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Towards the end of the last Roman season and style in his bearing which would not so late, indeed, that but few English remained shame the first gentleman in the land. He to observe the effect—an edict against mendi- was undoubtedly of a good family in the provcancy was issued. No one was
to beg unless inces, and came to Rome, while yet young,
to seek his fortune. His crippled condition fortified with a government certificate, and
cut him off from active employment, and every holder of such a certificate, instead of he adopted the profession of a mendicant, as being allowed to ply his trade all over the city, being the most lucrative, and requiring the was restricted to one specified place. At first least exertion.”-i. 35. this regulation seemed to do its work in a
This worthy is evidently satisfied with his considerable degree; but, if we may trust the late correspondence of English papers, it has occupation as an honest and honorable way
of life. To a lady who ventured to ask him since proved an utter mockery. But Roman how he could go on begging, when he was beggary, at its worst, was a trifle in compar- believed to have given his daughter a portion ison to that of some places in Southern Italy. of 1,000 scudi, he calmly replied, “ I have anAt Amalfi, that melancholy wreck of a great other daughter to portion now.
And not commercial city, the beggars are so nearly only did he receive a regular monthly paythe entire population, that it seems as if they ment from many sojourners at Rome, as a must live mainly on each other; and if you go compensation for being allowed to mount the into the cathedral of Sorrento on a Sunday Spanish Steps in peace, but we have even afternoon, you may find that children break heard of admirers who sent him tokens of reaway from catechism-classes to persecute you membrance from England. But King Bepwith cries for a “ bottiglia !”
po's admirers will be grieved to hear that he One renowned personage of the beggar class has lately had a fall. In the middle of last is described by Mr. Story with great zest.
season he was missed from his accustomed “ As one ascends to the last platform, be- haunts, and the sudden disappearance of fore reaching the upper piazza in front of the the pope from the Vatican could hardly have Trinità de Monti, a curious squat tigure, with raised greater astonishment or perplexity. two withered and crumpled legs, spread out After a day or two it was reported that the at right angles, and clothed in fong blue stockings, comes shufiling along on his knees great Beppo was in gaol ; some said, for neg. and hands which are protected by clogs. As lecting the knife-grinder's example, it approaches, it turns suddenly up from its
“ But, for my part, I never like to meddle quadrupedal position, takes off its hat, shows
With politics, Sir ; abroad, stout, legless torso, with a vigorous chest and a ruddy face, as of a person who some said that, after having received many has come half-way up from below the steps fruitless warnings as to his style of language, through a trap-door, and with a smile whose he had been pounced on while pouring forth breadth is equalled only by the cunning which lurks round the corners of the eyes, that he had been caught throwing stones at
a tremendous torrent of blasphemy; some, says, in the blandest and most patronizing tones, with a rising inflection, 'Buon giorno, a lady. At length he reappeared but, instead Signore! Oggi fa bel tempo ;' or fa cattivo of being allowed to resume his throne on the tempo,' as the case may be. This is no less Spanish Steps, he was restricted to the Piazza a person than Beppo, King of the Beggars, of St. Agostino; and there, on being quesand Baron of the Scale di Spagna. He is tioned by a young English lady as to the better known to travellers than the Belvedere Torso of Hercules, at the Vatican, and has cause of his late calamities, he appealed to the all the advantage over that wonderful work, supposed universal weakness of her sex and of having an admirable head and a good di-nation by telling her that he had been sent gestion. Hans Christian Andersen has cele- to prison for distributing Protestant tracts ! brated him in "The Improvisatore,' and But beggary is not confined to such persons unfairly attributed to him an infamous char- as Beppo and his brotherhood. There are acter and life; but this account is purely fic- the mendicant friars, “ those dirty, brown titious, and is neither vero nor ben trovato. brutes," as we once heard them styled by a Beppo, like other distinguished personages, is not without a history. The Romans say young gentleman who was not particularly of him, ' Era un Signore in paese suo, ' _ He well versed in the distinctions of the monaswas a gentleman in his own country,'-and tic orders. There are the old women who at this belief is borne out by a certain courtesy church-doors rattle coppers in tin boxes—not,
as the stranger commonly fancies, for the pur-something of them—from the grand, courtly pose of showing him that, as they have some ceremonial of St. Peter's and the brilliant money already, he cannot do better than give operatic spectacle and music of St. Mary Mathem more, but in order to collect funds for jor's to the pantomimic exhibitions of some the buying of charitable masses.
