Page:Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag, Volume 2.djvu/189

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see. The courage of the King, in trusting himself in a city full of enemies, touched the people quite as much as the kindly motive that brought him there, and kept him sacred in their eyes.

The girls had a second view of him on the balcony of the Quirinal; for the populace clamored so for another sight of "II Rè" that the Pope's best velvet hangings were hastily spread, and Victor Emmanuel came out and bowed to his people, "who stood on their heads with joy," as Amanda expressed it.

He was in citizen's dress, and looked like a stout, brown, soldierly man, not so ugly as the pictures of him, but not an Apollo by any means.

Hating ceremony and splendor, he would not have the fine apartments prepared for him, but chose a plain room, saying, "Keep the finery for my son if you like: I prefer this."

He drove through the Ghetto, and all the desolated parts of the city, to see with his own eyes the ruin made; and then desired the city fathers to give to the poor the money they had set apart to make a splendid welcome for him.

He only spent one day, and returned to Florence at night. All Rome was at the station to see him