.--THE WILES OF THE ITALIAN TRADESMAN.--THE NAKED
SULKY BEGGAR, AND THE JOVIAL WELL-CLAD BEGGAR.--WHO IS THE KING OF
BEGGARS?

ILLUSTRATIONS. The Shrug.


CHAPTER XXIII.

THE MANIFOLD LIFE OF THE CAFÉ NUOVO, AND HOW THEY RECEIVED THE NEWS
ABOUT MAGENTA.--EXCITEMENT.--ENTHUSIASM.--TEARS.--EMBRACES.

ILLUSTRATIONS. News Of Magenta!


CHAPTER XXIV.

CHECKMATE!

ILLUSTRATIONS. Before And After.


CHAPTER XXV.

BUTTONS A MAN OF ONE IDEA.--DICK AND HIS MEASURING TAPE.--DARK EYES.
--SUSCEPTIBLE HEART.--YOUNG MAIDEN WHO LIVES OUT OF TOWN.--GRAND
COLLISION OF TWO ABSTRACTED LOVERS IN THE PUBLIC STREETS.

ILLUSTRATIONS. Away!--Pepita.


CHAPTER XXVI.

CONSEQUENCES OF BEING GALLANT IN ITALY, WHERE THERE ARE LOVERS,
HUSBANDS, BROTHERS, FATHERS, COUSINS, AND INNUMERABLE OTHER RELATIVES
AND CONNECTIONS, ALL READY WITH THE STILETTO.

ILLUSTRATIONS. An Interruption.


CHAPTER XXVII.

DICK ON THE SICK LIST.--RAPTURE OF BUTTONS AT MAKING AN IMPORTANT
DISCOVERY.

ILLUSTRATIONS. Poor Dick!


CHAPTER XXVIII.

WHAT KIND OF A LETTER THE SENATOR WROTE FOR THE "NEW ENGLAND PATRIOT,"
WHICH SHOWS A TRITE, LIBERAL, UNBIASED, PLAIN, UNVARNISHED VIEW OF
ROME.

ILLUSTRATIONS. Sketches By A Friend.


CHAPTER XXIX.

THE LONELY ONE AND HIS COMFORTER.--THE TRUE MEDICINE FOR A SICK MAN.


CHAPTER XXX.

OCCUPATIONS AND PEREGRINATIONS OF BUTTONS.

ILLUSTRATIONS. Buttons and Murray.


CHAPTER XXXI.

BUTTONS ACTS THE GOOD SAMARITAN, AND LITERALLY UNEARTHS A MOST
UNEXPECTED VICTIM OF AN ATROCIOUS ROBBERY.--GR-R-R-A-CIOUS ME!


CHAPTER XXXII.

ANOTHER DISCOVERY MADE BY BUTTONS.


CHAPTER XXXIII.

[Transcriber's Note: Transliteration of Greek.] Brekekek koax koax
koax. [TN: /end Greek.]

ILLUSTRATIONS. Brekekekek koax koax!

CHAPTER XXXIV.


THE SENATOR PURSUES HIS INVESTIGATIONS.--AN INTELLIGENT ROMAN
TOUCHES A CHORD IN THE SENATOR'S HEART THAT VIBRATES.--RESULTS OF
THE VIBRATION.--A VISIT FROM THE ROMAN POLICE; AND THE GREAT RACE
DOWN THE CORSO BETWEEN THE SENATOR AND A ROMAN SPY.--GLEE OF THE
POPULACE!--HI! HI!

ILLUSTRATIONS. Got You There!--Walking Spanish.


CHAPTER XXXV.


DICK MAKES ANOTHER EFFORT, AND BEGINS TO FEEL ENCOURAGED.

ILLUSTRATIONS. Dick Thinks It Over. The Senator In A Bad Fix.--The
Senator In A Worse Fix.


CHAPTER XXXVII.


_ROME_.--_ANCIENT HISTORY_.--THE PREHISTORIC ERA.--CRITICAL
EXAMINATION OF NIEBUHR AND HIS SCHOOL.--THE EARLY HISTORY OF ROME
PLACED ON A RIGHT BASIS.--EXPLANATION OF HISTORY OF REPUBLIC.
--NAPOLEON'S "CAESAR."--THE IMPERIAL REGIME.--THE NORTHERN
BARBARIANS.--RISE OF THE PAPACY.--MEDIAEVAL ROME.

_TOPOGRAPHY_.--TRUE ADJUSTMENT OF BOUNDS OF ANCIENT CITY.--ITS
PROBABLE POPULATION.--_GEOLOGY_.--EXAMINATION OF FORMATION.--TUFA
TRAVERTINE.--ROMAN CEMENT.--TERRA-COTTA. _SPECIAL CONSIDERATION OF
ROMAN CATACOMBS_.--BOSIO.--ARRINGHI.--CARDINAL WISEMAN.--RECENT
EXPLORATIONS, INVESTIGATIONS, EXAMINATIONS, EXHUMATIONS, AND
RESUSCITATIONS.--EARLY CHRISTIAN HISTORY SET ON A TRUE BASIS.
--RELICS.--MARTYRS.--REAL ORIGIN OF CATACOMBS.--TRUE AND RELIABLE
EXTENT (WITH MAPS).

_REMARKS ON ART_.--THE RENAISSANCE.--THE EARLY PAINTERS: CIMABUE,
GIOTTO, PERUGINO, RAFAELLE SANZIO, MICHELANGELO BUONAROTTI.--THE
TRANSFIGURATION.--THE MOSES OF MICHELANGELO.--BELLINI.--SAINT
PETER'S, AND MORE PARTICULARLY THE COLONNADE.--THE LAST JUDGMENT.
--DANTE.--THE MEDIAEVAL SPIRIT.--EFFECT OF GOTHIC ART ON ITALY AND
ITALIAN TASTE.--COMPARISON, OF LOMBARD WITH SICILIAN CHURCHES.--TO
WHAT EXTENT ROME INFLUENCED THIS DEVELOPMENT.--THE FOSTERING SPIRIT
OF THE CHURCH.--ALL MODERN ART CHRISTIAN.--WHY THIS WAS A NECESSITY.
--FOLLIES OF MODERN CRITICS.--REYNOLDS AND RUSKIN.--HOW FAR POPULAR
TASTE IS WORTH ANY THING.--CONCLUDING REMARKS OF A MISCELLANEOUS
DESCRIPTION.


CHAPTER XXXVIII.

ITALIAN TRAVEL, ROADS, INNS.--A GRAND BREAKDOWN.--AN ARMY OF
BEGGARS.--SIX MEN HUNTING UP A CARRIAGE WHEEL; AND PLANS OF THE
SENATOR FOR THE GOOD OF ITALY.

ILLUSTRATIONS. Travelling In Italy.--The Senator's Escort.


CHAPTER XXXIX.

TRIUMPHANT PROGRESS OF DICK.--GENDARMES FOILED.--THE DODGE CLUB
IS ATTACKED BY BRIGANDS, AND EVERY MAN OF IT COVERS HIMSELF WITH
GLORY.--SCREAM OF THE AMERICAN EAGLE!


ILLUSTRATIONS. Dick In His Glory.--Pietro.--The Barricade.


CHAPTER XL.

PLEASANT MEDIATIONS ABOUT THE WONDERS OF TOBACCO; AND THREE PLEASANT
ANECDOTES BY AN ITALIAN BRIGAND.


CHAPTER XLI.

FINAL ATTACK OF REINFORCEMENTS OF BRIGANDS.--THE DODGE CLUB DEFIES
THEM AND REPELS THEM.--HOW TO MAKE A BARRICADE.--FRATERNIZATION OF
AMERICAN EAGLE AND GALLIC COCK.--THERE'S NOTHING LIKE LEATHER.

ILLUSTRATIONS. An International Affair.


CHAPTER XLII.

FLORENCE.--DESPERATION OF BUTTONS, OF MR. FIGGS, AND OF THE DOCTOR.

ILLUSTRATIONS. Florence From San Miniato.--Pitti Palace.--Fountain Of
Neptune, Palazzo Vecchio.--The Duomo.--The Campanile.--Trozzi Palace.
--Buttons Melancholy.


CHAPTER XLIII.

THE SENATOR ENTRAPPED.--THE WILES AND WITCHERY OF A QUEEN OF SOCIETY.
--HIS FATE DESTINED TO BE, AS HE THINKS, ITALIAN COUNTESSES.
--SENTIMENTAL CONVERSATION.--POETRY.--BEAUTY.--MOONLIGHT.--RAPTURE.
--DISTRACTION.--BLISS!

ILLUSTRATIONS. La Cica.


CHAPTER XLIV.

"MORERE DIAGORA, NON ENIM IN COELUM ADSCENSURUS ES."--THE APOTHEOSIS
OF THE SENATOR (NOTHING LESS--IT WAS A MOMENT IN WHICH A MAN MIGHT
WISH TO DIE--THOUGH, OF COURSE, THE SENATOR DIDN'T DIE).

ILLUSTRATIONS. Solferino!--The Senator Speaks.


CHAPTER XLV.

THE PRIVATE OPINION OF THE DOCTOR ABOUT FOREIGN TRAVEL.--BUTTONS
STILL MEETS WITH AFFLICTIONS.

ILLUSTRATIONS. A Grease Spot.--Farewell, Figgs!


CHAPTER XLVI.

A MEMORABLE DRIVE.--NIGHT.--THE BRIGANDS ONCE MORE.--GARIBALDI'S
NAME.--THE FIRE.--THE IRON BAR.--THE MAN FROM THE GRANITE STATE
AND HIS TWO BOYS.

ILLUSTRATIONS. In The Coach.--A Free Fight.--Don't Speak.


CHAPTER XLVII.

BAD BRUISES, BUT GOOD MUSES.--THE HONORABLE SCABS OF DICK.--A
KNOWLEDGE OF BONES.


CHAPTER XLVIII.

SUFFERING AND SENTIMENT AT BOLOGNA.--MOONSHINE.--BEST BALM FOR WOUNDS.

ILLUSTRATIONS. Used Up.


CHAPTER XLIX.

CROSSING INTO THE ENEMY'S COUNTRY.--CONSTERNATION OF THE CUSTOM-HOUSE
OFFICERS.

ILLUSTRATIONS. Buttons In Bliss.


CHAPTER L.

VENICE AND ITS PECULIAR GLORY.--THE DODGE CLUB COME TO GRIEF AT LAST.
--UP A TREE.--IN A NET, ETC.

ILLUSTRATIONS. Dick's Luggage.--Arrested.--Silence!


CHAPTER LI.

THE AMERICAN EAGLE AND THE AUSTRIAN DOUBLE-HEADED DITTO.

ILLUSTRATIONS. Don't Try It On With Me.


CHAPTER LII.

THE SENATOR STILL ENGAGED IN FACING DOWN THE AUSTRIAN.--THE AMERICAN
CONSUL.--UNEXPECTED RE-APPEARANCE OF FORGOTTEN THINGS.--COLLAPSE OF
THE COURT.

ILLUSTRATIONS. Watts Mis-spelled.


CHAPTER LIII.

A MYSTERIOUS FLIGHT.--DESPAIR OF BUTTONS.--PURSUIT.--HISTORIC GROUND,
AND HISTORIC CITIES.

ILLUSTRATIONS. Formalities.


CHAPTER LIV.

DICK MEETS AN OLD FRIEND.--THE EMOTIONAL NATURE OF THE ITALIAN.
--THE SENATOR OVERCOME AND DUMBFOUNDED.

ILLUSTRATIONS. The Count Ugo.


CHAPTER LV.

IN WHICH BUTTONS WRITES A LETTER; AND IN WHICH THE CLUB LOSES AN
IMPORTANT MEMBER.--SMALL BY DEGREES AND BEAUTIFULLY LESS.


CHAPTER LVI.

THE FAITHFUL ONE!--DARTS, DISTRACTION, LOVE'S VOWS, OVERPOWERING
SCENE AT THE MEETING OF TWO FOND ONES.--COMPLETE BREAK-DOWN OF THE
HISTORIAN.

ILLUSTRATIONS. The Door.


CHAPTER LVII.

THE DODGE CLUB IN PARIS ONCE MORE.--BUTTONS'S "JOLLY GOOD HEALTH."

ILLUSTRATIONS. He's A Jolly Good Fellow.



[Illustration: Dick!]


CHAPTER I.


PARIS.--THE DODGE CLUB.--HOW TO SPEAK FRENCH.--HOW TO RAISE A CROWD.


It is a glorious day in Paris. The whole city is out in the public
places, watching the departure of the army of Italy. Every imaginable
uniform, on foot and on horseback, enlivens the scene. Zouaves are
everywhere. Cent Gardes hurry to and fro, looking ferocious. Imperial
Gardes look magnificent. Innumerable little red-legged soldiers of the
line dance about, gesticulating vehemently. Grisettes hang about the
necks of departing braves. A great many tears are shed, and a great
deal of bombast uttered. For the invincible soldiers of France are off
to fight for an idea; and doesn't every one of them carry a marshal's
baton in his knapsack?

A troop of Cent Gardes comes thundering down in a cloud of dust,
dashing the people right and left. Loud cheers arise: "Vive
l'Empereur!" The hoarse voices of myriads prolong the yell. It is Louis
Napoleon. He touches his hat gracefully to the crowd.

A chasseur leaps into a cab.

"Where shall I take you?"

"To Glory!" shouts the soldier.

The crowd applaud. The cabman drives off and don't want any further
direction. Here a big-bearded Zouave kisses his big-bearded brother in
a blouse.

"Adieu, mon frère; write me."

"Where shall I write?"

"Direct to Vienna--_poste restante_."

Every body laughs at every thing, and the crowd are quite wild at
this.

A young man is perched upon a pillar near the garden wall of the
Tuileries. He enjoys the scene immensely. After a while he takes a
clay pipe from his pocket and slowly fills it. Having completed this
business he draws a match along the stone and is just about lighting
his pipe.

"Halloo!"

Down drops the lighted match on the neck of an _ouvrier_. It burns.
The man scowls up; but seeing the cause, smiles and waves his hand
forgivingly.

"Dick!"

At this a young man in the midst of the crowd stops and looks around.
He is a short young man, in whose face there is a strange mixture of
innocence and shrewdness. He is pulling a baby-carriage, containing a
small specimen of French nationality, and behind him walks a majestic
female.

The young man Dick takes a quick survey and recognizes the person who
has called him. Down drops the pole of the carriage, and, to the
horror of the majestic female, he darts off, and, springing up the
pillar, grasps first the foot and then the hand of his friend.

"Buttons!" he cried; "what, you! you here in Paris!"

"I believe I am."

"Why, when did you come?"

"About a month ago."

"I had no idea of it. I didn't know you were here."

"And I didn't know that you were. I thought by this time that you were
in Italy. What has kept you here so long?"

Dick looked confused.

"Why the fact is, I am studying German."

"German! in Paris! French, you mean."

"No, German."

"You're crazy; who with?"

Dick nodded his head toward his late companion.

"What, that woman? How she is scowling at us!"

"Is she?" said Dick, with some trepidation.

"Yes. But don't look. Have you been with her all the time?"

"Yes, seven months."

"Studying German!" cried Buttons, with a laugh. "Who is she?"

"Madame Bang."


[Illustration: Here I Invite My Friends.]


"Bang? Well, Madame Bang must look out for another lodger. You must
come with me, young man. You need a guardian. It's well that I came in
time to rescue you. Let's be off!"

And the two youths descended and were soon lost in the crowd.


***


"Three flights of steps are bad enough; but great Heavens! what do you
mean by taking a fellow up to the eighth story?"

Such was the exclamation of Dick as he fell exhausted into a seat in a
little room at the top of one of the tallest houses in Paris.

"Economy, my dear boy."

"Ehem!"

"Paris is overflowing, and I could get no other place without paying
an enormous price. Now I am trying to husband my means."

"I should think so."

"I sleep here--"

"And have plenty of bedfellows."

"I eat here--"

"The powers of the human stomach are astounding."

"And here I invite my friends."

"Friends only. I should think. Nothing but the truest friendship could
make a man hold out in such an ascent."

"But come. What are your plans?"

"I have none."

"Then you must league yourself with me."

"I shall be delighted."

"And I'm going to Italy."

"Then I'm afraid our league is already at an end."

"Why?"

"I haven't money enough."

"How much have you?"

"Only five hundred dollars; I've spent all the rest of my allowance."

"Five hundred? Why, man, I have only four hundred."

"What! and you're going to Italy?"

"Certainly."

"Then I'll go too and run the risk. But is this the style?" and Dick
looked dolefully around.

"By no means--not always. But you must practice economy."

"Have you any acquaintances?"

"Yes, two. We three have formed ourselves into a society for the
purpose of going to Italy. We call ourselves the Dodge Club."

"The Dodge Club?"

"Yes. Because our principle is to dodge all humbugs and swindles,
which make travelling so expensive generally. We have gained much
experience already, and hope to gain more. One of my friends is a
doctor from Philadelphia, Doctor Snakeroot, and the other is
Senator Jones from Massachusetts. Neither the Doctor nor the Senator
understands a word of any language but the American. That is the
reason why I became acquainted with them.

"First as to the Doctor, I picked him up at Dunkirk. It was in a café.
I was getting my modest breakfast when I saw him come in. He sat down
and boldly asked for coffee. After the usual delay the garçon brought
him a small cup filled with what looked like ink. On the waiter was a
cup of _eau de vie_, and a little plate containing several enormous
lumps of loaf-sugar. Never shall I forget the Doctor's face of
amazement. He looked at each article in succession. What was the ink
for? what the brandy? what the sugar? He did not know that the two
first when mixed makes the best drink in the world, and that the last
is intended for the pocket of the guest by force of a custom dear to
every Frenchman. To make a long story short, I explained to him the
mysteries of French coffee, and we became sworn friends.

"My meeting with the Senator was under slightly different
circumstances. It was early in the morning. It was chilly. I was
walking briskly out of town. Suddenly I turned a corner and came upon
a crowd. They surrounded a tall man. He was an American, and appeared
to be insane. First he made gestures like a man hewing or chopping.
Then he drew his hand across his throat. Then he staggered forward and
pretended to fall. Then he groaned heavily. After which he raised
himself up and looked at the crowd with an air of mild inquiry. They
did not laugh. They did not even smile. They listened respectfully,
for they knew that the strange gentleman wished to express something.
On the whole, I think if I hadn't come up that the Senator would have
been arrested by a stiff gendarme who was just then coming along the
street. As it was, I arrived just in time to learn that he was anxious
to see the French mode of killing cattle, and was trying to find his way
to the abattoirs. The Senator is a fine man, but eminently practical. He
used to think the French language an accomplishment only. He has
changed his mind since his arrival here. He has one little
peculiarity, and that is, to bawl broken English at the top of his
voice when he wants to communicate with foreigners."


[Illustration: The Club.]


Not long afterward the Dodge Club received a new member in the person
of Mr. Dick Whiffletree. The introduction took place in a modest café,
where a dinner of six courses was supplied for the ridiculous sum of
one franc--soup, a roast, a fry, a bake, a fish, a pie, bread at
discretion, and a glass of vinegar generously thrown in.

At one end of the table sat the Senator, a very large and muscular
man, with iron-gray hair, and features that were very strongly marked
and very strongly American. He appeared to be about fifty years of
age. At the other sat the Doctor, a slender young man in black. On
one side sat Buttons, and opposite to him was Dick.

"Buttons," said the Senator, "were you out yesterday?"

"I was."

"It was a powerful crowd."

"Rather large."

"It was immense. I never before had any idea of the population of
Paris. New York isn't to be compared to it."

"As to crowds, that is nothing uncommon in Paris. Set a rat loose in
the Champs Elysées, and I bet ten thousand people will be after it in
five minutes."

"Sho!"

"Any thing will raise a crowd in Paris."

"It will be a small one, then."

"My dear Senator, in an hour from this I'll engage myself to raise as
large a crowd as the one you saw yesterday."

"My dear Buttons, you look like it."

"Will you bet?"

"Bet? Are you in earnest?"

"Never more so."

"But there is an immense crowd outside already."

"Then let the scene of my trial be in a less crowded place--the Place
Vendôme, for instance."

"Name the conditions."

"In an hour from this I engage to fill the Place Vendôme with people.
Whoever fails forfeits a dinner to the Club."

The eyes of Dick and the Doctor sparkled.

"Done!" said the Senator.

"All that you have to do," said Buttons, "is to go to the top of the
Colonne Vendôme and wave your hat three times when you want me to
begin."

"I'll do that. But it's wrong," said the Senator. "It's taking money
from you. You must lose."

"Oh, don't be alarmed," said Buttons, cheerfully.

The Dodge Club left for the Place Vendôme, and the Senator, separating
himself from his companions, began the ascent. Buttons left his
friends at a corner to see the result, and walked quickly down a
neighboring street.


[Illustration: The Place Vendôme.]


Dick noticed that every one whom he met stopped, stared, and then
walked quickly forward, looking up at the column. These people
accosted others, who did the same. In a few minutes many hundreds of
people were looking up and exchanging glances with one another.

In a short time Buttons had completed the circuit of the block, and
re-entered the Place by another street. He was running at a quick
pace, and, at a moderate calculation, about two thousand _gamins de
Paris_ ran before, beside, and behind him. Gens d'armes caught the
excitement, and rushed frantically about. Soldiers called to one
another, and tore across the square gesticulating and shouting.
Carriages stopped; the occupants stared up at the column; horsemen
drew up their rearing horses; dogs barked; children screamed; up
flew a thousand windows, out of which five thousand heads were thrust.

At the end of twenty minutes, after a very laborious journey, the
Senator reached the top of the column. He looked down. A cry of
amazement burst from him. The immense Place Vendôme was crammed with
human beings. Innumerable upturned faces were staring at the startled
Senator. All around, the lofty houses sent all their inmates to the
open window, through which they looked up. The very house-tops were
crowded. Away down all the streets which led to the Place crowds of
human beings poured along.

"Well," muttered the Senator, "it's evident that Buttons understands
these Frenchmen. However, I must perform my part, so here goes."

And the Senator, majestically removing his hat, waved it slowly around
his head seven times. At the seventh whirl his fingers slipped, and a
great gust of wind caught the hat and blew it far out into the air.

It fell.

A deep groan of horror burst forth from the multitude, so deep, so
long, so terrible that the Senator turned pale.

A hundred thousand heads upturned; two hundred thousand arms waved
furiously in the air. The tide of new-comers flowing up the other
streets filled the Place to overflowing; and the vast host of people
swayed to and fro, agitated by a thousand passions. All this was the
work of but a short time.

"Come," said the Senator, "this is getting beyond a joke."

There was a sudden movement among the people at the foot of the
column. The Senator leaned over to see what it was.

At once a great cry came up, like the thunder of a cataract,
warningly, imperiously, terribly. The Senator drew back confounded.

Suddenly he advanced again. He shook his head deprecatingly, and waved
his arms as if to disclaim any evil motives which they might impute to
him. But they did not comprehend him. Scores of stiff gens d'armes,
hundreds of little soldiers, stopped in their rush to the foot of the
column to shake their fists and scream at him.

"Now if I only understood their doosid lingo," thought the Senator.
"But"--after a pause--"it wouldn't be of no account up here. And what
an awkward fix," he added, "for the father of a family to stand
hatless on the top of a pillory like this! Sho!"

There came a deep rumble from the hollow stairway beneath him, which
grew nearer and louder every moment.

"Somebody's coming," said the Senator. "Wa'al, I'm glad. Misery loves
company. Perhaps I can purchase a hat."

In five minutes more the heads of twenty gens d'armes shot up through
the opening in the top of the pillar, one after another, and reminded
the Senator of the "Jump-up-Johnnies" in children's toys. Six of them
seized him and made him prisoner.

The indignant Senator remonstrated, and informed them that he was an
American citizen.

His remark made no impression. They did not understand English.

The Senator's wrath made his hair fairly bristle. He contented
himself, however, with drawing up the programme of an immediate war
between France and the Great Republic.

It took an hour for the column to get emptied. It was choked with
people rushing up. Seven gentlemen fainted, and three escaped with
badly sprained limbs. During this time the Senator remained in the
custody of his captors.

At last the column was cleared.

The prisoner was taken down and placed in a cab. He saw the dense crowd
and heard the mighty murmurs of the people.

He was driven away for an immense distance. It seemed miles.

At last the black walls of a huge edifice rose before him. The cab
drove under a dark archway. The Senator thought of the dungeons of the
Inquisition, and other Old World horrors of which he had heard in his
boyhood.


***


So the Senator had to give the dinner. The Club enjoyed it amazingly.

Almost at the moment of his entrance Buttons had arrived, arm in arm
with the American minister, whose representations and explanations
procured the Senator's release.

"I wouldn't have minded it so much," said the Senator, from whose
manly bosom the last trace of vexation had fled, "if it hadn't been
for that darned policeman that collared me first. What a Providence
it was that I didn't knock him down! Who do you think he was?"

"Who?"

"The very man that was going to arrest me the other day when I was
trying to find my way to the slaughter-house. That man is my evil
genius. I will leave Paris before another day."

"The loss of your hat completed my plans," said Buttons. "Was that
done on purpose? Did you throw it down for the sake of saying 'Take
my hat?'"

"No. It was the wind," said the Senator, innocently. "But how did you
manage to raise the crowd? You haven't told us that yet."

"How? In the simplest way possible. I told every soul I met that a
crazy man was going up the Colonne Vendôme to throw himself down."

A light burst in upon the Senator's soul. He raised his new hat from a
chair, and placing it before Buttons, said fervently and with unction:

"Keep it, Buttons!"


[Illustration: Keep It Buttons!]



[Illustration: That's A Hotel Bill.]


CHAPTER II.


ORLEANS.--HOW TO QUELL A LANDLORD.--HOW TO FIGHT OFF HUMBUGS; AND HOW
TO TRAVEL WITHOUT BAGGAGE.

A tremendous uproar in the hall of a hotel at Orleans awaked every
member of the Dodge Club from the sound and refreshing slumber into
which they had fallen after a fatiguing journey from Paris.

Filing out into the hall one after another they beheld a singular
spectacle.

It was a fat man, bald-headed, middle-aged, with a well-to-do look,
that burst upon their sight.

He was standing in the hall with flushed face and stocking feet,
swearing most frightfully. A crowd of waiters stood around shrugging
their shoulders, and trying to soothe him. As the fat man spoke
English, and the waiters French, there was a little misapprehension.

"There, gentlemen," cried the fat man, as he caught sight of our four
friends, "look at that! What do you call that?"

"That?" said Buttons, taking a paper which the fat man thrust in his
face, "why, that's a hotel bill."

"A hotel bill? Why it's an imposition!" cried the other excitedly.

"Perhaps it is," said Buttons, coolly.

"Of course it is! Read it out loud, and let these gentlemen see what
they think of it."

"I'll read it in English," said Buttons, "for the benefit of the
Club:"


Mister Blank,

To the Hotel du Roi:


One dinner..........3 francs.
Six porters.........6 francs.
One cab.............2 francs.
One do..............2 francs.
One information.....5 francs.
Wine................5 francs.
Tobacco............ 2 francs.
One bed.............5 francs.
One boots...........1 francs.
One candle..........1 francs.
One candle..........1 francs.
One candle..........1 francs.
One candle..........1 francs.
=============================
                   35 francs.


"By Jove! Thirty-five francs! My dear Sir. I quite agree with you.
It's an imposition."

A deep sigh expressed the relief of the fat man at this mark of
sympathy.

"There's no redress," said Buttons. "You'll have to grin and bear it.
For you must know that in these inland towns hotel-keepers are in
league, offensive and defensive, with all the cab-drivers,
omnibus-drivers, postillions, truckmen, hostlers, porters,
errand-boys, café-keepers, cicerones, tradesmen, lawyers,
chambermaids, doctors, priests, soldiers, gens d'armes, magistrates,
etc., etc., etc. In short, the whole community is a joint-stock
company organized to plunder the unsuspecting traveller."

"And must I stand here and be swindled without a word?" cried the
other.

"By no means. Row like fury. Call up the whole household one by one,
and swear at them in broad Saxon. That's the way to strike terror into
the soul of a Frenchman."

The fat man stared for a moment at Buttons, and then plunging his
hands deep into his trowsers pockets he walked up and down the hall.

At last he turned to the others: "Gentlemen, is this endurable?"

"Horrible!" cried Dick.

"Abominable!" the Doctor.

"Infamous!" the Senator.

"By jingo! I've a great mind to go home. If I've pot to be plundered,
I'd a durned sight rather have my money go to support our own great
and glorious institutions."

There is no doubt that the unfortunate man would have had to pay up if
it bad not been for the energetic action of Buttons.

He summoned the hotel-keeper before him, and closing the door, asked
his friends to sit down.

Then Buttons, standing up, began to repeat to the hotel-keeper,
smilingly, but with extraordinary volubility, Daniel Webster's oration
against Hayne. The polite Frenchman would not interrupt him, but
listened with a bland though somewhat dubious smile.

The Dodge Club did infinite credit to themselves by listening without
a smile to the words of their leader.

Buttons then went through the proposition about the hypothenuse of a
right-angled triangle, and appended the words of a few negro songs.

Here the worthy landlord interrupted him, begging his pardon, and
telling him that he did not understand English very well, and could
his Excellency speak French?

His Excellency, with equal politeness, regretted his want of complete
familiarity with French. He was forced when he felt deeply on any
subject to express himself in English.

Then followed Cicero's oration against Verres, and he was just
beginning a speech of Chatham's when the landlord surrendered at
discretion.

When, after the lapse of three hours and twenty-five minutes, the fat
man held his bill toward him, and Buttons offered five francs, he did
not even remonstrate, but took the money, and hastily receipting the
bill with his pencil, darted from the room.

"Well," exclaimed the Senator, when he had recovered from the effects
of the scene--"I never before realized the truth of a story I once
heard."

"What was the story?"

"Oh, it was about a bet between a Yankee and a Frenchman, who could
talk the longest. The two were shut up in a room. They remained there
three days. At the end of that time their friends broke open the door
and entered, and what do you think they found there?"

"Nobody?" suggested the fat man.

"No," said the Senator, with a glow of patriotic pride on his fine
face. "But they found the Frenchman lying dead upon the floor, and the
Yankee whispering in his ear the beginning of the second part of the
Higgins story."

"And what is the Higgins story?"

"For Heaven's sake," gasped the Doctor, starting up, "don't ask him
now--wait till next week!"

As they passed over the Mountains of Auvergne a new member was added
to the Dodge Club.

It was the fat man.

He was President of a Western bank.

His name was Figgs.


***


It was a damp, dull, dreary, drenching night, when the lumbering
diligence bore the Dodge Club through the streets of Lyons and up to
the door of their hotel. Seventeen men and five small boys stood
bowing ready to receive them.

The Senator, Buttons, and Dick took the small valises which contained
their travelling apparel, and dashed through the line of servitors
into the house. The Doctor walked after, serenely and majestically.
He had no baggage. Mr. Figgs descended from the roof with considerable
difficulty. Slipping from the wheel, he fell into the outstretched
arms of three waiters. They put him on his feet.

His luggage was soon ready.

Mr. Figgs had two trunks and various other articles. Of these trunks
seven waiters took one, and four the other. Then


Waiter No. 12 took hat-box;
Waiter No. 13 took travelling desk;
Waiter No. 14 took Scotch plaid;
Waiter No. 15 took over-coat;
Waiter No. 16 took umbrella;
Waiter No. 17 took rubber coat;
Boy No. 1 took cane;
Boy No. 2 took muffler;
Boy No. 3 took one of his mittens;
Boy No. 4 took the other;
Boy No. 5 took cigar-case.


After a long and laborious dinner they rose and smoked.


[Illustration: Cicero Against Verres.]


[Illustration: Sac-r-r-r-ré.]


The head waiter informed Mr. Figgs that with his permission a
deputation would wait on him. Mr. Figgs was surprised but
graciously invited the deputation to walk in. They accordingly
walked in. Seventeen men and five boys.

"What did they want?"

"Oh, only a _pourboire_ with which to drink his Excellency's
noble health."

"Really they did his Excellency too much honor. Were they not
mistaken in their man?"

"Oh no. They had carried his luggage into the hotel."

Upon this Mr. Figgs gave strong proof of poor moral training, by
breaking out into a volley of Western oaths, which shocked one
half of the deputation, and made the other half grin.

Still they continued respectful but firm, and reiterated their
demand.

Mr. Figgs called for the landlord. That gentleman was in bed.
For his wife. She did not attend to the business. For the head
waiter. The spokesman of the deputation, with a polite bow,
informed him that the head waiter stood before him and was quite
at his service.

The scene was ended by the sudden entrance of Buttons, who,
motioning to Mr. Figgs, proceeded to give each waiter a douceur.
One after another took the proffered coin, and without looking
at it, thanked the generous donor with a profusion of bows.

Five minutes after the retreating form of Buttons had vanished
through the door, twenty-persons, consisting of men and boys,
stood staring at one another in blank amazement.

Anger followed; then
sac-r-r-r-_r-r-r_-R-R-R-_R-Ré_!

He had given each one a _centime_.

But the customs of the hotel were not to be changed by the shabby
conduct of one mean-minded person. When the Club prepared to retire
for the night they were taken to some rooms opening in to each other.
Five waiters led the way; one waiter to each man, and each carried a
pair of tall wax-candles. Mr. Figgs's waiter took him to his room,
laid down the lights, and departed.

The doors which connected the rooms were all opened, and Mr.
Figgs walked through to see about something. He saw the Doctor,
the Senator, Buttons, and Dick, each draw the short, well-used
stump of a wax-candle from his coat pocket and gravely light it.
Then letting the melted wax fall on the mantle-pieces they stuck
their candles there, and in a short time the rooms were
brilliantly illuminated.

The waiters were thunderstruck. Such a procedure had never come
within the compass of their experience of the ways of travellers.

"Bonsoir," said Buttons. "Don't let us detain you."

They went out stupefied.

"What's the idea now?" inquired Mr. Figgs.

"Oh. They charge a franc apiece for each candle, and that is a
swindle which we will not submit to."

"And will I have to be humbugged again?"

"Certainly."

"Botheration."

"My dear Sir, the swindle of bougies is the curse of the
Continental traveller. None of us are particularly prudent, but
we are all on the watch against small swindles, and of them all
this is the most frequent and most insidious, the most constantly
and ever recurrent. Beware, my dear President, of bougies--that's
what we call candles."

Mr. Figgs said nothing, but leaned against the wall for a moment
in a meditative mood, as if debating what he should do next.

He happened to be in the Doctor's room. He had already noticed
that this gentleman had no perceptible baggage, and didn't
understand it.

But now he saw it all.

The Doctor began gravely to make preparations for the night.

Before taking off his over-coat he drew various articles from
the pockets, among which were:


A hair-brush,
A tooth-brush,
A shoe-brush,
A pot of blacking,
A night-shirt,
A clothes-broth,
A pipe,
A pouch of tobacco,
A razor,
A shaving-brush,
A piece of soap,
A night-cap,
A bottle of hair-oil,
A pistol,
A guide-book,
A cigar-case,
A bowie-knife,
A piece of cord,
A handkerchief,
A case of surgical instruments,
Some bits of candles.


Mr. Figgs rushed from the room.



[Illustration: Number 729.]


CHAPTER III.


THE RHONE IN A RAIN.--THE MAD FRENCHMAN.--SUICIDE A CAPITAL
CRIME IN FRANCE.


The steamboats that run on the Rhone are very remarkable
contrivances. Their builders have only aimed at combining a
maximum of length with a minimum of other qualities, so that
each boat displays an incredible extent of deck with no
particular breadth at all. Five gentlemen took refuge in the
cabin of the _Etoile_, from the drenching rain which fell during
half of their voyage. This was an absurd vessel, that made trips
between Lyons and Avignon. Her accommodations resembled those of
a canal boat, and she was propelled by a couple of paddle-wheels
driven by a Lilliputian engine. It was easy enough for her to go
down the river, as the current took the responsibility of moving
her along; but how she could ever get back it was difficult to
tell.

They were borne onward through some of the fairest scenes on
earth. Ruined towers, ivy-covered castles, thunder-blasted
heights, fertile valleys, luxuriant orchards, terraced slopes,
trellised vineyards, broad plains, bounded by distant mountains,
whose summits were lost in the clouds; such were the successive
charms of the region through which they were passing. Yet though
they were most eloquently described in the letters which Buttons
wrote home to his friends, it must be confessed that they made
but little impression at the time, and indeed were scarcely seen
at all through the vapor-covered cabin windows.

Avignon did not excite their enthusiasm. In vain the guide-book
told them about Petrarch and Laura. The usual raptures were not
forthcoming. In vain the cicerone led them through the old papal
palace. Its sombre walls awakened no emotion. The only effect
produced was on the Senator, who whiled away the hours of early
bed-time by pointing out the superiority of American institutions
to those which reared the prisons which they had visited.

Arles was much more satisfactory. There are more pretty women in
Arles than in any other town of the same size on the Continent.
The Club created an unusual excitement in this peaceful town by
walking slowly through it in Indian file, narrowly scrutinizing
every thing. They wondered much at the numbers of people that
filled the cathedral, all gayly dressed. It was not until after
a long calculation that they found out that it was Sunday.
Buttons kept his memorandum-book in his hand all day, and took
account of all the pretty women whom he saw. The number rose as
high as 729. He would have raised it higher, but unfortunately
an indignant citizen put a stop to it by charging him with
impertinence to his wife.

On the railroad to Marseilles is a famous tunnel. At the last
station before entering the tunnel a gentleman got in. As they
passed through the long and gloomy place there suddenly arose a
most outrageous noise in the car.

It was the new passenger.

Occasionally the light shining in would disclose him, dancing,
stamping, tearing his hair, rolling his eyes, gnashing his
teeth, and cursing.

"Is he crazy?" said Dick.

"Or drunk?" said Buttons.

Lo and behold! just as the train emerged from the tunnel the
passenger made a frantic dash at the window, flung it open, and
before any body could speak or move he was half out.

To spring over half a dozen seats, to land behind him, to seize
his outstretched leg, to jerk him in again, was but the work of
a moment. It was Buttons who did this, and who banged down the
window again.

"Sac-r-r-R-R-Ré!" cried the Frenchman.

"Is it that you are mad?" said Buttons.

"Sacré Bleu!" cried the other. "Who are you that lays hands on me?"

"I saved you from destruction."

"Then, Sir, you have no thanks. Behold me, I'm a desperate man!"

In truth he looked like one. His clothes were all disordered.
His lips were bleeding, and most of his hair was torn out. By
this time the guard had come to the spot. All those in the car
had gathered round. It was a long car, second-class, like the
American.

"M'sieu, how is this? What is it that I see? You endeavor to
kill yourself?"

"Leave me. I am desperate."

"But no. M'sieu, what is it?"

"Listen. I enter the train thinking to go to Avignon. I have
important business there, most important. Suddenly I am struck by a
thought. I find I have mistaken. I am carried to Marseilles. It is
the express train, and I must go all the way. Horror! Despair! Life is
of no use! It is time to resign, it! I die! Accordingly I attempt to
leap from the window, when this gentleman seizes me by the leg and
pulls me in. Behold all."

"M'sieu," said the guard, slowly, and with emphasis, "you have
committed a grave offense. Suicide is a capital crime."

"A capital crime!" exclaimed the Frenchman, turning pale. "Great
Heaven!"

"Yes, Sir. If you leap from the car I shall put you in irons, and hand
you over to the police when we stop."

The Frenchman's pale face grew paler. He became humble. He entreated
the guard's compassion. He begged Buttons to intercede. He had a
family. Moreover he had fought in the wars of his country. He had
warred in Africa. He appealed to the Senator, the Doctor, to Figgs,
to Dick. Finally he became calm, and the train shortly after arrived
at Marseilles.

The last that was seen of him he was rushing frantically about looking
for the return train.


[Illustration: Horror! Despair!]



CHAPTER IV.


MARSEILLES.


Old Massilia wears her years well. To look at her now as she appears,
full of life and joy and gayety, no one would imagine that thirty
centuries or more had passed over her head.

Here is the first glimpse of the glorious South, with all its sunshine
and luxury and voluptuous beauty. Here the Mediterranean rolls its
waters of deepest blue, through the clear air the landscape appears
with astonishing distinctness, and the sharply-defined lines of
distinct objects surprise the Northern eye. Marseilles is always a
picturesque city. No commercial town in the world can compare with it
in this respect. On the water float the Mediterranean craft, rakish
boats, with enormous latteen sails; long, low, sharp, black vessels,
with a suspicious air redolent of smuggling and piracy. No tides
rise and fall--advance and retreat. The waters are always the same.

All the Mediterranean nations are represented in Marseilles.
Three-quarters of the world send their people here. Europe, Asia,
Africa. In the streets the Syrian jostles the Spaniard; the Italian
the Arab; the Moor jokes with the Jew; the Greek chaffers with the
Algerine; the Turk scowls at the Corsican; the Russian from Odessa
pokes the Maltese in the ribs. There is no want of variety here.
Human nature is seen under a thousand aspects. Marseilles is the most
cosmopolitan of cities, and represents not only many races but many
ages.

Moreover it is a fast city. New York is not more ambitions; Chicago
not more aspiring; San Francisco not more confident in its future.
Amazing sight! Here is a city which, at the end of three thousand
years, looks forward to a longer and grander life in the future.

And why?

Why, because she expects yet to be the arbiter of Eastern commerce.
Through her the gold, the spices, and the gems of India will yet be
conveyed over the European world. For the Suez Canal, which will once
more turn the tide of this mighty traffic through its ancient
Mediterranean channel, will raise Marseilles to the foremost rank
among cities.

So, at least, the Marseillaise believe. When our travellers arrived
there the city was crammed with soldiers. The harbor was packed with
steamships. Guns were thundering, bands playing, fifes screaming,
muskets rattling, regiments tramping, cavalry galloping. Confusion
reigned supreme. Every thing was out of order. No one spoke or thought
of any thing but the coming war in Lombardy.

Excitable little red-legged French soldiers danced about everywhere.
Every one was beside himself. None could use the plain language of
every-day life. All were intoxicated with hope and enthusiasm.

The travellers admired immensely the exciting scene, but their
admiration was changed to disgust when they found that on account
of the rush of soldiers to Italy their own prospects of getting there
were extremely slight.

At length they found that a steamer was going. It was a propeller.
Its name was the _Prince_. The enterprising company that owned her
had patriotically chartered every boat on their line to the
Government at an enormous profit, and had placed the _Prince_ on the
line for the use of travellers.



[Illustration: Those Italians.]


CHAPTER V.


THE RETIRED ORGAN-GRINDER.--THE SENATOR PHILOSOPHIZES.--EVILS OF NOT
HAVING A PASSPORT.


The Mediterranean is the most glorious of seas. The dark-blue waves;
the skies of darker blue; the distant hills of purple, with their
crowns of everlasting snow; and the beetling precipice, where the
vexed waters forever throw up their foaming spray; the frequent
hamlets that nestle among them, the castles and towers that crown the
lofty heights; and the road that winds tortuously along the shore--all
these form a scene in which beauty more romantic than that of the
Rhine is contrasted with all the grandeur of the ocean.

Buttons, with his usual flexible and easy disposition, made the
acquaintance of a couple of Italians who had been away from Italy
and were now returning. They were travelling second-class.

Buttons supposed they were glad to get back.

"Glad? Did he doubt it? Why, they were Italians."

"Are Italians fonder of their country than others?"

"Without doubt. Had they not the best reason to be?"

"Why?"

"They had the garden and pride of the world for their country.
Mention any other in the same breath with Italy."

"If they love it so much why can they not keep it for themselves?"

"How can you ask that? If you know the history of the country you will
see that it has been impossible. No other was ever so beset. It is
split up into different States. It is surrounded by powerful enemies
who take advantage of this. It would not be so bad if there were only
one foreign foe; but there are many, and if one were driven out another
would step in."

"There will be a chance for them now to show what they can do."

"True; and you will see what they will do. They only want the French
to open the way. We Italians can do the rest ourselves. It is a good
time to go to Italy. You will see devotion and patriotism such as you
never saw before. There is no country so beloved as Italy."

"I think other nations are as patriotic."

"Other nations! What nations? Do you know that the Italians can not
leave Italy? It is this love that keeps them home. French, Germans,
Spaniards, Portuguese, English--all others leave their homes, and
go all over the world to live. Italians can not and do not."

"I have seen Italians in America."

"You have seen Italian exiles, not emigrants. Or you have seen them
staying there for a few years so as to earn a little money to go back
with. They are only travellers on business. They are always unhappy,
and are always cheered by the prospect of getting home at last."

These Italians were brothers, and from experience in the world had
grown very intelligent. One had been in the hand-organ business,
the other in the image-making line. Italians can do nothing else
in the bustling communities of foreign nations. Buttons looked with
respect upon those men who thus had carried their lore for their
dear Art for years through strange lands and uncongenial climes.

"If I were an Italian I too would be an organ-grinder!" he at length
exclaimed.

The Italians did not reply, but evidently thought that Buttons could
not be in a better business.

"These _I_talians," said the Senator, to whom Buttons had told
the conversation--"these _I_talians," said he, after they had gone,
"air a singular people. They're deficient. They're wanting in the
leading element of the age. They haven't got any idee of the principle
of pro-gress. They don't understand trade. There's where they miss it.
What's the use of hand-organs? What's the use of dancers? What's the
use of statoos, whether plaster images or marble sculptoor? Can they
clear forests or build up States? No, Sir; and therefore I say that
this _I_talian nation will never be wuth a cuss until they are
inoculated with the spirit of Seventy-six, the principles of the
Pilgrim Fathers, and the doctrines of the Revolution. Boney knows it"
--he added, sententiously--"bless you, Boney knows it."

After a sound sleep, which lasted until late in the following day,
they went out on deck.

There lay Genoa.

Glorious sight! As they stood looking at the superb city the sun
poured down upon the scene his brightest rays. The city rose in
successive terraces on the side of a semicircular slope crowned with
massive edifices; moles projected into the harbor terminated by lofty
towers; the inner basin was crowded with shipping, prominent among
which were countless French ships of war and transports. The yells of
fifes, the throbbing of drums, the bang of muskets, the thunder of
cannon, and the strains of martial music filled die air. Boats crowded
with soldiers constantly passed from the ship to the stone quays,
where thousands more waited to receive them--soldiers being mixed up
with guns, cannons, wheels, muskets, drums, baggage, sails, beams,
timbers, camps, mattresses, casks, boxes, irons, in infinite
confusion.

"We must go ashore here," said Buttons. "Does any body know how long
the steamer will remain here?"

"A day."

"A day! That will be magnificent! We will be able to see the whole
city in that time. Let's go and order a boat off."

The Captain received them politely.

"What did Messieurs want? To go ashore? With the utmost pleasure. Had
they their passports? Of course they had them _viséd_ in Marseilles
for Genoa."

Buttons looked blank, and feebly inquired:

"Why?"

"It's the law, Monsieur. We are prohibited from permitting passengers
to go ashore unless their passports are all right. It's a mere form."

"A mere form!" cried Buttons. "Why, ours are _viséd_ for Naples."

"Naples!" cried the Captain, with a shrug; "you are unfortunate,
Messieurs. That will not pass you to Genoa."

"My dear Sir, you don't mean to tell me that, on account of this
little informality, you will keep us prisoners on board of this
vessel? Consider--"

"Monsieur," said the Captain, courteously, "I did not make these
laws. It is the law; I can not change it. I should be most happy
to oblige you, but I ask you, how is it possible?"

The Captain was right. He could do nothing. The travellers would
have to swallow their rage.


[Illustration: Genoa, The Superb.]


Imagine them looking all day at the loveliest of Italian scenes--
the glorious city of Genoa, with all its historic associations!--
the city of the Dorias, the home of Columbus, even now the scene
of events upon which the eyes of all the world were fastened.

Imagine them looking upon all this, and only looking, unable to go
near; seeing all the preparations for war, but unable to mingle with
the warriors. To pace up and down all day; to shake their fists at the
scene; to fret, and fume, and chafe with irrepressible impatience; to
scold, to rave, to swear--this was the lot of the unhappy tourists.

High in the startled heavens rose the thunder of preparations for the
war in Lombardy. They heard the sounds, but could not watch the scene
near at hand.

The day was as long as an ordinary week, but at length it came to an
end. On the following morning steam was got up, and they went to
Leghorn.

"I suppose they will play the same game on us at Leghorn," said Dick,
mournfully.

"Without doubt," said Buttons. "But I don't mind; the bitterness of
Death is past. I can stand any thing now."

Again the same tantalizing view of a great city from afar. Leghorn lay
inviting them, but the unlucky passport kept them on board of the
vessel. The Senator grew impatient, Mr. Figgs and the Doctor were
testy; Dick and Buttons alone were calm. It was the calmness of
despair.

After watching Leghorn for hours they were taken to Civita Vecchia.
Here they rushed down below, and during the short period of their stay
remained invisible.

At last their voyage ended, and they entered the harbor of Naples.
Glorious Naples! Naples the captivating!

"_Vede Napoli_, _e poi mori_!"

There was the Bay of Naples--the matchless, the peerless, the
indescribable! There the rock of Ischia, the Isle of Capri, there the
slopes of Sorrento, where never-ending spring abides; there the long
sweep of Naples and her sister cities; there Vesuvius, with its thin
volume of smoke floating like a pennon in the air!



[Illustration. Their Noble Excellencies.]


CHAPTER VI.


LAZARONI AND MACARONI.


About forty or fifty lazaroni surrounded the Dodge Club when they
landed, but to their intense disgust the latter ignored them
altogether, and carried their own umbrellas and carpet-bags. But the
lazaroni revenged themselves. As the Doctor stooped to pick up his
cane, which had fallen, a number of articles dropped from his
breast-pocket, and among them was a revolver, a thing which was
tabooed in Naples. A ragged rascal eagerly snatched it and handed it
to a gendarme, and it was only after paying a piastre that the Doctor
was permitted to retain it.

Even after the travellers had started on foot in search of lodgings
the lazaroni did not desert them. Ten of them followed everywhere.
At intervals they respectfully offered to carry their baggage, or show
them to a hotel, whichever was most agreeable to their Noble
Excellencies.

Their Noble Excellencies were in despair. At length, stumbling upon
The Café dell' Europa, they rushed in and passed three hours over
their breakfast. This done, they congratulated themselves on. Having
got rid of their followers.

In vain!

Scarcely had they emerged from the café than Dick uttered a cry of
horror. From behind a corner advanced their ten friends, with the
same calm demeanor, the game unruffled and even cheerful patience,
and the same respectful offer of their humble services.

In despair they separated. Buttons and Dick obtained lodgings in the
Strada di San Bartollomeo. The Senator and the other two engaged
pleasant rooms on the Strada Nuova, which overlooked the Bay.

Certainly Naples is a very curious place. There are magnificent
edifices--palaces, monuments, castles, fortresses, churches, and
cathedrals. There are majestic rows of buildings; gay shops,
splendidly decorated; stately colonnades, and gardens like Paradise.
There are streets unrivalled for gayety, forever filled to overflowing
with the busy, the laughing, the jolly; dashing officers, noisy
soldiers, ragged lazaroni, proud nobles, sickly beggars, lovely
ladies; troops of cavalry galloping up and down; ten thousand caleches
dashing to and fro. There is variety enough everywhere.

All the trades are divided, and arranged in different parts of the
city. Here are the locksmiths, there the cabinet-makers; here the
builders, there the armorers; in this place the basket-weavers, in
that the cork-makers.

And most amusing of all is the street most favored of the lazaroni.
Here they live, and move, and have their being; here they are born,
they grow, they wed, they rear families, they eat, and drink, and die.
A long array of furnaces extends up the street; over each is a
stew-pan, and behind each a cook armed with an enormous ladle. At all
hours of the day the cook serves up macaroni to customers. This is the
diet of the people.

In the cellars behind those lines of stew-pans are the eating-houses
of the vulgar--low, grimy places, floors incrusted with mud, tables of
thick deal worn by a thousand horny hands, slippery with ten thousand
upset dishes of macaroni. Here the pewter plates, and the iron knives,
forks, and spoons are chained to the massive tables. How utter must
the destitution be when it is thought necessary to chain up such
worthless trash!

Into one of these places went Buttons and Dick in their study of human
nature. They sat at the table. A huge dish of macaroni was served up.
Fifty guests stopped to look at the new-comers. The waiters winked at
the customers of the house, and thrust their tongues in their cheeks.


[Illustration: Lazaroni And Macaroni.]


Dick could not eat, but the more philosophical Buttons made an
extremely hearty meal, and pronounced the macaroni delicious.

On landing in a city which swarmed with beggars the first thought of
our tourists was, How the mischief do they all live? There are sixty
thousand lazaroni in this gay city. The average amount of clothing to
each man is about one-third of a pair of trowsers and a woolen cap.
But after spending a day or two the question changed its form, and
became, How the mischief can they all help living? Food may be picked
up in the streets. Handfuls of oranges and other fruits sell for next
to nothing; strings of figs cost about a cent.

The consequence is that these sixty thousand people, fellow-creatures
of ours, who are known as the lazaroni of Naples, whom we half pity
and altogether despise, and look upon as lowest members of the
Caucasian race, are not altogether very miserable. On the contrary,
taken as a whole, they form the oiliest, fattest, drollest, noisiest,
sleekest, dirtiest, ignorantest, prejudicedest, narrow-mindedest,
shirtlessest, clotheslessest, idlest, carelessest, jolliest,
absurdest, rascaliest--but still, all that, perhaps--taken all in
all--the happiest community on the face of the earth.



[Illustration: Yankee Doodle.]


CHAPTER VII.


DOLORES.--AN ITALIAN MAID LEARNS ENGLISH.--A ROMANTIC ADVENTURE.--A
MASQUERADE, AND WHAT BEFELL THE SENATOR.--A CHARMING DOMINO.--A
MOONLIGHT WALK, AND AN ASTOUNDING DISCOVERY.


The lodgings of Buttons and Dick were in a remarkably central part of
Naples. The landlord was a true Neapolitan; a handsome, gay, witty,
noisy, lively, rascally, covetous, ungrateful, deceitful, cunning,
good-hearted old scoundrel, who took advantage of his guests in a
thousand ways, and never spoke to them without trying to humbug them.
He was the father of a pretty daughter who had all her parent's nature
somewhat toned down, and expanded in a feminine mould.

Buttons had a chivalrous soul, and so had Dick; the vivacity of this
very friendly young lady was like an oasis in the wilderness of
travel. In the evening they loved to sit in the sunshine of her smile.
She was singularly unconventional, this landlord's daughter, and made
many informal calls on her two lodgers in their apartment.

An innocent, sprightly little maid--name Dolores--age seventeen--
complexion olive--hair jet black--eyes like stars, large, luminous,
and at the same time twinkling--was anxious to learn English,
especially to sing English songs; and so used to bring her guitar and
sing for the Americans. Would they teach her their national song? "Oh
yes happy beyond expression to do so."

The result, after ten lessons, was something like this:


  "Anty Dooda tumma towna
    By his sef a po-ne
  Stacca fadda inna sat
    Kalla Maccaroni."


She used to sing this in the most charming manner, especially the last
word in the last line. Not the least charm in her manner was her
evident conviction that she had mastered the English language.

"Was it not an astonishing thing for so young a Signorina to know
English?"

"Oh, it was indeed!" said Buttons, who knew Italian very well, and had
the lion's share of the conversation always.

"And they said her accent was fine?"

"Oh, most beautiful!"

"Bellissima! Bellissima!" repeated little Dolores, and she would laugh
until her eyes overflowed with delighted vanity.

"Could any Signorina Americana learn Italian in so short a time?"

"No, not one. They had not the spirit. They could never equal her most
beautiful accent."

"Ah! you say all the time that my accent is most beautiful."

One day she picked up a likeness of a young lady which was lying on
the table.

"Who is this?" she asked, abruptly, of Buttons.

"A Signorina."

"Oh yes! I know; but is she a relative?"

"No."

"Are you married?"

"No."

"Is this your affianced?"

"Yes."

"Ah, how strange! What will you bet?--a soldier or an advocate?"

"Neither. I will be a priest."

"A priest! Signor, what is it that you tell me? How can this be your
affianced lady?"

"Oh! in our country the priests all marry, and live in beautiful
little cottages, with a garden in front."

This Dolores treated with the most contemptuous incredulity. Who ever
heard of such a thing? Impossible! Moreover, it was so absurd. Buttons
told her that he was affianced five years ago.

"An eternity!" exclaimed Dolores. "How can you wait? But you must have
been very young."

"Young? Yes, only sixteen."

"Blessed and most venerable Virgin! Only sixteen! And is she the most
beautiful girl you know?"

"No."

"Where have you seen one more so?"

"In Naples."

"Who is she?"

"An Italian."

"What is her name?"

"Dolores."

"That's me."

"I mean you."

This was pretty direct; but Dolores was frank, and required
frankness from others. Some young ladies would have considered this
too coarse and open to be acceptable. But Dolores had so high an
opinion of herself that she took it for sincere homage. So she half
closed her eyes, leaned back in her chair, looked languishingly at
Buttons, and then burst into a merry peal of musical laughter.