pontificial masses, where the bishop, undress“ Nor are these the only friends of the ing and revesting himself in the sight of the box. Often in walking the streets one is sud- people, irresistibly recalls to our minds the denly shaken in your ear, and, turning round, manner in which we have seen a theatrical you are startled to see a figure entirely clothed clown array himself in the finery of some milin white from head to foot, a rope round his liner's basket which had fallen in his way. waist, and a white capuccio drawn over his Then there are the exhibition of the Bambino, head and face, and showing, through two and the preaching of the children at the Ara round holes, a pair of sharp, black eyes be
Coeli. hind them. He says nothing, but shakes his box at you, often threateningly, and always with an air of mystery. This is a penitent
". The whole of one of the side-chapels is Saccone; and as this confraternità is composed devoted to this exhibition. In the foreground chiefly of noblemen, he may be one of the first is a grotto, in which is seated the Virgin princes or cardinals in Rome, performing Mary, with Joseph at her side, and the miracpenance in expiation of his sins ; or, for all ulous Bambino in her lap. Immediately be you can see, it may be one of your intimate hind are an ass and an ox. On one side kneel friends. The money thus collected goes to the shepherds and kings in adoration ; and various charities. The Sacconi always go in above, God the Father is seen surrounded by couples,-one taking one side of the street, clouds of cherubs and angels playing on inthe other the opposite,-never losing sight of struments, as in the early pictures of Raphael. each other, and never speaking. Clothed thus In the background is a scenic representation in secrecy, they can test the generosity of any
of a pastoral landscape, on which all the skill one they meet with completo impunity, and of the scene-painter is expended. Shepherds they often amuse themselves with startling guard their flocks far away, reposing under foreigners. Many a group of English girls, palm-trees or standing on green slopes which convoyed by their mother, and staring into glow in the sunshine. The distances and some mosaic or cameo shop, is scared into a perspective are admirable. In the middle scream by the sudden jingling of the box, and ground is a crystal fountain of glass, near the apparition of the spectre in white who which sheep, preternaturally white, and made shakes it.”-i. 55.
of real wool and cotton-wool, are feeding,
tended by figures of shepherds carved in These and other classes of beggars make wood. Still nearer come women bearing their way up the stairs of lodging-houses, great baskets of real oranges and other fruits and waylay you as you go out or in. " But,” on their heads. All the nearer figures are says Mr. Story, “ the greatest mendicant in full-sized, carved in wood, painted, and dressed Rome is the Government” (i. 59) ; and then bino" is a painted doll swaddled in a white
in appropriate robes. The miraculous Bamfollows a paragraph which, although perfectly dress, which is crusted over with magnificent true, would of itself be enough to exclude the diamonds, emeralds, and rubies. The Virgin book from Rome.
also wears in her ears superb diamond penWe now come to a chapter on the Christ- dants. mas holidays and their ceremonies, which, “ The general effect of this scenic show is for travellers newly arrived in Rome, have a
admirable, and crowds flock to it and press charm of freshness such as cannot belong to
about it all day long. Mothers and fathers the ceremonies of a later time.
