previous next

[43] indeed; the lights at two or three altars, and the humble worshippers before them, adding not a little to its power.

October 8.—Again I passed the morning in inquiries about the cholera and cordons, . . . . with the general conclusion which I came to at Turin, that Castel Franco, between Modena and Bologna, is the best place for us to undergo the quarantine, without which neither Florence nor Rome can be reached. The governor of Lombardy was very civil to me, and showed me all the documents relating to the subject, . . . . and from looking them over I have no doubt the cholera has nearly disappeared from every part of Italy. . . . . The Roman Consul—a great name for a very small personage —was also very good-natured, and showed me whatever I wanted to see. But neither of them gave me any hope that the cordons will be removed at present, and the governor talked of the Duke of Modena and of the Pope in a way that hardly became either a good neighbor or a good Catholic, and with a freedom which no man in the United States, holding a considerable office, would venture to use. But I have often had occasion to observe that opinions are more freely expressed in Europe than they are with us; partly, I suppose, because opinion is so powerful in the United States, and of so little comparative consequence here, where the governments are neither founded on opinion nor controlled by it.

‘The Duke of Modena,’ said the governor, ‘is a very absurd personage, who keeps up his cordons, in part, to show that he is not under Austrian influence.’ I asked him what might be expected from the Roman States.

‘Nothing is to be expected,’ he replied, ‘from a government of priests but inconsequence and imbecility.’

His whole talk was in this tone. . . . .

In the evening we went to the Scala, the famous Scala which has enjoyed such a reputation in Europe ever since it was built in 1778, and which the Austrian government is obliged to keep up at such great cost. Its size, indeed, which permits it to hold, with its six rows of boxes, above three thousand spectators; the splendor of the view on one side, which is all gold except the graceful blue silk drapery that shuts the fronts of the boxes, and on the other the vast stage, with sometimes nearly a thousand actors on it; the admirable scenery; . . . . the picturesque and even poetical ballet; and the opera itself,— make it, I dare say, what it chiefly claims to be, the most magnificent spectacle of the sort in Europe. . . . . There is at this moment no society in Milan. It is the season of the villeggiatura, when it is unfashionable

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1778 AD (1)
October 8th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: