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(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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sacred, since he had suffered himself to be born in a man-
ger in their very midst ; and that Saint Francis of Assisi
had been the friend of animals. And now, at last, one
of the prospective infallibles — a little, stout, flat-nosed
fellow with a dull air—lifted up his voice and entertained
me with some nonsense about the yearly feast of Sant*
Antonio Abbate and the holy water that was then sprin-
kled upon horses, oxen, asses, goats and poultry, for
their comfort and edification. With this, he probably
thought the church had fulfilled all righteousness towards
the animal creation. The answer one otherwise becomes
used to receive, is that " animals are not Christian."
That they have hardly any feeling, is a belief said to be
generally current among the more ignorant classes ; and
this explains, in some degree, how such kindly, and at
the bottom noble, men as the Romans are, have been
able to fall into the low and shameful sin of cruelty to
animals. But that does not excuse the priests, who have
for a thousand years had the education of this people in
their hands, and have done all that lay in the power of
man to blot out everything great and good that is native
to its character. Meantime the Italians had not long
been masters of Rome, before a society for the protection
of animals, with the Princess Margaret at the head, came
into existence ; and those who have been acquainted with
Rome for a long period, assure us that the efforts of this
society, warmly sustained as they are by the liberal jour-
nals, have already borne some fruit.
Of the care the priests gave popular education, one
can still get an idea, from the living pictures, admirable
to the eye of the figure-painter, that the streets of Rome
yet occasionally present. As I once came out of the
chapel S. Pietro in Carcere—the old Mamertine prison

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