"I think I am the most beautiful girl you ever saw."

It was Buttons's turn to laugh. He told Dolores that she was quite
right, and repeated her favorite word, "Belissima!"

One evening when Dick was alone in the room a knock came to the door.

"Was he disengaged?"

"Oh, quite."

"The Signora in the room next--"

"Yes."

"Would be happy to see him."

"Now?"

"Yes, as soon as he liked."


[Illustration: I Kiss Hands.]


The Signora did not have to wait long. In less time than it takes to
tell this Dick stood with his best bow before her. How he
congratulated himself on having studied Italian! The lady reclined on
a sofa. She was about thirty, and undeniably pretty. A guitar lay at
her feet. Books were scattered around--French novels, and manuals of
devotion. Intelligence beamed from her large, expressive eyes. How
delightful! Here was an adventure, perhaps a fair conquest.

"Good-evening, Signor!"

"I kiss the hands to your ladyship," said Dick, mustering a sentence
from Ollendorff.

"Pardon me for this liberty."

"I assure you it gives me the greatest happiness, and I am wholly at
your service."

"I have understood that you are an American."

"I am, Signora."

"And this is your first visit to Naples?"

"My first, Signora."

"How does Naples please you?"

"Exceedingly. The beautiful city, the crowded streets, the delightful
views--above all, the most charming ladies."

A bow--a slight flush passed over the lady's face, and Dick whispered
to himself--

"Well put, Dick, my boy--deuced well put for a beginner."

"To come to the point," said the lady, with sigh.--("Ah, here we have
it!" thought Dick--the point--blessed moment!)--"I would not have
ventured to trouble you for any slight cause, Signor, but this nearly
concerns myself."--(Keep down--our heart, murmured Dick--cool, you
dog--cool!)--"My happiness and my tenderest feelings--"(Dick's
suffused eyes expressed deep sympathy.)--"I thought of you--"

"Ah, Signora!"

"And not being acquainted with you--"(What a shame!--_aside_)--I
concluded to waive all formality"--(Social forms are generally a
nuisance to ardent souls--_aside_)--"and to communicate at once with
you."

"Signora, let me assure you that this is the happiest moment in my
life."

The Signora looked surprised, but went on in a sort of preoccupied
way:

"I want to know if you can tell me any thing about my brother."

"Brother!"

"Who is now in America."

Dick opened his eyes.

"I thought that perhaps you could tell me how he is. I have not heard
from him for two years, and feel very anxious."

Dick sat for a moment surprised at this unexpected turn. The lady's
anxiety about her brother he could see was not feigned. So he
concealed his disappointment, and in his most engaging manner informed
her that he had not seen her brother; but if she could tell him his
name, and the place where he was living, he might be able to tell
something about him.


[Illustration: The Young Hussar.]


"His name," sighed the lady, "is Giulio Fanti."

"And the place?"

"Rio Janeiro."

"Rio Janeiro?"

"Yes," said the lady, slowly.

Dick was in despair. Not to know any thing of her brother would make
her think him stupid. So he attempted to explain:

"America," he began, "is a very large country--larger, in fact, than
the whole Kingdom of Naples. It is principally inhabited by savages,
who are very hostile to the whites. The whites have a few cities,
however. In the North the whites all speak English. In the South they
all speak Spanish. The South Americans are good Catholics, and
respect the Holy Father; but the English in the North are all
heretics. Consequently there is scarcely any communication between
the two districts."

The lady had heard somewhere that in the American wars they employed
the savages to assist them. Dick acknowledged the truth of this with
candor, but with pain. She would see by this why he was unable to tell
her any thing about her brother. His not knowing that brother was now
the chief sorrow of his life. The lady earnestly hoped that Rio
Janeiro was well protected from the savages.

"Oh, perfectly so. The fortifications of that city are impregnable."

Dick thus endeavored to give the lady an idea of America. The
conversation gradually tapered down until the entrance of a gentleman
brought it to a close. Dick bowed himself out.

"At any rate," he murmured, "if the lady wanted to inspect me she had
a chance, and if she wanted to pump me she ought to be satisfied."


***


One evening Buttons and Dick came in and found a stranger chatting
familiarly with the landlord and a young hussar. The stranger was
dressed like a cavalry officer, and was the most astounding fop that
the two Americans had ever seen. He paced up and down, head erect,
chest thrown out, sabre clanking, spurs jingling, eyes sparkling,
ineffable smile. He strode up to the two youths, spun round on one
heel, bowed to the ground, waved his hand patronizingly, and welcomed
them in.

"A charming night, gallant gentlemen. A bewitching night. All Naples
is alive. All the world is going. Are you?"

The young men stared, and coldly asked where?

"Ha, ha, ha!" A merry peal of laughter rang out. "Absolutely--if the
young Americans are not stupid. They don't know me!"

"Dolores!" exclaimed Buttons.

"Yes," exclaimed the other. "How do you like me? Am I natural?--eh?
military? Do I look terrible?"

And Dolores skipped up and down with a strut beyond description,
breathing hard and frowning.

"If you look so fierce you will frighten us away," said Buttons.

"How do I look, now?" she said, standing full before him with folded
arms, _à la_ Napoleon at St. Helena.

"Bellissima! Bellissima!" said Buttons, in unfeigned admiration.

"Ah!" ejaculated Dolores, smacking her lips, and puffing out her
little dimpled cheeks. "Oh!" and her eyes sparkled more brightly with
perfect joy and self-contentment.

"And what is all this for?"

"Is it possible that you do not know?"

"I have no idea."

"Then listen. It is at the Royal Opera-house. It will be the greatest
masquerade ball ever given."

"Oh--a masquerade ball!--and you?"

"I? I go as a handsome young officer to break the hearts of the
ladies, and have such rare sport. My brave cousin, yonder gallant
soldier, goes with me."

The brave cousin, who was a big, heavy-headed fellow, grinned in
acknowledgment, but said nothing.

The Royal Opera-house at Naples is the largest, the grandest, and the
most capacious in the world. An immense stage, an enormous pit all
thrown into one vast room, surrounded by innumerable boxes, all
rising, tier above tier--myriads of dancers, myriads of masks,
myriads of spectators--so the scene appeared. Moreover, the Neapolitan
is a born buffoon. Nowhere is he so natural as at a masquerade. The
music, the crowd, the brilliant lights, the incessant motion are all
intoxication to this impressible being.

The Senator lent the countenance of his presence--not from curiosity,
but from benevolent desire to keep his young friends out of trouble.
He narrowly escaped being prohibited from entering by making an
outrageous fuss at the door about some paltry change. He actually
imagined that it was possible to get the right change for a large coin
in Naples.

The multitudes of moving forms made the new-comers dizzy. There were
all kinds of fantastic figures. Lions polked with sylphs, crocodiles
chased serpents, giants walked arm in arm with dwarfs, elephants on
two legs ran nimbly about, beating every body with hope probosces of
inflated India rubber. Pretty girls in dominos abounded; every body
whose face was visible was on the broad grin. All classes were
represented. The wealthier nobles entered into the spirit of the scene
with as great gusto as the humblest artisan who treated his obscure
sweet-heart with an entrance ticket.


[Illustration: A Perplexed Senator.]


Our friends all wore black dominos, "just for the fun of the thing."
Every body knew that they were English or American, which is just
the same; for Englishmen and Americans are universally recognizable by
the rigidity of their muscles.

A bevy of masked beauties were attracted by the colossal form of the
Senator. To say that he was bewildered would express his sensations
but faintly. He was distracted. He looked for Buttons. Buttons was
chatting with a little domino. He turned to Dick. Dick was walking off
with a rhinoceros. To Figgs and the Doctor. Figgs and the Doctor were
exchanging glances with a couple of lady codfishes and trying to look
amiable. The Senator gave a sickly smile.

"What'n thunder'll I do?" he muttered.

Two dominos took either arm. A third stood smilingly before him. A
fourth tried to appropriate his left hand.

"Will your Excellency dance with one of us at a time," said No. 4,
with a Tuscan accent, "or will you dance with all of us at once?"

The Senator looked helplessly at her.

"He does not know how," said No 1. "He has passed his life among the
stars."

"Begone, irreverent ones!" said No. 3. "This is an American prince.
He said I should be his partner."

"Boh! malidetta!" cried No. 2. "He told me the same; but he said he
was a Milor Inglese."

No. 4 thereupon gave a smart pull at the Senator's hand to draw him
off. Whereupon No. 2 did the same. No. 3 began singing "Come e bello!"
and No. 1 stood coaxing him to "Fly with her." A crowd of idlers
gathered grinningly around.

"My goodness!" groaned the Senator. "Me! The--the representative of a
respectable constituency; the elder of a Presbyterian church; the
president of a temperance society; the deliverer of that famous Fourth
of July oration; the father of a family--me! to be treated thus! Who
air these females? Air they countesses? Is this the way the foreign
nobility treat an American citizen?"

But the ladies pulled and the crowd grinned. The Senator endeavored to
remonstrate. Then he tried to pull his arms away; but finding that
impossible he looked in a piteous manner, first at one, and then at
the other.


[Illustration: Exit Senator.]


"He wants, I tell you, to be my partner," said No. 1.

"Bah!" cried No. 2, derisively; "he intends to be mine. I understand
the national dance of his country--the famous jeeg Irelandese."

"MRS.!!!"

The Senator shouted this one word in a stentorian voice. The ladies
dropped his arms and started.

"I say, Mrs.!" cried the Senator. "Look here. Me no speeky
_I_talian--me American. Me come just see zee fun, you know--zee
spaort--you und-stand? Ha? Hum!"

The ladies clapped their hands, and cried "Bravo!"

Quite a crowd gathered around them. The Senator, impressed with the
idea that, to make foreigners understand, it was only necessary to
yell loud enough, bawled so loudly that ever so many dancers stopped.
Among these Buttons came near with the little Domino. Little Domino
stopped, laughed, clapped her hands, and pointed to the Senator.

The Senator was yelling vehemently in broken English to a large crowd
of masks. He told them that he had a large family; that he owned a
factory; that he was a man of weight, character, influence,
popularity, wealth; that he came here merely to study their manners
and customs. He disclaimed any intention to participate in their
amusements just then, or to make acquaintances.--He would be proud to
visit them all at their houses, or see them at his apartments, or--or
--in short, would be happy to do any thing if they would only let him
go in peace.

The crowd laughed, chattered, and shouted "Bravo!" at every pause. The
Senator was covered with shame and perspiration. What would have
become of him finally it is impossible to guess; but, fortunately, at
this extremity he caught sight of Buttons. To dash away from the
charming ladies, to burst through the crowd, and to seize the arm of
Buttons was but the work of a moment.

"Buttons! Buttons! Buttons! Help me! These confounded _I_talian
wimmin! Take them away. Tell them to leave me be. Tell them I don't
know them--don't want to have them hanging round me. Tell them _I'm
your father_!" cried the Senator, his voice rising to a shout in his
distraction and alarm.

About 970 people were around him by this time.

"Goodness!" said Buttons; "you are in a fix. Why did you make yourself
so agreeable? and to so many? Why, it's too bad. One at a time!"

"Buttons," said the Senator, solemnly, "is this the time for joking?
For Heaven's sake get me away."

"Come then; you must run for it."

He seized the Senator's right arm. The little Domino clung to the
other. Away they started. It was a full run. A shout arose. So arises
the shout in Rome along the bellowing Corso when the horses are
starting for the Carnival races. It was a long, loud shout, gathering
and growing and deepening as it rose, till it burst on high in one
grand thunder-clap of sound.

Away the Senator went like the wind. The dense crowd parted on either
side with a rush. The Opera-house is several hundred feet in length.
Down this entire distance the Senator ran, accompanied by Buttons and
the little Domino. Crowds cheered him as he passed. Behind him the
passage-way closed up, and a long trail of screaming maskers pressed
after him. The louder they shouted the faster the Senator ran. At
length they reached the other end.

"Do you see that box?" asked Buttons, pointing to one on the topmost
tier.

"Yes, yes."

"Fly! Run for your life! It's your only hope. Get in there and hide
till we go."

The Senator vanished. Scarcely had his coat-tails disappeared through
the door when the pursuing crowd arrived there. Six thousand two
hundred and twenty-seven human beings, dressed in every variety of
costume, on finding that the runner had vanished, gave vent to their
excited feelings by a loud cheer for the interesting American who had
contributed so greatly to the evening's enjoyment.

Unlucky Senator! Will it be believed that even in the topmost box his
pursuers followed him? It was even so. About an hour afterward
Buttons, on coming near the entrance, encountered him. His face was
pale but resolute, his dress disordered. He muttered a few words about
"durned _I_talian countesses," and hurried out.

Buttons kept company with the little Domino. Never in his life had he
passed so agreeable an evening. He took good care to let his companion
know this. At length the crowd began to separate. The Domino would go.
Buttons would go with her. Had she a carriage? No, she walked. Then he
would walk with her.

Buttons tried hard to get a carriage, but all were engaged. But a walk
would not be unpleasant in such company. The Domino did not complain.
She was vivacious, brilliant, delightful, bewitching. Buttons had been
trying all evening to find out who she was. In vain.

"Who in the world is she? I must find out, so that I may see her
again." This was his one thought.

They approached the Strada Nuova.

"She is not one of the nobility at any rate, or she would not live
here."

They turned up a familiar street.

"How exceedingly jolly! She can't live far away from my lodgings."

They entered the Strada di San Bartolomeo.

"Hanged if she don't live on the same street!"

A strange thought occurred. It was soon confirmed. They stopped in
front of Buttons's own lodgings. A light gleamed over the door.
Another flashed into the soul of Buttons. That face, dimpled, smiling,
bewitching; flashing, sparking eyes; little mouth with its rosy lips!

"_Delores_!"

"Blessed Saints and Holy Virgin! Is it possible that you never
suspected?"

"Never. How could I when I thought you were dressed like a dragoon?"

"And you never passed so happy an evening; and never had so
fascinating and charming a partner; and you never heard such a voice
of music as mine; and you can never forget me through all life; and
you never can hope to find any one equal to me!" said Dolores, in her
usual laughing volubility.

"Never!" cried Buttons.

"Oh dear! I think you must love me very much."

And a merry peal of laughter rang up the stairs as Dolores, evading
Buttons's arm, which that young man had tried to pass about her
waist, dashed away into the darkness and out of sight.



CHAPTER VIII.


ADVENTURES AND MISADVENTURES.--A WET GROTTO AND A BOILING LAKE.--THE
TWO FAIR SPANIARDS, AND THE DONKEY RIDE.


The Grotto of Posilippo is a most remarkable place, and, in the
opinion of every intelligent traveller, is more astonishing than even
the Hoosac Tunnel, which nobody will deny except the benighted
Bostonian.

The city of Pozzuoli is celebrated for two things; first, because St.
Paul once landed there, and no doubt hurried away as fast as he could;
and, secondly, on account of the immense number of beggars that throng
around the unhappy one who enters its streets.

The Dodge Club contributed liberally. The Doctor gave a cork-screw;
the Senator, a bladeless knife; Dick, an old lottery ticket; Buttons,
a candle-stump; Mr. Figgs, a wild-cat banknote. After which
they all hurried away on donkeys as fast as possible.

The donkey is in his glory here. Nowhere else does he develop such a
variety of forms--nowhere attain such an infinity of sizes--nowhere
emit so impressive a bray. It is the Bray of Naples. "It is like the
thunder of the night when the cloud bursts o'er Cona, and a thousand
ghosts shriek at once in the hollow wind."

There is a locality in this region which the ancient named after a
certain warm region which no reined person ever permits himself to
mention in our day. Whatever it may have been when some Roman Tityrus
walked pipe in mouth along its shore, its present condition renders
its name singularly appropriate and felicitous. Here the party amused
themselves with a lunch of figs and oranges, which they gathered
indiscriminately from orchards and gardens on the road-side.

There was the Lake Lucrine. Averno and the Elysian Fields were there.
The ruins of Caligula's Bridge dotted the surface of the sea. Yet the
charms of all these classic scenes were eclipsed in the tourists' eyes
by those of a number of pretty peasants girls who stood washing
clothes in the limpid waters of the lake.

It was in this neighborhood that they found the Grotto of the Cumaean
Sibyl. They followed the intelligent cicerone, armed with torches,
into a gloomy tunnel. The intelligent cicerone walked before them with
the air of one who had something to show. Seven stoat peasants
followed after. The cavern was as dark as possible, and extended
apparently for an endless distance.

After walking a distance of about two miles, according to the
Senator's calculation, they came to the centre of interest. It was a
hole in the wall of the tunnel. The Americans were given to understand
that they must enter here.

"But how?"

"How? Why on the broad backs of the stout peasants, who all stood
politely offering their humble services." The guide went first.
Buttons, without more ado, got on the back of the nearest Italian and
followed. Dick came next; then the Doctor. Mr. Figgs and the Senator
followed in the same dignified manner.

They descended for some distance, and finally came to water about
three feet deep. As the roof was low, and only rose three feet above
the water, the party had some difficulty, not only in keeping their
feet out of the water, but also in breathing. At length they came to
a chamber about twelve feet square. From this they passed on to
another of the same size. Thence to another. And so on.

Arriving at the last, Bearer No. 1 quietly deposited Buttons on a
raised stone platform, which fortunately arose about half an inch
above the water. Three other bearers did the same. Mr. Figgs looked
forlornly about him, and, being a fat man, seemed to grow somewhat
apoplectic. Dick beguiled the time by lighting his pipe.

"So this is the Grotto of the Cumaean Sibyl, is it?" said Buttons.
"Then all I can say is that--"

What he was going to say was lost by a loud cry which interrupted
him and startled all. It came from the other chamber.

"The Senator!" said Dick.

It was indeed his well-known voice. There was a splash and a groan.
Immediately afterward a man staggered into the room. He was deathly
pale, and tottered feebly under the tremendous weight of the Senator.
The latter looked as anxious as his trembling bearer.

"Darn it! I say," he cried. "Darn it! Don't! Don't!"

"Diavo-lo!" muttered the Italian.

And in the next instant plump went the Senator into the water. A
scene then followed that baffles description. The Senator, rising
from his unexpected bath, foaming and sputtering, the Italian praying
for forgiveness, the loud voices of all the others shouting, calling,
and laughing.

The end of it was that they all left as soon as possible, and the
Senator indignantly waded back through the water himself. A furious
row with the unfortunate bearer, whom the Senator refused to pay,
formed a beautifully appropriate termination to their visit to this
classic spot. The Senator was so disturbed by this misadventure that
his wrath did not subside until his trowsers were thoroughly dried.
This, however, was accomplished at last, under the warm sun, and then
he looked around him with his usual complacency.

The next spot of interest which attracted them was the Hall of the
Subterranean Lake. In this place there is a cavern in the centre of
a hill, which is approached by a passage of some considerable length,
and in the subterranean cavern a pool of water boils and bubbles. The
usual crowd of obliging peasantry surrounded them as they entered the
vestibule of this interesting place. It was a dingy-looking chamber,
out of which two narrow subterranean passages ran. A grimy, sooty,
blackened figure stood before them with torches.


[Illustration: Darn it!--Don't.]


"Follow!"

This was all that he condescended to say, after lighting his torches
and distributing them to his visitors. He stalked off, and stooping
down, darted into the low passage-way. The cicerone followed, then
Buttons, then Dick, then the Senator, then the Doctor, then Mr. Figgs.
The air was intensely hot, and the passage-way grew lower. Moreover,
the smoke from the torches filled the air, blinding and choking them.

Mr. Figgs faltered. Fat, and not by any means nimble, he came to a
pause about twenty feet from the entrance, and, making a sudden turn,
darted out. The Doctor was tall and unaccustomed to bend his
perpendicular form. Half choked and panting heavily he too gave up,
and turning about rushed out after Mr. Figgs.

The other three went on bravely. Buttons and Dick, because they had
long since made up their minds to see every thing that presented
itself, and the Senator, because when he started on an enterprise he
was incapable of turning back.

After a time the passage went sloping steeply down. At the bottom of
the declivity was a pond of water bubbling and steaming. Down this
they ran. Now the stone was extremely slippery, and the subterranean
chamber was but faintly illuminated by the torches. And so it came to
pass that, as the Senator ran down after the others, they had barely
reached the bottom when

_Thump_!

At once all turned round with a start.

Not too quickly; for there lay the Senator, on his back, sliding, in
an oblique direction, straight toward the pool. His booted feet were
already in the seething waves; his nails were dug into the slippery
soil; he was shouting for help.

To grasp his hand, his collar, his leg--to jerk him away and place
him upright, was the work of a shorter time than is taken to tell it.

The guide now wanted them to wait till he boiled an egg. The Senator
remonstrated, stating that he had already nearly boiled a leg. The
Senator's opposition overpowered the wishes of the others, and the
party proceeded to return. Pale, grimy with soot, panting, covered
with huge drops of perspiration, they burst into the chamber where the
others were waiting--first Buttons, then Dick, then the Senator
covered with mud and slime.

The latter gentleman did not answer much to the eager inquiries of
his friends, but maintained a solemn silence. The two former loudly
and volubly descanted on the accumulated horrors of the subterranean
way, the narrow passage, the sulphurous air, the lake of boiling
floods.

In this outer chamber their attention was directed to a number of
ancient relics. These are offered for sale in such abundance that
they may be considered stable articles of commerce in this country.


[Illustration: Thump!]


So skillful are the manufacturers that they can produce unlimited
supplies of the following articles, and many others too numerous
to mention:


Cumaean and Oscan coins;
Ditto and ditto statuettes;
Ditto and ditto rings;
Ditto and ditto bracelets;
Ditto and ditto images;
Ditto and ditto toilet articles;
Ditto and ditto vases;
Ditto and ditto flasks;
Relics of Parthenope;
Ditto of Baiae;
Ditto of Misenum;
Ditto of Paestum;
Ditto of Herculaneum;
Ditto of Pompeii;
Ditto of Capraea;
Ditto of Capua;
Ditto of Cumae--


And other places too numerous to mention; all supplied to order; all
of which are eaten by rust, and warranted to be covered by the canker
and the mould of antiquity.

The good guide earnestly pressed some interesting relics upon their
attention, but without marked success. And now, as the hour of dinner
approached, they made the best of their way to a neighboring inn,
which commanded a fine view of the bay. Emerging from the chamber the
guide followed them, offering his wares.

"Tell me," he cried, in a sonorous voice, "oh most noble Americans!
how much will you give for this most ancient vase?"

"Un' mezzo carlino," said Dick,

"Un' mezzo carlino!!!"

The man's hand, which had been uplifted to display the vase, fell
downward as he said this. His tall figure grew less and less distinct
as they went further away; but long after he was out of sight the
phantom of his reproachful face haunted their minds.

After dinner they went out on the piazza in front of the hotel. Two
Spanish ladies were there, whose dark eyes produced an instantaneous
effect upon the impressible heart of Buttons.

They sat side by side, leaning against the stone balustrade. They
were smoking cigarettes, and the effect produced by waving their
pretty hands as they took the cigarettes from their mouths was, to
say the least, bewildering.

Buttons awaited his opportunity, and did not have to wait long.
Whether it was that they were willing to give the young American a
chance, or whether it was really unavoidable, can not be said, but
certainly one of the fair Spaniards found that her cigarette had
gone out. A pretty look of despair, and an equally pretty gesture of
vexation, showed at once the state of things. Upon which Buttons
stepped up, and with a bow that would have done honor to Chesterfield,
produced a box of scented allumettes, and lighting one, gravely held
it forward. The fair Spaniard smiled bewitchingly, and bending
forward without hesitation to light her cigarette, brought her rosy
lips into bewildering proximity to Buttons's hand.

It was a trying moment.

The amiable expression of the ladies' faces, combined with the
softly-spoken thanks of the lady whom Buttons first addressed,
encouraged him. The consequence was, that in about five minutes more
he was occupying a seat opposite them, chatting as familiarly as
though he were an old playmate. Dick looked on with admiration; the
others with envy.

"How in the world does it happen," asked the Senator, "that Buttons
knows the lingo of every body he meets?"


[Illustration: A Trying Moment.]


"He can't help it," said Dick. "These Continental languages are all
alike; know one, and you've got the key to the others--that is with
French, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese."

"And look at him now!" cried the Senator, his eye beaming with
cordial admiration.

"You may well look at him!" sighed Dick. "Two such pretty girls as
these won't turn up again in a hurry. Spaniards too; I always admired
them." And he walked down to the shore humming to himself something
about "the girls of Cadiz."

The ladies informed Buttons that they were travelling with their
brother, and had been through Russia, Germany, England, France, and
were now traversing Italy; did not like the three first-mentioned
countries, but were charmed with Italy.

Their _naïveté_ was delightful. Buttons found out that the name of
one was Lucia, and the other Ida. For the life of him he did not know
which he admired most; but, on the whole, rather inclined to the one
to whom he had offered the light--Ida.

He was equally frank, and let them know his name, his country, his
Creed. They were shocked at his creed, pleased with his country and
amused at his name, which they pronounced, "Señor Bo-to-nes."

After about an hour their brother came. He was a small man, very
active, and full of vivacity. Instead of looking fiercely at the
stranger, he shook hands with him very cordially. Before doing this,
however, he took one short, quick survey of his entire person, from
felt hat down to his Congress boots. The consequence was that Buttons
deserted his companions, and went off with the ladies.

Dick took the lead of the party on the return home. They viewed the
conduct of Buttons with displeasure. The Senator did not show his
usual serenity. The party were all riding on donkeys. To do this on
the minute animals which the Neapolitans furnish it is necessary to
seat one's self on the stern of the animal, and draw the legs well
up, so that they may not trail on the ground. The appearance of the
rider from behind is that of a Satyr dressed in the fashion of the
nineteenth century. Nothing can be more ridiculous than the sight
of a figure dressed in a frock-coat and beaver hat, and terminated
by the legs and tail of a donkey.

As it was getting late the party harried. The donkeys were put on the
full gallop. First rode the guide, then the others, last of whom was
the Senator, whose great weight was a sore trial to the little donkey.

They neared Pozzuoli, when suddenly the Senator gave his little beast
a smart whack to hasten his steps. The donkey lost all patience. With
a jump he leaped forward. Away he went, far ahead of the others. The
saddle whose girth was rather old, slipped off. The Senator held on
tightly. In vain! Just as he rounded a corner formed by a projecting
sandbank the donkey slipped. Down went the rider; down went the donkey
also--rider and beast floundering in the dusty road.

A merry peal of ill-suppressed laughter came from the road-side as he
rolled into view. It came from a carriage. In the carriage were the
Spaniards--there, too, was Buttons.


[Illustration: Senator And Donkey.]



CHAPTER IX.


A DRIVE INTO THE COUNTRY.--A FIGHT WITH A VETTURINO.--THE EFFECT OF
EATING "HARD BOILED EGGS."--WHAT THEY SAW AT PAESTUM.--FIVE TEMPLES
AND ONE "MILL."


To hire a carriage in Naples for any length of time is by no means
an easy thing. It is necessary to hold long commune with the
proprietor, to exert all the wiles of masterly diplomacy to circumvent
cunning by cunning, to exert patience, skill, and eloquence. After a
decision has been reached, there is but one way in which you can hold
your vetturino to his bargain, and that is to bind him to it by
securing his name to a contract. Every vetturino has a printed form
all ready. If he can't write his name, he does something equally
binding and far simpler. He dips his thumb in the ink-bottle and
stamps it on the paper. If that is not his signature, what else
is it?

"Thus," said one, "Signor Adam signed the marriage-contract with
Signora Eva."

After incredible difficulties a contract had been drawn up and
signed by the horny thumb of a certain big vetturino, who went by the
name of "II Piccolo." It was to the effect that, for a certain
specified sum, Il Piccolo should take the party to Paestum and back
with a detour to Sorrento.

It was a most delightful morning. All were in the best of spirits.
So they started. On for miles through interminable streets of houses
that bordered the circular shore, through crowds of sheep, droves of
cattle, dense masses of human beings, through which innumerable
caleches darted like meteors amid the stars of heaven. Here came the
oxen of Southern Italy, stately, solemn, long-horned, cream-colored;
there marched great droves of Sorrento hogs--the hog of hogs--a
strange but not ill-favored animal, thick in hide, leaden in color,
hairless as a hippopotamus. The flesh of the Sorrento hog bears the
same relation to common pork that "Lubin's Extrait" bears to the
coarse scent of a country grocery. A pork-chop from the Sorrento
animal comes to the palate with the force of a new revelation; it is
the highest possibility of pork--the apotheosis of the pig! Long lines
of macaroni-cooks doing an enormous business; armies of dealers in
anisette; crowds of water-carriers; throngs of fishermen, carrying
nets and singing merry songs--"Ecco mi!" "Ecco la!"--possible
Massaniellos every man of them, I assure you, Sir. And--enveloping
all, mingling with all, jostling all, busy with the busiest, idle
with the idlest, noisy with the noisest, jolly with the jolliest,
the fat, oily, swarthy, rosy--(etc., for further epithets see
preceding pages)--_Lazaroni_!

Every moment produces new effects in the ever-shifting scenes of
Naples. Here is the reverse of monotony; if any thing becomes
wearisome, it is the variety. Here is the monotony of incessant
change. The whole city, with all its vast suburbs, lives on the
streets.

The Senator wiped his fevered brow. He thought that for crowds,
noise, tumult, dash, hurry-skurry, gayety, life, laughter, joyance,
and all that incites to mirth, and all that stirs the soul, even New
York couldn't hold a candle to Naples.

Rabelais ought to have been a Neapolitan.

Then, as the city gradually faded into the country, the winding road
opened up before them with avenues of majestic trees--overhanging,
arching midway--forming long aisles of shade. Myrtles, that grew up
into trees, scented the air. Interminable groves of figs and oranges
spread away up the hill, intermingled with the darker foliage of the
olive or cypress.

The mountains come lovingly down to bathe their feet in the sea. The
road winds among them. There is a deep valley around which rise lofty
hills topped with white villages or ancient towers, or dotted with
villas which peep forth from amid dense groves. As far as the eye can
reach the vineyards spread away. Not as in France or Germany,
miserable sandy fields with naked poles or stunted bushes; but
vast extents of trees, among which the vines leap in wild luxuriance,
hanging in long festoons from branch to branch, or intertwining with
the foliage.

"I don't know how it is," said the Senator, "but I'm cussed if I feel
as if this here country was ground into the dust. If it is, it is no
bad thing to go through the mill. I don't much wonder that these
_I_talians don't emigrate. If I owned a farm in this neighborhood I'd
stand a good deal of squeezin' before I'd sell out and go anywheres
else."

At evening they reached Salerno, a watering-place the sea-coast, and
Naples in miniature.

There is no town in Italy without its opera-house or theatre, and
among the most vivid and most precious of scenic delights the
pantomime commends itself to the Italian bosom. Of course there was a
pantomime at Salerno. It was a mite of a house; on a rough calculation
thirty feet by twenty; a double tier of boxes; a parquette about
twelve feet square; and a stage of about two-thirds that size.

Yet behold what the ingenuity of man can accomplish! On that stage
there were performed all the usual exhibitions of human passion, and
they even went into the production of great scenic displays, among
which a great storm in the forest was most prominent.

Polichinello was in his glory! On this occasion the joke of the
evening was an English traveller. The ideal Englishman on the
Continent is a never-failing source of merriment. The presence of
five Americans gave additional piquancy to the show. The corpulent,
double-chinned, red-nosed Englishman, with knee-breeches,
shoe-buckles, and absurd coat, stamped, swore, frowned, doubled up
his fists, knocked down waiters, scattered gold right and left, was
arrested, was tried, was fined; but came forth unterrified from every
persecution, to rave, to storm, to fight, to lavish money as before.

How vivid were the flashes of lightning produced by touching off some
cotton-wool soaked in alcohol! How terrific the peals of thunder
produced by the vibrations of a piece of sheet-iron! Whatever was
deficient in mechanical apparatus was readily supplied by the powerful
imagination of the Italians, who, though they had often seen all this
before, were not at all weary of looking at it, but enjoyed the
thousandth repetition as much as the first.

Those merry Italians!

There is an old, old game played by every vetturino.

When our travellers had returned to the hotel, and were enjoying
themselves in general conversation, the vetturino bowed himself in.
He was a good deal exercised in his mind. With a great preamble he
came to his point. As they intended to start early in the morning,
he supposed they would not object to settle their little bill now.

"_What_!" shouted Buttons, jumping up. "What bill? Settle a bill?
_We_ settle a bill? Are you mad?"

"Your excellencies intend to settle the bill, of course," said the
vetturino, with much phlegm.

"Our excellencies never dreamed of any such thing."

"Not pay? Ha! ha! You jest, Signor."

"Do you see this?" said Buttons, solemnly producing the contract.

"Well?" responded Il Piccolo.

"What is this?"

"Our contract."

"Do you know what it is that you have engaged to do?"

"To take you to Paestum."

"Yes; to Paestum and back, with a detour to Sorrento. Moreover, you
engage to supply us with three meals a day and lodgings, to all of
which we engage to pay a certain sum. What, then," cried Buttons,
elevating his voice, "in the name of all the blessed saints and
apostles, do you mean by coming to us about hotel bills?"

"Signor," said the vetturino, meekly, "when I made that contract I
fear I was too sanguine."

"Too sanguine!"

"And I have changed my mind since."

"Indeed?"

"I find that I am a poor man."

"Did you just find that out?"

"And that if I carry out this it will ruin me."

"Well?"

"So you'll have to pay for the hotel expenses yourselves," said
Il Piccolo, with desperation.

"I will forgive this insufferable insolence," said Buttons,
Majestically, "on condition that it never occurs again. Do you
see that?" he cried, in louder tones.

And he unfolded the contract, which he had been holding in his hand,
and sternly pointed to the big blotch of ink that was supposed to be
II Piccolo's signature.

"_Do you see that_!" he cried, in a voice of thunder.

The Italian did not speak.

"And _that_?" he cried, pointing to the signature of the witness.

The Italian opened his month to speak, but was evidently nonplused.

"You are in my power!" said Buttons, in a fine melodramatic tone, and
with a vivacity of gesture that was not without its effect on the
Italian. He folded the contract, replaced it in his breast-pocket, and
slapped it with fearful emphasis. Every slap seemed to go to the heart
of Il Piccolo.


[Illustration: Do You See That?]


"If you dare to try to back out of this agreement I'll have you up
before the police. I'll enforce the awful penalty that punishes the
non-performance of a solemn engagement. I'll have you arrested by
the Royal Guards in the name of His Majesty the King, and cause you
to be incarcerated in the lowest dungeons of St. Elmo. Besides, I
won't pay you for the ride thus far."

With this last remark Buttons walked to the door, and without another
word opened it, and motioned to Il Piccolo to leave. The vetturino
departed in silence.

On the following morning he made his appearance as pleasant as though
nothing had happened.

The carriage rolled away from Salerno. Broad fields stretched away on
every side. Troops of villagers marched forth to their labor. As they
went on they saw women working in the fields, and men lolling on the
fences.

"Do you call that the stuff for a free country?" cried the Senator,
whose whole soul rose up in arms against such a sight. "Air these
things men? or can such slaves as these women seem to be give birth
to any thing but slaves?"

"Bravo!" cried Buttons.

The Senator was too indignant to say more, and so fell into a fit of
musing.

"Dick," said Buttons, after a long pause, "you are as pale as a ghost.
I believe you must be beginning to feel the miasma from these plains."

"Oh no," said Dick, dolefully; "something worse."

"What's the matter?"

"Do you remember the eggs we had for dinner last evening?"

"Yes."

"That's what's the matter," said Dick, with a groan. "I can't explain;
but this, perhaps, will tell thee all I feel."

He took from his pocket a paper and handed it to Buttons. Around the
margin were drawn etchings of countless fantastic figures,
illustrating the following lines:


A NIGHTMARE.


"_Gorgons, and hydras, and chimeras dire_."


BY A VICTIM.


  Eggs! Eggs!! Eggs!!!
    Hard boiled eggs for tea!
  And oh! the horrible nightmare dream
    They brought to luckless me!

  The hippopotamus came;
    He sat upon my chest:
  The hippopotamus roared "I'll spot him!" as
    He trampled upon my breast.

  The big iguanodon hunched
    And rooted in under me:
  The big iguanodon raised by that pan o' done
    Overdone eggs for tea.

  The ichthyosaurus tried
    To roll me up in a ball;
  While all the three were grinning at me,
    And pounding me, bed and all.

  Hip! hip! hurrah!
    It was a little black pig,
  And a big bull-frog, and a bobtailed dog--
    All of them dancing a jig.

  And oh, the snakes! the snakes!
    And the boa constrictor too!
  And the cobra capello--a terrible fellow--
    Came to my horrified view.

  Snakes and horrible beasts,
    Frog, pig, and dog
  Hustled me, pushed me, tickled me, crushed me,
    Rolled me about like a log.

  The little blue devils came on;
    They rode on a needle's point;
  And the big giraffe, with asthmatic laugh,
    And legs all out of joint.

  Bats crawled into my ears,
    Hopping about in my brain;
  And grizzly bears rode up on mares,
    And then rode down again.

  An antediluvian roared,
    In the form of a Brahmin bull;
  And a Patagonian squeezed an onion,
    Filling my aching eyes full.

  The three blue bottles that sat
    Upon the historical stones
  Sang, "Hey diddle diddle"--two on a fiddle,
    The other one on the bones.

  "Whoo! whoo! whoo!
    Get up, get up, you beauty!
  Here come the shaved monkeys, a-ridlng on donkeys,
    Fresh from Bobberty Shooty."

  They raised me up in the air,
    Bed, body, and all,
  And carried me soon to the man in the moon,
    At the siege of Sebastopol.

  Down, down, down,
    Round, round, round,
  A whirlpool hurled me out of the world,
    And on, no bottom I found.

  Down, down, down,
    Whirl, whirl, whirl,
  And the Florentine boar was pacing the shore,
    His tail all out of curl.

  He smoked my favorite pipe,
    He blew a cloud of smoke,
  He pulled me out with his porcine snout,
    And hugging him, I awoke.


"Why, Dick," cried the Senator, "what precious nonsense!"

"It was intended to be so," said Dick.

"Well, but you might as well put on an _idee_. It must have some
meaning."

"Not a bit of it. It has no meaning; that is, no more than a dream
or a nightmare."

The Senator now began to discuss the nature of poetry, but was
suddenly interrupted by a shout--

"The Temples!"

The country about Paestum is one of the most beautiful in the world.
Between the mountains and the sea lies a luxuriant plain, and in the
middle of it is the ruined city. The outlines of walls and remnants of
gates are there. Above all rise five ancient edifices. They strolled
carelessly around. The marble floors of a good many private houses
are yet visible, but the stupendous temples are the chief attractions
here; above all, the majestic shrine of Neptune.

It was while standing with head thrown back, eyes and mouth opened
wide, and thoughts all taken up with a deep calculation, that the
Senator was startled by a sudden noise.

Turning hastily he saw something that made him run with the speed of
the wind toward the place where the noise arose. Buttons and Dick were
surrounded by a crowd of fierce-looking men, who were making very
threatening demonstrations. There were at least fifteen. As the
Senator ran up from one direction, so came up Mr. Figgs and the Doctor
from another.

"What is this?" cried the Senator, bursting in upon the crowd.

A huge Italian was shaking his fist in Buttons's face, and stamping
and gesticulating violently.

"These men say we must pay five piastres each to them for strolling
about their ground, and Buttons has told this big fellow that he will
give them five kicks each. There'll be some kind of a fight. They
belong to the Camorra." Dick said all this in a hurried under-tone.

"Camorry, what's that--brigands?"

"All the same."

"They're not armed, anyhow."

Just at this moment Buttons said something which seemed to sting the
Italians to the soul, for with a wild shout they rushed forward. The
Doctor drew out his revolver. Instantly Dick snatched it from him,
and rushing forward, drove back the foremost. None of them were armed.

"Stand off!" he cried, in Italian. "The fight is between this big
fellow and my friend. If any one of you interferes I'll put a bullet
through him."

The Italians fell back cursing. Buttons instantly divested himself of
his coat, vest, and collar. The Italian waited with a grim smile.

At one end were the Senator, the Doctor, Mr. Figgs; at the other the
Italian ruffians. In the middle Buttons and his big antagonist. Near
them Dick with his pistol.

The scene that followed had better be described in Dick's own words,
as he pencilled them in his memorandum-book, from time to time,
keeping a sharp lookout with his pistol also. Afterward the
description was retouched:


_Great mill at Paestum, between E. BUTTONS, Esq., Gentleman, and
Italian party called BEPPO_.

_1st Round_.--Beppo defiant, no attitude at all. Buttons assumed an
elegant pose. Beppo made a succession of wild strokes without any
aim, which were parried without effort. After which Buttons landed
four blows, one on each peeper, one on the smeller, and one on the
mug.

_First blood for Buttons_. Beppo considerably surprised. Rushed
furiously at Buttons, arms flying everywhere, struck over Buttons's
head. Buttons lightly made obeisance, and then fired a hundred-pounder
on Beppo's left auricular, which had the effect of bringing him to the
grass. _First knock down for Buttons_.

_2nd Round_.--Foreign population quite dumbfounded. Americans amused
but not excited. One hundred to one on Buttons eagerly offered, but no
takers. Beppo jumped to his feet like a wild cat. Eyes encircled with
ebon aurioles, olfactory quite demolished. Made a rush at Buttons,
who, being a member of the Dodge Club, dodged him, and landed a
rattler on the jugular, which again sent foreign party to grass.

_3d Round_.--Nimble to the scratch. Beppo badly mashed and raving.
Buttons unscathed and laughing; Beppo more cautious made a faint
attempt to get into Buttons. No go. Tried a little sparing, which
was summarily ended by a cannonade from Buttons directly in
his countenance.

_4th Round_.--Foreigners wild. Yelling to their man to go in. Don't
understand a single one of the rules of the P.R. Very benighted.
Need missionaries. Evinced strong determination to go in themselves,
but where checked by attitude of referee, who threatened to blow out
brains of first man that interfered. Beppo's face magnified
considerably. Appearance not at all prepossessing. Much distressed but
furious. Made a bound at Buttons, who calmly, and without any apparent
effort, met him with a terrific upper cut, which made the Italian's
gigantic frame tremble like a ship under the stroke of a big wave. He
tottered, and swung his arms, trying to regain his balance, when
another annihilator most cleanly administered by Buttons laid him low.
A great tumult rose among the foreigners. Beppo lay panting with no
determination to come to the scratch. At the expiration of usual time,
opponent not appearing. Buttons was proclaimed victor. Beppo very much
mashed. Foreigners very greatly cowed. After waiting a short time
Buttons resumed his garments and walked off with his friends.


[Illustration: The Mill At Paestum.]


After the victory the travellers left Paestum on their return.

The road that turns off to Sorrento is the most beautiful in the
world. It winds along the shore with innumerable turnings, climbing
hills, descending into valleys, twining around precipices. There are
scores of the prettiest villages under the sun, ivy-covered ruins,
frowning fortresses, lofty towers, and elegant villas.

At last Sorrento smiles out from a valley which is proverbial for
beauty, where, within its shelter of hills, neither the hot blast
of midsummer nor the cold winds of winter can ever disturb its
repose. This is the valley of perpetual spring, where fruits
forever grow, and the seasons all blend together, so that the same
orchard shows trees in blossom and bearing fruit.



CHAPTER X.


ON THE WATER, WHERE BUTTONS SEES A LOST IDEA AND GIVES CHASE TO IT,
TOGETHER WITH THE HEART-SICKENING RESULTS THEREOF.


On the following morning Buttons and Dick went a little way out of
town, and down the steep cliff toward the shore.

It was a classic spot. Here was no less a place than the cave of
Polyphemus, where Homer, at least, may have stood, if Ulysses didn't.
And here is the identical stone with which the giant was wont to
block up the entrance to his cavern.

The sea rolled before. Away down to the right was Vesuvius, starting
from which the eye took in the whole wide sweep of the shore, lined
with white cities, with a background of mountains, till the land
terminated in bold promontories.

Opposite was the Isle of Capri.

Myriads of white sails flashed across the sea. One of these arrested
the attention of Buttons, and so absorbed him that he stared fixedly
at it for half an hour without moving.

At length an exclamation burst from him:

"By Jove! It is! It is!"

"What is? What is?"

"The Spaniards!"

"Where?"

"In that boat."

"Ah!" said Dick, coolly, looking at the object pointed out by
Buttons.

It was an English sail-boat, with a small cabin and an immense
sail. In the stern were a gentleman and two ladies. Buttons was
confident that they were the Spaniards.


[Illustration: The Spaniards.]


"Well," said Dick, "what's the use of getting so excited about
it?"

"Why, I'm going back to Naples by water!"

"Are you? Then I'll go too. Shall we leave the others?"

"Certainly not, if they want to come with us."

Upon inquiry they found that the others had a strong objection to
going by sea. Mr. Figgs preferred the ease of the carriage. The
Doctor thought the sea air injurious. The Senator had the honesty
to confess that he was afraid of seasickness. They would not listen
to persuasion, but were all resolutely bent on keeping to the
carriage.

Buttons exhibited a feverish haste in searching after a boat. There
was but little to choose from among a crowd of odd-looking
fishing-boats that crowded the shore. However, they selected the
cleanest from among them, and soon the boat, with her broad sail
spread, was darting over the sea.

The boat of which they went in pursuit was far away over near the
other shore, taking long tacks across the bay. Buttons headed his
boat so as to meet the other on its return tack.

It was a magnificent scene. After exhausting every shore view of
Naples, there is nothing like taking to the water. Every thing
then appears in a new light. The far, winding cities that surround
the shore, the white villages, the purple Apennines, the rocky
isles, the frowning volcano.

This is what makes Naples supreme in beauty. The peculiar combinations
of scenery that are found there make rivalry impossible. For if you
find elsewhere an equally beautiful bay, you will not have so liquid
an atmosphere; if you have a shore with equal beauty of outline, and
equal grace in its long sweep of towering headland and retreating
slope, you will not have so deep a purple on the distant hills. Above
all, nowhere else on earth has Nature placed in the very centre of so
divine a scene the contrasted terrors of the black volcano.

Watching a chase is exciting; but taking part in it is much more so.
Buttons had made the most scientific arrangements. He had calculated
that at a certain point on the opposite shore the other boat would
turn on a new tack, and that if he steered to his boat to a point
about half-way over, he would meet them, without appearing to be in
pursuit. He accordingly felt so elated at the idea that he burst
forth into song.

The other boat at length had passed well over under the shadow of
the land. It did not turn. Further and further over, and still it
did not change its course. Buttons still kept the course which he
had first chosen; but finding that he was getting far out of the way
of the other boat, he was forced to turn the head of his boat
closer to the wind, and sail slowly, watching the others.

There was an island immediately ahead of the other boat. What was his
dismay at seeing it gracefully pass beyond the outer edge of the
island, turn behind it, and vanish. He struck the taffrail furiously
with his clenched hand. However, there was no help for it; so,
changing his course, he steered in a straight line after the other,
to where it had disappeared.

Now that the boat was out of sight Dick did not feel himself called
on to watch. So he went forward into the bow, and made himself a snug
berth, where he laid down; and lighting his pipe, looked dreamily out
through a cloud of smoke upon the charming scene. The tossing of the
boat and the lazy flapping of the sails had a soothing influence. His
nerves owned the lulling power. His eyelids grew heavy and gently
descended.

The wind and waves and islands and sea and sky, all mingled together
in a confused mass, came before his mind. He was sailing on clouds,
and chasing Spanish ladies through the sky. The drifting currents of
the air bore them resistlessly along in wide and never-ending curves
upward in spiral movements towards the zenith; and then off in
ever-increasing speed, with ever-widening gyrations, toward the
sunset, where the clouds grew red, and lazaroni grinned from behind--

A sudden bang of the huge sail struck by the wind, a wild creaking
of the boom, and a smart dash of spray over the bows and into his
face waked him from his slumber. He started up, half blinded, to
look around. Buttons sat gazing over the waters with an expression
of bitter vexation. They had passed the outer point of the island,
and had caught a swift current, a chopping sea, and a brisk breeze.
The other boat was nowhere to be seen. Buttons had already headed back
again.

"I don't see the other boat," said Dick. Buttons without a word
pointed to the left. There she was. She had gone quietly around the
island, and had taken the channel between it and the shore. All the
time that she had been hidden she was steadily increasing the distance
between them.

"There's no help for it," said Dick, "but to keep straight after
them."

Buttons did not reply, but leaned back with a sweet expression of
patience. The two boats kept on in this way for a long time; but
the one in which our friends had embarked was no match at all for
the one they were pursuing. At every new tack this fact became more
painfully evident. The only hope for Buttons was to regain by his
superior nautical skill what he might lose. Those in the other boat
had but little skill in sailing. These as length became aware that
they were followed, and regarded their pursuers with earnest
attention. It did not seem to have any effect.

"They know we are after them at last!" said Dick.

"I wonder if they can recognize us?"

"If they do they have sharp eyes. I'll be hanged if I can recognize
them. I don't see how you can."

"Instinct, Dick--instinct!" said Buttons, with animation.

"What's that flashing in their boat?"

"That?" said Buttons. "It's a spy-glass. I didn't notice it before."

"I've seen it for the last half-hour."

"Then they most recognize us. How strange that they don't slacken a
little! Perhaps we are not in full view. I will sit a little more
out the shade of the sail, so that they can recognize me."

Accordingly Buttons moved out to a more conspicuous place, and Dick
allowed himself to be more visible. Again the flashing brass was seen
in the boat, and they could plainly perceive that it was passed from
one to the other, while each took a long survey.

"They must be able to see us if they have any kind of a glass at all."

"I should think so," said Buttons, dolefully.

"Are you sure they are the Spaniards?"

"Oh! quite."

"Then I must say they might be a little more civil, and not keep
us racing after them forever!"

"Oh, I don't know; I suppose they wouldn't like to sail close up
to us."

"They needn't sail up to us, but they might give us a chance to hail
them."

"I don't think the man they have with them looks like Señor Francia."

"Francia? Is that his name? He certainly looks larger. He is larger."

"Look!"

As Buttons spoke the boat ahead fell rapidly to leeward. The wind had
fallen, and a current which they had struck upon bore them away. In
the effort to escape from the current the boat headed toward Buttons,
and when the wind again arose she continued to sail toward them. As
they came nearer Buttons's face exhibited a strange variety of
expressions.


[Illustration: A Thousand Pardons!]


They met.

In the other boat sat two English ladies and a tall gentleman, who
eyed the two young men fixedly, with a "stony British stare."

"A thousand pardons!" said Buttons, rising and bowing. "I mistook you
for some acquaintances."

Whereupon the others smiled in a friendly way, bowed, and said
something. A few commonplaces were interchanged, and the boats drifted
away out of hearing.



CHAPTER XI.


THE SENATOR HAS SUCH A FANCY FOR SEEKING USEFUL INFORMATION!--CURIOUS
POSITION OF A WISE, AND WELL-KNOWN, AND DESERVEDLY-POPULAR LEGISLATOR,
AND UNDIGNIFIED MODE OF HIS ESCAPE.


It was not much after ten in the morning when Buttons and Dick
returned. On reaching the hotel they found Mr. Figgs and the Doctor,
who asked them if they had seen the Senator. To which they replied by
putting the same question to their questioners.

He had not been seen since they had all been together last. Where was
he?

Of course there was no anxiety felt about him, but still they all
wished to have him near at hand, as it was about time for them to
leave the town. The vetturino was already grumbling, and it required
a pretty strong remonstrance from Buttons to silence him.

They had nothing to do but to wait patiently. Mr. Figgs and the Doctor
lounged about the sofas. Buttons and Dick strolled about the town.
Hearing strains of music as they passed the cathedral, they turned in
there to listen to the service. Why there should be service, and full
service too, they could not imagine.

"Can it be Sunday, Dick?" said Buttons, gravely.

"Who can tell?" exclaimed Dick, lost in wonder.

The cathedral was a small one, with nave and transept as usual, and in
the Italian Gothic style. At the end of the nave stood the high altar,
which was now illuminated with wax-candles, while priests officiated
before it. At the right extremity of the transact was the organ-loft,
a somewhat unusual position; while at the opposite end of the transept
was a smaller door. The church was moderately filled. Probably there
were as many people there as it ever had. They knelt on the floor with
their faces toward the altar, Finding the nave somewhat crowded,
Buttons and Dick went around to the door at the end of the transept,
and entered there. A large space was empty as far as the junction with
the nave. Into this the two young men entered, very reverently, and on
coming near to the place where the other worshipers were they knelt
down in the midst of them.

While looking before him, with his mind full of thoughts called up by
the occasion, and while the grand music of one of Mozart's masses was
filling his soul, Buttons suddenly felt his arm twitched. He turned.
It was Dick.

Buttons was horrified. In the midst of this solemn scene the young
man was convulsed with laughter. His features were working, his lips
moving, as he tried to whisper something which his laughter prevented
him from saying, and tears were in his eyes. At last he stuck his
handkerchief in his mouth and bowed down very low, while his whole
frame shook. Some of the worshipers near by looked scandalized,
others shocked, others angry. Buttons felt vexed. At last Dick raised
his face and rolled his eyes toward the organ-loft, and instantly
bowed his head again. Buttons looked up mechanically, following the
direction of Dick's glance. The next instant he too fell forward,
tore his handkerchief out of his pocket, while his whole frame shook
with the most painful convulsion of laughter.

And how dreadful is such a convulsion in a solemn place! In a church,
amid worshipers; perhaps especially amid worshipers of another creed,
for then one is suspected of offering deliberate insult. So it was
here. People near saw the two young men, and darted angry looks at
them.

Now what was it that had so excited two young men, who were by no
means inclined to offer insult to any one, especially in religious
matters?

It was this: As they looked up to the organ-loft they saw a figure
there.

The organ projected from the wall about six feet; on the left side
was the handle worked by the man who blew it, and a space for the
choir. On the right was a small narrow space not more than about
three feet wide, and it was in this space that they saw the figure
which produced such an effect on them.

It was the Senator. He stood there erect, bare-headed of course,
with confusion in his face and vexation and bewilderment. The sight
of him was enough--the astonishing position of the man, in such a
place at such a time. But the Senator was looking eagerly for help.
And he had seen them enter, and all his soul was in his eyes, and all
his eyes were fixed on those two.

As Dick looked up startled and confounded at the sight, the Senator
projected his head as far forward as he dared, frowned, nodded, and
then began working his lips violently as certain deaf and dumb people
do, who converse by such movements, and can understand what words are
said by the shape of the mouth in uttering them. But the effect was
to make the Senator buck like a man who was making grimaces, to
wager, like those in Victor Hugo's "Notre Dame." As such the
apparition was so over-powering that neither Buttons nor Dick dared
to look up for some time. What made it worse, each was conscious that
the other was laughing, so that self-control was all the more
difficult. Worse still, each knew that this figure in the organ-loft
was watching them with his hungry glance, ready the moment that they
looked up to begin his grimaces once more.

"That poor Senator!" thought Buttons; "how did he get there? Oh, how
did he get there?"

Yet how could he be rescued? Could he be? No. He must wait till the
service should be over.

Meanwhile the young men mustered sufficient courage to look up again,
and after a mighty struggle to gaze upon the Senator for a few
seconds at a time at least. There he stood, projecting forward his
anxious face, making faces as each one looked up.


[Illustration: The Senator.]


Now the people in the immediate vicinity of the two young men had
noticed their agitation as has already been stated, and, moreover,
they had looked up to see the cause of it. They too saw the Senator.
Others again, seeing their neighbors looking up, did the same, until
at last all in the transept were staring up at the odd-looking
stranger.

As Buttons and Dick looked up, which they could not help doing often,
the Senator would repeat his mouthings, and nods, and becks, and
looks of entreaty. The consequence was, that the people thought the
stranger was making faces at them. Three hundred and forty-seven
honest people of Sorrento thus found themselves shamefully insulted
in their own church by a barbarous foreigner, probably an Englishman,
no doubt a heretic. The other four hundred and thirty-six who knelt
in the nave knew nothing about it. They could not see the organ-loft
at all. The priests at the high altar could not see it, so that they
were uninterrupted in their duties. The singers in the organ-loft saw
nothing, for the Senator was concealed from their view. Those
therefore who saw him were the people in the transept, who now kept
staring fixedly, and with angry eyes, at the man in the loft.

There was no chance of getting him out of that before the service
was over, and Buttons saw that there might be a serious tumult when
the Senator came down among that wrathful crowd. Every moment made it
worse. Those in the nave saw the agitation of those in the transept,
and got some idea of the cause.

At last the service was ended; the singers departed, the priests
retired, but the congregation remained. Seven hundred and eighty-three
human beings waiting to take vengeance on the miscreant who had
thrown ridicule on the Holy Father by making faces at the faithful
as they knelt in prayer. Already a murmur arose on every side.

"A heretic! A heretic! A blasphemer! He has insulted us!"

