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286

(1887) [MARC] Author: Viktor Rydberg Translator: Alfred Corning Clark With: Hans Anton Westesson Lindehn
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Full resolution (JPEG) - On this page / på denna sida - Pencil Sketches in Rome - 1. Ecclesiastical Rome, and Italian

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286 ROMAN DA YS.
the malaria fly, and the deserted Aventine hill again be
covered with homes for sturdy men, fair women and
ruddy children.
The old proverb, that Rome is " the paradise of
priests, the purgatory of pedestrians and the hell of
horses," has, as appears from the above, become obsolete
with regard to the first two thirds, since that memorable
September day in the year 1870, when the Italians
stormed the breach near the Porta Pia. That Rome has
ever been the pedestrian’s purgatory I find it anyhow
hard to believe, for here there is so much to see and enjoy,
that one can cheerfully walk the roughest pavement.
But the proverb’s remaining third is unhappily even to-
day a truth, and is valid as such not only for horses, but
for all other domestic animals, except the cat, who shares
the advantage his two-legged peers in agility possess, of
being able without much thrashing and without much
respect to slip through the tight places of life. Scho-
penhauer the philosopher accuses Christendom of not
having taken animals under its protection. The reproach
is false, as far as Christendom itself is concerned, but it
is true with regard to the Christian peoples, who towards
animals are the most cruel of all. Above all, is this true
of the Catholics. By chance, 1 was forced to see how
they maltreated a poor horse who at a hill fell under his
heavy load. Among the spectators stood two priests. I
took the liberty of representing to these holy men that
it was their duty to stop the tormenting spirits, but got
nothing but astonished looks and open mouths, in answer.
To try to arouse their sympathy for a tormented creature,
was clearly trouble thrown away. Then I took to rea-
sons to which I thought them more amenable : I re-
minded them, that Christ had made domestic animals

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