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293

(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 - 2. The Carnival

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PENCIL SKETCHES IN ROME. 293
cers floated in undulating lines around each other, with
motions of hoisting and hauling-in, executed to the
snapping measures of the guitar, until these lines broke
into a confused mass of heads, ducking and coming up,
and forming again in rows that swimming reach the
shore, and in joy at the rescue, unite in a giddy round
dance. What St. Peter, who stands up there on top of
the column, with the keys of the heavenly kingdom in
his hand, thought of the matter, I do not know ; but the
dance had begun again, when, amid the waves of Pun-
chinello hats and other head-gear, I discovered some of
the black broad-brimmed, dogmatically stiff hats—as
twisted as church logic —which belong to the priest-
hood, and under them, faces with the sour looks that also
belong to the Roman priestly habit, ever since the
bersaglieri stormed the Porta Pia, and the unlucky holy
father was laid a prisoner on that world-renowned straw
bed of his. There is scarce a pious old woman in France,
probably, who has not bought her a few straws from that
bed, and fastened them in a graceful knot above the
photograph of Pius IX : and that this article, so much
sought after at the fairs, may be from the Vatican, (that
is, from the pope’s prison,) I no longer doubt, since I
have with my own eyes seen persons reverently pick up
the straw that had been thrown out of the papal court
stables.
The owners of the twisted brims vanished within
the door of a trattoria, and as it remained for me, too,
to dine, I followed them, convinced that however modest
the place might otherwise be, I should at a dinner-table
where priests sit down, find a well-prepared meal and
good wine ; and therein I was not mistaken.
The sour faces cleared, when a savory " bistecca
"

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