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320 [January 28, 1860.] ALL THE YEAR ROUND. [Conducted by

of them, like the Mancino? But all these argu-
ments, urged with the hot eloquence of affection
and alarm, were fruitless. Ashamed, perhaps,
of going back to his wife and telling her that he
had thought better of facing those dangers she
had told him of, and had decided on leaving her
brother to his fate, he resisted all poor Cam-
milla's entreaties, and hurried on his way.

He had reached the Monte Cavallo, and was
near the top of the ascent, when three shots
from an arquebuse were heard, and Peretti fell
mortally wounded. In the next instant, four
bravoes rushed up to the body and made sure of
their work by repeated stabs with their daggers.
The servant with the torch fled, and carried to
the wife and mother the news of the fulfilment
of that presentiment which the latter had been
expressing to him only a few minutes before.

Of course the rest of the night passed in the
murdered man's house in distracted lamentation.
Vittoria vied with her mother-in-law in the
violence and bitterness of her grief. But with
early morning arrived the Cardinal di Montalto.
The loss of his nephew was probably more
severe than that sustained by either the widow
or the childless mother. Those who do not
know what the pride of family, and the desire of
establishing a name and a race is in an Italian
breast, will hardly understand how this should
be so. They cannot tell what a nephew is to an
ambitious churchman. Yet the old man entered
the house with his accustomed grave calmness.
He bade the women restrain the violence of
their feelings, and cease to deplore the irrevo-
cable. He caused the mangled body to be
brought in from the public way where the mur-
derers had left it, and prepared for its decent
and seemly burial. " Such was the influence of
his authority," writes the previously quoted
chronicler, " that during the whole preparations
and celebration of the funeral, nothing was
heard from those women, or seen in their man-
ner, other than what is seen in the case of ordi-
nary deaths in well-regulated and wisely disci-
plined families."

It chanced that a Consistory of Cardinals had
been appointed for the very next day after
Francesco Peretti's murder. All Rome was of
course talking of the deed; not simply of the
fact that a man had been murdered on the
Monte Cavallo during the past nightthat was
far too common an occurrence to excite much
notice but that the fayourite nephew of the
man, who it was universally expected would
be pope, had been murdered; and that, as
everybody at once suspected and cautiously
whispered, by one of the most powerful nobles
in Rome. For there seems to have been but
little doubt in the public mind from the first,
that Prince Paolo Giordano Orsini, Duke of
Bracciano, was the author of his rival's death.

A curious feature, recurring again and again
in every page of medieval and modern Ro-
man history, and strongly marked to the pre-
sent day in the social aspects of the Eternal
City, is a continual watchfulness, and cunning
subtle deduction from it, and the corresponding

equally vigilant care to elude it. The minute
circumstances and acts which are meditated
and commented on, and the diplomatic caution
with which those whose position draws men's
eyes on them act in every detail of life, surprise
the observer who belongs to a state of society
constituted on different principles. He gene-
rally explains the phenomenon by attributing
it to the simple frivolity of a people who
have no larger interests to employ their
thoughts. But the true explanation lies
deeper among the fundamental principles of
the Roman social system. The small matters
thus spied out on the one hand, and hidden on
the other, are of real importance in a society
governed by privilege instead of by law. In
proportion as law is weak and privilege power-
ful, individual will, character, and caprice be-
come important. The cardinal has a nephew, and
the nephew has a secretary, and the secretary
has a fair friend, and the fair friend has a
favourite maid, and the favourite maid has a
lover, and the lover has a cousin, and the cousin
may sell apples at the street corner perhaps.
The apple-seller has in the all-destructive and
demoralising hierarchy of privilege a certain
amount of power as against some other poor
devil less " protected" than himself. In every
despotism the despot will be keenly watched by
those subjected to his power. Cunning watch-
fulness is the natural arm of the unprotected
weak against the unrestrained strong. But in
Rome an altogether special perfection of cunning,
hypocrisy, and guile is generated by the pecu-
liarity of the circumstances that lead the great
objects of spying watchfulness to be constantly
on their guard against it, and to elude and de-
lude it by unsleeping caution and secrecy. The
lay despot of any other social system is studied
and watched, but has rarely any such object
before him as to make him care much to avoid
the scrutiny. Every cardinal is living with
a view to the papacy, if not absolutely in his
own person, in that of the leading man of his
party, whose success is all important to him.
Hence every attempt to spy out the secret of a
real emotion, to obtain a glimpse of the true
desire or intention, to peer through some
crevice in the screen of dissimulation and
caution, is met by these cynosures of Roman
eyes by a trained and practised secretiveness,
which has thus, under the specious name of
prudence, become one of the most admired and
cultivated of accomplishments.

All Rome was thus on the watch, therefore,
for some slip of bad play on the part of the
Cardinal di Montalto, which might afford a
momentary view of the cards he held, and a
shrewd guess at his game.

Certainly the chance was a rare one. Every-
body knew how wrapped up the old man was
in the nephew who had been thus taken from
him. It was impossible to doubt the severity
of the blow. It was almost equally impossible
to doubt that the cardinal must have pretty
well known what hand had struck it. The
world of Rome felt little or no doubt that the