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300

(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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300 ROMAN DA YS.
ering one above another and adorned with beautiful
women and many colored draperies, hardly had I caught
a passing glimpse of the billowing multitude, before I
found myself the object of a blinding rain—not of confetti
which begin to belong to the domain of history but—of
plaster in every form, from the finest plaster dust, to
plaster in the shape of pebbles ; and the rain turned into
the wildest hailstorm, and in my ears all other cries were
drowned in the shriek, " il capello ! " With horror, I
now remembered a story that on a certain evening during
the carnival no high hat could show itself upon the Corso.
The story was true, and I had never dreamed of it, for
the whole of the evening before, I had passed on the
Corso, in the midst of the maddest masquerade gayety,
and not a creature had troubled himself about my hat.
" Drive fast !
" I called to the coachman. Useless warn-
ing ! We had, in that press of carriages and people, to go
step by step. Now came a plaster avalanche and swept
my hat off. I put it on again. " Drive into a cross
street !
" Useless warning ! At the ends of the cross
streets the crowd was worse, if possible, than on the main
thoroughfare. Again the hat was knocked off. I allow
it to lie, take my overcoat off, and throw it over my head.
But even at my feet, this unlucky specimen of Roman
hatting is object of the Roman’s frenzy. Plaster heaps
itself up in drifts in the cab. At last we stop on the
Piazza del Popolo. The coachman, who from top to toe
looks like a miller, puffs, and swears by at least seven
saints, by San Giovanni, and San Giacomo, by Santa
Petronella and our own Santa Brigida, and others, that
this is the very worst tour he has ever been out on ; and
he takes the liberty of wondering at my obstinacy, to
wish to appear in a high hat on the Corso, on such an

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