Buttons saw that a bold stroke alone could save them. He burst into
the midst of the throng followed by Dick.

"Fly!" he cried. "Fly for your lives! _It is a madman_! Fly! Fly!"

A loud cry of terror arose. Instantaneous conviction flashed on the
minds of all. A madman! Yes. He could be nothing else.

A panic arose. The people recoiled from before that terrible madman.
Buttons sprang up to the loft. He seized the Senator's arm and dragged
him down. The people fled in horror. As the Senator emerged he saw
seven hundred and eighty-three good people of Sorrento scampering away
like the wind across the square in front of the cathedral.

On reaching the hotel he told his story. He had been peering about
in search of useful information, and had entered the cathedral.
After going through every part he went up into the organ-loft. Just
then the singers came. Instead of going out like a man, he dodged
them from some absurd cause or other, with a half idea that he would
get into trouble for intruding. The longer he stayed the worse it
was for him. At last he saw Buttons and Dick enter, and tried to
make signals.

"Well," said Buttons, "we had better leave. The Sorrentonians will be
around here soon to see the maniac. They will find out all about him,
and make us acquainted with Lynch law."

In a quarter of an hour more they were on their way back to Naples.



CHAPTER XII.


HERCULANEUM AND POMPEII, AND ALL THAT THE SIGHT OF THOSE FAMOUS PLACES
PRODUCED ON THE MINDS OF THE DODGE CLUB.


They had already visited Herculaneum, but the only feeling which had
been awakened by the sight of that ill-fated city was one of
unmitigated disgust. As honesty was the chief characteristic of the
whole party, they did not hesitate to express themselves with the
utmost freedom on this subject. They hoped for better things from
Pompeii. At any rate Pompeii was above ground; what might be there
would be visible. No fuss with torches. No humbugging with lanterns.
No wandering through long black passages. No mountains bringing forth
mice.

Their expectations were encouraged as they walked up the street of
Tombs leading to the Herculaneum Gate. Tombs were all around, any
quantity, all sizes, little black vaults full of pigeon-holes. These
they narrowly examined, and when the guide wasn't looking they filled
their pockets with the ashes of the dead.

"Strange," quoth the Senator, musingly, "that these ancient Pompey
fellers should pick out this kind of a way of getting buried. This
must be the reason why people speak of urns and ashes when they speak
of dead people."


[Illustration: Villa Of Diomedes.]


They walked through the Villa of Diomedes. They were somewhat
disappointed. From guide-books, and especially from the remarkably
well-got-up Pompeian court at Sydenham Palace, Buttons had been led to
expect something far grander. But in this, the largest house in the
city, what did he find? Mites of rooms, in fact closets, in which even
a humble modern would find himself rather crowded. There was scarcely
a decent-sized apartment in the whole establishment, as they all
indignantly declared. The cellars were more striking. A number of
earthern vessels of enormous size were in one corner.

"What are these?" asked the Senator.

"Wine jars."

"What?"

"Wine jars. They didn't use wooden casks."

"The more fools they. Now do you mean to say that wooden casks are
not infinitely more convenient than these things that can't stand up
without they are leaned against the wall? Pho!"

At one corner the guide stopped, and pointing down, said something.

"What does he say?" asked the Senator.

"He says if you want to know how the Pompeians got choked, stoop down
and smell that. Every body who comes here is expected to smell this
particular spot, or he can't say that he has seen Pompeii."


[Illustration: Phew!]


So down went the five on their knees, and up again faster than they
went down. With one universal shout of: "Phew-w-w-w-w-h-h-h!"

It was a torrent of sulphurous vapor that they inhaled.

"Now, I suppose," said the Senator, as soon as he could speak,
"that that there comes direct in a bee-line through a subterranean
tunnel right straight from old Vesuvius."

"Yes, and it was this that suggested the famous scheme for
extinguishing the volcano."

"How? What famous scheme?"

"Why, an English stock-broker came here last year, and smelled this
place, as every one must do. An idea struck him. He started up. He ran
off without a word. He went straight to London. There he organized a
company. They propose to dig a tunnel from the sea to the interior of
the mountain. When all is ready they will let in the water. There will
be a tremendous hiss. The volcano will belch out steam for about six
weeks; but the result will be that the fires will be put out forever."

From the Villa of Diomedes they went to the gate where the guard-house
is seen. Buttons told the story of the sentinel who died there on
duty, embellishing it with a few new features of an original
character.

"Now that may be all very well," said the Senator, "but don't ask me
to admire that chap, or the Roman army, or the system. It was all
hollow. Why, don't you see the man was a blockhead? He hadn't sense
enough to see that when the whole place was going to the dogs, it was
no good stopping to guard it. He'd much better have cleared out and
saved his precious life for the good of his country. Do you suppose a
Yankee would act that way?"

"I should suppose not."

"That man, Sir, was a machine, and nothing more. A soldier must know
something else than merely obeying orders."

By this time they had passed through the gate and stood inside. The
street opened before them for a considerable distance with houses on
each side. Including the sidewalks it might have been almost twelve
feet wide. As only the lower part of the walls of the houses was
standing, the show that they made was not imposing. There was no
splendor in the architecture or the material, for the style of the
buildings was extremely simple, and they were made with brick covered
with stucco.

After wandering silently through the streets the Senator at length
burst forth:

"I say it's an enormous imposition!"

"What?" inquired Buttons, faintly.

"Why, the whole system of Cyclopedias, Panoramas, Books of Travel,
Woodbridge's Geography, Sunday-school Books--"

"What do you mean?"

"I mean the descriptions they give of this place. The fellows who
write about it get into the heroics, and what with their descriptions,
and pictures, and moralizing, you believe it is a second Babylon. It
don't seem possible for any of them to tell the truth. Why, there
isn't a single decent-sized house in the place. Oh, it's small! it's
small!"

"It certainly might be larger."

"I know," continued the Senator, with a majestic wave of his hand--"I
know that I'm expected to find this here scene very impressive; but
I'll be hanged if I'm satisfied. Why, in the name of Heaven, when they
give us pictures of the place, can't they make things of the right
size? Why, I've seen a hundred pictures of that gate. They make it
look like a triumphant arch; and now that I'm here, durn me if I can't
touch the top of it when I stand on tiptoe."

In all his walk the Senator found only one thing that pleased him.
This was the celebrated Pompeian institution of a shop under the
dwelling-house.

"Whenever I see any signs of any thing like trade among these
ancients," said he, "I respect them. And what is more satisfactory
than to see a bake-shop or an eating-saloon in the lower story of
a palace?"

Their walk was terminated by the theatre and amphitheatre. The sight
of these were more satisfactory to the Senator.

"Didn't these fellows come it uncommon strong though in the matter
of shows?" he asked, with considerable enthusiasm. "Hey? Why,
we haven't got a single travelling circus, menagerie and all, that
could come any way near to this. After all, this town might have
looked well enough when it was all bran-new and painted up. It might
have looked so then; but, by thunder! it looks any thing but that
now. What makes me mad is to see every traveller pretend to get into
raptures about it now. Raptures be hanged! I ask you, as a sensible
man, is there any thing here equal to any town of the same population
in Massachusetts?"


[Illustration: A Street In Pompeii.]


Although the expectations which he had formed were not quite realized,
yet Buttons found much to excite interest after the first
disappointment had passed away. Dick excited the Senator's disgust
by exhibiting those, raptures which the latter had condemned.

The Doctor went by the Guide-book altogether, and regulated his
emotions accordingly. Having seen the various places enumerated there,
he wished no more. As Buttons and Dick wished to stroll further
among the houses, the other three waited for them in the amphitheatre,
where the Senator beguiled the time by giving his "idee" of an ancient
show.

It was the close of day before the party left. At the outer barrier an
official politely examined them. The result of the examination was
that the party was compelled to disgorge a number of highly
interesting souvenirs, consisting of lava, mosaic stones, ashes,
plaster, marble chips, pebbles, bricks, a bronze hinge, a piece of
bone, a small rag, a stick, etc.

The official apologized with touching politeness: "It was only a
form," he said. "Yet we must do it. For look you, Signori," and
here he shrugged up his shoulders, rolled his eyes, and puffed out
his lips in a way that was possible to none but an Italian, "were it
not thus the entire city would be carried away piecemeal!"



CHAPTER XIII.


VESUVIUS.--WONDERFUL ASCENT OF THE CONE.--WONDERFUL DESCENT INTO THE
CRATER.--AND MOST WONDERFUL DISAPPEARANCE OF MR. FIGGS, AFTER WHOM
ALL HIS FRIENDS GO, WITH THEIR LIVES IN THEIR HANDS.--GREAT SENSATION
AMONG SPECTATORS.


To every visitor to Naples the most prominent object is Vesuvius. The
huge form of the volcano forever stands before him. The long pennon of
smoke from its crater forever floats out triumphantly in the air. Not
in the landscape only, but in all the picture-shops. In these
establishments they really seem to deal in nothing but prints and
paintings of Vesuvius.

It was a lovely morning when a carriage, filled with Americans, drew
up on an inn near the foot of the mountain. There were guides
without number waiting, like beasts of prey, to fall on them; and
all the horses of the country--a wonderful lot--an amazing lot--a
lean, cranky, raw-boned, ill-fed, wall-eyed, ill-natured, sneaking,
ungainly, half-foundered, half-starved lot; afflicted with all the
diseases that horse-flesh is heir to. There were no others, so but
little time was wasted. All were on an equal footing. To have a
preference was out of the question, so they amused themselves with
picking out the ugliest.

When the horses were first brought out Mr. Figgs looked uneasy,
and made some mysterious remarks about walking. He thought such nags
were an imposition. He vowed they could go faster on foot. On foot!
The others scouted the idea. Absurd! Perhaps he wasn't used to such
beasts. Never mind. He mustn't be proud. Mr. Figgs, however, seemed
to have reasons which were strictly private, and announced his
intention of walking. But the others would not hear of such a thing.
They insisted. They forced him to mount. This Mr. Figgs at length
accomplished, though he got up on the wrong side, and nearly pulled
his horse over backward by pulling at the curb-rein, shouting all
the time, in tones of agony, "Who-a!"

At length they all set out, and, with few interruptions, arrived at
a place half-way up the mountain called The Hermitage. Here they
rested, and leaving their horses behind, walked on over a barren
region to the foot of the cone. All around was the abomination of
desolation. Craggy rocks, huge, disjointed masses of shattered
lava-blocks, cooled off into the most grotesque shapes, mixed with
ashes, scoriae, and pumice-stones. The cone towered frowningly above
their heads. Looking up, the aspect was not enticing. A steep slope
ran up for an immense distance till it touched the smoky canopy.

On one side it was covered with loose sand, but in other places it
was all overlaid with masses of lava fragments. The undertaking
seemed prodigious.

The Senator looked up with a weary smile, but did not falter; the
Doctor thought they would not be able to get up to the top, and
proposed returning; the others declined; whereupon the Doctor
slowly sauntered back to the Hermitage. Mr. Figgs, whom the ride had
considerably shaken, expressed a desire to ascend but felt doubtful
about his wind. Dick assured him that he would find plenty when he
got to the top. The guides also came to his relief. Did he want to
go? Behold them. They had chairs to carry him up or straps to pull
him. Their straps were so made that they could envelop the traveller
and allow him to be pulled comfortably up. So Mr. Figgs gracefully
resigned himself to the guides, who in a short time had adjusted
their straps, and led him to the foot of the cone.

Now for the ascent.


[Illustration: The Ascent Of Vesuvius.]


Buttons went first. Like a young chamois this youth bounded up,
leaping from rock to rock, and steering in a straight line for the
summit. Next the Senator, who mounted slowly and perseveringly, as
though he had a solemn duty to perform, and was determined to do it
thoroughly. Then came Dick. More fitful. A few steps upward: then a
rest; then a fresh start; followed by another rest. At length he sat
down about one-third of the way up and took a smoke. Behind him Mr.
Figgs toiled up, pulled by the panting guides. Three stout men in
front--two others boosting from behind.

A long description might be given of this remarkable ascent. How Mr.
Figgs aggravated the guides almost beyond endurance by mere force of
inertia. Having committed himself to them he did it thoroughly, and
not by one single act of exertion did he lessen their labor. They
pulled, pushed, and shouted; then they rested; then they rose again
to pull, to push, to shout, and to rest as before; then they implored
him in the most moving terms to do something to help them, to put
one foot before the other, to brace himself firmly--in short, to do
any thing.

In vain. Mr. Figgs didn't understand a word. He was unmovable. Then
they threatened to drop him and leave him half-way. The threat was
disregarded. Mr. Figgs sat on a stone while they rested and smiled
benignantly at them. At last, maddened by his impassibility, they
screamed at him and at one another with furious gesticulations, and
then tearing off the straps, they hurried up the slope, leaving him
on the middle of the mount to take care of himself.

It might be told how the Senator toiled up slowly but surely, never
stopping till he had gained the summit; or how Buttons, who arrived
there first, spent the time in exploring the mysteries of this
elevated region; or how Dick stopped every twenty paces to rest and
smoke; how he consumed much time and much tobacco; and how he did not
gain the summit until twenty minutes after the serene face of the
Senator had confronted the terrors of the crater.

Before these three there was a wonderful scene. Below them lay the
steep sides of the cone, a waste of hideous ruin--


  "Rocks, crags, and mounds confusedly hurled,
    The fragments of a ruined world."


Before them was the crater, a vast abyss, the bottom of which was
hidden from sight by dense clouds of sulphurous smoke which forever
ascended. Far away on the other side rose the opposite wall of
abyss--black, rocky cliffs that rose precipitously upward. The side
on which they stood sloped down at a steep angle for a few hundred
feet, and then went abruptly downward. A mighty wind was blowing
and carried all the smoke away to the opposite side of the crater,
so that by getting down into the shelter of a rock they were quite
comfortable.

The view of the country that lay beneath was superb. There lay
Naples with its suburbs, extending for miles along the shore, with
Portici, Castellamare, and the vale of Sorrento. There rose the hills
of Baiae, the rock of Ischia, and the Isle of Capri. There lay
countless vineyards, fields forever green, groves of orange and
fig-trees, clusters of palms and cypresses. Mountains ascended all
around, with many heights crowned with castles or villages. There lay
the glorious Bay of Naples, the type of perfect beauty. Hundreds of
white sails dotted the intense blue of its surface. Ships were
there at anchor, and in full sail. Over all was a sky such as is
seen only in Italy, with a depth of blue, which, when seen in
paintings, seems to the inexperienced eye like an exaggeration.

The guides drew their attention from all this beauty to a solid fact.
This was the cooking of an egg by merely burying it in the hot sand
for a few minutes.

Buttons now proposed to go down into the crater. The guides looked
aghast.

"Why not?"

"Impossible, Signor. It's death."

"Death? Nonsense! come along and show us the way."

"The way? There is no way. No one ever dares to go down. Where can
we go to? Do you not see that beyond that point where the rock
projects it is all a precipice?"

"That point? Well, that is the very spot I wish to go to. Come
along."

"Never, Signor."

"Then I'll go."

"Don't. For the sake of Heaven, and in the name of the most Holy
Mother, of St. Peter in chains, of all the blessed Apostles and
Martyrs, the glorious Saints and--"

"Blessed Botheration," cried Buttons, abruptly turning his back
and preparing to descend.

"Are you in earnest, Buttons?" asked Dick. "Are you really going
down?"

"Certainly."

"Oh, then I'll go too."

Upon this the others warned, rebuked, threatened, remonstrated,
and begged. In vain. The Senator interposed the authority of years
and wisdom. But to no purpose. With much anxiety he sat on the edge
of the crater, looking for the result and expecting a tragedy.

The slope down which they ventured was covered with loose sand. At
each step the treacherous soil slid beneath them. It was a mad and
highly reprehensible undertaking. Nevertheless down they went--further
and further. The kind heart of the Senator felt a pang at every step.
His voice sounded mournfully through the rolling smoke that burst
through a million crevices, and at times hid the adventurers from
view. But down they went. Sometimes they slid fearfully. Then they
would wait and cautiously look around. Sometimes the vapors covered
them with such dense folds that they had to cover their faces.

"If they ain't dashed to pieces they'll be suffocated--sure!" cried
the Senator, starting up, and unable to control his feelings. "I can't
stand this," he muttered, and he too stepped down.

The guides looked on in horror. "Your blood will be on your own
heads!" they cried.

As the Senator descended the smoke entered his eyes, month, and
nostrils, making him cough and sneeze fearfully. The sand slid; the
heat under the surface pained his feet; every step made it worse.
However, he kept on bravely. At length he reached the spot where the
others were standing.


[Illustration: The Descent Of Vesuvius.]


At the foot of the declivity was an angular rock which jutted out
for about twelve feet. It was about six feet wide. Its sides went
down precipitously. The Senator walked painfully to where they were
standing. It was a fearful scene. All around arose the sides of
the crater, black and rocky, perpendicular on all sides, except
the small slope down which they had just descended--a vast and
gloomy circumference. But the most terrific sight lay beneath.

The sides of the crater went sheer down to a great depth enclosing
a black abyss which in the first excitement of the scene the
startled fancy might well imagine extending to the bowels of the
earth from which there came rolling up vast clouds dense black
sulphurous which at times completely encircled them shutting out
every thing from view filling eyes nose mouth with fumes of
brimstone forcing them to hold the tails of their coats or
the skirts it's all the same over their faces so as not to be
altogether suffocated while again after a while a fierce blast
of wind driving downward would hurl the smoke away and dashing it
against the other side of the crater gather it up in dense volumes
of blackest smoke in thick clouds which rolled up the flinty cliffs
and reaching the summit bounded fiercely out into the sky to pass
on and be seen from afar as that dread pennant of Vesuvius which is
the sign and symbol of its mastery over the earth around it and the
inhabitants thereof ever changing and in all its changes watched with
awe by fearful men who read in those changes their own fate now
taking heart as they see it more tenuous in its consistency anon
shuddering as they see it gathering in denser folds and finally
awe-stricken and all overcome as they see the thick black cloud rise
proudly up to heaven in a long straight column at whose upper
termination the colossal pillar spreads itself out and shows to the
startled gaze the dread symbol of the cypress tree the herald of
earthquakes eruptions and--

--There--I flatter myself that in the way of description it would not
be easy to beat the above. I just throw it off as my friend Tit-marsh,
poor fellow, once said, to show what I could do if I tried. I have
decided not to put punctuation marks there, but rather to let each
reader supply them for himself. They are often in the way,
particularly to the writer, when he has to stop in the full flow
of a description and insert them--

But--

We left our friends down in the crater of Vesuvius. Of course they
hurried out as soon as they could, and mounting the treacherous steep
they soon regained the summit, where the guides had stood bawling
piteously all the time.

Then came the descent. It was not over the lava blocks, but in
another place, which was covered with loose sliding sand. Away they
started.

Buttons ahead, went with immense strides down the slope. At every
step the sliding sand carried him about ten feet further, so that
each step was equal to about twenty feet. It was like flying. But it
was attended by so many falls that the descent of Buttons and Dick
was accomplished as much by sliding and rolling as by walking.

The Senator was more cautious. Having fallen once or twice, he tried
to correct this tendency by walking backward. Whenever he found
himself falling he would let himself go, and thus, on his hands and
knees, would let himself slide for a considerable distance. This plan
gave him immense satisfaction.

"It's quite like coasting," said he, after he had reached the bottom;
"only it does come a little hard on the trowsers."

On their arrival at the Hermitage to their surprise they saw nothing
of Mr. Figgs. The Doctor had been sleeping all the time, but the
landlord said he had not been that way. As they knew that the
neighborhood of Vesuvius was not always the safest in the world, they
all went back at once to search after him.


[Illustration: Where's Figgs?]


Arriving at the foot of the cone they went everywhere shouting his
name. There was no response. They skirted the base of the cone. They
walked up to where he had been. They saw nothing. The guides who had
thus far been with them now said they had to go. So they received
their pay and departed.

"Of all the mean, useless, chicken-hearted dolts that ever I see,"
said the Senator, "they are the wust!"

But meanwhile there was no Figgs. They began to feel anxious. At last
Buttons, who had been up to where Mr. Figgs was left, thought he saw
traces of footsteps in the sand that was nearest. He followed these
for some time, and at last shouted to the others. The others went to
where he was. They saw an Italian with him--an ill-looking, low-browed
rascal, with villain stamped on every feature.

"This fellow says he saw a man who answers the description of Figgs go
over in that direction," said Buttons, pointing toward the part of the
mountain which is furthest from the sea.

"There? What for?"

"I don't know."

"Is there any danger?"

"I think so--Figgs may have had to go--who knows?"

"Well," said the Senator, "we must go after him."

"What arms have you?" said the Doctor. "Don't show it before this
rascal."

"I have a bowie-knife," said Buttons.

"So have I," said Dick.

"And I," said the Senator, "am sorry to say that I have nothing at
all."

"Well, I suppose we must go," said the Doctor. "My revolver is
something. It is a double revolver, of peculiar shape."

Without any other thought they at once prepared to venture into a
district that for all they knew might swarm with robbers. They had
only one thought, and that was to save Figgs.

"Can this man lead us?" asked Dick.

"He says he can take us along where he saw Figgs go, and perhaps we
may see some people who can tell us about him."

"Perhaps we can," said the Senator, grimly.

They then started off with the Italian at their head. The sun was by
this time within an hour's distance from the horizon, and they had no
time to lose. So they walked rapidly. Soon they entered among hills
and rocks of lava, where the desolation of the surrounding country
began to be modified by vegetation. It was quite difficult to keep
their reckoning, so as to know in what direction they were going, but
they kept on nevertheless.

All of them knew that the errand was a dangerous one. All of them knew
that it would be better if they were armed. But no one said any thing
of the kind. In fact, they felt such confidence in their own pluck and
resolution that they had no doubt of success.

At length they came to a place where trees were on each side of the
rough path. At an opening here three men stood. Buttons at once
accosted them and told his errand. They looked at the Americans
with a sinister smile.

"Don't be afraid of us," said Buttons, quietly. "We're armed with
revolvers, but we won't hurt you. Just show us where our friend is,
for we're afraid he has lost his way."

At this strange salutation the Italians looked puzzled. They looked
at their guns, and then at the Americans. Two or three other men
came out from the woods at the same time, and stood in their rear.
At length as many as ten men stood around them.

"What are you staring at?" said Buttons again. "You needn't look so
frightened. Americans only use their revolvers against thieves."

The Doctor at this, apparently by accident, took out his revolver.
Standing a little on one side, he fired at a large crow on the top
of a tree. The bird fell dead. He then fired five other shots just
by way of amusement, laughing all the time with the Senator.

"You see," said he--"ha, ha--we're in a fix--ha, ha--and I want to
show them what a revolver is?"

"But you're wasting all your shot."

"Not a bit of it. See?" And saying this he drew a second chamber
from his pocket, and taking the first out of the pistol inserted
the other. He then fired another shot. All this was the work of a
few moments. He then took some cartridges and filled the spare
chamber once more.

The Italians looked on this display in great astonishment,
exchanging significant glances, particularly when the Doctor
changed the chambers. The Americans, on the contrary, took good care
to manifest complete indifference. The Italians evidently thought
they were all armed like the Doctor. Naturally enough, too, for if
not, why should they venture here and talk so loftily to them? So
they were puzzled, and in doubt. After a time one who appeared to
be their leader stepped aside with two or three of the men, and
talked in a low voice, after which he came to Buttons and said:

"Come, then, and we will show you."

"Go on."

The Captain beckoned to his men. Six of them went to the rear.
Buttons saw the manoeuvre, and burst into roars of laughter. The
Italians looked more puzzled than ever.

"Is that to keep us from getting away?" he cried--"ha, ha, ha,
ha, ha! Well, well!"

"He's putting a guard behind us. Laugh like fury, boys," said Buttons,
in English.

Whereupon they all roared, the tremendous laughter of the Senator
coming in with fearful effect.

"There's nothing to laugh at," said the man who appeared to be
Captain, very sulkily.

"It's evident that you Italians don't understand late improvements,"
said Buttons. "But come, hurry on."

The Captain turned and walked ahead sullenly.

"It's all very well to laugh," said the Doctor, in a cheerful tone;
"but suppose those devils behind us shoot us."

"I think if they intended to do that the Captain would not walk in
front. No, they want to take us alive, and make us pay a heavy
ransom."

After this the Club kept up an incessant chatter. They talked over
their situation, but could as yet decide upon nothing. It grew dark
at length. The sun went down. The usual rapid twilight came on.

"Dick," said the Doctor, "when it gets dark enough I'll give you my
pistol, so that you may show off with it as if it were yours."

"All right, my son," said Dick. Shortly after, when it was quite
dark, the Doctor slipped the pistol into the side-pocket of Dick's
coat. At length a light appeared before them. It was an old ruin
which stood upon an eminence. Where they were not a soul of them
could tell. Dick declared that he smelt salt water.

The light which they saw came from the broken windows of a
dilapidated hall belonging to the building. They went up some
crumbling steps, and the Captain gave a peculiar knock at the door.
A woman opened it. A bright light streamed out. Dick paused for a
moment, and took the Doctor's pistol, from his pocket. He held it up
and pretended to arrange the chamber. Then he carelessly put it in
his pocket again.

"You haven't bound them?" said the woman who opened the door to
the Captain.

"Meaning us, my joy?" said Buttons, in Italian. "Not just yet, I
believe, and not for some time. But how do you all do?"

The woman stared hard at Buttons, and then at the Captain. There
were eight or ten women here. It was a large hall, the roof still
entire, but with the plaster all gone. A bright fire burned at one
end. Torches burned around. On a stool near the fire was a familiar
form--a portly, well-fed form--with a merry face--a twinkle in his
eye--a pipe in his mouth--calmly smoking--apparently quite at home
though his feet were tied--in short, Mr. Figgs.

"Figgs, my boy!"

One universal shout and the Club surrounded their companion. In an
instant Buttons cut his bonds.

"Bless you--bless you, my children!" cried Figgs. "But how the
(Principal of Evil) did you get here? These are brigands. I've just
been calculating how heavy a bill I would have to foot."

The brigands saw the release of Figgs, and stood looking gloomily at
the singular prisoners, not quite knowing whether they were prisoners
or not, not knowing what to do. Each member of the Club took the most
comfortable seat he could find near the fire, and began talking
vehemently. Suddenly Buttons jumped up.

"A thousand pardons--I really forgot that there were ladies present.
Will you not sit here and give us the honor of your company?"

He made a profound bow and looked at several of them. They looked
puzzled, then pleased; then they all began to titter.

"Signor makes himself very much at home," said one, at length.

"And where could there be a pleasanter place? This old hall, this
jolly old fire, and this delightful company!"

Another bow. The Captain looked very sullen still. He was evidently
in deep perplexity.

"Come, cheer up there!" said Buttons. "We won't do you any harm;
we won't even complain to the authorities that we found our friend
here. Cheer up! Have you any thing to eat, most noble Captain?"

The Captain turned away.

Meanwhile Figgs had told the story of his capture. After resting
for a while on the slope he prepared to descend, but seeing sand
further away he went over toward it and descended there. Finding it
very dangerous or difficult to go down straight he made the
descent obliquely, so that when he reached the foot of the cone
he was far away from the point at which he had started to make
the ascent. Arriving there, he sat down to rest after his exertions.
Some men came toward him, but he did not think much about it.
Suddenly, before he knew what was up, he found himself a prisoner.
He had a weary march, and was just getting comfortable as they
came in.


[Illustration: Mr Figgs.]


As they sat round the fire they found it very comfortable. Like
many evenings in Italy, it was damp and quite chilly. They laughed
and talked, and appeared to be any thing but captives in a
robber's hold. The Captain had been out for some time, and at
length returned. He was now very cheerful. He came laughingly up
to the fire.

"Well, Signori Americani, what do you think of your
accommodation?"

"Delightful! Charming!" cried Buttons and Dick.

"If the ladies would only deign to smile on us--"

"Aha! You are a great man for the ladies," said the Captain.

"Who is not?" said Buttons, sententiously.

After a few pleasant words the Captain left again.

"He has some scheme in his villainous head," said Buttons.

"To drug us," said the Doctor.

"To send for others," said Dick.

"To wait till we sleep, and then fall on us," said Mr. Figgs.

"Well, gentlemen," said the Senator, drawing himself up, "we're
more than a match for them. Why, what are these brigands? Is there
a man of them who isn't a poor, miserable, cowardly cuss? Not one.
If we are captured by such as these we deserve to be captives all
our lives."


[Illustration: The Ladies.]


"If we don't get off soon we'll have a good round sum to pay," said
Mr. Figgs.

"And that I object to," said Buttons; "for I promised my Governor
solemnly that I wouldn't spend more than a certain sum in Europe,
and I won't."

"For my part," said the Doctor, "I can't afford it."

"And I would rather use the amount which they would ask in some
other way," said Dick.

"That's it, boys! You're plucky. Go in! We'll fix their flints. The
American eagle is soaring, gentlemen--let him ascend to the zenith.
Go it! But mind now--don't be too hasty. Let's wait for a time to
see further developments."

"Richard, my boy, will you occupy the time by singing a hymn?"
continued the Senator. "I see a guitar there."

Dick quietly got up, took the guitar, and, tuning it, began to sing.
The brigands were still in a state of wonder. The women looked shy.
Most of the spectators, however, were grinning at the eccentric
Americans. Dick played and sang a great quantity of songs, all of a
comic character.

The Italians were fond of music, of course. Dick had a good voice.
Most of his songs had choruses, and the whole Club joined in. The
Italians admired most the nigger songs. "Oh, Susannah!" was greeted
with great applause. So was "Doo-dah;" and the Italians themselves
joined energetically in the chorus. But the song that they loved best
was "Ole Virginny Shore." This they called for over and over, and as
they had quick ears they readily caught the tune; so that, finally,
when Dick, at their earnest request, sang it for the seventh time,
they whistled the air all through, and joined in with a thundering
chorus. The Captain came in at the midst of it, and listened with
great delight. After Dick had laid down his instrument he approached
the Americans.

"Well, ole hoss," said the Senator, "won't you take an arm-chair?"

"What is it?" said the Captain to Buttons.

"He wants to know if your Excellency will honor him by sitting near
him."

The Captain's eye sparkled. Evidently it met his wishes. The Americans
saw his delight.

"I should feel honored by sitting beside the illustrious stranger,"
said he. "It was what I came to ask. And will you allow the rest of
these noble gentlemen to sit here and participate in your amusement?"

"The very thing," said Buttons, "which we have been trying to get them
to do, but they won't. Now we are as anxious as ever, but still more
anxious for the ladies."

"Oh, the ladies!" said the Captain; "they are timid."

Saying this he made a gesture, and five of his men came up. The whole
six then sat with the five Americans. The Senator insisted that the
Captain should sit by his side. Yet it was singular. Each one of the
men still kept his gun. No notice was taken of this, however. The
policy of the Americans was to go in for utter jollity. They sat thus:


The Captain.
  The Senator.
Bandit Number 1.
  Mr. Figgs.
Bandit Number 2.
  The Doctor.
Bandit Number 3.
  Dick.
Bandit Number 4.
  Buttons.
Bandit Number 5.


Five members of the Club. Six bandits. In addition to these, four
others stood armed at the door. The women were at a distance.

But the sequel must be left to another chapter.



CHAPTER XIV.


MAGNIFICENT ATTITUDE OF THE SENATOR; BRILLIANCY OF BUTTONS; AND PLUCK
OF THE OTHER MEMBERS OF THE CLUB: BY ALL OF WHICH THE GREATEST EFFECTS
ARE PRODUCED.


"Boys," said the Senator, assuming a gay tone, "it's evident these
rascals have planned this arrangement to attack us; but I've got a
plan by which we can turn the tables. Now laugh, all of you." A roar
of laughter arose. "I'll tell it in a minute. Whenever I stop, you
all laugh, so that they may not think that we are plotting." Another
roar of laughter. "Buttons, talk Italian as hard as you can; pretend
to translate what I am saying; make up something funny, so as to get
them laughing; but take good care to listen to what I say."

"All right," said Buttons.

"Ha! ha! ha! ha! ha!" said the others.

Now the Senator began to divulge his plan, and Buttons began to
talk Italian, pretending to translate what the Senator said. To do
this required much quickness, and a vivid imagination, with a sense
of the ridiculous, and many other qualities too numerous to mention.
Fortunately Buttons had all these, or else the Club would not have
acted precisely as it did act; and perhaps it might not have been
able to move along in the capacity of a Club any longer, in which
case it would, of course, have had no further adventures; and then
this history would not have been written; and whether the world
would have been better off or worse is more than I can say,
I'm sure.


[What the Senator said.]

"Boys, look at these devils, one on each side of us. They have
arranged some signal, and when it is given they will spring at us.
Look sharp for your lives, and be ready to do what I say. Buttons,
listen, and when you don't hear look at me, and I'll repeat it."

[_Club_.--"Ha! hal ha! ha! ha!"]


[What Buttons said he said.]

"He says, most noble Captain, and gentlemen, that he is desperately
hungry; that he can't get what he wants to eat. He generally eats
dried snakes, and the supply he brought from the Great American
desert is exhausted; he wants more, and will have it."

[Sensation among bandits.]


[What the Senator said.]

"My idea is to turn the tables on these varmints. They put themselves
in our power. What they have arranged for themselves will do for us
just as well as if we planned it all. In fact, if we had tried we
could not have adjusted the present company better."

[_Club_.--"Ha! ha! ha! ha! ha!"]


[What Buttons said he said.]

"He says he wouldn't have come out here to-day, but had a little
difficulty just before he joined our party. He was landing from
the American ship of war, and on stepping on shore a man trod on
his foot, whereupon he put him into the water, and held him there
till he was drowned."

[Bandits looking more respectfully.]


[What the Senator said.]

"Listen now, Buttons. We will arrange a signal, and at a certain word
we will fall on our neighbors and do with them as they propose doing
with us. But first let us arrange carefully about the signal; for
every thing depends on that."

[_Club_--"Ha! ha! ha! ha! ha!"]


[What Buttons said he said.]

"It makes him feel amused, he says, when he thinks how odd that
guide looked at him when he made him go down into the crater of
Vesuvius; gave him five minutes to say his prayers, and then lifted
him up in the air and pitched him down to the bottom. He thinks
he is falling still."

[Bandits exchange glances.]


[What the Senator said.]

"First, we must keep up our uproar and merriment to as great an
extent as we can, but not very long. Let it be wild, mad, boisterous,
but short. It will distract these vagabonds, and throw them off their
guard. The first thing on the programme, then, is merriment. Laugh as
loud and long as you can."

[_Club_.--"Ha! ha! ha! ha! ha!"]


[What Buttons said he said.]

"He doesn't know but what he'll have a little trouble about a
priest he killed last night. He was in a church, and was walking
about whistling, when a priest came up and ordered him out;
whereupon he drew his revolver, and put all six of the bullets in
the priest's head."

[Bandits cross themselves, and look serious.]


[Illustration: The Bandits Captured.]


[What the Senator said.]

"The next thing is, to have some singing. They seem to like our
glorious national songs. Give them some of them. Let the first one
be 'Old Virginny.'"

[_Club_.--"Ha! ha! ha! ha! ha!"]


[What Buttons said he said.]

"He heard that the priest was not dead. As he always makes sure
work, he intends to look in the morning, and if he's alive, he'll
cut his throat, and make all his attendants dance to the tune of
'Old Virginny.'"


Buttons had to work on that word "Old Virginny," for the quick ears
of the Italians had caught it. Bandits cross themselves again.

_Captain_.--"I don't believe a word of it. It's impossible."

Bandit No. 6.--"He looks like it, any way."

In fact, the Senator did look like it. His hair tinged to an
unnatural hue by the sulphur of Vesuvius, his square, determined
jaw, his heavy, overhanging brow, marked him as one who was capable
of any desperate enterprise.


[What the Senator said.]

"Next and last, Dick, you are to sing 'Yankee Doodle.' You know
the words about 'coming to town riding on a pony.' You know that
verse ends with an Italian word. I am particular about this, for
you might sing the wrong verse. Do you understand, all of you? If
so, wink your eyes twice."

[The Club all winked twice. Then, as usual:
"Ha! ha! ha! ha! ha!"]


[What Buttons said he said.]

"He says there is no danger for him, however, for foreigners are
in terror of the tune of 'Yankee Doodle.' If he were arrested by
the Government, the American Admiral would at once send ashore a
file of marines with an 'ultimatum,' a 'Columbiad,' a 'spanker
boom,' a 'Webster's Unabridged,' and a 'brachycatalectic,' to demand
his surrender at the cannon's mouth."

[Great sensation among the bandits at the formidable arms of
American marines.]


[What the Senator said.]

"Look at me. There are six. I will take two; each of you take
one--the man on your right, remember. As Dick, in singing, comes
to that word, each of you go at your man. Buttons, you hear, of
course."

[_Club_.--"Ha! ha! ha! ha! ha!"]


[What Buttons said he said.]

"They think in town that he is the Devil, because he has killed
seven men in duels since he came, and has never been wounded. People
don't know the great American invention, worn next the skin, which
makes the body impervious to bullets."

[_Captain_, sneering.--"I don't believe it."

Bandit No. 3.--"I don't know. They invented the revolver. If only I
had one."]


[What the Senator said.]

"Boys, arrange to your minds what to do. Grab the gun, and put
your man down backward. I'm almost ashamed of the game, it's so
easy. Look at these boobies by me. They are like children. No
muscle. The fellows at the end won't dare to shoot for fear of
wounding their own man."

[_Club_.--"Ha! ha! ha! ha! ha!"]


[What Buttons said he said.]

"He's made up his mind to go and take part in the war in Lombardy.
He will raise a band of Americans, all clothed in the great shot-proof
shirt, and armed with revolvers like ours, that shoot twelve times,
and have bullets like bomb-shells, that burst inside of a man and
blow him to pieces."

_Captain_, coldly,--"That crow didn't blow up."

_Buttons_.--"Oh yes it did. It was dark, and you didn't notice.
Go get it to-morrow, examine it, and you will find traces of the
exploded shell."

_Bandit No. 4_.--"Santa Maria! What lies this giant tells his friends!
and they all laugh. They don't believe him."

_Bandit No. 3_. "Well, that revolver is enough for me; and they all
have them."

The above conversation was all carried on very rapidly, and did not
take up much time.

At once the Club proceeded to carry out the Senator's plan. First
they talked nonsense, and roared and laughed, and perfected their
plan, and thus passed about ten minutes. Then Buttons asked the
Italians if they wished more music.

"Answer, gallant Captain of these Kings of the Road. Will you hear
our foreign songs?"

"Most gladly," said the gallant Captain. "There will yet be time
before we get our supper."

A sinister gleam in his eye as he said this about the supper did not
escape the notice of Buttons. Thereupon he handed the guitar to Dick,
and the latter began to sing once more the strains of "Ole Virginny."
The Italians showed the same delight, and joined in a roaring chorus.
Even the men by the door stood yelling or whistling as Dick sang.

Lastly, Dick struck up the final song. The hour had come!


"Yankee Doodle came to town
  To buy himself a pony,
Stuck a feather in his hat
  And called it--_Maccaroni_!"


As the song began each man had quietly braced himself for one grand
effort. At the sound of the last word the effect was tremendous.

The Senator threw his mighty arms round the Captain and the other
bandit. They were both small men, as indeed Italians are generally,
and beside his colossal frame they were like boys to a grown man. He
held them as if a vice, and grasping their hands, twisted them back
till their guns fell from their grasp. As he hurled the affrighted
ruffians to the floor, the guns crashed on the stone pavement, one
of them exploding in its fall. He then by sheer strength jerked the
Captain over on his face, and threw the other man on him face
downward. This done he sat on them, and turned to see what the others
were doing.

Buttons had darted at No. 5 who was on his right, seized his gun and
thrown him backward. He was holding him down now while the fellow was
roaring for help.

Dick had done about the same thing, but had not yet obtained
possession of the gun. He was holding the Doctor's pistol to the
bandit's head, and telling him in choice Italian to drop his gun, or
he would send him out of the world with twelve bullets.

The Doctor was all right. He was calmly seated on Bandit No. 3, with
one hand holding the bandit's gun pointed toward the door, and the
other grasping the ruffian's throat in a death like clutch. The man's
face was black, and he did not move.

Mr. Figgs had not been so successful. Being fat, he had not been
quick enough. He was holding the bandit's gun, and aiming blows at
his face.

"Doctor," said the Senator, "your man's all right. Give it to Figgs's
man."

The Doctor sprang up, seized Figgs's man by throat, just as he
staggered back, and brought him down.

The whole thing had been done in an incredibly short time. The
robbers had been taken by complete surprise. In strength they were
far inferior to their assailants. Attacked as they were so
unexpectedly the success of the Americans was not very wonderful.
The uproar was tremendous. The women were most noisy. At first all
were paralyzed. Then wild shrieks rang through the hall. They yelled,
they shouted, they wrung their hands.

The four bandits at the end of the hall stood for a moment
horror-struck. Then they raised their guns. But they dared not fire.
They might shoot their own men. Suddenly Dick, who had got the gun
which he wished, looked at the door, and seeing the guns levelled
he fired the revolver. A loud scream followed. One of the men fell.
The women rushed to take care of him. The other three ran off.

"Doctor," said the Senator, "have you a rope? Tie that man's hands
behind him."

The Doctor took his handkerchief, twisted it, and tied the man's
hands as neatly and as firmly as though they were in handcuffs. He
then went to Buttons, got a handkerchief from him, and tied up his
man in the same way. Then Dick's man was bound. At that moment a
bullet fired through one of the windows grazed the head of Mr. Figgs.

"Dick," said the Senator, "go out and keep guard."

Dick at once obeyed. The women screamed and ran as he came along.

Then the two men whom the Senator had captured were bound. After a
while some pieces of rope and leather straps were found by Buttons.
With these all the bandits were secured more firmly. The men whom the
Senator had captured were almost lifeless from the tremendous weight
of his manly form. They made their captives squat down in one corner,
while the others possessed themselves of their guns and watched them.
The wretches looked frightened out of their wits. They were
Neapolitans and peasants, weak, feeble, nerveless.

"It's nothing to boast of," said the Senator, contemptuously, as he
looked at the slight figures. "They're a poor lot--small, no muscle,
no spirit, no nothing."

The poor wretches now began to whine and cry.

"Oh, Signore," they cried, appealing to Buttons. "Spare our lives!"

At that the whole crowd of women came moaning and screaming.

"Back!" said Buttons.

"Oh, Signori, for the sake of Heaven spare them, spare our husbands!"

"Back, all of you! We won't hurt any one if you all keep quiet."

The women went sobbing back again. The Doctor then went to look at
the wounded man by the door. The fellow was trembling and weeping.
All Italians weep easily.

The Doctor examined him and found it was only a flesh wound. The
women were full of gratitude as the Doctor bound up his arm after
probing the wound, and lifted the man on a rude couch. From time to
time Dick would look in at the door to see how things were going on.
The field was won.

"Well," said the Senator, "the other three have probably run for it.
They may bring others back. At any rate we had better hurry off. We
are armed now, and can be safe. But what ought we to do with these
fellows?"

"Nothing," said Buttons.

"Nothing?"

"No. They probably belong to the 'Camorra,' a sort of legalized
brigandage, and if had them all put in prison they would be let
out the next day."

"Well, I must say I'd rather not. They're a mean lot, but I don't
wish them any harm. Suppose we make them take us out to the road
within sight of the city, and then let them go?"

"Well."

The others all agreed to this.

"We had better start at once then."

"For my part," said Mr. Figgs, "I think we had much better get
some thing to eat before we go--"

"Pooh! We can get a good dinner in Naples. We may have the whole
country around us if we wait, and though I don't care for myself,
yet I wouldn't like to see one of you fall, boys."

So it was decided to go at once. One man still was senseless. He was
left to the care of the women after being resuscitated by the Doctor.
The Captain and four bandits were taken away.

"Attend," said Buttons, sternly. "You must show us the nearest way
to Naples. If you deceive us you die. If you show us our way we may
perhaps let you go."

The women all crowded around their husbands, screaming and yelling. In
Vain. Buttons told them there was no danger. At last he said--

"You come along too, and make them show us the way. You will then
return here with them. The sooner the better. Haste!"

The women gladly assented to this.

Accordingly they all started, each one of the Americans carrying a
gun in one hand, and holding the arm of a bandit with the other.
The women went ahead of their own accord, eager to put an end to
their fears by getting rid of such dangerous guests. After a walk of
about half an hour they came to the public road which ran near to
the sea.

"I thought I smelt the sea-air," said Dick.

They had gone by the other side of Vesuvius.

"This is the road to Naples, Signori," said the women.

"Ah! And you won't feel safe till you get the men away. Very well, you
may go. We can probably take care of ourselves now."

The women poured forth a torrent of thanks and blessings. The men were
then allowed to go, and instantly vanished into the darkness. At first
it was quite dark, but after a while the moon arose and they walked
merrily along, though very hungry.

Before they reached their hotel it was about one o'clock. Buttons and
Dick stared there. As they were all sitting over the repast which they
forced the landlord to get for them, Dick suddenly struck his hand on
the table.

"Sold!" he cried.

"What?"

"They've got our handkerchiefs."

"Handkerchiefs!" cried Mr. Figgs, ruefully, "why, I forgot to get back
my purse."


[Illustration: Sold.]


"Your purse! Well, let's go out to-morrow--"

"Pooh! It's no matter. There were only three piastres in it. I keep my
circular bill and larger money elsewhere."

"Well they made something of us after all. Three piastres and five
handkerchiefs."

The Senator frowned. "I've a precious good mind to go out there
to-morrow and make them disgorge," said he. "I'll think it over."



CHAPTER XV.


DOLORES ONCE MORE.--A PLEASANT CONVERSATION.--BUTTONS LEARNS MORE OF
HIS YOUNG FRIEND.--AFFECTING FAREWELL.


As the Club intended to leave for Rome almost immediately, the two
young men in the Strado di San Bartollo were prepared to settle with
their landlord.

When Buttons and Dick packed up their modest valises there was a
general excitement in the house; and when they called for their little
bill it appeared, and the whole family along with it. The landlord
presented it with a neat bow. Behind him stood his wife, his left the
big dragoon. And on his right Dolores.

Such was the position which the enemy took up.

Buttons took up the paper and glanced at it.

"What is this?"

"Your bill."

"My bill?"

"Yes, Signore."

"Yes," repeated Dolores, waving her little hand at Buttons.

Something menacing appeared in the attitude and tone of Dolores. Had
she changed? Had she joined the enemy? What did all this mean?

"What did you say you would ask for this room when I came here?"
Buttons at length asked.

"I don't recollect naming any price," said the landlord, evasively.

"I recollect," said Dolores, decidedly. "He didn't name any price at
all."

"Good Heavens!" cried Buttons, aghast, and totally unprepared for this
on the part of Dolores, though nothing on the part of the landlord
could have astonished him. In the brief space of three weeks that
worthy had been in the habit of telling him on an average about four
hundred and seventy-seven downright lies per day.

"You told me," said Buttons, with admirable calmness, "that it would
be two piastres a week."

"Two piastres! Two for both of you! Impossible! You might as well say
I was insane."

"Two piastres!" echoed Dolores, in indignant tones--"only think! And
for this magnificent apartment! the best in the house--elegantly
furnished, and two gentlemen! Why, what is this that he means?"

"Et tu Brute!" sighed Buttons.

"Signore!" said Dolores.

"Didn't he, Dick?'"

"He did," said Dick; "of course he did."

"Oh, that _uomicciuolo_ will say any thing," said Dolores,
contemptuously snapping her fingers in Dick's face.

"Why, Signore. Look you. How is it possible? Think what
accommodations! Gaze upon that bed! Gaze upon that furniture!
Contemplate that prospect of the busy street!"

"Why, it's the most wretched room in town," cried Buttons. "I've been
ashamed to ask my friends here."

"Ah, wretch!" cried Dolores, with flashing eyes. "You well know that
you were never so well lodged at home. This miserable! This a room to
be ashamed of! Away, American savage! And your friends, who are they?
Do you lodge with the lazaroni?"

"You said that you would charge two piastres. I will pay no more; no,
not half a carline. How dare you send me a bill for eighteen piastres?
I will pay you six piastres for the three weeks. Your bill for
eighteen is a cheat. I throw it away. Behold!"

And Buttons, tearing the paper into twenty fragments, scattered them
over the floor.

"Ah!" cried Dolores, standing before him, with her arms folded, and
her face all aglow with beautiful anger; "you call it a cheat, do you?
You would like, would you not, to run off and pay nothing? That is the
custom, I suppose, in America. But you can not do that in this honest
country."

"Signore, you may tear up fifty bills, but you must pay," said the
landlord, politely.

"If you come to travel you should bring money enough to take you
along," said Dolores.

"Then I would not have to take lodgings fit only for a Sorrento
beggar," said Buttons, somewhat rudely.

"They are too good for an American beggar," rejoined Dolores, taking
a step nearer to him, and slapping her little hands together by way
of emphasis.

"Is this the maid," thought Buttons, "that hung so tenderly on my arm
at the masquerade? the sweet girl who has charmed so many evenings
with her innocent mirth. Is this the fair young creature who--"

"Are you going to pay, or do you think you can keep us waiting
forever?" cried the fair young creature, impatiently and sharply.

"No more than six piastres," replied Buttons.

"Be reasonable, Signore. Be reasonable," said the landlord, with a
conciliatory smile; "and above all, be calm--be calm. Let us have no
contention. I feel that these honorable American gentlemen have no
wish but to act justly," and he looked benignantly at his family.

"I wish I could feel the same about these Italians," said Buttons.

"You will soon feel that these Italians are determined to have their
due," said Dolores.

"They shall have their due and no more."

"Come, Buttons," said Dick, in Italian, "let us leave this old
rascal."

"Old rascal?" hissed Dolores, rushing up toward Dick as though she
would tear his eyes out, and stamping her little foot. "Old rascal!
Ah, piccolo Di-a-vo-lo!"

"Come," said the landlord; "I have affection for you. I wish to
satisfy you. I have always tried to satisfy and please you."

"The ungrateful ones!" said Dolores. "Have we not all been as
friendly to them as we never were before? And now they try like
vipers to sting us."

"Peace, Dolores," said the landlord, majestically. "Let us all be
very friendly. Come, good American gentlemen, let us have peace. What
now _will_ you pay?"

"Stop!" cried Dolores. "Do you bargain? Why, they will try and make
you take a half a carline for the whole three weeks. I am ashamed
of you. I will not consent."


[Illustration: Two Piastres!]


"How much will you give?" said the landlord, once more, without
heeding his daughter.

"Six piastres," said Buttons.

"Impossible!"

"When I came here I took good care to have it understood. You
distinctly said two piastres per week. You may find it very
convenient to forget. I find it equally convenient to remember."

"Try--try hard, and perhaps you will remember that we offered to
take nothing. Oh yes, nothing--absolutely nothing. Couldn't think
of it," said Dolores, with a multitude of ridiculous but
extremely pretty gestures, that made the little witch charming
even in her rascality.--"Oh yes, nothing"--a shrug of the shoulders
--"we felt so honored"--spreading out her hands and bowing.--"A great
American!--a noble foreigner!"--folding her arms, and strutting up
and down.--"Too much happiness!"--here her voice assumed a tone of
most absurd sarcasm.--"We wanted to entertain them all the rest of
our lives for nothing"--a ridiculous grimace--"or perhaps your sweet
conversation has been sufficient pay--ha?" and she pointed her little
rosy taper finger at Buttons as though she would transfix him.

Buttons sighed. "Dolores!" said he, "I always thought _you_ were my
friend. I didn't think that you would turn against me."

"Ah, infamous one! and foolish too! Did you think that I could ever
help you to cheat my poor parents? Was this the reason why you sought
me? Dishonest one! I am only an innocent girl, but I can understand
your villainy."

"I think you understand a great many things," said Buttons,
mournfully.

"And to think that one would seek my friendship to save his money!"

Buttons turned away. "Suppose I stayed here three weeks longer, how
much would you charge?" he asked the landlord.

That worthy opened his eyes. His face brightened.

"Three weeks longer? Ah--I--Well--Perhaps--"

"Stop!" cried Dolores, placing her hand over her father's mouth--"not
a word. Don't you understand? He don't want to stay three minutes
longer. He wants to get you into a new bargain, and cheat you."

"Ah!" said the landlord, with a knowing wink. "But, my child, you are
really too harsh. You must not mind her, gentlemen. She's only a
willful young girl--a spoiled child--a spoiled child."

"Her language is a little strong," said Buttons, "but I don't mind
what she says."

"You may deceive my poor, kind, simple, honest, unsuspecting father,"
said she, "but you can't deceive me."

"Probably not."

"Buttons, hadn't we better go?" said Dick; "squabbling here won't
benefit us."

"Well," said Buttons, slowly, and with a lingering look at Dolores.

But as Dolores saw them stoop to take their valises she sprang to the
door-way.

"They're going! They're going!" she cried. "And they will rob us. Stop
them."

"Signore," said Buttons, "here are six piastres. I leave them on the
table. You will get no more. If you give me any trouble I will summon
you before the police for conspiracy against a traveller. You can't
cheat me. You need not try."

So saying, he quietly placed the six piastres on the table, and
advanced toward the door.

"Signore! Signore!" cried the landlord, and he put himself in his way.
At a sign from Dolores the big dragoon came also, and put himself
behind her.

"You shall not go," she cried. "You shall never pass through this door
till you pay."

"Who is going to stop us?" said Buttons.

"My father, and this brave soldier who is armed," said Dolores, in a
voice to which she tried to give a terrific emphasis.

"Then I beg leave to say this much," said Buttons; and he looked with
blazing eyes full in the face of the "brave soldier." "I am not a
'brave soldier,' and I am not armed; but my friend and I have paid
our bills, and we are going through that door. If you dare to lay so
much as the weight of your finger on me I'll show you how a man can
use his fists."

Now the Continentals have a great and a wholesome dread of the English
fist, and consider the American the same flesh and blood. They believe
that "le bogues" is a necessary, part of the education of the whole
Anglo-Saxon race, careful parents among that people being intent upon
three things for their children, to wit:

(1.) To eat _Rosbif_ and _Bifiek_, but especially the former.

(2.) To use certain profane expressions, by which the Continental can
always tell the Anglo-Saxon.

(3.) TO STRIKE FROM THE SHOULDER!!!

Consequently, when Buttons, followed by Dick, advanced to the door,
the landlord and the "brave soldier" slipped aside, and actually
allowed them to pass.

Not so Dolores.

She tried to hound her relatives on; she stormed; she taunted them;
she called them cowards; she even went so far as to run after Buttons
and seize his valise. Whereupon that young gentleman patiently waited
without a word till she let go her hold. He then went on his way.

Arriving at the foot of the stairway he looked back. There was the
slender form of the young girl quivering with rage.

"Addio, Dolores!" in the most mournful of voices.

"Scelerato!" was the response, hissed out from the prettiest of lips.

The next morning the Dodge Club left Naples.


[Illustration: The Brave Soldier.]



CHAPTER XVI.


DICK RELATES A FAMILY LEGEND.


"Dick," said the Senator, as they rolled over the road, "spin a yarn
to beguile the time."

Dick looked modest.

The rest added their entreaties.

"Oh, well," said Dick, "since you're so very urgent it would be
unbecoming to refuse. A story? Well, what? I will tell you about my
maternal grandfather.

"My maternal grandfather, then, was once out in Hong Kong, and had
saved up a little money. As the climate did not agree with him he
thought he would come home; and at length an American ship touched
there, on board of which he went, and he saw a man in the galley; so
my grandfather stepped up to him and asked him:

"'Are you the mate?'

"'No. I'm the man that boils the _mate_,' said the other, who was also
an Irishman.

"So he had to go to the cabin, where he found the Captain and mate
writing out clearance papers for the custom-house.

"'Say, captain, will you cross the sea to plow the raging main?' asked
my grandfather.

"'Oh, the ship it is ready and the wind is fair to plow the raging
main!' said the captain. Of course my grandfather at once paid his
fare without asking credit, and the amount was three hundred and
twenty-seven dollars thirty-nine cents.

"Well, they set sail, and after going ever so many thousand miles,
or hundred--I forget which, but it don't matter--a great storm arose,
a typhoon or simoon, perhaps both; and after slowly gathering up its
energies for the space of twenty-nine days, seven hours, and
twenty-three minutes, without counting the seconds, it burst upon
them at exactly forty-two minutes past five, on the sixth day of the
week. Need I say that day was Friday? Now my grandfather saw all the
time how it was going to end; and while the rest were praying and
shrieking he had cut the lashings of the ship's long-boat and stayed
there all the time, having put on board the nautical instruments, two
or three fish-hooks, a gross of lucifer matches, and a sauce-pan. At
last the storm struck the ship, as I have stated, and at the first
crack away went the vessel to the bottom, leaving my grandfather
floating alone on the surface of the ocean.