are lifting their little children as high as they We need not
can, and until their arms are ready to break; say with what zeal our fair countrywomen- little maids are pushing, whispering, and especially those of the “ Evangelical ” and staring in great delight; contadini are gaping Presbyterian persuasions—plunge into these at it with a mute wonderment of admiration ceremonies, spending the whole night in roam- and devotion ; and Englishmen are discussing ing from one church to another, and winding to know, by Jove,
whether those in the crown
loudly the value of the jewels, and wanting up with the high mass in St. Peter's on
can be real. Christmas-day. For ourselves, we must own
“ While this is taking place on one side that we are not disposed to partake of such of the church, on the other is a very different things otherwise than in moderation, although and quite as singular an exhibition. Around we, like the rest of the world, have witnessed one of the antique columns of this basilica
which once beheld the splendors and crimes of tion of their verses by singing some specimens the Cæsars' palace—a staging is erected, from of their native music, and convulsed the which little maidens are reciting, with every audience-students, professors, and all—with kind of pretty gesticulations, sermons, dialogues, and little speeches, in explanation of laughter, while they themselves preserved the the Presepio opposite. Sometimes two of most solemn composure. them are engaged in alternate question and
Mr. Story, we believe, does not mention answer about the mysteries of the Incarnation this performance, por does he say much of and the Redemption. Sometimes the recita- the benediction of the lambs, which takes tion is a piteous description of the agony of place in the basilica of St. Agnes, without the Saviour and the suffering of the Madonna, the walls, on the 21st of January. On this -the greatest stress being, however, always occasion pontifical mass is performed in the laid upon the latter. All these little speeches have been written for them by their priest or ancient church. At a certain stage in the some religious friend, committed to memory, service, two white lambs, adorned with-riband practised with the appropriate gestures bons, and lying on cushions, with their legs over and over again at home. Their little tied together, are carried up to the altar, piping voices are sometimes guilty of such while the faces not only of the congregation, comic breaks and changes, that the crowd but of the officials who carry them, and the about them rustles into a murmurous laugh- clergy who receive them, are relaxed into the ter. Sometimes, also, one of the preachers has a dispetto, pouts, shakes her broadest smiles ; and when, at the moment shoulders, and refuses to go on with her part; of the benediction, one of the poor little anianother, however, always stands ready on the mals utters a ba-a-a, the gravity of every one platform to supply the vacancy, until friends is entirely upset. It is certainly one of the have coaxed, reasoned, or threatened the little oddest religious rites to be seen anywhere in pouter into obedience. These children are Christendom. often very beautiful and graceful, and their comical little gestures and intonations,
The Carnival was this year a somewhat
their clasping of hands and rolling up of eyes, have dismal time, thanks to political causes. The a very amusing and interesting effect.”-i. leaders of the Roman world held aloof from 68–70.
it; masks were allowed only in so far as nec
essary to defend the face from the showers of Next follows the Epiphany, with the Be- confetti ; and, instead of the wild excitement fana presents to children, bought in the which used to attend the lighting of the piazza of St. Eustachio on the eve; and the moccoli, when every one in the crowded Corso polyglott exhibition of the Propaganda. The tried to blow out his neighbor's light, and to chapel of the college is crowded. At one end defend his own, they were confined to the rise rows of benches, occupied by the stu- balconies of houses. But let us suppose that, dents, among whom are represented many as Mr. Story says in the beginning of his fifth varieties of the human race, and each nation chapter, “ the gay confusion of the Carnival contributes a poem suitable to the occasion, is over,” or, as a learned German Jesuit exwhile the whole performance is wound up by pressed the same fact to us—“ Die Narrena scene in which a dozen languages are heard zeit ist vorüber”—and that Lent has set in. at once. There is naturally a tendency to The inexperienced traveller expects a dull multiply as much as possible the number of time; and, if you cannot live without dandialects : thus, among the pieces last year cing, which at this season is forbidden by the were one in Lowland Scotch (recited by a police, no doubt you will find it dull. But youth from Prince Edward's Island), one in in other respects the Roman Lent is really a Swiss-German, and one in “Rhaetian,” which very lively season—very far different, indeed, sounded like a mere Italian patois. The poets from the Lent of a decorous English cathedral for the most art endeavored to connect the town. Evening parties are more plentiful Eriphạny with the politics of the day; Rome than ever-the only difference from other was figured under the names of Jerusalem seasons being, that our Roman Catholic and Sion, Victor Emmanuel was girded at in friends hold themselves bound, it is said, to the character of Herod, and the most sacred confine themselves to water-ice, and to eschew of parallels was bestowed on Pius IX. The
