At Home And Abroad eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 587 pages of information about At Home And Abroad.

In the evening, there was a ball given at the Argentina.  Lord Minto was there; Prince Corsini, now Senator; the Torlonias, in uniform of the Civic Guard,—­Princess Torlonia in a sash of their colors, given her by the Civic Guard, which she waved often in answer to their greetings.  But the beautiful show of the evening was the Trasteverini dancing the Saltarello in their most brilliant costume.  I saw them thus to much greater advantage than ever before.  Several were nobly handsome, and danced admirably; it was really like Pinelli.

The Saltarello enchants me; in this is really the Italian wine, the Italian sun.  The first time, I saw it danced one night very unexpectedly near the Colosseum; it carried me quite beyond myself, so that I most unamiably insisted on staying, while the friends in my company, not heated by enthusiasm like me, were shivering and perhaps catching cold from the damp night-air.  I fear they remember it against me; nevertheless I cherish the memory of the moments wickedly stolen at their expense, for it is only the first time seeing such a thing that you enjoy a peculiar delight.  But since, I love to see and study it much.

The Pope, in receiving the Councillors, made a speech,—­such as the king of Prussia intrenched himself in on a similar occasion, only much better and shorter,—­implying that he meant only to improve, not to reform, and should keep things in statu quo, safe locked with the keys of St. Peter.  This little speech was made, no doubt, more to reassure czars, emperors, and kings, than from the promptings of the spirit.  But the fact of its necessity, as well as the inferior freedom and spirit of the Roman journals to those of Tuscany, seems to say that the pontifical government, though from the accident of this one man’s accession it has taken the initiative to better times, yet may not, after a while, from its very nature, be able to keep in the vanguard.

A sad contrast to the feast of this day was presented by the same persons, a fortnight after, following the body of Silvani, one of the Councillors, who died suddenly.  The Councillors, the different societies of Rome, a corps frati bearing tapers, the Civic Guard with drums slowly beating, the same state carriages with their liveried attendants all slowly, sadly moving, with torches and banners, drooped along the Corso in the dark night.  A single horseman, with his long white plume and torch reversed, governed the procession; it was the Prince Aldobrandini.  The whole had that grand effect so easily given by this artist people, who seize instantly the natural poetry of an occasion, and with unanimous tact hasten to represent it.  More and much anon.

LETTER XX.

ROME.—­BAD WEATHER.—­ST. CECILIA.—­THE PEOPLE’S PROCESSIONS.—­TAKING
THE VEIL.—­FESTIVITIES.—­POLITICAL AGITATION.—­NOBLES.—­MARIA
LOUISA.—­GUICCIOLI.—­PARMA.—­ADDRESS TO THE NEW SOVEREIGN.—­THE NEW
YORK MEETING FOR ITALY.—­ADDRESS TO THE POPE.

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At Home And Abroad from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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