"My grandfather navigated the long-boat fifty-two days, three hours,
and twenty minutes by the ship's chronometer; caught plenty of fish
with his fish-hooks; boiled sea-water in his sauce-pan, and boiled
all the salt away, making his fire in the bottom of the boat, which
is a very good place, for the fire can't burn through without touching
the water, which it can't burn; and finding plenty of fuel in the
boat, which he gradually dismantled, taking first the thole-pins, then
the seats, then the taffrail, and so on. This sort of thing, though,
could not last forever, and at last, just in the nick of time, he came
across a dead whale.

"It was floating bottom upward, covered with barnacles of very large
size indeed; and where his fins projected there were two little coves,
one on each side. Into the one on the lee-side he ran his boat, of
which there was nothing left but the stem and stern and two side
planks.

"My grandfather looked upon the whale as an island. It was a very
nice country to one who had been so long in a boat, though a little
monotonous. The first thing that he did was to erect the banner of his
country, of which he happened to have a copy on his
pocket-handkerchief; which he did by putting it at the end of an oar
and sticking it in the ground, or the flesh, whichever you please to
call it. He then took an observation, and proceeded to make himself a
house, which he did by whittling up the remains of the long-boat, and
had enough left to make a table, a chair, and a boot-jack. So here
he stayed, quite comfortable, for forty-three days and a half, taking
observations all the time with great accuracy; and at the end of that
time all his house was gone, for he had to cut it up for fuel to cook
his meals, and nothing was left but half of the boot-jack and the oar
which served to uphold the banner of his country. At the end of this
time a ship came up.

"The men of the ship did not know what on earth to make of this
appearance on the water, where the American flag was flying. So they
bore straight down toward it.

"'I see a sight across the sea, hi ho cheerly men!' remarked the
captain to the mate, in a confidential manner.

"'Methinks it is my own countrie, hi ho cheerly men!' rejoined the
other, quietly.

"'It rises grandly o'er the brine, hi ho cheerly men!' said the
captain.

"'And bears aloft our own ensign, hi ho cheerly men!' said the mate.

"As the ship came up my grandfather placed both hands to his mouth in
the shape of a speaking-trumpet, and cried out: 'Ship ahoy across the
wave, with a way-ay-ay-ay-ay! Storm along!'

"To which the captain of the ship responded through his trumpet: 'Tis
I, my messmate bold and brave, with a way-ay-ay-ay-ay! Storm along."

"At this my grandfather inquired; 'What vessel are you gliding on?
Pray tell to me its name.'

"And the captain replied: 'Our bark it is a whaler bold, and Jones
the captain's name.'

"Thereupon the captain came on board the whale, or on shore,
whichever you like--I don't know which, nor does it matter--he came,
at any rate. My grandfather shook hands with him and asked him to
sit down. But the captain declined, saying he preferred standing.

"'Well,' said my grandfather, 'I called on you to see if you would
like to buy a whale.'


[Illustration: Buying A Whale.]


"'Wa'al, yes, I don't mind. I'm in that line myself.'

"'What'll you give for it?'

"'What'll you take for it?'

"'What'll you give?'

"'What'll you take?'

"'What'll you give?'

"'What'll you take?'

"'What'll you give?'

"'What'll you take?'

"'What'll you give?'

"'What'll you take?'

"'What'll you give?'

"'What'll you take?'

"'What'll you give?'

"'What'll you take?'

"'What'll you give?'

"'What'll you take?'

"'What'll you give?'

"'What'll you take?'

"'What'll you give?'

"'What'll you take?'

"'What'll you give?'

"'What'll you take?'

"Twenty-five minutes were taken up in the repetition of this question,
for neither wished to commit himself.

"'Have you had any offers for it yet?' asked Captain Jones at last.

"'Wa'al, no; can't say that I have.'

"'I'll give as much as any body.'

"'How much?'

"'What'll you take?'

"'What'll you give?'

"'What'll you take?'

"'What'll you give?'

"'What'll you take?'

"'What'll you give?'

"'What'll you take?'

"'What'll you give?'

"'What'll you take?'

"'What'll you give?'

"'What'll you take?'

"'What'll you give?'

"'What'll you take?'

"'What'll you give?'

"'What'll you take?'

"'What'll you give?'

"'What'll you take?'

"'What'll you give?'

"'What'll you take?'

"'What'll you give?'

"'What'll you take?'

"'What'll you give?'

"Then my grandfather, after a long deliberation, took the captain by
the arm and led him all around, showing him the country, as one may
say, enlarging upon the fine points, and doing as all good traders are
bound to do when they find themselves face to face with a customer.

"To which the end was:

"'Wa'al, what'll you take?'

"'What'll you give?'

"'What'll you take?'

"'What'll you give?'

"'What'll you take?'

"'What'll you give?'

"'What'll you take?'

"'What'll you give?'

"'What'll you take?'

"'What'll you give?'

"'What'll you take?'

"'What'll you give?'

"'What'll you take?'

"'What'll you give?'

"'What'll you take?'

"'What'll you give?'

"'What'll you take?'

"'What'll you give?'

"'Well,' said my grandfather, 'I don't know as I care about trading
after all. I think I'll wait till the whaling fleet comes along. I've
been waiting for them for some time, and they ought to be here soon.'

"'You're not in the right track,' said Captain Jones.

"'Yes, I am.'

"'Excuse me.'

"'Ex-cuse _me_,' said my grandfather. 'I took an observation just
before you came in sight, and I am in lat. 47° 22' 20", long. 150°
15' 55".'

"Captain Jones's face fell. My grandfather poked him in the ribs and
smiled.

"'I'll tell you what I'll do, as I don't care, after all, about
waiting here. It's a little damp, and I'm subject to rheumatics. I'll
let you have the whole thing if you give me twenty-five per cent, of
the oil after it's barreled, barrels and all.'

"The captain thought for a moment.

"'You drive a close bargain.'

"'Of course.'

"'Well, it'll save a voyage, and that's something.'

"'Something! Bless your heart! ain't that every thing?'

"'Well, I'll agree. Come on board, and we'll make out the papers.'

"So my grandfather went on board, and they made out the papers; and
the ship hauled up alongside of the whale, and they went to work
cutting, and slashing, and hoisting, and burning, and boiling, and
at last, after ever so long a time--I don't remember exactly how
long--the oil was all secured, and my grandfather, in a few months
afterward, when he landed at Nantucket and made inquiries, sold his
share of the oil for three thousand nine hundred and fifty-six dollars
fifty-six cents, which he at once invested in business in New Bedford,
and started off to Pennsylvania to visit his mother. The old lady
didn't know him at all, he was so changed by sun, wind, storm,
hardship, sickness, fatigue, want, exposure, and other things of that
kind. She looked coldly on him.

"'Who are you?'

"'Don't you know?'

"'No.'

"'Think.'

"'_Have you a strawberry on your arm_?'

"'No.'

"'Then--you are--_you are_--YOU ARE--my own--my long--lost son!'


[Illustration: The Long-Lost Son.]


"And she caught him in her arms.

"Here endeth the first part of my grandfather's adventures, but he
had many more, good and bad; for he was a remarkable man, though I
say it; and if any of you ever want to hear more about him, which I
doubt, all you've got to do is to say so. But perhaps it's just as
well to let the old gentleman drop, for his adventures were rather
strange; but the narration of them is not very profitable, not that
I go in for the utilitarian theory of conversation; but I think, on
the whole, that, in story-telling, fiction should be preferred to
dull facts like these, and so the next time I tell a story I will
make one up."

The Club had listened to the story with the gravity which should be
manifested toward one who is relating family matters. At its close
the Senator prepared to speak. He cleared his throat:

"Ahem! Gentlemen of the Club! our adventures, thus far, have not
been altogether contemptible. We have a President and a Secretary;
ought we not also to have a Recording Secretary--a Historian?"

"Ay!" said all, very earnestly.

"Who, then, shall it be?"

All looked at Dick.

"I see there is but one feeling among us all," said the Senator.
"Yes, Richard, you are the man. Your gift of language, your fancy,
your modesty, your fluency--But I spare you. From this time forth
you know your duty."

Overcome by this honor, Dick was compelled to bow his thanks in
silence and hide his blushing face.

"And now," said Mr. Figgs, eagerly, "I want to hear _the Higgins
Story_."

The Doctor turned frightfully pale. Dick began to fill his pipe.
The Senator looked earnestly out of the window. Buttons looked at
the ceiling.

"What's the matter?" said Mr. Figgs.

"What?" asked Buttons.

"The Higgins Story?"

The Doctor started to his feet. His excitement was wonderful. He
clenched his fist.

"I'll quit! I'm going back. I'll join you at Rome by another route.
I'll--"

"No, you won't!" said Buttons; "for on a journey like this it would
be absurd to begin the Higgins Story."

"Pooh!" said Dick, "it would require nineteen days at least to get
through the introductory part."

"When, then, can I hear it?" asked Mr. Figgs, in perplexity.



CHAPTER XVII.


NIGHT ON THE ROAD.--THE CLUB ASLEEP.--THEY ENTER ROME.--THOUGHTS ON
APPROACHING AND ENTERING "THE ETERNAL CITY."


[Illustration: To Rome.]



CHAPTER XVIII.


A LETTER BY DICK, AND CRITICISMS OF HIS FRIENDS.

They took lodgings near the Piazza di Spagna. This is the best part
of Rome to live in, which every traveller will acknowledge. Among
other advantages, it is perhaps the only clean spot in the Capital
of Christendom.

Their lodgings were peculiar. Description is quite unnecessary. They
were not discovered without toil, and not secured without warfare.
Once in possession they had no reason to complain. True, the
conveniences of civilized life do not exist there--but who dreams of
convenience in Rome?

On the evening of their arrival they were sitting in the Senator's
room, which was used as the general rendezvous. Dick was diligently
writing.

"Dick," said the Senator, "what are you about?"

"Well," said Dick, "the fact is, I just happened to remember that when
I left home the editor of the village paper wished me to write
occasionally. I promised, and he at once published the fact in
enormous capitals. I never thought of it till this evening, when I
happened to find a scrap of the last issue of his paper in my valise.
I recollected my promise, and I thought I might as well drop a line."

"Read what you have written."

Dick blushed and hesitated.

"Nonsense! Go ahead, my boy!" said Buttons.

Whereupon Dick cleared his throat and began:


"ROME, May 30, 1859.

MR. EDITOR,--Rome is a subject which is neither uninteresting nor
alien to the present age."


"That's a fact, or you wouldn't be here writing it," remarked
Buttons.


"In looking over the past, our view is too often hounded by the Middle
Ages. We consider that period as the chaos of the modern world, when
it lay covered with darkness, until the Reform came and said. 'Let
there be light!"


"Hang it, Dick! be original or be nothing."


"Yet, if the life of the world began anywhere, it was in Rome. Assyria
is nothing to me. Egypt is but a spectacle!"


"If you only had enough funds to carry you there you'd change your
tune. But go on."


"But Rome arises before me as the parent of the latter time. By her
the old battles between Freedom and Despotism were fought long ago,
and the forms and principles of Liberty came forth, to pass, amid
many vicissitudes, down to a new-born day."


"There! I'm coming to the point now!"

"About time, I imagine. The editor will get into despair."


"There is but one fitting approach to Rome. By any other road the
majesty of the Old Capital is lost in the lesser grandeur of the
Medieval City. Whoever goes there let him come up from Naples and
enter by the Jerusalem Gate."


"Jerusalem fiddlesticks! Why, there's no such gate!"


"There the very spirit of Antiquity sits enthroned to welcome the
traveller, and all the solemn Past sheds her influences over his
soul--"


"Excuse me; there is a Jerusalem Gate."

"Perhaps so--in Joppa."


"There the Imperial City lies in the sublimity of ruin. It is the Rome
of our dreams--the ghost of a dead and buried Empire hovering over its
own neglected grave!"


"Dick, it's not fair to work off an old college essay as European
correspondence."


"Nothing may be seen but desolation. The waste Campagna stretches its
arid surface away to the Alban mountains, uninhabited, and forsaken of
man and beast. For the dust and the works and the monuments of
millions lie here, mingled in the common corruption of the tomb, and
the life of the present age shrinks away in terror. Long lines of
lofty aqueducts come slowly down from the Alban hills, but these
crumbled stones and broken arches tell a story more eloquent than
human voice.

"The walls arise before us, but there is no city beyond. The
desolation that reigns in the Campagna has entered here. The palace
of the noble, the haunts of pleasure, the resorts of the multitude,
the garrison of the soldier, have crumbled to dust, and mingled
together in one common ruin. The soil on which we tread, which gives
birth to trees, shrubs, and wild flowers without number, is but an
assemblage of the disintegrated atoms of stones and mortar that once
arose on high in the form of palace, pyramid, or temple."


"Dick, I advise you to write all your letters before you see the
places you speak of. You've no idea how eloquent you can be!"


"Now if we pass on in this direction, we soon come to a spot which is
the centre of the world--the place where most of all we must look when
we search for the source of much that is valuable in our age.

"It in a rude and a neglected spot. At one end rises a rock crowned
with houses; on one side are a few mean edifices, mingled with masses
of tottering ruins; on the other a hill formed altogether of crumbled
atoms of bricks, mortar, and precious marbles. In the midst are a few
rough columns blackened by time and exposure. The soil is deep, and
in places there are pits where excavations have been made. Rubbish
lies around; bits of straw, and grass, and hay, and decayed leather,
and broken bottles, and old bones. A few dirty shepherds pass along,
driving lean and miserable sheep. Further up is a cluster of
wine-carts, with still more curious horses and drivers.

"What is this place?--what those ruins, these fallen monuments, these
hoary arches, these ivy-covered walls? What? This is--


  "'The field of freedom, faction, fame, and blood;
      Here a proud people's passions were exhaled,
    From the first hour of Empire in the bud
      To that when further worlds to conquer failed;
    The Forum where the immortal accents glow,
      And still the eloquent air breathes, burns with Cicero!'


"Yet if you go up to one of those people and ask this Question, he
will answer you and tell you the only name, he knows--The Cow Market!'"


"Is that all?" inquired Buttons, as Dick laid down his paper.

"That's all I've written as yet."

Whereupon Buttons clapped his bands to express applause, and all the
others laughingly followed his example.

"Dick," said the Senator, after a pause, "what you have written sounds
pretty. But look at the facts. Here you are writing a description of
Rome before you've seen any thing of the place at all. All that you
have put in that letter is what you have read in books of travel. I
mention this not from blame, but merely to show what a wrong principle
travellers go on. They don't notice real live facts. Now I've promised
the editor of our paper a letter. As soon as I write it I'll read it
for you. The style won't be equal to yours. But, if I write, I'll be
bound to tell something new. Sentiment," pursued the Senator,
thoughtfully, "is playing the dickens with the present age. What we
ought to look at is not old ruins or pictures, but men--men--live men.
I'd rather visit the cottage of an Italian peasant than any church in
the country. I'd rather see the working of the political constitution
of this 'ere benighted land than any painting you can show.
Horse-shoes before ancient stones, and macaroni before statues, say I!
For these little things show me all the life of the people. If I only
understood their cursed lingo," said the Senator, with a tinge of
regret, "I'd rather stand and hear them talk by the hour, particularly
the women, than listen to the pootiest music they can scare up!"

"I tried that game," said Mr. Figgs, ruefully, "in Naples. I went into
a broker's shop to change a Napoleon. I thought I'd like to see their
financial system. I saw enough of it; for the scoundrel gave me a lot
of little bits of coin that only passed for a few cents apiece in
Naples, with difficulty at that, and won't pass here at all!"

The Senator laughed. "Well, you shouldn't complain. You lost your
Napoleon, but gained experience. You have a new wrinkle. I gained a
new wrinkle too when I gave a half-Napoleon, by mistake, to a wretched
looking beggar, blind of one eye. I intended to give him a centime."

"Your principle," said Buttons, "does well enough for you as a
traveller. But you don't look at all the points of the subject. The
point is to write a letter for a newspaper. Now what is the most
successful kind of letter? The readers of a family paper are
notoriously women and young men, or lads. Older men only look at the
advertisements or the news. What do women and lads care for
horse-shoes and macaroni? Of course, if one were to write about
these things in a humorous style they would take; but, as a general
thing, they prefer to read about old ruins, and statues, and cities,
and processions. But the best kind of a correspondence is that which
deals altogether in adventures. That's what takes the mind! Incidents
of travel, fights with ruffians, quarrels with landlords, shipwrecks,
robbery, odd scrapes, laughable scenes; and Dick, my boy! when you
write again be sure to fill your letter with events of this sort."

"But suppose," suggested Dick, meekly, "that we meet with no
ruffians, and there are no adventures to relate?"

"Then use a traveller's privilege and invent them. What was
imagination given for if not to use?"

"It will not do--it will not do," said the Senator, decidedly. "You
must hold on to facts. Information, not amusement, should be your
aim."

"But information is dull by itself. Amusement perhaps is useless. Now
how much better to combine the utility of solid information with the
lighter graces of amusement, fun, and fancy. Your pill, Doctor, is
hard to take, though its effects are good. Coat it with sugar and
it's easy."

"What!" exclaimed the Doctor, suddenly starting up. "I'm not asleep!
Did you speak to me?"

The Doctor blinked and rubbed his eyes, and wondered what the company
were laughing at. In a few minutes, however, he concluded to resume
his broken slumber in his bed. He accordingly retired; and the
company followed his example.



CHAPTER XIX.


ST. PETER'S!--THE TRAGIC STORY OF THE FAT MAN IN THE BALL.--HOW
ANOTHER TRAGEDY NEARLY HAPPENED.--THE WOES OF MEINHERR SCHATT.


Two stately fountains, a colonnade which in spite of faults possesses
unequalled majesty, a vast piazza, enclosing many acres, in whose
immense area puny man dwindles to a dwarf, and in the distance the
unapproachable glories of the greatest of earthly temples--such is the
first view of St. Peter's.

Our party of friends entered the lordly vestibule, and lifting the
heavy mat that hung over the door-way they passed through. There came
a soft air laden with the odor of incense; and strains of music from
one of the side chapels came echoing dreamily down one of the side
aisles. A glare of sunlight flashed in on polished marbles of a
thousand colors that covered pillars, walls, and pavement. The vaulted
ceiling blazed with gold. People strolled to and fro without any
apparent object. They seemed to be promenading. In different places
some peasant women were kneeling.

They walked up the nave. The size of the immense edifice increased
with every step. Arriving under the dome they stood looking up with
boundless astonishment.

They walked round and round. They saw statues which were masterpieces
of genius; sculptures that glowed with immortal beauty; pictures which
had consumed a life-time as they grew up beneath the patient toil of
the mosaic worker. There were altars containing gems equal to a
king's ransom; curious pillars that came down from immemorial ages;
lamps that burn forever.

"This," said the Senator, "is about the first place that has really
come up to my idee of foreign parts. In fact it goes clean beyond it.
I acknowledge its superiority to any thing that America can produce.
But what's the good of it all? If this Government really cared for
the good of the people it would sell out the hull concern, and devote
the proceeds to railways and factories. Then Italy would go ahead as
Providence intended."

"My dear Sir, the people of this country would rise and annihilate
any Government that dared to touch it."

"Shows how debased they have grown. There's no utility in all this.
There couldn't be any really good Gospel preaching here.

"Different people require different modes of worship," said Buttons,
sententiously.

"But it's immense," said the Senator, as they stood at the furthest
end and looked toward the entrance. "I've been calc'latin' that you
could range along this middle aisle about eighteen good-sized
Protestant churches, and eighteen more along the side aisles. You
could pile them up three tiers high. You could stow away twenty-four
more in the cross aisle. After that you could pile up twenty more in
the dome. That would make room here for one hundred and fifty-two,
good-sized Protestant churches, and room enough would be left to
stow away all their spires."

And to show the truth of his calculation he exhibited a piece of paper
on which he had pencilled it all.

If the interior is imposing the ascent to the roof is equally so.
There is a winding path so arranged that mules can go up carrying
loads. Up this they went and reached the roof. Six or seven acres of
territory snatched from the air spread around; statutes rose from the
edge; all around cupolas and pillars rose. In the center the huge dome
itself towered on high. There was a long low building filled with
people who lived up here. They were workmen whose duty it was to
attend to the repairs of the vast structure. Two fountains poured
forth a never-ceasing supply of water. It was difficult to conceive
that this was a roof of a building.

Entering the base of the central cupola a stairway leads up. There is
a door which leads to the interior, where one can walk around a
gallery on the inside of the dome and look down. Further up where
the arch springs there is another. Finally at the apex of the dome
there is a third opening. Looking down through this the sensation
is terrific.

Upon the summit of the vast dome stands an edifice of large size,
which is called the lantern, and appears insignificant in comparison
with the mighty structure beneath. Up this the stairway goes until
at length the opening into the ball is reached.

The whole five climbed up into the ball. They found to their surprise
that it would hold twice as many more. The Senator reached up his
hand. He could not touch the top. They looked through the slits in
the side. The view was boundless; the wide Campagna, the purple
Apennines, the blue Mediterranean, appeared from different sides.

"I feel," said the Senator, "that the conceit is taken out of me.
What is Boston State House to this; or Bunker Hill monument! I
used to see pictures of this place in Woodbridge's Geography; but
I never had a realizing sense of architecture until now."

"This ball," said Buttons, "has its history, its associations. It
has been the scene of suffering. Once a stoutish man came up here.
The guides warned him, but to no purpose. He was a willful
Englishman. You may see, gentlemen, that the opening is narrow. How
the Englishman managed to get up does not appear; but it is certain
that when he tried to get down he found it impossible. He tried for
hours to squeeze through. No use. Hundreds of people came up to help
him. They couldn't. The whole city got into a state of wild
excitement. Some of the churches had prayers offered up for him
though he was a heretic. At the end of three days he tried again.
Fasting and anxiety had come to his relief, and he slipped through
without difficulty."

"He must have been a London swell," said Dick.

"I don't believe a word of it," said Mr. Figgs, looking with an
expression of horror, first at the opening, and then at his own
rotundity. Then springing forward he hurriedly began to descend.

Happy Mr. Figgs! There was no danger for him. But in his eagerness to
get down he did not think of looking below to see if the way was
clear. And so it happened, that as he descended quickly and with
excited haste, he stepped with all his weight upon the hand of a man
who was coming up. The stranger shouted. Mr. Figgs jumped. His foot
slipped. His hand loosened, and down he fell plump to the bottom. Had
he fallen on the floor there is no doubt that he would have sustained
severe injury. Fortunately for himself he fell upon the stranger and
nearly crushed his life out.

The stranger writhed and rolled till he had got rid of his heavy
burden. The two men simultaneously started to their feet. The
stranger was a short stout man with an unmistakable German face. He
had bright blue eyes, red hair, and a forked red beard. He stared
with all his might, stroked his forked red beard piteously, and then
ejaculated most gutturally, in tones that seemed to come from his
boots--

"Gh-h-h-r-r-r-r-r-acious me!"

Mr. Figgs overwhelmed him with apologies, assured him that it was
quite unintentional, hoped that he wasn't hurt, begged his pardon;
but the stranger only panted, and still he stroked his forked red
beard, and still ejaculated--

"Gh-h-h-r-r-r-r-r-acious me!"

Four heads peered through the opening above; but seeing no accident
their owners, one by one, descended, and all with much sympathy asked
the stranger if he was much hurt. But the stranger, who seemed quite
bewildered, still panted and stroked his beard, and ejaculated--

"Gh-h-h-r-r-r-r-r-acious me!"

At length he seemed to recover his faculties, and discovered that he
was not hurt. Upon this he assured Mr. Figgs, in heavy guttural
English, that it was nothing. He had often been knocked down before.
If Mr. Figgs was a Frenchman, he would feel angry. But as he was an
American he was glad to make his acquaintance. He himself had once
lived in America, in Cincinnati, where he had edited a German paper.
His name was Meinherr Schatt.

Meinherr Schatt showed no further disposition to go up; but
descended with the others down as far as the roof, when they went to
the front and stood looking down on the piazza. In the course of
conversation Meinherr Schatt informed them that he belonged to the
Duchy of Saxe Meiningen, that he had been living in Rome about two
years, and liked it about as well as any place that he had seen.

He went every autumn to Paris to speculate on the Bourse, and
generally made enough to keep him for a year. He was acquainted with
all the artists in Rome. Would they like to be introduced to some
of them?


[Illustration: Gracious Me!]


Buttons would be most charmed. He would rather become acquainted
with artists than with any class of people.

Meinherr Schatt lamented deeply the present state of things arising
from the war in Lombardy. A peaceful German traveller was scarcely
safe now. Little boys made faces at him in the street, and shouted
after him, "Mudedetto Tedescho!"

Just at this moment the eye of Buttons was attracted by a carriage
that rolled away from under the front of the cathedral down the
piazza. In it were two ladies and a gentleman. Buttons stared eagerly
for a few moments, and then gave a jump.

"What's the matter?" cried Dick.

"It is! By Jove! It is!"

"What? Who?"

"I see her face! I'm off!"

"Confound it! Whose face?"

But Buttons gave no answer. He was off like the wind, and before the
others could recover from their surprise had vanished down the
descent.

"What upon airth has possessed Buttons now?" asked the Senator.

"It must be the Spanish girl," said Dick.

"Again? Hasn't his mad chase at sea given him a lesson? Spanish
girl! What is he after? If he wants a girl, why can't he wait and
pick out a regular thorough-bred out and outer of Yankee stock?
These Spaniards are not the right sort."

In an incredible short space of time the figure of Buttons was
seen dashing down the piazza, in the direction which the carriage
had taken. But the carriage was far ahead, and even as he left the
church it had already crossed the Ponte di S. Angelo. The others
then descended. Buttons was not seen till the end of the day.

He then made his appearance with a dejected air.

"What luck?" asked Dick, as he came in.

"None at all," said Buttons, gloomily.

"Wrong ones again?"

"No, indeed. I'm not mistaken this time. But I couldn't catch them.
They got out of sight, and kept out too. I've been to every hotel
in the place, but couldn't find them. It's too bad."

"Buttons," said the Senator, gravely, "I'm sorry to see a young man
like you so infatuated. Beware--Buttons--beware of wimmin! Take the
advice of an older and more experienced man. Beware of wimmin.
Whenever you see one coming--dodge! It's your only hope. If it
hadn't been for wimmin"--and the Senator seemed to speak half to
himself, while his face assumed a pensive air--"if it hadn't been
for wimmin, I'd been haranguing the Legislatoor now, instead of
wearying my bones in this benighted and enslaved country."



CHAPTER XX.


THE GLORY, GRANDEUR, BEAUTY, AND INFINITE VARIETY OF THE PINCIAN
HILL; NARRATED AND DETAILED NOT COLUMNARILY BUT EXHAUSTIVELY,
AND AFTER THE MANNER OF RABELAIS.


Oh, the Pincian Hill!--Does the memory of that place affect all
alike? Whether it does or not matters little to the chronicler of
this veracious history. To him it is the crown and glory of modern
Rome; the centre around which all Rome clusters. Delightful walks!
Views without a parallel! Place on earth to which no place else can
hold a candle!

Pooh--what's the use of talking? Contemplate, O Reader, from the
Pincian Hill the following:


The Tiber, The Campagna, The Aqueducts, Trajan's Column,
Antonine's Pillar, The Piazza del Popolo, The Torre del Capitoglio,
The Hoar Capitoline, The Palatine, The Quirinal, The Viminal,
The Esquiline, The Caelian, The Aventine, The Vatican, The Janiculum,
St. Peter's, The Lateran, The Stands for Roast Chestnuts, The New
York _Times_, the Hurdy-gurdys, The London _Times_, The Raree-shows,
The Obelisk of Mosaic Pharaoh, The Wine-carts, Harper's Weekly,
Roman Beggars, Cardinals, Monks, Artists, Nuns, The New York
_Tribune_, French soldiers, Swiss Guards, Dutchmen, Mosaic-workers,
Plane-trees, Cypress-trees, Irishmen, Propaganda Students, Goats,
Fleas, Men from Bosting, Patent Medicines, Swells Lager,
Meerschaum-pipes, The New York _Herald_, Crosses, Rustic Seats,
Dark-eyed Maids, Babel, Terrapins, Marble Pavements, Spiders,
Dreamy Haze, Jews, Cossacks, Hens, All the Past, Rags, The
original Barrel-organ, The original Organ-grinder, Bourbon Whisky,
Civita Vecchia Olives, Hadrian's Mausoleum, _Harper's Magazine_,
The Laurel Shade, Murray's Hand-book, Cicerones, Englishmen,
Dogcarts, Youth, Hope, Beauty, Conversation Kenge, Bluebottle Flies,
Gnats, _Galignani_, Statues, Peasants, Cockneys, Gas-lamps,
Dundreary, Michiganders, Paper-collars, Pavilions, Mosaic Brooches,
Little Dogs, Small Boys, Lizards, Snakes, Golden Sunsets, Turks,
Purple Hills, Placards, Shin-plasters, Monkeys, Old Boots,
Coffee-roasters, Pale Ale, The Dust of Ages, The Ghost of Rome,
Ice Cream, Memories, Soda-Water, Harper's Guide-Book.



CHAPTER XXI.


HARMONY ON THE PINCIAN HILL.--MUSIC HATH CHARMS.--AMERICAN MELODIES.
--THE GLORY, THE POWER, AND THE BEAUTY OF YANKEE DOODLE, AND THE
MERCENARY SOUL OF AN ITALIAN ORGAN-GRINDER.


The Senator loved the Pincian Hill, for there he saw what he loved
best; more than ruins, more than churches, more than pictures and
statues, more than music. He saw man and human nature.

He had a smile for all; of superiority for the bloated aristocrat; of
friendliness for the humble, yet perchance worthy mendicant. He longed
every day more and more to be able to talk the language of the people.

On one occasion the Club was walking on the Pincian Hill, when
suddenly they were arrested by familiar sounds which came from some
place not very far away. It was a barrel-organ; a soft and musical
organ; but it was playing "Sweet Home."

"A Yankee tune," said the Senator. "Let us go and patronize domestic
manufacture. That is my idee of political economy."

Reaching the spot they saw a pale, intellectual-looking Italian
working away at his instrument.

"It's not bad, though that there may not be the highest kind of
musical instrument."

"No," said Buttons; "but I wonder that you, an elder of a church,
can stand here and listen to it."

"Why, what has the church to do with a barrel-organ?"

"Don't you believe the Bible?"

"Of course," said the Senator, looking mystified.

"Don't you know what it says on the subject?"

"What the Bible says? Why no, of course not. It says nothing."

"I beg your pardon. It says, 'The sound of the grinding is low.' See
Ecclesiastes, twelfth, fourth."

The Senator looked mystified, but said nothing. But suddenly the
organ-grinder struck up another tune.

"Well, I do declare," cried the Senator, delighted, "if it isn't
another domestic melody!"

It was "Independence Day."

"Why, it warms my heart," he said, as a flush spread over his fine
countenance.

The organ-grinder received any quantity of _baiocchi_, which so
encouraged him that he tried another--"Old Virginny."

"That's better yet," said the Senator. "But how on airth did this
man manage to get hold of these tunes?"

Then came others. They were all American: "Old Folks at Home,"
"Nelly Ely," "Suwannee Ribber," "Jordan," "Dan Tucker," "Jim Crow."

The Senator was certainly most demonstrative, but all the others
were equally affected.

Those native airs; the dashing, the reckless, the roaringly-humorous,
the obstreperously jolly--they show one part of the many-sided
American character.

Not yet has justice been done to the nigger song. It is not a
nigger song. It is an American melody. Leaving out those which have
been stolen from Italian Operas, how many there are which are truly
American in their extravagance, their broad humor, their glorious
and uproarious jollity! The words are trash. The melodies are every
thing.

These melodies touched the hearts of the listeners. American life
rose before them as they listened.--American life--free, boundless,
exuberant, broadly-developing, self-asserting, gaining its
characteristics from the boundless extent of its home--a continental
life of limitless variety. As mournful as the Scotch; as reckless as
the Irish; as solemnly patriotic as the English.

"Listen!" cried the Senator, in wild excitement.

It was "Hail Columbia."

"The Pincian Hill," said the Senator, with deep solemnity, "is
glorified from this time forth and for evermore. It has gained a
new charm. The Voice of Freedom hath made itself heard!"

The others, though less demonstrative, were no less delighted. Then
came another, better yet. "The Star-Spangled Banner."

"There!" cried the Senator, "is our true national anthem--the
commemoration of national triumph; the grand upsoaring of the
victorious American Eagle as it wings its everlasting flight
through the blue empyrean away up to the eternal stars!"

He burst into tears; the others respected his emotion.

Then he wiped his eyes and looked ashamed of himself--quite
uselessly--for it is a mistake to suppose that tears are unmanly.
Unmanly! The manliest of men may sometimes shed tears out of his
very manhood.

At last there arose a magic strain that produced an effect to
which the former was nothing. It was "Yankee Doodle!"

The Senator did not speak. He could not find words. He turned
his eyes first upon one, and then another of his companions; eyes
beaming with joy and triumph--eyes that showed emotion arising
straight from a patriot's heart--eyes which seemed to say: Is there
any sound on earth or above the earth that can equal this?


[Illustration: Old Virginny.]


Yankee Doodle has never, received justice. It is a tune without
words. What are the recognized words? Nonsense unutterable--the
sneer of a British officer. But the tune!--ah that is quite
another thing!

The tune was from the very first taken to the national heart, and
has never ceased to be cherished there. The Republic has grown to
be a very different thing from that weak beginning, but its
national air is as popular as ever. The people do not merely
love it. They glory in it. And yet apologies are sometimes made
for it. By whom? By the soulless dilettante. The people know
better:--the farmers, the mechanics, the fishermen, the
dry-goods clerks, the newsboys, the railway stokers, the butchers,
the bakers, the candlestick-makers, the tinkers, the tailors, the
soldiers, the sailors. Why? Because this music has a voice of its
own, more expressive than words; the language of the soul, which
speaks forth in certain melodies which form an utterance of
unutterable passion.

The name was perhaps given in ridicule. It was accepted with pride.
The air is rash, reckless, gay, triumphant, noisy, boisterous,
careless, heedless, rampant, raging, roaring, rattle, brainish,
devil-may-care-ish, plague-take-the-hindmost-ish; but! solemn,
stern, hopeful, resolute, fierce, menacing, strong, cantankerous
(cantankerous is entirely an American idea), bold, daring--

Words fail.

Yankee Doodle has not yet received its Doo!

The Senator had smiled, laughed, sighed, wept, gone through many
variations of feeling.

He had thrown _baiocchi_ till his pockets were exhausted, and then
handed forth silver. He had shaken hands with all his companions ten
times over. They themselves went not quite as far in feeling as he,
but yet to a certain extent they went in.

And yet Americans are thought to be practical, and not ideal. Yet here
was a true American who was intoxicated--drunk! By what? By sound,
notes, harmony. By music!

"Buttons," said he, as the music ceased and the Italian prepared to
make his bow and quit the scene, "I must make that gentleman's
acquaintance."

Buttons walked up to the organ-grinder.

"Be my interpreter," said the Senator. "Introduce me."

"What's your name?" asked Buttons.

"Maffeo Cloto."

"From where?"

"Urbino."

"Were you ever in America?"

"No, Signore."

"What does he say?" asked the Senator, impatiently.

"He says his name is Mr. Cloto, and he was never in America."

"How did you get these tunes?"

"Out of my organ," said the Italian, grinning.

"Of course; but how did you happen to get an organ with such tunes?"

"I bought it."

"Oh yes; but how did you happen to buy one with these tunes?"

"For you illustrious American Signore. You all like to hear them."

"Do you know any thing about the tunes?"

"Signore?"

"Do you know what the words are?"

"Oh no. I am an Italian."

"I suppose you make money out of them."

"I make more in a day with these than I could in a week with other
tunes."

"You lay up money, I suppose."

"Oh yes. In two years I will retire and let my younger brother play
here."

"These tunes?"

"Yes, Signore."

"To Americans?"

"Yes, Signore."

"What is it all?" asked the Senator.

"He says that he finds he makes money by playing American tunes to
Americans."

"Hm," said the Senator, with some displeasure; "and he has no soul
then to see the--the beauty, the sentiment, the grandeur of his
vocation!"

"Not a bit--he only goes in for money."

The Senator turned away in disgust. "Yankee Doodle," he murmured,
"ought of itself to have a refining and converting influence on the
European mind; but it is too debased--yes--yes--too debased."



CHAPTER XXII.


HOW A BARGAIN IS MADE.--THE WILES OF THE ITALIAN TRADESMAN.--THE NAKED
SULKY BEGGAR, AND THE JOVIAL WELL-CLAD BEGGAR.--WHO IS THE KING OF
BEGGARS?


"What are you thinking about, Buttons?"

"Well, Dick, to tell the truth, I have been thinking that if I do
find the Spaniards they won't have reason to be particularly proud of
me as a companion. Look at me."

"I look, and to be frank, my dear boy, I must say that you look more
shabby-genteel than otherwise."

"That's the result of travelling on one suit of clothes--without
considering fighting. I give up my theory."

"Give it up, then, and come out as a butterfly."

"Friend of my soul, the die is cast. Come forth with me and seek a
clothing-store."

It was not difficult to find one. They entered the first one that they
saw. The polite Roman overwhelmed them with attention.

"Show me a coat, Signore."

Signore sprang nimbly at the shelves and brought down every coat in
his store. Buttons picked out one that suited his fancy, and tried it
on.

"What is the price?"

With a profusion of explanation and description the Roman informed
him: "Forty piastres."

"I'll give you twelve," said Buttons, quietly.

The Italian smiled, put his head on one side, drew down the corners
of his mouth, and threw up his shoulders. This is the _shrug_. The
shrug requires special attention. The shrug is a gesture used by the
Latin race for expressing a multitude of things, both objectively and
subjectively. It is a language of itself. It is, as circumstances
require, a noun, adverb, pronoun, verb, adjective, preposition,
interjection, conjunction. Yet it does not supersede the spoken
language. It comes in rather when spoken words are useless, to convey
intensity of meaning or delicacy. It is not taught, but it is learned.

The coarser, or at least blunter, Teutonic race have not cordially
adopted this mode of human intercommunication. The advantage of the
shrug is that in one slight gesture it contains an amount of meaning
which otherwise would require many words. A good shrugger in Italy is
admired, just as a good conversationist is in England, or a good stump
orator in America. When the merchant shrugged, Buttons understood him
and said:

"You refuse? Then I go. Behold me!"

"Ah, Signore, how can you thus endeavor to take advantage of the
necessities of the poor?"

"Signore, I must buy according to my ability."

The Italian laughed long and quietly. The idea of an Englishman or
American not having much money was an exquisite piece of humor.

"Go not, Signore. Wait a little. Let me unfold more garments. Behold
this, and this. You shall have many of my goods for twelve piastres."


[Illustration: The Shrug.]


"No, Signore; I must have this, or I will have none."

"You are very hard, Signore. Think of my necessities. Think of the
pressure of this present war, which we poor miserable tradesmen feel
most of all."

"Then addio, Signore; I must depart."

They went out and walked six paces.

"P-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-t!" (Another little idea of the Latin race. It is
a much more penetrating sound than a loud Hallo! Ladies can use it.
Children too. This would be worth importing to America.)

"P-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-t!"

Buttons and Dick turned. The Italian stood smiling and bowing and
beckoning.

"Take it for twenty-four piastres."

"No, Signore; I can only pay twelve."

With a gesture of ruffled dignity the shopkeeper withdrew. Again they
turned away. They had scarcely gone ten paces before the shop-keeper
was after them:

"A thousand pardons. But I have concluded to take twenty."

"No; twelve, and no more."

"But think, Signore; only think."

"I do think, my friend; I do think."

"Say eighteen."

"No, Signore."

"Seventeen."

"Twelve."

"Here. Come back with me."

They obeyed. The Italian folded the coat neatly, tied it carefully,
stroked the parcel tenderly, and with a meek yet sad smile handed it
to Buttons.

"There--only sixteen piastres."

Buttons had taken out his purse. At this he hurriedly replaced it,
with an air of vexation.

"I can only give twelve."

"Oh, Signore, be generous. Think of my struggles, my expenses, my
family. You will not force me to lose."

"I would scorn to force you to any thing, and therefore I will
depart."

"Stop, Signore," cried the Italian, detaining them at the door. "I
consent. You may take it for fourteen."

"For Heaven's sake, Buttons, take it," said Dick, whose patience was
now completely exhausted. "Take it."

"Twelve," said Buttons.

"Let me pay the extra two dollars, for my own peace of mind," said
Dick.

"Nonsense, Dick. It's the principle of the thing. As a member of the
Dodge Club, too, I could not give more."

"Thirteen, good Signore mine," said the Italian piteously.

"My friend, I have given my word that I would pay only twelve."

"Your word? Your pardon, but to whom?"

"To you."

"Oh, then, how gladly I release you from your word!"

"Twelve, Signore, or I go."

"I can not."

Buttons turned away. They walked along the street, and at length
arrived at another clothier's. Just as they stepped in a hand was
laid on Buttons's shoulder, and a voice cried out--

"Take it! Take it, Signore!"

"Ah! I thought so. Twelve?"

"Twelve."

Buttons paid the money and directed where it should be sent. He found
out afterward that the price which an Italian gentleman would pay was
about ten piastres.

There is no greater wonder than the patient waiting of an Italian
tradesman, in pursuit of a bargain. The flexibility of the Italian
conscience and imagination under such circumstances is truly
astonishing.

Dress makes a difference. The very expression of the face changes when
one has passed from shabbiness into elegance. After Buttons had
dressed himself in his gay attire his next thought was what to do with
his old clothes.

"Come and let us dispose of them."

"Dispose of them!"

"Oh, I mean get rid of them. I saw a man crouching in a corner nearly
naked as I came up. Let us go and see if we can find him. I'd like to
try the effect."

They went to the place where the man had been seen. He was there
still. A young man, in excellent health, brown, muscular, lithe.
He had an old coverlet around his loins--that was all. He looked up
sulkily.

"Are you not cold?"

"No," he blurted out, and turned away.

"A boor," said Dick. "Don't throw away your charity on him."

"Look here."

The man looked up lazily.

"Do you want some clothes?"

No reply.

"I've got some here, and perhaps will give them to you."

The man scrambled to his feet.

"Confound the fellow!" said Dick. "If he don't want them let's find
some one who does."

"Look here," said Buttons.

He unfolded his parcel. The fellow looked indifferently at the things.

"Here, take this," and he offered the pantaloons.

The Italian took them and slowly put them on. This done, he stretched
himself and yawned.

"Take this."

It was his vest.

The man took the vest and put it on with equal _sang froid_. Again
he yawned and stretched himself.

"Here's a coat."

Buttons held it out to the Italian. The fellow took it, surveyed it
closely, felt in the pockets, and examined very critically the
stiffening of the collar. Finally he put it on. He buttoned it
closely around him, and passed his fingers through his matted hair.
Then he felt the pockets once more. After which he yawned long and
solemnly. This done, he looked earnestly at Buttons and Dick. He saw
that they had nothing more. Upon which he turned on his heel, and
without saying a word, good or bad, walked off with immense strides,
turned a corner, and was out of sight. The two philanthropists were
left staring at one another. At last they laughed.

"That man is an original," said Dick.

"Yes, and there is another," said Buttons.

As he spoke he pointed to the flight of stone steps that goes up from
the Piazza di Spagna. Dick looked up. There sat The Beggar!

ANTONIO!

Legless, hatless, but not by any means penniless, king of Roman
beggars, with a European reputation, unequalled, in his own
profession--there sat the most scientific beggar that the world has
ever seen.

He had watched the recent proceedings, and caught the glance of the
young men.

As they looked up his voice came clear and sonorous through the air:

"O most generous--0 most noble--O most illustrious youths--Draw near
--Look in pity upon the abject--Behold legless, armless, helpless, the
beggar Antonio forsaken of Heaven--For the love of the Virgin--For the
sake of the saints--In the name of humanity--Date me uno mezzo
baioccho--Sono poooocooooovero--Miseraaaaaaaaaabile--
Desperrrraaaaaaaado!"



CHAPTER XXIII.


THE MANIFOLD LIFE OF THE CAFÉ NUOVO, AND HOW THEY RECEIVED THE NEWS
ABOUT MAGENTA.--EXCITEMENT.--ENTHUSIASM.--TEARS.--EMBRACES.


All modern Rome lives in the Café Nuovo. It was once a palace. Lofty
ceilings, glittering walls, marble pavements, countless tables,
luxurious couches, immense mirrors, all dazzle the eye. The hubbub is
immense, the confusion overpowering.

The European mode of life is not bad. Lodgings in roomy apartments,
where one sleeps and attends to one's private affairs; meals
altogether at the café. There one invites one's friends. No delay with
dinner; no badly-cooked dishes; no stale or sour bread; no timid,
overworn wife trembling for the result of new experiments in
housekeeping. On the contrary, one has: prompt meals; exquisite food;
delicious bread; polite waiters; and happy wife, with plenty of
leisure at home to improve mind and adorn body.

The first visit which the Club paid to the Café Nuovo was an eventful
one. News had just been received of the great strife at Magenta. Every
one was wild. The two _Galignani's_ had been appropriated by two
Italians, who were surrounded by forty-seven frenzied Englishmen, all
eager to get hold of the papers. The Italians obligingly tried to read
the news. The wretched mangle which they made of the language, the
impatience, the excitement, and the perplexity of the audience,
combined with the splendid self-complacency of the readers, formed a
striking scene.

The Italians gathered in a vast crowd in one of the billiard-rooms,
where one of their number, mounted on a table, was reading with
terrific volubility, and still more terrific gesticulations, a
private letter from a friend at Milan.

"Bravo!" cried all present.

In pronouncing which word the Italians rolled the "r" so tumultuously
that the only audible sound was--

B-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-f-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-ah! Like the letter B
in a railway train.

The best of all was to see the French. They were packed in a dense
mass at the furthest extremity of the Grand Saloon. Every one was
talking. Every one was describing to his neighbor the minute
particulars of the tremendous contest. Old soldiers, hoarse with
excitement, emulated the volubility of younger ones. A thousand arms
waved energetically in the air. Every one was too much interested in
his own description to heed his neighbor. They were all talkers, no
listeners.

A few Germans were there, but they sat forsaken and neglected. Even
the waiters forsook them. So they smoked the cigars of sweet and
bitter fancy, occasionally conversing in thick gutturals. It was
evident that they considered the present occasion as a combined crow
of the whole Latin race over the German. So they looked on with
impassive faces.


[Illustration: News Of Magenta!]


Perhaps the most stolid of all was Meinheer Schatt, who smoked and
sipped coffee alternately, stopping after each sip to look around
with mild surprise, to stroke his forked beard, and to ejaculate--

"Gr-r-r-r-r-r-acious me!"

Him the Senator saw and accosted, who, making room for the Senator,
conversed with much animation. After a time the others took seats near
them, and formed a neutral party. At this moment a small-sized
gentleman with black twinkling eyes came rushing past, and burst into
the thick of the crowd of Frenchmen. At the sight of him Buttons
leaped up, and cried:

"There's Francia! I'll catch him now!"

Francia shouted a few words which set the Frenchmen wild.

"The Allies have entered Milan! A dispatch has just arrived!"

There burst a shrill yell of triumph from the insane Frenchmen. There
was a wild rushing to and fro, and the crowd swayed backward and
forward. The Italians came pouring in from the other room. One word
was sufficient to tell them all. It was a great sight to see. On each
individual the news produced a different effect. Some stood still as
though petrified; others flung up their arms and yelled; others
cheered; others upset tables, not knowing what they were doing;
others threw themselves into one another's arms, and embraced and
kissed; others wept for joy:--these last were Milanese.

Buttons was trying to find Francia. The rush of the excited crowd
bore him away, and his efforts were fruitless. In fact, when he
arrived at the place where that gentleman had been, he was gone. The
Germans began to look more uncomfortable than ever. At length Meinheer
Schatt proposed that they should all go in a body to the Café Scacchi.
So they all left.



CHAPTER XXIV.


CHECKMATE!


The Café Scacchi, as its name implies, is devoted to chess. Germans
patronize it to a great extent. Politics do not enter into the
precincts sacred to Caissa.

After they had been seated about an hour Buttons entered. He had not
been able to find Francia. To divert his melancholy he proposed that
Meinheer Schatt should play a game of chess with the Senator. Now,
chess was the Senator's hobby. He claimed to be the best player in
his State. With a patronizing smile he consented to play with a tyro
like Meinheer Schatt. At the end of one game Meinheer Schatt stroked
his beard and meekly said--

"Gr-r-r-acious me!"

The Senator frowned and bit his lips. He was checkmated.

Another game. Meinheer Schatt played in a calm, and some might say a
stupid, manner.

"Gr-r-r-acious me!"

It was a drawn game.

Another: this was a very long game. The Senator played laboriously.
It was no use. Slowly and steadily Meinheer Schatt won the game.

When he uttered his usual exclamation the Senator felt strongly
inclined to throw the board at his head. However, he restrained
himself, and they commenced another game. Much to delight the
Senator beat. He now began to explain to Buttons exactly why it was
that he had not beaten before.

Another game followed. The Senator lost woefully. His defeat was in
fact disgraceful. When Meinheer Schatt said the ominous word the
Senator rose, and was so overcome with vexation he had not the
courtesy to say Good-night.

As they passed out Meinheer Schatt was seen staring after them with
his large blue eyes, stroking his beard, and whispering to himself--

"Gr-r-r-acious me!"


[Illustration: Before And After.]



CHAPTER XXV.


BUTTONS A MAN OF ONE IDEA.--DICK AND HIS MEASURING TAPE.--DARK EYES.
--SUSCEPTIBLE HEART.--YOUNG MAIDEN WHO LIVES OUT OF TOWN.--GRAND
COLLISION OF TWO ABSTRACTED LOVERS IN THE PUBLIC STREETS.


Too much blame can not be given to Buttons for his behavior at this
period. He acted as though the whole motive of his existence was to
find the Francias. To this he devoted his days, and of this he dreamed
at night. He deserted his friends. Left to themselves, without his
moral influence to keep them together and give aim to their efforts,
each one followed his own inclination.

Mr. Figgs spent the whole of his time in the Café Nuovo, drawing out
plans of dinners for each successive day. The Doctor, after sleeping
till noon, lounged on the Pincian Hill till evening, when he joined
Mr. Figgs at dinner. The Senator explored every nook and corner of
Rome. At first Dick accompanied him, but gradually they diverged
from one another in different paths. The Senator visited every place
in the city, peered into dirty houses, examined pavements,
investigated fountains, stared hard at the beggars, and looked
curiously at the Swiss Guard in the Pope's Palace. He soon became
known to the lower classes, who recognized with a grin the tall
foreigner that shouted queer foreign words and made funny gestures.

Dick lived among churches, palaces, and ruins. Tired at length of
wandering, he attached himself to some artists, in whose studios he
passed the greater part of his afternoons. He became personally
acquainted with nearly every member of the fraternity, to whom he
endeared himself by the excellence of his tobacco, and his great
capacity for listening. Your talkative people bore artists more
than any others.

"What a lovely girl! What a look she gave!"

Such was the thought that burst upon the soul of Dick, after a
little visit to a little church that goes by the name of Saint
Somebody _ai quattri fontani_. He had visited it simply because he
had heard that its dimensions exactly correspond with those of each
of the chief piers that support the dome of Saint Peter's. As he
wished to be accurate, he had taken a tape-line, and began stretching
it from the altar to the door. The astonished priests at first stood
paralyzed by his sacrilegious impudence, but finally, after a
consultation, they came to him and ordered him to be gone. Dick looked
up with mild wonder. They indignantly repeated the order.

Dick was extremely sorry that he had given offense. Wouldn't they
overlook it? He was a stranger, and did not know that they would be
unwilling. However, since he had begun, he supposed they would kindly
permit him to finish.

--"They would kindly do no such thing," remarked one of the priests,
brusquely. "Was their church a common stable or a wine-shop that he
should presume to molest them at their services? If he had no
religion, could he not have courtesy; or, if he had no faith himself,
could he not respect the faith of others?"

Dick felt abashed. The eyes of all the worshipers were on him, and it
was while rolling up his tape that his eyes met the glance of a
beautiful Italian girl, who was kneeling opposite. The noise had
disturbed her devotions, and she had turned to see what it was. It was
a thrilling glance from deep black lustrous orbs, in which there was
a soft and melting languor which he could not resist. He went out
dazzled, and so completely bewildered that he did not think of
waiting. After he had gone a few blocks he hurried back. She had gone.
However, the impression of her face remained.

He went so often to the little church that the priests noticed him;
but finding that he was quiet and orderly they were not offended. One
of them seemed to think that his rebuke had awakened the young
foreigner to a sense of higher things; so he one day accosted him
with much politeness. The priest delicately brought forward the claims
of religion. Dick listened meekly. At length he asked the priest if
he recollected a certain young girl with beautiful face, wonderful
eyes, and marvellous appearance that was worshiping there on the day
that he came to measure the church.

"Yes," said the priest, coldly.

Could he tell her name and where she lived?

"Sir," said the priest, "I had hoped that you came here from a higher
motive. It will do you no good to know, and I therefore decline
telling you."

Dick begged most humbly, but the priest was inexorable. At last Dick
remembered having heard that an Italian was constitutionally unable
to resist a bribe. He thought he might try. True, the priest was a
gentleman; but perhaps an Italian gentleman was different from an
English or American; so he put his hand in his pocket and blushing
violently, brought forth a gold piece of about twenty dollars value.
He held it out. The priest stared at him with a look that was
appalling.

"If you know--" faltered Dick--"any one--of course I don't mean
yourself--far from it--but--that is--"

"Sir," cried the priest, "who are you? Are there no bounds to your
impudence? Have you come to insult me because I am a priest, and
therefore can not revenge myself? Away!"

The priest choked with rage. Dick walked out. Bitterly he cursed
his wretched stupidity that had led him to this. His very ears
tingled with shame as he saw the full extent of the insult that he
had offered to a priest and a gentleman. He concluded to leave Rome
at once.

But at the very moment when he had made this desperate resolve he
saw some one coming. A sharp thrill went through his heart.

It was SHE! She looked at him and glanced modestly away. Dick at
once walked up to her.

"Signorina," said he, not thinking what a serious thing it was to
address an Italian maiden in the streets. But this one did not
resent it. She looked up and smiled. "What a smile!" thought Dick.

"Signorina," he said again, and then stopped, not knowing what to
say. His voice was very tremulous, and the expression of his face
tender and beseeching. His eyes told all.

"Signore," said the girl, with a sweet smile. The smile encouraged
Dick.

"Ehem--I have lost my way. I--I--could you tell me how I could get
to Piazza del Popolo? I think I might find my way home from there."

The girl's eyes beamed with a mischievous light.

"Oh yes, most easily. You go down that street; when you pass four
side-streets you turn; to the left--the left--remember, and then you
keep on till you come to a large church with a fountain before it,
then you turn round that, and you see the obelisk of the Piazza del
Popolo."

Her voice was the sweetest that Dick had ever heard. He listened as
he would listen to music, and did not hear a single word that he
comprehended.

"Pardon me," said he, "but would you please to tell me again. I can
not remember all. Three streets?"

The girl laughed and repeated it

Dick sighed.

"I'm a stranger here, and am afraid that I can not find my way. I left
my map at home. If I could find some one who would go with me and
show me."

He looked earnestly at her, but she modestly made a movement to go.

"Are you in a great hurry?" said he.

"No, Signore," replied the girl, softly.

"Could you--a--a--would you be willing--to--to--walk a little part
of the way with me, and--show me a very little part of the way--only
a very little?"


[Illustration: Away!]


The girl seemed half to consent, but modestly hesitated, and a faint
flush stole over her face.

"Ah do!" said Dick. He was desperate.

"It's my only chance," thought he.

The girl softly assented and walked on with him.

"I am very much obliged to you for your kindness," said Dick. "It's
very hard for a stranger to find his way in Rome."

"But, Signore, by this time you ought to know the whole of our city."

"What? How?"

"Why, you have been here three weeks at least."

"How do you know?" and the young man blushed to his eyes. He had been
telling lies, and she knew it all the time.

"Oh, I saw you once in the church, and I have seen you with that tall
man. Is he your father?"

"No, only a friend."

"I saw you," and she shook her little head triumphantly, and her
eyes beamed with fun and laughter.

"Any way," thought Dick, "she ought to understand."

"And did you see me when I was in that little church with a measuring
line?"

The young girl looked up at him, her large eyes reading his very soul.

"Did I look at you? Why, I was praying."

"You looked at me, and I have never forgotten it."

Another glance as though to assure herself of Dick's meaning. The
next moment her eyes sank and her face flushed crimson. Dick's heart
beat so fast that he could not speak for some time.

"Signore," said the young girl at last, "when you turn that corner
you will see the Piazza del Popolo."

"Will you not walk as far as that corner?" said Dick.

"Ah, Signore, I am afraid I will not have time."

"Will I never see you again?" asked he, mournfully.

"I do not know, Signore. You ought to know."

A pause. Both had stopped, and Dick was looking earnestly at her, but
she was looking at the ground.

"How can I know when I do not know even your name? Let me know that,
so that I may think about it."

"Ah, how you try to flatter! My name is Pepita Gianti."

"And do you live far from here?"

"Yes. I live close by the Basilica di San Paolo fuori le mure."

"A long distance. I was out there once."

"I saw you."

Dick exulted.

"How many times have you seen me? I have only seen you once before."

"Oh, seven or eight times."

"And will this be the last?" said Dick, beseechingly.

"Signore, if I wait any longer the gates will be shut."

"Oh, then, before you go, tell me where I can find you to-morrow. If
I walk out on that road will I see you? Will you come in to-morrow?
or will you stay out there and shall I go there? Which of the houses
do you live in? or where can I find you? If you lived over on the
Alban Hills I would walk every day to find you."

Dick spoke with ardor and impetuosity. The deep feeling which he
showed, and the mingled eagerness and delicacy which he exhibited,
seemed not offensive to his companion. She looked up timidly.

"When to-morrow comes you will be thinking of something else--or
perhaps away on those Alban mountains. You will forget all about
me. What is the use of telling you? I ought to go now."

"I'll never forget!" burst forth Dick. "Never--never. Believe me.
On my soul; and oh, Signorina, it is not much to ask!"


[Illustration: Pepita.]


His ardor carried him away. In the broad street he actually made a
gesture as though he would take her hand. The young girl drew back
blushing deeply. She looked at him with a reproachful glance.

"You forget--"

Whereupon Dick interrupted her with innumerable apologies.

"You do not deserve forgiveness. But I will forgive you if you leave
me now. Did I not tell you that I was in a hurry?"

"Will you not tell me where I can see you again?"

"I suppose I will be walking out about this time to-morrow."

"Oh, Signorina! and I will be at the gate."

"If you don't forget."

"Would you be angry if you saw me at the gate this evening?"

"Yes; for friends are going out with me. Addio, Signore."

The young girl departed, leaving Dick rooted to the spot. After a
while he went on to the Piazza del Popolo. A thousand feelings
agitated him. Joy, triumph, perfect bliss, were mingled with countless
tender recollections of the glance, the smile, the tone, and the
blushes of Pepita. He walked on with new life. So abstracted was his
mind in all kinds of delicious anticipations that he ran full against
a man who was hurrying at full speed and in equal abstraction in the
opposite direction. There was a recoil. Both fell. Both began to make
apologies. But suddenly:

"Why, Buttons!"

"Why, Dick!"

"Where in the world did you come from?"

"Where in the world did you come from?"

"What are you after, Buttons?"

"Did you see a carriage passing beyond that corner?"

"No, none."

"You must have seen it."

"Well, I didn't."

"Why, it must have just passed you."

"I saw none."

"Confound it!"

Buttons hurriedly left, and ran all the way to the corner, round which
he passed.



CHAPTER XXVI.


CONSEQUENCES OF BEING GALLANT IN ITALY, WHERE THERE ARE LOVERS,
HUSBANDS, BROTHERS, FATHERS, COUSINS, AND INNUMERABLE OTHER RELATIVES
AND CONNECTIONS, ALL READY WITH THE STILETTO.


After his meeting with Pepita, Dick found it extremely difficult to
restrain his impatience until the following evening. He was at the
gate long before the time, waiting with trembling eagerness.

It was nearly sundown before she came; but she did come at last. Dick
watched her with strange emotions, murmuring to himself all those
peculiar epithets which are commonly used by people in his situation.
The young girl was unmistakably lovely, and her grace and beauty might
have affected a sterner heart than Dick's.

"Now I wonder if she knows how perfectly and radiantly lovely she
is," thought he, as she looked at him and smiled.

He joined her a little way from the gate.

"So you do not forget."

"_I_ forget! Before I spoke to you I thought of you without ceasing,
and now I can never forget you."

"Do your friends know where you are?" she asked, timidly.

"Do you think I would tell them?"

"Are you going to stay long in Rome?"

"I will not go away for a long time."

"You are an American."

"Yes."

"America is very far away."

"But it is easy to get there."

"How long will you be in Rome?"

"I don't know. A very long time."

"Not in the summer?"

"Yes, in the summer."

"But the malaria. Are you not afraid of that? Will your friends stay?"

"I do not care whether my friends do or not."

"But you will be left alone."

"I suppose so."

"But what will you do for company? It will be very lonely."

"I will think of you all day, and at evening come to the gate."

"Oh, Signore! You jest now!"

"How can I jest with you?"

"You don't mean what you say."

"Pepita!"

Pepita blushed and looked embarrassed. Dick had called her by her
Christian name; but she did not appear to resent it.

"You don't know who I am," she said at last. "Why do you pretend to
be so friendly?"

"I know that you are Pepita, and I don't want to know any thing
more, except one thing, which I am afraid to ask."

Pepita quickened her pace.

"Do not walk so fast, Pepita," said Dick, beseechingly. "Let the walk
be as long as you can."

"But if I walked so slowly you would never let me get home."

"I wish I could make the walk so slow that we could spend a
life-time on the road."

Pepita laughed. "That would be a long time."

It was getting late. The sun was half-way below the horizon. The sky
was flaming with golden light, which glanced dreamily through the hazy
atmosphere. Every thing was toned down to soft beauty. Of course it
was the season for lovers and lovers' vows. Pepita walked a little
more slowly to oblige Dick. She uttered an occasional murmur at their
slow progress, but still did not seem eager to quicken her pace. Every
step was taken unwillingly by Dick, who wanted to prolong the happy
time.

Pepita's voice was the sweetest in the world, and her soft Italian
sounded more musically that that language had ever sounded before.
She seemed happy, and by many little signs showed that her companion
was not indifferent to her. At length Dick ventured to offer his arm.
She rested her hand on it very gently, and Dick tremulously took it in
his. The little hand fluttered for a few minutes, and then sank to
rest.

The sun had now set. Evening in Italy is far different from what it
is in northern latitudes. There it comes on gently and slowly,
sometimes prolonging its presence for hours, and the light will be
visible until very late. In Italy, however, it is short and abrupt.
Almost as soon as the sun disappears the thick shadows come swiftly
on and cover every thing. It was so at this time. It seemed but a
moment after sunset, and yet every thing was growing indistinct. The
clumps of trees grew black; the houses and walls of the city behind
all faded into a mass of gloom. The stars shone faintly. There was
no moon.

"I will be very late to-night," said Pepita, timidly.

"But are you much later than usual?"

"Oh, very much!"

"There is no danger, is there? But if there is you are safe. I can
protect you. Can you trust me?"

"Yes," said Pepita, in a low voice.

It was too dark to see the swiftly-changing color of Pepita's face as
Dick murmured some words in her ear. But her hand trembled violently
as Dick held it. She did not say a word in response. Dick stood still
for a moment and begged her to answer him. She made an effort and
whispered some indistinct syllables. Whereupon Dick called her by
every endearing name that he could think of, and--Hasty footsteps!
Exclamations! Shouts! They were surrounded! Twelve men or more--
stout, strong fellows, magnified by the gloom. Pepita shrieked.

"Who are you?" cried Dick. "Away, or I'll shoot you all. I'm armed."

"Boh!" said one of the men, contemptuously. "Off!" cried Dick, as
the fellow drew near. He put himself before Pepita to protect her,
and thrust his right hand in the breast-pocket of his coat.

"Who is that with you?" said a voice. At the sound of the voice
Pepita uttered a cry. Darting from behind Dick she rushed up to him.

"It is Pepita, Luigi!"

"Pepita! Sister! What do you mean by this?" said the man hoarsely.
"Why are you so late? Who is this man?"

"An American gentleman who walked out as far as this to protect me,"
said Pepita, bursting into tears.

"An American gentleman!" said Luigi, with a bitter sneer. "He came
to protect you, did he? Well; we will show him in a few minutes
how grateful we are."

Dick stood with folded arms awaiting the result of all this.

"Luigi! dearest brother!" cried Pepita, with a shudder, "on my soul
--in the name of the Holy Mother--he is an honorable American
gentleman, and he came to protect me."

"Oh! we know, and we will reward him."

"Luigi! Luigi!" moaned Pepita, "if you hurt him I will die!"

"Ah! Has it come to that?" said Luigi, bitterly. "A half-hour's
acquaintance, and you talk of dying. Here, Pepita; go home with
Ricardo."

"I will not. I will not go a step unless you let him go."

"Oh, we will let him go!"

"Promise me you will not hurt him."

"Pepita, go home!" cried her brother, sternly.

"I will not unless you promise."

"Foolish girl! Do you suppose we are going to break the laws and
get into trouble? No, no. Come, go home with Ricardo. I'm going to
the city."

Ricardo came forward, and Pepita allowed herself to be led away.

When she was out of sight and hearing Luigi approached Dick. Amid
the gloom Dick did not see the wrath and hate that might have been on
his face, but the tone of his voice was passionate and menacing. He
prepared for the worst. "That is my sister.--Wretch! what did you
mean?"

"I swear--"

"Peace! We will give you cause to remember her."

Dick saw that words and excuses were useless. He thought his hour had
come. He resolved to die game. He hadn't a pistol. His manoeuvre of
putting his hand in his pocket was merely intended to deceive. The
Italians thought that if he had one he would have done more than
mention it. He would at least have shown it. He had stationed
himself under a tree. The men were before him. Luigi rushed at him
like a wild beast. Dick gave him a tremendous blow between his eyes
that knocked him headlong.

"You can kill me," he shouted, "but you'll find it hard work!"

Up jumped Luigi, full of fury; half a dozen others rushed
simultaneously at Dick. He struck out two vigorous blows, which
crashed against the faces of two of them. The next moment he was on
the ground. On the ground, but striking well-aimed blows and kicking
vigorously. He kicked one fellow completely over. The brutal Italians
struck and kicked him in return. At last a tremendous blow descended
on his head. He sank senseless.

When he revived it was intensely dark. He was covered with painful
bruises. His head ached violently. He could see nothing. He arose
and tried to walk, but soon fell exhausted. So he crawled closer to
the trunk of the tree, and groaned there in his pain. At last he
fell into a light sleep, that was much interrupted by his suffering.

He awoke at early twilight. He was stiff and sore, but very much
refreshed. His head did not pain so excessively. He heard the
trickling of water near, and saw a brook. There he went and washed
himself. The water revived him greatly. Fortunately his clothes were
only slightly torn. After washing the blood from his face, and
buttoning his coat over his bloodstained shirt, and brushing the
dirt from his clothes, he ventured to return to the city.

He crawled rather than walked, often stopping to rest, and once
almost fainting from utter weakness. But at last he reached the
city, and managed to find a wine-cart, the only vehicle that he
could see, which took him to his lodgings. He reached his room
before any of the others were up, and went to bed.


[Illustration: An Interruption.]



CHAPTER XXVII.


DICK ON THE SICK LIST.--RAPTURE OF BUTTONS AT MAKING AN IMPORTANT
DISCOVERY.


Great was the surprise of all on the following morning at finding that
Dick was confined to his bed. All were very anxious, and even Buttons
showed considerable feeling. For as much as a quarter of an hour he
ceased thinking about the Spaniards. Poor Dick! What on earth was the
matter? Had he fever? No. Perhaps it was the damp night-air. He should
not have been out so late. Where was he? A confounded pity! The Doctor
felt his pulse. There was no fever. The patient was very pale, and
evidently in great pain. His complaint was a mystery. However, the
Doctor recommended perfect quiet, and hoped that a few days would
restore him. Dick said not a word about the events of the evening. He
thought it would do no good to tell them. He was in great pain. His
body was black with frightful bruises, and the depression of his mind
was as deep as the pain of his body.

The others went out at their usual hour.

The kind-hearted Senator remained at home all day, and sat by Dick's
bedside, sometimes talking, sometimes reading. Dick begged him not to
put himself to so much inconvenience on his account; but such language
was distasteful to the Senator.

"My boy," he said, "I know that you would do as much for me. Besides,
it is a far greater pleasure to do any thing for you than to walk
about merely to gratify myself. Don't apologize, or tell me that I am
troubling myself. Leave me to do as I please."

Dick's grateful look expressed more than words.

In a few days his pain had diminished, and it was evident that he
would be out in a fortnight or so. The kind attentions of his friends
affected him greatly. They all spent more time than ever in his room,
and never came there without bringing some little trifle, such as
grapes, oranges, or other fruit. The Senator hunted all over Rome for
a book, and found Victor Hugo's works, which he bought on a venture,
and had the gratification of seeing that it was acceptable.

All suspected something. The Doctor had contended from the first that
Dick had met with an accident. They had too much delicacy to question
him, but made many conjectures amongst themselves. The Doctor thought
that he had been among some ruins, and met with a fall. Mr. Figgs
suggested that he might have been run over. The Senator thought it was
some Italian epidemic. Buttons was incapable of thinking rationally
about any thing just then. He was the victim of a monomania: the
Spaniards!

About a week after Dick's adventure Buttons was strolling about on
his usual quest, when he was attracted by a large crowd around the
Chiesa di Gesu. The splendid equipages of the cardinals were crowded
about the principal entrance, and from the interior sounds of music
came floating magnificently down. Buttons went in to see what was
going on. A vast crowd filled the church. Priests in gorgeous
vestments officiated at the high altar, which was all ablaze with
the light of enormous wax-candles. The gloom of the interior was
heightened by the clouds of incense that rolled on high far within
the vaulted ceiling.


[Illustration: Poor Dick!]


The Pope was there. In one of the adjoining chambers he was performing
a ceremony which sometimes takes place in this church. Guided by
instinct, Buttons pressed his way into the chamber. A number of people
filled it. Suddenly he uttered an exclamation.

Just as His Holiness was rising to leave, Buttons saw the group that
had filled his thoughts for weeks.

The Spaniards! No mistake this time. And he had been right all along.
All his efforts had, after all, been based on something tangible. Not
in vain had he had so many walks, runnings, chasings, searchings,
strolls, so many hopes, fears, desires, discouragements. He was
right! Joy, rapture, bliss, ecstasy, delight! There they were: _the
little Don_--THE DONNA--IDA!

Buttons, lost for a while in the crowd, and pressed away, never lost
sight of the Spaniards. They did not see him, however, until, as
they slowly moved out, they were stopped and greeted with astonishing
eagerness. The Don shook hands cordially. The Donna--that is, the
elder sister--smiled sweetly. Ida blushed and cast down her eyes.

Nothing could be more gratifying than this reception. Where had he
been? How long in Rome? Why had they not met before? Strange that
they had not seen him about the city. And had he really been here
three weeks? Buttons informed them that he had seen them several
times, but at a distance. He had been at all the hotels, but had
not seen their names.

Hotels! Oh, they lived in lodgings in the Palazzo Concini, not far
from the Piazza del Popolo. And how much longer did he intend to
stay?--Oh, no particular time. His friends enjoyed themselves here
very much. He did not know exactly when they would leave. How long
would they remain?--They intended to leave for Florence on the
following week.--Ah! He was thinking of leaving for the same place
at about the same time. Whereupon the Don expressed a polite hope
that they might see one another on the journey.

By this time the crowd had diminished. They looked on while the Pope
entered his state-coach, and with strains of music, and prancing of
horses, and array of dragoons, drove magnificently away.

The Don turned to Buttons: Would he not accompany them to their
lodgings? They were just about returning to dinner. If he were
disengaged they should be most happy to have the honor of his
company.

Buttons tried very hard to look as though he were not mad with
eagerness to accept the invitation, but not very successfully. The
carriage drove off rapidly. The Don and Buttons on one seat, the
ladies on the other.

Then the face of Ida as she sat opposite! Such a face! Such a smile!
Such witchery in her expression! Such music in her laugh!

At any rate so it seemed to Buttons, and that is all that is needed.

On through the streets of Rome; past the post-office, round the column
of Antoninus, up the Corso, until at last they stopped in front of
an immense edifice which had once been a palace. The descendants of
the family lived in a remote corner, and their poverty compelled them
to let out all the remainder as lodgings. This is no uncommon thing
in Italy. Indeed, there are so many ruined nobles in the country that
those are fortunate who have a shelter over their heads. Buttons
remarked this to the Don, who told some stories of these fallen
nobles. He informed him that in Naples their laundress was said to be
the last scion of one of the most ancient families in the kingdom.
She was a countess in her own right, but had to work at menial labor.
Moreover, many had sunk down to the grade of peasantry, and lived in
squalor on lands which were once the estates of their ancestors.

Buttons spent the evening there. The rooms were elegant. Books lay
around which showed a cultivated taste. The young man felt himself in
a realm of enchantment. The joy of meeting was heightened by their
unusual complaisance. During the evening he found out all about them.
They lived in Cadiz, where the Don was a merchant. This was their
first visit to Italy.

They all had fine perceptions for the beautiful in art or nature,
and, besides, a keen sense of the ludicrous. So, when Buttons, growing
communicative, told them about Mr. Figgs's adventure in the ball of
St. Peter's, they were greatly amused. He told about the adventures
of all his friends. He told of himself: all about the chase in Naples
Bay, and his pursuit of their carriage from St. Peter's. He did not
tell them that he had done this more than once. Ida was amused; but
Buttons felt gratified at seeing a little confusion on her face, as
though she was conscious of the real cause of such a persevering
pursuit. She modestly evaded his glance, and sat at a little
distance from the others. Indeed, she said but little during the
whole evening.

When Buttons left he felt like a spiritual being. He was not conscious
of treading on any material earth, but seemed to float along through
enchanted air over the streets into his lodgings, and so on into the
realm of dreams.



CHAPTER XXVIII.


WHAT KIND OF A LETTER THE SENATOR WROTE FOR THE "NEW ENGLAND PATRIOT,"
WHICH SHOWS A TRITE, LIBERAL, UNBIASED, PLAIN, UNVARNISHED VIEW OF
ROME.


"Dick," said the Senator, as he sat with him in his room, "I've been
thinking over your tone of mind, more particularly as it appears in
those letters which you write home, such as you read the other day.
It is a surprising thing to me how a young man with your usual good
sense, keenness of perception, and fine education, can allow yourself
to be so completely carried away by a mawkish sentiment. What is the
use of all these memories and fancies and hysterical emotions that
you talk about? In one place you call yourself by the absurd name of
'A Pensive Traveller.' Why not be honest? Be a sensible American,
exhibiting in your thoughts and in all your actions the effect of
democratic principles and stiff republican institutions. Now I'll
read you what I have written. I think the matter is a little nearer
the mark than your flights of fancy. But perhaps you don't care just
now about hearing it?"

"Indeed I do; so read on," said Dick.


"As I have travelled considerable in Italy," said the Senator,
reading from a paper which he drew from his pocket, "with my eyes
wide open, I have some idea of the country and of the general
condition of the farming class."


The Senator stopped. "I forgot to say that this is for the _New
England Patriot_, published in our village, you know."

Dick nodded. The Senator resumed:


"The soil is remarkably rich. Even where there are mountains they
are well wooded. So if the fields look well it is not surprising.
What is surprising is the cultivation. I saw ploughs such as Adam
might have used when forced for the first time to turn up the
ground outside the locality of Eden; harrows which were probably
invented by Numa Pompey, an old Roman that people talk about.

"They haven't any idea of draining clear. For here is a place called
the Pontine Marsh, beautiful soil, surrounded by a settled country,
and yet they let it go to waste almost entirely.

"The Italians are lazy. The secret of their bad farming lies in
this. For the men loll and smoke on the fences, leaving the poor
women to toil in the fields. A woman ploughing! And yet these people
want to be free.

"They wear leather leggins, short breeches, and jackets. Many of
them wear wooden shifts. The women of the south use a queer kind of
outlandish head-dress, which if they spent less time in fixing it
would be better for their own worldly prosperity.

"The cattle are fine: very broad in the chest, with splendid action.
I don't believe any other country can show such cattle. The pigs are
certainly the best I ever saw by a long chalk. Their chops beat all
creation. A friend of mine has made some sketches, which I will give
to the Lyceum on my return. They exhibit the Sorrento pig in
various attitudes.


[Illustration: Sketches By A Friend.]


"The horses, on the contrary, are poor affairs. I have yet to see
the first decent horse. The animals employed by travellers generally
are the lowest of their species. The shoes which the horses wear are
of a singular shape. I can't describe them in writing, but they look
more like a flat-iron than any thing else.

"I paid a visit to Pompeii, and on coming back I saw some of the carts
of the country. They gave one a deplorable idea of the state of the
useful arts in this place. Scientific farming is out of the question.
If fine plantations are seen it's Nature does it.

"Vineyards abound everywhere. Wine is a great staple of the country.
Yet they don't export much after all. In fact the foreign commerce
is comparatively trifling. Chestnuts and olives are raised in
immense quantities. The chestnut is as essential to the Italian as
the potato is to the Irishman. A failure in the crop is attended
with the same disastrous consequences. They dry the nuts, grind them
into a kind of flour, and make them into cakes. I tasted one and
found it abominable. Yet these people eat it with garlic, and grow
fat on it. Chestnut bread, oil instead of butter, wine instead of
tea, and you have an Italian meal.

"It's a fine country for fruit. I found Gaeta surrounded by orange
groves. The fig is an important article in the economy of an Italian
household.

"I have been in Rome three weeks. Many people take much interest in
this place, though quite unnecessarily. I do not think it is at all
equal to Boston. Yet I have taken great pains to examine the place.
The streets are narrow and crooked, like those of Boston. They are
extremely dirty. There are no sidewalks. The gutter is in the middle
of the street. The people empty their slops from their windows. The
pavements are bad and very slippery. The accumulation of filth about
the streets is immense. The drainage is not good. They actually use
one old drain which, they tell me, was made three thousand years ago.

"Gas has only been recently introduced. I understand that a year or
two ago the streets were lighted by miserable contrivances, consisting
of a mean oil lamp swung from the middle of a rope stretched across
the street.

"The shops are not worth mentioning. There are no magnificent
_Dry-goods Stores_, such as I have seen by the hundred in Boston;
no _Hardware Stores_; no palatial _Patent Medicine Edifices_; no
signs of enterprise, in fact, at all.

"The houses are very uncomfortable. They are large, and built in the
form of a square. People live on separate flats. If it is cold they
have to grin and bear it. There are no stoves. I have suffered more
from the cold on some evenings since I have been here than ever I
did in-doors at home. I have asked for a fire, but all they could
give me was a poisonous fire of charcoal in an earthen thing like
a basket.

"Some of their public buildings are good, but that can't make the
population comfortable. In fact, the people generally are ill-cared
for. Here are the wretched Jews, who live in a filthy quarter of
the city crowded together like pigs.

"The people pass the most of their time in coffee-houses. They are
an idle set--have nothing in the world to do. It is still a mystery
to me how they live.

"The fact is, there are too many soldiers and priests. Now it is
evident that these gentry, being non-producers, must be supported
directly or indirectly by the producers. This is the cause, I suppose,
of the poverty of a great part of the population.

"Begging is reduced to a science. In this I confess the Italian beats
the American all to pieces. The American eye has not seen, nor ear
heard, the devices of an Italian beggar to get along.

"I have seen them in great crowds waiting outside of a monastery for
their dinner, which consists of huge bowls of porridge given by the
monks. Can any thing be more ruinous to a people?

"The only trade that I could discover after a long and patient search
was the trade in brooches and toys which are bought as curiosities by
travellers.

"There are nothing but churches and palaces wherever you go. Some
of these palaces are queer-looking concerns. There isn't one in the
whole lot equal to some of the Fifth Avenue houses in New York in
point of real genuine style.

"There has been too much money spent in churches, and too little
on houses. If it amounted to any thing it would not be so bad, but
the only effect has been to promote an idle fondness for music
and pictures and such like. If they tore down nine-tenths of their
churches and turned them into school-houses on the New England
system, it would not be bad for the rising generation.

"The newspapers which they have are miserable things-wretched
little sheets, full of lies--no advertisements, no news, no nothing.
I got a friend to translate what pretended to be the latest American
news. It was a collection of murders, duels, railway accidents, and
steamboat explosions.

"I don't see what hope there is for this unfortunate country; I don't
really. The people have gone on so long in their present course that
they are now about incorrigible. If the entire population were to
emigrate to the Western States, and mix up with the people there,
it might be possible for their descendants in the course of time to
amount to something.

"I don't see any hope except perhaps in one plan, which would be no
doubt impossible for these lazy and dreamy Italians to carry out.
It is this: Let this poor, brokendown, bankrupt Government make an
inventory of its whole stock of jewels, gold, gems, pictures, and
statues. I understand that the nobility throughout Europe would
be willing to pay immense sums of money for these ornaments. If they
are fools enough to do so, then in Heaven's name let them have the
chance. Clear out the whole stock of rubbish, and let the hard cash
come in to replace it. That would be a good beginning, with something
tangible to start from. I am told that the ornaments of St. Peter's
Cathedral cost ever so many millions of dollars. In the name of
goodness why not sell out the stock and realize instead of issuing
those ragged notes for twenty-five cents, which circulate among
the people here at a discount of about seventy-five per cent?

"Then let them run a railroad north to Florence and south to Naples.
It would open up a fine tract of county which is capable of growing
grain; it would tap the great olive-growing districts, and originate
a vast trade of oil, wine, and dried fruits.

"The country around Rome is uninhabited, but not barren. It is sickly
in summer-time, but if there was a population on it who would
cultivate it property I calculate the malaria would vanish, just as
the fever and ague do from many Western districts in our country by
the same agencies. I calculate that region could be made one of the
most fertile on this round earth if occupied by an industrious class
of emigrants.

"But there is a large space inside the walls of the city which could
be turned to the best of purposes.

"The place which used to be the Roman Forum is exactly calculated
to be the terminus of the railroad which I have suggested. A
commodious depot could be made, and the door-way might be worked up
out of the arch of Titus, which now stands blocking up the way, and
is of no earthly use.

"The amount of crumbling stones and old mined walls that they
leave about this quarter of the city is astonishing. It ought not
to be so.

"What the Government ought to do after being put in funds by the
process mentioned above is this:

"The Government ought to tear down all those unsightly heaps of
stone and erect factories and industrial schools. There is plenty
of material to do it with. For instance, take the old ruin called
the Coliseum. It is a fact, arrived at by elaborate calculation,
that the entire contents of that concern are amply sufficient
to construct no less than one hundred and fifty handsome
factories, each two hundred feet by seventy-five.

"The factories being built, they could be devoted to the
production of the finer tissues. Silks and velvets could be produced
here. Glass-ware of all kinds could be made. There is a fine Italian
clay that makes nice cups and crocks.

"I could also suggest the famous Roman cement as an additional
article of export. The Catacombs under the city could be put to
some direct practical use.

"I have hastily put out these few ideas to show what a liberal
and enlightened policy might effect even in such an unpromising
place as Rome. It is not probable, however, that my scheme would
meet with favor here. The leading classes in this city are such
an incurable get of old fogies that, I verily believe, rather
than do what I have suggested, they would choose to have the
earth open beneath them and swallow them up forever--city, churches,
statues, pictures, museums, palaces, ruins and all.

"I've got a few other ideas, some of which will work some day.
Suppose Russia should sell us her part of America. Spain sell us
Cuba, Italy give us Rome, Turkey an island or two--then what? But
I'll keep this for another letter."


"That's all," said the Senator.

Dick's face was drawn up into the strangest expression. He did not
say any thing, however. The Senator calmly folded up his paper, and
with a thoughtful air took up his hat.

"I'm going to that Coliseum again to measure a place I forgot,"
said he.

Upon which he retired, leaving Dick alone.



CHAPTER XXIX.


THE LONELY ONE AND HIS COMFORTER.--THE TRUE MEDICINE FOR A SICK MAN.


Dick was alone in his chamber. Confinement to his room was bad
enough, but what was that in comparison with the desolation of soul
that afflicted him? Pepita was always in his thoughts. The bright
moment was alone remembered, and the black sequel could not efface
her image. Yet his misadventure showed him that his chances of
seeing her again were extremely faint. But how could he give her
up? They would soon be leaving for Florence. How could he leave
never to see her again--the lovely, the sweet, the tender, the--

A faint knock at the door.

"Come in," said Dick, without rising from his chair.

A female entered. She was dressed in black. A thick veil hid her
features, but her bent figure denoted age and weariness. She slowly
closed the door.

"Is it here where a young American lives with this name?"

She held out a card. It was his name, his card. He had only given it
to one person in Rome, and that one was Pepita.

"Oh!" cried Dick, rising, his whole expression changing from sadness
to eager and beseeching hope, "oh, if you know where she is--where I
may find her--"

The female raised her form, then with a hand that trembled
excessively she slowly lifted her veil. It was a face not old and
wrinkled but young and lovely, with tearful eyes downcast, and
cheeks suffused with blushes.

With an eager cry Dick bounded from his chair and caught her in
his arms. Not a word was spoken. He held her in a strong embrace as
though he would not let her go. At last he drew her to a seat beside
him, still holding her in his arms.

"I could not stay away. I led you into misfortune. Oh, how you
have suffered. You are thin and wan. What a wretch am I! When you see
me no more will you forgive me?"

"Forgive!" and Dick replied in a more emphatic way than words afford.

"They would not let me leave the house for ten days. They told me
if I ever dared to see you again they would kill you. So I knew you
were not dead. But I did not know how they had beaten you till one
day Ricardo told me all. To think of you unarmed fighting so
gallantly. Four of them were so bruised that they have not yet
recovered. To-day Luigi went to Civita Vecchia. He told me that
if I dared to go to Rome he would send me to a convent. But I
disobeyed him. I could not rest. I had to come and see how you
were, and to--bid--adieu--"

"Adieu! bid adieu?--never. I will not let you."

"Ah, now you talk wildly," said Pepita, mournfully, "for you know
we must part."

"We shall not part."

"I will have to go home, and you can not follow me."

"Oh, Pepita, I can not give you up. You shall be mine--now--my wife
--and come with me home--to America. And we shall never again have
to part."

"Impossible," said Pepita, as big tear-drops fell from her eyes.
"Impossible!"

"Why impossible?"

"Luigi would track us to the end of the world."

"Track us! I would like to see him try it!" cried Dick in a fury. "I
have an account to settle with him which will not be pleasant for
him to pay. Who is he to dare to stand between me and you? As to
following me--Well, I have already given him a specimen of what I
am. I would give a year of my life to have him alone for about half
an hour."

"You wrong him," cried Pepita, earnestly. "You wrong him. You must
not talk so. He is not a bravo. He is my brother. He has been like
a father to me. He loves me dearly, and my good name is dearer to
him than life. He is so good and so noble, dear Luigi! It was his
love for me that blinded him and made him furious. He thought you
were deceiving us all, and would not listen to you."

"But if he were so noble would he have attacked one unarmed man,
and he at the head of a dozen?"

"I tell you," cried Pepita, "you do not know him. He was so blinded
by passion that he had no mercy. Oh, I owe every thing to him! And
I know how good and noble he is!"

"Pepita, for your sake I will forgive him every thing."

"I can not stay longer," said Pepita, making an effort to rise.

"Oh, Pepita! you can not leave me forever."

Pepita fell weeping into his arms, her slender form convulsed with
emotion.

"You shall not."

"I must--there is no help."

"Why must you? Can you not fly with me? What prevents you from being
mine? Let us go and be united in the little church where I saw you
first."

"Impossible!" moaned Pepita.

"Why?"

"Because I could not do you such injustice. You have your father far
away in America. You might offend him."

"Bother my father!" cried Dick.

Pepita looked shocked.

"I mean--he would allow me to do any thing I liked, and glory in it,
because I did it. He would chuckle over it for a month."

"Luigi--"

"Pepita, do you love him better than me?"

"No, but if I leave him so it would break his heart. He will think I
am ruined. He will declare a vendetta against you, and follow you to
the end of the world."

"Is there no hope?"

"No--not now."

"Not now? And when will there be? Can it be possible that you would
give me up? Then I would not give you up! If you do not love me I
must love you."

"Cruel!" murmured Pepita.

"Forgive," said Dick, penitently. "Perhaps I am too sudden. If I
come back again in two or three months will you be as hardhearted
as you are now?"

"Hard-hearted!" sighed Pepita, tearfully. "You should not reproach
me. My troubles are more than I can bear. It is no slight thing that
you ask."

"Will waiting soften you? Will it make any difference? If I came for
you--"

"You must not leave me so," said Pepita, reproachfully. "I will tell
you all. You will understand me better. Listen. My family is noble."

"Noble!" cried Dick, thunderstruck. He had certainly always thought
her astonishingly lady--like for a peasant girl, but attributed this
to the superior refinement of the Italian race.

"Yes, noble," said Pepita, proudly. "We seem now only poor peasants.
Yet once we were rich and powerful. My grandfather lost all in the
wars in the time of Napoleon, and only left his descendants an
honorable name. Alas! honor and titles are worth but little when one
is poor. My brother Luigi is the Count di Gianti."

"And you are the Countess di Gianti."

"Yes," said Pepita, smiling at last, and happy at the change that
showed itself in Dick. "I am the Countess Pepita di Gianti. Can you
understand now my dear Luigi's high sense of honor and the fury
that he felt when he thought that you intended an insult? Our
poverty, which we can not escape, chafes him sorely. If I were to
desert him thus suddenly it would kill him."

"Oh, Pepita! if waiting will win you I will wait for years. Is there
any hope?"

"When will you leave Rome?"

"In a few days my friends leave."

"Then do not stay behind. If you do you can not see me."

"But if I come again in two or three months? What then? Can I see
you?"

"Perhaps," said Pepita, timidly.

"And you will apt refuse? No, no! You can not! How can I find you?"

"Alas! you will by that time forget all about me."

"Cruel Pepita! How can you say I will forget? Would I not die for
you? How can I find you?"

"The Padre Lignori."

"Who?"

"Padre Lignori, at the little church. The tall priest--the one who
spoke to you."

"But he will refuse. He hates me."

"He is a good man. If he thinks you are honorable he will be your
friend. He is a true friend to me."

"I will see him before I leave and tell him all."

There were voices below.

Pepita started.

"They come. I must go," said she, dropping her veil.

"Confound them!" cried Dick.

"_Addio_!" sighed Pepita.

Dick caught her in his arms. She tore herself away with sobs.

She was gone.

Dick sank back in his chair, with his eyes fixed hungrily on the door.

"Hallo!" burst the Doctor's voice on his ears. "Who's that old girl?
Hey? Why, Dick, how pale you are! You're worse. Hang it! you'll have
a relapse if you don't look out. You must make a total change in your
diet--more stimulating drink and generous food. However, the drive to
Florence will set you all right again."



CHAPTER XXX.


OCCUPATIONS AND PEREGRINATIONS OF BUTTONS.


If Buttons had spent little time in his room before he now spent less.
He was exploring the ruins of Rome, the churches, the picture
galleries, and the palaces under new auspices. He knew the name of
every palace and church in the place. He acquired this knowledge by
means of superhuman application to "Murray's Hand-book" on the
evenings after leaving his companions. They were enthusiastic,
particularly the ladies. They were perfectly familiar with all the
Spanish painters and many of the Italian. Buttons felt himself far
inferior to them in real familiarity with Art, but he made amends by
brilliant criticisms of a transcendental nature.


[Illustration: Buttons and Murray.]


It was certainly a pleasant occupation for youth, sprightliness, and
beauty. To wander all day long through that central world from which
forever emanate all that is fairest and most enticing in Art,
Antiquity, and Religion; to have a soul open to the reception of all
these influences, and to have all things glorified by Almighty love;
in short, to be in love in Rome.

Rome is an inexhaustible store-house of attractions. For the lovers
of gayety there are the drives of the Pincian Hill, or the Villa
Borghese. For the student, ruins whose very dust is eloquent. For the
artist, treasures beyond price. For the devotee, religion. How
fortunate, thought Buttons, that in addition to all this there is,
for the lovers of the beautiful, beauty!

Day after day they visited new scenes. Upon the whole, perhaps, the
best way to see the city, when one can not spend one's life there,
is to take Murray's Hand-book, and, armed with that red necessity,
dash energetically at the work; see every thing that is mentioned;
hurry it up in the orthodox manner; then throw the book away, and go
over the ground anew, wandering easily wherever fancy leads.



CHAPTER XXXI.


BUTTONS ACTS THE GOOD SAMARITAN, AND LITERALLY UNEARTHS A MOST
UNEXPECTED VICTIM OF AN ATROCIOUS ROBBERY.--GR-R-R-A-CIOUS ME!

To these, once wandering idly down the Appian Way, the ancient tower
of Metella rose invitingly. The carriage stopped, and ascending,
they walked up to the entrance. They marvelled at the enormous blocks
of travertine of which the edifice was built, the noble simplicity of
the style, the venerable garment of ivy which hid the ravages of
time.

The door was open, and they walked in. Buttons first; the ladies
timidly following; and the Don bringing up the rear. Suddenly a low
groan startled them. It seemed to come from the very depths of the
earth. The ladies gave a shriek, and dashing past their brother, ran
out. The Don paused. Buttons of course advanced. He never felt so
extensive in his life before. What a splendid opportunity to give
an exhibition of manly courage! So he walked on, and shouted:

"Who's there?"

A groan!

Further in yet, till he came to the inner chamber. It was dark there,
the only light coming in through the passages. Through the gloom he
saw the figure of a man lying on the floor so tied that he could not
move.

"Who are you? What's the matter?"

"Let me loose, for God's sake!" said a voice, in thick Italian, with
a heavy German accent. "I'm a traveller. I've been robbed by brigands."

To snatch his knife from his pocket, to cut the cords that bound the
man, to lift him to his feet, and then to start back with a cry of
astonishment, were all the work of an instant. By this time the others
had entered.

The man was a German, unmistakably. He stood blinking and staring.
Then he stretched his several limbs and rubbed himself. Then he took
a long survey of the new-comers. Then he stroked a long, red, forked
beard, and, in tones expressive of the most profound bewilderment,
slowly ejaculated--

"Gr-r-r-r-acious me!"

"Meinheer Schatt!" cried Buttons, grasping his hand. "How in the name
of wonder did you get here? What has happened to you? Who tied you up?
Were you robbed? Were you beaten? Are you hurt? But come out of this
dark hole to the sunshine."

Meinheer Schatt walked slowly out, saying nothing to these rapid
inquiries of Buttons. The German intellect is profound, but slow; and
so Meinheer Schatt took a long time to collect his scattered ideas.
Buttons found that he was quite faint; so producing a flask from
his pocket he made him drink a little precious cordial, which revived
him greatly. After a long pull he heaved a heavy sigh, and looked
with a piteous expression at the new-comers. The kind-hearted
Spaniards insisted on taking him to their carriage. He was too weak
to walk. They would drive him. They would listen to no refusal. So
Meinheer Schatt was safely deposited in the carriage, and told his
story.

He had come out very early in the morning to visit the Catacombs. He
chose the early part of the day so as to be back before it got hot.
Arriving at the Church of St. Sebastian he found to his disappointment
that it was not open yet. So he thought he would beguile the time by
walking about. So he strolled off to the tomb of Caecelia Metella,
which was the most striking object in view. He walked around it, and
broke off a few pieces of stone. He took also a few pieces of ivy.
These he intended to carry away as relics. At last he ventured to
enter and examine the interior. Scarce had he got inside than he
heard footsteps without. The door was blocked up by a number of
ill-looking men, who came in and caught him.

Meinheer Schatt confessed that he was completely overcome by terror.

However, he at last mustered sufficient strength to ask what they
wanted.

"You are our prisoner."

"Why? Who are you?"

"We are the secret body-guard of His Holiness, appointed by the
Sacred Council of the Refectory," said one of the men, in a mocking
tone.

Then Meinheer Schatt knew that they were robbers. Still he indignantly
protested he was an unoffending traveller.

"It's false! You have been mutilating the sacred sepulchre of the
dead, and violating the sanctity of their repose!"

And the fellow, thrusting his hands in the prisoner's pockets,
brought forth the stones and ivy. The others looked into his other
pockets, examined his hat, made him strip, shook his clothes, pried
into his boots--in short, gave him a thorough overhaul.

They found nothing, except, as Meinheer acknowledged, with a faint
smile, a piece of the value of three half-cents American, which he
had brought as a fee to the guide through the Catacombs. It was that
bit of money that caused his bonds. It maddened them. They danced
around him in perfect fury, and asked what he meant by daring to
come out and give them so much trouble with only that bit of impure
silver about him.

"Dog of a Tedescho! Your nation has trampled upon our liberties; but
Italy shall be avenged! Dog! scoundrel! villain! Tedescho!
Tedes-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-cho!"

The end of it was that Meinheer Schatt was tied in a singularly
uncomfortable position and left there. He thought he had been there
about five hours. He was faint and hungry.

They took him home.



CHAPTER XXXII.


ANOTHER DISCOVERY MADE BY BUTTONS.


On the evening after this adventure the Don turned the conversation
into a new channel. They all grew communicative. Buttons told them
that his father was an extensive merchant and ship-owner in Boston.
His business extended over many parts of the world. He thought he
might have done something in Cadiz.

"Your father a ship-owner in Boston! I thought you belonged to New
York," said the Don, in surprise.

"Oh," said Buttons, "I said I came from there. The fact is, I lived
there four years at college, and will live there when I return."

"And your father lives in Boston," said the Don, with an interest
that surprised Buttons.

"Yes."

"Is his name Hiram Buttons?"

"Yes," cried Buttons, eagerly. "How do you know?"

"My dear Sir," cried the Don, "Hiram Buttons and I are not only
old business correspondents, but I hope I can add personal friends."

The Don rose and grasped Buttons cordially by the hand. The young man
was overcome by surprise, delight, and triumph.

"I liked you from the first," said the Don. "You bear your character
in your face. I was happy to receive you into our society. But now I
feel a still higher pleasure, for I find you are the son of a man
for whom I assure you I entertain an infinite respect."

The sisters were evidently delighted at the scene. As to Buttons, he
was overcome.

Thus far he often felt delicacy about his position among them, and
fears of intruding occasionally interfered with his enjoyment. His
footing now was totally different; and the most punctilious Spaniard
could find no fault with his continued intimacy.

"Hurrah for that abominable old office, and that horrible business to
which the old gentleman tried to bring me! It has turned out the best
thing for me. What a capital idea it was for the governor to trade
with Cadiz!"

Such were the thoughts of Buttons as he went home.



CHAPTER XXXIII.


[Transcriber's Note: Transliteration of Greek.] Brekekek koax koax
koax. [TN: /end Greek.]


In his explorations of the nooks and corners of Rome the Senator was
compelled for some time to make his journeys alone. He sometimes felt
regret that he had not some interpreter with him on these occasions;
but on the whole he thought he was well paid for his trouble, and he
stored up in his memory an incredible number of those items which are
usually known as "useful facts."

On one of these occasions he entered a very common café near one of
the gates, and as he felt hungry he determined to get his dinner. He
had long felt a desire to taste those "frogs" of which he had heard
so much, and which to his great surprise he had never yet seen. On
coming to France he of course felt confident that he would find frogs
as common as potatoes on every dinner-table. To his amazement he had
not yet seen one.

He determined to have some now. But how could he get them? How ask
for them?

"Pooh! easy enough!" said the Senator to himself, with a smile of
superiority. "I wish I could ask for every thing else as easily."

So he took his seat at one of the tables, and gave a thundering rap
to summon the waiter. All the café had been startled by the advent of
the large foreigner. And evidently a rich man, for he was an
Englishman, as they thought. So up came the waiter with a very low
bow, and a very dirty jacket; and all the rest of the people in the
café looked at the Senator out of the corner of their eyes, and
stopped talking. The Senator gazed with a calm, serene face and
steady eye upon the waiter.

"Signore?" said the waiter, interrogatively.

"_Gunk_! _gung_!" said the Senator, solemnly, without moving a muscle.

The waiter stared.

"_Che vuol ella_?" he repeated, in a faint voice.

"_Gunk_! _gung_!" said the Senator, as solemnly as before.

"Non capisco."

"_Gunk gung_! _gunkety gunk gung_!"

The waiter shrugged his shoulders till they reached the upper part
of his ears. The Senator looked for a moment at him, and saw that he
did not understand him. He looked at the floor involved in deep
thought. At last he raised his eyes once more to meet those of the
waiter, which still were fixed upon him, and placing the palms of his
hands on his hips, threw back his head, and with his eyes still fixed
steadfastly upon the waiter he gave utterance to a long shrill gurgle
such as he thought the frogs might give:

[Transcriber's Note: Transliteration of Greek.] Brekekekek koax koax,
Brekekekek koax koax. [TN: /end Greek.]


[Illustration: Brekekekek koax koax!]


(Recurrence must be made to Aristophanes, who alone of articulate
speaking men has written down the utterance of the common frog.)

The waiter started back. All the men in the café jumped to their feet.

"[Transcriber's Note: Transliteration of Greek.] Brekekekek koax koax
[TN: /end Greek.]," continued the Senator, quite patiently. The
waiter looked frightened.

"Will you give me some or not?" cried the Senator, indignantly.

"Signore," faltered the waiter. Then he ran for the café-keeper.

The café-keeper came. The Senator repeated the words mentioned above,
though somewhat angrily. The keeper brought forward every customer in
the house to see if any one could understand the language.

"It's German," said one.

"It's English," said another.

"Bah!" said a third. "It's Russian."

"No," said a fourth, "it's Bohemian; for Carolo Quinto said that
Bohemian was the language of the devil." And Number Four, who was
rather an intelligent-looking man, eyed the Senator compassionately.

"_Gunk gung, gunkety gung_!" cried the Senator, frowning, for his
patience had at last deserted him.

The others looked at him helplessly, and some, thinking of the
devil, piously crossed themselves. Whereupon the Senator rose in
majestic wrath, and shaking his purse in the face of the café-keeper,
shouted:

"You're worse than a nigger!" and stalked grandly out of the place.



CHAPTER XXXIV.


THE SENATOR PURSUES HIS INVESTIGATIONS.--AN INTELLIGENT ROMAN
TOUCHES A CHORD IN THE SENATOR'S HEART THAT VIBRATES.--RESULTS OF
THE VIBRATION.--A VISIT FROM THE ROMAN POLICE; AND THE GREAT RACE
DOWN THE CORSO BETWEEN THE SENATOR AND A ROMAN SPY.--GLEE OF THE
POPULACE!--HI! HI!


He did not ask for frogs again; but still he did not falter in his
examination into the life of the people. Still he sauntered through
the remoter corners of Rome, wandering over to the other side of the
Tiber, or through the Ghetto, or among the crooked streets at the
end of the Corso. Few have learned so much of Rome in so short a
time.

On one occasion he was sitting in a café, where he had supplied his
wants in the following way:

"Hi! coffee! coffee!" and again, "Hi! cigar! cigar!" when his eye
was attracted by a man at the next table who was reading a copy of
the London _Times_, which he had spread out very ostentatiously.
After a brief survey the Senator walked over to his table and, with
a beaming smile, said--

"Good-day, Sir."

The other man looked up and returned a very friendly smile.

"And how do you do, Sir?"

"Very well, I thank you," said the other, with a strong Italian
accent.

"Do you keep your health?"

"Thank you, yes," said the other, evidently quite pleased at the
advances of the Senator.

"Nothing gives me so much pleasure," said the Senator, "as to come
across an Italian who understands English. You, Sir, are a Roman,
I presume."

"Sir, I am."

The man to whom the Senator spoke was not one who would have
attracted any notice from him if it had not been for his knowledge
of English. He was a narrow-headed, mean-looking man, with very
seedy clothes, and a servile but cunning expression.

"How do you like Rome?" he asked of the Senator.

The Senator at once poured forth all that had been in his mind since
his arrival. He gave his opinion about the site, the architecture,
the drains, the municipal government, the beggars, and the commerce
of the place; then the soldiers, the nobles, the priests, monks,
and nuns.

Then he criticised the Government, its form, its mode of
administration, enlarged upon its tyranny, condemned vehemently
its police system, and indeed its whole administration of every
thing, civil, political, and ecclesiastical.

Waxing warmer with the sound of his own eloquence, he found
himself suddenly but naturally reminded of a country where all
this is reversed. So he went on to speak about Freedom,
Republicanism, the Rights of Man, and the Ballot-Box. Unable to
talk with sufficient fluency while in a sitting posture he rose
to his feet, and as he looked around, seeing that all present
were staring at him, he made up his mind to improve the occasion.
So he harangued the crowd generally, not because he thought any of
them could understand him, but it was so long since he had made a
speech that the present opportunity was irresistible. Besides, as
he afterward remarked, he felt that it was a crisis, and who could
tell but that a word spoken in season might produce some beneficial
effects.

He shook hands very warmly with his new friend after it all was
over, and on leaving him made him promise to come and see him at his
lodgings, where he would show him statistics, etc. The Senator then
returned.

That evening he received a visit. The Senator heard a rap at his door
and called out "Come in." Two men entered--ill-looking, or rather
malignant-looking, clothed in black.

Dick was in his room, Buttons out, Figgs and the Doctor had not
returned from the café.

"His Excellency," said he, pointing to the other, "wishes to speak
to you on official business."

"Happy to hear it," said the Senator.

"His Excellency is the Chief of the Police, and I am the
Interpreter."

Whereupon the Senator shook hands with both of them again.

"Proud to make your acquaintance," said he. "I am personally
acquainted with the Chief of the Boston _po_lice, and also of the
Chief of the New York _po_lice, and my opinion is that they can
stand more liquor than any men I ever met with. Will you liquor?"

The interpreter did not understand. The Senator made an expressive
sign. The interpreter mentioned the request to the Chief, who shook
his head coldly.

"This is formal," said the Interpreter-"not social."

The Senator's face flushed. He frowned.

"Give him my compliments then, and tell him the next time he
refuses a gentleman's offer he had better do it like a gentleman.
For my part, if I chose to be uncivil, I might say that I consider
your Roman police very small potatoes."


[Illustration: Got You There!]


The Interpreter translated this literally, and though the final
expression was not very intelligible, yet it seemed to imply
contempt.

So the Chief of Police made his communication as sternly as possible.
Grave reports had been made about His American Excellency. The
Senator looked surprised.

"What about?"

That he was haranguing the people, going about secretly, plotting,
and trying to instill revolutionary sentiments into the public mind.

"Pooh!" said the Senator.

The Chief of Police bade him be careful. He would not be permitted
to stir up an excitable populace. This was to give him warning.

"Pooh!" said the Senator again.

And if he neglected this warning it would be the worse for him. And
the Chief of Police looked unutterable things. The Senator gazed at
him sternly and somewhat contemptuously for a few minutes.

"You're no great shakes anyhow," said he.

"Signore?" said the Interpreter.

"Doesn't it strike you that you are talking infernal nonsense?" asked
the Senator in a slightly argumentative tone of voice, throwing one
leg over another, tilting back his chair, and folding his arms.

"Your language is disrespectful," was the indignant reply.

"Yours strikes me as something of the same kind, too; but more
--it is absurd."

"What do you mean?"

"You say I stir up the people."

"Yes. Do you deny it?"

"Pooh! How can a man stir up the people when he can't speak a word
of the language?"

The Chief of Police did not reply for a moment.

"I rather think I've got you there," said the Senator, dryly. "Hey?
old Hoss?"

("Old Hoss" was an epithet which he used when he was in a good humor.)
He felt that he had the best of it here, and his anger was gone. He
therefore tilted his chair back farther, and placed his feet upon
the back of a chair that was in front of him.

"There are Italians in Rome who speak English," was at length the
rejoinder.

"I wish I could find some then," said the Senator. "It's worse than
looking for a needle in a hay-stack, they're so precious few."

"You have met one."

"And I can't say feel over-proud of the acquaintance," said the
Senator, in his former dry tone, looking hard at the Interpreter.

"At the Café Cenacci, I mean."

"The what? Where's that?"

"Where you were this morning."

"Oh ho! that's it--ah? And was my friend there one of your friends
too?" asked the Senator, as light burst in upon him.

"He was sufficiently patriotic to give warning."

"Oh--patriotic?--he was, was he?" said the Senator, slowly, while
his eyes showed a dangerous light.

"Yes--patriotic. He has watched you for some time."

"Watched me!" and the Senator frowned wrathfully.

"Yes, all over Rome, wherever you went."

"Watched me! dogged me! tracked me! Aha?"

"So you are known."

"Then the man is a spy."

"He is a patriot."

"Why the mean concern sat next me, attracted my attention by
reading English, and encouraged me to speak as I did. Why don't
you arrest him?"

"He did it to test you."

"To test me! How would he like me to test him?"

"The Government looks on your offense with lenient eyes."

"Ah!"

"And content themselves this time with giving you warning."

"Very much obliged; but tell your Government not to be alarmed. I
won't hurt them."

Upon this the two visitors took their leave.


[Illustration: Walking Spanish.]


The Senator informed his two friends about the visit, and thought
very lightly about it; but the recollection of one thing rankled in
his mind.

That spy! The fellow had humbugged him. He had dogged him, tracked
him, perhaps for weeks, had drawn him into conversation, asked
leading questions, and then given information. If there was any thing
on earth that the Senator loathed it was this.

But how could such a man be punished! That was the thought. Punishment
could only come from one. The law could do nothing. But there was one
who could do something, and that one was himself. Lynch law!


  "My fayther was from Bosting,
  My uncle was Judge Lynch,
  So, darn your fire and roasting,
  You can not make me flinch."


The Senator hummed the above elegant words all that evening.

He thought he could find the man yet. He was sure he would know him.
He would devote himself to this on the next day. The next day he
went about the city, and at length in the afternoon he came to
Pincian Hill. There was a great crowd there as usual. The Senator
placed himself in a favorable position, in which he could only be
seen from one point, and then watched with the eye of a hawk.

He watched for about an hour. At the end of that time he saw a
face. It belonged to a man who had been leaning against a post with
his back turned toward the Senator all this time. It was _the face_!
The fellow happened to turn it far enough round to let the Senator
see him. He was evidently watching him yet. The Senator walked
rapidly toward him. The man saw him and began to move as rapidly
away. The Senator increased his pace. So did the man. The Senator
walked still faster. So did the man. The Senator took long strides.
The man took short, quick ones. It is said that the fastest
pedestrians are those who take short, quick steps. The Senator did
not gain on the other.

By this time a vast number of idlers had been attracted by the
sight of these two men walking as if for a wager. At last the
Senator began to run. So did the man!

The whole thing was plain. One man was chasing the other. At once
all the idlers of the Pincian Hill stopped all their avocations
and turned to look. The road winds down the Pincian Hill to the
Piazza del Popolo, and those on the upper part can look down and
see the whole extent. What a place for a race! The quick-eyed
Romans saw it all.

"A spy! yes, a Government spy!"

"Chased by an eccentric Englishman!"

A loud shout burst from the Roman crowd. But a number of English
and Americans thought differently. They saw a little man chased
by a big one. Some cried "Shame!" Others, thinking it a case of
pocket-picking, cried "Stop thief!" Others cried "Go it, little
fellow! Two to one on the small chap!"

Every body on the Pincian Hill rushed to the edge of the winding
road to look down, or to the paved walk that overlooks the Piazza.
Carriages stopped and the occupants looked down. French soldiers,
dragoons, guards, officers--all staring.

And away went the Senator. And away ran the terrified spy. Down
the long way, and at length they came to the Piazza del Popolo.
A loud shout came from all the people. Above and on all sides they
watched the race. The spy darted down the Corso. The Senator after
him.

The Romans in the street applauded vociferously. Hundreds of
people stopped, and then turned and ran after the Senator. All the
windows were crowded with heads. All the balconies were filled with
people.

Down along the Corso. Past the column of Antonine. Into a street on
the left. The Senator was gaining! At last they came to a square. A
great fountain of vast waters bursts forth there. The spy ran to the
other side of the square, and just as he was darting into a side alley
the Senator's hand clutched his coat-tails!

The Senator took the spy in that way by which one is enabled to make
any other do what is called "Walking Spanish," and propelled him
rapidly toward the reservoir of the fountain.

The Senator raised the spy from the ground and pitched him into the
pool.

The air was rent with acclamations and cries of delight.

As the spy emerged, half-drowned, the crowd came forward and would
have prolonged the delightful sensation.

Not often did they have a spy in their hands.



[Illustration: Dick Thinks It Over.]


CHAPTER XXXV.


DICK MAKES ANOTHER EFFORT, AND BEGINS TO FEEL ENCOURAGED.


Pepita's little visit was beneficial to Dick. It showed him that he
was not altogether cut off from her. Before that he had grown to think
of her as almost inaccessible; now she seemed to have a will, and,
what is better, a heart of her own, which would lead her to do her
share toward meeting him again. Would it not be better now to comply
with her evident desire, and leave Rome for a little while? He could
return again. But how could he tear himself away? Would, it not be far
better to remain and seek her? He could not decide. He thought of
Padre Liguori. He had grossly insulted that gentleman, and the thought
of meeting him again made him feel blank. Yet he was in some way or
other a protector of Pepita, a guardian, perhaps, and as such had
influence over her fortunes. If he could only disarm hostility from
Padre Liguori it would be undoubtedly for his benefit. Perhaps Padre
Liguori would become his friend, and try to influence Pepita's family
in his favor. So he decided on going to see Padre Liguori.