If theatres are closed, concert-rooms greatest sensation was produced by two very are open all the more; and every day there black Africans, who followed up the recita- is a • station” at some church or other which
is indicated in the Diario Romano. For many of the year. And on the 25th of March-the a little church, which is perhaps shut up Annunciation—there is the fair of Grotta almost all the rest of the year, this Lenton Ferrata, to which all English Rome pours station is the gayest day of the three hundred forth across the wide Campagna. Such a and sixty-five. The street near it is strewed crowd one seldom sees! Country people in with sand and boxwood; the unfailing beg- all sorts of picturesque varieties of dress gars line the approach and take up their which are the professed object of our visit to position on the steps ; carriages are seen be- the fair ! booths with all sorts of things for fore the door, and the pavement within is sale that can enter into the rustic list of wants -crowded with kneeling people, among whom or luxuries-clothing, male and femalethe visitor who is led by curiosity rather than boots, shoes, hats : cutlery, combs, kitchen .by devotion winds in and out in search of utensils, so much more scientific than our own, what is to be seen. At such times it is that that English housekeepers of far higher condiyou may best see the round church of St. tion than the customers of Grotta Ferrata Stephen, the meat-market of Imperial Rome, might well covet them ; jewelry not quite with its hideous pictures of martyrdoms, look- equal to Signor Castellani's workmanship, ing like the early woodcuts in Foxe run mad; and other articles of personal adornment; St. Nereus and Achilleus, where the great hams and huge sausages for store, and for ecclesiastical annalist Baronius, once its titu- present consumption, enormous roast pigs, lar cardinal, studied to restore the primitive stuffed with chestnuts and garlic, baskets on arrangement of a church, and by an engraved baskets of colored eggs, and appetizing fries prayer implored his successors to leave it as of fish and other materials, such as Mr. Story he had left it; St. Cecilia is the Trastevere, often dwells on with delight (i. 90). With with its rich reliquaries and plate, and the difficulty you make your way into the convenbeautiful statue of the saint ; St. Pudentiana, tual Church, where under the penitent Otho the ancient church which gives his title to III., about the year 1000, the Greek liturgy Cardinal Wiseman ; St. Mary, of Egypt, for- of St. Basil was established by the Calabrian merly the temple of Fortuna Virilis, and now hermit St. Nilus ; you admire the beautifully belonging to the Armenians of the Roman preserved frescoes in which Domenichino has communion ; St. Theodore (popularly called represented scenes from the life of the St. Toto), on the site of a temple of Romulus founder ; and, after elbowing your way back or Vesta ; St. George in Velabro, where Ri- to your carriage (perhaps with the loss of your enza proclaimed the return of the Romans purse), you are driven to Frascati, from to “ the ancient good estate ; ” St. Saba, St. which you climb the heights of Tusculum, Bibiana, St. Balbina, and a multitude of other pic-nic, perhaps, among the remains of the curious and interesting places, which at other beautiful little ancient theatre, and return to times you might find it hard to enter. Rome amidst a multitude of vehicles in the
True it is that the architecture is disguised cool of the evening. for the time by those crimson draperies in As Easter approaches, the ecclesiastical which it is the odd custom of Rome to swathe gayeties become more formidable. If any one the pillars of churches on festal days. But should suppose the Holy Week to be a time then you probably come in for some sight pe- for solemnly collecting the thoughts by way culiar to the day-such as the relics of St. of preparation for Easter, he will find himCecilia's, or of St. Mary's in Cosmedin. And self utterly mistaken. From Palm Sunday often in some quiet little church there are on onwards there is a continual succession of the station-day very elaborate vespers, which, shows, and even those who in their own perif you are curious in such things, you may sons keep out of them as much as possible find like to hear. Here and there, even in the themselves constantly beset by the bustle of midst of Lent, are interposed festivals on which their friends around them. 6. What is there the most conscientious Romanist may relax that I can see this morning? what in the forehis austerity ; such as that of St. Joseph, on noon, what in the afternoon, what in the the 19th of March-a day celebrated, among evening, what at midnight? other things, by vast preparation and con- places can I be in at once? What is the sumption of fritters, which Mr. Story derives hour of everything, and how long must I be from a festival of Bacchus at the same season ready before ?” Such are the questions:
