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How did the bucolic farmer waiting his turn,
sucking his stick top, with his hat on the ground
between, his knees, get into an Eternal City?
Here, he unquestionably is. A pale widow-looking
woman, in rusty black, sitting there, sad
and patient; what can she have to trouble a
Cardinal Secretary with? A trader, and a soldier.
These are the patients waiting outside the

A little silver bell has tinkled, and Secretary's
secretary skims away like a bird. Gigantic friend
and I feel curious sensation, and dread the
appalling "Now, sir!" of the dentist's familiar.

Reappears, presently, Secretary's secretary,
with much mystery, making passes and significant
gestures. Agriculturist seeing us moving
forward in obedience to this Od force, enters a
faint protest by rising from his chair; but
subsides again into the Rent Day, feeling that
he is powerless. We enter a little chamber,
and the door is softly closed behind us: a
dainty little cabinet of a place, panelled in green
and gold also, but whose appointments and
appropriate furniture are all absorbed into the
small dark figure sitting at the table. With
magnificent effect, stands out the firm cleanly cut
face, no longer vellum-cheeked in the broad light
rushing in, in floods, at the window, and rising
on billows, as it were, of flowing papers,
petitions, and documents official, unrolled and tossed
lightly before him. So clear and brilliant is it
flung out by that deep richly green background
and scarlet carpet, that I think the great
mystery cardinal must have studied the fine old
portrait colouring, and artfully selected this
bold combination. As he rises out of that
documental foam, and, with a smile the most
overpoweringly gracious and fascinating welcomes his
two visitors, the hair seems to me at this closer
view yet more richly luxuriant, more classically
waving, and the eye caverns the darkest and
most piercing, that man can conceive. In
that vividly scarlet skull-cap, and dark cloth
robe with a little cape, edged with a fine scarlet
line and dotted with minute scarlet buttons, he
becomes to me the most mysterious awe-
inspiring figure true, genuine secretary of state.
Sweet phrases come rolling thickly over these
lips which the profane wit would christen
"brigand," and it seems to me the most melodious
voice I ever heard.

Now, two chairs are drawn close to the
documental table, and H.E. the Cardinal
Secretary, with his chair thrown back a little, reels
forth discourse most musical, at times quaintly
bilingual, running fitfully from Italian into
French. I steal a glance round the room and
wonder at its small size; but then recollect that
this is a cabineta minister's boudoir. A most
coquettish and artistic disorder prevails in it, too,
and there are rare prints hung on the green wall;
the furniture is of a quaint pattern; and an ancient
altar triptich of Byzantine pattern, leans against
a chair. A pretty little open-work screen, the
carving of which is a speciality in certain
Italian provinces, stands erect upon the table
and fences off the glare. Even as he sits, most
graceful is the attitude and effect: his black
robe of the finest cloth, falling in judicious
folds, and the neatest cleanest-shaped ankle
cased in a bright scarlet stocking without crease
or seam, peeping out under the skirt daintily
looped up. Gigantesque friend alludes to a cer-
tain friendship as dating from school-days. "Ah,"
sighs softly the Cardinal, with a plaintive regret,
"ce sont quelquefois les connaissances les plus
agréables!" And I think for the moment that
I have heard a Rochefoucauld maxim of singular
point and novelty. Gigantesque friend, knowing
that his eminence is curious in bric-a-brac
and art relics, has ventured to bring
some rare engraved signet rings from his well-
known collection, for H.E.'s inspection. The
dark eyes lightenhe is virtuoso himselfand
yonder, in those inner chambers, keeps an unique
collection of gems and marbles. Another day
he will show us these treasures, with a trifle in
the way of a picture or two; but alas! are
there not the clients outside, waiting to devour
him? These art enemies must have their
prey; but the ring is curiousmost curious
and he smiles over it with love, and peers
into it with the piercing eyes, then fetches
out from somewhere under the great flood
of lawyers' briefs, a great magnifier, and
studies it with that aid. There is yet
another signet wondrously wrought as to
framework, in the Cellini manner, but unhappily
lacking the stone. Eminency suddenly
bethinks him of a remedy, and, groping in a little
cabinet drawer, fetches forth a little casket, and
out of the little casket picks, with neat fingers,
one special green gem, which he has had in his
mind, but which will not suit. He has fallen
into a bric-a-brac dream; but presently a cloud
gathers about the caverns, and he wakes. The
clients press on him in a practical reality. The
bugbear Business comes in, roughly tramping
down these delicate fancies. So gigantesque
friend rises, and chairs are pushed away, and
Eminency rises, and the black shiny cloth falls
gracefully and hides the neat scarlet ankle.
Sweetest and most gracious dismissal, the shining
teeth flash upon us, little bell rings softly,
and Cardinal Secretary of State fades into his
deep green background. It is bucolic's turn
at last.

  On the 15th of October will be published, price
                  5s. 6d., bound in cloth,
                  THE THIRD VOLUME
                ALL THE YEAR ROUND,
  Containing from Nos. 51 to 76, both inclusive.
Volumes the First and Second are to be had of all