Parma, passing from bad to worse, falls into the hands of the Duke of Modena; and the people and magistracy have made an address to their new ruler. The address has received many thousand signatures, and seems quite sincere, except in the assumption of good-will in the Duke of Modena; and this is merely an insincerity of etiquette.
THE POPE’S RECEPTION OF THE NEW OFFICERS.—THEY
FOOT.—VESPERS AT THE GESU.—A POOR YOUTH IN ROME SEEKING A
PATRON.—RUMORS OF DISTURBANCES.—THEIR CAUSE.—REPRESENTATIONS TO THE
POPE.—HIS CONDUCT IN THE AFFAIR.—AN ITALIAN CONSUL FOR THE UNITED
STATES.—CATHOLICISM.—THE POPULARITY OF THE POPE.—HIS DEPOSITION OF
A CENSOR.—THE POLICY OF THE POPE IN HIS DOMESTIC NOT EQUAL TO THAT
OF HIS PUBLIC LIFE.—HIS OPPOSITION TO PROTESTANT REFORM.—LETTER FROM
JOSEPH MAZZINI TO THE PONTIFF.—REFLECTIONS ON IT.
Rome, January 10, 1848.
In the first morning of this New Year I sent off a letter which must then be mailed, in order to reach the steamer of the 16th. So far am I from home, that even steam does not come nigh to annihilate the distance.
This afternoon I went to the Quirinal Palace to see the Pope receive the new municipal officers. He was to-day in his robes of white and gold, with his usual corps of attendants in pure red and white, or violet and white. The new officers were in black velvet dresses, with broad white collars. They took the oaths of office, and then actually kissed his foot. I had supposed this was never really done, but only a very low obeisance made; the act seemed to me disgustingly abject. A Heavenly Father does not want his children at his feet, but in his arms, on a level with his heart.
After this was over the Pope went to the Gesu, a very rich church, belonging to the Jesuits, to officiate at Vespers, and we followed. The music was beautiful, and the effect of the church, with its richly-painted dome and altar-piece in a blaze of light, while the assembly were in a sort of brown darkness, was very fine.
A number of Americans there, new arrivals, kept requesting in the midst of the music to know when it would begin. “Why, this is it,” some one at last had the patience to answer; “you are hearing Vespers now.” “What,” they replied, “is there no oration, no speech!” So deeply rooted in the American mind is the idea that a sermon is the only real worship!