which are heard on every side. It is to be cause other places then put forth their attrachoped that for the devout members of the Ro- tions. And when all one's friends are gone, man Church the ceremonies of the season what is a sojourner whose happiness in some serve to their proper purpose ; but for those degree depends on human society to do? But who can look on them only from the outside Mr. Story luxuriates (as well he may) in this they are merely a distraction, of which the month at Rome; and, besides the charms of effect is anything but good. The scenes of nature, there are then sights which are not crushing and confusion are terrible, and the to be seen at any other time—among them impression made by ceremonies witnessed un- the Corpus-Domini procession, when all the der such difficulties must be the very reverse clergy, monks, and seminarists of Rome reof edifying
pair to St. Peter's, and make the circuit of It is a great relief to quiet people when the the Piazza ; the well-known flower festival Easter ceremonies are wound up by the illu- of Genzano ; and the artists' festival, a very mination of St. Peter's ; and then the crowds quaint and characteristic celebration outside which for the last fortnight bad filled the the walls, which our author describes with hotels, the lodgings, and the streets of Rome great enthusiasm (i. 152–7). begin to disperse very rapidly. In a few There is, indeed, the fear of danger to weeks there is hardly an Englishman to be health if the stay at Rome be protracted into seen in the whole place ; but it is just then, the hot season. But against such danger Mr. according to Mr. Story, that the pleasantest Story undertakes to secure us, if we will but time of the Roman year begins
follow his directions, which, in sum, amount
to this : Imitate the Italians : eat little, drink "The month of May is the culmination of little, and that not of a strong or fiery kind; the spring and the season of seasons at Rome. and, above all, avoid overheating yourself No wonder that foreigners who have come when winter sets in, and take wing before and exposing yourself to chills (i. 158–9). April shows her sky, sometimes growl at the
There is a chapter on games,-morra, the weather, and ask if this is the beautiful Ital- ancient micare digitis, which is so often to be ian clime. They have simply selected the witnessed about the Forum; pallone, which rainy season for their visit ; and one cannot Mr. Story prefers to cricket, and for skill in expect to have sun the whole year through, which a Florentine, who got the name of without intermission. Where will they find more sun in the same season ; where will they
Earthquake, is celebrated in an epitaph which find milder and softer air? Even in the mid- will put to shame anything that can be indle of winter, days, and sometimes weeks, scribed on the proposed monument to the descend, as it were from heaven to fill the great cricketer, Alfred Mynn. * And from soul with delight; and a lovely day in Rome these and other games of strength or skill
, is lovelier than under any other sky on earth. we pass to an account of the Lottery—that But just when foreigners go away in crowds, institution which plays so large a part in Ital the weather is settling into the perfection of
ian life. spring,
and then it is that Rome is most charming. The rains are over, the sun is a daily
We pass on to the chapter on “ Cafés and blessing, all Nature is bursting into leaf and
Theatres." The untravelled reader would flower, and one may spend days on the Cam- hardly understand from this how inferior the pagna without fear of colds and fever. Stay Roman cafés are to those of other great citin Rome during May, if you wish to feel its ies; but on the subject of theatres Mr. Story beauty. - The best rule for a traveller who desires and low, from the chief opera-house, the
has more to say. He knows them all, high to enjoy the charms of every clime would be to go to the North in the winter, and to the Apollo, the humblest gaffs (as we believe South in the spring and summer.”_i. 162-3. they would be called in London), and the
puppet-shows. The most striking of all, The recommendation contained in these from its associations and its peculiarities
, is last lines is rather more than we are disposed the “ Correa,” which is nothing less than to follow. But in truth, May is delightful everywhere, -in London and in the English *“ Josephus Barnius, Petiolensis, vir in jactando country, for instance,—as well as at Rome; repercutiendoque folle singularis, qui ob robur inand it is not from weariness of Rome that gens maximamque artis peritiam, et collusores ubique
devictos, Terraemotus formidabili cognomento dicpeople leave it when May is at hand, but be- tus est.”-i. 118.