The new turn which had been given to his feelings by Pepita's visit
had benefited him in mind and body. He was quite strong enough for a
long walk. Arriving at the church he had no difficulty in finding
Liguori. The priest advanced with a look of surprise.

"Before mentioning the object of my visit," said Dick, bowing
courteously, "I owe you an humble apology for a gross insult. I hope
you will forgive me."

The priest bowed.

"After I left here I succeeded in my object," continued Dick.

"I heard so," said Liguori, coldly.

"And you have heard also that I met with a terrible punishment for
my presumption, or whatever else you may choose to call it."

"I heard of that also." said the priest, sternly. "And do you complain
of it? Tell me. Was it not deserved?"

"If their suspicions and yours had been correct, then the punishment
would have been well deserved. But you all wrong me. I entreat you to
believe me. I am no adventurer. I am honest and sincere."

"We have only your word for this," said Liguori, coldly.

"What will make you believe that I am sincere, then?" said Dick.
"What proof can I give?"

"You are safe in offering to give proofs in a case where none can
be given."

"I am frank with you. Will you not be so with me? I come to you to
try to convince you of my honesty, Padre Liguori. I love Pepita as
truly and as honorably as it is possible for man to love. It was
that feeling that so bewildered me that I was led to insult you. I
went out in the midst of danger, and would have died for her. With
these feelings I can not give her up."

"I have heard sentiment like this often before. What is your meaning?"

"I am rich and of good family in my own country; and I am determined
to have Pepita for my wife."

"Your wife!"

"Yes," said Dick, resolutely. "I am honorable and open about it. My
story is short. I love her, and wish to make her my wife."

The expression of Liguori changed entirely.

"Ah! this makes the whole matter different altogether. I did not know
this before. Nor did the Count. But he is excusable. A sudden passion
blinded him, and he attacked you. I will tell you"--and at each word
the priest's manner grew more friendly--"I will tell you how it is,
Signore. The Giantis were once a powerful family, and still have their
title. I consider myself as a kind of appanage to the family, for my
ancestors for several generations were their _maggiordomos_. Poverty
at last stripped them of every thing, and I, the last of the family
dependents, entered the Church. But I still preserve my respect and
love for them. You can understand how bitterly I would resent and
avenge any base act or any wrong done to them. You can understand
Luigi's vengeance also."

"I thought as much," said Dick. "I thought you were a kind of
guardian, and so I came here to tell you frankly how it is. I love
her. I can make her rich and happy. To do so is the desire of my
heart. Why should I be turned away? Or if there be any objection,
what is it?"

"There is no objection--none whatever, if Pepita is willing, and you
sincerely love her. I think that Luigi would give his consent."

"Then what would prevent me from marrying her at once?"

"At once!"

"Certainly."

"You show much ardor; but still an immediate marriage is impossible.
There are various reasons for this. In the first place, we love Pepita
too dearly to let her go so suddenly to some one who merely feels a
kind of impulse. We should like to know that there is some prospect
of her being happy. We have cherished her carefully thus far, and will
not let her go without having some security about her happiness."

"Then I will wait as long as you like, or send for my friends to give
you every information you desire to have; or if you want me to give
any proofs, in any way, about any thing, I'm ready."

"There is another thing," said Lignori, "which I hope you will take
kindly. You are young and in a foreign country. This sudden impulse
may be a whim. If you were to marry now you might bitterly repent it
before three months were over. Under such circumstances it would be
misery for you and her. If this happened in your native country you
could be betrothed and wait. There is also another reason why waiting
is absolutely necessary. It will take some time to gain her brother's
consent. Now her brother is poor, but he might have been rich. He is a
Liberal, and belongs to the National party. He hates the present
system here most bitterly. He took part in the Roman Republican
movement a few years ago, and was imprisoned after the return of the
Pope, and lost the last vestige of his property by confiscation. He
now dresses coarsely, and declines to associate with any Romans,
except a few who are members of a secret society with him. He is very
closely watched by the Government, so that he has to be quiet. But he
expects to rise to eminence and power, and even wealth, before very
long. So you see he does not look upon his sister as a mere common
every-day match. He expects to elevate her to the highest rank, where
she can find the best in the country around her. For my own part I
think this is doubtful; and if you are in earnest I should do what
I could to further your interest. But it will take some time to
persuade the Count."

"Then, situated as I am, what can I do to gain her?" asked Dick.

"Are your friends thinking of leaving Rome soon?"

"Yes, pretty soon."

"Do not leave them. Go with them. Pursue the course you originally
intended, just as though nothing had happened. If after your tour is
finished you find that your feelings are as strong as ever, and that
she is as dear to you as you say, then you may return here."

"And you?"

"I think all objections may be removed."

"It will take some weeks to finish our tour."

"Some weeks! Oh, do not return under three months at least."

"Three months! that is very long!"

"Not too long. The time will soon pass away. If you do not really
love her you will be glad at having escaped; if you do you will
rejoice at having proved your sincerity."

Some further conversation passed, after which Dick, finding the
priest inflexible, ceased to persuade, and acceded to his proposal.



CHAPTER XXXVI.


SHOWING HOW DIFFICULT IT IS TO GET A LAUNDRESS, FOR THE SENATOR
WANTED ONE, AND NOT KNOWING THE LANGUAGE GOT INTO A SCRAPE, NOT BY
HIS OWN FAULT, FOR HE WAS CAREFUL ABOUT COMMITTING HIMSELF WITH THE
LADIES; BUT PRAY, WAS IT HIS FAULT IF THE LADIES WOULD TAKE A FANCY
TO HIM?


Signora Mirandolina Rocca, who was the landlady of the house where
the Club were lodging, was a widow, of about forty years of age, still
fresh and blooming, with a merry dark eye, and much animation of
features. Sitting usually in the small room which they passed on the
way to their apartments, they had to stop to get their keys, or to
leave them when they went out, and Buttons and Dick frequently stopped
to have a little conversation. The rest, not being able to speak
Italian, contented themselves with smiles; the Senator particularly,
who gave the most beaming of smiles both on going and on returning.
Sometimes he even tried to talk to her in his usual adaptation of
broken English, spoken in loud tones to the benighted but fascinating
foreigner. Her attention to Dick during his sickness increased the
Senator's admiration, and he thought her one of the best, one of the
most kind-hearted and sympathetic of beings.

One day, toward the close of their stay in Rome, the Senator was in
a fix. He had not had any washing done since he came to the city. He
had ran through all his clean linen, and came to a dead stand. Before
leaving for another place it was absolutely necessary to attend to
this. But how? Buttons was off with the Spaniards; Dick had gone out
on a drive. No one could help him, so he tried it himself. In fact,
he had never lost confidence in his powers of making himself
understood. It was still a fixed conviction of his that in cases of
necessity any intelligent man could make his wants known to
intelligent foreigners. If not, there is stupidity somewhere. Had he
not done so in Paris and in other places?

So he rang and managed to make the servant understand that he wished
to see the landlady. The landlady had always shown a great admiration
for the manly, not to say gigantic charms of the Senator. Upon him
she bestowed her brightest smile, and the quick flush on her face
and heaving breast told that the Senator had made wild work with her
too susceptible heart.

So now when she learned that the Senator wished to see her, she at
once imagined the cause to be any thing and every thing except the
real one. Why take that particular time, when all the rest were out?
she thought. Evidently for some tender purpose. Why send for her? Why
not come down to see her? Evidently because he did not like the
publicity of her room at the Conciergerie.


[Illustration: The Senator In A Bad Fix.]


She arrayed herself, therefore, in her brightest and her best
charms; gave an additional flourish to her dark hair that hung
wavingly and luxuriantly, and still without a trace of gray over
her forehead; looked at herself with her dark eyes in the glass to
see if she appeared to the best advantage; and finally, in some
agitation, but with great eagerness, she went to obey the summons.

Meantime the Senator had been deliberating how to begin. He felt that
he could not show his bundle of clothes to so fair and fine a creature
as this, whose manners were so soft and whose smile so pleasant. He
would do any thing first. He would try a roundabout way of making
known his wishes, trusting to his own powers and the intelligence of
the lady for a full and complete understanding. Just as he had come
to this conclusion there was a timid knock at the door.

"Come in," said the Senator, who began to feel a little awkward
already.

"_Epermesso_?" said a soft sweet voice, "_se puo entrare_?" and
Signora Mirandolina Rocca advanced into the room, giving one look at
the Senator, and then casting down her eyes.

"_Umilissia serva di Lei, Signore, mi commandi_."

But the Senator was in a quandary. What could he do? How begin?
What gesture would be the most fitting for a beginning?

The pause began to be embarrassing. The lady, however, as yet was
calm--calmer, in fact, than when she entered.

So she spoke once more.

"_Di che ha Ella bisogna, Illustris simo_?"

The Senator was dreadfully embarrassed. The lady was so fair in his
eyes. Was this a woman who could contemplate the fact of soiled
linen? Never.

"Ehem!" said he.

Then he paused.

"_Servo, devota_," said Signora Mirandolina. "_Che c'e, Signore_."

Then looking up, she saw the face of the Senator all rosy red,
turned toward her, with a strange confusion and embarrassment in his
eye, yet it was a kind eye--a soft, kind eye.

"_Egli e forse innamorato di me_," murmured the lady, gathering
new courage as she saw the timidity of the other. "_Che grandezza_!"
she continued, loud enough for the Senator to hear, yet speaking as
if to herself. "_Che bellezza_! _un galantuomo, certamente--e quest'
e molto piacevole_."

She glanced at the manly figure of the Senator with a tender
admiration in her eye which she could not repress, and which was so
intelligible to the Senator that he blushed more violently than ever,
and looked helplessly around him.

"_E innamorato di me, senza dubio_," said the Signora, "_vergogna non
vuol che si sapesse_."

The Senator at length found voice. Advancing toward the lady he
looked at her very earnestly and as she thought very piteously--held
out both his hands, then smiled, then spread his hands apart, then
nodded and smiled again, and said--

"Me--me--want--ha--hum--ah! You know--me--gentleman--hum--me
--Confound the luck," he added, in profound vexation.

"_Signore_," said Mirandolina, "_la di Lei gentelezza me confonde_."

The Senator turned his eyes all around, everywhere, in a desperate
half-conscious search for escape from an embarrassing situation.

"_Signore noi ci siamo sole, nessuno ci senti_," remarked the
Signora, encouragingly.

"Me want to tell you this!" burst forth the Senator. "Clothes--you
know--washy--washy." Whereupon he elevated his eyebrows, smiled,
and brought the tips of his fingers together.

"_Io non so che cosa vuol dir mi. Illustrissimo_," said the Signora,
in bewilderment.

"You--you--you know. Ah? Washy? Hey? No, no," shaking his head, "not
washy, but _get_ washy."

The landlady smiled. The Senator, encouraged by this, came a step
nearer.

"_Che cosa? Il cuor me palpita. Io tremo_," murmured La Rocca.

She retreated a step. Whereupon the Senator at once fell back again
in great confusion.

"Washy, washy," he repeated, mechanically, as his mind was utterly
vague and distrait.

"_Uassi-Uuassi_?" repeated the other, interrogatively.

"Me--"

"_Tu_" said she, with tender emphasis.

"Wee mounseer," said he, with utter desperation.

The Signora shook her head. "_Non capisco. Ma quelle, balordaggini ed
intormentimente, che sono si non segni manifesti d'amore_?"

"I don't understand, marm, a single word of that."

The Signora smiled. The Senator took courage again.

"The fact is this, marm," said he, firmly; "I want to get my
clothes washed somewhere. Of course you don't do it, but you can
tell me, you know. Hm?"

"_Non capisco_."

"Madame," said he, feeling confident that she would understand that
word at least, and thinking, too, that it might perhaps serve as a
key to explain any other words which he might append to it. "My
clothes--I want to get them washed--laundress--washy--soap and
water--clean 'em all up--iron 'em--hang 'em out to dry. Ha?"

While saying this he indulged in an expressive pantomine. When
alluding to his clothes he placed his hands against his chest,
when mentioning the drying of them he waved them in the air. The
landlady comprehended this. How not? When a gentleman places his
hand on his heart, what is his meaning?

"_O sottigliezza d'amore_!" murmured she. "_Che cosa cerca_," she
continued, looking up timidly but invitingly.

The Senator felt doubtful at this, and in fact a little frightened.
Again he placed his hands on his chest to indicate his clothes; he
struck that manly chest forcibly several times, looking at her all
the time. Then he wrung his hands.


[Illustration: The Senator In A Worse Fix.]


"_Ah, Signore_," said La Rocca, with a melting glance, "_non e d'uopo
di desperazione_."

"Washy, washy--"

"_Eppure, se Ella vuol sposarmi, non ce difficolta_," returned the
other, with true Italian frankness.

"Soap and water--"

"_Non ho il coraggio di dir di no_."

The Senator had his arms outstretched to indicate the hanging-out
process. Still, however, feeling doubtful if he were altogether
understood, he thought he would try another form of pantomime.
Suddenly he fell down on his knees, and began to imitate the action
of a washer-woman over her tub, washing, wringing, pounding, rubbing.

"_O gran' cielo_!" cried the Signora, her pitying heart filled with
tenderness at the sight of this noble being on his knees before her,
and, as she thought, wringing his hands in despair. "_O gran' cielo!
Egli e innamorato di me non puo dirmelo_."

Her warm heart prompted her, and she obeyed its impulse. What else
could she do? She flung herself into his outstretched arms, as he
raised himself to hang out imaginary clothes on an invisible line.

The Senator was thunderstruck, confounded, bewildered, shattered,
overcome, crushed, stupefied, blasted, overwhelmed, horror-stricken,
wonder-smitten, annihilated, amazed, horrified, shocked, frightened,
terrified, nonplused, wilted, awe-struck, shivered, astounded,
dumbfounded. He did not even struggle. He was paralyzed.

"_Ah, carissimo_," said a soft and tender voice in his ear, a low,
sweet voice, "_se veramenta me me ami, saro lo tua carissima sposa_--"

At that moment the door opened and Buttons walked in. In an instant
he darted out. The Signora hurried away.

"_Addio, bellisima, carissima gioja_!" she sighed.

The Senator was still paralyzed,

After a time he went with a pale and anxious face to see Buttons. The
young man promised secrecy, and when the Senator was telling his story
tried hard to look serious and sympathetic. In vain. The thought of
that scene, and the cause of it, and the blunder that had been made
overwhelmed him. Laughter convulsed him. At last the Senator got up
indignantly and left the room.

But what was he to do now? The thing could not be explained. How could
he get out of the house? He would have to pass her as she sat at the
door.

He had to call on Buttons again and implore his assistance. The
difficulty was so repugnant, and the matter so very delicate, that
Buttons declared he could not take the responsibility of settling it.
It would have to be brought before the Club.

The Club had a meeting about it, and many plans were proposed. The
stricken Senator had one plan, and that prevailed. It was to leave
Rome on the following day. For his part he had made up his mind to
leave the house at once. He would slip out as though he intended to
return, and the others could settle his bill and bring with them the
clothes that had caused all this trouble. He would meet them in the
morning outside the gate of the city.

This resolution was adopted by all, and the Senator, leaving money to
settle for himself, went away. He passed hurriedly out of the door. He
dared not look. He heard a soft voice pronounce the word "_Gioja_!" He
fled.

Now that one who owned the soft voice afterward changed her feelings
so much toward her "gioja" that opposite his name in her house-book
she wrote the following epithets: _Birbone, Villano, Zolicacco,
Burberone, Gaglioffo, Meschino, Briconaccio, Anemalaccio_.



CHAPTER XXXVII.


_ROME_.--_ANCIENT HISTORY_.--THE PREHISTORIC ERA.--CRITICAL
EXAMINATION OF NIEBUHR AND HIS SCHOOL.--THE EARLY HISTORY OF ROME
PLACED ON A RIGHT BASIS.--EXPLANATION OF HISTORY OF REPUBLIC.
--NAPOLEON'S "CAESAR."--THE IMPERIAL REGIME.--THE NORTHERN
BARBARIANS.--RISE OF THE PAPACY.--MEDIAEVAL ROME.

_TOPOGRAPHY_.--TRUE ADJUSTMENT OF BOUNDS OF ANCIENT CITY.--ITS
PROBABLE POPULATION.--_GEOLOGY_.--EXAMINATION OF FORMATION.--TUFA
TRAVERTINE.--ROMAN CEMENT.--TERRA-COTTA. _SPECIAL CONSIDERATION OF
ROMAN CATACOMBS_.--BOSIO.--ARRINGHI.--CARDINAL WISEMAN.--RECENT
EXPLORATIONS, INVESTIGATIONS, EXAMINATIONS, EXHUMATIONS, AND
RESUSCITATIONS.--EARLY CHRISTIAN HISTORY SET ON A TRUE BASIS.
--RELICS.--MARTYRS.--REAL ORIGIN OF CATACOMBS.--TRUE AND RELIABLE
EXTENT (WITH MAPS).

_REMARKS ON ART_.--THE RENAISSANCE.--THE EARLY PAINTERS: CIMABUE,
GIOTTO, PERUGINO, RAFAELLE SANZIO, MICHELANGELO BUONAROTTI.--THE
TRANSFIGURATION.--THE MOSES OF MICHELANGELO.--BELLINI.--SAINT
PETER'S, AND MORE PARTICULARLY THE COLONNADE.--THE LAST JUDGMENT.
--DANTE.--THE MEDIAEVAL SPIRIT.--EFFECT OF GOTHIC ART ON ITALY AND
ITALIAN TASTE.--COMPARISON, OF LOMBARD WITH SICILIAN CHURCHES.--TO
WHAT EXTENT ROME INFLUENCED THIS DEVELOPMENT.--THE FOSTERING SPIRIT
OF THE CHURCH.--ALL MODERN ART CHRISTIAN.--WHY THIS WAS A NECESSITY.
--FOLLIES OF MODERN CRITICS.--REYNOLDS AND RUSKIN.--HOW FAR POPULAR
TASTE IS WORTH ANY THING.--CONCLUDING REMARKS OF A MISCELLANEOUS
DESCRIPTION.


[There! as a bill of fare I flatter myself that the above ought to
take the eye. It was my intention, on the departure of the Club
from Rome, to write a chapter of a thoroughly exhaustive character,
as will be seen by the table of contents above; but afterward,
finding that the chapter had already reached the dimensions of a
good-sized book before a quarter of it was written, I thought that
if it were inserted in this work it would be considered by some as
too long; in fact, if it were admitted nothing more would ever be
heard of the Dodge Club; which would be a great pity, as the best
of their adventures did not take place until after this period; and
as this is the real character of the present work, I have finally
decided to enlarge the chapter into a book, which I will publish
after I have given to the world my "History of the Micmacs,"
"Treatise on the Greek Particles," "Course of Twelve Lectures on
Modern History," new edition of the "Agamemnonian Triology" of
Aeschylus, with new readings, "Harmony of Greek Accent and Prosody,"
"Exercises in Sanscrit for Beginners, on the Ollendorf System,"
"The Odyssey of Homer translated into the Dublin Irish dialect,"
"Dissertation on the Symbolical Nature of the Mosaic Economy,"
"Elements of Logic," "Examination into the Law of Neutrals,"
"Life of General George Washington," "History of Patent Medicines,"
"Transactions of the 'Saco Association for the advancement of
Human Learning, particularly Natural Science' (consisting of one
article written by myself on 'The Toads of Maine')," and "Report
of the 'Kennebunkport, Maine, United Congregational Ladies'
Benevolent City Missionary and Mariners' Friend Society," which
will all be out some of these days, I don't know exactly when;
but after they come out this chapter will appear in book form. And
if any of my readers prefer to wait till they read that chapter
before reading any further, all I can say is, perhaps they'd
better not, as after all it has no necessary connection with the
fortunes of the Dodge Club.]



CHAPTER XXXVIII.


ITALIAN TRAVEL, ROADS, INNS.--A GRAND BREAKDOWN.--AN ARMY OF
BEGGARS.--SIX MEN HUNTING UP A CARRIAGE WHEEL; AND PLANS OF THE
SENATOR FOR THE GOOD OF ITALY.


On the following morning the Senator was picked up at the gate,
where he had waited patiently ever since the dawn of day. His seat
was secured. His friends were around him. He was safe. They rolled
on merrily all that day. And their carriage was ahead of that of
the Spaniards. They stopped at the same inns. Buttons was happy.

The next day came. At nine o'clock A.M. on the next day there was
a singular scene:

A vettura with the fore-wheel crushed into fragments; two horses
madly plunging; five men thrown in different directions on a soft
sand-bank; and a driver gazing upon the scene with a face of woe.

The Senator tried most energetically to brush the dust from his
clothes with an enormous red silk handkerchief; the Doctor and Mr.
Figgs looked aghast at huge rents in their nether garments; Buttons
and Dick picked themselves up and hurried to the wreck.

The emotions of the former may be conceived. The wheel was an utter
smash. No patching however thorough, no care however tender, could
place it on its edge again a perfect wheel. A hill rose before
them, behind which the Spaniards, hitherto their companions, had
disappeared half an hour previously, and were now rolling on over
the palin beyond that hill all ignorant of this disaster. Every
moment separated them more widely from the despairing Buttons.
Could he have metamorphosed himself into a wheel most gladly would
he have done it. He had wild thoughts of setting off on foot and
catching up to them before the next day. But, of course, further
reflection showed him that walking was out of the question.

Dick looked on in silence. They were little more than a day's
journey from Rome. Civita Castellana lay between; yet perhaps a
wheel might not be got at Civita Castellana. In that case a
return to Rome was inevitable. What a momentous thought! Back to
Rome! Ever since he left he had felt a profound melancholy. The
feeling of homesickness was on him. He had amused himself with
keeping his eyes shut and fancying that he was moving to Rome
instead of from it. He had repented leaving the city. Better, he
thought, to have waited. He might then have seen Pepita. The
others gradually came to survey the scene.

"Eh? Well, what's to be done now?" said Buttons, sharply, as
the driver came along. "How long are you going to wait?"

"Signore makes no allowance for a poor man's confusion. Behold
that wheel! What is there for me to do--unhappy? May the bitter
curse of the ruined fall upon that miserable wheel!"


[Illustration: Travelling In Italy.]


"The coach has already fallen on it," said Dick. "Surely that is
enough."

"It infuriates me to find myself overthrown here."

"You could not wish for a better place, my Pietro."

"What will you do?" said Buttons. "We must not waste time here.
Can we go on?"

"How is that possible?"

"We might get a wheel at the next town."

"We could not find one if we hunted all through the three next
towns."

"Curse your Italian towns!" cried Buttons, in a rage.

"Certainly, Signore, curse them if you desire."

"Where can we get this one repaired then?"

"At Civita Castellana, I hope."

"Back there! What, go back!"

"I am not to blame," said Pietro, with resignation.

"We must not go back. We shall not."

"If we go forward every mile will make it worse. And how can we
move with this load and this broken wheel up that hill?"

That was indeed a difficulty. The time that had lapsed since the
lamentable break-down had been sufficient to bring upon the scene an
inconceivable crowd. After satisfying their curiosity they betook
themselves to business.

Ragged, dirty, evil-faced, wicked-eyed, slouching, whining,
impudent--seventeen women, twenty-nine small boys, and thirty-one men,
without counting curs and goats.

"Signo-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o! in the name of the Ever Blessed, and
for the love of Heaven." "Go to thunder." "For the love of." "We
have nothing, _nothing_, NOTHING! Do you hear?" "Of the Virgin."
"Away! Be off." "Give me." "Go to blazes!" "Me miserable." "Will
you be off?" "Infirm, blind, and." "I'll break your skull!"
"Altogether desperate." "If you torment us any more, I'll."
"Only the smallest charity." "Smash your abominable bottle-nose!"
"Oh, generous nobles!" "Don't press me, you filthy." "Illustrious
cavaliers!" "Take that! and if you say any more I'll kick you
harder." "I kneel before you, oppressed, wretched, starving. Let
these tears." "I'll make you shed more of them if you don't clear
out." "N-n-n-Sig-no-o-o-o-o!" "Away!" "Behold a wretched villager
from the far distant Ticino!" "You be hanged! Keep off!" "Oh,
Signo-o-o-o-o! Oh per l'amor di Dio! Carita! Carita-a-a-a
--solamente un mezzo baroccho--oh, Signo-o-o!--datemi."

"Pietro! Pietro! for Heaven's sake get us out of this at once.
Anywhere--anywhere, so that we can escape from these infernal
Vagabonds."

The result was, that Pietro turned his carriage round. By piling
the baggage well behind, and watching the fore-axle carefully,
he contrived to move the vehicle along. Behind them followed the
pertinacious beggars, filling the air with prayers, groans, sighs,
cries, tears, lamentations, appeals, wailings, and entreaties. Thus
situated they made their entry into Civita Castellana.

Others might have felt flattered at the reception that awaited them.
They only felt annoyed. The entire city turned out. The main street
up which they passed was quite full. The side-streets showed people
hurrying up to the principal thoroughfare. They were the centre of
all eyes. Through the windows of the café the round eyes of the
citizens were visible on the broad stare. Even the dogs and cats had
a general turn out.

Nor could they seek relief in the seclusion of the hotel. The anxiety
which all felt to resume their journey did not allow them to rest.
They at once explored the entire city.

Was there a carriage-maker in the place? A half-hour's search
showed them that there was not one. The next thing then was to try
and find a wheel. About this they felt a little hopeful. Strange,
indeed, if so common a thing could not be obtained.

Yet strange as this might be it was even so. No wheel was
forthcoming. They could not find a carriage even. There was nothing
but two ancient caleches, whose wheels were not only rickety but
utterly disproportioned to the size of the vettura, and any
quantity of bullock carts, which moved on contrivances that could
scarcely be called wheels at all.

Three hours were consumed in the tedious search. The entire body
of the inhabitants became soon aware of the object of their desires,
and showed how truly sympathetic is the Italian nature, by
accompanying them wherever they went, and making observations that
were more sprightly than agreeable.

At first the Club kept together, and made their search accompanied
by Pietro; but after a time the crowd became so immense that they
separated, and continued their search singly. This produced but
slight improvement. The crowd followed their example. A large
number followed the Senator: walking when he walked; stopping when
he stopped; turning when he turned; strolling when he strolled;
peering when he peered; commenting when he spoke, and making
themselves generally very agreeable and delightful.

At every corner the tall form of the Senator might be seen as he
walked swiftly with the long procession following like a tail of a
comet; or as he stopped at times to look around in despair, when


                    "He above the rest
  In shape and gesture proudly eminent
  Stood like a tower. His form had not yet lost
  All its original brightness;"


although, to tell the truth, his clothes had, and the traces of mud
and dust somewhat dimmed the former lustre of his garments.

The appalling truth at last forced itself upon them that Civita
Castellana could not furnish them either with a new wheel or a
blacksmith who could repair the broken one. Whether the entire
mechanical force of the town had gone off to the wars or not they
did not stop to inquire. They believed that the citizens had
combined to disappoint them, in hopes that their detention might
bring in a little ready money and start it in circulation around the
community.

It was at last seen that the only way to do the was to send Pietro
back to Rome. To delay any longer would be only a waste of time.
Slowly and sadly they took up their quarters at the hotel. Dick
decided to go back so as to hasten Pietro, who might otherwise loiter
on the way. So the dilapidated carriage had to set out on its
journey backward.

Forced to endure the horrors of detention in one of the dullest
of Italian towns, their situation was deplorable. Mr. Figgs was
least unhappy, for he took to his bed and slept through the
entire period, with the exception of certain little intervals
which he devoted to meals. The Doctor sat quietly by an upper
window playing the devil's tattoo on the ledge with inexhaustible
patience.

The Senator strolled through the town. He found much to interest him.
His busy brain was filled with schemes for the improvement of the
town.

How town lots could be made valuable; how strangers could be
attracted; how manufactures could be promoted; how hotels started;
how shops supported; how trade increased; how the whole surrounding
population enriched, especially by the factories.


[Illustration: The Senator's Escort.]


"Why, among these here hills," said he, confidentially, to Buttons
--"among these very hills there is water-power and excellent
location for, say--Silk-weaving mills, Fulling ditto, Grist ditto,
Carding ditto, Sawing ditto, Plaster-crushing ditto, Planing ditto.
--Now I would locate a cotton-mill over there."

"Where would you get your cotton?" mumbled Buttons.

"Where?" repeated the Senator. "Grow it on the Campagna, of course."

Buttons passed the time in a fever of impatience.

For far ahead the Spaniards were flying further and further away,
no doubt wondering at every stage why he did not join them.



CHAPTER XXXIX.


TRIUMPHANT PROGRESS OF DICK.--GENDARMES FOILED.--THE DODGE CLUB
IS ATTACKED BY BRIGANDS, AND EVERY MAN OF IT COVERS HIMSELF WITH
GLORY.--SCREAM OF THE AMERICAN EAGLE!


It was late on the evening of the following day before Dick made
his appearance with Pietro, Another vettura had been obtained, and
with cracks of a long whip that resounded through the whole town,
summoning the citizens to the streets; with thunder of wheels over
the pavements; with prancing and snorting of horses; Pietro drove up
to the hotel. Most conspicuous in the turn-out was Dick, who was
seated in the coupe, waving his hat triumphantly in the air.

The appearance of the carriage was the signal for three hearty
cheers, which burst involuntarily from the three Americans on the
courtyard, rousing Mr. Figgs from sleep and the inn-keeper from his
usual lethargy. One look at the horses was enough to show that there
was no chance of proceeding further that day. The poor beasts were
covered with foam, and trembled excessively. However, they all felt
infinite relief at the prospect of getting away, even though they
would have to wait till the following morning.

Dick was dragged to the dining-room by his eager friends and fiercely
interrogated. He had not much to tell.

The journey to Rome had been made without any difficulty, the
carriage having tumbled forward on its front axle not more than one
hundred and fifty-seven times. True, when it reached Rome it was a
perfect wreck, the framework being completely wrenched to pieces;
and the proprietor was bitterly enraged with Pietro for not leaving
the carriage at Civita Castellana, and returning on horseback for a
wheel; but Dick interceded for the poor devil of a driver, and the
proprietor kindly consented to deduct the value of the coach from his
wages piecemeal.

Their journey back was quick but uninteresting. Dick acknowledged that
he had a faint idea of staying in Rome, but saw a friend who advised
him not to. He had taken the reins and driven for a great part of the
way, while Pietro had gone inside and slumbered the sleep of the just.

As it was a lonely country, with few inhabitants, he had beguiled the
tedious hours of the journey by blowing patriotic airs on an enormous
trombone, purchased by him from a miscellaneous dealer in Rome. The
result had been in the highest degree pleasing to himself, though
perhaps a little surprising to others. No one, however, interfered
with him except a party of gendarmes who attempted to stop him. They
thought that he was a Garibaldino trying to rouse the country. The
trombone might have been the cause of that suspicion.

Fortunately the gendarmes, though armed to the teeth, were not
mounted, and so it was that, when they attempted to arrest Dick,
that young man lashed his horses to fury, and, loosening the reins
at the same moment, burst through the line, and before they knew
what he was about he was away.

They fired a volley. The echoes died away, mingled with
gendarmerian curses. The only harm done was a hole made by a
bullet through the coach. The only apparent effect was the waking
of Pietro. That worthy, suddenly roused from slumber, jumped up to
hear the last sounds of the rifles, to see the hole made by the
bullet, the fading forms of the frantic officials, and the nimble
figure of the gallant driver, who stood upright upon the seat waving
his hat over his head, while the horses dashed on at a furious gallop.


[Illustration: Dick In His Glory.]


This was all. Nothing more occurred, for Pietro drove the remainder
of the way, and Dick's trombone was tabooed.

On the following morning the welcome departure was made. To their
inexpressible joy they found that the coach was this time a strong
one, and no ordinary event of travel could delay them. They had lost
two days, however, and that was no trifle. They now entered upon the
second stage, and passed on without difficulty.

In fact, they didn't meet with a single incident worth mentioning
till they came to Perugia. Perugia is one of the finest places in
Italy, and really did not deserve to be overhauled so terrifically
by the Papal troops. Every body remembers that affair. At the time
when the Dodge Club arrived at this city they found the Papal party
in the middle of a reaction. They actually began to fear that they
had gone a little too far. They were making friendly overtures to
the outraged citizens. But the latter were implacable, stiff!

What rankled most deeply was the maddening fact that these Swiss,
who were made the ministers of vengeance, were part of that accursed,
detested, hated, shunned, despised, abhorred, loathed, execrated,
contemptible, stupid, thick-headed, brutal, gross, cruel, bestial,
demoniacal, fiendish, and utterly abominable race--_I Tedeschi_
--whose very name, when hissed from an Italian month, expresses
unutterable scorn and undying hate.

They left Perugia at early dawn. Jogging on easily over the hills,
they were calculating the time when they would reach Florence.

In the disturbed state of Italy at this time, resulting from war
and political excitement, and general expectation of universal
change, the country was filled with disorder, and scoundrels
infested the roads, particularly in the Papal territories. Here
the Government, finding sufficient employment for all its energies
in taking care of itself, could scarcely be expected to take care
either of its own subjects or the traveller through its dominions.
The Americans had heard several stories about brigands, but had
given themselves no trouble whatever about them.

Now it came to pass that about five miles from Perugia they wound
round a very thickly-wooded mountain, which ascended on the left,
far above, and on the right descended quite abruptly into a gorge.
Dick was outside; the others inside. Suddenly a loud shout, and a
scream from Pietro. The carriage stopped.

The inside passengers could see the horses rearing and plunging,
and Dick, snatching whip and reins from Pietro, lashing them with
all his might. In a moment all inside was in an uproar.

"We are attacked!" cried Buttons.

"The devil!" cried the Senator, who, in his sudden excitement, used
the first and only profane expression which his friends ever heard him
utter.

Out came the Doctor's revolver.

Bang! bang! wept two rifles outside, and a loud voice called on them
to surrender.

"_Andate al Diavolo_!" pealed out Dick's voice as loud as a trumpet.
His blows fell fast and furiously on the horses. Maddened by pain,
the animals bounded forward for a few rods, and then swerving from
the road-side, dashed against the precipitous hill, where the coach
stuck, the horses rearing.

Through the doors which they had flung open in order to jump out
the occupants of the carriage saw the reeling figures of armed men
overthrown and cursing. In a moment they all were out.

Bang! and then--

Ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-bang! went half a dozen rifles.

Thank Heaven! not one of the Club, was struck. There were twenty
scoundrels armed to the teeth.

The Doctor was as stiff as a rock. He aimed six times as calmly as
though he were in a pistol-gallery. Nerve told. Six explosions
roared. Six yells followed. Six men reeled.

"I'd give ten years of my life for such a pistol!" cried Buttons.

The Italians were staggered. Dick had a bowie-knife. The Senator
grasped a ponderous beam that he had placed on the coach in case
of another break-down. Mr. Figgs had a razor which he had grabbed
from the storehouse in the Doctor's pocket. Buttons had nothing. But
on the road lay three Italians writhing.

"Hurrah!" cried Buttons. "Load again, Doctor. Come; let's make a
rush and get these devils on the road."

He rushed forward. The others all at his side. The Italians stood
paralyzed at the effect of the revolver. As Buttons led the charge
they fell back a few paces.

"Hurrah! hurrah! hurrah!" burst Buttons, the Senator, and Dick, as
each snatched a rifle from the prostrate bandits, and hastily tore
the cartridge-boxes from them.

"Load up! load up! Doctor!" cried Buttons.

"All right,"' said the Doctor, who never changed in his cool
self-possession.

But now the Italians with curses and screams came back to the
attack. It is absolutely stupefying to think how few shots hit the
mark in the excitement of a fight. Here were a number of men firing
from a distance of hardly more than forty paces, and not one took
effect.

The next moment the whole crowd were upon them. Buttons snatched Mr.
Figgs's razor from his grasp and used it vigorously. Dick plied his
bowie-knife. The Senator wielded a clubbed rifle on high as though
it were a wand, and dealt the blows of a giant upon the heads of his
assailants. All the Italians were physically their inferiors--small,
puny men. Mr. Figgs made a wild dash at the first man he saw and
seized his rifle. The fight was spirited.

The rascally brigands were nearly three times as numerous, but the
Americans surpassed them in bodily strength and spirit.

Crash--crash--fell the Senator's rifle, and down went two men. His
strength was enormous--absorbed as it had been from the granite
cliffs of the old Granite State. Two brawny fellows seized him from
behind. A thrust of his elbow laid one low. Buttons slashed the wrist
of the other. A fellow threw himself on Buttons. Dick's bowie-knife
laid open his arm and thigh. The next moment Dick went down beneath
the blows of several Italians. But Buttons rushed with his razor to
rescue Dick. Three men glared at him with uplifted weapons. Down
came the Senator's clubbed rifle like an avalanche, sweeping
their weapons over the cliff. They turned simultaneously on the
Senator, and grasped him in a threefold embrace. Buttons's razor
again drank blood. Two turned upon him. Bang! went the Doctor's
pistol, sending one of them shrieking to the ground. Bang! Once
more, and a fellow who had nearly overpowered the breathless Figgs
staggered back. Dick was writhing on the ground beneath the weight
of a dead man and a fellow who was trying to suffocate him. Buttons
was being throttled by three others who held him powerless, his
razor being broken. A crack on Mr. Figgs's head laid him low. The
Doctor stood off at a little distance hastily reloading.

The Senator alone was free; but six fierce fellows assailed him. It
was now as in the old Homeric days, when the heroic soul, sustained
by iron nerve and mighty muscle, came out particularly strong in the
hour of conflict.

The Senator's form towered up like one of his own granite cliffs in
the storm--as rugged, as unconquerable. His blood was up! The same
blood it was that coursed through the veins of Cromwell's grim old
"Ironsides," and afterward animated those sturdy backwoods-men who
had planted themselves in American forests, and beaten back wild
beasts and howling savages.

Buttons, prostrate on the ground, looked up, gasping through the
smoke and dust, as he struggled with his assailants. He saw the
Senator, his hair bristling out straight, his teeth set, his eye on
fire, his whole expression sublimed by the ardor of battle. His
clothes were torn to shreds; his coat was gone, his hat nowhere,
his hands and face were covered with clots of blood and streaks
from mud, dust, smoke, and powder.

The eye of Buttons took in all this in one glance. The next instant,
with a wide sweep of his clubbed rifle the Senator put forth all
his gigantic strength in one tremendous effort. The shock was
irresistible. Down went the six bandits as though a cannon-ball had
struck them. The Senator leaped away to relieve Dick, and seizing
his assailant by neck and heel, flung him over the cliff. Then
tearing away another from Mr. Figgs's prostrate and almost
senseless form, he rushed back upon the six men whom he had just
levelled to the earth.

Dick sprang to the relief of Buttons, who was at his last extremity.
But the Doctor was before him, as cool as ever. He grasped one fellow
by the throat--a favorite trick of the Doctor's, in which his
anatomical knowledge came very finely into play:

"Off!" rang the Doctor's voice.

The fellow gasped a curse. The next instant a roar burst through the
air, and the wretch fell heavily forward, shot through the head,
while his brains were splattered over the face of Buttons. The
Doctor with a blow of his fist sent the other fellow reeling over.

Buttons sprang up gasping. The Italians were falling back. He called
to the Senator. That man of might came up. Thank God they were all
alive! Bruised, and wounded, and panting--but alive.

The scowling bandits drew off, leaving seven of their number on the
road _hors de combat_. Some of the retreating ones had been badly
treated, and limped and staggered. The Club proceeded to load their
rifles.

The Doctor stepped forward. Deliberately aiming he fired his revolver
five times in rapid succession. Before he had time to load again the
bandits had darted into the woods.

"Every one of those bullets _hit_," said the Doctor with unusual
emphasis.

"We must get under cover at once," said Dick. "They'll be back
shortly with others!"

"Then we must fortify our position," said the Senator, "and wait for
relief. As we were, though, it was lucky they tried a hand-to-hand
fight first. This hill shelters us on one side. There are so many
trees that they can't roll stones down, nor can they shoot us. We'll
fix a barricade in front with our baggage. We'll have to fight behind
a barricade this time; though, by the Eternal! I wish it were
hand-to-hand again, for I don't remember of ever having had such a
glorious time in all my born days!"

The Senator passed his hand over his gory brow, and walked to the
coach.

"Where's Pietro?"

"Pietro! _Pietro_!"

No answer.

"PI-E-TRO!"

Still no answer.

"Pietro!" cried Dick, "if you don't come here I'll blow your--"

"Oh! is it you, Signori?" exclaimed Pietro's voice; and that
worthy appeared among the trees a little way up the hill. He was
deadly pale, and trembled so much that he could scarcely speak.

"Look here!" cried Buttons; "we are going to barricade ourselves."

"Barricade!"

"We can not carry our baggage away, and we are not going to leave
it behind. We expect to have another battle."

Pietro's face grew livid.

"You can stay and help us if you wish."

Pietro's teeth chattered.

"Or you can help us far more, by running to the nearest town and
letting the authorities know."

"Oh, Signore, trust me! I go."

"Make haste, then, or you may find us all murdered, and then how
will you get your fares--eh?"

"I go--I go; I will run all the way!"

"Won't you take a gun to defend yourself with?"

"Oh no!" cried Pietro, with horror. "No, no!"

In a few minutes he had vanished among the thick woods.


[Illustration: Pietro.]


After stripping the prostrate Italians the travellers found
themselves in possession of seven rifles, with cartridges, and some
other useful articles. Four of these men were stone-dead. They
pulled their bodies in front of their place of shelter. The wounded
men they drew inside, and the Doctor at once attended to them, while
the others were strengthening the barricade.

"I don't like putting these here," said the Senator; "but it'll
likely frighten the brigands, or make them delicate about firing at
us. That's my idee."

The horses were secured fast. Then the baggage was piled all around,
and made an excellent barricade. With this and the captured rifles
they felt themselves able to encounter a small regiment.

"Now let them come on," cried the Senator, "just as soon as they
damn please! We'll try first the European system of barricades; and
if that don't work, then we can fall back, on the real original,
national, patriotic, independent, manly, native American, true-blue,
and altogether heroic style!"

"What is that?"

The Senator looked at the company, and held out his clenched fist:

"Why, from behind a tree, in the woods, like your glorious
forefathers!"


[Illustration: The Barricade.]



CHAPTER XL.


PLEASANT MEDIATIONS ABOUT THE WONDERS OF TOBACCO; AND THREE PLEASANT
ANECDOTES BY AN ITALIAN BRIGAND.


A pull apiece at the brandy-flask restored strength and freshness to
the beleaguered travellers, who now, intrenched behind their
fortifications, awaited any attack which the Italians might choose to
make.

"The _I_talians," said the Senator, "are not a powerful race. By no
means. Feeble in body--no muscle--no brawn. Above all, no real
_pluck_. Buttons, is there a word in their language that expresses
the exact idee of _pluck_?"

"Or _game_?"

"No."

"Or even _spunk_?"

"No."

"I thought not," said the Senator, calmly. "They haven't the _idee_,
and can't have the word. Now it would require a rather considerable
crowd to demolish us at the present time."

"How long will we have to stay here?" asked Mr. Figgs abruptly.

"My dear Sir," said Buttons, with more sprightliness than he had
shown for many days, "be thankful you are here at all. We'll get off
at some time to-day. These fellows are watching us, and the moment
we start they'll fire on us. We would be a good mark for them in the
coach. No, we must wait a while."

Seated upon the turf, they gave themselves up to the pleasing
influence that flows from the pipe. Is there any thing equal to it?
How did the ancients contrive to while away the time without it? Had
they known its effects how they would have cherished it! We should
now be gazing on the ruins of venerable temples, reared by adoring
votaries to the goddess Tabaca. Boys at school would have construed
passages about her. Lempriere, Smith, Anthon, Drissler, and others
would have done honor to her. Classic mythology would have been full
of her presence. Olympian Jove would have been presented to us with
this divinity as his constant attendant, and a nimbus around his
immortal brows of her making. Bacchus would have had a rival, a
superior!

Poets would have told how TABACA went over the world girt in that but
set off the more her splendid radiance. We should have known how much
Bacchus had to do with [Transcriber's Note: Greek Transliteration] ta
bakcheia [/end Greek]; a chapter which will probably be a lost one in
the History of Civilization. But that he who smokes should drink beer
is quite indisputable. Whether the beer is to be X, XX, or XXX; or
whether the brewer's name should begin with an A, as in Alsopp, and
run through the whole alphabet, ending with V, as in Vassar, may be
fairly left to individual consideration.

What noble poetry, what spirited odes, what eloquent words, has not
the world lost by the ignorance of the Greek and Roman touching this
plant?

The above remarks were made by Dick on this occasion. But Buttons was
talking with the wounded Italians.

The Doctor had bound up their wounds and Buttons had favored them
with a drop from his flask. Dick cut up some tobacco and filled a
pipe for each. After all, the Italians were not fiends. They had
attacked them not from malice, but purely from professional motives.

Yet, had their enemies been Tedeschi, no amount of attention would
have overcome their sullen hate. But being Americans, gay, easy,
without malice, in fact kind and rather agreeable, they softened,
yielded altogether, and finally chatted familiarly with Buttons
and Dick. They were young, not worse in appearance than the majority
of men; perhaps not bad fellows in their social relations; at any
rate, rather inclined to be jolly in their present circumstances.
They were quite free in their expressions of admiration for the
bravery of their captors, and looked with awe upon the Doctor's
revolver, which was the first they had ever seen.

In fact, the younger prisoner became quite communicative. Thus:

"I was born in Velletri. My age is twenty-four years. I have
never shed blood except three times. The first time was in
Narni--odd place, Narni. My employer was a vine-dresser. The season
was dry; the brush caught fire, I don't know how, and in five
minutes a third of the vineyard was consumed to ashes. My employer
came cursing and raving at me, and swore he'd make me work for him
till I made good the loss. Enraged, I struck him. He seized an axe.
I drew my stiletto, and--of course I had to run away.

"The second time was in Naples. The affair was brought about by a
woman. Signore, women are at the bottom of most crimes that men
commit. I was in love with her. A friend of mine fell in love with
her too. I informed him that if he interfered with me I would kill
him. I told her that if she encouraged him I would kill him and her
too. I suppose she was piqued. Women will get piqued sometimes. At
any rate she gave him marked encouragement. I scolded and threatened.
No use. She told me she was tired of me; that I was too tyrannical.
In fact, she dared to turn me off and take the other fellow. Maffeo
was a good fellow. I was sorry for him, but I had to keep my word.

"The third time was only a month ago. I robbed a Frenchman, out of
pure patriotism--the French, you know, are our oppressors--and kept
what I found about him to reward me for my gallant act. The
Government, however, did not look upon it in a proper light. They
sent out a detachment to arrest me. I was caught, and by good
fortune brought to an inn. At night I was bound tightly and shut
up in the same room with the soldiers. The innkeeper's daughter, a
friend of mine, came in for something, and by mere chance dropped
a knife behind me. I got it, cut my cords, and when they were all
asleep I departed. Before going I left the knife behind; and where
now, Signore, do you think I left it?"

"I have no idea."

"You would never guess. You never would have thought of it yourself."

"Where did you leave it?"

"In the heart of the Captain."



CHAPTER XLI.


FINAL ATTACK OF REINFORCEMENTS OF BRIGANDS.--THE DODGE CLUB DEFIES
THEM AND REPELS THEM.--HOW TO MAKE A BARRICADE.--FRATERNIZATION OF
AMERICAN EAGLE AND GALLIC COCK.--THERE'S NOTHING LIKE LEATHER.


"It is certainly a singular position for an American citizen to be
placed in," said the Senator. "To come from a cotton-mill to such
a regular out-and-out piece of fighting as this. Yet it seems to me
that fighting comes natural to the American blood."

"They've been very quiet for ever so long," said Mr. Figgs; "perhaps
they've gone away."

"I don't believe they have, for two reasons. The first is, they are
robbers, and want our money; the second, they are Italians, and want
revenge. They won't let us off so easily after the drubbing we gave
them."

Thus Buttons, and the others rather coincided in his opinion. For
several miles further on the road ran through a dangerous place,
where men might lurk in ambush, and pick them off like so many
snipe. They rather enjoyed a good fight, but did not care about
being regularly shot down. So they waited.

It was three in the afternoon. Fearfully hot, too, but not so bad
as it might have been. High trees sheltered them. They could
ruminate under the shade. The only difficulty was the want of
food. What can a garrison do that is ill provided with eatables?
The Doctor's little store of crackers and cheese was divided and
eaten. A basket of figs and oranges followed. Still they were
hungry.

"Well," said Dick, "there's one thing we can do if the worst comes
to the worst."

"What's that?"

"Go through the forest in Indian file back to Perugia."

"That's all very well," said the Senator, stubbornly, "but we're not
going back. No, Sir, not a step!"

"I'm tired of this," said Buttons, impatiently. "I'll go out as
scout."

"I'll go too," said Dick.

"Don't go far, boys," said the Senator, in the tone of an anxious
father.

"No, not very. That hill yonder will be a good lookout place."

"Yes, if you are not seen yourselves."

"We'll risk that. If we see any signs of these scoundrels, and find
that they see us, we will fire to let you know. If we remain
undiscovered we will come back quietly."

"Very well. But I don't like to let you go off alone, my boys; it's
too much of an exposure."

"Nonsense."

"I have a great mind to go too."

"No, no, you had better stay to hold our place of retreat. We'll come
back, you know."

"Very well, then."

The Senator sat himself down again, and Buttons and Dick vanished
among the trees. An hour passed; the three in the barricade began to
feel uneasy; the prisoners were asleep and snoring.

"Hang it," cried the Senator, "I wish I had gone with them!"

"Never fear," said the Doctor, "they are too nimble to be caught just
yet. If they had been caught you'd have heard a little firing."

At that very moment the loud report of a rifle burst through the air,
followed by a second; upon which a whole volley poured out. The three
started to their feet.

"They are found!" cried the Senator. "It's about a mile away. Be
ready."

Mr. Figgs had two rifles by his side, and sat looking at the distance
with knitted brows. He had received some terrific bruises in the late
mêlée, but was prepared to fight till he died. He had said but little
through the day. He was not talkative. His courage was of a quiet
order. He felt the solemnity of the occasion. It was a little
different from sitting at the head of a Board of bank directors, or
shaving notes in a private office. At the end of about ten minutes
there was a crackling among the bushes. Buttons and Dick came tumbling
down into the road.

"Get ready! Quick. They're here!"

"All ready."

"All loaded?"

"Yes."

"We saw them away down the road, behind a grove of trees. We
couldn't resist, and so fired at them. The whole band leaped up
raving, and saw us, and fired. They then set off up the road to
this place, thinking that we are divided. They're only a few rods
away."

"How many are there of them?"

"Fourteen."

"They must have got some more. There were only ten able-bodied,
unwounded men when they left."

"Less," said the Doctor; "my pistol--"

"H'st!"

At this moment they heard the noise of footsteps. A band of armed
men came in sight. Halting cautiously, they examined the barricade.
Bang! It was the Doctor's revolver. Down went one fellow, yelling.
The rest were frantic. Like fools, they made a rush at the barricade.

Bang! a second shot, another wounded. A volley was the answer. Like
fools, the brigands fired against the barricade. No damage was done.
The barricade was too strong.

The answer to this was a withering volley from the Americans. The
bandits reeled, staggered, fell back, shrieking, groaning, and
cursing. Two men lay dead on the road. The others took refuge in the
woods.

For two hours an incessant fire was kept up between the bandits in
the woods and the Americans in their retreat. No damage was done on
either side.

"Those fellows try so hard they almost deserve to lick us," said the
Senator dryly.

Suddenly there came from afar the piercing blast of a trumpet.

"Hark!" cried Buttons.

Again.

A cavalry trumpet!

"They are horsemen!" cried Dick, who was holding his ear to the
ground; and then added:

"[Transcriber's Note: Greek Transliteration] ippon m okupodon amphi
ktupos ouata ballei [/end Greek]."

"Hey?" cried the Senator; "water barley?"

Again the sound. A dead silence. All listening.

And now the tramp of horses was plainly heard. The firing had ceased
altogether since the first blast of the trumpet. The bandits
disappeared. The horsemen drew nearer, and were evidently quite
numerous. At last they burst upon the scene, and the little garrison
greeted them with a wild hurrah. They were French dragoons, about
thirty in number. Prominent among them was Pietro, who at first
stared wildly around, and then, seeing the Americans, gave a cry
of joy.

The travellers now came out into the road, and quick and hurried
greetings were interchanged. The commander of the troop, learning
that the bandits had just left, sent off two-thirds of his men in
pursuit, and remained with the rest behind.

Pietro had a long story to tell of his own doings. He had
wandered through the forest till he came to Perugia. The commandant
there listened to his story, but declined sending any of his men
to the assistance of the travellers. Pietro was in despair.
Fortunately a small detachment of French cavalry had just arrived
at Perugia on their way to Rome and the captain was more merciful.
The gallant fellow at once set out, and, led by Pietro, arrived at
the place most opportunely.

It did not take long to get the coach ready again. One horse was
found to be so badly wounded that it had to be killed. The others
were slightly hurt. The baggage and trunks were riddled with
bullets. These were once more piled up, the wounded prisoners
placed inside, and the travellers, not being able to get in all
together, took turns in walking.

At the next town the prisoners were delivered up to the authorities.
The travellers celebrated their victory by a grand banquet, to which
they invited the French officer and the soldiers, who came on with
them to this town. Uproar prevailed. The Frenchmen were exuberant
in compliments to the gallantry of their entertainers. Toasts
followed.

"The Emperor and President!"

"America and France!"

"Tricolor and stars!"

"The two countries intertwined!"

"A song, Dick!" cried the Senator, who always liked to hear Dick
sing. Dick looked modest.


[Illustration: An International Affair.]


"Strike up!"

"What?"

"The 'Scoodoo abscook!'" cried Mr Figgs.

"No; 'The Old Cow!'" cried Buttons.

"'The Pig by the Banks of the River!'" said the Doctor.

"Dick, don't," said the Senator. "I'll tell you an appropriate song.
These Frenchmen believe in France. We believe in America. Each one
thinks there is nothing like Leather. Sing 'Leather,' then."

FIGGS. BUTTONS. THE DOCTOR.} "Yes, 'Leather!'"

"Then let it be 'Leather,'" said Dick; and he struck up the
following (which may not be obtained of any of the music publishers),
to a very peculiar tune:


I.


  "Mercury! Patron of melody,
    Father of Music and Lord,
  Thine was the skill that invented
    Music's harmonious chord.
  Sweet were the sounds that arose,
    Sweetly they blended together;
  Thus, in the ages of old,
    Music arose out of--LEATHER!


[_Full chorus by all the company_.]
  "Then Leather! sing Leather! my lads!
    Mercury! Music!! and Leather!!!
  Of all the things under the sun,
    Hurrah! there is nothing like _Leather_!


[_Extra Chorus, descriptive of a Cobbler hammering on his Lapstone_.]
    "Then Rub a dub, dub!
    Rub a dub, dub!
    Rub a dub, dub!!! say we!


II.


  "War is a wonderful science,
    Mars was its patron, I'm told,
  How did he used to accoutre
    Armies in battles of old?
  With casque, and with sling, and with shield,
    With bow-string and breastplate together;
  Thus, in the ages of old,
    War was begun out of--LEATHER!


[_Chorus_.]
  "Then Leather! sing Leather! my lads!
    Mars and his weapons of Leather!!!
  Of all the things under the sun,
    Hurrah! there is nothing like _Leather_!


[_Extra Chorus_.]
    "Then Rub a dub, dub!
    Rub a dub, dub!
    Rub a dub, dub!!! say we!


III.


  "Love is a pleasing emotion,
    All of us know it by heart;
  Whence, can you tell me, arises
    Love's overpowering smart?
  Tipped with an adamant barb,
    Gracefully tufted with feather,
  Love's irresistible dart
    Comes from a quiver of--LEATHER!


[_Chorus_.]
  "Then Leather! sing Leather, my lads!
    Darts! and Distraction!! and Leather!!!
  Of all the things under the sun,
    Hurrah! there is nothing like _Leather_!



[_Extra Chorus_.]
    "Then Rub a dub, dub!
    Rub a dub, dub!
    Rub a dub, dub!!! say we!


IV.


  "Orators wrote out their speeches,
    Poets their verses recited,
  Statesmen promulgated edicts,
    Sages their maxims indited.
  Parchment, my lads, was the article
    All used to write on together;
  Thus the Republic of Letters
    Sprang into life out of--LEATHER!


[_Chorus_.]
  "Then Leather! sing Leather, my lads!
    Poetry! Science!! and Leather!!!
  Of all the things under the sun,
    Hurrah! there is nothing like _Leather_!


[_Extra Chorus_.]
    "Then Rub a dub, dub!
    Rub a dub, dub!
    Rub a dub, dub!!! say we!"



CHAPTER XLII.


FLORENCE.--DESPERATION OF BUTTONS, OF MR. FIGGS, AND OF THE DOCTOR.


