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cocci themselves, and lac and manna are
exudations from trees through punctures made by
the coccidæ.


ROME is an exceptional town, which resembles
no other. You must not judge of Italy by it,
nor even of the Roman States. The pattern is
magnificent, but the piece consists of different
stuff. Roman society is divided into three
classes: the nobility, the common people, and
the middle class, which heaves and tosses
between those two limits. The middle class is the
most interesting and the least known of the
three. Its extent is great; it comprises all
who are neither beggars nor noblemen, from
the humblest shopkeepers of the Corso to the
ministry of 1848. All advocates, medical men,
and official persons (not priests or prelates),
belong to this intermediate world which has no
contact with the great world. The middle class
is that which labours, advances, agitates, and
threatens. It made the revolution of 1849; it
may do better another time, or it may do worse.
From these people there is much to hope,
and also much to fear. Noble strangers who visit
Rome in open carriages are but ill acquainted
with the common people. They have a recollection
of being tormented by howling vagabonds,
and followed by untiring mendicants. They saw
nothing but outstretched open hands, they heard
nothing but harsh voices entreating alms.

Behind this curtain of mendicity are concealed
a hundred thousand persons who are
almost indigent without being idle, and who
have a difficulty in earning their daily bread.
The gardeners and vine-dressers who cultivate a
portion of the outskirts of Rome, labourers,
journeymen, servants, coachmen, models,
pedlars (honest vagabonds who expect that some
miracle of Providence, or a " terno" in the
lottery, will supply them with a supper), compose
the majority of the population. During
winter, while strangers scatter manna over the
land, they almost manage to subsist; but in
summer, they are obliged to draw their girdles
tight. Many of them are too proud to ask you
for twopence-halfpenny; none of them are rich
enough to refuse if you offer it. Ignorant and
inquisitive, simple and subtle, excessively
susceptible without much dignity, ordinarily most
prudent but capable of murderous imprudences;
extreme in tneir attachments and in their
hatreds; easy to move, hard to convince; more
open to sentiments than to ideas; habitually
sober, but terrible when drunk; sincere in the
practice of the most overstrained devotion, but
just as ready to quarrel with a saintly as with a
human foe; convinced that they have little to hope
for on earth, consoled from time to time by looking
forward to a better world, they live in murmuring
resignation under a paternal government
which gives them bread when bread is to be had.

The inequality of social positions, more apparent
at Rome than at Paris, inspires them with
no feelings of hatred. They make up their
minds to their humble lot, and rejoice that there
are rich people in the world to play the part of
benefactors to the poor. No people is less
capable of guiding itself; consequently, the first
coiner can easily drive them in leading-strings.
They have played the part of theatrical
supernumeraries in every Roman revolution, and not
a few of them have fought without knowing
what piece they were playing. They have so
little faith in a republic, that, in the absence of
all the authorities, when the Holy Father and
the Sacred College had taken refuge in Gaeta,
some thirty plebeian families encamped in
Cardinal Antonelli's apartments, without breaking
a single glass. The re-establishment of the
Pope, under the protection of a foreign army,
did not surprise them in the least: they awaited
it, as a lucky event and the return of public
tranquillity. They live in peace with the French
soldiers so long as those soldiers do not meddle
with their family affairs, and the French
occupation only vexes them when they happen to be
personally annoyed. They are not afraid of
sticking their knife in the uniform of a
conqueror, but it may be guaranteed that they will
never celebrate a Sicilian Vespers.

They pride themselves on being descended in
a direct line from the Romans of Great Rome,
and this innocent claim appears well founded.
They are, in fact, great eaters of bread, and very
greedy after spectacles; they treat their wives
as their females, never allowing them to dispose
of a centesimo, but laying out their money
themselves. They are well built, robust, and
capable of giving a tug which would astonish a
buffalo; but there is not one who does not try
to find some mode of living without labour.
Excellent workmen when they have not a sou,
impossible to catch when they have a crown in
their pocket; good sort of people, familiar and
simple-hearted, but convinced of their own
superiority to all the rest of the human race;
economical to the last degree, and cheerful
chewers of grey peas, until they meet with a
brilliant occasion of spending all their savings in
a single day; they glean, sou by sou, ten crowns
in the course of their year, to hire a prince's box
at the Carnival, or to appear in a carriage at the
fete of Love Divine. Exactly thus the populace
of Rome used to forget the past and the
future at their Saturnalia. The hereditary want
of foresight by which they are possessed is
explained by the irregularity of their resources,
the periodical want of work, and the impossibility
of attaining a superior condition without
a miracle. They are deficient in several virtues,
and, amongst others, in delicacy, which formed
no part of their ancestors' inheritance. What
they are not wanting in, is manly bearing and self-
respect. They do not grovel either in low
pleasantries or filthy debauch. The degraded class of
men called the " canaille" is absolutely unknown
icre; ignoble things are not Roman wares.

The Mendicant friars are the plebeians of the
Church. They will salute you politely, without
knowing who you are, and stop to offer their
open snuff-box.