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324

(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 - 4. La Campagna di Roma

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324 ROMAN DAYS.
make their appearance in the neediest form, and few are
they who do not find the lot of the campagnolo hard and
his fate lamentable ; but happiness cannot be measured
with the rule the stranger lays upon the wants of life,
and the herdsman who by day has roved about on horse-
back over the wide moor, and at evening is received by
wife and children at the hearth of his reed cabin, knows
perhaps more joy in his existence than the bulk of those
who pity him.
Not on the Campagna only, but even in Rome, may
one make acquaintance with this people of herdsmen.
One day when I had passed several hours in the Museo
Capitolino, and hungry and thirsty asked a sergeant of
police after the nearest trattoria, he pointed with a dis-
suading shrug of the shoulders down towards a lane in
the neighborhood of the Piazza Montanara. I knew
what that shrug boded : a chill cellar, guests presenting
types of the Italian people, a redoubtable cook, but pos-
sibly far better wine than one can get at the most gorge-
ously gilded " restaurants," if one, that is, will taste the
grape of the land itself. I found the place ; it was called
Trattoria delV Agricultiira, a strange name to meet in
that part of Italy, where the ploughs can be counted and
*’ agriculture " is a tradition, but indicating in any case
the kind of steady customers who here assembled. And
they were farmers who made something of a figure, in
their proudly draped cloaks, their leather boots and
mighty spurs; men who turned up the soil more with the
horses’ hoof and the point of the lance, than the plough-
share. It must be owned that they looked as unwashed
as the table-cloth over which they consumed their pre-
sciutto and buffalo cheese ; but the stately bearing, the
noble gestures, and the language that sounded so beauti-

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