Florence, the fair!--Certainly it is the fairest of cities. Beautiful
for situation; the joy of the whole earth! It has a beauty that grows
upon the heart. The Arno is the sweetest of rivers, its valley the
loveliest of vales; luxuriant meadows; rich vineyards; groves of
olive, of orange, and of chestnut; forests of cypress; long lines of
mulberry; the dark purple of the distant Apennines; innumerable white
villas peeping through the surrounding groves; the mysterious haze of
the sunset, which throws a softer charm over the scene; the
magnificent cattle; the fine horses; the bewitching girls, with their
broad hats of Tuscan straw; the city itself, with its gloomy old
palaces, iron-grated and massive walled, from the ancient holds of
street-fighting nobles, long since passed away, to the severe Etruscan
majesty of the Pitti Palace; behold Florence!

It is the abode of peace, gentleness, and kindly pleasure (or at any
rate it was so when the Club was there). Every stone in its pavement
has a charm. Other cities may please; Florence alone can win enduring
love. It is one of the very few which a man can select as a permanent
home, and never repent of his decision. In fact, it is probably the
only city on earth which a stranger can live in and make for himself
a true home, so pleasant as to make desire for any other simply
impossible.


[Illustration: Florence From San Miniato.]


In Florence there is a large English population, drawn there by two
powerful attractions. The first is the beauty of the place, with
its healthy climate, its unrivalled collections of art, and its
connection with the world at large. The second is the astonishing
cheapness of living, though, alas! this is greatly changed from
former times, since Florence has become the capital of Italy.
Formerly a palace could be rented for a trifle, troops of servants
for another trifle, and the table could be furnished from day to day
with rarities and delicacies innumerable for another trifle. It is,
therefore, a paradise for the respectable poor, the needy men of
intelligence, and perhaps it may be added, for the shabby genteel.
There is a glorious congregation of dilettante, literati, savans; a
blessed brotherhood of artists and authors; here gather political
philosophers of every grade. It was all this even under the Grand
Duke of refreshing memory; hereafter it will be the same, only,
perhaps, a little more so, under the new influences which it shall
acquire and exert as the metropolis of a great kingdom.

The Florentines are the most polished people under the sun. The
Parisians claim this proud pre-eminence, but it can not be
maintained. Amid the brilliancies of Parisian life there are
fearful memories of bloody revolutions, brutal fights, and
blood-thirsty cruelties. No such events as these mar the fair
pages of later Florentine history. In fact, the forbearance and
gentleness of the people have been perhaps to their disadvantage.
Life in Florence is joy. The sensation of living is of itself a
pleasure. Life in that delicious atmosphere becomes a higher state of
being. It is the proper home for poets and artists. Those who pretend
that there is any thing in America equal to Florence either in
climate, landscape, or atmosphere, are simply humbugs. Florence is
unique. It is the only Athens of the modern world.


[Illustration: Pitti Palace.]


The streets are cool and delightful. The great bath houses keep off
the rays of the sun. The people love to stroll away the greater part
of their happy days. They loiter around the corners or under the
porticoes gathering news and retailing the same. Hand-organs are
generally discountenanced. Happy city!


[Illustration: Fountain Of Neptune, Palazzo Vecchio.]

When it is too hot in the streets there is the vast cathedral--Il
Duomo--dim, shadowy, magnificent, its gigantic dome surpassed only
by that of St. Peter's. And yet in the twilight of this sacred
interior, where there dwells so much of the mysterious gloom only
found in the Gothic cathedrals of the north, many find greater
delight than in all the dazzling splendor, the pomp, and glory, and
majesty of the Roman temple. Beside it rises the Campanile, as fair
as a dream, and in appearance almost as unsubstantial. Not far off
is the Baptistery, with its gates of bronze--an assemblage of glory
which might well suffice for one city.


[Illustration: The Duomo.]


Around the piazza that incloses these sacred buildings they sell
the best roasted chestnuts in the world. Is it any wonder that
Florence is so attractive?


[Illustration: The Campanile.]


The Dodge Club obtained furnished apartments in a fine large hotel
that looked out on the Ponte della Trinita and on the Arno. Beneath
was the principal promenade in the city. It was a highly agreeable
residence.

No sooner had they arrived than Buttons set out in search of the
Spaniards. Three days had been lost on the road. He was half afraid
that those three days had lost him the Spaniards altogether. Three
days! It was possible that they had seen Florence in that time and
had already left. The thought of this made Buttons feel extremely
nervous. He spent the first day in looking over all the hotels in
the city. The second in searching through as many of the
lodging-houses as were likely to be chosen by the Spaniards. The
third he spent in meandering disconsolately through the cafés. Still
there were no signs of them. Upon this Buttons fell into a profound
melancholy. In fact it was a very hard case. There seemed nothing
left for him to do. How could he find them out?


[Illustration: Trozzi Palace.]


Dick noticed the disquietude of his friend, and sympathized with
him deeply. So he lent his aid and searched through the city as
industriously as possible. Yet in spite of every effort their
arduous labors were defeated. So Buttons became hopeless.

The Senator, however, had met with friends. The American Minister
at Turin happened at that time to be in Florence. Him the Senator
recollected as an old acquaintance, and also as a tried companion
in arms through many a political campaign. The Minister received
him with the most exuberant delight. Dinner, wine, feast of reason,
flow of soul, interchange of latest news, stories of recent
adventures on both sides, laughter, compliments, speculations on
future party prospects, made the hours of an entire afternoon fly
like lightning. The American Eagle was never more convivial.

The Minister would not let him go. He made him put up at his hotel.
He had the entree into the highest Florentine society. He would
introduce the Senator everywhere. The Senator would have an
opportunity of seeing Italian manners and customs such as was very
rarely enjoyed. The Senator was delighted at the idea.

But Mr. Figgs and the Doctor began to show signs of weariness. The
former walked with Dick through the Boboli gardens and confided
all his soul to his young friend. What was the use of an elderly
man like him putting himself to so much trouble? He had seen enough
of Italy. He didn't want to see any more. He would much rather be safe
at home. Besides, the members of the Club were all going down the
broad road that leadeth to ruin. Buttons was infatuated about
those Spaniards. The Doctor thought that he (Dick) was involved in
some mysterious affair of a similar nature. Lastly, the Senator was
making a plunge into society. It was too much. The ride over the
Apennines to Bologna might be interesting for two young fellows
like him and Buttons, but was unfit for an elderly person.
Moreover, he didn't care about going to the seat of war. He had
seen enough of fighting. In short, he and the Doctor had made up
their minds to go back to Paris via Leghorn and Marseilles.

Dick remonstrated, expostulated, coaxed. But Mr. Figgs was inflexible.


[Illustration: Buttons Melancholy.]



CHAPTER XLIII.

THE SENATOR ENTRAPPED.--THE WILES AND WITCHERY OF A QUEEN OF SOCIETY.
--HIS FATE DESTINED TO BE, AS HE THINKS, ITALIAN COUNTESSES.
--SENTIMENTAL CONVERSATION.--POETRY.--BEAUTY.--MOONLIGHT.--RAPTURE.
--DISTRACTION.--BLISS!


The blandishments of Florentine society might have led captive a
sterner soul than that of the Senator. Whether he wished it or not,
he was overcome. His friend, the Minister, took him to the houses of
the leaders of society, and introduced him as an eminent American
statesman and member of the Senate.

Could any recommendation be equal to that? For, be it remembered, it
was the Revolutionary time. Republicanism ran high. America was
synonymous with the Promised Land. To be a statesman in America was
as great a dignity as to be prince in any empire on earth. Besides,
it was infinitely more honored, for it was popular. The eyes of the
struggling people were tamed to that country which shoved them an
example of republican freedom.

So if the Florentines received the Senator with boundless hospitality,
it was because they admired his country, and reverenced his dignity.
They liked to consider the presence of the American Minister and
Senator as an expression of the good-will of the American Government.
They looked upon him diplomatically. All that he said was listened to
with the deepest respect, which was none the less when they did not
comprehend a word. His pithy sentences, when translated into Italian,
became the neatest epigrams in the world. His suggestions as to the
best mode of elevating and enriching the country were considered by
one set as the profoundest philosophy, and by another as the keenest
satire. They were determined to lionize him. It was a new sensation
to the Senator. He desired to prolong it. He recalled the lines of
the good Watts:


  "My willing soul would stay
    In such a frame as this."


He thought of Dr. Franklin in Paris, of his severe republicanism amid
the aristocratic influences around. How like his present situation
was to that of the august philosopher!

The marked attention which the Minister paid to the Senator added
greatly to the importance of the latter. The Florentines reasoned
thus: A Minister is a great man. As a general thing his travelling
countrymen pay respect to him. What then must be the position of
that travelling fellow-countryman who receives attention instead of
paying it? What would the position of an Englishman need to be in
order to gain the attention of the British Embassador? Ducal at
least. Hence there is only one conclusion. An American Senator ranks
with an English Duke.

Others went beyond this: Mark the massive forehead, the severe eye,
the cool, self-possessed mien of this American. The air of one
accustomed to rule. Listen to his philosophic conversation. One of
America's greatest statesmen. No doubt he has a certain prospect of
becoming President. President! It must be so; and that accounts for
the attention paid by the American Embassador. He, of course, wishes
to be continued in his office under the next administration. After
all, the Florentines were not so far out of the way. A much worse
man than the Senator might be made President. In the chapter of
accidents his name, or the name of one like him, might carry the
votes of some roaring convention.

For two or three days the Senator was the subject of an eager
contest among all the leaders of society. At length there appeared
upon, the scene the great Victrix in a thousand contests such as
these. The others fell back discomfited, and the Senator became her
prey.

The Countess di Nottinero was not exactly a Recamier, but she was a
remarkably brilliant woman, and the acknowledged leader of the
liberal part of Florentine society. Of course, the haughty
aristocratic party held themselves grandly aloof, and knew nothing
either of her or the society to which she belonged.

She was generally known as _La Cica_, a nickname given by her
enemies, though what "Cica" meant no one could tell exactly. It was
a sort of contraction made up from her Christian name, Cecilia, as
some thought; others thought it was the Italian word _cica_ given
on account of some unknown incident. At any rate, as soon as she
made her appearance driving down the Lungh' Arno, with the massive
form of the Senator by her side, his fame rose up to its zenith. He
became more remarked than ever, and known among all classes as the
illustrious American to whom belonged the certainty of being next
President of the United States.

Rumor strengthened as it grew. Reports were circulated which would
certainly have amazed the worthy Senator if he had heard them all.
It was said that he was the special Plenipotentiary Extraordinary
sent by the American Government as a mark of their deep sympathy with
the Italian movement, and that he was empowered, at the first
appearance of a new Government in Italy, to recognize it officially
as a first-class Power, and thus give it the mighty sanction of the
United States. What wonder that all eyes were turned admiringly
toward him wherever he went. But he was too modest to notice it. He
little knew that he was the chief object of interest to every house,
hotel, and café in the city. Yet it was a fact.

His companions lost sight of him for some time. They heard the
conversation going on about the sayings of the great American. They
did not know at first who it was; but at length concluded that it
referred to the Minister from Turin.

_La Cica_ did her part marvellously well. All the dilettanti, the
artists, authors, political philosophers, and _beaux esprits_ of
every grade followed the example of _La Cica_. And it is a fact that
by the mere force of character, apart from any adventitious aids of
refinement, the Senator held his own remarkably. Yet it must be
confessed that he was at times extremely puzzled.

_La Cica_ did not speak the best English in the world; yet that
could not account for all the singular remarks which she made.
Still less could it account for the tender interest of her manner.
She had remarkably bright eyes. Why wandered those eyes so often
to his, and why did they beam with such devotion--beaming for a
moment only to fall in sweet innocent confusion? _La Cica_ had the
most fascinating manners, yet they were often perplexing to the
Senator's soul. The little offices which she required of him did
not appear in his matter-of-fact eyes as strictly prudent. The
innate gallantry which he possessed carried him bravely along
through much that was bewildering to his nerves. Yet he was often
in danger of running away in terror.

"The Countess," he thought, "is a most remarkable fine woman; but
she does use her eyes uncommon, and I do wish she wouldn't be quite
so demonstrative."

The good Senator had never before encountered a thorough woman of
the world, and was as ignorant as a child of the innumerable
little harmless arts by which the power of such a one is extended
and secured. At last the Senator came to this conclusion. _La Cica_
was desperately in love with him.

She appeared to be a widow. At least she had no husband that he had
ever seen; and therefore to the Senator's mind she must be a
spinster or a widow. From the general style in which she was
addressed he concluded that she was the latter. Now if the poor
_Cica_ was hopelessly in love, it must be stopped at once. For he
was a married man, and his good lady still lived, with a very
large family, most of the members of which had grown up.

_La Cica_ ought to know this. She ought indeed. But let the
knowledge be given delicately, not abruptly. He confided his
little difficulty to his friend the Minister. The Minister only
laughed heartily.

"But give me your opinion."

The Minister held his sides, and laughed more immoderately than ever.

"It's no laughing matter," said the Senator. "It's serious. I think
you might give an opinion."

But the Minister declined. A broad grin wreathed his face during
all the remainder of his stay at Florence. In fact, it is said that
it has remained there ever since.

The Senator felt indignant, but his course was taken. On the
following evening they walked on the balcony of _La Cica_'s noble
residence. She was sentimental, devoted, charming.

The conversation of a fascinating woman does not look so well when
reported as it is when uttered. Her power is in her tone, her
glance, her manner. Who can catch the evanescent beauty of her
expression or the deep tenderness of her well-modulated voice? Who
indeed?

"Does ze scene please you, my Senator?"

"Very much indeed."

"Youar countrymen haf tol me zey would like to stay here alloway."

"It is a beautiful place."

"Did you aiver see any thin moaire loafely?" And the Countess looked
full in his face.

"Never," said the Senator, earnestly. The next instant he blushed.
He had been betrayed into a compliment.

The Countess sighed.

"Helas! my Senator, that it is not pairmitted to moartals to
sociate as zey would laike."

"'Your Senator,'" thought the gentleman thus addressed; "how fond,
how tender--poor thing! poor thing!"

"I wish that Italy was nearer to the States," said he.

"How I adamiar youar style of mind, so differente from ze
Italiana. You are so strong--so nobile. Yet would Maike to see
moar of ze poetic in you."

"I always loved poetry, marm," said the Senator, desperately.

"Ah--good--nais--eccelente. I am plees at zat," cried the Countess,
with much animation. "You would loafe it moar eef you knew Italiano.
Your langua ees not sufficiente musicale for poatry."

"It is not so soft a language as the _I_-talian."

"Ah--no--not so soft. Very well. And what theenka you of ze
Italiano?"

"The sweetest language I ever heard in all my born days."

"Ah, now--you hev not heard much of ze Italiano, my Senator."

"I have heard you speak often," said the Senator, naively.

"Ah, you compliment! I sot you was aboove flattera."

And the Countess playfully tapped his arm with her little fan.

"What Ingelis poet do you loafe best?"

"Poet? English poet?" said the Senator, with some surprise.
"Oh--why, marm, I think Watts is about the best of the lot!"

"Watt? Was he a poet? I did not know zat. He who invented ze
stim-injaine? And yet if he was a poet it is natnrale zat you
loafe him best."

"Steam-engine? Oh no! This one was a minister."

"A meeneestaire? Ah! an abbé? I know him not. Yet I haf read mos of
all youar poets."

"He made up hymns, marm, and psalms--for instance: 'Watts's Divine
Hymns and Spiritual Songs.'"

"Songs? Spiritnelle? Ah, I mus at once procuaire ze works of Watt,
which was favorit poet of my Senator."

"A lady of such intelligence as you would like the poet Watts," said
the Senator, firmly.


[Illustration: La Cica.]


"He is the best known by far of all our poets."

"What? better zan Sakespeare, Milton, Bairon? You much surprass
me."

"Better known and better loved than the whole lot. Why, his poetry
is known by heart through all England and America."

"Merciful Heaven! what you tell me! ees eet possbl! An yet he is
not known here efen by name. It would plees me mooch, my Senator,
to hajre you make one quotatione. Know you Watt? Tell to me some
words of his which I may remembaire."

"I have a shocking bad memory."

"Bad raemora! Oh, but you remember somethin, zis mos beautful
charm nait--you haf a nobile soul--you mus be affecta by beauty--by
ze ideal. Make for a me one quotatione."

And she rested her little hand on the Senator's arm, and looked up
imploringly in his face.

The Senator looked foolish. He felt even more so. Here was a
beautiful woman, by act and look showing a tender interest in him.
Perplexing--but very flattering after all. So he replied:

"You will not let me refuse you any thing."

"Aha! you are vera willin to refuse. It is difficulty for me to
excitare youar regards. You are fill with the grands ideas. But
come--will you spik for me some from your favorit Watt?"

"Well, if you wish it so much," said the Senator, kindly, and he
hesitated.

"Ah--I do wis it so much!"

"Ehem!"

"Begin," said the Countess. "Behold me. I listen. I hear everysin,
and will remembaire it forava."

The only thing that the Senator could think of was the verse which
had been running in his head for the last few days, its measured
rhythm keeping time with every occupation:

"'My willing soul would stay--'"

"Stop one moment," said the Countess. "I weesh to learn it from
you;" and she looked fondly and tenderly up, but instantly
dropped her eyes.

"'Ma willina sol wooda sta--'"

"In such a frame as this,'" prompted the Senator.

"'Een socha framas zees.' Wait--'Ma willina sol wooda sta in
socha framas zees.' Ah, appropriat! but could I hope zat you were
true to zose lines, my Senator? Well?"

"'And sit and sing herself away,'" said the Senator, in a
faltering voice, and breaking out into a cold perspiration for
fear of committing himself by such uncommonly strong language.

"'Ansit ansin hassaf awai,'" repeated the Countess, her face
lighting up with a sweetly conscious expression.

The Senator paused.

"Well?"

"I--ehem! I forget."

"Forget? Impossible!"

"I do really."

"Ah now! Forget? I see by youar face--you desave. Say on."

The Countess again gently touched his arm with both of her
little hands, and held it as though she would clasp it.

"Have you fear? Ah, cruel!"

The Senator turned pale, but finding refusal impossible, boldly
finished:

"'To everlasting bliss'--there!"

"'To affarlastin blees thar.' Stop. I repeat it all: 'My willina
sol wooda sta in socha framas zees, ansit ansin hassaf awai to
affarlastin blees thar.' Am I right?"

"Yes," said the Senator, meekly.

"I knew you war a poetic sola," said the Countess, confidingly.
"You air honesto--true--you can not desave. When you spik I can
beliv you. Ah, my Senator! an you can spik zis poetry!--at soch a
taime! I nefare knew befoare zat you was so impassione!--an you
air so artaful! You breeng ze confersazione to beauty--to poatry--to
ze poet Watt--so you may spik verses mos impassione! Ah! What
do you mean? Santissima madre! how I wish you spik Italiano."

The Countess drew nearer to him, but her approach only deepened his
perplexity.

"How that poor thing does love me!" sighed the Senator. "Law bless
it! she can't help it--can't help it nohow. She is a goner; and what
can I do? I'll have to leave Florence. Oh, why did I quit Buttons!
Oh, why--"

The Countess was standing close beside him in a tender mood waiting
for him to break the silence. How could he? He had been uttering
words which sounded to her like love; and she--"a widow! a widow!
wretched man that I am!"

There was a pause. The longer it lasted the more awkward the
Senator felt. What upon earth was he to do or say? What business had
he to go and quote poetry to widows? What an old fool he must be!
But the Countess was very far from feeling awkward. Assuming an
elegant attitude she looked up, her face expressing the tenderest
solicitude.

"What ails my Senator?"

"Why the fact is, marm--I feel sad--at leaving Florence. I must go
shortly. My wife has written summoning me home. The children are
down with the measles."

Oh, base fabrication! Oh, false Senator! There wasn't a word of
truth in that remark. You spoke so because you wished _La Cica_ to
know that you had a wife and family. Yet it was very badly done.

_La Cica_ changed neither her attitude nor her expression.
Evidently the existence of his wife, and the melancholy situation
of his unfortunate children, awaked no sympathy.

"But, my Senator--did you not say you wooda seeng yousellef away
to affarlasteen belees?"

"Oh, marm, it was a quotation--only a quotation."

But at this critical juncture the conversation was broken up by the
arrival of a number of ladies and gentlemen.

But could the Senator have known!

Could he but have known how and where those words would confront him
again!



CHAPTER XLIV.


"MORERE DIAGORA, NON ENIM IN COELUM ADSCENSURUS ES."--THE APOTHEOSIS
OF THE SENATOR (NOTHING LESS--IT WAS A MOMENT IN WHICH A MAN MIGHT
WISH TO DIE--THOUGH, OF COURSE, THE SENATOR DIDN'T DIE).


Strolling through the streets day by day Buttons and Dick beheld
the triumph of the Senator. They gazed on it from afar, and in
amazement saw their old companion suddenly lifted up to a position
which they could not hope to gain. The companion of nobles--the
associate of _beaux esprits_--the friend of the wealthy, the great,
and the proud; what in the world was the cause of this sudden, this
unparalleled leap forward to the very highest point of honor? Who,
in the name of goodness, was that dashing woman with whom he was
always driving about? Who were those fair ladies with whom he was
forever promenading? Plainly the chief people of the land; but how
the mischief did he get among them? They were bewildered even though
the half of the truth had not begun to dawn upon their minds. They
never saw him to ask him about it, and for some time only looked
upon him from a distance.

"Do you give it up?" asked Buttons.

"I give it up."

"And I too."

"At any rate the United States might have many a worse
representative."

"But I wonder how he can get along. How can he manage to hold his
own among these refined, over-cultivated, fastidious Florentines?"

"Goodness knows!"

"A common school New England education can scarcely fit a man for
intercourse with polished Italians. The granite hills of New
Hampshire have never been famous for producing men of high breeding.
That is not their specialty."

"Besides, our good friend can not speak a single word of any
language but his own."

"And frequently fails in that."

"He hasn't the remotest glimmering of an idea about Art."

"Not of the Fine Arts, but in the useful arts he is immense."

"He looks upon Italy as he would upon a field of stumps--a place
to be cleared, broken up, brought under cultivation, and made
productive."

"Yes, productive in cotton factories and Yankee notions."

"What in the world can keep up his reputation among the most poetic
and least utilitarian people in the world?"

"There's the mystery!"

"The beauty of it is he goes as much with the English as with
the Italians. Can he keep up his vernacular among them and still
preserve the charm?"

"Well, whatever is the secret. I glory in it. I believe in him.
He is a man. A more noble-hearted, sincere, upright, guileless
soul never lived. Besides, he knows thoroughly what he has gone
over."

"He is as generous a soul as ever lived."

"Yes, a stiff utilitarian in theory, but in practice an impulsive
sentimentalist."

"He would legislate according to the most narrow and selfish
principles, but would lay down his life for his friend."

"Think of him at Perugia!"

"Yes; the man himself with his brave soul and invincible courage.
Didn't he fight? Methinks he did!"

"If it hadn't been for him it is extremely probable that you and I
would now have been--well, certainly not just here."

Talking thus, the two young men walked up toward the Palazzo
Vecchio. They noticed that the busy street through which they
passed was filled with an unusual multitude, who were all agitated
with one general and profound excitement, and were all hurrying in
one direction. The sight awakened their interest. They went on with
the stream. At every step the crowd increased. At every street new
throngs poured in to join the vast multitude.

Confused murmurs rose into the air. Hasty words passed from mouth
to month. They were unintelligible. They could only distinguish
broken sentences--words unknown--Cavriana--Mincio--Tedeschi
--Napoleone--Spia d'ltalia. What was it all about? They could not
guess. Evidently some mighty national event had occurred, which was
of overwhelming importance. For the entire city had turned out, and
now, as they entered the great square in front of the Palazzo
Vecchio, an astonishing sight burst upon their view. A vast
multitude filled the square to overflowing. Load cries arose. Shouts
of a thousand kinds all blending together into one deafening roar,
and rising on high like the thunder of a cataract:

"Vittoria!" "Vittoria!" "Cavriana!" "I Francesi!" "Viva l'Italia!"
"Viva Vittore Emmannele! il nostro Re!" "Viva!" "_Viva_!" "VIVA!!!"
Words like these rose all around, mingled with thousands of similar
exclamations. At length there was distinguished one word. It was
passed from man to man, more frequently uttered, gathering as it
passed, adding new volumes of meaning to its own sonorous sound,
till at last all other words were drowned in that one grand word,
which to this rejoicing multitude was the lyre of glorious victory,
the promise of endless triumphs for regenerated Italy:

"SOLFERINO!"


[Illustration: Solferino!]


"_Solferino_!" They did not know then, as they listened, the full
meaning of that eloquent word. But on mingling with the shouting
crowd they soon learned it all: how the accursed Tedeschi had
summoned all their energy to crush forever the array of liberty;
how the Kaisar himself came from beyond the mountains to insure his
triumph; how the allied armies had rushed upon their massive columns
and beaten them back; how, hour after hour, the battle raged, till
at last the plain for many a league was covered with the wounded and
the dead: how the wrongs of ages were crowded together in the
glorious vengeance of that day of days; how Victory hovered over the
invincible banners of Italy; how the Tedeschi fled, routed, over the
river, no more to cross it as masters; how the hopes of Italy arose
immortal from that one day's terrific slaughter; how Liberty was now
forever secured, and a Kingdom of Italy under an Italian King.

"Viva Italia!" "Viva Luigi Napoleone!" "Vira Garibaldi!" "Viva
Vittore Eramanuele Re d'Italia!"

In great moments of popular excitement people do not talk to one
another. They rhapsodize; and the Italians more than any other
people. Hence the above.


[Illustration: The Senator Speaks.]


Buttons and Dick clambered up to the recess of a window and
contemplated the scene. There was the innumerable crowd; swaying,
embracing, laughing, weeping, shouting, cheering. High in the air
waved hundreds of banners; and the tri-color flaunted in ribbons,
from thousands of breasts, or shone in rosettes, or gleamed in
flowers. Ever and anon loud trumpet blasts arose triumphantly on
high; in the distance victorious strains came swelling up front
bands hurried there to express in thrilling music what words could
never utter; while all around the whole air rang with the thunder
of cannon that saluted the triumph of Solferino.

"Look there! _Look_! LOOK!" cried Dick.

He pointed to the large portico which is on the right of the
Palazzo Vecchio. Buttons looked as he was directed.

He saw a great assemblage of ladies and gentlemen, the chief people
of the Tuscan state. From this place those announcements had been
made which had set the people wild with joy. There were beautiful
ladies whose flashed faces and suffused eyes bore witness to their
deep emotion. There were noble gentlemen whose arms still waved in
the air as they cheered for Italy. And there, high above all others,
rose a familiar figure--the massive shoulders, the calm, shrewd,
square face, the benignant glance and smile, which could belong
only to one person.

"_The Senator_!" cried Buttons.

Every body was looking in that direction. The impulsive crowd
having celebrated abstract ideas, were now absolutely hungering
for some tangible object upon which to expend something of the
warmth of their feelings. A few who stood near the Senator and
were impressed by his aspect, as soon as all the news had been made
known, gave expression and direction to the feeling by shouting his
name. As they shouted others took up the cry, louder, louder, and
louder still, till his name burst forth in one sublime sound from
thirty thousand lips.

No wonder that he started at such an appeal. He turned and looked upon
the crowd. An ordinary man would have exhibited either confusion or
wonder. The Senator, being an extraordinary man, exhibited neither.
As he turned a vast roar burst from the multitude.

"Good Heavens!" cried Buttons; "what's in the wind now? Will this be
a repetition of the scene in the Place Vendôme?"

"Hush!"

The crowd saw before them the man whose name and fame had been the
subject of conjecture, wonder, applause, and hope for many days.
They beheld in him the Representative of a mighty nation, sent to
give them the right hand of fellowship, and welcome their country
among the great powers of the earth. In him they saw the embodiment
of America!

"Viva!" burst through the air. "The American Embassador!" "Hurrah
for the American Embassador!" "The Plenipotentiary Extraordinary!"
"He comes to crown our triumph!" "Hurrah for America!" "Free,
generous America!" "The first nation to welcome Italy!" "Hurrah!"
"This is the time!" "He will speak!" "Silence!" "Silence!" "He rises!"
"Lo!" "He looks at us!" "Silence!" "Listen to the Most Illustrious
Plenipotentiary Extraordinary!" "_Hush_! AMERICA SPEAKS!"

Such shouts and exclamations as these burst forth, with many others
to the same effect. The crowd in front of the portico where the
Senator stood--were almost uncontrollable in their excitement. The
Senator rose to the greatness of the occasion. Here was a chance to
Speak--to utter forth the deep sympathy of his countrymen with
every down-trodden people striving for freedom. He turned to face
them and held out his hand. At once the immense assemblage was
hushed to silence.

The Senator took off his hat. Never before did he look as he looked
now. The grandeur of the occasion had sublimed his usually rugged
features into majesty. He looked like the incarnation of a strong,
vigorous, invincible people.

The Senator spoke:

"Men of Italy!"

"In the name of the Great Republic!--I congratulate you on this
glorious victory! It is a triumph of Liberty!--of the principles of
'76!--of the immortal idees!--for which our forefathers fought and
died!--at Lexington!--at Bunker Hill!--and at a thousand other
places in the great and glorious Revolution!"

The Senator paused. This was enough. It had been spoken in English.
The Italians did not of course understand a word, yet they
comprehended all his meaning. As he paused there burst forth a shout
of joy such as is heard only once in a life-time; shout upon shout.
The long peals of sound rose up and spread far away over the city.
The vast crowd vibrated like one man to the impulse of the common
enthusiasm.

It was too great to last. They rushed to the carriage of _La Cica_.
They unharnessed the horses. They led the Senator to it and made him
enter. They flung their tri-colors in. They threw flowers on his lap.
They wound the flag of Italy around the carriage. A thousand marched
before it. Thousands more walked beside and behind. They drew him up
to his hotel in triumph, and the band struck up the thrilling strain
of "Yankee Doodle!"

It would be unfair not to render justice to _La Cica_. She bore the
scene admirably. Her beaming face, and lustrous eyes, and heaving
bosom, and majestic air, showed that she appropriated to herself all
the honor thus lavished upon the Senator. It was a proud moment for
_La Cica_.

"Dick," said Buttons, as they descended from their perch.

"Well?"

"How do you feel now?"

"Obliterated. I do not exist. I was once a blot. I am expunged. There
is no such thing as Dick."

"Who could have imagined this?"

"And how he bore it! The Senator is a great man. But come. Don't let
us speak for an hour, for we are both unable to talk coherently."

From patriotic motives the two young men walked behind the Senator's
carriage and cheered all the way.

Upon arriving at their lodgings in the evening they stationed
themselves at the window and looked out upon the illuminated scene.
Dick, finding his emotions too strong to be restrained, took his
trombone and entertained a great crowd for hours with all the national
airs he knew.



CHAPTER XLV.


THE PRIVATE OPINION OF THE DOCTOR ABOUT FOREIGN TRAVEL.--BUTTONS
STILL MEETS WITH AFFLICTIONS.


"The Italians, of at any rate the people of Florence, have just about
as much cuteness as you will find anywhere."

Such was the dictum of the Senator in a conversation with his
companions after rejoining them at the hotel. They had much to ask;
he had much to tell. Never had he been more critical, more
approbative. He felt now that he thoroughly understood the Italian
question, and expressed himself in accordance with his consciousness.

"Nothing does a feller so much good," said he, "as mixing in all
grades of society. It won't ever do to confine our observation to the
lower class. We must mingle with the upper crust, who are the leaders
of the people."

"Unfortunately," said Buttons, "we are not all Senators, so we have
to do the best we can with our limited opportunities."

They had been in Florence long enough, and now the general desire was
to go on. Mr. Figgs and the Doctor had greatly surprised the Senator
by informing him that they did not intend to go any further.

And why not?

"Well, for my own part," said Mr. Figgs, "the discomforts of travel
are altogether too great. It would not be so bad in the winter, but
think how horribly hot it is. What is my condition? That of a man
slowly suffocating. Think how fat I am. Even if I had the enthusiasm
of Dick, or the fun of Buttons, my fat would force me to leave. Can
you pretend to be a friend of mine and still urge me to go further?
And suppose we passed over into Austrian territory. Perhaps we might
be unmolested, but it is doubtful. Suppose, for the sake of argument,
that we were arrested and detained. Imagine us--imagine _me_ shut up
in a room--or worse, a cell--in the month of July in midsummer, in
the hottest part of this burning fiery furnace of a country! What
would be left of me at the end of a week, or at the end of even one
day? What? A grease spot! A grease spot! Not a bit more, by Jingo!"


[Illustration: A Grease Spot.]


After this speech, which was for him one of extraordinary length
and vigor, Mr. Figgs fell exhausted into his chair.

"But you, Doctor," said the Senator, seeing that Mr. Figgs was
beyond the reach of persuasion--"you--what reason is there for you
to leave? You are young, strong, and certainly not fat."

"No, thank heaven! it is not the heat, or the fear of being
suffocated in an Austrian dungeon that influences me."

"What, is the reason?"

"These confounded disturbances," said the Doctor languidly.

"Disturbances?"

"Yes. I hear that the road between this and Bologna swarms with
vagabonds. Several diligences have been robbed. I heard a story
which shows this state of things. A band of men entered the theatre
of a small town along the road while the inhabitants were witnessing
the play. At first the spectators thought it was part of the
performance. They were soon undeceived. The men drew up in line in
front of the stage and levelled their pieces. Then fastening the
doors, they sent a number of men around through the house to plunder
the whole audience. Not content with this they made the authorities
of the town pay a heavy ransom."

"Some one has been humbugging you, Doctor," said Buttons.

"I had it from good authority," said the Doctor, calmly. "These
fellows call themselves Revolutionists, and the peasantry sympathize
with them."

"Well, if we meet with them there will be a little additional
excitement."

"Yes, and the loss of our watches and money."

"We can carry our money where they won't find it, and our bills of
exchange are all right, you know."

"I think none of you will accuse me of want of courage. If I met
these fellows you know very well that I would go in for fighting
them. But what I do object to is the infernal bother of being stopped,
detained, or perhaps sent back. Then if any of us got wounded we
would be laid up for a month or so. That's what I object to. If I had
to do it it would be different, but I see no necessity."

"You surely want to see Lombardy?"

"No, I don't."

"Not Bologna?"

"No."

"Ferrara?"

"No."

"Do you mean to say that you don't want to see Venice and Milan?"

"Haven't the remotest desire to see either of the places. I merely
wish to get back again to Paris. It's about the best place I've
seen yet, except, of course, my native city, Philadelphia. That I
think is without an equal. However, our minds are made up. We don't
wish to change your plans--in fact, we never thought it possible.
We are going to take the steamer at Leghorn for Marseilles, and
go on to Paris."

"Well, Doctor," said Dick, "will you do me one favor before you go?"

"With pleasure. What is it?"

"Sell me your pistol."

"I can't _sell_ it," said the Doctor. "It was a present to me. But I
will be happy to lend it to you till we meet again in Paris. We will
be sure to meet there in a couple of months at the furthest."

The Doctor took out his pistol and handed it to Dick, who thankfully
received it.

"Oh, Buttons," said the Senator, suddenly, "I have good news for you.
I ought to have told you before."

"Good news? what?"

"I saw the Spaniards."

"The Spaniards!" cried Buttons, eagerly, starting up. "Where did you
see them? When? Where are they? I have scoured the whole town."

"I saw them at a very crowded assembly at the Countess's. There was
such a scrouging that I could not get near them. The three were
there. The little Don and his two sisters."

"And don't you know any thing about them?"

"Not a hooter, except something that the Countess told me. I think
she said that they were staying at the villa of a friend of hers."

"A friend? Oh, confound it all! What shall I do?"

"The villa is out of town."

"That's the reason why I never could see them. Confound it all, what
shall I do?"

"Buttons," said the Senator, gravely, "I am truly sorry to see a
young man like you so infatuated about foreign women. Do not be
offended, I mean it kindly. She may be a Jesuit in disguise; who
knows? And why will you put yourself to grief about a little
black-eyed gal that don't know a word of English? Believe me, New
England is wide, and has ten thousand better gals than ever she
began to be. If you will get in love wait till you get home and
fall in love like a Christian, a Republican, and a Man."

But the Senator's words had no effect. Buttons sat for a few
moments lost in thought. At length he rose and quietly left the
room. It was about nine in the morning when he left. It was about
nine in the evening when he returned. He looked dusty, fatigued,
fagged, and dejected. He had a long story to tell and was quite
communicative. The substance of it was this: On leaving the hotel
he had gone at once to _La Cica_'s residence, and had requested
permission to see her. He could not till twelve. He wandered about
and called again at that hour. She was very amiable, especially
on learning that he was a friend of the Senator, after whom she
asked with deep interest. Nothing could exceed her affability.
She told him all that she knew about the Spaniards. They were
stopping at the villa of a certain friend of hers whom she named.
It was ten miles from the city. The friend had brought them to the
assembly. It was but for a moment that she had seen them. She
wished for his sake that she had learned more about them. She
trusted that he would succeed in his earnest search. She should
think that they might still be in Florence, and if he went out at
once he might see them. Was this his first visit to Florence? How
perfectly he had the Tuscan accent; and why had he not accompanied
his friend the Senator to her salon? But it would be impossible to
repeat all that _La Cica_ said.


[Illustration: Farewell, Figgs!]


Buttons went out to the villa at once; but to his extreme disgust
found that the Spaniards, had left on the preceding day for Bologna.
He drove about the country for some distance, rested his horses,
and took a long walk, after which he returned.

Their departure for Bologna on the following morning was a settled
thing. The diligence started early. They had pity on the flesh of
Figgs and the spirit of the Doctor. So they bade them good-bye on
the evening before retiring.



CHAPTER XLVI.


A MEMORABLE DRIVE.--NIGHT.--THE BRIGANDS ONCE MORE.--GARIBALDI'S
NAME.--THE FIRE.--THE IRON BAR.--THE MAN FROM THE GRANITE STATE
AND HIS TWO BOYS.


"The great beauty of this pistol is a little improvement that I
have not seen before."

And Dick proceeded to explain.

"Here is the chamber with the six cavities loaded. Now, you see,
when you wish, you touch this spring and out pops the butt."

"Well?"

"Very well. Here I have another chamber with six cartridges: It's
loaded, the cartridges are covered with copper and have detonating
powder at one end. As quick as lightning I put this on, and there
you have the pistol ready to be fired again six times."

"So you have twelve shots?"

"Yes."

"And cartridges to spare?"

"The Doctor gave me all that he had, about sixty, I should think."

"You have enough to face a whole army--"

"Precisely--and in my coat-pocket."

This conversation took place in the banquette of the diligence that
conveyed Dick, Buttons, and the Senator from Florence to Bologna. A
long part of the journey had been passed over. They were among the
mountains.

"Do you expect to use that?" asked the Senator, carelessly.

"I do."

"You believe these stories then?"

"Yes; don't you?"

"Certainly."

"So do I," said Buttons. "I could not get a pistol; but I got this
from an acquaintance."

And he drew from his pocket an enormous bowie-knife.

"Bowie-knives are no good," said the Senator. "Perhaps they may do
if you want to assassinate; but for nothing else. You can't defend
yourself. I never liked it. It's not American. It's not the direct
result of our free institutions."

"What have you then?"

"This," said the Senator.

And he lifted up a crow-bar from the front of the coach.
Brandishing it in the air as easily as an ordinary man would swing a
walking-stick. He looked calmly at his astonished companions.

"You see," said he, "there are several reasons why this is the best
sort of weapon for me. A short knife is no use. A sword is no good,
for I don't know the sword exercise. A gun is worthless; I would fire
it off once and then have to use it as a club. It would then be apt to
break. That would be disagreeable--especially in the middle of a
fight. A stick or club of any kind would be open to the same
objection. What, then, is the weapon for me? Look at me. I am big,
strong, and active. I have no skill. I am brute strength. So a club
is my only weapon--a club that won't break. Say iron, then. There you
have it."

And the Senator swung the ponderous bar around in a way that showed
the wisdom of his choice.

"You are about right," said Buttons. "I venture to say you'll do as
much mischief with that as Dick will with his pistol. Perhaps more.
As for me, I don't expect to do much. Still, if the worst comes,
I'll try to do what I can."

"We may not have to use them," said the Senator. "Who are below?"

"Below?"

"In the coach?"

"Italians."

"Women?"

"No, all men. Two priests, three shop-keeper-looking persons, and
a soldier."

"Ah! Why, we ought to be comparatively safe."

"Oh, our number is not any thing. The country is in a state of
anarchy. Miserable devils of half-starved Italians swarm along the
road, and they will try to make hay while the sun shines. I have no
doubt we will be stopped half a dozen times before we get to Bologna."

"I should think," said the Senator, indignantly, "that if these chaps
undertake to govern the country--these republican chaps--they had
ought to govern it. What kind of a way is this to leave helpless
travellers at the mercy of cut-throats and assassins?"

"They think," said Buttons, "that their first duty is to secure
independence, and after that they will promote order."

"The Florentines are a fine people--a people of remarkable cuteness
and penetration; but it seems to me that they are taking things easy
as far as fighting is concerned. They don't send their soldiers to
the war, do they?"

"Well, no, I suppose they think their army may be needed nearer home.
The Grand Duke has long arms yet; and knows how to bribe."

By this time they were among the mountain forests where the scenery
was grander, the air cooler, the sky darker, than before. It was late
in the day, and every mile increased the wildness of the landscape and
the thickness of the gloom. Further and further, on they went till at
least they came to a winding-place where the road ended at a gully over
which there was a bridge. On the bridge was a barricade. They did not
see it until they had made a turn where the road wound, where at once
the scene burst on their view.

The leaders reared, the postillions swore, the driver snapped his whip
furiously. The passengers in "coupé," "rotonde," and "interieure"
popped out their heads, the passengers on the "banquette" stared,
until at last, just as the postillions were dismounting to reconnoitre,
twelve figures rose up from behind the barricade, indistinct in the
gloom, and bringing their rifles to their shoulders took aim.

The driver yelled, the postillions shouted, the passengers shrieked.
The three men in the banquette prepared for a fight. Suddenly a loud
voice was heard from behind. They looked. A number of men stood there,
and several more were leaping out from the thick woods on the right.
They were surrounded. At length one of the men came forward from
behind.

"You are at our mercy," said he. "Whoever gives up his money may go
free. Whoever resists dies. Do you hear?"

Meanwhile the three men in the banquette had piled some trunks
around, and prepared to resist till the last extremity. Dick was to
fire; Buttons to keep each spare butt loaded; the Senator to use his
crow-bar on the heads of any assailants. They waited in silence.
They heard the brigands rummaging through the coach below, the
prayers of the passengers, their appeals for pity, their groans at
being compelled to give up every thing.

"The cowards don't deserve pity!" cried the Senator. "There are
enough to get up a good resistance. We'll show fight, anyhow!"


[Illustration: In The Coach.]


Scarcely had he spoke when three or four heads appeared above the
edge of the coach.

"Haste!--your money!" said one.

"Stop!" said Buttons. "This gentleman is the American
Plenipotentiary Extraordinary, who has just come from Florence,
and is on his way to communicate with Garibaldi."

"Garibaldi!" cried the man, in a tone of deep respect.

"Yes," said Buttons, who had not miscalculated the effect of that
mighty name. "If you harm us or plunder us you will have to settle
your account with Garibaldi--that's all!"

The man was silent. Then he leaped down, and in another moment
another man came.

"Which is the American Plenipotentiary Extraordinary?"

"He," said Buttons, pointing to the Senator.

"Ah! I know him. It is the same. I saw him at his reception in
Florence, and helped to pull his carriage."

The Senator calmly eyed the brigand, who had respectfully taken
off his hat.

"So you are going to communicate with Garibaldi at once. Go in peace!
Gentlemen every one of us fought under Garibaldi at Rome. Ten years
ago he disbanded a large number of us among these mountains. I have
the honor to inform you that ever since that time I have got my
living out of the public, especially those in the service of the
Government. You are different. I like you because you are Americans.
I like you still better because you are friends of Garibaldi. Go in
peace! When you see the General tell him Giuglio Malvi sends his
respects."

And the man left them. In about a quarter of an hour the barricade
was removed, and the passengers resumed their seats with lighter
purses but heavier hearts. The diligence started, and once more went
thundering along the mountain road.

"I don't believe we've seen the last of these scoundrels yet," said
Buttons.

"Nor I," said Dick.

A general conversation followed. It was late, and but few things
were visible along the road. About two hours passed away without any
occurrence.

"Look!" cried Dick, suddenly.

They looked.

About a quarter of a mile ahead a deep red glow arose above the
forest, illumining the sky. The windings of the road prevented them
from seeing the cause of it. The driver was startled, but evidently
thought it was no more dangerous to go on than to stop. So he lashed
up his horses and set them off at a furious gallop. The rumble of the
ponderous wheels shut out all other sounds. As they advanced the
light grew more vivid.

"I shouldn't wonder," said the Senator, "if we have another
barricade here. Be ready, boys! We won't get off so easily this time."

The other two said not a word. On, and on. The report of a gun
suddenly roused all. The driver lashed his horses. The postillions
took the butts of their riding-whips and pelted the animals. The
road took a turn, and, passing this a strange scene burst upon their
sight.

A wide, open space on the road-side, a collection of beams across
the road, the shadowy forms of about thirty men, and the whole scene
dimly lighted by a smouldering fire. As it blazed up a little the
smoke rolled off and they saw as overturned carriage, two horses tied
to a tree, and two men with their hands bound behind them lying on the
ground.

A voice rang out through the stillness which for a moment followed
the sudden stoppage of the coach at the barrier. There came a wail
from the frightened passengers within--cries for mercy--piteous
entreaties.

"Silence, fools!" roared the same voice, which seemed to be that of
the leader.

"Wait! wait!" said the Senator to his companions. "Let me give the
word."

A crowd of men advanced to the diligence, and as they left the
fire Buttons saw three figures left behind--two women and a man. They
did not move. But suddenly a loud shriek burst from one of the women.
At the shriek Buttons trembled.

"The Spaniards! It is! I know the voice! My God!"

In an instant Buttons was down on the ground and in the midst of the
crowd of brigands who surrounded the coach.

Bang! bang! bang! It was not the guns of the brigands, but Dick's
pistol that now spoke, and its report was the signal of death to
three men who rolled upon the ground in their last agonies. As the
third report burst forth the Senator hurled himself down upon the
heads of those below. The action of Buttons had broken up all their
plans, rendered parley impossible, and left nothing for them to do
but to follow him and save him. The brigands rushed at them with a
yell of fury.

"Death to them! Death to them all! No quarter!"

"Help!" cried Buttons. "Passengers, we are armed! We can save
ourselves!"

But the passengers, having already lost their money, now feared to
lose their lives. Not one responded. All about the coach the scene
became one of terrible confusion. Guns were fired, blows fell in every
direction. The darkness, but faintly illuminated by the fitful
firelight, prevented the brigands from distinguishing their enemies
very clearly--a circumstance which favored the little band of
Americans.

The brigands fired at the coach, and tried to break open the doors.
Inside the coach the passengers, frantic with fear, sought to make
their voices heard amid the uproar. They begged for mercy; they
declared they had no money; they had already been robbed; they would
give all that was left; they would surrender if only their lives were
spared.

"And, oh! good Americans, yield, yield, or we all die!"

"Americans?" screamed several passionate voices. "Death to the
Americans! Death to all foreigners!"

These bandits were unlike the last.

Seated in the banquette Dick surveyed the scene, while himself
concealed from view. Calmly he picked out man after man and fired.
As they tried to climb up the diligence, or to force open the door,
they fell back howling. One man had the door partly broken open by
furious blows with the butt of his gun. Dick fired. The ball entered
his arm. He shrieked with rage. With his other arm he seized his gun,
and again his blows fell crashing. In another instant a ball passed
into his brain.

"Two shots wasted on one man! Too much!" muttered Dick; and taking
aim again he fired at a fellow who was just leaping up the other side.
The wretch fell cursing.

Again! again! again! Swiftly Dick's shots flashed around. He had now
but one left in his pistol. Hurriedly he filled the spare chamber
with six cartridges, and taking out the other he filled it and placed
it in again. He looked down.


[Illustration: A Free Fight.]


There was the Senator. More than twenty men surrounded him, firing,
swearing, striking, shrieking, rushing forward, trying to tear him
from his post. For he had planted himself against the fore-part of
the diligence, and the mighty arm whose strength had been so proved
at Perugia was now descending again with irresistible force upon the
heads of his assailants. All this was the work of but a few minutes.
Buttons could not be seen. Dick's preparations were made. For a moment
he waited for a favorable chance to get down. He could not stay up
there any longer. He must stand by the Senator.

There stood the Senator, his giant form towering up amidst the mêlée,
his muscular arms wielding the enormous iron bar, his astonishing
strength increased tenfold by the excitement of the fight. He never
spoke a word.

One after another the brigands went down before the awful descent of
that iron bar. They clung together; they yelled in fury; they threw
themselves _en masse_ against the Senator. He met them as a rock meets
a hundred waves. The remorseless iron bar fell only with redoubled
fury. They raised their clubbed muskets in the air and struck at him.
One sweep of the iron bar and the muskets were dashed out of their
hands, broken or bent, to the ground. They fired, but from their wild
excitement their aim was useless. In the darkness they struck at one
another. One by one the number of his assailants lessened--they grew
more furious but less bold. They fell back a little; but the Senator
advanced as they retired, guarding his own retreat, but still swinging
his iron bar with undiminished strength. The prostrate forms of a
dozen men lay around. Again they rushed at him. The voice of their
leader encouraged them and shamed their fears. He was a stoat,
powerful man, armed with a knife and a gun.


[Illustration: Don't Speak.]


"Cowards! kill this one! This is the one! All the rest will yield if
we kill him. Forward!"

That moment Dick leaped to the ground. The next instant the brigands
leaped upon them. The two were lost in the crowd. Twelve reports, one
after the other, rang into the air. Dick did not fire till the muzzle
of his pistol was against his enemy's breast. The darkness, now deeper
than ever, prevented him from being distinctly seen by the furious
crowd, who thought only of the Senator. But now the fire shooting up
brightly at the sudden breath of a strong wind threw a lurid light
upon the scene.

There stood Dick, his clothes torn, his face covered with blood, his
last charge gone. There stood the Senator, his face blackened with
smoke and dust, and red with blood, his colossal form erect, and still
the ponderous bar swung on high to fall as terribly as ever. Before
him were eight men. Dick saw it all in an instant. He screamed to the
passengers in the diligence:

"There are only eight left! Come! Help us take them prisoners! Haste!"

The cowards in the diligence saw how things were. They plucked up
courage, and at the call of Dick jumped out. The leader of the
brigands was before Dick with uplifted rifle. Dick flung his pistol
at his head. The brigand drew back and felled Dick senseless to the
ground. The next moment the Senator's arm descended, and, with his
head broken by the blow, the robber fell dead.

As though the fall of Dick had given him fresh fury, the Senator
sprang after the others. Blow after blow fell. They were struck down
helplessly as they ran. At this moment the passengers, snatching up
the arms of the prostrate bandits, assaulted those who yet remained.
They fled. The Senator pursued--long enough to give each one a
parting blow hard enough to make him remember it for a month. When
he returned the passengers were gathering around the coach, with
the driver and postillions, who had thus far hidden themselves, and
were eagerly looking at the dead.

"Off!" cried the Senator, in an awful voice--"Off; you white-livered
sneaks! Let me find my two boys!"



CHAPTER XLVII.


BAD BRUISES, BUT GOOD MUSES.--THE HONORABLE SCABS OF DICK.--A
KNOWLEDGE OF BONES.


The Senator searched long and anxiously among the fallen bandits
for those whom he affectionately called his "boys." Dick was first
found. He was senseless.

The Senator carried him to the fire. He saw two ladies and a
gentleman standing there. Hurriedly he called on them and pointed
to Dick. The gentleman raised his arms. They were bound tightly. The
ladies also were secured in a similar manner. The Senator quickly cut
the cords from the gentleman, who in his turn snatched the knife and
freed the ladies, and then went to care for Dick.

The Senator then ran back to seek for Buttons.

The gentleman flung a quantity of dry brush on the fire, which at
once blazed up and threw a bright light over the scene. Meanwhile
the passengers were looking anxiously around as though they dreaded
a new attack. Some of them had been wounded inside the coach and
were groaning and cursing.

The Senator searched for a long time in vain. At last at the bottom
of a heap of fallen brigands, whom the Senator had knocked over, he
found Buttons. His face and clothes were covered with blood, his
forehead was blackened as though by an explosion, his arm was
broken and hung loosely as the Senator lifted him up. For a moment
he thought that it was all over with him.

He carried him toward the fire. The appearance of the young man
was terrible. He beckoned to one of the ladies. The lady approached.
One look at the young man and the next instant, with a heart-rending
moan, she flung herself on her knees by his side.

"The Spaniard!" said the Senator, recognizing her for the first time.
"Ah! he'll be taken care of then."

There was a brook near by, and he hurried there for water. There
was nothing to carry it in, so he took his beaver hat and filled
it. Returning, he dashed it vigorously in Buttons's face. A faint
sigh, a gasp, and the young man feebly opened his eyes. Intense
pain forced a groan from him. In the hasty glance that he threw
around he saw the face of Ida Francia as she bent over him bathing
his brow, her face pale as death, her hand trembling, and her eyes
filled with tears. The sight seemed to alleviate his pain. A faint
smile crossed his lips. He half raised himself toward her.

"I've found you at last," he said, and that was all.

At this abrupt address a burning flush passed over the face and
neck of the young girl. She bent down her head. Her tears flowed
faster than ever.

"Don't speak," she said; "you are in too much pain."

She was right, for the next moment Buttons fell back exhausted.

The Senator drew a flask from his pocket and motioned to the young
girl to give some to Buttons; and then, thinking that the attention
of the Señorita would be far better than his, he hurried away to
Dick.

So well had he been treated by the Don (whom the reader has of
course already recognized) that he was now sitting up, leaning
against the driver of the diligence, who was making amends for his
cowardice during the fight by kind attention to Dick after it was
over.

"My dear boy, I saw you had no bones broken," said the Senator,
"and knew you were all right; so I devoted my first attention to
Buttons. How do you feel?"

"Better," said Dick, pressing the honest hand which the Senator
held out. "Better; but how is Buttons?"

"Recovering. But he is terribly bruised, and his arm is broken."

"His arm broken! Poor Buttons, what'll he do?"

"Well, my boy, I'll try what _I_ can do. I've set an arm before now.
In our region a necessary part of a good education was settin'
bones."

Dick was wounded in several places. Leaving the Don to attend to him
the Senator took his knife and hurriedly made some splints. Then
getting his valise, he tore up two or three of his shirts. Armed
with these he returned to Buttons. The Señorita saw the preparations,
and, weeping bitterly, she retired.

"Your arm is broken, my poor lad," said the Senator. "Will you let
me fix it for you? I can do it."

"Can you? Oh, then, I am all right! I was afraid I would have to
wait till I got to Bologna."

"It would be a pretty bad arm by the time you got there, I guess,"
said the Senator. "But come--no time must be lost."

His simple preparations were soon made. Buttons saw that he knew what
he was about. A few moments of excessive pain, which forced
ill-suppressed moans from the sufferer, and the work was done.

After taking a sip from the flask both Buttons and Dick felt very
much stronger. On questioning the driver they found that Bologna
was not more than twenty miles away. The passengers were busily
engaged in removing the barricade. It was decided that an immediate
departure was absolutely necessary. At the suggestion of Dick, the
driver, postillions, and passengers armed themselves with guns of
the fallen brigands.

The severest wound which Dick had was on his head, which had been
almost laid open by a terrific blow from the gun of the robber chief.
He had also wounds on different parts of his body. Buttons had more.
These the Senator bound up with such skill that he declared himself
ready to resume his journey. Upon this the Don insisted on taking
him into his own carriage. Buttons did not refuse.

At length they all started, the diligence ahead, the Don following.
On the way the Don told Buttons how he had fared on the road. He had
left Florence in a hired carriage the day before the diligence had
left. He had heard nothing of the dangers of the road, and suspected
nothing. Shortly after entering the mountain district they had been
stopped and robbed of all their money. Still he kept on, thinking
that there was no further danger. To his horror they were stopped
again at the bridge, where the brigands, vexed at not getting any
money, took all their baggage and let them go. They went on
fearfully, every moment dreading some new misadventure. At length
their worst fears were realized. At the place where the fight had
occurred they were stopped and dragged from their carriage. The
brigands were savage at not getting any plunder, and swore they
would hold them prisoners till they procured a ransom, which they
fixed at three thousand piastres. This was about four in the
afternoon. They overturned the coach, kindled a fire, and waited
for the diligence. They knew the rest.

Buttons, seated next to Ida Francia, forgot his sufferings.
Meanwhile Dick and the Senator resumed their old seats on the
banquette. After a while the Senator relapsed into a fit of musing,
and Dick fell asleep.

