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331

(1887) [MARC] Author: Viktor Rydberg Translator: Alfred Corning Clark With: Hans Anton Westesson Lindehn
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PENCIL SKETCHES lA’ ROME. 33
1
scourge, is far from so heavy a one as before. The most
shameless and most dangerous in the guild, they who
stood on the confines of brigandage, and had their favor-
ite haunts in the most deserted quarters of the city, where
they in particular stopped unaccompanied women with
their threatening " I die of hunger," have been swept
away by the new police : the last and best known of the
race, who had long succeeded in hiding from the author-
ities, was seized while I was in Rome, and this event was
mentioned as pleasant news in all the journals of the city.
Rome’s beggars have every reason to curse, with the
priests, the day the Italians entered Rome. And so they
belong to the clerical party, and the " Viva Pio Nono !
"
one finds scribbled here and there upon the walls, is un-
doubtedly for the most part an outpouring of the heart of
some scribe belonging to these vermin. The most pow-
erful hindrance to checking pauperism, is the countenance
it has from the priests. The clerical newspapers daily
shudder at the attempts of the godless Italian govern-
ment to stop this ’•
wellspring for the exercise of Chris-
tian compassion :
" they do not blush to express disap-
proval of the efforts to educate the children of the poorer
classes to industry and a sense of human dignity; they
boast that Monsignore X or Y whose place is with the
princes of the church is a " good friend and acquaintance’’
of the honest beggar Z. and hold this out as a trait of
Christian equality ; the churches must still serve, to-day.
as refuges for importunate beggars ; and children who
are truants from the public school are encouraged at the
few remaining convents, with food and drink, in their
idleness. For centuries, begging has been systematically
cherished by the church government. It was an expe-
rience of historv that whenever industry flourished in tiie

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