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294

(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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294 ROMAN DA YS.
was brought in ; and when their owners had emptied a
*’
mezza foglietta " of innocently stimulating wine of Vel-
letri, they seemed rather to belong to the church trium-
phant, than the church in tribulation ; and they talked
jovially together of all sorts of things, among others of
the sermon that had the day before been preached in the
church of II Gesu, against the carnival. Such a sermon
is no rarity, however : on the contrary, it is thundered
out regularly once a year in II Gesii against this worldly
festival, or rather, this jolly way of approaching the holy
season of Lent ; but oddly enough, the lectures are
always deferred until one of the last days of the carnival,
when admonitions come to late. And they were never
until within these last years seriously meant. He who
really set the carnival frolic going, the true patron of all
Pulcinelli was himself a pope : cheery Paul II, who
turned church festivals into popular merrymakings,
transformed the Roman calendar into a bill of the play
and music, and thought that happy men are easier to
govern and easier to lead to salvation, than surly. Only
since the year 1870, does the church look with wrathful
eyes upon the carnival ; for so long as the pope is a cap-
tive, Rome, not to speak of the rest of the world, should
go in sackcloth and ashes, and not allow herself to be
iolly.
A few paces from the trattoria, and I stood on the
Forum Romanum. The sun poured floods of light upon
its antique columns and the marble floor of the Julian
basilica ; it was silent and void of people, there ; the ex-
cavations were stopped for the day, and no stranger was
to be seen wandering there, with guide-book before him
and cicerone by his side. But in the streets that sur-
round the forum and mount towards the Capitol, as
I

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