Morning dawned and found them on the plain once more, only a few
miles from Bologna. Far ahead they saw the lofty Leaning Tower that
forms so conspicuous an object in the fine old city. Dick awaked,
and on looking at the Senator was shocked to see him very pale,
with an expression of pain. He hurriedly asked the cause.

"Why the fact is, after the excitement of fightin' and slaughterin'
and seein' to you chaps was over I found that I was covered with
wounds. One of my fingers is broken. I have three bullet wounds in
my left arm, one in my right, a stab of a dirk in my right thigh,
and a terrible bruise on my left knee. I think that some fellow
must have passed a dagger through my left foot, for there is a cut
in the leather, my shoe is full of blood and it hurts dreadful. It's
my opinion that the Dodge Club will be laid up in Bologny for a
fortnight.--Hallo!"

The Senator had heard a cry behind, and looked out. Something
startled him. Dick looked also.

The Don's carriage was in confusion. The two Señoritas were
standing up in the carriage wringing their hands. The Don was
supporting Buttons in his arms. He had fainted a second time.



CHAPTER XLVIII.


SUFFERING AND SENTIMENT AT BOLOGNA.--MOONSHINE.--BEST BALM FOR WOUNDS.


They all put up at the same hotel. Buttons was carried in senseless,
and it was long before he revived. The Senator and Dick were quite
exhausted--stiff with fatigue, stiff with wounds.

There was one thing, however, which made their present situation more
endurable. The war in Lombardy made farther progress impossible. They
could not be permitted to pass the borders into Venetia. Even if they
had been perfectly well they would have been compelled to wait there
for a time.

The city was in a ferment. The delight which the citizens felt at
their new-found freedom was mingled with a dash of anxiety about the
result of the war. For, in spite of Solferino, it was probable that
the tide of victory would be hurled back from the Quadrilateral.
Still they kept up their spirits; and the joy of their hearts found
vent in songs, music, processions. Roman candles, _Te Deums_,
sky-rockets, volleys of cannon, masses, public meetings, patriotic
songs, speeches, tri-colors, and Italian versions of "The
Marseillaise."

In a short time the Senator was almost as well as ever. Not so Dick.
After struggling heroically for the first day against his pain he
succumbed, and on the morning of the second was unable to leave his
bed.

The Senator would not leave him. The kind attention which he had
once before shown in Rome was now repeated. He spent nearly all his
time in Dick's room, talking to him when he was awake, and looking
at him when asleep. Dick was touched to the heart.


[Illustration: Used Up.]


The Senator thought that, without exception, Bologna was the best
Italian city that he had seen. It had a solid look. The people
were not such everlasting fools as the Neapolitans, the Romans,
and the Florentines, who thought that the highest end of life was
to make pictures and listen to music. They devoted their energies
to an article of nourishment which was calculated to benefit the
world. He alluded to the famous _Bologna Sausage_, and he put it
to Dick seriously, whether the manufacture of a sausage which was
so eminently adapted to sustain life was not a far nobler thing
than the production of useless pictures for the pampered tastes
of a bloated aristocracy.

Meanwhile Buttons fared differently. If he had been more afflicted
he was now more blessed. The Don seemed to think that the sufferings
of Buttons were caused by himself, or, at any rate, by the eagerness
of the young man to come to the assistance of his sisters. He felt
grateful accordingly, and spared no pain to give him assistance and
relief. He procured the best medical advice in the city. For
several days the poor fellow lay in a very dangerous condition,
hovering between life and death. His wounds were numerous and severe,
and the excitement afterward, with the fatigue of the ride, had made
his situation worse. But a strong constitution was on his side, and
he at length was able to leave his bed and his room.

He was as pale as death, and woefully emaciated. But the society of
the ladies acted like a charm upon him; and from the moment when he
left his room his strength came back rapidly.

He would have liked it still better if he had been able to see the
younger sister alone; but that was impossible, for the sisters were
inseparable. One evening, however, the Don offered to take them to
the cathedral to see some ceremony. Ida declined, but the other
eagerly accepted.

So Buttons for the first time in his life found himself alone with
the maid of his heart. It was a solemn season.

Both were much embarrassed. Buttons looked as though he had
something dreadful to tell; the Señorita as though she had
something dreadful to hear. At length Buttons began to tell the
story of his many searches, pursuits, wanderings, etc., in search of
her, and particularly his last search at Florence, in which he had
grown disheartened, and had made up his mind to follow her to Spain.
At last he came to the time when he caught up to them on the road.
He had seen them first. His heart told him that one of the ladies
was Ida. Then he had lost all control of himself, and had leaped
down to rescue her.

The Spanish nature is an impetuous, a demonstrative, a fiery
nature. The Señorita was a Spaniard. As Buttons told all this in
passionate words, to which his ardent love gave resistless eloquence,
her whole manner showed that her heart responded. An uncontrollable
excitement filled her being; her large, lustrous eyes, bright with
the glow of the South, now beamed more luminously through her tears,
and--in short: Buttons felt encouraged--and ventured nearer--and,
almost before he knew it himself, somehow or other, his arm had got
round a slender waist!

While the Señorita trembled--timidly drew back--and then all was
still!--except, of course, whisperings--and broken sentences--and
soft, sweet......Well, all these were brought to an abrupt close by
the return of the Don and his sister.

As they entered the room they saw Buttons at one end, and the
Señorita at the other. The moonbeams stole in softly through the
window.

"Why did you not call for a light?"

"Oh, it is so pleasant in the moonshine!"

At the end of a few weeks there came the great, the unlooked-for,
the unhoped-for news--the Peace of Villafranca! So war was over.
Moreover, the road was open. They could go wherever they wished.

Buttons was now strong enough to travel. Dick and the Senator
were as well as ever. The news of the Peace was delightful to
the travellers.

Not so, however, to the Bolognese. They railed at Napoleon. They
forgot all that he had done, and taunted him with what he had
neglected to do. They insulted him. They made caricatures of
him. They spread scandalous reports about him. Such is the way of
the world.



CHAPTER XLIX.


CROSSING INTO THE ENEMY'S COUNTRY.--CONSTERNATION OF THE CUSTOM-HOUSE
OFFICERS.


The journey was a pleasant one. The Spaniards were an agreeable
addition to the party in the estimation of others than Buttons.
The Senator devoted himself particularly to the elder sister. Indeed,
his acquaintance with _La Cica_, as he afterward confessed, had given
him a taste for foreign ladies. He carried on little conversations
with the Señorita in broken English. The Señorita's English was
pretty, but not very idiomatic. The Senator imitated her English
remarkably well, and no doubt did it out of compliment. He also
astonished the company by speaking at the very top of a voice whose
ordinary tone was far stronger than common.


[Illustration: Buttons In Bliss.]


The journey from Bologna to Ferrara was not diversified by any
incident. Buttons was rapidly regaining his gayety and his strength.
He wore his arm in a sling, it is true, but thought it better to have
a broken arm with the Señorita than a sound one without her. It must
be confessed, however, that his happiness was visible not so much in
lively conversation as in his flushed cheek, glistening eye, and
general air of ecstasy. Moreover, Ida could not speak English much--a
conversation in that language was difficult, and they would not be
so rude to the Senator as to talk Spanish in his presence. The
consequence was that the conversation flagged, and the Senator was by
far the most talkative member of the company, and laid out all his
strength in broken English.

Ferrara was reached at last, and they put up at a hotel which boasted
of having entertained in its day any quantity of kings, emperors, and
nobles of every European nation. It is an astonishing town. Vast
squares, all desolate; great cathedrals, empty; proud palaces,
neglected and ruinous; broad streets, grass-grown and empty; long
rows of houses, without inhabitants; it presents the spectacle of a
city dying without hope of recovery. The Senator walked through every
street in Ferrara, looked carelessly at Tasso's dungeon, and seemed to
feel relieved when they left the city.

On arriving at the Po. which forms the boundary between this district
and Venetia, they underwent some examination from the authorities,
but crossed without accident. But on the other side they found the
Austrian officials far more particular. They asked a multiplicity of
questions, opened every trunk, scanned the passports, and detained
them long. The ladies were annoyed in a similar manner, and a number
of Roman and Neapolitan trinkets which had passed the Italian
_doganas_ were now taken from them.

Dick had a valise, both compartments of which were strapped down
carefully. Under a cairn exterior he concealed a throbbing heart, for
in that valise was the Doctor's pistol, upon which he relied in
anticipation of future dangers. The officials opened the valise. It
was apparently a puzzle to them. They found but little clothing. On
the contrary, a very extensive assortment of articles wrapped in
paper and labelled very neatly. These they opened one by one in the
first compartment, and found the following:


1, Six collars; 2, a brick; 3, lump of lime; 4, pebbles; 5, plaster;
6, ashes; 7, paper; 8, another brick; 9, a chip; 10, more plaster; 11,
more ashes; 13, an ink bottle; 13, three pair stockings; 14, more
ashes; 15, more ashes; 16, a neck-tie; 17, a bit of wood; 18, vial;
19, some grass; 20, bone; 21, rag; 22, stone; 23, another stone: 24,
some more grass; 25, more pebbles; 26, more bones; 27, pot of
blacking; 28, slippers; 29, more stones; 30, more stones.


The officials started up with an oath apiece. Their heavy German faces
confronted Dick with wrath and indignation, and every separate hair of
their warlike mustaches stood out. However, they swallowed their rage,
and turned to the others. Dick drew a long breath of relief. The
pistol was safe. It had been taken apart and each piece wrapped in
paper and labelled. Had he carried it about with him it would have
been taken.

The Senator thought it was better to have three battles with brigands
than one encounter with custom-house officials. He had a little store
of specimens of Italian manufactures, which were all taken from him.
One thing struck him forcibly, and that was the general superiority
of the Austrian over the Roman side.

There was more thrift neatness, and apparent prosperity. His
sentiments on this subject were embodied in a letter home, which he
wrote from Padua on a dreary evening which they spent there before
starting for Venice:


"If this part of Italy is oppressed by Austria, then all I can say
is, that the pressure has squeezed an immense amount of vegetation
out of the soil. Passing from the Roman territories into the
Austrian is like going from darkness into light, or from Canada into
the United States. What kind of people are they who do better under
foreign rule than Native? In my opinion, the territories of the
Pope are worse than those of other rulers in Italy. A Spanish friend
of mine tells me that it is because the thoughts of the Pope's
subjects are set not on things below, but on things on high. He tells
me that we've got to choose between two masters--Christianity on the
one hand, and Mammon on the other. Whoever chooses the latter will be
destitute of the former. He gives as examples of this France, England,
and America, which countries, though possessed of the highest material
blessings, are yet a prey to crime, scepticism, doubt, infidelity,
heresy, false doctrine, and all manner of similar evils. Those
nations which prefer religion to worldly prosperity present a
different scene; and he points to Spain and Italy--poor in this
world's goods, but rich in faith--the only evils which afflict them
being the neighborhood of unbelieving nations."



CHAPTER L.


VENICE AND ITS PECULIAR GLORY.--THE DODGE CLUB COME TO GRIEF AT LAST.
--UP A TREE.--IN A NET, ETC.


Few sensations are so singular as that which the traveller
experiences on his first approach to Venice. The railway passes
for miles through swamps, pools, ponds, and broken mud banks, till
at length, bursting away altogether from the shore, it pushes
directly out into the sea. Away goes the train of cars over the long
viaduct, and the traveller within can scarcely understand the
situation. The firm and even roll and the thunder of the wheels tell
of solid ground beneath; but outside of the windows on either side
there is nothing but a wide expanse of sea.

At length the city is reached. The train stops, and the passenger
steps out into the station-house. But what a station-house! and what
a city! There is the usual shouting from carriers and cabmen, but
none of that deep roar of a large city which in every other place
drones heavily into the traveller's ear.

Going out to what he thinks is a street, the traveller finds merely
a canal. Where are the carriages, cabs, caliches, hand-carts,
barouches, pony-carriages, carryalls, wagons, hansoms, hackneys,
wheelbarrows, broughams, dog-carts, buggies? Where are the horses,
mares, dogs, pigs, ponies, oxen, cows, cats, colts, calves, and
livestock generally?

Nowhere. There's not a wheeled carriage in the place. It may be
doubted if there is a dog. There certainly is not a cow. The people
use goats' milk. The horse is as unknown as the pterodactyl,
icthyosaurus, dodo, iguanodon, mastodon, great awk. How do they go
about? Where are the conveniences for moving to and fro?

Then, at the platform of the station, a score or two of light
gondolas await you. The gondolier is the cabman. He waits for you,
with his hand toward you, and the true "Keb, Sir!" tone and smile.
A double-sized gondola is here called an "omnibus," and the name is
painted on the side in huge letters. And these are the substitutes
for wheeled vehicles.


[Illustration: Dick's Luggage.]


Now after entering one of these you go along smoothly and
noiselessly. The first thing one notices in Venice is the absence of
noise. As the boat goes along the only sound that is heard is the
sharp cry from the boatman as he approaches a corner. At first the
novelty interests the mind, afterward it affects the spirits. In
three days most people leave the city in a kind of panic. The
stillness is awful. A longer stay would reduce one to a state of
melancholy madness. A few poets, however, have been able to endure,
and even to love, the sepulchral stillness of the city. But to
appreciate Venice one must be strongly poetical.

There are many things to be seen. First of all there is the city
itself, one grand curiosity, unique, with nothing on earth that
bears a distant approach to it. Its canals, gondolas, antique
monuments, Byzantine architecture, bridges, mystery: its pretty
women with black lace veils, the true glory of Venice--though
Murray says nothing about them.

For Murray, in what was meant to be an exhaustive description of
Venice, has omitted all mention of that which makes it what it is.
Whereas if it had been Homer instead of Murray he would have rolled
out the following epithets: [Transcriber's Note: Greek
transliteration] euplokamoi, apalai, choroetheis, eukomoi,
rodopechees, erateinai, kalliplokamoi, elkechitones, kuanopides,
imeroessai, bathukolpoi, ligumolpoi: k. t. l. [/end Greek]

The travellers visited the whole round of sights. They remained in
company and went about in the same gondola. The Senator admired what
he saw as much as any of them, though it appeared to be out of his
particular line. It was not the Cathedral of St. Mark's, however, nor
the Doge's Palace, nor the Court of the Inquisition, nor the Bridge
of Sighs, nor the Rialto, that interested him, but rather the
spectacle of all these magnificent edifices around him, with all
the massive masonry of a vast city, built up laboriously on the
uncertain sand. He admired the Venetians who had done this. To such
men, he thought, the commerce of the world might well have belonged.
In discussing the causes of the decline of Venice he summed up the
subject in a few words, and in the clearest possible manner.

"These Venetians, when they set up shop, were in the principal street
of the world--the Mediterranean. They had the best stand in the
street. They did work up their business uncommon well now, and no
mistake. They made money hand over fist, and whatever advantage
could be given by energy, capital, and a good location, they got.
But the currents of traffic change in the world just as they do in
a city. After a while it passed in another direction. Venice was
thrown out altogether. She had no more chance than a New York shop
would have after the business that it lived on had gone into another
street. Hence," said the Senator--he always said "hence" when he was
coming to a triumphant conclusion--"hence the downfall of Venice."

On arriving at their hotel a little circumstance occurred which made
them look at Venice from a new and startling point of view. On going
to their rooms after dinner they were followed by a file of Austrian
soldiers. They wanted to see the passports. They requested this in a
thick guttural tone, which made the Americans feel quite nervous. They
showed the passports nevertheless.

On looking over them the Austrian soldiers arrested them. They were
informed that if they went peaceably they would be well treated, but
if they made any resistance they would all be bound.

The Americans remonstrated. No use. A thousand conjectures were made
as to the cause of their arrest, but they were completely baffled.
Before they could arrive at any conclusion they had arrived at the
place of their destination, to which they had, of course, been taken
in a gondola. It was too dark to distinguish the place, but it looked
like a large and gloomy edifice. The soldiers took them to a room,
where they locked them all in together. It was a comfortable
apartment, with another larger one opening from it, in which were
two beds and two couches. Evidently they were not neglected.


[Illustration: Arrested.]


After waiting for half the night in a kind of fever they retired to
rest. They slept but little. They rose early, and at about seven
o'clock breakfast was brought in to them, with a guard of soldiers
following the waiters.

After breakfast they were visited again. This time it was a legal
gentleman. They did not know who he was, but he gave them to
understand that he was a person high in authority. He questioned
them very closely as to their business in Venice, but did his
questioning in a courteous manner. After about an hour he left.

Lunch was brought in at one o'clock. Their feelings at being treated
in this mysterious manner can be imagined. Such neglect of the rights
of man--such trifling with his time and patience--such utter disregard
of _habeas corpus_, awaked indignation which words could not express.

Positively they were treated like dumb cattle; locked up, fed,
deprived of liberty and fresh air; no communication with friends
outside; and, worst of all, no idea in the world of the cause of their
imprisonment. They came to the conclusion that they were mistaken for
some other parties--for some _Cacciatori degli Alpi_; and Buttons
insisted that the Senator was supposed to be Garibaldi himself. In
these troublous times any idea, however absurd, might be acted upon.

At about three in the afternoon the door was thrown open, and a file
of soldiers appeared. An officer approached and requested the
prisoners to follow. They did so. They passed along many halls, and at
length came to a large room. A long table extended nearly from one
end to another. Soldiers were arranged down the sides of the
apartment.

At the head of the table sat an elderly man, with a stern face,
ferocious mustache, sharp eye, bushy gray eyebrows, and universal air
of Mars. His uniform showed him to be a General. By his side was
their visitor of the morning. Officials sat at the table.

"_Silence_!"


[Illustration: Silence!]



CHAPTER LI.


THE AMERICAN EAGLE AND THE AUSTRIAN DOUBLE-HEADED DITTO.


At the command of the Austrian General every body became still.
Thereupon he motioned to the prisoners to stand at the bottom of
the table. They did so. The General took a long stare at the
prisoners, particularly at the Senator. They bore it steadily.
As for the Senator, he regarded the other with an expression which
would have done honor to the Austrian General's own father.

"Who are you?"

The General spoke in German. The legal gentleman, at his side
instantly interpreted it into English.

"Americans."

"Ah! dangerous characters--dangerous characters! What is your
business?"

"Travellers."

"Travellers? Ah! But what are your occupations in America?"

"Our passports tell."

"Your passports say--'Gentlemen.'"

"Well, we _are_ gentlemen."

The Austrian looked blank. After a while he resumed; and as he
directed his glance to the Senator the latter made all the replies,
while the Interpreter served as a medium of communication.

"How long have you been in Italy?"

"Two or three months."

"You came here just about the commencement of these difficulties?"

"Yes--the beginning of the war."

"Where did you land?"

"At Naples."

"Naples? Ha! hm! Where did you go next?"

"To Rome. We stayed there a few weeks and then went to Florence;
from Florence to Bologna, and thence through Ferrara and Padua to
Venice."

"You went to Florence! How long ago did you leave?"

"About a month ago."

"A month! Ah, hm!"

And the General exchanged glances with the legal gentleman at his
side.

"What were you doing in Florence?"

"Seeing the city."

"Did you place yourselves in connection with the Revolutionists?"

"No."

"Did you have any thing to do with the emissaries of Garibaldi?"

"Nothing."

"Take care how you deny."

"We say we know nothing at all either of the Revolutionists or
Imperialists or Garibaldians or any other party. We are merely
travellers."

"Hm--a strong disavowment," said the General to himself. "You have
never in any way countenanced the rebels."'

"No."

"Think before you speak."

"We are free Americans. Perhaps you know that the citizens of that
country say what they think and do what they like. We have gone on
that rule in Italy. What I say is, that we do not know any thing
about rebels or any political parties in the country."

"Do you know _La Cica_?" asked the General, with the air of a man
who was putting a home-thrust, and speaking with uncommon
fierceness.

"I do," said the Senator, mildly.

"You know her well? You are one of her intimate friends?"

"Am I?"

"Are you not?"

"I am friendly with her. She is an estimable woman, with much
feeling and penetration"--and a fond regret exhibited itself in
the face of the speaker.

"Well, Sir, you may as well confess. We know you, Sir. We know you.
You are one of the chosen associates of that infamous Garibaldian
plotter and assassin, whose hotel is the hot-bed of conspiracy and
revolution. We know you. Do you dare to come here and deny it?"

"I did not come here; I was brought. I do not deny that you know me,
though I haven't the pleasure of knowing you. But I do deny that I
am the associate of conspirators."

"Are you not the American whom _La Cica_ so particularly distinguished
with her favor?"

"I have reason to believe that she was partial to me--somewhat."

"He confesses!" said the General. "You came from her to this place,
communicating on the way with her emissaries."

"I communicated on the way with none but brigands among the mountains.
If they were her emissaries I wish her joy of them. My means of
communication," said the Senator, while a grim smile passed over his
face, "was an iron crow-bar, and my remarks left some deep impression
on them, I do believe."

"Tell me now--and tell me truly," said the General after a pause,
in which he seemed trying to make out whether the Senator was joking
or not. "To whom are you sent in this city?"

"To no one."

"Sir! I warn you that I will not be trifled with."

"I tell you," said the Senator, with no apparent excitement, "I tell
you that I have come here to no one. What more can I say?"

"You must confess."

"I have nothing to confess."

"Sir! you have much to confess," cried the General, angrily, "and I
swear to you I will wring it out of you. Beware how you trifle with
my patience. If you wish to regain your liberty confess at once,
and you may escape your just punishment. But if you refuse, then,
by the immortal gods, I'll shut you up in a dungeon for ten years!"

"You will do no such thing."

"What!" roared the General. "Won't I?"

"You will not. On the contrary, you will have to make apologies for
these insults."

"I!--Apologies! Insults!"

The General gnawed his mustache, and his eyes blazed in fury.

"You have arrested us on a false charge, based on some slanderous
or stupid information of some of your infernal spies," said the
Senator. "What right have you to pry into the private affairs of
an American traveller? We have nothing to do with you."

"You are associated with conspirators. You are charged with
treasonable correspondence with rebels. You countenanced revolution
in Florence. You openly took part with Republicans. You are a
notorious friend of _La Cica_. And you came here with the intention
of fomenting treason in Venice!"

"Whoever told you that," replied the Senator, "told infernal lies--most
infernal lies. I am no emissary of any party. I am a private
traveller."

"Sir, we have correspondents in Florence on whom we can rely better
than on you. They watched you."

"Then the best thing you can do is to dismiss those correspondents
and get rogues who have half an idea."

"Sir, I tell you that they watched you well. You had better confess
all. Your antecedents in Florence are known. You are in a position
of imminent danger. I tell you--_beware_."

The General said this in an awful voice, which was meant to strike
terror into the soul of his captive. The Senator looked back into
his eyes with an expression of calm scorn. His form seemed to grow
larger, and his eyes dilated as he spoke:

"Then you, General, I tell you--_beware_! Do you know who you've got
hold of?--No conspirator; no infernal Italian bandit, or Dutch-man
either; but an American citizen. Your Government has already tried
the temper of Americans on one or two remarkable occasions. Don't try
it on a third time, and don't try it on with me. Since you want to
know who I am I'll tell you. I, Sir, am an American Senator. I take
an active and prominent part in the government of that great and
glorious country. I represent a constituency of several hundred
thousand. You tell me to _beware_. I tell you--BEWARE! for, by the
Eternal! if you don't let me go, I swear to you that you'll have to
give me up at the cannon's mouth. I swear to you if you don't let
me off by evening I won't go at all till I am delivered up with
humble and ample apologies, both to us and to our country, whom
you have insulted in our persons."

"Sir, you are bold!"

"Bold! Send for the American Consul of this city and see if he
don't corroborate this. But you had better make haste, for if you
subject me to further disgrace it will be the worse for your
Government, and particularly for _you_, my friend. You'll have the
town battered down about your ears. Don't get another nation down
on you, and, above all, don't let that nation be the American. What
I tell you is the solemn truth, and if you don't mind it you will
know it some day to your sorrow."

Whatever the cause may have been the company present, including even
the General, were impressed by the Senator's words. The announcement
of his dignity; the venerable title of Senator; the mention of his
"constituency," a word the more formidable from not being at all
understood--all combined to fill them with respect and even awe.


[Illustration: Don't Try It On With Me.]


So at his proposal to send for the American Consul the General
gave orders to a messenger who went off at once in search of that
functionary.



CHAPTER LII.


THE SENATOR STILL ENGAGED IN FACING DOWN THE AUSTRIAN.--THE AMERICAN
CONSUL.--UNEXPECTED RE-APPEARANCE OF FORGOTTEN THINGS.--COLLAPSE OF
THE COURT.


The American Consul soon made his appearance. Not having had any
thing to do for months, the prospect of business gave wings to his
feet. Moreover, he felt a very natural desire to help a countryman
in trouble. Upon entering the hall he cast a rapid look around, and
seemed surprised at so august a tribunal. For in the General's martial
form he saw no less a person than the Austrian Commandant.

The Consul bowed and then looked at the prisoners. As his eye fell
upon the Senator it lighted up, and his face assumed an expression of
the most friendly interest. Evidently a recognition. The Austrian
Commandant addressed the Consul directly in German.

"Do you know the prisoners?"

"I know one of them."

"He is here under a very heavy accusation. I have well-substantiated
charges by which he is implicated in treason and conspiracy. He has
been connected with Revolutionists of the worst stamp in Florence,
and there is strong proof that he has come here to communicate with
Revolutionists in this city."

"Who accuses him of this? Are they here?"

"No, but they have written from Florence warning me of his journey
here."

"Does the prisoner confess?"

"Of course not. He denies. He requested me to send for you. I
don't want to be unjust, so if you have any thing to say, say on."

"These charges are impossible."

"Impossible?"

"He is altogether a different man from what you suppose. He is an
eminent member of the American Senate. Any charges made against
one like him will have to be well substantiated; and any injury
done to him will be dangerous in the highest degree. Unless you
have undeniable proofs of his guilt it will be best to free him
at once--or else--"

"Or else what?"

"Or else there will be very grave complications."

The Commandant looked doubtful. The others impassive. Buttons and
Dick interested. The Senator calm. Again the Commandant turned to
the Senator, his remarks being interpreted as before.

"How does it happen that you were so particularly intimate with
all the Revolutionists in Florence, and an habitué of _La Cica_'s
salon? that your mission was well known throughout the city? That
you publicly acknowledged the Florentine rebellion in a speech?
that the people carried you home in triumph? and that immediately
before leaving you received private instructions from _La Cica_?"

"To your questions," said the Senator, with unabated dignity, "I
will reply in brief: _First_, I am a free and independent citizen
of the great and glorious American Republic. If I associated with
Revolutionists in Florence, I did so because I am accustomed to
choose my own society, and not to recognize any law or any master
that can forbid my doing so. I deny, however, that I was in any way
connected with plots, rebellions, or conspiracies. _Secondly_, I was
friendly with the Countess because I considered her a most remarkably
fine woman, and because she showed a disposition to be friendly with
me--a stranger in a strange land. _Thirdly_, I have no mission of
any kind whatever. I am a traveller for self-improvement. I have no
business political or commercial. So that my mission could not have
been known. If people talked about me they talked nonsense.
_Fourthly_, I confess I made a speech, but what of that? It's not
the first time, by a long chalk. I don't know what you mean by
'acknowledging.' As a private citizen I congratulated them on their
success, and would do so again. If a crowd calls on me for a speech,
I'm thar! The people of Florence dragged me home in a carriage. Well,
I don't know why they did so. I can't help it if people will take
possession of me and pull me about. _Fifthly_, and lastly, I had an
interview with the Countess, had I? Well, is it wrong for a man to
bid good-bye to a friend? I ask you, what upon earth do you mean by
such a charge as that? Do you take me for a puling infant?"

"On that occasion," said the Commandant, "she taught you some
mysterious words which were to be repeated among the Revolutionists
here."

"Never did any thing of the kind. That's a complete full-blown
fiction."

"I have the very words."

"That's impossible. You've got hold of the wrong man I see."

"I will have them read," said the General, solemnly.

And he beckoned to the Interpreter. Whereupon the Interpreter
gravely took out a formidable roll of papers from his breast, and
opened it. Every gesture was made as though his hand was heavy with
the weight of crushing proof. At last a paper was produced.
The Interpreter took one look at the prisoner, then glanced
triumphantly at the Consul, and said:

"It is a mysterious language with no apparent meaning, nor have I
been able to find the key to it in any way. It is very skillfully
made, for all the usual tests of cipher writing fail in this. The
person who procured it did not get near enough till the latter part
of the interview, so that he gained no explanation whatever from the
conversation."

"Read," said the Commandant. The Senator waited, wonderingly. The
Interpreter read:


"_Ma ouillina sola ouda ste ensoce fremas dis ansit ansin assalef a
oue lu affa lastinna belis_."


Scarcely had the first words been uttered in the Italian voice of
the reader than the Senator started as though a shot had struck him.
His face flushed. Finally a broad grin spread itself over his
countenance, and down his neck, and over his chest, and over his
form, and into his boots, till at last his whole colossal frame
shook with an earthquake of laughter.

The Commandant stared and looked uneasy, All looked at the Senator
--all with amazement--the General, the Interpreter, the Officials,
the Guards, Buttons, Dick, and the American Consul.

"Oh dear! Oh _de-ar_! Oh DEEE-AR!" cried the Senator, in the
intervals of his outrageous peals of laughter. "OH!" and a new peal
followed.

What did all this mean? Was he crazy? Had misfortunes turned his
brain?

But at last the Senator, who was always remarkable for his
self-control, recovered himself. He asked the Commandant if he might
be permitted to explain.

"Certainly," said the Commandant, dolefully. He was afraid that
the thing would take a ridiculous turn, and nothing is so terrible
as that to an Austrian official.

"Will you allow me to look at the paper?" asked the Senator. "I will
not injure it at all."

The Interpreter politely carried it to him as the Commandant nodded.
The Senator beckoned to the Consul. They then walked up to the
Commandant. All four looked at the paper.

"You see, gentlemen," said the Senator, drawing a lead pencil from
his pocket, "the Florence correspondent has been too sharp. I can
explain all this at once. I was with the Countess, and we got
talking of poetry. Now, I don't know any more about poetry than a
horse."

"Well?"

"Well, she insisted on my making a quotation. I had to give in.
The only one I could think of was a line or two from Watts."

"_Watts_? Ah! I don't know him," said the Interpreter.

"He was a minister--a parson."

"Ah!"

"So I said it to her, and she repeated it. These friends of yours,
General, have taken it down, but their spellin' is a little
unusual," said the Senator, with a tremendous grin that threatened
a new outburst.

"Look. Here is the true-key which this gentleman tried so hard to
find."

And taking his pencil the Senator wrote under the strange words
the true meaning:


  "My willing soul would stay
    In such a frame as this,
  And sit and sing herself away
    To everlasting bliss."


The Interpreter saw it all. He looked profoundly foolish. The whole
thing was clear. The Senator's innocence was plain. He turned to
explain to the Commandant. The Consul's face exhibited a variety
of expressions, over which a broad grimace finally predominated,
like sunshine over an April sky. In a few words the whole was made
plain to the Commandant. He looked annoyed, glared angrily at the
Interpreter, tossed the papers on the floor, and rose to his feet.


[Illustration: Watts Mis-spelled.]


"Give these gentlemen our apologies," said he to the Interpreter.
"In times of trouble, when States have to be held subject to
martial law, proceedings are abrupt. Their own good sense will, I
trust, enable them to appreciate the difficulty of our position.
They are at liberty."

At liberty! No sooner were the words spoken than the prisoners
bowed and left, in company with the Consul, who eagerly shook
hands with all three--particularly the Senator, who, as they were
leaving, was heard to whisper something in which these words were
audible:

"Wa'al, old hoss! The American eagle showed it claws, anyhow."



CHAPTER LIII.


A MYSTERIOUS FLIGHT.--DESPAIR OF BUTTONS.--PURSUIT.--HISTORIC GROUND,
AND HISTORIC CITIES.


It was about seven o'clock in the evening when they reached their
hotel. Every thing was as they had left it. Some trifles had
occurred, such as a general overhaul of the baggage, in which the
Doctor's pistol had again miraculously escaped seizure. Buttons
went immediately to call on the Spaniards, but their apartment was
closed. Supposing that they were out about the town, he returned to
his friends.

During their memorable captivity they had eaten but little, and
now nothing was more welcome than a dinner. So they ordered the very
best that the hotel could supply, and made the American Consul stay.
Buttons did not give himself up so completely as the rest to the
hilarity of the occasion. Something was on his mind. So he took
advantage of a conversation in which the Senator was giving the
Consul an animated description of the fight with the brigands, and
the pluck of his two "boys," and stole out of the room. Whereupon the
Senator stopped and remarked--

"Hang these fellows that are in love!"

"Certainly," said Dick. "They often hang themselves, or feel like
it."

"Of course Buttons is on his usual errand."

"Of course."

"It seems to me that his foreign travel has become nothing but one
long chase after that gal. He is certainly most uncommon devoted."

Scarce had these words been spoken when the door was flung open, and
Buttons made his appearance, much agitated.

"What's the matter?" cried Dick. "The Spaniards!" "Well?" "They're
off!" "Off?" "Gone!" "Where?" "Away from Venice." "When?" "I don't
know." "Why?" "I don't know."

"What sent them? It looks as though they were running away from
you on purpose."

"They're off, at any rate!" cried Buttons. "I went to their room.
It was open. The servants were fixing it up. I asked why. They said
the Spaniards had left Venice early this morning. They did not know
any thing more."

"Strange!"

"Strange, of course. It's so sudden. Their plans were laid out for
a week in Venice."

"Perhaps they were frightened at our adventure."

Buttons sprung to the bell and pulled it vigorously. Then he rushed
to the door and flung it open. Five or six waiters came tumbling in.
They had all been listening at the key-hole.

"Where's the chief waiter?"

"Here," said that functionary, approaching.

"Come here. You may retire," said Buttons to the others. They went
out reluctantly.

"Now, my friend," said he, putting some piastres in the hand of the
chief waiter. "Think, and answer me right. Where are the Spaniards
--a gentleman and two ladies--who came here with us?"

"They have left the city."

"When?"

"At six this morning, by the first train."

"Why did they leave?"

"A hint came from the Commandant."

"From him. Ah! What about?"

"Why--you know--your Excellencies were to waited on by a
deputation."

"We were arrested. Well?"

"Well, these Spaniards were friends yours."

"Yes."

"That connection made them suspected."

"Diavolo!"

"Such is the melancholy fact. There was no cause strong enough to
lead to their arrest. It would have been inconvenient. So the
Commandant sent a message, immediately after your Excellency's
lamentable arrest, to warn them--"

"What of?"

"That they had better leave the country at once."

"Yes, but that didn't force them to go."

"Ah, Signore! Do you not know what such a warning is? There is no
refusal."

"And so they left."

"At six by the train."

"Where to?"

"Signore, they had their passports made out for Milan."

"Milan!"

"Certainly. It was necessary for them not only to leave Venice, but
Venetia."

"Very well. When does the next train leave?"

"Not till to-morrow morning at six."

"You must call us then at five, for we are going. Here, take our
passports and get them viséd;" and having explained matters to the
Senator, Buttons found no need of persuasion to induce them to quit
the city, so the passports were handed over to the waiter.

So at six the next morning they went flying over the sea, over the
lagoons, over the marshes, over the plains, away toward Lombardy.


[Illustration: Formalities.]


They had to stop for a while at Verona, waiting to comply with "some
formalities." They had time to walk about the town and see the Roman
ruins and the fortifications. Of all these much might be said, if it
were not to be found already in Guide-books, Letters of
Correspondents, Books of Travel, Gazetteers, and Illustrated
Newspapers. Our travellers saw enough of the mighty military works,
in a brief survey, to make them thoroughly comprehend the Peace of
Villafranca. In the neighborhood of Solferino they left the train to
inspect the scene of battle. Only a month had passed since the
terrific contest, and the traces remained visible on every side. The
peasants had made two trenches of enormous size. In one of these the
bodies of the Austrians had been buried, in the other those of the
French and Italians. In one place there was a vast heap of arms, which
had been gathered from off the field. There was no piece among them
which was not bent or broken. All were of the best construction and
latest pattern, but had seen their day. Shattered trees, battered
walls, crumbling houses, deep ruts in the earth, appeared on every
side to show where the battle had raged; yet already the grass, in
its swift growth, had obliterated the chief marks of the tremendous
conflict.

At length they arrived at Milan. The city presented a most imposing
appearance. Its natural situation, its magnificent works of
architecture, its stately arches and majestic avenues presented an
appearance which was now heightened by the presence of victory. It
was as though the entire population had given themselves up to
rejoicing. The evil spirit had been cast out, and the house
thoroughly swept and garnished. The streets were filled with gay
multitudes; the avenues resounded with the thrilling strains of the
Marseillaise, repeated everywhere; every window displayed the
portrait of Napoleon, Victor Emanuel, or Garibaldi, and from every
house-top flaunted the tri-color. The heavy weight imposed by the
military rule--the iron hand, the cruelty, the bands of spies, the
innumerable soldiers sent forth by Austria--had been lifted off, and
in the first reaction of perfect liberty the whole population rushed
into the wildest demonstrations of joy and gayety. The churches were
all marked by the perpetual presence of the emblems of Holy Peace,
and Heavenly Faith, and Immortal Hope. The sublime Cathedral, from
all its marble population of sculptured saints and from all its
thousands of pinnacles, sent up one constant song. Through the
streets marched soldiers--regular, irregular, horse, foot, and
dragoons; cannon thundered at intervals through every day;
volunteer militia companies sprang up like butterflies to flash
their gay uniforms in the sun.

It was not the season for theatres. _La Scala_ had opened for a
few nights when Napoleon and Victor Emanuel where here, but had
closed again. Not so the smaller theatres. Less dignified, they
could burst forth unrestrained. Especially the Day Theatres, places
formed somewhat on the ancient model, with open roofs. In these the
spectators can smoke. Here the performance begins at five or six
and ends at dark. All the theatres on this season, day or night alike,
burst forth into joy. The war was the universal subject. Cannon,
fighting, soldiers, gunpowder, saltpetre, sulphur, fury, explosions,
wounds, bombardments, grenadiers, artillery, drum, gun, trumpet,
blunderbuss, and thunder! Just at that time the piece which was
having the greatest run was THE VICTORY Of SOLFERINO!

Two theatres exhibited this piece with all the pomp and circumstance
of glorious war. Another put out in a pantomime "The Battle of
Malegnano!"

Another, "The Fight at Magenta!" But perhaps the most popular of all
was "GARIBALDI IN VARESE, _od_ I CACCIATORI DEGLI ALPI!"



CHAPTER LIV.


DICK MEETS AN OLD FRIEND.--THE EMOTIONAL NATURE OF THE ITALIAN.
--THE SENATOR OVERCOME AND DUMBFOUNDED.


The day of their arrival at Milan was distinguished by a pleasing
circumstance. Buttons found the Spaniards, and was happy. And by
another circumstance, scarcely less pleasing, Dick found an old
acquaintance.

On this wise:

Finding himself in Milan he suddenly called to mind an old friend
with whom he had been intimate in Boston. He had been exiled from
Italy on account of his connection with the movements of 1848. He
had fled to America, and had taken with him barely enough to live
on. For five years he had lived in Boston under the plain name of
_Hugh Airey_. Then Dick met with him, and had been attracted by the
polished manners, melancholy air, and high spirit of the
unfortunate exile. In the course of time their acquaintance ripened
into intimate friendship. Dick introduced him to all his friends,
and did all in his power to make his life pleasant. From him he had
learned Italian, and under his guidance formed a wide and deep
acquaintance with Italian literature. In 1858 Mr. Airey decided to
return to Italy and live in Turin till the return of better days.
Before leaving he confided to Dick the fact that he belonged to one
of the oldest families in Lombardy, and that he was the Count Ugo di
Gonfiloniere. The exile bade Dick and all his friends good-bye and
departed. Since then Dick had heard from him but once. The Count was
happy, and hopeful of a speedy return of better days for his country.
His hopes had been realized, as the world knows.


[Illustration: The Count Ugo.]


Dick had no difficulty in finding out where he lived, and went to
call on him. It was a magnificent palace. Throngs of servants were
around the entrance. Dick sent up his name, and was conducted by a
servant to an ante-chamber. Scarcely had he finished a hasty
survey of the apartment when hurried footsteps were heard. He turned.
The Count came rushing into the room, flushed and trembling, and
without a word threw himself into Dick's arms, embraced him, and
kissed him. It was a trying moment for Dick. Nothing is so frightful
to a man of the Anglo-Saxon race as to be hugged and kissed by a man.
However, Dick, felt deeply touched at the emotion of his friend and
his grateful remembrance of himself.

"This is a circumstance most unexpected!" cried the Count. "Why did
you not write and tell me that you were coming, my dearest friend? I
did not know that you were in Italy. But perhaps you wished to give
me a surprise?" And then the Count asked after all the friends in
America, for whom he still evinced the tenderest attachment.

On being questioned he related his own subsequent adventures. After
leaving America he went at once to Turin. Though proscribed in
Lombardy he was free in Piedmont. He managed to communicate
secretly with his relatives in Milan, and lived comfortably. At
length he became aware of the great movement on foot which ended
in the Italian war. He had thrown himself altogether in the good
cause, and, without being at all disheartened by his former
misfortunes, he embarked energetically in the current of events. He
was at once recognized by the Sardinian Government as a powerful
recruit, and appointed to an important military command. Finally war
was declared. The French came, the Count had taken a conspicuous part
in the events of the war, had been present at every battle, and had
been promoted for his gallant conduct. Fortunately he had not once
been wounded. On the occupation of Milan by the Allies he had
regained all his rights, titles, privileges, and estates. He was a
happy man. His ten years of exile had given him a higher capacity
for enjoyment. He looked forward to a life of honor and usefulness.
He had found joy harder to endure than grief; the reunion with all
his old friends and relations, the presence of all the familiar
scenes of his native land had all well-nigh overcome him. Yet he
assured Dick that no friend with whom he had met was more welcome to
his sight than he, and the joy that he felt at seeing him had only
been exceeded once in his life--that one time having been on the
occasion of the entrance of the Allies into Milan.

And now that he was here, where was his luggage? Did he come without
it? There was certainly only one place in the city where he could
stop. He must remain nowhere else but here. Dick modestly excused
himself. He was scarcely prepared. He was travelling in company with
friends, and would hardly like to leave them. The Count looked
reproachfully at him. Did he hesitate about that? Why, his friends
also must come. He would have no refusal. They all must come. They
would be as welcome as himself. He would go with Dick to his hotel
in person and bring his friends there.

In a short time the Count and Dick had driven to the hotel, where
the former pressed upon the Senator and Buttons an invitation to
his house. They were not allowed to refuse, but were taken away,
and before they fairly understood the unexpected occurrence they
were all installed in magnificent apartments in the Palazzo
Gonfaloniere.

Buttons's acquaintance with the language, literature, manners,
and customs of Italy made him appreciate his advantages; the
friendship of the Count prevented Dick from feeling otherwise than
perfectly at home; and as for the Senator, if it had been possible
for him to feel otherwise, his experience of high life at Florence
would have enabled him to bear himself serenely here. His complete
self-possession, his unfaltering gaze, his calm countenance, were
never for a moment disturbed.

The Count had been long enough in America to appreciate a man of
the stamp of the Senator; he therefore from the very first treated
him with marked respect, which was heightened when Dick told him of
the Senator's achievements during the past few weeks. The brilliant
society which surrounded the Count was quite different from that
which the Senator had found in Florence. The people were equally
cultivated, but more serious. They had less excitability, but more
deep feeling. Milan, indeed, had borne her burden far differently
from Florence. Both hated the foreigner; but the latter could be gay,
and smiling, and trifling even under her chains; this the former
could never be. The thoughtful, earnest, and somewhat pensive
Milanese was more to the Senator's taste than the brilliant and
giddy Florentine. These, thought he, may well be a free people.

Moreover, the Senator visited the Grand Cathedral, and ascended to
the summit. Arriving there his thoughts were not taken up by the
innumerable statues of snow-white marble, or the countless pinnacles
of exquisite sculpture that extended all around like a sacred forest
filled with saints and angels, but rather to the scene that lay
beyond.

There spread away a prospect which was superior in his eyes to any
thing that he had ever seen before, nor had it ever entered his
mind to conceive such a matchless scene. The wide plains of Lombardy,
green, glorious, golden with the richest and most inexhaustible
fertility; vast oceans of grain and rice, with islands of dark-green
trees that bore untold wealth of all manner of fruit; white villas,
little hamlets, close-packed villages, dotted the wide expanse, with
the larger forms of many a populous town. He looked to the north and
to the west. The plain spread away for many a league, till the purple
mountains arose as a barrier, rising up till they touched the
everlasting ice. He looked to the east and south. There the plains
stretched away to the horizon in illimitable extent.

"What a country! All cleared too! Every acre! And the villages! Why,
there are thousands if there is one! Dear! dear! dear! How can I
have the heart to blow about New England or Boston after that there!
Buttons, why don't somebody tell about all this to the folks at
home and stop their everlasting bragging? But"--after a long
pause--"I'll do it! I'll do it!--this very night. I'll write about it
to our paper!"



CHAPTER LV.


IN WHICH BUTTONS WRITES A LETTER; AND IN WHICH THE CLUB LOSES AN
IMPORTANT MEMBER.--SMALL BY DEGREES AND BEAUTIFULLY LESS.


But all things, however pleasant, must have an end, so their
stay in Milan soon approached its termination.

Buttons and the Senator were both quite willing to leave. The
departure of the Spaniards had taken away the charm of Milan. They
had already returned to Spain, and had urged Buttons very strongly
to accompany them. It cost him a great struggle to decline, but he
did so from certain conscientious motives, and promised to do so
after going to Paris. So there was an agonizing separation, and all
that. At his room Buttons unbosomed himself to his friends.

"I'll begin at the beginning," said he, directing his remarks more
particularly to the Senator.

"My father is a rich man, though you may not think I live very much
like a rich man's son. The fact is, he is dreadfully afraid that I
will turn out a spendthrift. So he gave me only a moderate sum on
which to travel on through Europe. So far I have succeeded very
well. Excuse my blushes while I make the sweet confession. The
Señorita whom we all admire will, some of these days, I trust,
exchange the musical name of Francia for the plainer one of
Buttons."

The Senator smiled with mild and paternal approbation, and shook
Buttons by the hand.

"It's all arranged," continued Buttons, with sweet confusion. "Now,
under the circumstances, you might think it natural that I should go
back with them to Spain."

"I should certainly. Why don't you?"

"For two reasons. The first is, I have barely enough tin left to
take me to Paris."

At once both the Senator and Dick offered to make unlimited advances.
Buttons made a deprecatory gesture.

"I know well that I could look to you for any help in any way. But
that is not the reason why I don't go to Spain. I have money enough
for my wants if I don't go there."

"What is the real reason, then?"

"Well, I thought that in an affair of this kind it would be just as
well to get the Governor's concurrence, and so I thought I'd drop a
line to him. I've just got the letter written, and I'll put it in
the mail this evening."

"You have done right, my boy," said the Senator, paternally. "There
are many excellent reasons for getting your father's consent in an
affair like this."

"I don't mind reading you what I have written," said Buttons, "if
you care about hearing it."

"Oh, if you have no objection, we should like to hear very much,"
said Dick.

Whereupon Buttons, taking a letter from his pocket, read as follows:


"DEAR FATHER,--I have endeavored to follow out your instructions and
be as economical as possible.

"During my tour through Italy, have made the acquaintance of the
senior member of the house of Francia, in Cadiz, a gentleman with
whom you are acquainted. He was travelling with his two sisters.
The younger one is very amiable. As I know you would like to see me
settled I have requested her hand in marriage.

"As I wish to be married before my return I thought I would let you
know. Of course in allying myself to a member of so wealthy a family
I will need to do it in good style. Whatever you can send me will
therefore be quite acceptable.

"Please reply immediately on receipt of this, addressing me at Paris
as before.

"And very much oblige                             E. BUTTONS."


"Well," said the Senator, "that's a sensible letter. It's to the
point. I'm glad to see that you are not so foolish as most lads in
your situation. Why should not a man talk as wisely about a
partnership of this kind as of any other? I do declare that these
rhapsodies, this highblown, high-flown, sentimental twaddle is
nauseating."

"You see, Dick," said Buttons, "I must write a letter which will
have weight with the old gentleman. He likes the terse business
style. I think that little hint about her fortune is well managed
too. That's a great deal better than boring him with the state of
my affections. Isn't it?"

"There's nothing like adapting your style to the disposition of
the person you address," said Dick.

"Well," said the Senator, "you propose to start to-morrow, do you?"

"Yes," said Buttons.

"I'm agreed then I was just beginning to get used up myself. I'm an
active man, and when I've squeezed all the juice out of a place I
want to throw it away and go to another. What do you say, Dick? You
are silent."

"Well, to tell the truth," said Dick, "I don't care about leaving
just yet. Gonfaloniere expects me to stay longer, and he would feel
hurt if I hurried off, I am very sorry that you are both going. It
would be capital if you could only wait here a month or so."

"A month!" cried Buttons. "I couldn't stand it another day. Will
nothing induce you to come? What can we do without you?"

"What can I do without you?" said Dick, with some emotion.

"Well, Dick," said the Senator, "I'm really pained. I feel something
like a sense of bereavement at the very idea. I thought, of course,
we would keep together till our feet touched the sacred soil once
more. But Heaven seems to have ordained it otherwise. I felt bad
when Figgs and the Doctor left us at Florence, but now I feel worse
by a long chalk. Can't you manage to come along nohow?"

"No," said Dick. "I really can not. I really must stay."

"What! must!"

"Yes, must!"

The Senator sighed.



CHAPTER LVI.


THE FAITHFUL ONE!--DARTS, DISTRACTION, LOVE'S VOWS, OVERPOWERING
SCENE AT THE MEETING OF TWO FOND ONES.--COMPLETE BREAK-DOWN OF THE
HISTORIAN.


About a month after the departure of the Senator and Buttons from
Milan, Dick reappeared upon the scene at Rome, in front of the
little church which had borne so prominent a part in his fortunes;
true to his love, to his hopes, to his promises, with undiminished
ardor and unabated resolution. He found the Padre Liguori there,
who at once took him to his room in a building adjoining the church.

"Welcome!" said he, in a tone of the deepest pleasure. "Welcome!
It has been more than a passing fancy, then."

"It is the only real purpose of my life, I assure you."

"I must believe you," said Liguori, pressing his hand once more.

"And now, where is Pepita?"

"She is in Rome."

"May I see her at once?"

"How at once?"

"Well, to-day."

"No, not to-day. Her brother wishes to see you first. I must go and
let them both know that you are here. But she is well and has been
so."

Dick looked relieved. After some conversation Liguori told Dick to
return in an hour, and he could see the Count. After waiting most
impatiently Dick came back again in an hour. On entering he found
Luigi. He was dressed as a gentleman this time. He was a strongly
knit, well-made man of about thirty, with strikingly handsome and
aristocratic features.

"Let me make my peace with you at once," said he, with the utmost
courtesy. "You are a brave man, and must be generous. I have done
you wrongs for which I shall never forgive myself," and taking
Dick's outstretched hand, he pressed it heartily.

"Say nothing about it, I beg," said Dick; "you were justified in
what you did, though you may have been a little hasty."

"Had I not been blinded by passion I would have been incapable of
such a piece of cowardice. But I have had much to endure, and I
was always afraid about her."

With the utmost frankness the two men received each other's
explanations, and the greatest cordiality arose at once. Dick
insisted on Luigi's taking dinner with him, and Luigi, laughingly
declaring that it would be a sign of peace to eat bread and salt
together, went with Dick to his hotel.

As they entered Dick's apartments Gonfaloniere was lounging near
the window. He had accompanied Dick to Rome. He started at the
sight of Luigi.

"God in Heaven!" he cried, bounding to his feet.

"Ugo!" exclaimed the other.

"Luigi!"

And the two men, in true Italian fashion, sprang into one
another's arms.

"And is my best friend, and oldest friend, the brother of your
betrothed?" asked Gonfaloniere of Dick.

But Dick only nodded. He was quite mystified by all this. An
explanation, however, was soon made. The two had been educated
together, and had fought side by side in the great movements of
'48, under Garibaldi, and in Lombardy.

For full an hour these two friends asked one another a torrent
of questions. Luigi asked Gonfaloniere about his exile in America;
whereupon the other described that exile in glowing terms--how he
landed in Boston, how Dick, then little more than a lad, became
acquainted with him, and how true a friend he had been in his
misery. The animated words of Gonfaloniere produced a striking
effect. Luigi swore eternal friendship with Dick, and finally
declared that he must come and see Pepita that very day.

So, leaving Gonfaloniere with the promise of seeing him again,
Luigi walked with Dick out to the place where he lived. The
reason why he had not wanted him to see Pepita that day was
because he was ashamed of their lodgings. But that had passed,
and as he understood Dick better he saw there was no reason for
such shame. It was a house within a few rods of the church.

Dick's heart throbbed violently as he entered the door after Luigi
and ascended the steps inside the court-yard. Luigi pointed to a
door and drew back.


[Illustration: The Door.]


Dick knocked.

The door opened.

"Pepita!"


***


To describe such a meeting is simply out of the question.

"I knew you would come," said she, after about one solid hour, in
which not a single intelligible word was uttered.

"And for you! Oh, Pepita!"

"You do not think now that I was cruel?" and a warm flush
overspread the lovely face of the young girl.

"Cruel!" (and Dick makes her see that he positively does not think
so).

"I could not do otherwise."

"I love you too well to doubt it."

"My brother hated you so. It would have been impossible. And I
could not wound his feelings."

"He's a splendid fellow, and you were right."

"Padre Liguori showed him what you were, and I tried to explain a
little," added Pepita, shyly.

"Heaven bless Padre Liguori! As for you--you--"

"Don't."

"Well, your brother understands me at last. He knows that I love
you so well that I would die for you."

Tears came into Pepita's eyes as the sudden recollection arose
of Dick's misadventure on the road.


***


"Do you remember," asked Dick, softly, after about three hours
and twenty minutes--"do you remember how I once wished that I was
walking with you on a road that would go on forever?"

"Yes."

"Well, we're on that track now."


[The Historian of these adventures feels most keenly his utter
inadequacy to the requirements of this scene. Need he say that
the above description is a complete _fiasco_? Reader, your
imagination, if you please.]



CHAPTER LVII.


THE DODGE CLUB IN PARIS ONCE MORE.--BUTTONS'S "JOLLY GOOD HEALTH."


Not very long after the events alluded to in the last chapter a
brilliant dinner was given in Paris at the "Hotel de Lille et
d'Albion." On the arrival of the Senator and Buttons at Paris they
had found Mr. Figgs and the Doctor without any trouble. The meeting
was a rapturous one. The Dodge Club was again an entity, although
an important member was not there. On this occasion the one who gave
the dinner was BUTTONS!


[Illustration: He's A Jolly Good Fellow.]


All the delicacies of the season. In fact, a banquet. Mr. Figgs
shone resplendently. If a factory was the sphere of the Senator,
a supper-table was the place for Mr. Figgs. The others felt that
they had never before known fully all the depth of feeling, of
fancy, and of sentiment that lurked under that placid, smooth, and
rosy exterior. The Doctor was epigrammatic; the Senator sententious;
Buttons uproarious.

Dick's health was drunk in bumpers with all the honors:


  "For he's a jolly good fe-e-e-e-e-e-llow!
  For he's a jolly good fe-e-e-e-e-e-llow!!
  For he's a jolly good FE-E-E-E-E-E-LLOW!!!
    Which nobody can deny!"


All this time Buttons was more joyous, more radiant, and altogether
more extravagant than usual. The others asked themselves, "Why?"
In the course of the evening it became known. Taking advantage of a
short pause in the conversation he communicated the startling fact
that he had that day received a letter from his father.

"Shall I read it?"

"AYE!!!" unanimously, in tones of thunder.

Buttons opened it and read:


DEAR SON.--Your esteemed favor, 15th ult., I have recd.

"I beg leave hereby to express my concurrence with your design.

"My connection with the house of Francia has been of the most
satisfactory kind. I have no doubt that yours will be equally so.

"I inclose you draft on Mess. Dupont Geraud, et Cie of Paris, for
$5000--say five thousand dollars--rect of which please acknowledge.
If this sum is insufficient you are at liberty to draw for what may
be required.

"I remain,          HIRAM BUTTONS."


Thunders of applause arose as Buttons folded the letter.

A speech from the Senator proposed health of Buttons Senior.

Another from the Doctor.

Another from Mr. Figgs.

Acknowledgment by Buttons.

Announcement by Buttons of immediate departure for Cadiz.

Wild cheers! Buttons's jolly good health!


  "For he's a jolly good fe-e-e-e-e-e-llow!
  For he's a jolly good fe-e-e-e-f-e-llow!!
  For he's a jolly good FE-E-E-E-E-E-LLOW!!!
    Which nobody can deny!"


THE END.





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